Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Do you smell that?

Halfway into week 9 here (THE LAST WEEK!!!!).... I thought I'd try and reminisce over week 8 plus the past couple days here at yoga camp. Biggest news of all is that on Thursday of last week I deleived Spine Twisting Posture which marked the END of posture clinics!!! Now all 26 are in the brain, its just a matter of sorting out the muck.

Week 8, let's see...I have no idea. It came. It went. It's over now and thats all I care about.

This past weekend was fantastic because it was the very last weekend here at teacher training! Last weekend of swirling dirty laundry in the tub and then hanging up the mass to stink up the balcony. Couldnt find my favorite white tank top one night, leaned over the edge and there was this white thing in the water. To test to see if the mass was fish or tank, Marcie dropped our watermelon off the ledge right next the blob. It didn't move, and the morning light confirmed...favorite tank now rests with the Koi.

Bikram here having world champ demonstrate Standing Bow (she did this cold and in jeans!)

A strange and unfortunate bout of sadness entered our lives on Sunday when Marcie went for her hair appointment with a senior teacher who claimed to be a "stylist". I knew it wasn't good when I got her text "Um. Hm." Suffice it to say that this teacher, whose name I won't mention, gave my dear Marcie a full on Mullet with a capital M. Why? We can't figure it out, but there it is, haunting our final days at yoga camp. A fellow trainee is going to attempt to fix it tonight so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Last night was our latest night spent in lecture. At some point around 2 am I crawled into the aisle and tried to sleep on the floor. Next thing I knew, in the middle of the trippiest of dreams, Marcie was poking me awake to leave. We walked outside and it was freakin daylight! We had spent all night, until 5:40 am in the lecutre hall, son of a bitch, and were right back in the yoga room this morning at 8am. :( It's the best of times and the worst of times, and all I can say is WTF.

We all pitched in to buy Bikram a real Samurai sword and gave it to him last night. He seemed pleased. Graduation is Saturday at 3pm. 3 more days 3 more days 3 more days. I smell the sweet scent of normal life with my mind's nose. Unfortunatly I also smell the familiar aroma of farts in the hot room with my real nose.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Going Strong!

Week 7 is over, wow! This week went by strangely fast. Lots of time spent in posture clinics, only 5 postures left to cram into my brain, YES!! Monday, when I delivered Locust, I had to go back and say the 3 postures preceding it, which sucked at the time but I learned a lot about myself under pressure.....I get the job done at the expense of lots of weird hand gestures. During my Full Locust, for some stupid reason I decided to throw in a little jazz hand action to try and make people laugh, which really didn't go over very well. No random silliness on the podium: lesson learned. Bow and Fixed Firm went fine. This morning I practiced saying the whole class up until Fixed Firm Pose, and I got so winded I nearly fainted. Yikes, guess I have to remember to breathe up there when making my students kill themselves. But overall I felt really good about how much dialogue I could recall without really thinking about it. Its one hell of a balance between trying to say the postures verbatim while actually watching the studnets and being present with what they're doing. Teaching this yoga, I can already tell, is going to be one of my greatest adventures.

Yesterday we got the (in my mind much dreaded) chakra talk. Yeah yeah we're energy centers and have oras, I really do want to beleive you lady. Dr. Ann Marie Bennstrom presented the talk, and had a lot of tempting, crazy, interesting things to say. She's a live one.

Rajashree taught a few classes and lectured on the specifics of different postures. More awesome visiting teachers, and this week two of our staff Marc and Mari taught class, which rocked!

Everyday is the same, I'm starting to feel the monatany of it all. Waking up every single morning absolutley resistant to suffering in the heat, then having no choice but going through the class, feeling amazing afterwards, only to go through the same process again in the evening. What must 9 weeks of that do to a person? I have absolutely no idea.

Well, my eyebrows have taken the form of albino caterpillars, and distract me from my meditating in standing bow pulling pose. Just the thought of getting them waxed, now THAT brings me true happiness :)


Saturday, June 6, 2009

Never did like camp

FFS! Week 6 scratched off the list baby!

First and foremost let me annouce I made these in the corner of the our room with a hot water kettle...
Started out with 8 but this was taken when the meal was down to 3.

