Week 5 Lessons
- Posture clinic is like having sex for the first time: You put a lot of pressure on yourself, you feel awkward and overflowing with nervous energy, then you get started and you have no idea what you’re doing and just want to get it over with. Then you get into it, love it, and can’t wait to do it again. (Haven’t gotten to that last “stage” yet, but I’m looking forward to it arriving!) This was an apt comparison that had our posture clinic laughing, and I wish I could remember the name of the teacher who said it. Fair play to him!
- F*ck it!: Again, another lesson learned from posture clinic this week. This teacher pointed out that the nerves aren’t going to go away–at some point you just have to say “F*ck it!” and teach the posture no matter how ill-prepared or pants-wetting scared you may be. I put this advice into practice by jumping up early on to present Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee posture Wednesday afternoon despite never having practiced it with actual students/bodies before. It felt great! I stumbled, kept going, and then it was over!
- Don’t let your opinion get in the way of a good class: My previous day’s attitude turned into even more sage advice the next day, when one of our clinic teachers really grated on my nerves. He meant well, but he was abrasive and negative. He wasn’t being compassionate to those who were struggling and, let me tell you, I have learned here that I am very protective of my yogis. I don’t get mad on my own behalf, but you’re in trouble if you hurt someone I care about! So yeah, I was getting angry. Then I mentally stepped back, remembered that being angry would not change his behavior and would only hurt me. I made the decision to kill him with love. I would volunteer for my posture (meaning I would act as buffer and one of my less-prepared and less-well-equipped-to-deal-with-him groupmates would be able to wait until the evening to go and have a different teacher for feedback). I would teach my posture with a smile and love, overwhelming the negative energy he was sending all over the room. And I did! Even better, he actually gave me the kind of feedback I’d been waiting for so it was a win-win. I still don’t like him, but at least I learned from him!
- Becoming “bulletproof”: I wasn’t sure I’d make it through class Friday afternoon. We had almost 600 people (420 trainees + 140ish re-certifying teachers + staff and visiting teachers) in a room estimated at 125° for an approximate 135 minutes. Honestly, the most terrifying part of class has been that my hands keep tingling, shaking, and going partially numb, and it got particularly strong this time around. It’s quite the raja yoga exercise to quiet the terrified part of your brain and just stay. in. the. room. I did it, splurged on some Gatorade immediately after, and felt exhausted but generally grand in about 10 minutes. I win, Bikram! (Disclaimer: credit also goes to my friend on one side who massaged my hand in savasana at one point and the new bff on the other side who gave me some of her water when I ran out).
Week 5 Highlights
- We ploughed through postures: I taught 7 postures this week and we had 6 posture clinics in a row. This really didn’t feel like a “highlight” at the time, but it does feel like quite the accomplishment! It also explains the absence of posting, as there was no time for any words that do not derive from Bikramish.
- Rajashree arrived: She taught us three times this week. While her class is not my favorite, I greatly prefer her energy/style to Bikram’s or Emmy’s (this feels like blasphemy, but it’s true!). I believe in compassion and, as Raj puts it, “kill[ing] them with a smile.” She is the moon to Bikram’s sun; they are polar opposites. I’m so happy she’s finally here! My friend and I were joking last week that her theme should be the old Savage Garden hit “I Knew I Loved You” for the following apt lyrics: I knew I loved you /Before I met you /I think I dreamed you into life. Yes, yes we really were looking forward to the reprieve that her presence would bring.
- 5 weeks, 55 classes, and 15 postures delivered: We’re over halfway done with training!
- Chill weekends: Goooooood food, good friends, heart-to-hearts, haircuts, car-washing, swimming, a massage, and lots of dialogue. Resting up for week 6, the rumored “hell week” (cue maniacal laughter). No better way to spend our respite.