Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Brass In Pocket

I've been home for three full days now, and I feel like I have finally completed "the circle" that Craig always talked about. It's true, coming home was one thing. Sure, it felt great to sleep in my own bed and to have my beloved grape nuts for breakfast monday morning, but it wasn't till I got to the studio in Elk Grove and took a class that I really felt at home. I think I was actually giddy driving over there. It was a trip because I was looking up at the ceiling, listening to the owner talk and it almost felt like I had never even left. It felt like the whole thing had been some sort of crazy dream. What's funny is that after class I got home and realized I had absolutely nothing to do. I had no idea what the heck I was supposed to do with this novel thing called free time. So I decided to take another yoga class. I headed to stockton this time (i'm teaching at two studios) and that was even more surreal for me. Up until training I had only practiced, only even seen one studio... I had seen stockton in various stages of being built, but it didn't actually open till the first friday I was in training. So I thought this place wuld feel completely foreign to me, but it didn't at all. Actually it blew my mind how it had only been open for such a short time but there was already a strong community there. Both classes went really well monday and my body felt great.
I woke up early tuesday morning and drove to Elk Grove to teach my very first class ever at 6am. There were 7 people in the room including me and it went alright. It wasn't amazing but I felt good about it. I got them in and out of the postures, I didn't run over or under time, and more importantly - we all survived and lived to tell about it. I have part of the class on tape and to my shock I didn't sound nearly as bad as I thought I would. I stuck around and took Erika's first class at noon, and it cracked me up because before she stepped on the podium i could feel all this nervous energy welling up inside me again. I felt like I was up there with her. Turned out I was nervous for nothing, of course, and she taught a strong class. She rocks, there was no doubt that she would be an excellent teacher, and I was so glad I was there for her. Later that evening, I taught the 6:30 class in stockton, and it felt a million times better that my morning class. I was so much more at ease and I felt like I did a better job of spitting out dialog, and still being myself. Helena told me after the first minute or two she could hear the quiver in my voice and then it was gone. It was like I just realized okay, I this. I worked my ass off for 9 weeks at training and even longer before this. I can do it. And I did. It felt so incredible. It was really special having Helena in my class because she taught the majority of my first classes. I can remember so many 8:15 classes laying in savasanah laughing about whatever story she was telling all the while sweat poured off me. I said something last night, I can't remember what it was, but we both chuckled and caught eachother's eyes, but this time I was on the podium and she was the student. It occured to me that Craig was right about the importance of completing the circle. It's one thing to go to training, do the work, take the classes, and get the certificate. Sure it feels wonderful to know that you graduated, you accomplished something, but it's not until you actually teach that the real satisfaction comes. I cant' describe how powerful it is to stand on the podium and look out at the class and realize that these people trust you, they paid you to lead them through class. They'll work hard for, sometimes harder than they want to, and it's your responsibility to not just be there, not just recite words from memory, but to teach. In doing so, yes you have to know the dialog but you have to care, and I think you have to share yourself with them. I think The biggest difference between my teachign the first class and the second class was obviously my comfort and my confidence levels. I was so much more comfortable my second time around (which makes sense) and I was able to give so much more of myself. As a result, I think I received so much more. It's true you give what you get.

I taught again tonight, this time that same 8:15 class that I used to take so often. To be honest, I think I was more nervous this time. I just kept worrying, What if last night was a fluke? What if it doesn't feel the same way? I was starting to spin a little bit and I was bummed out about other random things, and I thought about everything I learned in training about the power of thinking and how there was no way I was goin to go into that room and teach with all my stuff in my head. So I turned on one of my all time favorite feel good songs, "Brass in Pocket" -- sang at the top of my lungs "Intention, I feel inventive, gonna make you, make you, make you, make you notice..." (a little narcissistic, I know. but it's a feel good song, alright) anyhow, by the time I walked in the studio I was feelin good. and Big Surprise- Class went well! Really well! I walked out with the biggest smile on my face. I think I had that yoga high you get after taking a class times ten. Everything that had been bothering me before class was completely gone. I had been completely worked up about something that was beyond my control, and for 90 minutes I didn't think about it, I didn't even consider it. When I got in my car it popped in my head for a second and I quickly dismissed it knowing I couldn't change the circumstances so why worry? How crazy is it that people pay to get that kind of clarity and I had just recieved it not only without paying, but I was getting paid! It's true what they say teaching really is more therapeutic than taking! I guess it just goes to show that Bikram is right when he talks about how much you help yourself when you take the time to help others. I keep thinking, how lucky am i? I get to do this for a living. I am truly blessed.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Sunday, June 8, 2008

What A Long Strange Trip It's Been....

