Saturday, February 28, 2009

And PUSH, and PUSH, and PUSH... (or not!)

So much for blogging twice a week!! Time just seems to be getting away from me. Between work, practicing yoga daily, and studying, finding the time to write has gotton low on my priority list. BUT.. the studying is going well. I'm getting thru one pose a week, which I think is awesome. I am now in the middle of Standing Head to Knee pose - and should have it down by tomorrow. Hooray!

What is funny is that I have the postures down pretty well, I can go thru them by myself in my car, no problemo! But when I get to the studio to get some feedback, I get all blotchy and red and shakey. It is crazy. I think it is pretty funny, but at the same time it is frustrating. I'm planning on going to the yoga studio on Mondays and going thru my dialogue with a couple of instructors. We did it Monday, and it was great to get feedback. Just to get some practice in is so beneficial to me. (I blamed the blotchy chest on my itchy sweater... but they knew otherwise!)

It makes me feel good that I am preparing as much as I am. I'd like to prepare even more, but I'm quite the busy chicquita, so it is atually hard to get in that one hour per night. So I'm doing what I can, and I am happy with that.

My yoga practice has been going great for the last week. About 5 or 6 weeks ago, I went to Kripalu in the Birkshires, where Rajashree Choudry held a 4-day session of "Exploring Optimal Health Thru Bikram Yoga." It was amazing, however, I pushed myself harder than I should have, and I really screwed up my body. It is amazing how she was able to push further into postures than I normally would have gone. But at the same time, I should have listened to my body a little bit better. Ever since I've been back, I haven't been able to straighten my legs in Hands to Feet Pose, which I have been able to do for a long, long time. And it has been very frustrating. Other postures: Triangle, Standing Bow, Standing Separate leg Stretching, and even some floor posters, have all been killing me the same. It was like I took 5 steps back in my practice.

I seem to have worked thru it though, and this week, things are finally feeling back to normal. With that being said, I guess that I am glad this happened. It is a hard lesson learned, but I've learned nonetheless. I don't need to push myself harder to impress instructors. It is not about that at all. But I'm pretty sure that is what I was doing (whether it was conciously or not). I know where I am in my practice, and I know the extent I should push myself and when to get out of my "comfort zone". They say in class "leave your ego at the door". If I go into training with an ego, I think I'll be in trouble. To learn this 3 months prior to diving into training... although it hurt at the time... it will be a valuable lesson to keep with me.

I feel good and strong again in the hot room. I just love the way that feeling transforms me.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A meltdown, already?!?

I had my first little breakdown on Saturday. Woo hoo!

Let me preface this with the facts: I had a wee bit too much to drink Friday night, so I wasn't my chipper, fun loving self heading into the studio. However, I went thru Awkward pose on my way to the studio, and everything seemed to be pretty lodged in my brain. I get into the studio, and Sam says, "Ok, let's hear it..." And once again, my brain exploded. Really. Everything I knew only minutes prior slipped right out of my memory. Gone. Forgotten. Kaput. Lights out.

I brushed it off and attributed it to the quasi-hangover. I get in the hot room for class and can't stop thinking about it. I know this stuff, man!! Why is it that when I try to spit it out in front of people, my brain freezes? I beat myself up mentally all thru class, and just couldn't get it out of my head. It drained me during class, and I was on the floor for a few poses. I tried to "not think", but I couldn't turn my brain off.

Class finishes, I feel like crap, and I talk with my brother and one of my friends about it... and I just... start... balling. They looked at me like I was crazy. (I guess you could say that I was slightly crazy.) All of the confidence that I thought I had went right out the window. And I'm thinking, if I can't do this in front of the people I know, how am I going to be able to do this in front of 300 strangers?!?

Well, I am sure that that was the first "moment" of many.

What I've just described makes me even more committed to make sure I get studying as much as possible. I'm obviously going to be dealing with the issue of this insecurity during training, so if I can know as much as I possible before I get there, it's going to make dealing with these issues a lot easier.

On another note, I met my roommate, Natasha, on Saturday, too!! I think we'll compliment eachother nicely. I'm looking forward to sharing the experience with her. We went for coffee with a couple of other teachers, and it was awesome to "talk shop". After talking about my little meltdown earlier in the day, they assured me that these things are totally normal. Brains go blank. Insecurities come up. But I KNOW THE YOGA. It WILL HAPPEN for me. I've just got to trust that it will, and I've got to give up the notion that I need to be perfect. It's not about me. The reason I want to teach Bikram is that I think I can really help and inspire people. That's what it is about.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Prepare, prepare, prepare!

