Saturday, October 18, 2008

Week 5 Recap

Greetings sent during a relaxing saturday afternoon.  A lovely respite after a crazy couple of days. After the “Go Lu Go” event, I kind of blew it in posture clinic. The posture of the day was wind removing pose and when I got up to deliver, the coach asked me if I was ready. I said yes, I was ready and she said she didn’t think I was and suggested that I sit down. I said no, I was ready and began the posture. About 5 lines in, I stopped and said I had fucked up and asked to start over.  She suggested again that I sit down and I told her no--that would be admitting defeat, so I started over and did fairly ok. Not my best posture, but certainly not my worst. Now, one way to describe the situation is to say that she psyched me out by suggesting that I wasn’t ready and I needed to sit down. The alternative is that I psyched myself out, but by staying up there, I pushed through it. I think I did have a breakthrough; I studied until 1:30 on Thursday night for Friday’s pose (about 90 minutes, nothing compared to others) and delivered it beautifully. It felt great! I even got to tell the group my Go Lu Go story, and brought quite a few people to tears. That was cool to have touched people that way. 

I haven’t been worried since then. Others, mostly the perfectionists, were absolutely freaked out by Friday evening because we were moving into postures that they hadn’t practiced to perfection. So when we got into posture clinic on Friday, the room was filled with nervous energy combined with mania. We had a coach from Boston, and she was very kind. Her feedback was mostly appropriate and very encouraging. One guy wasn’t loud enough and she told him she would make him “deliver it to her in the bathroom”. The intended meaning, of course, was that she would go in the room next door and he’d have to yell it loud enough for her to hear it, but we all just busted up at the double entendre.

When we finished with Cobra, people started to look around nervously as we had to start on Locust and we weren’t ready. I was pretty calm; it’s not a terribly difficult pose to describe; mostly, you have to do is be sure to get the head, hands and feet in the right position, and then it’s all encouragement, “go up, way up, more up, lift up, come up MORE….aaaaaand relax” That’s not exactly right, but it’s not that hard to get close. So, Malavika, aka Miss Calcutta, is from India and is amazingly prepared and usually delivers in a crisp and direct manner. She got up and just freaking let loose! “put your hands under your body, yeah, yeah, do that” and then “lift your body” (when it’s supposed to be leg), but she just kept going strong and when it came time to encourage people to continue to hold their both legs up, she was swinging her arm around like a cowboy on a wild buck: “Go Up Way Up Come Up, More Up” and the normally disciplined and proper Indian woman was swinging around like a maniac just blew our minds. She finished and ran around the room getting high fives from everyone. We just laughed and laughed and laughed, both from her energetic performance, and from the break in tension. It was a great night. 

Here’s an image of proper Malavika teaching triangle to Jason from Hawaii.

We have finished five weeks of training. My body is getting stronger (and firmer) and soon my joints will stop aching and my knees will stop throbbing. In afternoon class, I’m fully participating; in morning class, I’m getting through most of it. When I think of what I’ve accomplished so far, I’m pretty impressed. Not in an egotistic way, but more with a quiet pride. I’m doing this, and after Friday’s dialogue, I finally got to believe that I CAN be a Bikram yoga instructor. And THAT is why they put so much pressure on you. You have to come to that conclusion on your own, you have to know it in your soul. I love this journey. It’s not easy by any stretch, but it’s amazing and extraordinary. And I have help. That’s what’s really great.

A few more random thoughts:

On Thursday evening, Manali, Bikram’s personal assistant, led us in a beautiful meditation. She sang in sanscrit a prayer (she called it something else) that she had learned as a child. Her father taught it to her and she admitted that she just liked the tune when young, and the meaning continues to unfold. It was so beautiful, if I hadn’t already had my cry for the day, I would have wept at the beauty of it. Instead, I just felt an energetic humming throughout my body. Sunny, who’s very much into these things, said that was Kundalini energy. She felt it too. This week and next, we’ll learn more about that topic as Rajashree and another woman will be here to talk about chakras and other healing benefits of yoga.

In regards to the healing benefits of yoga, some of the senior instructors stood up on Thursday night and talked about their experiences. One fellow said that he was nearly dead at 27 from clots in his leg. The doctors wanted to amputate and he refused, and instead found some relief through other types of yoga. After a regular practice of Bikram, the pain in his legs disappeared completely, AND while in teacher training, he got a massage and while they were working on his legs, he had a huge realization that the pain in his legs was related to the death of his father and the subsequent sorrow. He referred to it as an “issue in the tissue”. Makes a tremendous amount of sense to me.

Another instructor had had ovarian cancer, normally a death sentence. She not only beat the cancer, after several years of Bikram yoga, the doctors said that that the ovary that they had removed mostly was regenerating and healthy. Go figure.

Third, an instructor with scoliosis said that her spine has straightened more than 4% since doing Bikram. That’s significant; as an adult, it’s virtually impossible to get the spine to correct. She also has had her bone density measured; at nearly 50, she has the bones of a 24 year old. This stuff isn’t magic, but it does heal the body, mind and soul.

Ok, have to get some postures memorized. Then another visit with Gorky!!!!

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