Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Full steam ahead

Things are really coming together now for me. I am certain I have made the right decision about this whole teacher training adventure. It's still scary and nerve wracking, there are doubts about whether I'll be strong enough or get sick/injured. But you know I need to drop them, no expectations = no disappointments.

I've been cracking on with my dialogue study. The Man has had his doubts about me being totally insane confirmed. As he sat out on the back verandah on Sunday, he heard strange speeches coming from the bathroom. I was indeed in the shower talking out loud to myself....practicing dialogue!!

I've been at it just over two weeks now and I'm up to Awkward part two. 15 weeks to go I might have nearly all of it in there or at least the standing series. For the past two Saturdays I've had some practice in the actual yoga room, standing up on the podium giving it my all whilst my friend scribbled notes on my book as to where I was going wrong. This was a great help and I could see the mistakes I was making which were the same each time. Mainly dropping or adding a word or mixing up similar sentences. My voice sounded so loud in the room, hopefully I wasn't actually yelling. It felt good to be up there, it seemed right. Hmmm get back to me when there's a room full of eager faces/bodies in front of me!!!

My study method so far has been repetition. Saying each line three times till it's in there, then adding the other lines as I go. I'm a visual person so I've been trying to get an image in my head how the page of words look to help prompt me if it's a short or long paragraph. This sounds weird, it's hard to describe. I'm throwing in a few anagrams too. I'm feeling comfortable (easy, flexible!!!) with the whole of Half Moon to hand to feet. I'm loving Back bending but I really like this to practice. I'm getting at least an hour in every day on my train ride to work and in the car talking out loud!

Two days till I fly back to the home land of the UK. I'm ready for a break now, I'm feeling flat and winter bluesy. I've only taken one and half days leave since Christmas excluding Easter so I'm ready for a rest. (& a dishwasher, home cooked food, pub/restaurants in walking distance, whole bed to oneself!) I'll be back refreshed and ready to amp up my pre-training training and start my 60 Challenge!!!

Sunday, May 29, 2011


You hear it all the time in the Bikram world but it's so important....HYDRATION! If I have any horrific experiences in the hot room I can always trace the reason back to bad hydration. Water is life, we need full stop but when your sweating out a small reservoir during the class it becomes ever more important. 

Being a Type A personality or on the verge (?!!) of a compulsive obsessive I need to be prepared. At Teacher Training it will be one of the hardest things to stay hydrated for two full on classes a day. I'm pretty good with my supplements, I've written posts on it before. For my preparation for training I have stocked up on my favourite, tried and trusted hydration methods. Mainly Essential Electrolyte capsules and Nuun's water soluble tablets. 

I know full well I can get all these in California as that's where I order them from in the first place. Backwards logic I know, why have I got all this shipped from the States to lug it back there in my suitcase, all 1.6kg of it. Because I need piece of mind that I have at least a few weeks supply with me. I don't want the worry or the stress of a package not turning up, going missing, getting stolen, lost in the vast mail room of the hotel. So here is my stash, it should last approximately all of training for the electrolytes and yogabody stretch and half for the Nunns. I'm sure I'll get too generous if I see dying bodies and end up giving/selling some of it but least I have enough. 

Hydration supply for nine weeks.

Rookie Week

This week there has been an influx of newbies to class. I'm sure we get new people all the time in the later classes but for the 5:45am's this is quite rare. I think it's very brave to get up so early to come try something new. Especially a Bikram class. Some people who haven't done their research might be a little blind sided as what they are letting themselves in for, this is not a gentle stretch to wake you up followed by a 45 minute relaxation. Well it is for me!!!

One thing about the mornings it's quiet and the humidity isn't too shocking so in some ways it is a good time to come. It's not mat melting hot and the instructor can pay attention to you. But on the down side us 5:45ers like to do our practice, efficiently and on time as we need to be out to get to work. If the instructor is forced to pay a lot of extra attention we run over. Selfish this might seem but that's the truth. That's why I practice at this time, it's no s**t and out the door.

