Monday, 30 April 2012

fly like an eagle...

alright i had already written this post but somehow it all got deleted so ill try to get it word for word as before...

howdy y'all!
you know that normal thought you get every monday morning? the "oh god" feeling? well - at teacher training - there is no such thing. you don't have a choice. if it does pop in your head - you just get your ass up and down the stairs to the hot room. you place your feet together on the mat and you start your yoga. and then its all rainbows and butterflies from your first set of pranayama. no matter what mood you walked into the room with - you leave feeling high. happier and healthier. 90 minutes. that's all it takes. to change your attitude. to change your day. to change your life.

this morning we had a great teacher from TEXAS Y'ALL! she was uplifting, funky and gracious all at the same time! left us with some great tips as future teachers :) she will be celebrating the 10 year anniversary of one of her studios back home and had written a song to the beat of "fly like an eagle" - so during our 2 minute savasana - she sang it to us. it was actually pretty good! all to do with postures and bikram benefits. but for the rest of class (and some points during the day) i was stuck with "flyyy like an eagle" in my head.
"issues with the tissues"
"always keep the dignity of your students"

homo sapien sapien
WE STARTED ANATOMY! woot woot. i never thought i would say this but anatomy is fun. complicated - but fun. the human body is insane. so much to learn. for anyone that knows me - i can be a little naive. i think the body literally looks like a stick figure drawing - with a big ol' belly to keep all the yummy food we eat - and none of the gross stuff (ie intestins - yuck). i mean i KNOW its all there. i just don't like to think of all the muscles, joints, ligaments, and tissues, that tear, strain, sprain or break! but as i said earlier - i've got no choice but to learn it, love it, and teach it! and with dr. p (as olivia calls him) as our teacher - i think i will love every minute learning about all that gross stuff :)


over the next two weeks he will be teaching us everything about the human body - from inside out - from bones to skin - from fingertips to the toes. so far i love his teaching method - dr. p has a really great way of making a serious subject entertaining - with his nerdy jokes and quirky additions throughout the lecture. as he is a practicing yogi himself, everything relates back to the yoga. this helps us connect each posture to it's benefit and i love it :) already we are getting a sense of what does what when - and where - and how. time to get studying....

dream small? dream big!
this afternoon during annoucements we were introduced to several guest teachers that are here for the next week (or longer) visiting TT to help with posture clinics and attend classes with us. each one has come back for the love of the yoga. nothing more. nothing less. to give back. to share their experiences and extend their knowledge to us as future teachers. every teacher had an amazing story  as to what brought them to bikram - and have had even crazier lives since TT. from traveling the world teaching on all 7 continents to opening several studios in their hometowns. this is WHAT I WANT. this is FOR ME. i connected to each one for different reasons and i couldn't help but get emotional listening to them share all their accomplishments because those are my dreams too. and i feel so close...

im on my way...

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Captured: WEEK TWO

week is over - mats are up!
one of bikrams many hand made cars
friday night off? lets eat
some happy yogis :)
truffle oil mac and cheese - pulled pork - ribs (to name a few)
yogis on the trolley headed to manhattan beach for brunch
OH MY GOSH YUM - got my eggs benny :)
brunch at the strand house - our view of manhattan beach
lovely little alley
the four of us together
what a life *sigh*
manhattan beach - california
just chillin'
his & hers

the pier & fiun


Friday, 27 April 2012

ask and you shall receive...


i swear someone from bikrams staff must have read my blog yesterday because i got more inspiration, motivation and emotion than i asked for today...

when i saw EMMY CLEAVES this morning - i actually clapped my hands together like a little child. YES. i knew i was going to have a strong and connected class. no more miss moody. emmy is bikrams most senior teacher - practicing for over 40 years. we dont know her exact age - but we are told she is at least 86 (she says she is older than god haha). and still doing triangle pose better than most 20 year olds. she is living proof of the power of this yoga. this woman brings so much knowledge to the hot room. everything must be just so. precision. precision. precision. going in to the posture as much as coming out of it.

"make sure your body is following the dialogue. do not go on auto pilot. be consciousness of your actions." 

after class and break we prepared ourselves to listen to half moon dialogue again but instead we were surprised with a lecture session with JIM KALLETT. i sat there engrossed in him for almost 3 hours. i was writing everything he was saying down in my notebook. i couldnt keep up. every word - every sentence - was meaningful and powerful. 5 pages of notes. i wont share it all in detail but the one story that stuck with me was how bikram yoga was brought to the western world. its an amazing story that i started writing out here but it really is quite long - so i invite you to research it yourself :) all i will say is that he saved richard nixons life through the power of yoga and that is how he got a personal invitation - green card - to bring his practice to the united states.

