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….

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Week 4, it's flying by!

 A lot has changed and shifted this week for me. After isolating myself last week I have thrown myself into the pit literally head on. I’ve been out and about giving back to others and doing my karma yoga.

Last weekend was great. A group pf us drove out to Santa Monica, found a strip of park over looking the ocean and spent the day studying dialogue. Finished off by Thai food and Baskin Robbins. We didn’t even care people were staring at us whilst we busted out postures or sat talking to ourselves in a strange language. I dedicated a lot of time on Sunday to help other’s with their memorization. Even though I was down solid with the postures myself it was good to revisit & brush up on those pesky words I miss or have adjusted.

My yoga week started off stiff and achy. To be expected. Nearly two days off yoga gives that lactic acid time to build up. More great teachers this week taught. Ida Ripley stopped by and the highlight was Tuesday night’s class which was taught by Shawn Taylor. Shawn taught at BYJ earlier in the year so I was very excited to take his class. It was a HUGE honour for him to be selected to teach here at Training as he’s only been teaching two years. He taught a great high energy, rocking, funny class. I even ventured into the ‘death zone’ to be right in line with the podium.

I had another friendly face visit me this week. Liz from Las Vegas dropped by for two days to say hi. Liz also taught me at BYJ. It was lovely to catch up & have my own personal dialogue coach. Hopefully she’ll be back soon!

I didn’t present any postures till Wednesday this week, quite a long gap from Friday. My feedback has been pretty much the same all through “good, keep doing what your doing.” So they started nit picking a little which is fine by me. I believe there is always room for improvement and I wanted to hear something different.

One comment was because of my accent some things come out kinda ‘sing song’ like. I was lucky enough to deliver a second posture on the same day and rectified this. It was hard as I was altering my voice not to go higher at the end & it hurt. The vocal coach did mention it is very bad for your vocal cords to talk in other accents which are not natural. I can see why now. I’m sure I can pull it back without hurting myself.

I was also given my first mini challenge. Instead of three demonstrators I was given six to teach for Standing Separate leg stretching. It went well, it was actually good to have more bodies as it really made me watch what they were doing.

I finished the week off by presenting Triangle to Jim Kellet. He didn’t like it, I was too intense (but verbatim bar one!). That’s cool. I can see I need to pull back in this one, I’ve had this comment before. I just love the flow of the dialogue and I can get really excited about it. He mentioned that students need to be meditating in this one and my barking instructors wouldn’t work. He taught class in the evening & I really paid attention to how he delivered it himself…kinda race commentator/auctioneer style. For me personally I don’t usually go for this. His words were fast but non aggressive so I can draw from this as a comparison. This is how to get that energy going in a less commando style whilst sticking with the dialogue.

My homework this week has been to help another Trainee who has been struggling with their dialogue. I was so blessed to be assigned to my friend Ms Darling who I connected with on my first weekend here & have hardly seen since. Darling is the best person to work with. She is very keen, willing to learn and can tolerate my no messing attitude. I don’t give her an inch!!! We worked together on two postures so far. It’s great to be giving back and it’s giving me valuable experience in actually teaching. Who knows some where down the line I might have my own students to mentor. Its also got me out of my hermit hole.

Bikram is back from his travels and requested our presence for a movie after our anatomy lecture. The lecture finished at 12am. We were told it was ‘optional’ and we could stay for 15 minutes then leave. Nothing is to be taken face value here. It was not optional and we were literally in lock down. No one could go to the bathroom with their bags, you had to leave them behind as collateral so you had to come back. It didn’t really bother me. It was a little crappy they ‘lied’ I’d rather be told straight. Hey ho. Myself and three friends bedded down at the back of the room & took a nice long nap despite it being freezing cold & very, very loud!!! Thank you to the kind lady who woke us up at the end.

All in all I’m still loving and cherishing every moment I have here. I’ve had a good week and I’m in good spirits. Who knows what next week will bring…

Lecture buddies

Liz & Me before class

Don't get in the way of hungry yogis

Amazing wonton soup

Monday, October 10, 2011


 Despite trying to stay out of the drama I feel I need to address an issue that is arising not for me but for others. The staff here in my opinion are great. They work so hard and are up just as long, if not longer than us. We average 17 hours days most days. They know what they are doing, they have run this course for a long time. Of course there will be glitches along the way, it’s only normal. I’m sure there are 100 better ways to run this course but that is not our place to say. As we say in Australia, “if you don’t like it leave!”

