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