Sunday, November 7, 2010

Hey Hey Are You OK?!

Week 5

Weeks 5-7 have been crazy busy.  I haven’t had a lot of free time to update, so I’ll do it now!  Week 5 was a week I would not like to revisit. It was the most emotionally draining for me.  The one good thing I had pulling me through was knowing that I’d get to see Jeremy at the end of the week.  I found out on Sunday night that we were doing CPR certification on Saturday (when Jeremy was here).  It would be following the morning class, most likely in the afternoon for a couple hours. I was so bummed and upset.  He was only going to be here for not even 48 hours and we were leaving this hotel/ yoga bubble for the weekend.  I was so angry that it was cutting into my time with Jeremy. Not only that, but I felt robbed of my free time.  We get very limited free time where we have nowhere to be and they were taking that away.  On Monday morning I tried to get some answers, but the two staff members I talked to weren’t sure if we were doing CPR yet or not.  Before the evening class I rode the elevator down with Dom (lead staff guy) who said CPR was in fact on Saturday, split into two groups. The groups were already decided and there was no changing. The first group would be at 11:30 and the second at 2:30.  There was of course no identification of the groups yet either.  Sadly, the CPR kind of ruined my Monday.  I was in and out of tears both Monday and Tuesday (the lack of sleep didn’t help either…) and just so frustrated.  I had been looking forward to Jeremy’s visit for 5 weeks, ever since I said goodbye.  I seem to have great timing for the elevator. Tuesday night I rode down with the visiting nurse who was in town to do the certification.  She was super nice and saw I had been crying.  She asked what my last name was then assured me I was in the early group.  If CPR had to ruin my weekend, I guess it worked out for the best.   Looking back I am bummed I let it affect me that way.  CPR was done by 2 p.m. and it really wasn’t that big of a deal, I still had a great weekend. I guess that is all “part of the process”.  Hopefully next time, in similar circumstances, I’ll just let it be.  Just go with it and know it can’t be changed and it’s not the end of the world!
            Along with CPR, Bollywood came along and added to my emotional challenges.  We had 3 late nights.  Monday, Wednesday and Thursday were all late nights, as late as almost 4 a.m.  There is still no heating in our lecture/movie tent.  With temps around 50 degrees at night, it’s cold in there!  We come prepared with pillows and blankets.  Once the lights go out everyone drops.  Many move to the floor to lie down, some lay across the now open chairs, and those unfortunate souls in the center near Bikram’s chair have to sit up and watch the movie.  If he sees you sleeping or lying down he’ll be sure (or get someone else) to wake you up.  Thankfully I haven’t had to sit right by him yet!
            Posture clinic has been moving along quickly.  They keep telling us how much further ahead we are then the last training (another reason why the weekend CPR bothered me so much).  At the end of the week we were just about done with the standing series, a little over half way through the dialogue.  The dialogue has been going well.  I’m still working on being commanding.  My latest homework has been to use more arm movements.  I get up to deliver and my body just goes stiff!  I’m nervous so I just tense up.  I’m working to incorporate some movements, but it’s harder than it seems.  When I get up to deliver I end up focusing on moving and lose my focus on the dialogue and students in front of me!  I know I’ll get there though!
            The yoga stress and lack of sleep this week has really played games with my emotions.  I am now making the conscious effort to really try and let go of some stuff, just go with the flow and not to sweat the small stuff.  There was a good quote from a visiting teacher; “you never look back and are glad you worried.”  It was kind of funny, but so true.  Worrying/ stressing doesn’t help any situation or make it better.  Definitely something to work on.
A peek into posture clinic.  Recite the dialogue in front of panel, receive feedback, then do poses for others.

More yoga tent..

