Friday May 22, 2:00
I’m sitting in the Denny’s on Rte 111, which runs along the base of the mountains that surround the desert. I’m cooler in here than I’ve been for days and days – I can’t remember what it feels like to be cold, but I suppose I’ll remember soon enough. I decided to stay for quite a bit longer than I had originally planned, but I’m learning so very much here – mostly from Diane Ducharme, but also from other senior teachers and other teachers in general.
Sunny and Linda left yesterday and I have to say that I’m really impressed with their collective passion for the practice. I had so much fun talking yoga with them – and hanging out with them. They have extended a welcome to me when I get to Massachusetts – I’m looking forward to that. Cory from my studio in Sac also visited for a few days - it was great to have a friend at my humble RV abode.
Because Diane is friends with Linda and Sunny, I also got to hang out a few times with her. I’ve been shadowing her as much as I possibly can – after each class, she stays behind and helps people to improve their practice. Before helping them with the posture of their choice, she makes them do cobra pose. Most people do it wrong, she reasons because teachers don’t use the dialogue to explain how to use it. She is a huge proponent of dialogue and I’ve come to realize how much more work I need to do to get each and every word in the dialogue in my head and out of my mouth. It’s not just Diane, it’s seeing both the power of the dialogue by those who use it and the effect of those who don’t use it. I’ve enjoyed taking the classes from the teachers who have sung, who have told stories, and who are “airy fairy (as other have referred to it) and the yoga is good, but it’s not Bikram yoga. There’s something very powerful about the descriptions, the pacing, the way one does the postures when the dialogue is used. I’m a huge fan, and I have a lot of work to do to embrace it wholly. I also believe it would be so helpful to require all the senior teachers who get up on the podium to stick immediately to dialogue – it would accomplish two things: first, it would help the students to get one more example of how to use it; second, it would eliminate the excuse that students (justifiably in my opinion) have that they don’t have to learn the dialogue fully because senior teacher X doesn’t use it. They need to close that loop.
Bikram has taught two classes while I’ve been here. He is in prime Bikram mode. When he yelled at a woman, “Miss Pink, what the hell you doing?” I fell out of the pose and almost peed my pants I laughed so hard – it was the exact same scene I experienced in my own training when “miss glasses” was not trying the right way. “I HATE lazy people!” Many would consider him crass, even rude, but there’s no one like Bikram, and you really have to hand it to a guy who has been hanging out in his underwear for 40+ years teaching the same thing over and over. He told some of the same stories in lecture a few nights ago, but this time because I wasn’t completely exhausted and brain dead, I actually got the meaning of what he said. Then I started to nod off. I’m no good after 11pm. Bikram would say I’m wasting my time with so much sleep, but this gal needs a solid 8 hours.
Posture clinic has been really great. First of all, the students in this training really, and I mean REALLY know their dialogue. But of course there are a few who are struggling. I’ve noticed that women of a particular age seem to have more trouble than others, and I can totally identify with them. There was a women yesterday who was questioning her ability to do this, and I told her that she absolutely, positively could – and to have faith in herself – she called me an angel – hey, if I can help, that’s wonderful.
I would recommend that everyone come back to TT for as long as they can. It really is a wonderful opportunity to reconnect to the source – to learn much of what you missed in the original TT because of exhaustion, to see how other’s teach after you have taught yourself, to lend support and love to the new trainees, and to practice doubles as much as you want and then leave when the movies fire up!! THAT’S AWESOME!!!
Ok, time to go to the post office, run a few other errands and prepare for afternoon yoga. I love this path. Can’t imagine doing anything else.