Sunday, May 17, 2009

Week 3: Things are Getting Hotter

One of my fellow teacher trainees aptly expressed the unique passage of time here at training by saying, "Minutes are long and weeks are short." This is true, especially when you're holding a posture in the yoga room with the heat cranked up and no air is circulating or when you're sitting in the lecture room during the hottest part of the afternoon and you're fighting to stay awake while sitting in a pool of your own sweat. It's also true when you look back at a week of eleven yoga classes, five nights of posture/dialogue clinics, a week of a super-condensed anatomy class and wonder how the week could possibly be over. We are a third of the way through our training here and in six weeks we will be teachers.

Bikram was traveling this week, so we had a break from our mandatory late nights. Our nights ended at 11 all week and we appreciated getting a normal amount of sleep. I heard of many people staying up after posture clinic ended to study dialogue and again, I'm so very happy to not be one of them. This week we covered the rest of Half Moon, Awkward and Eagle and the pace is only going to increase as we continue to move forward delivering our dialogue in front of our mock "class." Two out of the three times, I did well and once I blanked for a few seconds before finding my place and continuing. It is true that the more we get up in front of people and deliver our dialogue, the more comfortable we feel. Most of the clinic rooms are in emptied out suites, but one room (our lecture room) has a stage and a headset microphone for us to use. I'm looking forward to trying out some dialogue there.

We completed the first of a two-week crash-course anatomy class and we have our first exam on Monday. Dr. Trapani is an interesting guy who loves to tell jokes and share his extensive knowledge of nutrition and natural health care. The material he covered is very basic for our needs and I think everyone should do well on the exam if they were awake and paying attention. Flashcards are a great study tool for anatomy!

It's hard to believe that we have taken 32 yoga classes so far. Taking doubles every day is not that bad (so far!) and I look forward to class most of the time. We have had some awesome visiting teachers such as John Salvatore from New York and Martha Williams from Minneapolis. I've discovered that my two hardest classes of the week are Monday and Saturday mornings - the first and last class of the week. I'm Mondays I'm stiff and on Saturday I'm tired. Yesterday morning I really had to dig deep because I was pretty exhausted and it seemed like no air was circulating around us. What makes it even more difficult is when many people around me are sitting out, leaving the room, goofing around with their ice-filled water bottles (don't ask!), crying, or hyperventilating. I really had to focus and stay on my own mat. We now have a "sick bin" outside the door and I think it's been used a few times since they seem to have cranked the heat a bit. I heard that a humidifying system was installed last weekend and though I haven't been able to confirm if that is true, it really was juicier in there this week. It feels like Long Beach! I'm home!

All of this yoga definitely has its benefits. I can now get back into Fixed Firm and Toe Stand thanks to a knee that is feeling a lot better. Before I got here, I was a little worried about how my knee was going to hold up since it started bothering me in February. I think all the yoga helps to stretch everything out and the rest of my body is holding up ok, too. I'm being careful about what I eat and I'm doing my best to keep my electrolytes in order. So far so good - no dehydration or cramping and I have good energy. Fewer and fewer yogis seem to be in the lunch line and I've even started skipping the lunch the hotel provides and opting to make or get my own lunch. Our daily choices are a cold sandwich or some variation of over-cooked vegetables over rice, couscous or polenta. To say the least, our lunch is not very interesting and we're all disappointed about this. If we were living in apartments, preparing our own food wouldn't be as much of an issue but I'm not going to repeat myself about our food situation.

Dan and the kids visited yesterday and we had another nice afternoon at the pool (Thanks, Dan, for quizzing me with my flash cards!). Now that I got a good night's sleep and had the opportunity to see my family, it's back to work. Today is dialogue day. I'm going to spend the rest of the day brushing up on dialogue I'll need to deliver this week and learning some new dialogue to stay ahead of the game. The weather is supposed to cool down to the 90's this week, so I'm taking that as a good omen for upcoming Week 4!

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