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.....


YES WE CAN!!


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

COBRA POSE!



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!! :)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Manic Monday

... NOT!! actually i'm happy to report this was by far the best monday we've had. Brandy taught morning class and it was a solid strong class, not too hot, not too humid, i think only one person threw up and it was a visiting teacher. Rumor has it, he came straight outta camel, flung himself forward and projectile vomited all over his mat. impressive if not disgusting. I on the other hand felt pretty good. Aternoon class went really well too. I feel like I'm getting closer and closer to locking my leg in the standing bow. I even got a compliment on it after class from Christian which made me smile. I think everyone is in high spirits mostly due to the fact that we are FINISHED WITH POSTURE CLINIC!!! WAHOO!!!

actually, we're not finished, but we did do the last posture today. I don't know why but Spine Twist was such a drag to learn. Way too many lefts and rights to keep track of, and it felt like my brain was so full how could i possibly squeeze another posture in there. But somehow I managed and I think I did a pretty good job of delivering it today. Actually everyone really seemed to go out with a bang which was nice to see. After we finished we did sort of a mock class with all of us taking turns trading in and out of teaching kind of like a relay race. It was actually really entertaining. I started with Left and Right side of Half Moon and it was cake. I think I can do that posture in my sleep after hearing it almost 300 times the first week. It was pretty exciting to see everyone finally stringing the dialog together and it was funny to hear the crazy things that just came crashing out of people's mouths while they searched for the words.

Even lecture with Bikram went well today. He let us out before midnight even and as usual he kept us laughing. Allegedly, he invented the Disco, or so he says. i'm serious. I'm waiting for him to tell us that he also invented the question mark..... we'll see. But even with the laughs, he does spit out some pearls of wisdom occasionally. He talked about the body tonight and the main point of what he was saying (i think) is that if you take care of your body and your health, you will also be taking care of your mind and your spirit. I buy that. I know when I'm healthy, I'm happy. Plus it makes me feel good about what I'm going to be doing as a teacher. It's empowering to be able to help other people, and more importantly, we're going to be helping people help themselves. There's something about the ownership of knowing that you are doing something good for yourself. I think the key to that is having the sense of self worth, to know that it's exactly what you deserve. I think that's why most of us, if not all are here. Weve all been blessed by this yoga and we've helped ourselves so much that we want to share that with others. It's such a relief to think that here we are after 7 weeks of crying, puking, pooping, cramping, cramming, and we can still see clearly the reason why we're here. Our vision hasn't yet been clouded by the extranious (and sometimes yucky) circumstances. That's because, right now, at this moment, we're on the path we're supposed to be on. Again this is definitely the training of John, Paul, George, and Ringo, but it makes me think of the line from "There's nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be/ It's easy/ All you need is love, love love/ Love is all you need" It's true. and for everyone back home, learn to love your yoga if you don't already! It'll rock your world, I promise. :)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Two Outta Three Ain't Bad...

This weekend was so nice I think washed away my bad friday. I spent all saturday laying in the sun and I swear the rays are pure medecine. I went straight under the covers after the pool and i think i layed in bed from about 5 in the afternoon till this morning. it felt so good! i watched random movies that were on tv here and I went over some dialog. This morning i had a long talk with mom and dad. It was a much needed connection to the real world. I was all worked up about friday's class but dad made me realize how dwelling on it, and building it up in my head would do nothing but stress me out. Right now, my body is feeling is good and my mind is pretty relaxed. I spent another day by the pool. I played in the ocean too, and it was a blast. It was the first time i've just swam around and actually played in the waves in I can't even remember how long. I've gone wading in a few times but usually i don't want to get my hair all salty or I don't like thinking about how dirty the water is... (i'm was born a chlorine kid) but i think it was good for me to just let go and actually swim around out there. I think just being in the water is good for me. I spent the majority of about 10 years of my life underwater and it's still so welcoming. I feel like I'm at home trading water or paddeling around. Tonight my group had a "family" sunday dinner and i think everyone had a great time. It was great to have everyone together in a completely stress free environment. It's always interesting to hear about everyone's lives back home. It's so easy to just see how someone is in the yoga room or doing posture clinics but I loved hearing about their kids or jobs, or whatever else makes them happy back home. AFter dinner I worked on our last posture (yippee!) with my friend jenn. We gabbed for about as long as we practiced and it occured to me how much I am going to miss some of the good friends I have met here. There are so many different walks of life, backgrounds, and cultures here, but we all have something in common that links us. More than that, we're all on this crazy trip together and we've all been here for eachother. I can't count the number of times i've reached out and put a hand on the shoulder of someone that's been crying, and equally the same number of people have reached out and touched me. There's no question, we'll all survive the next two weeks, and we'll all be stronger and better people for the struggle we've overcome.

Friday, May 23, 2008

When The Levee Breaks....

so the other night I was talking to a friend that's a visiting teacher and we we're talking about how crazy a 5:00 class had been. people were dropping like flies... puking, cramping, bodies we're going down left and right. she was saying how she had never seen anything like it, and my idiot self was proclaiming how lucky I was because I was feeling so damn good. I was saying how I felt amazing because I was already on the downhill and my body was feeling just fine and dandy. wow... way to jinx the shit out of myself....

my friday morning class was terrible. like terrible, as in I had to be carried out crucifixion style with a nurse and craig under each of my shoulders and my whole body fully contracted underneath me as though i was nailed to a cross. they were joking about it later saying i had skills because i had my feet 6inches above the ground the whole way out.. most people at least drag a little. it was pretty bad. what's shitty is that i was feeling so great for the whole standing series. I feel like I'm getting closer and closer to doing the standing splits in bow and i just felt good.... until camel that is. I came out of the first set of camel and i don't know what happened but it was like the whole world was spinning in slow motion. I felt like i was in The Labrynth in the end scene where the stairs are all over the place. I could hear Zeb talking on the loudspeaker but it sounded garbled and I couldn't make out what he was saying. i don't really know what happened after that, i couldn't breathe and then the nurse said i must have started hyperventilating or something and that made me cramp up and start shaking.

