Getting Healthy Will Bleed You Out

Battle scars
Battle scars

I took the 7:00 AM Bikram class this morning. I’ve been practicing now for ten months. The first sixty days, starting basically last November (I think day one was October 29th), I probably went about fifty times. January was still pretty steady. It was real sporadic from February until mid-June, because I was on the road all the time. I still managed maybe one class a week, but I lost a ton of ground (and gained back some fucking weight in the bargain). Since mid-June, though, it’s been an uninterrupted 3x/week practice.

I’m still awful at pretty much every posture, and that is no exaggeration. For like the tenth time (second class in a row) I savaged my calf just trying to grab my ankle for standing bow and proceeded to bleed all over my mat. There’s a gash on my leg from my nails (they’re even trimmed!), and signs of previous gashes. Look at the placement of the wound in the picture. Then realize I’m supposed to be reaching for my ankle! Six months ago for a brief period I could at least grab both ankles. Now I’m lucky to get one.

When the instruction calls for “forehead to — ” it doesn’t matter if it’s knee, shin, thighs, whatever, it will take a chainsaw to get my noggin’ anywhere near. The only instruction that is relevant for me is when it’s “belly on your thighs” because that’s where mine is pretty much just standing upright.

Cobra? Maybe I should call it Python, because I feel like one that just swallowed a cow for the entire series of belly down, spine strengthening postures. On locust one is supposed to lift head, chest, arms, legs off the floor like a 747 taking off. I feel like a dirigible.

So not a lot of progress at making my practice look like it’s supposed to look. But even though I’m frustrated, I still feel pretty good. That’s the idea, right? So I’m keeping after it, at least while there’s still blood in my body. . . .

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Author: Chris

Chris La Tray is a writer, a walker, and a photographer. He is an enrolled member of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians and lives in Missoula, MT.

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