Today I hit a milestone – 1000 Bikram yoga classes. The date corresponded with completing exactly four years of practice, an average of 250 classes per year. I wasn’t counting until one day the owner Jill told me I was on class 200; since then I have made calendar ticks to mark my progress.
I would like to say that my 1000th class was unique, but it really wasn’t; we were an easy going Sunday crowd with many familiar faces and a good balance of heat and effort. I managed what I consider a ‘complete’ class’ in that I held every posture, though I am still short of full expression in many poses. Hitting the four digit number did not miraculously stretch my body to new depths.
In a world of seven billion people, individual achievements are constantly eclipsed. At the nearby Andover studio, an elderly woman, Elaine Brody, recently completed 1000 classes in 1000 days! On her milestone day a new practitioner joined the class, to whom Ellen reportedly said, I wish I were you. I can understand what she meant; after 1000 classes the euphoria of the new is gone. I still love Bikram and acknowledge its benefits, but that feeling of walking on a cloud after class, the marionette looseness of my joints, and the incredible thrill of balancing on one perfectly still leg are now an integral part of my regular being. The exhilaration is diminished.
Fortunately, the satisfaction, health, and well-being remain.