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!