Some people have been giving the staff a hard time. Saying they are mean, rude and are treating us like children. Yes I have heard the staff take a certain tone but if you act like a child you’ll be treated like one. It was made very clear in week 1 no cell phones in lectures. If you break the rules you’ll be punished. If you don’t sign in, it’s Team Saturday for you. There needs to be that fear installed or else no one will pay attention.

Girly Swot Alert! I have had no problem with the staff. I have only had contact with them in posture clinic and they have been great, supportive and encouraging. I keep my head down, I go from A to B, I do what is asked and don’t break the rules. I’m rolling with it. There is no room here for personal agenda’s. I am on time, I sign in and shut up when told. Does help that my 2003 crappy cell phone does not have internet or the funds to be constantly texting so that temptation is gone.

I can understand and sympathize with the people who are having a hard time, missing home, need that outside world link. Multi task while your in the bathroom or preparing your food, that way you won’t be at risk of pissing the staff off by communicating in lectures. This is a copyrighted course, they don’t know if your feeding inside information out when your on your phone when in fact your just sending a message home. The rules are there for a reason, it may not be a clear or obvious reason but I’m going to respect them. Roll with it kids or as The Man would say “take a teaspoon of cement & toughen up.” Oh I miss him & his quirky comments!!!!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Week 3

I dare not say this but I will this week the ‘heating malfunction’ in the yoga room seem to be fixed. Obviously they had to cook our brains out to begin with to make us remember how tough this yoga is. Most of us will have forgotten how hard it is to struggle through a class. We need to be connected back with this feeling in order to show compassion for our future students.

It was positively breezy down in my neighbourhood area of the yoga room. It was nice. I made it through at least four classes without drinking and didn’t use my ice. No knees were taken & I can say I’m nearly doing my usual practice. I’m starting to feel stronger despite being totally wacked and resembling a sleep walker any time I’m not in the yoga room.

In the yoga room I refer to my ‘neighbourhood’ as the area I am spending a lot of time in. We had our assigned lines this week so we have to practice on a different line each day & move around the room. However, where on that line is up to you. I have been clinging to a certain ‘area’ and I’m not alone. I have a nice group of mat mates around me which is comforting in such horrific conditions. I did stray a few times to ‘the other side’ but soon came back. We have nice synergy in my hood & if your gonna have someone’s toes up your nose why not it be someone you know.

This week has been a bit weird for me. I am totally exhausted from the late night anatomy lectures, posture clinics and yoga. I hang my head in shame to say I fell asleep a few times during lecture. Dr P is amazing, entertaining & 98% chimp. I wanted to listen and be present but I’m useless at staying awake if I’m tired. I’ve realised all those International flights I’ve taken have left me a master in napping whilst sitting in a confined, hard, uncomfortable chair.

I am really focusing on trying to learn the rest of the dialogue I didn’t know before I came. My way of learning is to isolate. My roomie has been out practicing one on one with another friend which gave me the perfect excuse to stay home and do my thing alone. Which is great. I have ploughed on and learned three more postures this week. But now I need to be out there with people practicing. Everywhere you go there are groups of people doing dialogue & busting out postures. It’s not hard to gate crash a dialogue party. I really feel I need to be looking at bodies and learning how to ‘teach’ those bodies instead of just rattling out dialogue whilst staring blankly at them.

Ironic me saying that really as my feedback from posture clinics has been great. Friday night I was told I was teaching already and along with a couple of other trainees our delivery is more like what is expected in week 6/7 rather than week three. But…. The postures I delivered this week I have been presenting since July. I am confident with them and have practiced these at home with bodies. I even blasted out Standing bow at 11:40pm on Friday night without hesitation despite being half asleep because I knew it.

For the floor series I haven’t even put words to bodies yet and these are the postures I have finding the hardest to get down. I am also putting pressure on myself to keep up the high standard I have set. Then again, if I stumble it will show I’m only human. The best advice we have received this week is not to try and be perfect, aim to be precise. Stay out of our own heads it’s a dangerous neighbourhood!

