26 postures, asanas, Bikram Yoga, breathing, challenge, dedication, determination, fitness, focus, fun, hatha yoga, health and wellbeing, hot room, learning, lifestyle, meditation, Namaste, patience, Personal development, personal growth, pranayama, torture chamber, work life balance
Sigh. ! Tonight’s class was a challenge. I didn’t go to last night’s class because of my hamstring. It had been pulling throughout the day just doing normal things so bending, stretching and flexing to all degrees didn’t feel like a good idea. It then felt better today but when I got to class, it really changed the way I engaged in this class.
For starters, I had panicky breath again and it took a little while to get that under control. It was a mind game tonight and my mind was winning. It started in Eagle when sitting down, where I felt fear to sit down too far in case I pulled the hamstring and did more damage. I got through it, breath jumping out of my chest.
I decided to use Standing Head to Knee to my advantage – utilising the focus and determination required in this posture to calm myself down. It worked pretty well for the first set and then I was pooped in the second set! 😉 oh dear….the mind was winning 😉
I then made the call to not do any posture tonight that required extension of the hamstring in the left leg. I realised that the injury will not get better while I still try and do ‘as much as I can’ with that leg. It was time to learn a different yoga tonight and that was the yoga of listening to my body and listening to the postures. The postures were telling me what could and could not be attempted as much as my body was.
Strangely, missing out on postures made class seem more challenging! I didn’t do Standing Bow left leg locked, full Standing Separate Leg, Triangle left side or Toe Stand left leg locked. In the floor series I didn’t do Wind Removing left side. People new to class might think how lucky I was to ‘rest’ while standing these postures out but it was really challenging!
For starters, I love to push myself in class 😉 Secondly, I realised how much the momentum through class is maintained by going posture-into-posture – it keeps you focused and your concentration is on your breathing – you don’t have time to realise much else. But standing there and not engaging in the posture, you really realise that your breathing has escalated, that your mind and body need stabilising and that you have to re-gain your momentum to enter the next posture you can.
It was fascinating!! It was as much an analytical class as it was a physical class. Bikram says for us yogis to ‘do the best you can with the body you have today’; and that was certainly true of today. I still really relished being there in the hot room – it’s such a wonderful place to be and is such a wonderful teacher in it’s own right. You never leave the hot room without learning something.
So I have decided now that I will drop back to the middle row and continue with this particular journey of healing and patience and learn from it while the learning is there to be had. We start our next 30 day challenge in May so I really want to be fit and strong again for that!
To healthy hamstrings! 🙂