Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Day 3 - First Fart and First Lesson

Day 3 Blog accompanied by Photography Adventure Group's daily theme of Independence.
New York Stock Exchange

Yes, the first Bikram fart came tonight.  Although I'm happy to say it did not come from my tush (yet), it did, unfortunately, come from the person directly in front of me.  <sigh>

So, I wasn't going to blog about tonight's class.  I don't intend to bore you all with the details of all 30 classes by any means.  However, tonight I feel like I kind of got my first 'lesson' and thought it significant enough to share.

Tonight's instructor was actually the woman I mentioned in my first blog who's kickass body inspired me to get through that first class.  When I learned she was teaching tonight I told her as much and she was very sweet and gracious about it.  We talked about the student teacher who taught on Sunday and she assured me that her teaching style would be more informative and that she would help to ensure I was doing the moves correctly.  I told her I would very much appreciate that.

Washington Monument and American Flag

Maybe that's where my mistake was.  The class included a man there for his very first time, a girl who was there for her 2nd time, and me for my 3rd time.  The other people were, I assume, not newbies.  From the very first breathing posture she started critiquing me aloud.  That's fine.  I am QUITE OBVIOUSLY still learning and appreciate the help.  And of course I want to know what I'm not doing right.  The 2nd posture she critiques me again.  The 4th posture, again.  After about the 8th or 9th time I was kind of over it.  The only other names she called out were 'Jennifer' and 'Christina' and that was to praise them.  It felt as if I were the only person in the room doing the postures incorrectly.

Freedom Trail in Boston, MA
So, as the temperatures rose, as my body got weaker 60 minutes into class, my appreciation for her constructive criticism evaporated like my fellow yogi's fart in the heat.  I found myself fuming.  I found myself shooting daggers at her each time she called my name.  Honestly, the anger energized me enough to finish the class with good form in my final poses.  Was I praised like 'Jennifer' or 'Christina' for my Sasangasana  or my Janushirasana ?  No.  But I wasn't criticized for them either.

So, as we lie in the dark in our final Savasana at the end of class, our instructor begins to talk to us about the power of our own selves.  She begins to tell us how the power of Bikram can make us physically stronger and mentally stronger.  That each day we have what we need within ourselves to get through whatever life presents to us.  That no one should be able to make us angry or upset; that would be giving our power away.  That we should have the strength to say 'No' so that the power of 'Yes' is more meaningful.  That we should not apologize to anyone for how we feel.  And suddenly, my anger disappeared as a tear rolled down my sweaty cheek.  I got my first Bikram lesson.

Let no one steal your peace.
— Bikram Choudhury

Wishing you all a happy and safe Independence Day!!

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