All in all I’m staying as present as I can. One day, one class, one hour at a time. Emotionally I’m fine. I have detached as much as possible from the outside world & be submerged in the ‘process.’ I have The Man to thank a lot for not letting me become a clingy dependent partner before I left. We have had plenty of practice at me being overseas for periods of time and are comfortable with being away from each other. It’s only another seven weeks. That’s nothing, especially if we end up spending the next forty years together! I can spend everyday with him when I get back, I only get to do Teacher Training ONCE & that time in NOW.

I have come to the conclusion that being 100% happy with myself and the direction I am taking is helping me stay strong here. To quote Paul and Jaylee Balch, “you can’t rely on someone else to make you happy as the moment that person leaves they take your happiness with them. You are responsible for your own happiness.” 

Trader Joe's = yummy ready packed treats

Saturday lunch car boot picnic outside the Laundromat!

On our way to the beach, Sunday freedom!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Week Two round up

Time is certainly flying by. Our daily schedule is in full swing now. We have to sign in for everything or else we join ‘Team Saturday’, aka the 11am make up class, pretty much straight after the 8am as classes are tending to run for two hours.

People have more defined cliques this week. I have found my people. We are on the same wave length and have the same reasons, goals and aspirations for being here. Number one my clan have compassion and respect. 

The Yoga room was like Death Valley at the start of the week. It was like trying to breath in a cloud. Didn’t help I’ve cold a cold and a reoccurring sore throat. I struggled with my ice, it is still a distraction in the hot, hot, hot classes. Dousing my mat with ice between postures so I can lay in a pool of icy niceness is quite embarrassing. It’s not just me but I shouldn’t let that be an excuse.

After the nose bleed class on Wednesday morning I was revived by an awesome class with Marlin from Aspen in the evening. She left the door open!!!!! I was about 0.5 km away from said door but it made the difference. I had a near normal practice for me, ie. I did every posture, was focused & didn't touch my ice. We could all breath & no one threw up or left the room.

You can never predict anything here it’s a waste of time/energy doing so. Rolling with it is one of my strong points right now. After a great Wednesday pm class I was literally left for dead Thursday morning. Such a shame as Emmy was teaching. We had no idea and by a twist of fate ended up on the back line near the middle of the room aka the death zone. Emmy teaches from a chair at the back. She most definitely probably saw me laid in recovery position for most of the floor series. It took every once of will power not to leave the room.

Two of my mat buddies left. It was so hard. I made it through. I keep questioning is it better to stay in the room & do nothing but lay out the floor postures or leave, revive and come back in & do something. We have been told only we can decide on that. I stayed in the room and did nothing. I could barely walk out the room at the end. I couldn’t even stand up to wait for the crowd to filter through the door. I ended up sitting by the door waiting for it to clear.

The week finished strong class wise, such a contrast. We all have delivered Half Moon to Bikram. Posture clinic starts next week, wooo hooo!! So excited for that. We had our first and only, so far, late night Bollywood movie, 2:30am finish. Friday a speech therapist gave a lecture on how to look after and use our voice properly. Much needed advice as our future teaching career will depend so much on the voice. We had Friday night off to relax, so great. The girls and I hit up a cute Mexican for huge burritos. It’s strange to say I hadn’t left the hotel or even been in the lobby from Sunday night to Friday night. This course is not for the claustrophobic or fresh air lovers!

Food wise, I am still not properly hungry, probably as I have to eat when I’m not hungry or else I don’t get to eat. I’ve moved onto eating steak instead of cold meats. So much better. I even managed to boil up some pasta in my water boiler. Crazy I’m craving hot food after being in a hot room four hours a day.

All in all I’m doing good. Nothing crazy has happened yet emotionally or physically. I’m looking after myself on all levels which is helping a lot I think. I’m having my first massage today even though nothing is really hurting too bad yet. People are sharing their problems and drama’s but I’m not getting involved. Just being supportive by listening. It’s nice to know we are all having such individual, personal experiences. One course with 400 different journeys.  

Friday night freedom

My small Burrito omm nom nom

International friends!

Help! Let us out!!