Monday, November 10, 2008

week 8

This is actually monday of week 9 as I write this..but nothing too unusual has happened this week yet...yet..

Week 8 was a week of highs and lows. We got tuesday night off to watch Obama win, which was just a night off for some (me) and an excuse to go to Walmart and get ice cream. Dialogue was finished on Monday afternoon, and each group voted for a rep to do spine twist. Our rep was Jodi Ch..can't spell..eski. She rocked it out verbatim with tons of energy!
Bikram also started his posture clinics starting with half moon. I got up and demonstrated balancing stick which was enjoyable. It was cool to actually be getting corrections for Bikram.
Then...Thursday. Ohhh thursday. The surprise triple.

We had two strong classes that day, the evening class taught by a high-energy little aussie girl. There had been rumours floating around that there was a "double" that night. But I didn't really think it would actually happen. Then when final savasana came around, they asked us all to stay there. I initially thought Manali was just asking us not to fidget and leave...then I saw Lewis walk by with that Orange towel. God Dammit. I tried to rationalize by thinking "oh wait..bikram is just doing standing bow posture clinic because we couldn't do it in a cold room today"...HA Mild panic setting in!!!
"Check check, 1,2,3,4! What the hell...get up everyone, you're late for 5 o'clock class!" Bikram comes in the room. He gets up on the podium and we start the breathing...I was still sitting down, I was so dazed I couldn't believe if I was dreaming or not. I eventually got up at standing bow (I was dazed for a while!) and tried to lift my foot. I couldn't! I had run out of water so I decided to go get some. Fortunately there was a big jug of electrolytes ready outside (they had planned this!) so I got some of those. After 5-10 minutes of cooling down outside, I was encouraged to go back in. I finished what was a semblance of the floor series. Surprisingly I actually managed to walk out of that class without much of a limp. Indeed I was bloody tired and sat down in the shower because I was so tired, only to flop like a wet towel on my bed once dry. Oh, and did I mention that we stayed up ( or were kept up) until 2:30am having lecture and watching Bikram's TV shows?
I wasn't grumpy when I left at 2:30am. I was actually laughing, and had a smile on my face. I kinda thought...whatever - I'm still alive! I don't think I'd want to do a day like that again, but I'm proud to say that I survived it!

Week 9 is here...5 more days of class, a talent show, and a graduation, dialogue review and then...the first class. Wednesday the 19th!!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Week 7

14 more days to go!

Week 7 was fairly laid-back. Some of us finished our last posture on friday, and tomorrow the rest will finish their Spine Twisting. Wednesday and Thursday we had lectures by a guy named Jon Burras - the Fascia Guy - a body worker, massage therapisty kinda guy who shared his opinions on the current western medical system (some people disagreed with him!). He also talked about many myths concerning health, the fitness myth, the way the human body is set up, energy channels...etc..

Friday night Lynn Whitlow gave us her lowdown on teaching. A lot of useful information about mistakes not to make.

Wow - this week's blog is lame. Ok - well tonight I'm going to a chip and dip party! It'll be a nice round-out to week 7.

Week 8 here we come!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

week 6

"Hi guys, it the end of week 6...can you believe it?"

Alright, so we're 2/3 done, and pretty much almost done the dialogue. We're starting Ardha Kurma Aaaasana tomorrow, and hopefully we'll finish the series by the end of the week. It'll be nice to just review the dialogue after...and not have to CRAM any more new dialogue in.

We had a series of lectures this week - Dr. Choudhury (not bikram or raj) gave a lecture mostly on women's gynae...which was actually fairly interesting. Raj gave her theoretical lectures on the physical benefits/effects of the different postures, followed by demonstrations (using students) on how to correctly/incorrectly perform all the postures. Thursday night we had a lecture by Victoria-based physician Dr Devi - a super high- energy, but very intuitive family doctor. Her lecture was basically on a new thought in the medical community: instead of treating chronic illness by starting at the "core" with drugs and surgery, and then progressively branching out into more and more 'esoteric' forms of alternative treatment, it makes more sense to start with things like yoga, and then slowly branch out into the more invasive forms of treatment only as a last resort.
The other theory is that nearly all chronic dysfunction (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual) is caused by stress in the body. The idea is that by reducing the caustic effects of stress in the body (yoga, meditation, etc) the symptoms and effects of most chronic illnesses can be greatly reduced. Seems reasonable.

