Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Week Two: Highs and Lows and Epic Jumping Shots

 Steve and Juicy (and Pepper!) arrived last night and we all went out to dinner.  Good times!

Not quite as much interesting stuff happened last week, hence I'm late in my weekly updating!  I'm really grateful for my readership and your lovely comments online and off.  I hope I can continue to keep y'all entertained!

But first, a quick note: so I was telling my Mom on the phone this afternoon as the car wash guys finally scrubbed the bug mortuary off the front of my car from my drive down from SF (seriously, was it a high pollen time or something? because that was GROSS) that I'm starting to feel very self-involved.  I spend a little too much time thinking about ME - how I'm feeling, how I'm doing, what I'm eating, how much water I'm drinking, what does what I'm thinking or how I'm reacting at any given time say about ME!?  It's a weird state of mind to be in, for sure.  I'm lucky to have this introspective time, and it'll make me a better, more empathetic teacher, but still!

So are you ready to hear all about ME and MY week!?...Week two started off with a bang when the SF ladies lined up to deliver our Half Moon.  We were preceded by four girls who knew their dialogue, but lacked variety and enthusiasm.  Bikram said (and I quote, of course): "What happened? Did you have shit weekend? Why is everyone boring today?"  Then Kelly took the stage ... who I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, was anything but boring! .... 

And she NAILED it.  The crowd started whooping and hollering before she was even halfway through.  The whole lethargic post-weekend energy of the room was transformed.  When she finished ("and push and PUSH and PUSH and PUSH!"), everyone erupted into raucous applause and Bikram leapt up, grabbed his hat, threw it in the air, and yelled "WOO!  THAT is how you teach Bikram yoga!"  

Especially after the physical struggles Kelly had overcome the week before, it was such a triumph.  Then I got to deliver my dialogue in the afterglow of Kelly's success (and I'm not boring either, if I do say so myself), so Bikram said "what are they feeding you in San Francisco? Are they giving away free food?" And then he said "Very good," so I know whatever that means, it's good.  We're well fed?

Angie and Victoria atop Runyon canyon.  I'm interspersing these photos to spice up this blog post.

Speaking of fed, after the first few days of week two the koolaid left my system and I was getting a little fed up.  I was really tired of listening to half moon.   Yes, it was cool to see the wide variety of people who were here, and their styles of dialogue delivery (at one point the three demonstrators lined up were a friendly older fellow named Tom from Alaska who had been a commercial fisherman for 20 years; a hipster dude with a jewfro from Williamsburg NYC; and a girl from China - and the woman delivering dialogue was from London).  But by the 350th delivery of the same 2 minutes (and the closer we got to the end, the less people were up to snuff) I was SO BORED.  

Thursday morning I finally had a bad class.  It was an Emmy class, a senior teacher whom I absolutely adore.  She's 86 years old - EIGHTY SIX YEARS OLD!  She doesn't stand on the podium but walks around the class, so you never know when she's going to start directing her corrections towards you and you stay very focused and present.  And she is one tough eighty six year old cookie (who, incidentally, looks maybe in her mid-60s, and legend has it she can still put both legs behind her head).

But alas, I ran completely out of steam halfway through class and had to sit out half the floor series, lying on my damp towel feeling dehydrated, overheated, hungry, exhausted, and pissed off.  Luckily I only spent about five minutes wallowing in self-pity before I instead spent my I-can't-move time engaging in furious long-term planning - figuring out how I can better fuel my morning classes, for example. 

Then Thursday night, one of the main guys running the training, Jim Kallett from San Diego, gave a truly inspiring lecture.  He reminded me why I was (and gave me new reasons to be) excited to become a TEACHER.  He helped contextualize what we were all going through in our own ways these first two weeks.  By struggling in that hot room, we are reminded what it is like to be a new student - so that we can have compassion for our future students.

Me and Victoria, also on Runyon Canyon. Hah, you were getting bored but you're not anymore, am I right?

There was so much in the six pages of notes I took on this lecture that if I shared it all you'd get SO bored.  I think the important part was that it happened at just the right time.  For example, Jim told us that "every yoga class is an accumulation of every class you've ever done...the only bad class is the one you don't do.  So just listen carefully, don't give up, and do the best you can."  Bad class Thursday morning? Psh!

Then Lynn Whitlow, the former owner of the Funky Door franchise in San Francisco who is now running a studio in Petaluma, spoke on Friday and I was officially swimming in the koolaid once again.  Her lecture was full of practical, humorous, no nonsense advice (for example: "as a teacher, you practice how you want your students to practice.").  I went straight from "why am I am here" right back to "I'm so glad I'm here!" in the space of two days.  Wacky.

So by the time we were heading into the weekend, I was happy.  And what a great weekend it was!  I'm eternally grateful to Steve23 and Juicy for spending so much time with us on dialogue, so that I can spend some of my weekend time enjoying LA - walking along Venice Beach, eating delicious Mexican food, climbing Runyon canyon - instead of struggling to figure out memorization techniques and learn my dialogue.  Good times!

I close with a photo of the Hollywood sign...because it's 1AM and I don't have a better way to end this post.  Week Three we shake things up - Bikram's out of town, his wife Rajashree is in town, we break into smaller groups for Posture Clinic...exciting stuff, I promise!

Till then, big hugs and love to you all.

Oh, and P.S...the Today Show filmed this the very first day of training!:


  1. Thanks for sharing and being so honest. Who could not be bored after hearing 400+ half moon deliveries. All the best for week three & beyond, stay strong & enjoy possibly the only time you can be self absorbed!!

  2. "you'll never meet another human being... in this earth... more pure than me."