Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Week Six: Portraits, Pointing and Pizza (or lack thereof)

Here we are, already two days into Week Seven and I'm already behind!  Even though its late and I am fried from post-Posture Clinic study group, I will spend the next 52 minutes providing you, my loyal readers, with a few quick updates.

Week Six is generally known as the week when hormones rage, tempers boil over, meltdown frequency increases, and everyone's emotions are at a fever pitch.  But believe it or not I have stayed shockingly stable, beyond the giggle fits and the fact that my sense of humor is now that of a 13-year-old boy.  

Yogi Beach Party at Venice Beach! 
In class one day the teacher asked "how many people here haven't had their meltdown yet?"  There was one Posture Clinic in Week Six where I had a bit of a cry after I didn't deliver my dialogue like I wanted to, but when I got back to the room Kelly said "if it makes you feel any better, I cried for half an hour watching So You Think You Can Dance this afternoon.  I was just so happy for them following their dreams...!"  Clearly that bit of cry does not count as meltdown material.  So I feel some trepidation...but in general, still happy.

And after six weeks all the strange habits and bizarre aspects of training start to feel very normal.  Waking up early so I can chug water and eat a Trader Joes fig bar, then go back to sleep?  Normal.  Getting sprayed with sweat from the dude taking class next to you? Or worse, the girl walking over you AFTER class?  Normal.  Peeling someone else's hair off your sweaty leg in class? Normal.  Peeing on your yoga mat during class? NOT NORMAL (but supposedly, it occured).

Portrait of Kelly's Cousin Kristin as We Wait for Burgers, #1 by Kelly Sheridan

Posture Clinics were twice a day more often than not in Week Six, meaning that we met and learned from guest teachers from all over the world.  Some of my favorite Posture Clinic leads were: Nicole from Phoenix, Arizona, who really spoke to what a lot of us were going through when she said "at the end of training, I thought - I'm less flexible, I've gained weight, and NOW I'm going to teach yoga?!";
and Jena from NYC, who you may recall from a long-ago post, and who not only led two of my posture clinics (where I learned the value of POINTING DOWN as I talk so my sentences? don't go up? at the end?), but also taught a fantastic yoga class.  What I love about her teaching style (and hope someday to emulate) is that even though she uses mostly dialogue, the words we've been hearing and learning and delivering for six weeks now, she is just so focused and right there with you - you never feel like she's reciting words on a page.  Another good Bikram quote courtesy of Jena: "You can be perfect, or you can be great - your choice."

Portrait of Kelly's Cousin Kristin as We Wait for Burgers, #2 by Chris Hingel

Did I talk about makeup classes yet?  If you miss a class or lecture (or go, but are late/forget to sign in) you have to take an 11am class right after the 8am class on Saturday.  But makeup classes are like mini yoga vacations - the temperature is balmy, the class size is tiny, and you're in and out in no time, so while precious Saturday time is whittled down, I'm okay with the occasional makeup.  But the tragic part is, this week I decided to sleep through a morning class and it turned out that was the class taught by Julia from Mission Yoga!  Tragedy, and lesson learned.

Kelly's cousin Kristin sitting for her portrait at Umami Burger

We had two lectures by a massage therapist/bodyworker/natural health aficionado named Jon Burras, who was quite the character.  He believes that the health of your fascia, the connective tissue of the body, is the key to physical/emotional health.  I'm not saying this man loves fascia, but he DID say the word "fascia" 213 times in three hours (someone counted). 

One thing that Jon said really stuck with me though: "if you stay committed to your limitations, you get to keep them." 

Did I mention that sometimes training is like being in high school?  So late Thursday into Friday, rumors started going around.  Rumors that Bikram was going to give us Friday night off, because we were doing so well in wait, he's giving us the night off AND he's giving us a pizza party!  These rumors were so widespread that they simply HAD to be based in truth.  We didn't want to get our hopes up, but just in case, plans were made and joy was felt...

...and subsequently dashed when, after a class that started with a staff member dance party (I mean, c'mon...the staff is in a good mood for a REASON, right? A pizza-related reason?) Michon got on the mike to announce "Posture in your rooms by 8:55" and the whole room groaned and booed in unison.  Michon must've been flabbergasted.  What I want to know is...who started that dirty, dirty rumor?

Patrizia enjoying the sun
But the weekend more than made up for it.  A yogi beach party with live music and 40 - 50 people crowded onto Venice Beach...studying dialogue in a hot tub...delicious burgers and sweet potato fries in Santa did I get so lucky?  You mean I have to go back to the real world in three weeks?

I miss and love you all...and can't wait to start teaching!  (hopefully that's not when my meltdown finally occurs...)

P.S.  I leave you with Kelly's brave dip into the ocean (while the rest of us sat on the beach in coverups and hoodies) and her triumphant return, Bo Derek style.


  1. Hi Danielle,

    Enjoyable post- thanks for keeping us abreast (must have been the beach pictures) of your story.

    My "how a rumor gets started" story:
    Pastor is meeting with a lawyer to see if he can handle church issues. Our building manager is meeting with an Amish carpenter to put in a handrail.
    Volunteer in church office hears bits of conversation and asks, "are we hiring an Amish Lawyer???" then things progress in this vein. . . how will you contact this Amish lawyer --by carrier pigeon?

    Love, Mom

  2. what does it mean - "You can be perfect, or you can be great - your choice." ? Greatness can be attained without perfection ?