Whoa. It is now APRIL, which is crazy, cause it means that teacher training is right around the corner!
This seems like a good time to talk about exactly what I am about to do. This will all be old news to all the Bikram teachers and TT blog readers out there, but I've realized that there are tons of people who have no idea how the Bikram Yoga Teacher Training works.
So. The basics. There is Only One teacher training, and that's the one you have to go to if you want to teach at a Bikram Yoga studio. Since the training is an intensive course run by Bikram Choudhury himself, this strikes me as an eminently reasonable requirement. If you're gonna do something, you might as well do it right!
Teacher training happens twice a year. It used to be held in Los Angeles, but it's since moved around to Hawaii, Acapulco, and Palm Springs, and at the moment it is based in Las Vegas, which is where I'll be going. (Why yoga in Las Vegas? Think "convention center." Also, "cheap airfare." Yay.) It's a residential program, so all the 300-something trainees live together at the hotel, which is also where the classes and lectures are held.
The program is 9 weeks long. (Nine weeks hotel living, woo hoo!) And they are not easy-breezy, do a little yoga, sip on a coconut, work on your tan kind of weeks. The day starts at 8:30am with the first Bikram class. After lunch, we have posture clinics and lectures all afternoon, then another Bikram class at 5pm. Then, after dinner - this is the best part - we get more posture clinics, lectures, movies, or whatever, until they decide to let us go to sleep. And every teacher training has stories of nights spent up until 4am, 5am, or 6am with Bikram. So basically, it can be a 20 hour day. That's Monday through Friday; on Saturday there's just one yoga class in the morning, and on Sunday we get a day off. (Woo hoo!)
In between all these scheduled activities, everyone needs to learn the Dialogue. That's a 40+ page document with instruction for each posture that is supposed to be memorized verbatim. This leads to a lot of 3am study groups. This is part of why I'm happy that I've learned the Dialogue already. I'll be able to take in more information, I'll be able to help the other students, I'll have a little less stress, but also... I might be able to get a few more hours of sleep!
Things I'm not looking forward to:
Things I am totally looking forward to:
The other people!! This is practically the top of the list. I'll be spending this time with about 300 other dedicated soon-to-be teachers from all around the world. There will also be visiting teachers - some of whom are the best of the best - flying in from around the country and the world to help us out.
The yoga bubble! I am so obsessed with this stuff already. It'll be pretty great to just live, sleep, and breathe it for more than two months (even though I'm sure there will be times when I think I'm losing my mind).
Becoming a teacher!! I want to teach. Period. My only goal is to take in as much as I can so that I can become a good teacher.
There are also a few pieces of advice that I'm keeping in mind. First of all, I am not going to go balls-to-the-wall in week one and burn myself out halfway through. I seriously have nothing to prove to anyone here. I want to do well, but I'm not going to freak out about it. I'd rather start slow and finish strong.
Second of all, I want to take advantage of being at training and use the whole experience as a laboratory where I can experiment and figure out how I want to teach a class. In posture clinics, I'll be able to deliver my dialogue and get feedback on my teaching. But I also want to pay attention to how other people deliver, pay attention to everyone's feedback, pay attention to how all the different visiting teachers teach their classes, and generally just get a feel for what works well (and what works less well). It's also a great place to experiment with different delivery styles and see what's going to work best for me. Ultimately when I teach, I'm just going to be myself. (There's not really any choice in that matter.) But this will be a great place to play around and see what that actually means.
And finally, no expectations. Don't expect it to be perfect. Don't expect it to suck. Don't expect it to be super easy. Don't expect it to be killer hard. Don't expect to be a rock star (which means that it might be good right about now if people would quit telling me what a rock star I'm gonna be - haha). I'm just gonna go there, go with the flow, do my thing, work hard, make friends, sweat, and laugh often!
Oh! And I almost forgot to answer the most important question: Yes, I will blog it. ;-) You can expect to hear from me once a week, probably on Sundays. I'm planning on keeping a pretty strict radio silence during the week, but I will post updates and stories on the weekend so that you guys can all follow along!
By the way, if you're thinking about teacher training or just want more info, you can find all the official stuff at the Bikram Yoga website here. Also, if you check out my sidebar to the right, I have a list of "Oldies But Goodies (Completed Blogs)" with links to the blogs of many TT graduates. Just watch out when you dive into that rabbit hole, cause there are a lot of TT blogs and they are addictive...