Anyway the other thing I observed about this weeks newcomers was they were really young. Under 21 ish. Sometimes this means trouble. Purely as young girls travel in pairs and use each other as crutches. Of course in the totally spacious near empty room they mat down on top of each other and whisper and giggle until the instructor came in. I could have been the yoga police but at that time I couldn't be bothered so let it go. It wasn't really distracting me anyways, I was too bust running dialogue in my head. 

I won't go into too much detail but the newbies this week were hard work, for everyone, even the instructors were challenged. Yes it's hard, it's hot but when you told to just lie down and don't move till the end of the class, just do it. One pair did come back the next day which was awesome. I'd seen them struggle the first day and was so proud they came back. Except the second class was high drama to the point the rest of us were missing out as the instructor had all her attention on trying to keep them still, in the room, not to talking and not being a distraction. They even got up and left before the final savasana which is such bad manners. But at this point I think it was best they just went.

All down to etiquette. There are posters in prime positions and on the web site so people can learn what is good manners. But it's common sense. If you decide to give up & not do anymore it's rude to start chatting and faffing around whilst others are trying to practice. I didn't let them steal me peace, I still had a good practice but I know it did bother other people so that's why I'm writing this.

I would just like to express that your own actions can have a negative effect on others and to be aware of this. Be still, breath, melt onto your mat even if this seems like the most impossible, insane thing to do...it works!

A  great image courtesy of www.thehotyogagirl.com

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Yogi's can party

Last week we celebrated the joint 1st birthdays of my home studio Bikram Yoga Joondalup and Bikram Yoga Scarborough Beach. Both studios ran a four class in one day challenge to celebrate and after all that sweating we needed to let our hair down and party! The location was awesome right by the sea in Scarborough at the Ocean One Bar. Funky, surfy setting, wood fired pizza and even a birthday cheesecake baked especially by BYJ student Bridget.

A few of my UK non yogi friends have been worried I've joined a hippy trippy, tree hugging cult since I've started Bikram. One in particular sent me a text this morning saying, "hey crazy yoga woman, found your  blog today your nerd I love you! Hope I'm gonna be able to lead you astray for a least one day while you are here - won't tell anyone!" Worry not H, you can lead me astray, I've cleaned up my act, quit binge drinking but still like to have a good party. I'm a cheap date now, two wines and I'm away!

Last weekend was proof of this. It was an awesome night out to mingle with fellow students, instructors and actually see people with their clothes on. So many double takes all night. Us yogi's clean up good. Was great to meet people's other halves too - aka Yoga Widows. We partied good and hard. I luckily wasn't sick as we were staying at Janette's place, such bad etiquette to soil someone else's porcelain! I did have a stonking head ache and needed a few strong coffee's to shake off the cobwebs. After doing a morning double I was a little dehydrated and swimming in a vat of wine that night just added to it! 

Had to be done and we should do it more often. Everyone had a great time and confirmed what a great yoga community we have here in Perth.

Kat Women, Robin & Bat Women - aka me, Janette & Jo

Studio Directors cutting the cake!

It's official

I have just logged onto my email to find a message from Shelley at Bikram HQ. It is my official acceptance letter to Fall 2011 training. My application and payment are complete I'm in. Ekkkk I'm off to LA!! Wow this is really happening now isn't it?! 

Just have to break the news now officially to those who don't read my blog or FB. Some special people (who aren't very web savvy) I've been saving the news to tell in person. Something this huge deserves a face to face, I'll get ready for the falling over & "your gonna do WHAT now?!!!!" tee hee heee!

Oh I think a glass of Australia's best sparkling wine is in order tonight, it is Saturday after all ;-)

My application status - done!

Friday, May 20, 2011

New cards

I had some down time today which is a luxury at the moment as my work has been super busy. Just enough spare time to add two new cards to my collection. The yoga theme has proven popular so I whipped these up along the same lines. I need to get drawing some more Bikram postures, these same one's are getting a bit tired now. In saying that everyone seems to love the standing splits silhouette. Hopefully I'll get some more feedback tomorrow from the customers and work my next round of designs around the demand. 


