Tuesday, July 12, 2011

July 12th

So, I achieved my first goal of the day!

I got up at 5am and was standing, heels and toes together, knees locked in the hot room at 6am on the dot.  It was a wonderfully, powerful class.  Only a handful of us, but the focus and strength of energy in the room was enveloping.  Jacq taught the class.  I love Jacq's classes.  She takes no bullshit, expects 110% and pulls you up off the mat with just the tone of her voice.  This studio is her baby and we are all family in her eyes - and like all loving family members, she demands we strive to be the best that we can possibly be.  Especially on her watch.

Speaking of Jacq - she is an incredible inspiration.

Jacq, pictured here with Bikram, during teachers training.

She has represented Australia in yoga internationally and been placed 11th in the world.  I've embeded a sequence of stills, if you want to see her in action.  It's quite incredible what the body is capable of, given a bit of time, attention and trust.

My current philosophy on longevity is grounded in a mixture of quality, vital, varietal foods; spinal correction and maintenance and keeping the body flexible, strong and limber.  So aside from foods rich in goodness, monthly chiropractic adjustments and yoga meet the physical requirements I see as the practice in meeting my goal of strength, mobility and vitality as my physical body ages.

I have never really enjoyed yoga in the past.  Too many tiny cymbals going ping, too many long, meditative relaxations, too airy fairy for my liking.  Bikram is yoga boot camp, for want of a better description.  It's yoga - hardcore.  There are no flowing clothes or locks.  We wear tiny shorts and tiny tanks, because what else do you wear when you're exercising in 40 degree heat, and hair is irritating when it clings to our sweaty bodies, so it's up.  There is no soft lighting or tranquil music.  We practice under harsh fluorescents, up close and personal with ourselves, every flaw reflected back in the mirror we are confronted with over 90 long minutes, to the sound of our teacher feeding instruction continuously, without interruption.  And it's fast.  Really fast.  We move into postures at the clap of her hands and for the second 45 minutes of the class, our savasnas between postures last all of 20 seconds, before we are up, into the next one.

If you're too hot, you sit down.  If you need to pee, tough luck.  There is no leaving the room once you're in there.  Ninety long minutes.  Except it's not.  It flies past in a flash.  And before you know it, you're doing your final breathing exercise, the lights are out and you're down in your final savasna, listening to your heart slowing its rhythmic pound.  Noticing once again, how warm and cosy the room is.  Wondering how long it will be today, before you find the strength to get up off your mat and resume your day.

I felt fantastic after this morning's class.
I drove home at 7.30am with the window down, freezing air whipping around my face, singing to the CD at the top of my lungs, grinning like an idiot.

I am very grateful for having found this practice.
Very grateful for pursing the inkling of an interest I had when I first heard the word 'Bikram'.  And very grateful for having a studio of gorgeous people, a 25 minute drive from home.

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