Three months ago today on April 29th, I walked into my very first Bikram Yoga class, not sure what I was looking for, but knowing I needed to find something. I’ve been thinking so much about what I want to say in this blog, for I’ve learned so much about myself during the last 90 days. I’ve become so much braver, so much stronger, so much more vulnerable than I ever imagined. I’ve taken more chances than I ever dreamed I could, and with each risk I’ve taken I’ve discovered more of the hidden treasures within my heart. With each drop of sweat that has poured out of me, and believe me there have been millions, if not billions of droplets, plaques of negativity have been removed from me in ways that I can’t even begin to explain.
But all this is philosophical. I’d like to share with you some concrete changes:
1) Most days I don’t really care what you think of me (and this actually is a huge growth spurt for me). I like to wear bright clothes. I love to wear bling. The brighter, the shinier, the better! My bling makes my inside shine brighter than ever. So, celebrate it with me ‘cause I’m out to set my world on fire!
2) When my 200+ pound father needs help getting out of bed or off the toilet I can help him without causing myself any harm. I can be there for him when he is at his most vulnerable, and my Bikram practice gives me the mental and physical strength to do that.
3) I used to tell people if I can do it you can do it, but that’s not really true. It takes a great deal of stamina and grit and inner strength to maintain a regular practice. I’ve been through a lot in my life and a 105 degree room, well, it’s got nothing on me!
4) I am an emotionally reactive person (no surprise given my recent life experiences) but the more I practice the shorter it takes me to recover from a reaction, and this is so important at this point in my life as I really need to be there for my parents, for my dad.
THE MOST IMPORTANT EVOLUTIONARY CHANGE OF ALL:
5) I’m FAR MORE ACCEPTING of my body as it is now. I celebrate it for what it can do for me NOW. I LOVE all the ways it can help me move. I’m much less ashamed of it than I used to be. I still have my moments, but then when I’m in that hot room and I’m doing fixed form and camel, all I can think is “how cool is this?!!!”
Now, I want you all to know that I’m not just paying lip service to being able to accept my body as it is now. I’m working at celebrating it, so to that end I have taken a picture of myself wearing my bathing suit (the one I bought for Maui), my sparkly high heels, my tiara, and some awesomely sublime red roses, aptly titled freedom. In this picture I am truly a Yoga Princess! You see, I can tell you all I want that I am more accepting of my body, but those are just words, and I am, now more than ever, a woman of action, and if I can celebrate my body in new ways after just 90 days of practicing Bikram, who knows where I’ll be in the next 90 days!
As an aside, I see many people doing the 30 and 60 day challenges in the Bikram classes, and I’m quite sure that these have great benefit, but I’m in this for the long haul, for the rest of my life. That’s my commitment to myself…………….And you wanna know a secret? I actually think I look pretty good in that bathing suit picture!!!!
A Celebratory Collage of My Journey