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!