Monday, May 30, 2011

Week 7 begins with an early night???

Despite everyone's trepidation about the start of Week 7, and Bikram's promise that he would be present for *all* three remaining weeks of our training, we are somehow done for the evening at the mindblowingly reasonable time of 10pm.  Can you believe it?  We had a lecture tonight from a reproduction expert, Dr. Choudhury.  Not quite sure how this relates to our training, but it was a nice change of pace from back-to-back posture clinics.

Speaking of which, I'm realizing that I've been delinquent in my blogging duties during Week 6.  Not a single entry last week and this is due entirely to the fact that our posture clinics were severely ratcheted up in intensity and frequency all last week.  Monday, Tuesday and Friday were double posture clinic days.  In real time measure, this means 12:30pm-4pm and then again 9:00pm-11:30pm or later.  My group clicked through from Cobra through to Half Tortoise (that's 6 postures!).  It was exhausting and I have no idea how we learned all those postures so quickly.  Wednesday and Thursday we had a brief respite from the frenetic pace when Dr. Jon Burras came to discuss fascia (the Rodney Dangerfield of the medical community - i.e. gets no respect) and the way that emotions and experiences remain within the body years after traumatic events.

Self portrait in the yoga room
 I am grieved to report that my back pain has not yet subsided.  I've been plagued by this stupid pain, in some form or another, since around Week 2 and last week it reached a critical point.  After morning class on Tuesday, out of sheer desperation, I called my trusty massage therapist and booked an appointment for that evening at 7:30, thinking for some reason that posture clinic would start a 9:30.  I blame the incredible pain for my confusion because I don't think posture clinic has ever started any later than 9pm.  So the whole day I was somewhat preoccupied thinking about the logistics surrounding getting myself from the end of evening class to the massage place and then back in time for the evening posture clinic without acquiring a make-up class for tardiness.  Somehow I pulled it off and felt tremendously better.  According to Brian Keith (shout out to my peeps) I did something unpleasant to my obliques on my right side and that is causing much of my pain.  Also my piriformus is tight.  My hamstrings aren't any great shakes either.  And my knees - fuggetaboutit. Basically, Brian suggested that my body, at the moment, is a bit like a classic automobile: Requiring a lot of maintenance but well worth the effort.  I bet he uses that line on all the cute, young yoginis.

Venice Beach Party!!
Speaking of my knees, Friday of last week we had an interesting American Idol-style posture clinic where two groups combined in the main lecture hall and "competed", one person delivering right after the other.  It was a great time, a huge laugh, and very informative.  However, during the start of the evening, due to some logistical confusion, I ended up demonstrating Fixed Firm Pose six times in succession in a cold room.  This is a lovely posture during class, very relaxing and a wonderful expansive stretch, but attempting it cold is a totally different story.   For the uninitiated, this posture involves sitting down "Japanese style" on the floor and then opening the feet enough to sit between the heels.  And then you come back and relax the upper body on the ground:

All I have to say about that is: DO NOT EVER DO THAT.  EVER.  My right knee is still at me, days later.  After posture clinic was over I could barely walk.  I've been slathering Tiger Balm all over myself since and I can't even get into this posture in class at the moment.  Bad, bad, bad.  That is what happens when the ego takes over.  For some reason, I couldn't simply ask someone to demo for me.  And I'm definitely paying the price for it now.  Fixed firm cold is a horrible idea for me and I will never forget it after this experience, cute cartoon depictions notwithstanding.

Off to grab some sleep.  Tomorrow I will present Rabbit and perhaps even the final stretching posture.  Can't believe we are almost done presenting dialogue!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Unicorns, patience, and a very long drive down Sepulveda

The strangest aspect of this teacher training process is not encompassed by what goes on within the confines of this hotel over nine weeks.  I have instead noticed that my most introspective and thoughtful moments come when I'm out of the daily routine of class-study-posture clinic-class-study-lecture-movie-sleep-repeat.  Today is a perfect example.

