We have finished 75 classes in 7 weeks! That is such a crazy thing to think about. I cannot believe we have been here 7 weeks and have done so much. Sometimes it feels like we just got here, sometimes it feels like we have been here for so much longer. The days can drag on but the week always go by fast. Week 7 was a whole new experience for me. Mentally, I did so much better than I had the previous week but physically, I was a mess. My body experienced a whole new realm of sore/pain/discomfort but not necessarily in a bad way. Sometimes your body has to break in order to rebuild and I just hope that is what happened to me this week and that I will start the rebuilding process during week 8!
A special message about last week’s blog:
Apparently, my Week 6 blog post was a hot, controversial topic at the beginning of this week. Several people expressed directly to me that I was brave to write it, that they agreed with me, that they were worried I would get in trouble for it, etc. Thank you! Several people (I do not know who and it does not matter) expressed (not to me) that I should not have written it, that it was out of line, that it was inappropriate, etc. I cannot please everyone but I make a very conscious effort when writing my blogs to not insult individuals, including Birkam, or include/comment on gossip. I can definitely see how I was walking the line with my entry, and I respect everyone’s opinions about what I said, but I only stated facts about what happened and then my opinion/feelings about those facts. I re-wrote several parts of last week’s post over and over again before publishing it to be sure I was not saying anything inappropriate but writing is always going to be subjected to criticism and evaluation. That is okay with me. I stand by what I wrote, especially because it sounded like a lot of people agreed with me and had been feeling the same way without knowing how to express it. They way I saw it, the worst “they” (the staff, etc.) could do was ask me to take it down. Thank you, Ali, for being my defense attorney. Send me an invoice!
Also, last week I mentioned that Bikram explained why he does not like tattoos but I never communicated his reasoning. You would think it would be the common “you do not put a bumper sticker on a Porsche” perspective but he took a different approach. He asked us, “If your friend asks you to watch their house, would you go take a shit on their couch?” Obviously, we answered no and he asked why. We said, “Because it is not ours.” His response? “Exactly. Your body is not yours.” He said there was a longer explanation but that was all he had time for. I kind of get but there are other times where he says it is our mind and our body so it was a little confusing. Hopefully his longer explanation will clear it all up. Now we know.
Monday 10/30/17 – Day 44
I did not sleep well. At all. I woke up several times and was awake between 3:30 and 5am, just tossing and turning. I tried to recite dialogue to put me back to sleep but it was not working. I blame the time change. Eventually I fell back asleep though and even slept through my first alarm. Thank you, back up alarms (and Leah’s!).
I missed the sunrise but saw beautiful photos of it (so many people posted pictures). I stole this one from Abigail!
It was colder out in the morning than it had been and I was still a little sore but feeling much better compared to last week. There was a little mat-placement confusion before the morning class and I ended up moving people’s mats around to fix it. Teamwork makes the dream work. Manali led the class and it was a little long but I did well. The room was not hot/borderline cold; if I am not dripping sweat by Eagle pose, it is not hot enough! Manali kept telling us to smile and was being particular about our palms not touching before the side-stepping postures because the dialogue does not say “palms together.” Look, she was not wrong so it was a valid remark but how have we made it 7 weeks without anyone ever making a comment about it? Also, the dialogue also does not say to put our arms back over our head as we step back to the left for those same postures but we are told to do that. The dialogue also does not say to step on our heels for Standing Separate Leg Stretching so… I am fine with her pointing out that our palms should not touch but we should not be picking and choosing which parts of the dialogue to enforce and not enforce. Such is life. Manali always tries to get us to laugh in class too and she was having us say “hee haw” as we did our sit up and made her mistake of saying “pleasure” instead of “pressure” into a joke.
After class, I was in the shower and kept hearing knocking on the door. I knew it was not Leah because she was at Demo Team practice and I knew it was not housekeeping because they would just let themselves in so I was very confused. After I got out, I answered the door and it was the hotel maintenance. He started saying something in Spanish to me and I said, “No hablo Espanol” which is one of the few things I know in Spanish. He kept going though and finally I said “I have no idea what you are saying.” I was not about to let him in though because I was in a towel and needed to get ready for my day. He made a motion that someone would call me and a few minutes later, the room phone rang. The person on the other end explained to me that maintenance needed to get in to fix something in the bathroom and I said that was fine, but I needed 15 minutes to get dressed and ready and they could come in afterward. She said okay and problem solved. By that point, I was annoyed because the guy had knocked 4 different times!
I had breakfast with Ali and Diana. Ali always picks on me and even though he had not read my blog post, had thanked me for his shout out. The 3 of us had a good chat about all sorts of things going on at training and tried to comfort Diana because she was going through a tough time. Diana has the most energy out of all of us and has made an effort to literally be friends with everyone here, and I mean everyone. She knows everyone at the hotel and all of the people that help run training and actively says hello to everyone, by name, every day. It is impressive! I felt bad for the little bit of drama she was going through. She, of all people, does not deserve that. Ali also one-upped us all by turning his omelet into an egg sandwich (he requested that I include that on this entry!). Denise joined us after she got out of Demo Team practice and we talked about my blog a little. I completely understood where she was coming from and truly appreciated her concern for me (and that she said it to me!). She was the first person who pointed out to me that I was near and/or at the metaphorical line so after our chat, even I had to go back and re-read what I wrote to be sure I did not go too far.
It was a long breakfast because I did not have to go study dialogue for once and that was nice! I rested in my room doing a whole lot of nothing until it was time for posture clinic.
Jolinda and Axry ran our posture clinic and we officially all finished delivering dialogue. Jolinda always gives the best advice and customized feedback per person so I appreciated that. We celebrated being finished with a 1 minute dance party because we were so happy to be finished. I am so proud of everyone and all of their hard word! During our break, we discussed what we should do for our Halloween costumes for Tuesday night’s class. Manali had told us in the morning that we could dress up – something we had all discussed but wished we had known we were allowed to do before the weekend so we could have gone to Walmart to get supplies for a costume! Everything here is last minute.
Because we had finished dialogue but they have to keep us until 4pm, they started calling on us to deliver old postures. I got picked first and had to do Triangle. I did right and left side dialogue and probably got 65-70% of it which was not bad for having zero time to look or even think about it. Even if they did not give me a chance to read over the dialogue, if I had more than 30 seconds to think about it, I would have gotten it all. I know Triangle! Grr. But, they said I did well. Alicia had to do both sets of Standing Head to Knee, Veronica did one set of Awkward pose in Italian (awesome), Fernando did one set of Standing Bow Pulling pose in Spanish, and Tina did one set of Eagle pose.
