Bikram Teacher Training Fall 2010

A Yogini's Journey to Become a Bikram Yoga Teacher...

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Packing Test-Run.

I am a dork. I did a packing test-run this weekend.

Please don't think I spent my Friday night just packing for an adventure that doesn't even begin for another seven weeks. No... I was packing as a distraction.

See, I brought home a pile of work this weekend. And after I did a few bits and pieces of it, I decided I needed a break. So I went into my closet, put on "All About Eve" on my iPad... And began to clean my closet.

I got rid of a ton of things I don't wear. And while I was at it, I decided to do a test-run to see what all I could fit in my large lady-bug suitcase from Rome.

Yes... It all fit in there. And I still have some room to spare. But I may be taking a carry-on bag as well. The white binder contains my dialogue. And there are some books relevant to the yoga that I want to take as reference.

And of course, I can't go anywhere significant without my most favorite shoes ever... The Miss Dior Gladiators. They've been to Amsterdam, Brussels, Los Angeles, the Bahamas, Paris... And now San Diego.

Friday, July 30, 2010

"Bikinis On Top..."

I've told this story many times... It wasn't until I had been practicing Bikram for two and a half years, and finished two 30-day challenges, that I was comfortable switching from long yoga pants to shorts.


And I only switched because I was finally at the point where I NEEDED to see my knees locking out in certain poses. I needed the visual. So yoga shorts became my standard after that. But I never went with the popular Shakti yoga shorts - the really short ones - that many Bikram yoginis would wear. I went with long-ish Lululemon yoga shorts... Which cover everything, but definitely begin to sag after the first few postures from all the sweat.

I constantly have to tug at them to keep them up on me.

Well, now it is time, I have decided, to get some more appropriate shorts. Especially since BKTT is about six weeks away. So last week I ordered five pairs of Shakti fold-over string shorts...

And three bikini tops.

They arrived yesterday, and the shorts are great. They actually cover everything, despite my fear that they wouldn't. I don't know why I was so afraid to try them. But the bikini tops??? I am so not comfortable wearing those yet.

I normally wear sweat-wicking tanks from Lululemon. I have six pairs of the exact same one, just in different colors. But I thought maybe this would be the time to switch to bikini tops. So I ordered three large tops, thinking they could hold my "goods in the hood."

I was wrong.

I tried them on... And I just can NOT imagine me being able to move around in them without something popping out. It feels like the support just isn't there.

In reality, I think it is just going to take me a few classes to get used to the idea of baring my belly and having a different kind of support. I will wear them at training... Probably. But like with the pants-to-shorts thing... It's going to take some time for me to ease into it.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Dialogue Dissection.

Maybe I am a little slow and lack an attention to detail... But I just realized something while studying the Sanskrit names. Something that has made learning the Sanskrit names of each pose much easier (even though I am told we don't need to know them)...

Here is what I have just realized:
  • Ardha means "half."
  • Dandayamana means "standing."
  • Janushirasana means "head to knee."
  • Hasthasana means "hands to feet."
  • Bibhaktapada means "separate leg."
  • Paschimotthanasana means "stretching."
This realization helped me finally remember which pose is "Standing Separate Leg Stretching" pose and which is "Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee" pose.

All I can say to myself is "duh." Took me long enough to realize this.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Dialogue Tips From Boston.

The Bikram community in Boston is amazing. A-MAY-ZING.

Not that the one in Toronto (where I live now) isn't fantastic too. But in Boston, my old home studio (Bikram Yoga Boston) begins prepping #BKTT attendees as soon as someone decides they want to go. A study group is formed, and teachers crack the whip on students with the dialogue.

Melissa from Boston (whom I never met while I lived there, funny enough) wrote me today to give me the low-down on what exactly they are doing in Beantown to prep...

"We actually stand up on the podium and use the microphone. Standing up, hearing your voice through a sound system, and announcing it to others feels wildly different than lounging on a couch - I've started practicing standing up and enunciating in a loud voice now. Cheesy, yes, but helpful :)

The only time I've completely drawn a blank is on the second part of awkward. I got nervous having the other future teacher trainees hanging on and waiting for my words. I crumbled under the pressure of their shaky knees. So getting friends to do it while you call it out is definitely helpful!

For poses like awkward and balancing stick, we focused on speaking rapidly/clearly without hesitation or any pauses so students don't have time to "think" about how long they've been in the posture. The goal is to have their bodies simply react to your words without time to ponder.

During the week, we all have our own memorization strategies. Some of the ones we all seem to like are: (1) just reading it a ton of times the first day to have everything sink in, without actively trying to memorize anything, (2) writing out the first letter of every word and saying the dialogue looking at that sheet, (3) saying it while others do it (if you're lucky enough to have other bikram friends you can recruit), (4) recording yourself saying it and then playing it back to make sure you got it entirely right and aren't stuck in a robotic monotone."