Good week, started off in a sour mood with a head cold but thanks to Zicam, Vitamin C, and having no choice, I was feeling all better by Tuesday. :)

This week was all about posture clinics, and pushing through them at full throttle. Everyday was the exact same, Class followed by 4 hour posture clinic, followed by class again, followed by 4 more hours of "just get them in and out of the posture!" I started off the week great when I nailed triangle and standing seperate leg head to knee. Sadly it all came crashing down on me Thur night when I for the first time so far I froze like a damn deer in the headlights during tree and toe stand. Couldn't get a word out, just stared at the bodies. I think I mumbeld "crimeny"...the old brain sounded like a run down a/c unit with a piece of tape flappin in the vent. Fun times.. I redeemed myself Fri with Wind Removing and Cobra, both went really well, and I'm at the point where I have to start giving corrections. Now on through floor series!

What else, let's see...a couple lectures from Dr.'s a picture. Yay. Cervical Spondylosis and Yoga therapy. You just gotta love it.

This morning marked my 67th class, inconceivable! Thats 100 and 1/2 hours spent in the hot room thus far, I just did the math on my cell phone calculator. I'm feeling like that one species of sea annemmone, whom after being poked in the side so many times eventually no longer feels it. I like how any organism is capable of adapting to crap situations. Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger, and by golly jean I beleive it. Having diarreah in the desert, trying to study on the toilet and eventually nodding off...rock bottom: you know it when you get there.

Bikram only taught twice this week, and Rajashree only once :( All the visiting teachers were fantastic though, as usual. I snapped a picture of one of Bikram's beloved cars.
Not much else to report, going into week 7 here and feeling pretty good. I miss rain like the dickens! The most comforting thought I can conjure up is sitting in a rainstorm somewhere eating a steak medium rare.

Three more weeks in the yoga bubble, where the men paint their toenails and the women don't shave. I'll be a monkey when I get outta here, giggling and wiggling in the presence normal society. Be confident in that.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

We go into the body to get out of the mind

Weeeeeee! Week 5! Yes sir-E BOB, its over! It's a little blurry in my memory, but I think it was a good one. Yes, swell. In fact it was great because Lisa came, and so did Cosmo (my future boss) and Raquel from Yogagroove :) It was a little piece of home having them around.

I'll start off by saying that I love Bikram. He's one hell of a guru! His lectures were fantastic this week, great classes as always, good music. He sat on me Tuesday night and messed up my hair. There are no words, he is my favorite part of teacher training....besides the birds.

Emmy came back to torture us, but for whatever reason, this week her classes weren't as painful for me. She spent a good deal of time allowing people to go on stage during lecture, and with all her 80 year old strength, she would clamp down on, twist, and fix everyone's messed up postures. I didn't go up, just laughed at the poor souls that did.

This is Cosmo giving Bikram a reverse hug...

Posture clinics have been going well for me, spitting out the dialogue just fine. I'm learning how to lower my voice when speaking..I basically just envision I'm a burly man when I get up there, and it all goes down pretty smoothly.

Marciepants and I after our double this more yoga for two days! :):):):):)

Just some fun updates, an ambulance came for somebody this week which was kind of exciting, you know, mixes things up a bit. We officially watched every single Dog Whisperer episode there is, it's all re-runs for us now. Diaper cream resides on my knuckels and heels. My leg hair is so long, if I was in Jamaica the natives could bead my calves. I consumed REAL MEAL of chicken, bread, asparagus, and polenta thanks to sweet Cosmo. I put my goddamn Turkey Jerky in the lockbox. Keepin it secret keepin it safe.

Oh yeah, we got a lecture from Jon Burras on Thursday....way too much information from the king pin or all new agey types. Bascially we're made up of fascia, fascia, repressed emotions waiting to sneak out and bite us in the ass, and more fascia. I lost it when he tossed some loofah sponges out into the audience to be passed around and they hit some out-of-it yogi in the head.

ah, good times. :) It feels crazy to be going into week 6 already, this groundhog day scenario is bee boppin right along! Sucks when it sucks, hate it when I hate it, love it right after I hate it, all in all its managable and keeps me exactly in the exact exact present moment.

Here be some faces that'll shiver your timbers....

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Scroungin around this place like a sweaty dog...

Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs Barton Springs...
this is my mantra. Very helpful in plastic heated rooms packed with sweaty bodies in the middle of the desert. 54 classes to go!

Week 4 was nice, amazing teachers, classes hot, sometimes I turned reddish-purple. Bikram returned, teaching classes, playing nice music, and showing us movies until 3 or 4 am every night. I can officially now sleep anywhere in any position. Cold concrete? Sure, where do I put my little head? One fun thing about not getting enough sleep is that everything, and I mean EVERYTHING is funny. I've never been more slaphappy in my life.

