If I had a heraldic crest with a motto emblazoned on it, surely that philosophic tagline would be, Do as you wish. For me, that's the thing about freedom: it means I get to do as I wish, you get to do the same. I do what I want to do and don't what I don't. Same goes for you. It's simple.
We're 100% free.
Now that I'm a yoga refugee -- really and truly, I am a yogi without a regular studio or practice or posse for the moment --my heraldic motto is finding expression in checking stuff out, trying on different styles and schools.
Before, I never had any interest in checking anything else out. I was totally satisfied. My eye never wandered.
But since the dissolution of my relationship to Anusara, and now that I've recovered, mostly, from back surgery, I am footloose and fancy-free.
I feel like I felt the day I realized that I was done being vegan after 8 years.
I feel like I felt when I first started practicing yoga almost ten years ago, when the vocabulary and the styles were brand-new to me.
I am no longer bound. I can do whatever I want. Eat whatever I want. Practice whatever I want.
And if I want to do it hot, then damn, so be it.
When I gave up being vegan, I had this sense that I had taken off this corset of rules I'd willingly put on and been held by for so long. I suddenly had this exhilarated sense of my own size, like I could take up more space. And not just because I could eat butter and bacon. That wasn't it at all. Omnivory just felt, to me, like stepping out of the monastery and engaging with all of the complexities of life. Other people can do as they like. But for me, omnivory is better. It feels free.
Do as you wish.
So yeah, I've gotten some feedback about my decision to check out a hot yoga studio. Some of it has been encouraging, but an equal measure has been a bit finger-waggy. As in, this is not healthy, this is not good, this is potentially dangerous. Also an unspoken sense that this is not Real Yoga. This is just a physical practice, you know. It's not Real.
But the deal is that in my newly-unaffiliated-yogic state of unfettered freedom, I am impatient with dogma. All kinds. I just want to practice. I've been so instructed and adjusted for years and years, that that whole dialogue runs inside my mind all the time anyway. So for now, I just want to feel how miraculous it is to have a body that can hold the asanas, take the forms. I just want to feel my own fingers in my own mat.
And I want it in the morning.
I won't lie: one big appeal of the hot power yoga class is that it's at 6:30 am in the morning. The earliness of the class makes my heart totally sing. I can still get up at my Fuck Yeah Early-Early Wake-Up Time, get a little writing and reading done, then get my ass and mat to the studio. When class is done, I can walk out to my car, knowing that I have a whole glorious day ahead of me and that I have already Taken Care of Business where my own self is concerned. That just feels so great. All I need is a shower and some dry clothes and I am Good To Go.
So I'm ignoring the naysayers for now, and withholding my judgment of the tiny outfits that the tremendous heat necessitates, and just taking my place on my mat and practicing.
After all, that's what matters, right? Practice, that's all. Practice doesn't make perfect. Practice, hot or warm or cool, is perfect.