The 60 day challenge finished just over a month ago. It feels like a lifetime already. I can probably count the number of times I’ve made it to the hot room since, but things have changed on what feels like a permanent level.
Following my crash course in learning Bikram Yoga I began to slip through the sessions almost disappointed that the struggle had slackened. At times I was convinced the heating was broken in the room and worst of all, I was goal-less.
Over the past few weeks I have achieved (to varying levels of success) different aspects of development in yoga-related lifestyle. Kitted out with whole sale amounts of Dextro-Energy, Energen C, Acai / zinc / magnesium I’m yet to return to that point where I actually need them… I am back to gulping 1/2 litres of water and even resisting some of my favourite postures.
In place of ease / routine and development I have the beginnings of a community. After reading ‘365 days’ I wasn’t convinced that this was really something I could achieve in the same way as the author – he’d really known how to reach out in a studio and organise challenges / built good communications with the teachers. I’d lost the carefree chit chat impulse in the changing rooms and had merged into the bubble of silence that often pre and succeeds a session. All the questions I’d wanted to inundate people with slowly evaporated and I was here, online, searching for the answers.
Admittedly I found a whole bunch of answers amidst the online Bikram Yoga community and will always be hunting through related tags, I love to see other writers’ observations and without them I’d never have discovered the Shakti mat nor have come up with a little idea of my own that I’m nurturing.
All of this information has lent itself in building new friendships when taking the plunge and attending a 7 day yoga retreat. For new followers – This retreat was booked by my mum after she discovered / fell in love with Bikram Yoga and she convinced me it would be a good idea to go. This in turn played a huge part in my pledge to complete 60 days of
torture yoga at 200 40 degrees. The ins and outs of 2 practices a day for 7 days in cooler temperatures are for another post, however the collective of practitioners, each different in so many ways united by love of yoga, and several key personality traits was an exceptional experience.
I’ve had so much fun getting to know this group and learned so much from them that even the return to normal life was exciting, because a good portion of them would be practicing in the same studios. Better still, like me they wanted some familiar faces to practice along side. There’s nothing like having people that expect you to turn up to motivate attendance, nor a teacher that has come to know your weaknesses to push you on and lay a mat if they know you’re cutting it fine to get in…
Best of all, the failure of getting my boyfriend addicted through a singular obligatory attendance remains a glowing coal under cool ash sparking with interest at the new social life that it entails. There is hope yet.
I don’t know how other studios operate, and how others reach out. It seems pretty tough to me, but when a bunch of us are freely talking there’s barely a person who doesn’t want to be involved. Bikram Yogis are definitely social creatures addicted to a rather isolated practice, but breaking the ice and creating new – possibly unexpected – social circles have been an unforeseen aspect of development, important in equal measure to the practice itself. Now if I can only combine the two…