Monday, 7 January 2013

Over a year late...

One day, over a year ago, I promised not to make you wait three weeks before my next post from Teacher Training. Well I kind of stayed true to that. Instead I made you wait over a year. Hm. Oops. Should I even go back and finish it, I am thinking to myself? Or should I just start from today, from where I am now? Does better late than never still apply when it is THIS late?

Maybe a brief summary; let's see how brief I can make this.

I successfully finished and graduated from Teacher Training Class of Fall 2011. I still think about it most days and most days I wish I could go back and do it all over again.  The good and the bad.  For me it was some of the best 9 weeks in my life.

Where did I leave off? I think Halloween was next... the Halloween party was pretty crazy.  Totally sober, coca-cola and pizza fueled, high on life, low on sleep, shenanigans.  They put a dance floor in the lecture room, complete with a disco ball, lights and stages on the sides.  I was part of a pretty awesome group costume, if I do say so myself.  Me and some of my girlfriends were yoga-jail prisoners.  No kissy-kissy, no huggy-huggy, no touchy-touchy, no... well the last one you can see for yourself in the picture.  Don't ask me how I got stuck with that one. 

Although the costume may suggest otherwise, not even one piece of me felt like I was in jail.  I loved that yoga-bubble with every part of me and I still do.  It wasn't always easy but nothing that is worth it is ever easy and that yoga bubble, yoga jail or whatever it may be called will always be a highlight of my life. 

After the Halloween party it was kind of like business time.  The final few weeks.  The end was in sight and every day we got closer to the end I got sadder and sadder. I guess I felt that there was more for me in that yoga bubble than there was at home.  I was returning to an empty apartment, a job that paid the bills but was unstimulating and unfulfilling and a cold, wet winter.  I think the quiet and the loneliness scared me the most. I was returning to the same place from where I left but I would never again be the same. I cried more than a few times in those last weeks. I had a lot of emotion to release and a lot that I needed to let go of.  More than tears though was laughter, light and love.  I was part of something so great.  I will always be a part of it and it will always be in my heart.  We finished posture clinic, we had a lot of great lectures, we had an inspiring demonstration of the advanced series with Bikram, Emmy, a few yoga champions, and a lot of great practitioners. Bikram taught us a wonderful meditation on the last day; I am so glad to have that in my memory and I look forward to bringing myself back to that place again and again throughout my life. 

The final class was bittersweet.  I suffered a lot in that ballroom turned torture chamber, but I grew a lot too.  All of the trainees brought Cokes into the room which we did a huge cheers to Bikram (and ourselves and each other) with at party time. Note: I had been a bit of a Coca-Cola junkie during TT.  Ask my roommate Kimiko, she would laugh at me when we would come back from class and the first thing I would do would be crack open a Coke. Drinking Coke DURING class however, ew.  Don't.  It was not good.  Water for me please. Oh and if Bikram is teaching, maybe some blue Gatorade. At the end of class, we all sat down Japanese style for Final Breathing and everyone held hands.  All across the room.  I have felt energy being shared between people and within a space before but nothing like this.  I mean I could feel it.  It was reverberating through us all and traveling from hand to hand, soul to soul and heart to heart.  I don't think I was able to do the breathing very well that day through the tears.  That didn't matter. It was such a great moment.  Moments like that are truly what drive my soul.  What I live for and search for.  Bikram started throwing ice at everyone after class and we erupted into a dance party.  A sweaty, sobbing, cheering, laughing, dance party.  We were teachers!

Aren't we glorious?!

I am so proud of us.  All 400 of us.  We are connected for life and I remain eternally grateful.

Graduation was long.  It really was. I am not going to lie I dozed off a little bit during Bikram's speech.  Terrible I know. I had done really well staying awake through most of TT but I guess my brain needed that tiny half-nap.  It was a nice ceremony though.  Our demo team did a really beautiful job of the 26+2 and we were all so happy to receive our diplomas.

