I will never forget my first class. Having never done a yoga class, let alone a Bikram Yoga class, I decided to look the part so I had on yoga pants, a workout tank and a t-shirt. I felt very resourceful as well, having brought my own water bottle with me. I arrived 20 minutes early to fill out paperwork and meet the teacher, Chris. He was exactly what a yoga teacher looked like in my eye – svelte, calm, in control. I felt strong, confident, ready. But then he began to talk. “Your goal for the class is to just stay in the room,” he said. “Oh, and you’ll need some more water,” he mentioned noticing my half drunk small bottle of water. Now I was nervous. If that was really my only goal, then this was going to be harder than I thought….
I set up in the back row in what I was told would be a cool spot. The teacher was a popular one so the class was crowded. I looked around the room and saw men and women of all ages, shapes, sizes and body types. Nice. The room was hot, very hot. I was already in a sweat. I took off my t-shirt.
The class began and I followed along as best as I could. My shoulders ached from the breathing exercise, the sweat was running into my eyes, my legs were shaking, but still, I kept at it. Chris explained everything so clearly and the monologue was so calming, that I just focused on his voice and did my best. By the time we got to the floor series, I was thanking the yoga gods (and Chris!) that I had brought in more than my small bottle of water!
I attempted every posture – attempted being the operative word. By the end of class, I was spent. I had given all that I had and was a puddle of mush on my mat. But I had done it. I felt exhausted, but exhilarated. I felt crazy, but calm. I went home and cried from the sheer exhaustion and effort of it, but then began to feel empowered. I had done it, and I was going back for more.
Fellow yogis, how was your first class?