Week 8 Lessons
- Yoga is easy, real life is hard: This week was my most emotionally challenged week. I had several nights where I just didn’t sleep well and that, combined with some outside conflict regarding the realities of being a yoga teacher, definitely had me more unbalanced. I was still fine (and will be fine), but it was definitely a concrete reminder what teaching this yoga will actually look like when I get out of our little Yoga Bubble. Upon the best advice, I retreated back into the bubble and left the outside drama behind for the moment. The bubble is safe. All is happy in the bubble. Stay in the bubble. It’s there for a reason.
- “A smile is the beauty of the mind”: Bikram’s contemporary and Rajashree’s guru, Dr. P.S. Das gave several lectures integrating medical diseases, yoga asana poses, and yoga philosophy. Dude has more degrees than I was able to count, including a Ph.D. in yoga therapy. Like many geniuses, his lectures were somewhat challenging–the result of a very thick accent, slow writing, and an unclear (to us) lecture game plan. But he was so patient, sweet, and calm, and we were so lucky to have him since he’s rarely able to make it to teacher training. This was my favorite quote of his, followed closely by “Men, don’t ejaculate yourselves.” That’s wisdom for the ages for you fellas!
- Labor dispassionately without attachment to results, and so results will come: I tried out for the graduation demonstration team, in which 25 of the strongest (and non-tattooed) students out of the class do all of the poses during the ceremony. I tried out upon the insistence of one of my group members who really thought I’d be good enough. Moreover, I’m trying to enforce a new attitude to get myself to experience new things (being a creature of habit–a Cancer, if you believe in those particular character profiles–I’m not very adventurous). Much like the Bhagavad Gita adage above that Jim Kallett shared with us– –I ask myself three questions: (1) is it new for me, (2) does it push my comfort zone, and (3) could it be worthwhile/interesting? If so, I gotta give it a shot…. so I did. I made it past the first day cuts, but didn’t make the final cut. Oh well! Besides, I clearly didn’t want, need, or deserve it as much as some of the other girls. Plus now I don’t have to have bonus practice after our normal classes this week. But I’m really glad I tried, and at least know that I tried.
Week 8 Highlights
- The best sober dance party ever: Thursday night Bikram gifted us with a pizza & disco dance party instead of evening lecture. Most people didn’t stay, but a lot did– we had probably about 150 people stay dancing as Bikram’s son DJed for us. Even though the night was “dry” in the alcohol-sense, we were all soaking wet with sweat! (At least we’re all used to that.) It was a lot of fun; the staff joined in and got crazy, as did Boss himself, and I jumped up and down so much my calves were sore Friday.
- T.G.I.F.!: After another 135 minute class from Bikram Friday afternoon (and it being 12 consecutive days with a total of 20 classes for me), he gave us the evening off. I used the time to go out for dinner and had both excellent company and a delicious milkshake. After, I watched Whip It on my computer with three fellow yogis (a great film, but also has some great yoga-applicable lessons). All in all, an excellent use of time.
- Bend it like a Yogi Champion: The hotel was hosting the international yoga asana championships and all teacher trainees got free tickets. I didn’t watch on Saturday, because I needed at least one day outside without having my butt stuck for hours in those brown chairs. I did watch them today for the finals, though, and it was A.MAZ.ING! There were 10 finalists each for the youth, men’s, and women’s divisions, plus demonstrations from last year’s champions and this one crazy talented Indian girl, Dipannita Mondai, who had everyone‘s jaw dropping to the floor…… And we’re yogis, so we’re pretty used to really bendy people. She single-handedly redefines how it’s possible for your body to move. It was an incredible gift to be in that room today.