After clinic, Leah and I… ate too many chips! Shocking! We headed to the evening class with Bikram. The room was a little warmer than it was in the morning but I still did not think it was very hot. I put my mat right next to the podium and I could feel the air that comes from behind the podium (to keep Bikram cool) so that could have been why, though. I officially got yelled at for the first time, too. Before, I had been called out for little things but this time, he was straight pissed off at me. That is what I get for being by the podium! I had fallen out of Balancing Stick and he looked over right as I was getting back into it and yelled at me for starting late, not being with the group, holding everyone up, etc. Nevermind that he did not see me start ON TIME and then FALL OUT but whatever. I just looked up and starred at him. Not much you can really do. He corrected my Triangle (get my arms back more) and also nicely tried to get me to do namaskar during Tree pose. Could have been worse. He seemed to be in a bad mood though (he told us later during evening lecture that a friend from his childhood had passed away that day) and at one point kicked Alonso out. Alonso can be disruptive sometimes but he was practicing next to me and was actually NOT being disruptive so it was odd that he was kicked out. The back row was full of visiting teachers and I noticed that most of them, including Manali and our normal staff, were putting their palms together during the side-stepping postures… the same thing we were told NOT to do earlier that morning. Suspicious!
- Savasana is the natural irrigation of the circulatory system with the help of the respiratory system. Bikram yoga is the only yoga that utilizes savasanas during class.
Because of the time change, it was so dark after class. No more ocean swims and sunsets for us! At least we got to enjoy them for 43 days! We will just have to try to go to the ocean more after the morning classes. Major loss though.
Jerome, my teacher from home, sent me a photo of my name on the studio schedule! Very cool and surreal.
I had a long dinner (there was pizza, too!) because not having to study dialogue means we could take our time a little bit more. I rested in the room, watched Netflix, and started this blog until the evening lecture.
The evening lecture was more funny, entertaining, and relevant than the previous week’s. He was easy to follow and making more sense despite some of it being a little repetitive from a lecture from Week 1 or 2. Bikram tends to take a looooong, roundabout way to explain things but it eventually all comes together. He did tell us that right now he is “explaining the parts” of a car and that during the 9th week he will “assemble” the car for us. Whew. It sounded like we were going to have some long days and nights for the rest of our time here, though.
He bounced around the stage, literally, and then bounced right off of it before saying, “Holy shit my knees hurt, oh fuck.” Bouncing off a stage like that will do that to you! It sure was impressive though. The man bounced sideways, backwards, every which direction. I do not think any of us would be able to do that! We were out around 12:15am.
- “I know it is hard and challenging but if it wasn’t, it wouldn’t be worth it.” -Michele, visiting teacher/studio owner
- “Having doesn’t mean anything if you don’t know how to use it.” -Bikram, he says this to us 10x daily… I just do not remember if I have included it or not
- “Take them on a rollercoaster. Not around Disneyland, around the fucking globe!” -Bikram, when telling us how to teach a class
- “You are you. You be you.” -Bikram, when telling us how to teach a class
Tuesday 10/31/17 – Day 45
I was back to being level 10 sore, mostly on my upper back and on the left side. I cannot wait until my body goes back to feeling ‘normal’ one day! Michele, a visiting teacher/studio owner, led the morning class. My body hurt and I struggled with the balancing series but I managed. Her positive attitude and passion for this yoga was incredibly apparent and her energy during the floor series was astounding. She really gave us her all. With that said, I think I would have preferred her class significantly more if it was outside of this Teacher Training bubble. She had a lot of advice/tips and tricks which I usually enjoy but at this point in week 7, I just wanted a standard class. I felt like postures were being held extremely long but class only ran over by a few minutes so maybe that was just my mind being distracted and my body hurting. I heard mixed reviews on the class: some loved it, some hated it, some were in the middle. Typical. That just goes to show you, you cannot please everyone. I truly like her as a human being so I really wanted to enjoy class more.
Polina’s husband joined us for class, too. Our ‘visitor’ line in the room has been growing every class! It was his first time doing Bikram yoga and he struggled with English (they are from Russia) so I know he was having a tough time following along. He was giving it his best effort and I think we all felt for him. Michele tried to help him along but took the opportunity as a teaching moment: if someone is struggling, only correct them a few times before just letting them ‘have their experience’ in class.
Manali told us they would give us extra Walmart shuttles after class and before posture clinic so we could prepare for Halloween. Because class ran long, we had only about a half hour to shower and get ready for the first shuttle! I grabbed a protein bar for breakfast and tried to get money out of the ATM but of course both were not dispensing cash. Luckily, I still had a few pesos. Some people went only to get groceries but others were all on a Halloween mission. The shuttle was packed and we made jokes about it taking us to the airport instead of Walmart. Wishful thinking. When we got to Walmart, we immediately had to start thinking of ways to get creative because the Christmas display was out! The limited amount of Halloween stuff they had left was hiding in another area of the store so I wanted to avoid it as to not have duplicate costumes with people. I was thinking about being a scarecrow (I have short overalls with me) but could not find any hay/straw. I was thinking about being a Greek goddess and wearing a toga and found some really cool gold rope/ribbon in the Christmas section. We cannot wear green so the idea of a flower crown had to be scratched. As Alicia and I walked around the store, we saw a small stack of masks in the kids’ toy section and I fell in love with the Batman one! How much easier would it be to just throw on a mask instead of messing with a toga?! Done and done. Plus, I was confident that people would think to go look in the toy section and that I would be the only Batman. Lidia asked me to bring her back something simple but there was literally nothing left by the time our Bikram hurricane went through. Vinny, however, grabbed some devil ears because he wanted the face paint that came with them and he so generously donated them to me (to give to Lidia). Bonus, they lit up! Thanks, Vinny. I ate a quick breakfast (why???) when we got back.
Taryn french braided my hair in pig tails before our final posture clinic! My group started off with just Karla but eventually grew to include Dash and Brad (visiting teachers). Karla called me up to deliver Praynama Breathing, something we do not have to officially receive sign off on. That was interesting because I had not see the dialogue for it yet. I just went with what I knew from all of my classes and I did not too terrible. Karla was out to make a point: we need to study that one on our own! She also had people do the second sets of Awkward and Standing Head to Knee poses because those have extra parts as well. We then had a little Q&A session which was interesting. There were a lot of questions, mostly odd ones. The general vibe I got was that people were just very, very worried and nervous about their first class. I was getting frustrated though because Karla would either answer their question or tell us that Bikram would answer it for us during his posture clinics but people were just not listening and asking random things. I know it was all nervous energy so I was trying to be patient with it. It will all be okay! For everyone.
