Journal entry from day 7. Original date: 1.7.10.

I was not excited for class tonight at all. I was feeling really tired since I got home so late from Providence the night before. I had been seriously dragging all day at work, and I thought I might hit another wall like on day 5. However, when I got to class there was a sort of fun energy due to a group of 4 young, college-esque guys who were all there trying Bikram for the first time. These guys were jocks- complete and total. Strapping young specimen that just reeked of athleticism. Now, I know it was somewhat to the detriment of my own practice not to be 100% focused on myself in class, but I must admit that I got a secret little thrill from watching these guys try yoga (and it helped distract me from my own tiredness).

Why the thrill? Well, part of it stems from the fact that my whole life I have never been very athletic. I was/am not naturally gifted in this arena, and I also lack that competitive drive. Needless to say, I have never really fit in with jocks. I was always the weak one, the slow one, the one who got picked last for teams in gym class… the one who couldn’t climb up that damn rope to save her own life. (Does anyone recall the opening sequence from the MTV cartoon Daria? Where the volleyballs are flying past her? Minus the glasses, that was/is pretty much me.)

Therefore, it’s a little fun to believe that maybe yoga is the universe’s way of striking a balance. For I know these guys in my class tonight could have mopped of the floor with me if we were all there to play a sport, run, swim, do push-ups, pull-ups, etc. But, as the sign on the front of the building would indicate, we were there to do yoga. Thus, I had a little bit of an edge over these conventional athletes. My practice is by no means amazing, but it’s coming along. I can see my foot starting to come over the top of my head in Standing Bow (Dandayamana Dhanurasana). I can keep my knees all the way together and on the floor in Fixed Firm (Supta Vajrasana). I can look back and see myself in the mirror while keeping my back straight and reaching around to touch my opposite thigh in Spine Twisting (Ardha Matsyendrasana). The jocks… well, let’s just say that they still have some work to do in Bikram’s Torture Chamber before they can reach these little benchmarks. But hey, they tried!

So is it that I take joy in championing my own practice and watching other people fail? Not in the least. While I did enjoy thinking about the progress I have made tonight, there were by NO MEANS any failures to watch. The jocks succeeded just by stepping out of their comfort zones and into the hot room. So I applaud them. After all, that’s where the real thrill comes from- watching people opening themselves up to new possibilities.

I hope the jocks keep coming to class. They seem like a fun crew. Maybe we can forge an alliance of jocks and yogis. Then, when the challenge is over, they can teach me about all the subtle nuances of rope climbing.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, there ain't NOTHING wrong with taking some good positive energy from the room! That's why we practice with a bunch of other people, and not at home alone in our closets. Good times!