Saturday, June 20, 2009

Week 8: 90 Minute Class/ 9 Weeks of Training

While I was lying in final savasana during yesterday's evening class, my mind drifted to the beautiful construction of a Bikram class. Being an English teacher, I noticed that a Bikram class parallels the structure of a well-designed piece of fiction. First, there's the introduction or the warm up. Then the conflict arises or the struggle between mind and body. What follows is how the plot unfolds. Both have a climax (Triangle Pose at the midpoint of class), and then the denouement or the gradual wrapping up of class with the floor series. What every reader wants is a perfect ending and what every yogi waits for is final savasana. I took this thought one step further and looked at how our Teacher Training also parallels a piece of writing. We started out slowly, waiting for the pace to pick up. Before we knew it, we were having up to 20-hour days. Posture/Dialogue Clinics ended Thursday night and now we're on the home stretch. Final Savasana or Graduation is just a week away.

The first four days of the week were hectic because we had Posture Clinics twice a day. We each presented dialogue for the last five postures and didn't get a chance to catch our breath until about 10 PM Thursday night when we completed Spine Twisting. There was definitely a collective sigh of relief. During Friday morning's class, I saw people smile and laugh (including myself!) and there was a celebratory feeling in the air. The lectures on Friday included practical information about teaching and the timing of the class. On Friday night, we moved into one of the ballrooms and had our first of the remaining lectures in a much nicer space than the Lecture Hall tent. The staff each shared their experiences during Teacher Training and how they taught their first class. We enjoyed their humorous and frank stories told with humility. Each had a common tip for each of us: teach from the heart and always be humble. The class is always about the students and never about you. Indeed.

On Sunday afternoon, we received several visitors from Long Beach. They were a sight for sore eyes! Four teachers: Rosario, Jeremy, Vicki and AnaMarie visited as well as Chris, a student from home. We enjoyed some Thai food and we all loved having the teachers take a double with us on Monday. The teachers also volunteered to help with Posture Clinic and I was fortunate to have Vicki as one of my American Idol judges during Camel Posture. It was fun having her there.

Looking ahead to Week 9, we're going to have fun. On our own, we're going to practice putting several postures together, including left as well as right sides and both sets. We're all looking forward to practicing dialogue without the pressure of Posture Clinic. Many of us are teaching the week we get home and none of us can be too prepared! We'll now have the chance to enjoy the process we've been repeatedly told to trust. We're supposed to have some fantastic visiting teachers and Bikram is supposed to be here for the remainder of Training. Our final class with Bikram will be Friday night and then we graduate on Saturday at 3. I'm looking forward to that Final Savasana and going home.

In the first picture, next to me is Sookja, Haesook and Claudia. In the second picture, the Long Beach crew!

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