the cramping up things is funny because before i came to training, i had gotten cramps before, but i didn't understand how a whole body could cramp up. ya kinda have to see it to get the full effect, but the joke is you kind of get velausa raptor claws where your hands used to be, your feet do a weird curl up thing to, and if it gets bad enough your whole body becomes rigid and even your mouth gets all distorted... it's not pretty. rumor has it i looked like a cross between the girl from the Grudge and the girl from the Excorcist. Erika said my body was completely convulsing and my face was completely white except my lips looked purple. it had to have been bad because all day yesterday and still this morning i've had people asking how i was and telling me how scared it was to see. I talked to the nurse about it, and she said i must have just been dehydrated and she told me i should have seen warning signs... but the thing is I had drank an entire pedialyte when I woke up, and i didn't have any cramps before that. plus, the way I came to so quickly afterwards, i couldn't have been that dehydrated... so i guess i don't really know what happened. all i know is that it scared the shit out of me because i had been feeling so great right before it happened. i guess you never know what your body is going to do, or what's going to come up. at least i'm feeling fine now, my afternoon class and morning class today went well enough, except my whole body still aches from being so tight. apparently my muscles are in better shape than i thought my friend jenn reported to me that she had never seen my stomach so contracted before. she said i had a 6 pack even! that, at least makes me smile!

today i spent a nice day relaxing and resting by the pool, and i'm going to stay in and lay low tonight. i know i'll miss this place and this experience when it's over, but right now, i'm ready to be back home and back to the real world...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Breathe

it's week 7 and right now i feel like everyone's just doing what they can to put in their time and get through the week. Yesterday was a hell of a day for me, solid morning class, then the rain came down.. literally. the sky was grey and it poured all morning. First posture clinic was not great. I was told I was struggling to much with perfection and I needed to get over it.. not great feedback.. the night before I had been told that I sounded tentative which is even worse. There's nothing worse than a teacher that's tentative because it sounds like they have no idea what there talking about. So i went into afternoon class feeling pretty shitty, and i was upset about silly odds and ends that are totally outta my control. I was on the foot from the start...

The tears started midway through first breathing, which was just awkward because i was right smack dab in front of the teacher. I got the tears under control, but the whole class i felt like i was fighting an anxiety attack. I don't know why but it was such astruggle to breathe. I found myself holding my breath in every posture which is pretty much exactly what you're not supposed to do. and i know that too, which made it even worse. By the time final breathing rolled around, i had myself worked up pretty good, and when we got into savasanah the teacher started singing to us some beatles song (this is the training of the beatles i swear) anyhow, the tears came flooding out. I cried and cried and cried. I layed there balled up in the fetal position for a good 10-15 minutes and i still walked out choking on tears. it was not pretty. we got in the elevator packed with 6 other people and i choked out to erika "Oh, god, INAPPROPRIATE MOMENT!" (my worst fear is that i'm gonna start crying at an inappropriate moment.. such as in posture clininc, in front of bikram, or as the case may be- in the middle of an elevator ride.

Long story shorter, i pulled myself together, realized as much as i wanted to curl up and take a break from life for a few days that was not an option. I had to just keep going. I had to fake it or make it. So i cleaned myself up, did my hair, put make up on, smiled at myself and told myself i was going to bring it at posture clinic. and bring it i did. We were up for camel pose which for some reason seemed scary as hell, and to make matters worse, the teacher that was proctoring our group just had to be the same teacher that taught class. I was mortified. all i wanted to do was apologize to him for my shitty class and tears. Instead, I jumped my ass up, and was the first volunteer.

I f-ing delivered it. I gave it up, and afterwards he kinda laughed and told me I was like a superhero or something. (my hair did look a little supergirl status-- it was all poufed up and I was wearing some sort of red white and blue shirt) he told me it was pretty powerful. i explained to him, that i needed it to be that way, for me. and then i proceeded to apologize for my terrible horrible, class... in front of everyone, he gave me sort of a blank stare and said he hadn't really noticed, and that he doesn't judge people by there practice... without even thinking i blurted out, well, that's okay becasue I judged myself for it. He siad he noticed, as did everyone else in the room i'm sure. i could feel the rising tears in my voice and i was shaking life a leaf. He was pretty cool though and i think that he understood that i needed to get this posture out to prove it to myself. he did tell me i should add a little warmth to my voice next time which is funny because that's the first time i've ever heard that.

there were a lot of good lessons to be learned though. For starters, I'm proud of myself that I got my shit together and was still able to deliver despite how i felt. I'm glad I realized that the students don't need, pay for, or deserve a teacher that brings her own issues into the room. Any bad attitude or personal problem needs to be left at the door. Second though I need to lay off the judgement. I always say i don't judge, but the truth is, I judge myself all the time. I think everyone's worst critic is themselves. Now i need to remember that i do have super powers, everyone does, I just have to rely on the energy inside of me, but still bring with it my heart which makes me me.


(Sidenote: i've got my breath back. today i relished in every breath i took and today's classes were damn near lovely.)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Dancin in the streets

This is by far the best monday I have ever had! For the first time ever, before afternoon class I did full camel! Here's a picture of my camel before I left, and then there's one of me getting into it, and finally full camel. So thrilling, I think I squealed when I felt my head touch me feet. It was the craziest thing. I didn't even know if I could do it, but two girls did it in posture clinic today, and damnit, they made it look so easy (it's not!) i thought I want to try. so i started doing back bends as soon as I got in the hot room and I had one of the girls lead me into it -- I really was half expecting her to tell me I still had a ways to go, but I did it.

I think it's because I had Celeste's shorts on and I was thinking about her good energy, so thank you Celeste! :)



Friday, May 16, 2008

Three Little Birds

the best word to describe today is INTENSE...

To start with, i woke up in pain.. bad pain. i walked to class with a feeling of dread. it didn't get better. in fact it got worse. somehow, i got transported to a hotter than hell desert and i was standing in a huge patch of quicksand. or at least that's what it felt like, because it was all i could do to stand without my legs sinking underneath me. To make matters worse, it's re-certification time, and I happened to be in the back row so I felt like I had 40 visiting teachers boring holes into the back of my head. i was stuck in my head and it was no bueno. I had myself convinced each one of them was thinking "who is this girl in the blue shorts? she looks like a stuffed sausage, her postures are terrible, she'll never be a good teacher, i bet her dialog sucks, blah blah blah..." oh the power of negative thinking. Honestly all that garbage was going through my head in the first breathing exercise, so you can imagine how the rest of my class went. the only thing that stopped me from freaking out about what the visiting teachers were thinking was the sick realization, "Oh SHIT.. it's friday which means tomorrow is saturday and craig's teaching." then my thoughts went a little something like this "I don't know how I'm gonna make it. I'm not gonna make it, that a-hole is gonna hold awkward so f*#*-ing long, and i'm just not gonna be able to do it. Maybe i'll die first, maybe they'll run out of pedialyte and I'll cramp up into the fetal position during half moon and won't have to do the rest of class" ---- imagine 90 minutes of thoughts like that-- oh, i was on a full speed trip to Negative Town and there was no stopping me.

