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.
- “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…
- “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.
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.
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!
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!
- “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!
- “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.
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!
- “When the guy stands on the podium, all the girls are happy.” -Alzbeta (and so true)
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.
- 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.
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!
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.
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,
Bonus Mini Tour
My view waking up at 7:30am:
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!