It’s taken me awhile to write this recap – it’s been hectic and busy since the end of the 4th week. I can’t believe the 7th week is almost finished (in real time).
Week 5 started off with some bad news I learned that a sorority sister from my Greek days at The Ohio State University had unexpectedly died with her mom while walking on Sunday evening. It’s a tragic accident and the death hit me hard. Harder that I ever would have expected…she’s my age. How is it possible that at 29 she’s gone?
Monday morning we had another beautiful class with Raj. She’s an amazing teacher and her is like velvet – honestly it is. It’s so beautiful and she’s so connected with the words and your body – it’s impossible to not hold a posture for her. She makes you a better student with her energy and love that shares in the hot room. After the class we had our first lecture with Raj where she focused on Spirituality, Yoga, and Science and our final anatomy test! The key from her lecture was “Science is explaining the yoga. Yoga is the science of belief.” It may sound a little crunchy but it’s so true – we’re always looking to science for everything but really the yoga is a part of that process. I know many folks that needed knee, back, and a whole host of other surgeries but they started practicing Bikram Yoga and with time they no longer needed surgery. We had a woman at our studio that was diabetic and started taking class – after a consist practice she went back to her doctor and her sugar levels had dropped significantly to the point where she no longer needed insulin. Was it the yoga or did she change her diet? It was the yoga. Yoga has the power to heal you when science can’t!
During her lecture Raj said Find Your Weakness and Make It Your Strength” – I love this! And it’s something that I’m trying to actively work on. My biggest weakness is that I hate being vulnerable – I struggle with letting people in (like really in!) so I decided that I’m going to make being vulnerable a strength. And when you really think about it – it is a strength to have the courage to let someone know everything about you and trust that person to not hurt you. This can apply to family, friends, significant others, etc – it’s an area in my life that I think has been holding me back for quite sometime and I’m officially embracing being vulnerable. Right here! Right Now!
Posture Clinic continued this week with balancing stick, separate leg stretching, and Triangle. Balancing Stick is the last posture in the balancing series and it’s intense – it’s a 10 second posture that requires you to use your every muscle in your system rushing the blood from one side of your body to another. It’s basically creating a mini heart attack so that you don’t have one in my real life. You’ve got to use 100% of your strength. I had a difficult time delivering this posture as I had just found out about the death of my friend and only had about 45 minutes to process it before signing in for posture clinic and needing to deliver/demonstrate. I wasn’t in the best mindset but I went up there and delivered the posture – basically I just spit the words out. I got them in and I got them out. There was no energy – I’ll be completely honest about that. But I did it. The lead for our posture clinic wanted me to do it again but I didn’t have the energy to do it – she made me stay after to “talk” to her but honestly she just talked at me. I’ve never met someone lacking such compassion as her – it’s a real shame because I really liked her at first and I think she’s a great person but I’ve lost respect for her. And I believe quite a few people have as well due to their own experiences with her…
Luckily, my group was amazing in my time of need and really supported me. I’m very lucky to have such a great group of people to rally around me when I’m struggling to process something. I didn’t share what had made me upset but the fact that my group came to my aid when I have having a hard time was very touching. Remember I had just met most of these folks during Week 3 when we started posture clinic so it had only been about 2 weeks that I had really known them – this is such a great community of support. And it’s not just at the teacher training – it’s worldwide.
I finally broke down and cried during class on Tuesday morning – I had been waiting for the emotions to come out; about everything – the death of Jessica and a whole host of things that have put me on this amazing journey. This experience has really allowed me to be really open and honest about valuing my life and my place in the world.
Bikram returned on Tuesday! There was tons of rumors going around about the boss being back and he was going to make us watch a movie and do this and do that….no one ever really knows what’s happening at training so the rumor mill can get quite crazy. He taught the evening class and per usual is was a long class (most of his classes are in the 2+ hour range; Bikram Yoga is a 90 minute class) but we got through it and he was very happy with our progress. Collectively as a group we’re looking strong and my struggle postures are beginning to really improve. That night Bikram lectured picking up right where he left off on the topic of discrimination which is where he had left us two weeks ago – He shared stories about his best friends – one a black man from the south; the another a Muslim. He kept focusing on why shouldn’t he be friends with them because they have different religions or skin tones? Nah. We’re all humans. This is a point that Bikram keeps making the importance of realizing that we’re all human – and in being human we have humanity and spirituality which allow us a deeper connection with each other if we let it.
As the week progressed with had more posture clinic with fabulous visiting teachers from all over the world – my group got a teacher from the UK, Atlanta, Bali, Brasil, and Europe. The postures that we delivered I had learned in Anatomy the week prior so I was feeling confident in delivering them but it was difficult cause my nerves can get the better of me. I get nervous going up in front of the group (15 & another) to deliver the dialogue to my “students”. I’m not quite “seeing” the bodies or the lines yet – I’m just saying the dialogue. Most of the feedback I received was positive but I need to work on intonation with my voice and having more energy when delivering the dialogue to connect my students with the words.
Raj had another lecture this week and she started her own posture clinic where she really broke down the medical benefits of each posture. Which glands are being use in which postures…we had already learned most of the glands in anatomy so it was nice to get a better idea of how the posture really works the system inside out. Students were brought on stage to demonstrate postures that they had questions about alignment or anything in particular to them. She also showed us how to correct students and help them in postures in they aren’t able to go deep due to back or knee issues or other issues that they may have when they walk in the door for their first or 50th class.
We also had a lecture on opening a studio and what are some of the requirements to open a Bikram Yoga Studio.
Bikram had a special lecturer for us that lectured on India and Yoga. He is the leader of one of India’s leading political parties. He got a standing ovation for his lecture which was very interesting and brought up a lot of questions about disassociation, detachment and expectations.
As we moved to the end of the week, I went to down to the beach to say goodbye to my friend. She loved the beach and I thought it would be fitting to say goodbye at a place she would have loved. I played Jay-Z’s Young Forever which was her motto – she always wished Happy Birthday by simply saying “Forever Young”.