Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Day One

Day one came and went without too much drama. We had lecture in the morning and this included our first Bikram lecture. He didn't talk about anything earth-shattering, just a lot of encouragement. It was fun to watch the faces of people who have never encountered Bikram before. Our favorite part was how he lectured us on not getting romantically involved with a fellow trainee. He had us all rolling in the aisles. Jim, one of his senior teachers, gave us additional do's and don'ts of yoga training and he has a very calming spirit. Our first class was in the afternoon and Bikram taught it. We got there 25 minutes before class and had to stand eight rows back. Of course we didn't see any part of ourselves in the mirror but we were also so close to each other that we were poking each other with extended fingers and toes. It was cozy to say the least. Rosario joined us for class and it was great to have her energy there. Bikram made his usual blunt corrections and held nothing back. At the end of his two-hour class (yes, that wasn't a typo!), he said we were a strong and solid group of almost 350. I only noticed one person lying down and none of the buckets in the back of the room needed to be used. Today is our first full day with two classes and two sets of lectures...onwards!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Time to Make it Happen

Today I took my final class in Long Beach as a student. Looking around the room, I noticed a few of the regular Saturday 8AM crew, but I also noticed many new faces. Nicole had her hands full with about five brand new people and I couldn't help but wonder how I am going to handle that come July.

This morning also made me reflect on my very first Bikram class. It was Labor Day weekend, 2005, and I finally wandered into the studio I noticed a couple years earlier. Julia was starting preschool, so I now had a couple of mornings a week to myself. That's when I decided to try the yoga Traci raved about. Armed with my mat, water, towels, and the belief I was in pretty good shape from training for two triathlons that summer, I had no idea what a wonderful journey of self-discovery lie ahead of me. First, I had to get over the yogied-out teacher who walked in wearing only a skimpy Speedo. Can anyone say 0% body fat? He didn't crack a smile and he barely acknowledged me as I stood in the back row trying to find a sliver of mirror in which to align myself. I went about my first class entirely the wrong way. I gave it my all, tried every part of every posture, and didn't really pay much attention to my breath. I was down on the floor by Standing Bow wondering what diabolical cult I stumbled upon. Everyone else seemed to almost like what they were doing while I was blown away at how difficult every posture seemed. There had to be something wrong with me, or everyone else was just drinking the Cool Aid! Of course, I came back for more the very next day and within a couple of weeks, I retired my running shoes and Bikram yoga became my primary form of exercise.

The bags are packed and sitting by the back door. I just put my kids to bed and the reality of my leaving is becoming more evident by the minute. Completing this teacher training and become a Bikram instructor is going to make me a better person, mother, wife, and friend in ways I won't fully grasp until much later and I'm really looking forward to the journey. I have an amazing support system and I'm grateful for every person in that support system. I have to start with Dan who has always been in my corner when it comes to personal growth. I also have Ryan and Julia who are rooting for Mom to do well. I hope I can be a role model for them and teach them that hard work and dedication pay off. I also hope they learn that their vocation can also become their avocation if they love what they do enough. Then there are the three wonderful, beautiful and strong women who make up the other parts of our furious teacher training foursome: Colleen, Claudia, and Haesook. Lastly, there's the BYLB family that's been very helpful to us in immeasurable ways: The teachers - Rosario, Nicole, Jeremy, Mayu, Challyn, Vicki, Wendy, Anna Marie and Cindy. The fellow students are too many to name, but you know who you are!

It's time to let everything else go and become a student once again. It's almost like going back to college, but instead of beer and parties, it will be electrolyte-replacement water and dialogue clinics! It's not quite the same, but I welcome the new challenges that begin tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

5 Days and Counting

It's hard to believe it's almost time to finally go to teacher training. I decided to go around this time last year and it always seemed to be very far off in the future. Studying dialogue last year almost seemed ridiculous, but I'm glad I started when I did. I still didn't get everything memorized that I wanted to, but I feel pretty good about what I managed to get under my belt. This morning I took Rosario's class, it was full of the regular 9 o'clock coffee clatch crew (minus the coffee!), and I enjoyed the feeling of being at home. Several days ago I started compiling a list of things I need to bring with me, but I haven't started packing. Packing seems very final and I don't think I'll be ready to do that until Friday or Saturday. It's been a bit challenging trying to figure out what I need to bring to live in a hotel room, with a roommate, for nine weeks. Needing cooking items and kitchen utensils reminds me of camping, and for those who know me, I am not much of a camper. Fortunately, teacher training is in the United States this time and we should have easy access to whatever we may need.

Blogging is very new to me. I've read a few blogs (all teacher training ones!), but I've never written one myself. I find writing very therapeutic and as far as I can predict, I think therapy in whatever form over the next couple of months will be very much in order. I hope that blogging will also be a fun and convenient way to keep in touch with people at home. I want to give the many friends and family members who have supported me in my endeavor the opportunity to get a little glimpse into Bikram's world of "smiling, happy faces". My goal is to blog once a week during training, to recap the week, and I encourage you to share your thoughts with me. I may not be able to immediately respond, but I know I will love to hear from you. In the 21 years Dan and I have been together, we have never been apart longer than 5 days. I think the longest I've been away from Ryan and Julia is about 4 days. I know homesickness will set in, so please write!