Day 27: Playing with my body
Playing with my body. Get your mind out of the gutter! Day 27 saw my turning my hands (and legs, torso, etc) to Bikram Yoga.
Yes, that’s right: that’s the one in the hot room. And, weirdly, where people do yoga competitively (which seems to me a massive misunderstanding about yoga) and it seems the less that’s said about the founder, the better.
So I’m in a hot room, on my yoga towel, on my yoga mat, staring at myself in the mirror thinking ‘I haven’t done yoga in years, and now I’m doing 90 minutes of hot yoga. Eek!’. Is the class enjoyable? Is yoga supposed to be enjoyable?
In fact, I think the answer is yes, it’s supposed to be enjoyable. And I find that each time the teacher tells me to relax my face and savour the posture, I actually do. There are moments when it’s too much, and I stumble, lots, for the balance exercises. But the great thing about hot yoga is that if you survive the whole class you get a massive feeling of achievement, whether you managed to do a single posture properly or not!
The experience raises questions for me. Why do people put themselves through experiences of pain and discomfort, when they could just… not? I think Play is part of the answer to this – and that feeling of succeeding at a challenge fits well with Stuart Brown’s competitive play personality.
Will I go back for more self-inflicted torture? Well, I’ve actually signed up for unlimited classes for 30 days, so I’ll definitely be back. Maybe by the end of the month I’ll love every minute!
The yoga mat is a good place to turn when talk therapy and antidepressants aren’t enough – Amy Weintraub