In September, 2008 I slept. No, I mean I slept for the month of September. I took about 4 hot tubs a day, ate and slept. To walk the dogs around the block was a big endeavor. In Portland, it’s easy to fall into a stupor in the Fall. But it was more of a depression state that I’ve been dealing with all of my life that had me so lackadaisical. When I checked my Body Mass Index (BMI), it said that I was bordering on obesity. My doctor said I should do something. So I started going to Bally’s and really had a hard time doing a big workout. So I tried a yoga class one night. The only other time I’d taken yoga was when I was 18 in community college. At the time my friend and I would smoke a bunch of weed and go roll around on the floor laughing while people did funny poses in awkward positions. The Bally’s yoga class wasn’t quite the workout I needed but I felt very good after the classes. It took until September, 2010 for me to really begin to get a sense of what yoga had to offer.
My girlfriend had been doing Bikram hot yoga for about a year and had always warned me that while I’d feel good, I’d hate it because it was an intense, crowded, hot scene where the floor stank of sweat and the teachers yelled at you. She attended a workshop with author Darren Main (Yoga and the Path of the Urban Mystic) at a place called Core Power Yoga. Darren came out to the house to do a podcast interview with me, which you can find on iTunes and of course here at the12stepbuddhist.com. So they both sang the praises of this Core Power Yoga studio and said that I should go. So a bit later I followed their advice and walked into a class called Hot Power Fusion – a mix of Vinyasa flow, Power Yoga and Bikram style.
The Core Power Yoga studio in NW Portland was packed with sweating, half naked, beautiful people. I fell over about six times trying to keep up. The heat was unbearable. I had to lay on the ground to catch my breath. But something kept pushing me back up to join the class. Call it pride, call it internal drive. Call it what you will but the motivation took hold of me. I powered through the class – something that I’ve since discovered is the exact opposite of a good way to go. I felt very proud of myself and quite amazing after. I decided that day that there was no way I was going to let yoga kick my ass. I was going back. I signed up for the free week that Core Power Yoga offers to all newcomers. That was the beginning of a monumental change in my life. Next time I’ll talk a little about how I became a certified yoga instructor, lost a bunch of weight and became a different person. Until then.