I'm not an athletic person, and never have been. What I mean by that: I throw and catch badly, I don't enjoy team sports, I'll never be faster than someone else, and I'm not into physical risk of any sort. I was always the short fat kid, last to be picked for a team (or next-to-last, during the years that Richie, the kid who peed his pants, was in my elementary school). I loathed gym. It was basically one torture session after another, for a kid who wore glasses and didn't ever understand the rules. (The first day we were supposed to play kickball, I asked what we were supposed to do, and was told "it's just like baseball." But of course, being a super-nerdy girl from Egghead Family, I didn't know how baseball was played, never having seen it done. Gym was always like that for me, veering from completely incomprehensible to humiliating to downright painful (dodge ball, anyone?)).
But as I grew older and could go explore my own options, I discovered plenty of types of exercise that I do enjoy -- I was a dedicated aerobics junkie in the 80s (and boy do my knees feel the damage now!), and I've always loved lifting weights and doing the cardio machines at the gym. I flirted with running off and on, too, but it's not the best choice for me. I studied martial arts, and then eventually found my way to yoga. I need to exercise in order to stay sane -- but I'm not athletic. Athletic is a goal-oriented, competitive, mindset that I just don't have.
But as of today, I've set myself a goal that feels closer to something athletic than I've ever done in my life. Like most yoga traditions, Bikram yoga emphasizes the value of regular, consistent practice. The more days a week you can come to class, the better you will feel -- it's that simple. Consecutive classes really help detoxify your body and heal injuries and alignment. Advanced students are encouraged to do 30, 60 , 90, or 120 consecutive days of Bikram yoga to take their practice to the next level -- one of Bikram's mottoes that gets repeated a lot is "give me 60 days and I'll change your life."
So, I'm going to do 60 consecutive days of Bikram yoga. The most consecutive days I've done until now has been 6. This is going to be a huge challenge for me -- not so much physically, I don't think (although there will be tough days, no doubt) as in terms of scheduling, time, and priorities. I know someone else who's going to do this at the same time, so we'll have some support that way. And I've told several people in my life (and now, you, dear internet) which will keep me accountable.
Everyone already knows I love Bikram yoga, and that I do it regularly. And I usually keep track of how many times I attend class in a month, to get enough value out of my class card. But saying I'm going to do the 60 feels to me way more goal-oriented than even I usually am about it. It feels more like an athletic goal -- like training for a race or something. (Or what I imagine such a thing would feel like, never having done a race.)
So, today was the first of 60. You can expect the occasional progress report as I work my way down this path. I expect a lot of change -- physically, spiritually, mentally. I know how transformative this yoga is. I'm curious to see who emerges at the end of two months.