somehow I dragged my stormcloud of a self to brunch. I'm not sure what exactly it was or when it happened, but i found myself hanging out after I had finished eating and just chatting with the people around me. it wasn't even bitter chit chat! I was talking to this woman who had been struggling throughout all of her posture clinics. She was a little on the shy side. I hadn't really spoken to her much before but we clicked for a while, we shared a connection. it was like i knew that the last thing this person needs is negativity, so i sucked it up and acted chipper, and believe it or not I walked away feeling pretty chipper too. I got back to my room, took a shower shaved my legs and get this- i put make up on! because i wanted to, i felt like it. my day only got better too, I went to posture clinic, and even though I didn't even do a posture, I had a great clinic. Everyone is making improvements, having break throughs, and you can't help but get swept up in their excitement. I felt their success while it happened. I walked back to my room with a damn near spring in my step.

and then came time for afternoon class, I was nervous wondering who was gonna be teaching. we got in the elevator at the same time a visiting teacher did and to my surprise, she had a look of dread on her face! she even said she was nervous about class because the morning was so hard. she said all the visitng teachers had died in class and she couldn't believe how humid the room is! she even said she was IMPRESSED by how well adjusted we seemed to be and how great we did!! What?! you mean the teachers weren't distracted by my terrible practice, or my water retention? you mean they were struggling too?! CRAZY! i have to admit, this kinda pumped me up. I walked into class almost psyched. I got in there, and looked around and had a whole new perspective shift. I thought about how cool it was to have all the visitng teachers there, and i realized how incredibly high the energy was. it was electric. It was official, all these bodies, all this good juju, I had to have a great class... and then Craig walked in. He was headed straight to the podium carrying his towel and pedialyte with him..... now here comes the exciting part... remember I spent a good hour this morning absolutely hating him, but today, this afternoon, I thought No Way, He's Not Stealing My Peace. and i didn't let him. I worked my ass off and had a pretty good class if i do say so. I managed to stay in the first set of awkard, all three poses the whole time without falling out. (Huge personal victory) and gave my 110% throughout the rest of the class too. When we went down for the final savasanah i kept thinking, this is it, this is why i'm here. I conquered my own negative thinking. I am strong and I am capable.

(sidenote: i've been doing personal mantras like crazy-- I feel like Stewart Smalley, "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough and doggone it people like me.." wow.)

anyhow, so here's the super cool part of my day, Criag usually does this whole visualization business that reminds me a little of Bob Ross-- way too breathy and too much talk of the "crystal clear ocean and the turquoise glimmering water". i was waiting for him to launch into it and talk about how the waves are having fun while they lap against you, when to my LOVELY surprise i hear background music turn on over the sound of his mic........ Bob Marley. oh yes,

"Don't worry. About a thing.
Cause every little thing
Is gonna be alright"

it was wondrous, it really was. music really gets to me and to have over 300 bodies exhausted, drained, rundown, sweaty, smelly bodies laying in one great room, half naked and chillin singing along to bob marley was unbeliveable. I just thought wow, this is it. apparently the feeling was shared because everyone started clapping in tune and there was a burst of energy that was gelt throughout the room. literally it started in one corner, with one person that let out a "woop! woop!" and it swept across the space like a giant wave. I've never felt anything like it before. one of the most important things i've learned so far is the inconceivable amount of energy inside of someone. what's truy amazing is that how powerful that energy can be when it's combined with someone else's. You really get a sense of the endless possibilites there are when a group is formed. This training has so far been the hardest thing that i have ever done, but already it's easily the most rewarding. I just need to keep telling myself...

Don't worry about a thing,
Cause every little thing gonna be alright.
Singing Don't worry about a thing,
Cause every little thing gonna be alright!

Rise up this mornin,
Smiled with the risin sun,
Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singin sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true,
Saying, This is my message to you ou ou

Singing Don't worry bout a thing,
Cause every little thing gonna be alright.
Singing Don't worry bout a thing,
Cause every little thing gonna be alright!!!!!!!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Smile Like You Mean It

today was picture day for my group! yup, i felt like it was my senior year in highschool again.. except i had a tie dyed shirt on which would have been SOOO UNCOOL at lodi high ;) i gotta admit it felt kinda nice to actually blow dry my hair and put on make up.... miss you all so much. much love and kisses! especially to max and sabine :)



Wednesday, May 14, 2008

OTHER NEWS!

so last week after our speaker i was rigorously manifesting bigger boobs, well to be honest, it zipped through my head for a split second during savasannah and that was the extent of it-- but it seems that was enough! guess who's staying at our hotel this week? a whole conventions' worth of Plastic Surgeons! coincidence? i think not. note to self: must write personal testimonial to speaker about my manifestation success. further note: i think i spent more time imagining life with a tail... should i be concerned i might need to get my jeans altered to accomodate such a tail? ;)

CH CH CH CH CHANGES!!!

i'm on a streak, 3 fantastic classes in a row. I don't know what it is, but it feels like my body is just clicking into place finally. I'm still sore, and my hams still feel like they've shrunken, but I feel like I've been able to go deeper into my postures somewhat consistantly. I've been in a great mood, and I've actually been pretty awake and alert during lectures.. this is also the 3rd night we've been lucky enough to be out just after midnight so the added sleep has to be helping. Raj and Bikram are leaving tomorrow morning and i'm bummed Raj won't be back until graduation. I can't describe what an effect she has on anyone in her presence. words really don't do her justice, you have to meet her to understand. She ended lecture with a guided breathing excercize and then she read something for us that spoke to me. She talked about how pain was nothing more than a protective shell and you have to chip away at it in order to get to understanding. (ps---that's not the first time i've heard that metaphore-- ahem... JENICE!) She also talked about the importance of giving yourself to others and how that was the heart of teaching yoga. It struck a cord with me because I've been trying to do just that. I've noticed the more I do, the better I feel about myself too. Bikram always tells us, "you are born to give, not to get- and in doing so, you will receive true happiness". I defintely think it's true, and there's nothing more personally healing than helping to heal someone else... even if it's just a smile, a hand squeeze, or better yet i've noticed, a hug- it can really make a difference. So i'm gonna continue being positive and ride this wave as long as I can.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Rollercoaster of Love..