We had an Indian buffet dinner afterwards followed by another really awesome dance party.  This time the dance floor was set up in the ballroom where we had spent so many hours taking class, it was kind of nice to finish it off in there in such a different way.  We said many goodbyes, took pictures, hugged, and swore that we would meet again, eventually or in the future.  The next morning it was all over. I boarded the plane and went back to Canada a Bikram Yoga Teacher. 

In sum: Teacher training was wonderful.  It was hard.  It was expensive.  I had some weird eating habits.  I didn't sleep much.  I carried around a giant blue 2 liter cooler jug of water for 9 weeks that cost me $5 and was the best purchase I made in LA. I met some amazing people and built some great relationships. I learned a lot about myself and I know that I can and I will do anything that I want in this life. I am sad it is over and so glad that I did it.  The year and a bit since I got back has had its ups and downs.  I have been teaching ever since I got back and I am so lucky to have had such a wonderful Bikram studio to return to.  I love the yoga now more than ever and I trust the process with no doubt.  Maybe in another three weeks or a year I will blog about the happily ever after part.  Until then, namaste.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

With no further ado, here is an update!

Oops.  It seems that rather than blogging I have been doing one or both or several at the same time of eating, falling asleep in posture clinic (this only happened once I swear), drinking many different liquids, falling asleep at the pool, studying, laughing manically, falling asleep at the beach, grocery shopping, taking yoga class, falling asleep in lecture (ok not as often as a lot of people), watching Bollywood movies into the wee hours of the morning (and somehow NOT being able to fall asleep through them), oh and sometimes falling asleep in my actual bed.  In other words, it has been a hectic few weeks. 

I don't even know where to begin really! There is so much I could talk about.  I am supposed to be studying the last four postures right now! Instead I will blog.  Procrastinasana.  It remains my best and most well memorized posture.

So we have moved quickly with posture clinics.  We still have three weeks left but I am quite certain that we will finish the dialogue by the end of the week.  We keep hearing that we are the best teacher training yet, and this is another proof of why.  We are fast! Some of the posture clinic leads have said that they have trouble finding things for us to work on because really we are just all doing so well.  Of course there is always room for growth and improvement but I think we are pretty much all rock stars already.  Posture clinics have mostly switched to being fun, where at first they were just mostly stressful.  My group (Group 16) is the best group ever! I love everyone so so so much! We are all so supportive of each other and have such a good dynamic.  I really enjoy suffering with these people in the same row twice a day in the yoga room and I really enjoy spending time with them each day in the posture clinic room.  If any of you are reading this, I think you are all so wonderful and I am thankful to have met each and every one of you! I miss you already and we haven't even left yet! I had a laughing fit during posture clinic when I was demonstrating.  Seriously, I was laughing so hard that I couldn't do the posture and I had tears in my eyes.  We were supposed to be doing distractions for the girl delivering her dialogue and when I saw the guy next to me I just cracked up and then couldn't stop.  Anyway, overall posture clinics have been going well for me.  I have been learning the dialogue super fast this past week.  Like 45 min per posture.  Mind you they are much much shorter, but like my studio owner told me before I left, you start to learn much quicker as training goes on.  She really was right about everything, not that I doubted anything she said, but I just believe it all so much more now that I have lived it. 

Yoga classes have been up and down for me, as is to be expected, and just like everyone else.  I am usually pretty stiff and exhausted in the morning classes.  It takes me until Standing Bow to wake up and then I am mostly okay for the rest of class.  The evening classes have been all over the place.  I almost always practice at either 5:45 or 7:45 at home partially because of my work schedule and also because I enjoy practicing in the evening more.  Here though sometimes my evening classes are fantastic and sometimes not so much.  This past week I have felt nauseous mostly every time as soon as the floor series starts.  I am not sure if it has to do with my diet, hydration or if it is all in my head.  I am going to do a little experimenting this week to see what works.  One of the classes was so bad that all I could do was lie completely still and use a mantra to tell myself that I felt fine and that I was okay.  It worked; I didn't leave the room and I didn't throw up = success!

