Monday, April 7, 2008

Day 2: First Class, Meeting Bikram and More!

Oh dear God. Let me start with that which is freshest in my mind: My first class at teacher training. Let me say it again. OH-DEAR-GOD. I really, really had a rough, borderline terrible, first class. Now then, I didn't set myself up all that swiftly, orienting close to the podium so I would get yelled at (and did), in the front of the room where apparently the ventilation is "less than" and well, out of my control of course - I got my period a mere hour before class. Awesome.

I don't know what it was, but that class was one of the most brutal classes ever (save for on time with Saiko where I essentially took a "hot nap" and the infamous "Sunday night Kevin class). But mostly, it was closest to my first Bikram class ever. You know, the one where I wore a *long sleeve shirt* and was still quite fat and cried 3 times. That one - but oh wait - in that one, I didn't miss a posture. The same cannot be said for today...let's just say I lost count of how many postures I had to go to my knees for ("go to your knees if you're dizzy; lay down if you're about to die - in which case a staffer will come to ask what is going on; leave the room if you're going to vomit (and yes, people did leave, and did vomit today). Fortunately, no pukin' for me, just a goodly bit of time spent on my knees, and a less-than-inspired floor series.

But I lived.

And Bikram did call me out - Miss Pink - I got corrected, and in the kindest way, called fat - which I was hoping would happen so I could just be with it and let it go. "Bring your juicy butt down Miss Pink..." but also "I just corrected you, what are you doing" (in my head "I'm slipping on this goddamn new f'ing carpet that is like being on wheels, that's what I'm doing). I didn't react. I just let it go - figured it wasn't personal, he wants me to be better, to help me, and that is just his way. And it was ok - though, I'm not sure I'll be plunking down right in front of him again - but oddly, I feel almost compelled to. Christian did amazing, didn't miss a posture, but was blown away by it too - we just sat after (inside) and then sat some more outside, and then jumped in the ocean! At that point, both of us were stunned how quickly we forgot the misery that was ours just 15 minutes before - maybe something like how people describe childbirth or something - but the "yoga bliss" as I call it was incredible! Now if I can just hang on to that feeling in class tomorrow...both times.

And the Yoga Room - holy crap. It took 3 weeks to build - it has 16 rows, is spanking brand new and it felt like we were in some Yoga Olympic Training facility. There are plastic-covered couches, cubbies and even "bar tables" and stools outside the room. We get two nice, fluffy towels on our way in, dropping off on our way out. Simple. It's really a stunning room, and for a torture chamber, it's at least nice to look at.

Today was not even long compared to what we're in for, but I'm beat! I still want to capture the day because honestly, this may be one of my last long posts - we'll see. I wanted to recap the day though:

- 10 a.m: A few rules from Craig.
  • "Let us be your mirror. Like in Balancing Stick, you can't see yourself. You need someone to - no matter how gently - point out your mistakes and flaws. Let us do that for you."
  • Respect the environment.
  • Cover-up, wear flip-flops.
  • Outside food should be brought in 'under cover' in a backpack, etc.
  • This is a sort of quickening; just jump in the current and go - the more you hold on to where you are and fight it, the less change you'll experience. Let go. Let go. Let go.
  • There will be 8 posture clinic rooms, starting in week 3, we will be divided up. Until then, it'll be the large 300ish person group. Then, we'll have to rotate our mats in the room by row; for the first two weeks, we can go wherever we like.
We met Bikram. He talked a long time, he was happy and in a good mood for sure. He said a million things, too much to capture here - those who have heard him speak, read about him, or listened to stories from other Bikram teachers have a good sense of his deal. I guess one of the more meaningful things he said for me was "You serve yourself for others, you realize God. All human beings are God, and I worship them. You are the luckiest to have the chance to serve yourself with this training and this yoga." He said, "Let's make a deal - I am trying to save your life, so you can go and share it with the 6.5 billion other people in this world." He's dramatic, but engaging to say the least.

There were countless analogies, stories and nuggets of wisdom. Things like:
  • You can't start a cadillac with a toyota key.
  • Truth is the most bitter thing in the world, except swallowing and digesting that truth, that is worse.
  • Happy means nothing if you don't know how to use it.
  • Don't overdo it in the first week - no money returned, it's all spent already. :)
He ended with, "I will make you see all the good things in the world God has to offer to you, and how to share it with everyone else. I give you a lot of credit already - this is the best gamble of your life!"

We then met Kareem Abdul Jabbar - a practitioner of Bikram yoga! He talked about his experience with the yoga and how it helped his NBA game. Then we had lunch buffet, which was huge and tasty (and , and then back to class to hear the story of a man named Frank, who was in a horrible motorcycle accident and nearly lost a leg; now he is back to playing b-ball. Very inspiring!

Then onto our first posture clinic, where people did the first posture, in front of Bikram, decked out in glittery duds, who gave excellent feedback. People did really well, too, and at this point, I'm ready and going to try to go tomorrow. We'll see. Bikram's feedback is so much about your personality, not the dialogue as much as "your ego is getting in they way" or "you're too sweet. you need to be a bitch to teach this yoga!" or "can you teach at 5 p.m. for me? you make me very happy." Etcetera.


Anonymous said...


Great posts so far. I feel like I'm in Mexico with you...kind of. I especially like the little "nuggets of wisdom"---those yoga-into-life lessons thrill me.


Anonymous said...


It's hot! :-) Own that JUICY BOTTOM, Miss Pink!

Julia said...

YAH Go Miss Pink (just like the book) Juicy is good!!! Keep up on this great adventure! Remember getting there is the hardest part.

Jill said...

Honey, just remember to open your chest like a flower petal blooming, and all will be better. I don't feel so bad about my boring 'ol 105 degree pussy Bikram yoga. I admire you and Christian! (Even though you both look *terrible* in the photos--I had to laugh). xxxooo

heidi jo. said...

hello "miss pink"- my name is Heidi Jo and I'm from Phoenix, Arizona. I searched for blogs about Bikram Yoga Teacher Training and found yours. You are amazing. Hang in there and know it will all be worth it! I am hoping to make it to training in the next year or so- I'm very excited and thrilled by the challenge! Hope all goes well with you and I will probably continue to read your blog to get a "feel" for Acapulco. Best Wishes!

angelfaith said...

I'd be tickled pink to have someone tell say I have a juicy butt. :)

angelfaith said...

*tell me* or *say...* (yeesh)