I went to Bikram yoga today.
I walked in and knew that my only job was to stay in the room. I needed to do my best, but only my best. I knew exactly what was expected of me. There was no one I could disappoint. I couldn’t even disappoint myself because I already did the hardest part; I showed up.
With my open heart, and my tiny shorts.
I didn’t think about anyone else but me. Not the nervously giggling newbies behind me or that lithe girl with the envy-worthy backbend to my left. I looked in my own eyes, I took a deep breath in and let it out slow.
I sat down when I needed to.
I smiled when I didn’t want to.
I locked out my knee. Again and again. And then I did it again.
In savasana, the blood flowed through every cell, muscle and joint. And I let it.
I was gentle with myself. Then I killed myself. Then I was gentle again.
I left what was outside the room, outside the room.
And when it was all over, when I was drenched through and wrung out like a sponge – I was fixed. I was healed. I was whole.
I was ready to leave the studio, through that humidity-frosted door into the world. Into the world where they don’t give you the same 26 postures to follow. Where there is no straightforward definition of success and you don’t have someone telling you that it’s just mind over matter and it’s gonna hurt like hell but don’t be scared and all you need to do is breathe.
I walk out into that world, the cold one that tends to wreck me, with the full knowledge that I’ll be back, to the warm embrace of Bikram – where we can put me back together again.
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