Jeremy and I did a light hike at Torrey Pines State Reserve

View from Torrey Pines.. hard to tell, but there were a ton of hang gliders just down the coast

A bunch of seals were swimming/ sunbathing off the beach in La Jolla

Monday, October 18, 2010

Keep your eyes open, breathing normal

I usually keep up on my week as it happens, but I didn’t this week.  We’ll see how much I can remember because it’s a lot like Groundhog Day here.  Same thing every day, over and over!  It’s very monotonous.  I easily forget who taught the last class, what day it is, and sadly enough sometimes I’ll get into the elevator and don’t know whether to push floor 8 or floor 1.  I can’t even remember if I’m going up to my room or down to the tent, it’s bad!
Anyway, the week started rough.  I have really been struggling with my yoga practice.  My body is tired and I am just both emotionally and physically drained.  I was eager for Monday classes thinking the weekend of rest would do me good.  WRONG!  Both Monday and Tuesday classes were definitely low energy.  I was surprised to find my strong, solid practice decided to join me here in SD on Wednesday.  I’ve been doing well, not leaving the room and overall feeling OK, but I really felt like I’ve been half-assing it lately.  Wednesday was the first day since week one where I had the energy to do every single posture fully in the entire series.  It felt great and I finally felt like I was back to where I was at home.  Thankfully the energy stayed with me through the rest of the week’s classes.  We’ve been told over and over this isn’t the time where we notice our practice improving, its just about learning how to teach.  We’ll notice all the good changes after we’re back home, but it is still discouraging to not be able to do what you could a month ago.
We had some really great staff and visiting teachers this week.  We started with Mike from Chicago.  He taught Monday and was also in my posture clinic that day.  Turns out he grew up in the Detroit area too and his home studio was the Farmington Hills studio (mine!).  He now owns two studios in Chicago, which is awesome.  I’d love to go take a class there when I visit Danny and Emily next; he’s amazing with the dialogue.  We also had Diane Ducharme visiting from the Boston area.  She is amazing!  She knows the postures so well.  She’s been kind enough to stay after each class with us and help those interested with their postures.  Most are minor corrections, but make a world of difference! A lot of us have bad habits we need to break and the small corrections make all the difference in whether or not we are receiving the full benefits of the postures. We ended the week with some of our volunteer staff members teaching!  They too are here for the 9 weeks, so it was fun to see some of them teach.  The staff has been playing some music for us after class.  Lately it’s been dark when we get out of our evening class.  As we settled into final savasana on Friday night, they played Michael Jackson for us. It was a great way to end the week.  Everyone got up and was dancing.  The energy after an already energized yoga class was amazing.  Ben, a staff member was dancing around with a mini strobe light. Still quite confused as to where that came from and how it made into the yoga tent and into use so quickly!  It was such an awesome way to end week 4 (well, minus the Saturday morning class!). 
Posture clinics are going well.  I’ve been solid with my dialogue.  I’m still struggling with my stern commands.  On Friday I delivered my pose with a teacher growling at me the whole time. Not growling like a facial expression, actual growl noises the entire time!  He thinks I still need to be meaner!  I did it a second time and noticed the difference.  The dialogue is all commands, so I understand why it’s important to be stern and forceful.  I’m not too sure how to add more, but I’ll try today. I don’t really see myself yelling at the students like they want me to.  I think by the end of the 90-minute class I will be drained!  I understand and respect the feedback I get, but I also understand how we all evolve into different teachers.  It’s important to be yourself when you teach; it’s the only way you’ll have the energy to talk for 90 minutes straight!  I’m open to trying it their way while I’m here because I know it will bring me out of my shell a little more, but I also know I want to find where I’m most comfortable to teach!  I’m confident that’ll happen while I’m here!
On Tuesday Emily, her parents and baby Jack came to take me to lunch.  I had a little over an hour and a half, and it was so great to get out of the resort and spend time catching up.  It was just what I needed, a little dose of familiarity and family.  I really enjoyed it.  I teared up a little when I got in the car with them.  It was just so overwhelmingly comforting.  It meant more than I thought it would and I’m so thankful it worked out she was able to visit on her very short trip!
This was also our last week of anatomy.  We had a test Monday, which went well.  We finished the rest of the information/ systems of the body, and will have our “final” tonight.  We’re making progress here.  Boss is back this week, and will be until the end (minus a couple days here or there).  So the pressure is on for the remainder.  I am still enjoying the yoga and time I get to focus on myself/ my practice, but there are still times where I’m past ready to go home.  It’s amazing.  One day I’ll wake up loving everything and having the best time, then I’ll wake up the next day so mad and frustrated I’m still here and barely half-way done.  All part of the process I guess…

So, hopefully week 5 will be a SOLID week, with a strong practice and hopefully not too many late nights/ bollywood movies!

