Warning: cliche alert!
You can’t always get what you want, as some old guys used to say.
Something I'm learning is that even if we can’t get what we want, we can learn to trust that we can get what we need. I’m back to the classroom now, and while that means I might not get to the hot room as much as I have been, there will definitely be a greater need for yoga’s balancing power in my life :-) I'm thinking that’s just an essential part of why the yoga exists—we need its ability to temper the effects of our chaotic lives. This past month, anyway, demonstrated just that.
I'm pretty sure that it was yoga that helped me march out of the dark tunnel the “failed” Mexico trip I wrote about previously dropped me into. The first few days I was practically housebound—I didn’t want to see anyone, couldn’t fathom going to the mall, much less think of the school semester starting again. I was just done.
After one day of "in bed with the cats" recovery, though, I managed to get myself back to yoga and practiced consistently. Notwithstanding a couple of amazing friends who dragged me out to dinner and a movie, it was the yoga that quickly got me back to normal. Better than normal, in fact.
OK, so, yeah, I wish I’d had a better experience in Mexico. But being humbled by my perceived failure actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Admittedly, the first couple of days back in the hot room were monstrous. I could barely look at myself in the mirror. I was scared that someone was going to eviscerate me in the back-bending postures. It took every fiber of my being to stop myself from leaving the room. But by the third day back, something just happened.
Usually, I have an insane amount of negative self-talk when I practice. I try and see yoga as an opportunity to work on silencing those demonic voices throughout the class. My “self-image” outside the class had improved dramatically since I started. The need for this to happen was why I came back to Bikram Yoga in the first place! However, in the class, statements like “You suck! You are lazy! Look at you, you look terrible. You are too weak do this!” have been part of my internal dialogue.
Therefore, I was shocked to notice in standing head-to-knee pose that day that the disgusting inner monologue had been put on mute. No, the postures weren’t any easier, but what joy to realize that I’d lost a little of that self-hate and gained more self-acceptance along the way. Imagine the desire to engage in a bad habit—something like biting the nails, going for meds, drinking the gin, whatever—just disappearing, totally without effort.
I don’t think I would have had this breakthrough if I hadn’t been broken down by the trip. Maybe I had some sort of inflated, tough-girl-conquers-world attitude that needed to be dismantled. Maybe I faced head-on my fear of failure. (Insert greater clarity here :-) Regardless, I’ve made strides in the last month, in the physical expression of the postures and, more importantly, in tweaking the ever-troubling ego.
I wanted to have a grand adventure abroad. As it turns out, I needed to stay here.
I’m so excited about 2010, the new semester, and this wonderful online Bikram community. Even though I’ve just started blogging and reading others’ posts with more regularity, it’s already been such an enriching experience. Thanks, y’all, for listening to the ramble :-)