Finally!  I had a successful yoga class.

For a whole week I have been feeling like every class has been a failure.  I suppose I have been successful in the most basic sense; successful as defined by the continuation of my 30 day challenge, but I haven’t had a class where I looked back and thought my performance was something to be proud of.

Today (technically yesterday) was different.  I went into the class with an open mind.  I thought to myself, “I will do my best.  I will struggle, and I will take the class one pose at a time, one breath at a time, and I will get through it and do everything to the best of my ability in each moment.” My mantra was literally “breathe in, breathe out.”  

Somehow, I ended up in one of those magical places where everyone around me blurs, and the room becomes me, and the heat, and the teacher’s voice, and I can do anything.  

I had a distinct moment of clarity during one of my very difficult classes last week.  There were three people who hadn’t done the class before, and they were all right around me.  I was lying in savasana during tuladandasana (balancing stick), and one of the beginning students kind of stumbled into my line of sight, but he didn’t fall.  I usually try very hard to tune out the other students, but his struggle was so palpable to me in that moment that I couldn’t ignore it.  I was struck by the idea that there are students who have been practicing for less than an hour, and there are those that have been coming for 3 years, and there are those that have been practicing for 10, 0r 15, or even 20 years, and nothing has changed about the class but the student.  In the 90 minutes of class, you work and you struggle.  You hear the same dialogue every time, and you use it to make tiny little changes in yourself.  You lift your chin one day, you arch your back a little higher, or lock your knee a little tighter, and bit by bit you begin to master the postures.  To hold your balance and to stretch your muscles and joints and ligaments.  To strengthen your mind and your body.  In that moment during class, it was like I was seeing the past and the future.  I had this incredibly clear vision of a pathway to personal greatness, beginning with the decision to come to a yoga class.  Ending with the decision to come to a yoga class.  All you have to do is show up and try.

After having that moment of appreciation for my fellow students, I had a different experience in class today.  Often I am distracted and slightly annoyed by the noises of struggle that people sometimes make during class.  Loud breathing, groaning, grunting.  Today I welcomed it.  I kept thinking “listen to that, we’re all struggling together.”  I felt admiration for my fellow students.  When we did our kapalbhati breathing (blowing in fixed firm) I felt very proud.  I was not just proud of myself, but I felt proud of every single person in the whole class.