… BYTT (Week 6)

We have finished 64 classes and 6 weeks making us officially two-thirds of the way complete! I hit the metaphorical wall this week and tried to just take it one day at a time. It was a rough week but it ended on a high note with me finishing memorizing all of the dialogue and a few great classes!

 

Monday 10/23/17 – Day 37 
We kicked off the week with a morning class with Robyn. Robyn had been in our posture clinics and I had talked to her a few times beforehand. I was a little nervous for her class because she has a such a strong, bold personality and sometimes that can be amplified on the podium but the class was nothing like I would have expected. It was a great class with amazing energy. She really gave us everything she had and in return, we gave her everything we had. Luckily, it was a lot for a Monday morning! I got a compliment on my Full Locust, too. My jaw was still hurting like last week (maybe not from grinding my teeth, maybe from the floor series or clenching my teeth in class?) and my ears were clogged up again but I still did well. Manali also picked the Demo Team by walking around during our postures and tapping people. She stood next to Alicia’s mat and then tapped her. Then she took a step over and stood next to my mat, scanned me up and down, saw my tattoo (which I already showed her last week), smirked, and then walked away. Manali! Do not torture me like that.

Robyn read us the poem “Champion Minded” at the end of class and then played “I’m Still Standing” by Elton John as her savasana song.
Champion Minded: You are not born mindset tough. You choose to be. Getting mindset tough means enduring experiences in your life. From those experiences, champion minded athletes and people develop grit. What is grit you ask? It’s the ability to overcome challenges and to endure hardship. It’s about handling and overcoming failure and it’s about getting up one more time after being knocked down.

Noteworthy quotes:

  • “Still eyes, still mind. Wandering eyes, wandering minds.”
  • “Sassy Rabbits” (the sanskrit for Rabbit pose is Sasangasana… sassy…)

I had a quick breakfast after class and then studied with Leah for a bit. Then I went to the 4th floor and studied by myself for a little bit more before Maryla and Michelle joined me. Then Henrik. Then Karl. We took turns delivering our dialogue and helping each other. The 4th floor had a nice breeze (and better view) so it was nice.

Posture clinic started late, per usual. We had Karla and Axry and everything was pretty standard until they tried to trick me during my Full Locust. Axry had me leave the room before my turn and I was immediately suspicious. Leah had told me a few weeks ago that her group’s facilitators had Tom leave the room and then told the people demoing to mess with him by not doing the postures properly. So, when Axry pulled me out… my mind went there. She small-talked with me and then took me back into the room. I was a little more nervous than usual but that made sense since I felt like I was walking into a trap. I got started and sure enough, the people demoing for me were not doing the posture/were doing it incorrectly. Katy, my friend/teacher from home, had once told me that the way to correct people during class was to just add their name before saying a line in the dialogue so, that is what I did. And. I. Nailed. It. My dialogue was not perfect but Karla said I did awesome and asked if I was already a teacher. She said she was trying to make me vulnerable in class because she could tell posture clinics were boring for me. Truth. They normally tell us to not correct students for our first few months of teaching but Karla said I was ready to start doing that. I do not think I will, but it was nice to have her confidence in me!

Lidia and I needed to escape during the break…

Noteworthy quotes;

  • “You are already 30, 3rd floor!” -Karla (I liked it being called the 3rd floor! Obviously this was not said to me because I am not 30!)

Once again, I had too many chips and snacks before the evening class… exactly why I do not buy snacks over the weekend.

The evening class with Bikram was good until the very end. Ali got sassy with Bikram during class (rightfully so but very bold) and Lidia started getting called out (for good things, but her first time being called out the entire time). Tanya’s husband Brian, a.k.a. Mr. Red (for his red shorts), arrived last weekend to visit for 2 weeks so he started taking classes with us and it really helped take the attention off of the rest of us. Thank you, Mr. Red! I did well all class but at the end, somewhere around Head to Knee with Stretching, I started to feel very dizzy. I decided I should probably stay in final Savasana for awhile but I needed to get out of the room so I left with everyone else. Once in the hall, I figured it would be best if I just laid down. When I did, Kathy came and asked me if I was okay, then Veronica (thanks, girls!). I said I was because I truly felt I was going to be okay, or so I told myself, but before I knew it, Manali and Axry had come over and started pouring water on me and putting ice on me. The water was going into my eyes and irritating my contacts and I was laughing because I was so embarrassed and felt so stupid and weak. Manali kept telling me to stop laughing but I was so uncomfortable, I could not help it. Finally, I succumbed to the weakness and just relaxed and breathed. By this point, I was freezing cold from all of the ice but I could breathe again which seemed more important. I told them I was fine but when I stood up, Axry must have recognized that I was actually NOT fine and she hung back to help me walk up the stairs and be sure I made it outside safely. Thanks, Axry. When I made it out of the room and saw the sunset, I hobbled over to the beach to take a photo of it. I passed Tanja and Mr. Red, Tom, and others who all stopped and asked me if I was okay and advised me not to go swim. I just wanted a photo! It was nice of everyone to be worried, though.

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I was not hungry, at all, but I promised Manali and Axry I would eat and I did not want them to NOT see me in Chula Vista so I went to eat. I only had a little bit of rice and beans before going back to my room to drink electrolytes, rest, and read work emails.

Julie and Tina asked me if I was okay before our evening lecture which was nice of them! Eddie always plays music before lecture and he put on ABBA so of course Kirsty and I had to sing it to each other from our chairs on opposite sides of the room. I will forever think of her when I hear ABBA now. Bikram promised not to talk before showing us a few episodes of the legendary TV show, Mahabharat, but of course he did not keep it. The man loves to talk. He had us laughing about some cheap, 400 pesos jacket he bought at a local store and then explained the story line of the episodes we were going to watch.

We had watched a few episodes of the TV show during Week 2 and as awfully ridiculous as it was, I loved it. I did not mind having to watch it again! The show tried to pass off what looked like a 1 year old baby as a newborn which was comical. There were swastikas on the houses of the characters, causing me to look up what the real meaning of the symbol was: The swastika is an ancient religious icon used in the Indian subcontinent, East Asia and Southeast Asia, where it has been and remains a sacred symbol of spiritual principles in Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism. The word swastika is derived from the sanskrit root swasti which is composed of su, meaning “good, well”, and asti meaning “it is, there is”. Now we know. There was also laughably horrible “evil” laughs by a giant/demon. We jumped around between episodes and parts of episodes which made it a little difficult to follow but I stayed awake the whole time and we were out just before 12:30am.

 

Tuesday 10/24/17 – Day 38 
I woke up a little early to record my dialogue for Mari. Some people are auditory learners so she thought hearing the dialogue might help her a little more (English is her second language).

Our morning class was with Ana, a visiting teacher. She had perfect dialogue and great energy but I was still feeling dizzy and awful from the day before that I had trouble getting into my zone. My body was a mess: somewhere on the right side of my upper-mid back was hurting, especially during sit-ups, my ears were still clogged, and my jaw was still hurting. I did everything but it was a disaster. I liked Ana and her class, I just wished I could have given her more.

Again, I was not hungry after class but I ate a something anyway before going to the 4th floor to study again with Maryla. My head was not into it though and my brain was not working so I went back to my room to lay down. Leah was there so we studied together for a little bit but mostly just talked about how miserable we both were, both physically and mentally. We were both incredibly “over it” and being Negative Nancies. At least we were making each other laugh in the process!

Despite our hatred for everything, we made our way to our posture clinics. Eddie took attendance by having us say what city we would like to teach in one day. Tanya (she is in my group) and Mr. Red are building and opening a yoga retreat/studio in Scotland, where they are from, next year so of course I said I would like to go there. I do not really have plans to travel and teach but it would be nice to visit her! Posture clinic was the same as usual; some things never change. Hearing the same old feedback over and over again was starting to frustrate me and my sassy side was brewing. My mood was starting to make me feel argumentative and rebellious. Zero care in the world. I delivered my dialogue and Eddie asked me to be more energetic/loud but I did not have it in me. Nonetheless, I did it a second time. He looked like he wanted to say more to me and I am so glad he did not because I might have snapped. I do not like making excuses when standing up there, we are all going through something so I am not special for feeling crummy, but I really felt like I was going to lose it. Eddie gave us a short break during which I snacked on marshmallows and chatted to him about studios in Houston, my dialogue (I asked him if he was going to say more… he was), and inconsistent feedback (how some tell us not to yell and some tell us to yell). After our break, I had to deliver the next posture, Fixed Firm, from the balcony. That way, I would be forced to yell it. I fumbled a little bit, probably because I was on the balcony, but it was fine. Fixed Firm was a tough one to demo because of the cold, hard floor. It was making my feet hurt!

Leah and I went back to complaining again before the evening class. Why are we here? What are we doing? What is life? Etc. We were just so over it all. All of it. Tired of memorizing dialogue, tired of going to posture clinic, class, and lectures. It was Tuesday and we already wanted a break. I was not feeling well still. My head was in a fog and my brain felt like scrambled eggs. We were joking about running away and how we refuse to be told what to do anymore. Unfortunately, we are in the wrong place for having independence! We definitely had the giggles; it was like we were delirious from all the misery. We also tried practicing our back bends because I have not been able to do a decent one in over a week. FRUSTRATING.

We reluctantly went to the evening class, led by Bikram. It was a good class and I did well despite my garbage attitude and shameful back bend. My standing series was decent, especially the balancing series. My Triangle pose was awesome, too. Micael did a demo for us last Saturday and I really think it helped me with mine. My Locust pose has improved 10x as well. I was feeling strong but burped a personal record number of times. Cute. Bikram came off of the podium to start making corrections, too, and I was just mentally daring him to come near me. I might have had to pull an Ali and start talking back to him! I am telling you, my argumentative side was feeling feisty.

On the way out of the hot room, I ran into Bikram and he pat me on the back and said he was nice to us in class. My response? “Yeah, nicer than yesterday.”

It took everything in me but I forced myself to focus and study in my room for an hour and a half after dinner. At the end of the day, it did not matter how terrible I felt, I still had responsibilities and had to memorize the dialogue. Sigh. Maryla and I walked around afterward. Jessica told me she mailed me a letter 20 days ago but was not sure if I had gotten it yet so I checked with the front desk (spoiler alert: it ended up getting sent back to her). It would have been SO nice to get their letter with my mood the way it was but just knowing that they tried and thought of me was comforting enough.

Before the evening lecture, Manali told us people were busted for kissing in the pool and for taking food out of Chula Vista in tupperware/eating there before the morning class. I would tell you I was surprised but I legitimately was not.

The evening lecture was a true test of my patience. My journal (that I make notes in and use to eventually write this blog) literally says “WTF” in it. Bikram rambled on about who-knows-what. He started off talking about the 4 stages of life, which actually interested me, but then took a tangent. At one point, he started with the “men vs. women” lecture again and that was torture enough the first time we heard it a few weeks ago. I did not need to hear it again. I fundamentally disagree with his views on all of that but it is okay because as he told us, we “are not educated, civilized, or cultured enough to agree” with him (direct quote). If disagreeing with him means I am not those things, then sobeit. I eventually stopped listening to him and started writing my dialogue out, starting off at Half Moon, to test myself, after writing Half Tortoise and Camel out 3x each. Again, I was mentally daring him to say something to me for not listening or for doing something else. I was not looking for a fight but I was prepared for one. All of the negative feelings, which I know are 9x more stronger than positive feelings, were swirling together, brewing, ready to explode out of me. The man was literally jumping from one topic to another like hopscotch and I just picked up bits and pieces of it along the way. At one point he was talking about cars. During another he was talking about all the celebrities he KNEW (he even admitted that he does not know today’s celebrities anymore… therefor basically calling himself irrelevant) and how awesome he is/all the great things he has done. Look, we get it. We paid a shit-ton of money to come to this. We, of all people, do not need to be sold on Bikram yoga and how great it is. Again and again and AGAIN. Good grief! He also went on a spiritual rant about how there is no God. If you have no physical problems, you do not need a doctor. Therefor if you have no spiritual problems, you should not need a God. Alright then. We never learned about the damn 4 stages of life because of all the tangents! He ended the night with a short Q&A session and were out by 12:30am. I recorded more of my dialogue for Mari before going to sleep feeling sore and sad. Womp womp.

Bonus picture of my dad, Suzette, and ELLIOTT with his fresh haircut watching the Astros! Miss that fluff ball.

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Wednesday 10/25/17 – Day 39 
My whole back hurt when I woke up. Discomfort level = 10. I wish I could explain the feeling. Pain? No. Sore? No. Just complete awfulness.

Before the morning class, Kirsty, Tom, and I were talking about my final breathing exercise. I told them I got called out twice last week so they were giving me a hard time about it, whispering things like “did you hear about that girl Jillian’s awful breathing exercise?” It was all in good fun and we were laughing so much. It was exactly how I needed to start my day. I made a deal with Tom that if he did a perfect Balancing Stick, I would do my final breathing properly. Eddie cannot pronounce anyone’s names properly but class was good. Triangle hurt quite a bit but despite minor aches and cracks, I survived. He complimented my Toe Stand, too. I had told Eddie in posture clinic the day before that he had used “round your spine like an angry cat” during Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee last time he taught and I was listening for him to do it again but he did not. Good job, Eddie. During final breathing, Tom, Kirsty, Andres, and I all started laughing uncontrollably just remembering the jokes from before class started! It was cold, but beautiful, when we got out of class which was a bit of a shock. I felt good after being in the hot room.

I skipped breakfast after class and video chatted with Katy and Paul for an hour and a half instead while I snacked on a protein bar, veggie chips, and marshmallows. They have both obviously been through this process before and understand what I am going through here and what it is like. This experience can be really difficult to explain to people who have not gone through it. I know I write this blog and you all get a little glimpse into it but even this does not give it justice. When people ask me how it is going, it is so much easier to give a short, mostly true answer than make a pathetic attempt at explaining something so indescribable. We had such a nice chat about all sorts of things and as always, they were so supportive and encouraging. They make me laugh and I really needed it. Our conversation could not have come at a more perfect time. There is random ‘scandal’ and ‘drama’ here that we (the trainees) should not go around gossiping about so it was nice to be able to get that off my chest to people who are removed from this but also who can understand it! They also got me excited to teach my first class! I loved hearing about their travels and am so looking forward to their return home, just a few weeks after I get back. I probably should have been studying instead of talking to them but oh well, my mental health needed to talk to them! My phone was plugged in the entire time we were chatting but somehow still managed to die at the end of our conversation, just after it saved 20% of the screenshot I took of us all. They sent me a selfie instead, ha.

Our posture clinic after was with Micael. He gave short feedback so we moved VERY quickly and made it through 3 postures. I paused during my Half Tortoise which felt like an hour long pause but was probably only a few seconds. I corrected myself on one part too which we are not supposed to do. I had no energy and did not feel very prepared but such is life. It was definitely my worst delivery so far but still not terrible. When we moved on to Camel, we all yelled “WOO” like we do in class which made us laugh. Then our WOO turned into a MOOO which is our group “sound” to match our group name: Vacas Traviesa (translation: Naughty Cows). Micael called the staff naughty cows last week so it just kind of stuck, then we decided it would be our name but in Spanish since so many people in our group are Spanish speakers. High five. A group name like the Bengal Tigers or English Bulldogs seemed too obvious (those are terms used in the dialogue). Micael said my dialogue for Camel was perfect and complimented me for emphasizing all of the bold words. FINALLY nailed the bold words! About time. I liked demoing Half Tortoise and Camel, too. It felt good on my back!

During our break, I practiced dialogue on the patio and enjoyed the beautiful weather while snacking on saltine crackers. I had heard it was around 45 degrees F at home in Houston which was mind-boggling!

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When I saw Micael walk into the room, I knew we would move fast so I memorized Rabbit pose while people were delivering the other dialogue. That was the first and only posture I memorized in clinic but I am glad I did because we did end up getting to it and I delivered it to get it over with. I messed up a little but that was probably expected considering I learned it right there!

Micael also told us a funny story about someone going cross-eyed during Bow and how it completely caught him off guard. Teachers are always warning us about the crazy things we will see from our students. Cannot wait!

Noteworthy quotes:

  • “I want to 360 degree backward bending.” -Pavel (We love you, Pavel! This had us laughing though when said with your Czech accent!)
  • “Too good is no good.” -Micael quoting Bikram
  • “Excuse me for living.” -Micael quoting Bikram (I love this one. Bikram always says this when he makes a mistake. It is a nice reminder that mistakes are just a part of life.)

We had a brief break before the evening class and I used that time to organize pictures from my phone onto my computer before everything got too jumbled. Between pictures I take, pictures people send me, screenshots I take from Instagram stories, etc. it can become a lot.

It was picture day again for our evening class with Bikram. I suddenly regretted eating an ungodly amount of saltine crackers during posture clinic but it was too late. Alicia, Lidia, and I put our mats near each other and when Bikram walked in, he seemed like he was in the kind of mood to hold us in class for 3 hours. Luckily, that did not happen! Class was tough but I did well. When pictures are being taken, you cannot help but subconsciously push yourself a little harder. My back bend was still not cooperating so I felt bad for being between Alicia and Lidia and ruining any picture Anurag could have taken of their awesome back bends. Bikram called people onto the podium for corrections/demos too:

  • Sophia for Half Moon (her Half Moon was fine, he just wanted to show us how to correct someone)
  • Alicia/Johanna/Taryn for Standing Bow Pulling (to get their top knee locked! so impressive)
  • Jana for floor Bow

Bikram called people out for “fucking” too and threatened to send them home. Yikes! Katy and Paul had referred to Week 6 as “Week Sex” so the timing of their comment, Bikram’s comment, and Manali’s comments the night before… perfect and hilarious. There are a few rumored ‘couples’ here so they could have been referring to anyone but I think we all know who it was. He was still picking on Lidia quite a bit, even if it was for good things.

With all of the breaks for demos and corrections, I drank too much water and by Camel, felt like I was going to vomit. Too much water is not good! Remember how in the morning class, Tom and Kirsty gave me a hard time for final breathing? Well, karma worked at record speed and during the evening class, Bikram called Tom out for his final breathing. Kirsty and I were on opposite sides of the room but made eye contact and started laughing.

Bikram held us in Spine Twisting for FAR too long which was not great because I was feeling dizzy again by then. However, this time when I got out of the hot room, I stayed sitting up (instead of laying) so that I would not get covered in ice again. I also went up to Tom and told Kirsty, “man, did you hear about that guy Tom’s awful final breathing?” We had a nice laugh!

We do not have the official photos yet but here are ones from the Bikram Yoga Instagram story. Check out that amazing Savasana I have going on! I will post the official ones once we get them.

I do not remember the context of this but I had this conversation in my journal. Kirsty, you crack me up.

Kirsty: “Try being on your period and having the shits.”
Me: “That is going on the blog.”
Kirsty: “You can even put my name.”

I did not think I was hungry but when I made it down to dinner, I ate a lot. Surprise. This training really screws with one’s metabolism! I studied in my room afterward but was so tired and could not focus. I just wanted to talk to someone from home or take a nap but I needed to be productive so I left the comfort of my bed and went to the top pool with Lidia to study there. I had hot chocolate from Starbucks even though it was not cold outside (it just sounded good) and I texted Tanja, my friend/instructor from back home, for a little bit about the baffling phrasing for part of the dialogue I was studying. Say this 10x fast: “Create pressure with the left foot sole against the right leg biceps of the thigh muscle.” Seesh.

I mentally “checked out” again for the evening lecture and continued writing my dialogue out instead. I got stuck on a few but remembered most of it. Alicia had to prompt me for Tree pose because I drew a blank but once she gave me the first line, I was set. He did somewhat finish talking about the 4 stages of life though. I took a few notes because when he actually stays focused on a specific AND RELEVANT TOPIC, he can be a decent speaker!

Noteworthy quotes:

  • “Bikram yoga is like your ‘underground foundation’ for life – nothing can shake you.”
  • “If you’re stuck with your past problems, you’ll never see your future.”

At 12:20am, we started watching that TV show, Mahabharat, again. I repeat, at 12:20am, we started a TV show. Twelve. Twenty. In. The. Morning. He gave us a short break while they got the show ready during which he went and sat in Lidia’s chair while she went to the restroom and told us why he hates tattoos. His fixation on Lidia since last week’s dance party has been intense and quite gross. Everyone noticed it (and makes jokes about not wanting to be near her in the hot room as to not call attention to themselves) and then him going to sit in her chair while she was gone, as if to wait for her… bizarre.

When I was in 7th grade, I had a theater arts teacher (Mr. Lont) act really weird toward me. He would call me out in class a lot and always make me be the ‘example’ of whatever he was teaching. It was a theater class so I was constantly being called on. I hated it. Then, he started to get weird. I had his class 6th period but there would be days where he would wait for me after 7th period and “walk me” to my bus. There was one day he followed me to my 7th period French class and sat in my chair and would not leave until I spoke French to him. I refused to go in the room. He was creeping me out. I told my parents about and we talked to the school and for the last week of the semester (a.k.a my final week of Mr. Lont’s class), I did not have to go to his class. My 7th period French teacher did not have a 6th period class so I was allowed to sit in her classroom instead: shout out to Mrs. Hansen, the best of the best. Years later, after I graduated college, I saw a story online about Mr. Lont being arrested for sex with a minor (a student of his). I tell you that story to say that Bikram sitting in Lidia’s chair reminded me of Mr. Lont sitting in mine back in 7th grade. It was just bizarre and uncomfortable. With all the allegations that surround Bikram, I would like to think he would be a little more cautious with his behavior to be very sure he is making no implications of any kind. Baffling. (Note: He has not made advances on Lidia… that is not what I am saying. It was just a weird, incredibly noticeable, uncomfortable amount of attention she was suddenly getting.)

