Friday, December 30, 2011

Team Perth reunited!

Team Perth aka as me, Kana & Jas who all attended BYTT this past fall had a mini reunion yesterday...yoga style. Jas & I headed to the North Perth studio to take Kana's class. I've not been to that studio so it was nice to get out my comfort zone and take my friends class. The studio is in an old church hall style building, loads of features and a cute wooden veranda we all waited patiently on till the doors open. They are keen in NP, I got there stupid early at 8:45am and people were already there. By the time the doors opened at 9am there was quite the line up. I had a lovely welcome from the studio director and made my way through the masses to find a spot in the room. Having no attachment issues at this studio it was great to just plonk my mat down in the first available spot I came across. Jas came in later and went in front of me. So nice to share my practice with the girls.

I had a great class and really pushed myself hard. My hydration has been horrible this past week. Christmas merriment got the better of me. It's been super hot here in Perth so I should have drunk a lot more hydrating liquids. Hence I was feeling a little dead by the end of class and had major beetroot red face. It was a steamy 39 degrees outside on the street so took a pew under the air con in reception to cool off before hitting the road. 

We are so blessed to have such a strong Bikram community in Perth. I'm so happy I got to share my training experience with Jas & Kana. Even better our friendship has carried on growing now we are back home. We are all so supportive & encouraging of each other, it's awesome to be a part of. It's great to hear other fellow Fall 11 graduates, especially Team New York and Team Vancouver are all supporting each other by taking each others classes and practicing together when they can. Yoga love!

With gratitude

I was really touched with gratitude this year how my friends and family have really taken interest in what I've been up to. The gifts I received reflected this interest. I know there is more to Christmas than gifts. I give gifts as a sign of love and friendship to people who mean a lot to me. I do spend a lot of time carefully selecting gifts. Charity donations are awesome presents. As are the many yoga gift vouchers I sold over the past month at both studios, the gift of health & fitness. Being so far away from most of my friends, a small token in the mail is like sending a small part of me as I can't be there in person.

Here are the thoughtful gifts I received. Yoga themed! A lovely Lululemon bag which is HUGE and has many pockets, perfect for teaching & practicing. (I did buy myself a similar, smaller Lulu bag in LA which I have now passed onto a new home) This came my way from The Man's mum along with a lovely lilac pashmina. All the way from London arrived an amazing fair trade yoga mat bag. Useful and for a good cause. (Made in Bikram's home town of Calcutta no less) From my friend and healer a beautiful hand made Mala with beads carefully selected to keep me balanced. Finally my very own Buddha statue from The Man. He is currently watching over my front garden (facing East) until we can construct a proper shrine area for him. The chickens aren't quite sure of our new addition but they are slowly getting closer but maybe they are just after the food offerings. 




 

Thank you!

Season's greetings everyone. Hope you are all enjoying a relaxing time with your loved one's & taking a little time for yourselves. (and of course fitting in some yoga!)

The Christmas Day charity yoga class at BYJ was a HUGE success. 29 students and 6 instructors made the morning fun & memorable, raising $550 for Youth Focus. Team Reindeer; Myself, Jo, Jules, Kana & Karen lead the class in round robin style teaching every fifth posture whilst mellow music played in the background. We kept our antlers on the whole class!

I somehow managed to get the 'killer' postures to teach, Awkward, Triangle, Locust and Camel. Everyone certainly burnt off enough calories for the day during Triangle. It was so much fun and certainly challenging. Leaping up to teach a posture whilst being a little out of breath from practicing the one before, no mic and music adding an extra distraction. The room was steamy, the energy was high and all for a great cause.

Most people hung around after for snacks and a chat. It was great to see students from the other studios drop by to support us too. Thank you to everyone who came and showed their support. Then it was home to the air conditioning for ham, prawns and salad!


Team Reindeer

Me teaching Triangle

Fantastic Camels!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Forgiveness

Happy Christmas Eve Eve everybody! Yes I am still at work, last minute bits and pieces to wrap up (hahaha!) before we are out of here till January 3. 

I came across this the other day....



It got me thinking. I am a dweller, I hold onto things which I shouldn't. Letting go is hard sometimes, especially when I truly think I can fix something that went wrong. This is often not possible, it is out of my control. 

A recent situation has been bugging me. I was left hurt and offended by it. Hands up I probably dished back some of this in return, defensive reaction, you hurt me so I'm gonna stab you right on back. Not very mature I know. But I reached out my olive branch, I opened my heart but that person just wasn't ready. Deep down I know I should just walk away and do the above. Now I will. I know I'm just trying to be a good person but really in this particular case I must accept there is nothing to do but forgive & move on. My life will not be enriched by trying to push myself on someone who doesn't want me. Waste of energy and resources I can be using on someone who cares. 

So I've had a clear out, physically & mentally. Cancel, clear, erase but not forgotten. I've filed this away in the acceptance box of my memories. Time to move into 2012 with a clear mind and happy thoughts for the year ahead.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Day Class 8am

I've already mentioned this but I'm saying it again. Come to yoga on Christmas Day 8am BYJ. It's all for charity so what better way to start you festive day by giving back to a good cause. (Plus get some calories burnt off before you consume your own body weight in turkey & prawns!) I know it will take some convincing to get up for an 8am class but it will be fun, not your average type of class, with something a little different to mix it up. $15 for the class all proceeds go to the Youth Focus charity that our very own instructor Jules supports on a number of bike rides. She has a massive ride coming up next March.

Stretch, sweat & smile before you eat, drink & be merry this Sunday!

Kids Yoga January 2012

Very exciting news for January. Both studio's BYJ & BYSB are running kids yoga over the school holidays. One hour class, no heat & lots of fun for children 6 - 13 years old. I was very inspired at training when Jim Kallet's ten year old son jumped up on the podium with Bikram and busted out some floor series poses. 

Children are naturally bendy but lack the obvious concentration span adults have. There for the floor series postures are great for them, balancing in the standing series not so good. Also they can't sweat, hence no heat. It's so fantastic children are getting the opportunity to have a go at yoga in Perth. It will build strength mentally and physically, boost confidence & develop social skills. Yoga for children has also been noted for helping with conditions such as ADHD. By starting children young at yoga will help set them up for an adult practice & a happy, healthy life style. Start good habits at grass roots!!!

