Disclaimer: I tend to be (overly) uber-prepared girl and often opt for that approach over being super-simple. So take this for what it's worth and decide for you what is best!
Here it is! The Final "What to Bring" post. Be sure you consider your own interests and hobbies; and of course, ditch those items that lend to my interests and not yours. If you want to know "Why that?" just comment and I'll answer back *in the comment section* so check back there for a response. If I forgot anything, let me know! Also, consider I got made fun of a lot for all I brought, but many of those people ended up seriously praising me when I had the exact thing they needed after they humbly came and asked :)
You can see my original posting of what to bring here. Now then, yeah, I over-packed a little but there were a lot of things I was so happy to have along. Before you go to the list, here are a few thoughts:
MVP: The Britta Pitcher
In my opinion, the single best thing I brought was the Britta Pitcher. The water in the hotel is fine, really, but the taste is odd. The Britta made it taste great and gave another round of filtering. We used it and avoided slugging suitcases full of bottles every weekend. You are so tired, and using a chunk of your weekend to haul water just seems like a lot. Christian and I each kept a couple big water bottles in our fridge and refilled regularly so we were always ready for class.
A small hot water kettle like this one (not technically allowed...but...tea, instant soup, etc.) - also was handy to fill the Britta, which was too tall for the bathroom sink; the power strips; good, sturdy flip-flops or sandals that can get wet.
Also, EAR PLUGs - Bikram plays movies at a deafening level, and typically until all hours of the morning. That said, the ear plugs just take the edge off and make the whole experience much more comfortable.
Wished I'd Had It:
- A small pillow for sitting on during posture clinics, or a camp chair thingy (the pillow would be less invasive though, and handy for movie nights)
- A pair of noise-canceling in-ear "earbuds" - sometimes I'd chill out before lecture listening to music, but my lame iPod headphones let a lot of noise in. Try Shure earbuds or something like that.
- A quiet, insulated water bottle.
- Oh, and a massager - the pain...oy
- More cute clothes (I assumed we'd be doing posture clinic on the sweaty yoga room floor as in the past, and left most cool clothes home...and felt dumpy on the weekends especially); jewelry (I left almost all home, but it was only banned in the yoga room, not the rest of the time as I'd thought).
Another notion on food - I paid a lot ($150) to bring a second suitcase, mostly full of food which I cheerfully shared until I realized I was going to run out of things I was needing and relying on. Then it was hard to say no, when I'd said "be my guest" to that point. That said, I wished I'd had a Luna Bar for every afternoon, but I ran out because I kept giving them away to people at lecture and in my group...and then was bummed when I had to eat peanut butter toast instead; I shared my coveted organic Tamari almonds and a few others got addicted to them too...so then I had to switch to ghetto nuts from Wal-Mart. When you calculate the cost of that extra bag, them were some pricey bars and nuts! So, my advice is to bring what you need for yourself, plus a little to share, and be firm that you need the rest for yourself. I'm not at all sorry I shared! I love to share. I just ended up not getting my own needs met in deference to others, and that didn't feel very good, especially on days that were rougher than others. To be clear, it's just something I'd do differently, not a regret. So, take care of you first, and if you plan to take care of others too, just pack extra so you can share! (er, perhaps Jenn needed to practice a little bit of non-attachment in this area, huh? :)
That said, there is plenty of food at the Wal-mart and Mega...but good luck finding any sort of "bar" - they had lame 80's style granola bars and these weird ones that tasted like graham crackers...there are no Power Bars or anything remotely like that. Bring'em. Seriously.
Some Other Advice...
Laundry, was by my account, cheap - $1oish/week - and that is way cheaper than loads of LuLulemon and Shakti outfits - so the old adage of having 11 outfits really wasn't necessary - I'd say having at least 6 would make life easier, and if you're down with handwashing, go for it - I was more interested in minimizing effort/saving time so I just let them do it for me 2x/week. Now, some folks on a super-tight budget would go to the laundromat by Wal-Mart and spend several hours to save $7. It basically comes down to what's more important to you personally: Your time, or your money? I cheerfully spent that money each week!