Anyway, I slept on and off throughout the TV show which was a shame because as horrible as it is, I actually like watching it and wanted to know the story. It was freezing in the room and I was just so done. We are not supposed to sleep and I felt bad but whatever. I knew I would probably be sore the next day because of how I had to contortion my body on the chairs but again, whatever. We watched the TV show until 1:50am but because it is a rare occasion where I can just lay down and fall asleep instantly, I was up until after 2:30am.

 

Thursday 10/26/17 – Day 40
My back was not feeling any better today. My whole body was wicked sore. I was also extremely tired from the late night but I am sure we all were. Lu, a visiting teacher, taught our morning class: class #60! Lu was on staff for the Spring training and visited us earlier in our training but this was her first class teaching us. She had the most perfect dialogue and even taught a little in Spanish. I loved her energy and she moved around the podium like she was ‘conducting’ us. Her body language was so expressive which was nice to see since most teachers are not like that. I feel like I will be expressive too once I get a little more comfortable but maybe not to her level. I liked it though! I totally, 100% got into my meditation and class flew by. I did not think my body was going to cooperate but when you are in your zone like that, everything just works perfectly. I did so well, especially for a morning class. It was a perfect class and just what I needed as we approached the end of the week.

Tina, Kirsty, Jana, and I had a nice chat at breakfast about the training “process” and Bikram and all of our positive and negative feelings towards everything. We are all just trying to keep a low profile and survive! Week 6 really took it out of everyone. I studied in my room afterward and succumbed to a 30 minute nap. When I woke up, I helped Leah with her Standing Head to Knee and getting her forehead to her knee. Tanja once gave me some advice on where to look as you move your head in so that you do not lose your balance so maybe that will help Leah a bit! She made Demo Team and was nervous about that posture but luckily she has a few weeks left to work on it. She will be great!

Ana, a visiting teacher, facilitated our posture clinic. We were looking forward to having her because we had heard such great things about her from the other groups. She had great advice and we moved pretty quickly. At one point, Manali came in and totally stalled. They want us to finish posture clinic next week but at the rate everyone was going, we would be finished at the end of this week so I felt like teachers were intentionally stalling. Ana had several people re-do Rabbit pose and then with Manali’s interruption… stall tactics. I kept studying Head to Knee with Stretching because it was such a tough one to get. Plus, I was tired and my stomach hurt from the entire bag of sour gummy worms I had eaten earlier. When it was my turn, I nailed the insane sentence (“Create pressure with the left foot sole against the right leg biceps of the thigh muscle.”) which gave me some bonus points but I fumbled a little bit at the end. I completely blanked and had to improvise, officially making it my worst posture delivery, but Ana still gave me good feedback. I knew I would mess up so it was probably a self-fulfilling prophecy. Alicia went after me and nailed the tough sentence too (and ironically, missed the parts of the dialogue that I had said and said the parts of the dialogue that I had missed). Veronica also nailed the tough sentence. Bonus points for us! I will never forget that damn sentence.

I rested in the room after clinic. I was so not in the mood for the evening class with Bikram: the theme of the week. I ran into Ali before class and he asked how my week was going and when I said it was not well, he told me I was killing it with my dialogue and my blog and said I looked happy anyway. He also started calling me Superstar which I do not totally hate. It was a rough week but I am glad that I looked happy to other people. My brain was NOT in the room for class and I remember almost nothing about it. I was just waiting for Bikram to yell at me for looking so pathetic. I mean, I did everything but I did not do it with any passion or care. He had Lidia go into full Camel and then stood on her hips. After everything with him this week, I just had to roll my eyes at it. Poor Lidia. He tried to do it with Sara too but could not get it, for whatever reason. Mari also did the advanced Standing Separate Leg Stretching pose (guillotine) and it was super impressive. I thought she was going to fall over!

On my way to dinner, Vinny and I crossed paths and he asked how it was going, too, and I said I was hanging in there. He looked surprised and said I looked “fresh as a daisy” for someone just hanging in there. Fake it until you make it, right? Regardless, it put a smile on my face. Dinner was quick because I wanted to video chat with Jessica and the girls for a little bit. It was nice to see them. It definitely has started to hit me a little harder when I am missing out on stuff, especially as a Halloween approaches. Just hearing about what is going on with them makes me feel a little better.

Maryla and I studied for a little bit before the evening lecture and walked around. This was the only picture I took this day and it was because I needed a picture-of-the-day for Instagram (and because I needed to study dialogue for Spine Twisting but was stalling). My Instagram quotes were pretty sad and pathetic this week, too. Dramatic.

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I felt like an ass when I walked into the lecture room and they had the anatomy test results posted on the wall. I was so sure we never got our results! It just further proved how little I actually knew about the Spring training… so people should stop relying on me for answers now. I was wrong and I know nothing! Anyway, I got a 93 out of 110, the highest score in my group. High five. I still believe the scores mean absolutely nothing and everyone is going to graduate regardless, but whatever.

Bikram’s evening lecture was about “maintenance” and the overall message was solid but his roundabout, ass backwards way of explaining it was a little much for me. He spent the whole time bragging about himself, everyone he knows, everyone he has helped, how awesome he is, and so on and so on. It has gotten to be a little repetitive (as has this blog and my rants about everything). If I have to hear about Shirley MacClaine one more time… sigh. He insults the “western world” every chance he gets but at the same time, worships it because it is what “made” him. He is not entirely wrong about his accusations about it all but seesh. Enough is enough. The egocentric lectures just take away time from what we are there to learn about: the yoga. It can be very frustrating. I try to take everything with a grain of salt and smile/laugh at it all and I like think I had been pretty successful at it for the first 5 weeks but with the week I had, I was done. So. Done. He just wants us to tell him how awesome he is, how right he is, and agree with him. I can admit that more often than not, I like what he has to say and even find it interesting but something about this week just really got under my skin. I love this yoga that he created and I truly believe in it, I would not be here if I did not… none of us would… but I would LOVE to spend more time learning more about the YOGA part of it all than hearing a sales pitch on himself. They keep saying our posture clinics with Bikram will start soon and I am looking forward to that portion of this. Thankfully, he let us out at 12:10am. Deep breath. One more day.

 

Friday 10/27/17 – Day 41
Anurag taught the morning class, class #62 and the official 2/3 mark. It was a standard class and had significantly fewer “just a couple more seconds” at the end of each posture! He and Manali always pick on each other during class: he asked if it was hot in the room and she yelled, “You’re hot!” and then he made her demo Tree pose on the podium. All in good fun. He seems like a nice guy and after everything that happened this week, I could not help but wonder about his feelings on all of “this”: the yoga, his dad, the training, everything. He never really seems happy to be here and responds with the most depressing “yeah” whenever his dad (Bikram) asks him a question. I wonder if he ever gets embarrassed by all of it, especially Bikram’s dirty jokes. Does he want to be here or does he HAVE to be here? I have so many questions. I should have been focusing on my performance in class but sometimes your mind wanders.

I had the fastest breakfast of all time because I needed to start AND finish memorizing Spine Twisting before posture clinic. I had not even started it yet and I knew it was going to be a tough one. I rewarded myself with chocolate as I memorized each paragraph and had the entire thing down in 1 hour. Amazing what a person can accomplish with a little focus and the proper motivation. I am highly motivated by food and I am okay with that.

Leah came back to the room just as I was wrapping up and I said the dialogue for her. She pointed out that memorizing Spine Twisting meant I was officially FINISHED with memorizing dialogue!! My energy level immediately shot up. That had not even crossed my mind for a single second. Technically, you are never ‘finished’ studying dialogue (you can learn ‘left side’ for some of the postures or ‘additional dialogue/corrections’) but for the sake of training, I was finished and it was exciting!

I headed to posture clinic and brought my study chocolate for everyone. Partly because my group is awesome and deserving of it, and partly because I did not want to end up eating it all by myself and hating myself later. We had Karla and Alzbeta, a visiting teacher, in our room. Karla, once again, took no shit. She gave a lot of feedback but mostly about people still not putting in effort or having progressed enough this late in the game. Some people need that push. When we all finished Head to Knee with Stretching, Karla gave a little speech that almost made it sound like we were already finished entirely. She reminded of us of how far we have all come throughout this. We only had time for two people to deliver Spine Twisting so Alicia and I both went to get it out of the way and officially, officially be finished and free up our weekend from studying! Their feedback to me was to work on slowing down and taking pauses but I had just learned it earlier that morning and I was excited so I just had to spit the words out. Alzbeta asked if I had my first class scheduled and I told her when it was. Everyone was surprised to hear it was so soon after graduation but I figured I might as well rip the bandaid off and go for it as soon as possible. The way I see it, everyone at my studio is supportive of me and wants to see me do well so there is no reason to be scared of them!

Noteworthy quotes:

  • “When the guy stands on the podium, all the girls are happy.” -Alzbeta (and so true)

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Leah and I ate chips again before the evening class. Daily quote from one or both of us: “Omg I have eaten too many chips.”

Our evening class was taught by Dash, a visiting teacher, instead of Bikram. Bikram had been having eye pains all week and finally went to the doctor who removed a bunch of calcium deposits and told him to not go into the hot room for 24 hours. It was a good class and quite honestly, I was kind of happy to not have Bikram. People were joking before class about not putting their mats near Lidia’s because of all the attention on her but it ended up being alright since he was not there! It was another standard class and I did well, probably because of all the adrenaline from being finished with dialogue. I liked his energy and he had great dialogue. He joked around with us a little bit too which helps keep the mood light.

Several of us went to the ocean after class. We only have a few weeks left so we need to take advantage of it! The sun has started to set earlier and the weather has been getting cooler so time is limited. Plus, when you have a good class and it is the end of the week, you have to go to the ocean.

I had a quick, quick dinner and then went to my room to watch Netflix alone in the dark. I needed space from people because I was feeling really stressed about a few things. I knew Jana would understand so I sent her a message and I was right, she totally understood. Thank you, Jana, for always listening!

Leah got back from dinner and somehow we got to talking about how neither of us had shaved our legs in days and how we were both looking forward to finally shaving on Saturday. Leah said it best: “I am turning into a bear.” Same, girl.

I spent all day wishing, hoping, and willing that there would be no evening lecture. I was not right… but I was not wrong. Bikram only chatted for a few minutes before putting on what turned out to be a pretty decent movie: Johdaa Akbar. It starred the same guy from the first Bollywood movie we watched and was long as hell (3.5 hours) but I really enjoyed it.

Movie thoughts:

  • I loved when the guys wearing planter’s pots on their heads had a musical number. It was catchy and entertaining. Maybe a few minutes too long, though.
  • The Emperor and Empress (the main couple and probably the two most attractive people of all time), who had so much sexual tension you could cut it with a knife, had a sword fight and then “eye fucked the shit out of each other.” (Quote from ‘Wedding Crashers.’) It was intense and we were all super engaged in it.
  • I did not understand why it was such a big deal that the Empress eat the food she made for the Emperor. I mean, I get that it was protocol for the chef to taste the food so that the Emperor would not be poisoned but they seemed to make it a big deal. Maybe women were not supposed to eat in front of me? I do not know.
  • The Emperor’s west nurse is the definition of a true B.
  • The Emperor was practicing sword fighting half naked and the crowd (us) went wild. Bikram said, “I knew you guys would do that.” Ha. It is Week Sex, remember?
  • When the Emperor and Empress finally implied they were going to be intimate and started cuddling on the floor, Bikam said, “Doing it on the floor? Bad for the knees! Fixed firm pose!” We all laughed but man, no words. We all cheered at the movie though!
  • Bikram should turn the microphone off while the movie is going because hearing his stuffy nose the whole time was driving me crazy.
  • The staff was not even in the room for the majority of the time! But they have seen this move a million times, I am sure.
  • Maryla and I snacked on chips. Her giant duffel bag is always full of surprises.

We were out at 1:50am! Yikes. Apparently there is a “part 2” of the movie, too. I hope we watch that here!

Saturday 10/28/17 – Day 42 
My neck and shoulders were not feeling any better but it was the last class of the week so I was excited. Apparently on Saturdays we can put our mat anywhere and not stick to our group row: 6 weeks in and that was the first time I had heard that! Micael led class and he was fabulous, as always. His classes never disappoint. It started off a little rough for me but by Standing Head to Knee, I was in the zone. He made us laugh the whole time with quick one-liners and under -his-breath sarcasm. Anurag told us a few weeks ago to come up with group names and sounds and since our name is Naughty Cows, our group sound is “Moooo.” At one point, everyone started doing their sound and it made him laugh! Glad we could return the favor.

After class, Taryn (who practiced near me most of the week but not this particular class) gave me some advice for my Eagle and Standing Bow Pulling postures. That damn Eagle pose is going to be the death of me! I still need to get her tips and tricks for being able to do Full Wheel… for when/if I can ever do my back bend again.

I enjoyed a long breakfast talking with Maryla, Nadine, Vinny, and Christine about dialogue, our first classes, and everything yoga-related. Bikram came down the steps at one point in another one of his fabulous mesh shirts and he talked to us for a few minutes. What a character.

After the way I felt all week, I decided to take the day for some alone time. I washed all my hot room clothes and a few other tanks/tops. I went through all my clothes and packed up things I had not worn yet: if I had not worn it in 6 weeks, I figured I would not wear it in the remaining 3. I just wanted to get stuff out of the way… or maybe I was subconsciously wishing I was heading home! Not quite, but maybe. Kelly Clarkson’s new album was recently released so I listened to that and really loved it. A lot.

Jessica sent me a video of Bailey’s Halloween dance performance and I almost cried because it was so freaking cute. I tried to video chat Bailey to tell her how cute it was but she was so embarrassed and would not sit still. It was adorable. I hate missing out but am thankful Jessica always sends me stuff like that to include me. I really miss my sister and them.

I stalled for a few hours with all of that but finally sat down and started this blog. Y’all know by now that this takes forever so the idea of writing it was a bit overwhelming. I buckled down and did it, watching Netflix throughout. Of course. I felt bad about staying in my room all day but it was raining off and on and I know I desperately needed the peace and quite to recharge. Leah kept reminding me that it was okay to not be social all the time and to just hide. Done and done.

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Lidia, Maryla, and I had our weekly Saturday night dinner at Tavola. It was great, as always. We talked about yoga a lot before realizing we needed to stop talking about yoga! It is all consuming right now! We also noticed that we are all starting to talk and sound like Bikram and in “Bikram English.” We talk using the dialogue phrases. It is crazy.

We love the 20-minute chocolate ball.

After dinner, I went back to my room to keep blogging and watching Netflix until I fell asleep.

 

Sunday 10/29/17 – Day 43 
Apparently, Mexico’s daylight savings is a few days before the United States’ so last night, the clock got moved back 1 hour and we all got an extra hour of sleep. Until November 5th when the US has theirs, I will be 1 hour ahead of y’all at home. I stayed in bed until about 10am, watching Netflix after I woke up, and then got up to take my first epsom salt bath of the training. My back was in desperate need. I am not quite sure it helped and I am not typically a “bath person” but I was feeling so lazy that it was actually nice.

I watched Netflix and blogged a little more until Leah came back to the room and we went to meet Lidia for lunch at The Beach Club. Yum. It was rainy and I was cold but still beautiful out. I wished I had a jacket!

After lunch, I went right back to my room, put sweatpants on, and curled up in bed with Netflix. I still need to keep reviewing dialogue and being sure I am 100% ready for my first class but for this weekend, I think I deserve a dialogue break!

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Maryla wanted to go for a walk so we went on a long walk down the beach. We ran into Matt so we scooped him up to join us and I stopped to get ice cream, too. It was a much-needed walk after a weekend of doing nothing so it was nice. We walked for probably a mile or a mile and a half before calling it quits.

I took another epsom salt bath and started another movie on Netflix. Hopefully I have done enough of nothing this weekend to be ready for another full week ahead!

I also chatted with Baba and Grandma for about half an hour! They make me laugh.

 

Weekly Summary
What a week. Remember last week when I said I was totally fine? That was true but it all hit me like a ton of bricks this week and I was done, kind of like babies #1-7 from the TV show, Mahabharat, that were murdered by the King after being thrown against a wall. Bad joke? Too soon? My head was in a fog and nothing made sense/worked all week. My patience was low. My energy was low. I could not figure out what was wrong: I was eating (although I mostly stopped eating a protein bar before the morning class; when I ate it, I would feel full during class but when I did not, I would be starving during. Could not win.), I was sleeping. I do not know what it was. Everything felt so un-explainable and out of my control, which I hate. I started picking at my eyebrows again so you know it was bad! I was feeling worried/anxious about re-certification week (Week 8), too, because there will be a lot of extra people here and a lot of commotion! Ah.

Katy commented on one of my Facebook posts that I was a machine: the same nickname Maryla uses for me every day. You know who the real machine is? Tanya’s husband, Brian, a.k.a Mr. Red! He not only took ALL 11 classes with us this week (after only doing Bikram yoga 2-3 times a month before), but he also took all of Bikram’s comments to him like a true champ!

We have 3 weeks remaining here. 6 weeks down, 3 left. I can do it. We can do it. We will do it. We have to do.

Fingers crossed for a better 7th week!

Until next time,

Jillian

 

Bonus Mini Tour 

My view waking up at 7:30am:

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Walking down the hall, down the stairs, and to the hot room:

Our hot room and its crazy stairs, water stations, clean towel table/dirty towel bin:

Post-class balcony and my journal (I jot down thoughts after each class/clinic/lecture):

Our elevator lobby, mezzanine stairs, path to Chula Vista:

Chula Vista and its the breakfast spread including the smoothie and omlet stations:

The back pathway out of Chula Vista:

There is not much to show with our clinic rooms – they are just empty hotel rooms. I will take pictures of the lecture room next week!

… BYTT (Week 5)

We have completed 53 classes and 5 weeks! Week 5 was probably one of the fastest weeks I have had here. We made it through so much dialogue in our posture clinics, Bikram finally came back, we hit the halfway point of training, and ended the week with a much-needed pizza and dance party!

 

Monday 10/16/17 – Day 30
Monday kicked off with a morning class from Tom after Manali asked why I looked say during her pre-class speech. I was not sad! Tom was teaching, how could I be sad? Eddie had everyone squeeze into the middle of the room initially and people were not comprehending how to do that. Yoga brain, I am assuming. Tom led a great class and I did pretty well considering it was a Monday morning. He made us laugh, encouraged us, energized us, and gave us enough breaks. Between one of the sets, he said, “Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale. You are allowed to breathe on your own from here on out.” That made me laugh because it was a clever way to remind us to keep breathing! Tom also reminded us, “no matter what, never skip Camel.” Wise words, Tom. His savasana song was “Hot in Here” by Nelly: classic.

I had a quick breakfast then reviewed my anatomy notes and studied dialogue on the mezzanine with Maryla. The lobby was still too full from all of the other hotel events – I miss the lobby! She kindly reminded me that people tend to give their attention to others who need it and neglect the ones who are okay. I do not remember how that got brought up but I am sure I was probably frustrated about something and she was putting it into perspective for me, as always.

Our afternoon posture clinic was incredibly productive. We took some fun group pictures (minus Alonso who was running late), took our last anatomy test, and made it through nearly 3 postures: finished Standing Head to Knee, started and finished Standing Bow Pulling, and started Balancing Stick.

Eddie was quite the talker which sometimes slowed our pace but he and Robyn gave us valuable feedback. Robyn had a very positive attitude and was really encouraging for people who needed it. You cannot always beat people down and give them negative feedback, even if they are not doing well. Some people respond better to encouraging words and she did a good job building those people up. They also reminded the class about proper “teaching costume:” hair tied back, yoga clothes (pants/shorts, tank top, etc.). I was glad they finally said something because we were told that on the first day of clinics but people must have forgotten. People in the group have been doing so much better at memorizing the dialogue than the previous weeks so it was really exciting to see their improvement.

Robyn also recognized me from the Spring graduation (she sat in front of me and we talked about yoga mats for a few minutes) which was surprising. I talked to her during our break and Eddie admitted he recognized me, too. Spotted! Eddie and I talked about the Houston studios (he knows the owner of the Sugarland one) and about my first class.

Y’all know I can talk fast, right? Well, Eddie wanted everyone to talk faster when delivering Balancing Stick (the posture is only supposed to be 10 second but there is at least 60 seconds worth of dialogue – everyone knows that in a real-life situation, you’d cut almost all the dialogue out but for the sake of posture clinic, we had to say it all to prove we knew it). Some people prefer to go first while they still have the words fresh on their mind so after a few people went, I hopped up there. I wanted to go while we had Eddie and Robyn because I knew if we had a different teacher later in the evening clinic, there was a chance for inconsistent feedback and they would not want me to talk as fast as Eddie was suggesting we talk. I had to go while we had them! I went and said the entire dialogue in probably 2 or 3 breaths, without missing a single beat. Eddie said I did great and that I did not miss a word but that he was worried I was going to pass out. My feedback from them was to learn how to breathe from my diaphragm. I made a joke that it was the only time they were going to let me talk fast so I had to advantage of it! We were let out of clinic just before 4pm.

When I got back to the room, I noticed our toiletries near the sink had been reorganized and there was a towel under our stuff now. At first I thought Leah had gotten bored and done it but when she got back, she said it was not her. Housekeeping had done it! I was okay with that, it looked nicer this way! P.S. We wear our robes to and from class so that we do not have to dirty our actual clothes.

I had some snacks before the evening class with Anurag. Before class, Robyn reminded me that I am not responsible for other people and their dialogue. I finally accepted that information over the previous weekend when Tom and Jonalyn whipped me into shape but it never hurts to remind me, especially since I have a tendency to make other people’s problems my own. Anurag’s class was good; I did well and I felt good even though the class was not very hot. Class went by incredibly fast, too, which is always nice. I enjoy Anurag’s classes because he has such a soothing voice and is so encouraging but every teacher has their little quirks and his were making me laugh. He says “just a few more seconds” at the end of almost every posture!

Dinner was nice but I decided no desserts this week so that was a bummer. Earlier in the afternoon, I did finish off the caramel chocolate Andrew had left me. But after that, no desserts! I was so exhausted though that I just wanted to rest so I went back to my room and watched Netflix until posture clinic.

