Added a couple pictures to the last entry! And before I continue the weekend recap, I have to mention one more thing about the posture clinic: I am really enjoying the after-effects! Spending a day talking about yoga is great, of course, but the real payoff comes in the classes AFTER when you get to put everything into practice. My postures are SO much better this week than they've been in ages. I did the best sets of standing head to knee tonight that I've ever done at this studio. And also, randomly, locust and full locust were the BEST they've ever been, and those were postures that we really didn't even cover in the clinic! But here's why that makes sense: as we were going through the postures, Diane kept making the point: "Now your standing bow is automatically going to be better in class. Why? Because you just improved your standing head to knee." "Now why is your balancing stick going to be better? Cause you just improved standing bow." So I can't explain WHY this happens, but I definitely think the improvement in my floor postures has to be from the corrections and adjustments we made in the standing series. Cool, right?
Now, onwards! Or rather, backwards. Sunday morning I woke up at 9am after a totally luxurious 7 1/2 hours of sleep, made some tea, and drove about 5 minutes down the street to take the 10am class at Bikram Headquarters. It was HOT as anything - like, definitely at least 120 degrees - so I got a hell of a workout since I am not conditioned for such a hot room! But class was good. I raced out as soon as class finished, threw on a sundress, and drove down to LAX to pick up my dear friend Allie!
Allie is out here for the Bikram Teacher Training in Palm Springs. I know her from advanced classes back in Boston. She is a total sweetheart with a killer practice who is in love with the yoga. (If you're reading this Allie, hi dear! Love you!) I haven't seen her in ages, so we planned this as a little girlie roadtrip from LA to Palm Springs. I took her from the airport to a BIG California Whole Foods, where we stocked up on fruit and snacks, and then we made a stop at Manhattan Beach, where she stepped into the Pacific Ocean for the first time! Then we hit the road out into the desert, and spent the drive catching up, talking about YOGA, and singing Bon Jovi at the top of our lungs with the windows rolled down, heading east on highway 10 at about 85 miles an hour. It was fantastic. I think we'll both remember it forever.
We got her to the hotel - which is gorgeous and amazing - a couple hours after she was supposed to check in - hehe. Fortunately her roommate was there on time and was totally on the ball! We went and found the orientation, where people has just started speaking, so I got to hang around and listen to introductions from Rajashree, Lynn Whitlow, and Jim Kallet. (Bikram wasn't making his grand entrance til Monday.) It was really cool to look around the conference room and see these 325 people who were about to embark on this crazy journey to become teachers. They all had already made the decision, and they were on the first steps of their path. It's hard to imagine what the next 9 weeks - such a long time, but also SO short - will do to them, how they will learn, grow, sweat, cry, laugh, change. I had expected it to be really bittersweet for me, to be there at the beginning but to not be a part of it, but I was surprisingly ok. I felt a little bit removed, like watching everything through a pane of glass, but mostly I was happy for Allie, and for my other friends who are in the training, and for the people who I'll never even meet but who are about to do amazing things with their lives.
After all the talking, I helped Allie get settled into her room and we did some unwinding. Her room has a freaking BALCONY. And yes, they have a fridge. I'm sure there will be snags with the new location along the way, but they seem to have a fairly sweet set-up. Then there was a little welcome banquet, which mainly consisted of carrot sticks and watermelon... hm. I knew QUITE a few people, actually, so I made a bunch of introductions between my west coast and east coast friends. Allie was really hitting it off with my friend Lauren - I hope they will be buddies there. They decided to take off with their roommates and hit Trader Joe's, so I came out to the parking lot with them and made my graceful exit. I felt like a mom leaving her kid at college!! I love those girls so much and I know they are going to be amazing.
Then I drove back home - another 4 hour drive, starting at 7pm! Whew! The coolest part of the drive was at the very beginning. As it turns out, there is this giant wind farm out by Palm Springs with hundreds of these huge wind turbines spread out across the hills. On the way back towards LA, there were these incredibly strong winds blowing across the highway, and the wind turbines on the hills were silhouetted in front of a bright red and orange sunset, with wisps of grey clouds blowing across them. It was one of the most surreal, alien landscapes I've ever seen... and at such a surreal kind of moment in my life, driving AWAY from the beginning of that teacher training program that I've been longing to go to. It was... cool. The rest of the drive was LONG but uneventful.
Guess that's it for now! Oh, but now I am being tempted to go back to visit during the training sometime next month... Diane told me when she will be there and said I should come take a couple classes... we'll see... :)
Happy smiling face. (This is a very post-yoga-class photo!)