Monday, October 10, 2011

30 Days of getting to know you.

Right now at The SweatBox, the 30-Day challenge is one-third of the way through. Students are walking around in states ranging from insane, slightly manic nutbags to semi-catatonic zombies. All who undertake the 30-Day Challenge experience ups and downs, peaks and valleys, periods of insatiable hunger and days of feeling the possibilities of existing on breath alone.

At the end of practice, whether we are practicing once or thirty days in a row, we experience the feeling of being depleted, stripped down, cut open, exposed, fried, tenderized. Shortly after these feelings, we may also experience great surges of energy, clarity, wholeness. But, there is a moment when class is just over, after the final breathing when everything is still for a few moments. Our bodies are no longer moving- contracting, extending, contorting, balancing. We get the chance to be still.

In this stillness, final Savasana, we have the opportunity to be deeply vulnerable. In our practice we are moving, sweating, listening to the teacher, but here in final Savasana, when the lights are dimmed and the teacher leaves the room, we are, for a moment or two, ourselves. I always tell students, get into Savasana right away. Don't let the door open to distraction. Just go right to it because the moment of being authentically, exactly who we are supposed to be won't last. Those after practice moments are precious, and fleeting.

For the students doing the 30-Day Challenge, the most significant gift they are giving themselves is the daily experience of these fleeting final Savasana moments. Bikram himself says, "if you want to turn your life around, practice every day." And for these 30-Day Challengers, this is exactly what happens. After years of listening to other voices, other ideas, other beliefs, they have the daily opportunity to get in touch with themselves. My favorite months of the year as a yoga teacher and student are March and October, the months where I get to watch the challengers dive deeper and deeper into knowing their true selves. Thanks you guys.

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