One cool thing that happened: Patrick and I were in line for the Buzz Lightyear ride with our two youngest kids. Just as the line progresses to the turnstiles, a human-sized Buzz states the urgency of the riders' mission (defeating the evil Zurg, etc.) and exhorts everyone to do their best.
Right behind us in line was a three-year-old boy with his parents. When he saw the giant Buzz, he just about leapt out of his skin. "BUZZ!" he screamed, frantically beating his hands on his chest. "IT'S ME!! It's me, Buzz!"
Patrick and I nearly died over the adorableness. This kid clearly expected Buzz to recognize and acknowledge him. His connection to the character went that deep.
It reminded me of another recent incident. Our thirteen-year-old daughter probably has (next to me) the deepest connection to our corgi, Moneypenny. She loves corgis and is constantly reading about them online. She knows, of course, that the Queen of England has several corgis, and decided earlier this week to write a letter to Her Majesty.
She looked up the proper forms of address, wrote the letter, labeled the envelope, and asked me for postage. She mailed the letter off on Wednesday. She knows she likely won't get an answer; the Queen receives over 200 letters per day. But I was impressed and proud that she had the courage and humility to reach out and attempt a connection with someone with whom she has something in common.
What does any of this have to do with yoga? I see many benefits to developing a Bikram practice: better health, stamina, and flexibility; increased calm and perseverance; heightened discipline and focus.
But for me, the biggest benefit I've seen so far is increased connection: to my own body; to my teachers; to my fellow students; and to the rest of my life. I have a greater desire and capacity to reach out to others, to make new connections and to strengthen old ones. That takes bravery and vision and heart, just like that three-year-old; just like my daughter. Better connections were not something I was expecting to find in my challenge, but I'm appreciating them now.