. . . it’s the end of week five!

holy shit. apologies – i’ve been a terrible blogger. i do have an excuse for last weekend – my parents came all the way to LA from Massachusetts as a birthday surprise!!

fam fam

i’m 30 now, by the by.  and Will was here (not a surprise).

manhattan beach pier with will

We celebrated my birthday all weekend by eating tons of delicious food and going to the beach. and i showed them around the yoga bubble. i have to admit it felt pretty weird to have my real life intersect with my bikram yoga life. the initial surprise of my parents arrival and trying to reconcile these worlds sent me into shock and then a full-on panic attack, the only remedy for which seemed to be handfuls of chocolate-covered espresso beans. i continually stuffed them into my face until the panic subsided. it was a strange reaction. whew. once i overcame the shock, we had a fabulous weekend together. i miss my loves.

the anxiety attack was to be a harbinger of the emotional roller coaster of a week to come. but let me start with week 3.

week 3 AKA welcome to full speed ahead

this week marked the beginning of posture clinics. we were broken into groups of 20 organized by last name – shout out to group 15! – to practice delivering the Bikram Yoga dialogue. did i mention already that we have to memorize more than 40 pages verbatim? yup. now we’re actually reciting it and getting critiqued. luckily, the owners of my home studio (mission yoga!) recommended i learn the dialogue for as many postures as possible before training even started. so freaking glad i took that piece of advice! while most people were studying late into the night, i was able to watch tv or study even further ahead. i’m also pretty damn grateful for my natural ability to memorize. thanks brain.

as for the critiques, all my feedback has been positive! woohoo! i’m getting confident in my delivery, having fun playing with my voice – using inflection, getting loud, being a bit silly. basically, i’m trying to figure out how best to motivate my future students using only my voice for 90 long minutes in the hot ass torture chamber that is the Bikram yoga room. Also fun, seeing the progress of my fellow group members. taking criticism and coming back stronger.

they are so strong… we are all so strong!

this is the week we started anatomy with dr. jim preddy. he is the man! he is hilarious. so funny, he can keep a roomful of sleep-deprived yogis awake during nighttime lectures (though i did doze once or twice. sorry dr. p).  he also answered my question about night sweats. lots of us were waking up drenched in sweat in the middle of the night. now this had happened to me during my regular practice, so i thought something was wrong with me. in fact, our bodies release hormones to condense our urine so that we sweat more during class (our bodies’ futile attempts to cool us down). our bodies may continue to secrete these hormone at night and the result is night sweats. it was pretty funny to hear the collective, “ohhhhhhh,” in the room once the explanation was given. we are going through some shit.

week 4 AKA the week that nearly never existed

it flew by. posture clinics were fantastic. my “homework” was to help others who were struggling. i began to prefer clinic to class, especially since i tore my hamstring at its attachment site. again. on the other side. so annoyed. had many strong morning classes, surprisingly. dreaded evening classes, but made it through. bikram was back in town, but didn’t teach any classes. and i can’t remember if he lectured that week. oh, we did watch a movie till 3AM. i managed to stay awake for the whole thing, cry a little for the characters, and get up and have a wonderful morning class with emmy.

i finally got up the courage to ask emmy a question about my grips during certain postures. she stays after class answering questions. many of us sit at her feet and listen as she gives corrections. she is a treasure. we are learning so much from her. she looked at my grip and confirmed that i should be separating my thumbs to get my wrists straight. now my practice is slightly different and i am using my quads more than my hands in standing separate head to knee. woohoo – on my way to the advanced expression of this posture.

week 5 AKA welcome to puberty . . . again

i turned 30 on monday, and had a lovely day. received so many great birthday wishes from friends and family. my roommate J got me a delish cupcake and made my day with a beautiful card. She also went crazy and gave me yoga shorts! thanks girl!

so sorry that i have not thanked everyone yet. i shouldn’t even be writing on this thing now – i should be studying my dialogue, dialogue, dialogue! but i am thinking of you and am so grateful!

with the twice daily classes, the late nights with boss, and the pressure to deliver awesome dialogue, we are getting a little raw. this was a week of uncontrollable giggles, visceral bursts of tears, and lots of rumors (which i won’t get into here). many of us entered what feels like a second adolescence. my teacher from home, Julia, gave me the heads up on this phenomenon, but i still wasn’t prepared. it is pretty, pretty, pretty amazing to feel this crazy youthful passion again. loving all the ups and even the downs. not loving the acne and weight gain, but hey, it is only temporary. the rest of it is really fun since now i’m 30 and i know myself much better.

boss is back. he taught three amazing classes (tuesday-thursday nights). we had a few nights during which he kept us up till all hours watching mahabharat, a renowned tv show out of India based on the teachings of Lord Krishna. as my friend and spring trainee, danielle says, it has the “best special effects ever created for the small screen.” she did not make mention of the longest mourning scene of all time however. on thursday night, i dozed off a bit to women crying over the death of loved ones (it was 2AM). when i woke up about 15 minutes later, the women in the scene were STILL crying.

back to class with boss. whatever you think of bikram – he can be at once infuriating and infinitely lovable – he will teach his ass off and hand you your own in the process. and if you’re me, you will love every moment of it. he makes you work hard even if you don’t want to or think you’re incapable. the heat is back and so is the struggle, but it doesn’t feel so hard when he is on the podium. and on thursday night i had a breakthrough in final stretching (despite my injury) – i touched my goddamned forehead to my goddamned feet. it was unreal!

also a thrill, watching my friend S get up on the podium with boss, while he he coached her into full camel. then he stood on her hips! it was awesome. this event triggered the (first) visceral burst of tears. beautiful. S’s practice is gorgeous.

the second round of tears came during jim’s class on friday night. it was carnage, this class. it was one of those when we started pranayama, i thought, “oh shit, i’m fucked.” and even though i felt dizzy to the point of collapse during balancing series, i managed to pull through and have a strong floor series. as soon as we finished breathing, the tears came. no direct cause, they came from my guts. people were carried out, puked, fainted, etc., but i never left the room and did almost every posture. it was an otherworldy experience. the week was capped off with a lovingly taught class from balwan, another staff member here.

last night i went to dinner with some great ladies. we had a LOT of laughs, continuing the adolescent-like jag. it was fantastic.

thai dinner - in the elephant (not me)

ok, it’s study time again. until next time.