Yesterday was intense. I don't know what it was, but everythign was piled up on my shoulders and I started crying before breathing even started in morning class.. not a good sign. I made it through class (without missing a posture, even though my shoulders were shaking throughout. I got myself together, and right before posture clinic i realized i just needed a big hug. sounds lame but i just needed someone to tell me everythign was gonna be alright. basically i needed my family and since that wasn't in the cards, i made a beeline for the nextbest thing, Lisa Duvall. Lisa is an amazing woman with a heart the size of her homestate, texas, and more importantly she's the mom of two kids. She looked at my face and gave me a huge hug and just held me for a long time. I felt like i could finally just cry without trying to hold it in or worry about what someone was going to think. it was such a relief. She practiced next to me in afternoon class and before class we talked for a long time about odds and ends about family and home and just life. Rajashree is back in town and taught that class, and i don't know if it was her or lisa, or what but i finally felt like i had a beautiful practice. It just flowed and i felt like i could stay in the postures all day.

Rajashree is such an inspiration. She was a 5 time world yoga champion, Miss India, she's very well educated, and she still manages to be a mother, and a wife.. (to someone that I imagine would be very difficult to be married to). She just has this presence. We were talking about it at lunch. I don't know exactly what it is, you can't pin point it, but it's like she really does glow from the inside out. She has some of the best energy I have ever experienced, and it all seems to radiate from her heart. What's realy incredible to me is that she garners the same respect as Bikram, if not more, and she doesn't demand it like he does. Not to knock him, he's very deserving of respect, but they're perfect foils for eachother. He's loud, foulmouthed, obnoxious, and completely politically incorrect. She's quiet, softspoken, gentle, and utterly appropriate. Last night he was lecturing about the differenced between men and women.... some of which I took with a grain of salt, and an understanding that Indian culture is very different than the culture that I have. I won't go into details.. i wouldn't want to put words in his mouth, and it's too easy to judge him if you've never met him. But I will say that while, I may not particualy agree with everything he says, I'm starting to understand where he's coming from and I am appreciating him more and more.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Lay Lady Lay...

that was all i could do after class this morning. actually, i wasn't sure if i was even goign to be able to get myself up after class this morning. Bikram kept us in the lecture room till 4:15 AM!!! and class started at 8am... keep in mind that means our friday went from 7am-4:15am, and that's coming off of thursday's 7am-2:15am....

it was beyond bad.... like i would have to say it was physically the hardest class i've ever taken and it had nothing ot do with the instructor. (the instructor was the current female world champion and i've gotta admit i've never heard anyone with better dialog- she was amazing) too bad my body was not amazing. during the first breathing exercise, i had a panic thinking, oh shit, what am i gonna do, there's no way i can handle 90 minutes of this. somehow, i survived, not without sitting out triangle. it was the first time since i started yoga that i had to sit out the whole first and second set. i plopped down during second set of standing separate leg, made an effort to try triangle.. took a big step out to the right (4 feet minimum), and then i went down. hard. i tried to stand back up again before the escond set and i think i got up to my knees, and went down again. it wasn't pretty. the floor series was pretty rough too. i think i was half asleep-- to the point of dreaming the entire time. it wasn't just being tired that was rough, my body just hurt. it wasn't a sharp pain but more of a dull throbbing ache that would not go away.

but i have to admit, the aching was momentarily forgotten while i napped by the pool later ;) again, it's bikram's whole 100% pain and then 100% relaxation that he claims works so well... i'm still skeptical about the need for the 100% pain, but damn that relaxation part feels amazing. our usual pool is closed for the weekend so we switched it up to an even bigger one with a bridge, waterfall, cave area and a swimup bar (lotta good that does with the no alcohol policy in effect) but it is pretty sweet here. it's definitely not real world. i can't decide what it feels like, it's not quite vacation because i've never been in so much pain on vaca, but it's not quite work either. it's strange. as nice as it is to play in the pool all day, the weekends are still hard in their own way. during the week i don't have too much time to think about home, but on the weekends i can't help it. i miss home, i'll admit it. as much as i love it here, i will be very happy to get on the plane in june. at first i was kind of upset about how much i miss my life and the people in my life back home. i worried i wasn't nearly as independent as i want to think i am, but that's not it. i think i'm just realizing, i'm lucky because home is a really good place for me, and i'm blessed to have amazing family and friends. i've talked to a bunch of people here who have no idea where they're going from here... as in they booked a one way flight here. on the one hand, i like knowing that i have options when i come home, but more than that, i love knowing that i have a home to go back to. eventually in the future, i might want to think about teaching somewhere exotic and exciting, and i think i will always love travelling and visiting different places, but for right now, the central valley sounds just right for me.

Friday, May 9, 2008

ps--

also comedy-- we had a speaker yesterday who was pretty good. he talked about fascia and the power of positive thinking and the potential of our energy power and all that jazz... really he was great but some parts were a little far fetched... like when someone asked him about amputees.... he said and i quote "do i think they can grow their limbs back? yes. Have i seen it done before, well no, but lizards can grow their tails back." on that note he continued to talk about the power of manifesting and positive thinking, which i do totally buy into, and i couldn't resist asking him if on that same token, it's possible to manifest physical attributes... such as bigger boobs perhaps. much to my satisfaction, he said sure it's possible, i just have to believe it and not just want it. hmmm... not a bad deal, note to self, a tail might be enjoyable as well, think i can grow one of those while i'm at it?

I wanna be sedated

just got outta class this morning and it was ROUGH. honestly it was one of the physically hardest classes i can remember taking. we didn't get out of lecture last night till well after 2am and i woke up obviously tired but incredibly sore and stiff. But it's over! and i have to admit last night's lecture was hilarious at times. Bikram has been telling us the past couple days how he used to be able to crack coconuts on his head. let me tell you, never disbelieve this guy because he will always prove you wrong. We were getting a little restless and tired last night so he decided to wake up up with a coconut cracking demonstration. Yes he did it. After several attempts of just bashing the coconut into his noggin and trying to punch it loose with his fist, he ended up having to hit it against the floor once but then he finally cracke it over his skull. Then, i think his pride was wounded a bit because he had to use the floor, so he proceeded to grab another coconut, this one was smaller and proved to be much more successful, i think he got it on only like his third try. Honestly i thought i was going to pee my pants, i have never laughed so hard in my life. I mean this as no disrespect to the guy, and i know this is so politicall incorrect to say, but jeeze he looked like he was retarded up there, for reals, mentally disabled, or "screw loose brain" like he likes to say. basicaly he was beating the crap out of himself, there was coconut water flying everywhere, his forehead was getting redder and redder, and then he just say, "See! I told you!" if that's not comedy i don't know what is. i will see if i can steal some pictures of the spectacle and post them on here, but fo rnow i'm off to breakfast. adios.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Invitation

Rajashree read this to us during savasanah exactly one month ago. It brought tears in my eyes then, and I re-read it almost every day. it still resonates within me. It makes me think about who I want to be, who I already am, and what I am searching for. and for some reason it makes me think about my 2 year old neice and the kind of wisdom I want to pass on to her someday....

