"We only said goodbye with words
I died a hundred times
You go back to her
And I go back to....."
Well that's not exactly what Amy Winehouse sang next but it was the reality for me today as I took my first class in about 6 weeks.
The best thing about the first class back is that I give myself permission to go at about 60% and take breaks whenever I need. My mind and body feel lazy and my competitive edge doesn't exist because I have just returned from vacation. As a result, I simply observe the class and my body, listening to my breath and being happy with whatever I can do and laughing at the many things I am now unable to do. Why can't it always be this way?
I guess the answer is that we can't always live like we are on vacation. We have to work to make money for our next vacation and we settle into a schedule that can sometimes be stressful and wear us down. I like to take a complete break from my practice when I go away so I can reflect on some of the changes my body has gone through and set new goals for when I return.
It's amazing how much my body has continued to change since teacher training. I have leaned out slowly over the past 3 1/2 years and it really has been a slow process but I can see a difference in how my body shape looks. I have also gotten stronger and it's something that has lasted which is nice. Bikram talks about the cumulative effect of yoga and each class you take stores money in the bank so if you take many classes in a row you will deposit strength and flexibility into your body's future. I can see that now; it's something you have to practice for a few years to notice. The great thing about yoga is that even though you may feel like you have reached your peak or you have become bored with your practice, look for the tiny little improvements and know that there are still massive changes your body can go through, they just take a long time.
I would like to commit to a more regular practice, just getting myself there every day would be great. I still have to let go of judging myself when I do have to take a knee or can't kick out in Standing Head to Knee but maybe that will come if I just commit to getting in there more often....
Anyways, the class was great because the teacher was relatively hands - off and let the class experience the postures for themselves. It was just what I needed and the walk back through the sunny streets of Vancouver was beautiful too. I'm looking forward to taking class tomorrow now and hope I can keep up my attitude of non-attachment and simply observe and enjoy the class.