Posture clinics continue along, I'm still all nerves when I get up to speak, but the memorizing part is getting a little easier. eh whatever, i'll be fine. Visiting teachers reassure us that even the first class you teach won't be as nerve wrecking as these posture woo hoo! Tomorrow is our last test for Dr. Tripani, and that gloriously marks the end of our time with him. There are no words for how happy that makes me.

Next week is week 5 and Wednesday is the official official halfway point! One day at a time, one foot in front of the other, one posture at a time, one breath at a time, in the end its only the breath part that really matters anyways Jimmy... and I can do that, shit. Deeper and deeper into the pits of hell, and at the core nothing happens. Oh, I'm ok. I'm alive...Is there a snow cone stand around here?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Eh.....hold on to nothing, gain everything.

Week 3 complete! It dragged on a bit, but such is the nature of time when your mind is flip flopping like a freshly caught fish. It's been a week of taking notes, enough sweat to fill your neighbor's swimming pool, and nerves. Classes were good, not too terribly rough for me, hot as hell. I can feel my body changing, floor bow's a dream and standing head to knee's a bitch. Weird. Bikram wasn't here this week, needless to say I was in bed by midnight Mon-Fri and the old brain was able to re-orient itself in time and space. Lots of visiting teachers this week from all over the country who taught us classes and helped with posture clinics. There are some bad-ass, very powerful people in this yoga community, and I'm grateful to have taken class from all of them. They all get that little glimmer in their eye when they talk about their getting through teacher training. They know we're going through hell, but the only choice is to keep on going. Kill pain with pain, transform, shed those pesky layers, grow into a teacher.
One of these nights, either Marcie or I, is going to wake up from a nightmare screaming "Dr. Tripani!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Crimeny. Everyday this week we sat through lecture with this fellow. I'll be frank, this was like anatomy with your Grandpa, who happens to be religious (son of a), and who feels the need to fill your head with depressing information regarding the food we eat, meat, dairy, hormones and antibiotics, cancer, death, viruses, bacteria, dirty little secrets of the food industry, leaving you sick to your stomach and paranoid. Although I shouldn't complain, I did walk away with some interesting tid bits. Basically, add Omega 3 fatty acids to your daily diet if you don't want to die of heart disease. He's aged, he's healthy, and he practices Bikram yoga so I respect and listen. Bless his heart. Two anatomy tests, piece of cake.....

mmmm. cake. cheesecake?Posture clinics started this week, which are essentially the guts of teacher training. Nerve-wrecking as all hell, we split up into groups at night and one-by-one recite a posture to everybody and the teachers with their clipboards and pens. Very American Idol like, ugh. So far I've done well with memorization, just need to work on my voice. I'm up to Eagle Pose, yay!

One third of the way through. 34 classes done. 66 classes to go. Bikram returns next week, as does, I assume, my demonic friend, sleep deprivation. We're taught to make our weakness our biggest strength, our worst enemy our best friend. I don't believe in anything that I don't actually believe in, therefore I'll never say I believe in god, or any sort of spiritual mickey mouse crap. What I do know is that the changes I'm going through are nothing short of what every human being is capable of. Turning inwards over and over again, deeper and deeper into the monkey mind, clearing out old thought patterns, scaring away destructive mindsets in the face of real mental challenges, sweating and clearing out old toxins and scar tissue, strengthening every fiber of the body, re-vitalizing every single little cell. That's real. That's Bikram Yoga. I'm all about it.

I'm also all about these guys, who eat right out of my hand. Ah goodness, now that's bliss.

oh son of a buttered biscuit, 6 more weeks. WTF!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The human mind is like a drunken monkey...stung by a bee

I happily label this week worst, most rotten week of teacher training ever. The reasons, eh, mental, emotional, physical blah blah, so in the past now that I'm here at the weekend. Now it is over, done with, gone, bye bye, out the window, and I can say farewell to it with my smiling happy face. whew....

Bikram's most senior teacher, Emmy Cleaves, taught morning classes to us this week and lectured in the mornings. She's somewhere in her 80's, but she defies all sense of age. I guess that's what 36 years of hot yoga practice gets you, endless youth. She's sharp as a tack, spirited, and her body is in perfect shape. It was like having a scientist teach you yoga, very precise and executed to the exact -more than you're capable of- on man she kicked our asses. Frequency, Allignment, Intensity...she drilled it in to me by god. I learned about anatomy by way of osmosis, hearing the exact names of the glands I'm stimulating as I'm compressing these joints and contracting this and these muscles, with sweat rolling into my eyes and skin buring hot...oh it was a scene. Bikram's evening classes continue to be my favorite. He keeps them moving, makes us all terribly nervous, but then always keeps it lighthearted with the craziest of jokes and stories. I wish I could share them. Sometimes he'll sing during class, or play one of his songs during final savasana...both of which I'm a huge fan of. Very calming.

