Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Day One, part one

Date: Jan. 18, 2010, 5:30 p.m.
Studio: Bikram Yoga Northampton
Teacher: Diane Ducharme

At least I got to go to Trader Joe's.

That was my initial thought a few minutes after class ended last night. I'm pretty sure it was the worst class of my yoga life. I tried to do at least one set of every posture, but I was swaying like a sapling in a hurricane as tree pose began, and I had to just sit down and stay down. I DID have a strong second set of triangle (after sitting out the first set), and didn't slide out into the splits, so I'll count that as one of many tiny victories.

The overwhelming feeling as I drove away from the studio at 9:30 was one of pure gratitude: for this yoga, for this amazing community both online and "in real life," for old friends who somehow stay close, and for new friends and sources of wisdom.

Audrey, a friend from Salt Lake, and her man bought the Bikram studio in Northampton (which, I believe, is missing an "h," but maybe that's just me), Massachusetts, effective Jan. 1. Another SLC friend, Judy, who teaches in Saratoga Springs, is even closer with Audrey. So when Judy took this weekend off to go to the Rajashree (Bikram's wife) seminar at Kripalu, and I had the day off for Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, we decided we'd go take class together. I don't drive to work anymore; what's a couple hours in the car? Plus, I could go to Trader Joe's. And meet Judy's new friend from the seminar.

Monday dawned, and with it, a migraine (barking dog does not help). Oh yeah, and I think I might be developing an ulcer. This weird feeling of pressure where my esophagus meets my stomach hasn't gone away in a week. I'm not prone to digestive ailments. It feels better, briefly, when I burp. And it turned out that lovely-I've-never-taken-her-class-but-at-least-she's-my-friend-Audrey wouldn't be teaching Monday night. Instead, legendary teacher Diane Ducharme would. Eeeeeek!!

So I was a little tentative. Decided to wear waterproof mascara and pretty dangling earrings, trying to keep in mind that if I looked good, I'd feel good (well, better). I ate a couple pieces of toast with butter and jam, then took off on my three-hour (I had to run some errands first) jaunt.

It was really lovely out, warmish and sunny skies. Unfortunately, sun+driving concentration+crappy Connecticut drivers=worse migraine. Ugh. About 3, I took an Aleve. Didn't help. An hour and a half before class, I ate four pieces of sushi from Trader Joe's, where I was sooooo happy to go and stock up on stuff, as there isn't one very close to where I live. It was good to get something in my belly — it stopped the gnawing, roiling feeling I had going on. Still had a migraine. Lame!

At the studio, saw my friends and their friends. It was sooo great to see Audrey, and pass along words of encouragement and a big hug from one of my friends who had been her biggest fan/student in Sandy (Utah). Met the superintimidating and scary senior Bikram teacher, Diane. Just kidding! She wasn't any of that at all. She was warm, and totally put all the new students at ease. "All you have to do is breathe," she said. "Everything else is optional."

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