Leave your shoes at the door..

September 26, 2008

It’s an instruction we give everyone who comes to the studio, right?  Leave your shoes outside the room.  Respect the space.  It’s a common sign of respect all over the world.  Shoes are filthy things that we wear to protect our feet.  Taking them off is a sign of respect

But for me, as Bikram taught last night, this simple request is also a great metaphor for how I should approach this Training, and my practice.  Leave your shoes at the door.  Leave everything you know, everything you believe, everything you thought you had learned at the door.  Take off those filthy shoes, that old knowledge, that stale faith, and just leave it at the door.  Come into the hot room with a clean slate, a fresh mind, and a willing heart.  The hot room is a metaphor for the entire training, and the postures are a metaphor for the process we go through here as we purify, purge, and process all the junk we’ve been carrying around all of our lives.

I woke up this morning, NO – I went to bed last night, completely discouraged, exhausted, ready to get the hell outta here.  Late nights, early mornings, endless lectures, movies, YOGA, heat, sweat, eating, showering, laundry….  It adds up fast.  Add to that the anxiety and homesickness, and well, you get the picture.

But what Bikram was saying, I believe, laaaate last night in lecture was that this whole thing is about me letting go and just doing it.  Shut up Karen.  Remember?  In the last blog?  Remember the conversation I had in Ulysses’ class?  Yeah.  Shut up brain.  Breathe, take off your filthy shoes and get on the mat.

Expectations are my enemy right now.  Because no matter how hard I try to prepare, whatever expectations I have set up for myself end up making me miserable.  The only way I can be free is to open my mind and let go.  So this morning, I woke up, had myself a good cry on my terrace watching the sun rise and just let go.  It doesn’t matter.  But once I let it go, I could move on.  I got up, washed my laundry out, changed, and walked down into the dungeon hot room.  It doesn’t matter.  All we have to do is leave our shoes at the door.

Edit:  After some careful introspection, and some input from my readers, I have decided to no longer refer to the yoga room as the dungeon.  I think you know why 😉