So, I was at my Bikram yoga class this morning. I should say, my almost-Bikram yoga class. Here in Atlanta, the local Bikram studio decided to drop out of the Bikram franchise a couple of years ago, modify its practices a bit, and rename itself BeHotYoga Atlanta. The result is a hot yoga studio which is about 90% Bikram. The other 10%, though, causes me no end of distraction and irritation. Bikram yoga works for me because of its uniformity. Every class is taught the same way, with the same postures, procedures, timing, and rituals. There is no need to think. With a good teacher, I really can give them my trust, tune out my brain and experience the yoga. This is not the case, so far, here in Atlanta.
I found myself thinking, during class, "My practice here is really just place-holding, keeping me at some level of limberness until I get back to a real Bikram studio." Immediately afterwards, though, I realized that this type of thinking is a common pattern in my life, and problematic. I am often saying to myself, "when I get back to my real life", or "when I'm back in shape" ... imagining that somehow the ME of today is not the real me.
This makes no sense. The person I am today is no less "real" than the person I was three or ten or twenty years ago. And while I may have loved some of the Bikram studios I practiced at in the past, I am closing my mind off to the goodness that this local studio offers. What am I holding onto, and when will I start living more in the present?
I think the answer to the last question is - only over a long period of time. I have been the grass-is-always-greener, future-daydreamer for as long as I can remember, and I can't change that completely today. But yoga is a good start. It reminds me to be present, and to take what my body has to offer on any given day. It reminds me that all I really have to do is breathe.