It was a very tough class tonight. It felt like the heat was up, and I got tired fairly early. In some ways, this just means that it was a typical Zeb class. But I think some other factors were at work.
The biggest (and a pun is intended) was my lunch. We ate at Fogo de Chao, which is an all you can eat Brazilian Steakhouse that features 15 different kinds of grilled meat. It's an invitation to pig out. Ordinarily, when I go to an all you can eat place, I feel the need to win: to make the owners sorry that they let me have all I could eat. I didn't go that far today, but I still went too far for a solid Bikram class. In short, I just can't eat like that anymore. And that's a good thing.
Anyway, by Triangle I was totally exhausted. And there was very little airflow. Recently, I've been using my own made up mantra to settle myself down: "Be quiet, be still, be here, be now."' This has the virtue of taking about the length of a six second inhale or exhale to recite. I also like it because the "be now" part of it makes no sense, and alot of sense at the same time. In back strengthening series, this phrase sort of automatically morphed into "This hurts, this hurts, this hurts, this hurts...." Not quite as calming. And I even had to stop myself from hyperventilating a few times.
After we got to Fixed Firm, things settled down some. And I finished off fairly strongly, without skipping anything. So it was a good, but very tough class. And I still need to work on my control in some situations. (And I have to get less attached to "my spot.")
The big surprise for me today was a comment I received from Mary Jarvis. (Comment on Day 53). Mary Jarvis owns a studio in San Francisco and has been involved with Bikram before there was any notion of Bikram as a yoga franchise. I had heard about her in several contexts, always with the highest praise. I've commented about her before, because it was her ideas about water drinking that started me experimenting with taking no water. I also routinely tell people about her curing her back doing Bikram after a car accident (and after doctors had recommended a spinal fusion).
From what I've read, she stands in the pantheon of Bikram teachers/practitioners along with Bikram himself, his wife Raj, and Emmy Cleaves. So I was totally blown away, and flattered, that she took the time to comment here. But then, I don't know why I should be surprised. Of course, I'm surprised that she found out about this blog in the first place. But the people I've met in Bikram are so kind and caring, that I shouldn't be that surprised that she took time to give me some encouragement. Let's just say instead that I am honored and grateful. Also, what she said has had some effect: I told Zeb tonight that I'm doing 100 classes. That's the first time I've said it to anyone like its a done deal, and I think Mary Jarvis' comments may just have given me the confidence to decide.
I started this blog for a few reasons. I thought that doing the blog might give me some motivation for getting through the challenge. I also thought that the blog would allow me to exercise three of the Yamas/Niyamas: these are honesty, self-study, and contentment. In other words, I thought the blog would give me the chance to be honest with myself about how things were going, to take a deep look at what was happening with myself throughout the challenge, and to approach the above in a spirit that did not complain too much. If that was all that I got out of writing these entries, then I would have said that keeping the blog as more than worthwhile. On top of that, I've found that writing the blog has actually helped me with my practice. And now, I find that some people are taking an interest in it, and that its becoming a source of encouragement, and perhaps even a way to make new connections.