Saturday, October 31, 2009

Week 4 Strength and weakness

I had an amazing week this week. Monday night (second class of the week) I felt like I had a whole new muscle suit of armor on... This week I did some amazing things physically. Many here at the training arrived with all these capabilities so it's maybe not that amazing for most teachers but it's big for me.

In padahastasana, warm up forward bend, I touched my forehead to my shins. In standing head to knee pose, I touched my forehead to both knees - then quickly fell out of the posture, but I did it for a second! My balance is getting better and I can definitely hold all parts longer. In half tortoise I kept my hips on my heels for the first time EVER (trying to do this since the dawn of time). In the final forward bend (seated) I touched my elbows to the floor early this week and Friday night in Bikram's class I touched, for a moment, my thumb to my forehead (while holding my toes with index and middle fingers). It was an incredibly rewarding week for me. I felt very strong until Thursday, then I had a weak, weak day. A cheeseburger halfway through the day may have helped me back on Friday - I had a great hilarious class with a British teacher and Friday night's class with Bikram. He requested that everyone wear black and orange and we did... Saturday morning (this morning) I was all icky feeling and had to take it kind of easy. But all in all this was a great week for me.

Posture clinics are going well. I have to take back what I said before about the teachers giving us harsh criticism. They have been completely fair in my opinion and are definitely trying to help us be better teachers. I delivered standing bow pulling pose last night (we were in clinic till 12:30am) in front of the head of the posture clinic "department" at training. I was incredibly nervous but did a very good job. I actually put so much juice in it that she said you're doing a great job but you use that energy in that balancing pose and you might knock them out of the pose! She gave me tips on the pacing and intensity of the next few postures and sent me on my way. Best "homework" ever. Awesome.

I have started to become a helper for my posture clinic group. I have a reputation as a good dialogue deliverer - good inflection, command and power, and the ability to control my voice purposefully. I have helped quite a few people this week and plan to get to posture clinic 20 minutes early each night to help others. It's good karma yoga. I could help out at the weekend study sessions but I need that time to get ahead in my own memorization. There are some who arrived with the whole dialogue memorized but I am not one of those! Double posture clinics will start this week and we will quickly catch up to what I know, then I'll be scrambling like everyone else.

Note for those going to training:
Bring three outfits that are for posture clinic only. Capris, tanks, sports bras - separate from anything you practice in. There are rules about what you can wear to posture clinic and they're strict about it. So save yourself some scrambling and have separate posture clinic clothes. NO GREEN THINGS AT TRAINING - no mats, water bottles, blankets, sweats, clothes of any kind. NOTHING green. Ask Bikram why at training.

Memorization-wise - DO NOT sign up for training at the last minute. Save yourself some grief and wait for the next training. Sign up early and get your dialogue and spend 3-4 months with it. Arrive with the standing series memorized and memorized well. Then you will be VERY HAPPY. When you memorize work with someone so they can check that you're doing it verbatim. You can't just read it out loud either. You will be delivering it with feeling, standing up in front of about 40 people and three teachers writing notes about you that you never get to read. It's purposefully more stressful than teaching an actual class (so they say.)

Every day you need good electrolytes. I like Ultima brand lemonade - it's stevia sweetened. Great. I also use trace mineral drops in my water. I have two insulated water bottles, one for straight water, one for water and trace minerals and ultima mix (1 scoop). I put ice in my bottles. Some teachers recommend against it. It is my habit to reach for coldness in the hot room. I will try to work on that. I swear. Rooming with someone from my home state has been wonderful. The luck of the draw can be good or bad... I guess that's why they call it the luck of the draw.

Last thing, in class, just wear shorts for guys, shorts and sports bra for girls. They haven't cracked down on the capris in the yoga room yet, but they could - Bikram wants to SEE the KNEE.

I guess that's it for now... Happy Halloween. I wore my orange cardboard flames that Janet gave me with my going away present to class this morning. They wilted about as soon as I walked in the room, but I do have a pic of my friend in a nun habit and me in my flames. Maggie and I went to the wax museum today (also some great pics.) I swear pics will be posted soon... Internet issues prevent it usually. I should be studying but I'm watching movies and studying at the breaks, chatting with Jonas, and trying to rest and relax before a massive study effort tomorrow. WOO HOO!!!!!

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