i went from doing every pose, keeping good form...well, as best as I can at this point in my practice and feeling strong and aligned with my new mantra..."I am a good student." I fell asleep that night with that sentence swirling in my head, ever empty moment between what i had to do the next day and thoughts about what I might have on my new list for the blog...like the mortar between my busy thoughts was "I am a good student." Something about that statement is so satisfying to me, so simple, so comforting. All you have to do is follow instructions well and it is true.
i woke up the next day and my body ached. I was exhausted. I didn't do every pose, not even close. and what's worse, I didn't care. I didn't care if i was a good student. what? it's true, i just laid there in pure bliss to be resting in a hot room melting into the floor. The only annoyance was the teacher's voice coaching the other students to go deeper, push harder into each pose. it seemed so loud and intrusive. i was certainly not following instructions...not well, not at all.
That night, I came home and i went straight to bed. still achy. still bitter. but happy to feel my body on my bed. during the night, my body released sweat like I was still on my mat in the 105 degree yoga studio. I awoke in the middle of the night with my whole shirt drenched, my blankets wet from contact with me. I was too tired to care. I didn't get up and change, I just drifted off back to my damp sleep. In the morning I felt achy again and so slow. I thought maybe I was getting sick. Could I make it to yoga? I walked home from my kid's school where I spent the morning volunteering, which got my mind off of myself and gave me the glimpse of hope that I could get through the day. I was so sad too...on the verge of tears, constantly and for no reason. I went to yoga at noon, just because of the 30 day challenge, not because I wanted to. I was prepared to greet myself however I showed up that day...good student or bad. I was too tired and too sad to care.
It was one of the hottest classes I have had in a while. When the poses came where we had to stand on the red carpet, the carpet was hot beneath the soles of my feet. When I laid my body down into savasana to rest, my mat and towel were hot to the touch. I did rest more than usual that day, but you know what? so did some of my teachers that were practicing that day. what a comfort. we all need to rest sometimes...maybe there are no bad students. (ok, I still have a hard time with that, cause sometimes people talk during class and that just is NOT cool.) You just never know where people are, or where you may be mentally and physically every day you step onto your yoga mat.
I chatted with one of my teachers after class that day and he asked me how many days I had left of the challenge. I shared my experience with feeling like I was getting sick and sweating in my sleep and he said it was because my metabolism was increasing and that I should eat a lot of food. super! I LOVE food. If you have been reading for a while, you may remember my revelation about being the person that loves food the most on earth. yeah. I ate a ton of food last night. I don't know if a burger and fries were what he had in mind...but they were soooo good. I love the burgers and fries at Smith.
so, being the good student that i am, i heeded my sage teacher's advice. I ate the whole god-damn thing. and you know what? I feel so much better today. My body is still a little sore. but I went to class this morning (day 27!!!) and it was just a regular ole class. not good, not bad.
where do these labels we give to ourselves, to our practice, to our relationships, to our jobs...where do they get us? Do we really need things to fit into labels; good and bad. Will meditation help to lessen the burden of these small words. Is it possible to raise my children in a climate that doesn't reinforce the culture of good and bad that I feel I was raised in? what life experiences push us into longing to be the good student, or giving up and reveling in the bad student role? How do we get to be truly just as we are.