The first time I did yoga I nixed the gateway drug, and dived straight into Bikram. For those of you unfamiliar with the practice, imagine standing in uncomfortable poses for 90 minutes … in hell. While it wasn’t my favorite thing to do, I kept going for as long as my Groupon allowed me to. Because it made me feel healthy. Because, why not? Because … I was depressed.
I stopped going, because my trial expired and I just couldn’t afford it full price. But I started going again about 4 years later. Again, because I had a Groupon. Again, because it made me feel healthy. And again, because I was depressed.
Bikram was able to silence my thoughts. It allowed me to focus only on the present. Not because I was on some spiritual Ghandi type shit. It was because it was hot as fuck, and all I could think of were the poses, water, and not trying to pass out. During shavasana (my favorite pose), where you’re basically lying down on your back I would silently repeat The Serenity Prayer. It never worked, and as soon as I would leave class the anxiety and self-loathing would follow.
Today, I went back to my old studio and did bikram for the first time since 2014. Not because I had a Groupon, and not because I’m currently experiencing a bout of depression. I went … just because. I was a little rusty, but did better than I thought I would. I found myself not being able to hold certain poses as long. I found that my Empower classes were definitely helping me. I found solace. I found my happy.
This time during shavasana, I went straight hippy-dippy-hummus-and-hacky-sack and silently thanked the the universe (or whatever/whoever makes shit happen). I thanked it for the class, for my health, for my amazing bf, for all the good in the world amidst the chaos, and for how far I’ve come since my very first bikram class. I left feeling exhausted, but ecstatic.
Yoga isn’t for everyone. Neither is the gym or meditating. Everyone’s happy is different. Some people find their happy by distancing themselves from people while some find it by diving head first into their social circle. Some get shit-face to find their happy, some go on diets. Some take on a new hobby, some get a rebound. Whatever it is, I truly hope YOU find your happy.
I hope it makes you smile. I hope it makes you feel beautiful. I hope it makes you invincible. I hope it makes you heal. I hope it makes you inspire. I hope it’s EVERYTHING.