Saturday morning at training is always fantastic.  The buzz during the 8am class is palpable as all of us slap-happy and sleep-deprived yogis and yoginis work to get through the last few minutes that separate us from temporary freedom.  We are all looking forward to remembering what it's like to be outside of this hotel, experience the sunshine and take care of general maintenance like laundry, food shopping, massage (if you're lucky), and everything else that was impossible to get to during the week.  I was no different, somewhat distracted by thoughts of everything I wanted to accomplish and it was hard to keep my head in the game.  But as usual, class began, class ended, and then we were free.  After snapping some posture photos and some miscellaneous goofy shots in the hot room, I gathered my laundry and set off on my errands with the hot tub at my parent’s house as the ultimate destination.

Adrienne and Dia in the Boss' Chair

Kick and stretch!

There were three tasks I needed to complete before I could be on my way to the gorgeous, sumptuous hot tub in the sky (AKA Long Beach): 1. Go to Fry’s Electronics to make a return, 2. Fill up the gas tank, 3. Starbucks caffeine pit stop.  A modest list, but first I had to get out of the parking garage.  Apparently my credit card, which was charged a monthly rate upon arriving in the garage 5 weeks ago, was not automatically charged for the next month as they had indicated so when I tried to exit using my electronic pass, I got the red beep instead of an open gate.  Bollox.  Drove back around to the cashier, had half of a conversation with the woman behind the counter who was simultaneously on her cell phone via earpiece, and drove back to the gate.  Again the red beep.  Drove back again only to have the semi-present employee tell me “oh, you have to use your ticket the first time out.”  What ticket?  I’ve been here for 5 weeks, as I mentioned to you two minutes ago.

Now extrapolate this type of delay, stretch it out throughout all of the tasks I wanted to accomplish today, and that was my entire day.  It seemed as though everywhere I stopped, whatever seemingly small task I wanted to complete, was rife with delays, technical difficulties, and various methods seemingly constructed to try my patience.  But what was remarkable about this experience was not that the delays kept happening.  It was my reaction to these barriers.  I didn’t feel as annoyed or impatient as I normally would.

Blame the yoga, blame sleep deprivation, blame the tunnel-visioned focus we’ve had to cultivate since arriving here.  Even though I was totally conscious of how little free time I had available to me on this beautiful weekend day, I was calm and unhurried.  Instead I had a small epiphany about how much can be accomplished in a relatively short period of time if you are mindful of your actions.  The more thoughtfulness I was able to bring to each moment, the longer it could stretch for me.  Right, we’ve diverted off the path and are now into the more esoteric realm of temporal perception, but that was really my takeaway.  Honestly, events were not unfolding in any sort of practical or logical order for me all day long.  I have to walk away with some kind of lesson or I’m not earning my keep as a yogi-in-training, right?

Lesson #1: Time is kinda stretchy.  Use it mindfully and you will have as much time as you need.

Once I finally made it to my parent’s house, I immediately flipped on the hot tub, threw laundry and yoga mat into the wash, ran out again to go food shopping, came back and spoke to my sweetheart on the phone, and did some Ebay selling maintenance.  Yes, I am still in the process of shedding a number of childhood objects, not the least of which is my extensive collection of unicorn figurines.  It’s like I’m haunted by the damn things!  They keep selling and I keep finding more that need to be sold. 

Lesson #2: Be thoughtful about acquiring material things.  They can be a pain in the ass.

So many unicorns

I should add here that the whole time I was taking care of my various errands I was fooling with the hot tub trying to get it to heat up properly as it seemed not to be heating in the slightest.  By the time 8pm rolled around, my dad confirmed what I had suspected: The hot tub is not working.  Bollox.

Lesson #3: No expectations, no disappointment.  But damn it, I really wanted to soak in that hot tub.

