Last night, I walked out of the train and into a soggy, dirty, mess of a town. Despite some workday text messages with the boyfriend about practicing yoga, I was thinking the whole ride home that it'd be so much easier to just to heat up some leftovers, make a fire, and sink into the couch to watch that "Say Anything" Netflix that's been sitting around for a few days too many.
His enthusiasm, however, hadn't flagged. He'd turned on the space heater an hour before I even got home. Then he built a fire while I tried to make a treat bomb (fill this with peanut butter, banana and various treats) for our dog, who is slightly hyper and needy.
The fireplace and space heater were blazing, so in sweatpants, long-sleeve shirts and hoodies, we began CD "class." Just like in the studio, he did really well. I saw him kicking out in standing head to knee, and wondered if his standing leg was locked (I know I've seen a lot of beginners, especially guys with tight hamstrings, kick out despite a bent standing knee). It was locked! I was so proud.
Half-moon has been a "comfortable" posture, at least mentally, for a long time. That first bend to the right feels so, so good. The particular twists and turns of my scoliosis (which has returned only after lacking a regular practice for nearly two years) make the right side "easy." Even at home, when it's not "studio-hot," I can get some good depth...
But the left side, oh man. It's so hard. Those same twists and turns conspire to keep the left side stiff. Recently I even identified "fear" as a sensation as I start that bend. I am not sure what it is I am scared of. The word has popped into my head a few times as I start to bend to the left, when I feel the first twinge that my shoulder blade and spine are shifting... Because of my spine's rotation, it is extra hard to pull my left shoulder and ribcage forward and my right side back. Sure, it would be easy to plop down, and have nearly the same silhouette as the right side, but it would be wrong.
Bikram says in the orange book, among other places, that there is only one way [to do things], and that is the right way. And the right way is the hard way.
In the not-studio-hot room at home, I have no choice (after typing that, I hear in my head Bikram's voice from the CD: "is like Indian marriage, no choice") but to focus on my postures' form, and not worry about depth. I had no idea until I sat down to write this how much I relied on the heat to help me attain "depth" in the postures. Stretching has become harder, but I am focusing more on correct alignment, and I'm feeling new muscles.
So although maintaining a practice can be hard, both mentally (motivationally? is that even a word?) and physically, I know it's the right way to do things. Today I feel lighter. It actually feels like my spine is longer, like my ribs are further from my hips (three-quarters of an inch instead of a half-inch, maybe). The walk in to work today was pleasant, despite the rain. My neck is a little sore, my abs are a little sore, and my back is a little sore. I'm happy to feel my body like that, because those are all little reminders that I was doing things the right way. At least for one night. :)