This past Monday marked my 400th and 401st Bikram Yoga classes in just over a year and a half. Sometimes I marvel at the changes I’ve experienced, and I’m not referring to the obvious physical changes.
Having an overeating food addiction/issue means everyone has the ability to see the manifestation of my “issues.” It also means I have a constant visual reminder of so much, but more about that in a later blog.
I don’t feel like going down the road of those memories, not now anyways, and maybe that’s one of the more striking changes within me—the desire and the willingness to look forward, to do the work it takes to create the life I want. If I spend too much time looking backward I run the very real risk of staying mired in the muck. I’d much rather keep my eyes and my heart and my soul looking upward. That’s a miracle in action. That’s the gift of yoga, of meditation, of learning to appreciate the art of being.
What other gifts of magic have appeared in my life in the past year and a half of doing 401 Bikram Yoga classes? What other magnificent changes have forged their way into existence?
- I love every hot sweaty moment I’m in that room. Even on days where I haven’t felt the urge to be there I’ve learned a thing or two or more about myself and I’ve NEVER regretted going.
- I love watching the continuing development of my clavicle, of my collarbones as they take on a more defined appearance. Trust me, when you’ve never been able to feel or see bones, it becomes the most miraculous thing to suddenly see them!
- Going as deeply into a posture doesn’t always equate with getting the most out of a posture. Sometimes I gain more benefit by just going into a posture lightly. I can do the most amazing backbends, but if I concentrate on strengthening my whole back I don’t go as deeply, but my ENTIRE spine benefits, and, eventually, I will be able to go even more deeply into a backbend utilizing my whole body.
- I love learning to watch my emotions flow through me and not govern my actions. I’m an emotional creature, so this is a HUGE accomplishment for me. The other day I witnessed myself becoming angry at something someone said, but instead of allowing the comment to fester I caught myself and said “Nancy, you have no reason to be angry, to allow someone’s words, to bother you.” The comment made wasn’t personal, so, upon further introspection I realized the real source of my frustration. I need to work on being more pro-active in creating the life I want. I don’t want to be a victim, and I saw in this brief interchange with my self that I was looking for a way to stay within the confines of victimhood, a neighborhood I no longer belong in!
- There’s more. There’s so much more to the life lessons I’ve learned in the past year and a half, but I’ll save that for another blog, maybe even a book! In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this: I’m grateful every single day to have found a practice that constantly has me challenging myself to believe in the goodness and beauty within me and within all of you—the beauty is there. I just have to see it! Yoga’s not just about what happens in the hot room; it’s more about what happens when I’m not in the hot room!