Long ago, in a lifestyle far, far away, I was getting ready for my first hot yoga class. I had heard that hot yoga worked wonders for body and spirit. I had also heard that it could be excruciating, especially that first class. In fact, more than once, I heard these words of advice:
“Make it your goal to just stay in the room.”
I went to the class, managed to stay in the room, and began doing hot yoga on a somewhat-regular basis. I enjoyed it. And I swear, one of these weekends, I’ll get back to it.
But that phrase – “Just stay in the room” – keeps popping into my head these days.
I think about it when I’m out running. Albuquerque has been toasting at summertime temps for a few weeks now (where ARE you, monsoon season??), meaning my weekday runs are usually in the mid- to upper 90s. Hooray.
Could I find a treadmill somewhere and run on that instead? Could I do something else entirely, such as, ahem, yoga? Sure. Except:
- I really, really don’t like the idea of running inside when I live so close to a lovely paved path and even lovelier trails.
- I’m a runner, so…yeah. I know yoga’s good for me, but…running. Running’s my love.
Thus, I run, but I do so mindfully. I stay hydrated, I save my long runs for the weekends, and I don’t try to break any land speed records. I make it my goal to just stay in the room, as it were.
And I savor every second. I know that running in less-than-ideal conditions makes me mentally and physically stronger. I know that running PERIOD, no matter the conditions or how fast I go, makes me a better person. Finally, I know that there are a lot of people who can’t run but would desperately love to, even in July heat. So I do it for them, too.
The “Just stay in the room” concept also applies to relationships. No relationship, whether it’s marriage, dating, friendship, or family, is perfect and easy every day. Decisions need to be made; misunderstandings happen; things need to get worked out. Communication is crucial.
Some people are fantastic at this. Others of us, we’re still working at it. And it’s hard. It’s like doing downward dog in a hot yoga studio when your arms feel like rubber bands and sweat drips from you like a terribly leaky faucet. It’s like running up the last hill of a 5-mile run on a summer day when you can practically taste that icy lemonade (better yet, beer) waiting for you.
But it has to be done. Those tough conversations need to happen, those wretchedly uncomfortable moments need to be endured and seen through. No matter how awkward and ungainly we feel, we have to stay in the room.
It’s not always fun. But with breathing, patience, and a little faith in ourselves, it’s not impossible, either. And yes, it IS worth savoring, because it makes our relationships stronger and better.
Here’s to staying in the room.