Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fall Back

Anatomy Tests - awful.... but posture clinic has got me on this natural HIGH! I spent the entire weekend in study groups with Lynn Whitlow. I think it paid off. Our group was in the tent tonight. I was ready to go and so were a whole bunch of people. I was waiting in line....Just my luck as soon as it was my turn to go, Bikram walks in with his entourage. I turn around and try to get the next person to go next but she didn't want to. The next thing I know I'm up there and doing this pose like I've never done before. It was the best posture I've delivered yet! And it was in front of Bikram! I got a ton of cheers! I was proud of myself. It was scary but good! I got good feedback and my entire group told me I did so good. It felt good. Funny how that was probably meant to happen to me so I could come to the realization that I do have potential to be a good teacher.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pre-class.. Before the exhaustion kicks in!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

2nd Set

Week 2 in Vegas felt like an emotional roller coaster. The yoga classes early into the second week were tolerable. The heat was good. I started to feel acclimated to the dry weather and level of humidity in the yoga room. In between the yoga classes we finished up the remaining people who needed to deliver Half Moon in front of Bikram. For those who are new to Bikram Yoga, Half Moon is the first stretching exercise after the warm up breathing. Every trainee is required to deliver/recite this posture verbatim in front of Bikram himself. He then goes to critique. It took a week and a half to get through all the 300+ of us. Each day people would run up and wait in a long line just to get on the stage in front of him. I knew my dialogue but I didn't think it was necessary to run just to get in line behind 40 people at a time. Each day I would think, "ok I'm going to get in line today" and before I know it the line gets insanely long and then the posture clinic is over. Since the day I thought there would be a possibility I'd be on the stage, I've taken the time to straighten my hair and put on a little make-up just to be presentable. On Tuesday I knew there were less than 100 people left to go. I finally get in line. I anxiously wait for my turn for over an hour.... then Bikram decides he's done listening to Half Moon. So we ended up watching Jodaa Akbar a Bollywood movie! Wednesday afternoon I get in line again... and just my luck the power went out. So we got the afternoon free until the next yoga class. At this point there were only 20 people left. I was one of them. I finally went up on that stage and delivered my posture. Bikram's only feedback to me was that he thought I was good! I'll take that! I was anticipating that he would make a mean comment, since he did that with some other students. He had the foreign students deliver their dialogues in English and in their native tongue. He told several women to stop eating. He would comment on the tone of your voice, whether you were soft spoken or strong voiced. He'd comment on people's clothing, hair.. you name it. The entire time I was concerned about what he would say to me. I was ecstatic when he told me I did a good job! When it was over, he came and told me I did a good job and gave me hug. He said he was surprised I did so well. He also said most people who are last tend to be the ones who are least prepared. I was proud to represent Seattle, especially the Renton studio!

Now let me talk about the heat in the yoga room. The tent is heated through large vents suspended on the ceiling. It also has heating ducts that run underneath the floor. By mid week, the room was so hot that over a third of the students were leaving the room. People were getting carried out, vomiting and even crying. Thursday's classes were still way too hot. Someone took a thermometer into the room. It was 127 degrees at one point! Thursday afternoon I finally broke down. The heat from the ground was so hot that I didn't want to lay down on my mat. My butt was on fire! I started to dry heave. I wanted to vomit. I was helped out of the room and immediately taken to the sick bin. The smell of other people's vomit made me even more nauseous. I tried to throw up but nothing came out. The nurse came by to check on me. She told me I wasn't throwing up because I had nothing in my stomach. When drinking over 5 liters of water a day and the little time in between classes, it's hard to get enough to eat. On top of that I lost my appetite. I had to force myself to eat an entire tuna sandwich. I sat out the remainder of that class. I was so upset with myself for not making it through the class. The next day the heat was much more tolerable.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Trust the Process

Week one down. 8 more to go. This week was all about adjusting to a new environment. As soon as I checked into the Hilton I unpacked my 4 suitcases and my carry on. We were told a refrigerator would be provided in our room. Of course my room didn't have one. So when I called to request one, I was told I was going to move to another room the following day. Argh! They tell me this AFTER I unpacked everything! Welcome to Vegas. Welcome to teacher training!

There's approximately 300+ students here from all over the world. Some people are speaking English for the first time. It's amazing to see so many people who share my passion. Last Sunday we all registered and had an orientation. During orientation we had the pleasure of meeting Rajashree, Bikram's wife. She's the best! She's put us to ease, telling us to "Trust the Process". Coming into this training I have tried to make no assumptions of what to expect. I don't know what's to come. Throughout my life I have tried to plan and anticipate everything. Now I am trying to go with the flow. I don't have any expectations in training other than becoming certified at the end of the 9 weeks.

I'm finally here. Last year around this time, teacher training was only a thought for me. I remember a two hour conversation I had with Heidi (the manager/teacher @ Renton). She was very supportive and helped me this past year to make my decision to be here. From that point on, I knew I had to find a way to get to training. I was longing for something in my life. Something was missing. My relationship was headed south and I needed something to keep my focus. Yoga kept my mind clear. It helped me get through the hardest time of my life. I am so ecstatic to be a part of this teacher training.

