Saturday, June 5, 2010

WEEK 7: "YEE HAW" and "WOO HOO"!

Ok, you have two options this week.  I can either skip the blogging altogether, or I can write a kind of random blog with scattered pieces from this week.  Pick your choice!

Yep, that's what I thought.  Here goes option number two!

WEEK SEVEN.  Done and done.  Unbelievable.  Only two weeks left, and we have been told many times that week 9 is "just the wrapping up week."  (I don't believe a word of that.)  The end of posture clinic is in sight - we'll be done by the end of next week.  Life will be so weird without posture clinic in it.  I'll have to spend the last week working on second set dialogues to console myself.

We had Monday OFF this week for Memorial Day.  Just one class at 8:30am, and then free.  This was unprecedented.  Some say "uncalled for."  (HA!)  I was quite disappointed to "miss" a day - we don't have many left! - but it turned out to be a nice weekend.  I had time to do all my errands AND hang out at the pool.  With the dialogue, of course - I did some very productive studying with one of the guys from my group.  Lying by the pool on Memorial day, with amazing people, looking at the sunny sky, listening to the pool guitar guy (he's there every weekend playing the same classic rock cover music), snacking on chips, I just thought: this is a GREAT life.

Back to normal on Tuesday, and classes got HOT this week.  Some of the staff told us that we had finally reached Acapulco level heat.  We heard that it was 130 degrees on a couple of nights.  It felt like it, too!  And the temperature in Vegas is just going up.  It's in the triple digits this week and shows no sign of going down.  It's kind of hilarious: before class, we're like "OMG this parking lot is soooo hot" and then after class we're like "Yesssss, it is so cool outside!"  (It does help when the sun goes down, too.)  Bikram taught Tues, Wed, and Thurs nights and I had a couple of great classes.  There were some classes where I sort of dragged myself through the postures by my fingernails, but towards the end of the week I started to feel really strong.  Lisa from San Antonio taught an AMAZING high-energy class on Friday night that was mentally effortless, even though physically it was still a lot of work.  She had us shout "YEE HAW!" during the first sit-up (it's a tradition).  She played Bob Marley at the end and we all sang along: "Don't worry about a thing... Cause every little thing is gonna be alright..."  Then she played "Celebration" and we all danced around and shouted "WOO HOO!"  Only at teacher training.

Manali was also one of the stars my week.  Have I talked about Manali?  She is Bikram's niece, and she's the one who is basically in charge of us.  She has the task of simultaneously managing us (the trainees) and Bikram.  I have no idea how she does this, but she pulls it off in great style.  I think she is the glue that's holding this whole operation together.  This Thursday was her birthday, and she finally taught our class that morning!!  It was great.  I was going through my roughest patch of the entire training that morning, and she turned me right around.  Every day is a new day.  Thank you, Manali!!  She also led this beautiful meditation on Friday night.  She sang a chant from Mahabharat that she'd learned when she was 5 years old.  It was really amazing - I don't know anything about meditation or chanting, but that chant sure did SOMETHING to me.  My breathing got so slow and so deep, and I felt all this energy circulating through my body.  It felt very ancient and very strong.  I had this weird moment where it felt like sparks would come out of my hands when I separated my fingertips.  Cool.  I loved it.

In other news, we watched some absolutely HILARIOUS episodes of Mahabharat this week.  No, really, it was SO good.  I was laughing my ass off.  There's this one part where the royal family has gone into hiding, and Arjun (the big-shot Bhagavad Gita warrior guy) is incognito as a female dance teacher.  So he's completely in drag, but it wasn't until halfway through the episode that we realized that everyone was supposed to believe he was ACTUALLY a woman, which is ridiculous, because he looked like a larger and more Indian version of Nathan Lane in The Birdcage.  Maybe the other people thought he had one of those X-Y chromosone disorders that we learned about with Dr. P in anatomy?!  There was also this jerk who was sexually harassing the princess, and we all got excited and yelled "Kick him in the balls, kick him in the balls!"  (This was an echo of Bikram earlier during lecture: "Is he sleeping?!  Hit his head!")  There was also a wrestling fight scene that lasted for about 15 minutes.  It was just epic.

Bikram gave his "no food is good food" lecture.  The point was basically: "I can only speak for myself, but I don't eat all my life.  I feel fine!"  He did make some good points.  He was really on a roll that night.  "Listen this very very carefully.  Stop burping."  "This is my subject.  Don't confuse me!  I tell you in a minute."  I love this guy.  I'm gonna miss him when this is all over!!

There was something else I wanted to say... Oh yeah!  I wanted to say that while I am really sad that training has to end, I'm getting excited for the next chapter.  I finally started getting a little antsy in posture clinics at the beginning of the week - enough of the fake yoga classes, I want some real yoga students!  Then towards the end of the week, we started working with more realistic situations.  Now, if the person delivering the posture is pretty good at the dialogue, the people demonstrating will do the postures wrong, drink water, cry, and generally cause all kinds of distractions.  It's WAY more realistic!  It'll be cool to launch into teaching for REAL.  Also terrifying.  Yes.  I'm an ace at posture clinics, I listen to all the lectures, I'm paying attention, I've done every posture in every class, I'm learning as much as I can... and I still feel like, to a large extent, this is all going to be irrelevant when I step into the room for the first time.  Because it's ALL theory.  No experience.  Once I get out of here, things are REALLY going to get started.  I'm as well prepared as humanly possible, and I'm completely unprepared.  Yikes.  Cool!

Niki, one of our permanent staff, taught the class this morning, and she said something great during balancing stick.  "Don't look down!  You have so much to look forward to."  That was a great correction AND a great piece of advice for life, all rolled into one.  That is what I will try to remember for the next two weeks... 

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