There it is. Life in all of its barren glory. As was to be expected, my director has declined my generous offer to take two months off unpaid. I guess I'm actually worth keeping around and paying. LMHO. Honestly in his place I would have done the same thing. Thus I have 2 viable options: quit my job at the end of April, go to TT and hope that the small amount I have stashed will suffice for my unemployment (which in this economy could be an issue); or go to Fall TT (increasing my stash time and thereby potentially the stash amount). The leaning as of now is the latter. Still processing.
I bet you are wondering why learning the dialog was not on my preparation list. Well, it's not really something you can always chose to start early. You get your copy of Bikram's dialogue after you have registered (and paid). You may have heard that it is 43 pages long (those I asked confirmed its length but assured me only 28 pages would need to be memorized for TT - obviously all 43 pages are required for teaching). Yes, general consensus is that one should learn as much of the dialog as humanly possible prior. Most did not get that far (best was "most of the standing series"), but all managed even though they had not learnt as much. So it boils down to "if you can, get as much of the Bikram's teachers dialog in prior to going to TT."
So I have been reading as well as polling teachers... the topic is "how does one prepare for Bikram yoga teacher training?" The results were actually pretty much the same. To a person everyone included the top item of my list. I have tried to put this in what I have ascertained to be priority order:
- Maintain a consistent practice (opinions varied but no answer was less than 4 times a week and no one felt one should be doing too many classes too close to TT - i.e. solid and consistent) This also includes doing every pose every time.
- Solid practice - form over depth remember? It's okay not to be one of the bendo dolls in class sucking on your ankles and elbows simultaneously. Being able to focus, remain still and retain your inner calm matter most.
- Do at least one 60 day challenge prior, but not just immediately prior.
- Do some doubles in the 3 months prior to TT.
- Do not make any drastic changes to your diet, body, etc prior to TT
- Have realistic expectations. Know what it is you are willing to give and what you expect back.
- Being of sound mind and body. TT is demanding enough without taking mental and physical health issues to training expecting a miracle cure.
- Be ready and eager to teach (unless you're just doing TT as like an advanced seminar to further your practice)
Classes don't seem to be getting easier. I really have to start eating better. The urge to toss my cookies in class is less than ideal. I think most food tastes better going down than coming back up! EW :( Food and eating in general is an aspect of yoga and TT that is unavoidable. When I first started I quickly realized that there are certain meals one does not want to follow with a yoga class the next day. Partly due to potential nausea and partly because... well frankly yoga detoxes all your sins and being detoxed isn't always pleasant (for those not in the know... imagine a nice elegant bathroom; picture yourself perched unceremoniously atop the porcelain throne; picture your face all screwed up as you "detox" your sins and think to yourself "NO more pierogies fried with sausages within 24 hors of a class!" It is not a big surprise that I have not had a pierogi since. Everyone has their tale of detoxing. Apparently Big Macs yield a similar experience, and here I thought only food poisoning provided an instantaneous colon cleanse!)
So, there are 17 weeks left till TT begins. I know there are a lot of people that would like to go. Of those I have spoken to, money and jobs are the primary deterrents. These are significant considerations. Many take loans. TT effectively costs USD$10,500 (sharing a room). Although, with the current economy, now would be a good time for those with Euros to enjoy "discount opportunities" :) The cost includes classes, accommodations, and one meal (brunch) a day. Additional expenses come in the form of dinner, laundry, sundries (toiletries, supplements, etc) and indulgences (massage, pedicure, recreational trips on Sundays, whatever). Then there is the cost of getting to TT. Last, but not least is the loss of income that would be suffered during this time. Although this will differ by person and circumstance it is no small thing. Even the fear of "having to do without" can deter someone who has been gainfully employed. There are mortgages, utilities, standard monthly bills, not to forget periodic bills (such as insurance) that need to be borne in mind when computing the amount of money this will cost/ one needs to save.
Do I really have to go back to work tomorrow? Urgh... after 2 weeks off I really don't want to go back. It will be nice to hang with some of the folks again, but I can do without the stress and political bru-ha-ha. On the bright side it is my job that will pay for TT. Thus I return to work tomorrow to earn the mullah to feed one of my addictions. Yay capitalism!
Another day, another... urgh!... what a crappy class. I guess the best part was I was not the only one in the dressing room after class complaining about how much that class sucked for us. I blame the holiday foods. Or more accurately my indulgences in the land of sugar. Not what one wants on day 4 of a 60 day challenge :) I remember one important thing from my last 60 day challenge... one day at a time. I guess that is good advice for life in general.
Over lunch today we discussed TT (aka bootcamp). Why the mental and physical extreme was the question posed to me. I think there are two reasons. The first is to prepare the students for that day when they have to tap their deepest reserves (as students or as teachers). The second reason is simply the same as army boot camp. Break you down so that you just "let it go" and soak it all up. Us humans tend to over-think. Ee let our stupid brains get in the way too often. How much better do things typically go when we set aside our expectations.
I also spoke to another yogini at the Ann Arbor studio who would like to go to spring TT. Her masters' classes end in April (typical spring session starts b4 her classes end, so the late start this year is a boon). The money is of course a huge consideration (as it is for everyone). Job, savings, mortgage, etc concerns. I'm the oldest fart I know planning on going :)
Here we are in 2009. Plans are still underway for me to attend TT in the spring. Still no word from my director abut that leave of absence, but for all intents and purposes I have not yet been derailed. This week's debate is drive or fly. The drive is i mere 3656km/2285miles straight shot (not counting detours for petrol, food, or dare I say sleep?) The major disadvantage is of course the time consumption. Best case scenario is three 12 hour driving days (each way of course). Ouch. Of course the up-side is having a vehicle to get around with, as well as of course not having to deal with packing for a plane flight.
Yoga is the same as ever... i.e. different every time. I recently procured bra-tops (for sweating n class with - going to need a slew what with the sweating in class twice a day), also some yoga pants (not yoga shorts which I wear in class). If you have not already tried them, check out the Beyond Yoga stuff (I know, I know, forget the whole celeb-endorseocity, it's good!).
On another note, I have started my 60 day challenge. my last day will be 2/28/2009. I will have 60 days to do my 60 classes. I plan on getting some doubles in (I need the practice of doing 2 classes in a day ;) ), and by doubles I don't only mean when I do a beginner's and an advanced class in one day.