Saturday, September 15, 2012

Sun Dance Kids and Studio News

Hello readership!   This video has nothing to do with anything...but in the four months since I last wrote, I've accumulated some videos, images, stories, etc that I kept meaning to "put in my next blog post"...and then just never got around to writing the thing. This is one of them.  Catchy, right? 

So according to Google Analytics, amazingly, people have still been happening upon my blog - presumably mostly computerized trolls, but also people who are googling phrases like "bikram yoga camel pose emotions" or "bar method butt" or ominously, "'bikram yoga' and 'teacher training' and 'regret.'" 

Oh, and then there's the lady who sent me an email yesterday saying "I have recently been writing and researching about a variety of topics that coincide with motherhood and the overall theme of your blog," and asking to submit a guest post.  What do you think, readers?  Is her "fresh perspective on pregnancy and motherhood" relevant to your lives?  Did she even READ my blog?  

Although, pregnant Bikram yoginis ARE pretty awesome...check out Eileen from the September newsletter!  Epic!

But...she did prompt me to finally update this thing!  So, for those of you who stick with me through the fallow periods, thanks!  

I've spent the past few months settling in at Bikram Yoga Pittsburgh and in Pittsburgh proper.  I found a great little house in Bloomfield where I live with three very different but lovely roommates: from a classic hipster, fresh from NYC, who spends his days brewing kombucha, hunting for mushrooms in Frick Park, and rewiring light fixtures he found in the trash, to a super smart CMU grad student in computer science who just got back from a month in Eastern Europe with his Romanian girlfriend, to another accomplished smarty pants who belongs to a radical bookstore cooperative and was just in the papers...throw in the yoga teacher and my little sis is right, we're a sitcom waiting to happen.

And it's been nice to connect and share the occassional glass of wine with my dear mom, who is temporarily empty nesting until my little sister gets back from Peru, and to reconnect with old friends.  An old Philly buddy even told me she's thinking of starting a "Girls from Pittsburgh who moved back to Pittsburgh" group since there's a surprisingly number of us (who's in?) 

And of course, the studio is fantastic...I spend all my time in that hot little room, learning and growing so much as both a student and a teacher.  But it won't be little for long...the new space, just a mile up Penn Ave in Lower Lawrenceville, is on the verge of opening!  17 foot ceilings, brightly colored concrete walls, three(!) showers in each locker room, it's a very cool space, and can fit twice as many people as the current one.  

I'm sure the 6pm-ers, who are usually crammed mat-to-mat, and the guys over 6 feet tall, who ACTUALLY touch the ceiling in half moon, are particularly looking forward to the studio!

Yup, September is a big month for Bikram Yoga Pittsburgh...the biggest news is of course that new home, but only slightly less well known is this - the Pennsylvania regional competition, this year in Philadelphia, is coming up on September 30th!  

And let me tell you, training is 600% more fun when it's with other people and not all by your lonesome in the Cleveland studio, chatting with the cleaning guy.  You also end up doing about 600% more backbends then before. And find yourself saying nonsense like "yes, let's do doubles for two weeks! that sounds like fun!" and actually mean it. 

This year's competition takes place much earlier in the year because Rajashree, Bikram's lovely wife, will be in Philadelphia for a seminar, so they decided to hold the competition the day after.   I'm looking forward to hanging out with a gaggle of yoga people, my old Philly friends...and of course, my three minutes onstage can't possibly be worse than the last-place-ever "where are my heels" full camel debacle of 2012, so the pressure is off!  I'm also looking forward to telling you all about it.

Last week was my one-year anniversary of my first class in Pittsburgh; and just two days ago, Bikram Yoga Cleveland had it's one-year celebration.  Can you believe how much has happened in the past year?  

Enjoy these random stories from the past four months...and keep in touch!  I'll do the same!

Love Danielle

"This is totally going in my blog"
When I taught a class in Pittsburgh a month or two ago, we had a new student.  She told me that she traveled all over the world for work and took class wherever she went.  She was very sweet and friendly but had a nervous, frantic energy about her.  

As class went on she seemed increasingly uncomfortable...and at awkward pose, she sent a pleading look in my direction and said something incoherent.  Incoherence is never a good sign, but we were in the middle of Awkward Part 2 (see above) so I tried to get the students in and out of it as I made my way to the lady...and before I could finish, down she went.  

Passing out is rare in Pittsburgh, mostly because we don't keep it at burn-you-alive temperatures, but it happens (remember my mom at Bikram Yoga Squirrel Hill?).  I caught the lady on the way down, talked her through it (she was out for a few seconds only), helped her out of the room, came back in, and what did I see...?

EVERYONE STILL UP ON THEIR TOES FOR AWKWARD PART TWO. No joke. Standing still, silent, focused, ready, and up on their toes.  Damn, Pittsburgh doesn't mess around.  And of course I said, "This is totally going in my blog."

(P.S.  Turns out the lady was on some new medication which was having adverse effects...she's okay!)

"Yes! Yes! Yes!"
Luckily I only had to do the drive back and forth to Cleveland for two months more after I moved to Pittsburgh...but I do miss those dedicated Clevelanders!  One of my favorite students was Betsy, who was dealing with some pretty debilitating arthritis and found that Bikram helped relieve the pain.  She often practiced with her three young daughters (and it took me weeks to tell them apart).

I was teaching in Cleveland a little while ago and Betsy was right beside the podium.  I decided to count down from 20 in the second set of Standing Bow Pulling Pose, and immediately after "3...2...1...change," the usually low-key Betsy turned into Rocky at the top of the Art Museum steps.  Apparently she had never held the posture for the full length before.  The waves of joy coming from her side of the room were just phenomenal, everyone applauded, and I couldn't stop smiling for a long time after.  

Everyone's victories in Bikram are different - maybe you get your hips down in Fixed Firm for the first time, maybe you grab both feet in Floor Bow, maybe you hold Standing Bow all 20 counts - but they're all so exciting to see!

Email from a Pittsburgh Student on OkCupid while I was still living in Cleveland (presented for your amusement, without comment)
Danielle! This dude contacted me online and said he does Bikram in OH so I asked if he knew you. Look at this reply! So creepy!!!

There were a couple previous messages, but let's start here:


I know a girl who teaches Bikram in Ohio but her name is Danielle, I guess she doesn't teach at your studio.


May 27, 2012 – 11:23am No that is her name. You are right!! She knows me lol her name in Danielle. She has small breast I only said that so u would know I know of her but very good instructor. Shapely nice please don't be offended just tryin to let u know I really go there? Okay?


Umm okay. She also has a nice smile.

Wall Walks in Marrakesh!

Sandwich au Jambon Japonais
In July I went to Morocco.  I KNOW!  And the Bikram devotees among you also know that one of the first things I did when we planned this trip was look for a Bikram we spent our last night in Casablanca, at the one and only Bikram studio in Morocco.

Turns out the teacher that night, Jerome, went to Spring 2011 teacher training with me!  What are the chances?!  I was on cloud nine for ninety minutes.  I loved hearing the dialogue in French and picking out familiar phrases and words.  I loved the heat and the stretching and the sweat.

Good times!

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