Time is starting to fly

Here is a shot up to our room (behind the trees).

Thursday morning classes remain dedicated to the Lovely M. You go girl!

7 classes down (we have 3 more this week). It was 91F/33C here today and the room we take lectures in is very susceptible to outside heat. The net result is that walking to the loo (the route to and from the lecture/yoga room is outside in the sun) one gets to really enjoy the cool 91F/33C temp! (that was NOT sarcasm, that was sincere... it is like a breath of fresh cool air stepping out of the sweltering room.)  Last night it got pretty darn cold in there!

One cute thing with both Rajashree and Bikram.  The way they say Palm Desert makes it sound like Palm Dessert.  Makes it sound like a much better place to have a hellish 9 week yoga bootcamp, no? ;)

People are starting to get achy (which is to be expected).  Today a small number of people got some pedialite/Gatorade to help them through a rough patch in class.  For our 4th day of yoga I think we are doing well.  It may be due to the preparation some students have done.  Unlike me many (most?) students seem to have been prepared by their local studio.  I confess I have clique envy of all the students that came in groups.  Speaking of groups, don't visit British Columbia as all of the studios there must be closed due to every last student in BC being here at TT ;)  There are also a LOT of Aussies and New Zealanders.  Many of the Americans are like me and have another mother country.  Nice bunch indeed, and very attractive!

on to today

Last night was our first movie night.  I will not ruin it for others, so I will confine myself to saying we had our first true "lecture" from Bikram (2hrs) and then watched a movie for 3.5hrs.  The class really seemed to enjoy it and for today at least we all stayed awake for the whole movie.


5 classes down

How time flies ;)
Our room is a minimum of a 10min walk at a brisk pace from the yoga/lecture rooms) opposite ends of the resort.  Working out logistics still.  Figured out I like to wash my gear while in the shower.  I then hang it on the back of the chair outside and it dries in a jiffy. The kitchen my roomie and I have set up is working really well for us.  While some may have thought my overpacking (over the weight limit) was excessive I have come to appreciate many of the items I packed (when you need a flashlight you need a flashlight ;))  The fridge is tiny so I suppose that tiny fridge I had in Paris for two weeks served as good training (you cannot bring your own fridge in).

My fellow students have been nailing their half moon poses in the dialog clinics with Bikram.  They are all going to make fabulous teachers, and I look forward to a chance to take some of their classes some day in the future.  Jim Kallett taught our 5th class this evening and it was AWESOME!  I found my inner-mirror while in class and I think it was due in a great part to Jim's pearls of wisdom.
Off to evening lecture i go.  I'll post a couple of pictures tomorrow.


Class 2

The new setup is working very well so far.  The airflow is good, heat is good, and we are all okay with the humidity not being set to "death" setting.  The hotel is great and offers us 2 lunch options to select from per day.  One or both will be vegetarian and are always nutritious.  Roasted veggies with bulgar anyone?


Day 2 - Class one

I am on a yoga high!

I truly needed that class, as I think did most of us. Bikram was truly enjoying himself today and seems to be delighted with the biggest class ever, and being back in California where he can be joined by his children, movie star friends, and long-time mostest-senior Bikram teachers.We will apparently be seeing more of Emmy, Bikram and Rajashee than the last 4.  We also get Dr Anne Marie Bennstrom back this cycle.  There was a general sense of elation as we all left class today.  I think there was much trepidation which has now passed that helped.  In addition we were super duper lucky that class was not super hot and not humid, meaning we really had it easy.  In return we all stayed in class and enjoyed the yoga to our fullest.  Did I mention Bikram was on top form (yes, you can laugh and hold a pose... and hold it... and hold it...).  It was only a 118min class mind you. Tomorrow may not be as easy so tonight we revel in our luck!

Clarity for non-yogis

If you are a friend or family (or simply a non-yogi) reading this I would like to add a note for you about what might follow.  Emotions are simply emotions.  Events occur, emotions arise, I acknowledge them, and (with any luck) move on.  I think of this experience being like childbirth.  It is terrible and painful during the process, but once it is all done the pain is immediately gone as one basks in the glow of new life.  In this case my new life. 300 people going through a torturous rebirth is likely to lead to some venting ;)  Accept it as a perspective for that moment.  A man at the bottom of a mountain cannot describe the view from the top, sometimes he can't even see the top.

Today's thought:
"Everyone and everything around you is your teacher."
- Ken Keyes Jr -


And so it begins...

We're off to a racing start... no wait... where did my other bag go?  Lost luggage claim?  Breath in, breathe out, it will all be okay. The flights themselves were uneventful.  It was nice to sit and talk to another students on one of the legs.  Okay, I almost got asked to move out of the exit row.  Apparently one must refrain from crying in the exit row. Other than that it was good trip.

We have gotten our course materials and had our orientation.  The most important lesson learned today was that it’s a LOT hotter in the sun.  I’ll be playing the cartoon version of dash shade to shade.

Rajashree told us how happy they were to have TT back in Cali.  The belief is that this will allow us to get more of Emmy, Raj and Bikram.  This is good no? ;) We are getting back some folks who have not been to the last 4 TTs. On the flip side, it is a new locale, so we will no doubt have some issues to iron out with the resort.