Fund raising!

This teacher training adventure, life changing experience comes at a price. A high price! Being on the totally opposite side of the world to LA I am looking at at least another $3-4k on top of the training fee's for flights and insurance. Then probably another few grand for food/spending money. It'll be tight. I will need my blinkers on near shops. I have to remember I am there to do yoga and expand my mind not my wardrobe!!

I've been living pretty modestly for the past six months or so, trying hard to assess what I actually need rather than just want. I've lived on tiny student/backpacker budgets, I can rein myself in. I've reached my desired quota of yoga outfits for training, I do not need anymore. Still I need some extra funds. I'd like enough not to be penny pinching and at least enjoy a meal out on weekends. (& some well needed massages)

A few weeks ago I tried flogging my unwanted stuff at a local Swap Meet. It was a new meet and wasn't very popular. I made $20. $5 of that was from the stall holder next to me who felt sorry for me as I'd not sold anything & bought some books. I'll try again soon at a larger, more established meet further away.

With a bit of thinking I realised I need to use my skills & resources. I make homemade cards for my friends & family. I used to hand craft them but there is no time for that now so I whip them up in InDesign & print them on the digital printer at work. Costs me nothing. Hence my fund raising idea has been to make and sell blank greetings cards. My studio director kindly agreed to me having a display in reception. 

I have had to invest in this venture. I've bought envelopes, clear display bags and a wrack. So far I've managed to get away with using off cuts of card from work. In the future I will have to buy a pack of card so I'm not taking the p*ss too much. Sadly our electric guillotine has gone and I have to hand cut the cards with my trusty knife & ruler. We have an awesome professional scoring device which makes the perfect fold in the middle of the cards without cracking the print. I'm not counting my time in this, it's just something I have to do. 

Here they are, I have five designs so far as a test run to see what sells. I introduced the yellow card as the pink was so popular. They went on display on Wednesday morning and all the yoga themed one's sold out. I got a phone call requesting more pink standing bows and when I came to practice on Thursday there were four out of the original 24 on display left. Woo hoo. I'm onto something.

If anyone is interested I'll be bringing a bunch to training (small & lightweight) or email me/comment and I can sort you out. $3 per card or 4 cards for $10. I except paypal and International/local postage is extra depending on quantity. Or check out my display at Bikram Yoga Joondalup!

Monday, May 16, 2011

After effects of 4 classes

I thought it wise to take two whole days off after completing four classes in one day challenge last weekend. The 5:45am Tuesday class was really small, about nine people which made it not humid at all. I was really surprised how good I felt. Mainly I was bendier and lighter. There were a few token sore spots, the insides of my feet where my big toes touch was tender from being pushed together for six hours, my elbows for some reason have never bothered me but they were that day and my thighs flaked it in the second set of floor bow. 

Overall I felt great, the opposite to how I expected to feel. This feeling is how I expected to feel after the February challenge but it didn't come for ages after. This was instant. My practice has been revived out of a possible rut I'd not realised I'd fallen into. 

Another achievement was I went eight whole days without any chocolate. This is huge for me as I've been binging far too much on it recently. Quitting cold turkey wasn't that bad. I have no idea if this helped me in the challenge. I did feel better in myself as I know all that processed sugar crap is really not doing me any good.

I had an easy week with my practice. I went on Thursday but took Friday off. I've not done this in a long time. Still I chalked up six classes last week. Having some rest days isn't a bad thing.

Saturday 14th May marked Bikram Yoga Scarborough Beach's First Birthday. They were running their four class challenge that day. I decided it would be a nice idea to go along and support the team down there. No way was I going to do the four again but I was prepared to do a back to a back to back double. I made sure I didn't slug a load of water between the two classes this time. Just a few sips of electrolytes. The second class was like the previous weekend. I felt a lot more limber but my strength & balance had gone on holiday. Shame it would have been nice to take advantage of being warmed up to push a bit harder. A change of scenery did me good as well. Being surrounded by different students, in a different studio is a great way to mix things up. 