Dash joined us and we went back to delivering dialogue again. Basically, they would just pick a person and a posture and that person would have to deliver the dialogue for it. The point of the exercise was to see what we remembered and remind us that we need to keep studying. Alonso had fallen asleep during Q&A so he got called on to go first and deliver Cobra. By this point, Brad had joined us. I guess Brad could tell that I was annoyed at Alonso’s delivery and inability to take it seriously and he asked Alonso to do it again so that I would not be upset. I made a sassy remark back that I only halfway regret and that I will not repeat here. He had Alonso do a few other postures, too, and each time he would ask me my thoughts on it. Sigh.
I knew Brad had his eye on me and had a feeling he would call me up to do dialogue (for my 3rd time… some people did not even get called once). Sure enough, he did. He called me the boss of the room and asked me which posture I wanted to do. I told him to just pick anything; I do not know them all perfectly but I know them well enough to survive the exercise (and even if I did not it did not really matter). He chose Awkward Pose (hell yes) and I knew I was going to be fine. I definitely felt like I had to ‘back up’ my attitude and nail it and I mostly did. Brad was impressed and Dash gave me feedback about my inflections and tone. Karla laughed because she knows that has been my feedback the entire time! I did it again and did better so he stopped me before I even got through it all. He said once I got more comfortable, I would be better. I did the one thing I hate and ‘explained’ myself: I said that I practice with inflection and energy but when I get up in the room to do it, it just does not come out that way. He attributed that to nerves and I just let him think it because I know I was not nervous and I know I was not uncomfortable. I think it mostly happens because I know it is not a real situation. When Holly let me teach one time before coming to training, her feedback to me was that I was boring during Half Moon but had warmed up by Eagle and was much better for the rest of it (only up to Triangle). So, I know that when I am on the podium, I will be better. Not perfect… but better. Also, I was thinking about my Halloween costume so I think I was a little distracted.
Anyway, we spent the rest of posture clinic listening to other people do dialogue for random postures. Dash and Brad had good feedback for everyone. I liked them a lot. We were out early so everyone could get ready for Halloween. I decided to be bold and borrow Alicia’s black lipstick which was absolutely terrifying but I think I pulled it off. I am usually not a fan of lipstick because I think it looks weird on me but for a costume, I managed. Alicia had warned me that once I put it on, it was not going to come off so I needed to commit! I put my Batman mask on while I applied it to help make me brave, ha! Leah and I got ready and then Alicia came to help do my eyeliner. I am 28 and cannot do top eyeliner. Adult.
We joined some people in the lobby and took a few pictures before moving to the hot room. We were clearly disturbing some type of Day of the Dead ceremony they were having so I felt bad and tried to usher people along. Everyone looked so great in their costumes – some people committed and got very creative! It was great. We all took photos outside before going into the hot room and taking more photos before class started. I did another think that I hate and asked Tom to scoot his mat over so I could see myself. He replied, “but you are in the 4th row” and I kicked myself. He was right. I believe that when you are in the 4th row, you should just accept that you might not be able to see yourself in the mirror so I felt bad about trying to move him. I was not even thinking! It all worked out though.
Bikram showed up wearing a mask and even taught class in it after a few group pictures with him and the staff. We did class in our costumes and it was funny to watch everyone slowly take a part of their costume off, one by one, as class went on. My costume was simple so it was easy to leave the mask on (and I could breathe in it so it was fine). I left it on the entire class but did take it off for final savasana. Class went by very, very fast! During the savasana before the 1st set of Rabbit, Bikram ‘fell asleep’ (I think he passed out). Those savasnas are supposed to be about 20 seconds long and at first I thought he was just giving us a long break but then I got a little suspicious because he was not calling us out of it but more noticeably, he was not talking. VERY unlike him to not be talking. I heard someone banging on the ground and I looked up and the staff had started calling his name. He woke up, took off his mask, and looked a little disoriented. At first I thought he had been playing a joke on us but he really made it sound like he had no recollection of falling sleep. We think the heat with his mask on was too much. Everyone was really worried, especially his daughter (Laju had gotten back the day before). It was insane. But, we kept going and finished class.
I video chatted with Bailey, Olivia, and Jessica after class so I could see their costumes and be a part of their Halloween. Thank you, Jessica. They were zombie brides (re-purposing their flower girl dresses from a wedding they were in recently) and were so adorable. Olivia just kept saying, “I am a zombie bride” and eating candy. She had no idea what that meant but it was cute that she kept saying it. They told me about their trick or treating and Bailey promised to save me some Skittles.
There was a delicious new entree for dinner: fried fish. It looked like schnitzel at first and I got VERY excited but it was just as good. The entrees and food change every night (with a few core things: rice, beans, etc.) but this was the first new thing we had seen in 7 weeks. I ate two and I was not even upset about it. I also walked around the lobby and took pictures of all of their Day of the Dead displays! They were so pretty, especially lit up at night. I had to take pictures and send them all to John at home because I know how much he loves it all. You are welcome, John!
I rested in the room after. I did not want to study so I watched Netflix and worked on my blog. A few of us wore little costumes to the evening lecture, too. Must keep the Halloween celebration going!
The evening lecture was with Bikram. He promised not to lecture but of course, he did. He said something in another language to someone on staff and Alicia looked at me and said, “What?” as if I would know! We literally laughed about that the rest of the night. After his short talk, we started a movie: Kabhi Kushi Kabhie Gham. It was 3 and a half hours long but starred the same hot actor as the other movies so I was not mad about. None of us were… we all cheered when we saw him on the screen. I actually enjoy the Bollywood movies quite a bit, they are just so long and we watch them at night so it can be tough to stay focused and not get fidgety.
- Misspelled subtitles – crack me up.
- The female stars always have a very squeaky/high pitched voice when they sing. I do not care for that.
- I jumped down the 3 steps after coming back from the bathroom (instead of walking down them like a normal person) and I think I messed up my knee a little bit. It hurt the rest of the movie (and spoiler: the rest of the week). It was not a level 10 pain… probably around a level 3. Either way, ow.
- We are not allowed to lay down during the movie but we ARE allowed to sit on the floor. I did lay down for 2 seconds before I was told to sit up but other people around me were laying down and even sleeping. Gr! I cannot follow the rules if the rules are not consistently enforced! Maybe I am just envious of those people getting away with it… lucky!
We were out at 2am.
Wednesday 11/1/17 – Day 46
As expected, I woke up Wednesday utterly exhausted from our late night. My knee was still feeling odd – not pain, just discomfort.
