all walks of life meet in the hot room to sweat it out together. we agree to follow the seemingly impossible directions of the instructor, as fully as our bodies allow. living right on the edge of discomfort, right on the edge of pain, pushing ourselves as far as we can without falling over into injury or exhaustion. i love extreme asana practice--bikram, power, ashtanga, if there's sweat and major challenge involved, i'm there. for me, it's about wringing out all the organs and tissues of my body and letting fresh blood flow in, also wringing out my limitations and emotions to gain a fresh perspective. i tend to stagnate and get muddy if left to my own devices, and this practice cleans me up and clears me out. there's something about the class atmosphere that really helps me to work as hard as i can. if i'm by myself, i'm way too lazy and can find any excuse in the world to quit or do less. in the room with all those other people, i'm commited to the practice. i'm there for 90 minutes come hell or high water and i might as well do my best. seeing others in varying stages of their practice is inspiring. someday i want to be the old lady who has great muscle tone in her arms and doesn't bat an eye at a headstand.
most of all, i do the practice to stay sane, to experience my body and mind as a unified whole, to realize it's always new. each moment flows into the next, and this IS my life. it's all happening now.