Friday, April 22, 2011

Let the sleep deprivation begin

Things have really started rolling here in teacher training and I'm beginning to get a small glimpse, maybe just the tip of the iceberg, of what my teachers were trying to tell me (warn me, advise me, caution me) about before setting off on this journey.  I knew there would be lots of yoga, late nights, and Bollywood films, but knowing and actually living through it are dramatically different activities.

Last night were were treated (and it really was a treat after all the half-moon recitations) to a film called Kaho Naa Pyar Hai (think this is "Tell Me You Love Me") and it was everything you might expect from a real, dyed-to-the-wool Bollywood film - Overly dramatic facial close-ups, large groups of people spontaneously breaking out into song and dance, clothes that looked like they came directly from a Sir Mix-A-Lot music video, a rather fluid interpretation of time, place, day and night, and more costume changes in one film than Paris Hilton goes through in a year.  It was amazing.  Still not sure if I would have enjoyed it as much if it hadn't gone on until 3:30am.  Something about the late hour tends to make what the rational mind might consider "cheesy" a small bit more entertaining

And tonight is another late-ish night (out at 1:30 this morning) so I need to make this brief or I will be flat on my mat tomorrow morning.

Tonight was the most amazing yoga class I have ever, ever, ever experienced in my life.  By the time afternoon class rolled around, all 400+ of us were exhausted, disoriented, sore, discombobulated, overstimulated, and just generally feeling out of sorts before class began.   Boss was teaching so I imagine there was some anxiety about where we were all going to be able to find the energy to get through and, hopefully, not produce too much yelling from the podium.  Personally, I like it when Bikram yells but perhaps not so much when I'm in such a delicate physical state.

But the most amazing thing happened when class began.  Things - just - crystallized.  The entire group moved together, we all tried very hard in every posture, we all held postures much more consistently than we had in any class leading up to this one, and the focus in the room was just incredible.  It was a phenomenon of total submission, giving up control, and it worked.  Our minds were too exhausted to give conflicting information to our bodies (ok, mine was anyway, I suppose I can't speak for the remaining 425 yogis in the room).  I was blown away, even as it was happening, and in some small part of my brain I was able to note what was going on, even as my body was moving through the postures.  I didn't even have a view of myself in the mirror but it didn't matter!  If I hadn't been there myself, I wouldn't have believed that such a thing was possible. And there was a beautiful demonstration of standing bow from one of the trainees today that goaded me push harder in that posture myself.

So if any of my fellow trainees read this, congratulations on doing something truly amazing (on only 3 hours sleep) and keep it up!

If you're a Bikram Yoga student, seriously consider doing this

If you don't practice Bikram Yoga, go do some yoga.  NOW!  (I think that works better with an Indian accent).

Now to go chase some sleep, wake up, and do it all again tomorrow!