If I haven’t already told all of you, Yoga Bootcamp was f-ing HARD!!! I still can’t believe I didn’t escape after the first day (more about that later). But the question a lot of people keep asking me is, Why did you go? Now, that’s a perfectly logical question and I should have a perfectly logical answer to it. But I don’t. Deciding to go to Yoga Bootcamp was one of the VERY few impulsive things I’ve done in my adult life.
Which is why, a few days before I leave for Hawaii, I’m flat on my back in my sleeping bag in my tent in my living room which I have been practicing putting up and taking down since I’ve never put up a tent before, EVER, have only been camping twice in my life, and am, much to my dismay, finding it NOT getting easier the more I practice. And I know that if I have to set it up late at night in a tropical storm–which could happen since I arrive late the first night and it is tropical storm season–I’m doomed.
But I’m still in my living room at that moment, my supplies (including two 18.4 ounce cans of powdered electrolyte drink mix powder that everyone MUST bring to ward off hospitalization, as per the warning on the camp website) spread from the arm of my favorite overstuffed chair to the edge of the squishy sofa. I read my list with my headlamp (more practice for realistic conditions) for the tenth time: tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, flashlight, alarm clock, bug spray, rain coat, enough yoga clothes for eight days, 2 to 3 changes a day. What am I thinking? This is so not me. The camping part. The doing something that I don’t know much about part. The leaving my family for 8 days part. I close my eyes and try to picture sleeping in it for a week and begin to panic a bit. More. If that’s possible. And I realize, I haven’t really thought this going to Yoga Bootcamp thing through. Other than staring at and clicking through the website, talking (briefly) to my yoga teacher who attended two bootcamps in the past couple of years and said it was the most life-altering experience of her life and that I MUST go but didn’t exactly say why and I didn’t probe. And that’s it. Maybe I’m thinking that I think through things too much and end up talking more than doing. Maybe I want to break that pattern.
So when I mentioned the idea to my husband to make sure he would be okay with me leaving him with the kids alone for 8 days and he said sure and I filled out the application (leaving out my health scare since I worried they wouldn’t admit me if I revealed it and also not wanting to go as the woman who recently had cancer, even though lying is one of the major yoga yama no-no’s, not to mention that I ended up telling a lot of people about it once I got there, once we were forced to “share” but I’m getting ahead of my story) and the girl from the main studio in Cambridge called to say I was in and by the way they didn’t have any more rooms available so I’d have to camp for the week and I hung up the phone and called my husband and said, “I’m going to Yoga Bootcamp,” and he said, “What is that?” I couldn’t blame him. His response merely underscored how often I’ve said I was going to do something, wanted to do something, meant to do something. But didn’t.
But sitting in my tent in my living room reading my list, I wonder, what am I thinking? Why am I voluntarily going to do something described as physically and emotionally and mentally grueling? I’m not a yoga teacher other than informally teaching yoga to family and friends and while I like yoga I’m not that good at it. I can’t balance my body on my triceps. I can do a headstand but I’m afraid to do a handstand. And haven’t I been through enough in the past couple of years? What am I trying to prove? That I am strong enough to endure? And if I can endure something like this, doesn’t that mean I am too strong for anything (including disease and disaster) to harm me? Yes, I know this is crazy, illogical thinking but honestly, this is what runs through the back of my mind.
Two days before I leave, a room opens up in a cottage meaning I don’t have to camp out, lug all that equipment across the country, sleep in a collapsed tent and I’m more than a little relieved when I hear the news and later am thinking what a HUGE nightmare I barely avoided when I arrive the first night a little before 8 pm after sitting next to a guy who shook and jiggled his legs and hands like a meth addict the entire flight, angrily slurping diet cokes every time I started to nod off and am told (by Pamela, the van driver) that I am the last to arrive and not only is there no time for me to eat dinner, no time for me to do anything but throw my duffle bag in my room and change into a yoga outfit because yoga practice will start soon and could last until 2 a.m., more than 24 hours since I last slept…
To be continued… including why everyone cried and why wearing my friend’s cycling shorts with my running tank top was so What NOT to Wear and why it felt like I was on a reality TV show and later discovered that one of my fellow yogis had been (famously so) and other tales of how far out of my league and comfort zone I was…