Sunday, October 18, 2009

Week 2 Woo Hoo

I can’t believe I made it through this week. It was very very tough for me. I was feeling great on Monday and so I really pushed hard in Monday night’s class (Bikram teaching.) It was good to work hard of course. However it really made me tired (of course.) You’re supposed to gain energy in the class but with little sleep it gets dicey. Three nights in a row Monday through Wednesday we stayed up watching movies till 3-4am. Each night I think except one I ended up sleeping on the floor. It’s technically not allowed that you sleep on the floor but at a certain point they stop coming around to wake you up and send you back to your seats. Pillows are not allowed except for medical reason. However I have two smallish bamboo blankets that are wonderful as pillows and support for my lower back in those awful chairs with no padding on the back. Really it’s torture. Once I just kind of lost it and sat on the floor in front of my chair (barely big enough space to squeeze my butt down there because of the row of chairs in front of me and contorted my head through and underneath my chair and slept there. Who knew I’d be doing yoga in the lecture hall. Really.

Tuesday and Wednesday were just a blur. Each night no matter what I read a few pages of Jitterbug Perfume (Robbins) to help me escape and turn my mind off. The only night I didn’t do that I was obsessing about counting how many days left till I get to go home and sleep and see Jonas and the kitties. (It’s 48 days by the way… graduation is seven weeks from today). We had brutal classes this week. The heat was extreme. It was 120-125 on Tuesday night, class with a guy from Mexico. He really pushed everyone hard. I didn’t like some things he said – at one point he said, have no compassion for yourself. I don’t. I found that to be just awful and I was swearing at him under my breath for the rest of class.

Bikram gave a few great lectures this week in the afternoons and I loved that. It was easy to stay awake. We finished everyone reciting half moon in front of him so we’re moving into the next phase of the training. He lectured on karma yoga, love, some of the science behind the poses, his history, all kinds of stuff. He talked about Hatha Yoga which is the limb of the eight limb yoga system that is physical postures and why you can’t really get into the mind to improve it without getting the body in shape. The goal of the yoga is to turn the mind off and open the heart so that the mind can be swayed by the heart and not the other way around. I noticed after that lecture my mind’s tendency to bitch and moan every morning before class. I just feel so put-upon and “don’t wanna.” I also feel that way in the night movies but thanks to my bamboo blankets and some naps I was a little better with the 3am and 4am nights.

The morning classes are not taught by Bikram. They were sort of medium this week. I usually go in trying to be with the body and let it open up on its own. At night, for the 5pm class, however, it’s all business. Bikram teaches or he gets someone else to come in and kick our asses all over the place. It’s been hot this week and that hasn’t helped – the heat inside is amplified by the heat outside. Last week it was cool outside and not hot enough in the tent to stretch properly. They fixed that. They brought in new generators, etc. So they started pumping hot air under the floor which is a temporary floor of the semi permanent tent, so it’s thin. By Thursday night – the temp in the room was 130 degrees and humidity was 40 percent. Normal class is 105 / 40. It was steamy and brutal. Bikram pushed and pushed us. The girl next to me collapsed and went out of the room with the help of the staff. Many others crawled or were carried outside. I went down after the standing series and the floor was so hot that where you can usually catch some sort of relief there, it was burning and cooking us from underneath. I was in tears, hysterically crying. The staff asked me if I wanted to go out and I said no. I just kept crying but stayed on my mat and tried to do some postures. My body would not allow me to lie on that burning floor and the thought of it had me in tears. I was in a pile of snot and tears by the end of the class and almost half of the class was down at some point. It was awful. That night the staff met with Bikram. At lecture he said, “I didn’t realize I was burning your asses and your balls!” (He’s very crude.) One of the senior teachers had her watch on and it burned her skin.

So they gave us the night off after 11pm and I was grateful for the rest. I was a wreck. Friday morning the heat was lower in the am. For the pm class, with Bikram, it was hot again in there. I was shaking with fear putting my mat down. I went to a visiting teacher and asked him what to do about abject fear. After checking that I was ok, hydrated, and fed he realized I was just scared. He said a bunch of stuff trying to make me feel better but it didn’t. He then said you’ll be ok, I’ll keep an eye on you. I said I’ll be in the back corner. He said NO you go right in front of Bikram, get his energy. I said can I do it when he gets back? (He’ll be gone next week) he said NO IT’S ALREADY DONE. Go. So I went in and moved my mat to the center of the room, closer than I’ve ever been to the podium. I went outside in tears and my friends consoled me. The fear was palpable. It turns out Bikram had to catch a flight and taught an 80 minute high energy class (usually 90 minutes). It was amazing. I did every posture. He didn’t pick on me for doing anything wrong and I was openly in front of him, which was a HUGE fear of mine to overcome.

After the class he puts on his music he’s recorded. He put on this techno track and everyone burst into applause and jumped up and danced. I did not dance, I was just very happy to have survived and faced my fear of the middle of the room. They gave us the night off last night too, then class this am. I was tired but did most of everything. Good news – my foot feels way better right now. I’m hoping to have continual improvement. Poses getting stronger and better. Mind getting stronger. I miss and love you all.

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