Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Day 31: Bikram is Back

Back to normal today or so it seemed – starting with 8:30 yoga which was seemingly eternal, but actually right on schedule (90-minute class). I just could never quite get my energy up, but that happens for me, especially in the mornings. So, I just let that one go....got cleaned up and headed to eat; I’m fairly caught up on posture dialogue, so I read a bit after lunch (I’m reading the one book I mentioned, and along with it, the Bhagavad Gita itself). Posture clinic was just fine, mostly people finishing up Triangle.

Class at 5 p.m .was interesting, as Bikram showed up to take class. He got a spot near the front, and his staff surrounded him. He said the best way to honor his friend’s Bisu’s death was to do yoga. He did do some yoga. And, he spent a goodly amount of time correcting and pushing the trainees around him to do better. He told the (actual) teacher he was being too nice, so we had some comical postures where he jokingly swore at us a lot and called us names (like Bikram does – only he’s not joking when he does it). For this guy, it was almost like he had to work to come up with good insults! It was a light-hearted class; he asked that no one sit down and it was really interesting to me that hardly anyone did.

I think it was a mix of many factors – afternoon classes seem to have less people “go down;” Bikram was back and that amped up the energy; the class itself was light-hearted and actually ended a bit early. Who knows, but I wonder how many people are impacted by the notion that it simply was not an option to sit down. Sometimes, I know a push like that can often help me out of a mental funk. Still, I’m never a fan of a dude telling me menstrual cramps are all in my head, so I want to be clear, I’m not being critical or faulting anyone who opts to sit or lay down – we’re all adults here, and need to take care of our bodies, and I’ll sit or lay down if I really need to no matter what the teacher says. Just making the point that it was interesting that when asked not to, virtually everyone responded to that. Later in the evening, Luke, a senior staffer, noted this was the first class that no one left the room since training started! Bikram himself said that the class was hard for him, and that the last 24 hours were the worst for him in years and years, but that he was a leech, and took all our good energy on - so his body didn't hurt and he had the best yoga class he's had in a long time. His gratitude toward us was humbling.

Most of us relaxed a little today at dinner time. Craig told us that Bikram was going to show us some movies of he and Bisu when they did the 80's TV show, "That's Incredible!" and performed some yogic feats. We knew there were no posture clinics, and since over the weekend, most of us got up to Cobra, we figured we all had a day or two in the bank. Still, I expect I'll pay for my relaxation. I went to get a "smoothie" with pal Bonnie, but it was so sugary sweet, I doubt I'll have another.

Anyhow, tonight Bikram kept us up until 1 a.m. He talked and thanked us, and then we watched a compilation of TV shows he did in the 70's and 80's - it was really interesting and fun. That ended at 10:38 and we had a quick break. Then, he wanted us to watch some Indian movie/tv show that depicts the stories of the Mahabharata, the ancient Indian text that effectively defines Indian religion and culture- "They are just 30 minutes, just watch the first one with me!" Well, two hours later at 1 a.m., we were dismissed after watching the slow-moving, 60's Bollywood style sub-titled show. Here's a little excerpt!

This is Week 4. Tomorrow is 1/2 way. And all along, we're told "don't let Bikram steal your peace, don't let anyone/anything steal your peace." Well, they're aiming to steal our peace this week. In posture clinic yesterday, they seem to now just give critical feedback, no more "here's all the good stuff, and here's what to work on!" now it's "Here is what you did wrong." It's ok. I did my homework, I knew to expect this - it's the pinnacle, and they want to provide us an opportunity to struggle at we reach the summit and start our descent. I can't say I'm super excited for it, but I do get it. Bikram mentioned that there are a full 92 hours of the show we watched last night...

Pix for Today:
Christian helps Steve with dialogue; Ck & I were in the same posture clinic today, but neither of us had to do dialogue. Oh well; The beach; Our room; Classes #45, and #46; Visiting teacher intros (look at 'em all); Posture clinic demo with Aurelie (she's French); various shots from "movie night"... check out the hairdos!

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