(This was a really hard post to write because I wanted things to be different. I wanted this to be a different post. But I have this inconvenient idea that it’s best to be ‘honest” about “my experiences” – so I wrote it. Here you go. Sigh.)
Sometimes things don’t go quite the way you hoped that they would.
I went to the Mary Jarvis workshop the other weekend. I was nervous but excited about the day. I was prepared that it would be LOOOONG. I lined up someone to walk the dog.
Husband and I arrived at the studio and the place was abuzz. Lots of yogis were in from out of town to take this class and the energy was high. So was the heat. So was the humidity.
The day was scheduled to be a Bikram yoga class, then a posture clinic afterwards. The Bikram class lasted for 3 hours. Mary was great and had interesting and profound things to say but I found myself completely overwhelmed and could barely hear her most of the time. The screaming in my own head was much, much louder than she was.
It felt like my first class.
No, I take that back. It was much harder than my first class.
I laid out probably 70 percent of the postures. My heart was in my throat, I could not get a handle on my breathing and I kept blacking out. To my right, a couple of my teachers were in similar flattened-like-road-kill poses. To my left, Husband collapsed into a pool of sweat on his towel. At least I was not alone.
After class, I sat with Husband and attempted to talk to him. This was challenging as I realized two things: I didn’t have the energy to make coherent sentences and he couldn’t hear me because he was so spaced out. Then he got up and stumbled outside into an alley across the street from our studio.
I got a cold washcloth and ran out to him, attempting to be a good wife. There he was, in bare feet and his tiny yoga shorts doubled over, heaving in an alley behind a fancy apartment building. I’ve never ever seen him so wrecked. This was not the Saturday that I had planned.
We sat in the studio lobby for an hour and tried to get ourselves together. It was futile. He was really pale and had a hard time keeping down coconut water. My hands were still numb. It was just too much. I could complain and justify and say a million things went wrong – from heater management to placement in the room (we know I love to blame external circumstances) but none of that really matters. The bottom line was we just were not having fun.
So, when Husband said that he needed to go home but I could stay for the posture clinic- I considered my options for about three seconds.
There are times to do yoga, and then there are times to not do yoga. I chose to take care of my partner. We went home.
I’m really bummed that it all went down like that. I had really been excited to learn.
Since then, I’ve talked to other people at my studio who said that the class was “crazy” but that they really enjoyed the clinic. I’m really glad. I wanted it to be good.
I’m not saying that all Mary Jarvis classes are like this – it wasn’t her fault.
It simply highlighted for me something that I’ve always known – I’m not hardcore. I love this intense form of yoga and I’ve done 30 Day Challenges but I’m just not the bootcamp kind of yogi. I feel great admiration for those who are and I absolutely love watching them to do their thing – but I just can’t hack it. I’m okay with that reality. I don’t need to be the best, most bad-ass yogi around.
I wanted to learn. I wanted to have fun in the hot room while deepening my practice. I didn’t want to be so challenged that I was unable to participate. I didn’t want to see my Husband heaving in an alley.
It was an experience. Sometimes you don’t get to understand why things turn out differently than you expected. Sometimes you just need to accept the experience as it is given to you and be grateful.
I’m grateful that I stayed in the room and managed my panic. I’m grateful that I didn’t beat myself up for laying out. I’m grateful that I only cried a little bit. I’m grateful for my imperfect little yoga practice.
And here’s something else I’m grateful for – after a 3 hour class, a regular 90 minutes class feels like a walk in the park.
You might also like:
- Get real: 18 reasons I am a bad yogi
- Bikram yoga for panic attacks
- Ten days of silence: losing and finding my voice