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We had another posture clinic in the evening. Ulesis and Jolinda were our facilitators. We had not met Ulesis yet and when he walked in the room and introduced himself, my stomach dropped. He was the ONLY person I was ‘warned’ about before coming here! I had not actually heard any details, though, so I did not know what to expect. He was a little crazy and all over the place but I really enjoyed him. He said he would not spend a lot of time on feedback so our group could catch up on postures (we were a little behind) but then he proceeded to give a lot of feedback to everyone and talk a lot. I liked what he had to say and learned a lot about teaching and the postures but I wished he had not gotten our hopes up that we would be moving quickly! It is great that we have different teachers each clinic so that we can get to know different people and different people can get to know us but I think it makes it very challenging to give consistent and valuable feedback across the board. Every new person we meet has to start from scratch with us. They do not know what we have already been told or how we have been doing so clinics can really drag out. For example, almost everyone asks “who have you been studying with?” We should not need to answer that every time. Some teachers say to do all of the dialogue, some are okay with just part of it. Etc. None of us know what to do half the time when the message is always changing. I am happy to play the game but it is tough to play it when I do not know the rules. Does that make sense? Ah! I was glad I finished Balancing Stick earlier with Eddie.

Anyway, Ulesis told us we have to build trust with our students by being honest and sticking to our word so he kind of broke my trust by not doing as he had promised (to not give a lot of feedback and then by giving a lot of feedback). It made me worried for when we would have to take his yoga class!

I did genuinely like the guy, though. He really, truly listened to our dialogue delivery (some teachers talk during) and had his hand over his heart for the people that struggled, as if he was trying to send them love. He was sweet.

I did my dialogue for Standing Separate Leg Stretching and got great feedback. I always worry that I will forget the dialogue when I am up there but everything (so far) has been okay and flowed naturally. When you know it well enough, you can say it without thinking and this was one I knew well enough. Ulesis was the first teacher to give me positive feedback without a catch. Others have said, “that was great… but…” and he did not do that which I appreciated. It was nice to just be told I was doing well with no strings attached. He said I was great and asked me when I was moving to New York to teach at his studio in Manhattan. I said I would come visit and he insisted that I do. Who knows if that will play out or if he will remember me but it was nice to know he thought I could be good enough.

I noticed that people in my group who used to struggle were starting to do really well and gain the confidence to stand up and say their dialogue. Their memorization has gotten so much better and it is awesome to see everyone grow so much in such a short time. We all have something to be proud of! On the flip side, people who were doing amazing at first were starting to struggle a little more. We all have dialogue “banks:” a queue of postures we already have memorized and I think our banks were starting to empty because we were moving so quickly through everything. My bank of postures was almost drained so I am about to be right there with them, staying up late to study new postures and whatnot. We will all get through it, no matter what, so we just need to hang in there.

We were out a little after midnight but Leah, my roommate, and I always stay up a little extra longer to talk about what happened in our groups and how we did! We are different but we have a lot of the same opinions on things and it is nice knowing I can come back to our room and we can both just be open and honest about our thoughts of the day without judgement.

 

Tuesday 10/17/17 – Day 31
Leah and I slept a little longer than usual – the beginnings of a bad habit. I woke up feeling like we would be running late but we were fine and got to class at the same time we always do. Tyroon (spelling?) murdered us in the morning class for nearly 2 hours. He spent 40 minutes on the warm up which is typically 25 minutes so, yeah. The class moved in slow motion and I was so hungry since I did not eat my protein bar. Each posture has a sequence of events within it and he did so many out of them out of order. It was particularly noticeable in Standing Head to Knee when he had us lift our foot up before rounding down to grab it and in Standing Bow Pulling when he had us lift our arm up before grabbing our ankle. We were all confused. All I could think the entire class was:

  1. You are supposed to kill our bodies, not our spirits.
  2. Savasanas exist in between postures for a reason.

Class was a struggle but even so, I did alright. I managed. My left shoulder bothered me during Floor Bow and Camel but it was fine. He did not have a savasana song but instead talked to us. I had no idea what he was saying but it was incredibly relaxing and I almost fell asleep. A nice little bonus there at the end.

I got to talk to Tom and Jonalyn a little more at breakfast while waiting in the omelet line. They had skipped the morning class and had asked me how it was. I told them my 2 thoughts above and that they were lucky they had the option to skip! I also showed them the time lapse video of Bailey and I doing yoga. Cue the awes.

Jana’s table was leaving but she was nice enough to stay back with me while I ate and we had a nice chat about the morning class and our posture clinics/groups. We are in different groups but I know she is kicking ass!

On my way out from breakfast, Manali stopped and talked to me by the pastries. I may or may not have been grabbing a cinnamon roll to go when she approached me and called me out for my sweet tooth. We talked about that and other things when out of no where she said, “You do not have any tattoos, right?” UGH! I told her that I did and her face dropped and she responded with a very upset and disappointed, “oh no!” She asked me where (on my left ankle) and said she was surprised she never noticed it and implied she probably had not seen it because she liked me.

Sidenote: Every training has a Demo Team. The Demo Team is made up of around 15 people, all chosen by the staff towards the end of training, to demo the postures in unison during graduation. They have extra practices to prepare and are given matching costumes, etc. You cannot be on Demo Team if you have a tattoo. When I saw the Demo Team perform at the Spring graduation, I thought it would be cool if I could be on it if I ever went to training but that was quickly squashed when I learned that tattoo rule.

I told Manali, “I know, I know” and she asked what I knew. I said that I knew it meant I could not be on Demo Team and she nodded. I told her I had unfortunately and reluctantly accepted that fact back in June. She said I was on her “list of people” to be considered! Now, if you read last week’s blog, you know that I have trouble believing the staff when they say things so she may or may not have been pulling my leg but damn. It was nice to have been thought of and potentially considered though. There are plenty of amazing people here, with and without tattoos, and I am certainly not a stand out but that was nice of her to imply that and it made me feel a little good.

I reviewed dialogue for Triangle and Standing Separate Leg Stretching with Maryla. She and Lidia had bought me chocolate covered pretzel sticks at Walmart last weekend so I snacked on those while the 3 of us laid on their floor for 5 minutes to center ourselves before posture clinic. They are the best!

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Posture clinic went really well. Tom and Micael were our staff and we finished Standing Separate Leg Stretching (I volunteered to demo because that posture is awesome and it is better than sitting on the cold, hard floor for so long), made it through Triangle pose, and started Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee. Tom and Micael both believe in only giving a little feedback which helped move us along (finally). You either know the dialogue or not, everything else will come with time, practice, and experience. My dialogue for Triangle went well even though I mixed up a few words in one of lines. It was not too noticeable though. Tom made an example of me: that there is no magic formula to knowing dialogue, it just takes saying it over and over and over again until you know it to your core. Demoing Triangle 3 times was significantly MORE difficult than delivering the dialogue though. Torture.

I was also able to do my dialogue for Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee and when I finsihed that one, Tom said, “Damn. You did not miss a single word. Damn.” I rarely, do Tom. *jokes* Everyone should have gone while we had Tom and Micael! I was surprised more people were not jumping on the opportunity to deliver dialogue in front of guys who already admitted they do not give a lot of feedback. Also, during one of our breaks, Tom snacked on Cocoa Krispies and I respected that. I finished off my chocolate covered pretzel sticks but definitely considered offering a trade with him.

Our evening class was with Ulesis. It was a long class, clocking in at almost 2 hours. It was incredibly hot, hotter than usual, and I was drenched. He held us in Half Moon for what felt like an entire lifetime. The class started off really tough and I was dizzy for most of the standing series but it got better as it went on. My abdomen was hurting so badly and my left shoulder was hurting during Camel still but I made it through. Bikram told us later in the week that if your abdomen was hurting, take a deep breath and do a backbend: that would have have come in handy! He reminded us that sitting down and/or leaving the room is contagious: when one person does it, everyone starts to do it. It really disrupts the energy in the room (exception: if someone is actually dying).

Noteworthy quotes:

  • The only way to let something go is to give it your 100% so you know you gave it all you could. It is complete. You left nothing pending.

I swam with Maryla after class. The weather was nice but overcast and it was nice to relax my muscles. We talked about our posture clinics earlier in the day and studied Tree Pose. I did not have a picture yet for my Instagram picture-of-the-day and the black swan looked comfortable on our way to the pool so he (or she?) was lucky enough to my subject. Congrats, you are a famous bird now.

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The lobby was finally empty of the extra hotel guests so I studied there after enjoying an awesome zucchini dish at dinner.

Our evening lecture was with Ulesis. He gave a great lecture on breathing, teaching, energy, and our own practice. He had us do a few breathing exercises and they were very, very cool. I was smiling like an idiot during one of them because he was saying that you should feel tingling and feel the breath go around your body and that weird sensation was making me laugh, mostly out of discomfort and feeling stupid. Not that I did not enjoy the breathing exercises, I completely did! I just normally think that stuff is not real and then when I started to feel it, I could not help but laugh at myself. It pushed me out of my comfort zone. I loved everything he said to us and was not sure why I was warned about him. Maybe his tough classes? Tough classes do not make him a bad teacher!

Noteworthy quotes:

  • “Offer the beauty within yourself, the victory within yourself, the glory within yourself. Destroy the enemy.” -Ulesis’ Savasana song that I do not know the name of (and that Manali sang to us at the beginning of lecture)
  • “We came from God and our ultimate destination is to return to him. The end, and the means to that end, is yoga.” -Yogananda
  • “Breathing is your life. Your life starts with a breath and ends with a breath. They don’t count your fingers first!”
  • “Life is a series of breaths.”
  • “If there is life, there is prana.”
  • “Life is simple, just breathe.”
  • “The harder you practice, the harder you breathe.”
  • “When I speak, I move the earth.”
  • “Your spine is the source of all energy in your body.”
  • “Welcome to the Bikram Yoga torture chamber, haunted house in Disneyland… no windows, no doors.” -Bikram (Ulesis quoting Bikram)

The worst part of the night was that right before the end of the lecture, he wanted to share a chant with us. While they were getting ready for it, I checked my phone to see the time. Worst. Mistake. Ever. I saw a message from someone at my studio back home and I let it put a damper on my whole evening. The content of the message was only 25% of what upset me though, 75% of my frustration was the fact that the message was sent at all. It was hurtful, selfish, and confusing. I was so distracted by it and so upset that I did not hear what the chant was about and could not focus during it. Instead, I held back tears for the entire thing and got so mad thinking about if or how I should reply to it. You know what the worst part of the whole thing was? Bikram always says that if you let anyone steal your happiness, you are a loser. Even the person who sent me the message says in their own class when they teach to not to let anyone steal your peace. Yet, I still let someone steal my peace for the evening. I was mad at myself for having an opportunity to put into practice everything I have learned here and I failed. It was a test and I did not do well. My night was rough and I had so much trouble sleeping and calming myself down that I had to take my anxiety medication so I would not have a full blown anxiety attack. Even having to do that made me mad. Thankfully, a friend from back home was up late and was able to help talk me through it and help distract me and calm me down until I fell asleep. Spoiler alert: I was 100% fine the next day so maybe I have learned something here. Normally, something like that would have upset me for days and days but it only lasted one night. Baby steps.

Lecture was out a little after midnight but I was up until probably 1:30am.

 

Wednesday 10/18/17 – Day 32 – HALFWAY!
I did not sleep well (see above) and tossed and turned a lot. I woke up a few times, too, so I ended up getting out of bed a little later than I planned. I knew the morning class was going to be with Jonalyn though so that helped get me up and moving. She and Tom had mentioned they brought some shirts from their studio so when I came down the stairs to the studio, Tom handed me a shirt. A few people got different ones. That was so nice of them to bring them for us and for them to give me one! Tom designed them and the one I got is the camel cigarette logo but it says ‘A Camel a day keeps the doctor away’ and instead of cigarettes or whatnot on it, it has a picture of the Camel pose. I cannot wear it here because it is green (and we are not allowed to wear green) but I love it! Jonalyn’s class was awesome, tough, and entertaining, as usual. She says all of the same things other teacher say about leaving the room and not sitting down but she does it in a way that is kind and compassionate that makes us want to follow her. She is good. My standing series was a bit rough but I did better over time. Karl left at one point and she jokingly said, “Karl must have explosive diarrhea” (implying that there is no other reason to be leaving the hot room during class) and we all laughed. We love you, Karl! She also said that Camel pose is like giving birth because it “hurts like hell and I yell at you to push, push, push!” Tom and Manali were in the back of the room playing around and causing a ruckus too. It was a good time. It was also her final class with us as she and Tom were heading back to California afterward. We are lucky to have had them come visit us and get to know them more. I think we all want them to adopt us.

Maryla and I went swimming again after class and practiced dialogue for Tree pose and Toe Stand before breakfast. After breakfast (I am going to miss this breakfast when I go back home!), we studied more on the mezzanine. I kept saying “Tree Stand” so that should give you an indication of how my brain was operating at the time. My dialogue bank was getting lower and I was not feeling as confident with these postures, even though I knew them. It was tough to focus. Plus, the two are so alike that it was easy to mix them up.

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I needed to just go lay down so I went back to my room and then Leah and I ran through the dialogue a few more times while snacking on chips. We have a chip problem!

Eddie and Nancy led my group’s posture clinic for the afternoon. They had us do attendance by saying our favorite birthday gift and all I could think about was when my best friend, Kelsey, send me Tiff’s Treats for my last birthday so I said that! Yum. We finished Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee, Tree, and Toe Stand. They had us delivery Tree and Toe together, back to back. Talk about confusing. Luckily, I did not say Tree Stand when I was up there and while I did fumble a little bit on Tree, I did not miss anything. I also wanted to say “Stand tall and stand proud!” at the end of it because it is my favorite part of Jerome’s class (from my studio at home) but I held back. Eddie called me the Dialogue Queen but told me to keep focusing on emphasizing bold words (which I did… and other people told me after class that I had…) and sarcastically said I might have missed an ‘and’ or a period. Knowing the dialogue is only half the battle. Delivering it confidently and whatnot is the other half but I know that ability will come with time. I was confident in the first postures because I knew them so well. One day I will know these (and the floor series) well enough, too, and it will all be okay. I was also so tired that I was nodding off and trying so hard to stay awake while other people delivered theirs. I cannot stand when other people talk while someone is delivering dialogue so it would probably be worse for me to fall asleep!

Posture clinics are a great place for us to practice giving dialogue and I wish people knew that. It is all PRACTICE. It is not about being perfect in there. Sometimes people make excuses or justifications if they do poorly or apologize if they mess up but all of that is not necessary. Thinking you have to be perfect just adds stress and is what causes you to mess up. The instructors will ask people who are struggling with the dialogue to simply describe the posture: get them into the pose, explain what is happening, and get them out of the pose. Even then, people put so much pressure on themselves that they cannot do it and they KNOW the pose! You cannot help but just want to hug them because if they cannot explain a posture in their own words, you know they must really be nervous. It is heartbreaking to watch and hear about over and over again (all groups have this struggle it seems).

Not surprisingly, Leah and I had more snacks in the room before our evening class. She was nice enough to share her potato chips with me as I was craving something salty and crunchy.

Our evening class was with BIKRAM! Finally! He had been gone for 2 weeks and I cannot speak for everyone but I genuinely missed having him around and his classes. Whenever there are orange towels on the podium, we know Bikram is teaching and it was so nice to walk down the stairs and see those orange towels again. It almost felt like the very first class all over again because of the nervousness and anticipation of it all. He had not seen us for 2 weeks and what if we were not “developed” enough in our practice? What if he did not think we made enough progress?

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It ended up being a great, great class, despite me having to go back to the 3rd row because we had to restart our line rotations (it was my group’s turn to be in the front but no such luck) and the insane heat/humidity. I was drenched. I got corrected on Eagle pose (for my hands not being in front of my face, something Maryla had brought up with me the day before) and for not doing the last breathing exercise correctly. We finished it and he looked at me and said, “You must have been distracted because you didn’t do anything.” I just said that I was and he dismissed it and then class was over. Yep.

He was tough on us but he made class enjoyable and made us laugh. I truly learn more in 1 class with him then I do in all other classes combined but that makes sense because he is Bikram… the creator of Bikram yoga. We needed his reminders and encouragement.

His class marked the official halfway point of training, too! In class, they say that class is all downhill from Triangle pose. Not surprisingly, I had to celebrate with a picture of Triangle pose before swimming with Maryla after class. Anurag was there but left shortly after our arrival. I guess we ruined his post-class spot!

I video chatted with Dad and Suzette (AND ELLIOTT) after dinner for a little bit. It was great to see and talk to them. Of course I loved seeing Elliott’s cute little face, too. Apparently when he heard my voice, he came over to the iPad and then when he saw me on the screen, he kept trying to find me behind the screen and look around for me. Heartbreaking! They asked me if I was getting enough food and water: yes to both. We get plenty of water at the hot room and lecture room so I do not need to buy it at Walmart anymore. My water bottle is big enough! I eat more than enough, too. Y’all, when I post a picture of my food… that is usually just the first plate of it! Plus, I never post the dessert pictures (but no desserts this week!). Aaaaaand you never see the pictures of extra cinnamon roll I walk out with in the morning or extra piece of bread I grab on my way out from dinner. I eat! Still always hungry though!

I told them about the incidents of Tuesday night and the message I got. If I was going to continue to be associated with Laos from here on out at my home studio, then I did not want to continue to go there. My dad told me not to make any emotional decisions which I promise I will not, but it is something weighing heavily on my mind. Imagine you wore a dumb shirt in 3rd grade. Now imagine that the rest of your life, everyone always associated you with that dumb shirt you have not worn in 20+ years. You would get sick of it, correct? That is how I feel when people still think Laos and I have ties to each other (except “the shirt did not break your heart” as my Dad said). As weird as it is, I have almost NOT known him longer than I have known him… it is time for the rest of the world to move on, too. Period.

Anyway, Dad discovered video chat filters so I grabbed a screenshot of them. They make me laugh! I also admitted that I have had “a few sips of the kool-aid” (meaning, the brainwashing is working… maybe like 10%). At least I am aware of it!

Our evening lecture was with Bikram. He had no agenda or plan and just talked about random stuff and answered our questions. We actually were only able to ask 2 because he talked about each of them for so long. We all have a million questions (I know I do) but when it is midnight and he says, “okay, any more questions?” you just do not raise your hand. Do not be that person! It was good to have him back, even though he “beyond repair” as Manali always says. Plus, he sang to us and that is always nice. I was so, so tired that I fell asleep almost instantly when we got back to our room a little past midnight.

Noteworthy quotes:

  • “Bikram yoga is the turning point in your life.”
  • “Your mind is your best friend.”
  • “The best food is no food.” (This took him over an hour to explain. His logic made sense but there is no way we can stop eating under these conditions!)
  • “I’ll say hi, sing, and go.” (When explaining how he thought his first class back with us would go since he was tired from traveling. Obviously, the guy cannot just run a simple class, nor do we want him too, so it did not go like that!)
  • “If I can discipline Raquel Welch, I can make the Statue of Liberty do 26 postures.”

 

Thursday 10/19/17 – Day 33 – Diwali 
Thursday continued our routine of waking up later and later. We have developed quite the bad habit. We are still one of the first people there at 8am (class starts at 8:30am) but we just have less and less time to get ready for it.

Our nearly 2 hour morning class was with Ulesis again. When I unfolded my towel (that the hotel provides for us – I will take a picture of the table towel next week!), there were ants in it so I should have taken that as a sign of how the class was going to go. I tried my best and my hardest but I had a horrible class and it could easily be called one of my worst. I did everything (never skipped a posture or sat down) but I did not do it well. It was like I had never done yoga before. My body was not cooperating. I knew that if I did make myself do the postures though, the evening class would be just as difficult, if not more. It was a complete mental beat down. I hated feeling like I could not do it when I knew I could. I was literally screaming at myself internally to just get my act together but my stubborn body was giving me the middle finger. It did not help that I felt like my ears were clogged all class but that was the least of my problems.

Earlier in the week he talked about trust between students and teachers during class but he broke that when he said the Standing Separate Leg Stretching dialogue out of order. He said the last 3 lines of the dialogue and half the class came up, including some staff, because we knew it was the end but then he kept going with the dialogue from the paragraph above it. He then got on to us about coming out of the posture early. Shame on us for not listening but shame on him for tricking us! He would also get upset with us for falling out of posture when he held it too long. I felt like I could not win. He did not ever call me out but with my performance, he had every right to. I somehow dodged that bullet. I like Ulesis, I really do. Just maybe not at 8:30am on a Thursday morning. His savasana song was really cool though: Deva Premal and Miten: The Gayatri Mantra Made Visible.

I had a fast breakfast and because of Bikram’s advice the night before to not drink before eating a meal, I skipped the orange juice and left my water in my room. I also skipped my cinnamon roll. Sigh.

I went back to my room to rest and blog a bit before studying with Leah. The upcoming postures in posture clinic were ones I was definitely, definitely less confident on and the only way to get better is to actually saying them out loud so we said them out lout over and over and over again. The view from my posture clinic room was great!

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My group had Jolinda for posture clinic. She was great at giving very tailored feedback for each individual and asked us how we felt after we went. She had helpful advice and really took the time to get to know us and how we were doing. Other groups had apparently told her they were intimidated by her so she gave us an opportunity to ask her any embarrassing question we could come up with but we told her we did not feel that way about her so we got started instead. We only went through Wind Removing Pose (an awesome and easy posture to demo, whew) and we did not have to do dialogue for Savasana or the Sit-Up. I added a few extra words to one of the lines because the people that went before me had said and even though I knew it was wrong, it had gotten stuck in my brain. Oh well. Jolinda told me to breathe more, pause more, and to focus on the bodies. I probably rushed through and looked around more because I was not feeling confident but that was valid feedback. I knew I could do it better and knew that it would get better once I was more comfortable with it. However, I do not believe in making excuses for myself or so I thanked her for the feedback and told her I would keep working on it… which I of course will. She also said she recognized me from the Spring training as well. She was with Robyn sitting in front of me at graduation and was one of the people I had spoken too. Spotted, again! She should be the last person to recognize me though as I do not believe I spoke to any other people at graduation and I do not know of any of the trainees coming. We shall see!

