Saturday, October 4, 2008

Visit in Houston before Acapulco! (Updated)

I decided I had a little more to say on this post, so here is a more detailed version...

Well, I'm here in Houston visiting Marshall, of Group #14. We were good pals at training, and I thought it'd be fun to see him while I was on my way to Acapulco and Houston is an easy path to Mexico. I arrived yesterday and we went straight to 4:30 class together which was super fun. We had a big, wet, sweaty hug at the end of class! So fun, you can really only do this with teacher training friends, and maybe a girlfriend :) However, when I walked in the studio, the teacher, Therese, was like, "Oh wow! It's you!!!" - apparently a reader of this here blog.

I blushed, I felt it. And then panicked a little - and this is a little worry for my trip to Acapulco...I know a lot of folks read my blog and know me, or think they do....and to a degree, it's true. But I'll admit it's a little weird for me - mostly because I don't necessarily feel that same connection to folks who read this - I mean, I love y'all (I can say that, y'all, I'm in Texas) - but I haven't read months of posts of your daily life! An then, the pressure in class - to perform, to be a (perfect) yogi in class...oy! It's not a complaint, just an observation of something I semi-expect when I get to Acapulco - and at the same time, it'll be fun and easy to talk to people and hopefully be a help to some folks as they embark on Week 4 - not the most fun time. Still, I think in the end, I don't want to let anyone down on my mat or off of it; and not that anyone should (or actually even does) care, it's my stuff and it'll be interesting to explore how these feelings unfold for me while I'm in Acapulco.

After yoga-soaked (pun intended) dinner conversation after class, we came back to his place and hung out. Today we got up and took Sherri's 8:15 a.m. class, another person who was in our training! Her class was spirited and peppy as expected.

We then bummed around Houston, my first time here - and then took a rest, and then I got to take Marshall's 4:30 p.m. class!! He is as incredible teacher as expected, and his class was really well done. He has a command of the dialogue that lets me connect to it in a meaningful way, which I appreciate a lot. It's painful when the dialogue sounds like a recitation; his decidedly does not. And he is, as those of you who know and love Marshall know, a dialogue machine. One fun thing that happened was when he had a new student try to leave the room after the first set of Rabbit (!!!) and he threw up his hands, smiled and said, "Hey, where you goin'?" She said, "I just need to step out. It's really hot in here." (LOL!) So then he said, "It's better if you stay. C'mon everyone, help me get her to stay!" And he started to clap for her a little and people just started calling out to her "Stay!" "Don't go!" "It is better!!" and she shrugged her shoulders, smiled, returned to her mat, and finished class. It was a brilliant and cool way to deal with it, without scolding her and in a way that gave her confidence and snapped her out of her attachment to her discomfort.

And of course, we have had many spirited discussions about dialogue, about specifics of the dialogue that um, perhaps I struggle with :) and Marshall is a by-the-book kinda guy...and I'm a slightly defiant kinda girl. Not that bad, but it's hard when you're 'raised' in a non-dialogue studio by a super-experienced director whom you respect a lot. And while overall I am committed to the dialogue, I honestly do struggle with some of the nuances, which Marshall defends to the death, and it's fun to hear his way of thinking about things because he is super smart. One day, eventually, in the future, he might convince it me it's better to say "charge your body forward..." before "kick your leg back and up..." in standing bow. Maybe. Overall, it was super fun to reconnect and be with him, geek out about yoga, practice together (for both of us, it's so great to be next to not only another teacher, but one you practiced next to a lot at training), and of course, to see a little of his world here in Houston.

And, it was a great jumping off point to Acapulco - hot here, humid, loads of yoga and lots of fun geeking out about it! I did 3 classes in 24 hours at two different studios, with everyone knowing I was a teacher, and Marshall by my side or overseeing me as a teacher - so I was 100% on my best behavior :) Not that we shouldn't always give 100% on the mat, but, somehow it amps it up when you know on some level, you're being observed with expectations - expectations I fundamentally have for myself, but don't always um...execute to the fullest of my capability, like anyone, I have less-than-100% classes. So, the result here was 3 super-focused classes in a much higher humidity than I'm used to, one that felt super hot and two where the heat felt like a friend. Love that. Anyhow, onto Acapulco, where Todd has already sent me a bevy of emails telling me about how it is different now than it was for us. I can't wait to see for myself! I'll be posting daily.

By the way, I plan to close out this blog at the year's end. I will have a new one, rattling on about teaching and practicing Bikram and possibly other yogas - but the purpose of this blog was to explain my personal experience of Bikram's teacher training, teaching afterwards, and then closing the loop with this visit back to see it from a teacher's angle. I do, however, want to write just a bit more of perhaps how this visit influences my teaching over the November and December. :) For now though...tomorrow morning I will enter Bikram's Torture Chamber, where I will kill myself for 90 minutes hopefully 11 or so times this week!

p.s. Marshall, Sherri & I above.

p.s.s. Marshall started his class with, "Good afternoon y'all; let's do some Bikram Yoga!" Y'all. Cracks me up. :)

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