Hot yoga is a challenge. In so many ways.
First, it's hot. Obviously. That implies many things. You will sweat, more than you think. But since I grew up hot and humid in Houston, thats the least of my worries.
Second, you are really close to people. I can touch the people next to me at all times. Some would find that fact ooogy. But since I like people and I'm a touchy person, I'm cool there too.
Third, you're practically naked. That sounds weird. But when class starts, your focus switches to survival, and you can't possibly focus on your clothes - let alone anyone else's.
But after a few classes, the heat and the closeness and the lack of clothing all fade into the background, leaving me with one final challenge:
Listening is key. You are in a room with close to 40 other people, moving at the same time, as the instructor talks through twenty-six postures in ninety minutes. For me, that is a really long time to stay focused.
When I let my mind wander for a moment, I hear things like, "Put your Artist Ghetto Hands palm down." What?! My Artist Ghetto Palms? What is she trying to say?!? We're almost finished with the posture before I can even understand what the instructor is trying to tell me.
But that makes me think... How often have I failed to really hear what a friend is telling me? How many messages have I misread from loved ones, or strangers? How many times have I been too wrapped up in something as mundane and unimportant as my grocery list, and failed to hear an urgent message?
"Artist, ghetto palms of hands." It may sound weird to you, but it means so much to me. When I listen and truly hear, I'm blown away by how the simplest things mean so much.
Savasana. Corpse Pose.
Heart pounding, recovering from a posture that raises my pulse. My mind moves to my Beautiful Creator. He who put that pounding heart where it pulsates. Beats at such a rate that my mind is boggled, once again. This body, the body he created, is amazing. My body. His Temple. He is in me and I worship. I worship my pounding heart. Miraculous it is. Simple. But so miraculous.
But in my busyness and noise, how often have I failed to hear Him? Failed to even listen? How much have I missed from Him?
From my husband?
From my children?
But the moment is also exciting. I get excited as I realize that I have had my ears turned down too low, and resolve that it wont happen any more! I'm am taking in all I can. All the silly stories from the boys. All the joyful, supersonic squeals from my littlest ones. All the high-speed daily downloads from my oldest girl. The sweet whispers of love from my husband's lips. The voice of my precious Jesus. I want to hear it all.
And when I'm listening...I'm amazed. Stunned at the beauty. The beauty of hearing.