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!