A Brilliant Monday Night Class?

Something strange happened today.

Usually, I dread the Monday night Bikram class. It's at the hotter studio, because I can't make it back to my part of the city in time to hit my local studio. So I veer off the freeway to hit a studio closer to work.

And it's always "hit or miss" with this studio. Usually a "miss", unless one of the owners is teaching. Anyway, Monday nights I uber dread class because it's the hot studio AND the usual teacher just lets the heat crank away without turning it down based on students' reactions to it as the class paces.

This leaves a lot of students sitting out postures and even leaving class. Usually, I am a consistent sitter in her classes. I've wanted to leave, but haven't.

Tonight was different though.


I don't think I can really articulate it.

But I noticed it straight away as the class began, and I wasn't yawning throughout the Pranayama Breathing exercise. Normally, I yawn repeatedly throughout it, as my body expels the energy from my day.  A yawn is a purging of energy, and a good thing. Which is why it is stupid when people get offended in any situation if a person yawns.

This time, no yawns. And my arms didn't get tired from the motions of the exercise. Before I knew it, Pranayama was done, and we were ready to move on to the first posture.  My side bends in Half Moon are always strong. As is my my back bend. But today's back bend was different...

I went all the way back, and found myself nearly staring at the floor beneath me.

Typically, I back bend and can see the floor near the back wall. But my body somehow magically opened up with very little effort on my part, and I was suddenly looking at the floor just a few feet away from where I was standing.

"Holy shit!" I said to myself, amazed at my spine and front side of the body just allowing it to happen so easily.

The rest of class was more phenomenal for me than usual, especially given that it was a Monday night and at the hot studio with the teacher that is great at reciting dialogue, but whom I struggle with being guided by. And as the class progressed, I kept trying to figure out exactly why it was so different for me.

Why was I not distracted by anger and being annoyed? The teacher wasn't any different. There were plenty of people sitting down, and the heat was just as harsh as it always was.

"What's different?" I wondered.

Then I realized I was different. I was the thing that had changed.

Just like when I come back from an ayahuasca retreat in the jungle, coming back from a weekend off from practicing... A weekend where I slept a lot, relaxed, didn't work, and stayed largely unplugged from the digital world...  It shifted me and my mental state. And I was in a better place to open up and work with what was before me in class. Which lead to a really great practice.

I'm so grateful to have had this weekend. It showed me the importance of truly disconnecting... And that I can do it not just in a jungle where I have no access to Wifi or data networks... I can do it in civilization.

And need to do it more often.