If you are in Perth and have children 6-13 bring them along. Details are on both studio websites (BYJ & BYSB) or here's the poster for BYJ.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

New Year, New changes

Yes my work has slowed right down this week. After barely having time to take five minutes for myself last week, I'm blessed with a little down time. I'm actually feeling inspired to write as well which is a good sign that I'm thinking more of my needs instead of constantly putting others first. Don't get me wrong, I love to give but I have been made more aware I need to hold a little back for myself in order to have the strength to give to others. 

New Moon on Saturday, the last of this year. Time to make a wish, set a good intention and make it happen. At my Reiki session we talked about this & I set my intention then and there. It's personal so sorry I'm not sharing it with the world. (keeping that little bit back for me!!) I'll reenforce it on Saturday night.

New Years always bring change, the date is the first thing to change. 2012. Wow, time flies hey. Two of my close school friends will be having their first babies in January & I have a wedding penciled in too for later in the year. 2011 has been amazing for me. Strong, positive, full of growth. Of course mistakes have been made, lesson's learned. I'm moving into the new year with a smile on my face & the strength to make things happen.

2012 has already got change penned it for me. My office is having a make over for one. The franchise we are part of brought out new branding a long while back and it's time for us to catch up. Total revamp, even walls are moving. Most excitingly I get my own office!!!! Wow wee! Not that I have it bad now, I only share with one other person. An office too myself means I can carve out this space to be the art room of dreams. It will be a very well thought out space to maximise creativity and positive energy. We've been working together drawing up the plans & all my ideas have been taken on board. I might reintroduce the inspiration wall which hasn't had a home thus so far. I've already had my Creative Suite software upgraded, very grateful for this, can do so much more funky new tricks with it.

I finally will be getting my wisdom teeth removed in January. I'm not sad to see them go after years of swelling, soreness and tooth ache. Be gone useless, nasty beings. It will be the first time I have ever had surgery. Scary. I've never had anything added to my body in way of modifications and likewise have never had anything removed. Natural as the day I was born (sorry that's a lie, I highlight my hair!). First time for everything. I'm thinking strongly that everything will go smoothly, nothing will get infected & the swelling be minimal. I'll have to take a week off work (sick pay phew) and teaching (sad face), it might be the only way to get me to sit still for five minutes & relax. Who's betting I'll be studying dialogue that week?!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Side Note on Yoga Clothes for TT

The last post got me thinking that I should write about yoga clothes for teacher training. I'm sure some future trainees might find it helpful. Disclaimer:This is my personal view, some fellow teachers might think different but this is what I discovered.


I had it in my head I needed 11 full sets to last the whole week. No you don't, save the suitcase space/money. 6 would have done fine as I hand washed/soaked straight after class in the sink. Drying is the problem. Ended up getting a small fan (Target $15) to help things dry quicker on the clothes rack ($20 Bed, Bath & Beyond - Sepulveda Blvd, 10 min walk from the Rad, they couldn't re stock the racks quick enough). Some brands dried super quick but my Lulu shorts too days to dry before the fan was introduced. Clothing companies drop by and say hi, loads of opportunity to buy new, exciting outfits from them, sometimes discounted but not vastly.

Personally I buy things to last, especially if I'm using them every day like yoga clothes. I'd rather spend good money on something that will go long haul & is comfortable. I'd go for comfort & fit first which I've only found with good quality, proper yoga brands. Nothing worse than shorts you are forever pulling up/down. Again, this is personal. If you are planning on throwing every piece of yoga clothing out after training to invest in nice sets after training, then yes buy cheapo, mend & make do clothes. A lot of people only took their old, knackered sets so they could be thrown out.

I recommend, if you don't already, wear shorts to practice in at training. Start before you go to get used to them/feel comfortable wearing them. You won't see yourself in the mirror & no one's cares if you have self perceived chunky, dimpled thighs. They are far too busy trying to survive those mind melting classes to be worried about your legs. Bikram gets upset if he can't see your knees for locking reasons. Plus it bloomin' hot in the yoga room, less clothes to better! Shorts are easier to wash too.

NO BANDEAU/TUBE TOPS even proper yoga one's. Bikram got very p*ssed off at my training as girls just couldn't stop adjusting them. It was a distraction for Boss & the chicks wearing them. You'll probably get told this when you get there but best know now so you don't pack a bunch of bandeau and can't wear them!



Make sure you take some clothes for posture clinics ie. what you will be teaching in. Some girls wore their class outfits (Shorts and crop tops), others like me came armed with capris and nice tank tops (3 sets was more than enough, capris came in handy to wear in lectures too, comfy). They don't have to be big brand names just nothing worn out/shabby looking or you will be sent to change & get a make up class. It's an investment after all, you will need clothes to teach in so why not, or wait till after training for the Lulu discount. (you need to show your certificate when you register in store) Get some Target stuff to get you through Training.

Oh yeah, last point on clothes: NOTHING GREEN. Not for yoga, lectures, posture clinic, graduation just don't do it. I know there is 100's of variations of the colour but use your common sense. If you have to ask, don't wear it. 

Wunder Unders!

A rather nice perk of being a yoga industry professional (still sounds weird, I am in the yoga profession!) is being part of the Lululemon research and development team. That doesn't sound very perky but the 15% discount is. All I have to do is submit three reviews a year on products I buy at Lulu. 

I decided to get the ball rolling and give myself a Christmas treat of a lovely pair of Astro Wunder Unders to teach in. I can hear my yoga friends screaming "you don't need any more yoga clothes!" I know, I know but this stuff is all tax deductible now right & discounted. I also need to be comfortable when I teach, look tidy and well presented. Big emphasis at training on this. I hear Michon saying "would you teach in that?" whilst staring at a scabby t-shirt or ratty singlet. Some of my capris I took to training are a little tatty now, they've been round the block a bit as they weren't new before training. Excuses, excuses, I always have to justify things. Sod it, have money will spend it on new work clothes!!! 

I took them for a test drive this morning, teamed with one of the new bandeau LaLa land tops I bought in LA. (I bought the all black pair so they will team with any top) Owww they were awesome, great fit, I wasn't pulling them up or adjusting them. I could get on with teaching without worrying I was flashing my students. The dipped waist band is really flattering too and doesn't sit too high. The material is light and very breathable. Wunderfull!!




How long are you here for?

