return to the mat

it’s therapeutic, knowing how much it’s going to hurt, how hard it’s going to be, yet finding something, somewhere, that makes you do it anyway.

it’s only 60 seconds.
it’s only 30 seconds.
it’s only 10 seconds.

holding a pose, telling yourself you can do it. embracing the struggle but knowing you will make it through. and it isn’t about anyone else. it’s just you, in that hot room, sweating out the struggle
and finding a sense of peace,
the relief in the release.

i can’t tell you why i stayed away so long.

in that room, it doesn’t matter who i am. what i wear. how i look. i’m comfortable. confident. ego turns to the pursuit of betterment. self-consciousness melts into every mind over matter balance, stretch and hold. i am all that i think in all the momentariness that makes up my class.

stay in the room, give yourself a couple of minutes. the world hasn’t changed, but you have. he said.

so i did. i practiced my counting in french and i stayed. i felt every part of my body relax into the mat. i felt the sweat roll down my arms into the already saturated towel. i felt the itch, ignored.
and i felt strong.

he was right. when i left the world hadn’t changed, but my spirit fluttered as i hopped on my bike and pedalled my heart out racing the darkness home.

relax your mind and open your heart.

i returned to the heat, today. that room – the torture chamber – where my thoughts run wild and free. she spoke the dialogue, the yogic instructions, in an accent made of many. and i barely listened, focussing only on the madness in my head.

for 90 minutes, my mind raced, as it always does, through everything. but there’s a clarity in those thoughts that i wouldn’t otherwise find. a philosophy of life breathes sense into me, into my being. until my cells are illuminated with the epiphanies, realisations and mind bending conclusions that form so brightly in my mind, in that room, in that heat.

it felt so good to go back, surrounded by that familiar smell, the heat, the stretch, the flex, the peace.

namaste.

nothing can steal happiness, peace away from you: if anyone does make you angry, you are the loser; if someone can allow you to lose peace, you are the loser.

bikram choudry.

i felt the tingle, the heat, the euphoria.

she tells a story, at the end of every class. it’s spiritual, always. then there’s the way she talks through the postures: the reason for the stretch, the pain, the suffocation. the way you feel in each pose. what it means for your spirit. she brings it back to the breath, the pranic breath that clears the day and cleanses the soul. readies you for new life, because breath is life.

in and out, the energy floods my body.

it was hot in the room tonight, because it was hot today. and my water was warm. there was no relief. sweat poured from my pores as soon as i walked in. but it felt good. it felt like the day was melting away. this day, filled with negativity, leaving my body, disappearing with every stretch in every direction. the heat was oppressive, but it was undeniably liberating: each breath, new life.

with my ear on the towel, she drew my attention to my heartbeat and the sound of every inhale and every exhale. there it was, so steady and strong. i was emptying my lungs of everything unnecessary. filling them with intention.

it was a nice reminder – never, never, never forget my heart.

camel pose gives me clarity.

it’s the little things now. remembering to check my energy at the door and clear my mind of chaotic thoughts. to bring about peace and keep hopes high without a wonder of what will be or when it will happen or how i think it should end up. letting it alone.

bikram yoga allows me that. those rushed and manic moments are soon melted away in the heat and the sweat and the stretch.

it’s becoming me.