Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Road to 500

514 classes (15 advanced) in 500 days.

I shouldn’t even be here. By all accounts I should have been gone a long time ago, broken, dead, jail, you name it. Anywhere but here, and I certainly shouldn’t have recently completed 500 Bikram classes in 484 days. But I am here and I did my 500th class a few weeks ago despite a million reasons why it was impossible.

Long before I ever walked into the Green Valley studio for the first time my journey in this life could have come to an abrupt end. Falling off a cliff, capsizing in a boat, suffering severe burns on my arm, nearly being shot and having guns pointed at my head – all before turning 18. Yet I did survive.

Years later my body starting slowly falling apart, resulting in two dire situations that came to a head slightly before I started Bikram. The first was a situation with my adrenal glands whereby they had almost shut down completely. This led to all kinds of physical problems and a severe lack of energy. The second problem was my back, which had become more and more painful. When I walked into my very first class it was painful to even sit down and I couldn’t do much of anything with the postures. After these problems came up a friend of mine who had been trying to get me to come to Bikram practically dragged me into the studio. I’ve never looked back.

I give you this background not to sound impressive, after all there are people with way more impressive stories about how Bikram saved their life. Rather I’m describing the above to give you a better understanding of why I dedicate so much time to this yoga. I’m grateful every day that I even have the opportunity to come to class, to work on my postures, to improve myself. I don’t take it for granted for one second. I’m not going back to being in pain and having a hard time just getting through the day. I appreciate the fact that I can even do the postures. In the beginning I could barely do anything and in a little more than a year I ended up competing!

There is no turning back for me, and while I’m proud of my 500th class, it’s only the first few steps of this journey.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Back Bending Bliss

497 classes (14 advanced) in 480 days.

“Drop your head back. You’re back is going to hurt like hell!” Words I hear every day in class. When I first started, backbends were high on my list of least favorite postures, which of course means that I really needed them. I still need them, but at least I enjoy them more these days.

A while ago I started doing “wall walking” which I blogged about previously, then of course I entered a whole new realm of back bending when I started doing advanced. There is no shortage of great postures to back bend and work your back. Recently I was able to do back bending to the floor, which we do in advanced. It’s basically like the back bend from the normal class except your feet and legs are apart and you bend back backwards until you land on your hands on the floor. It’s absolutely terrifying at first but with a little practice it gets easier and you get over your fear. Then you get the benefits, which are your back feeling good and also a massive head rush which makes you feel fantastic. The first time I did the back bend to the floor I was hooked. It’s addicting actually.

So here’s to more and more back bending bliss!