We had class taught by Juliana who is a fantastic and inspiring yogi whose blog I have been reading since before she went to teacher training.  It was pretty amazing to take her class and see her in action after following her yoga career for the past couple of years! She is known as "the Dialogue Queen" and it was very apparent why during her class.  She has the whole 26 and 2 down verbatim! So impressive! I also had the pleasure to introduce myself to her later that day.  So cool!

Another favorite class of mine was taught by Balwan who is on staff here at Training.  He is so fantastic that I can't even describe him to you.  You can just tell he has a good soul and is a great person.  He is from India but lives here in LA now and works at Headquarters.  He was so excited and so enthusiastic to teach and his energy just radiated to all of us.  He kept saying the funniest things, some of them unintentional, but English is his second language so it just turned out hilarious.  Here are a few tidbits, some my go over your head if you are a non-practitioner:  "Feet together my dear, H-E-E-L, feet." "If you are feeling dizzy and nauseous, that's what it feels like to fall in love with yourself." "Eagle pose.  Good for the sexual organs.  Don't get excited."  I think these have now become classics to live on forever.  At least in my mind.  

We had a very should I say, interesting, lecture by a man named Jon Burras.  I can only describe them as... well interesting.  Or odd.  Yes probably a combination of the two.  He talked a lot about some very unique ideas to do with the human body and the mind.  Mostly none of his ideas had any research or scientific data behind them, they were just theories that he generated and that he believes in.  I am very open to hearing new things but some of the ideas he talked about I just cannot support.  I took notes the first day and did not take any the second day.  In sum he said the word fascia approximately 300 times, this is not an exaggeration, one of my friends counted.  Yea... I don't even know what more to say about him... He's a unique guy for sure and has some good ideas and some really not so good ones.  He really upset a lot of people and had others totally captivated.  The point I think, must have been to teach us to have an open mind and to understand that there are many other ideas out there than just those that we are familiar with.  Hopefully those that were upset realize this. 

I had three naps yesterday; please note if you ever decide to take Teacher Training that is what Saturdays are for: naps.  Oh and eating.  Obviously.  First I napped in my room after morning class.  Then we headed to Manhattan beach where I ate the best and biggest breakfast of my life and then immediately fell asleep on the beach afterward.  I was there with 3 other girls and all four of us instantly fell asleep in a row on the sand.  This was followed by grocery shopping and then I napped again back in my room.  It should be noted that I fell asleep for this third nap at 6 pm, woke up at 10 pm for two hours, and then decided it was time for bed so I went to sleep at midnight.  Quite successful I do think. 

Does this post even make sense? I think that I have had both too much sleep and not enough sleep at the same time.  Yes that is possible here at Teacher Training.  Anything and Everything is possible. 

Tomorrow is Halloween and we have a fun day ahead of us! First of all I bought myself a mini-pumpkin to decorate my mat with for class.  Second we get to have a Halloween dance/pizza/costume party in the evening! I am so excited for this! Me and four others have some pretty awesome costumes planned out but you'll just have to wait until I post next to find out what! Don't worry I promise not to make you wait three weeks.  They told us no Bikram costumes.  Darn.  I know that has been done in the past and would be super hilarious but sadly we are no longer allowed to dress up as Boss himself.  So sad. 

I think I will end this here and leave you with a few pictures! Thanks for reading!

Sweaty Birthday kiss for Annie!!

Delicious sushi dinner

A little standing bow on the way to get groceries 

Padahastasana from the podium

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Week 3: Can you believe it!?

Sorry I didn't write last weekend.  I know you are all just DYING to hear from me and have literally all held your breath waiting for a post.  It's okay, resume breathing.  Week 2 was a slight experiment in time management as was last weekend.  Blogging did not fit in to that equation, however I have perhaps figured it out Week 3 so here I am!