Brad led our morning class and he was great. I was pretty nervous because someone had told me some negative things about his classes but I really enjoyed it. I was mostly in my own world though so I am not sure if that had any impact. Maybe I liked him and the class so much because I had already developed respect for him because of posture clinic the day before. Either way, it was good. He was very motivating and did not hold us in postures longer than intended. He called me out to lock my top leg in Standing Head to Knee before bringing my elbows down which I already know to do… but was struggling to do. Fair enough. Physically, I did mostly alright and my knee was not too much of a bother. My left side for Standing Bow was brutal, Bow was brutal, and the left side of Locust was brutal.
He spent a lot of time correcting staff and other visiting teachers which was a little odd but everyone needs corrections, trainees or not, because no one is perfect. At one point, he asked where the “Houston Strong” girl was (I was wearing that tank top in posture clinic on Tuesday when he was with our group) and I raised my hand. He said he was glad I was teaching there and that Houston needed me. It was nice to be remembered! Polina’s husband came back for another try and did better. Major props to him for trying again. At the end, he played a song for us and prefaced it with a short story about how someone asked him what yoga teachers do and he decided to write a song. So, what do yoga teachers do? “Smiles on faces.” Mostly true… except when we all want to die in class. BUT, we smile after so that still counts!
- “The posture that hurts the most/is the most difficult is the one your body needs the most.”
I skipped breakfast at Chula Vista and instead had a protein bar in my room and took an hour and 15 minute nap. It was awesome! I was so knocked out that I never heard Leah coming and going.
In the afternoon, we started our posture clinic with Bikram. Finally! Just in time because before lecture, Alicia and I were have an existential crisis and wondering what we were even doing here and how crazy it was that we, ALL OF US, would sign up to do something like this for 9 weeks. In his posture clinics, we are supposed actually learn about the ins and outs of each posture, in detail, AND he lets people come on the stage, one at a time, and do the posture to receive individual corrections. THIS IS WHY WE ARE HERE! Boom.
Bikram showed up wearing a normal track suit but stripped it off and showed us the flashiest matching shirt/shorts outfit I have ever seen. It was blue, sparkly, shiny, and 100% Bikram. The shorts were so short you could see his butt. No words. He lectured a little but then got started with Half Moon. He called people on stage and took volunteers to help correct them. Maryla has been saying for weeks that she needs help with her back bend so when it came time for that, I hollered at her from across the room to get up there! Bikram continued his fixation on Lidia and called her up two different times. Mari demoed Hands to Feet pose and Brad yelled from the back, “a real Japanese ham sandwich!” which was funny for 2 reasons: 1. Mari is Japanese and 2. the dialogue says “from the side, you should look like a Japanese ham sandwich, no gap anywhere.” Alright, maybe you had to be there but we all laughed. Bikram even picked her up while she was folded over and moved her around and she never broke form. It was impressive and I was happy we were finally at this point in the training. I wish we had been doing this all along.
Bikram let us ask questions at any time but it was bizarre and quite frustrating because he answered almost none of them. He would dismiss some by saying that the question was “not a first day question” or reply with “follow the dialogue” which was not even a relevant response (it usually is, but sometimes is not). A lot of our questions were apparently “dumb” and that made us dumb, too. Of course. I asked for advice on what to do if you are always dizzy when you go into your back bend, a problem I have been having a lot while I have been here, and he said, “You have 2 choices, live or die. You having nothing to lose.” Thanks for the tip, I guess? Kirsty asked about her hamstrings and his only response was that hamstrings were not a real thing and then did not answer her question. Okay? Later I learned that he preferred the term ‘thigh bicep’ but even if she used the correct term, he ignored the question. That was a common theme. Deflect, deflect, deflect. How are we supposed to answer questions from our students if he does not answer them for us? What if someone ever asks me how to be less dizzy in back bend? Hmm. They say trust the process and that everything will come together in the end and all make sense for us eventually (may not be until we actually start teaching for months/years) but for him to not answer 9 out of 10 questions was kind of insane. We still learned a lot, in my opinion, but wow.
- “Life is a balance of good and bad. One day it rains, the next day it is sunny. But we don’t cry about the rain. Somebody need rain. Somebody need sun.”
- “Life is compromise, balance, and moderation. We have to adjust ourselves and decide how, with who, and to what extent.”
- “Bikram yoga is the only subject where the object is not the subject: you are the object.”
- “They forget about their pain because the rest of their body hurts like hell.”
- “Pull the ear and the head comes with it.”
- “Ultimate destination of life: satisfaction of living.”
After lecture, Leah and I snacked. Ulesis taught the evening class which was a big surprise to all of us. We were not expecting to see him on the podium and when he walked up, several of the people around me, myself included, made comments about getting ready to hold Half Moon for an hour! It was a 2 hour class and I. Did. Horrible. My head started to hurt as soon as I got into the hot room and it only got worse as the class went on. I was seeing stars the entire time. I still did every posture to the best of my ability but my ability was incredibly limited. It was a disaster. My body would not do anything: I could not kick my foot out in Standing Head to Knee, I could not even see my foot over the top of my head for Standing Bow Pulling. I wanted to cry because everything was so difficult and I was so frustrated and mad and embarrassed. I wanted to just sit down or leave the room. So badly. I was unintentionally moving around so much (falling, mostly) and I felt bad for being disruptive to Kelly, Kim, Tanya, and Anna (the people directly around me). Ulesis left me alone though so he must have been able to tell I was trying my hardest. He, and Bikram, usually only pick on people who are being lazy and I was definitely not being lazy.
My headache never improved. I had a fast and light dinner because I had been feeling like I was gaining weight and even though I say it does not bother me, it does. A lot. I also squeezed in a 20 minute nap before the evening lecture.
On my way to lecture, I saw the Houston Astros (our baseball team) was ahead 5-1 in Game 7 of the World Series. It was the top of the 6th and while I could not watch it, I was constantly refreshing the score. Ali and I were chatting and I told him that I was nervous the game would not finish before lecture started. 2 minutes before lecture started, Ali and I both stood up on opposite sides of the room because we both saw the final score at the same time: Astros won the World Series! It was their first time in franchise history and so exciting, especially because of all the tragedy that Houston had with the floods just a few short months ago. Then, Micael (on staff) came on the microphone and told us that Houston won and I cheered. I am sure the energy in Houston was beyond! I so wish I could have been there and I am not even a big baseball fan! Ha.
The evening lecture was with Michele and Brad. I really enjoyed what they had to say and thought they had great advice. I was mostly happy to have an easy night that ended at a reasonable time.
Michele talked about tips for new teachers (us) and how to be successful when we get out of here.