This is the question I was asked over the weekend after one of my classes. In reply; "I'm here permanently, I live in Perth." Okay have I confused some of you, hands up? Here in the Perth Bikram community we have a steady stream of traveling teachers passing through. It's probably one of the main draw cards in doing this job. Travel, teach, see the world. I'm not ready to pack up & hit the road just yet, I feel like I've only just laid down a foundation here in Australia after leaving my mother land England seven years ago to, well, hit the road.

That is why I have been asked a few times how long I'm staying in Perth because I have a British accent. Kinda throws people. They hear a foreign accent and assume you're a traveler. I am an Australian citizen so I can stay forever but I'm holding onto my accent thanks!

Anyways, I was well received when I delivered my answer of I'm here to stay. Slowly, slowly there we have it I'm building a student teacher bond. Already I have had first timers in my class who have returned for a second, third class with me. Sometimes it's scary when people ask when I'm next teaching, are they planning on avoiding me?! But when they do return to my class with a smile & stop for a chat it's a nice part of the job. I don't just want to be the voice who pushes them to work hard to lock the knee, I'm a real person, who's nice & approachable, ready to answer any questions the best I can. Just ask the student who got me on my favourite subject electrolytes...good job he wasn't in a rush to leave!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Kat Eden Transformation Seminar

Happy Friday everyone, one week till Christmas. Are we excited yet? I am, means I get to teach yoga, do some personal practice & finally put my feet up at home and relax, completely relax! With New Year coming up so do the usual resolutions, "I'm gonna quit sugar, eat more healthy, loose 4kg etc, etc." I don't usually do resolutions but this year I might. I'm going to start with my diet. It needs cleaning up in order to get maximum proficiency out of my body. Most people focus too much on losing weight, I'm focusing on maximum output of energy & nourishing my body from the inside out. I let my diet slid at training turning into a sugar whore and eating far too many refined carbs. I didn't put on any weight mind you, I stayed the same but toned up a little here & there but my muscles would have performed so much better without being drowned in sugar.

I have mentioned lifestyle, fitness and nutrition coach Kat Eden in my past blogs. Kat visited BYJ last year to present a 'Food For Yoga' seminar. It was so well received she came back again this year to do a transformation seminar. Kat writes two blogs; Woman Incredible & Body Incredible - both dedicated to all thing health, nutrition and fitness. She is a personal trainer and also practices Bikram even competing in championships. 

The seminar was very interesting. It went over some of the things we heard last year which means Kat's theories work. Last years way of thinking is still this years. Kat practices what she preaches and looks amazing, even after having a baby. (she is the same age/height as me so I can't use that as an excuse, just more inspiration material to make this work for me) It reminded me what I need to be doing right now. I've practiced the protein before yoga method all year. Again letting this slip at training by slathering my protein rich nut butter on toast. Maybe this was why I was constantly lacking in energy & couldn't keep my eyes open, haha maybe 3% of the reason. 

It's all about the protein baby! First meal of the day ditch those cereals & grains & chow down on steak n eggs. That is what I've been doing for the past 6 days. Well, good quality butcher's gluten free sausages for three of the days and my home produced eggs, steak the other three. I even cooked up an egg at 4:15am before teaching on Tuesday. So far so good. I'm fuller for longer and feel more alert. No 3pm energy sugar cravings. Again, the power of the mind may be playing a part but that's fine by me as long as I'm not reaching for the chips & chocolate.

To read more about Kat's 10 quick Transformation tips click right here.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Teach - Work - Take

The title of this post might be a little cryptic, in short it sums up my day on Tuesday this week. Last week I mentioned in a post about making sure I keep up with my own personal practice. Easy as last week. This week a little more tricky. I scored five classes to teach!! Quite the increase from two or my expected three. I'm itching to teach as much as humanly possible. The only way to learn and grow as a teacher is to teach, teach, teach.  Apologies if I'm repeating myself, I have permanent yoga brain. 

Tuesday was an experiment. Teach the 5:45am class (4:15am alarm!), work all day at design job 8:45am - 5pm, then scoot down Scarborough & practice the 7pm. I've started a new energy boosting food program (whole post dedicated to this at some point) so with my mind programmed it would have enough energy to do a 17 hour day off I went. I survived nine weeks of 17 hour days, one day wouldn't kill me. It was fine. I did have the energy, my practice was strong and I'm seeing breakthroughs and improvements. Cramping was a slight problem, I'm sweating when I teach so I need to hydrate like when doing a double. Hands up it was a long day, I got home at 9:15pm, The Man had cooked me dinner but left the washing up. No big deal, I ended up washing up at 10pm as evening classes leave me a little wired. 

However. This will not be something I'll be doing every week. I was a little frazzled come Wednesday morning and crashed in the evening. Occasionally, once or twice a month at a push if I have to to get my own practice in. I wouldn't do this in reverse order, teaching last. I owe it to my students to be as fresh and alert as I can be. Successful experiment but won't be adopting it into my weekly routine unless absolutely necessary.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Team Perth

What a weekend. Whirlwind non stop excitement again. Next weekend I am definitely slowing down (for at least 10 counts, all the way down!). 

The weekend started with the 6pm Friday night yoga lead by my BYJ training buddy Jas. So good  to see her, after seeing everyday for 9 weeks then not seeing her for two weeks was very strange. I've missed her! Not a great turn out, there were five of us. Jas did great she got the class energy going, cracking jokes and gently pushing us hard through the 90 minutes. Jas is a natural. Beautiful voice, nice & calm but with firm command, very much like the lovely Rajashree. I had a great class. So much so I woke up Saturday morning with a total yoga hangover!!!

I taught my first class at the other studio in Scarborough Beach on Saturday arvo. Different crowd down there, in a good way. I went into commando style for some of it which I wasn't happy about. Already I have learned you can commanding without being a commando. My over excitement gets the better of me at times and that is when I start barking. It showed me how important it is, just like in personal practice, to teach at different studios. I am already very comfortable at my home studio so to have the opportunity to mix it up down at BYSB is great.

There were three of us from Perth at TT, Team Perth! The third gal from the North Perth studio, Kanayko, swung by my 8am Sunday morning class to say hi & practice. Again so good to see her & have her in my class. She hung out on reception & helped out before class. To have such great supportive friends/colleagues makes this job even more fantastic. I stopped for fuel on my way to the studio and the lady asked me if I was working today (probably as it was so early). I very nearly said no, then I remembered I was, but as this teaching job doesn't actually feel like 'work' it felt strange to say 'yes I'm going to work', so I said 'yes I'm teaching yoga this morning.' Looking forward to taking Kana's class and having Jas practice in my class. What a team!!

