Thursday, January 21, 2010

Bikram, you'll be the death of me...


... and by "me", I mean little "me" or "i", my ego, my pain body, rather than who I actually am: "Me", the big "I", or my higher consciousness (check out Eckhart Tolle's works to give you incredible insight into that kind of vocabulary). Today's Bikram class was yet another experience in my personal path to Enlightenment... I get surprised every time it happens, even though it's happened every time I go. I still have a hard time wrapping my head around how much this is doing for me.

Today was an experience in letting go, letting go of a portion of my pain body that I still struggle with today: self-image. I woke up this morning feeling wonderful; physically, emotionally, I was just as happy as could be. Within 20 minutes of my Bikram practice, having taken in the heat, starting to release my usual toxins, I began to slip. I was getting progressively more upset, my thoughts were clouded, my attention unfocused, my positions were faltering. I was feeling terrible, I was feeling emotionally and physically polluted. I was hating myself, beating myself up about how I was messing everything up. Above all, I was feeling unattractive, fat, self-conscious, thinking of how I would go home and try not to eat all day to compensate, things that rarely ever cross my mind in such an unhealthy and destructive way. I was so overwhelmed by all these emotions and feelings that unfortunately plague most women but condensed into a 90 minute practice. I kept telling myself that I couldn't finish, that I should just stop and go home... I was practically in tears. I didn't know what was wrong with me. I didn't realize that these were more emotional toxins that were being released after years and years of slow build up, a compilation of all the small or larger insecurities I've had about myself over a life time. I was letting it consume me, I thought it was me. I couldn't see that it wasn't me at all...

Finally, during a savasana, I told myself this had to stop. I told myself that this wasn't me, but old pain and memories, lingering wounds, and current insecurities that were just being released. I told myself that I had let them take over me and become me, and I was bigger than that. I was struggling to see who 'I' actually was, and that 'i' was trying to mess with 'Me' . I was closing my eyes, shutting them tight to try to stop the noise, and it was barely working. Thankfully, our instructor told me to open my eyes, to keep my eyes open to take in the present moment and focus on being here now. And I did. In those few words, I remembered where I was suppose to be, and above all, who I really am. When I opened my eyes, it's as though I could see that negative part of me dissipate into the air, I could see that hateful/self-conscious spirit just rise above me and vanish like smoke... all of sudden, that heaviness, that hate, that negativity just lifted and unfurled into the air, and I felt light, happy, and focused again... I may have started laughing. Reconnecting with the present, it's like those feelings were never even there, and I continued my practice flawlessly.

At the end of 90 minutes, during our final savasana, our instructor told us that whatever we had managed to let go of during our practice, we should let go for good, not just during those 90 minutes only to let them creep back up again. I took that so personally, realizing what had happened to me in just 90 minutes. In that short amount of time, years and years worth of teenage and current angst and self-doubt completely took over me, a toxin fighting for survival, for its last breath before it's released from the body and dies... It was strange, but in the end, well worth it. I feel that a part of that is gone from me now. I feel like I've dealt with that. I know I probably still have a lot of work to do in the self-love department, but I think most women do, despite any claims we might make, but I'm working on it. As I've said, one finds enlightenment in the strangest places.

Workout of the day:
1.5 hours of bikram
100 crunches

Recipe of the day:
Used one of the lemon tartlet crusts I made the other day, and filled it with ginger paste (crystallized ginger put through the food processor), home-made thickened raw soymilk (courtesy of Andrew), lemon juice, ground cashews for thickening, raw honey, served with my strawberry ice cream. Yum!

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