Consider Electrolyte Capsules that you take like pills over fizzy drink thingys or big plastic bottles of stuff - it seemed having to lug Gatorade and/or Pedialytes was a pain for most people unless they were uber sick/struggling (where it made perfect, important sense). Even Emergen-C's require water, mixing, etc. I opted to take capsules. They have the same ingredients as most of them (though, without sugar/calories), and found them portable and easy. I brought 9 bottles for the 9 weeks, took 12/day (3 before, 3 after each class). It was easy and seemed way less of a hassle, assuming you're generally healthy and feeling ok...I did use Pedialyte + extra Vitamin C when I got a little sick, in addition to the electrolytes. But otherwise, they worked great. (There's a pic of the brand that I used).
Totally Did Not Need
yoga mat wipes, 2 small hand towels; electric egg cooker (hard/soft boils & poaches); dried onions; My pillow (they had nice pillows, tons of 'em); slippers (too hot); most socks; multiple PJ's - one was enough; heating pad wasn't used, the ice bag only once, but it was good to have. A lot of long-sleeve shirts that were heavier. I didn't really use the voice recorder but was glad I had it.
THE FINAL LIST
This is a packing list for Bikram Teacher Training in Acapulco, Mexico!
Note: Do not take green! No green clothes inside or outside the lecture room. Also no green mats or water bottles, notebooks, or bags/backpacks.
- 1 Mat (I gotta new, cool one)
- My Dialogue (printed and my CD of it in mp3)
- 6-11 Yoga Outfits (6-11 bras, 6-11 shorts, 6-11 headbands, hair elastics for pig-tails)
- 1 Regular water bottle, and consider an insulated water bottle for ice water that is quiet (unlike the Orange Towers of Shame, which were like maracas) :) Believe me, so many people there eschewed ice at home, but it got them, er...me, through the rough parts in decent order. I'm not an advocate for ice in 'real life' but there, though many shamed us, the ice really made a difference in the beginning especially.
- Britta Water Pitcher & 3 extra filters
- Mini electric kettle, 3-cup (plastic)
- Mini-French press
- Can opener
- Knife to cut limes + baby cutting board
- Small spatula
- Small plastic containers (gladware) with lids for lugging snacks around (small) and storing any food leftovers/or things I make (tuna salad, egg salad...) or for stealing from the buffet (sandwich size) :)
- Sponge for dishes (one with the handle you fill with dishsoap is great) & dishsoap
- Your favorite dry goods and canned goods (if you're picky)
- Protein Powder
- Peanut Butter
- Trail mix (one salty/one sweet)
- Jar of mayo
- Canned tuna
- Dried cranberries
- 2 cases of Luna Bars or your favorite health bar (60; more if you want to share with others)
- Ground coffee
- Other "just add hot water!" items - soup packets, oatmeal..
- Favorite chocolate bars :)
- 2-4 pair of shorts/crop pants
- 3-4 t-shirts - not too heavy, ideally cotton blends (1/2 performance, 1/2 casual)
- 5-8 tank tops/sleeveless shirts (1/2 performance, 1/2 casual) - lived in these!
- 2 pair of jeans (one nicer, one casual)
- 2 skirts (or more, I'd wished I had more)
- 2 long-sleeve shirts (1/2 performance, 1/2 casual)
- 1 light jacket
- 2 hoodies (1 lightweight, 1 heavier)
- 1 cute utilitarian sweater/cardigan
- 2+ bathing suits...or more :)
- 1 bathing suit cover up (you can buy a sarong on the beach, or a coverup at Walmart easily)
- 3 regular bras
- 10+ undies (extras were good..it was hot there, so often I'd switch after yoga, etc.)
- 2 pair little white socks
- Pajamas (1 lighter material, it's hot there! you do have AC)
- 1 pair of black socks
- 1 pair fluffy socks for movie nights. That room can be cold.