To relax, a few of us took a taxi-ride into the main bay area to go to a nice restaurant called 100% natural. There are actually 4 other ones...but this one sits on a dock in the ritzy Bay of Acapulco. I could almost feel fat ol' Elvis sitting near me drinking margaritas and taking his pills. Ah yes. Back at the hotel Blake and Noelle and I then went and had some tea around the pool, while yammerin' about whatever. Beautiful, beautiful evening!

Today was a lazy-as-fuck day. Pretty much just studied a bit of dialogue, surfed online for hours, slumped around the pool and tanned, and then watched a dumb Sandra Bullock spectaculaire called "The Net" on TV. Then I started dialogue translation. I just translated Half-Moon (La demie-lune) into french. Only 25 more to go! Faaaak.

Week 7 here we gooooo

Saturday, October 18, 2008

week 5...over!


5 weeks, 54 Yoga classes, and 17 dialogue deliveries in posture clinic!

Everything is coming together. It actually feels like I am becoming a teacher. In other words, the transition to the somewhat scary "other side."

The entire week was up and down. Some posture clinics went great, some went poorly. Or what seemed at the time to be poor. These posture clinics are at times harder than the yoga. There's nowhere to really hide; you are on the spot, and it's live or die! You just have to get that dialogue OUT!!! Wednesday's afternoon posture clinic was a turning point: a breakdown, crying included, but a turning point. But you know, sometimes you have to breakdown to breakthrough! Thursday's Posture clinic (cobra) went fantastically well...I was full of energy, and it just felt natural. They said I rocked it...and everyone really knew that, and I knew it too. Friday's BOMB of locust post (I just froze at one spot...couldn't speak!) kept all that in check. As Bikram says...when bad things happen in life, we should be happy as a lark: it means something good is coming very soon. When good things happen, we have to enjoy them carefully, as they will be gone, and something less desirable is soon to follow. I'm not the only one experiencing such changes. There were at least 8 other breakdowns that I personally witnessed, but I'm sure there were many more outside of the group I was in. Anyway.

Yoga is going much better. After the IV issue, I now drink THREE 675ml bottles of Electrolit (mexican pedialyte...they have regular pedialyte, but their brand actually tastes better) per day. One in each class, and once outside of class whenever I feel I need it. It has completely corrected the insane dizziness in class, the blacking out. I have been strongly finishing most of my classes.

Saturday - easy day. The class was COLD. I couldn't believe it - the first time I felt a chill, and barely took any water in class.
Massage - deep tissue. Spa atmosphere. Some guy grinding the hell out of my muscles. Need I say more?
Room service - I've been eating ichiban noodles for my dinners all's time for a treat!

Sunday...probably just more of the same...maybe some poolside, and of course...the dialogue.

Week 6: less posture clinic hours, and now we start covering the therapeutic benefits of the yoga postures with Rajashree (Bikram's wife) She has a degree in yoga therapy, and is the foremost person in the understanding of the deeper workings of the yoga, and how they cure (or alleviate, prevent) many of the common illnesses - some of which debilitating - most people suffer.

Until next weekend!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Week #4

So you'd think by week 4, the dumb drama would sorta be over? Nope.

Monday evening's (or tuesday, I kinda forget) was probably the most unusual class at teacher training, mainly because this has never happened in the 14 years of teacher trainings. Bikram left the class midway because he was upset with us! That class, people were still dying, throwing up, leaving, crying...all of it. So we were left hanging at half-tortoise posture, and that we were going to talk about it at the evening lecture. Needless to say everyone was tip-toeing around, and even the staff had a strangely sombre look on their faces. Just as we thought we were going to be KILLED ALIVE as we were notified boss was coming in the lecture hall, we heard his usual and perky, "check, check, 1,2,3,4"...

He told us he wasn't in a bad mood. He went and did some homework, and was wondering why into week 4 everyone was still shit and "couldn't even do a 90 minute GRANDMOTHER'S CLASS"! He called the yoga room turns out that the room (presumably somewhere around 45-degrees celcius) had NINETY-SEVEN (97) percent humidity. A far cry from the usual 40% humidity. So anyway - we now train with the doors open, with around 15 industrial fans mounted on the walls around the room, and 4-5 of the collapsible ceiling panels removed to allow the cooler (lol - yes the 32-degree "cooler" air!) to filter in.