- Be very patient (stick to the dialogue regardless of how you feel)
- Approach everything with kindness (listen, respect, focus more on context)
- Maintain empathy and compassion (build trust and credibility with students)
She also talked a lot about owning a studio (she owns Bikram Yoga San Jose) and gave advice on how to run a studio, mostly on how to retain new students and get them to come back. Her 4 big points were:
- Consistency (make a decision and stick to it, example: set your class times and do not change them)
- Community (don’t worry about the competition, take care of you and your product; get in touch the type of people in your area and make it easy for them; connect with everyone who comes in the door)
- Connection (connect to all aspects of the business (don’t do everything alone but know what is going on); always evaluate your data such as retention rate, etc.)
- Communication (communicate with the staff and the students; take care of issues before they snowball into drama)
She opened it up for a Q&A session for a little bit before passing it off to Brad. Brad talked about similar stuff but with a different perspective. He used to own a studio in Canada for 11 years and now he travels and acts like the Jon Taffer of yoga studios. He reminded us to keep it simple and stick with 90-min classes using the dialogue, no exception. He talked about how a lot of studios are adding Inferno Hot Pilates classes and his thoughts on that. Our group has a lot of certified IHP instructors (and the studios I go to at home offer IHP classes and I find them to be fun) so his thoughts were very interesting and probably a little controversial. I neither agreed or disagreed with what he said but he did make some good points: 1. It is difficult to tell someone that Bikram is the best thing for you and your body but the turn around and try to convince them to do something different. (Note: I do not think Bikram should be made to SELL IHP classes, but they should be expected to at least not talk badly about it. Different people like different things, and that is okay!) 2. What will they be able to do in 10 years? Bikram or IHP? 3. “You cannot sell the Big Mac and the Whopper in the same place… especially when you do not even like the Whopper.” (Some people do like Whoppers though!)
He also focused a lot on how to work with new students and connect with them to inspire them to come back. I liked this part a lot because as a student, I have seen so many people come into my home studio and take their first class and then I never see them again. I would know, too, because I go every day!
Their lecture really got my mind spinning and thinking a lot about all sorts of things and what kind of teacher I hope to be.
Thursday 11/2/17 – Day 47
I woke up thinking it was Saturday. What a disappointment. Michele taught our morning class and I surprisingly did alright. I enjoyed her class more than Tuesday but even she admitted she can be quite the talker. Class was pretty standard otherwise and exceptionally humid.
It was a beautiful day out but Chula Vista was busy so I ate quickly and headed back to my room. I told myself I would split my free time: blog half of it and go sit by the pool the other half of it. I ended up going through work emails and blogging so I never made it to the pool to enjoy the weather. Oops. Time just flew by and before I knew it, it was time for lecture. The way I saw it though was the more time I spent blogging and doing this during the week, the more free time I would have on the weekend. Give and take.
We continued our posture clinic with Bikram in the afternoon. Manali told us to be ready to get up on stage when Bikram asked for people and Bikram said he would get started quickly but he ended up lecturing a little bit first. As usual. We went through Awkward and Eagle poses. They said to go on stage for corrections if we were good or bad, it did not matter. The problem was that people have some ideas of what postures they want corrections on but for the most part, we do not know what we should go up for. Bikram cannot be bothered to know our names (with the exception of a few people) so he cannot really call on us but Manali and the staff watch us all the time so I felt like it would be better if they just told us to go. I decided to go up on stage and get corrections for Eagle. He twisted my arms and it popped/cracked my shoulders and back and sure enough, I got my damn hands together AND in front of my face. My back/shoulders hurt the rest of the day (and spoiler alert: the rest of the week), but in a good way. It was like they opened up more. I still struggled with getting it right in the hot room but I attribute that to my arms being more slippery. At least I know how to get myself to do it now; I just need to work on it.
For the 2nd part of Awkward pose, the dialogue says, “Imagine I am pulling your hair up to the ceiling.” Julie went to get corrections for the pose and he actually pulled her hair as she sat down. It was insane! But… it freaking worked. She sat down with a perfectly straight spine and did the posture perfectly. Matt also asked a few questions about his knees popping out of socket in the 3rd part of Awkward and he was just so sweet about it. Bikram said popping is good and we should only be worried if we DO NOT pop. That was good news because my body has been popping for weeks now! He also admitted that he did not know the answer to some of our questions: “I do not know. My spirit told me to do it that way. That is why.” Cannot argue with that and I appreciated the honesty.
Other than that, the afternoon lecture was full of dirty, filthy jokes that he somehow felt the need to explain to us afterward. We got it! As bizarre as he can be, he sure is entertaining. I cannot help but laugh and still enjoy his presence. I wish I could explain it in a way that made sense! As much as he loves his flashy outfits and being the center of attention, you can tell how much he loves doing these types of lectures and hands-on corrections. We love it, too. It is why we are here.
- “I don’t care if you live or die as long as the posture is correct. Patient is dead and doctor is proud because he gets paid by Blue Cross.”
Bikram let us out 30 minutes early so we had a full hour before sign-in for the evening class! Leah and I were so excited to have twice as much time to snack on chips and do nothing.
Bikram was back for our evening class. Again, the room was so humid but I did a lot better. Not great still, but better. My whole body was still really hurting but I was trying my best and that is all anyone could ever ask. Class was a standard class and went by fast. Nothing memorable. I have not decided if it is a blessing or not to NOT get called out in class. He seems to always mention the same people over and over again, for good and bad things, and occasionally pick on someone else. It is a bizarre feeling to rarely (or never!) get mentioned. You cannot help but think you are either good enough to not need corrections or bad enough that he does not want to waste his time on you. On days where you know you need help, he does not help. On days where you feel like a yoga goddess and that the hot room is your bitch, he does not recognize you. Again, blessing or not? TBD. Others have expressed having similar feelings so I know I am not alone on that. I definitely do not want to be berated like he does with someone people but little corrections here and there or even a compliment are always nice. I should be careful what I wish for!
Dinner had another new option: bacon wrapped chicken. I wonder what we did to deserve so many new foods this week! I was trying to eat better so I had a salad and avoided the rice and desserts. It did not matter though because the second I got to my room, I started snacking on my bag of marshmallows (which, by the way, I have decided is the food you crave when you are slowly dying because they were all I wanted for nearly 3 weeks) and eventually finished it.
