My first class, 5 years or so ago, I thought was awful. I’d been convinced to try bikram yoga, and I’d been warned how necessary it was to drink water. And I did drink water… a little anyway. About half way through class, I left the room. I remember thinking that these people must be crazy, and that I would never do this yoga again. I then spent the next 3 years practicing at various levels of intensity. There were a great many times Andy had to drag me in there (excuses to not do yoga are way too easy!). Sometimes I couldn’t get in there enough. My practice was bi-polar at best. My back bend was non existent, I couldn’t touch my toes with straight legs, I almost always skipped triangle (still my LEAST favorite posture), and most of the time I didn’t even try to kick out in standing head to knee.
Then one day Garland was teaching, and there was a woman from Ireland training for the International Yoga Asana Championships in the back of the room. Now, in case you’ve never had Garland before, I must make sure you are aware that to Garland, HEAT is LOVE. And she likes to share as much of that love as humanely possible with all of us. Well there was a whole lot of love in that class, and I felt like I was dying. Added to that, there was some crazy girl in the back of the room doing stuff that I was convinced no mere mortal could do. In fact, I had been telling myself for the last 3 years that I could not do those sorts of things. I couldn’t even touch my forehead to my knee. It made me feel better to think those things were impossible, because I had been unable to do them. But on this day, Garland decided that I was at the point where I should touch my head to my knee, and she told me so. I thought some very unyogic things as I brought my elbows down, tucked my chin to my chest, and touched my head to my knee right before falling out. I was so excited that I decided I was going to master that posture. I practiced extra sets of it every day after class until I could manage it without falling out every time I tried. I looked forward to coming to class, and I couldn’t wait because I could do standing-head-to-knee! I started coming everyday and working on a new posture after class until I felt like I was really nailing it. I never thought “I can’t do that” again. Sometimes I don’t want to do something, or I am frustrated because I can’t do it yet, but I know that I can do anything. I now work on at least 1 posture everyday after class a little extra, because I know that constant practice is what yields results. Those crazy people who look like they must have no bones or organs… I hate to break it to you, but they do. They just figured out they could do those crazy postures and then worked on them till they had them. That was their secret. And I love them for teaching me that, because the lesson has improved every aspect of my life! Don’t get me wrong, they still fall out sometimes and still have the occasional class they spend half of on the floor wondering if they are going to die (just like the rest of us)! But they don’t give up, because they believe they can do all those crazy postures. And from them I’ve learned that I eventually will be able to do anything too if I just work at it. Too bad I’d rather work on bending my body like a pretzel then running a company that makes me millions of dollars…because this yoga can teach you what you need to be able to do anything!