The Invitation
By, Oriah Mountain Dreamer

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for,
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals, or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain!
I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes.”

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else fails away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Time To Get Ill...

i spent last night curled up on the bathroom floor, alternating between puking my brains out and pooping like it's cool... it's not that cool trust me. It was not pretty, but it is ironic becaues we went to dinner last night at the same italian place we ate at last sunday and i remember telling everyone oh sure the water is good here! well, thankfully we didn't end up drinking the water- who knows how much worse it could of been, but for some reason i made the not so bright choice of ordering Beef Carpaccio and a caprese salad. I thought if i was trying to cut down on some lbs i should lay off the pasta, but who orders raw beed in mexico? Thankfully I stocked up on pedialyte last night at wal mart so i'm drinking it as we speak, and I'm feeling a lot better.

Class this morning went really well despite the fear my belly was going to exploid. Lynn taught and it was good and bad... good because I worked harder than i wanted to for her, and bad because now my body is miserable. On a more somber note, we got word right before savasanah that Bikram's guru's son, (and Bikram's best friend) had passed away a few hours ago. In honor of him Bikram felt it was only right that we don't continue with any classes today... so in a twist of fate we have the day off. I sent prayers up for Bikram and the family during savasanah, and I wish it was under different circumstances, of course, but I can't say that I wont enjoy the day off. I'll be sure to avoid any raw meats though!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Here Comes The Sun

Just got back from Wal Mart, and that song was on there. Kinda cracked me up because I remember it playing last week (walmart has become a regular sunday night field trip) but both times it made me happy which should be a good way to go into week 5. Week 4 was.. well it's over, so I can say that much. This weekend was really nice though. Yesterday we had the fantastic yoga miracle of Jim from San Diego teaching our 8am class instead of Craig.. it was honestly lovely! after class we got a cabana on the beach and relaxed all afternoon. we did a little dialog, played in the waves and worked on our tans. I was a big bum and stayed in all night while everyone went out to dinner down town, but it felt so nice to have some me time. I took a bath, deep conditioned my hair, painted my toes, watched some movies, emailed, it was glorious. Today I was able to talk to mom and dad for awhile and i really needed it. I can't believe how much I miss home. It's only been a month, and I really do love it here, but it makes me realize how much I love home too, especially the people. I keep having the strangest dreams at night and my neice and nephew keep popping up in them. I had one dream my neice was already 10 years old and i had missed out on so much. I'm not wishing my time here away, but it's funny because so many people here have been talking about how they don't really know where they're gonna be living or what they're going to do after training. I guess now is a really great time to be looking for a job, studios all over the world are hiring, but for the first year at least, there's no where else I'd want to be than the sacramento area. I miss my studio in elk grove, i miss my parents house in lodi, and lord knows i miss the apartment i had in downtown sac. During the week I don't really have much time to be homesick, all we can think about is class and dialog, but the weekends are a little hard for me. I just feel funny not even having my cell phone with me. It's been over a month now and before i wouldnt fall asleep without my cell phone next to me in bed, not that i got important phone calls, really it was my alarm clock, but still... anyhow, i'm gonna study some dialog and then hit the sheets, night night all!









Just got back from Wal Mart, and that song was on there. Kinda cracked me up because I remember it playing last week (walmart has become a regular sunday night field trip) but both times it made me happy which should be a good way to go into week 5. Week 4 was.. well it's over, so I can say that much. This weekend was really nice though. Yesterday we had the fantastic yoga miracle of Jim from San Diego teaching our 8am class instead of Craig.. it was honestly lovely! after class we got a cabana on the beach and relaxed all afternoon. we did a little dialog, played in the waves and worked on our tans. I was a big bum and stayed in all night while everyone went out to dinner down town, but it felt so nice to have some me time. I took a bath, deep conditioned my hair, painted my toes, watched some movies, emailed, it was glorious. Today I was able to talk to mom and dad for awhile and i really needed it. I can't believe how much I miss home. It's only been a month, and I really do love it here, but it makes me realize how much I love home too, especially the people. I keep having the strangest dreams at night and my neice and nephew keep popping up in them. I had one dream my neice was already 10 years old and i had missed out on so much. I'm not wishing my time here away, but it's funny because so many people here have been talking about how they don't really know where they're gonna be living or what they're going to do after training. I guess now is a really great time to be looking for a job, studios all over the world are hiring, but for the first year at least, there's no where else I'd want to be than the sacramento area. I miss my studio in elk grove, i miss my parents house in lodi, and lord knows i miss the apartment i had in downtown sac. During the week I don't really have much time to be homesick, all we can think about is class and dialog, but the weekends are a little hard for me. I just feel funny not even having my cell phone with me. It's been over a month now and before i wouldnt fall asleep without my cell phone next to me in bed, not that i got important phone calls, really it was my alarm clock, but still... anyhow, i'm gonna study some dialog and then hit the sheets, night night all!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Sweetest Thing...

There is absolutely no better feeling than coming off of an amazing ass kicking class, to go up and do a dialog when you know you worked hard, studied hard, and you do it right. I felt so amazing about my Triangle posture mostly because I went up there and I didn't let anything bother me. I didn't doubt myself, I didn't let anything from the past spook me, i just did it because I knew I could. I feel on top of the world right now. Except for the fact that it's ten till midnight and I gotta learn another posture now! still i'm gonna savor this and remember the feeling that way next time i fall, it won't be nearly as hard, and at least I know I can get back up. namaste!

Learning to Fly...

