Starting is hard. Being in the first class, alone, is the hardest thing I have done. I remember my first class, a Sunday Bikram class on Hancock St, San Diego, and it was probably the summer of 2006. My neighbor took me, but when you step on the mat, you are alone. It’s you and your conscience. It’s you and your judgments.
A total stranger touches you, and that is very weird because we live in a society where we need personal space. A total stranger is talking to a huge group of people, yet it’s kinda talking to my soul. This stranger is looking at my body, at my imperfections and notices when my mind is wandering off the mat for a split second.
I am trying not to look too hard at anyone, although I have to copy people every single minute. I am trying to keep up with the breathing, with the pace, with the heat. I have no idea what’s next. I think we just started, but it could have been an hour already. I am trying to shut down my thoughts. I am trying to focus on how I feel. I am trying to focus on her voice. I am trying not to focus on what the mirror tells me.
I get up. We are done. My eyes are searching for the teacher everywhere. She is nowhere to be found. I don’t want to be the weird person asking where she is. I don’t want to be the weird person that can’t even remember her name. I really need to talk to her, but she is not there. I need to look her in the eyes and she is not there. How dare she change my life forever and just disappear?
She will never remember me and I will never know her name.
So many times I wanted to thank a teacher after class, give them a hug, look them in the eyes for a split second. For all of you, that I could not find, that I could not reach in time, that I could not remember a name, THANK YOU.