Leah and I had more snacks before the evening class. She had muscle cramps again (she had that the very first class in the hot room) so that was pretty scary. She ended up missing the evening class to go to the doctor instead and she unfortunately had the same experience Andrew had during week 1: left alone with a doctor who does not speak English and who tries to fix things that are not actually wrong. Disappointing.

The evening class, class #50, was with Bikram and it sure did kick my ass. Bikram seemed like he did not want to be there but he killed us anyway. Maryla, Lidia, Elsa, and I all showed up in matching shorts so we put our mats by each other near the podium to help boost our energy but I got called out a 5 times, a personal record:

  1. Back bend: I have a bad habit of coming out of posture early to catch a breath and then going back into it. He busted me and said there were no second chances, just like an “Indian marriage.” This, coming from an Indian guy who has been divorced! Hmm. But, valid. I should try harder to hold the back bend the entire time. I have a decent one but it has been tough to do since being here but I should keep trying.
  2. Eagle: Again, for my hands not being in front of my face enough and then for my palms not being completely aligned. This is a tough one for me. I try SO hard every time I do this but it is so difficult. I try!
  3. Triangle: This one was not bad. I was in the proper position but I relaxed when he started talking to someone else and then he caught me with my arms not back enough. My fault for being lazy.
  4. Spine Twisting: When I twist to the right (first set), it is not as straight as when I twist the other way. I know that though and I actually learned at the 1 class I took with Bikram in the Spring that I needed to lean back to straighten up. So, he reminded me to lean back and I did and he said, “great job, babe.” Thanks, boo.
  5. Final Breathing: I got called out for this the day before so before we started he said, “who was right here (pointed to where I sat Wednesday) who did nothing?” I proudly raised my hand high and he thanked me for my honesty and told me how to do it properly. I know how to do it! I swear I do. Him calling me out had me second guessing myself though.

In all honesty, it could have been a lot worse. 5 times was not great but it was never a beat down and he never really focused on me so I got lucky. I had decent, strong class and even though my ears were still hurting, I felt good.

After class, we took a picture of our matching shorts and because Bikram was sitting in the grass after class (he normally does not), we interrupted him and asked him to join us. Ulesis was there and jumped in too. Bikram took one look at the photo and said he looked the best in it! True. He has 50+ years of yoga on us so that makes sense.

I had a quick dinner and then enjoyed an hour and a half in my room, writing my blog and resting. The faster you eat, the more break you get!

We celebrated Diwali before our evening lecture with Ulesis. Diwali spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair. Everyone came a little more dressed up than usual and we lit candles around the pool to represent that light and make wishes for ourselves and our families. It was so humid outside and we were all soaked. You would think that as yogis who practice hot yoga regularly, we would be fine with this but we were not! It was beautiful to see and I am glad they gave us an opportunity to do that. Apparently Diwali is also celebrated with Indian sweets but because we are in Mexico and Walmart has a limited selection, we got chocolate instead. Y’all know I like chocolate so that was perfectly fine with me. Shout out to Henrik for giving me his!

After our celebration, Ulesis lectured again. Everything he had to say was exactly what I needed to hear in that moment. He had us laughing, he had us (well, me) crying. It was perfect. At the end of it, we did an exercise where we stood up and closed our eyes while music played and then Ulesis narrated us through this amazing story line of us transforming into our perfect selves. It was indescribable. It was moving. It was everything! I had tears coming down my face. I hated that I was ‘checked out’ during the chant on Tuesday night so I was happy to have experienced this and been fully present for it. I loved it.

Noteworthy quotes:

  • “If you breath is right, your thoughts will be right, and therefor your actions will be right.”
  • “You are what you eat. But you eat what you think. Therefor you are what you think. You are the result of your mind. So, control your mind. How? Through meditation.”
  • “It takes 3 things for Bikram Yoga to work: 1. Show up to class. 2. Try to do it the right way. 3. Do it to your maximum ability.”
  • “Thinking about the past and reliving things is like living in a dream. It is not real. It does not matter.”
  • “Be here now. You cannot be here if you are thinking.”
  • “Life is not the way we think it is going to be. Don’t waste so much time trying to make it a certain way.”
  • “Usually, an expectation is a limitation.”
  • “Life is the way it is and it is perfect.”
  • “Whatever happens is supposed to happen. Why? Because that is what happened! If not, it would not have happened.”
  • “Your class will be a reflection of your practice. Your whole life is a reflection of your practice.”
  • “If a baby cries, you let them cry. If someone is dying in class, let them die!” (obviously not real death… in this situation, dying would mean “suffering”)
  • “The sky can have a lot of clouds but behind the clouds, it is always blue.”
  • “The universe will give you a shake until you listen.”
  • “The hardest part of your day should be your Bikram Yoga class.”

We were out just after midnight but because Leah missed the evening lecture because she was not feeling better yet, I stayed up to tell her all about it.

 

Friday 10/20/17 – Day 34
I slept horribly and woke up later than preferred again. I had an awful headache which I only later attributed to the fact that I may have been grinding my teeth that night, something I have not done in forever, because my jaw was also hurting.

Our morning class was with Uelsis, his last one here before heading back to New York. I think he might be coming back again towards the end though. It was unclear. It was a very, very tough class for me. He spent so much time the night before preaching about not quitting in class, controlling your mind to keep you focused, telling yourself you can do it, practicing like a teacher, not giving up, going into meditation, etc. and I tried SO hard to implement all of those but it was a struggle. My head was killing me, I was dizzy and seeing stars, and my body hated me. It was tough to hear him, too. Not sure if that was because I was near the fans, the mic volume was low, or because my ears were still feeling clogged. I did not skip anything or sit out but I wanted to so badly. If I could survive that class, I should be able to survive anything. He got onto Alonso a lot, pretty aggressively. Alonos dances to the beat of his own drum and every teacher gives him a hard time but I guess Ulesis was just fed up with it. There is a time and a place to be a free spirit… the hot room with Ulesis was not one of them.

I had another quick breakfast so I could go study in my room alone. I needed to say Cobra and Locust out loud to get ready for posture clinic. I knew the dialogue but had not said it enough so I paced around my room saying them a million times. Then I laid down and said them. Then I went to the balcony and said them. Seriously, the only way to memorize these things are to SAY THEM. I practiced them with all sorts of inflections and speeds, too. WWTKPS: What would Tanja/Katy/Paul say? I always hear them when I practice but it always comes out sounding like me and that is probably a good thing. 🙂

I needed a change of scenery so I went to the posture clinic room early and studied on the patio there until it was time to get started. I was feeling better about them but still not 100%. Karla was our facilitator and she was great. She was incredibly honest with us and took no shit: she called people out for talking and ripped into some for not knowing the dialogue at this point in the training. It was intense. One of her stern lectures was all in Spanish and even though I had no idea what she was saying, I was taken aback. We have so many Spanish speakers in our group so I am always glad when we get someone who speaks the language so that they can have a fair shot at fair feedback, too.

I did my Cobra and got good remarks even though I had thought I missed an entire paragraph. She calls me Jill and said my setup was too fast (fair) but otherwise was good and to keep working on my pacing. I needed to give them time to do what I was asking them to do. Holly (from my studio at home) gave me the same feedback when she heard me do dialogue before training. I think I have it figured out for postures I know like the back of my hand but am still sorting it out for these newer ones so it was a good reminder. She said I sounded a little sing/song at the end of some phrases, which was new feedback for me, so I need to be watchful of that.

We finished Cobra and moved on and even though I did not want to do Locust, I went ahead and got it over with. I knew it enough to stand up and say it but I was nervous. It was shaky but I did not miss anything. Karla had me do the first part again, this time SLOWER. Are you seeing the pattern? When I am nervous or not confident, I speed through it! Ah. Just as the days before, I thanked her for the feedback and said I would keep working on it. Excuses do not hurt anyone except yourself. We are all in the same boat: tired, exhausted, having no time to study, etc. Do what you can, own it, and move on.

During our break between Cobra and Locust, I checked my work email and saw an email from my boss. Subject: Hurry up. Body: “Things went more smoothly when you were here. I hope you are having fun but please come back soon.” I totally needed that. I am still trying to keep up with work stuff and stay up to date but it was nice to hear that I was missed and valued! Good news, Eric; I will be back in less than a month (and I miss y’all too). Shout to Kathi and Rose for sharing their snacks with me. I could not get enough to eat for some reason.

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I rested for a brief moment before the evening class. It was my group’s turn to be in the front row and after the 5 corrections Thursday, I was nervous. I did not want to get called out for the same stuff, especially Final Breathing. Bikram already got me twice for Eagle and twice for Final Breathing this week… a 3rd time would not be good. The last things I wanted was to get called a “fucking idiot” and names of that nature (yes, he does that) or be known as the girl who cannot do Final Breathing for the remainder of training. Manali caught me before class and I told her that I knew Final Breathing but that I was psyching myself out now because I was so aware of it. Her advice? “Just do it right.” That was the plan!

Class was great and I did spectacular in comparison to the morning class. It is crazy how in the morning I can feel like I have never done yoga before but in the evening I can feel like a yoga goddess. What is life?! As we finished each posture that I got called out for the day before, I mentally checked them off and celebrated for not getting another comment. I passed 5 out of 5: he did not say a word to me all class. Win. He did admit to being in a mood the day before but he was definitely on us during class. He did say it was our overall best class as a group though, so that was a good sign. It seemed like everyone was laying in the grass outside of the hot room after class so we all must have pushed ourselves to our maximum ability! It was another nearly 2 hour class. Brutal.

Tina had made comments about feeling left out of all the beach pictures and fun which was funny because I had felt the same way. I had been having FOMO for missing out on some of the things the first few weeks but I just never vocalized it so bless her for feeling the same way and being shameless enough to admit it! All that to say, we decided to head to the beach with Kirsty after class and take our own pictures. Simple solution.

Bikram had announced during class that we did not have an evening lecture but instead would have a pizza and dance party. YES. It was not until 9pm so I had a snack after class to tie me over and then did nothing until the party. Everyone came dressed up and looked so great. We only really see each other in the hot room where we look like absolute messes or in lectures/clinics where we are too tired to care what we look like. The party started off like an awkward high school party with everyone standing around and no one dancing. It was fabulous. I had 4 slices of pizza (no regrets) and enjoyed dessert. I fulfilled my no-dessert rule for the week so it only made sense to celebrate that accomplishment with dessert.

Once people started dancing, the party got real. The music was crazy and most of us danced all night, just letting loose and enjoying the break. I love to dance even though I am horrible at it but who cares? Sometimes you just have to let loose and not give a single shit and that is what we did! It reminded me of the fun dance parties we used to have at camp when I was a camp counselor. Bikram was quite the dancer, too… no words. It was so nice to see people being free and happy. Some people that I would have never expected to be big dancers were dance machines and it was awesome. The staff let loose too! Plus, there seems to be a budding romance happening between two people here and it was adorable and beautiful and I hope they invite us all to their eventual wedding because we have all decided they are already in love. ❤

They played one song 3 times in a row it seemed and Tina made a joke they were trying to hypnotize us. Kirsty said we were turning into Bikram zombies walking around just saying “lock the knee” over and over again and I could not stop laughing! When I tried to take a dance break, Manali basically told me and a few others to go back on the floor and keep dancing. Yes ma’am! It was truly such a fun night and it came at just the right time for us. What a good way to celebrate being over halfway through training! Some people left early but most stayed until the end at midnight.

 

Saturday 10/21/17 – Day 35
Have you ever felt hungover when you woke up after a night of NOT drinking? That was how I felt waking up Saturday morning. Actual torture. I think dancing for 3 hours at the party the night before made me more sore and exhausted than 5 weeks of two-a-day yoga! Seesh. I rolled out of bed and used every bit of energy I had to get myself down to that hot room. My group was in the back row so you would think that means no one can see us but no, the back row is almost more dangerous because you are directly in front of the staff!

Manali taught the morning class and I did well for a morning class. She had us, in unison as a class, recite the dialogue for the second set of Half Moon and first set of Awkward WHILE we were doing the posture. That was a freaking disaster. We were all off and some people were not even saying the right thing. Worth a shot though! She was quizzing us on the sanskrit names for the postures and I know some of them but not all of them. Or, I can match them up you gave me the list of them but I have a difficult time pronouncing some. I plan on learning them… I just have not done it yet because I would rather work on the dialogue first. Anyway, all that to say that she was asking us the sanskrit for Standing Bow Pulling and right as everyone was saying it, I yawned. She caught me and said “Good morning, Jillian. What is the sanskrit name?” Argh. I knew and could pronounce the first part but could not pronounce the second part so I tried and then she said it correctly for me. Not embarrassing at all. She also had people get up and deliver dialogue again: Ali did the first set of Cobra, Polina did the second set of Cobra, and Nicky did the first set of Locust. I practiced Full Locust to myself just in case she kept going! Thankfully, she did not. Always need to be ready! It was a long class but it did not feel long. Anyone who signs in late to a class or lecture has to do a makeup class after the morning class on Saturday (back-to-back classes) and I could not imagine getting stuck with that. I have done those at home and sometimes it is easy and sometimes it is not but after 11 classes all week and a tight schedule, I do not think I would be able to. If I had to, I would… but my goal is to make sure I never have to.

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I skipped breakfast and had to double shower, too, because I realized I forgot to shave my right leg during my initial shower… yoga brain. I got started on my blog, dropped my laundry off at noon, grabbed a sandwich from the cafe, and then headed back to my room to video chat with Alex, my shift partner at the Ronald McDonald House/my soul sister. We talked for about an hour and caught up on everything. I miss our Thursday night chats as we eat cookies and frustratingly take extra soap out of the baskets in the rooms! She is going to hate me for taking this screenshot but I love it. Sorry, girl! 🙂

After our chat, I blogged. I blogged, blogged, and blogged some more. I blogged from 1:30 to 5:30. I also finally finished the Gossip Girls series on Netflix. I started the series before I left for Mexico but watching it has kept me entertained since I have been here while I blog or on the rare occasion I have a few extra moments of silence and rest time. I intentionally took the day to catch up on the blog but mostly just to be alone for a little bit. I am a bit of a homebody and with all the people here and constant activity, I needed some time to myself to enjoy some silence. It was nice. Plus, I wanted to make Sunday a full day of studying with no interruptions.

I went to the beach with Maryla for a little bit to take a break before dinner. I had already decided I did not want to leave the room all day but then I figured a beach break would probably be a good thing.

After the beach, we headed to Tavola again at 7:30pm for our annual Saturday night dinner. Our group expanded from 3 people last weekend to 5 people this weekend and then to 8 to 9 to 11 to 13 people in just a matter of minutes! Just when we thought we had enough tables pushed together, more people would appear. The more, the merrier! I was somehow sitting at the head of the table, which I hate, and the chaos of it all (ordering, paying, so many conversations and talking over each other at the long table) was a bit overwhelming at some moments but it was a nice evening with fabulous company and food, as always. Plus, we were allowed to wear green so most of us did. We rebel when we can.

We tried not to talk about yoga things but Kim made a great point: yoga IS our life right now. We are in the yoga bubble!

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Dinner was over around 9:30pm and some of the group went to find others to start karaoke but I went to my room with the hopes of going to bed early so I would be well rested to study on Sunday!

 

Sunday 10/22/17 – Day 36
As much as I did not want to get out of bed, I did. I had to get moving, go to Walmart, and study, study, and study some more. Leah shared her chips with me all week so at a minimum, I needed to replace her chips (even though she said it was fine). I finally got up and studied in the lobby for half an hour before the 10am shuttle to Walmart. The lobby was so quiet and had the most perfect cross breeze!

Walmart was a success. Our bus was surprisingly packed for 10am on a Sunday. I did not expect to see everyone that early. I bought Leah new chips but also bought way too many snacks and junk food for myself. I should be set until the end of training! No more. Maryla bought the entire store and Alicia was the best of us and only got a few things. She is the youngest one here and clearly the most responsible!

Walmart also had a ton of Halloween/Day of the Dead decorations and it reminded me of Kelsey and John. John loves Halloween so, so much and I wanted to get them everything on the shelves. I will have to go back next week and get them a little something though!

We got back from Walmart around 11:30 and I studied in the lobby until the laundry guy came to drop off our clothes at noon. Mine was 112 pesos but he only charged me 100. Win!

Afterward, Lidia and I went to lunch at the Beach Club. We decided it would be better for our stomachs if we split a sandwich because each time we eat there, we leave feeling so full and disgusting. We also tried the crab cakes (more like crab tots) and they were delicious! We had a good talk about all sorts of things: Bikram, Ulesis’ lecutres, etc.

I was going to head to my room to study because I did not feel like being outside but I decided to hang out by the pool for an hour and a half instead. It is important to take advantage of our little paradise while we can. It was overcast so the sun was not too brutal which was nice. I studied a bit more and even fell asleep before caving and heading back up to my room to finish this post and study the rest of the afternoon! 

After snacking on Oreos and sour gummy worms, neither of which I needed but had bought at Walmart, I was in desperate need of a mental break. Luckily my BFF Kelsey was available and we video chatted for a little while! 

My mom and I video chatted after I studied a bit more before I finally called it a night. 
Weekly Summary
As I said before, week 5 flew by.  Swoosh. I swear, if I did not have my birth control or my daily journal, I would not know what day it was half of the time. It all is going by so quickly and blurring together! The tops of my feet are raw, my knees are raw, my and my knuckles are raw but my body is hanging in there. Last week it was my right knee and my right lower back bothering me and this week it was my left hamstring and left shoulder. My body has never snapped, crackled, and popped so much in class before. But, I am alive and actually feel good for the most part. In the morning class, I feel like I have the most awesome 6-pack of all time (I actually do not, I just FEEL like I do) but by the evening class, I feel like a dang potato. Ulesis told us that we are what we eat so that explains that phenomenon.

Mentally, I feel good. Some people have expressed being ready to go/feeling trapped or over this whole process but I have not felt that way yet. Some people have made comments about never teaching but I have not felt that way either. I am starting to miss home a little bit but overall I have been alright. Not knowing the remaining dialogue has made me feel a little more pressured than I would like but at least now I know how everyone else has felt this whole time. I knew my time was coming but I keep reminding myself that it is all going to be fine and work out. Life works itself out perfectly! 

As far as lectures and clinics go, everything is still chugging along. People still struggle with basic instructions like not wearing green or halter tops in the hot room, not wearing/bringing anything green to classes, not wearing teaching costume to clinics, not going to demo after delivering dialogue in clinics, etc. which continues to blow my mind but such is life. Common courtesy would be nice too. For example, not talking while people deliver dialogue or while Manali is talking before classes/lectures. We cannot complain we get treated like children and then act like disobedient children! We are 5 weeks in and it just makes me laugh at this point.

I also came up with a Bikram App idea this week. Not only could it include the 26 postures, how to do each, and the benefits of each, but it include a map of Bikram studios and with a special code or something, access to the dialogue. The dialogue could be interactive where you can read it, listen to it, click on words to learn meanings (great for non-English speakers), or even take notes on it. It would be cool if it had the dialogue in other languages as well. I messaged Anurag about it and he said to come talk to him but I have not had a chance yet!

You have also probably noticed that I have fewer and fewer pictures as the weeks go on. I am trying to continue to take a lot but sometimes it just slips my mind. Heck, doing my picture-of-the-day is tough enough as it is! I think next week I will try to take more pictures of what the resort is like and where we spend our time, etc. We will see!

Until next time,

Jillian

… to BYTT (Week 4)

42 classes later and week 4 is complete! Week 4 was much better than the last but still faced its own challenges.

 

Monday 10/9/17 – Day 23
After a relaxing weekend, I woke up feeling refreshed and ready for a new week. Manali taught the morning class and my group was in the front row so things were off to a good start. Manali decided to call students up to do the dialogue – talk about the element of surprise! When I was preparing for TT at home, Jerome, an instructor from home, once told me he was going to let me do Half Moon on the podium. Just before class, he told me he was not going to let me anymore and I legitimately was upset and thought he hated me. I did not say anything though – it was his class so it was his decision. He did Half Moon but when he got to Awkward, he caught me off guard and called me up to do it! I was surprised and fumbled through it and after class he told me that he wanted to do that so that I would not spend the entire time thinking about the Awkward dialogue and preparing. Tricky. It worked though and from then on, I was always prepared to be called up for any of the postures I knew. I really felt for the people Manali called up but they did great. Taryn did the 1st set of Half Moon (all 3 parts) and while she started off a little nervous, she was totally killing it by the end. Tom did the 2nd set of Half Moon, Karl did the 1st set of Awkward (all 3 parts), Alicia did the 2nd set of Awkward, Jana did 1/2 of the 1st set of Eagle (right arm only, I think Manali stopped her too soon), and Ali did the other half of the 1st set of Eagle and the entire 2nd set. Everyone did great and as a bonus, they did not have to do those in Posture Clinics later!

Anyway, it was a decent class for me. My body felt so much better: I could barely do my backbend at the end of last week so I was happy to be able to do that again… and Standing Separate Leg Stretching… and the 3rd part of Head to Knee with Stretching. Finally. The class went by quickly which was very much appreciated for a Monday morning. Manali and some of the teachers (and my teachers back home) do this thing at the end of class where they tell us to relax different parts of your body one at a time;
“relax your feet, relax your ankles, relax your calfs” and so on. My parents actually taught me that when I was very young to say to myself to help me fall asleep at night so every time I hear it, I immediately start to relax completely, both mentally and physically. My mind is trained! Manali’s savasana song was “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright” by Bob Marley and we must have really needed to hear that song because we all sang along (even though the staff shushed us). It was a cool moment!

