Sunday, May 16, 2010

WEEK 4: "Make long story short..."

The post title is a Bikram quote, of course.  He says that all the time, and usually follows it with a long story.  Hehe.  "Did I make my point?  Yes or no?!"  "Point is - I change the subject."  "Last one hour and twenty minutes, I make only ONE point."

Every week here feels like an entire month, at LEAST.  But then on the weekend, I'm like, "Where did it GO?  How can we be finished with FOUR out of nine weeks already?!"  In a few days we'll be past the halfway point!  I find this tragic.  I would love to be here longer.  But it is what it is!!

Here are a few things that apparently happened this week.  (I can only remember because I wrote them down.)

Massachusetts in the house!!

I was VERY excited at the beginning of the week when a few New England studio owners made an appearance.  My peeps are here!!!  (Just for clarification: I live in California right now, but I grew up in Massachusetts and that is where I originally learned Bikram yoga.)  Teri (from BY Merrimack Valley) came around a bush and surprised me on Sunday afternoon, and I spotted Diane (from BY West Roxbury) outside the lecture tent on Monday afternoon.  I sprinted outside and attacked her with a hug - she smacked me on the butt and sent me back into the tent.  It was great.  (Just missing the Koontzes from Boston - hi Jilly! - wish you guys could have made it!!)

Diane taught our Tuesday morning class, and it was the best morning practice I've had yet at training.  We've been studying the nervous system in anatomy, and I'm convinced that my sympathetic and/or parasympathetic nervous system actually knows the sound of her voice.  Normally I'm super stiff in the mornings, but on Tuesday my whole body just relaxed.  Cool!  Magic!  I love her class!  I also had Teri for posture clinic on Tuesday and Diane on Wednesday, so I was a very happy camper.  They both give AWESOME feedback.  I didn't even deliver a posture on Tuesday, but I got tons of out that session.  The stuff that they tell us about different learning styes and techniques REALLY helps ME when *I* am trying to help other students!

I'm also having fun stalking Diane after class, because she always hangs out in the back of the room and lets students come to her with posture questions.  It's a whole fricking posture clinic session back there, for free!  My lovely fellow trainees: if you have any burning questions about any of your postures, don't be shy!  Get in there sometime!  She's here for two more weeks and she is a great resource.  Go get your cobra check-up.  I think she's done like half the trainees already.  (Busy lady.)  I am back there just watching, listening, watching, listening, watching.  I finally did MY cobra for her yesterday, and fortunately it was fine.  (I would have been kind of embarrassed if I was doing it wrong after all this time!)  She had me do full cobra, too, to show the difference.  Good times.

Posture Clinic - "If you're late, it's over!"

Posture clinics are speeding UP, though we haven't hit turbo speed yet.  We had posture clinic every day this week and got up through Balancing Stick.  I am impressed by all the people who are memorizing the dialogue here.  That is a lot of work.  I would be a whole lot busier around here if I hadn't learned the whole thing at home!  I am still studying and practicing all the time, but it is just fine-tuning.  Lucky me.

I had a great time with my dialogue delivery this week.  I did standing head to knee on Tuesday for David Buckner, who I'd had a couple times before.  I like him, and it's nice to get feedback from someone who's seen you before, since they actually know what you're like.  David thought my dialogue was great - "a pleasure to listen to" - thanks!  He's seen a lot of me, and I am always smiling, so he told me to see if I could "be more bitch" a little bit for the next posture.  I thought this was fair; I have no intention of being tough all the time when I teach, but it's good to have the ability to lay down the law when needed!!  It's all about adding tools to the toolbox.

So then, for Standing Bow, I had Diane (yay!), Johnny Sal (yay!) and Misha (yay!), along with like 5 other teachers who were hanging out with our posture clinic group.  I was like, "uhh, I'm supposed to be more bitch?" and they thought this was hilarious and couldn't wait to see it.  I was like, "eek," but I gave it a shot and I really kinda got into it!  Actually, I think I had too much fun, cause I was still smiling!  So my homework for the next posture was, "Don't smile AT ALL," which was Johnny Sal's idea.  He said it would add more range to my voice, which is true.

