Thursday, April 19, 2012

Class #6

This morning I had my 6th consecutive Bikram class.  We have two per day at 8:30am & 5pm, M-F and one at 8am on Saturdays.  They are all taught in the 700-person capacity ballroom of the hotel.  An amazing energy exudes doing these poses under the bright lights of the chandeliers, next to 500 people with the same goal - survival.

Today's class was taught by Emmy Cleaves, who is in every sense of the word, a MAGICIAN.  Emmy, who is 87 years young (yes freaking 87 for all of you complainers who tell me you can't do Bikram because you're not flexible) was born in Latvia in Eastern Europe and ended up in a Nazi slave labor camp during World War II. Despite this past and her age, she has not let it hold her back. “It’s the struggle that makes you stronger, that makes you more competent and makes life more exciting in a way,” she said. Years later, Emmy credited yoga with helping her recover from a debilitating brain aneurysm. "All of those things, when I look back, made me the person that I am," she said.

This was by far the most serene and beautiful class for me thus far.  Her volume, serenity, in-depth knowledge of the poses, intensity on alignment and pearls of wisdom are still ringing in my ears.  Most relative is the following: "We are all slaves to our habits, until we learn to let our habits be our slaves."
Emmy giving me one last bit of advice at graduation.
Point well taken Emmy.  I came back to my room after class, hungry and cold from a slightly cooler room today (don't tell Bikram I said that), only to find that I had no hot water and a broken sink faucet.  I have been complaining all week about the sporadic hot water situation and I knew something was really fucked up today....I am still sitting here, un-showered but peaceful. Yes, my rhythm of showering after class has been broken, but I'm ok. It gives me more time to eat and blog while the hotel fixes the issue.  I let that problem go, it is no longer mine anymore. Can we all try to translate the simplicity of letting our habits work for us today? BTW, as I'm typing this the hotel just offered me a nice clean room to shower in down the hall. Problem solved, habit dropped.  Savasana..... 

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