Sunday, October 25, 2009

Week 3 Lock the f-n knee!

Week three started on a very high note for me. Bikram was gone for the week to Japan and many other such exotic places where he is needed and wanted all the time. What that meant for us was a week of being excused at 11pm. It gave us a sense of regularity and calmness of schedule that was quite welcomed. Our schedule for the week was:
8:30-10am class with Emmy (with 8am sign in)
12:30 - 3 anatomy lecture with Dr. Tripiani (think I spelled that right)
3-4 lecture with Emmy (more about Emmy later)
5-6:30 class with 4:30pm sign in
9-11 pm posture clinic with various teachers leading small groups in really targeted teaching training exercises

Wash, rinse, repeat.

About Emmy - she is the 83 year old principle teacher of Bikram's Yoga College of India. She's been doing yoga for over sixty years. She is an absolutely amazing teacher who has seen everything. She is a stickler for alignment and I loved every one of her classes, even the one I ended up crying in... because of the heat. It wasn't particularly hot for most but it was for me. This is typical - some of us are strong and heat proof while others are weak/sick/suceptible to the heat/ etc. We're all on our individual ups and downs.

So Emmy is known for her toughness. She is tough in a different way than Bikram is. He is off the wall bouncing with energy. She is as Minali (staff member) says Silent. But Deadly. She was the first teacher to get off the podium and roam the room sneaking up on people to correct them. That's a freaky feeling - you don't know where she is and you are doing everything with the fear of god in you because you don't want to be poked and prodded or snuck up on from behind. Thankfully I work with attention to alignment all the time so I was not corrected this week. I spent 2-3 classes right in front of her as she taught from the back of the room so that was great. She holds poses for longer than I can (she asks us to hold poses for a long time) but I always fall out. I'm not that strong yet. Monday she taught a two hour class to start the week which had everyone walking around sore and tired for days.

Her lectures on pain (and other things) and her pose corrections and day of triangle posture clinic were wonderful. I have pictures but the internet connection here is 14 dollars a day so this is the first time my roommate and I have paid for it. She was up this time so her computer is what I'm using... and so I don't want to download my pics from my camera. But I will try...

I was riding high early in the week. In posture clinics, we deliver memorized pose instructions in a mock class setting with about forty people watching us, and teachers critiquing us. It is stressful for everyone, even me, who is not afraid of public speaking and feels good teaching. I am a born teacher and have wanted to teach yoga for about ten years, so this is the part of the training I'm stronger in. I'm not as strong at the actual yoga but it all evens out it seems.

In the hotel room suite, they have moved out all the furniture. There are two 15-20 person trainee groups in each room. We have our group that we stick with and another group each time so we eventually get to do posture clinic with everyone, and all different teachers. The room has taped off areas for the teacher, the demonstrators (the mock class members), etc. Everyone sits on the floor, there are strict rules about eating, going to the bathroom, no leaving, etc.

I have a theory about the militancy here. I feel that there are some who come to this training as a kind of yoga vacation. They're kind of la-di-da about the whole thing. Then there are those of us who researched the crap out of everything and take things very seriously, learn as much of the memorization stuff before we get here as we can, and are really tuned in. So I believe that the militancy in schedule and rules is for those la-di-da-ers - to get them out of la-di-da-land and heads into the training. Some of them have strong practices so the doubles don't automatically break them down (like me). Those of us who take things very seriously to begin with need to lighten up in situations like this as much as we can, because otherwise it gets to be very oppressive.

Lightening up is not one of my strong suits.

This week I was riding high on sleep and regularity of schedule. After class on Wednesday morning however I had chills in bed for 45 minutes and could hardly walk to afternoon lecture. It was 85 degrees out and I was wearing a hat and sweats and was still cold. After being checked by the nurse I had a fever and was sent to my room to rest. Fever broke over night but I think my immune system was weak and I picked up the cold that's going around, so I've had two days of very sore throat followed by the rest of the cold, coughing, sneezing, congestion, the works. Thank goodness it is the weekend when this is happening.

So... my time with this computer is almost up but I'll try to add some pics.


Jenny said...

It sounds like an amazing experience, Anna! Know that we are all thinking of you and missing you in VT. Good luck with everything! I know you will rock it.

janetvanfleet said...

Aargh, I hate commenting on blogs. I always lose what I've written and have to start over too many times.

Did you get my email regarding "Moshe Feldenkrais about correcting and his method (part 3)"? Feldenkrais felt correcting students was not a good thing -- seems like a very different perspective than what you're doing.

I'm so impressed by your continuing commitment, and hope this gives you everything you've been hoping for!

Here, not hot, but instead heading into the cold season. We've had the white stuff a few times, but it melts quickly. Still, we know it's inevitable... just put the garden to bed, froze lots of kale. It will be here when you get home!