So you’re in your gear, you’ve skipped breakfast (but not your coffee, that would just be asking too much!) you’ve packed your mat and your water and your towel and you’re off!
As you open the door and head up the teeny staircase into the land of the bikram I hope, as I was, that you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the beauty of the building. They have done an absolutely fabulous job of making it look pretty, calm and inviting. It’s a character-type old building with great hardwood floors, lovely lighting and the sound of water trickling quietly in the corner. When you reach the top of the stairs you will remove your flip flops and tuck them under the bench. There is a front desk just like at any gym with a super kind instructor just waiting to help you get in. Everyone I’ve met there is incredibly helpful and makes you feel welcome and very unloserlike (yes. I did just invent that word. Sure. You can borrow it!) for not knowing what you’re doing!
Once you’re in, even if you have to go to the bathroom or fill up your water, go into the yoga room and lay out your mat close to the door. This simply ensures you a spot and in case you need to leave the room you’ll be the least disruptive!
The bathrooms and change rooms are super clean. Which is even more important to me than looking pretty. But they’re both. Bonus!
Once you’re in the yoga room there is no talking. At first I thought this was weird. Normally when I’ve taken a class at a gym you sit and gab with whoever is around you (or whoever will listen!!) until it begins. But there isn’t even a whisper in the room. People are stretching quietly or simply laid out flat on their backs on there mats. It was awkward the first time for me only because I am a doer. If I’m up and awake then something must need to be done! Taking the time to just lay seemed so weird. I was fidgety and kept opening my eyes to make sure I wasn’t the only one in the room still just laying there. I may have watched a bit too much candid camera in my life!
Anyways, now I embrace the silence and the time to just lay in quiet. As a Christian I take this time to pray, to meditate on a specific truth of scripture or just to simply fill my mind with how big and great my God is. It’s such a great way to start the class. Part of yoga’s roots were founded on meditation. Now I know some people will get up in arms about that and how you could possibly go and meditate while practicing yoga. But we’re told to meditate on scripture. We’re told to pray unceasingly. So I firmly believe that, while I’m not practicing the traditional yoga meditation of emptying your mind, I’m practicing God centered meditation where I am emptying my mind of me and filling it with more of Him. I think this is time well spent!
Okay, I have just a few more tips but they’ll have to be for tomorrow!