and I’m still lovin’ it.
I have attended eight days in a row, seven of those days Bikram, and one day of Power yoga. I feel strong. I feel focused. I feel determined. I feel more inclined to eat an orange after class rather than trash it with junk food.
Today marked a few ‘firsts’. I was able to hold some poses for the entire length of time, and other poses a few seconds longer. I can actually feel my body stretching further each and every day. I am absolutely amazed. We humans don’t tend to take the time to fully stretch, so when you do it on a daily basis for 90 minutes, gains will be made.
But, perhaps the biggest gain today was the attempt and success at one of the most difficult Bikram yoga poses for me: the Toe Stand. It starts out with the Tree Pose, and morphs into this pretzel-like seated squat. In transition to the toe stand, I always feel like I’m going to fall flat on my face, but today?
With my left leg planted, my right leg on my left thigh, I assumed the Tree Pose. I held it for a few seconds, and when the time seemed right, I leaned forward. Before I knew what happened, I actually found my ass in the air, my right leg remaining on my left thigh, and my fingertips on the ground in front of me.
Holy shit. I did it.
Lower my ass down to squat, and with a few seconds, I attempt to balance.
I caught myself before I sat down, but you know what?
Those few seconds of the elusive Toe Stand count.
And I’m feeling pretty accomplished today.
In just a short amount of time, yoga has taught me something that years of running failed to prove. My body may not be perfectly suited for any particular sport, but with daily practice, I can see gains that I didn’t think possible. Every day I get a little stronger, a little more flexible, hold poses for a longer period of time. Bodies truly do come in all shapes and sizes, and they are all welcome in the yoga studio.
If you judge people by their body type, you’ll be in for a major letdown when you walk into the yoga studio. That guy with the ripped abs? He may not be able to bend past his waist. And the girl with the big muffin top? She will rock the Standing Bow Pose.
You just never know.
So, check your ego at the door, wear as little as possible with comfort in mind, and know that the only difference between your body and the rest of your classmates is the fact that it’s yours, and only you know your limitations and when it makes good sense to gently push your limits.
I may never get that ‘runner’s body’ back again, and you know what? That’s okay.
I love the body I have right now, because it allowed me to accomplish something new today, and it’s only going to get stronger.