My Saturdays seem to be spent attempting to study dialogue but more realistically passing in and out of consciousness whenever and wherever possible.  By that I mean napping, many many naps.  Not really actually passing out.  Don't be alarmed.  I have yet to pass out unintentionally.  Oh wait.  That's a lie.  I accidentally fell asleep during posture clinic.  Oops.  Only for about 10 minutes, thankfully the clapping woke me up. 

So Week 3:

Boss has been gone all this week out of town doing lectures.  His absence means we have been dismissed at midnight every night this week.  Lucky! Reality check this week with his return I think.  The real posture clinics started this week.  We are split into 20 groups each with about 20 people in them.  Each day the groups are paired together with another group who we do the posture clinic with.  It should really be called 'dialogue clinic' because that is what we are doing.  Presenting our dialogue and being critiqued on it.  We have moved SO fast this week.  Pretty much one posture per clinic.  We did back bending with hands to feet pose, awkward pose, eagle pose, standing head to knee and we started standing bow.  Incredible.  They have all gone pretty well for me and I am happy with how I did in each of them.  Basically my dialogue is good and pretty much verbatim I just need to BREATHE or else I am going to pass out when I am teaching a class.  Hehe that would be disastrous.  So today I am going to practice my dialogue with very deliberate breathing breaks.  I don't want to be told that again, this is all about moving forward and I want to move away from that. 

This past week we have also had anatomy lectures each day.  We have an amazing doctor teaching us; his name is Dr. Preddy and he is so full of knowledge it is incredible. He is an emergency room doctor in Las Vegas, an anatomy and physiology professor and he is also a chiropractor.  I have always found the human body incredible and so interesting.  His lectures are fascinating for me because not only is he teaching us about the human body, but also relating it to yoga and the postures.  This is totally something I want to study more in the future.  He is also one of the funniest people ever.  He keeps us entertained while teaching us some really important stuff.  Seriously.  Hilarious.  I'll try to write down some funny quotes or stories this coming week so I can share them with you.  Too awesome to keep to myself.  We have an anatomy quiz tomorrow so in addition to studying dialogue today I'll be studying anatomy. 

We have had a lot of good yoga classes this week too.  Well 11 yoga classes to be exact, some better than others.  I'll just highlight a few of them for you.  Well the first one I'll talk about was actually Friday of Week 2, but I can't leave it out.  Our teacher that night was from New York.  His name was Jakob and he was hilarious.  From the second he stepped onto the podium and said hi to us, I knew I liked him.  He was SUCH a good teacher.  Seriously I want to be like him one day.  He had this incredible way of motivating us and killing us without us even knowing what was happening.  In addition, he was hilarious.  This seems to be a common theme here: I like all of the people who are funny.  Well laughing is one of my favorite things in the world so that makes sense.  Some of these will only be funny to you, and will only make sense if you practice Bikram yoga.  Here are a few good ones that I remember:
  • During hands to feet : "From the side you should look like a Japanese ham sandwich, whatever that is"
  • During awkward : "Sit down until your hips touch the chair, drop it like it's hot!"
  • During party time (water break): "It's a Bikram yoga party! Everyone is pretty much naked and we all drink water for 30 seconds."
  • During Triangle : "Touch your pedicure!"
See? Hilarious.  Also more hilarious when in a room of 400+ other like minded people who are also suffering from extreme yoga brain causing funny things to become even funnier.   Thank you Jakob for your wonderful class, I hope I have the pleasure of taking your class again one day.

We had a class taught by Brandy Lyn Winfield who was the 2010 International Yoga Asana Champion.  She was fantastic as well.  She was commanding and it resonated to all of us and made us stronger.  She essentially gave us no choice but to listen to her words and follow them exactly.  I got a lot out of her class and didn't want to get up from final savasana.  I wanted to stay in the room.  That has been happening more and more to me as training goes on.  I just want to stay there and absorb the moment and lock it in my body, mind and soul forever.  This is truly once in a lifetime and I am so fortunate to be here. 

