This past week consisted of 5 trips to the Jacuzzi (so nice for sore muscles) with a visit to Starbucks, about 25 hours of posture clinic, 2 classes with Bikram, 2 trips to Manhattan Beach, 1 Bollywood movie, and 1 night of watching clips of Bikram from the 70s and 80s. Saturday was also our 75th class here! I felt very under-stimulated this week. We finished delivering postures last week (week 6), so this week we just strung at least 3 postures together and delivered them. It gave us an opportunity to practice teaching; however, I got very bored, very fast. Supposedly we never finish delivering dialogue this early, but whatever, we did. I feel like I need to be studying something of substance – like countercurrent multiplication in the kidney or the proteins involved in translation of a gene. I feel more natural doing that, rather than sitting all day listening to dialogue or listening to some of these lectures we have had. I like figuring out how things work and how to solve problems. Like, when I visit with patients with the orthopedist I shadow, I like looking at their MRIs and helping figure out what the issue is. I feel like I have no memory here, and I feel like I can’t even form real sentences. The dialogue has taken over my speaking and my thought process– I say things like “I need to look way way way way back in my email to find that letter” or “go all the way down, all the way down to the lobby”. My friend Hilary bought cookies today, and they were called “way more chocolate chip cookies” and I thought they were called way, way, way, way more… I guess if you know the dialogue you know what I’m talking about. If I have learned anything about myself from this process, it’s that I really want to go to medical school. Likewise, I have said that after coming back from India and Ethiopia, so now is the time to make that happen.
also – If I hear one more person say to “trust the process”, I might just go cookoo for coco puffs for real. I kept joking in lecture/posture clinic that I felt like going outside and sending up a flare, or yelling “EARTHHHHHQUAKEEE”. Also The Police song, “I’ll send an SOS to the world, I hope that someone gets my, message in a bottle” was a recurrent theme song in my head all week. Another theme song I’ll add to the mix was sung and created by Hilary and it goes to the tune of “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas”, except her cover was “It’s beginning to look a lot like PRISON, everrryyy where we go.” …… these are the best days of our lives, this is what I just keep telling myself.
Did I say already how sore, crunchy, achy, etc I am? My husband suffers from knee pain from old injuries, I now know what it’s like to have aching knees all the time… hmmm. I’m sore in body parts I didn’t even know I had.
Anyways, it’s almost time to go home! Never been so excited. I’m literally counting down the days by number of sleeps in my night-sweat-infested Radisson bed, number of doubles, number of classes, number of times I have to shop at Trader Joes, number of times I will order Thai, and number of late nights we *might* have. If you haven’t gotten the jist of it by now, we have NO IDEA what our schedule will be like. For example, there have been quite a few Friday nights were we had the night off, so we assumed this would be true for this past Friday. Instead, they announced after the 5pm yoga class (that is when we find out what we are doing next), that we needed to be in our posture clinic by 9. Then, after 2 hours there at 11, they told us to go to the big lecture room because we were starting a movie at 11:30. SO, this has been good for me (I guess?), because I figured out I am probably a Type A personality. I love schedule, I keep one on my phone, in a planner, and on my gmail account. I am constantly planning when I’m going to the hospital, when I’m going to the clinic, when I’m going to work at the store, when I’m going to yoga, etc. but, you can’t have a schedule here! Whatever! I go for the flow for the most part. Whenever we have late nights (like – they announce we have lecture or a movie at 11pm) I run up to my room, grab my seat cusion and usually the following items: kombucha, a thermos to get hot water for tea, candy, something to crunch on like chips, crackers, or popcorn, water in my hydroflask, a scarf, a sweatshirt, and I just picked up some leg warmers this weekend to add to my “survival kit” as Hilary and I call it. If you fall asleep, don’t worry – staff will wake you up with a water gun.
We had a Halloween party this week – me and Hilary were bicycles. Last week in one of Bikrams lecture he was talking about looking like a human vs. acting like a human and he asked us a silly question “do you look like bicycle? Do you look like tree? Do you look like toothpaste? Do you look like snake?” so we decided to “look like bicycle”. It was funny to see what people dressed up as. I even saw someone go as a Japanese Ham Sandwich, which is what I was last year! BTW – there’s a Japanese girl in my group, and I asked her what a Japanese Ham Sandwich is, so now I know! Speaking of JHS, how come I never figured out to put my forehead to my shins?! I guess I wasn’t ready to hear that part of the dialogue? It gives the best stretch in my lower back and now padahastasana is one of my favorite postures!