Class #4, I can still hold my arms over my head! (red top back row)

Oh camel #8 of the day, major head spin

Team still going strong!

World's best Savasana!

Saturday, May 14, 2011


I'm trying my best to make sure I am fully prepared for this whole TT experience. It will be bonkers crazy once I get there and anything I can do to ease the stress I am striving to do. 

The more economical option for training is to share a room, it cost half the price. If you don't request a room mate it is up to the universe who you get roomed with. There are many stories flying around about nightmare roomies from hell but also roomies from heaven. Part of this experience is meeting and bonding with people from all around the world with this shared love of sweaty yoga. 

I was very honoured last week to be asked by Shavon from Bikram or Bust to room up. We've been chatting via our blogs for a few months now and connected on FB. S is over State side and willing to help a wide eyed newbie like myself find food and laundry facilities! I've been to the West coast a few years back for a whirlwind two week backpacker tour which will be very to different to actually living there for nine weeks. Any help and pointers I can get will be greatly received. We're the same age group, have long term partners and love dogs. What more could you ask for!!! Obviously we're both passionate about Bikram which brought us together in the first place.

I'm so very excited to get to know my roomie over the next few months. Join forces on communal items for our room. Support and advise each other on dialogue learning, packing and leaving home for nine week! We are also members of a strong FB group of future trainees for Fall 2010 so hopefully we'll know soooo many people when we arrive it'll be like a home from home.

On our FB this week S reminded me not to forget my Vegemite. So here it is again, my BIG jar of yeasty, salty black stuff with it's best friend my organic nut spread that shall also be coming along till I find an American counterpart!

It's in the mail!

This week has been exciting and busy all rolled into one. So much has happened I will spread it out over a few, hopefully short, posts.

The biggest event is my Bikram Yoga Teacher Training Fall 2011 application package is in the post! Express post to be precise. I splashed an extra $20 to get it there in 3-7 days. EKKKK! After checking, rechecking, putting it in and out the envelope a few times I ripped of the seal and stuck it down. 

My online status check is 'application under process.' I received the email confirmation for the online application and as yet no money has been drained from my account. Wow the day that happens will be exciting and scary. 

This is all so real now, all I do is wait.....

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Yogabody Stretch supplement

I'm a bit of a supplement nut. Anything that will make my life easier or healthier in one small capsule will suck me in. I used to take a whole heap of vitamin and mineral's until I saw a naturopath who advised me all the supermarket stuff I was taking was rubbish. So I quit those and started taking Ultra Musceleze, a high grade magnesium powder which has worked wonders on my tired yoga muscles. The only other things I take now is Turmeric and electrolyte capsules when I practice.

Until now!! Both my studio Director and Manager suggested I try Yogabody Stretch capsules. 100% natural and has been shown to optimize flexibility and reduce recovery time and inflammation. I've only been taking them three weeks but I've noticed a difference in my practice. Especially floor bow in which I usually cramp up. I'm think anything that will ease the pain of the full on intensiveness of TT is worth a try. I took nine caps yesterday and even though I have nothing to compare it to I'm attributing Yogabody for making it slightly easier.


4 Class Challenge

To carry on the Bikram Birthday both studios have decided to run a mini challenge. Four class in one day. Two back to back doubles. BYJ held there's yesterday. I was up for it, crazy challenge taker I am. I thought it would be a good warm up for TT. Even though we only take two classes a day which was spread out, one in the morning at 8:30am then 5:30pm in the afternoon. I decided that the fatigue and hydration element would equal that of training.

A lot of people who had signed up actually had no clue as to why they were doing it. If I wasn't going to training I'd probably be the same. Overall I think it is a test of mental strength. It is possible to do it or else the studio directors wouldn't have suggested it. By taking four classes it will prove you have the strength, physical and mental to do it.

I woke up naturally at 5:30am (??!!! I know) so I had time for some cold chicken, a tiny piece of wholegrain bread with almond spread, 500ml of salty water and a few mouth fulls of Powerade. I don't usually touch the stuff but today I thought I may need a little extra and a sugar rush.