Monday, October 11, 2010

First Little Blip

            Week 3 is done, and it definitely had some highs and lows to go along with it.   The week started well.  Rajashree was back and taught two classes so the energy was a good way to start to the week.  We also dove right into posture clinics.  I delivered 3 postures this week.  It is so extremely nerve-wracking.  You get up in front of a group of about 40 peers and deliver the dialog to the panel of visiting teachers that give feedback on how to improve delivery, energy, personality etc.  They also help with study tactics if need be.  They are full of great information and tips, but the pressure is so high when you step up to deliver! My postures all went better than expected.  I remembered my dialog and was able to look at the students when I delivered. I’ve noticed I’m looking at the students’ bodies when I give a command, but I’m not really registering what I’m looking at.  When I say right leg lift up, I look at the leg but don’t really see the flow of the posture or what’s next; I’m just looking at the leg.  Hopefully this week I’ll be able to watch the bodies and see the flow of the posture in them as I would in my own practice. The timing and flow of the postures went well, but I did have one slip up on one of them.  I got my right and left confused, believe it or not.  I look at the students so everything is opposite, and I said left leg instead of right. I caught myself and corrected it, but that’s something I have to get used to!  Overall the feedback was good.  Their only complaint was I was “being too nice”.  They want me to be more stern and commanding in the dialog.  I’m working on it, but that isn’t really my personality.  I’m not stern or loud, so it’s really taking a lot of work!
            Anatomy also started this week!  We have a visiting anatomy teacher from Las Vegas, Dr. Preddy.  He’s an E.R. doctor, chiropractor, massage therapist, anatomy guru, etc. etc….  The information he is giving us is amazing.  He really relates it well to what we feel/ students will feel while practicing.  I’ve been having lower back/ hamstring issues so it was so beneficial to learn about those muscle groups and what may be causing it and what postures will fix it.  The anatomy of this yoga is something I think I want to continue to learn about when I get home, I find it so fascinating.
            On Wednesday morning there was a noticeable turn in the energy around here.  The lack of sleep, 25+ yoga classes we’d completed plus endless hours of dialog was noticeable in the yoga tent.  It just didn’t feel the same.  The yoga energy in the tent wasn’t as high as usual and I struggled through class. Wednesday night snapped me back into it.  It was by far my favorite class of training (minus Bikram’s of course!).  We had Jacob, from NY.  He was funny, witty, and sarcastic, everything needed to keep me focused and interested in continuing with the class.  The class was amazing.  The energy was so high and everyone was laughing and really enjoying it.  The room erupted when he finished.  It was amazing, hopefully he will teach us again.  His class got me thinking about me as a teacher.  He inspired me to work to have that energy when I teach. This yoga is both mentally and physically challenging, so having that energy to keep the students laughing while they do it is awesome.  I definitely paid attention to what I liked about that class and hopefully it’s something I can take home with me.
            I’m bummed that such an amazing class was followed by such an awful day.  I had my first little breakdown on Thursday.  I got a little homesick.  Well, little might be an understatement.  I don’t know what caused it.  I was in the morning class and home popped into my mind.  I got really sad and unmotivated to finish my class.   I came back “home” to find I had a package from my brother and sister-in-law. So, thank you Danny and Emily, it seriously could not have come at a better time.  I opened it up and read the note, which of course made me cry, but was so nice to have something so familiar and encouraging.  That is what I’ve been struggling with this week. This is the longest I’ve ever been away by myself.  I’ve gone on trips alone, but I’m usually visiting friends or family.  The yoga is going good and I’m enjoying everything, but I just miss my life.  I miss home, my family, Jeremy.  I’ve met really great people here, and it’s somewhat comforting to know we are all going through the same thing, but I just want something familiar and comforting to me. Someone who knows me outside of the yoga bubble.
            I’ve been better since the tear fest on Thursday.  The end of the week went smoothly and I’m amazed at how much I enjoy Saturday morning class.  It’s the only thing we have to do until we’re free, and the energy is always so great.  As much as I’d love 2 full days off, I’m enjoying the yoga and there is nothing like that feeling of accomplishment afterwards when you know you’ve done 11 classes and you’re off until Monday! Ah freedom!
            On Saturday I received my package from Jeremy!  He wanted to get me some stuff to help out and make everything easier for me.  He bought some new yoga clothes for me, plus went and got random things like emergen-c, trace minerals and luna bars.  He also got some stuff from my mom and sister! I now have an operating camera so I’ll be able to take lots of pics this week!
            Saturday afternoon I studied by the pool.  No matter where you go here, there is always someone to study with.  It’s great.  I did a little shopping in the afternoon to get myself stocked for the week.  Today I went and saw some of San Diego.  Minus the grocery shopping I’ve been doing, I haven’t really been out of the yoga bubble for 3 weeks.  It was so great to get out and see San Diego beyond the Town and Country Resort.  I went to Sea Port Village, The Gas Lamp district and Old Town. I did a TON of walking and my legs are so tired, but I’m so happy I was able to go out and explore San Diego a little. Hopefully week 4 will be strong.  We’re almost halfway!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Bend It Like Bikram

