Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Still Ill...

Wow this thing just won't go away. I've taught a few times without practicing which is a new experience for me. It's ok, not great. I wish I could be practicing. However with the fluid situation and my stomach, it's just not advisable. Too much liquid literally makes me sick. Hoping to see a doc soon!

Thursday, March 25, 2010


stomach bug... second day in bed... surviving on Pedialyte. Tomorrow I teach... and return to work, no matter what. This will be a good test. I plan to survive on dialogue and am praying I will be able to teach without having to run to the restroom!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

a GREAT dialogue class

I don't know. I think something really clicked for me watching Diane teach and use the dialogue. I have most of it in my brain - last night's class was EXCELLENT. I was extremely methodical and was able to make a lot of little tweaks on people. It was a great class. The dialogue helped me help them work harder and deeper in the postures. It single-handedly allowed me to make the class about 10-20% harder while keeping my voice helpful, cajoling, and calm.

That's what the big difference is between using the dialogue and not. The dialogue makes it harder. There is no vagueness. No room for it. Not much room for try - but you can add that in if you see someone struggling who needs encouragement to stay with A before moving to B.

Practice? Well... I had hoped for more "improvement" in my standing bow balance. I ended up kicking my water bottle across the studio when I came out and landed on it. I was so in the zone it totally knocked me out of orbit! I was working a lot of things in my personal practice that I learned this weekend and was able to keep my heart really really pumping all the way through the floor series. That's what the last posture clinic I went to did for my practice as well - showed me all the places I can work harder to gain depth. Had a great practice.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Posture clinic yesterday with Diane Ducharme, one of my favorite Bikram teachers, one of the most gifted Bikram teachers around. I actually went down to Bikram Yoga Merrimack Valley Saturday afternoon and Teri put me up for the night so I didn't have to drive 3 hours for an 8am Sunday class before posture clinic.

I am so sore and tired... but am itching to get back into the studio today! I have pages of notes, and did a better standing bow and floor bow than I've ever done with some coaching. I almost locked my knee in standing bow!

The biggest event of the weekend was definitely my realization about my current dialogue environment and real dialogue studios. I mean, there is no dialogue in my bikram community. No one teaches it except new teachers. OK, that's the reality of things.

Hearing dialogue taught well both by Teri and esPECIALLY by Diane... holy cow. I am quite torn at the moment. I want to be able to use the dialogue as a tool the way Diane does. Working the room in posture clinic she fixed people's postures one by one by talking them through the dialogue line at a time. It was amazing. Powerful. Inspiring. All the answers were IN THERE.

To be frank, when I got to bow pose in training, I thought the dialogue was a piece of crap. All it says is kick this way kick that way etc kick kick kick it just didn't seem to DO anything. Well... hearing Diane correct people using the dialogue instructions in order was mind-blowing. My own bow changed completely. I realize that all the extra stuff that people say is trying to get you to do all the stuff that the dialogue says.

It's really difficult. Is the reason people don't teach dialogue because they don't know how it is when it's taught well? Is it a resistance to regulations? A desire for freedom? I don't know. What I do know is that I am a good teacher. I think a good teacher makes dialogue come alive. I'm going to continue to work on becoming a strong dialogue teacher. My environment makes it so that I will probably always have a plethora of "extra" in my brain. Extra instructions, ideas, corrections, philosophy, personal practice stuff.

One thing I know is that I will never be a dialogue nazi or bash people who do not teach dialogue. There is quite a sycophantic bent to the Bikram community and that's not at all who I am, and frankly, I don't like the insular community when it gets snitty, self-righteous, and catty. I love it when it is inviting and close knit. I guess the two go hand in hand. I am welcoming and open to learning, from dialogue and non-dialogue teachers and studios. (I certainly did not have a catty experience this weekend at all - but I've seen it and remember it from training and from other trainees who report back about their experiences in other places in the country.)

There's such a difference from reciting the dialogue, even with feeling and emphasis, as opposed to teaching with it, taking everyone through it step by step and grabbing those who don't do a step and helping them get there or work on it. Without A, no B, right? It makes the class harder. I worked harder in Diane's class than I had since training. The class was harder. Not just from carpet (my triangle is so much weaker on carpet) but also because the dialogue tells you to touch your face in padahastasana, damn it, not to try. Not that you'll get there over time. The dialogue pulls no punches.

The other thing I want to do today is show up with a tape measure for 4 feet distance between the feet for triangle. People refuse to step it out and thus they don't get down in triangle in my studio. Unfortunately, all this means I'm going to be teaching a significantly harder class than most of the teachers at my studio. I know it's the right thing to do. I already have a reputation for being a "hot" teacher. I like that. I know I'm going to be tougher now too. It's for their own good. I don't want to blog about too much "internal" stuff about my studio but I had to get this all off my chest.

I'm hoping after a few more weeks of dialogue focus that I will have the missing bits in there in order to take a trip down to BYMV and teach.

To work on:
sep leg stretching - have the pieces but it doesn't flow out straight each time
triangle - always to work on this pose.
sep head to knee - have it but unsure of the order (it's not hammered into my brain)
locust full locust bow (especially bow) want to be able to do it verbatim. I have locust and full locust pretty well though. Bow... I never really saw the point of the dialogue till this weekend.
well... I'll have to say the whole floor series needs work. Except Cobra - I have that one down cold.