As I write this recap, I am sitting at home in my dad's office attempting to decompress... so where did I leave off? I have been a lazy blogger.. maybe not lazy, just dreading, and wondering how to wrap up this whole adventure. So Here I go..

Thursday night was Bikram
s final lecture and he introduced us to the sacred and seemingly mysterious Shitali breathing techniques. With the lights dimmed to a minimum in the auditorium and no sound other than the long steady breaths of 300 yogis, it was inded an experience. Actually I was waiting for the Oiuja board to come out, or to hear "Light as a Feather-". But I awsn't disappointed by the breathing. It was intense, a little freaky, but intense. The 10 minute exercise felt like it was lasting an hour, and I kept hearing Bikram's voice in my head telling us "No matter what happens, don't stop, just keep doing it" I guess the sensations are different for everyone, but for me it felt as though every exhale I was sinking down and drowning. Had it not been for how absolutely euphoric the inhales felt, I think I woulda disregarded the Boss and walked out. Despite my discomfort through the exhales, I trusted the process - like every other situation here, and I survived.
Friday was graduation and I kept having deja vu of some strange cross between high school prom and college commencement. I had to bite my tongue from saying "C'mon mom, just take the picture" because I felt so certain I had done this before and my parents had been there. But no. this was different. Very different. I can't explain how odd it was to see everyone dressed in all their finery. Girls who I had only seen dripping with sweat in their spandex now had on not only mascara, but eye liner on. Hair products other than leave in conditioner had been used, along with numerous heat styling tools, I suspect. Men and women alike were all beaming with pride and anticipation of finally Graduating. I couldn't have been happier to see a can of Diet Coke sitting on my chair waiting for me as a special graduation present from someone. (I've consumed way too much Diet Coke in the past 9 weeks.. it's the closest thing i've had to home, and I've clung to it)

As far as the ceremony itself, it was lovely. The demonstration went flawlessly, Craig was charming and Bikram was on his best behavior. Not only did he abstain from any dirty jokes, references to his balls, or any use of the F word, but he gave a surprisingly linear and easy to follow speech. Except I do admit, I was getting a kick out of trying to imagine what the visiting family and freinds were thinking trying to follow along... I guess understanding of Bikram is not something easily acquired, as it did take me 9 weeks to finally start comprehending him.

Directly following the graduation we had yet another buffet.. i'm so over buffets it's not even funny. Apparently so was everyone else because the seats at the bar were immiediately filled in with yogi's. I guess Erika and I were not the only ones who thought it would be a good idea to start the celebratory cocktails before brunch... Friday night was a little blurry to many, but I have to say everyone seemed to be having a great time and we're in good spirits. The next day however, not everyone looked their yoga best.. but thanks to a combination of lots of gatorade before bed and plenty of pedialyte in my cocktails -yes i'm serious. if there's one thing I've learned at training, it's that pedialyte can cure anything- And now I know it can prevent hangovers. Bonus.

But now I'm back home sweet home, and still it feels surreal. I really can't believe it's all over. All the pain, struggle, tears, and buckets of sweat I am happy to say goodbye to. But for the friendships gained, strength obtained, and countless laughs, I am sad to be leaving. I know that the real journey will begin for me Tuesdat at 6am when I teach my first class, but I feel grateful and blessed to have taken this trip. Words cannot express what these past 9 weeks have meant to me. With gratitude I thank each and every person that has supported me throughout. And If you're interested in mo' yogimo-- stay tuned!!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Times They Are A Changing

We're down to two classes left. We just got out of our last class with Craig and it was surprisingly a little emotional. It felt so nice to have that feeling back of actually loving the yoga again. We weren't just going through the motions, we were there in the moment and it felt right. It was exciting to look around and realize that in another 2 days we were going to be a group of 280something teachers, not just students. In honor of how far weve come in the last 9 weeks, and where we're going (and of course Obama's victory) I thought I'd post this.....


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Hello Goodbye

just a quickie, some much needed Flair for my blog..

