On Sundays, please enjoy the Retro Throwback where I share my favorite posts from some time ago.
Not too long ago, I wrote about how I had taken a 10-day hiatus from my practice. The thing about taking a hiatus is I eventually had to go back to class.
I went in on Day 1 with a good attitude. I had intended to go to the afternoon class (wasn’t sure about my hydration) but a schedule change forced me into the morning. So I went with no expectations and kept an eye on things given my concern about my lack of water intake.
Class 1 was ok. It wasn’t awful. It wasn’t awesome. I sat out a couple of postures here and there, but I was back. It went better than I expected.
So Class 2, which I took the next day, should be fine, right? Well, as is the case with Bikram yoga, if there’s one thing we’re all gonna learn it’s to have no expectations.
I walked in the class and immediately felt like I might die. So I went to the lobby until the last possible minute. By the end of the first set of the first breathing exercise (so let’s say we’re five minutes into the class), I had made a giant puddle all over my mat and was considering sitting out for the next 85 minutes.
I’m not even joking. I had to barter with myself so I wouldn’t sit down during the second set of the first breathing exercise. It went something like this:
Ok…you are probably gonna die in this class today, but at least stay standing until party time. You can make it through party time. After party time you have permission to skip the rest of class. For the love of God try to remain upright for the warm-up series even if you have to come out of a posture early.
I somehow made it through party time without sitting down, and I believed I had made a serious accomplishment. I think I deserved applause. And let’s not even talk about the state of my mat by the end of party time. It was basically a giant slip and slide.
I sorta tried to do the one-legged balancing postures. I think I started sitting down in standing bow, but then I had this insane idea that I should keep getting back up. By triangle I was out. I just sat there and breathed. I was good with that.
I managed to do wind removing, and I turned over on my stomach for spine-strengthening. I quickly realized I was delusional if I thought I was going to do spine-strengthening. I turned over onto my back and laid in savassanah. I’m not sure how much of the rest of the floor series I did, but you can bet I skipped camel and rabbit.
But I made it. I stayed in the room. I didn’t die. I worked out whatever needed to be worked out. Then I crawled out into the hallway and propped myself against the wall. I remember people speaking to me, but who they were and what they said has long left my brain. I can’t be expected to retain anything after a class like that.
Here’s the beauty of it all – Day 3, 4, and most of 5 (I’ll write about 5 in another post) were spectacular. Really strong and very enjoyable classes. By Days 6 and 7 I was falling back into the normal it’s a class, it was fine kind of thing.
In the end, if you’ve had a hiatus, all I can say is that at some point you have to face the music and walk back in that room. I’m not saying you’ll have a bad class. I’m not saying you’ll have a great class. You’ll go in and have whatever class you will have. So don’t be afraid. If anything, be excited to get back in the hot room and see what it brings.