Advanced seminar

The week after TT Bikram is running an advanced seminar.  Nothing like TT, no monitored toilet visits, sleep deprivation and mandatory brain washing :)  I seriously considered attending, but eventually decided after 9 weeks in the yoga torture bubble I could do without extending it.  In addition, it would give me an excuse to return to spring training in 2010 :)  About a dozen of my classmates opted to do the advanced training this time around.  Most confessed that the primary driver was the high transportation fees already paid to come to TT.  If you are coming from Europe it is easy to see the value and logic in this. 

One of my yoga moms and dads are attending.  I hope they are having a blast :)



Less than a week to go

Mixed feelings abound. I will sorely miss the only obstacle between me and 2 yoga classes a day being what outfit to put on. Reality lurks around the corner.. life has a way of getting in the way of a yoga practice. If it's not the commute, then it's the chores, or work, or family, or... whatever. Did I mention I love being on my mat? It's a great place. If you're questioning anything in your life i say TAKE IT TO THE MAT! ;) Anything the mat can't fix aint worth fixing or having.

There are so many people I have ready access to now that I will miss.  Just as I miss some folks back home while being here, there are plenty of faces I see in the yoga room today that I will sorely miss.  87 classes done, can you believe?  (any oddly worded expressions are Bikram-isms, you may as well get used to them... and "can you believe?" is right up there) So many fantastic teachers and staff and people. Some people have their first class after training set up.  Some as early as the Monday afterward.  Some have full blown schedules laid out for them.  Others, like me have no clue what awaits us.  Neither of my home studios have even begun discussing me teaching a class (mock or otherwise).  It'll all be okay though.  Things that don't make sense are typically following a path we don't see yet.

There is no way I am ready to teach a class (process be darned!).  Knowing this is a good thing though, it motivates me to work on my dialogue (and faith) for the next 2 weeks (I'm here till 4 July).


Final (?) note on posture clinics

The posture clinics were long and tedious for sure. Sitting on the floor was uncomfortable and a total drag (strongly advise trail chairs (no legs or hard bits) and advise against camp chairs with metal tubing (several of us were injured trying to maneuver around those inconsiderate enough to bring these in (I have a bruise on both legs from these and a gouge in my left leg from one)) Delivering dialogue day after day was stressful no doubt. That being said, I sincerely doubt that there is a single person who did not benefit from the process. The way that most folks pitched in to help each other was also totally awesome yo! Yes, there were some superstars (no issues in posture clinics and came here knowing the whole dialogue already) that not once aided another person, and it does make one wonder about them as teachers. At the same time there were piles and piles of folks who went out of their way to help. One guy in my team really struggled even toward the end, and this one woman from LA (who could come across as pretty self-serving) worked with him night and day to get him back on track. She really was the right person to help him out, and she gave of herself freely.

I took a lot of notes and paid attention to all feedback, not only my own. Some folks listened to their ipods or talked through every session, which is sad. I think i got more from listening to the feedback for the other 39 people in the room than only my own (law of averages and all of that...) I guess you get out what you put in. I strongly advise future TTs to put forth their very best BUT not to set expectations upon themselves. We are all our own worst critics, and when we beat ourselves down we are not doing anyone any favors. Do. Accept. Learn, and move on.

Karma will ensue.

Friday's Lecture

Most people were delighted with Lynn's lecture on Friday which focussed on aspects of teaching. I think some folks.. erm... did not "appreciate" the philosophical and spiritual side of many of the lectures (the screaming outside of the lecture tent on more than one occasion may have been a clue to their disdain of all things not in alignment with their world view). Nonetheless, the lecture was good, and I took copious notes. What I really need now is my first couple of classes set up.


I would like it officially noted for the record I am TIRED of having to drink 5 liters of water a day. 4 liters (non desert TT amount) now seems like it would be bliss to have to do! Don't try to tell me it will be easier if I flavor my water with lemon or orange; because I will simply hit you upside the head with a 2l jug of watermelon water for your complete lack of understanding.

VIP tool

...and the award for the most valuable tool goes to.... ... the voice recorder. While every one uses it a different way I think this is an invaluable tool that everyone should have. Since you can EASILY get one for under $50 (if you are spending more than that you are getting a fancy schmacy one) You can pick one up at any electronics or office supply store. Here is a list of things I have found said voice recorder to be handy for:

1) when you are memorizing you can record yourself reading the pose with inflection, and listen to yourself over and over (walking to and from classes)
2) once you have it memorized you can say it along with your own voice to see if you miss anything
3) you can record yourself to check you are saying it verbatim
4) you can record yourself to check your own inflection and emphasis
5) record yourself and "take your own class" - you will very quickly learn to improve your delivery ;)
6) you can record yourself in posture clinic (so you know what you really said - for the most part at this training people thought they screwed up WAY more than they actually did)
7) record the feedback you receive in the posture clinics
8) record your first class (and any subsequent class) You are uniquely qualified to improve your own dialogue delivery.
9) you can do voice journaling which is way faster than writing (the digital recorders have at least 4 folders, so you can be organized about it)
10) you can record your room mate's rants and put a permanent end to such behavior


week 8

8 days left

I actually have several topics I have been meaning to blog on, but you know how it goes. :)  Maybe I'll get to them now...