- 1 pair sturdy flip-flops or sandals that can get wet
- 1 pair pumas/sneakers
- 1 pair nicer/non-workout type sandals
- 2 pairs shoes for looking nice (dinner/graduation)
- 2 dresses (graduation/dinner on saturdays?)
- A couple cool shirts for with jeans and skirts
- Non-workout hairbands/accessories
- Toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, hair gel, soap (bar), shower gel, face wash; lush shower bar); Exfoliating gloves, foot scrubber
- Razor and replacement blades
- Make-up (mascara/eyeliner, eyeliner sharpener; lip gloss, eyeshadow, baby perfume)
- Face lotion with sunscreen
- Powder (chafing happens)
- Optional: body lotion, foot lotion, hand lotion (it was too hot and I would be too slick in class if I used these...so it was for weekends only)
- Lip balm (with sunscreen)
- Feminine hygiene supplies (bring your favorites, they have different brands there...and I had 3 full-on periods in 9 weeks...be prepared for anything)
- Tweezers, nail clippers, nail file (emery board)
- Deodorant (lots! again, they have different brands there, but one big one got me through)
- Toothbrush, toothpaste (2 tubes if you're brand-picky like me), floss
- Contacts, contact case, contact cleaner, re-wetting drops; back-up eyeglasses
- Jewelry (for off-times; NO jewelry at all is allowed during class)
- Hair bands/barrettes
- Hat for inside if you like hats/hat for sun
- Sunblock lotion; hand sanitizer/ antibacterial wipes (these were used only when I was sick, or people around me were coughing or snotting on everything)
- Blow dryer (the one in my room was lame); curling iron; hair brush
- Tape measure
- Laundry bag
- Ice bag
- Two 3-prong power strips + one 3-prong small extension cord
- Computer/Macbook, anextra battery + charger
- Ipod Nano & charger
- Cell Phone/Iphone & charger
- Camera/charger and USB cord
- Voice recorder (to record classes), instructions, AAA batteries
- JBC iPod player for room (this was awesome, to be able to listen to music in the room)
- A few non-yoga books/magazines
- Office supplies (bring a couple notebooks you like if you're picky, otherwise Wal-mart has them & pens for notetaking in classes, post-it's, index cards, highlighters, small scissors, paper clips, tape, blank CDs (for sharing files and photos with folks!))
- Bikram's 2 books (he'll sign them, and good for reference)
- Acapulco guide book
- Mexican Spanish phrase book
- Pics of my honey/family/kittens (it was nice to have touches of home)
- ID/Passport/Credit Card/Cash
- Eye shade and ear plugs (roommate)
- Woolite; tide-to-go/oxy-clean stick
- Beach bag, shoulder bag/back pack; purse or bag for going out
- Massage ball or mini massager or something like this of some sort (or all of them) People will beg to borrow it! and at times, I just needed something to loosen a tight spot up, and I had a small massage ball, but a mini massager or acupressure gizmo would've been a life-saver.
- General Stuff (advil (bring A LOT), tylenol (bring a GOOD AMOUNT), ammodium, nightquil gelcaps, cold/sinus pills, benedryl, tums, pepto bismal; nasal spray; cough drops; throat spray)
- All of your RX's; pill box (really, the days blur together, this will ensure you don't miss any doses)
- General "first aid kit" (bandaids, neosporin for little cuts/scrapes/blisters, hydrocortisone cream for the heat rash, ben-gay for sore muscles)
- Bug spray
- Portable kleenex (1 or 2)
Jenn's magic formula little pill packs that I took at lunch and dinner:
- Electrolytes (duh.)
- Calcium (joint health)
- Multi-vitamin (general health)
- Vitamin B (nerve health)
- Tumeric (joint health)
- Potassium (electrolyte)
- Glucosine (joint health)
- Vitamin C (add'l taken only when I was sick)
Let me know if you have any questions, or any suggestions!