Amy was especially bubbly. The teacher of her very first Bikram class was taking. I don't think Amy was trying to show off. She's just naturally happy, and she was extra happy because her first teacher was there. And her happiness tends to be infectious. The class had no newbies at all, and the energy was through the roof.
I had another in what is becoming a fairly long series of great classes. My elbow bothered me some, but didn't hold me back at all. Balance was very good. Triangle and Awkward were strong. My stamina was great, and I had fun all the way through.
The day 174 meditation begins with a quote from one of Gates' students. It's a testimonial that I wish I had written, and I think everything he says applies for me as well: "The impact of building core strength has been freeing in so many ways." This is one of the things I had not looked for at all. The feeling of balance and competence that comes with improved core strength really is liberating.
There are many, many things that I do effortlessly now that I would have paused to do before I started. To take a very simple example: the fence to the nearby dog park is four feet high, and always locked. Before yoga, I would have thought twice about going over it. Now I simply hop it without a thought (except I am sometimes amazed at how easily it now comes).
The other ideas are equally true. I feel more alive. I'm more connected to my hands and feet. With less practice than usual, I've become a better musician over the last year, simply from doing yoga. The focus on breathing and core strength has improved my singing. And yoga has helped me stop thinking in terms of me/my body. Even when I feel the distinction, I now thoroughly buy into the idea that we are in this thing together, and my body isn't something I am just saddled with, something to be overcome. And that feeling of connectedness is even more liberating than all the rest.