Today orientation started at 3 p.m. Christian and I were both up around 7 a.m., just naturally. Daylight savings time ended here as of today, so we are now 2 hours ahead of Seattle time. We practiced dialogue for a bit after studying and laptoping a little. Next was a jump in the ocean, and then we showered, had a little down time, and headed to orientation!
To start, everyone gathered in the lobby of the hotel. We headed to a nearby building and checked in, receiving our "Bikram 2008 Teacher Training - Acapulco" goodie bag - a side loading backpack, with a small blue water bottle and hand towel, all with the logo. They are really nice! They also housed our training manual/binder.
First up was Rajashree, Bikram's wife, who is always described as "lovely" and "sweet" and "kind" - and indeed, held up to that description. Her energy is just so...."up" - she is so positive and really lights up a room, though soft-spoken. She talked a lot about the spirit of training, the goals we should have for ourselves, which wrapped up into these:
Overcome Your Fear
Care About & Share With Others - This is a Community
Leave The Past Behind - Start From Today: Be Here Now
Find Your Happiness
Trust the Process
Next was Craig, who is the director of education, and the training. He was great - he just seems like a nice, normal, chiseled California-looking guy - but he has a calm, deep presence. He talked about how it was his "privilege to challenge us for the next 9 weeks" and that he takes that responsibility seriously; pushing us to be our best is his job, while also supporting the work of Bikram. He introduced the 3 senior staff members, and then the remaining handful of staffers whom we could go to with issues.
The hotel did a little presentation to tell us where to go to eat, how our included meals worked, and about a variety of discounts (including the spa, which was a relief to me!), and some rules/regulations (one of which is no appliances in the room...oops).
Teacher Training logistics were then covered - baseline logistics - you could tell they weren't going to overwhelm us just yet. :) We learned that the room we were in would be where lectures would be held. Now this may not seem a big deal to you, but we have chairs!!! One of the big complaints of past years was the sitting on the sweat-soaked carpet, trying desperately to avoid the 'wet spots' because lectures were held in the practice room about an hour after class. Bikram, however, apparently looked at the room and said, "good, people won't be able to go to sleep!" We also were told that the smaller group posture clinics are to be held in corner suites that have been outfitted for our needs with carpet, and that each have their own restroom. The bottom line is, in comparison to past trainings, we have got it good! And they keep reminding this of that, and I keep being thankful for it. Funny though, nothing was said about the practice room....we're all itching to see it.
Tomorrow, we get to meet Bikram. He was next to my chair today in the lobby, talking to people. It's not my goal to impress him (seems there are enough people trying to do that) so I've made no effort to meet him (or, er, call myself out to him ;). Anyhow, tomorrow we begin with formal rules: Class etiquette, attendance policy, any remaining dress-code rules, etc. Then, we have lunch buffet from 12:30 - 1:00 (normally, we'll be having 'brunch' daily with the buffet open from 10 a.m. - 12:00, with call-time being at 12:15 to resume, so class will be around 9 I expect daily). However, tomorrow is fluid - so it's...
2:00 Posture Clinic - we start reciting Half Moon for Bikram - this takes all week to get through the whole class...
A little change break
Sometime between 5p.m. - 6 p.m., PRACTICE!!!!!!!!
We're all itching to have a class, of course, once we're into this for a while, we'll be begging for a day off from class :) Ah well, now, most people haven't practiced for 2 or 3 days at least, and that is a long time for so many here who had a daily practice getting ready for it.
There was a big group welcome dinner, which was lovely, but already, I realize, I need to be hyper vigilant about my food intake. They had virgin pina coladas (er, I had one at the seminar, and one at dinner - holy sugar!), and there's just a lot of saucy, lap-band friendly buffet food. So, after today, I am going to say no sugar, other than like I do at home - 1/2 a small square of chocolate (which I brought) here and there. Caffeine, alcohol - I can just ditch those habits anytime. But damn the sugar!!!
I'm guessing you'll see shorter/fewer posts from here on out; though this also acts as my journal, so I'm not sure what you'll see. But I know from here, the exhaustion will be here in no time and the stress of memorization, practicing 2x/day, and the minutiae of it all will be unavoidable. That said, I'm gonna try! First big day tomorrow!