Orientation was scheduled for 3pm, but due to the record-busting number of people, we were delayed at least an hour while the check-in process wrapped up. Bikram's daughter (Laju?) kicked off the afternoon and we were introduced to a number of individuals that I've only either read about, like Emmy Cleaves, or corresponded with via email, like Sharon Clerkin (amazingly organized woman) and Shelly Kopel (loved her!!). Jim Kallett was just fantastic at conveying a context for the yoga we are about to become completely immersed in and forever changed by. What a wonderful character and lovely spirit. I hope I have the chance to talk with him a little.
On a lighter, more frivilous note, my requisite TT haircut below. If you hadn't met me before today, this photo probably doesn't hold any meaning for you but it's a good few inches shorter. No more sweat pouring into eyes and nose during forward bends!!!!
Diversion over, back to the events of the day. Once I was finally all checked in and sorted out (thanks in no small part to my amazing roommate), and orientation over, I was able to pick up a number of essentials: Fruits, veggies, tofu, hummus, chips, cereal, OJ, etc. After spending a few hours organizing space and a sizable array of appliances (juicer, blender(s), hot pot, coffee maker...) things are feeling much more calm in my own mind. There is a fridge, food is in it, water is plentiful, yoga clothes are clean, I didn't do something ridiculous like forget to bring my dialogue, and things are as right with the world as they can be in this strange, artificial environment.
Notable firsts today:
1. First kale salad made in a hotel room.
2. First time seeing an entire table of people doing seated half moon while someone practiced dialogue
3. First catered, completely vegetarian buffet (thank you Radisson LAX!)
4. First time utilizing the media cabinet in a hotel room to house food
5. First time sitting in a room with 429 other people aspiring to become Bikram Yoga Teachers!!! Yes, apparently 430 is the final count for this training. All speculation can now be put to bed. While practicing at my local studio in California, I was told that the rumor was a number above 500.
6. First look at the famous Bikram shop
Now going to take the advice of all my yoga teachers regarding the lead-up to this training: "Sleep while you can."