            We are a very lucky training group.  We had senior, principal teacher Emmy Cleaves all week long!  Emmy has been with Bikram for decades.  She’s in her eighties, but a prime example of what this yoga can do for you.  She looks years and years younger and still practices and teaches regularly. She taught Monday-Friday morning classes and stayed to lecture/ do posture clinics in the afternoons Monday- Thursday.  She is a wealth of knowledge on everything, not just yoga.  She is one of the few/ possibly the only teacher who will walk around while we practice yoga (usually teacher stands on podium in front).  She is full of good technique and posture corrections, which helped me to understand how to adjust my postures to progress further. She told us not to go all out in every class, which made me feel a little bit better about struggling in my morning classes. I’m struggling with a really tight lower back and hamstrings.  I’ve taken about 10 steps back from where I was when I got here.  I’m taking my morning classes easy to loosen it all up, then in the evening classes pushing to my max in hopes of keeping it loosened up for good.  I know it’s normal for your body to tighten/stiffen up with all the yoga (and sitting endless hours in lecture/ bollywood) that we are doing, but it’s frustrating not being able to do what I could 2 weeks ago.

Emmy giving posture clinic

            This week started rough.  I was just clearing the final stages of my cold, so I was a little out of it Monday morning class.  I found it difficult to focus on everything Emmy was saying and all I wanted to do was roll over and go to sleep.  My previous post recaps how the rest of Monday went… High temp was 112 degrees, I think.  So Monday was fun.
            On Tuesday we finished the first posture dialogue in front of Bikram! We watched old interviews of Bikram from as early as the 70’s.  It was so amusing to watch. Bikram still says a lot of the same analogies as he did back then!
Bikram was gone on Wednesday, which meant it wasn’t going to be a late night!  He had two T.V. interviews to do.  One was for a local San Diego news station, and one for Las Vegas. Bikram did the San Diego interview in our “Bikram Village” and even came in to the tent.  The reporter got down and did the last 20 min. or so of the class. He struggled, but I definitely give him credit!
that's him on the floor by the cameraman. 

Here's a link to the news cast.  It shows in the yoga tent and a little into our "village"

