I started something new. Bikram yoga…otherwise known as hot yoga. Until now, yoga and I have not been a fit. Downward dog is not my friend. Though I heard over and over about the wonderful benefits. Though I tried many different teachers and styles, it wasn’t a match for my body.
When I’m working with my clients and they are designing a plan ~ whether it’s a wellness plan, a business strategy or making a dream on their bucket list come true ~ a key step in the process is to research.
So when I decided it was time to gain some flexibility to improve my Argentine Tango, I reached out to friends who had experience with it. I also checked out the resources on the website of the new studio that just opened near me, Bikram Marina del Rey.
It helped me to make sure I had the actual items needed for the class and to prepare mentally for the challenge. The biggest takeaway I learned was the most important thing, especially the first day, is to stay in the room. So that’s the goal I set for myself. Ninety minutes in extreme heat while learning 26 poses. Stay in the room.
It wasn’t easy. About forty minutes in, I felt like I couldn’t breathe. Stay in the room. Stay in the room. It was an internal battle…until I realized I was fighting myself.
I went to Bikram to gain flexibility. The surprise was, just like coaching, the work is both internal and external. Physically there was no compelling reason to need to leave the room. The desire to run was all about my internal thought process.
Certainly, there were times in class I ran into external blocks, tight places in my body or scar tissue from old sports injuries that limited my range of movement. Similarly in coaching, there are external blocks that can stand between a client and their goal. And, like yoga, coaching typically brings us face to face with the internal thoughts that can either stop us or propel us.
And then I got it…fighting to stay in the room was amplifying my desire to run from the room. What if I stopped fighting, I wondered, and shifted my approach to focusing on simply being in the room. Stop resisting the urge to flee; stop thinking about what the cool air of the hallway would feel like when I finally got there and instead come completely into the present moment and be right there in the heat, with my discomfort. And it stopped. The fear, anxiety, resistance all melted away.
What’s possible when we find that place inside where we can just be? Peace, ease and the accomplishment of our goals.