So the pace has picked up tremendously here and it feels ike everyone is in a frantic/panic mood. The past couple days i could feel myself on edge and last night's posture clinic was terrible. i felt good enough going into it, asn the teacher leading it was a fantastic woman named Terri who used to teach in Elk Grove so we shared a common bond of love for Carrie. I got up to do my dialog and she struck up conversation about my Bruce Springsteen shirt. I immiediately felt "nice and loose, comfortable, easy and flexible" (see that dialog is flowin like crazy) I was going to have a killer dialog and i was ready. ... and then she did it. right before I started she said "make Carrie proud!"... i don't know what it was but it totally threw me off. I made one smal error at first, and then another one, and then i started to panic, thinking, "oh my god she's gonna tell carrie that i'm terrible and carrie's not gonna want me to teach, and i don't know what i'm doing here!" yep, all that went through my head in about 1.5 seconds.. at the same time i started stammering the dreaded... "uhhhhhh" It was pretty bad for a second or two, I pulled it together and finished the posture but it spooked the hell outta me. I talked ot Terri about it and she told me it was perfectyl normal to have that reaction and that I would still make a fine teacher in Elk Grove. I was not convinced and was basically on the verge of tears for the rest of the night. I woke up still feeling completely anxiety ridden and had one of the worst classes of my life this morning. I cried my way through the whole floor series and as soon as I got back to my room I called the studio. Celeste picked up, and was amazing. She was exactly what I needed and made me feel a million times better... well for ten minutes at least. I went into afternoon posture clinic still on the verge of a panic attack/freak out. I just kept thinking about how before I left Christina told me not to be the dramatic girl at training and it almost made it worse because I kept worrying I was gonna start crying at an inappropriate time and be That Girl. Sarah Baughn-- who I will forevor be indebted to, led our posture clinic. During the break I realized asking for some help on the whole overwhelming anxiety/on on the verge of convulsive tears situation outweighed the seeming dramatic. So i waited till clinic was over and i sorta let her have it... she plopped down on the carpet with me and listened to me and basically she just let me feel exactly how I was feeling without any judgement. We talked for awhile and I walked away feeling like I had this huge burden that had just been lifted off of my shoulders. I walked into afternoon class with a smile on my face and I stood right in front of the podium and I had the best class I have ever had. FOr the first time during training, I held both sets ans sides of standing bow without falling out once and during the final stretching posture I kept my heels pulled up off of the floor the entire time which was the first time I've ever been able to do it. I found sarah after class and thanked her. I told her how I felt a million times lighter and it was because of her. She really is amazing and she told me how it wasn't her, i had helped myself. I still give her credit, but I am so happy that I swallowed my pride and knew when it was time to ask for help. Tonight is Triangle Pose in posture clinic, and I know I will do my best, whatever that may be tonight.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Diamonds on the Inside...

I don't know what it was, but I woke up this morning with a terrible sense of dread... we'd been up late studying, what felt like unsuccessfully to study dialog, I was tired, sore and just not feelin amazing. Class this morning was no bueno-- for a lot of reasons, it went like 10 minutes over, I wasn't really connecting with the teacher, and pretty much I was just in my head. Before lecture we went to see Katie in the doctor's office (again things are no bueno) and I was kinda spooked to see her. She was laying in bed under a blanket with an IV in her arm and a breathing tube under her nose... they think she might have some sort of stomach infection.. aka parasite i believe, and I know she'll be fine but i was still stuck in my head. Then walking out, I made the bad decision to weigh myself, and couldn't believe I weigh more than before i left... way more... and i know muscle weighs more than fat, blah, blah blah, and a lot of it is probably water weight, but when you're working your ass off you can't help but expect to see some results. So I was upset about that, and then I was thinking about this conversation I had with one of the staff guys yesterday. He gave me some compliment on how I haven't had to sit out any postures.. and I kinda brushed it off and said something about how, i'm not that special, I just have a lot of pride. ... to which he promptly responded with "Pride comes before every fall".... thanks Christian.. so that was going through my head and i was sitting in posture clinic way too close to a freak out.. when I hear another teacher give what is probably the best advice i have ever heard..... someone was stressign out because they missed a line and he without missing a beat, said "hey, relax, this is just yoga school." he said it in such an almost flippant way that it made me laugh. Really, this is not harvard, and lord knows it's not stanford (i wouldn't have gotten in--- that was a joke, mom... kinda) anyhow, it just made me immiediately loosen up, breathe, and realize this is not life or death. Once I did that it was like magic, my confidence came back and I realized I DO still know this stuff. Bonus! So now i'm headed to class and I'm feeling so much better!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Every Picture Tells A Story

pictures from the weekend.. various odds and ends. This weekend was good... i've been missing my fam and friends terribly, and it was nice because Katie's parent's were in town so it felt wonderful to be with a family even if it wasn't my own. Speaking of fam, I'm on Skype with my mom right now and she's tapping into my blogging time before posture clinic! so must cut this short, but much love to everyone and I can't tell you how much I appreciate all the good thoughts and comments you've been sending me. PS- check out the view from the new digs...






Friday, April 25, 2008

All You Need Is Love

after a yoga class that felt like death this afternoon (3 weeks of double days, posture clinics, anatomy classes and lectures adds up) there we were laying in savasanah and Sarah was telling us about how she is a huge Beatles fan. My ears perked up a bit, and she was telling us how she's always listening to them and how she wanted to share a song with us that reminded made her think about the training were going through. My mind started racing and I was thinking... Imagine? A little Help From My Friends? I figured she'd read a few lines, but to my listening pleasure we heard..


"There's nothing you can do that can't be done.
Nothing you can sing that can't be sung.
Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game.
It's easy.

Nothing you can make that can't be made.
No one you can save that can't be saved.
Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you in time.
It's easy.

All you need is love
All you need is love.
All you need is love, love.
Love is all you need..."


it was a trip, close to 300 of us were laying sweaty on the ground, feeling like death and then everyone started clapping and singing along. It felt like we were in Across the Universe. It was such a moment bigger than us, people started getting all emotional, crying and laughing, it was pretty amazing... and then some guy started puking his guts out and that kinda killed the magic. but for about 2 mintues it was pretty lovely.

(now i can hear the damn neverending mariachi band over the sound of the ocean. cool.)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Break On Through

Things are kicking into high gear in Acapulco! Energy levels are soaring and you can feel the concentration, nerves and determination that is present. We broke into our groups and began posture clinics this week and it is already intense. Everywhere you look, people are huddled in small groups praciticing their dialog. People are reciting all hours of the night, and getting up as early as 5 to study. ... MY ADVICE FOR ANYONE GOING TO TRAINING: Learn as much as you can before you come!!! I am so fortunate to have come from a studio that prepared me, so I haven't been too stressed out yet. Someone said before I went that every minute you spend studying before training is equal to an hours sleep at training, at the time I didn't really buy it, I just thought, okay okay- i'll study more. But now, I totally get it, and understand.

