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I’m yoga nervous.

(Is that a thing?)

This weekend, Husband and I are doing a seminar with Bikram’s senior teacher, Mary Jarvis.

This is her.

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Photo via Mary Jarvis Bikram Yoga Blog

So, you can understand my yoga nervousness.

When Mary began doing Bikram yoga, she had been suffering chronic pain from a car accident. She came to the hot room wearing a back brace and a neck brace and was barely able to move. This practice allowed her to avoid surgery and manage her depression. Since I am no stranger to back pain or anxiety, her story touches me.

But I’m still totally intimidated.

I’ve heard wonderful things about her teaching style, including the fact that she likes to provide individual attention and help students get the most out of their postures.

Gulp.

Generally speaking, getting corrections in class is difficult for me. (Sorry, did I say “difficult”? I meant “mortifying.”)

I used to assume that adjustments were a public shaming, rather than an expression of faith in my ability to improve. That is one of the (many) demons that I face in the hot room. I’ve slowly learned to take notes from my teachers as they are intended – with love and encouragement. I’ve only recently realized that corrections are actually a good thing.

But Mary is not one of my regular teachers. She is new person who is going to push me in new ways. Encourage me to make my practice better. Deeper. It’s wonderful and I did voluntarily sign up and pay money for this, but the truth remains that it’s out of my comfort zone.

However, my Bikram Buddy will be there with me. As will my community of fantastic, supportive yogis at my studio.

The day will begin with a class at 9:45 AM. (Apparently, it’s like a regular class but is two hours long, rather than 90 minutes. I wonder how that works?) Then – it’ll be a posture clinic for the rest of the day, until 6:30 PM!

My mind reels with things like – damn, that’s a long time in the hot room!! What food should I take with me? How many beverages? How many breaks will we take? What about my usual Saturday afternoon nap?? Damn, that’s a long time in the hot room!!

I’ve gotten fairly comfortable with my practice lately. Yoga and I have come to this familiar place with few surprises. My backbend will be stiff on the first set and feel awesome on the second set, and my hips will be notoriously out of alignment in Standing Bow. The teachers know me and my practice. I know where I’m likely to get a correction and where I can kind of coast. It’s all very copasetic.

So, the truth is — I need this. I need a little shove out of the nest and into a deeper place. I need to be challenged, in mind even more than in body. I need to acknowledge the nerves and do it anyway.

Because beyond the insecurities and the fear, deeper than the nagging little voice that says I can’t do it and I’m going to look stupid – that’s where the stillness is. That’s where the opportunity is. That’s where the bliss is.

Namaste, yogis.

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