  Wednesday Night we were split into our posture clinic groups where we will complete the rest of the postures. We got half way through the next posture. I haven’t given mine yet.  The posture clinics will pick up this upcoming week.  Bikram will be gone for the next two weeks.  This means we will be kept no later than midnight (yay!), but we will be knocking out a huge chunk of postures. There will be endless hours of studying. Our early dismissals from posture clinic/ lecture at night might result in late nights cramming the dialogue!
Thursday night Bikram was back.  He had some friends visiting him.  One was a huge musician/entertainer from India who was releasing a CD in L.A. He sang a little bit for us.  Bikram then played one of his own songs….  This one a particularly eclectic, techno style.  He has a very broad range of music.  Soothing, to caribbean, to techno apparently!  Very entertaining to say the least!  Bikram left with his friends and we were left in the tent to watch Bollywood alone.  Until 2 a.m. 
            Friday I was exhausted.  I guess that’s what the 9 yoga classes so far and 4 hours of sleep the night before will do to you! Bikram lectured in the afternoon, and it took everything I had not to fall asleep.  He likes to talk.  He starts on one topic, and ends up 2 hours later finally making his point.  It literally takes all of your energy just to follow what tangent he’s on and where the conversation is going.  He makes quite a few detours en route to the point he’s making!  Today, I did not have the energy.  I unfortunately missed a chunk of it by zoning out, but I couldn’t help it.  I was worried how the afternoon class was going to go, being so tired, but I had a pretty strong class.  The class ended as Bikram said goodbye for two weeks and we were given the night off!  They really have the training process down.  Just when you think you can’t make it and you’re so tired, they go and give you the night off.  The BEST words you can hear at training!
            The week ended on a much higher note than it started.  I am continuously amazed at what I am truly able to accomplish here, especially with very little sleep. The energy in and after yoga really seems to get me through.  I haven’t gotten to the point yet where I need to go to class on Sunday, our only day off.  And yes, there are quite a few here who take classes willing on Sunday!  I hope by the end I do get to that point.  The point where I’m craving yoga everyday, regardless of how much I did the day before.  Both my practice, and myself, have changed noticeably each week I’m here.  Most change has been for the good, but some for the bad.  I still struggle in the morning classes.  I’m stiff, tired, weak etc. I find myself getting frustrated with poor yoga etiquette in the hot room. Everyone here has been practicing a while, why would you put your mat right in front of mine with your feet in my face?! (Proper etiquette in the room is to stagger mats of those in front and behind so you do not directly line up.) I hope to snap myself out of it in week 3, we’ll see.  My evening classes have all been amazing.  It’s my own little redemption for my lacking morning classes.  I overcame the heat wave Monday and managed to have a decent class.  I have yet to leave the yoga room, which is great.  I’ve been doing a ton better with sleep deprivation than I thought.   I am finding out I can get by with very little.  I may not have full attention sometimes, but I can do it.  If I went to bed late at home, I felt like I couldn’t do yoga in the morning and I wouldn’t go.  I now understand what the yoga does to my body.  I am tired when I get up, and it’s difficult, but when I get in that hot room and get moving, the energy is amazing and lasting.  I know my breaking point will come in this training, that is the point of the crazy hours.  I hope that when it does come, I can continue to practice mind-over-matter and take it as it comes. 

Here are some pics- more to come
View from my balcony

Getting settled for class

Ahh I love final savasana! 

Monday, September 27, 2010

You Gotta Go Through It

Today was a heat wave! I don’t know what the high was in San Diego, but it was above 100 degrees. It got so hot.  I was dripping just sitting in my chair in the lecture tent.  I checked the temp and it read 110 in the tent...  We had a break 2 hours in and the hotel staff was kind enough to bring us a bunch of bottles of water, fresh fruit and granola bars. Dana and I stood and talked to a lady from the management while we ate.  She said the yoga tent was already at 115 and they hadn’t even turned the heat on yet.  So needless to say, tonight’s class was HOT.  They hottest class I have ever been in.  I was telling a girl outside that at home when it’s in the 90’s I wouldn’t go to yoga if I missed the early class.  But here, there is no way around the heat unless I want to make it up Saturday following our already mandatory class, which I DO NOT.  So I went to class and barely made it.  I had my electrolyte drink in my insulated cup to get me through.  I was good until about 40 minutes in, then my vision was fading and my legs were super tingly.  I had to sit down; clearly I was dehydrated.  I mean we had only been sweating literally all day… so I sat and guzzled my drink.  I gave myself about 10 minutes then I was good.  I was so grateful because people were struggling, down and out.  I somehow got a second wind in there and made it through.  I’m glad I was able to accomplish that class, and I feel stronger because I did, but I hope we NEVER have another day like today (Even though I know 120 degrees in the yoga tent happens frequently)! It was just too hot for too long today. Hopefully it cools off for tomorrow! 

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Week 1 DONE!

