On the weekends, please enjoy the Retro Throwback where I share my favorite posts from some time ago. Class is Good Except for When You Need a Hospital was originally published in June 2013.
I think we all know how much I love taking people to their first Bikram class. Last week, I got the chance to take a very special friend from high school to his first class. If I understood him right, it was his first yoga class ever. We met up, and I drove us to a studio in a town that he was passing through.
Naturally I went over all the basics with him about hydration and what to expect. I even got him a fabulous hydro flask to help make the class a bit nicer. Now, while we all might worry about our friends coming to class for the first time, I wasn’t really worried about him. See, I know this guy is already in good shape and tough. He’s a Marine and does CrossFit. He’s used to exercising in the heat. Why should I be worried about a Marine in yoga? For goodness sakes, he can tell me 1001 stories that require a level of physical and mental strength that goes beyond where these classes take us. Or maybe it’s just that Bikram takes us some place different and special. Some place that is just for us.
Guess what? Turns out Bikram yoga is hard even with those magnificent credentials.
Feel better about yourself?
I was a little worried about him leaving the room, but he later told me he had no intention of doing that. At one point I tried to get his attention during savassanah. The instructor was on the other side of the room, and I wanted him to know we only had a few postures left. He wasn’t looking in my direction at all. I finally started going, “Psst!! Psst!!!” at him a few times but didn’t get a look.
Yes he sweated his brains out (so did I).
Yes he sat out postures (so did I. that class was really hot!).
After class, we noted how it was fantastic that I was the one driving as he had a major case of the yoga brain. Although neither of us was able to locate our correct turn and we proceeded to drive over a bridge and had to turn around and head back. I guess I was a bit fuzzy too. He also concluded that class was good except for the times he thought he was going to have to be taken to the hospital.
So look, my point in all this is this yoga is hard. I am reminded of this every time I take someone to class for the first time. It’s hard for each of us in it’s own way, and how it is hard changes from day to day. I am constantly reminded how this yoga digs deep down into us, finds out what we need (not what you want or like) and then hands it to us on a big platter. If we refuse the platter we get hit upside the head with it. Better to just give in and go with it.