Danda-yam-ana Dha-nur-asana…. rings in my ears like an iambic pentameter of sorts. I have been plateauing in this pose for some time now. And yesterday I started moving out of it, because I hit a new spot. Maybe it’s because I had an instructor who was completely new to me. The class was very different from what I’m used to so I guess that’s a good thing. I felt something new, pulling my foot back behind me. Whatever it was gave me the strength to continue pulling my foot up above my head. But it’s really hard to keep it up there for a full minute! I’m working on my determination for that part. It will happen soon.
Day 7, A Little Slice of Heaven May 5, 2008
Can we talk about the high you get after a Bikram session? It’s both energizing and mellow, at the same time. Then there is the runner’s high, which is different in its own way. Who doesn’t love a good high? The after sex high, that feeling after swimming or surfing (if I knew how, but can only imagine!), that first kiss high and other physical activities cannot be imitated. This is my little slice of heaven, right now. The fact that I can sleep restfully is wonderful. Before I started the challenge I was having trouble falling asleep; it was so bad I was about to go and beg a doctor for a sleeping pill or anti-anxiety prescription. Yes, it was getting that bad. Anyway, I don’t mind having to work for this. Everything in life requires some kind of effort, and you get what you put in every time.
Today’s class was challenging, mostly because the instructor didn’t crack any windows or open the door for air, as many as the others do. That’s mostly why I choose to stay in the back, for the hope of a draft of air every now and then. It can get overwhelming in there, after the first hour – I think at one point I started to panic a little, thinking about that oppressive heat. It definitely takes some getting used to. Which is why people going for the first few times really suffer.
I can tell that my Dandayamana-Dhanurasana, or Standing Bow Pose is improving, because today I saw some of my toes peaking above my shoulder! They weren’t totally aligned with my head, but I think this is still an improvement. I couldn’t even get to this point a week ago! When I first tried the pose I felt stiff as a board and looked around the room to see how others coped with it. I saw some graceful and strong forms, and I also saw some shaky and struggling forms, like myself. The hard part is holding onto this pose for a minute. Time is very different in this room. Sometimes, I can feel the right balance between hand and foot and it almost seems like there is a perfect balance of pressure. The guy in front of me was distracting me with his shakiness and hairy back, but I tried not to let it affect my practice. I think next time I’ll try to get a spot in front of the mirror.
I’m really starting to dig this now. Every day brings a different challenge and a new understanding. My body likes it, and I know all this hard work is paying off because I feel more relaxed and happy.