Saturday, May 28, 2011

Yoga Class Espanol

Today's class (Sat morning) was taught by Ulysses from Mexico who taught the first set of each posture in English and then the second set in Spanish. It was awesome!

I only wish I had been feeling better as I had plenty of "sparkly" moments through all the Standing Postures, as in that feeling when you stand up too fast. Ugh..... so needless to say I was very pleased to get to the floor series.

Anyway, regardless I still enjoyed the class as Ulysses was so passionate and enthusiastic and even when he was speaking in Spanish you could tell by his energy when to push in the postures etc.

He spoke about how we need to get to a place in our practice where we learn to trust that our breath is all we need. Not water, not having the exact mix of this and that in our water, having the mat in a specific spot etc etc. That so long as you can breath properly during your practice that you will get to a place where you can let all those other things drop away.

He also spoke about how its easier to do the postures than to sit them out. Hmmm, probably debatable at times eh? But I have to say I do agree with him. Like he said, if you're sitting on the floor you have WAY too much time to think about how uncomfortable you feel, about how hot the room is, how about many more posture to go etc etc. Whereas if you're doing the postures no matter how much you're struggling it at least gives you something else to focus on.

Those days when you're in "the zone" this is easy to do, but its finding a way to get to that place when you're having a tough class that takes mental strength. On those days when you just want to run from the room screaming, when camel posture makes you want to burst in tears and / or throw up, when the yoga bus comes into the room and runs over you and then beeps and f*n backs up to run over you again. UGH UGH UGH and somehow you have to find a way to "just breath". THOSE are the days I feel that amongst all the angst I gain SO much.

Whew..... excuse me while I go outside for some fresh air.... :-)

So, notes from our Posture Clinics this week:

There are 3 things you need to build your practice:
1. To come often
2. To practice hard
3. To acknowledge your mistakes and make the necessary corrections

Don't say, "I can't". Instead say, "how much of this posture CAN I do?". (I like that one, as there are certain postures I am convinced I will never be able to do.)

Lean to switch between commanding and being kind so that you can show compassion for your beginners and yogis with injuries, but still keep pushing those who are your regulars and working hard etc.

You will build a level of trust with your students through the class, and so they will do everything you ask them to (particularly beginners) so you have to give them permission NOT to do something if it hurts etc.

Instead of asking someone why they didn't do a part of the posture, instead say I noticed you can't do X, Y, Z and then let them reply. They will open up better this way and not feel you are accusing them of not doing posture.

Stick to the dialogue so that it becomes a tool that is ingrained in you. Then if something happens in the room, like someone fainting, then the dialogue will automatically come from you (yikes hopefully!)

Watch your regular students and notice week to week if they miss the same posture, sit out the same posture, always grab their water at the same time etc and equally to see when they make improvements, when their injuries heal or happen. This helps you learn something about your students and become aware of how the yoga is changing their bodies.

So in terms of how my progress with the dialogue is coming, I feel I have finally got to a place where I'm a bit more relaxed about not being perfect. Note: A "bit" more. I still have miles to go but have stopped "fighting it" and it has all come so much easier to me and I'm actually enjoying it (this could be said about everything I'm doing at the moment too - God forbid eh! LOL).

I would say that Wednesday was a break through point for me. I had to deliver Full Locust which is the posture where you get to "fly" and I was so pissed off and frustrated with everything, disappointed in the two previous days posture deliveries and so I decided I had to channel that somehow and just friggen get over it! So that is what I did, and I nailed it! By far my best delivery to date, cos I TOLD those yogis to GET INTO the posture and FLY home! What a buzz and a relief to feel like I was finally "getting it" in terms of starting to feel like I was teaching, and also a sense of peace by being able to let go and just be.... :-) Sigh

Then we had Caroline from NY take our clinic Thursday evening. She was in Oz earlier this year and did a class at our studio so it was cool to see her again. And she was just SOOOOO nice to me. She said that she loved my personality and felt people would really warm to me and trust me as a teacher (awwhhhh xx) but that they might not behave in class because I might not be commanding enough. I told her I had finally found my commanding voice last night (lol) and so would try and bring that too so that I had both styles - so look out you naughty yogis!

Friday's clinics both went well too. In the aft class I delivered Fixed Firm and as there were heaps of Ozzies in the other group we were working with, I said to "lift your chest and stomach up to create a perfect Sydney harbour bridge" hee hee (instead of perfect human bridge). A bit naughty because we are NOT supposed to divert from the dialogue at all, but I couldn't resist and it got a laugh from the Ozzie peops.

End of Week 6!

Well its now the end of week 6. I think I can bring myself to start counting down the days now without it making my stomach go in knots. Only 21 to go. By this time in 3 weeks we will be at our Graduation Ceremony!

I wonder how I'm going to feel then? Certainly there are so many beautiful amazing people here that it has been great to meet and so I hope we all stay in touch and that our paths cross again.

This week has been full on. Boss (Bikram) as he is affectionately called, has been away so we've had posture clinics after lunch and in the evenings which means I have been studying like mad to stay ahead of the game.

Certainly once you've been studying for a while and have worked out which learning style works for you I have found that the memorizing gets faster and faster. That and the fact that the Floor Postures are generally shorter (Yay - to learn and Yay when you're in class :-) and a lot of the sequencing are lines of dialogue from previous postures. i.e. Generally when you put your arms over your head, you're going to then put your hands-palms together. Hee hee, theres that new body part :-)

Anyway, Bikram popped in briefly on Thursday night while we were at Posture clinic and told us how good we were doing and that we were on schedule (finally!). And it mean't that next week we would have the evenings free for lectures and movies......... Oh expletive. Can't we learn the dialogue for all 86 postures? Can we go back and do the left side and second set? Anything but friggen movies..... Oh well.

So because we are back on schedule, there were rumours rife about how tonight, (Friday) we would have no posture clinic and they were going to arrange pizzas for everyone for dinner. Where this idea came from I don't know, but everyone was talking about it all during the day and while waiting for the P.M. yoga class to start the room was abuzz with talk about it.

Obviously it didn't happen! Not the night off, and not the pizza :-( Probably someone mentioned they felt like pizza for dinner, and someone walked past them and heard them and then said, yeah I feel like pizza and it went from there. You put 430 peops together. Lock them up in a hotel with little contact with the outside world and we will grasp at any hint of something that looks like it might give us a relief from the regimented yoga bubble we live in.

For tonight's class, they put on music before it started and got all the teachers to come in and dance around the room and on stage etc, so that did provide some light relief. And then Jude (Johnny's sister) taught. Those from the Goldie may have taken her class when she was back there. And true to form it was a toughie, as Jude's classes always are, but she has such great energy it makes you want to work for her. (In the top pic she is in the middle on stage along with 2 other teachers).

Other pics are of fellow yoginis from my group in the hot room - you can start to get an appreciation of the size of the room. It will no doubt seem strange going back to practice in a regular sized studio with only 30 - 40 yogis after having practiced in a ballroom with 430 others.

Last pic is of moi and Danni who I am SO lucky to have as a roommate. Living with a stranger in one room for 9 weeks is a difficult task under any circumstances so the fact we have managed to do it and stay friends is a credit to us both I'd say. So thank you Danni for being so understanding, for giving me a shoulder to cry on when I needed it, for being so patient with me when I was struggling to stay sane in this place, and for being a great friend. I hope you make it Down Under some time so that we can meet up again! xx