a little bit about him (pulled from the world wide webbbb)
"Senior Bikram Yoga Instructor Jim Kallett became a Certified teacher during Bikram’s 5th ever teacher training  program in 1997.  Jim is one of the original and select few instructors that Bikram has hand-picked to represent him by conducting posture clinics and seminars around the world.  Due to his dedicated service, Jim is considered senior faculty of Bikram’s Yoga College of India – International Headquarters in Los Angeles, California, and Bikram’s famous Intensive Yoga teacher Training (since 1998).  With his extensive yoga knowledge and experience, Jim has been instrumental in assisting Bikram with Teacher re-certifications, and has served as judge at the past six International Yoga Asana Championship Finals in Los Angeles."

this teacher training is an extension of our own practice. its a self realization. how we practice is how we will teach. and how we teach is how we live our lives. how you practice, how you teach, and how you live your life is how your students will live theirs - in and out of the hot room. as teachers - we are examples. the yoga is not about us but about our students. the second we make it about ourselves we are limiting who we reach. this yoga is for EVERYONE. no discrimination. no judgment. no exceptions. no exclusions.

"the longer it takes, the luckier you are, because it lasts forever"
"when one has become successful at asana, pranayama can be perfected. with pranayama, the veil that hides illumination is lifted, and the mind is fit for meditation"
"we build insecurities for lack of self realization. never underestimate yourself" 
"yoga is food"

the lecture was followed with a strong and happy class taught by jim as well and then a quick dip in the pool with some of my girlies here at TT :) 

THURSDAY PM - floodgates have opened
we had 26 more students to go. then half moon would be done - and ahead of schedule. we were powering through the posture. so one by one they got on and off stage. boom. boom. boom. easy easy. but then one of the girls caught my eye and i swear i stopped breathing. she resembled my mom so much. or my mom resembled her. either way - i saw my mom in that girls face. her eyes, nose, smile.... the way she was talking. at first i just smiled to myself thinking happy thoughts as i normally do when reminiscing about her - but then it became harder and harder. tears were streaming down my face and before i knew it - i was out of my seat and rushing out the door as fast as possible. i just broke down. literally. sat on the couch and bawled. no breathing. i couldn't stop. two ladies came to console me and i couldn't get my words out to explain myself. they kept asking if the training was too hard on me. i finally blurted out my story. and then that made my break down even more. i was relieved when one of the staff came and just sat beside me with a box of tissues calming me down. i finally caught my breath and relaxed. i remember thinking of my friend leah - how she said this would all be coming out. i didn't really think it would because its been 6 years. but there are clearly more emotions hiding down there than i thought. and this is just the beginning...

MOVIE NIGHT- jodhaa akbar
as if i hadn't already overdosed enough on emotion - bikram had us watch the film jodhaa akbar. this movie was AMAZING. i would actually watch this back home on my own free time. we were up till 3 in the morning watching it - and i never closed my eyes or thought of the time once. sometimes i wonder what the point of these movies are - but each once has a different message that bikram wants us to take away from it. it also gives us an insight to their culture, traditions, beliefs, and overall way of life. and its so beautiful. there was so many great scenes in the movie last night - but this one was one of my favorites.  enjoy :)


Wednesday, 25 April 2012

sometimes happy - sometimes sad


its ok to have a bad mood day
(or class in my case) - i don't know why but the morning teachers this week are NOT doing it for me. i cant figure out if its because i'm comparing them to bikrams class from the previous evening. or if i just plain and simple don't like them. or maybe i'm just being a brat. either way - im not connecting to them. i'm trying. i really am. i'm telling myself they are funny - but im not laughing. that they are motivating - but i'm not inspired. instead i'm just plain annoyed. and then i feel like a i don't know whats going on. maybe the hot room isn't for me in the morning. either way - by the time class is done and i'm showered and clean - i can feel my negativity lifting and the rest of the day is smooth sailing. it also helps when you've got a great roommate; i got out of the shower earlier to find she had bought me a can of sprite because she knows i'm hooked on it after my classes and had run out. just what i needed to turn my frown upside down :) i'm hoping this attitude of mine doesn't last too long because i've got a lot of morning classes coming my way...

ps. last nights movie featuring some of bollywoods most famous actors. kabhi khushi kabhie gham (translated to sometimes happy sometimes sad). my favorite so far - loved it :)


mickey mouse has left the building
well - no more mister nice guy. we just finished the wednesday evening class and got our ASSES KICKED. woahhhhhh nelly. thank you bikram - this is what i've been waiting for. it was HOT. and he was mean. he had a little bit of sweetness when necessary but oh man was he cranky at the beginning of class. a few of us had just said how we hoped he would be making us all laugh again - but as soon as he got on the podium it was clear he meant business - no kissy kissy - no fucky fucky. however, by toe stand, i remember saying to myself "dont let him steal your peace" and you know what? i had the most amazing floor series. im not sure if its because i was drinking bikram balance (ill explain my new addiction to BB in another post) during class but either way - i was flying high! it felt like i owned a different body than the one i had this morning. what a weird sensation...

