This was a statement that I overhead following class. It made me stop and think how would I answer that question.
I started practicing Bikram Yoga in 2001. I remember the tiny studio where is all began. It was a one room studio. The lost-n-found was in the dishwasher in the corner. We needed to put our mats side-by-side to accommodate everyone. I remember thinking, “this has to be the hardest class… because I don’t have any space.”
The tiny studio grew and moved to a new spacious location. The facility was lovely but temperature and humidity were known to fluctuate. Some days, I would just pray that the instructor would open the door so we could have some fresh air. I remember thinking, “this is the hardest class… because the room temperature is not consistent.”
In 2012, I attended the 9 week Bikram Yoga Teacher Training. I remember some really long, tough, and hot classes. We were practicing 2 classes a day. I was pushing my body to the absolutely maximum. Most days, my goal was just to stay in the room. I remember thinking, “these have to be the hardest classes I have ever taken… because I am physically and mentally exhausted.”
Looking back now, I wouldn’t trade those experiences for anything.
I have fond memories of the tiny studio. I learned not to be distracted by my neighbor.
The spacious studio was home for many years. I treasure all the friendships I made during those years.
Bikram Yoga Teacher Training was a life changing experience. I would give anything right now for a long, tough, hot class taught by Bikram. I learned that I am stronger, more focused, and more capable that I ever knew.
How would I answer this question today? Practicing alone!
I have learned that the power of group energy can get you through any class. I have a huge appreciation for a room full of sweaty Bikram yogis.
So the next time my mind starts to analyze a class, I am going to be thankful for the opportunity to practice with a group. I never knew how much I needed the collective energy of a group until it was gone.
I can now say, bring on the hard classes. If the classes were easy, I wouldn’t be on this amazing journey.