So many other great classes.  Our Saturday morning class was taught by Michon who is on staff here at TT.  the training could not run without him.  He does his job so well and we all love him.  He was a great teacher and really made us aware of what we were doing.  Basically his lesson to us was don't anticipate.  We have all taken Bikram yoga classes hundreds or even thousands of times.  We know what comes next.  Despite this, don't anticipate! Be present! Listen to the words and then only then move your body.  It was a good class, and I am glad for it.  Awareness is everything in this practice. 

We had a great talk from Jim Kallett who is I would say a Senior Teacher.  He was certified in 1997 and he has been working with Bikram ever since.  He knows a lot and has a lot of experience.  He said a few really great things and had me pretty mesmerized the whole time.  He said Teacher Training is like peeling an onion.  We are peeling ourselves away layer by layer until we get to the centre and the tears begin to run down.  So great and so true.  He also had a few really good things to say about the yoga competition and the controversy over it.  It is called the International Yoga Asana Championship for a reason: in is an asana competition.  We are competing using the postures.  It is not a competition in any of the other aspects of yoga because those are immeasurable.  People who compete need to train to have already won before they even step onto the stage.  If they are not already a champion, they are not going to become one during the three minutes they are up there.  If they are ready to be a champion all they have to do is get on the stage and demonstrate it.  Well said Jim, well said. 

Well I think I'll end on that note as I have much studying to do.  Thank you for reading and until we meet again, Namaste!

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Like the waves of an ocean, we rise and fall, rise and fall

Week two has begun and with it new pain, new emotions, new barriers, and new breakthroughs.  I hit a wall yesterday and was able to rise above it stronger in the same day.  Morning class ended with me in tears, an emotional volcano, after a very tough class during which I didn't do many of the postures.  Rajashree read us a poem during final savasana which is mostly what set me off.  Every line is as if it comes from my soul, my heart, and my mind.  I needed that release and although it hurt at the time, it feels great now.  I made it through the day and made up my mind to have a strong class that night.  And I did.  I am strong and I proved it to myself.  Anything is possible here, and anything is possible anywhere.  Just let it in, let it out, and let it go.

The Invitation 
By Oriah Mountain Dreamer

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.  I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me how old you are.  I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon... I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day.  And if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes.”
It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

Me in the waves at Manhattan Beach.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

"I'm going to be 747-ing all over you"

Week One is over! I have been successful so far I think.  As of right now I am measuring success as not having to leave the hot room to throw up. That is my goal for the rest of Teacher Training. No vomit. We had fun with Bikram trying to say 'puke' in yoga class one day.  He kept saying 'pu-ick' 'pu-ick' and we were shouting back to him 'puke!' 'puke!' until finally he got it.  He then declared it a stupid word and said why should he have to learn it anyway.  Ah good times with Bikram.  I don't really know where to start with this post, there is so much to say.  So apparently I have chosen to start it with stories of vomit.  Lovely.  Okay, next topic!

After that lovely little prologue let's start at the beginning shall we?  Day One we had the pleasure of meeting Bikram's wife Rajashree.  She is one of the loveliest women I have ever met.  She gave us a welcome speech and it was full of wonderful information.  She is so knowledgeable and I am really looking forward to learning from her.  She said "Yoga is not only about the practice, it is about beyond that.  This 26 and 2 is the key to help us understand the 'beyond that.'"  I am so excited for this, I know it is a process and one that I am looking forward to.  I began yoga for the physical aspect but now I am learning that it really is about so much more than that. 

We then met Bikram which was fantastic of course.  If you have never met him he really is impossible to describe.  He is full of hilarity but so full of knowledge.  One of the most important things he said for me is something that I wish everyone in the world would have the chance to learn.  We will learn "how to be a real human being here.  We are not black, white, yellow, pink.  We are not American, Indian, European, Asian.  We are not Hindu, Christian, Jewish, Buddhist.  We are human beings."

