Friday, October 11, 2013

Good Yoga

I've been having a hell of a time with my Bikrams yoga practice for a very long time now, and in fact I really can't remember when I looked forward to class the way I used to.  I do remember almost making a comeback just before my March SFG, and then the hamstring injury happened, simultaneously menopause hit and took me down hard and fast....but looking back on it, it was fine. I'm not going to say it was a "good" thing, but it wasn't a "bad" thing either.  When I realized the hamstring issue was a ticking time bomb because of my Bikrams practice, NOT because of the SFG weekend, I calmed down and went back to focusing on starting over from the beginning, which made my yoga practice stronger.

I started my Bikram's practice in November 2005, (I think the 27th), so I'm coming up on my 8th anniversary!  Zow!  Even I'm surprised at how long I've been practicing!  No matter how I felt about it in the last 8 years, mostly good, mostly great, only recently not so much, I've never skipped because I let myself get lazy.  What I mean by that is I've never skipped because I didn't feel like it.  Sometimes I don't feel like doing a lot of things I know I should, but I do them anyway because I know in the long run, at the end of the day it will, these things will indeed, improve my life, and my yoga practice does improve my life....until it doesn't, and at that time I hope I'll know how to tell the difference!

Back to the point of this post which is that I had a good class this afternoon for the first time in a long time!  A big part of that has to do with my teacher, Katie Larion.  I have a very short list of teachers whose classes I look forward to and Katie is at the top of my list!  And she hasn't been teaching that long either!

I remember when she came back from teacher training, I'm sure I was in one of her first few classes if not her first.  In fact I remember her as a student and I would have never picked her out as someone that aspired to become a teacher.  I never knew her personally, in fact I'm sure I didn't even know her name before, but she came across as somewhat shy, so you can imagine my surprise when a few weeks later while in her class for the second time I was surprised as her confidence as a leader became very obvious. Katie was a natural!

Well, that's my assessment of her!  I can only imagine what she would say about me! She might describe me as that angry lady in the back row! And she would be right most of the time!  I'm not proud of it, and my attitude towards my Bikrams practice perplexes me most of the time, as I'm sure it does Mark too (since I'm always bitching to him about it).  What I like about how Katie leads class is that she sticks to the dialogue, she stays on time, and she is enthusiastic, passionate enough (not too much) and entertaining in a way that is fun, without being a Bikram's nazi.  (Katie, if you are reading this, please DO NOT turn into a Bikrams nazi!  Seriously, just keep doing what you are doing!)

I have a list of reasons why I continue a regular practice, and I have a list of reasons why I should possibly look at a different type of yoga to practice.  It's easier to just bitch about what I hate. I know hate is a strong word, and when I use it, when I reflect on why I chose that word, I have no defense.  I know it's NOT the yoga that I'm hating.  It's how I feel about myself when I'm doing the yoga.

Wow.  Really?  Yes, really.

Bikram's yoga is a 90 minute practice where you stand in front of a mirror, looking at yourself, and in fact being able to see yourself is part of the practice.  When was the last time you looked at yourself in a mirror for 90 minutes?  Do you like what you see?  It's not so much what my body or my face looks like that bothers me, it's what my practice looks like.  Do you get it?

In the mirror I see, or I should say, I don't see what I used to.  I don't see the practice I had when other students asked me if I was a Bikrams teacher!  I don't see the practice I once had.  And when I start judging myself, judging my practice, I start defending myself to myself!  I go down the list of reasons why it's not the same, or better, than it once was.

I'm not going to do that now (go down any kind of lists pointing out what I think is wrong), all this post is about is that I had a good yoga practice this afternoon.  I had a great class in part to a teacher that is reliably easy going and dependable.  Thank you Katie.

PS now I've got to get some of those cute crops with the mesh panels!

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