My birthday is coming up. I'm going to be 25. Do you remember all of the things you promised your fifteen-year-old-self you were going to accomplish by the time you turned 25?
I was going to be married, with a baby, working and looking fierce in my Louis Vuitton and Loubs.
Reality check, much? Priorities have shifted, life's milestones have shifted. 25 is really all about being in this moment.
But it's hard to live in the moment. It's hard not to lust after material items and wish for a bigger apartment, a bigger wardrobe, a bigger wallet, a bigger opportunity. Sometimes, you really can convince yourself that the grass is greener.
During the last year of my life, I've made a real effort to live in the moment. My mantra, "Ego says once, everything falls into place, I'll find peace. Spirit says, find peace, then everything will fall into place." I'll admit, I have failed more times than I can count. But, I've been able to start all over again- and I truly believe that yoga is the reason.
I've been a Bikram Yoga Cleveland student for a year at my 25th birthday, and I have enjoyed almost every moment of it. I've learned so many things in that 110 degree room about myself, about others, about living in this moment.
Bikram is a 26 posture, 90 minute moving meditation. It's hard, it's hot and yes--sometimes it really smells. But, Bikram is entirely about ego.
Your ego will get in the way of you mastering a posture, your ego will ruin your Savasana or make you drink water before Camel. In that room, you have to be your rawest self, vulnerable and open, and you have to be dedicated to pushing yourself to the most uncomfortable places in your body and then trusting that you, on your own, can breath yourself back into comfort. One day you will have the best practice you've ever had, and the next- you can't silence the thoughts in your head long enough to notice that the entire class is in Cobra, and you've been in Locust.
It's a challenge every single day I take class to be there, and no where else. To dedicate 90 minutes to myself and my mental and physical health. It's a challenge for me to accept when I am in my best expression of the posture, and not the full expression of the posture. But, it's comforting to know that I can come back tomorrow and try it all over again.
Do I think it's for everyone? No. But, it's been the best thing for me and my body and mind in my endless pursuit of focusing on this moment. What's most important, is not how I may decide to work on this part of myself versus you. What's important is the active effort we all should put in- ensuring we are embracing the present and ourselves- and realizing through this continuous journey that the grass is-in fact- green right where it's watered.
And that takes time and effort, patience and resilience.
Happy first birthday, Bikram. Year two awaits...