I video chatted with Mom for a little bit and then with Dad and Suzette (and Elliott, obviously). Dad said that whenever we video chat, Elliott licks his hands non-stop but tha Elliott never does it when we are not video chatting. Maybe when he hears my voice he gets excited? I would like to think so. It was good to talk to everyone. Mentally I had been feeling a LOT better than week 6 but physically I had been a lot worse. I was feeling drained and needed to feel normal and at home for a minute. I told my dad about how I could not do a lot of the postures they way I normally could this week and he said “now you are reminded of how new people feel during their first class.” Good point, dad. No wonder people are scared to do this!
I headed out to the evening lecture after our chats. Bikram clearly did not want to lecture because he never showed up and instead, the staff all shared their “Bikram stories” like we had done a few weeks ago. I really enjoyed getting to learn more about them and I wish they had done it sooner in the training! It was easy to relate to all of them, proving how much alike we all are.
Eddie shared first and told us story. It is not my place to go into what he had to say but man, what a life. It was moving, touching, emotional, funny, everything. He was a great story teller! We all stood up and applauded and hollered at him when he was finished. Karla went next and her story was a little shorter but she spent a lot of time telling us to always keep our heart and minds open and to get in touch with ourselves. She reminded us to be present in whatever moment we are in and to always do what you have to do. She echoed something my friend Katy tells me a LOT, “do not resist; if you feel an emotion, then feel it, observe what is happening, do not judge it, and then let it go.” Axry shared after and boy was she cute. She was so real and had us laughing the whole time and helping her with English. I think a lot of people could relate to her story of how yoga helped them grow up and be more responsible. Her little bit of advice was to maintain a balance between our practice, teaching, and the rest of our lives. I know that when I started to REALLY get invested my yoga challenge, I was negating other aspects of my life. Once I start teaching, I will need to make a conscious effort to keep a balance with the many things I have going on. Micael went last and I think I related to him and his story the most. He talked about how mean he always felt he was and how he knew he needed to be more compassionate in situations but did not know how to change or did not care to. He saw his family start getting into Bikram yoga and while he saw their changes, he actively resisted getting involved because of his arrogance and “meanness” (he called himself mean so many times which was crazy because he is probably the nicest/funniest person ever). He said he always believed the negative and was in denial about all sorts of things. SAME. Eventually, he recognized that if he wanted to be able to help people and teach, he needed to change first and he started to soften his edges… through Bikram yoga. He had to let go of whatever he thought he knew before and just have faith. It was like he was speaking directly to me. The craziest thing (but something I truly believe in because of what happened with my friend during the Spring training; I did not recognize him anymore) was that he told us that we will always be a completely different person after training. We will forever think of things as BT and AT (before training and after training). He said that if he had met himself before training, he probably would not have liked the guy. Again, same. I know in my heart that I have changed a lot in the last year with this yoga. A lot. I know I have changed a lot more in the past 7 weeks, too. I cannot describe it but I hope that my friends and family all have noticed it. I am slowly starting to become a lot more proud of myself and not just with my yoga accomplishments, but with everything. A little self worth, check that out!
After everyone shared, Manali talked about karma and how our actions always have a result. Things always come back to us. We do not have the right to hurt other people’s souls or our own soul. We are all too small to understand the things in our lives. We have to mercy through our own happiness.
She had us stand (and by the way, my knees were killing me when I stood – I had to move them around and warm up basically to just stand) and participate in a meditation chant:
Om Om Om
Sarvesham Svastir Bhavatu
Sarvesham Shantir Bhavatu
Sarvesham Poornam Bhavatu
Sarvesham Mangalam Bhavatu
Om, Shanti, Shanti, Shanti
May there be happiness in all
May there be peace in all
May there be completeness in all
May there be success in all
After we did that, she had us sit back down while she did a meditation chant from the Bhagavad Gita. We all closed our eyes as Manali chanted for probably 10-15 minutes (maybe even longer, honestly). It was so amazing. My mind was all over the place but in a good way. I once did EMDR therapy (Google it) and I was told it would feel like you were on a train with random images just passing by quickly. It was and doing this meditation so reminded me of that. Things were just flying through my mind but before I could even react to whatever it was, the next image was already there. Then suddenly I was re-focused on the chant. It was amazing.
We were asked to not talk/get on our phones and just go straight to bed when it was over. Everyone was quiet on the way back but I doubt people stayed that way once back in their rooms. Leah and I definitely talked – we could not help it!
Friday 11/3/17 – Day 48
It took everything in me to get out of bed. If I thought I knew was sore and discomfort was before… I was wrong. Good Lord my body was a mess. My knees were not cooperating. I should start sitting like a normal person in the lecture chairs and stop sitting with my legs up like a contortionist. Usually, I use my giant HydroFlask as a footstool which probably better for my knees.
Micael taught the morning class. I was so happy it was him on our Friday. I know I say this every time but not only does he consistently make us laugh with new jokes and whatnot, his dialogue is so perfect that I can actually recite the dialogue along with him as I practiced. I do not think there has been another teacher I could do that with! It was a tough class on my body but I think it was one of my best ones of the week so I felt a little better about myself. It was also Michele’s birthday and instead of singing to her before class like we had done for others, we sang to her while we held Triangle pose (both sides)! I am not going to lie; it was pretty cool. It gave me goosebumps AND it cut the time we had to hold the pose nearly in half. At some point in class during the floor series, some of the lights went out and someone yelled to the person fixing the switch, “it is the switch that says ‘fan'” and we all laughed. We wish! They turn the fans off for the floor series because our bodies start to cool off naturally and we do not want to cool off TOO much. The logic is there but sometimes you just want a nice breeze.
Since visiting the ocean after the evening class was now off the table, a few of us went to the salt water pool after class. It was so cold it was almost like sitting in an ice bath and that is not a complaint: I loved it. It was what my body needed! The weather was also beautiful so it was nice to soak some of that up before going to breakfast and then to my room to blog and rest for a little bit. The hotel was so crowded again so I wanted to get away from it.
The afternoon lecture was posture clinic with Bikram again. He lectured a little bit and then we started in on on Standing Head to Knee, Standing Bow Pulling, and Balancing Stick. He said so many memorable things about those postures, especially Standing Head to Knee. My favorite was when he said that if you can balance on one leg and put your forehead to your knee, you have a peaceful soul, you create a moment, you have enlightenment in your life. I went up to get corrections for Standing Bow because while I have not gotten very close to locking my top knee very often here, I have at home and I wanted to see if Bikram could help me get it locked since he tends to make things happen. Sure enough, he pulled on my knee and I got VERY close. Not bad for a cold room. Having him hold my left arm and keep me balanced really helped me use my own strength to focus on kicking my leg up so I think that helped a lot. He said I had the flexibility to do it, I just needed to keep at it. Yes, boss. He laughed and said he was mean to me because he was literally yanking my leg up but it did not hurt, it actually felt good. I will get it one day! I did my right leg but afterward I wished I had done my left one since that side of my body had been bothering me all week: maybe him yanking on me would have fixed it.