So far, all the work I did before has really paid off and my posture clinics have gone well. It's interesting becasue they always tell us say that we're "nervous" because really what is being nervous? it's just another emotion and the feelings associated with it are just the feelings of excess energy. All of the staff has been telling us to acknowledge that energy, and channel it into whatever we're doing. Sounds corny.. but i have really been trying to do that and it has been paying off. Yesterday, my delivery went really well, i was feeling super confident but when I came back ot my room to practice more, I got horrible anxious. I started messing up postures that I know and I admit I got a little panicky. But Today I just breathed. before I even stood up to go, I breathed, gave myself a little pep talk, told myself that I KNOW THIS. THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO DO and it went great.

Classes on the other hand, have not been quite so smooth sailing... The first two days were kind of a breeze, and I think everyone was feeling a little over confident. Then posture clinic came along, and our legs were dead from getting stuck demonstrating Awkward Pose over and over again... Then we had the surprise pleasure of having Craig teach. wow... that was ridiculous. During posture clinic I had honestly been thinking, thank god today is not saturday because there's no way I could handle his 2 Minute Awkards... then sure enough he caem strolling, well strutting onto the podium and a sick feeling of dread and panic went through the entire yoga room. He kicked our asses. Seriously, the guy in front of me was curled up in a ball dry heaving onto his mat during the floor series, which then caused me to start convulsing, and thank god I had Erica by my side. She just kept whispering "breathe! breathe!" and I kept it in. (she later confessed, she was frantic to calm me down because she knew that if I lost it, she would too and it would be a whole wave of people puking in the yoga room.) ew.

oh- the other exciting news: we got our rooms moved! kind of sad because I really enjoyed the people on my floor, we had a nice little internet hallway hangout group, and I miss them already. BUt I gotta admit the view over here is beautiful! I feel badly Erica had such a bad alergy to the mold in our room.. ick but the move was kind of a score. This morning we enjoyed a cup of tea on the balcony and watched the ocean before practice. Really... we had spotted a shark, which was a little scary, and we were a little scared there was going to be a jaws re=enactment becasue there was a surfer not too far away, but apparently the sharks are friendly here. (Note to self: ocean is for looking at, pool is for playing in.. here at least)

but anyways, it made me realize how acapulco is the perfec tplace for bikram's teacher training. He always talks about how his series, his yoga is supposed to 100% effort, and then 100% relaxation. Well, technically it feels like 190% effort sometimes, but I'll take the 100% relaxation when I can get it That's what it's like here. There's not distractions here, we don't have to drive anywhere, there's aren't that many people here besides ourselves. It's kind of like our own private litte Ashram. Okay, I need to take a shower before more posture clinic, but till then, NAMASTE!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Ties That Bind

So to start with i did my dialog in front of everyone with Craig critiquing last night & it went really well!! I had a line that I put in the wrong place, but it was minor. i felt really confident, I knew my shit, I was relaxed, I just kept thinking this is the exact same as it was on the podium in Elk Grove, and Craig gave me excellent feedback. Julia kicked some in too, so i felt amazing going to sleep last night.

Now, back to today, so all of visiting teacher are starting to filter in and today was our first day taking classes from non Bikram-staff people. So far the teachers have been awesome! it's so nice to see how many different styles and personalities can still show through with the same dialog. It's crazy how you can do the exact same postures, in the exact same order, with a room the exact same teperature, yet it can feel so different depending on who the teacher is. The afternoon class was a kick. The teacher was from Minnesota and she started class with some song lyrics and I knew immiediately that I would like here. THroughout class she was giving us lyrics from different artists and I loved it, because in class I always have songs floating around in my head. She had a prety good variety of Minnesota artists too, Mason Jennings, Beck, John Denver, and of course she ended Savasanah with a little Bob Dylan. (She went for Forevor Young, I'll admit, I thought she was gonna go with Blowing In The WInd) BUt it was cool because I've never spoke to this woman, never knew she existed until last night, and I felt an immiediate connection with her. That and she cracked me up in standing head to knee when she told us "Lock the knee! Lock the knee! Lock the f***ing knee!" But she had a smile on her face and granted that's something you can only do at teacher training, it still made me smile.

All of the visiting teachers seem so giving and they are here to help us, and to keep learning more for themselves. It's pretty amazing really, they're not getting paid to be here, they have to take time away from their studios, and they do it because they love the yoga and they believe in the community. That's what it's all about. Last night, I was talking to my mom and she asked me if i regretted coming at all, and without a doubt or without a hesitation, my answer was no. When Bikram was talkign about Karma yoga, and Dharma, I fully believed in my heart I was following my Dharma. I truly feel like i am supposed to be a yoga instructor. (granted I need to figure out a sidejob to get a little health insurance still.... ) but anyways, even when I was giving my dialog, I was nervous, but only to an extent because I knew I was supposed to be doing it. I think I felt more excited that anything. I just keep thinking about how I'm really proud of myself. This is a pretty big commitment and a big sacrifice. I mean, I graduated from college, I have a degree, and I'm still following my heart and doing what I want to do. granted it's not easy, I had to take out my first loan, and jsut being here isn't easy, it's hard. But I'm doing it. And that makes me happy.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

yoga reverses the aging process.

i wish i would have had my camera with me last night and today because it has been a blast. Today a big group of us layed by the pool quizzing eachother on anatomy all morning and we spent the afternoon playing Marco Polo, re-enacting Dirty Dancing (where he lits her over his head in the water) having chicken fights and trying to do backflipswith the help of the boys boosts. I seriously felt like i was 8 years old again but it was so much fun! i'm shocked we didn't do relay races or have a belly flop contest. it's really nice how everyone seems to be getting closer and closer every day, and it's so great to have a whole group of people you to help you study or run through dialog postures with. Last night we went to "the club" (after getting kicked outta the pool) and it was a kick. it's below the lobby and we walked down in our flip flops and still dripping from the pool to a pretty nice looking but completely empty dance floor. there were maybe 5 people sitting and drinking at the bar but the rest of the place was completely dead. i can't tell if the people working hated us because no one ordered a drink (and we were definitely not in anything close to club attire) or if they loved us because we were the only people on the dance floor. ithink we provided a great deal of entertainment though as we turned our favorite yoga poses in to dance moves. it's sad how much we all have yoga on the brain. anytime the elevators get crowded someone will undeniably start reciting dialog " okay everyone- suck your stomach in, tightening up, hold it in". ... what's sad is that the yoga jokes should definitely be getting old by now but they're not. I think our maturity level is decreasing rapidly. but for the meantime, i'm okay with it! okay, off to take a hower and more studying before dinner.

ps- my stomach feels amazing! by the time everyone got home from dinner last night it was already better, and today the pains are almost completely gone :) yay!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

change of plans...

i am not going anywhere tonight with my stomach like this. so that means i can upload some photos! sorry, mom no yoga postures in this bunch.. the last thing i am going to do is say "hey Craig, while you're up on that podium can you take a picture of my standing bow? i think it's gonna be a good one!" .. that and to be completely honest, for most of the week, i've been so tight the last thing i've wanted to do is more postures. i was beginning to think my hamstrings were shrinking because they were so tight. regardles... here are some odds and ends pictures of the studio, the hotel, the Hotel Canine Concierges (yes, that's Chunky and Kimmi), studying by the pool, and the delicious fresh coconut water










witha little help from my friends..