Off we went at 7:30am on a Saturday morning. I was a mix of excitement and nerves. I've not been sleeping to great the past few weeks, work has been dull so I was feeling flat and worn out. This challenge might be the pick me up I needed. Stu the director of BYSB taught the first class. I've never taken his class so this was exciting. It was awesome. I matted down next to Janette on the front row. I had a shiny new Lulu outfit (the pranayama bra and tiny matching shorts) which looked cute but the top was soooo low it distracted my practice and I felt I didn't have any security for the girls. The group energy was awesome. Not one person out of the 35 sat out of a posture.

First class went well. Quick shower, electrolytes and outfit/towel change. I moved my mat to a different spot and not on the front row. I've never done a back to back before so this was a whole new ball game for me. My arms in pranayama felt like they weren't attached to my body. Half way through the first set of Half Moon I was like "what am I doing!" My shoulders and arms were burning, I could barely lock my legs to keep me upright. Instructor Juliette was infront of me which helped a lot, her smooth, controlled practice kept me grounded. Chris from Melbourne was teaching, again I've never take his class so that helped me stay focused as I wasn't used to his teaching style. 

I made in through, I can't recall much from that class apart from I was super bending but lacked strength. Standing Bow I went deeper than ever but I had no strength to hold it. I did come out early from some floor series postures as well. No strength...physical or mental?

We had a a quick lunch break of three hours, but more like two after showering etc. Janette very kindly invited me to her place for a yum omelet protein fix. We were feeling flat. Dried cranberries and almonds were a good pick me up as well as electrolytes and water, water, water. 

Back to the studio for the 2pm. Some people who did two mornings didn't come back for the afternoon. New people joined us for the afternoon back to backs. There were ten of us in the end who finished all four. 

Class three with Lisa, I ended up sliding back to the third row near an air vent. The room didn't feel as humid and I didn't sweat as much. Maybe there wasn't anything left to sweat out. I pushed through again. I tried every single posture but again finished early on some of the floor or some like Full Locust I hung out and didn't push at all. 

The final class was lead by Jo. Lisa and Chris took this one which was awesome. Stu also took the second class so every single instructor that taught through out the day took a class (Jo took the morning double). Instructor Meagan took the morning double too so we were all surrounded by support.

I hid in the back row. The room was busy and I was totally blocked off from the mirror which added to the challenge. I was tired. Yawning through out. The heat wasn't ever a problem at any point. It was more the fatigue that was getting to me. I was zoning out and not listening. I put my arms out to the side in Standing Separate Head to knee set up, opps! I didn't drink as much before class four as I may have over done it before class two. I was sweating a lot more though. I didn't put in 100%, I backed off and took it easy. Just concentrating on alignment and safely getting in and out of postures. I had been joking by this point I'd be doing a 90 minute savasana but really I couldn't be in the room and not try. 

We did it! Four classes in one day. It was tough. I had doubts at first but no regrets now. I slept like the dead last night. I was drinking everything in sight. Ice cold fizzy Sprite was pure bliss. Maybe not the best for re hydrating but I wanted it so bad. Today I feel great. Sore yes, muscles are aching but I feel awake and refreshed. I'm eating and drinking everything in sight. It was the pick me up I needed. We are all banned from practicing today, I wouldn't want to anyway. We need to rest and hydrate. I may even take tomorrow off. It's been a very long time since I took two days off between practice. I'll see what happens....

Happy 1st birthday BYJ

Today is officially Bikram Yoga Joondalup's 1st Birthday. It's been one year since Jo opened the doors to the first and only studio in Perth's northern suburbs. In seven weeks time it will be my one year Bikram anniversary, on that day I will be commencing my pre TT 60 Day Challenge.

What a whirlwind nine months this has been. I've met some awesome, inspirational people from all walks of life, backgrounds, ages, countries, we truly are a diverse yoga community. I would never have thought I'd be on my way to becoming an instructor this time last year when I didn't even know this yoga existed. I was still leaping around in Les Mills group fitness classes and getting now where. 