So, I have officially survived the first week of training!  The days were long, but seemed to go by quickly.  We did 10 yoga classes this week and endless hours of lecture (or half moon dialogue). I feel very fortunate with how my week turned out.  It started a little rough, but I settled into a pretty good routine.
   On Monday afternoon we had to go down early for a ribbon cutting ceremony.  The mayor of San Diego came to welcome Bikram and the entire training group. We then made our way into yoga tent for our first Bikram-led yoga class. Walking into the tent was surreal.  It was what I have been imagining for months.  It’s naturally very bright and there was a comforting mist in the air as they tried to get the humidity right. Class went about 2 hours but it was a good class. He is full of one-liners and is very entertaining. He obviously doesn’t know our names, so he calls everyone sweetheart or boss.  If he’s making a correction he’ll call you “nail polish” or “Ms. Yellow”.  I’ll catch myself looking down at my own clothes to make sure he’s not talking to me!
Practicing on the type of carpet here is a weird and difficult adjustment for me. It’s very slippery.  There is a series of separate leg stretching poses where we step over our mats.  I had been falling out like crazy and couldn’t hold the posture fully. By Friday was able to do first set fully, but still struggle with the second set.  I’m getting there though!  I also have to adjust to the fact I can’t see myself in the mirror most of the time. They are still working out kinks in tent with the heat, humidity, lights and sound. The week started off with a hot room, but the humidity was really low (making the room feel less hot).  My body was extremely tight, my hamstrings especially.  By the end of the week the room felt perfect and my muscles were loosing back up.  They said the room still wasn’t hot enough though (yikes)!  I guess we can expect it to get up to 115 degrees or more.
The weather here is cooler than I expected.  It’s very breezy and chilly at night.  The lecture tent has been freezing for our evening lectures.  I woke up Friday with a terrible cold.  My head was foggy and very congested.  I’ve loaded up on Tylenol Cold since then, hoping to get rid of it soon!  I’m going to have my parents send me some warmer clothes so I don’t keep getting sick.
We have had a couple run-ins with Bikram and his wife Rajashree!  They are staying in our tower so we’ve been running into them at the elevator and even rode up with Raj after the first class.
All, well I guess I’ll say MOST, of our lecture time has been spent giving half moon dialogue.  All 377 of us have to get on stage and deliver the dialogue for the first posture in front of Bikram and the other 376 of us.  I went Friday afternoon.  It was such a HUGE relief to get it over with.  I was confident that I knew the dialogue, but was very nervous for how Bikram would critique me.  He said I did well, but I needed more energy.  Seeing as I was loaded with cold meds and not feeling well, I’ll take it!  The rest of our lecture time has been Bollywood time, causing us to be dismissed at 2 and 3 a.m. If you’re not familiar with Bollywood films, think old Hindi movies with lots of singing and dancing. We watched the first one on Wednesday and I found it so funny.  It was super cheesy and just hilarious!  I don’t know if it was the movie or the sleep deprivation, but at one point I was just uncontrollably laughing.  The movie has English subtitles, but randomly the cast will speak in English. I don’t get it! Just when you think the movie is over, it cuts to intermission.  The second one we watched was more serious. I really enjoy the movies, but I wish I could watch them at a reasonable time.
We didn’t have class Monday or Friday night. On Monday, Dana and I took the trolley/ light rail down to target and the grocery store.  We figured hit target first so we didn’t have to carry our groceries.  It was a good thought, but I ended up getting a cooler and a toaster oven, so it was a little difficult to do the remainder of our shopping!
Bikram taught all but one of our evening classes and we had some really great guest teachers for the morning classes.  My favorite class of the week was with Brandy Winfield.  She is the current yoga champion.  The morning classes are by far the most difficult for me.  My body is super stiff and sore, plus I’m extremely tired.  Her class was just the motivation I needed.  She had a great energy and passion for the class.  Her additions to the class dialogue were so inspiring!
Overall, I am beyond satisfied with how my first week went.  There are quite a few who have gotten dehydrated and sick.  I feel extremely lucky that I have gotten through each and every class without getting ill, or cramping.  I am so grateful for my studio owners and all the teachers who gave me the advice and tips to make it through. I think I’m very well prepared, and my routine seems to be working.  I’ve always been an eater.  I love food and don’t like to miss a meal.  This week hasn’t been an exception.  A lot of people seem to be getting a decreased appetite. Nothing sounds good or they just aren’t hungry. I, on the other hand, have been eating like a teenage boy.  I cannot get enough food.  With 3 plus hours a day of yoga, I need the energy and nutrition so I welcome the large appetite as long as I can have it.
On Monday-Wednesday-Friday morning classes I find myself thinking about everyone back at my studio.  When I head in for my morning class here, It’s 11:30 at home.  Those were the classes I would attend most frequently.  I am so comforted as I set up my mat thinking about everyone at home doing the same. It helps me get through by looking at the big picture.  Soon enough I will be back home teaching and I can’t wait!  This week has been great and I already feel so different.  I cannot wait to see how the process unfolds for me.
I have been really bad about taking my camera, so hopefully I’ll have some good pics to share soon!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Day 1

