Week 6 Lessons
- Stretch your… Fascia: Jon Burras came to talk to us about fascia–the connective tissue that surrounds muscles, nerves, and blood vessels throughout the body. He is very passionate about fascia, which has earned him quite the reputation in Bikram Yoga teacher training. He believes Western science overlooks fascia (one example of which is that it is not categorized as an organ–if it were, it would be the largest organ in the body). Instead, fascia should be thought of as central to our body: it holds up our bones through suspension like a bridge; it helps us move (being mostly liquid); and, perhaps most significantly, when it stiffens it becomes the source of a lot of chronic pain, disease, and aging.
- Exercise/Fitness versus Yoga: Both Bikram and Jon Burras lectured on how sports destroy society. I agree with many of the points they made, I just disagree with their [overly broad] conclusion. Sports do abuse the body–all that repetitive, strained use of specific muscles leads to imbalance & long-term damage. I say this, as a life-long athlete. I’ve felt what sports has done to my body, and I’ve seen what it’s done to others. And how we define “health” and “fitness” are way out of whack: a lot of “fit” people are not at all healthy, and a lot of what we think of as fitness is really image-based instead of choice-based. But no, I’m sorry, I don’t think sports (as symbolic war) are destroying society and I don’t think sports are just “mental masturbation.” Sorry, Boss.
- The Body & Trauma: Clearly, Jon Burras’ lectures were the most thought-provoking part of the week. Not always in good ways….. But he had really fascinating things to say about the body storing emotions in the body. Every time you are injured, physically, psychologically, or emotionally, you store that pain in some part of your body. If you don’t release it, it stays there. In minor forms, it can cause stiffness or pain. If you continue to repress the injury or trauma, you can physically distort your body. Your body remembers. And although yoga is not the only answer, it is one great answer. Yoga helps you come back into your body in a thousand million different ways. But really, in whatever way, the greatest thing you can do for yourself is to learn how to relax.
Week 6 Highlights
- My new family: My group has really bonded over the past two weeks, and it’s been fantastic. I love each of them to bits–everyone’s fascinating and unique and funny! Everyone comes from such different walks of life! A lot of us spent Saturday together–fish tacos first, studying at Venice beach in the afternoon, and then out to a delicious seafood dinner that evening. These people are my new team. I will love them forever, even though after these brief few weeks together we’ll go back to being scattered all over the world (literally–Australia, Chile, England, East coast, the South, NorCal, Canada, Germany, et cetera).
- Balwan becomes a Superstar: This Friday, like most Fridays, everyone was tired and just looking to get through class and stumble into the weekend. But then Balwan walked in, and we went wild with clapping and cheering! Dude got more applause than Boss (but, shhh, don’t tell Boss!). Balwan is one of the hard-working staff members here at training. All of the staff work their asses off, and none of them are paid. But Balwan has special place in our hearts–he is consistently the most cheerful, caring one of all. And very humble! He led a fantastic class–his jokes made us love him, and his mistakes just made us love him more.
- I held a $300,000 watch: Bikram’s watch, obviously. The thing had 270 diamonds and 108 sapphires on the band alone. We gave up counting after that, even though there were diamonds across the face and sapphires all around it. It’s no wonder he complained, “I can’t see the time! Too many damn diamonds!” I have never held anything so expensive. Unfortunately he noticed when we tried to give him back our friend’s Roxy watch instead. All I need is one row, Boss!
- Finding the posture clinic groove: I felt great in posture clinic this week. Tuesday was my “worst” day, but was still fine. Presenting Camel pose on Friday, they didn’t even give me any homework. Just told me I did a great job! It felt really good to finally get to that stage of feedback.