Reading all the Facebook comments today so many people have be touched by the power of this yoga. All positive messages of thanks. It changed so many people's lives for the better. One of my favourite one's was "what would I be doing now if I wasn't doing yoga". That got me thinking. I've probably be leaping round that group fitness room at Arena Joondalup getting no where and not any fitter. I do miss the gym people but I've recruited my good friends from there to Bikram so I still get to see them!!

Here's to many more successful years ahead for BYJ. Not forgetting Bikram Yoga Scarborough Beach who are celebrating there first birthday next Saturday. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

High pressure

The one day I need my blood pressure to be normal it decides to run a little high. I had my medical check today so that my doctor could sign the waiver for BYTT to say I'm fit and healthy enough to partake. 

She was a little shocked at the actual form when I presented it. It looks well dodgy with a huge b/w picture of a young Bikram in spinal twist. She was also a little alarmed that this training involved me being in a room of 300+ people at 42 degrees, twice a day. The surgery is in Midland which is a fare way from the Bikram Community of Perth so she didn't know anything about it.

I think this is the reason I started to panic and the pressure went up. I started thinking that I may not get the form signed, then what? The doctor might think it was totally insane to want to do this or medically dangerous!! Anyway as she has known me a few years now and takes my blood pressure at least once a year she put it down to nerves and excitement. Also telling me I should have practiced some yogic breathing in the waiting room to relax! Phew, formed signed and paid for just waiting on the bank now to release the much needed funding.

One step closer to the application being posted. I've even decided to splash out and send it express super speedy registered international mail so it gets there in three working days.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Last week has been full of green lights and positive signs on my path to Teaching Training Fall 2011. My star signs this week have all pointed in the direction of new challenges and change which I apparently will be embracing. I have my medical booked for Wednesday so my doctor can sign me off as fit & healthy enough to complete the nine weeks of grueling physical hell. Well I'm hoping I'll get signed off, I don't think I have any medical conditions that would stop me?!! I spoke to my bank about a financial plan and hopefully I will have the all go by the end of next week. Shelley at HQ confirmed they are excepting applications for Fall now. I'd hate to send my payment & it get lost.

Finally I had a great meeting with my studio director. We talked about the reality of teaching and which classes to expect to get after I've completed a few mock one's. I like the idea of having a few practice goes before being let lose on the public. Being a super organised Type A personality I'd already highlighted on a schedule which classes would work best for me for practice and teaching. This fitted in perfectly with the classes newbie teachers get, i.e the 5:45am's and 7:30pm's. 

We also spoke about dialogue clinics. We will do a posture a week and not move on till I have delivered each posture correctly. We are aiming to get at least the floor series down before I leave. This will probably be starting in the next week or two as soon as my application is in the post. This is so awesome that I will get such great support and mentoring. I've had some fellow students offer to be 'bodies' for me to practice on. My plan the whole time has been to be prepared as much as possible, I have four and a half months ahead of me, enough time I think.

I still plan to keep my day job for at least the first year. I enjoy my job and will find a balance between that, teaching, practicing and my home life. I am nervous about breaking the news to my boss but he's a very good man and I'm hoping he'll let me take a leave of absence for nine weeks. The Mrs over at On Common Ground posted some invaluable advice this week on how she tackled this issue. I may well print this out and just hand it over when my time comes!!

Another surprise I received this week my friend and studio manager Janette told me she would join me in a 60 day challenge I am going to do before I go. I had been advised to do this challenge so I can be prepared physically and get in the zone. Not only will Janette be joining me, Jo is planning on running a whole studio 60 Day Challenge to help support me on my journey. How nice is that?! Usually people take 60's by themselves any time of the year. It will be awesome to do it together. We will start on June 27th which I discovered yesterday is exactly one year since I took my first every Bikram class. Spooky! It will end two and a half weeks before I depart for TT. I take five classes a week anyway so six a week will hopefully be a breeze.

In three months since I decided I was going to do this everything has been falling into place. I've probably mentioned this before but I believe in signs, everything so far has been positive and pointing to yes. The adventure is under way and I'm so excited for it!!