I am finally here in San Diego! I wouldn’t consider myself settled yet, but hope to be soon! I got in yesterday (to the hotel) about 5:30 p.m. Apparently there was some miscommunication and I missed orientation.  I had emailed to find out before and was told check in was 3 and orientation was 6.  Turns out missing it wasn’t as big of a deal as I thought.  There are nearly 400 students (yikes!) for this training.  It took such a loooong time to register and make I.D. cards for everyone that they stopped and were going to finish this morning. 
            Once I finally checked in, I met up with Dana (my roommate).  As I got to the room she was leaving to go down to the reception thing they were throwing for the trainees.  I literally dropped my bags and joined her down at one of the pool decks.  They had a smoothie bar for us plus TONS of fruit, hummus and pita and some various spreads.  The healthy food tasted so good after traveling all day!
            The plan for today was to meet at our lecture tent at 10 a.m. to finish orientation stuff then we have our first yoga class at 5 with Bikram himself!  We had some people speak about the do’s and don’t of training then Bikram came in for the first time to welcome us.  He is such a character.  He put me at ease completely and got me excited to get going with the whole process. He told us he knows how we are feeling, and will feel through the next nine weeks.  He explained that this first week we are probably wondering what we are doing here and just want to go home.  I literally laughed out loud when he said that because it is exactly how I feel.  I have been going and going and feel so unsettled with this process so far.  When I talk to Jeremy or my family it makes me want to be back home.  I know once I get into my routine I will be fine.  It’s all the unknowns right now that have me so nervous and unsettled.
            I just grabbed a quick sandwich down at the restaurant (because I have had NO time to make it the store yet) and we have a small break.  We have to go back down early for a welcome meeting from the mayor of San Diego.  He’s coming for a ribbon cutting ceremony to welcome Bikram Yoga.  Should be interesting.  Then it is straight in to our first class!

So here is a pic of my home for the next 9 weeks!  That's my bed by the balcony doors.  We got really lucky with our room.  We are in the Royal Palm Tower.  The parking lot of our tower is where we will be taking classes.  It took us 2 min to get out of our room and down the elevator to the check-in point! That is great news if I ever oversleep or if we have a really small break.  We also have a decent size balcony which is awesome.  We can't hang stuff over the railing, but can totally lay stuff/ mats down to dry!  Some other rooms don't have balconies, or even windows that open for that matter!

This is a view out our front door.  This will be my second home for the next nine weeks!  The large tent is where we will do all of our yoga classes.  There is a nurse's tent, a small store and changing areas attached off the back side.  The small tent off to the left is where we will have our lectures and whatnot.

You may notice Macy's in the background.  Right across the foot bridge in the parking lot is Fashion Valley Mall.  If there is something I forgot I can head over there.  There is also a trolly and light rail system right there.  That'll be convenient for our days off!  They are working on getting us shuttles.  They have 2 fifteen person vans that will be making loops on the weekends. We'll be able to get to Whole Foods, Target, Trader Joe's and Costco.  We have a laundry set up here, but might also have a stop on the shuttle route depending on volume of people using the laundry here.  That was probably the best news I had heard all day! Food is not included, but they are making the effort for it to be easy on us!

Have to go get ready for the very first class!  Bikram said to take it easy this first week and I am going to listen! It's been about a week and a half since I've been to class.  I can't wait to get back in there and loosen up and sweat it out!  Wish me luck!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Time is Flying

      I can't believe that in TWO weeks I will be in San Diego!  For the longest time, training seemed so far into the future.  Now that it is around the corner, I have so many mixed emotions/feelings for it. Sometimes, after a particularly difficult class, I find myself driving home wondering what I am getting myself into!  For the most part, however, I am very excited for training.  I look forward to the energy in the room practicing with so many other people and the fact that for 9 weeks, 100% of my time will be directed towards learning yoga and focusing on my own practice.  I'm nervous for the content I must memorize and the CRAZY hours we will be keeping.  I'm hopeful I won't struggle too much with the dialogue so I will be able to enjoy my very limited free time in San Diego.
      I had a dream last night that I forgot to pack random things I didn’t think I would need. So, needless to say I am starting to get a list together of what I need to pack.  I am also trying to figure out what I am going to feed myself while I am there.  Unlike past training sessions, food is no longer included in the very high tuition cost. This was a little unsettling for me because we are staying in regular hotel rooms with no kitchens.  I don’t know what the cost of eating out will run me while I am there, so I’m trying to figure out well-balanced meals I can make myself to stay within my budget.  I am seriously considering smuggling in a mini toaster oven that I could cook some prepared stuff from trader joe’s.  I guess we’ll see what the set-up is once I’m there!
      This past Saturday, I met another teacher trainee from the Ann Arbor studio.  My studio director mentioned her to me a little bit ago, offering the idea of us being roommates.  I was all for it, but wanted to meet her first just to be sure!  She practices with her mom too, so they both came to class.  She seems super nice!  I think rooming together will work great, not to mention it’ll be nice getting there and having a familiar face! 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Practice, Practice, Practice