Ali saved my breakfast when the new omelet guy misheard me and put mushrooms in my omelet (first world problems). Ali just ordered 2 omelets instead, a new one for me and one for him, because I felt bad telling the guy it was wrong. Thanks, Ali!

There were too many people in my normal lobby spot (people from yoga and hotel guests) so I found Maryla and sat with her to study anatomy before our test that afternoon. The ‘doctor’ teaching us walked by and tried to tell us it would be fine – something we already knew. I had heard the test did not even matter and you never got your results back. Plus, it was multiple choice and he basically gave us the answers last week so we were only reading the notes once over to refresh our minds from the weekend. It was going to be fine. We treated ourselves to chocolate truffles from the cafe!

The afternoon lecture was… a mess. The best part about it was that Manali called Bikram “beyond repair.” Other than that, the longer we were in that room the more my anxiety went up and the more my patience went down. The test was a joke. They spent too long spacing us out and making it sound more serious than it was. I understand why they do it, though. I know they want us to try and make an effort and all of that but the chaos of it all was stressful to witness. The 30-question test took me less than 5 minutes and despite not knowing some of the answers (things that were never covered or told to us, by the way), I probably did fine. Again, it does not matter. We had to wait until everyone was finished before moving on and because we have so many non-english speakers, it took awhile. I know I make jokes about the test but I can imagine from their perspective it was probably very stressful to take a test in a language you do not know. I felt for them. As people were turning in their tests, Manali was on stage reading the tests and singling the person out and saying things like “oh did you not study?” That bothered me. There was no need to embarrass people.

After everyone finished their tests, Manali talked for a bit and told us stories about searching our rooms and finding alcohol. Because of the amount of untrue stories I have heard from all sorts of people here, I was just a bit of skeptic on the alcohol one (e.g. She told us that someone broke their leg last training from running on the wet ground… and that was a lie). It is like the boy who cried wolf, when you tell us so many things we know are untrue, it is difficult to know what IS true. I have no idea if someone here had alcohol or not in their room and I am pretty sure it is illegal for her to search our stuff (and I do not think she is actually doing it anyway), but whatever. I am a skeptic on it all. The motto here is “trust the process” and I have and am, but sometimes it feels like a bogus, inefficient process. If you cannot tell, I was in quite the mood.

After Manali’s speech, the ‘doctor’ started a new anatomy lecture with us. It was a NIGHTMARE. He had to have been high or drunk or on SOMETHING because he repeated himself nearly word for word several times. It was as if someone had pressed rewind on our class and then pressed play again… 3 times. Everyone was so confused on what was happening. He was telling us about a term called “word salad” where people think they are saying the right thing but the wrong thing is coming out and let me tell you, that whole class felt like a word salad. It was nonsensical and he was making ridiculous jokes. If they really, truly wanted us to learn something from him, they would give us someone who could not only present the materials in a cohesive way but also answer our questions. It was frustrating.

I had too many snacks in my room after class before the evening class, as usual. I woke up fine in the morning but by this point, my patience was at an all time low and I could not calm myself down. I have as-needed anxiety medication and had the evening class not been about to start, I would have taken some.

Anurag taught the evening class and it was another good one. I did alright given my garbage mood and attitude and it actually ended up helping me feel better and calm down. Bikram yoga, for the win. He has such a smooth voice and pacing which helps me get in my zone and the class fly by. Danny, one of the Mundomex guys, took his first Bikram class ever (he did not take one last training!) with us. He did every posture and never gave up! We all cheered and were excited for him!

I took a dip in the ocean after class next and enjoyed dinner next to another beautiful sunset before heading off to study for Posture Clinic with Maryla in the hallway.

As we were waiting for them to unlock the doors for us, Kirsty and Fernando (who speaks little-to-no English) sang ABBA songs in Spanish and it was the greatest thing I have ever heard! We really need a karaoke night. Each group had their own room this time (instead of combined rooms last week) which helped us go through the postures a little more quickly. My group had a few people that needed to finish delivering the 2nd and 3rd parts of Awkward so we wrapped that up and the moved on to mostly finish Eagle, too. Karla and Nancy were the staff members in our room: they gave helpful feedback and they speak Spanish which is nice since we have a lot of Spanish-speakers in the group. It was really confusing listening to their feedback in Spanish and their conversations but I am sure that is how they feel when they listen to feedback in English for us! I am not making an effort to learn Spanish while I am here but I am trying to pick up on key words and follow along as best I can.

I kind of made myself look like an arrogant/ass/too-good-for-it-all when Nancy was giving me feedback and I felt bad about that (still do). They said I did great and as Nancy was reminding me to stay current on all the previous postures so that I would not forget, I made a comment along the lines of “I can do the whole standing series” and I did not mean for it to come off in the way it probably did. Facepalm. I was just trying to let her know that I was doing that but instead of just agreeing, I felt the need to over-communicate my progress with dialogue. Note to self: next time, just smile and nod. After a few arguments (in Spanish) between some group members and the staff, they let us out at midnight.

 

Tuesday 10/10/17 – Day 24
I woke up earlier than normal to help people in my group study but no one had taken me up on the offer so I went back to sleep. Karla and Nancy had asked English speakers to help Spanish speakers and because I did not want to stay up until the early hours of the morning, I told them I would get up early if they wanted to. Oh well, I tried. I cannot blame them for wanting to sleep! 🙂

I went back to sleep but just as my alarm was going off again at 7:45am, a 4.8 magnitude earthquake hit. It was a lot more intense than the one we experienced the first week and because I was still in bed, it was much more alarming. It sure did wake me up, though!

Karla taught the morning class and despite me being in the dreaded 4th row and the room being insanely hot, I had a good class. I did feel like I could not breathe about the halfway mark so I rolled my shorts down a little bit to get off of my stomach and that helped. The air was so thick! Anyway, Karla had great energy and really woke us up. She does a good job at encouraging us to keep going and not drink water. She does not let us quit and because of that, the class goes by very quickly. For example: if you fall out of a posture on the balancing series, most people will either try again or just wait until the next set. Karla pushes us to never just stand there and to always, at least, stand on one leg if we are not going to try the posture again. Some of us need that extra push! She also forces us to look in the mirror which is not always easy. Her savasana song was “Livin’ in the Moment” by Jason Mraz. So good.

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Breakfast was breakfast and the weather was great. The lobby was packed (the hotel had 4 conferences going on this week) so I went to the area near Starbucks, where it was a little quieter, to study. I invited my group so we could help each other prepare for Posture Clinic in the evening and after a few messages of encouragement, people came. Several of them did ’round robin’ style (others worked with other people in the group) and I kind of just oversaw and threw in corrections or tips and tricks as necessary (or took away their dialogue to force them to not read it!). They all made good progress on Standing Head to Knee and hopefully I helped them a little bit. Bikram likes the phrase “you can lead a horse to water but you cannot make them drink” but he always ends it with “… bullshit, I will make them fucking drink!” I am not Bikram so I am not going to MAKE anyone study and memorize the dialogue but I can at least try and help get them to where they are going. Team effort.

We learned about the Endocrine System during anatomy and I swear, just being around this ‘doctor’ makes my blood pressure go up. I really should practice the “if you do not have anything nice to say, do not say anything at all” rule but I also want to convey how ridiculous these ‘courses’ are. Life is a balance! Instead, here is a video we had to watch. This should tell you everything you need to know about what we are experiencing during these classes.

After class, I had snacks and started this post so that I would not get stuck writing it until late Sunday night.

Our evening class was with Eddie. I did alright during the standing series despite a headache but the floor series was tough. For some reason, the air felt so thick and dense near the floor and it was so much more difficult to breathe. Eddie is always tough on us but in a good way. He always gives us a hard time for adding words to the dialogue but I noticed he said “round your spine like an angry cat” during Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee and that is not in the dialogue, Eddie! Mixed messages. Henrik and Taryn started to high five each other at the beginning of Standing Bow and that has started to catch on to everyone. We had the teachers in the back row laughing at us! Katy, my friend/teacher from home, would do that during the few classes we took together so it reminded me of home!

We got a lot of weird looks from the other hotel guests from the other conferences as we walked half naked from the hot room to our rooms! It is okay though, we look at them weird, too.

I was not very hungry for dinner so I had a light meal of chicken, carrots, and rice (and then a plate of desserts…) before heading back up to my room to blog and watch the insane rain storm. I had tried to study in the lobby and then on the 2nd floor but there were just so many people here that every place I went was distracting.

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Our Posture Clinic was way too frustrating. I was still in a mood and I was allowing everything to bother me, even silly, petty things. I was taking things so personal when I know they were not. We had Manali and Nancy in our room to listen to us do Standing Head to Knee and provide feedback (side note: it was so difficult to demo this posture 3 times!). My dialogue was fine but she still wanted me to work on emphasizing the bold words more. I thought I had but I guess not enough. I will keep trying. Manali was making people re-do parts but luckily she did not make me re-do it so that was a bonus. She was asking everyone questions about their studio, where they were planning on teaching, and about their other job but she did not ask me anything. The only thing she said to me was, “Yes, Jillian. I know Jillian well.” Hmm. I hope she was not purposefully NOT asking me questions (this was the 2nd time) because she thinks she already knows the answer because of Laos. He and I might have come from the same studio but we do not have the same story so I would hate for her to make assumptions about me. It probably was not intentional but because of my mood, I definitely let it bother me. Maybe it is a blessing she is not asking me questions, maybe it is a curse? TBD. She was also inconsistent about feedback on people’s teaching costume (some people are allowed to wear their hair down, some are not) and the inconsistency was getting under my skin… probably because I was already sensitive at that point. She also made implications that we were not helping each other study and that was upsetting because I had spent all day trying to help my group; several of us had. She cannot be faulted for things she did not know about though. Deep breath! They say Postured Clinics can get dramatic and emotional and they were not lying… someone even walked out at the end out of frustration. Yikes. Thankfully, no matter what happens in the room, they let us out around midnight!

 

Wednesday 10/11/17 – Day 25
I woke up drooling so you know I slept well even though it took awhile to fall asleep. Axry taught the morning class and it was a real struggle. It felt like the class was going in slow motion and I was so miserable.

Maryla and I went to the pool after class and we both vented about our latest frustrations and miseries, in life and in training. It was good to get things out, for both of us. I was hoping to join a meeting at work but between a frustrating class and a therapeutic vent session, I did not have time to shower/eat AND go to the meeting. Hopefully I can catch the next one.

After breakfast, I studied with my group at the tables outside of Starbucks. I wanted to be helpful and keep us all moving in the right direction but I was also starting to realize that I was not making much forward progress on my own dialogue anymore and it was stressing me out. So, I made the decision to help people during the week (when and if they want it) which will help solidify my own dialogue and help others but on the weekends, I need to focus on myself.

We learned about the Circulatory system in the afternoon anatomy class. I actually could not even take notes because I was so weak. I really despise learning about this stuff but this particular subject matter (the heart) really got to me. The first time I ever fainted was because there was a TV show talking about a kid with his hear born outside of his body. I cannot. The ‘doctor’ actually showed a video of a beating heart and I refused to look at it. Luckily, Christine and Lidia knew how sick to my stomach I was feeling and they told me when it was all clear to look again. I am a child. Ha.

Noteworthy quotes:

  • “Keep your issues in your tissues.” -Manali
  • “I can do it. I will do it. I have to do it.” -Manali

As usual, I rested and snacked in my room in the short time we had before the evening class led by Micael. He is such an awesome teacher who always makes us laugh and I had a great, great class. I felt so strong and did really well which was a shock considering how miserable my morning class was. I am also convinced that they are slowly making the hot room more hot and more humid every single class. He tried to get us excited that we were at the half way point but he was one week off (not sure he knew that) so he was having trouble getting an excited reaction from us. The staff always says the last week does not count but I disagree! 

I hung out by the pool after class before a rainstorm rolled in. I had dinner, studied, and briefly video chatted with Jessica and the girls. I miss them all so much. My sister and I are really close and I do miss talking to her and seeing her, especially since I lived at her house for 2 weeks before going to training.

Posture Clinic was quite an experience. My group had Eddie and Axry in with us and they had us say our favorite Bikram phrase, in his voice, instead of saying “here” when taking attendance. Mine was when he says “yes or no?” really aggressively as if we have a choice to say No. Tanya had the best once: when Bikram says “bounce, and bounce, and bounce, and bounce, and bounce” for the 3rd part of Awkward pose. That us all laughing! Eddie asked us to name our group and I suggested Naughty Cows because in the morning class, Micael was calling the staff that name for not listening in class and it was funny. The group was not convinced though so we are still nameless!

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Eddie had me deliver Standing Bow Pulling pose first because he wanted me to help Alonso study in the hall. I was ready so I went ahead and did it. Eddie acknowledged that I knew the dialogue but wanted to push me out of my comfort zone. He had me re-do several parts, speeding some up and slowing some down, and yell phrases over and over again as loud as I could. He said it my time for a breakthrough and as much as I do not want to admit he was right, he was. I am used to doing the dialogue the way I do it and it was good to be pushed into trying something out of my zone. Is teacher training teaching me how to be a teacher?! 😉

After I went, I helped Alonso study Standing Head to Knee in the hallway for about half an hour. English is new to him but he knows it pretty well. As you can imagine, studying can be difficult for him when he does not know what words like “both” and “until” mean. Those were tough to define but he is a smart guy, he picked it up quickly. Earlier in the week we had to teach Fernando the difference between “palm” and “hand” and where the shoulder blade is. I could never learn this dialogue in Spanish so I commend them for working so hard to memorize 90 minutes of speaking in a language they do not know. It is amazing and so admirable!

Eddie put several people through the same experience of yelling and whatnot. Sometimes it felt like feedback was inconsistent which made it confusing but I guess we just need to trust the process. I can only assume it was more about making us do something out of our zone than it was about actually having perfect inflection. Eddie had the entire group scream the last part of the dialogue for Standing Bow together as loud as we could which was crazy, but fun. When someone wearing a sweet, leather Reebok hat tells you to scream, you do it. The other confusing part was that it was as if people who had great dialogue had more feedback than people who were still struggling to memorize it. It was bizarre but Leah, my roommate, reminded me that they are only going to give us feedback we are ready for and some people might not be ready for the nit-picky stuff.

Eddie had everyone thank me for helping Alonso and then Alicia and Tanya spoke up and said that I help everyone and was everyone’s “personal coach.” Eddie had everyone clap for me and told them to buy me a coffee but I said ice cream is always better. Ha. It is not about giving me credit, though, because we all help each other. A lot. I am not the only person making an effort, it is a complete team effort, but it was nice to be recognized especially having felt so beat down the night before.

 

Thursday 10/12/17 – Day 26
I woke up feeling so incredibly tight, probably because of the awesome class the night before. That always happens. Have a good class? Great, your punishment is that the next day is torture. Jolinda, a visiting teacher who got here last week, taught the morning class and despite how tired and sore I was, I did alright. It was a tough class though and I wanted to skip a posture or a set or sit down so badly but I stuck it out. Jim told us last week that there is no such thing as a modified posture, you just need to do less percentage. So, I did less percentage on a lot of them but I did what I could and that was all that mattered. For some reason I was having trouble breathing again so I rolled my Nike shorts down from the waist and up from the legs and that helped. Yikes. I was not sure how I felt about her class at the beginning but as class went on, I liked it more and more. She joked around with us and kept it casual and that was nice. Her savasana song was the classic “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

I was so tired that after class I took the fastest shower of all time, threw the ‘do not disturb’ sign on the door, and crawled into bed for an hour-long nap. I skipped breakfast and everything. I woke up feeling like a new person! My body needed it. I try not to nap so that I do not get dependent on it or form that habit but sometimes, you just need it. Plus, I would rather nap in the mornings before the afternoon lecture rather than after the afternoon lecture so that I still can go to bed at night at a decent time. I had some snacks in the room before heading to the tables outside of Starbucks to study with my group.

The afternoon lecture was anatomy again but thankfully the last lecture and second-to-last class. We learned about the Lymphatic system and I was just so over it. I tried to pay attention but my patience with the anatomy process was so low and I found all of it to be so silly and pointless. I tried so hard to care at the beginning but as time went on, I could not put forth the energy for it anymore. I wrote my dialogue out most of the time and only took notes when he said something was important (e.g. that it was going to be on the test).

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We were out around 4pm and I had just enough time to fold all my clothes and organize my drawers. They were a mess and had been driving me crazy. I had a bit of a headache and was longing to go to the pool and enjoy the hot weather but there was no time. Our days of going to the pool between lecture/class are long gone.

Our evening class was with Tom Henle, a visiting teacher and studio owner in California. He was AMAZING and I had the most amazing class ever. I was expecting my practice to be awful because of how bad the morning was but it was the extreme opposite. He was so funny and encouraging and DID THE DIALOGUE. I cannot speak for everyone but I believe that the teacher has a HUGE impact on the performance of the students and when someone like Tom gets up there and does so well, I do well too. His energy is so high that we have no choice but to use it and boost our own performance. I hope to be a teacher like that some day – someone who can give their students everything to help them do well! I found it interesting, too, that some visiting teachers come and either never get to teach or do not get to teach for a couple of days or weeks but Tom got to teach on his first day here. I think that says a lot about him!

Several of us went to the ocean after class. I have noticed that when people have a good class, they are more likely to go the ocean or the pool to relax but when people have a bad class, they like to go straight to their rooms afterward. There were so many people at the ocean so that should say a lot about how we all felt. Tina and Kirsty had me cracking up before class talking about how all of our yoga stuff smells like cheese and after the beach, we shamelessly paraded our cheese-smelling selves through the crowds of people to get back to our rooms. I love it but I felt bad for the poor people sharing the elevator with us… hot yoga is stinky.

Dinner was beautiful and it is worth mentioning that the soup was this amazing poblano soup that I had 3 bowls of. It was so delicious and I could eat it forever and ever.

Our evening lecture was our LAST anatomy class!! Hallelujah. Manali updated us on the latest like she does before every lecture. A lot of people were having side conversations and all the chaos was stressing me out and making it tough to hear her. I leaned over to Lidia and told her that the side chatter was distracting and giving me a headache and Manali called me out to ask me what I was saying. Facepalm. Of all the people talking, of course she singled me out! She had been suggesting to anyone staying in Mexico past graduation to try and teach a class or two here before going home so when she asked me what I was talking about, I lied and told her that I had said it would be cool to teach a class in Mexico but that I had to go back to Houston ASAP. I felt like if I had told her that what I really was saying then everyone would have been upset at me for finger-pointing. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The ‘doctor’ finished the Circulatory system lecture and then we had a Q&A session to prepare us for Monday’s ‘final exam’ (still makes me laugh even thinking of it that way). He put all of the review questions on the screen but gave us no time to write them down as he went through answering them. He skipped around, too, so that made it confusing. Everyone was scrambling to write things out: I took my own notes (because writing helps me remember) but a huge shout out goes to Jana for taking notes for everyone and uploading the typed-versions in our Facebook group for everyone! People were asking questions a lot which was kind of pointless because he could barely hear them and in the rare case he could, he would not answer them. People were obviously worried about the test; I wish they knew to put their energy elsewhere. If their worry was because they wanted to actually learn the material, then I hope they know by now to learn it elsewhere. The ‘doctor’ was not the best source of information. We learned a little, but not a lot. We were out by midnight after reviewing 102 questions.

 

Friday 10/13/17 – Day 27
I was up late and early because I randomly got a stomach bug and was sick. Meh. I made it 4 weeks without getting the stomach bug so it was just my time, I guess. Caroline, a visiting teacher, taught the morning class (class #40!) and I spent all class trying not to be sick so I do not remember much about her except that she was a little firm with us. My group was in the first row so I put my mat on the far end just in case I had to run out. The breeze from the fan was strong on the end which I normally would have not liked but given my sick state, I was grateful. I did the best I could. Caroline’s savasana song was “One” by Mary J. Blige and U2. I had never heard that song before and it made me ugly cry. I get a little emotional all the time in this yoga but that song… feels. Seesh.

It was also Kim’s birthday so we all sang Happy Birthday to her in the hot room!

My stomach was still hurting after class but I managed. I had a light, sad breakfast and then did some laundry before heading out to study. I needed to make progress on my own dialogue and I finally felt like I was doing that.

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Our typical lecture room was being used by one of the many other groups at the hotel this week so we were forced back into the ballroom where we practiced during week 2. Instead of a normal lecture, Manali wanted everyone to share their yoga stories: who we are, what led us to Bikram yoga, how it impacted us, and why we decided to teach. In 3.5 hours we made it through a little over half of the group. We cried, laughed, and everything in between. The only way to form meaningful connections with people is to really get to know each other and up until that moment, we really had not been getting to know each other on deeper levels. We all have our “Bikram besties” here but we have not really spent time getting to know EVERYONE else in the group. We are all guilty of it. Sharing was a great way for us to overcome that. I commend everyone who shared and was brave enough to open up. There were some really amazing and touching stories and even though I have not interacted with every person here, I feel closer to them. I loved everyone’s stories but Mandi said a few things I related to quite a bit: “What do you do when the person who made you courageous goes away?” and “We cannot explain why we love and do this yoga, so we teach it.” Spot on, Mandi.

We had to finish sharing our stories to go to our evening class. Jonalyn Henle, a visiting teacher and studio owner (married to Tom, who taught Thursday night), led class and she was SO great. I thoroughly enjoyed her class. She was a great teacher and I had an awesome class, one of my best ones here. Again, my ability was surprising considering the morning class I had. It helped that my stomach was feeling better! I loved everything she had to say and she was playful, funny, and kept our spirits up. Her pacing and timing was spot on and it made the class fly by. I really hope to be able to visit her and Tom’s studio one day and learn from them.

