“A Rolls Royce factory only makes Rolls Royce. It doesn’t make a Volkswagen Nothing is wrong with Volkswagen but we only make Rolls Royce here.” –Bikram
Glad he always makes car analogies, but this car is running out of gas! California sunshine is nice, but I am missing my favorite season at home. Eating Reese’s Puff cereal for dinner in my bed is great, but I miss a nice chicken parmesan with farfalle at the dinner table. Needless to say, hotel life and the monotony of yoga bubble life is really starting to bust my chops! But, I had a good weekend so week 7 is off to a good start!
Let’s discuss posture clinics – we finished!!! I delivered NINE postures this week (locust, full locust, bow, fixed firm, half tortoise, camel, rabbit, head to knee with stretching, and spine twist). One teacher commented that he could tell I love to teach – said he could hear me smiling even when he wasn’t looking at my face. Thank you, Luke from Auckland, for reminding me why I’m here and that I can’t wait to go home and teach. Another teacher from Paris told me that I have the full package – the dialogue down and a big smile. This week in posture clinic, I realized that teaching really does make me happy. No matter how tired, hungry, sore, or just overall BLAH I felt, I love to teach this yoga. One teacher mentioned, that “you have no idea how teaching this yoga will shift what you expect from the world.”
Also – did you know that in Scotland they call a fart a “pump”? I learned that during posture clinic this week.
Of course we did the 11 yoga classes this week. I’m definitely feeling sore and “crunchy” – we like to say “first your legs hurting, then your hips hurting, then lower spine hurting, then whole spine is hurting. Eventually you are hurting 360 degree angle, inside out, bones to skin, coccyx to the toes, coccyx to the forehead – everything is hurting!” I can’t wait to get home and be able to take regular Epsom salt baths. An Epsom salt bath in the hotel bathtub does not suite me right now. However, have I said how much I love my nailbed? I use it a couple times a day; it’s priceless to me at this point! We had a teacher, Trish, from NYC. She was amazing. I’m really finding the teachers that stand out here to me the most are those who are full of energy. As I said, I’ve become sore and stiff so if the teacher is super energetic then yes, I will kick out for the minute (or however long they decide it to be) in standing head to knee, or I will lock my knee with my forehead touching in separate leg stretching. You don’t realize how important the energy of a teacher is until you are physically worn down and still having to continue on with 2 classes a day! However, Trish was fierce and felt like she was THROWING energy to me in line 4! We also had Nacho, from Miami, and he was so gentle and kind but killed me! Another teacher I loved, Sachie, is Japanese and she now teaches at HQ. When she first introduced herself she laughingly told us she can’t pronounce “r” and “th” but that she was going to give it her best! She spoke to all the students who are ESL (note – they go back to their home and learn the dialogue in their OWN language, while they are required to learn the dialogue in English here, and most don’t speak English). She said it doesn’t matter if you can’t speak English, just teach from your heart and everything will be okay. I loved her class because it felt like she was right there with 441 (Yeah, I think we lost another one??!) taking class with us.
I feel like I incorporate things I learn from Emmy is every single class. Little details such as touching your forehead to the shins in padahastasana gives your butt/low back a good stretch and pushing your toes into the floor in toe stand. Emmy is so matter of fact, it cracks me up. This week she told us that a lot of us have big issues like fat thighs and inflexible hips and she can hardly stand it. LOL.
We had just one class with Bikram this week. As usual, he gave a lot of corrections so we spent about 2 hours with him. It is quite a surreal experience to see Bikram sitting on the podium in his orange chair with his legs crossed, screaming to LOCK THE KNEE!, and sipping his hot water with honey. He also refers to people by what they are wearing or what they look like – Ms. Red and Black, Ms. Pink, Mr. Bushy Bushy Hair, Ms. Booty Booty, Lampost, Chicken Chest, to name a few. After class, he played the infamous “I’m Feeling Lonely” song. If you’ve never heard, don’t worry. I am bringing home a Bikram CD just for all of you to listen to. My sister says she doesn’t like to ride in the car with me because I’m either listening to Dialogue (learning by osmosis) or Justin Bieber Christmas music. Well now, I have a 3rd choice! LOL. At the end of his class he asked what song we all wanted to listen to. Everyone started screaming “I FEEL SOOOO LONELY!!!!” When we finished class he told us that he knows we can do anything we want even when the mind says no but our spirit says yes. Don’t second guess yourself, and go for it.
The other day after class, one boy asked me if the ceiling is always purple in camel.
When the weekend came, we decided it was a GREAT idea to leave the hotel! On Saturday my friend Hilary and I ventured to our favorite Manhattan Beach. It is so cute there! As soon as we get off the trolley, we go to a great bagel place and I get an egg bagel with veggie cream cheese, lox, capers and tomatoes. Then we went down to the beach and laid in the sand for about 4 hours! It was about 90 degrees and so nice to lay down, not study, and read magazines. The ocean water here is freezing (according to this Carolina Beach girl, and Hilary is originally from Florida , so we didn’t fancy going for a dip. I ate a chocolate covered frozen banana with rainbow sprinkles all over it. I hate these at home, but for some reason it was magical here. We shopped a little at our favorite boutique, and got a really good dinner! It’s so hard eating here with a) food choices, b) food preparation in a hotel room and c) the wonky TT appetite.
Today (Sunday) – Hilary and I went with our friend Hanna to Santa Monica and Venice Beach. It was a long day, and overall I think we walked about 7 miles! We took the bus to Santa Monica pier, and we got a big bowl of fruit – it was delicious! We walked from Santa Monica to Venice Beach. Venice Beach reminded me of a cross between San Francisco and Northern India when I was in Himachel Pradesh in the foothills of the Himalayan mountains (Tibet in exile). Can you use your imagination to paint that picture? Yeah – quite a site. We enjoyed a very good lunch. I had a burger with a fried egg. It was the first time I ate my entire burger at a restaurant. Normally I get too full, and can’t eat it all! This burger stood no chance. Afterwards, Hilary and I got strawberries with cream. More fruit! If there is anything I miss about California, it will be the accessibility of getting fresh fruit everywhere and anywhere.
I’m so glad to keep busy on the weekends with things other than yoga related. It is so nice to get a break from the hotel & yoga bubble, only to come back and do it all again – 6 days, 11 yoga classes, and anywhere between 6-10 hours of posture clinics/lectures a day. It still blows my mind that here in LA it is between 80-95 degrees, and at home it is chilly (and preparing for a hurricane!). I’m enjoying living in a bathing suit on my breaks and weekends, and plan to come home tan while all the leaves will be on the ground!
These are the foods I love at home but don’t want to eat/smell/touch/look at here: PICKLES (yes, i know it’s tragic), dark chocolate with sea salt, celery soda, cheetos, coffee. WEIRD.
“Your body doesn’t matter. Your mind is everything” – Bikram this week