Man. :) that's a lot to do!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

In the Swing of things

It's great to be back. I had a very nice vacation. Have practiced a few times since I got back and I'm buzzing again with yoga! Friday (last) was my first class teaching after my little break. I was a little worried I'd, like, forget everything - it was the first break I took since training. Happy to report, it's all still in my brain, thankfully. I'm not a strict dialogue-ist but I do aim to get all the dialogue into my poses between first and second sets. When I say that, I mean the command, rather than the verbatim. "Create pressure with the left foot sole against the right thigh bicep of the thigh muscle" or whatever it is becomes left foot against the right inner thigh. Etc.

(though, as I listen to dialogue in my car sometimes I get obsessed with weird lines like that and want to have it in my arsenal to throw out on occasion).

Friday I was feeling mellow and taught a more calm, focused class. A student talked about jaw tension so I was giving cues about relaxing the jaw and neck and shoulders throughout. It was interesting! A student said, "Signature class!" (he's taken many of my classes.)

I taught the Sunday 4pm and my usual Monday 6pm and Monday's class was amazing. I can't imagine what life would be like if Bikram teaching were my only job. In one sense, it would be awesome - teaching two days in a row, my Monday night class was spectacular. (On the other hand, I think teaching tons of Bikram and living in the studio is not sustainable in the longterm.)

I thought I taught a very challenging standing series. Usually that means that you taught a LONG standing series, which means you lose out on the time in the floor postures to make up for it. But no - hard standing series with full rest and everyone moving in and out of poses together, hot hot hot, hit the floor at 51-52 minutes in. POIFEKT!

Can you believe the standing series on the Bikram cd is 48-49 minutes long! Even with all that talking at the beginning. He gives no rest between postures at all. That's true of training as well. But in my classroom, the students run out of gas if you don't get them to breathe between standing balancing poses for a second. On the CD, I noticed, standing separate leg forehead to knee is quite short.

Anyway... Personal practice - I have come back into practice gently, Friday after I taught I practiced and ended up just resting after one set of camel. Sunday I practiced in the studio alone with the Bikram CD. I miss that guy. I practiced hard just because I heard his voice. Monday I was a bit fatigued but stayed with it. It's so funny how different parts of the series become hard/easy. Right now I'm loving standing separate head to knee. Even standing head to knee and bow are feeling fun to me right now.

I miss miss miss my backbends. I had great, deep, few feet away from the floor backbend in the first posture before training and at the beginning of training, but alas, it's long gone at the moment.

So on the non-yoga front, I want to post a little bit about my relationship with food etc. I had a really tough couple of weeks there. I was doing South Beach, hubby lost a bunch of weight, I did not. Not like he did. It really killed me. I was getting really "diety" at the end, obsessing a bit about weight loss and food.

Because of my COE history, I know full well that true dieting is something I will never be able to do. I am not a linear weight-loss type of gal. My food and my emotions are still entwined, though I am at a much better place now than before. So anyway, with peer support, I decided to take two weeks off to eat whatever I liked, and to exercise as much as I liked, including vacation time where I did not do any bikram.

So the great thing is, I enjoyed myself immensely. I noticed that because of all the work I'd done, when I was "splurging", the portion sizes were smaller. My body did not feel nearly as good as when I was eating less and drinking just a little on the weekend. I really noticed feeling sluggish and full in the mornings.

We're back to our fabulous meal planning and shopping and cooking and both hubby and I are so glad to get back into it. And, with all that, I may have gained a little but nothing noticeable to me or my clothes. I think it was a necessary break to remind me that I like what I'm doing, and how I feel when I do it. I will continue to work until I start to rebel again, and will invite a break. Taking a break rather than "fighting it out" is so the right thing to do - it helps me see how much better I feel, how much healthier I know I am, when I'm eating healthy.

At this point, and long term, I'm a little bit unconcerned about weight loss. It finally dawned on me that over time I am getting better at this, and I am slimming down. It's taking ages it feels like, but I'm never going to unlearn all that I've learned. I'm doing this slowly, and mindfully - and it's truly part of who I am. So I know, for instance, that I'll have more days of healthy eating than not in 2010. I don't know if I can honestly say that about any year before that (since I was young).

As I get better at caring and cooking for myself and my family (just DH and the kitties for now) I will continue to improve my health.

One of my concerns has been that I hope to get pregnant later this year. Of course the looming thought of motherhood and pregnancy weight gain make me a little scared. But I have to trust that this bank of self-care is accruing interest, you know?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Away for a while

I've been M.I.A. for a while, I miss my bloggie buddies! Working through some stuff mentally (dealing with the fact that my hubby dropped 30 lbs since the beginning of the year and left me in the dust...) but still at my practice and teaching!

I'm off to Florida for a few days for some beach time and spring training baseball as a thanks to hubby for looking after things while I was away at training. Here's to some WELL DESERVED VACATION seeing as how I was back at work the Monday after I got home from training.

See you soon!