Saturday, June 11, 2011

And push and push and push...

I was all set to begin this post by describing in great detail the frustrations I'm experiencing as a result of a severely pulled muscle, possible hernia, in my abdomen.  Translation: The last few days of training I will be flat on my mat for most of class thereby totally wrecking any of the beautiful momentum I was looking forward to during the homestretch.

But instead of feeling sorry for myself, maybe it's more important to focus on some of the great experiences I've had during Week 8 and concentrate on finishing training with mental strength if not necessarily physical strength. Just as soon as I can stop crying about it, that is.  Wah.

Monday morning all of us trainees were fairly apprehensive about what was in store for us after that killer Thursday/Friday/Saturday set of classes at the hottest temperatures I've ever experienced in a hot room.  Not to mention the looooooooooonnnnngest classes (most were at least 2 hours long).  However it seems that the Powers That Be were satisfied that we'd all been sufficiently broken and were now set to put us back together again and make us even stronger than we were before.  The heat this week wasn't totally unbearable and only a few classes went to the 2 hour mark.  That's a win as far as I'm concerned.

Share your voice, Mishon
This week has been simultaneously mellow and meaty as far as lectures are concerned.  On Monday evening, while waiting for Bikram to arrive, our lovely staff all shared their experiences becoming teachers and teaching their first class.  It is wonderful, hilarious, and inspiring to hear so many different paths that people have taken on their way to becoming Bikram Yoga Teachers.  Our staff rocks.

The next night, I think (the days tend to run together in a disturbing fashion around here) Sharon was killing time again and Adrian boldly asked how she and Balwan met.  And fair play to her, she told the story in an entertaining, endearing, engaging, and true-to-her-Irish-heritage fashion.  It was lovely and a welcome change from the routine of class-lecture-class-lecture.

How they met - Awwwwwwwwww
Wednesday we were fortunate to have a lecture by Brian Tracy, a PhD in exercise physiology, come and talk to us about a study he and Cady Hardt performed about the effects of Bikram Yoga on non-yoga practitioners.  The paper is called "Yoga as Steadiness Training : Effects on Motor Variability in Young Adults" and was the first empirical and purely scientific study, Western-Style, that we've had presented to us while here at training.  It was a great presentation, very informative, and accompanied by a very thorough and clear powerpoint presentation.  Thanks Dr. Tracy!!

That same night Bikram decided that we absolutely could not graduate from his College of India without watching the four episodes of the Mahbharata that comprise the epic conversation between Arjun and Krishna while hovering on the edge of an important battle.  This section is called the Bhagavad Gita and is a humungously important sacred text for Indians as well as a number of Western intellectuals.  It essentially outlines the philosophy of Karma Yoga and the importance of detaching from material and purely physical concerns in order to perform our predetermined earthly duties. I can say with a fair amount of certainty that we all would have been far more receptive to watching it if only it didn't have to last four hours and keep us up until 1am!

Arjun and Krishna laying down the law
Now the really exciting part, the culmination of these four episodes full mostly of TALKING, the moment when Bikram yelled at all the sleepy trainees to wake up, was when Krishna revealed his Universal form:

Skip ahead to 1:07 for the good stuff.  How about those special effects!! I think they ripped some of the audio samples straight from the classic arcade game Space Invaders.  I don't hold it against them, though.  They probably blew their budget on the fancy costumes and all the other bling that went into the production of this thing.

Thursday daytime we were lucky enough to have Rajashree do her lecture on the postures and their medical benefits.  We only got through the standing series so will have her again next week for more.  The lectures this week have been much more in tune with what I was hoping to learn during training so I've been grateful for the new tack we've taken.

Thursday night was another late night of Bikram lecturing until 2am, but by some miracle we had Friday evening completely off!  So there's Week 8 done, think I hit the highlights.  Not feeling quite as sorry for myself as I was at the start of this post.  Just got to concentrate on finishing as strong as my body and mind will allow.

Smiling, sleepy, happy faces.  Let's keep it up!