Hello, yogis. In this article, I use a little language that might make your ears perk up. So earmuffs, please, and away we go.
I met Caren and Sandra earlier this year when they first joined West Coast Sweat. I noticed them not only because of their friendly smiles and infectious energy, but because I started to see them coming daily. I knew this was a special thing that happened to new students—when the yoga clicks, they just can’t hold back—so I just had to ask . . .
Me: Hi, ladies. Million dollar question, why Bikram Hot Yoga?
Sandra: We talked about it together. I have done yoga before, but the standard, regular yoga. I told Caren I wanted to get into yoga again, but I wanted to try hot yoga because it sounds scary and challenging.
Caren: Sandra is crazy and likes difficult workouts. I like to explore outside of my element, but am still a little cautious. Sandra did the research, and with a couple of finger swipes, we found West Coast Sweat.
Me: So once you found us, did you sit on it for a while? Resistance can be a tough challenge for many when they’re about to step into something great.
Sandra: Well, we are the type of people that once we have an idea we just go for it, both feet in right away, no time to change our minds. As soon as we found the studio, we were here for class that Monday.
Me: What was your first class experience?
Caren: IT’S HOT IN HERE! It was intense and so hard to get through. I actually was surprised how intense it was.
Sandra: It was hotter than I expected. We gave each other the “eye” during class like “what did we just do?” As the class progressed, our eye contact turned to glares. We literally whispered to each other, “Just stay alive. Just breathe.”
Caren: Francisco was our first instructor. I think he caught us whispering, read our body language, and knew we seriously contemplated walking out. So what did he do? He was like, “My new students, just stay in the room please.”
Sandra: There was more glaring at each other then!
Caren: But we were up for the challenge and made up our minds to not get kicked in the butt by this yoga. Afterward, we made a commitment to come 4 times per week.
Sandra: I remember I felt so exhausted, but so satisfied as well. It was like I knew that I worked as hard as I could. I slept like a baby that night! I slept a full 8 hours! I couldn’t believe it. By week 2, we upped our attendance to 5 times per week.
Caren: This was huge for me because I had not worked out at all! Sandra was the one who had done CrossFit, hiking, all that crazy intense stuff.
Sandra: We figured if we could do it the first month, we could continue.
Caren: To be honest, I didn’t think I could last 90 minutes in 105 degrees and 40% humidity. I remember I noticed during class how much more I could tolerate the heat and it brought me a special satisfaction, like I could feel myself improving, getting better and stronger. It was like I was staring the challenge in the face (literally in the mirror) and saying, “Bring it.”
Me: I love those words. I especially love the power that comes through when we decide to take action against limiting beliefs and the realization that we are actually doing, practicing, and thriving. I love the opportunity when I am able to practice close to the front mirror because, during those moments of deep transformation in class, I turn on my internal cheering committee (and close the door on my itty bitty shitty committee), and I just see myself practicing, doing, and being. It’s a great way to honor and focus on what we can do versus what we can’t.
Thanks, girls! See you in class.