Tuesday, February 2, 2010

"Don't be scared. I've done this before."

Show me your teeth!

Lady Gaga, showin' her teeth.

I just had to start with a little tribute to the Mistress of the Monsters who got dissed at the Grammys on Sunday. (Yes, it's true. Normally I only admit to enjoying elitist music by the likes of Radiohead or Chopin, but. Uh. Gaga just rocks.)

I thought of Gaga in class tonight as my scaredy-cat self was trying to dictate how the last of the standing postures would pan out. I mentioned in a previous post that I've been dealing with some health issues and am taking it slow in class. Having gotten a squeaky-clean bill of health from the doctor just before class, though, I figured I was ready to push through the fear--at least a little, and always with listening to the body, of course.

One of the side effects of the medication being fatigue, the standing series has been tough to get through since I've been back. In my usual state of being, I've gotten into kind of an easy-breezy zone with it. I can get through the standing series doing the postures. But I don't always feel them very much. I figure that means I am not usually giving the 110% the teachers ask for ;-)

So, after Balancing Stick today, I was feeling dizzy, lightheaded, seeing stars, you know what happens. I decided to take it easy and sit down. But what do the teachers say after Balancing Stick? "It's the triple exposure effect! Do you feel a little nauseous, dizzy? Do you feel terrible? Good! Something is happening!" Doh. The jig is up. It's not just me.

Of course, you know what comes after Balancing Stick's cardiovascular workout: you get to calm your body down a little bit with the forward bending posture. It's all about balance. You can trust how the series is set up--some postures get your body juiced and some calm it back down. You take advantage of the wildly-flowing blood as you stretch the tendons and ligaments and get the blood to those starving, cut-off areas.

Maybe some would be troubled that I was taking words of advice from Lady Gaga, but the lyrics from her song "Teeth" vibrated in my head as I got up to do the forward bend. "Don't be scared," I recited. "I've done this before!" Admittedly, I did sit out the second set of Balancing Stick, but I kept my butt off the floor for the rest of standing series, sans one set of Separate Head-to-Knee.

All in all, it was a very decent class, especially considering the changes. I'm feeling really grateful this week.

(On a sorta-related FYI: According to Bikram's book/common sense, if you suffer from hypertension, you're also supposed to take it easy on Full Bow and Camel. Technically, you're not supposed to do those poses at all without a teacher present.)

I must also share with you what happened in the doctor follow-up visit today. He turned the screen to me and said: "Look at your levels! Even the non-medication-related levels are all perfect! Now, tell me about this yoga you were going on about last week. I need to lose weight." Of course, I obliged :-) I even shared the "never too late!" quote when he expressed concern about being overweight.

I am one of those people who is reluctant to push anything as a cure-all, even if I love it. I will not say that Bikram is a cure-all, and honestly, I don't think it's for everyone. But jeez-oh-man, so many things I've heard in the class that I initially thought were bogus have been proven true in my meaningless, little body in the last few months. There's something so special about it.

Thanks for reading :-) There's something very moving about knowing there's a Bikram community out there!


hannahjustbreathe said...

I think it's so impressive you got yourself back into the room so quickly!

And although I'm not a HUGE Lady Gaga fan, I do like that phrase very much. Because it's so true---I'm constantly reminding myself in class, "Don't be scared. It's just YOGA." In other words, I've done this before.

bikramyogachick said...

Last summer I had my appendix removed. They did it laposcopically and I only missed yoga for two weeks. But when I went back, I remember the fear, lingering around the edges of my practice. It took a couple of weeks until I felt like "myself" again in that room. Take it easy!
I hope your doctor tries the yoga. I don't think it's a "cure-all" either but it's the closest to one I've ever seen. :)

catherine said...

Best wishes for your continued health upswing. :) I wholeheartedly agree with your last statement, too.

Yolk E said...

Thanks so much for the support! It is so motivating.

Bikramyogachick, I definitely hope he goes, too. I even wrote the website down for him to check out! :-)

Mei said...

I'm a fan - you love Lady Gaga AND Bikram Yoga. Nice!