- “A problem is not a problem unless you try to solve it and if you solve it, it’s not a problem.”
The evening class was with Bikram. With him teaching the afternoon lectures now, we sure were getting a lot of him. Not a bad thing, though! It was a good, standard class. He seemed to be in a mood or not feeling well but still had good energy. He always does. My knees and back were hurting but I did alright considering.
Dinner was great because the hotel had ANOTHER new option: BBQ! Everything was so good, especially the chorizo. I ate too much. They also had a new apple dessert and that was delicious also. How am I supposed to kick-start my diet if they keep feeding us like this? Bikram came by and chatted with our table for a little bit. He joked about giving Tina his shirt and watch and how Fernando does not understand anything he yells at him during class. When he left, Fernando told us that he understands more English than he can speak! He is a smart guy so that did not surprise me. He has spent 7 weeks surrounded by English-speakers full time, he was bound to learn a little bit.
Sara is an opera singer and sang us a song before the evening lecture. She was amazing!
We kind of figured earlier in the day that Bikram was not in the mood to give a lecture and we were right. Instead, we watched random TV clippings of his old interviews on late night shows (like “Marv”) and 60-Minutes. He was the EXACT same back then as he is now. Just, wow. We were all laughing at how scary it was. He has not changed at all. There were a lot of celebrities I did not not recognize but the ones I did really caught me off guard because of how young/good they looked. Most of the interviews were from the 70s and 80s, the most recent being from 2005. It was cool to see all of them but I wish there had been more recent ones. Someone should make a movie on his life or something. Every celebrity in the clips mentioned how they ate less and slept less once they started Bikram yoga, something he tells us all the time (“The best food is no food.”). For the first time, I realized it was true. Since I started doing yoga regularly almost a year ago, my normal 5-6 hours of sleep a night became less awful and I ate less. I barely eat when I am at home… unless a friend invites me over and then I stuff my face like a bear about to go into hibernation. I eat a lot here but this is different: if we do not eat, we die.
We were out at midnight but Leah and I stayed up talking. We had a real, serious discussion about Triangle pose until 1am. We were demoing for each other and everything. Hello, yoga bubble. Then we started laughing that we were even having this discussion at all when we could be sleeping. It is going to suck being at home and not having people to have these conversations with!
Saturday 11/4/17 – Day 49
For some reason, I woke up before my alarm. I started moving around and then Leah got up and I looked at her and said, “Don’t worry, you have more time.” She said, “oh thank God” and hit the pillow again. Then we both laughed for way too long about it. We value every single minute of sleep we are allowed! Ha.
Karla taught the morning class which was perfect because it was her birthday (and class #75 for us). We sang at the beginning of class but when we hit Triangle, we sang again… for both sides. She was trying to keep us focused but we kept singing anyway. It was a good class even though I still felt sore. Again, one of my better ones of the week. She caught me in a lazy moment when I was not putting my forehead all the way on my knee in Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee. Busted. I like Karla’s classes because she keeps the energy high and basically forces us to work hard. We do not have a choice with her! But, she does not kill our bodies or spirits. She reminds us to look in our own eyes in the mirror and to smile if we are struggling.
Chula Vista was packed and they would not let us in so we headed to Tavola for breakfast. I was annoyed because we are promised 2 meal a day as part of our training fee and we should be able to easily access those meals. Tavola was free for us for this one occasion but that was not the point. The hotel should have blocked off tables for the Bikram group or should have set up a buffet for us in one of the conference rooms. We have lived here for 2 months, the least they could do was make it easy for us to eat. Tavola was just as busy but Diana handled it and got us in and gave us her table.
I went back to my room and got my laundry ready to take down at noon. I took Leah’s down too because she was in the make-up class and everyone thought I had 2 bags of my own laundry. Negative, guys.
It was a beautiful day so I headed to the beach with Lidia. Every pool was beyond crowded and most of the beach. We found a quieter spot and I started to study dialogue before I got bored and stopped. I tried. Alicia joined us and we had fun just hanging out, relaxing, getting sun, and talking. We took a dip in the ocean at one point and the water was so much clearer than I had ever seen it before. It felt so nice in the hot weather.
After a few hours, I went to my room and took an epsom salt bath, washed my yoga clothes (I did not send those off with my laundry), and worked on my best friend’s baby shower invitation until it was time to get ready for dinner.
Leah and I met up with Alicia, Kiley, Taryn, Irmina, and Lidia in the lobby for dinner. Everyone looked so nice dressed up. Our reservation at Zibu, a nice restaurant nearby, was for 6pm but Manali was making us leave at 5pm so we got to the restaurant a little too early. It was okay though because it was still nice out and the restaurant had an amazing view for us to enjoy while we waited. We took some pictures and talked until they opened at 6pm.
The restaurant was so beautiful. I loved it. The service was outstanding and the food was even better. It was nice to be out, off property, doing something normal. It felt like we were not at training anymore which was a nice break. We had so many laughs (I promise our drinks were non-alcoholic!) and it was a lovely time. Poor Leah hurt her rib earlier in the week and it hurt for her to laugh! Kiley’s birthday is next Friday so we made it into a mini-birthday celebration for her, too. We ordered way too many desserts (Crunchy Jungle, Sherbet, Chocolate Souffle, Pineapple ice cream cake). We had no idea what the Crunchy Jungle was but the waiter said it was a popular one so we got it anyway. It was ice cream with little crunchy strips on top and it was delicious. He came over and asked if we knew what the crunchy strips were and we had no idea. He said he would tell us after we paid which made me nervous it was going to be something gross! Irmina guessed it correctly though: they were fried carrots. I somehow did not get a picture of the chocolate souffle but it was amazing, too.
When it came time for the bill, Kiley, Taryn, and I took charge. We took the time to split everything: drinks, appetizers, desserts, etc. Taryn told Kiley and I what the total needed to be plus tip and after we split everything then added it back up, we were about 30 pesos off. Pretty close, if you ask me. We all rounded up for our share anyway, anything extra just meant more tip for the staff and they sure did deserve it. It was a fabulous time!
When we got back, there were some tables set up with different goods (jewelry, shoes, clothes, etc.) so we took a look at those. I did not want to spend money so I bailed and went to check out the karaoke event Tom had helped coordinate for us. There were only a few people in there and no one was singing so I left that too and decided to just go to my room. I worked on my blog a little but mostly chatted with Leah. She eventually went to the doctor late at night for her rib; I hope it is not fractured! We were up until around 12:30am.