I knew these weeks up to training would fly by, but I didn't realize just what all I needed to accomplish.  I work 5 nights at my restaurant, but could usually count on one night getting the call off.  Now that training is around the corner I can NOT miss any more work!! Not only for insurance hours, but of course money! I need every dollar I can make right now to cover my bills while I'm gone.  It sadly makes my job a little more depressing knowing I can't get that phone call in the afternoon letting me take the night off! Oh well..

On top of work, I'm trying to keep my practice up.  I've been 3 days this week, but missed yesterday and today.  My muscles have been very fatigued and weak this past week. Not sure what is up with that.

Practicing this dialogue has been a challenge in itself! It's the same dialogue every class, and I hear it constantly.  Here I was thinking it shouldn't be too difficult! Ha, was I wrong!  While I know the general dialogue, I do not know Bikram's.  It has to be word for word.  I'm getting confused by all of the little words and phrases.
An example would be:  Weight IN the heels; Weight ON the heels! YOUR heels, THE legs.  Stuff like that switches back and forth constantly!
I've recorded myself saying the dialogue which helps.  I have had to replace sirius in my car with my own boring voice going over the dialogue.  People in cars next to me probably think I am crazy.  Seeing  me talk to myself, then get really upset and reset the CD.  It seems to be helping though!

So this holiday weekend will be dedicated to practicing both the dialogue and yoga.  At some point I need to get a packing list together...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A little background info

For those who are not familiar with Bikram Yoga, it is a form of hot hatha yoga.  The 90-minute yoga class consists of 26 postures practiced in a heated room (ideally 105 degrees and 40% humidity).  There are countless benefits to practicing in the heat.  Detoxification through sweating occurs instantly, flushing all of the glands and organs in your body. The heat keeps your muscles warm and loose, which is optimal for stretching.  It also thins the blood and flushes veins and arteries, lowering cholesterol.  The list goes on and on…

I’ve been practicing Bikram Yoga for about a year and a half.  I was looking for something different to add to my workout routine to increase flexibility while maintaining a cardiovascular workout.  Shortly after starting my practice I realized the profound impact it had on my day-to-day life and started thinking about teaching. It is something I could do at any stage in my life, in addition to another job or not.  I did some research and set my intentions to attend the Fall 2010 training.

The training will be held in San Diego, CA.  I will spend 9 weeks living at the Town and Country Resort and learning everything I can to be able to teach others the benefits of the yoga. 

Here is what my schedule will be like from Sept 19 until Nov 20th:

8:30- 10:00a.m - Bikram Yoga Class
10:00-12:15- Lunch Break
12:15-4:00- Posture Clinic/ Lectures
5:00-6:30- Bikram Yoga Class
6:30-9:00- Dinner
9:00- WHENEVER-Posture Clinic/Lecture

8:00-9:30a.m-Bikram Yoga Class


Generally, my night will conclude around 11 p.m or midnight.  When Bikram himself is in town, however, we can expect to stay until 2 or 3 a.m L I think I read a previous training blog where they were released at 5 a.m. one night/ morning.  The idea behind that madness is to force us to realize we can always make it through regardless of the situation, or lack of sleep!  For those who know me, you know I am a very spoiled sleeper! I can barely open my eyes with 7 hours a night and I’m very happy when I get 10.  So, needless to say, that is probably one of my biggest concerns heading into this training.  (I know... poor me J)

With amazing support from Jeremy, my family, friends and work, I will leave Sept 19th for San Diego!