Toga! Turns To Yoga!
As you may or may not know, I’ve been practicing Bikram Yoga this week for the first time in my life. Yeah, me. The guy who looks more like Belushi (one of my college nicknames) than a yogi.
My only prior experience with yoga came from Tony Horton and P90X. I was familiar with some of the poses, but I can honestly say that Bikram yoga is one of the most intensely challenging things I’ve ever done.
It took a lot of my courage to enter the studio. It took slightly more courage for me to enter the hot room. It took even more courage for me to come back yesterday for my second practice of the week, and even moreso to do it shirtless in a room full of lithe twenty-something ladies, bodybuilders and old, loveable hippies.
It is hard as hell. Just acclimating to the hot room can be a challenge. Not being a mouth-breather is a challenge. Learning not to cheat the pose is a challenge. Learning not to hold my breath when I’m fully exerting myself is a challenge. Learning when I need to control my breath and my heart rate when I can feel my heart beating in my eyeballs is a challenge.
BUT I can honestly say that it is all worth it. There is no better feeling than the final savasana, soaking in all of the benefits of the effort that I just gave for the past 90 minutes, recognizing that my fears and anxiety have melted away. It is at that point when I am at my happiest, my most peaceful.
Can I always lock my knee, grasp my heels, touch my head to my leg? Absolutely not. Does my gut make it difficult to get deep into certain poses? Yup. Can I consistently practice, give my best effort and enjoy the benefits? Absolutely.