That ended up being a really good exercise - I had to practice it a LOT, in front of the mirror!  I practiced with this hysterically cute Korean girl named Bunny from my group, who said "be like you are from hell."  Since she is the cutest and sweetest person in the world, this was one of the funniest things I have ever heard.  So I delivered that dialogue on Friday, and it was really fun.  Balancing Stick is a very short and intense posture, which makes it a perfect posture for busting out some intense dialogue delivery.  I made a big effort to NOT smile (I swear, I am the only person who gets this kind of feedback), and it WAS really different, but it seemed to work really well for the posture.  Like I said, a good exercise!  Now I know have an idea of how to put a little more OOMPH into my voice, which should definitely come in handy.  Variety is the spice of life, right?  I will definitely be smiling again in my next posture clinic, though.  :)

Bikram's Back!  "Sleeping is a disease"

Boss was back in the house on Wednesday night.  Hooray!  For the most part, we were all weirdly excited to see him again.  (It's not like he was gone for THAT long...)  His classes this week were great and sweaty.  He has been trying to kill us a little bit, but we are pretty resilient.  BUT... the classes are getting hotter.  Up until now, it's been very easy, "blueberries cheesecake."  That era is coming to an end.  On Friday night, there were tons of teachers visiting for recertification, and there were over 500 people in Bikram's class.  Yep - FIVE hundred.  Might have been closer to 600.  I don't have the count.  It was a great class, but it was a fight to the finish.  I had already been in the heat all day and I was feeling pretty droopy.  I downed a Pedialyte before class and that was the only thing that got me through!

Bikram's been lecturing in the evenings (pretty briefly, for him) and showing some movies.  We had optional Bollywood on Wednesday (I stayed for half the movie, but got bored/tired), old school Ghosh College videos on Thursday ("That's Incredible!"), and Mahabharat on Friday.  Friday night's Mahabharat was the best one yet, because Bikram just wanted to show us the highlights, so when a song went on for too long he shouted, "That's enough, we get the picture!  Fast forward, please!"  And there was much applause.

The yoga truck hit me for the first time on Friday evening.  My body felt like a sack of bricks!  I was trying SO hard to stay awake for Bikram's lecture, but it was a struggle.  I was up in the third row, right in his line of vision.  At one point I let my eyes drift closed - just for 4 seconds, really!! - and right away I hear "THE HIGH SCHOOL BOY IS SLEEPING!"  Oh, crap!  I sat straight up, and of course everyone was like "OOOOOO" and 300 people turned around to see if I was awake.  Haha.  Bikram was like, "You lost your reputation!!"  He was totally laughing at me.  I had a very sheepish grin on my face.  Then he held up his soda bottle and said, "Have some Coke, have some Coke!  I'm serious!  It will help!"  So I actually went up and had a drink from the Boss's Coca-Cola.  Ooooh.  He said "I know you guys are working hard," and then he said that physically we are all a piece of shit, cause you know, he can't lose HIS reputation.  So I was wide awake for the rest of THAT lecture, and then Mahabharat came on and I spent a portion of it passed out on my roommate's shoulder.  I was awake long enough to see an 8-year-old Lord Krishna standing on someone's shoulders eating stolen butter from a pot on the ceiling.  This movie is the weirdest thing I have ever seen.

"And that's called LIFE."

I've picked up one of Bikram's speech patterns: I now say, "And that's called ____" ALL the time.  (He uses that phrase a lot.)  When someone asks me about my giant water jug, I tell them that I use it to refill my water bottle during lectures, "and that's called PREPARATION."  When I got to the laundromat with my student buddy, so that we can fold laundry and practice dialogue at the same time, I say "that's called MULTI-TASKING."  I am saying this all the time!  And that's called BRAINWASHING.  (And that's called a JOKE.  Ah!  See what I mean?)

And that's enough of THAT.  Time to go make some anatomy flashcards!  I forgot to mention that we covered a shit-ton of material in anatomy this week - nervous system, cardiovascular and circulatory system, respiratory system, and endocrine system - and we have a test tomorrow.  And that's called Yoga College...

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