Got myself packed up after hot tub proved to be a non-starter and headed back to the hotel at 10pm. The drive back to the hotel on 405 North started out uneventfully but took a strange turn when I decided to see how much dialogue I could remember from Half Moon (the first posture of class) on.  I was going along nicely, a few hiccups as I struggled to remember various lines, but I got all the way through Eagle when I looked up and saw an exit for Getty Dr.  Hmmm, that’s odd.  Pretty sure that’s farther north than I usually go on the freeway.   Sure enough I had driven completely past my exit and I had no idea how far north I was of LAX.  Bollox. When I exited with the intent to turn around and head back southbound, I saw Sepulveda Dr., the very street my hotel is on.  It was a lovely night so I decided to hop on Sepulveda southbound and drive back to the hotel that way.  Wow, I really must have been into my dialogue because it took me about 30 minutes to get back to the hotel by that route.  And it’s only 30 minutes from my parent’s house to the hotel via the freeway!  The drive was mellow and I was perfectly content to be alone with my thoughts, sans dialogue this time.  I also discovered a fantastic 24 hour Mexican food stand (so cheap!) called Cinco de Mayo where I had a brief pause for veggie tacos.  Yum!

Lesson #4: The shortest way isn’t always the best way.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Six days and a pack of Azithromycin later

Wow.  What a totally insane, depressing, physically draining, emotionally trying, and just generally poopy stretch of days.  As indicated in the title of this post, I have been the lucky recipient of strep throat/upper respiratory infection/sinus infection/some kind of infection that the Z-pack will undoubtedly take care of so that's what I was prescribed when I finally went to the doctor.  I've been fairly well out of commission since last week on Friday, although I thought I could forcibly push the illness out of my body last Friday by going about my routine like normal and hitting both classes.  This may have been my downfall because after that evening class, I wasn't able to get my body back into the hot room properly until tonight, Wednesday. 

This past weekend I nursed myself as best I could and went into the hot room on Monday morning, setting up in the back because I suspected I'd at the very least be blowing my nose the entire time (and possibly passing out to boot).  We started pranayama breathing and the breathing *in* bit was fine, but my forced breath out sounded like a broken teakettle on the boil.  My lack of air flow and the clear obstruction in my lungs, coupled with body aches, fatigue, shortness of breath, and general bodily crapiness, prompted me to leave straight away to go to the doctor.  The nurse here at training had repeatedly asked me if I wanted to see the doctor on Saturday as well as Monday morning, but I sincerely thought it was just a bad cold.  It was wishful thinking, unfortunately.

After the breathing exercise, I just walked out of the room, leaving my mat, towel, and water there on the floor.  After some back and forth with my out-of-state insurance company, I realized that the only way to have my doctor's visit covered was to visit the ER at the local hospital.  I managed to get there through the haze that had by then settled around my head, and after waiting in a room that I shared with a poor man who had been admitted for attempted suicide while intoxicated (!), the doctor declared that I likely had either strep (since it was going around in my group of 428 close friends here at training) or some kind of other infection.  The whole time the doctor is talking to me, I'm in a near panic, not because of the diagnosis but because I have to take my Anatomy final at 12:30 and the clock is ticking ever-closer.  I have no idea if I can re-sit if I miss it (and damn it, I was all studied up for it so I was going to take that exam even if it meant leaving the ER and coming back later).  Fortunately the Dr. came through with the paperwork excusing me from yoga for a couple of days and a prescription for Azithromycin, the 5-day Z-pack that would knock out the bacterial infection of whatever sort it might be.

Left the ER, made it back just in time for the exam, did very well (69/70) and spent the next 2.5 days sleeping punctuated by the occasional posture clinic, lecture, and a couple of episodes of the Mahabharata here and there.  My body was completely non-cooperative, I looked terrible, felt terrible, and I'm sure I was a complete pain in the ass to anyone I had to interact with over the last few days.  Sincere apologies if you were one of those people.  I just felt so awful, so dark and weak, that I couldn't even get it together to communicate appropriately with anyone.  My roommate is such a sweetheart to have dealt with me in my cranky, semi-conscious state these last few days.  You're the best, Adrienne!  I owe you a coffee.

But the good news is that tonight, Wednesday, I finally feel good.  Great, even.  I was back in the hot room and it was just fine.  Well, health-wise, that is.  My back feels broken and my knees ache, but these are common complaints here at training so I'm not too concerned about them.  The dramatic contrast between feeling at your worst and then feeling kind of normal is enough to make you feel euphoric.  I'm giddy to not have to feel so fundamentally weak and crappy anymore! 

