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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Day 51: Bikram Yoga Challenge - It is a Challenge with Yourself, not Others

From October 2008 Yoga Competition


Note to self: Focus on you and your practice, don't worry about the other people. Sure, that will be easy for an OCD competitive person. Uh, sure. Oh, and go to yoga every day so you can work on your issues! :D

Today in my first class there was "Sally" in front of me bending to the right in Half Moon Pose, bending ALL the way over. I hate it when I start off bending and in my line of sight comes another person, bending basically right in front of me, surpassing my stretch and going further to the side. My natural competitive instinct is to go further too, to be better, to win. So annoying, me not the other person. I thought in my head, "whatever Sally, not going to try and kill myself today, need to stay strong for training"...yea...uh...that's why I am not going farther! Sheesh and I thought I was flexible. Apparently not so much.

Then in the 4:30 class David, one of the studio owners taught, wanted me to be on the front row. "Dude, it's my second class! And I was going to go on the front row but it's next to "Mary" and she is awesome." He didn't seem to care. He said, "Do you know how many super stars are going to be at training next to you and in front of you? This will be good practice, don't worry about her, just focus on you. I should make you get on the front row just to haze you for training, now go get on the front row!" "Fine!", I said, laughing. And to the front I went. And sure enough, everything with Mary was all bendy - bend this way, bend that way, bend allll the way backwards! Sheesh. So once again the competitive side of me was trying so hard to creep out and take over, not that I could have ever come close to where she was today but that wouldn't have stopped me from trying.

But I didn't have time to competing with her, I was too preoccupied with David's hysterical harassment. I thought for sure he was going to have me get up and say Half Moon Pose but he was on a roll, boom, boom, boom, the first three postures were a blur. Not quick postures mind you, oh no, David wanted every once of effort. It was just fast, one right after the other. At one point he said something in class about not sitting out any postures, even if it was my second class. I was determined after that to go through the entire class without sitting out a pose. Even in Standing Bow when I fell out, you better believe I got right back in, I didn't want David calling me out!

In Triangle someone wasn't getting their hips forward. I didn't look, that is a no-no! LOL I just stayed in my sit down position with my arms out, ready for David to say "move both arms." But instead he just kept repeating "hips forward, more forward, more forward." The poor guy next to me gave up waiting and ended up standing out that pose. Not me! I was like, heck no, I'm not dropping my arms, no way. And I just laughed at myself. I know everyone was dying, it seemed like forever until he decided to let us move our arms. In reality it probably wasn't any longer than if he had used the dialog but it SEEMED like an eternity!

Then during our sit up he said, "arms and head together" and it was hysterical, out of the corner of my eye I could see someone's arms go up, with no head. "Arrmmmsss and heeaadd together," David says really slowly, I busted out laughing. All I was thinking was thank goodness that wasn't me!

Then at the end in Head to Knee, I was in the pose and I hear, "Bend your elbows down, I don't care if it is your second class." I think to myself, wow, he is really on it today, picking on a person only in their second class. Just because of natural instinct, I readjusted my elbows anyway. As I came out of the pose, David says to a lady in front of him, "I wasn't speaking to you, I was speaking to her." And he points and looks at me. I again, busted out laughing.

In Spine Twist I had a thought, teachers picking on you and giving you lots of corrections or making you try harder, harder perhaps than you think you can is similar to a snarky bartender who thinks he's getting back at you by filling your mix drink with too much alcohol. If the purpose of drinking is to drink, well, getting too much alcohol is a good problem to have, more to drink and less to buy.  In yoga, teachers corrections just make you better, go farther and reach levels you never thought you could, not a bad thing. So today was great, David taught a hard but awesome class and all his effort to pick on me was actually a benefit to me because it made me try hard and not slack off. Plus, as a bonus, I was competitive with myself, not someone else, and in a competition with myself, well, I always win! :D

So five days of doubles down, ten classes...just two more days of doubles to finish my official week of doubles...then just two more days of doubles to make up for two missed classes and a few more single class days. On the home stretch!

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