Saturday, October 27, 2012

From Half-Moon to Spine-Twist

It is the end of week 6.  Week 6!  Time is going by so fast.  I have delivered dialogue for all postures and the last few from my group will finish up on Monday.  It feels so good and I am actually looking forward to continuing posture clinics next week, but with the goal of stringing multiple postures together.  Apparently this is something new for our TT session since we finished PC early in the game.  So, go us. 

I am feeling bittersweet about the end being so near because there is nothing quite like this 9-week long yoga bubble.  I will definitely miss my yoga family here, but I know that we are a worldwide family and are always connected.  It is cool to think that I now have family from London, Paris, Mexico, Australia, and all over the US and Canada!  I plan to do some traveling and visiting whenever possible.

I am scheduled to teach my first class at Bikram Yoga Temecula on Sunday 11/18 at 10am, the day after graduation.  I might as well get my feet wet straight away.  Then, the hubs and I will continue driving east, road-tripping our way home.  I'm looking forward to spending a week together before going back to real life.

On a different note, I reached some new points in my practice this past week.  On numerous occasions I could not feel my body in class.  I knew I was holding my foot, pulling my leg in, heart racing, etc. but could not feel it!  I spoke with some others about this and concluded that this phenomenon is due to the meditative nature of the practice, especially when uber-focused and pushed beyond the edge/limits.  This practice continues to amaze me.


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Week 5

So Week 5 comes with fables and tales from previous graduates, blogs, and horror stories that include emotional break downs, physical challenges, etc.  Also referred to as being hit by the yoga bus. 

Monday: Up at 7am.  Got a head and chest cold over the weekend which has been circulating around TT, and I was still fighting it off.  This made me lethargic, sleepy, and a little crabby.  But, after classes I felt better because it drained my sinuses.  Posture clinics night and day.  I delivered Triangle and Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee poses; both went fine and my nerves lessened.  After PM clinic they told us that we could go watch a movie with Bikram or go to bed, it was our choice.  So, I went to bed at 11:30pm and was grateful for a full-night's sleep to get over this cold.

Tuesday: Up at 7am. Struggled in AM class because I was too much in my head.  I did not deliver Tree and Toe Stand in posture clinic, but that was ok as I was feeling tired from the head cold.  PM class with Bikram was challenging in a different way because there were news cameras filming us for an upcoming special on NBC's Dateline (airs in late November sometime).  It was awkward and difficult for me to focus on my practice with a camera in my face, but I got through it.  Posture clinic was great; I delivered Tree and Toe Stand as well as Wind Removing Pose, no problems, and was able to ignore the nerves that were trying to throw me off.  In bed by 12am and thankful again for a full night's sleep.  Cold nearly gone!

Wednesday:  Up at 7am.  AM class was amazing and the teacher (wish I could remember her name) reminded us of why we are all here: to spread this yoga and help people save their own lives.  Posture clinic: Cobra Pose and it went fine.  I felt like I stumbled some, but must have been my own internal critical voice because everyone else stated that they didn't notice or see that.  Fake it until you make it, right?!  PM class was a face-melter, HOT.  It was like a yoga graveyard outside of the yoga room after class and I had to step over many souls as they laid there recovering.  I held to my goal though of not leaving the room and I was able to hold every posture.  I have not sat down since the first week; going strong.  PM lecture with Bikram about the 4 stages of life until about 12am, then we started a Bollywood movie "Joddha Akbar."  Now what you must understand about Bollywood movies is that they are long, very, very, very long with an actual intermission.  The movie played until 4am.  Yes, 4am.  It was a good movie, and surprisingly enough I stayed up through the whole thing.  If you fall asleep, the staff come around and make you wake up anyway, even those hiding under their chairs to steal a nice 20 minute nap.  Bed around 4:15am.  Nitey-nite.

Thursday: Up at 7:15am (I slept in since I was up so late).  Emmy Cleaves teaches every Thursday morning here at TT and she is notorious and well-known for her teaching style, which basically is that if she says do something, you do it dammit or you and possibly the entire rest of the class will suffer for it.  She is Bikram's most eldest teacher; I think she is like 86 years old or something like that.  I did well in class, held all postures, and I walked out of class feeling good about my practice, myself, etc.  Screw sleep, right?  Who needs it.  Lecture with Jon Burras, a mind-body therapist, after class and mashing my face with food.  He lectured on fascia, which is a very interesting piece of the human anatomy and has everything to do with Bikram Yoga.  Many people were sleeping during lecture, being crabby, huffing and puffing, and you could feel that energy in the room.  PM class with Bikram.  Holy cuss words.  It was 140 degrees Fahrenheit.  I was drenched in sweat before Bikram even walked into the room.  I got through Breathing, Half-Moon, Eagle, and then in Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee I collapsed in tears.  I thought: What the hell is happening, who am I, is this real, sobbing, sobbing, sobbing.  I stood back up, held the 2nd set while sobbing, held 1st set of Standing Bow and collapsed again in tears, straight to my mat, no holding it back that time.  I made eye contact with a fellow trainee who was behind me and she gave me an encouraging and supportive smile which I will forever love her for.  I sat and then got back up for Balancing Stick and made it to Tree Pose until I collapsed again.  Finally Savasana.  I stared at the ceiling, dying, didn't even notice when they did Wind-Removing, attempted Fixed-Firm, but back to my mat again.  I made intimate contact with the ceiling and my ice water.  Finally, I get up and finish strong with Final Stretching, Spine Twist, and Final Breathing.  Savasana.  What just happened?  It was an even larger yoga graveyard this time.  Even during class there were many people falling over, bursting into tears, passing out, and running out of the room.  I got back to my hotel room and processed this experience and considered the irony that just prior to class we had a lecture on how emotions are stored in the fascia of muscle tissue and can be released.  Hmmm.  PM lecture with Bikram: He discussed the 8 steps of yoga (Ashtanga) and I listened but wasn't able to take notes like I usually do as I was still thinking about my experiences in class and longing for sleep.  He let us go around 12:30am and finally at 1am I got to sleep.

