Bikram Yoga: The Contortionist

Hello Hello and thanks for tuning into my Bikram Yoga Wednesday blog 😉

OK – firstly apologies for not writing for a while.  I’ve actually been unwell… pretty serious for me actually – for the first time in over 10 years I’ve had to go to the doctor and it wasn’t any regular visit (I called the surgery at 11.05am and got an 11.40am appointment.. IN LONDON and by 12pm without batting an eyelid, I had the prescription and bought ANTI BIOTICS).

I haven’t had antibiotics for over 10 years and I have a strong belief in NOT taking antibiotics but using all natural remedies first and foremost. So the fact that I had to get them straight away is testament to how bad I was…

In fact I’ve finished my course of antibiotics and I’m still not feeling 100% so I’m a bit worried those nasties will flare up again.  We’ll see… I’ve got to call the surgery for my test results at the end of the week…

SO – that means I haven’t been to Bikram Yoga much.   I went only once last week just before my symptoms started getting worse but that class was something to write about!

I had right next to me, a contortionist and as a result I felt extremely self conscious and distracted throughout class.

Usually I go up front, right in front of the mirror so I can see myself, can concentrate on my poses and have less distractions.  I’m so short that when I go to the back I have no chance of seeing myself past anyone.  All I ever do is imagine what I might be looking like and I can’t really follow the instruction “looking into your own eyes”… ummm no, I’m looking into someone’s butt crack – why are their yoga pants see-through?)

So, here I was at the front with Tones to my right and this skinny chick to my left.  We start the class, I’m pretty focussed but then… we get into half moon pose, we all bend to the right.  I think I’m doing alright (MUCH better than when I first started at end of Feb and feeling proud of myself) until she disappears behind me because she’s gone practically parallel to the floor – WTF?

I spend the next 35-40mins baffled, in complete amazement.. not watching what I’m doing but getting COMPLETELY distracted by this woman’s practice… the whole time thinking OMG how the hell does she do that?  Is that possible?

I already get conscious that Tony’s so much more flexible than me (not too proud of myself for being a chick and NOT being more flexible than a guy!) and now I’ve got this chick who’s bending in ways I’ve never seen anybody in Bikram Yoga do!  Not even the teachers look like that when they demonstrate a pose!

She got every pose PERFECT and with so much ease!  Her standing head to knee pose was done so effortlessly, like it was normal.  Mate, I can’t even kick out without my standing leg wobbling profusely trying to keep my balance!  She was so still, there wasn’t any bit of strain at all – she could have stayed in that pose forever!

Standing bow pose – she’s doing the splits standing up!!  I know the dialogue is “one day you will be able to see your toes behind your head… and then your ankles, and then your calves…”

I don’t know what she’s seeing but I can see her knee and her thigh coming up perfectly behind her head as I wobble about trying to see my own toes without getting pins and needles in my hands.  Again… WTF??

The teacher starts instructing “THERE IS NOBODY ELSE IN THE ROOM…. It’s ONLY YOU, FOCUS ON YOUR OWN EYES IN THE MIRROR”  I think he was talking to me! 😛

So I focus on myself – after all, that’s why I chose to be in the front!! And I get through the rest of the class OK – forgetting that she’s there (thank God).

Later on I find out this woman is the Women’s Division UK Asana Champion!!!

Geez Louise!! No wonder!!!  If she doesn’t win the world championship, I’d like to see the calibre of the person who does!!

Well – I’d have to say it’s a privilege to be able to practice at the same studio that Asana champions practice (and teach – we have  an Asana champion teaching there too) at and even more of a privilege practising right beside an Asana champion!

Although I felt pretty crap doing my practice next to her (made me look like I wasn’t bending at all), it made me remember that I have to honour my practice, my progress and respect where my body is at right now.

I’m grateful to have practised next to her because at least I now know what all the poses are supposed to look like, I can see how much progress I still have to go and sometimes, seeing someone else do something easily increases that strength in belief – that not only is it humanly possible, it’s possible for me to do it!

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4 thoughts on “Bikram Yoga: The Contortionist”

  1. Brilliant!! Yes you will graduate and soon you will be able to look like a pretzel with ease! I still have to get to a Vinyasa class – just to see the difference between this and Ashtanga… I’ve only ever done Bikram or Ashtanga – they’re so different that I will assume Vinyasa is somewhere in between?

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