Today heralded two great things: the end of Posture clinics (we are DONE!) and the return of Ren.  We are exhausted (hellooo, week 8!), excited (yay getting done) and exhausted (did I mention Bikram has been keep us up late?  4:30 am this morning)  Let's say we were not up to par in our morning class.  I heart Ren forever.  I know some people complain he's a diva, but I say be your true self and that Diva is Fabulous!

I blacked out in class on Tuesday.  Most bizarre sensation let me tell you!  I apparently made it down to the mat all by myself.  Then that night I fainted for a moment in posture clinic.  That was "interesting" too.  I remember thinking I wished the posture would end soon.  The thing is I was the one saying the posture.  I guess that is what was meant by trusting that you know the posture.  I was recording myself at the time, and let me tell you that it came out verbatim while I was on autopilot. (the voice lacked a little inflection - I guess it's okay to sound a little vapid when one is having a partial out of body experience ;) )  I have remained dizzy for the last 2 days... i can still consistently get myself to keel over by tilting my head (especially backwards). Cause unknown. And here a thought when the week started that getting my period for the 3rd time was inconvenient ;)

Did I mention that MUCH jubilation ensued after each person wrapped up their final posture?  I didn't need to, did I?!   

BTW, for those of you coming to the fall training... the $20 for the day pass to the spa... it's well worth while.  If not every weekend, then at least here and there.  The Bistro serves pretty good food.  The pool isn't huge, but it has 3 things going for it: saltwater iso chlorine; no kids; no drunks.  The main hotel pools are SWAMPED with drunks and kids over the weekend.  There is a Hammam (lemongrass-citrus scented), steam-room (eucalyptus scented), sauna, and both indoor and outside hot tubs.  The body and mind both find what they need at this peaceful retreat. 


So far...

50 nights spent in this hotel so far
76 classes taken so far
18 postures delivered in posture clinics so far
4 Drs as guest speakers so far
0 days where i did not learn something new about myself so far

Changes within and without

I have lost at least 5kg/11lbs.  Before those of you planning on coming to TT get all excited, it is important to note I had this (and more) to lose.  Our bodies will do what they need to do.  Which means many of the twigs are lamenting the 1kg/2lbs of muscle they have gained.  I know of at least one that cut her food intake to "get back to her weight", which I would think would be a bad time to do it.  I guess some folks would rather go by a scale than by their body's natural evolution.  Heck, I just look at chocolate souffle and I'm up in weight.  Some folks here are scary thin (think walking xylophone) and I like to think that this is not due to their own doing (my own beloved is of meager breadth and this has nothing to do with him eating insufficiently).  I am starting to show some more muscle definition as my lard begins to melt.  I confess I like it.

I have spent much time reflecting upon things within and think that everyone should bring a journal to TT, even if they never journal.  I'm not saying one needs to journal weekly, or daily.  There will be times though when the thoughts and emotions may be tumultuous, and writing without editing oneself can be beneficial to finding one's own truth within.


Week 7

Dr Anne Marie Bennstrom

Tori and I enjoying our Friday

Rajashree on Thursday

Pumpkin Pies on Thursday
Week 7 seemed to be a turning point for Group 6.  Without exception every person in the group made a significant advance in the posture clinics.  Those struggling to get the dialog out suddenly hammered it out, those who formerly hammered it out but failed to connect to the students suddenly made that connection.  It was inspirational to watch.  It was exhilarating for the whole team.  Next week should be interesting.  Our group has gotten to half way through fixed firm at this point. I was very sleepy by the end of the week learning 1 or 2 postures a day.  Bikram is back on Monday so I may even have more sleep deprivation headed my way.   My theme for the week seemed to be forgiving and forgetting.  Inner peace is seeming less and less elusive each day.  Things are what they are :)



I have often likened TT to giving birth.  Week 6 this really seemed to be the theme for me.   What I used to say was that TT was similar in that during the labor pains there is much pain and cussing, yet afterward all of that is forgot as one revels in the new life. Many here bemoan the visitors constantly telling us how joyous this all is and how very much we will miss it.  Although they are right, they forgot the labor pains and how they cursed everyone and everything during their time in the wringer.  It struck me this week that it is not the yoga teacher's certificate that we are giving birth to, it is ourselves!  This is a rebirth.  Then one class I saw a horde of visiting teachers watching us through the doors of the lecture room.  I felt decidedly like a baby in the hospital nursery with the visitors coming by to see the newborns all swaddled up in their cribs. That was when i began to think further on my own analogy.  What do you do with a newborn?  You pretty much have to feed it and look after it a whole lot, no?  If you don't do that and they tend to get very ill, or in the worst case... die.  That is the truth of it then.  Labor pains, rebirth, then constant care, then ongoing care.  Inside out, bones to skin, body to soul.

posture clinics

What I learn out of my bad turn was that if I am ever in a posture clinic on the other side of the fence it is absolutely essential to be very very gentle with the half baked cookies.  You never know where they are that moment.  Even if you have the best of intentions you never know when you're way off the mark.  So your delivery is very important.



Today is my day to be pissed off.  It's not only actual events, it is also my own feelings.  Bad combination right now ;)  It seems to be contagious.  Some people came down with the huff-n-puffs last week and a number caught the agro bug early this week.  Yesterday we had two good posture clinics with Lynn and Ida.  Today we got a twat in posture clinic (another joyous 3 hours of him tonight).  Either he's a twat or all the people complaining about him have lost their senses.  I guess there is a third option... he is a twat and we are not in a good mental place to deal with him.