Recently there has been a wave of positive acknowledgement regarding my posture. The way I sit or stand hasn’t been something I consciously thought about for decades. As an adolescent I must have suffered from the “tallest person in the class” syndrome and probably slouched a bit so I wouldn’t stand out so much. I remember my mother telling me constantly to stand up straight and to have good posture, so I did as I was told. Then puberty hit and all that comes with it. Once I blossomed instead of hearing positive acknowledgements about my posture I got wind of the catty comments from some peers of “she’s just walking around sticking out her chest for attention.” Meow.
Paying attention to my posture came in hand this past week when I decided to kick off the month of April with an unlimited week of Bikram yoga. It’s been almost three years since I’ve taken a hot yoga class and I am so glad I treated and “tortured” myself to 7 straight days of the practice. 105 degree room. 90 minutes. 26 postures. Even though you perform the same postures each class, no two classes are the same because your body is different each day. The postures are challenging especially based on your body type and if you have any previous injuries. I don’t have the greatest knees and due to my torso I feel like I am breast feeding myself during some of the poses, but I do the best that I can with what I bring to the mat. The biggest hurdle for people is the heat. You are faced with the mind over matter experience and dealing with your fight or flight response. Remaining still in between the postures while sweating profusely and breathing deeply only through your nose is a test within itself. Overcoming the urge to flee and staying to fight through the next pose is what the practice of Bikram teaches you. This is a lesson that is carried outside the yoga studio. Even though my hair was “wrecked” for the week, the benefits outweigh having fly looking hair. Last week I was calmer, more focused and centered. I slept better and I stopped craving sweets. I’d say those are great reasons to stand up tall. Namaste.