The burning need to destroy the ocean of negative emotion, to drown the voices of bad reasoning, to tackle the jungle of obstacles in the path of the future drove me through the earliest days of Bikram Yoga. The more it hurt, the greater the relief. I was taking on my demons with a silent strength, one by one and eventually freeing long suppressed delicate shoots of confidence, creativity, excitement, health… tiny, precious and gleaming promises of hope desperate to rise. Some days they came in abundance, others I’d have to be more patient and just enjoy the knowledge that I’d worked my butt off.
The pain and anguish that once motivated the endurance slipped away, returning only in small, manageable capsules that were almost exterior to my life. Attending class was all that mattered.
The unexpected transformation that ensued brought with it new challenges, and the urge to share the magic of yoga was uncontainable. Of my magic was the development of a relationship with one of my longest and closest friends. Based on these very shoots – the excitement of arranging to go to a gig together, of chatting about some show on TV, of cooking for one another – appreciation and love grew in a way that I’ve known before but never expected to again.
In making the leap from friendship to romance I was carried away with the newfound passion for life and togetherness. Knowing that his football club is as far from my scene as I could possibly venture I’d hoped that we’d develop new interests together. Knowing his love for athletics it seemed obvious to me that he should try yoga and fall in love with it the same way I had.
Unwittingly, I’d almost managed to smother the initial spark of interest through incessant chatter. Having completed the 30 day challenge and armed with a free session for a friend it was meant to be – until the weeks began to slip by, returning day after day alone. There were days when I’d choose to come home over staying out to grow the new relationship and instantly feel like I was letting slip of myself. I’d get snappy because I was making compromises yet as the Sundays came and went I’d be back on my own whilst he went for Sunday dinners with his family (struggling to find the time to casually mention his new g/f).
Eventually his new g/f was not so new, and she gave one final push to get him to the hot room…
On arrival I introduced the begrudging other half to the girl at the desk who kitted him out with a sign-up form and I explained where everything was. Bringing with him a small bag with belongings that he’d not managed to stash it took the whole of 1 minute for the vest top to come off. The tuition from Sam up front was almost one-to-one… and he responded exceptionally well. The mental battle with the heat was observable, yet he engaged in all of the postures and even got into toe stand on the first attempt.
I gave space at the end for him to relax and digest the experience but was changed in the quickest time possible, eager to find out if he’d been bitten by the Bikram bug.
“Too f*ckin’ hot”. Was the response, whilst sparking up. I couldn’t believe it, not only was that the full synopsis, he was filling those freshly opened lungs with smoke! One attempt was no good, and I had vowed to stop talking about it.
That seemed set to be the future which I accepted and left well alone, looking for the other things that we could do together…
After a break away in Belgium I was back to Music related involvement and then off to Cyprus for my yoga retreat. Exercising my new Skype Ap I was surprised to find that he wanted to talk yoga…
Me: “You hate me talking about yoga. You hate yoga!”
Him: “But you like yoga and I like to talk about what you like”.
Me: Speechless. Literally.
It was a short conversation.
On my return I was told very matter-of-fact-ly that he would be coming on the next trip. When told he would have to practice yoga he said YES. More to the point, when told this was the condition to attend a social in September with my newfound fellow yogis he said yes to yoga IN THE HOT ROOM!
Now, I have a feeling I will end up funding this to encourage such participation, after all he HATEs it as said that until he’s learned guitar and French he is unwilling to invest in any other hobby, but by GOD it’s worth it.
In the meantime he’s attempting to give up smoking (and thankfully out right now) and I’ve started to be invited to she Sunday dinners….
So the answer? Acceptance that Yoga may always just have to be a personal love, and patience. By the bucket load. Who knows, he may one day even like it!