Holy cats! It's crazy to me that week 5 comes to a close in the morning, and also that it's nearly mid-May! This has been a crazy time-warp kind of feeling for sure. But no complaints - just really amazing to be this far in and I'm starting to almost feel a little anxious about what "real life" will be like and how it will be to assimilate back into it. Well now, this isn't really agreeing with my "be here now" mantra, is it? So I'll stop it for now. One of my teachers at home had said it was really hard to be back, and that no one really understood what you'd been through - perhaps will the help of this blog, a few of you will have a good picture of it!
Anyhow, today was just fine...until the end of it, which I'll get into later. The morning class was a little rough to get going in, seeing as we had lecture until 2:30 a.m. and up at 7:15 for the 8:30 class (soon you'll learn that complaining about only 5 hours of sleep is egregious!). I just really tried to stay in the moment (be here now, be here now...) and take it one posture at a time, because I knew I'd get super anxious if I thought to hard about how much I still had to go. For being so sleepy, everyone seemed to hold up ok. I think I almost was asleep in a few of the 20-second savasanas in between spine series postures. I'm not sure if I'm beginning to grasp the concept of true relaxation, or if it's just a lil' thing called exhaustion...
We had one posture clinic session and like a dummy, I went too soon and didn't do so hot. Theme here? Perhaps. Anyhow I said something dumb in Wind Removing to the effect of, "eventually, someday in the future, when your SPINE HAS EVOLVED, then, only, you will get your total spine on the floor." Um, the verb is actually IMPROVED (and it's your skeletal system, not spine) I could go on. It got a laugh out of everyone...oh well! We're learning to teach yoga, not doing brain surgery, so I'm just accepting my lesser performances and letting them go with a goal of doing a bit better next time.
Afternoon class was perhaps one of the best, most rockstar class I've had in a while (again, rockstar on the inside, people...not necessarily a demonstration-level performance on the outside). It was a nice, energetic, chill class and I actually held all 4 of my standing bows in a relative semblance of full expression (for me, no standing splits here!) without falling out once - just took until my 52nd class to get it done! (Keeping in mind, I can do this at home usually always...) Bikram taught and was in good spirits, he came off the podium and corrected people (in a nice encouraging way, though there where a few "You, hey, what the f*ck you doing??'s" which are typical...). Everyone seemed in good spirits, it was Friday night after all - and for a group of physically and emotionally pooped yogis, knowing we had just one lecture and class in the morning to go before a break was good stuff.
Also along the lines of my practice, I think the longer savasanas have helped me so much in both yoga practice and just being here at training. I feel like there are now a few minutes every day where I'm actually slowing down and truly relaxing at the end of class. I am usually only there maybe 10 - 15 extra minutes, but the payoff feels huge! I was taking, oh, next to none up until this week so it feels like a big shift.
Everyone is really excited for the time off this weekend. No doubt we are keying up a bit as a group - Craig talked about training being like life, and the first few weeks we're like 3 year olds, kicking and screaming - and now we're about to enter our defiant, bratty adolescence. Awesome. This week, though one day short, seemed eternal. Having Bikram back is a mixed blessing - he is someone that you will never meet in another form, and he brings to the table a personality and information that you can't get from anyone else. He also brings a "I'm a rockstar" mentality and does what he wants, when he wants. So we have no schedule, it's completely his whim.
So tonight, when he lectured starting at 9 p.m., and around midnight looked at his watch, and said, "That's enough." People started to get their bags together and rustled around a bit when he added, "Let's start the movie!" OMG. (That's Oh My God, in teen-talk, since we are a bunch of teens right now). Seriously, I thought a few people were going to seriously lose their shit. He had joked that we wouldn't get released until 3:30 a.m. (ready for it? it was actually 4:15 a.m. when we got dismissed). Four more hours of the dated TV version of the Mahabharata - one of two great Indian epics (the Ramayana being the other) - it is a huge book, seven times as long as the Iliad and Odyssey combined at about 6,000 pages - it is a historical study of a kingdom, but tells more of a study of human interactions and symbolism. Within it, is the Bhagavad Gita - which I'm almost done reading. I could talk more, but for context, we have now watched a total of 8 hours of the video version of the Mahabharata, and in my Ram Dass book I'm reading, he covered the same content in about 20 pages. It is not fast moving. Oh, and get this: There are a total of 92 (count'em) hours of the video version (8 down...)
So with that, when the show started, one of my pals whose husband had arrived for the weekend just before our 5 p.m. class just burst into tears (I would've too, if Jill had just shown up and I was trapped like that). I hesitate to talk about it a lot here - like I said before, there are aspects of this training that frankly, we don't get - so I don't expect anyone whose not here to get it. There was a bevy of anger, frustration, and even a smidge of fury in the room - many, including myself (in this case, anyhow), were just resolved to "it is what it is" and just hunkered down, busted out some snacks, napped here and there, and went with it.
I will offer this opinion: It just seems silly, to keep 275 adults up until 4 a.m. to watch an old-school, slow-moving version of this historical text that, while the story contains absolutely valuable information, the format, time, and delivery method feel a little inefficient, and ineffective since most people sleep through it and miss the content, or seethe through it - too angry to absorb anything meaningful. And this is a widely held opinion - again, I'm aiming for my "be here now" mode - so I watched as much as I could, took a nap for maybe 1 hour of the 4; and then we got to bed around 4:30 a.m., setting the alarm for 6:45 for 8 a.m. class. Oy vey.
Today’s Pics: Class #51 (no Towel Origami required - but lil'Jenni looks tired!); iPod’ing before posture clinic started with Joshua next to me, he was quite, er, pleased with the 'open mouth shot'; posture clinic; Class #52 (you know, the one where I finally held all 4 standing bows! Just to reiterate, that’s fifty-two classes folks, until I could do that which I can do at home almost daily!); Bikram is on his phone all the time; Lecture; and, a new view of Todd & Christian whilst the movie was on (with other sleep-carnage all around as well, this was just our row)…