I got an e-mail back from them yesterday, and yes! They did still have me in the system, and yes! They had the date of my first class!
It was...*drumroll please*...May 22nd, 2002!
That means yesterday was my NINE YEAR anniversary of practicing Bikram yoga!
I felt like I should do something to celebrate. I went to class yesterday, and I informed them of my exciting discovery. But it feels like that's not enough. I feel like this entire year should be one big celebration, as it is the beginning of my tenth year of practice. So I'm thinking of making posts over the course of the year talking about each posture and what I've learned from them, as well as general reflections like I've been doing from time to time.
I also feel like I should set a goal. I want to be a Bikram teacher. I know that, I've known that since I started doing the yoga, but in one more year I'll have been practicing for a decade, and I feel like I should be a teacher by then. My goal is to get to teacher training by this time next year.
It's kind of a big deal for me, knowing for certain now that I've been involved with yoga for nine years. Knowing the date is intriguing, too. I graduated from high school on May 19th, 2002, which means that three days after I walked the stage, I decided to give in to my mother's request for me to walk into the hot room. I honestly couldn't remember if I'd started going before or after high school ended. It's oddly meaningful to me to learn that it was just after the end. The beginning of a new era. I know when I first went to class, I expected to hate it. I literally had the expectation that it would be awful beyond all reason and I would walk out in a huff. I was pretty surprised when it was not as terrible as I thought it would be, when the heat was bearable, when I could do more than I thought I'd be able to.
And now here I am, nine years later, Bikram yoga still a major part of my life. I know this is something that will be a part of my life forever, because every time I'm away from it, my mind is working out a way to get back. Every time I need it, it's there. I've learned so much about myself in that room, and I'm not anywhere near done. Here's to an incredible upcoming tenth year, and another life-changing ten years after that!