Despite being out of the hot room, I have been going to posture clinics and keeping up on my postures so I'm not behind there.  We're almost done with the standing series (already!) and I'm realizing that I have to start reviewing the postures I've already done so as not to forget them completely.  We're moving at such a fast pace I'm not sure how I'm going to find that time, but a little review now and then will ultimately benefit my recall in such a big way that I'll just have to make the time.

Still loving training, thrilled that I'm back in synch with my fellow yogis and not just sitting on the bench, and still not quite sure how I'm supposed to go about teaching an entire class when I get outta the joint.

"One day at a time", right?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Staring down Week 5 - Bring it on

Can I bluff the next week into easing off just a little?  Or at least long enough for me to finish getting over this stupid, debilitating cold I've been suck with since Thursday night?  Probably not, but it's worth a shot.

All day yesterday I spent recuperating, i.e. sleeping and drinking water.  Occasionally eating something, though I had no real appetite to speak of.  Didn't get a bit of studying done until the evening, when my buddy Will and I worked on dialogue.  By body was in such rough shape when I work up on Saturday that I managed to get excused from the morning yoga class, my first missed class in 4 weeks.  No fever, but my entire body felt like it had been run over by a Mack truck filled with elephants.  Fat elephants.  Couple that with sore throat, congestion, and a head that felt like it was in a vice and you've got one very sad specimen.  Had to make my massage appointment as it was too late to cancel.  It took every ounce of determination to get myself out of bed and to the car, realized I forgot the car key half-way to the garage (damn!), but got there on time nonetheless.  Poor Brian, my amazing massage therapist, had to keep pausing to allow me to drain my nose every 20 minutes or so.  It's surprising how much fluid wants to exit your nose when you're face down on the massage table for 1.5 hours.

Today, Sunday, feeling a bit better.  Or at least not like roadkill.  Maybe leftovers that are just starting to turn.  I know this is temporary and that everyone gets sick.  And I should feel lucky that this happened on a weekend.  And that I don't have strep throat, like so many of my fellow trainees seem to have.  But instead I'm just frustrated that I haven't been able to get ahead on my dialogue as much as I'd hoped.  Also frustrated that instead of joining in on any fun activities I was stuck inside feeling awful.  It's really amazing how hard it is to feel positive when your body is ill and not functioning at peak.  Right now the idea of getting up tomorrow and making it through a whole yoga class is daunting, but I know it has to get done.  

Ok Triangle Pose.  Gonna get you done.

Anatomy final, I'm ready for you.  You're going down.

Have I really been living here for four weeks already!?!  WOW!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Friday Night Wrapup

This has been an intense week for many reasons, not the least of which is the stark reality that the “everyone” in the “everyone gets sick” guarantee for teacher training actually includes me.  I finally succumbed to some stupid bug last night and today, Friday, has been an incredible challenge to push through.  I never practice Bikram yoga when I’m sick under normal circumstances, so it was incredibly humbling to have my morning class consist of maybe half of the postures in the standing series and two-thirds of the floor series.  My body was just too weak and devoid of any energy to get on board with class.  I spent more time on the floor this morning (with my eyes closed, even!) than I ever have in any class.

I should probably add that this morning’s adventures came directly on the heels of Bikram’s eneregetic return to training on Thursday night.  He's been gone for about 1.5 weeks.  Last night we had him for class, then lecture, then some uncountable number of episodes of the Mahabharata series.  This series is the serial adaptation for television in the late 1980s of one of the epic works of Indian literature that depicts ancient India through the lens of its royalty, ethical philosophy, mythological characters, gods and goddesses, and great, epic battles.   Did I mention also that evening class was supposed to start at 5pm, ended up starting around 5:15, and didn’t end until 7:15?  That’s two hours plus in the hot room for all of us, followed by a night that went on until 2am.   Almost forgot to add that the room was so hot that all the visiting teachers commented on it when they went up to speak before lecture.  Yeah, it was that hot. Guess it’s no big surprise that I’m not well.

