face your challenges.

“You are the fearless.” These were the first few words Edith said to the class. Then followed up with “I must’ve scared everyone else off last week.” Some people laughed while I immediately got tense amidst the sweltering 90+ degree room thinking what the hell happened last week?

I really didn’t have an idea what I signed up for. I just knew it was a hot yoga 1.5 hour session.  The style? No clue. The teacher? Didn’t even glance.

Sometimes I don’t like to prep myself up for a workout.  I rarely look to see what a WOD is posted, going in with the intention to adapt to whatever I’ll be in store for.  This class was no different.

The room wasn’t that packed, maybe 15 people at the most; a few guys, majority women.  Maybe the rest of the room knew what was about to happen? I still had no clue.

After lying in shavasana for about five minutes, she turns up her iPod to a mix of energetic, yet ambient music that immediately sets the tone for the rest of the 85-minute class. The sounds of heavy, but steady breathing complimented the intensity of the music, and it was invigorating.

We went through a series of chaturanga into upward and downward dogs, leaping to the front of the mat going into swan dives and repeating this cycle - all to the pace of the powerful music.

She gave us a break once we’ve all got the flow of the movements down, to challenge us into leaping properly, and falling into chaturanga skipping the plank.

These breaks in between each set of cycles challenged us further.  To make that first leap, to hold that pose for 5 more breaths, to ripping off the band-aid so to speak, and performing (and holding) the wheel pose for about 8 deep breaths. Three times.  She pushed all of us to go after each thought of “I don’t think I can do/hold this pose” and helped us improve.  With her help, I did my first handstand and held it for two seconds.  Maybe it was three. [Cues Aubrey Graham: “When’s the last time you did something for the very first time?”]

Today marks exactly one year since I’ve started publishing (most of) what I write.  Reflecting on my first post, I can say that I’ve made some life-changing decisions and have continued to be up for a challenge.  Whether it’s been self-imposed or brought on by a coach, make that leap towards it.  The result, for me at least, has been a feeling of openness, accomplishment and just being bad-ass.  And yes, being fearless too.