Today I took my final class in Long Beach as a student. Looking around the room, I noticed a few of the regular Saturday 8AM crew, but I also noticed many new faces. Nicole had her hands full with about five brand new people and I couldn't help but wonder how I am going to handle that come July.
This morning also made me reflect on my very first Bikram class. It was Labor Day weekend, 2005, and I finally wandered into the studio I noticed a couple years earlier. Julia was starting preschool, so I now had a couple of mornings a week to myself. That's when I decided to try the yoga Traci raved about. Armed with my mat, water, towels, and the belief I was in pretty good shape from training for two triathlons that summer, I had no idea what a wonderful journey of self-discovery lie ahead of me. First, I had to get over the yogied-out teacher who walked in wearing only a skimpy Speedo. Can anyone say 0% body fat? He didn't crack a smile and he barely acknowledged me as I stood in the back row trying to find a sliver of mirror in which to align myself. I went about my first class entirely the wrong way. I gave it my all, tried every part of every posture, and didn't really pay much attention to my breath. I was down on the floor by Standing Bow wondering what diabolical cult I stumbled upon. Everyone else seemed to almost like what they were doing while I was blown away at how difficult every posture seemed. There had to be something wrong with me, or everyone else was just drinking the Cool Aid! Of course, I came back for more the very next day and within a couple of weeks, I retired my running shoes and Bikram yoga became my primary form of exercise.
The bags are packed and sitting by the back door. I just put my kids to bed and the reality of my leaving is becoming more evident by the minute. Completing this teacher training and become a Bikram instructor is going to make me a better person, mother, wife, and friend in ways I won't fully grasp until much later and I'm really looking forward to the journey. I have an amazing support system and I'm grateful for every person in that support system. I have to start with Dan who has always been in my corner when it comes to personal growth. I also have Ryan and Julia who are rooting for Mom to do well. I hope I can be a role model for them and teach them that hard work and dedication pay off. I also hope they learn that their vocation can also become their avocation if they love what they do enough. Then there are the three wonderful, beautiful and strong women who make up the other parts of our furious teacher training foursome: Colleen, Claudia, and Haesook. Lastly, there's the BYLB family that's been very helpful to us in immeasurable ways: The teachers - Rosario, Nicole, Jeremy, Mayu, Challyn, Vicki, Wendy, Anna Marie and Cindy. The fellow students are too many to name, but you know who you are!
It's time to let everything else go and become a student once again. It's almost like going back to college, but instead of beer and parties, it will be electrolyte-replacement water and dialogue clinics! It's not quite the same, but I welcome the new challenges that begin tomorrow.