 My focus now?

Learn to be silent. Let your quiet mind listen and absorb.” 

– Pythagoras –



If those of you that know me are thinking I have packed everything but the kitchen sink, I am here to tell you that you are dead wrong!  Ha!  Take that.  I honestly did NOT pack everything but the kitchen sink.  You'd better believe I packed that sink.  Heck, I packed it, the cabinet it was set in, I even threw in the pot of parsley standing next to the sink!

I fly out first thing in the morning... let's see what I forget! ;)


Awed and humbled

With less than a week to go till TT begins there is a lot of stuff going on.  I very wisely opted to drop half my hair.  My hair is way too thick to be long and getting wet twice a day.  I wanted to give it a chance to dry ;)  I've been trying out the new hair in and out of class... and let me tell you I'm going to need a lot less hair product!  LMHO.

The truth is I have been feeling a lot of fear lately.  At first I thought.. well, I don't know what I thought.  That isn't true.  I thought it was the ego thing... fear of failure. I thought I was not physically prepared for this torture.  However, it turns out (as these things are wont to do) that my fears were more about not being worthy.  I did not chose this journey as much as it chose me. I guess I over-think things too much huh?

I know, I know, shut up and pack woman!


Advice from the veterans club

Here is a collection of the advice that has been handed to me with regards preparation for teacher training (in no particular order):
  • In the weeks leading up to TT maintain a consistent practice (don't assume that stepping it up will prepare you for TT any better)
  • Pack a few meal replacement type bars and/or protein powder even if you hate them. There will be times when you simply need something to eat and you're all run out.
  • Jerky (biltong for us South Africans) is a great snack to have on hand.  As is any other easy to store protein source you may prefer.
  • Honey is a great energy source and can be put into your water to carry you.  
  • Medications.  Don't just take your normal daily meds, also take supplies you infrequently need (such as antihistamines which you don't typically take, immodium (better to have a 2 pill pack you never use than to be one of the many that find a need for them and not have them on hand!),  a small tube of neosporin, some anti-inflamatory pills, decongestant (let's hope we don't catch the flu, but if we do let's be prepared),  a couple of antacids (for indigestion), and meds for any other issue you may occasionally be prone to. 
  • Under NO circumstances take painkillers, you could end up injuring yourself in class due to not getting the proper bio-feedback.
  • No expectations. This includes EVERYTHING.  Vegetarians have been known to hit the double cheeseburger in their first week.  Don't plan your meals in advance, your body is going to change, as will your carvings.  Just go with it.  Calm centered individuals have been reduced to tears.  Accept the emotions as they come.  Most of all, don't plan what you'll be doing or improving with regards to your practice. I got told this over and over.  As told, many a yogi has held some ideal in mind and ended up with an injury.  There are enough physical demands that expectations should probably not be added to the mix.  One of the bendiest yogis I know explains that during her TT she was at her least bendy ever.  She was building so much muscle that her easily-come-by flexibility took a vacation.  Which brings me to another point.  Don't set any expectations as to what will happen with your body.  Yes, on average men tend to burn off their spare fat and women tend to pack on muscle, but put that all aside and focus on surviving Bikram's bootcamp! =D


16 days till Cali

It really is hard to imagine that it's only 16 days.  It seems so far away and obscure, yet right here (and I feel I am so ill prepared!)

Although I am most peeved at this cold I have been battling this cold (I blame the cold-hot-col weather swings we had last week) it has served 2 good purposes.  One is to remind me I can survive yoga when I feel like a truck hit me (yesterday it felt like the truck backed up for another go at me).  Good thing to be reminded of, we could all bear that in mind (rumor has it that every TT session has its bout of flu that runs rampant through the vulnerable yogis)  I have had my fair share of yoga classes with the flu and although it may knock you on your bee-hind it will help you work through the snot if nothing else ;) The second thing it reminded me was to pack some of the items one cannot wait for (Mucinex, Abreva, and other medications that "tomorrow" is not soon enough for)


Preparation thoughts 19 days b4 i leave

There is only so much one can fly with (unless one wants to (a) have to deal with more items of baggage than appendages and/or (b) weight issues that cost money and might rip limbs off).  I have therefore realized I should compile a shopping list of easily procurable items so that I do not need to pack and fly with such.  Cotton balls, tins of tuna, body lotion, nail polish remover, mouthwash, razors, . Items that are brand specific and may not be available I will take with.  Examples of this would be my favorite shampoo, the only brand of protein powder I like (or whatever it is that the individual simply must have a specific item for).   Just a thought...


TT minus 21 and counting

It is hard to believe it is only three weeks away.  Until a couple of days ago it was "at the end of April," now it is more a case of "in 3 weeks... oh sh-t I'd better get my stuff sorted!"  The emotions change by the day for me and the others i have spoken to.  One day one can be filled with overwhelming excitement and the very next panic.  Many are panicked about learning the dialogue, and it is hard not to be.  However, the truth is thousands have learnt it at  TT and survived.  Being immersed help, as does being surrounded by 300 other souls learning (or relearning) the same.