I admit it. I am a germaphobe. My friends and family laugh as I Purell myself after riding on the bus, or after shaking hands with too many strangers, or after being near anyone with a cold. But at Bikram, for whatever reason, it is ok — the bodies packed together, someone else’s sweat dripping onto my mat, even the occasional arm bump during full locust pose — all ok. Maybe it is the calmness I feel in class that gives me the clarity to handle the germs. Maybe I am so sweaty anyway, it just doesn’t matter. Maybe it is just out of necessity. Whatever it is, the class frees me from this phobia for the 90 minutes of practice. I feel centered and focused on other things such that the germs become less of an issue. I am grateful for that.
Today during class, the instructor walked on my yoga mat several times. Not around my mat, not grazing my mat, but on my mat with both of his feet! This was during standing series of course. I almost laughed out loud realizing that I had been envisioning a blog post on practicing as a germaphobe and here I was faced with it head on (or foot on!). I am happy to say that I was able to shrug it off and continue my practice. In fact, it was a really uplifting class for me today.
In the interest of full disclosure – I do still wear socks in the studio unless I am on my mat. And I really do hate to touch other yogi’s feet during the sit-ups. So, I guess my yoga practice hasn’t cured me of my germaphobia entirely… but I am making progress.
Do you worry about germs in class?