These are great tips!

Maybe I should try to get The Husband (whose never done Bikram before) to do the poses while I recite them? Or perhaps I should crack the whip on my team members at work, and force them to help me out during a lunch break?

Thanks Melissa!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I Wanted To Do Another 30-Day...

Really. I did. I wanted to do another 30-day challenge before I go to training in mid-September. And while there are a great number of days between now and then which would make a 30-day challenge possible, my schedule doesn't seem to want to accommodate it.

What's preventing me?

  • Work. I have a shit-ton of things to take care of prior to leaving for two months. Work is being amazingly wonderful about me stepping away for two months. So I intend to make sure I have things in great shape before I leave.
  • Husband. I really, truly don't want to leave him for two months. But I have to. And I am doing my best to make sure I spend time with him before I go. And this means taking a trip with him to visit friends in August, even though I don't have the time to do even that.
Those are pretty much the only things. Doesn't seem like much... But the work thing is really the biggest factor. With me gone, it could mean there are two months without any solid new business pitching going on. So any new business I can bring in before I go would be really super cool.

I am following a strict 5-day a week practice between now and the time I go. And I do intend to pull some doubles as well. The back-to-back kind.

Monday, July 19, 2010

"I Feel Like Crying."

I took a newbie to class tonight. She was once a competitive dancer, and now works in digital marketing with me. So she has plenty of stress (like me) and needs a way to get it out of her system at the end of the day.

So last week she came to me and asked, "Do you mind if I tag along to yoga with you one night after work?"

Of course I was thrilled that she wanted to come! I think I have convinced a few people in my time to give Bikram a try. Some have onky tried it once and never come back. Others practice as regularly as they can since the first day. But I am always ecstatic when someone wants to give it a try.

Tonight's newbie was amazing. She stayed in the room the whole time. She had proper yoga etiquette. She tried to get back in and do the poses when she could. She was definitely overwhelmed at times... But we all are!

We wouldn't be doing the yoga correctly if we didn't occasionally get overwhelmed at times. Shit, I get overwhelmed with Standing-Head-to-Knee. Something about shoving my leg into my chest just to get at my foot... It gets me every time. And I want to vomit. And my heart starts pounding really, really ridiculously fast. But some poses make me want to have another reaction. One I only in the past year began having. But the newbie had it tonight on her first class....

"I feel like crying," she told me after class.

I got excited for her. I told her, "This is what is supposed to happen! You are releasing emotions! This is good!"

I don't know if she believed me. But I see crying for now reason as a good thing. Usually happens to me in Poorna-Salabasana or Ustrasana. (Trying to get used to the Sanskrit names.) But crying means something is coming out that needs to. I see it as a greeat thing. And to have experienced it in the first class you ever take???


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Backwards, Forwards. Balance Needed.

The bane of my existence in any Bikram class is a forward bend.

Lately, I find myself developing the "pukey acid reflux" feeling as soon as we do the first instance of Pada-Hastasana. It lasts the rest of the class... Often seriously hampering my efforts in Standing-Head-to-Knee and Rabbit poses.

But back bends? Those I LOVE!

Bending backwards is easy-peasy for me. Standing Bow, Half Moon Backward Bending ("You're back is going to hurt like hell, don't be scared!"), Cobra, Full Locust, CAMEL... These are my favorite poses!

"Back bends are therapeutic," one of my teachers said while teaching class this past Friday evening. "There was a time in my life when I was really struggling (emotionally?)... And I would stand in my apartment and just do back bend after back bend after back bend. It helped!"

I feel this way too. I think that back bends come very easy to those of us who like to express ourselves (sometimes too much). Whatever is in my head, you can pretty much guarantee will likely end up coming out of my mouth or out of my finger tips as I type it into something.

But the point is to be "balanced." And right now, I am "out-of-balance." I am too efficient at the backward bending. And not nearly as efficient with the forward-bending. And while I am certainly not going to stop trying to progress with my back bends, I do need to do what I can to improve my forward bends.

I need to improve my ability to be more discreet.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Bikram Yoga & Social Networking.

Wow! It is hard to believe we only have 11 weeks till Fall Teacher Training begins.


In order to start building a community before the training begins, a few of us have been developing some social networking schemes to get people talking and pumped up before we all hit San Diego.

Fellow trainee, Chrissy, has created a Facebook page for the training session. All are welcome to join! It would be great to see if anyone has questions that the group can answer... As well as get to know some faces and names beforehand.

Also, in the Spring of 2009 Training, Yogaballs created a Bikram Yoga Teacher Training hash tag for Twitter. It is #bktt. Whenever you have a question or want to reference Bikram Yoga Teacher Training in a tweet.

Let's get this community activated!!!