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.