This is my first blog post! It was also my first Bikram yoga class just last week. I consider myself pretty physically fit – I run a few times a week and grew up taking dance classes every night of the week. But I was not prepared at all for this challenge. Probably because it’s not just a physical challenge but a mental one. I have been back a few times since and am managing to get through the full 90 minutes. It’s addicting. But I noticed that there was still something missing for me. There’s no external stimulation or feeling of community: no quick eye contact with a friend in the mirror and certainly no Lady Gaga tunes, which never fail to get me through a tough run. I guess this is because it is a personal test – can you can survive the heat, survive the exercise, and survive in your own head, alone. It’s good preparation for what we face in life. But is that when we’ll actually find our spirituality?
At the end of my second class, I came up against pose 25 (of 26 in total): the spine twist. In this pose, you have to twist your body backward toward your neighbor. Of course, I hadn’t done my homework and didn’t know this was the next to last pose; what I did know was that I might not make it to the end of class. But as my good friend confidently launched into the pose and caught a glimpse of my struggling face, she softly said (so as not to alert our strict teacher)…‘we’re almost there’. For me, that moment of friendship was truly divine. (And yes, I did make it to the final pose!)