However, in today’s afternoon class, taught by Juan, I had an instantaneous uplift in my mood and overall health.  I can’t explain it, don’t understand it, all I know is that I went into that class seriously ready to spend most of it lying on my mat, and ended up doing most of the standing series and most of the floor series without too much drama.  It was somewhere around separate leg stretching, I think.  Suddenly, I didn’t feel nearly as awful as I had been feeling all day.  Still not great, but not quite as comatose as I had been.  Perhaps my two naps today helped speed along my recovery.

Today marked the end of Anatomy and Dr. Preddy - he has been an amazing, engaging lecturer.   He also helped me tremendously with my back and showed us all two stretches that we absolutely must do everyday: Piriformus and Psoas stretches.    We’ve got our final on Monday, but if the final is anything like the first test, I’m not too concerned.  I think dialogue is going to be the priority of the weekend activities.  We’ve already been warned that we “haven’t had that many late nights yet” (Yikes!!!) and next week will probably be pretty sleep deprived.

Posture Clinic update: I’ve delivered up through Balancing Stick Posture, and am currently working on Triangle.  This weekend will be a welcome relief from the grind.  Again this week, I haven’t made it outside for a number of days and I can’t imagine that the air quality inside this hotel is that delicious here by the airport in Los Angeles.   By that logic, maybe going outside isn’t the best idea after all.

Me and Rajashree after class!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Weak and pathetic, but still hanging on

Ok, so maybe I was getting a little too smug in my own head about not having succumbed to illness yet, but I've certainly learned my lesson on that front after today.  I was a sad mess all day and didn't really perk up until evening lecture.  Today's morning class was probably as weak as I've felt in my life, outside of perhaps a serious illness.  Evening class wasn't much better.  It wasn't a matter of being overwhelmed by heat and needing to sit out postures, which seems to happen often enough in our hot room here at training (it's seriously hot - visiting teachers beware) because today wasn't a particularly hot day in there, by comparison.  Rather it was an internal weakness and body stiffness that I usually associate with the onset of illness.   That feeling that your strength has been sapped, your body won't cooperate with the instructions fired off by the brain, and all your extremities have the consistency and power of wet noodles but without the flexibility.  That was me today.

Diane Ducharme taught the evening class and I really tried to make the most of it, because I knew it would be a great experience.  I kept going down during the standing series, however, and I mean *down* on my knees, flopped over with my head on the floor.  It was a pathetic sight, but I did keep getting back up and trying to join in when the next set would come around.  With varying degrees of success.  This feeling is a first for me and I can definitively say I do not care for it.  Not one bit.  During the floor series I was able to have a bit of rest between the postures and that made all the difference.  I was able to actually push and get into things fairly well, considering my total lack of energy and strength.

Posture clinic is flying by. Today I delivered Standing Head to Knee.  My feedback - Needs more energy.  After which I promptly sat back against the wall and remained in a semi-conscious state until it was time to go back up to the room to change for class.  I really did try to fake energy and enthusiasm, but I guess there's only some much "fake-it-'till-you-make-it" that can be done when illness looms on the horizon. 

Seated Head to Knee (for dialogue-learning purposes only)

Pre-Class Pandamonium 

My poor roommate, Adrienne, is very sick and has been fighting an ear infection and upper-respiratory infection since last week.  She's finally on antibiotics so will probably feel a great deal better tomorrow, but it's been hard for her to cope, especially today.  It's been a rough day all around and it's only Monday!!!  Yikes!! It can only go up from here.

Almost forgot - Our first Anatomy test took place today and I scored 29/30.  Whoot whoot.  In fairness, it wasn't that challenging or surprising, but a small personal boost in an otherwise dismal day of frequent naps, disorientation, fatigue, and a steady diet of echinacea, ibuprofin, vitamins, and oranges (Vitamin C).

Tomorrow will be better, tomorrow will be better...

