Sunday, October 16, 2011

Postcards from the Edge of the Bubble

Alright folks.... this is just a quick dispatch from the yoga bubble in Los Angeles!

I'm right in the middle of my (hopefully!) annual visit to the Bikram Yoga Teacher Training.  This is my second time visiting.  I graduated Spring '10, went back to visit the Fall '10 training in San Diego, and now I am back exactly one year later to visit the Fall '11 training in Los Angeles.  I got here last Wednesday afternoon - the middle of the 4th week, for those who are keeping track - and I will be here for all of week five.  Woohoo!

Here's the tally so far:

Classes taken: 6.  (I skipped the Thursday night class, but then took the Saturday make-up class because one of my friends from my training was teaching.  Eddieeeeee!)

Classes with Emmy:  1, hurrah.  "Don't just wave your leg around in the air.  What are you doing?"

Classes with Bikram:  None yet.

Bikram sightings:  1 brief.  I did have the chance to say hi and give him a hug.

Anatomy lectures:  Er.... some.  Learned some good stuff but also took advantage of the "come and go" option.  Ah, the luxury of being a visiting teacher.

Free chiropractic adjustments:  1, awesome.  Lumbar spine goes pop.  My right hip is now in its socket correctly for the first time in some while.

Bollywood movies:  None.  Again, the luxury of being a visiting teacher.  The trainees had one late Bollywood night and they were pissed.

Visits to Traders Joe and/or Ralphs:  Approximately 10.  (Feels like.)  Both are walking distance from hotel!  Win!

Chocolate-covered peanut butter pretzels eaten: 1 bag.

Beaches visited:  2.  Malibu Beach and Manhattan Beach.  Great success, very windy.  Still have sand in hair.  Saw about 20 kite surfers - very cool.

Let's see.  This post is not very profound.  The profundity will come later, once I get back home and process everything.  I do have to say that it is great to be here meeting all the trainees!  A bunch of blog readers have come and introduced themselves to me ("Are you the Dancing J??") and that is super awesome.  Keep doing that.  Actually, if you're a trainee, quit reading this blog and go study triangle pose. This one could be a long week.  Don't ask me, I don't know anything, I just have a hunch!

I will also say that one year, for me, makes a big difference.  When I first revisited training in 2010 (blog post here), it was kinda rough.  By "rough," I mean "totally weird and confusing" and "I had no idea what the fuck I was supposed to do."  But the second time around feels much better.  I've spent enough time teaching now - and not just teaching, but also giving feedback, getting feedback, and spending time with senior teachers - that I actually feel like I can offer something beyond a friendly face.  I feel much more comfortable on the other side of the notebook.  I actually led a posture clinic room on my second day here - a prospect which I found frankly terrifying - and it was fine.  It was actually quite fun!  Challenging, for sure, but fun.  To my own surprise, I found that I had a good amount of helpful feedback to offer and I was able to give said feedback without blabbering like an idiot.  (Lessons learned from the last time around: talk slowly, be clear and specific, don't scare the children.)  We polished off balancing stick, did ALL of standing separate leg stretching, and finished up with 3 triangles!  (It was an afternoon clinic.)  The students are doing great and it feels good to be involved in their "process."

That's enough for now.  I may be opting out from some of the sleep deprivation, but I suspect that I will still be working hard this week.  More later... reflections and pictures will come next week!

P.S.  For all the TT blog junkies, I refer to you Brian Keith's blog.  It is fantastic!  I met him this week and he is such a good guy.  (Brian, I hope we will chat more this week if you're not dead on your feet!)  And his sidebar has a complete index of all the Fall '11 blogs.  Eat your hearts out.

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