Monday, May 23, 2011

Weeks Four and Five: Dreadlocks, Decisions, and Steak Dinner

 How could you not love Kelly's face in this photo?

So here I am, kicking off Week Six, and I genuinely have not had a spare two hours to put together a coherent blog post.  The speed of posture clinics has picked up, meaning that we need to memorize and deliver a new posture an average of once a day, and as  a result weekends are the only times available to catch up on studying, do laundry, food shopping, and okay, watch the 11pm episode of the ridiculous over-the-top HBO show Game of Thrones to which Kelly and I are totally addicted.  

But I'm sure you're ALL waiting with bated breath for an update, so I'll just share a few snapshots and thoughts and see how far I can get in the next 37 minutes.  If I suck at delivering Wind Removing Pose, I blame you all!

Another great photo face courtesy of Julian, who didn't know we were still taking photos.

Week Four was a settling in sort of week. I formed a great little study group, my classes were generally strong, I figured out a hydration method that works, and I started to feel like I could do this forever.  There's something very freeing about giving up control of your day to day life towards a larger goal - I decide when and what to eat, when and how to study, what to wear, and everything else is pretty much going with the flow, doing what I'm told, not knowing until late in the day whether I'll spend the night delivering dialogue or listening to a lecture or watching a move till 2AM.  

And eventually you stop getting frustrated or antsy or judgmental or whatever and genuinely TRUST THE PROCESS, a phrase that's frequently invoked whenever we start to wonder whether anyone knows what the heck is going on.  I feel great!
Tiny aquarium at the end of the Pier in Manhattan Beach.  
You can go there while doing your laundry!
Week Five was when my composure started to flake.  I found myself in fits of giggles, or acting like a five-year-old ("but I don't WANNA study!").  I got really, really excited about little stuff like drinking chocolate milk or when we got almost everyone in our posture clinic group to say "Present" instead of "Here" during roll call.  We had a fantastic class from a guest teacher in San Antonio, TX named Lisa, who not only had us do a "yee-haw" sit-up, which was so much fun, but put on "Three Little Birds" by Bob Marley during final savasana, and as a room full of 430+ people began to sing "Don't worry about a thing, cause every little thing, is gonna be alright" I finally had a good yoga class cry.

Sunset from the Manhattan Beach Pier.  Laundry's almost dry!

John Salvatore from Las Vegas taught a hilarious and fantastic class.  When he had us all in Standing Bow, the room was utterly silent but for the gentle rain sound of everyone sweating.  He's the star of Jersey Boys, so he's a performer and entertainer who kept us laughing and delighted the whole class, but he was also just a warm and instructive personality.  I'll be in Vegas the weekend after training ends, believe it or not, so I really hope I'll get another chance to take his class.

During John's class I was right beside his podium when a girl behind me started sobbing - these terrible, heart-wrenching sobs.  I wanted to reach back and hug her but I've learned that a lot of the time, the people crying in class or crying in the halls or crying in posture clinic (and there is a lot of cryin' going on here) just want to be left the hell alone.  So I held back.  Then John ended his class, climbed down off the podium, and without hesitation wrapped this girl in a big hug and started to reassure her and it was beautiful.  And I thought "I don't know what people want, what would help, unless I ask."

We closed out Week Four with a steak dinner at 555 East in Long Beach...SO worth it. 
One of my favorite Posture Clinic leaders thus far was Juan, who called my dialogue delivery "relatively satisfying" (my study buddy Chris was "overall, very promising!" No fair!) and taught another fantastic, fast-paced class in which he told the following joke:

Q: Why are short people aggressive?
A: Their balls are closer to their brains.
Hahahaha!  Oh my god, I really am regressing in age.
This place was in Inception!  We went to the Annenberg Center for Photography yesterday.
I had my best class of training ever in Week Five.  I've mentioned my new idol Emmy Cleaves before.  Usually she walks around the room for the first half of the class, correcting as she goes.  You have no idea where she is in the room until suddenly she's right behind you, saying "shoulders back.  Shoulders BACK. You need to get out of la-la land!"  Then she sits in the back of the room for the floor series.

Point being, she hates the podium and never uses it.  So morning class Thursday, I set up right in front of the podium so I could see myself in the mirror.  And Emmy decided that day to stay on the podium the whole class.  And it was the BEST CLASS EVER.  I have NEVER been so focused or worked so hard, because I knew the minute I let up, didn't give it my all, Emmy would know and call me out on it (and she did, several times).  It was amazing.

Of course, night class Thursday was brutal, as I was basically broken and have never been so tired and sore, but it was worth it to remind myself how much further I can go when I really try.

Kelly's dreads BEFORE I drove her to South Los Angeles for three hours of tightening...

And AFTER. What a difference!
Oh, one last but important thing!  Week Five was the week Bikram finally noticed both me and Kelly.  For me, it was in class, where I was set up just to his right, so I was paying close attention.  I was regaining some of my lost flexibility that day, which was a delightful surprise, but when I got to Locust Pose the flexibility was DEFINITELY not there.  And of course, that's when I heard it: "You!  Miss Tattoo! ... Clock Tattoo!  Your legs are coming up not at all!" Uh oh.  

Then he climbs down from the podium during second set, grabs up my foot, says "see? your foot is HERE at my knee" - yanks it up - "it needs to be HERE - at my waist!  Got it?"  It was awesome.  And scary.  And scary awesome.

For Kelly, it was in lecture. He notices her in the front row, walks over to her with a mischievous smile, picks up a dread, and says "What is this?"  He then told us a story about how the yogis who meditate in caves would grow long dreadlocks, but the fake yogis would grow dreadlocks out of their bum - or something like that.  I don't know.  It was awesome.  And bizarre.  And awesomely bizarre.

That's it for now folks, I need to go remove some wind! (also known as Wind Removing Pose).

Thanks again for your love, support, and comments.  See you in Week Seven!
 Need the most sugary sugar high of all time? 
Do a week of 11 yoga classes and then eat one of these suckers.


  1. Fantastic post - ending with a great quip ... of the sugar variety!FUN-NY. Really cool vignettes including - a Bikram- himself it. Miss Clock Tattoo - great new nickname for you!
    I was just thinking about you today and going to write you and then lo and behold another blog must have known!
    Love you ! Mom

  2. oh, ms. tattoo
    I am so proud of you
    I can't wait to take your class

    I love you

  3. lol, great post! love that you got noticed for your timely tattoo ;) sending you energy and love from nyc!