Thursday, June 9, 2011

No Whining, No Water, No Worries ;-)

This was the intention I set for my class today. Reading back over my last few posts I def see the need to stop whining, (and to start using spell check!) and as the morning classes aren't that hot I figured what better time to start getting back into the discipline of not drinking through class. And I managed both, hence no worries :-)

This morning's class was taught by Joel from Philly and we got to see a glimpse of a sense of humour that he didn't display in posture clinic. In Standing Bow Pose instead of saying, bring your right hand out, you're holding the money in your hand, he said, "put your hand out if you want your money back". Needless to say, it def got a laugh from me! (And one I will save and pull out in a really bad class where I've totally lost all sense of the dialogue - gulp)

He also got us to clap anytime we put our arms overhead with hands together and had us work on it until we all got it in time together. Quite an awesome energy when 430 people raise their arms overhead and clap in sync. He suggested we try it tonight and surprise Bikram with it. So lets hope we can pull it off, because if 430 of us end up clapping at different times Bikram is going to wonder what the hell we are bloody doing!

At the end of class Joel said that the body can only absorb 250mls of water every 20 mins so those of us who drink more than a litre of water in a class aren't rehydrating anyway. I want to do some research on this because there are so many diff opinions on this subject (I'm such a geek I know). But NOT drinking water has been something I worked really hard to achieve and we get a lot of different information about how long it takes the body to absorb water, how much it can absorb etc so I'd like to get some info for myself to back up this argument when discussing it with others. Certainly there are the obvious reasons for not drinking in class in that it helps you stay focused and often we use taking a drink as a distraction from doing a posture we don't like or because we are feeling uncomfortable etc but I'd like to also have some facts about the physical aspect of it.

This afternoon we had Rajashree go through the Standing Series with us and give all the benefits of the postures. I wish I could say the pic is of me but alas this posture still eludes me. It is instead, Nicci the East Canadian yoga champion - you can see why) Rajashree is in the background, she is a wealth of knowledge and it was all so interesting to hear that the four hours went by in a flash (unlike other lectures....................oops that right I was not supposed to be whining today). She has such a lovely energy and I wish we had more time with her but we've hardly seen her at all :-(

So we were up till 1:ooam last night watching movies. Its been so long now since I've had a full nights good sleep that I have forgotten what its like to NOT be tired. I've certainly learnt to function on a lot less sleep than I would ever attempt at home so it will be interesting to see how my sleeping habits change when I'm back out in the real world.

Anyway, its time to head off for the 5pm class with Bikram. I'll let you know how our "clapping" efforts go.

A few hours later.....

Well as it turned out we didn't have Bikram for this afts class after all. Instead we had Jim one of the senior staff members from here who always teaches an awesome dialogue driven class. He worked us hard but keeps you focused so that it doesn't seem like you won't survive the class. It took us a few postures but we got our "clap" down pretty good and we were all mostly in time. There's always one tho that is late eh :-)

He commented on how our practice and focus had improved so much from the earlier weeks when he first taught us and tried to get everyone to stay in the room just this once (to no avail unfort). There are still plenty of yogis leaving the room and this is something that he and many other teachers are trying to stop. I have to admit there are some people you see leaving EVERY class and so you have to wonder if they really need to or whether they have created that habit of doing so.

We have been told countless times, that as "teachers" (wow its freaky to even think about calling myself that!) we have to set an example for our students and become the students that we want to teach. So first and foremost is being able to stay in the room. How can you teach a 90 min class if you can't even stay in the room during your own practice? Then there are all the other disciplines like not drinking between 1st and 2nd set of postures, not wiping sweat, not moving in Savasana etc. Things which to me have been ingrained from the beginning from practicing in disciplined studios both in Auckland and on the Coast so its not something I even have to think about, but you see a lot of it here still.

Now I used to agree 100% with the thought that everyone had to have a disciplined practice the way I like my own to be, and while I still agree pretty strongly with this I have softened my thoughts about it after having listened to some of the teachers here. While there is still a need to stay focused and aware of unnecessary movements in your practice I realise too that I don't know what might be going on in anyone else's life, what kind of sh*t they may be dealing with that I am not aware of and so I need to respect their need to look after themselves and do what they need to do to get through the class. And like they say, better to teach people by example and then they will learn how to do things rather than you having to tell them what not to do. Which I think makes for a much better environment for everyone. :-)

P.S. Following is my reply to your comments Glenda. For some reason I can't post my reply and I know plenty of you are having the same prob and have emailed and left msges on FB instead. I am not familiar enough with Blogger to be able to figure this problem out, but please know that I read all your messages and am always thrilled to hear from you (though don't always have time to reply sorry). But do keep 'em coming folks :-)

Hi Glenda and Gerry

Thanks for your message and your kind words on FB. I am thrilled you are enjoying my inside perspective of Bikram Teacher Training! (And Glenda I will certainly refrain from asking you any open-ended questions in class :-)

There is at times a strange culture here and as with anything there are always a few extremists who spoil the general energy but I think the majority of trainees share a genuine love and absolute belief in this yoga and a desire to share that with the world.

Certainly I believe that the more people who are getting onto any kind of yoga mat, anywhere, anytime, to practice ANY kind of yoga the better place the world is going to be!

See you both back on the Goldie soon ;-) xx

Want to Lose 3lbs in 90 Mins?

I weighed myself before class today and then again after. Not that I have any interest in what the scales said to start with but to see how much I loose in sweat during a class. The result, a whopping 3 lbs - this is after drinking a Litre of water straight after class. That just astounds me. It just stresses the importance of hydration when practicing Bikram yoga - and believe me hydration and what you are eating is a full time obsession around here!

While we practice twice a day, the rest of the time is just endless hours of sitting so I can't say that my body seems to have changed much at all. I should add that those hours of sitting are interjected with plenty of junk food snacks as a way to relieve the boredom.

I couldn't tell you either what my practice actually looks like as the strategic rotation of group placement on the lines in the yoga room supposedly so that everyone gets their share of time in front of the mirrors seems to have failed miserably and some groups have spent days on the front 2 or 3 lines and others like ours have only been up there once in nearly 8 weeks? It certainly makes you concentrate on "feeling" the posture but you have no way of checking your alignment. But hey if you can hold standing bow pose from the back of the room where you have several hundred bodies falling out around you then you can hold bow pose anywhere!

So since being here we have had a huge array of teachers taking the yoga classes and it has shown us many different teachng styles to learn from. You hear lots of different ways to use your voice to create impact with the words etc and its been great and I hope I manage to take it on board and develop my own skills. It has also shown us some things you want to make sure you don't do!

Yogis at home, if I start talking in a high pitched voice you have permission to throw your water bottles at me because listening to that for 90 mins is really hard to take.

If I talk so fast thatthewordsallruntinoeachotherandidon'tstopforabreath throw your water bottle at me so that you get a chance to at least catch up to me in between breaths. Again, hard to get into the next posture when you're still coming out of the last one.

And the one I promise to try my best to refrain from - waving out to friends in class! Yes you read it correctly folks......... and we witnessed it today................can you imagine.

(While In Tree Pose)
Bring your right hand up to the centre of your chest in Namaskar.
Oh hi Vera, wave wave. Hi! Hi Vera! Wave wave.
Glenda, oh I didn't see you back there, hi! More frantic overhead waving.
(Confusion? Why aren't you responding? It looks like you're in a mediation focusing on yourselves in the mirror or something?)

Holy sh*t man!