Our first Friday of teacher training! Christian and I turned in laundry this morning - so excited to have cheap laundry overnight service. Teachers from past trainings reading this I'm sure are soooo jealous. We really, really have it good here.
I wanted to post a couple stories/thoughts about the yoga room. First, the staff, Craig said, kind of act like hockey goalies; as people try to leave the room, they just redirect them in some way back to the side or corner or something/anything to help them make a good decision about leaving or not. Usually, he said, it goes like this, "You ok??" He asks; the student says, "Yeah..." and then realizes they ARE ok, and head back to their mat. Sometimes, he said, they don't even stop moving and just do a 180 back to their mat. I took a glance at one point in a rough class, and it indeed looked like little hockey pucks getting whacked back into play - it was kinda funny. I've not yet played the role of hockey puck here, and hopefully won't, but who knows...I sure have wanted to!
Another thing. The towels. The towels are so nice; Christian and I were discussing the niceness of the practice room towels (this is what is now exciting to us, in this world - not the newest hot restaurant, or a great new album....just....towels). Anyhow, we get 2, which I now use - in succession of one another so as to cover my whole mat. After standing, I flip the top one over for that fresh feeling during the savasana mid-class. I lay down onto my two, hot, soaked, somewhat fluffy white towels and imagine myself as this little thing, wrapped up like a baby in a big version of hot, fresh airplane towels. (ok, maybe not that fresh, really). But there is something about feeling swaddled, maybe it's womb-like, but somehow it really can regress me emotionally - and not always in a bad way - in an almost safe, warm, comfy way. It doesn't happen like this every time, but when I'm struggling in the floor series, I try to reach for this feeling rather than attaching to the feeling of overt suffocation that I'm actually experiencing. :)
Today was great - Rajashree taught her last class with us until week 6 and said her goodbyes. We are all sad at her departure, as she offers a calm (but firm-handed) balance to Bikram's classes. And she really cares about us, and has a lovely way of just lighting up a room. Class in the morning was challenging but I got through and didn't rest or miss postures. Lunch was great - though, Christian and Todd both continue to suffer. I think Christian will soon waste away, and Todd has dropped 10 pounds since Monday. So weight-loss surgery girl has this massive (to me) plate of lunch; they each had their little bowls of soup, and tried to choke down an apple. Poor things - the men are just really faced with this abdominal stuff that the women just don't seem to be. So many men are not able to eat, puking, and just suffering.
The thing is they keep talking about this exact thing - about your body detoxing, your body reacting, etc. And further, they keep talking about not attaching, not trying to figure out "why??" and worse - "how do I fix it?" Christian and I have talked about this a good bit - we all are/will be presented with some serious challenges here, and just accepting some of them is part of the learning, part of our training. I say that with only suffering from a small heat rash, but I get the concept for sure. He is doing great with all this, as is Todd - and it's hard to be on the outside too, watching them not be able to practice in the way they normally would, not be able to eat, puking (well, fortunately I'm not actually watching that), and just feeling that utter confusion of "wtf is happening to me? and WHY?" and working so hard to roll with it, not attach, and allow it to just be. Yesterday, Rajashree said to us, "Acceptance gives you the miracle" - and that is something I think most people here are working to internalize and apply consistently to their lives, me (oh-sooooo) included.
Today before our short posture clinic, Luke, one of the staff, talked about Savasana. For those non-yogi's, Savasana is "dead body pose" - you lay flat on your back in a structured resting posture. If you do it right, it's actually kind of hard - it requires a good bit of focus and attention. At the end of class, however, I'm finding here that I want to bolt from the room. Usually they encourage you to stay at least 5 minutes; but my God, after that kind of sweating and heat, I just find I want to escape. Luke talked about using this approach to Savasana at the end: "I do this. When I no longer want to leave, I can leave. I've detached from it, I've accepted it, and now I can let it go." Genius. I tried after my p.m. (really good) class, but didn't make it all that long. I'll aim for more next time!
But I have to say, the consistency of the overall messages here is really amazing, and appreciated. I like that the staff is all in agreement - lock step - in how they deal with us, coach us, advise us and push us. In the face of all of this, that consistency is oddly comforting and helpful.
After yoga class, we were set free tonight! We all almost don't know what to do with that kind of free time. Tomorrow we have an 8 a.m. practice, and then we are free until Monday!!! I'll still be posting, now that I'll have some time to just sit and absorb this week, I am bound to have something to say about it :)
Oh, and did you get that I'm snapping a photo of myself after each class!? I thought it'd be fun, wasn't my plan, but perhaps we'll see some change in me as we go on. No matter how miserable I am, or happy, I'll try to do it before I leave the grass outside the yoga room.
Me after class #8 (see the towels! and, the people dying in the background?); The official attendance policy; my BIG lunch; the "Soup Boys" Christian & Todd; and Bikram, chatting in the lobby after posture clinic; Me, Christian & Todd after Class #9!