Last night I headed back to the studio after work, eager to get day 2 out of the way. For anybody who practices Bikram yoga regularly, you are probably familiar with the "second day back is hell" concept. I find that after missing Bikram for over 7 days in a row, the second night back is worse than the first. This may not be true for everybody, but other yogis have commiserated with me that yes, this indeed has been their experience. I checked the schedule before I left and saw that Lacey was teaching. Swoon! Lacey is in my top 5 of all time teacher list. She is right up there with Brandy, the current world champ. Brandy has been one of my favorites for over 2 years now.
I got to the studio early, as usual, and sat on the couch reading. The 4pm class started to trickle out. I saw some other students waiting but it didn't appear to be all that busy yet, so I waited a bit before going in to set up my mat. When I finally did get up and carry my mat in what I saw as I opened the door cracked me up. Already there were about 10 mats set up, all on the door side of the room. No mats at all on the other half of the room. It was clear that all 10 were jockeying for air space by the doors. Chuckling and shaking my head, I went over to the other side and set my mat down. I figured I was going to be a mess no matter what, so I'll take the "hot side with no air" and suck it up. I will let the strong students who will be working hard get the nice blast of door air. I figured I'd be on my knees most of the time anyway.
I wasn't. On my knees. I was OK for most of the standing series, again having issues locking my knees and getting my hips down in triangle. I just breathed, got into the postures as best as I could and put down the 10 foot long bat I normally beat myself up with mentally. The floor series was a whole 'nother ball of wax. I once again could not get my ass down in fixed firm. Then came locust. Salabhasana (Locust Pose) to be exact. Sunday it hurt. Last night it was excruciating. My elbows hurt so bad that I could not shift my weight to lift both legs off the ground for the third part. I just lay there, on my arms, legs on the floor still, face contorted, trying to breathe steady, trying not to scream out loud. I wonder if it hurt this bad three years ago, when I was a newbie? Just like the pain of labor fades from memory when you hold your beautiful baby in your arms, so does the pain of starting your practice. So I don't know if it was this bad in the beginning, all I know is the pain will subside with regular practice and my practice will again unfold into that precious meditation I used to lose myself in daily. But for now, I HATE locust! The floor series ground on slowly, making me really have to focus. I was in heavy second day detox mode and by the time I got to Camel I felt like I was going to projectile vomit onto the surrounding yogis. I started to go back for camel and the world spun sideways, wildly spinning off its axis. I sat back up and knelt down. Kneeling was not comfortable, those tight knees barked at me. So I sat indian style. Boy oh boy do I have far to go to get back to where I was in my practice. This does not depress or sadden me though. Instead, it excites me. I suppose it's because I have done this before and I know it's a given that my body will improve, strengthen, progress. There is no "what if" factor. It's just a truth. A Bikram truth. Can't wait until tonight!