Our first yoga class was with Bikram Monday night.  Wow.  What an experience.  I actually had a really strong class and was feeling powerful and inspired.  The first thing I noticed is how different it is to practice in there compared with my studio at home.  The air is so different which affects my breathing I think.  It's not better or worse, just different.  A lot of people had a really tough time first class which is totally understandable.  New city, new country, new continent, new time zone, new room, new emotions, new everything.  It is all part of the process.  Bikram's first class with us was definitely not the standard 90 minutes, but rather just over 2 hours long.  If someone needs a correction he holds us in the posture until that person does it properly.  He kept us in Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee for so long because Miss. Pink wouldn't open her legs 36 inches.  Yikes.

We had class with Rajashree Tuesday morning and what a difference between her and Bikram! She is so wonderful and I think I would probably do anything she told me to do.  She just exudes this wonderful energy and power that it is hard not to be inspired.  She is really about the mind/body connection in yoga.  She said she used to ask at the end of each class who was having a birthday that day and then everyone would wish that person a happy birthday.  She doesn't do that much anymore because we all have a new birth-day after class.  We are all born again.  Thank you for that Rajashree. 

Posture clinics began Tuesday with everyone having to go up on stage one at a time and deliver the half-moon dialogue in front of Bikram and the 400+ teacher trainees and staff.  It is really interesting to see everyone one at at time, learn who they are and where the are from and hear their delivery of the dialogue.  Everyone is just so unique! Pretty much everyone that has gone so far has been great.  We got through 105 people on the first day which is incredible and Bikram is really impressed with us.  He told us later in the week that we are the best group he has ever had at Teacher Training.  So fortunate to be a part of it! I delivered my dialogue Thursday after many failed attempts to get in line to do it earlier.  So many people rush up to volunteer you practically have to throw punches and elbows to get a spot.  Very un-yogi-like.  It was interesting because right before Kimiko and I went (we went up one after the other) Bikram had just sung a song in Japanese to a woman from Japan.  She did a hilarious delivery of the dialogue which apparently inspired Bikram to serenade her in front of us all.  He loves to sing and this was certainly not the first time we heard him.  He is actually pretty good so it's not the worst thing he could subject us to.  It was so exciting and so nerve-racking to get up there with a microphone and have everyone stare at you.  I did my dialogue and Bikram was silent afterwards.  He is never silent so this left me anxious and confused.  I smiled at him expectantly (actually I think it was more like a grimace) and waited.  He then turned around to everyone and said "Well, what should I tell her?"  Everyone was shouting out "It was good" etc.  He said "No.  Not just good.  The best.  Wow.  The dialogue.  Wow."  Or something like that.  I had so much adrenaline running through my veins I can't remember exactly.  Amazing.  I am so happy with that response! Couldn't be happier really! I impressed myself, however I will remain humble because there is much more dialogue to go. 

We had class with Emmy Cleaves Thursday morning.  She is something like 85 years old.  No one really knows exactly.  She is Bikram's longest time teacher and she is in such great shape I can't believe she is that old.  She is very intense and very strict.  She teaches from that back of the room so the podium is empty and it is like there is just this great cosmic voice filling the room telling us what to do.  And telling us that we have a lot of work to do.  She said in Rabbit pose that she usually tells us to think of cracking a walnut between our head and our knees but looking at all of us she thinks that just thinking of squishing a grape would be more appropriate.  Haha, oh Emmy.  Thank you for ridding all of us of our egos.  We do have a lot of work to do and a long way to go.  Despite Emmy's apparent disgust with us, later that day for our evening yoga class Bikram said that he can see that we have improved so much already in just four days.  I think he was impressed with us and you could just feel the energy vibrating in the room.  Amazing what 400+ people moving together can do.