Jana and I went to the ocean after class and had a great talk. The water was cold but the weather and sunset was beautiful and we had a nice talk, catching up and checking in with each other. She is so down to Earth and we relate in a lot of ways. She is so easy to talk to! 

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The hotel was so, so full. It was crazy all week with all of the conferences but the hotel was also the starting point/registration for a triathalon going on for the weekend so it was even more full with athletes and their families (and their bicycles!). Do they not know we are living here for 2 months? They are in our home!! *sarcasm*

Because of the amount of people in the hotel, Chula Vista (our buffet) had twice as much food and twice as many desserts. Yum.

After dinner, I walked around with Maryla. Neither one of us had shared our “story” earlier in the afternoon so we talked about what we wanted to say or thought we could say. You cannot really ‘prepare’ to share though – when put on the spot, you never know what will come out of your mouth.

Everyone else finished sharing their stories during our evening lecture. Nadine told us something that I really liked: “You live your life forwards but you understand it backwards.” I do not remember who said this but someone else mentioned that this yoga is “empowering and humbling” and that could not be more true! Everyone had great stories and things to say. I went towards the end (we were going by row and I was in the 2nd to last row) and it was late and I knew people were getting tired. I do not remember everything I said but I know that I did not say everything I wanted to, particularly about the huge impact Bikram yoga has had on my life. I talked really fast and was asked to “calm down and slow down” twice (I was calm! I just talk fast!) but I had people laughing. I guess I was funny, too? I am glad I could make them laugh a little bit though! My entire ‘speech’ seems so nonsensical looking back but hopefully it was okay. Manali also finally asked me what studio I plan on teaching at. Maybe she does not actually hate me. We were out a little after midnight.

Happy wedding day to Brian and Melissa back home! Wish I could have been there. Miss y’all!

 

Saturday 10/15/17 – Day 28
I could tell the sunrise was beautiful because I could see the orange peeking through our shutters but I was so tired that I fell back asleep and missed it. I swiped this photo from someone else!

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Nancy led our morning class. I was in the 4th row and so out of it. I think part of the struggle was that I was so tired but part of it was that I had unknowingly mentally checked out because it was Saturday. Nancy is such a quiet teacher and it was soothing me to be more tired, too. I know if I had been at home and felt this tired, I would have taken a break during the floor series and skipped a few postures (or class entirely and done a double another day) but that is not really an option here. I was determined to not be lazy but I have to admit, I was closing my eyes during savasanas. Her savasana song was “Humble and Kind” by Tim McGraw and I do not know if it was the emotion of the day before or my exhaustion but I did get a little choked up. I was so, so happy when class was over!

Chula Vista was crowded for breakfast but I enjoyed a leisurely one, nonetheless. The juices here are amazing. My table went a little crazy.

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I needed a break from everything so I took a 1 hour break in my room to blog and watch Netflix before heading to the pool to study. I ran into Kiley and Taryn and we all studied quietly near the pool. I got through another posture. Forward progress, finally. There was a special study session at 2pm and because Manali had mentioned earlier in the week that people who know the dialogue should go to help their peers (and specifically called out Taryn, Kiley, and me along with a few other people), the 3 of us felt like we needed to go. The study session was to help people who are struggling to study learn some tips and tricks to help them along. It was led by Jonalyn and Tom and they gave great advice. Thankfully, the advice they gave was exactly how I study so I felt good about that. The other visiting teachers gave some advice too and it was all helpful information. They had us implement those study methods for a little bit so I partnered with Andres to help him. Then, Manali had Taryn, Kiley, and me share our own advice on how to study for a few minutes. We each had our own extra things that have helped us so maybe something we said resonated with someone and it will help them moving forward. 

One thing Jonalyn said that I really liked was if you are ever in a situation that makes you angry or upset, just start reciting dialogue in your head. Not only will it distract you and calm you down, it will prepare you for all the crazy things that students do while you are teaching. Fun fact, when I have trouble sleeping here, I mentally go through the dialogue to help distract me enough until I fall asleep! I have been trying not to use my anxiety medication here (and have not since the first week) and that has really been helping.

After the study session, we all went back to the pool. We saw Jonalyn and Tom walk by so we stopped them and chatted with them for a little bit. Kiley and I asked them questions about all sorts of things and we had a very nice and enlightening chat. They are awesome people and I am glad we got to know them more. What they had to say really changed my entire perspective of training and on what is to come and I am thankful they took time to talk to us. I also learned that they are the ones behind the awesome water bottle stickers Christina was handing out during week 1. They said one of their teachers is coming next week and will bring some with her. Yes!

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I hung out at the pool studying for a while longer as various people came and went. We snacked on chips and guacamole, too. I love the salsa/pico here! It is so much more spicy than at home but not in a too-spicy way. 

Taryn came up with and took my picture-of-the-day, too. I was studying Locust so it made sense to do Locust! Locust has never been my strongest posture (and definitely not my favorite) but I had felt like I had been improving more and more here. Photo evidence! Maybe one day I will be able to do Scorpion. Taryn used to participate in yoga competitions so she critiqued my Wheel picture from earlier in the week and gave me some tips and advice to help perfect it. I still consider myself new to the yoga world so I was more than grateful for the insight. She was pretty confident I could do Full Wheel with a little bit of training but the idea of that is terrifying! If I could do Scorpion, I could probably do Full Wheel though. Again, maybe one day. (By the way, neither Full Wheel or Scorpion are Bikram postures.)

There were random guys walking around socializing with different people. They chatted with us for a bit and while they were very nice, they were clearly shopping for some girls to hang out with… cough cough. They brought up drinking, partying, drugs, and sex and were shocked to hear we were not allowed to do anything non-yoga related, as if we would hang out with them if we could. Yeah right. It was flattering but nice try guys.

After the pool, Lidia, Maryla, and I cleaned up and heading back to Tavola (the Italian restaurant) for dinner. We enjoyed another amazing dinner with great service. They treated us like queens there and brought us ice for our water bottles and free appetizers. The food was so good and the chef even came by to say hello to us! Of course, we had to order 3 desserts again. We have a problem! We also have started to realize how much we value our friendship and just how much we are going to miss each other when this is over. After many laughs and after our stomachs were over-stuffed, we walked around for a bit before calling it a night. I love these girls! Some people in our group went down to an area the hotel turned into a karaoke ‘bar’ and I was tempted to go but I did not have the energy! Maybe another time, if the hotel does it again.

I blogged and watched Netflix until way too late in the evening/morning.

 

Sunday 10/16/17 – Day 29
I had every intention to take the 10am shuttle to Walmart but I was up so late that I decided not to set an alarm and let fate take its course: I woke up around 11:30am. I can never sleep that long at home so that was nice. I missed Walmart but everything on my list was optional (snacks, snacks, more snacks) so it was okay. Lidia and I went to The Beach Club for lunch because their burgers and french fries are amazing. I had hamburger last week but decided to try the chicken burger this time and it was just as good! We had a nice talk about all sorts of things and our life plans/fears when we go home. The more I get to know her, the more I realize how alike we are. We both are tough on the outside but soft on the inside! 

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After lunch, she wanted to head to the beach but I did not want to deal with sand so I went to the pool. I was at the pool for hours and hours and hours, soaking up the sun. I reviewed and refreshed my dialogue on postures I already knew and studied another new one. With my new outlook on training, I am hoping to have through the spine series, at a minimum, memorized by the end of week 5! There were several of us coming and going and while we all studied independently, it was nice to have people nearby because we can only study for so long before needing a break to socialize: Tina, Kirsty, Tanya, Elsa, Kiley, Taryn, Jana, Karl, Marya. Great people, great times.

My water was empty and my brain was fried from the studying so I went back to my room to take a break from the sun and finish this post before dinner! For the first time since I have been here, I really wish I had not forgotten my Adderall at home. It would have come in handy today with my distracted brain.

I went down for dinner and enjoyed a nice conversation with Karl, Jana, and Kathie. Jana had an interesting “how I got to training” story and it was nice getting to hear more about it and her perspective on things. She was involved in a rough, life changing car accident that put her through a lot. I believe I really relate to her family in a lot of ways and she really reminded me of my brother. Different events but still so much in common. 

Happy birthday, Denise!

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My mom and I talked for a little while after dinner and caught up. It is always nice seeing a familiar face and I am glad to have her support and understanding on this process!

 

Weekly Summary
Week 4 was all over the place, emotionally and physically. It was my “time of the month” and while I hate attributing my low patience and emotional state to that, it sure does have an effect. I am learning a lot here, about yoga, myself, others, and life in general and I am so very grateful to be able to be here. Some people gave up literally everything to be here or have suffered and survived through a variety of things (accidents, deaths, drugs, etc.) and it has helped me realize how fortunate I am. Manali reminded us earlier in the week to stay positive through this experience. Despite how negative and frustrating this blog entry may have sounded, I have not felt overly negative about the experience. Little things have frustrated me here and there and for a little longer than they should (classic Jillian move) but I have had an overwhelmingly positive experience so far. I was told that at some point I (and other people, probably) might question why we are even here and doing this but I have not felt that yet. It has been a rollercoaster but I have truly loved it. This experience has been way more fulfilling than I could have ever imagined.

Some other fun things I jotted down during the week:

  • I am noticing when studying postures that I can hear my instructors’ voices in my head. I say things the way they say them, especially Tanja! It is so helpful and really goes a long way in memorizing.
  • There have been a lot of conversations about how to hold your foot during Standing Head to Knee and I shared with them the way Paul taught me one day: to make your fingers and thumbs touch and form a circle during the grip. I cannot explain it here but all my yoga people will know. Several people have tried it and already said it has helped them. Go Paul.
  • Paul also once told me that delivering consistent and correct dialogue is how you build trust with your students. I knew he was right because I have teachers I trust more than others but I was thinking about it a lot this week. We have had such a variety of teachers and I find myself struggling to adjust to each one. I will break a posture ‘early’ because I know it is time for the posture to end and then the teacher will tell us ‘do not anticipate’ and ‘listen to my words.’ Well, I am listening but the dialogue exists for a reason and by not following it, you are not building trust. It can get distracting. Eddie echoed a similar statement to Paul’s during posture clinics which was such odd timing since it was weighing so heavy on my mind this week.
  • No matter if my class is a good class or a bad class, I leave every single one thinking, “I cannot believe I just did that.” Bikram yoga is tough but when do it, you cannot help but be proud of yourself! Even so, the yoga here is the easy part. It is everything else that makes it tough! 

We are almost at the halfway mark! I am still not feeling homesick but there are things about home I miss. I am happy here, though. I  would love to snuggle with my sweet puppy, Elliott! 

Until next time,

Jillian

 

P.S. I am posting a picture-a-day on Instagram so follow along there (@jillianrahn) if you want to see pictures throughout the week! Shout out to Taryn for always helping me come up with ideas.

You can also subscribe to the blog to get an email when a new one is posted. 

… to BYTT (Week 3)

31 classes later and we have completed 3 weeks of training. I decided that the word of the week should be “humbling” as this week became more and more difficult as it went on! It really knocked me off my yoga high horse, especially after feeling so good the first 2 weeks. 

Monday 10/2/17 – Day 16
We kicked off the week with a 2 hour and 20-minute class (classes are supposed to be 90-minutes) with Jim Kallet back in our hot room! It was so nice to be back in our hot room but he sure did push us. I do not know if it was being in the heat again, the chemical smell of the room from how they cleaned the carpet from the flood, or that fact that I had a cold but I was very dizzy for most of class and had a tough time. I did not skip any postures but it was tough to hold them for very long, especially Triangle because the carpet in the room is so slippery. I also never sit down between postures but Jim did a lot of talking between them and I just had to sit for those moments. It helps in Bikram yoga to get in your “zone” and I just never made it to mine! On another note, we were put into groups during the first week that determine which line (row) we are on in class which forces us to sometimes be in the front and sometimes be in the back. That way, everyone has an opportunity to be in front on Bikram at some point. I am in group 3 so I was on line 3. If you have been following along or know me from classes at home, you know I would rather be in the front so I can see myself! Seeing yourself in the mirror helps SO much in class but after a week of practicing in the ballroom, I was more used to not seeing myself and while I was not happy to be on line 3, I was fine. Plus, we rotate.

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Jim was a good teacher but I could not help but think that I would have preferred him much more during a lecture or Posture Clinic. I liked what he had to say but I also wanted to be able to take notes and learn from him while still being able to breath. He did come off as a little arrogant or rude initially but, spoiler alert, as the week went on, my perspective of him changed and I admit I misjudged him. You know he killed us all because no one cheered before Camel pose! If the morning was class was any indication for the week ahead, we were all going to be screwed.

I video chatted with Katy after class for a few minutes. I needed a pep talk because I was already feeling a little distracted from something else and then just totally wiped from class. She refocused me and sent me on my way!

My friend, Lindsay, helped make me a few tank tops before training and one of them read “BIKRAM STRONG” but was colored in a way that it also read “I AM STRONG.” I felt like I needed a little extra strength so I threw on the tank for the day and immediately proceeded to splash sausage grease all over it at the breakfast buffet when I dropped the serving spoon. FACEPALM. Grease. On my new shirt. Ugh. It was going to be one of those weeks! One of the waiters helped me clean it and I think it mostly worked but I sent it out with the laundry on Saturday so we will see. My favorite omelet guy was gone and the new one started teaching me the Spanish words for my order: egg white omelet, spinach, tomatoes, onions, peppers, and queso. Baby steps.

Thankfully I remembered that we were in a new month so I quickly paid my rent for my apartment back home before heading to our first Anatomy class. I was NOT looking forward to it at all because I tend to faint when learning/hearing about body-related things but I managed. We learned about Osteoporosis and blood cells. I would have preferred it if I had been in an episode of The Magic School Bus (why have I referenced this show twice now?) than listen to the ‘doctor’ talk for 2.5 hours. You all know which episode I am talking about: the one where they shrink and go travel through Ralphie’s blood stream. The room was freezing and I was starving and trying not to faint the entire time was exhausting. Deep breathing is a lifesaver, literally. I had time for a short 20-minute nap before our evening class; only my second nap of the trip.

Bikram taught our evening class and we were all excited to have him back after the morning class we had. Leslie asked me if I was okay because she noticed I was sitting between postures and made a comment that I never sit so it concerned her. That was so nice of her! I did much better in class but was still feeling under the weather. The toxic smell of the room was giving me a headache, too. I was able to readjust for Triangle and do a little better about not letting my feet slip, too. At one of the 7:30am audio classes back home, we could not get the audio to start so the other 4 ladies in the room suggested I just teach since I knew the dialogue. When we got to the postures I did not know yet, we just said them together and helped each other. Kim G. told me that to make your feet to not slip, dig your heels in and turn your stretched-out leg’s ankle in/make the foot flat. It made my inner thighs hurt but it sure did work. The dialogue even says “right foot flat on the floor” so of course that would be the solution!

Bikram taught for 2 hours and 5 minutes. As if doing double yoga classes a day is not tough enough, both had to be over 2 hours long! Brutal. He called me Juliana in class (close enough?) and sang for us at the end. Jim did not have a savasana song for us in the morning so hearing Bikram play and sing one for us was nice. The song at the end of class really helps the mind relax! I love when Bikram sings, too, because he will sometimes stand in the middle of the room while he does it and with all of the lights off and just the glow of the lobby area on him, it is pretty cool. It is a good reminder that we are lucky to be able to take his classes and learn directly from the source of all of this!

We had dinner in Chula Vista (the hotel buffet where all of our meals are) and the chicken was especially good. Good enough to mention on a blog!

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Monday night was our first night of Posture Clinic (but more like Dialogue Clinic because it is mostly about proving that we know the dialogue). Our evening lectures/events usually start at 10pm but this one started earlier at 9:30pm. Actually, it was supposed to start at 9:30pm but we had a late start!

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I’m in there, just difficult to spot!

There are 4 groups total and they split us into two cold, dimly-lit, cleared hotel suites (empty living rooms of a room, basically) where we sat on the floor with no blankets/pillows for hours. They really are trying to break us and make us crack! Groups 3 and 4 were together in one, groups 1 and 2 together in another. During Posture Clinics, each person must stand up and say the dialogue for whatever posture we are working on at the time. You say it in front of the whole room while 3 people demo in front of you and teachers/staff (not Bikram) listen in. Afterward, the teachers/staff can provide feedback and then you demo for the next person as they say their dialogue. Monday night was Back Bending and Hands to Feet pose (the 2nd and 3rd parts of Half Moon which we completed last week). They took attendance but forgot to call my name. For my group, when they said your name you were supposed to yell, “I’m awesome.” When they forgot me, I raised my hand and said, “My name was not called but I am Jillian from group 3 and I am also awesome” which got some laughs. I was the 4th to do the dialogue and thought I did well. I tried to add more inflection and variety as Bikram had told me last week but Manali and Eddie gave me the same feedback. I needed to emphasize the bold words of the dialogue more and change my pace (sometimes go fast, sometimes go slow) throughout. I was nervous but I still think it was fine overall. I know those things will get better naturally as we go. Lidia, Maryla, Leah, and I all went and got ours out of the way! They did great! You are not allowed to be shy here so better to ‘rip the band aid off’ and just get it out of the way. Posture Clinic went until just before midnight and we got to experience an insane lightning storm on our way to bed.

 

Tuesday 10/3/17 – Day 17
The storm the night before was intense and I was worried about the hot room flooding again. None of us wanted to go back to the ballroom! Luckily, it was okay. I had a slow start to the day and was feeling a little better except for a scratchy throat. Jim taught again, for over 2 hours, and I did well but not great. He called me out to reach my shoulder forward more during Standing Bow Pulling which was fair, I do tend to not reach enough. Again, he had a lot of valuable things to say but again, I wished it was not during class. I could not get in my zone and was hungry the entire time.

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After breakfast, I studied in the lobby and enjoyed the beautiful weather. We had anatomy again during the afternoon, this time learning about the skeletal system, muscular system, and spinal cord. It was all horrible but the spinal parts were the absolute worst. I survived.

Evening classes are always with Bikram but Bikram apparently decided to take the rest of the week off so Jim taught again. Anurag took professional photos of us during class which I think made me try even harder; not to show off, but to not be the person slacking off or not ‘in line’ with everyone else. I did not want to stand out for the wrong reasons in the photos! I think everyone felt the same way to some degree because the energy in class was very high and almost no one was sitting down. The class was 1 hour and 50-minutes long, proving to us that Jim cannot teach a 90-minute class! He did tell us a good story about Usain Bolt though… so maybe it was worth it. I also noticed for the first time that my cheap mat is so thin in the middle now because it bothers my knees during Half Tortoise and Rabbit. I miss my awesome mat I have at home!

I put a red arrow on the pictures where you might have trouble spotting me (black top, purple shorts, giant blue Hydro Flask) but they are still pretty tiny. Posting each individual would have you scrolling so much more than you already are. I think you can click on a photo to see the full size though (on a phone – not sure how it works in a browser).

Maryla and I wobbled over to the ocean after class. The class took everything out of me and walking was quite the chore. It was so nice to relax my body in the water and just let the waves crash into me.

During dinner, I called Baba and Grandma for a few minutes. Baba had sent me a Facebook message and I have found it easier to call people and talk for a few minutes than to spend time typing up how things are going. It was nice to see them!

The weather was still very nice so Maryla and I went for a walk and found the 4th pool. We had a nice heart-to-heart conversation about all sorts of things and I am thankful to have met her! 

We had Posture Clinic at 9:30pm again to finish Back Bending and Hands to Feet. Jim and Micael were with our groups instead and they provided different perspectives on our dialogue and other things. Jim gave a long welcome but because I was not in a hot room dying, I was able to appreciate it significantly more and even take some notes. It bothered me that people were still being allowed to just read the dialogue at this point but I know it is still early and that will not last long. Some people really struggled through it but did not read and that was admirable. Sometimes you need to fail first to succeed! I wanted to badly to be able to help them and “feed them words” but we were not allowed to help. Everyone got through it though and we were finished just after midnight. Sitting on the floor for that long was brutal and did not help my soreness or headache!

 

Wednesday 10/4/17 – Day 18
I woke up so tired and so sore. The soreness was mainly in my hips, pelvis, and butt! I blame Triangle pose. My head was still pounding.

Micael taught the morning class which was a refreshing change of pace for us. He had great dialogue and was quirky/funny enough to keep the mood light. He made us laugh! I had a good class and once again was corrected on my Standing Bow Pulling pose, this time to get my head straight. I will get it all right one day! It was the first time all week I felt like I was in my zone and just do what my body knows how to do. He taught in 90-minutes and played a Japanese song at the end of class which were nice bonuses! He said that Bikram yoga is a “balance between struggle and enjoying it – it is a give and take” and that really resonated with me. It is a tough yoga class but it should be enjoyable too and after Jim’s more serious classes, it felt nice to have a light-hearted class again.

It was a cold and rainy morning but still nice. After breakfast, I helped several people study Awkward pose in the lobby so they would be ready for Posture Clinic in the evening: Veronica, Denise, Daniella, Abigail, Alonso, Kelly, Leslie, Ali, and Mari. We did round robin-style studying and took turns going. I already know the standing series but helping them with it helps solidify it for me, too, so everybody wins! The Mundomex guys (a few guys that help us throughout training and keep things running smoothly, the best!) joined us for a little bit, too.

The afternoon lecture was anatomy again, this time about the Digestive system and Hydration. I unknowingly dozed off for a minute during one of the videos and Lidia woke me up when I started to snore. Oops. I literally had to take notes just to stay awake. My body was exhausted. They let us out at 3:30pm and I fell on my knee from the slippery ground on the way back to my room. Not embarrassing at all…

I stuffed my face with snacks (I was so hungry all week) before for another evening class with Jim and my disgusting yoga mat. He was closer to 90-minutes this time but still over. It was extra hot in the room and I struggled through it but managed. I have yet to skip a posture and I am determined to keep it that way for as long as I physically can. It was my group’s turn to be in the front row and that was nice, too! For some reason though, my body was not cooperating with the spine series. Usually I am more flexible in the evening classes but I was not having it. I did everything fine but it was a struggle; I had the energy, just not the physical ability. My left foot was hurting in a weird way, probably from my fall earlier in the day and my left hip needed to pop but would not, making Toe Stand a nightmare. One thing Jim said that stood out (and that I remembered long enough to write down after class) was that “there is no such thing as modification, only less percentage.” At my studio, so many students make modifications to postures because of an injury or mental block. It really hit me that I am going to have a tough job convincing them to break out of their bad habits and try things the CORRECT way so that they can begin to fix their injury and realize their true capabilities. As Bikram told us, yoga is the slowest therapy because it lasts the longest!