My mentor also took class so I was able to get some valuable two weeks in feedback. It was funny the things I perceived myself to have stuffed up she hadn't even noticed (fake it till you make it!). My feedback was very constructive. Mainly to help me work on timing. I finished both weekend classes on time but I was aware I'd 'galloped' through some of the standing postures & shaved a few seconds off the savasanas. I'm starting to look at second sides now and extra dialogue, this will help with timing & keep it it interesting. I'm comfortable with the dialogue we learned for training, the meat & potatoes, now I feel it's time to start adding some vegetables & gravy to the plate. I have time on my hands as this isn't expected of us just yet. Some little & often studying over the next few weeks will keep me on top of the game. So much more to learn & I'm so ready to learn more.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Hitting the ground running

The title of this post sums it up really. After five leisurely jet lags days I have literally not stopped. Nearly two weeks back at full time work, four yoga classes taught, eight practiced, I have been busy, busy, busy. 

Last weekend for example I left the house at 8:30am Saturday morning and didn't get home till 7:30pm Sunday night. I literally lived out my car but did get to sleep in a real bed Saturday. (my friends guest bed to be precise) But I'm loving it. Fast pace and furious is how I like it. If I'm not kept on my toes I get bored.

I am learning that I need to keep everything balanced. Setting up new files for teaching invoices/tax recipes is top of the list when I get a spare second. Christmas card writing took priority over that. Most of this will be digital but I still  have some actual paper work to deal with. Don't mess with the tax man. I'm making time for my personal practice. It's so important and will help my teaching. I like having the 'face time' with students too so they just don't see me on the podium but being a student as well. Too many teachers have told me they find it hard to keep up there own practice in order to teach full time. As I'm not teaching full time but working full time it still will be a challenge. So far, so good.

I started having Reiki healing which hopefully will help relax some of my mad energy. There was mention of post traumatic stress disorder as a result of attending TT. I laughed this off but I have had some nights I've woken up bolt upright in bed thinking I was sleeping through a lecture!! Even though I was one of the few who had a sunshine & rainbows experience I feel there was some dark energy I absorbed or was exposed to. That needs to be exorcised!!!

A few people have that they have found it hard to integrate back into real life after training. I've been too busy to have a choice, head first back into it. One weird thing is though I have found myself distancing myself from my fellow trainees. Of course there are the friends for life who I personally have emailed to touch base with. I've been keeping up with my posture clinic group in our own private area too. I mean I'm not really going into the general Facebook Group and mixing like I did before I left. Maybe it's the lack of time. Maybe I've just closed that circle. Everyone is on their own journey now. We shared the 9 weeks, now its time to move on. Just like training some will struggle, some will cruise it, I just haven't had the energy to follow it all online. I hope each and every person finds their way and finds their happiness but my way now is back in my own home space. I have let go, moved on and send them all good vibes.

With Christmas just around the corner I can't see things slowing down just yet. My day job closes for Christmas week, perfect opportunity for me to teach more! We are having a charity class on Christmas Day which should be fun. Not sure if I can mention what we are doing...I might leave it as a surprise but I'm really looking forward to it. A class with a 'twist!'

Friday, December 2, 2011

Let loose!

After a successful mock class I was let loose on the public for the Tuesday 5:45am class.

I'll back track a bit first. I started back at my full time day job on the Monday. It felt right to be going back, I was a little apprehensive my stand in might have done such a rocking job they might not want me back. Didn't need to worry, quite the opposite happened. My marketing manager greeted me with the words "please, never go away again." I won't go into details but let's say I was welcomed back with open arms and I felt very much appreciated. My desk looked like a bomb site. After a quick tidy up and bin session I was back in business.


Other instructors have said it takes a while to readjust back into the real world. I've been okay. Nothing has felt weird. It's just normal, like I have never been away. Maybe because I was really centered before I left. I knew I was doing the right thing and I knew I had a great place to come back to. Positive thinking at it's best. Doubt grows and feeds more doubt. Positive outlooks become reality if you truly believe in what you are wishing for.

A lot of people go to Training to change their lives and finally get to do a job they love. I didn't want a new career, I have a very nice, successful one thank you, I was after something extra to enrich what I already have. I like to have the best of both world's where possible and now I have it. How irritating am I, I know, two jobs I love. Believe you can have it all and you will. (or just read The Secret and everything will become clear where I'm coming from)

Day two back at work & my 'new work' routine started. I had to get up super early 4:15am to be at the studio at 5:05am to open up & learn the ropes. I had some help that first morning which was great. Nineteen keen students turned up. Three familiar, happy faces were amongst them which was a comfort (thanks Bianca, Shelley F & Bridget!) I had headset problems which threw me a bit but soon I was well under way. I love teaching. Just the simplest change of tone/command and you can see the students move deeper, work harder with your words, get maximum benefits! Such a privilege to be helping people get themselves healthy and fit. What a job!!!

When that job was done and everyone was safely out the door. Time for a quick shower, change and off I went to the day job. I was sat at my desk only 20 minutes after my official start time, very happy I found a car parking space and I'd done my bit for the greater good. 

A fantastic perk that come's with being a teacher means I can use the staff changing room!! No more waiting in line for a shower & I can spread out, no more sharing bench space. I also get to leave my stuff there too. No more hiking my huge wash bag & towels around. I really went to town with that one. Purchasing a shiny purple caddy to keep my shampoo & it's friends in. I will miss the morning chit chat in the student changing rooms but it might mean we all get out the door a bit quicker.

This has been a gentle week of two classes to get me started and then it's into full swing. I'm scheduled on for four classes next week including my first class at BYSB!!

Full Circle

Completing the circle and teaching your first Bikram Yoga Class is the icing on the cake after finishing Training. Saturday 26th November 2011 at 11:30am I closed my circle. This was a mock class set up by my studio director to make sure everything was running smoothly before I was let loose on the public. 

At training you don't get the chance to teach a real class, in real conditions. There are a few 'holes' that also need to be filled by your mentor. I was lucky enough to have a briefing on this before the class so I could make it was authentic as possible. Sadly I can not reveal any 'trade secrets' on this, comes under that copyright/teacher/student rule thing. There are some things students don't need to know ;-) 

The class was just like a real class. There were four instructors and three real life students. It was in the yoga room, with the headset and the heat blasting. It went very well I feel. My timing needs working on, like most new teachers say. This will come with practice, practice, practice! I was so relieved to get through Spine Twist I totally forgot everything that is involved in the final breathing so garbled something then started clapping. I received positive, useful feedback with homework. 

