I am super proud of my roommate because she came down to his class with me and did ALL the postures. She's only done maybe 10 Bikram classes in her life, and those were back in Sept/Oct in the studio in our town, which is much less intense than HQ. I thought she did AWESOME, and it was fun to have her there! We hung out on the beach at Santa Monica after we finished class and stopped at a juice bar, and we had fun lying around recapping the funny moments from class. I liked her reaction to Bikram: she said that she could understand now why I say his classes are hard, because when he says to do something, you just have to do it. No Choice. Obviously, I parked my mat up in the front row with a couple of my L.A. buddies and just worked my butt off. I think my heart started pounding sometime during standing head to knee and didn't really slow down until the final savasana. It was great.
Took class back at my home studio at 10am this morning and pretty much just wanted to lie down for a nap during half moon, but kept on trucking through til the end. Then I did something new (for me). I never practice by myself, but the studio was empty until 4pm, and I had to be back there at 4 to work the desk, so I figured I'd just stay and practice by myself. I hadn't done the advanced series in maybe 7 weeks (!!! I used to do it every week), I really want to go to the seminar in June, and Bikram's class definitely made me notice that I am NOT as conditioned as I will need to be to pull that off!
So yes - don't try this at home kids - I went ahead and tried the sequence of 84 on my own. And it was actually really productive and I'm really glad I did it. I definitely took it easy and felt things out - I've been working with my own body for long enough that I know how to avoid hurting myself. So I just did the best I could and kept moving, and it felt GREAT to finally take my body through that full range of motion again. I made all sorts of discoveries along the way. I always forget how symbiotically the beginning and advanced series feed into each other. One example: I'd been noticing that my tree pose seems to be worse (i.e. tighter) than it used to be. Well, the tree pose position is basically the warm-up for lotus, and in the advanced series there's a whole sequence of maybe 10 postures done sitting in lotus. So that's where my knees and ankles had been opening up when I did advanced all the time - and doing the lotus series again today, it was VERY obvious that they've tightened up again. So that's fine. I'm really glad to have that information because it lets me be honest with myself and understand what's going on in my body. And I have to say, I'm not even really too bothered about it (which is weird). It's just like... ok, I used to be at point B or C, and now I'm back at point A. But I've gotten from point A to point B before, and I know how I did it, and it wasn't that bad, and it shouldn't take that long to do it again. So now I kinda know where I'm at, and I'm cool with it, and I think (hope!) in a couple of months I can strengthen and open the things that need to be strengthened and opened, and then I can keep learning and moving forward.
And with all that said, I don't think my practice is TOO far from where I left it. A few poses were depressing, a few were actually right where I left them, and the rest were just ok, not my best but not hideous either.
Now I am sleepy. And this post seems to be nothing but ramblings about my own practice, but oh well. Too sleepy to come up with a thesis. Hope no one fell asleep.
The operation was successful, all of the patients are dead!
Edit to add: OH! I knew there was something I forgot. I hung around after class and got Bikram to sign both of my yoga books - the orange cover "Hot Yoga" and my copy of "Bikram's Beginning Yoga Class." It made me feel like a tourist but he was sweet. He asked how to spell my name and then wrote "TO DEAR JULIANA, LOVE + PEACE, BIKRAM 4-18-09" and took up the entire page. Hee! Then he surprised the heck out of my roommate by stroking my face (yep) and blowing her a kiss. Very affectionate, that man...