I video chatted with Alex after class for a minute and then headed to dinner. It was cold outside and I was not very hungry so after a quick bite, I went to study with Maryla, Daniella, and Abigail then took a quick break in my room before Posture Clinic.

Groups 1 and 3 were together for Posture Clinic, this time to do Awkward pose. We had Jim, Karla, Ary, and Carolin in our room for feedback. I went 5th or 6th and Jim’s feedback to me was: “great.” Cool, I will take that. After I said mine, I had to demo for the next 3 people and that was TOUGH. My legs were shaky and my posture was garbage but the point of the demo is not to have a great posture, it is simply so that the person doing the dialogue has bodies to look at (which really helps!). They say even after you do your dialogue, keep listening to everyone else do theirs so you can learn from them what to do or not to do and that has been valuable. I have heard how other people add inflection and whatnot and have learned from them. When people stopped volunteering to go, they started randomly choosing people to go, whether they were ready or not. Terrifying. Awkward pose had 3 parts and most people that were called on at least had the 1st part memorized but I really felt for those that had nothing. I try to help people study but at the end of the day, it is up to them to take the time to do it and work towards it. I had studied with Veronica and Mari earlier in the day and I knew they were both ready so I encouraged both to volunteer instead of being called on. Choosing to go is way less stressful then being told to go! Veronica knew all 3 parts but tried to quit after the 1st one and I basically made her stay up there and finish them all. She did, and she did great. Now she can cross that off her list and keep moving forward. We were out at midnight and as I was walking to the stairs to go to my room, Denise stopped me and called me the ‘Dialogue Queen’ for helping everyone earlier and asked when I would be available to help them again. Any day, any time! I would not call myself the queen of dialogue but I am happy to help other people so that we can all get through it.

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Wore my Dog Mom shirt that Kelsey gave me for my last birthday and it reminded me of her?

 

Thursday 10/5/17 – Day 19
I woke up just as sore, if not more so, than Wednesday. Maryla suggested I start getting up a little earlier so I can walk around before the morning class and get my body moving. It is not a bad idea… but that means I miss out on extra sleep. Maybe I will give it a shot next week.

Lidia and I ordered yoga shorts from Onzie and they were delivered Wednesday afternoon so I was excited to wear one of the pairs to the morning class! I always told myself that I would not wear shorts with the ties but that did not last long. They are so cute and comfortable and even though I felt very exposed/naked compared to my Nike shorts, I love them. (Lidia and I already ordered a few more to be delivered next week!) Being so much more exposed just showed me how bizarre my stomach looks when I am doing Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee (which I had thought I lost the ability to do because it had been subpar my entire time here but had been decent again this week) and Rabbit, though! Kind of funny.

Our morning class was taught by Nancy, Micael’s (he taught Wednesday) mom. Yoga runs in their family, apparently. I was in the 4th row, directly in front of the staff/visiting teachers who practice in the back of the room with us. Nancy taught a great class and I did alright given how sore I was. The spine series was still a struggle. Manali sneaked up on me during Triangle and moved my neck to get it in the correct spot. I am completely okay with corrections and them helping me but I wish there was a 2 seconds heads up so that I would not have been so caught off guard! When you do not see someone coming and then suddenly someone is grabbing your head and neck, it is a little startling! It was a fair correction though. I know my head is not turned enough but it is tough. Just another “mantra” (as Jim would say) to start working on.

I skipped my pre-class protein bar and was starving by the middle of class. Stomach growls are distracting. I also had seen that my sister was interviewing for a job in Dallas again and the thought of them potentially moving to Dallas was weighing heavy on me. Not even the Savasana song could distract me from that! You cannot control things around you but you can control how you react. I hope I react well if I ever get that news! 

Being a creature of habit, I had my normal breakfast again made by our amazing omelet guy. We had a some different guys all week who did alright but this guy right here is the best of the best!

After breakfast, I helped Maryla study by the pool. It was hot outside so we decided to dip our feet in and before I knew it, Maryla had fallen in the water! Classic. We could not stop laughing!

We continued anatomy for the afternoon lecture and learned about the Urinary system and nutrition. I do not think I would survive these classes without fainting if it was not for the sarcastic comments we all make to each other under our breaths. The nutrition PowerPoint came from an internet search too, which was amusing. It was so nice outside and we all just wanted to be outside. We get a break during lecture so we of course use it to defrost and enjoy the weather.

Our evening class with Jim lasted just under 2 hours and was so hot, tiring, and difficult. I still could not do the spine series and so many people were sitting down and/or leaving. My determination to not skip a posture might physically break me. TBD! You know it was a rough class when one of the simplest postures (Wind Removing Pose) hurt more than anything. The good news was that my hip finally popped. Hooray. One thing Jim told us was that “today’s class is an accumulation of every class you have ever taken” and I kind of liked that, even though it was a rough class for me. Had I been home and felt this way, I would have skipped a posture or 2 but I guess I am growing because I pushed through the pain. Also, Jim must not believe in Savasana songs because there was not one again!

After class, Lidia and I did a short photo shoot to celebrate our new shorts before taking a dip in the salt water pool.

We got to watch a beautiful sunset during dinner. I just wanted to lay down though so I headed to my room. I video chatted with mom for a little bit and then finally started listening to Miley Cyrus’ new album. Y’all know I love her! Maryla and I got some ice cream before evening lecture with Jim instead of the usual Posture Clinic.

Lecture with Jim was great. He talked for 3 hours straight about the complete history of yoga, Bikram’s life, and various yoga principles. I took so many notes! It was such a great lecture and it did not feel like 3 hours. I loved that he calls yoga studios “schools” instead. I definitely felt like I needed to stretch though and was happy to be out at 12:45am.

Noteworthy quotes:

  • “A frog that is born inside the whale always thinks the inside of the whale is the whole ocean.”
  • “There is a limit to the bad.”
  • “The wrong method of exercise is worse than no exercise.” -Bishnu Ghosh
  • “When medical science ends, yoga science begins.”
  • “What you resist ultimately conquers you.” -J Krishnamurti
  • “It is not enough to suffer for 90 minutes, you have to watch yourself suffer.” (jokingly on why we have mirrors in the hot room)
  • “Pain kills the pain. Poison kills the poison.”
  • “The only bad class you have is the one you don’t go to.”

 

Friday 10/6/17 – Day 20
Once again, I woke up SO TIGHT. The morning class was taught by Tyroon (spelling?), one of the guy’s from Bikram’s entourage. He was pretty aggressive and strict with us and it was a tough class. I tried so hard to push myself to try and combat my soreness and tightness but it was this class where I determined that the word of the week was “humbling.” So. Humbling. You think you may be decent at yoga until you have a week and class like this and it is like you know nothing at all! We are supposed to have a short savasana between postures on the floor series, about 20 seconds, and he gave us approximately 3 seconds to rest instead. It was exhausting and my foot was still hurting from earlier in the week. Someone near me was wearing perfume, too. Smells in the hot room are totally enhanced so it was brutal. How many excuses can I come up with for y’all on why I had a bad class?! I was so happy when class was over and took the longest savasana of all time so my body could relax and recover.

Maryla and I went swimming after class for a bit so that my body would not tighten up too much. I had a quick breakfast where I met Carolin, one of the visiting teachers, who knows one of my studio owners from back home, Holly. After catching up with her, I studied in the lobby enjoying the cool breeze. The couch is so comfortable but the hotel hates when we lay down so I was asked to sit up and be a normal person (my words, not theirs).

Our afternoon lecture was a review of all the anatomy we learned this week to help us prep for our anatomy “mid-term” next week. It was ridiculous and when we finished early, they made us re-watch all the videos from the week to keep us in the room until 3:30pm. We had a little bit of time and because my patience was so low from the afternoon lecture and my whole body hurt, I took a minute to go swimming before the evening class and decompress.

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The evening class with Jim was incredibly hot, probably the hottest of the week. Once again, I struggled and pushed through it. It was a tough class and I escaped as soon as it was over to lay in the grass outside and get some fresh air. Jim said another thing I liked (and remembered long enough to write down): “The posture ends when savasana begins and the next posture starts when savasana ends.” Deep.

I had a quick dinner and rested in the room before what I figured would be another late night. Dad sent me a picture of my sweet Elliott just before evening lecture too. Look how cute that little guy is!

As expected, the evening lecture went until 1am. Jim lectured again and I really loved everything he had to say. He is pretty long winded but he says everything more clearly/focused than Bikram so it was nice to hear some of it again to really soak it in. I had a question in the middle of it and raised my hand but when it became apparent he was not going to call on me, I bailed. At the end though, he remembered I had a question so he called on me and it ended up keeping everyone there another 30 minutes. Sorry, guys! I had asked him for advice on how to convince students who are used to modified postures for years how to stop doing the modified postures. Valid question, I thought. He did not really have an answer but I also think he misunderstood my question because he mostly focused on how to deal with other teachers who do not do the dialogue or who may ask me to teach a 60-minute class. Oh well!

Jim promised to teach his last class with us on Saturday morning in 89-minutes, too.

Noteworthy quotes:

  • “You can’t start your journey until you know your destination.”
  • “He lived a life as passionately without attachment to results and thus results came to him.” -Ghandi memorial
  • “You’re not your mind.”
  • “We’re made up of atoms. Atoms are made up of empty space. We’re made up of empty spaces. If there wasn’t something in that space, wouldn’t it be a waste of space?”
  • “A teacher can never truly teach unless he is still learning himself. A lamp can never light another lamp unless it continues to burn its own flame.”

Before lecture, we learned that a fellow instructor has passed away. Charles was a student, and then instructor, for a brief time at my home studio. I only ever took one class of his and it was a struggle for him to get through but he made it. I had heard he went to the Spring Training to visit and got to teach a class there. Charles did not going our training and I did not know him well but we all honored him with a standing moment of silence. 
Saturday 10/7/17 – Day 21
Jim taught his last class with us in the morning and as expected, he broke his promise and went over 90-minutes. He is a nice guy and clearly very passionate and knowledgeable (Maryla called him a “library on 2 feet”) but the guy cannot teach a 90-minute class to save his life. I would like to think that maybe it was because he just wanted to tell us trainees as much as he can while he could and that when he is at his studio, he honors the time restraint! I was dying by the end of class but so happy to finally be finished with week 3! If you miss a class/lecture or even sign in late, you have to take an extra class on Saturday morning so I was thrilled to not have to stay for that. I do not think I would have made it!

Maryla and I went for a swim after class and investigated the spa situation and prices. I video chatted with Bailey and Olivia, too. As usual, Olivia did not care (her affection for me was short lived) but Bailey was so cute. She asked me if I was having fun at yoga and if I was eating and drinking enough. She told me she missed me and loved me! She also told me about her Uncle Branden and Aunt Melanie’s wedding last weekend and about being a flower girl. We talked about what she might dress up as for Halloween, too. I hate that I am missing Halloween with them but I told her that when I get back, we can dress in costumes and go to a special dinner anyway! She told me I was silly but said it would be fun. Love that girl.

I had been washing my hot room clothes in the tub but I finally decided to go ahead and get them and my regular clothes properly laundered. The hotel laundry is kind of pricey but there is a guy who comes and takes them away/returns them in 24 hours and is so, so cheap so I did that! I have plenty of clothes to keep me going for another week without laundry but I figured I might as well get it done before I NEED to do it. Always plan ahead. (It ended up being $175 pesos. I love Mexico.)

Danny, one of the Mundomex guys, took everyone to Walmart but instead of getting out there with everyone else (I did not need anything from there this weekend), he dropped Maryla and I off at McDonald’s in the same parking lot while he went to get the next batch of people. After he dropped the next round of people off, he grabbed us and took us back to the hotel. It was a short 20-minute lunch but it was the best thing and exactly what we needed! We ate enough food for at least 4 people and enjoyed every second of it. Did you know that Mexico McDonald’s have cheeseballs? They were so delicious and it was nice to feel normal for a little bit.

After we got back from McDonald’s, we decided to hit the spa. It was only 300 pesos for unlimited access to the spa (steam room, sauna, jacuzzi, etc.) for the day. We got there at 1pm and stayed until 7:30pm and enjoyed every single second of it. When we got there, they gave us lockers for our stuff, robes, and shoes. The lady magically knew which size shoes we needed, too. Impressive.

After we got comfortable, we went into a ‘waiting’ area for the massages. We were not getting massages but the area had tea, coffee, water, cookies, and muffins for us. We stayed in there for about an hour while Maryla studied and I finally started on my blog. I spa like my mom would… with a laptop. I promise I only had it for parts of the day! The blog takes forever to write so I really needed to get started on it and I figured the spa was the perfect place because there would be no distractions. It really felt like we were somewhere else for the day.

The jacuzzi was so nice and there were ice towels for us. We went between that, the steam room, and the outside pool several times. The smell in the steam room was amazing. We used rolled up towels as pillows and stayed in there until we could not breath anymore. There was also another waiting area inside the spa that was warmer and on the other side of the jacuzzi that had 2 lounge chairs so we rested there a lot, too. For most of the day, it was just the 2 of us in the whole area. We studied dialogue and talked about all sorts of things. She has recognized that I have a problem with self-worth and esteem and was trying to get me to pep-talk myself. She said, “I am sorry you became my friend because I am going to fix you” and “I cannot wait for you to fall in love with yourself.” My own personal therapist in Acapulco! Ha.

I also admitted that I have no idea how to do the inhale portion of pranayama breathing. It is supposed to make a noise and I just cannot do it. She tried to teach me but no such luck. It is a little amusing to me because Bikram and other instructors have made comments about how well we sound when we inhale and every time I have just hoped and prayed that I would never get called out to demo because it would be an embarrassing fail. I should work on that.

Being at the spa was such a nice mental break from everything! Later, Kirsty, Elsa, and Nadine showed up for massages and we got to hang out with them for a little bit. It is important to me to get to know other people here as well so as much as I liked being semi secluded for the day, I liked getting to get to know them too! Did you know Kirsty spent 4 years living in Spain as part of an ABBA tribute band? That is easily plus 100 cool points in my eyes! 

After 6.5 hours at the spa, we decided to clean up and go meet Lidia for dinner and Tavola, the Italian restaurant. We had decided no Chula Vista (the buffet) all weekend! It was nice to get dressed up and eat something different. The service there was beyond; they treated us so well and has us cracking up. Thank goodness Maryla, our little French Canadian girl, speaks Spanish! We had bread and the manager treated us to bruschetta. Maryla and I split gnocci, I got a pizza, Maryla got a giant calzone, and Lidia got salmon.


We also ordered 3 desserts. It was so much food but all so, so delicious. We were there for 2 hours and laughed the entire time about who knows what. After the week I had, it was so relaxing and nice to just laugh and be carefree for a night. We are not allowed to drink while we are here but we were laughing so much and being so silly that it would not surprise me if people thought we were drunk. A glass of wine would have been nice though! The meal only came out to $33 a person and for the amount of food we had, that was a pretty good deal.

We went for a short walk around the hotel afterward to try and walk off everything we ate.

Saturday was such a perfect, relaxing, much needed day. Being here is mentally and physically exhausting but I am lucky to have met these amazing girls and have connected so well with them. You really do get to know people at a deeper level when you are put into situations like this! I learn something new about them during every conversation and vice versa.

As a nice bonus, I think with all of the food we ate we officially added every vitamin and nutrient back into our bodies to prepare us for the week. We should bet set on sodium, sugar, and carbs… everything… for the week!

 

Sunday 10/8/17 – Day 22
I fell asleep around midnight the night before and slept on and off until 11am when my alarm went off. I got ready and headed downstairs to go get pedicures with Lidia at the spa. My toes were not that desperate for attention but my feet needed a good massage. It was a good pedicure but not as great as I was hoping for. Next time, I will treat myself to the spa pedicure instead of the classic one! On the bright side, they had OPI’s “Cajun Shrimp” color which is my go-to at home!

After pedicures, Lidia and I went to the Beach Club for a late lunch. I skipped breakfast to sleep so I was pretty starved by then. Lidia and I split a shrimp/fish dish and chips/salsa and then we each got burgers and fries. Again, so delicious and nice to not be Chula Vista food. The food at Chula Vista is not bad at all… we just wanted a break for the weekend. Maryla met us there after her nap and got some fries to snack on, too.

I went to my room to make more progress on my blog and rest for an hour before meeting Maryla and Lidia at the beach. Maryla makes friends everywhere she goes and she somehow managed to get us a free cabana area! Our cabana number was 007, the best number of course. We hung out there for 3 hours, studying and relaxing in the sun. We got coconuts and Lidia got her hair braided. I made a little progress on my dialogue but definitely found it tough to focus out there with all the locals constantly approaching us to sell us dresses, jewelry, and activities (massages, ATV rides, etc.).

We finished the evening with a dip in the pool to rinse the sand off before I went back to my room to finish this post (finally). I skipped dinner because I was still full from our late lunch and took the leftover pizza from Saturday night up to Maryla and Lidia’s room for them. Their view is so great from their higher floor and they do not have the silly dome blocking everything.

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On another note: Today was my 5th anniversary working at StarTex Software! Whoop!

 

Week Summary
Week 3 was tougher than the previous ones. The anatomy classes were not my favorite and it took me most of the week to accept having to do so many extra long classes. My body was resisting but it pulled through. “Mind over the matter,” as Bikram would say. I also was breaking out a lot more than I had been and I blame being back in the hot room. I would not trade the hot room for clear skin, though! They say week 3 and 4 are when people start to crack and some have and some have gotten pretty close. I would put myself in the ‘pretty close to cracking’ category for the week. If we had to go one more day I think I would have been in the other category!

We are officially 1/3 of the way finished, too. I know I should not be counting down, that I should just appreciate the time here because it will go by fast, and that it seems weird to countdown to the end of something that you are thoroughly enjoying (despite the mental and physical challenges)… but it is human nature. I do not feel homesick yet but do miss things about home, mostly the freedom over my own schedule and having Elliott around. Both of my best friends are pregnant and both sent me ultrasounds of their babies and I hate missing that too! Of course I miss work (I am still checking emails and support tickets) and my family/nieces/friends/volleyball, too. It was during week 3 of my Europe trip last summer that I had a complete breakdown and wanted to go home but I have not reached that point yet. Maybe it will hit me week 4? 5? Should we take bets? Just kidding 🙂

Trust the process! 

PS – I cannot speak for everyone but I have surprisingly really missed Bikram this week! We only saw him during Monday night’s class. I hope he is back with us week 4 – famous last words, I know!

Until next time,

Jillian
 

 

… to BYTT (Week 2)

11 more classes (20 total now) and zero earthquakes and I am finished with week 2! We have 7 weeks and 77 classes to go and I am hoping they all continue to go as well as the first 2 weeks have gone. We eat, sleep, and breathe yoga here and I love every minute of it!

Monday 9/25/17 – Day 9
Our hot room was not repaired yet so we kicked off our class in a new ‘studio’ in the hotel ballroom. The room has little-to-no heat, no humidity, no mirrors, no lines, and no air flow and was no fun! The musty old ballroom was definitely not the ideal studio but was better than not practicing at all. Deepak was our guest teacher and he was amazing! He knew the room was cold and adjusted us all accordingly so we would be warm enough and not get injured. He had great energy and flow and was so encouraging to everyone. It was a tough class, both physically and mentally, but I managed and ended up having a good class. I was in the front of the room and because there were no mirrors, I could not see the people behind and feed off their energy so it felt like a private class, almost. Again, that makes it a little tough! Deepak was great though and made all of those challenges moot.

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I went swimming in the salt water pool after class but was so tired from the night before (did not sleep well) that I just wanted to get cleaned up, eat, and relax as soon as possible. After breakfast and fighting off the crazy, sugar packet-stealing birds, Lidia and I sat in the amazing swing chairs and chatted before afternoon lecture. It was the most perfect and beautiful weather outside so we had to take advantage of it, no matter how much a nap appealed to me.

Bikram lectured during afternoon lecture (did you know that there are 26 postures in the sequence because there are 26 letters in the alphabet which allows him to use the “A to Z” idiom? brilliant!) but let us out early so Maryla and I got ice cream and enjoyed the outdoors. I finally heard from Andrew and got confirmation he was home and alive, too. Everyone here misses him!

Noteworthy lecture quotes:

  • Listen to your heart. Your mind is always going to confuse you.
  • The only way it works is the right way.
  • Your back itches? Scratch it yourself. Don’t even tell anybody it itches!

The evening class with Bikram was in the ballroom again. The vibe in there drains us all but we make it work. I had another good class but my mind just was not in it. Part of being a yogi is being able to adapt and adjust to situations… the temporary studio is definitely testing us! The room was warmer than it had been in the morning but not by much. Baby steps.

After a quick swim and dinner, Lidia, Maryla, and I put on our matching Walmart “Power” shirts and had a photoshoot. People thought we were crazy but we had a good time with it!

Before evening lecture, one of the visiting teachers told us about “Ikigai,” a Japanese concept that means “reason for being.”  See the diagram below… it was a fascinating concept and really spoke to me! tyvToPYsyaZXtaFiUISw-P6abde6j84YSh5o3tXq81c

The evening lecture was our first Bollywood movie night: Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai. Everyone here had heard about these prior to coming to training so we all thought we were prepared but I do not think any amount of ‘heads up’ could have prepared us. What an experience. I actually really enjoyed the first hour or so of the movie: singing, dancing, cheesiness? Yes, yes, and yes. At about halfway, the plot took a twist and that was when things got strange and started to drag on. Some people were sleeping during it but I just had to know how it ended… blame my endless curiosity. It was a long night in those uncomfortable chairs (I stood up for parts of the movie) and we were in bed by 1:30am. I barely slept the night before so I was beyond exhausted and slept like a rock.

