I walk in and regular Christian is there. "Is that your yellow towel in the front row?" he asks. "Yup." "Oh good, I'm next to you then". He was at the 90 min Moksha flow with me yesterday, so he and I sat in the lobby and talked about our sore spots. "I think its just here" I say, pointing to the back of my shoulders and to my pecs.
Class starts and I realize something. Roberta taught the class before us and it's hot. I mean hot. No biggie, I've survived hot and I was well hydrated, well rested and have been feeding myself properly. I've got this! Riiiiight.......
What ensued in the next 15 minutes was ridiculous. Pranayama breathing starts and my shoulders get fatigued halfway through the first set. At the bottom of the inhales I catch glimpses of sweat running down my exposed belly already. It was hot and humid. I make it through breathing and I'm already feeling uncomfortable. Half moon starts. I notice right away that I am sore in many places in my upper body. Oh, and did I mention it was hot? Left side, first set my arms are trembling, my face looks pained. We get to the first backbend and as I am going up and over and looking to the back wall my abs go "WAIT!!!!". Yes, my abs. The sides of my abs as they were being stretched to get into the backbend were screaming from all of the ab work in Moksha the night before. A ripple of pure joy at that pain went through me, mixing with the physical discomfort. I was happy to feel that I got worked, but suddenly also scared that I wouldn't be able to complete my Bikram class. I made it through both sets of half moon, but I was seriously wrecked. By the time we got through eagle to "party time" I chugged more sips of my water than normal. All I could think was a big fat OH NO!
We start standing head to knee and I heard Dominique breaking through my haze. I realized how much I was in my head. "Get out of your head. You're sore. Big whoop. It doesn't mean your body can't do it, it just means you're going to feel different doing it". My breath smoothed out, my focus returned, Dominique's voice sounded normal volume again and not far away and something just went click. The rest of the class was totally fine. Yes, it was still hot. Yes I was still sore, but I started to really focus....and have fun. Dominique corrected and encouraged me. She would walk by, catch my eye and stick her bottom lip out...her "I'm sad to leave you guys" look. I perked up and started to work hard, knowing it was her last class for a month. She squatted down next to me in toe stand. "Michelle, you've got this, I've been watching you, I know you can do this, I know you can straighten your spine up!". I've been stuck. For two years stuck at the same place in toe stand. I can get down there fine. Quite gracefully some days in fact. But once I get down there, my spine is curved and I'm hunched over. Try as I might I cannot sit straight up and get my hands off the ground into prayer. She squatted down and sent dialog directly my way, trying to get me into it. "Come on Michelle, it's my last class, I know you can do this!". I tried so hard! Then I toppled over. I caught her eye and giggled. I realized I was having so much fun!
Leaving the studio I glanced up to the gray partly cloudy sky and threw my yoga bag into my trunk. I took a deep breath and smiled. I've been doing this yoga for two and a half years. I'm in better shape both physically and emotionally. I love going to yoga. But today, I realized that it's also really really fun! With joy in my heart, I drove home, gratitude filling my heart.