by Mike Morris
Special Guest Teacher Mike Morris visits Bikram Yoga Capital Area
I was 43, singing songs and playing guitar in bars, and living with pain in my neck and low back. I had attributed it to a lot of long drives, heavy gear and a less-than-healthy lifestyle. I also thought the pain was a normal part of getting older. When I went to play at a local radio station, I was given a six month membership to Bikram Yoga Portsmouth (New Hampshire). It took me six months to walk in and take my first class. It was hot, and hard. It felt like a good workout, and the bike shorts I was wearing felt like they weighed 10 pounds after class.
I had been practicing for a year or so when the studio director suggested that I go to the yoga training. “I’m too old,” I said, though secretly I really wanted to give it a try.
The Worldwide Bikram Yoga Community
I trained in Las Vegas in 2009. The first person I met was Erik, a 20-something heavy metal drummer from Sweden. My roommate was Bob, a 60-year-old waiter from Massachusetts. There was a 19-year old massage therapist from Australia, and an “age unknown” healer from China who communicated mostly in smiles.
All of us had, like you, walked in to our first class, and the yoga had brought us all together. I’ve probably taught some 4000 yoga classes since then. I still have the first pair of proper yoga shorts I ever bought, though the elastic has long since worn out of them. My back and neck feel good, and I don’t mind the New Hampshire winters as much as I used to, though I still like to complain about them.
I’m still making music. I’ve also become a husband, father and yoga teacher. And like you, I’m still a yoga student. I still force myself into posture every now and then. I’m much better at noticing it.
A few years ago, I was going to the park with our youngest daughter, who was 3 at the time. She had bought herself a kite, and was excited to try it out for the first time. When we got there, there was no wind. Nothing. “I don’t think we can fly a kite today, Lily,” I said. “Maybe we should wait for a windier day. “Daddy,” she said back, “we can try.” That was a good yoga lesson. Walk through the door, and give it a good, honest try. Show up, and keep doing it, and the yoga will give you tools towards building a strong body, a clear mind and a full heart.
This yoga is challenging every time we step into the hot room. It is also beautiful, inspiring, empowering and, most of all, healing. Take as many classes as you can, one at a time. Ask questions of your teachers. Share your story. Work hard, and breathe soft.
I’m excited to be visiting you next week. See you soon. We’ll try together.
Triangle Pose in Summertime
Mike playing music at a New Hampshire Farmers’ Market