Caveat: grammar is not a concern here. forgive me.

After a strong close to week one, i was tempted to take a class last sunday. and again today (it being sunday), i miss the yoga. crazy, i know, but it feels weird now not to stretch my body every day. While last week was defined by extremes, this week my practice felt great! this is not to say that is wasn’t a struggle to shut off my mind and just do the yoga. now that the nausea is gone (knock on wood), i can get into every posture if i let myself.

developed a crutch to help me beat the heat: ICE water. i have two liter bottles for class filled  to the brim. during the standing series, i try only to drink during the designated “party time” following the warm up series and before triangle pose. once we hit the floor series, though it’s a free for all. drinking water in-between every pose.

it’s purely accidental when some of the cold stuff dribbles down my face and onto my body before camel pose. i most definitely wasn’t trying to cool myself down that way. nope. no way, no how.

it’s enabling me to quiet my mind enough to get through. . .  for now. As Yogananda said, “the human mind is like a drunken monkey stung by a bee,” and it can most definitely work to detriment as many of us are finding. monkey mind is very crafty! i WILL lose this crutch and any others i may develop.

My new best friend - icee nicee

Michon, one of the staff members here and a teacher, told the story of having watched a baby zebra, attacked by a lion the day previous and still with a bloody shank, eating grass paying no mind to the wound nor acting fearful of a potential future attack. the past is past and all that made the reality for that zebra was eating the grass. get it? it’s a metaphor for what me and my fellow trainees must do to get through. we need to eat the fucking grass. be present dammit!

monday, tuesday, and wednesday – the classes were CRAZY hot. insanity peppers hot. one of the ventilating fans died, and so did most of us. i surprisingly had some of my strongest classes. i never left the room!! amazed myself.

Monday

Tum Tum, a descendant of Bishnu Ghosh (Bikram’s guru), taught AM, Boss taught PM. Felt i was flying after each.

Tuesday

Rajashree taught AM – her last class before leaving for India for several weeks to attend the Pune Festival.  Boss taught PM. this was the most intensely hot classes yet and Boss got sick and had to leave the room. not due to the heat, but from a bug he picked up as we later found out. we’re all hoping we don’t get it! Eric, staff member from Sweden, finished off the class in his stead.

Wednesday

Happy Rosh Hashanah! Polly from Headquarters taught AM and left us with an image to help us get through the next 7 weeks. we are to imagine ourselves floating in a pool of cool water during savasana. i couldn’t help but think of my sitto (grandmother) and how she would float vertically (!) in my uncle’s pool and i would struggle to float on my back because i could never relax enough. such an appropriate lesson to remember. i need to relax my mind and let my body do the work. during that class i began meditating on my sitto and guidu (grandfather), concentrating on feeling their spirits with me, helping me to relax and support me in the poses. i’m not a spiritual person, in fact i push that side down again and again. one: because i’m a skeptic, two: because spirituality has become so tangled up in religion and fanaticism. now i’m letting it come through and it feels good. i feel safe with them – even if their spirits only exist in my mind, it’s enough.

Marlon from Colorado taught PM class. She insisted the door stay open, for which we all cheered. after five poorly ventilated classes, this was a refreshing treat i was willing to embrace. it was a fab class – went full out in every pose – major confidence boost. oh yeah, i remember being “good” at this once before a long, long time ago in a galaxy far away.

Thursday

AM class taught by Emmy – i was a wee bit scared after last week’s correction and because boss kept us up till 3AM watching Jodhaa Akbar (great flick, btw, wish i could have stayed awake during the last hour of it), but it ended up being an excellent class. sometimes a tired mind means, body can do more. PM class with Jim who is the lead instructor here. “did well, didn’t die,” is what i wrote in my notebook following that class. they are beginning to run together.

Friday 

Carolyn Beshara taught AM. I had taken a master class  and posture clinic with her before so i knew what to expect. Great class, good ventilation. She is a cool lady. Lead us through a color meditation at the end of class. Left refreshed.

Jakob from New York taught PM. He ruled! High energy, funny. Choice quote: “Its Party Time! It’s a Bikram Party-where you get 1/2 naked and drink water for 30 seconds.”  With one more class on Saturday, we were psyched to learn PM lecture was canceled – Boss was off to Tokyo – and we could rest! J and I went to Indian with another great gal from training.

Saturday

Jim taught class again in place of Michon who was sick. Strong performance – he gave me a correction on my grip during bow. that’s two now, the first from emmy for standing bow and now for floor bow. this time i just felt grateful for the correction and opportunity to try the right way in second set. so much easier with these new grips!!

week one was all about food and drink and bodily functions. this week AKA the week of puffy faces (water retention from all the lovely salty fattiness consumed in week one) people are starting to test the boundaries of this process, seeing what they can get away with and becoming irritable when there is push back. very curious. i’m enjoy the structure of the days. when i have too much free time i get a slightly anxious – not sure what to do with myself.  though today was an exception.

room with a view . . . of LAX

view part 2

started the day with what is becoming a sunday morning ritual – a wonderful conversation with my new friend M over tea about the week’s events with some philosophy thrown in. then i headed to manhattan beach, meeting up with some fabulous fellow trainees on the shuttle bus there. we got lunch (shrimp taco for me), swam in the ocean, sun bathed, talked about this whole thing we’re doing, practiced some dialogue, played yoga, and then left to get ice cream (strawberry with chocolate sprinkles). it was a glorious day. not sure how i will adjust back to real life. . . 7 weeks to go!

This experience is amazing. Give me more more more!

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