Monday we finally got to meet Bikram! He's quite the entertainer. His presence captivated the entire room! He taught our first class. The room wasn't heated to his standards. It took several classes for the heat to turn up. As soon as the heat was on people started vomiting in class and some had to be escorted out from being dizzy or nausea. The staff immediately made bio-hazard bins in the back of the room for people to use for their vomit. Throughout the week Rajashree taught our morning classes and Bikram taught the evening classes.

We finally got "schedule" for the training.
8:30 yoga class
2 hour break to shower and eat (some days we get less time)
lecture/posture clinic
5:00 yoga class
2 hour break to shower and eat
9:00 until whenever for evening lecture

Saturday 8:00 yoga class. Then we are free for the rest of the weekend.

I have limited time to do anything, let alone eat. I don't have internet at the hotel. The Hilton is charging $14 a day. No bueno! So I log on when I can. Thank goodness for my Blackberry! We were each given a food card with $610 to use throughout the hotel. Everything in the hotel is over priced! A bottle of water is $3.50! So I'm using the card sparingly. My roommate and I got a few groceries. It's difficult to find healthy food that doesn't require much cooking. I have a small fridge and a microwave (provided by a fellow local student). My quick meals this week were ramen or turkey sandwiches. I splurged on sushi in the hotel the other night. During my dinner break, I hand wash my two yoga outfits in my bathroom sink then hang my clothes on the shower rod to dry overnight. I'm living in a fancy dorm! My room gets cleaned daily but I have limited resources. It's a little yoga bubble. Sunday through Saturday I never left the hotel.

I've met great people and I'm looking forward to meeting more. Everyone has their different reasons for being here. It's great hearing what has drawn people to the training. I absolutely love how yoga brings people together!

More posts when I can log on once again. Farewell for now!

Monday, August 31, 2009

and more shopping!

I just picked up this Power Y Tank at Lululemon. I already own several of these tanks in other colors. This coal color is from the fall 09 line. I love the way these tanks fit! The racerback straps helps give you necessary flexibility while cooling your back side. This tank is great for the standing series of class. There are other things I need to shop for before my big adventure. Someone who has gone to training in the past listed her list of items to bring to training in her blog. I've started to use this as a guideline of what I need for training. Of course since it's Vegas, I'll have to pack additional clothes, just in case!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Officially Commited!

My application has been submitted via internet and mail this week. It's a huge time commitment as well as a huge financial investment. With that said, I've been looking forward to training for quite some time now. Soon it will become reality. There's another gal from my studio who is going to training as well. It'll be nice to have someone there to understand what I'll be going through each day. I checked with the hotel regarding internet. It's not free in the room, but there's free wi-fi in the 24 hour cafe. So I'll be able to be in touch with outside world and blog about training. I suppose it's better than nothing! We'll be staying at the Las Vegas Hilton for 9 weeks. It's not on the strip thank goodness, but close enough. I just hope the temptations of Vegas are not a distraction for me!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Must Shop!

Lululemon clothes makes want to practice yoga just to so I can wear the cute outfits. I picked up this top and shorts for training. I really like the length of these shorts. Plus they're reversible! So it's almost like getting two pair for the price of one. Well that's my rationale for the purchase. With 2 months to go until training I need to get more clothes, in particular more shorts! It gives me a good reason to head to the mall!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Vegas Baby!


It's finally official! The dates and location for teacher training have been finalized. I'm headed to the great city of Las Vegas! I'm not sure why the location changed from Palm Springs to Vegas. I was looking forward to Palm Springs but Vegas is just fine with me. The weather is the only factor. It's going to be a bit chilly in Vegas compared to Palm Springs during that time of year. I'm looking forward to spending nine weeks with all the yogi's who love the Bikram practice! My application is in the works as we speak! 

There's so much to do in the next 2 months. Training starts October 4th. It'll be here before I know it! Just my mental list right now:

  • drive down?
  • what to pack?
  • where to do laundry?
  • mini fridge for the room
  • microwave
  • internet access
  • grocery stores near by
My mind is all over the place. All I should do right now is concentrate and meditate. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

It's All in Your Mind

It's been a few months since my last post. There has been so many life changing events that have occurred in such a short period of time. My last day in corporate America was April 30th. Since then, I've been enjoying my time off. In the month of May I managed to travel 22 of the 31 days! L.A., Miami, Bahamas, Key West, and Cabo. In June I went to Munich and Amsterdam. I've been home for a few weeks now. 

In addition to all of my travels and job loss, I've ended my very long term relationship. My emotions are running high with all the changes, all the worries, and even all the excitement. I know that yoga has helped me learn to cope with the daily stresses of life. My practice is something I can count on to get me though it all. Of course, I'm also lucky to have such great friends and family to lean on! I never thought yoga would benefit me in the way it has. Over time it's given me the strength to look forward to what life has to offer. I've always planned everything out and now I'm learning (that's the key word!) to just live each day one at a time. 