Once I put my application in, time seems to be traveling at warp speed. Is it really possible that the final decision to go to training was made the second week of January? At that point, I had about 15 weeks before my bags were packed. And now suddenly, it’s less that 11 weeks to go… and I feel like I have so much to accomplish! I’ve got a “Mini” goal list going for these next few weeks.

- Go to 6am yoga Tuesday – Friday (which will allow me to…
- Study the dialog one hour a night during the week
- Get a solid grasp on one posture per week up until the day I leave
- Take 11 Bikram classes in one week before I go (this is probably going to cut into the studying an hour a night goal!)
- Write for my blog twice a week.

These are my goals to help me get prepared for training. I can’t decide if they are realistic or not, but now that I have them written down, I’m going to start focusing and try to follow them. Starting yesterday, I’m on track! I went to yoga yesterday and this morning, and last night just finished up studying the 2nd part of Awkward Pose. All was going well, until I starting trying to remember the 1st part of it, and , quite frankly, my brain just about exploded. Right now I am having a hard time grasping the fact that I have to learn 26 postures, and be able to teach them fluidly. Being the crazy, perfectionist that I am, I have a totally unrealistic goal of wanting to have ALL the material down pat before I get to California. But being the realist that I also am, I have modified that goal to 11 postures. Any more than that will just be bonus points. (And I LOVE bonus points!)

I’m trying to get in the mindset of being student, and it is hard. I haven’t been in school for almost 9 years. I’ve been in this crazy career world, where I know what I am doing, have control, and have confidence. At some point before I go, I am going to have to let go of that mentality, and surrender to the fact that this is a whole new territory for me. I know how to DO the yoga…but learning how to teach it, and teach it well, is going to take patience, courage, and humility. I’ve got the virtues in me, I’ve just got to dig a little deeper to bring them to the forefront.

(PS.. I want to thank everyone for the amazing comments. It means so much to have the words of support and encouragement!)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The List

After almost 3 years of talking about going to Bikram Yoga Teacher Training, it is finally happening for me. Yup… I’m about to leave my life for 9 weeks to pursue one of the big goals on “The List”. What is “The List”? Well, someone once told me that I should write down a list of my goals. Somehow, having your goals in writing makes them just a little more attainable. If you look at the list every so often, you are reminded of your goals, and you work toward achieving them. The list can be ever changing. Circumstances of life can change things. Your mindset can change things. And if your goals change, well, you write a new list.

So that’s The List. I’m leaving on April 26 for Palm Desert, California, to spend 9 weeks with 300 other like-minded people, living, breathing, eating and sleeping Bikram Yoga. (Well, maybe not sleeping!) While some people think I’m about to embark on a 2 month holiday, I’d like to clarify.

Monday - Friday
8:30am - 10:00am Bikram's Basic Yoga Class
10:00am - 12:15pm Lunch Break
12:15pm - 4:00pm Posture Clinic/Lectures
5:00pm - 6:30pm Bikram's Basic Yoga Class
6:30pm - 9:00pm Dinner break
9:00pm - ??? Posture Clinic/Lecture

8:00am - 9:30am Bikram's Basic Yoga Class

Day of Rest

The schedule is grueling. 11 classes a week, posture clinics and lectures, along with finding the time to fit some studying in, I’m sure sleep will be at a premium! Am I scared? Umm… yeah, dude. I’m nervous, anxious, excited, and curious all in one. I can’t believe that I am leaving a perfectly good job, an even more perfect husband, a lovely home, and my friends, to embark on what is sure to be the biggest challenge of my life. The closer it gets, the more real it feels. The more real it feels, the more excited I get. I’ve never done anything like this before. In my life, I’ve always had a hand to hold, and voices to guide me. I impersonate an air of independence, but deep down, I’m just that insecure little girl who wants to find her place in the world.

Do I think I’m going to find my place in the world here? No. But I do think I’ll come back a better student, a better person… a better me. And hey, maybe I’ll find a little place that I can call my own at the same time.