It happens every.damn.summer.

Bikram yoga decides it hates me.

It decides that I am inflexible and weak. I have no sense of balance. I have zero stamina and the lung capacity of a squirrel. It decides that I need to just slog through each posture and have no hope of working on it or improving it or even enjoying it. None.

I should remember that this happened last summer and the year before and the two years before that. But I don’t – I forget and think that my practice is lost forever. Some years I take a break from yoga, others, I soldier on, either away doesn’t make much difference. There are several weeks of classes that just suck.

And yes, it’s the change of seasons, the allergens, the humid southern summers. But who cares? When my practice is off, I feel off. Thus, I pout.

In class the other day, there was one set of standing bow that I at least was able to hold for the full time. It was not a perfect pose…but it was sort of okay. As I came out of the posture, I caught the eye of a woman who was there for her first class. She had been watching me, since she was taking a little break. I saw her raise her eyebrows and mouth the word “wow” to herself.

I wanted to rush over to her mat and explain that she was mistaken. That it was not a wow-worthy posture. I had wobbled and my chin should have been closer to my shoulder and my knee came unlocked that one time. I could have done it better. I should have done it better.

But then I realized: I really don’t want to be that girl.

It’s miserable being that ungrateful, nothing-is-ever-good-enough girl.

So, I changed my mind and thought, wow. Fuck yeah – wow.

It’s amazing that I can even do this yoga. It’s a gift that I can have my crappy practice. It’s a miracle that my body does what I ask of it, most of the time.

You are so right, newbie. Thanks for reminding me of the wow.

In all likelihood, I’m going to have several more weeks of challenging classes. They will leave me feeling exhausted, uncoordinated and longing for those inspiring, invigorating classes I had back in April.

But at least I got my wow back.

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