Friday: Up at 7am.  AM class with Julianna from Rhode Island, who is quite possibly the most up beat, cheery person ever.  Nice, relaxing class which was much appreciated after last night.  Lecture part 2 with Jon Burras, which focused more in detail on how fascia is related to the emotional body of humans, the chakras, and the heart.  He discussed far too much for me to recap here, but it is an immensely fascinating topic and if interested, like I am, check out his book called "Back to Nature."  His ending statement touched me as his recommendation was to practice (yoga) from the heart, live from the heart, and see how that affects not only your life but all of the lives around you.  Love.  PM class was a good strong, TT class.  It was still HOT, but not like last night.  I fed ice cubes to by 2 group buddies who were on either sides of me toward the end of class; that's how TT rolls.  The teacher, beautiful Cynthia, announced to us after class during final Savasana that we have the night off, but to BRING IT on Monday with our dialogue.  My buddy next to me burst into tears of joy and I held his hand.  Life here is very bonding and intense at times, but also very loving and accepting.  The night off!  My roomie and I hung out with a visiting teacher that used to teach back at our home studio then headed off for dinner and grocery shopping.  Shopping done before Saturday is like winning the lottery around here, seriously.  Bed at 11:45pm!

Saturday: Up at 7am.  AM class with Michon McGill who is on staff here the whole 9 weeks so it was fun to see the teacher side of him.  It was an amazing class.  He mixed his own brand of humor, which I personally love here at TT, in his class which made it fly by.  I felt for those having to stay for Team Saturday (2 classes back to back on Saturday, due to forgetting to sign in or other various breaking of the rules).  But, now I am looking back on WEEK 5 and am grateful for it.  It breaks you, holds you, and allows you to prove to yourself just what you are truly capable of.  It makes me think a lot about Jim Kallet's discussion about latent energy and that it exists within us all.

Long post today, but had to make up for missed time with blogging as well as to honor Week 5 and this process of teacher training.  Now, time for a restful weekend.  Xoxo.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


What an amazing day.  It started off like any other, 8:30am class, shower, eat, etc.  But, posture clinic with Balwan was absolutely wonderful.  He has this intuitive ability to look into each trainee's personality, soul, character, whole being and give them constructive, honest, and deserving feedback that they can use.  Myself included.  He taught me an immense amount about about myself in 5 minutes by making me get comfortable with projecting my voice, commanding the students to do the poses, and believing in myself that I am the teacher, no longer the student.  I delivered Eagle, then had to deliver it again with all 39 other trainees, Balwan, and a visiting teacher as my students.  I had to PROJECT my voice as if I was teaching the students in the next cabana over.  Amazingly enough the nerves started to fall way because something about being commanding gave me confidence.  Watching the other trainees go through similar transformations was great and put a smile on everyone's faces.  Followed that up with an awesome yoga class at 5pm with Lisa from San Antonio.  She is pregnant, and not just a little pregnant.  She is radiant and inspired the whole class to move together, support one another, and gave us confidence that we can all do this.  Heading off to anatomy class now with a smile and a renewed sense of why I came here in the first place. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Week 3, where did you go?

Week 3 is just about over; 1 more yoga class tomorrow morning.  That is 30 yoga classes in 3 weeks.  This week we had anatomy classes every day and posture clinics started.  I was super nervous during standing back bend and hands-to feet pose, but did much better with awkward.  Everyone is very encouraging and supportive during posture clinics, both the trainees and the teachers.  This week was fast, super fast, busy from 7am to 12am every day: wake up 7am, 8:30am yoga class, shove food in my face, 12:30pm posture clinic and/or lecture, 5pm yoga class, shove some more food in my face, 9pm anatomy lecture, 12am bed.  I can see why they say to enjoy every minute of these 9 weeks because they are flying by.

Had my first emotional class yesterday evening, or as they call it, I was "hit by the yoga bus."  Sobbed during spine strengthening series, but still got into and held the postures.  If I'm gonna be a cry baby, I'm gonna be a cry baby in the postures :)  I feel fortunate that the universe saw fit to let me have these moments in one of Jim Kallett's classes, who is by far one of the most radiant instructors I have ever had.

Study time by the pool