I need it 3 times a week, minimum. I’d do it every day if I could. My husband, Jason, is more than happy to oblige. Happy wife, happy life, he says.
It’s the same every time, and you’d think that it would become routine and perhaps monotonous after so long, but it doesn’t.
The mirrored room, that originally intimidated me, now offers familiarity, an introduction to a person I hadn’t truly known, but with whom now there is an in-depth and comfortable intimacy.
Soon the breath becomes deeper, longer, intoxicating. Within minutes the mild dizziness begins, an airiness that is both pleasant and a little un-nerving at the same time – a slight loss of control.
My fingers and toes tingle as though filled with tiny bubbles, and I know that soon, I will be on my way to my own kind of heaven. The place we all need to visit more often.
The breath changes and my body heats up as though smouldering coals are deep inside. My skin warms and the first trickle of sweat works its way from the nape of my neck, over the collarbone and around the curve of my breast. It then slides its way, silently, gathering speed as it falls the entire length of my body.
That one drop of sweat is replaced by another, and another and another until there are tens of little rivulets of briny wetness making paths around a warmed, limbered body.
The urge to stretch, contract, reach, curl up and extend cannot be denied any longer. My body is on the brink of release. The next position both challenges and rewards me. It hurts a little, and requires more patience, perseverance, concentration and balance than I usually have to give.
The release is coming.
We change position, and while it is always in the same order, it offers me a sense of change that I cannot find anywhere else.
Eventually we stop, for a short rest. A moment in time where I can focus purely on the breath, on the magic that is coursing around my body and on nothing else. Nothing, just being purely in the moment that is now. The only now there will ever be.
I flip over and lay face down to take on the most intense positions – the ones where I get to take flight. Backward bends against the force of gravity that leave me exhausted, exhilarated, stronger than ever.
The end is near. My body is hot, my mind is calm, my stress is gone, my muscles fluid Mercury, and I am ready for the final release. The sweat runs off me, long ago saturating what little material I wear. My hair has reverted to curls under the dampness and my spirit is glowing like a star on a moonless night.
It is here. Now. This is it. My spine twists like a pearl necklace, one pearl stacked upon the other, as I am filled with gratitude for the strong, resilient body I’ve nurtured.
The final rest is where it all comes together – my mind, my body, my spirit, my energy are all reunited. It is my heaven, my inner-sanctum, my escape, where the only thing that matters is the breath. There is no yesterday, no today and no tomorrow. No worries. No responsibilities. And most of all, no fear. This is the room where I learn to become fearless, where I shed everything that holds me back.
Ninety minutes in a forty degree room, practising the divine torture that is Bikram Yoga.
And all you dirty minded beasts thought I was talking about sex!