My favorite teachers this week were John Salvatore from Los Vegas (originally from NYC) and Tereza from Prague. Tereza was the leader in one of our posture clinics, and it was my favorite PC all week – don’t worry, it won the competition by a land slide. I learned so much from her about teaching. She told us teaching is a JOB not a HOBBY so don’t criticize or laugh at your students. John was hilarious. He brought so much energy and enthusiasm. I have really been struggling with the morning classes here, which is a surprise, because I prefer a morning practice at home. However, when he taught a morning class I was pushing myself and I felt good. Between the night sweats, late nights, 2 classes a day, and eating little, I wake up in the morning feeling very low-energy and not well rested. It takes a strong and good teacher to really get me going in the morning. I would go to Los Vegas just for his class! I am excited to travel around whenever I’m on vacation or just traveling to different places to take classes with the handful of teachers that I’ve really enjoyed here (mostly the ones from NYC) and from other teacher trainees!!!! I’ve already had 2 people who live outside NC that told me they plan to travel to the triad some time early next year and they want to know how they can find out when I’m teaching. I will for sure go up to the DC area to take class with my friend Hanna who will be teaching at my Aunt’s studio and to take class with Hilary who will be teaching in the DC area as well.
One thing I want to add in here that Bikram says – the flies always go back to the shit. What he means is that we are a slave to our bad habits. Whether it be a bad habit we picked up in our postures or a bad habit lifestyle etc. I’ve learned here to let go of some of my bad habits in my practice. This week we had a lecture (and class) from Jim Kallet, as he comes to TT every week. He told us that in our postures (and in life, really) we can acknowledge that something is painful, but we don’t have to react to it. Like “oh $h!t my butt cheek is going to fall off in standing head to knee I must evacuate this posture immediately.” WRONG Christina. He also made a point for us to focus on the action we are doing, not the sensation we are creating (which I believe can also be applied to life situations). So basically, we should learn to let go of bad habits that don’t serve us and not think too deeply about uncomfortable situations….something to think about. I mean, I gotta force myself to think about something around here. Like I said earlier, I need some mental stimulation. Not mental masturbation like Bikram says….aka – thinking that does nothing.
Hilary and I ventured to Manhattan beach yesterday and then today her and I went along with Stephanie back to Manhattan beach. It was cooler yesterday but it was nice and toasty today. Thankful for getting some sunshine, vitamin D, and working those melanocytes in my skin! We visited a shop we always visit – the owner knows us and is so sweet. Hilary often teaches her new yoga postures, and today she handed us a big grocery bag full of oranges from her orange tree. We also devoured some pancakes and eggs at a place where the wait was 45 minutes – well worth it. Despite not being extremely fond of LA, I really have enjoyed going to Manhattan Beach, and love the cute downtown feel, the bagel shops, the boutiques, the restaurants, and the humble and homey feeling it has.
Things I missed a lot this week: my husband, family, and friends, my fur children (Chloe and Leila, I heard Chloe got fluffier), Bojangles, the “toaster” (heater) at Bikram Yoga Durham, my moms rigatoni with meat sauce, the freedom of driving my car, my bed, eating popsicles every day, reading on my kindle, blow drying my hair (which I don’t do that often at home!), and running at the art museum.
Things I will not miss: walking to Trader Joes with a bookbag, night sweats, always carrying water, hot tea, and kombucha with me, washing my yoga clothes in the bathtub with vinegar and soap, eating in my bed, being terrified of being woken up at 2am by a squirt gun or someone poking me, wearing the same dirty clothes over and over again, smelling the hot room, some of the peoples drama here, hearing monkey/bird/tiger/any zoo animal noises in the hot room or lecture room when people get excited, signing in to everything (class/lecture/posture clinic), and trying to figure out if I want to eat a banana with peanut butter or crackers for lunch.
One of our lecturers had this quote on one of his powerpoints, and I really love it so I’m sharing with all of you:
“when I practice, I am a philosopher. When I teach, I am a scientist. When I demonstrate, I am an artist” -BKS Iyengar
In the words of my dear friend, OY VEY NAMASTE.