This week is finally over. Craig kicked our asses in class today. One of the best, hardest classes I have ever taken. Today so far has been spent lounging by the pool attempting to study for our anatomy test on monday. My stomach is still driving me crazy. Last night i could barely fall asleep because it hurt so badly. Today i had to run from the pool multiple times to back it to the bathroom... again not hot and i wouldn't mention it, but jeeze this is the 5th day. its gettign old.. and painful. but the girl in the room next to me is absolutely amazing and just pulled out her suitcase full of assorted pills, creams, and who knows what so i'm going ot give immodium a try. As shitty (no pun intended) as my stomach situation is -- and it is right now, i honestly wanted to call my mom crying because it hurt so badly earlier-- it really is nice to know how willing to help eachother everyone is. I feel like the group as a whole is really starting to bond and its amazing. Even with the "studying" (how much studying can you do by the pool?) everyone was swapping answers and taking turns quizzing eachother. It's neat because everyone is so unique and comes with a different story of what brought them to training but despite the differences we're all in this together.

More pics to come later, i think we're headed downtown tonight to get dinner, but hope all is well with everyone back home, and know that i am surviving on all of your good energy- yikes, my tummy is rumbling, and unlike winnie the pooh, IT IS NOT time for something sweet... to eat.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

better days.

life is so much better. its thursday, we already had morning class, which means only 4 more yoga classes till the weekend! bikram was feeling exceptionally charitable last night and let us out of lecture around 11:30 and it was a godsend to be in bed before midnight. my sore muscles are a million times better-- my stomach, not so much. (every trip to the bathroom is still action packed- not hot). yesterday mintues before afternoon class was about to start, i made the very wise decision to move my mat to the very back of the room by the door. the girl next to me was making conversation (about poop- what else?) and it turns out she hasn't gone since we've been here!! the past couple days she's been puking like crazy and they're scared her systems getting poisoned by being all stuffed up! holy schnikes...rough! i feel terrible for her, but man, after that i had a major perspective shift, and i feel AMAZING! plus i think my body is starting to shed some water weight so that feels pretty good too. except something tells me i'm going to be coming home with shrunken chesticles. also not cool, but what can ya do. okay, off to lecture. love you all

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

i want to die.

seriously. i feel like hell. i feel like a hangover times ten, that's the closest thing i can equate it to. my head hurts, my stomach hurts, i'm hungry but i'm scared to eat anything, and i'm thirsty but i feel like i'm going to puke. not to mention i feel like i'm half asleep from the late night lectures. i guess this is why no one wants to visit on week two. at least it's wednesday, this week is almost half over. okay, nows the time to start sending some juju!

Monday, April 14, 2008

We are into our second week, and so far so good. despite the fact that i woke up this morning stiff as hell and a lovely shade of pink from all the sun, class went alright.... well, alright meaning i got my ass kicked by an 82 year old lavian lady. Actually it wasn't terrible, but I'm a little nervous Emmy is in town all week teaching and we've all been told horror stories about Bikram's most senior teacher.

We started Anatomy today and I was pretty stoked to get my hot little hands on some crayola crayons for our anatomy coloring book. -- not that I needed them, I came to lecture equipped with a brand new 24 pack of color pencils, AND a sharpener. I have to report so far I have gotten the muscular, nervous, circulatory, and spinal systems all filled in with the correct corresponing colors and not a pigment has gone ouside the lines. See pops, I knew an Art Degree would come in handy! ;) Dr. T is kind of a kick, and he's a welcomed break from Bikram (i'm starting to hear and indian accent in my head). but it's hard to take the guy seriously when he's about 75 years old and takes break to read jokes that he has written down ahead of time. (he prefaces each one with -- "okay Jewish Joke, here we go...." 5 minutes later "now, Blonde Joke......" This might shock ya, but something tells me these jokes of his have been around the block a few times, and they're losing their gusto.

Something that is comedic though, is Bikram's Love Ballads that he played for us during our last savasanah today...... wow... check it out, it's available for purchase on amazon.com .. AND I'M SERIOUS!!




don't get me wrong, he actually has a really pretty voice, and when he's singing his indian songs, i kind of enjoy it.. but if i had to hear "oh my darling, you are everywhere, you are my pulse" one more time i thought i was gonna scream. and in case you are wondering i do believe wilson phillips is making a comeback because it sounds like they are his back up dancers.

if i sound bitter it's only because, after lecture tonight.. which probably won't get out until after 1am, he wants to hold a movie night so we can watch hindi films of all the people whose life he has claimed to save. cool... oh and if you didn't know, this guy DOES NOT SLEEP... seriously, he takes short catnaps throughout the day, but he doesn't sleep at night and apparently sees no reason why we should either. okay, enough of my bitching, life is actually nice here, except i miss everyone.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

more pictures!!!

Here are some pictures from today. Sunday is my new favorite day. I keep thinking, I can get through anything during the week as long as I know I have sundays to myself. Today I slept in till almost 10 which was absolutely glorious. I spent almost all day by the pool and on the beach. Learning dialog is not too bad when you're floating around!







The big excitement of the day was getting my SKYPE set up. It's this internet service that allows you to use your computer to make cheap phone calls. Somehow i was able to call my parent's landline without having to put my credit card down. I just tried again, and it said I have to pay first, my credit card is inside my room and i'm too exhausted to go get it, but i am already a much happier camper. It was so nice to be able to chat with them for a few minutes. I miss the day to day stuff.


I realized I needed some pictures of the rest of the fam too, so here are a few I had on my computer. I wish I would have brought a framed picture or two with me. I have our christmas card sitting out on my nightstand and it makes me smile whenever i see it.







Tomorrow is going to be a long day, so I am off to bed for now! more updates later!