Tuesday 9/26/17 – Day 10
I slept much better and had a great morning yoga class with Laju. The room was feeling hotter than it had been and as always, her energy was motivating. I am guilty of skipping a few postures (or just the second set) a little too often at home but I realized I had not once skipped anything since the very first death-class, so that made me a little proud of myself! At the end of class, instead of playing a song, Laju read us the most amazing poem: “The Invitation” by Oriah Mountain Dreamer. I loved it!

After breakfast, Lidia and I sat in a shaded spot near the pool and studied before afternoon lecture. I did not study… I looked up the poem Laju read us and wrote it out instead.

Bikram talked for a little bit during afternoon lecture and then we moved on. He wanted to hear everyone deliver their Half Moon dialogue again so we started from the top! Since I was one of the first ones last week, I had to go again. I was not wearing my ‘teaching costume’ because it was never made clear if we were ALL going again or just some, but it was fine. I did my dialogue and thought I did better even though I was a little more nervous but he gave me the same feedback. Basically, I am “chicken curry with no salt.” Oy. Salt will come with experience!

Noteworthy lecture quotes:

  • The faster you confess the truth, the faster you save your time and life.
  • If you see everything, you are lost.

He let us out early so Maryla and I went swimming for a little bit. Again, we have to take advantage of nice weather when we have it! Plus, we decided that swimming would help prepare us for the evening class (spoiler alert: it did). The evening class with Bikram (again in the ballroom) was great! I put my mat front and center in Bikram’s “lion’s den.” Anyone front and center is subject to getting called out the entire class. Kiley and I decided we might as well have our turn… plus, we WANT his feedback on postures. That is one of the whole points of this, right?

Thankfully, Kiley and I managed to get a lot of feedback without ever getting berated! Whew. We both received a lot of silent feedback… he would point to us and then say something quickly like “move the knee” or “twist more,” just minor corrections. Remember, the ballroom does not have mirrors so we really cannot adjust ourselves on our own. He told me my left side Standing Bow was crooked (it always is, that is why I need the mirror!) but he did not use my name so when I looked up to verify he was talking to me, I fell out and he said, “ahhh I knew you would fall out when you looked!” Busted. I also got called out my step being too wide in Triangle and not wide enough in Balancing Stick. Minor things! He had told us about advanced Toe Stand and how to do it the day before and told us to try it if we wanted to… so of course I did. In the beginner version, you put your right foot on your left thigh so you are balancing on one leg, bend down with a straight standing leg until your hands are on the ground, then finally bend the standing leg until you are almost sitting down, only balancing on your toes. In the advanced version, you go straight into the sitting position without ever touching the ground. I attempted it and succeeded! Only me and another girl, Sarah, did it (that he saw, probably). I tried to come back up without using the ground but fell out. He seemed impressed and I was excited to have done it.

Bikram sometimes has some demo a posture to the class. We all have to stop what we are doing and watch the person do whatever it is he wanted us to see. Sometimes, this can  be a demo of what TO do and sometimes it can be a demo of what NOT TO do. After the first set of Floor Bow, I was asked to demo as an example of what TO do! Good news! That was scary, but exciting. The only problem now is that I always have to do a perfect Floor Bow in class because he knows I am capable!

I also learned in class that when we grab our elbows during Fixed Firm, we are not supposed to grab underneath the elbows. Our hands should only cover the tops of the elbows and not touch the floor. It really did change the posture a little bit. I know none of this makes any sense to non-Bikram yoga students… but it will once you all start taking my classes! 🙂

Maryla and I went to the ocean after class. It was another beautiful sunset so of course I had to get a picture. I had a full dinner and 3 desserts (because I hate myself, apparently) and then studied in the lobby with Lidia and Vinny before the evening lecture. The lobby is one of my most favorite spots in the hotel. It is open-air and there is always a nice breeze! I love it.

We learned about the body and mind and how they work together during the evening lecture and about the origins of Hatha yoga. I found it all to be very, very interesting and really enjoyed it. Bikram makes it entertaining, too. It was thankfully not a very late night.

Wednesday 9/27/17 – Day 11
Our morning class was with Edward, again in the ballroom. We were all really missing the hot room by this point but we take what we can get. We are yogis, we adapt. I was very tired and my right-side lower back was feeling pretty sore but I managed to have a good class again. It seemed like everyone was coughing in class – I blame the musty, old, stale room! That carpet has got to be a major contributor and we have probably ruined it at this point with all of our sweat!

After breakfast, Kirsty and I took a photo to send to our mutual friend, Paul.  She used to work with him in the UK and he is one of my instructors/mentors from back home. Small world! Lidia and I studied again by the pool in the shade. I actually studied this time! The morning was all about the birds… they stole sugar packets and squawk like crazy. I think I prefer sweet, chirping birds!

More people delivered their Half Moon dialogue in front of Bikram during the afternoon lecture. From everything I had heard from past trainings, we did not have to do Half Moon twice but… no expectations, go with the flow, trust the process. I studied a little bit during though. You can only hear Half Moon so many times.

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We got out early again so Maryla and I went swimming before the evening class. We recited dialogue (which is much more difficult to do than reading/writing/saying it to yourself) and did laps. We sit so much during lecture that swimming really has proven to be a good pre-class stretch. I love it. Assuming time and weather permits, that might become a regular thing for us.

Our evening class with Bikram was in the ballroom again. I did well (I really have not had a bad class yet, especially not an evening one) and Bikram made us all laugh quite a bit, more so than usual. Tom was next to me and Bikram picked on him a lot so I knew I was in his sight – knowing that always makes me try harder. So many of my postures have already improved since I have been here, even without the heated room this week. I ALMOST got my forehead to touch my toes during the last part of Head to Knee with Stretching. Ah!

After class, I got to video chat with Jessica, Bailey, and Olivia. It was so good to see them! They are in Tennessee for a wedding so the girls told me about their fun adventures so far. It was good to catch up. Both girls looked happy to see me and Bailey asked when I was coming back. Be still, my heart! I wish Elliott could give me that kind of reaction!

I video chatted with dad and Suzette after dinner for a bit to check on Elliott and catch up. It was good to see and talk to them. I have not felt home sick so far (thankfully) but it is nice to be able to SEE and talk to people from home. It helps!

Our evening lecture was my nightmare. Bikram talked about Hatha yoga and I truly did find all of that to be interesting. It was what came AFTER his lecture that was horrible. Hatha yoga is all about uniting the Mind and Body; having the two work together. If the two are working together perfectly, you can do anything. He showed us the most disgusting and horribly fascinating videos of yogis, himself included, during extraordinary things that can only be done when the mind and body are united. Some clips were from an old TV show called “That’s Incredible” and some were just random clips. The videos included things like: incredibly flexible yogis, laying on a bed of nails and getting run over by a motorcycle (Bikram did this), getting walked on by an elephant, etc. These days, these acts would be called “danger acts” and they are NOT my cup of tea. When I see things like this on TV, I always fast forward or close my eyes (and then watch between my fingers anyway because my curiosity). My anxiety gets too high and if you know me at all, you know I tend to pass out whenever the human body gets involved so it was a rough hour of videos. Good thing I know how to do pranayama deep breathing and stay conscious. I was in bed by 12:45am. 

Noteworthy lecture quotes:

  • What is the most important thing in your life? Your life!

Thursday 9/28/17 – Day 12
I woke up with a sore throat but I had the best morning class to date! Christina taught and had great energy/pacing, was calm with us, and was clearly very knowledgeable and experienced. We share the same favorite posture (Standing Head to Knee, which Bikram said was the most difficult), too. I cannot do Rabbit pose properly to save my life in the morning but she singled me out to move my knees closer towards my head and when an instructor says to do something, you do it. As tough and painful as it was, I did it! I have to admit, I am incredibly intimidated by her because of the relationship she has with a someone from the Spring TT but I know it is paranoia and I will get past it. I truly enjoyed her class and really hope she teaches again soon (and that I can swipe some Hydroflask stickers). She had great wisdom for us too and dropped little nuggets like:

  • People who are struggling in class need your encouragement – single them out and tell them they are doing well
  • People who look the most miserable are probably the ones enjoying it the most (so true – I look like I hate every moment of class but I seriously cannot get enough of this)
  • “Back bends aren’t about holding on, they’re about letting go.” – LOVE his one!

Bonus: she played “Man in the Mirror” as her Savasana song and that was cool. Always a good song to get you feeling powerful and motivated.

Instead of rushing to breakfast after my post-class shower, I got to have a long talk with Katy, my friend/instructor from back home. It was so good to catch up with her and it made me feel special that she would make the time for me during all of her overseas adventures. She has obviously already been through TT so she understood everything I had to say about classes and lectures more than my other friends and family would. She also knows all of the history of my past relationship and it was nice to get some of those emotions off my chest. As much as I love being here, the longer I am here the more I realize I spent 9+ weeks being lied to and deceived in SO, SO many ways (intentionally or not) and any normal person would feel bothered and beytrayed by that. It truly does not even make me sad at this point, just foolish, angry, and disappointed. I thought I knew him. I want to forgive and part of me does (we have been in contact on and off through this process, we are our original yogi buddies and he’s been supportive of me which has been nice) but it is tough sometimes, especially because I never got an apology. Getting those emotions out and talking through it was so incredibly helpful though. I love every second of this experience and nothing will ruin it for me so processing that stuff sooner rather than later was nice. Plus, Katy has one of the best attitudes of all time (not to mention she gives great advice!) and was so excited for me and everything going on here. She was very encouraging and talking to her really made my day! I had just enough time for a quick breakfast before afternoon lecture.

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During afternoon lecture, we continued with our Half Moon dialogue and because we finished with everyone, we got out 2 hours early! Huge win. The weather was crummy so I decided to just stay in my room and rest. I checked work emails, started this post (this takes forever…) and watched Netflix. Maryla had bought a Bikram bra but did not like how it fit so I offered to buy it from her but instead, ended up trading her 3 of my bras that did not fit anymore. Everybody wins!

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My evening class with Bikram was fantastic. The room was warmer than usual and I noticed that my postures are all quickly improving, especially the floor series (my Locust is higher than I have ever gotten it). I can almost do the advanced Separate Leg Stretching, too. I need to try it one day after class once we are back in the hot room. My Triangle is also significantly stronger. Bikram told us once that it is easy to build flexibility when you are already strong but it is not as easy to build strength if you are already flexible. Thank goodness I am already strong (leg strength only… my upper body strength is laughable)! Bikram had us laughing harder than ever today and ran around the room at one point and fixing their Locust. He is such a character and classes are so enjoyable. I usually do not like when classes are not dialogue driven but when he deviates, it is great. He frequently reminds us that he does not teach to the dialogue and instead teaches with corrections and advice because we already know the dialogue and it is the other stuff we will need to know as teachers. That is very true and it has been very helpful. We are, after all, learning to be teachers!

I studied in the lobby (have I mentioned that I love the lobby?) after another delicious dinner. Maryla, Lidia, and I walked around before evening lecture and tried to get some stretches in before we had to sit for hours on end in the uncomfortable lecture chairs.

Bikram lectures for a little bit but then we watched 3 episodes of a TV show (“Mahabharat”). I thought I would hate it and even though I was distracted by the horrible quality and atrocious set design, I totally loved it. People were sleeping but I just had to know what was going to happen next and did not want to miss anything. Each episode was a cliff hanger even though Bikram had already told us the whole story (with no spoiler alerts, mind you). We have 6 more episodes to watch of it (there are more than 9 but he only has us watch a few) and I cannot wait until we resume it again. I know that may sound sarcastic but I genuinely mean it. It was a late night and I was in bed after 1am. New late night record.

PS – My hips were a whole new level of sore. Thank you, Triangle pose.

Friday 9/29/17 – Day 13
My throat still hurt but I had a good class, taught by Carla. My brain was not functioning but by Standing Head to Knee I forced my brain to focus and just do the yoga. Bikram tells us “let my brain be your brain” which means the instructor should be doing all the thinking for the students which allows the student the freedom to ONLY have to LISTEN. So, I let Carla’s brain be my brain and let my body just do what it knows how to do. Success. Carla was a great teacher and killed us with compassion and a smile. I love that we get different teachers every morning so we can constantly learn different teaching styles and hear different advice. For example, Carla pointed out that only 1 posture has the word “I” in it proving that the class is not about the instructor, it is about the student. She reminded us to not use “I” in class and not make it about us. Good advice! We have to be selfless teachers, not egocentric teachers. Her Savasana song was “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles and man, that was rough. First of all, that song is always emotional for me for some reason deep down in my subconscious. Secondly, I do not know why but when I was landing in Mexico City 13 days ago, I got to watch the sunrise from the plane and that song randomly popped into my head. As you already know, being in Mexico City already brought back emotions but then to have that song pop up for whatever reason really compounded the emotion. Hearing it in class… oy. Good choice, Carla.

We learned a valuable lesson after class – the hotel does not belong to us! The place definitely filled up and our breakfast area was incredibly crowded. Weekenders! The hotel even had the pool waterfalls on and everything – something we do not usually get the pleasure of enjoying. I ate quickly at a crowded table and then washed my yoga clothes in our room before heading to study in the lobby. I had been writing the dialogue out by memory in the days before and as I went to compare what I wrote with the dialogue, I discovered so many inconsistencies. The dialogue in the PDF I was emailed is different than the dialogue in the laminated book I bought here (which is also different than the dialogue in the same laminated book other people bought here). AH! They are minor differences but that sure does make it tough!

The lecture room was freezing in the afternoon. Bikram spoke for quite awhile, summarizing the last night’s TV show and then discussing the heart and lungs (I quite enjoyed that part of it – despite my weak stomach). He has a way of making those topics interesting despite being a little long winded. He sure makes his point but it works because by the end of it, we all get it. We got to see his sassy side for the first time, too, which was a little intimidating!

Noteworthy lecture quotes:

  • If somebody can steal your peace, you are a loser.
  • Anything that works, is right.
  • You have a problem? Great. Pay $10, stand on the line, look in the mirror, and lock the fucking knee.  *my favorite*
  • ‘They’ say? Who is ‘they?’ What do you say? Listen to your heart.
  • Yoga is the slowest therapy ever. Why? Because it lasts forever.

We had a little time before the evening class so I continued the blog and enjoyed some snacks. I have got to stop eating snacks all the time!

I sat in the 3rd row for the first time during the evening class so that others would be forced to move to the front rows. That ended up working out well for me because before class, Manali was making people switch it up for that exact reason. I would rather voluntarily move around than be told to! Fridays are “performance day” and despite my small headache from what I later attributed to my too-tight hair tie, I think I did alright. Bikram was super funny again but got a little long winded and distracted during the floor series. Even he realized he was not totally focused and called himself out on it. The man is self-realized! He jokingly told us to just do whatever we wanted to which was tempting but I think we all knew better. He showed his intimidating side again when he temporarily kicked someone out of class for being too early on a couple of postures – yikes.

Several of us went swimming in the ocean after class. The big waves and nice weather was the perfect way to wind down. The other hotel guests sent several strange looks our way but who could blame them? How would you react if you saw a large group of people wearing hotel robes and carrying yoga mats strolling around the property and then stripping down into our barely-there yoga clothes to go for a swim? 

Dinner was not nearly as crowded as breakfast, thankfully, and I enjoyed the best dessert they have had so far. I have a sweet tooth problem! Please help.

I rested in the room before the evening lecture and even video chatted with Andrew for a little bit (the guy who had to go home last week). It was good to see him feeling better! We all miss him here.

There was no evening lecture and instead, Manali and the staff talked to us about the dialogue and held a Q&A session for us. I wish the answer to every question had been the Teacher Training motto, “Trust the process” so that the night would have ended earlier, but it was a good lesson in patience. I liked hearing what the staff had to say about the dialogue and the advice they provided but my patience was surely tested with the Q&A. Part of this process is learning to let go: others to let go of the unknown and me letting go of trying to control others. We all have a long way to go! Luckily, it was still an early night and I was in bed by midnight.

Saturday 9/30/17 – Day 14
Saturday kicked off with my worst class of the entire 2 weeks of my time here, by a million miles. My throat was still hurting and for the first time, I skipped eating a protein bar before class. My whole body hurt. The ballroom was not as hot as it had been. Everything was wrong! I did not quit but it took everything in me to hold the postures without falling out and trust me, I was not successful. It was so frustrating because the staff takes every class with us and watches us from the back row and I hate not being able to prove I can do it, not that they necessarily need me to prove anything. I tried to get in my zone but never really made it there. It turned out that a lot of people had the same issue. Were we all overwhelmingly sore? Were we all mentally checked out because it was the last class of the week? Was the room too cold? Was something going on? As a group, it was very evident we all struggled but at least we struggled together! Thankfully, it was our last class in that place and we go back to the hot room Monday. We all miss it so much. Hopefully, if we can make so much improvement in 1 week in a cold/warm room, we will be beyond great in the hot room!

I had the fastest breakfast of all time and headed back up to the room to rest. I felt like a zombie and just wanted to lay down. It would have been smart to take a nap but of course I did not. Instead, I worked on the blog, watched Netflix, and went through my work emails. I definitely felt more tired than ever, possibly because I knew the week was over and I did not need the energy or possibly because I had no energy coming out of class. Maybe both.

I caught the 2nd shuttle to Walmart at 1:30pm and was so excited to finally be out. I made a list of things I needed as the week went on and was happy to be able to go get them. Not being able to go get something on my own as I think/need it is a new feeling and to be honest, I do not really care for it! I am glad we get the opportunity though on the weekends; better than nothing. I did not buy any snacks this time as I still have plenty of my own plus I still have the ones Andrew left me. The fewer snacks I buy, the fewer snacks I eat! I mostly bought notebooks and pens for our upcoming posture clinics and anatomy classes (and cough drops to sooth the sore throat, even though I do not have a cough). Maryla and I had ice cream from McDonald’s… we are weak.

The weather had been a little crummy all week but the sun decided to show itself today and despite the crowded pools and beach, Maryla, Lidia, and I found a nice spot and spent the afternoon studying and snacking on chips and guacamole. Well, they studied and I transferred my notes into my new journals and got everything organized for the week. My brain was too tired to study so it would not have been beneficial. Studying can wait until Sunday! Of course, we took yoga pictures. Yogis doing yoga shenanigans! Shocking. I joke about getting fat with all the snacks and buffets but honestly, I have never felt stronger or more in shape in my life. My baby abs are still alive!

We had an early dinner and after a short walk on the beach (cut short by the insane mosquitoes), all headed to our rooms by 8pm.

I had every intention of going to bed early but shockingly, did not. I wrote most of this blog post while watching Netflix. It was not very eventful but exactly what I needed to relax and decompress from the week. Unfortunately, I tossed and turned until around 1am so did not sleep well.

Sunday 10/1/17 – Day 15
I woke up around 10am to the sound of who-knows-what coming from who-knows-where! There was a LOUD announcer-type guy speaking in Spanish followed by random songs that were blaring on and off. My room is over the mezzanine which has conference rooms on it (and there was a Martial Arts competition this weekend in there) so I think that is where it was all coming from but seesh, talk about a wake up call. It was nice to sleep without an alarm though, even if it was not much sleep. My throat huts more than it has the past few days, too. I hope that goes away before the week starts.

Even though I did not want to get out of bed, I went down for breakfast at 10:30am to eat with everyone else before going back to my room. The sun was hiding and the weather was crummy so my desire to be outside was very low. The sun came up later though so I joined Kiley and Tayrn outside by the pool to study for a few hours. We did “round robin” studying which was a lot more difficult than I expected! 

On another note, today is the 11 month mark since starting my yoga challenge last year. I should be at the 330 mark but I am just one class shy still at 329. Luckily, being at training and doing 11 classes a week will catch me up!

11 month stats:

  • 241 90-min Bikram
  • 41 60-min Bikram
  • 22 Inferno Hot Pilates
  • 21 Yin
  • 4 Misc (other flow classes, etc.)

The goal is still to do enough classes to wipe out the non-90-min Bikram classes but that will not happen until early January. Once that happens, I will be able to say I did 365 90-min Bikram classes in 365 days!

Week Summary
I love this experience. It has easily been one of the best decisions of my life and I am so glad that everything came together to make it possible. I am even more thankful to everyone who has helped and supported me from back home! Even Katy said I sounded happier than I have in months. I hope that I still feel this way as the weeks go on and we get more exhausted. It is tough to describe but even though the days are paced so slowly sometimes, they go by quickly. I am bad at slowing down and I think this has helped me learn to embrace that speed, though. I have the entire standing series memorized already (plus left side dialogue) and we have not even started posture clinics yet so that helps keep a low stress level. My body is holding up pretty well, too. I tried to command myself to not get sick and have managed to dodge anything serious. If my throat is the only thing bothering me, I would consider that a win. So many people have had stomach issues and, knock on wood, I have managed to dodge that as well. Papaya is a lifesaver! Ha. Physically, I am sore some days more than others. I think I already said it but whether I mean to or not, I think I have just pushed myself harder than I ever have. They told us that old injuries will start to come out through this process so they can get fixed properly and I believe it! The crazy thing is, yoga is what is causing me to be sore/hurt but yoga is the only thing my body craves to fix it! It is a viscous cycle but I would not want it any other way. For all my friends and family at home (especially those at the studio), be prepared… I am coming back to force you all into the hot room to get all of your problems fixed! No more shortcuts in classes! You will lock the knee and you will thank me for it! 🙂

Love and miss y’all! You can Facebook call me anytime.

Wish me luck for week 3!

Until next time,

Jillian