This is only the start. Someone asked me the other day what my next challenge will be, they know me well enough that I always need a project or three to be getting on with. I answered that this one has only just begun. So much more to learn. Just like before training, I sit on the train twice a day dialogue in hand reviewing and learning new things; left side, extra dialogue, benefits. This will keep me busy for a while!

Friday, November 25, 2011

What I have learned from training so far...


Every teacher I spoke to before training said nothing will prepare you for training. Now I understand how hard it is to describe the experience. You really just need to go to understand it. Even my notebooks would make no sense to anyone reading them who hasn’t been through the course. (even though they aren’t allowed to read them….copyright issues again!)

Now I do understand why my mentor pushed me to not quit the 60 day challenge when I was so broken down, tired and strung out. It made Training feel like a breeze in comparison. Clever lady. I had nothing to worry about but yoga & dialogue. No housework, husband, animals, driving or full time work to deal with.

I’m sure it will take a lot longer than a few days to absorb what I’ve just been through. Even now though I can see a change in me. In the airport I was super chilled out. I wasn’t worried about being seated at the gate hours & hours early. Lining up to board I stepped aside and helped usher a family with small children ahead of me as they’d miss their early call to board. Patience & understanding at work.

I had chance to do my Karma Yoga on my way home too. I got a great seat on the plane at the back, aisle seat, baggage space, next to a pleasant, chatty person. Just before take off the Stewardess approached me and asked if I minded moving. A fellow female passenger had requested that she be seated by another lady. So they picked me. Hmmm did I look normal?? Of course I agreed, giving up my good seat to help someone else is a good thing to do. I know some women are uncomfortable sitting by a strange man for 17 hours, especially on a night flight. Turned out the man didn’t want to switch so I stayed put. (I ended up talking about the Mahabharata with my seat mate, who would have thunk it I’ve learned a new conversation topic, maybe with Indians only though!)

Learning not to judge is a new skill I’ve required. You never know what’s going on with someone so don’t start getting on their case without knowing the details. You may never know the details so tread carefully. Don’t poke the crazy! There is a fine line though in class between being lazy and genuinely struggling. Once I get to know my future regular students I’ve been told you can gauge this. If someone always rests their hands of their head between half moon and backbend or can never keep their arms out for the whole of awkward it’s time to ask why. A recurring pattern of bad habits may well be an injury or just the dreaded laziness. The latter will require gentle handling to encourage them they can keep their arms in place! Another skill, don’t be a bitch. A firm hand and encouragement go a long way rather than yelling and criticising.

Being sympathetic to others needs is one I’m still working on. I'm usually quick to be down on people who are down. I see it as a waste of energy/opportunity. I am learning not to be up in people’s faces all the time when I think they need cheering up. Give others their space when needed and stay out of drama that doesn’t concern me.

Finally saving a little energy for myself. In order to serve others better I must learn not to go around dishing out 100% energy in everything I do or I’ll crash. Then I won’t be any use to anyone. Not everything we do has to be totally selfless. Keep 10% back for me.

This is just the beginning I'm sure we will never stop learning and discovering from this. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Home Sweet Home


There is no place like home. The 8 hour layover wasn’t so bad. Dubai airport is HUGE. I had many dollars in cash left so did a little shopping, eating and found some friendly Aussies near the gate to share a coffee and a giggle with. It also gave me time to write.

I arrived back in my house about 7pm Tuesday night WA time. It wasn’t as weird as I thought it would be. I noticed straight away the cobwebs hadn’t been swept from the rafters but the rest of the house sparkled!

Retiring to bed (my bed, my pillow!) at 10pm after falling asleep watching show jumping I fully expected to be wide awake a few hours later. But no, I actually slept through till 5am when the sun and the roosters woke me. So nice to hear nature noises instead of doors slamming and planes. No jet lag? Maybe my body really does only need 6/7 hours sleep now.

I hadn’t planned on taking class today but I was up, unpacked and ready for it. It was three days since my last class, good time to rest & recover. I had a great class. I had planned on taking it easy but there was no need. It was like magic being back in my home studio. Everything felt loose, stretchy and pain free. It was like a total transformation compared to last week when I could barely move. Training really is life changing in a lot of ways. It was like having to take a step back in order to go forward. My practice was crappy and up and down through out training but a few days off worked wonders. I kicked out for SH2K both sets and held it the whole time. I even got my forehead on my knee. It felt effortless. Not everything was super, my balance was well wonky. I blame gravity for this, I need to acclimatize to the Southern Hemisphere again!!! Haha!

Note to the 30 day challenges. One week to go and you may be feeling like you’re set in cement. Honestly just you wait, it may be a few days or a few weeks but a transformation/shift/change has happened. Trust me, you will be stronger in many ways.

It was also great taking class when I wanted to, just for fun, not because I was required to. Still had to sign in though ;-)


Two more days to study now till my mock class. It’s been great reading my fellow graduates posts today. So many of them have taught their first class before I’d even landed, some have even taught more. We are teachers.
I’m very happy to have a few days to decompress & integrate back into the real world. Friends couldn’t wait to come over to say hi and we ended up throwing a impromptu bbq last night. (sadly jet lag did catch up with me & I ended up not eating any of it!)

If anyone has any questions I have a shiny new blog email address. See ‘About Me’ section on the left. Once I have digested this experience I will be writing some posts that may be helpful for future trainees. Especially as it’ll be based at the LAX Radisson again.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Photos to finish with

The Hot Yoga Girl taking a 'Peep' inside my Peep Show jacket!

Demo team busting out their Standing Bow's!

Boss arrives at the Graduation dance party

Group 7 study pals!

Champagne super nova with the Brit pack

Likes & Dislikes


What I liked about my stay State Side:

Meeting a wide variety of people from different countries (26 to be precise), backgrounds, cultures and religions all brought together by yoga.

The food. I don’t think I had a bad meal out. I did eat a lot of the same food because it was so good. Most meals I took home left overs, bonus, in a proper box that doesn’t say ‘not for human consumption’ on it like in Australia when you ask for a doggy bag. Red velvet cupcakes, cheesecake & Cold Stone Creamery mmmmm. The best meal was our Team Australia meal. My organic Wagu burger was divine.

