I am privileged. Not just, "white American" privileged, but like, "must have been the dalai lama in the last life" privileged. I have an un-imaginably wonderful boyfriend, family and friends. All of whom are also astoundingly interesting people. Doing what I love (graphic design) provides me enough money to live in Chicago, my city of choice, while also leaving me enough time to do other things I love, like yoga.
To top it all off, I have just returned from St. Louis where I had six days of amazing yogi camaraderie. My teacher hosted a group of national competitors (some slated to go to internationals) and Mary Jarvis, a teacher with 29 years of experience with Bikram yoga, for a week of intensive learning and preparation that I refer to as, "MJ and the All-Stars."
Being notified that I could attend was like getting a golden ticket to be backstage at The Oscars; if I liked movies, or TV, or whatever it is that The Oscars promotes. Watching the list of attendees grow I got more and more awestruck…and nervous. I wasn't sure if I could keep up. Nobody expected me to, not even me, but I still wanted to match everything they did, backbend for backbend, push-up for push-up.
I pictured myself on day one trying to pull off a casual, "Uh, you guys keep going. I forgot I left a Tofurkey in the oven…in Chicago." as I slipped out the door.
I am pleased to say that I only missed one round of push-ups the whole week and that was only because I was too busy talking to a new friend to notice that everyone was already in the next set. The scene could have easily been me as a 10 year-old kid at summer camp; too excited about all the new stuff and people to focus on the task at hand.
The beauty of the training was that, like the Bikram Beginning Series, it was equally challenging yet manageable for myself and the h.o.b.* yogis. Or at least I think so. Really, it was hard to tell through all the smiling.
So, now that I have attended the Yoga-Oscars I will proceed to the movie-set itself, the nationals. I am eagerly looking forward to seeing everyone again. Unlike movie stars, when you get to know the All-Stars as actual people the magic isn't ruined, it's deepened. I find it hard to believe that some of these people exist. They are like more patient, kinder, more flexible and stronger versions of humans -- the personality equivalent of tiger-scorpion. And like tiger-scorpion, I'll get there too, I just need time and yoga. A LOT of yoga.