Back to work and back to my routine. Mondays usually start with The Husband and I going to 7am class with Alicia at our regular studio.
I regularly practice in the morning before heading to work in order to ensure I get a class in. Getting up early for the first time in more than two weeks was brutal. The first five minutes after the alarm clock rings at 5:45 are always the worst and today was no different. I did not want to get up and I even tried to get out of it by entertaining the idea of canceling an evening appointment so I could sleep in and take class later. I determined there was just no way I could get out of the appointment so I had no choice. I got up. Believe me, if I wasn’t doing this challenge, I would’ve slept in. It also really helps to get up with The Husband who practices three times a week
When picking my spot, I usually choose the hotter part of the room and the front row. Today, I decided to change things up a bit and I practiced right next to The Husband, in the third row and next to the windows, the cooler part of the room. I never practiced side-by-side The Husband before. When he first started, I stood a row in front of him so he could watch me if he got confused or needed clarification. But I worried about him in the beginning (my proclivity to want to help others to a fault) and I always found myself peeking at him, distracting me from my own practice. When he got the hang of the postures, I moved to the other side of the room so he was out of my range of vision!
But today was different. After the class I had yesterday, I wanted to test my focus and concentration again. I was also curious to see how it would feel to practice in the third row again, like I did when I was a newbie. Would it give me a new perspective? Would it teach me humility as Mary Jarvis believes, who makes her teachers practice in the back row at her studio?
I had another solid day today. Although I generally concentrate more on form and alignment in the morning due usually to less flexibility, I found myself going deeper today than I usually do at 7am. Again, I was grateful for my body opening. I took whatever it offered. Standing in the back was definitely different. I felt further away from myself. – not good, not bad, just different. It certainly was harder to look “into” my eyes since I saw just a speck of them. Instead, I focused gaze on my belly button. As for humility, I suppose it’s easier to learn it when you are behind several rows of people. Today, we had 9 people in class so I had an unobstructed view of myself. Jury’s still out – will have to get back to you on that one. And guess what? I focused completely on me despite standing next to The Husband. There were times when I felt his frustration and in return, I offered him my energy.
My favorite part of today’s class was full locust. With our arms outstretched, my fingers touched The Husband’s. I held on to them as we ascended up, like 747s taking off. At some point, our fingers untangled but somehow, it made me happy! Later at dinner, we recounted our day’s practice and laughed as we remembered our locust encounter.
When we take plane trips, I always reach for The Husband’s hand when the plan accelerates to take off and on the descent. After 2 years of marriage and 3 years of dating, I am always grateful to have my husband’s hand to hold. I still reach for it when we walk or have dinner or sit in church. In early December, I went to the Philippines without The Husband. With no one to reach out to as the plane accelerated on the runway, I looked around at my fellow passengers. To my immediate right, a wife reached for her husband’s hand. To my left, on the far side of the plane, a husband reached for his wife’s hand. I smiled because I understood the reassuring comfort of holding a loved one’s hand in that moment. Many of us who practice bikram often say that what happens in the sweat box is a metaphor for what happens in our lives. I felt the beautiful, powerful, reassuring love that I have for my husband today in my practice just by standing next to him. I surrendered to it and for that, I received a rock-solid practice that provided me such peace and contentment.