Alright I'll try to keep the rest of this brief and then reward your hard work reading with some photos for your entertainment.  We had a few visiting teachers this week as well.  We had Ulises from Mexico City, Jim from Washington D.C., and Lisa from Las Vegas.  They are all so different.  I liked Jim a lot and I loved Lisa.  She taught a very true to Bikram yoga class.  True to the dialogue and the 90 minutes.  I learned a lot from her in that short time.  She talked a lot about energy and how we share energy with each other during class.  That is why our palms always face up during Savasana.  Our energy flows from one palm to the next; it enters the left palm and exits the right from person to person.  This is parallel to the sun rising in the left and setting in the right.  Really cool stuff.  She also did an 8 minute final Savasana with us where we all recited a few mantras.  I have never done any chanting or mantras in yoga before and I always thought that it totally wasn't my style and just wasn't for me.  She may have changed my mind, or at least opened it.  They all have such meaning behind them and they really are for a purpose.  The first mantra we did was to the Goddess Kali who is the destroyer of ego.  Next we did a mantra to Ganesh who is the remover of obstacles.  I don't remember the other two so these two must have had the most meaning for me that day.  Lisa the teacher also had a beautiful voice so listening to her doing the mantras was wonderful.  I think this is something I would like to research in the future.

Ok some rapid fire quotes and tid-bits for you:

  • Kimiko and I have met some lovely girls from Bikram Yoga Richmond! Hi girls! So glad to meet you! Also we have met some other wonderful people from all over.  
  • Boss said that he was recently in Seattle doing a speech and someone asked him what he thought about the legalization of marijuana.  He said his response was "Eat shit and die" because what else do you say to that? Oh that had me lol-ing all over the place.  
  • We watched our first Bollywood movie.  It was called "Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai" or "Say... You Love Me."  If you want some entertainment, laughs, and an attractive man, please You-Tube some of the singing and dancing scenes.  You won't be disappointed. 
  • The nurse Susan, who is on staff for this week is awesome.  She is so hilarious I can't even describe it to you.  She has given us a few talks about nutrition, hydration and electrolytes and she is knowledgeable but also just so funny.  I hope all the nurses are equally as fabulous. 
  • We were graced with the presence of a very famous Indian music composer/singer named Babpi or something... My spelling and understanding of Indian names is suspect.  He is also indescribable.  I wish I had a photo of him because you won't believe me if I tell you what he looks like.  He sang for us and I wasn't sure if it was appropriate to laugh or not so I tried to control myself.  It was difficult. 
  • Bikram has a new music video coming out and we got to see it.  There are no words.  I laughed the whole time.  Gut-busting, tears in your eyes laughter.  I hope it comes up on You-tube becauase one viewing was not enough. 
Well as you can see Week One was a treat.  I think we are all in for a reality check with the start of Week Two tomorrow... Stay tuned...

As promised, some photos from the week:

In line at registration. Yea BKTT Fall 2011!!
Our car for 24 hours.  Loved driving it and loved driving in LA!

Eagle Pose in the lobby

The hot room!

Myself and Kimiko before class!

Saturday, 17 September 2011

We're in Los Angeles, eh!

Arrived in LA late last night! Woot! Had a good flight and navigated my way through LAX in 2.2 seconds flat. Slight dilemma upon arrival at the Radisson LAX which is my home for the next 9 weeks.  Most of the Teacher Trainees are arriving Sunday so we (my roommate and I) had to register for early arrival before we got here.  They had no record of our reservation and the hotel was totally booked.  I waited in the lobby for an hour for my roommate to arrive and then we got back in line at the front desk and explained our situation again.  Despite the hotel being full luck was on our side and the front desk guy worked some magic and managed to get us a room.  Going to another hotel would have SUCKED. Thank you front desk guy!!

Today we rented a car, a brand new black Ford Escape, and navigated our way through the streets of LA.  I drove and Kimiko (my roomie) used my GPS.  Thank you, thank you Grandma for the GPS because it totally saved us today!  We made it to Costco, Whole Foods and Target and back to the hotel no problem! LA driving is fun.  Some Real Housewife of Something or Other almost hit us but due to my stellar driving skills we successfully avoided collision.  Some cops stopped traffic right in front of us and we hoped we were about to see an arrest but alas it was a short lived traffic stop and ended more uneventfully than we had hoped.  We are just finishing up getting our room set up and organized.  It has been a long day but our room is looking great and we have SO much food.  We are both vegetarians and accidentally bought a flat of beans with bacon in them. Oops. I'm sure we can find someone who will eat them.  