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Back into my practice, one vertebrae at a time

Week 3 is almost over and I just can't believe how much has happened.  I can see why teachers I've talked with about training all emphasize that you should just write everything down and spend the next number of years digesting the information that's thrown at you.  Just reading all the recommended books alone would take years!  The anatomy classes are so fantastic, I had no idea that learning about the body could be so exciting.  I don't recall ever spending much time on anatomy in high school, which is probably why I never knew I was interested in it!  Science was never my strong suit, but I look forward to being able to take courses in the subject some time (soon!) in the future.  Somehow being able to apply this knowledge directly makes it more accessible for me and it's really fascinating.

Posture clinics are clicking right along and I'm looking forward to having the weekend to move ahead and be a bit ahead of each class, instead of learning one posture at a time while under the gun to then present right away.  That's no way to retain information, at least for myself.  Saying the dialogue and having people demonstrate the postures is really starting to be a fun experience and I can feel myself slowly unwinding and finding a way to (as has been suggested to everyone) "let my personality shine through".  Such a wonderful experience, and I can't wait to see how things unfold in the coming weeks on that front.

Yesterday (Thursday) had an incredible experience in class.  Maybe it was just that I was feeling pleased with myself at memorizing and presenting Eagle Pose so quickly, or maybe it was Rajashree killing us with kindness in that special way that she does, but I was determined to do as much as I could during afternoon class despite my back issue.  Second line, right near the podium, the hot blower blasting at me like the approach to the fiery gates of hell, I "explored the edges of my performance envelope" while being conscious of not blowing out my back.  Things were going well, I was moving into those damn pulling postures a little deeper than I had been able despite feeling easily as hot as it was during the very first class of training.  Then, during Camel, something amazing happened: I went gently into the posture and kept pushing little by little until my back spontaneously adjusted itself.  It was a loud, deep crack and I knew immediately that something that had been locked up for days finally let go.  I can't express how grateful I was at that moment that the pain I'd been grappling with was one huge step closer to removing itself from my training experience. Not totally gone yet, but about 75% back to pre-training condition in that area.

Another epiphany about my own practice occurred that same day.  During morning class, I was having a rough bout of the "sleepys".  This is my personal description of that condition where you are simply unable to keep your eyes open during class despite not feeling tired, a general lethargy of the body, weakness, dizziness, swaying back and forth, inability to focus. 

Now I've always thought this is just something that happens from time to time depending on body chemistry, food balance for the day, hydration, etc.  But I'm beginning to think that this is not a normal experience for most people and may have something to do with low blood sugar upon waking.  It was so bad for me yesterday that I actually left the room for the first time during training because I was so ineffectual and weak, I felt like something was pretty profoundly wrong.  I came back into the hot room after a few minutes of propping myself against a wall and feeling confused and pathetic, and mostly sat/lay on my mat until class was finished.  The whole blood-sugar hypothesis suggested itself to me on the way up to my room, so I experimented by making a fruit smoothie.  If only all experiments could be as fun. I told myself that if it was indeed low blood sugar that the smoothie should perk me up in 5-10 minutes.  Surprise, surprise, I was perfectly fine after drinking the darned thing.  So the new morning routine needs to include OJ if I plan on making it through morning class in one piece.

Internet connection is making the uploading of pictures nearly impossible so that's all for the night.  One class tomorrow morning, then the weekend is upon us!  Loads of time (not) to prepare for an exam and learn four postures for Monday. 

It's a good thing I get to see my friend Brian Keith for a massage tomorrow to prepare my brain for the rigors of studiousness that will fill my weekend.  I think I've earned this one.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A brief pause to come up for air

I haven't been outside in the daytime for three days, our posture clinics are moving at a crazy fast pace, we started anatomy class on Monday and I feel like information is just flying in one ear and out the other, and the yoga classes just seem to be creeping up in temperature day by day.  Did I really pay money for this?  No, I'm not hitting a slump yet, just realizing that things are going by way faster than I would like.  It is hard to "practice mindfulness" in the midst of this frenetic pace we're being put through, though I know that we are charged daily with accomplishing this very task.

