Bikram, and his teachers, always say that you should come as often as possible to receive the most benefit. Each class builds on the last, and you will see quick improvement this way. Well, in all of my years of doing this yoga, I've never gone this many days in a row (I still have yet to miss a day). I don't think I've even gone ten days in a row. And I think I've mentioned that in previous posts. BUT. I've really, really noticed the Cumulative effect, that building of each class one on top of the other. Class is no longer a battle, but a surrender. I get in that room and my body knows what is going on. It knows how to move, where to go, what to push, what to relax, and how to stay present and in the moment. For the most part. I'm really digging this whole effect, this collection of "points" and building up my postures.
That is, until today, when I went into class. 6 AM, Kristyn teaching, head of the studio. And she asked me if I'd taken any days off. "Nope, this is day 25", I said. And she informed that I really should take a day off, to let my body absorb all of the good benefits I've been giving it.
And my mind bucked against this. "NO," it said, "I'M DOING SIXTY DAYS IN A ROW NO STOPPING THAT'S JUST HOW IT IS." But the truth is, Kristyn is RIGHT. Taking that day of rest is just as important as coming as often as possible. Bikram even says that the only day you do not have to do yoga is Sunday, because everyone needs to rest. "Only crazy people do yoga on Sunday," he says. (This is from his blue book, Bikram's Beginning Yoga Class. He then goes on to say, "How many crazy people I got in my class?" and almost everyone raises their hand. "See, no one listen to me.")
So this weekend is HoopPath in Austin, and I've given myself permission (with the urging of Kristyn) to take at least one of those days off of my yoga. Most likely, Sunday. She told me I could afford to take both days off, but part of me really wants to take yoga in Austin, so we'll see. Plus, Saturday will be day 30 and I sort of want to make it to 30 days in a row. Because it really doesn't feel like it's been a whole month, this challenge has really flown by.
But I think the sweetest part of today's class was actually after class. Kristyn decided to do her version of a "silent class", where the teacher takes class with you and, for the most part, remains silent. Now, she did take class with us, but she still delivered dialogue. Still, it's not every day you've got your teacher standing next to you doing the postures with you.
I've had exactly one silent class before, a truly silent class. At least seven years ago, at the Dallas studio. Denise, my first teacher, held a silent class, and when it was over and we were leaving the room, she found me and told me, "I did that for you." I had no idea what she meant by that at the time, but I was honored by it. Having another unexpected silent class really struck me and moved me deeply. After class, I thanked Kristyn and told her how I'd only ever had the one other silent class before, and in the middle of this confession, I started crying. And I spilled emotions I'd been keeping from anyone at this studio all over her. I told her how badly I wanted to be a teacher, and how I felt like I never really had the right to go for it because I felt my practice wasn't consistent enough.
She pulled me into a hug as tears squeezed out of me. And told me that I did have a consistent practice, I'd been coming for years, she'd watched me on my path and I started so young that I have a huge head start on most people my age. That I'm still building on all of the yoga I'd taken in the past. And that if teaching was what I wanted to do, the Universe would open up for me and make it happen, and she would happily write my recommendation.
It was exactly what I needed to hear. I'd been working pretty hard not to talk about my desire to teach at the studio because I feel like I should at least get through one month of my yogic return before I start spouting passionate speeches. But it is what I want to do, it's always been there in the back of my mind and I've been working steadily toward it with every class I've ever taken. Every time I come to yoga class, it's with the hope of one day getting to teach it. And this time back has been the most powerful, because instead of coming in with the hope, I've been coming in with the goal. Teacher Training is no longer something far off in the distance. It is coming up in April and I know I will be there, whatever it takes to get me there.
In the mean time, I will heed Kristyn's advice and take a day off this week. Maybe two, when I go down to Austin to spend some time with my other self-assigned guru, Baxter.