I spent Sunday morning unable to ride my dirt bike anywhere around this frozen tundra so I found myself walking into the Mountain Life Church in Park City for the first time. I was welcomed with warm greetings and outstretched hands from smiling strangers at the front door, which was held open for me. The sun and blue skies probably had more to do with my smile than anything because of how bad the inversion in the valley has been lately. Inside the lobby, more people welcomed me with a handshake as I noticed others helping themselves to free coffee, water and juice. The laid-back vibe was just what I was looking for and once Pastor Scott started his sermon about kicking off the New Year thinking the best thoughts – our brains process more than 70,000 thoughts per day on average – I knew this was right where I belonged.
Last night at bikram, I arrived just a few minutes before class started and found a spot on the back row before settling into Savasana aka corpse pose.
Once the instructor walked in and noticed how crowded the back row was, she volunteered me to move to the front row right next to her. I hesitated. “What? You’re ready for it,” she said. No more hiding, I told myself as I moved. After the first 30-minute standing series, we take our first water break aka “party time” before finding our way down to the mat for our first Savasana. My mind started to wander about all the things I wanted to do and write – this blog – my words coming easy and flowing fast. The instructor must have noticed since I was lying about two feet away from her. She reminded the class: “Bring your awareness back to the breath. In through the nose. Out through the nose,” she said. “Try to stay in Savasana,” which is hard for most of us to do. She referred to it as the “monkey brain,” and said, “Just try to just keep it quiet for a little bit longer.”
Bikram can be a daily practice, if you stay hydrated enough, even though some students worry that they might get bored doing the same postures every day but there’s actually so much to each of the postures that every day is different.
Later, I was trying to get into the Fixed Firm Pose that just kills my ankle, which she must have noticed that, too, because seeing that I was in pain she told me to back off a little and then reminded the class not to do anything that might make them cry. “Just be patient with yourself,” she said. “If there’s one thing this practice is good for, it’s patience.”
I kind of half chuckled to myself when she said that. Patience is my word for this year. My dad said it best:
“Settle down with what life brings you and not with what you want. You will be overwhelmed with happiness.”