Trader Joes and Whole Foods. Kitsch graphics, organic fresh produce and interesting pre packed snacks. A good range of fare trade clothes and Toms shoes too. I will miss the hot food buffet and cakes at Whole Foods.

The OTT festive spirit. The decorations for Halloween were on par with Christmas, awesome! As soon as Halloween was done, Christmas trimmings went up.

Of course the shopping. I didn’t do much but what I did I liked a lot. Big stores, friendly staff and lots of choice. Some bargains to be had but it wasn’t as cheap as I thought it would be.

Las Vegas. Nuff said!

What I won’t miss about the States:

The money. Yuck so dirty and smelly. I miss my Aussie waterproof dollars, gawd knows what germs are festering on those green backs. The coins were tricky to understand too.

Calling the god damn toilet a ‘potty’. WTF how old are you 2?! I know there is that whole embarrassment thing going on but I was more embarrassed when a 30 something said they ‘needed to use the potty’. Anything…loo, bog, shitter, restroom, toilet but not a freaking potty unless you are currently a three year old being toilet trained.

Taxes. Why not just had it on from the start? I’d pick something up and then when it came to check out it costs more! Don’t get me started on tax in nicer restaurants, add $10+ to your meal.

I’ll get booed for this but tipping. I know, I know, minimum wage is rubbish so service people rely on tips. I tipped everyone without hesitation but some days I felt I was dolling out dollars like lollies. Having to make sure I had small bills on me at all times gave me extra to think about. It took me a good few weeks to figure out the etiquette surrounding tipping. I faux pared at the day spa, I didn’t give the therapist the money directly. It was a fancy place so I thought they’d add it to the bill or have envelopes at the desk like the hair salons do. My hotel maid was awesome, so cheery. I tipped her every weekend and left her a big tip at the end. She never minded if I needed her to come back to clean and always gave us eight fresh towels twice a week. 

Driving on the right. I never drove, I didn’t need to but I was also to scared too. LA roads are mental, never mind being on the wrong side. It would have been nice to have hired a car and got out but it was way too complicated.

I won’t miss getting to bed after midnight. I have a feeling that it will take me a long while to readjust back to WA time zone and my usual 8:30pm bedtime! Even on Friday I couldn’t get to sleep till nearly 1am & I we have the night off.

Finished!


I am your yoga instructor. Still sounds a little surreal. I received my certificate on Saturday night along side 398 fellow students, class of Fall 2011. The ceremony was, as expected, long. We sat in our posture clinic groups which made the long wait more bearable. I never want to sit in a brown/black/white bone hard chair again. Myself and the Brit pack ladies toasted our success with champagne & pizza in a dorm style celebration in Lucy T’s room afterward. We passed on standing in the long line for the Indian buffet that had been sat warming for hours as everything was running late. (as usual!!!) Dancing followed as the Ballroom was transformed into the party room complete with disco ball. Bikram dropped by to bust some moves till 4:30am word had it. I shared a few hours grooving with the man who invented Disco!! I retired at 1am, tired, a little tipsy and exceptionally grateful to have had this experience.


The final week at training was fun. The last class on Friday night was exhausting. The energy was all over the place. We decided to keep up tradition & all drink Coke at Party Time. I kept mine in my ice tower and boy did it taste good. But I regretted it 30 seconds later in SH2K. Coke & practice does not mix for me but somehow I drank the lot. It was mayhem afterward, sweaty hugs all round.


We lucked out on late nights. Our training definitely broke the norm. We had 7 out of the 9 Friday nights off as well as the Halloween pizza party. Only one night we were kept till 4:30am. I know they say it every year but they did say we were the best class ever. This maybe true as Boss went easy on us as far as late nights/movies were concerned. We were praised for leaving both the yoga room and lecture hall litter free. I know this sounds very high school but apparently the Spring mob weren’t so clean. We did lose points for the constant use of smart phones during lectures (myself excluded as I don’t have one!) & chatting like naughty cows on the left side of the room.


I carried on working on my dialogue with my gals despite posture clinic being done. We will never stop studying the dialogue. I have six days now to get it tight (solid, concrete, one piece!). It was a good excuse to get out of my room too.


Oh the room. I still have no clue what happened there. One minute I thought I had a friend for life with my roomie, the next, around week 5/6, she dropped me like a hot rock and went sour. When she was there she barely spoke unless I forced it & had ear-phones in most of the time. Even after questioning to see if I could rectify the situation I still was no wiser to what I’d done. I seriously considered getting a single but changed my mind & stuck it out. Instead I went to Vegas, money better spent!! She practically moved out the room anyway as she teamed up with someone who had a private room.


I can understand we had polar opposite experiences of training. Read her blog. This may well have built a wall. At the end of the day I probably wouldn’t have been friends with her in the outside world, apart from yoga, we had very little in common. Our energy clashed. I am a typical social butterfly & love making lots interesting new friends, I give everyone a fair go, (good old Aussie way) my Christmas card list is testament to that! I some how manage to find the good in a bad situation, whilst others muse in doom & gloom. Like attracts like after all. Just to note probably about 80% of people had roomie/hotel issues at some point. One girl went through three room mates. So mine wasn’t an isolated case by far means. 


This I feel was my challenge. I had a cruisey time at TT so I needed something to mix it up. Don’t get me wrong I worked darn hard in class & posture clinics. It did help that I knew nearly all the dialogue before I arrived. Dealing with being ignored, excluded and living in an atmosphere was my challenge. I can draw from this and I know somewhere along the line I will be able to use what I have learned from it. It’s funny because in week one someone told me that the person you room with at training you will never speak to again after. I laughed this off as I 100% thought I’d got a good one (there I go again finding the positive!). Things change so much on this crazy course.


On the upside I found my true friends. Friends which I know I will see again because the geography is right!! They even gave me the sweetest bon voyage card which really tugged a cord. I still didn’t cry. I don’t need to, I have finally accepted that. I didn’t have a major breakdown of any kind. It wasn’t necessary. I know a lot of other people didn’t either & a heck of a lot who did. 


Hanging out by myself was also a nice escape. I was nervous of being alone in LA at first. However you’re never too far away from other yogi’s especially on a Sunday at Manhattan Beach. I even turned down numerous invites on the last Saturday morning as I really wanted to have one last breakfast at Uncle Bills Pancake House before having my hair done for graduation. I’ve never felt more comfortable sitting up at the counter by myself enjoying French toast, crispy bacon and scrambled eggs. 


