This past week was just crazy with intensity. Some good, some bad - but undeniable intensity! Though I didn't have any massive breakthroughs (and I'm not sure if I'm happy or sad about that, so I'll stay ambivalent for now), a few around me did, and I want to tell you about my experience of them in those moments. Just keep in mind it's not like this here every day! It was a week where a lot of stuff bubbled up for a lot of people.
One friend had a breakthrough class during Bikram's killer Thursday afternoon class (the hot one with no air circulating). It was the one where many people left, more than have in ages. In this case, she went to the back of the room because she felt herself getting light headed and needed Pedialyte, and Craig told her to go into the lobby, she said, "No Boss, No." He replied, "Don't you every disobey me again" and then gestured for her to sit down in the room, telling her to stay put there (in the room though) and not return to her mat. But, he walked away and another staff person told her she could (sneaky girl) and so she went back, and then really, really started to break down. Electrolytes off, emotional release, who knows, but she was blacking out, contracted in her hands and could barely walk when Craig had to go and scoop her off her mat at Bikram's direction.
When she went out, this time Craig telling her it was no longer up to her, she said she started to heave and sob in her chest. Craig sat with her and coached her through - told her "these are your demons, and you have to let them out. Run away and they will keep chasing you and you will have to keep running. Just let it go here and now while you're hot and sweaty and ready." She said the noises were something she had never heard out of herself - not a cry, not a wail - more guttural and unlike anything she'd experienced before. When she started to 'sober up' Craig saw it, and told her "No, don't think. Don't push this away. This is it!" She continued to let it come out, and felt an enormous emotional release; and she was not sure of and not even needing to put a label on it or understand it afterwards, which I found super impressive. To me, honestly, she looked like a different person and I was really excited for her; and the story made me love this particular aspect of Craig more than I did before.
Another one was a girl who had an amazing class on Thursday - the same (horrible for many) class referenced above - she said "Afterwards, I was vibrating!" Since I too had had a good class amongst many who didn't, she and I had talked about our experiences. Then on Friday morning, I practiced near her for Zeb's class (with Craig at our heels), and at the end, Zeb played a song ("Hooked on a Feeling") which made her start to cry. And then sob. And sob. She was ok, it was totally emotional but she did start to cramp up a little, though Pedialyte again saved the day. She later told me, "I don't know why, but that song made me think of all these things I've done wrong and question 'why did i do that!?' but at the same time I felt it all fly out of my chest, I felt free of it all!" And while we rubbed her cramped up hands and feet, she just kept smiling as big as anything and saying, "I feel so free. I feel so free!"
Big stuff. Especially when my only notable excitement this week is that my rash didn't spread.
I can't help but be amazed by these stories and others like them, especially when you actually bear witness to these turning points, these beautiful moments of growth - sometimes subtle, sometimes massive spurts. This is why I love this yoga. You don't have to come here and do this crazy thing to have life-changing impacts. But in this concentrated environment, it's pretty profound to watch and absorb the minutia of change and growth. Not everyone is guaranteed an overt moment like the ones I've described above - but whether it's big or small, we are all in some kind of motion here!
Class #75! Dinner out at Zibu, the "MexTai" place - it was Asian, which was exciting! Not exactly the Thai food I know and love, but gorgeous presentation and stunning atmosphere.