Sunday, November 8, 2009

Week 5 Stayin' Alive!

Hi everyone!

I'm in a happy place today. More than halfway through training, I'm rested, I went to the spa this morning and memorized a posture while sitting in the jacuzzi and steam room. I spoke with some friends, which is REALLY nice. My roommate and I worked really hard on memorization yesterday and ran our errands right after class so Sunday has arrived and I can truly relax. Praise be!

This week was amazing. We were put through our paces. Along with our standard 11 bikram classes, we had our final anatomy test, then nothing but posture clinic. We went from Standing Bow through the end of the standing series this week. I have not heard of any other training that did this many postures in a single week. The stress levels around training were extraordinary. People were in tears, walking around the hotel bleary-eyed, mumbling things about locking your elbows and touching your forehead to the knee. We have taken over the east wing lobby area - at most times during the week when we're off, there are yogis down there reciting and performing postures. The "civilians" as we call them (normal hotel guests) walk by, drinks in hand, with wide eyes. On occasion some dumbass drunk dude will say something about "can I help?" and laugh with his buddies. We just laugh.

I was in relatively good shape until Thursday night with the postures. I got great feedback this week. I delivered standing separate leg head to knee when I was just tired on Wednesday night. It was the first time I delivered a posture I was kind of unsure of, and certainly I had not delivered a pose when I was feeling totally out of it. It went just fine! I surprised myself and I'm glad I went. When I did tree and toe stand together on Thursday night I finally was told that I'm to move on to starting to think about and deliver corrections to the demonstrators along with the straight dialogue. Woo hoo! Thursday night, after that, we had another day of posture clinics ahead, and I finally got to the point where I did not know the next posture and would have to memorize a page worth of stuff overnight to potentially teach it the next day. (In the end, we did not do the first "floor series" posture the next day so my stress was not warranted.)

I definitely had a moment of looking around and wondering who I was going to study with. I work with my roommate a lot and my neighbors but my neighbors have been doing their own thing recently. And when I study with them sometimes recently I've felt like I was butting in (which is a feeling that I hate.) This is probably all in my head of course. So I stress ate some chips instead of studying, but stopped after about five minutes and started to study on my own and found some folks to work with the next morning. It was a good little emotional rollercoaster ride for me to have that reaction and to pull out of it.

Physically this week - I am extremely proud. I set myself a goal that I would do every posture this week. We do two sets of each posture for the most part, so there were 3-4 times where I took a knee for one set of something. But I DID EVERY POSTURE. I did not let myself "check out" when it got hot and hard and just sit there. Bikram taught a brutal class Wednesday night where he did not allow anyone to sit. "If you sit you disrupt my class. You must leave." I was in the middle towards the back. Bikram CORRECTED THE PERSON NEXT TO ME. She ended up leaving the room after that. It was the first time his eagle eye has been so close to me. It was terrifying and exhiliarating though because I know that he has seen me and recognizes my effort and alignment are 100%. Thursday night Jenna from SF taught. I don't usually post names of people in this blog because I don't want to get into any of that. However Jenna was amazing in posture clinic (tough but accurate and helpful.) And her class was easily my favorite of training. Very tough but calm and focused. Laser beam focus in the room. I loved it.

Friday night there was a camera crew in the room. There were rumors going around that our sleep depended on us staying on our mats in the room (typically many people just can't hack it and leave the room, especially if we're not allowed to sit down and take a knee (by Bikram). He killed us on Wednesday. There was palpable fear in the room. The weather all week was warm so the room was toasty, floor hot all week. So I talked with a buddy of mine who had been struggling all week - we talked about breathing in the warm up poses (especially eagle) and going into the poses carefully and with control so that you go exactly to the right point at the right time. I'm so glad I had that talk with her because I meant to help her get through the class but I helped myself at the same time. I kept track of my breath ALL THE WAY THROUGH CLASS. It's so amazing to breathe "low slow flow" when your heart is pounding. I also said "I love you Anna" throughout the class when things got tough. I have always struggled with saying things like that and meaning it. It may sound hokey or cheesy but I needed to feel that connection with my higher self, like I was there, powerful, and taking care of myself, doing this out of love and not punishment. It often feels like punishment. I was glowing and radiant after class. I worked my ass off but was so very very proud of myself. It was easily my best class. Of course, I still haven't held all four sides of triangle, but I'm getting stronger.

Saturday morning, at the end of it all... I was so tired and my body was revolting against me. My practice was shit. Just shit. But I was so close to making it through every posture that I willed myself on. I willed myself on! Come the floor series I had that horrible feeling where your body is made of lead. I was so close but it was so hard. I ended up in tears, sobbing, doing some semblance of the last few postures. I would not give up. It was not pretty. It was straight up ugly in fact but I did them.

So... that's week five. I did it. I stayed alive. And I'm happy for it.

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