So that’s all folks. I did it! My goal was to stay in the room for every class. Apart from the medical emergency nose bleed where I left (but went back in once it stopped!), I stayed in. There were three classes I should have left, got some air and came back in to do something rather than lay there flapping like a fish out of water doing nothing. I think my ego kept me in there….double edge sword. I didn’t throw up, came close a few times. I signed in every time so no Team Saturday make up class. I kept my head down, went under the radar to the point of obscurity with the staff and generally stayed out of trouble/drama. 


I have 5 hours waiting in Dubai airport so I may well write some more. Thanks to everyone who has followed along, I appreciate the comments and the well wishes. Hopefully I’ll find time to keep writing & let you all know how my next new journey unfolds back in Australia.

Monday, November 21, 2011

We did it!

Hi I'm Kat & I'm your yoga instructor

Group 7 we all did it, with two special awards to boot!

Team BYJ!
There we have it, I graduated from Bikram's Yoga College of India, 20th November 2011. Who would have thunk it 12 months ago I would be standing here a certified Bikram Yoga Instructor. I was only just completing my first 30 day challenge after 4.5 months of practicing. Dreams can come true....

Saturday, November 19, 2011

photos of week 9!!!

before the last class with our cokes ready!

my super bendy friends!

friends!!

team Australia dinner!!

We did it!! Sam & I after the last class!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Photo, photo!

Vegas Vixens

Sin city bright lights
Holly!

Group 7 you rock!

Week 7 & 8

One week to go here at BYTT Fall 2011. It's nearly over. Apologies to my one reader for not posting last week (Hi H, hahaha!) I skipped town & went to Las Vegas. Posture clinics wrapped up so I took advantage of the fact I wouldn't be chained to studying to go visit with my friend Liz for some R & R, tea & sympathy, shopping & a show. After an hours conversation on Sunday night I woke up and just knew I had to go. 

It was great. The desert is a very powerful place to be. I left a lot of things in the crator and came back refreshed and ready. I got to see my idol Holly Madison live in her awesome burlesque extravaganza 'Peep Show.' I shopped till I dropped and had some much needed 'me' time. It may seem weird going from one artificial bubble to the next but it worked out easier to jump on a plane to Nevada than try and get around LA by oneself. I needed to get out of here. Don't get me wrong I have loved my experience here, the yoga, even all the lectures haven't been as grueling as I thought it would. The only thing that I have let get me down are the people. 

I don't want to go into details but it has saddened me that friends I thought I'd have for life I am now doubting. It might just be my raw emotional state but I  the past two weeks have left me feeling like a 'tag along' only being asked out because of obligation or actually not being asked at all now. No drama. We're all adults here. It has made me go out and find people on my level. With nearly 400 of us I shouldn't be restricting myself to the same people, so many people to know, so little time. Only yesterday I met another Aussie girl who I didn't know existed. These are the people I feel I need to bond with for future connections, after all there is a great chance we can help each other out with classes/couches when we get back down under.We have team Australia dinner tonight so we'll get the chance!!

Dialogue has not stopped. My posture chicks and I have worked hard this week stringing together 4-5 postures. One set both sides. It throws you. Especially when you're faced with a 20 second savasana and your mind goes blank as to what is next!!! I can't wait to get back to teach. I feel ready to give it a go, I need to start the next phase of teaching, teaching, teaching. 

Our studio director Miss Jo dropped by last week and brought BYSB's director with her. So great to see them. We had a team Perth dinner and caught up on the gossip. Apparently the 'parallel universe' of training and the weird and wonderful things that go on happen every training. You have to be here to understand. 

Body wise I have got progressively stiffer and more sore as the weeks have gone on. Sitting down crossed legged is near impossible. I even thought the plane seat last week felt like bliss compared to the lecture room chairs. How sad is that.

I will definitely miss my posture group #7. We had an awesome night out on Saturday and shared hilarious stories of each of our different experiences. I know I have friends for life from this group. We also have three of our group in the demo team for graduation!!!! Go Neda, Liz & JJ. (Also Aussie Kaz!) 

I'm off, my last Sunday and I'm spending it with my Brit pack gang down Venice beach. This time next week I'll have my certificate in my hand and be packing my bags to get the hell out of here and back to The Man. I'm allowing myself now to miss him and I need to get back to the farm & out of the city asap!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Week Six – Fatigue, frayed nerves & f*ck-tards

 The elastic band has finally snapped & ouch it hurt. The yoga bubble has been a mass of emotional breakdowns this week, worse than last week, nerves are frayed and it will take a whole lot of welding to get them fixed. It was a different energy all together. I am fine, I am fatigued beyond belief but still happy to be here. I just need not let my peace be stolen. However I have been absorbing the negative energy of others. This has left me a little rough round the edges and thinking a tad irrationally toward the end of the week. Lucky for me ‘sleeping on it’ worked a treat.
Sometimes people don’t realise how their bad moods affects others around them. It is hard to find some peace and quiet here, there is no-where to hide. Someone is always in your face. We need badges to pin on that say “please don’t talk to me, no offence.” That has been my problem, I’ve walked in on some people who just need silence and no crap ‘making conversation’ small talk. When you get a nasty attitude back it does hurt, ‘snap, ouch,’ especially when you mean well & are just trying to lighten the mood. What can you expect in a situation like this? Any tensions were definitely left on the mat in Saturday morning’s class & we breezed into the weekend a bunch of smiling happy yogis.
The third phrase in this week’s title may be a little bitchy. Some people just need to learn to shut up & put up. Be a sheep, eat the f*cking grass, you won’t win so don’t bother boring us with endless excuses, it’s wasting valuable time. We are so close to the end, so close. Nuff said.
Posture clinic is nearly done. I finished on a high on Friday night with Fixed Firm. We may well be done by next Friday. Last weekends homework to learn Pranayama breathing went well too, better than I expected after leaning it on the short. I am no longer scrambling to be the first one up there to deliver. Sometimes I feel it gets a little nasty everyone fighting to get up, wanting to get it out the way. I am quite happy to sit back and wait now. Patience is a virtue.
Posture clinic was a hoot this week. We were told be ‘real’ students and give the ‘teacher’ distractions. Hilarious the stuff people were doing. At one point I pretended to burst into tears and sat howling whilst my friend Liz did a sterling effort to ‘ignore the train wreck’ and carry on. Other people busted out the wrong posture, sat drinking, talking and generally being naughty cows.
Physically everything is getting harder. I’m starting to slow down. It’s not just me there is a collective groan as we all bend forward for the first Hands to feet. In saying that somehow out of the blue my Awkward pose has had a breakthrough. It’s no-where near perfect but the best it’s ever been. Five weeks ago I wasn’t sitting on the bar stool, I was sitting on the bar. Now, on a good day, usually in the afternoon class I’m nearly, nearly on the chair.
My practice in general hasn’t turned to as much mush as I was expecting.  Probably as I’m not going hell for leather like I did during the 60-day challenge. I’m trying but often when I fall out I don’t get straight back in, preserving some energy as there is always a class later or the day after or the day after that.
Hydration is becoming hard for me. Water just does not interest me anymore. I try spicing it up with ice and lime but it’s a chore to get the 4 litres in. Hence now I am slugging water, not a tiny sip, in class, usually towards the end of the floor series. I’m not cramping which is good but being actually thirsty is not a good sign. My caffeine intake has increased, counteractive I know. Not major, only 1 or 2 drinks a day. This is to pep me up out of the perpetual zombie state I seem to be in.  I can see my training buddies laughing now as I’m probably known as the sleeping girl in lectures. Yes, do not ask me what happened in this week’s movies or fascia lecture. I have no idea. I am always attentive in posture clinic though and haven’t mastered the 20 second savasana naps in class.... yet.
To finish off I got the exciting news I am on the teaching schedule for when I get back home. Wooow weeee! It makes everything so real. I have a mock class scheduled first before I’m let loose on the general public. Then some real life classes all by myself. I’m not saying when, the studio does not to advertise who’s teaching so I will respect that. You’ll all just have to keep coming to yoga and see if you get lucky (??!!!).  
Sleeping is a running joke round here!
Yumo fish tacos
Group 7 'G' girls!
Halloween festivities at the hotel

