I’m terribly shiny, but also very happy (cue REM song) in this photo: taken before my 60th bikram class. Yesterday I completed that challenge and it was worth every sweaty drop of frustration. A note of gratitude:
Thank you to my friends and family who’ve listened to me work yoga into just about every conversation I’ve had for the last two months. For your patience and kindness, I am very grateful. Thank you especially to Lisa, Kim, Juliann and the African for coming out for the final class.
Also, to Bikram Tempe — owned by two of the sweetest people — Elaina and Ben. The married pair have a staff that made showing up for class each day something to look forward to. Depending on the teacher, the class was to be relaxing, screamingly difficult or a happy medium. Thank you to the entire staff. You have my admiration.
I’d love to say I feel enlightened. Or just lightened. I’m a few pounds down and definitely more in touch with my spirit — but I’m far from either zenith. Instead what I feel for the first time in my life is a sense of balance. I’m happy. I’m not ecstatic and I’m not depressed. I’m in this great gray zone that is unprecedented. I’m also far more confident in my body’s prowess. It’s more than likely just a change in perspective, but now I look at my form with a sincere respect for what it is capable of accomplishing. I’m far more flexible and wonder if I’m even a bit taller from all that stretching. I certainly carry myself with more confidence.
I’m stronger in body and mind; that alone is worth continuing Bikram.
I’ve found myself recommending Bikram to friends and anyone who will listen. Can’t sleep? Take yoga. Feeling blue? Yoga. Angry, lack of purpose, unhealthy, antsy? Bikram. Simple as that. It isn’t about 90 minutes, or the heat or wearing Spandex in public (although all are painfully part of the package). It’s about surrendering. You check your ego, body image, social status and importance at the door and enter into a healing atmosphere where everyone and every body is of equal importance. It is more than fulfilling — it is life changing.