Rapid fire things you may be interested to know:

  • I love Whole Foods, I love Target, I love my new car that I am pretending is mine although we have to return it in the morning.  
  • People watching here is hilarious.  
  • The staff at this hotel are absolutely amazing.  We have had the greatest customer service from all of them and I am very grateful.  
  • Kimiko and I are so very Canadian.  
  • Today I tried on not only pants but also a bra over my clothes and decided that that was a good assessment that they were the right size so I purchased them.  (They do fit, FYI).
We are going to head out to explore the hotel a bit and try to find the hot room! Namaste!

One last thing before we part: 

Kimiko and I met up quickly in the airport in Vancouver and decided to take some "Before" pictures to compare our progress through TT.  Here are the results.

Balancing Stick.  Total broken umbrella, not at all a T as in Tom... Keep trying Kimiko... Maybe next time.

Standing Head to Knee.  Well clearly we've got some work to do here.  Knee is NOT locked and the head is no where near the knee... Don't even get me started on the facial expression.

Friday, 19 August 2011

I need a title (yes I wrote this here on purpose)

It's Friday night and life's good.  Despite having ridiculously vivid and anxious stressful dreams last night (what else is new), it is a great day.  I've got the weekend ahead of me, I'm lounging at home with a glass of wine (ok maybe it's my second), and it's still warm outside.  It's been a busy week yet again.  I have a lot to organize before I head to LA.  It finally hit me just a little that I am actually going to be a yoga teacher (insert idiot grin on my face HERE).

I had an appointment with my bank today and was approved for a line of credit on the spot.  Hurrah! No more stress about money for TT! I also have an 'anonymous' backer for the financial aspect of Teacher Training.  I use quotation marks because they are not anonymous at all and we are genetically related but I won't reveal their identity here for privacy purposes.  If you are reading this my 'anonymous' friend, I love you and I am so thankful for your help! 

I went up-island this past weekend to visit my family and had a great time.  Had some good laughs with my family and some needed rest and sleep.  I went on a four hour long horseback ride with my mom and our family friend.  For those who don't know, I've been riding off and on since I was about 11 and I loooove horses.  It was a lot of fun and we saw some beautiful scenery right in our own backyard.  Horseback riding (especially at the fast pace we were going at times) is actually quite physically demanding.  Most people don't know that and think it is just a leisurely activity where the horse does all the work.  Nope.  The pain my body was in the next day, and the day after that, and the day after THAT, prove that it is a workout! Returning to yoga with such muscle pain was kind of humbling.  It was frustrating for me because I couldn't get anywhere near the depth in most postures as I usually can.  My muscles were simply too tight and too torn up.  That is what muscle pain is after a workout; your muscles tear microscopically which creates the pain you feel and leads to building of stronger muscle after they heal.

I feel like it was the perfect practice for being at teacher training.  Taking eleven 90 minute Bikram yoga classes per week on minimal sleep is going to take a toll on my body.  I will probably experience fatigue like I have never imagined and who knows what is going to happen inside my body.  I know that I am going to have the worst yoga class of my life and the best yoga class of my life while I am at TT.  I am excited for all of this.  I am looking forward to the good and the bad in the 9 weeks while I am in LA.  I have changed a lot over the past 8 years or so and I now think of myself as able to do anything when before I just felt lost and confused.  Life has so far lead me to this and without a doubt I know this is what I am supposed to be doing.  "Nothing that's worth it is ever easy" and this will certainly be a perfect example of that!

PS. I am disappointed none of you could 'name that movie' from my last blog post... No Googling allowed though...