On a positive note, I've delivered, with varying degrees of success, two complete postures thus far!  That is very exciting news if I avoid thinking about the other 24 I have yet to memorize.  Sigggggghhhhhhhhhhhh.  Fortunately I think my brain is finally getting on board with the memorization process and I can visualize myself chugging along nicely through these postures as the days go on.

In other news, I am dealing with a rather persistent back injury/issue that cropped up sometime last week and has held me hostage since that time.  I had one massage with a fabulous sport-oriented massage therapist and I'm booked in to see him again on Saturday, which is one of the main thoughts that gets me through each class.  Any posture that involves pulling on the heels or foot to stretch the lower back is fairly well out for me.  Or, at least I have to mitigate how far I go into the posture.  The pain seems to radiate down my leg as well which makes any hamstring stretch all kinds of fun, even with the heat of the room loosening it up.  Still amazingly tight and in a state of spasm despite the heat.

Interestingly enough, this injury has tremendously changed the way I practice.  Even though I've heard it a thousand times, it didn't really hit home until I was trying to work out how to deal with this injury in class.  Turns out that tightening and lifting the abdominal muscles really does allow the lower spine to relax and stretch without engaging those back muscles and causing pain during those very pulling postures that are bothering me.  So I've been tightening these muscles like crazy all during class and the difference is tangible.  I'm able to get just a little bit deeper without hurting myself, and if I feel even the slightest pinch back there, I can come out safely and with control using those abs.  And as an added bonus, my core is becoming much stronger than it has ever been.  Bring on the sexy abs!  Ok, maybe not really sexy, but at least strong.  Some people have 6/8/10/12 packs, but I'm convinced that I have a uni-pack, single serving.  I've never seen definition there on my belly and if I looked down there one day and happened to see bumps like that, I'd suspect some sort of communicable disease before new definition in my "rectus abdominis" muscles (thanks Dr. P!).

And now some random pictures:

Adrienne, Dia, Kara

Dia and Adrienne in Balancing Stick
Dia and Mike Salsa Dancing

The salsa dancing was a random event last Saturday at Monsoon Cafe in Santa Monica, but such a nice change from the forced confinement of the hotel.  It was such a blast and I ended up going with a woman who taught Salsa for many years and two people who were relative newbies.  So fun but not sure if there will be time for too many of those nights for the next few weeks.

Now off to brush up on Eagle and get some rest for tomorrow when we will do it all again!  Whose crazy idea was this anyway?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

BYTT Spring 2011 Countries of origin

Our lovely staff put this list together of where individuals at our training have come from and I just want to post it here so I will be able to revisit it later:

Out of 257 Countries we have people coming from 39 different ones, and may be much more nationalities in that case.

3 Argentina
33 Australia
5 Austria
1 Belarus
1 Belgium
2 Brazil
41 Canada
2 Chile
2 Colombia
4 Czech Republic
5 Denmark
2 Finland
2 France
7 Germany
6 Hungary
1 India
5 Ireland
4 Italy
5 Japan
3 Korea, South
2 Lebanon
1 Luxembourg
13 Mexico
5 Netherlands
5 New Zealand
4 Philippines
1 Poland
1 Portugal
2 Russia
1 Singapore
5 South Africa
9 Spain
4 Sweden
2 Switzerland
1 Thailand
1 Turkey
1 United Arab Emirates
19 United Kingdom
209 United States

And because US is the one that has the most people on this training; out of the 50 states, we have people form 34 states....

1 Alaska
11 Arizona
46 California
2 Colorado
3 Connecticut
6 District of Columbia
7 Florida
2 Georgia
3 Hawaii
1 Idaho
13 Illinois
1 Kansas
2 Kentucky
3 Maine
3 Maryland
12 Massachusetts
6 Michigan
1 Montana
8 Nevada
5 New Hampshire
1 New Jersey
26 New York
1 North Carolina
1 Ohio
4 Oregon
9 Pennsylvania
1 South Carolina
1 Tennessee
14 Texas
1 Utah
2 Vermont
8 Virginia
1 Washington
1 Wisconsin
1 Unknown