Christian laughing at me

Final spinal

"Doing Work" by the pool

Craig helping me

Erika in posture clinic


With Casey

Love Group 4

The view from my room

Trying to avoid distraction while studying in the lobby

This is what posture Clinics look like
long time no type... i know i know. last weekend was a fun and busy weekend. i went out to dinner saturday and sunday nights and it felt so wonderful to actually put on a little black dress again. I'm still dreadfully missing wearing high heels, but all in due time. actually time is ticking away here. down to five more classes. emmy is back and has been teaching the morning classes. this is terrible to admit, but at this point i think my body is just going through the motions right now. i'm just over it and ready to be back in california. last night I had a dream i had a posture clinic at 2Me... That's not strange at all. In my dream, the whole crew was there and Huey, was the visiting teacher and he was critiquing me from behind the bar. I remember being in a panic and trying to sit in my car to do some last minute studying in the parking lot, but it was some crazy new dialog that I had never seen before. okay, enough about that, i'm off to go put in some work down at the pool before afternoon lecture with boss. ps- we had the pleasure of watching more Bollywood till 3am last night. i made it through the first half hour in my chair and then finally gave up and curled into a fetal position between other bodies and chair legs on the floor. what kind of a strange trip is this?

pps- pictures and more "flair" to follow in the near future i promise

Friday, May 30, 2008

Hot Legs

is what i better have after the last couple days!

Week 8 has absolutely flown by. This week has been huge for me as far as my postures and my practice. On monday they had announced that tryouts to demonstrate at graduation would be held and I didn't really think twice about it... well, actually I thougt there's no way I can demo, my practice is only mediocre. Yesterday they decided they would do a preliminary tryout after class with the staff and senior teacher Jason Winn. Then 30 (of the 60 or so) would tryout in front of Bikram. I had an okay class yesterday, but I was headed straight out the door when I got stopped by Sarah who asked me why the hell I was leaving. I immiediately told her there was no way I was going to try out, I can't even get my head to my knee in standing head to knee. She pointed out (thanks sarah) that was not the best attitude to have and reminded me of what Bikram would say "you have nothing to lose because you had nothing to start with". After hemming and hawing over it i turned back around and decided to swallow my pride and tryout. Despite the fact that it was completely horrific-- i was in the second group and i kept looking around thinking, all these people are way better than me. Jason told the first group that anyone that couldn't do full standing head to knee was out and I was tempted to get up right there but I figured I was already there, might as well give it a try... when my group was up to go, Bikram was just walking through and decided that i needed an adjustment on my half moon. lucky me, all of a sudden i felt two hard jerks on my body, a couple cracks and "oh F&*?!" come out of my mouth. nice way to start off a tryout. somehow, i survived yesterday though, and was asked to come back today to tryout. (don't get too excited- i didn't make it today) but anyhow, i woke up feeling horribly stiff. I swallowed two alieve and had a pretty decent morning class, but I still couldn't get my damn head to my knee without falling. I had never done it before and I could feel a sense of dread building up inside of me. I kept worrying bikram was going to yell at me for wasting his time. We had our tryouts at noon and by the time we got up there I was sweating bullets and probably shaking like a leaf. We started our demonstration, backbend, forward bend, dun dun dun... then came Standing head to knee... I don't know if it was just because Boss was there watching or what but I actually did it!!! and I didn't fall out!! I came back out with the group in total unisen! I was so happy. And then came bow, which I usually love, and I fell out. and then we did the sequence again. .. and again i was able to get my head to my knee without falling, but i think i was so shocked i had done it, i couldn't concentrate on anything because i fell out of standing bow again. To my relief, Bikram didn't yell at me though, instead he nicely said, "You in the red top, black shorts, Thank you. You may sit down" I looked up at him and the funny thing was I had a grin on my face. I didn't care about bow, I had a personal victory and that was good enough for me. To be completely honest, I was actually relieved. I am more confident in my practice than I was, but I still know that I have a long way to go, and I'm looking forward to enjoying the last week instead of fretting about whether or not I fall during a demo.

I went into afternoon class still feeling pretty good because I kept thinking, wow, I made it that far, I got to tryout in front of Bikram, that's a big deal. I had a great class too. I went farther into half moon than i ever have before. I was in awkward thinking geeze, my legs don't even hurt and they should be killing me right now. My knees had no problem locking out in the other postures and I kept thinking, what's going on? This is great!!! and then i realized in addition to the two alieve i took this morning, i popped three before the tryout... which basically meant that the reason why I was going so deep in class was because I couldn't feel the pain that was for sure there. Not cool, that means, I'm going to be hurting tomorrow. BUt I can deal with that.

Tonight is the talent show, and the staff surprised us with pizzas before so I'm going to head out. Pictures to follow soon of odds and ends. much love to everyone, and I'll be home soon!! :)