With that being said... the dates for fall training continue to change and has yet to be finalized! Now how am I supposed to plan around that?!?!? 

Monday, April 27, 2009

Short Shorts!

Yoga Apparel is a fast growing industry. As the popularity of yoga grows, so does the rest of the yoga industry. Yoga clothing, accessories, DVDs, books, you name it and it's probably out there. When I first started practicing I didn't want to invest much money on yoga clothes because I didn't think I'd stick to it. So I wore my gym clothes. My clothes would come out soaked at the end of class. Not too long after I purchased my first monthly package did I go out and buy a few yoga outfits. I got a few tops and several cropped pants. As I eventually ended up at the front of the class, I immediately decided that there was no way I would wear shorts no matter how hot the room. I didn't want the people behind me staring at my stuff. How embarrassing! I didn't understand how the women in my class would wear these tiny shorts that would barely cover their behind. I would worry that as soon as bend over people would see the too much of me!

As soon as I committed to teacher training, my teachers told me I needed to start wearing shorts. In training no pants are allowed! You need to be able to see your legs in the mirror to get the alignment correct. Eventually I gave in a few months back and got two pairs of shorts at the Lululemon Outlet. Boy did I luck out! I found shorts that were a "tall" length. Perfect for me! I'm 5'1 so the tall shorts hit me on my mid-thigh. So for two months I've been rotating my two pairs of shorts along with my cropped pants. I'm still getting used to the idea of my thunder thighs/tree stumps being exposed to the world.

Wearing shorts in class is also a bit of a challenge. There isn't much material to absorb all of the sweat dripping down from my body. So whenever there's a posture where I need to hold on to my legs all of the sudden I'd slip, lose my grip, and or come out of the posture early. It felt like my first class all over again. Now I'm told to get used to wearing shorts for training and that it will make my practice stronger. I suppose there's some truth to that.

At training there are about 11-12 classes each week. Given that there isn't much time to do laundry I have to stock up on shorts. So rather than buying them all at once I thought it would be a good idea to slowly start my collection. Yesterday I picked up a pair of shorts at Lucy. The speedy shorts (see image) at Lucy fit well . It's a good conservative length. They were $10 off if you brought in an old pair of pants! I'll slowly work my way into the short shorts!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Signs of a Great Class

Today I had a strong class. I ate plenty during the day, drank a ton of water and had a good night's rest.  After class I sat on the lobby floor enjoying my knock off vitamin water from Costco (VitaRain). As soon as I got up there was a huge puddle from where I sat down! I know, I know it's gross that I sweat that much in one class but I know it's good for me! 

A few other physical things usually happen whenever I have a great class:
  • My vision gets blurry roughly an hour after class. I can't see anything close up for about 15-20 minutes! I wonder why that happens.  
  • I sleep through the night like a baby when I take an evening class. If I take a class in the morning I need to take a nap.
  • When I wake up from my rest I have crust/sleep - whatever you want to call it all around my eyes. There's so much sometimes, that I have to rub it off before opening my eyes!
  • More often than not I feel a great sense of energy!
Now I'm sure there are other benefits to this yoga but these are the few things that I tend to notice most often. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Has Yoga Gone to the Dogs? Doga?

Doga? Yoga for Dogs? Really? As you can tell from my profile picture, I am definitely a dog lover. In fact I have 3 small dogs of my own. They are a part my family. The true meaning of the word yoga - is the connection between the mind and body. The intension isn't to connect to your dog. Although it took me years to finally practice yoga, I don't think I'll give in to this new FAD.  Dogs need to be walked in a park!  How the heck can people concentrate on their postures when they're busy attending to man's best friend?

Friday, March 27, 2009

How It All Started

I knew 2009 would be a very memorable and life changing year for me. Three months have already passed. So many events transpired. I'm losing my job at the end of April. For a while I've felt very complacent in my current job. I knew I needed a change. Perhaps getting laid off is a blessing in disguise. I need a new challenge. Now is the best time.

I have this good friend, "Ally" who has been teaching yoga for years now. She used to encourage me to take her classes but I never would. I thought the gym was the only place to get a good workout. Plus I was turned off by the idea of being in a hot sweaty room with a bunch of smelly people. When she decided to move to L.A., I was approached by another girlfriend to try the class with her. "E" and I worked together at Banana Republic. E would tell me about how she lost so much weight and kept it off doing Bikram Yoga. E asked me to take a class with her. She told me to give it a week to decide if it was for me. I was reluctant but interested once she showed me her before and after pictures.

July 2007 I took my first class. My teacher was Meghan. She was easy going and made me feel like I could last the entire 90 minutes. I went several times that week. To my surprise, I really enjoyed the way I felt afterwards. A few weeks later I got a few friends to try it with me along with my Bestie, "Montana". Since then Montana and I have been hooked! Of course there are times when I don't want to go, but more often than not my body craves it.

As I mentioned earlier, I'm losing my job in the corporate world. I've decided that if there was a time to do this, the time is now. When will I ever have the chance to take 9 weeks off from a job to take a training class. I truly believe everything happens for a reason. And so my journey begins....