Loving the lectures...more information about yoga, our bodies, our minds, our potential, than I could ever process in 4 or 5 hours of fighting sleep. Self-realization: its a dirty dirty job.

Loving instant miso soup, loving orange slices in water, loving Ceasar Millan and 10 minute naps, loving this rose that I un-elegantly smash my face into and inhale deep right before class.

Forever loving the resort's winged stinkers..... this sly dog.

Can't seem to grasp that I have 7 more weeks to go, it feels like I've already been here for months. But my living solely in the moment skills are quickly becoming razor sharp, so there's that. The best part is feeding off the energy of all the other people here who are going through the same thing. The same surreal, impossible, sweaty as all hell thing.

Posture clinics and anatomy start next week, and I get the feeling that these first two weeks have been only some sort of a warm up. Other teachers just keep saying, "oh just you wait, you'll see."...aint that hot damn fine dandy kettle of fish!

I know exactly this, 50 more days of torture, and a lifetime of endless benefits.

oh and I'm now CPR certified, because all Bikram Yoga instructors are now required to be so....hmmm

Saturday, May 2, 2009

We are most throw up experience people in the world!

The weekend is here!!!!!! We took class this morning at 8am and now have the rest of the day off! Wow, first week of teacher training is complete, incredible. I don't even know how to define or write about it. It feels that I'm starting to get it. After going into each class more and more tired, and walking out more and more energized I'm starting to get it. After every lecture spent with Birkam and staying up till all hours of the night taking in information, I'm starting to get it. Though I've been practicing this yoga for a year now, I never got it. Now I'm starting to.

Bikram is amazing. I feel really fortunate to be studying and taking class with the master and creator of it all. He's hillarious. There really isn't a way to descirbe him, but he knows what he's talking about and I respect it. We take class every morning 8:30am. There are 325 of us in this training and we all cram into one big hot room. There are lots of people from Canada, New York, California, and every state in between. A few people from Austrailia, the UK, Sweden, Germany, Austria, Ireland, Japan, China, Europe, Mexico, all over the place. Its a really diverse group. This week Rajashree taught in the mornings which was so wonderful. She's an incredible teacher.

Then after lunch break we go to posture clinic until 4pm, which this week consisted of all 325 people going up on a stage one by one and delivering their half moon dialogue to Bikram in front everybody else, to show how we speak as a teacher, personality, etc. Marcie and I both did great, and he said we made a good team. Yay! :) Then class with Bikram at 5:00pm, dinner break, and then lecture from 9pm to morning hours. I'm loving it all, I know that this is a once in a lifetime process I can never repeat.
On a seperate note, there is a pond of Coy fish underneath our patio and Marcie and I feed those fatties daily. Their names are Albert, Cynthia, Sushi, Goldilocks, and Dante. All the birds in the hotel are doing well. The trip we make from our room to the Yoga room takes about 15 min through the resort property, and we see a lot of birds and fish. We walk with wet hair, no makeup, and yoga mats on our shoulder, totally a clash against all the golfing vacationers here, tan, dressed up, drink in hand, and gold-jewelery-fied, whom Marcie and I lovingly refer to as sacks of shit.

I'm happy I cut my hair so short, during the hottest part of standing series it drips cool stream of sweat onto my shoulders, its absolulty divine!!

Well, one week down, eight more to go. I know we can both it. I'm excited for next week. We are all getting re-programmed...this is Albert :)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Checked on in

I'm happy to report Marice and I made it safely to the Desert Springs Marriott, and checked in for our 66 night stay, ha! Flying in, I was struck by Palm Spings' beauty. Its quite literally nestled into the desert with millions of palm trees and big sandy mountains surrounding it on all sides. I love the dry windy heat, and how cold it gets at night. The Desert Springs Marriott is of course beautiful, expansive, and much to my excitement packed with geese, swans, ducks, parrots and even flamingos!!! They call what I'm about to go through Bikram Yoga hell, but who could be in hell in a flamingo packed hotel?

So on Monday it all begins. Thank you Sal and Papsi, I'm so fortunate I get to be here and go through this journey, thank you for all your love and support. I can't wait to meet all the other people who traveled here to go through this thing. I finally get to meet Birkam and understand what his yoga is all about. I have no idea what to expect. I'll get a chance to get online next weekend and report what my first week was like.

Until then I'm drinking lots of water and holding my breath... and then drinking some more water. :)