Yesterday I decided rather last minute, after waffling back and forth all day, that I would go to hot yoga before my 9pm improv show. I have to confess that I haven’t been regularly committing to my yoga practice in the last two weeks. I’ve been skipping sessions left and right. It’s nothing to beat myself up about, but it’s made me notice how important it is for me to maintain a regular yoga practice because my body gets all kinds of kinks and aches otherwise. (My back has been killing me for a solid week.) For me, a good yoga session has the ability to make me feel like I just had an incredible massage.
Ever since I decided that Bikram Yoga wasn’t quite my thing, I’ve been getting my hot yoga fix at a place called Yoga to the People, which offers a hot vinyasa yoga class for a mere $5. You just can’t beat that. I love the class – it’s an hour long, the teachers are always good and I leave feeling like I had an amazing workout every time.
Last night’s class in particular really struck a chord with me – I loved it. I was in heaven from beginning to end – I was loving the music, I enjoyed every pose we did, and even though I was struggling a bit more than I normally would have, I could just feel my body benefiting from each movement. It was like a wonderful spa day, all in an hour. It’s incredible that yoga has the ability to do that for people, and I know I’m not alone in this – people report feeling like they just spent a day relaxing on the beach after a good yoga class, even a hard one that leaves you feeling sweaty and shaky.
The teacher last night was great. He was so cheerful and relaxed, cracking some hilarious jokes from time to time and really allowing us all to feel how fun, easy and still empowering all this hard work could be. He was also really big on encouraging us to listen to our bodies and to only do a particular pose if we wanted to. At one point he instructed us to do something and then he said, “Or not. If you don’t want to do it, if you don’t feel like doing it right now, don’t do it! Why the hell would you? It’s HOT in here!” And a huge laugh erupted in the room – the tension from all of us struggling to contort our bodies through the heat lifted away after that and it felt like everyone was having a great time. He’s a good teacher. And of course, I loved the message about only doing what you feel like doing. It applies to more than yoga.
At the end of each class at this studio, they always read a quote or a poem. I was hot, sweaty, exhausted and feeling raw and emotional at the end of class last night and I was moved by what he read. I’d actually never heard it before, but a quick Google search led me to discover that it’s a pretty popular piece. Forgive me if you’ve heard it before.
Do It Anyway
People are often unreasonable,
illogical and self centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind,
people may accuse you of selfish or ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful,
you will win some false friends and true enemies;
If you are honest and frank,
people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building,
someone could destroy overnight;
If you find serenity and happiness,
they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today,
people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have,
and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis,
it is between you and God
It was never between you and them anyway.