Today I attended my first bikram (hot yoga) class in over a year. My first obstacle was just getting out the door, and I’m so glad I did.
Honestly, in this day and age of fast everything (food, chores, errands, keeping up with family and friends), it’s easy to let yourself go. I started feeling that way. . . like I was letting myself go. I don’t want that for me, my husband, or my children. I need to be at my best to help keep them at theirs. So, this new leaf was turned, and I decided hot yoga was just the detox I needed. All the coffee, red wine, sodium, sugars. . . all the bad stuff I’ve consumed recently, needed to GO!
Ninety minutes in a room heated to 105 degrees, along with a packed class of 40 plus people, is enough to put your head in a weird place. I know enough about yoga to know that a capacity class, heated to that temperature could lead to some ugly happenings. But, I was ready to let it all pour out. And indeed, it did. I managed to get a spot at the back of the class, with enough arm space between me and the girl to my left and the guy to my right. Lots of men in this class, and I couldn’t help but think they were there to prep for the Cooper River Bridge Run (this upcoming Saturday, March 27).
I’m not usually a person who perspires much, let alone sweats. But bikram is the magic trick for me. About a half hour into the class, and after several “lions breaths” to stoke the internal fire, I felt the glorious drops of sweat leaving my body and drenching my towel and mat. It felt amazing. I felt strong, capable, and “in the moment.” That’s what yoga does for me. Keeps me grounded and in the present. No thoughts of yesterdays or tomorrows. . . only about that one foot, rooted to the ground, supporting me and my body. As a Libra, balance is a theme in my life. Yoga is such a blessing because it’s based on balance. What you do for one side of your body, you do for the other.
So, when the class came to an end, and I was lying there in corpse pose, thanking my body and my god for allowing me to do the entire class, I was sad to see it end. But happy to be leaving the guy next to me who was swishing around on his mat full of sweat.
When I got out to my car, I looked in the rear view mirror. I thought I looked really good. Not a stitch of makeup; hair matted down and wet, ponytail askew . . . but my face was flushed and glowed. I love yoga and all the natural beauty it brings to a body and a face.