Sunday 11/5/17 – Day 50
Sleeping without an alarm will forever be one of the top 10 best feelings in the world. I slept until around 9:30am which was more than enough. After being lazy and watching a little Netflix, I made the finishing touches on Kelsey’s baby shower invitation and worked on my blog until about 11:30am. I had breakfast with Lidia in Chula Vista (we were allowed back in there today) and Axry and Dash came to sit and talk to us for a little bit which was nice. I like getting to know the staff more!
I missed the laundry guy at noon (I knew I would forget) but I set an alarm to go pick it up tomorrow when he comes. Ah!
Leah and I hung out in the room and studied. We decided to each take a turn at saying the postures all the way through, starting at Standing Head to Knee, to see what we needed to work on. I went first and did alright. I knew more than I thought I would but it could use some polishing. Luckily I have 2 more weeks to make it happen. Leah took a turn afterward and then decided her brain was not working. Same. It can be so tough to focus sometimes! Her teachers from home arrived for re-certification week so they stopped by before heading out to eat.
I went to the pool around 3pm and hung out with Maryla. No dialogue, just lounging and talking. I do not know why but I ordered chips and guacamole and it was delicious. We hung out there until the pool area had no more sun. It was a peaceful afternoon and I desperately needed the sun so it was nice.
Maryla wanted to go shopping and I did not so I started heading back to my room and saw that some of the chairs on the beach still had sun and I stopped to lounge there. Micaela was there and asked me if my blog was up. She always tells me how much she loves reading it and that makes me feel good to know someone literally waits for it all week and gets excited to read it! It was so much quieter there than anywhere else it seemed! Plus, I could watch our 3rd to last sunset (we do not get to see them anymore during the week so it was only tonight, next Saturday, and next Sunday; the last weekend here is graduation and we will miss it then, too). I was so relaxed that I fell asleep for a little bit. Oops. Angie, Michaela, and I went to the water to take some pictures and my phone died, of course. We ran into Denise down there and we all soaked up the view until it was gone. Angie took some photos for me though for my picture-of-the-day.
A lot of the group went downtown and then on a ‘cruise’ today but I opted to not go. I have skipped those types of outings so far (they did the zip line one of the first few weeks and a city-tour another). I like the idea of going and doing something different but I mostly do not want to spend the money or be gone for so long. I would prefer to rest and keep a low profile on the weekends since we do so much during the week. Plus, this was our 2nd to last real weekend here so I was okay with lounging around at the resort. I was surprised to see so many people stick around and stay here, though. It was a nice, quiet day!
Once the sun was gone, I went to my room, cleaned up, and finished this post. I hung out and did a whole lot of nothing until dinner time. Leah and I had dinner with her teachers from home. They were really cool and I liked talking to them. It was nice to have new people around. We have a lot (around 50) extra teachers coming this week for re-certification so it should be an interesting week. I like the idea of new faces but not the idea of a crowded hot room and Chula Vista!
As I said at the beginning, mentally I did so much better this week but physically, I did so much worse. My back hurt and was going through the most bizarre feelings I have ever felt. I would like to think that it is because I am getting stronger but who knows. I know my back/shoulders cracked when Bikram corrected my Eagle but it had already been bothering me before that. His correction definitely did not make it feel better but I think it was necessary for me to start doing Eagle correctly. My knees were hurting and my right glute was so bad at the end of the week and I think that was because of Bikram’s correction on Standing Bow. Other people who had him correct their Standing Bow mentioned having the same soreness. I do not remember which teacher told us this but someone had mentioned earlier in the training that part of the reason we do so much yoga is so that we can experience all sorts of pains/aches and then when we teach, we can relate to our students more. I am definitely understanding that concept more and more.
I still do not feel incredibly homesick but being gone for a ‘holiday’ was a little more tough. I hated missing Halloween with my friends and family. Every year, my friend Amber throws a fun Halloween party and I love going to that. My best friends Kelsey, John, and I carve pumpkins, too. I love watching my nieces dress up and go trick-or-treating! It was tough missing all of that but I am glad we did something here to celebrate a little. And I am so thankful my sister video chatted me to see the girls pass out candy and whatnot. It was nice to feel like I was a part of it and made it a little easier.
Everyone told me before coming here that you are going to reach a point where you never want to leave. I cannot say that I have reached that point yet. I fully recognize that it is coming to an end and I know I will be sad to leave and that I will miss a lot of people and things about our little yoga bubble… but I also am looking forward to going home. Going home scares me too, though. It will be a difficult transition going back to the ‘real world’ with my responsibilities, job, schedule, etc. but I know it will be okay. It always is. I just do not want to lose the feelings and self worth I have developed here.
Bikram talked about the importance of Savasana and why we do it. He talked about how Bikram yoga is the only yoga that utilizes Savasana as much as we do. No other yoga uses it like us! Anyway, all that to say that I love the way he defines/explains Savasana. It is so catch: A natural irrigation of the circulatory system with the help of the respiratory system.
Lastly, tomorrow (Monday, November 6) will mark the completion of my 1-Year Yoga Challenge! Happy yoga-versary to me! I walked into my studio a year ago after taking a 4 month break (and only doing yoga 5-6 times a month for the 6 months prior to that break) with zero intention of doing a challenge. Zero. Before I knew it, I had completed a 30-Day Challenge: 30 classes in 30 days. That snowballed into 300 days in a row and then suddenly I was at training in Mexico getting certified. Now, I am almost a certified Bikram Yoga instructor and have completed over 365 classes in 365 days. It is so amazing how life can take you to places where you least expect it. If you had asked me a year ago where I would be today, I would have never, EVER imagined this. I sometimes do not even recognize myself! Who am I?
365 Day Yoga Challenge Breakdown (as of end-of-day Monday, 11/6/17):
- 298 90-min Bikram Yoga
- 41 60-min Bikram Yoga (Have I mentioned how much I hate that I did these? I mean, they are better than nothing and sometimes all my schedule had time for but after being here, I feel so strongly against them! AH! Bikram always says, “If you could get all the same benefits in 60 minutes, why would I have made it 90? Do you think I am stupid?” Touche.)
- 22 Inferno Hot Pilates
- 21 Yin Yoga
- 4 Other (classical pilates, baptise flow, etc.)
386 yoga classes in 365 days. What?! I wish I could say it was 365 days of only Bikram yoga but it is not. I plan to keep going with the challenge until it only consists of 90-min Bikram classes though so stay tuned! Maybe I will hit that target by the end of the year.
Until next time,