I had a brief stint in the clinic yesterday morning. I was having trouble getting my hydration under control - I had been getting super dizzy and having to sit down a lot (re:bikram getting pissed) - so they gave me a hydration intra-venous hydration thingy. From now on, I just have to drink a stronger electrolyte solution. (gatorade is too weak)

Dialogue has been shooting along fairly quickly. We've done about 1 to 1.5 postures a day! We are at triangle as of Friday (I still have to do standing seperate-leg stretching, re: sitting in the clinic for 4 hours) It's the weekend though, so I have extra time to practice. Speaking of which...

Monday, October 6, 2008

So it's been a while...

It's been a while since I've posted. Weeks 2 and 3 were kinda rough for me physically, and blogging seemed to be the furthest thing from my mind.

We're getting there.... We're becoming yoga teachers! Posture clinics have started and as I type this, we have all finished the eagle posture. It's amazing to see how people have improved so quickly in just a short amount of time. It seemed it was a question not of ability, but of figuring out how to learn. Some people hadn't had to learn this way in a long time, or ever, really!

Today was also the FIRST time since the beginning of training since I did every posture in the class. Now it seems like, strangely, I have no excuse but to do every posture from here on in. (we'll see how that goes, obviously) It could have been mental, it could have been physical, maybe emotional; whatever it was I'm glad it's gone.

We've had a nice variety of teachers for the past few classes - it's so nice to see the different teaching styles. There are always little quirks about every teacher that we don't like. They talk too much. They hold the postures too long. (the room is too fuckin' hot). They laugh too much. They're too serious. They're too funny. They're too bitchy. They're too yellow, they're too green.
It's obvious part of the training is also to remember to have a bit of compassion...knowing that we'll bit on that podium, having students critique us internally, avoid our classes...haha! But all of that doesn't really matter. The important thing is to remember to have a passion, and just do the job correctly and safely - beyond that...this sounds cliche but...we're all human, and "perfect is boring"!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Survival: Week 1

They say it's an adjustment period..and you go "yeah yeah yeah...I'm FINE. I ALWAYS finish my classes at home!"

Except teacher training isn't reality. Or well maybe everything in the "real world" back home ISN'T reality, and this training in acapulco is - I don't know.

All I know is that when you start cramping, and have to be carried out of the class, have nausea all week, have snot, piss, shit, puke, tears, coming out of every orifice of your body, you reconsider what is real or not. Being pushed to the brink of your own existence (or so it feels... in retrospect it's not that death-defying an experience) is quite humbling and definitely brings a whole new meaning to compassion. As a teacher, I will be glad that I know first how much everything can just plain h-u-r-t.

I was probably over-electrolyting too. Instead of barrels of gatorade like I did the first three days I switched to having a bit of pedialyte before and after class, and ice water with fresh limes during the class.(The avocadoes and limes here and bloody incredible) No crazy salting, pills, drops, or any other shit...for now.

Appetite. Sooo...for the past lunch has been soup. Soup. Yes - this is Damon Davies talking...SOUP. That's all I could eat without feeling like I'm going to spray puke all over the bloody place. However...I just had a sandwich from the nice cafe here. It was a bit painful at first, but now I feel good. I think my digestive system is starting to smarten the fuck up. (No seriously...our daily buffet is awesome...I'll be bloody damned if all I eat is fuckin' old soup!)

Anyway - so one more class tomorrow morning (easy peasy - we got the night I'll have a good sleep!) and then free for the weekend. I will proooobably sleep for 48 hours straight. We'll see.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Orientation Day!

Hoorah - internet in the room!

So after a crusty annoying layover in mexico city for a night (at the dirty airport) I have magically landed in BEAUTIFUL acapulco. Like really. The water is warm in the ocean, that's literally steps from the *open-air* lobby. My room's view could be better (all I see is a roof) but it's not like I'm going to be spending that much time in here. At least I have internet...and A/C.'s pretty damn humid!

I went and saw the yoga room...and let's just say this is industrial size yoga instruction. It's a bloody warehouse!!

Anyway...orientation, and a fabulous welcome dinner tonight! Let's see how that goes...

Friday, September 12, 2008

Last day in montreal

Not much to write yet - I'm nervous as hell, and still have things to buy! Aside from getting up tomorrow at 4:30 am, I'm hoping it will be a good day.