I peeled myself off of bed at 6AM to work. With the rains pouring since yesterday, swim and bike were definitely cancelled. Instead, I dragged myself to Bikram Yoga at 930AM. I felt mentally and physically exhausted. Just one of those gloomy days BOTH when you look out the window and into your weary soul.
I sluggishly laid my mat on the floor in a room full of half-naked women and a couple of men who curiously always look like they are at peace. I thought to myself: I bet all they ever answer to reckless bus drivers, rude clients, or selfish friends is: “Namaste” then they smile. It didn’t help that everyone in the room also looked 10 times more flexible than I am.
Even if I was seated beside a fellow runner, I felt out of place. How does a competitive, driven, stubborn, and forever on-the-go individual like me become more like them? How do I teach myself to slow down, sit still, and silence my mind? How do I find my peace…at least for the next hour and a half?
The instructor entered the room and began the class. I stared at myself in the mirror trying my best to inhale positive vibes and exhale the trash out of my body and mind. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale.
I went about the various positions much like a fish out of water. My tight hamstrings would shake uncontrollably every time I tried to stretch them. My quads were wobbly, still tired from all the running I did all week.
It was getting hotter inside the crowded room. Worse, my mind was getting bored. Every now and then, I would glance at the clock overhead. 45 more minutes…30 more minutes…it was like a countdown to freedom.
Then, as if the instructor was reading my mind, she said: “The room is hot and uncomfortable. You can’t change that. Focus on your breathing. Focus on what you can change. Change your MIND.”
Change your MIND.
Those three lines struck me to the core. I took it to heart and relented.
Suddenly, the room wasn’t hot at all. I felt like could go on focusing on my yoga rather than waiting for the session to end. In a snap, my worries diminished. Even if it was still gloomy outside, the dark cloud hanging over my head had disappeared.
The next time you think that you’ll never lose the last 5 lbs., that it’s impossible to do a marathon, that you’re going to die with all the work, or that you’re having the worst day compared to everyone else, all you really have to do is change your mind and plod on forward.