Monday, October 24, 2011

More Photos!

Team Gregory!

Festive Fall Fun at Trader Joe's

Blooming rice cakes I couldn't even give away!

Break time nap during anatomy about 10:45pm

Shiny new yoga clothes for when I return to Perth

Find of the week, English Tea and chocolate!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Spring training 2012

Just a quick side note for anyone thinking of going to Spring training next year. 
It is here at the Radisson again in LA. Get the ball rolling NOW. Talk to your director. Don’t get offended if they advise you to wait till the next session, trust them they know what they’re talking about. 

I won’t lie this is tough. My experience has been very personal to me. I might make it sound breezy but its not. I learned a lot of dialogue BEFORE I came and I have an amazing mentoring studio. My roomie is amazing (most of the drama is room mate related). My new friends are fabulous (literally xoxox) I’d hate for anyone to come here and struggle more than they have to.

On the flip side, this is an AWESOME place to be, I’m loving it, once in a lifetime stuff, even when I’m left for dead in class just being here is a blessing & focusing on the goal keeps me going. Deep in your heart if this is what you want to do, then just do it. You will find your path, find the money and it will make you stronger. Those who struggle the most will become the best teachers as they have had to flight for it. Sign up soon, get the dialogue and LEARN IT. If you love this yoga then that's more than enough to get you through this!

Wooow we're half way there!

 We have passed the half way point! Down hill from here to the home straight. Week five is notorious for being ‘hell week.’ I have witnessed more break-downs, tears, tantrums, swearing, laughing and break throughs this week for sure. I started the week a little dark. I don’t know why. I just didn’t feel like talking to anyone or mixing. I needed some alone time. I soon snapped out of it.
I had the pleasure of meeting The Dancing J who’s blog inspired me to start this one. J is a lovely, kind and enthusiastic teacher. I was lucky enough to have her sit in on two of my posture clinics this week and take her class on Friday morning. The dialogue queen lives up to her reputation!
Posture clinics are flying by. We are done with the standing series and I presented cobra on Friday. I had a funny challenge this week. I had to dance around whilst presenting wind removing. The reason. I was told I was too stiff whilst presenting Tree/Toe. As instructed after Triangle I pulled my energy back and was less aggressive. I obviously went too far. It was cool, it was nice to do something a little wacky. Made me really have to think and breath. Good job it was a short posture!! Next challenge I need to learn the first 5 pranayama breathings for Monday. This will be the first time I have learned a posture from scratch to present pretty much straight away. Least I have the weekend. Some people have had to learn a posture in barely a few hours.
Our posture group 7 is bonding and coming together. We are 20 such individual personalities and all have so much to offer our future students in so many ways. It makes sitting on the floor for hours and hours a week slightly easier.
Awesome visiting teachers this week. John Salvatore swung by from Las Vegas, he rocked. Jenna from NYC was great also. Nicole from Arizona is sensational, she got us to sing Bon Jovi’s Living on Prayer after Wednesday mornings half way point class. Balwan got us through Saturday morning class with his great accent and ‘blonde’ moments. Bikram returned and was on fine form with colourful language and firing out corrections like a sniper. The room was steamier this week. The best conspiracy theory we heard was they turned the heat up to make us buy more water. I love the rumor mill, it brings a smile to my face. Just don’t believe a word of it unless it comes directly from the staff… actually even then it’s always ‘subject to change!’
Physically I am breaking down. I thought I was stiff last week but that was nothing compared to this week. My hips feel like they have been set in concrete. My arms are sore, thighs burning and knees crunching. I’m secretly hoping this is the stiffness before the break through type of thing. I girl can hope. It’s usual, I’m rolling with it and liberally dousing myself in arnica cream & soaking in Epsom salts. My body shape is changing. Things have tightened up and toned. I’m enjoying it whilst I can because I’m sure I won’t keep it up back in the real world i.e. two yoga classes a day gets results but it’s a routine that is not going to fit into my lifestyle at home (plus I won’t want it too!).
The late nights have kicked in. We started watching the Indian epic Mahabharata. Its part of the curriculum so we have to be attentive and watch it, no lying down, no pillows or blankets ;-) Sleep deprivation is part the ‘process.’ It’s not been too bad, 3:30am finish is better than 7:30am which was mentioned a few times. (note: sign in for yoga class is 8am!)
Thank you for everyone who is following and reading. Please feel free to ask any questions, I might not get back to you straight away but I will try! 
 
Anyway, I have my homework to do, study, study, study, inhale and exhale….