some of my leg muscles are starting to be tighter than i would like so ive covered them in tiger balm and im ready for a quick snooze before another late night lecture - wonder whats on bikrams agenda for us?

namaste :)

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

keep the mind in the brain - not in lalaland.

i almost peed my pants. literally. i just spent the entireeee evening class thinking "im going to pee my pants. im going to pee my pants. im going to peeeeee in my f**king pants". i thought of peeing on my mat, peeing in my ice cup, peeing anywhere possible without leaving the room. i was NOT leaving the room. (im kind of a stubborn girl). to top it off, i kept drinking my water (two bottles worth) i know, stupid, but i couldnt help it. anyways - dont worry i didn't pee myself or on anyone. i made it through to the end - and somehow when bikram put on his "yoga is life" song during our last savasana, my body forgot it had to pee and my mind went to some galaxy far away. crazy how the mind can be distracted so easily. i just tried you tubing the song to post the link but couldnt find it - sorrrrrryyy. you'll have to come to TT to enjoy it in the hot room!

think im the only one who has trouble staying present in the hot room? well, here are a few funny thoughts from other students at TT - oh where the mind will go! (thank you annie diaz for starting this thread on our fb group)
• what’s that smell?
• in standing bow: i hope my private parts are not getting some air.
• winding removing: great. now i have to take a shit
• i’m not going to throw up. no wait. i am going to throw up.
• oh god. is he talking to me?
• fuck. i have green in my tattoo.
• there’s that smell again. is it me?
• i wonder if they ever clean the carpets.
• if i don’t drink water, i will die. no, i won’t. ill be fine. just 30 more seconds.
• do i have to put my hands on the carpet?
should i trim my bangs or let them grow out. ughh! focus!
• is it friday yet?
• that chain in the chandelier is twisted. 
• i wonder where she got her top. i really like it.
• what am i going to eat for lunch? im f**cking starving.
• wonder if anyone noticed my boob was out of my top.
haha - comic relief from the torture chamber :)

well its day two of week two - ALREADY!? its flying by. keeping up with this blog is going to be hard. so much to tell - so little time to write it all out. my health is strong, my body is strong, my practice is strong. im really impressed with myself actually. i had envisioned myself breaking down on the mat crying, wanting to leave, pulling muscles, aching all get the idea. but instead, i take class and then i practically run up the stairs up to my room on the 4th floor! elevator? not part of my vocabulary. lets see if its that way come week 7 (here's hoping my legs don't give up on me).

the only thing that is more difficult than the actual yoga - are the late nights. bikram is known for his long lectures and his love for hindi movies. actually - i would call his lectures more of a story time then anything else. this man can sit down and tell you ONE story that will last 3-4 hours. not kidding. he just starts and it does nottttt stoppppp. and he can tell it over and over. have i mentioned he is 66 years old? rocking a six pack? yup. thats my guru :) anyways - last night he discussed karma yoga and our duties as yoga teachers to our students. all through a story of gods and goddesses, emperors and empresses, in heaven and on earth. and then linked it all together. hes a crazy man - but he makes it all make sense. by the end of story time it was 11:30. bedtime right? nope. he was just getting started for late night movie night featuring - the Mahabharata. (one of the two ancient sanskrit epics of ancient india). it went past two am. and that was just the first part. there are 92 parts in total (i think he said). we will most likely be continuing with it ce soir - so im off to the lecture room for another long night! bonne nuit xx

and countinggggg...just finished class #14

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Captured: WEEK ONE

buy the ticket - take the ride
home for the next two months

first pool study session
my backyard :)
eating options
lecture buddies :)

little latte and tea break - venice
street corner art
yogis in paradise- santa monica backyard

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Bikram Yoga Teacher Training - WEEK ONE

ok here it is - i've decided to get back on the blogging bandwagon!

i had thought maybe it would be too much of a hassle getting entries in every time i had something to share - but now that week 1 has flown by - i'm realizing how important it is that i document every moment and every feeling. because at the end of it all - i want to look back at this blog - and feel it all over again.

Welcome to Bikrams Disneyland Haunted House -
now where to begin? the end or the beginning? ill start with saturday april 14 - the day i packed up and left my home - my life and my love back in ottawa to pursue my dream of becoming a bikram yoga teacher. when i think back - all i see is mikes face through the tears in my eyes. the thought of leaving him that morning was so terrifying and heartbreaking. i had always been the girl to get up and go - travel to new countries - discover different cultures - and live independently. but as my best friend jenn said " it isn't so easy leaving when you have someone that you love at home" and i was learning just how right she was. im going to be honest - every part of me was yelling at myself to just stay home - but as bikram says, "your mind is your enemy. you must learn to control it. stop thinking and just do." so i did. i left. and i continued going through every motion until i got myself on and off the plane and to my new home in LA. (and i am ever so happy that i did!)

arriving at the airport was a little chaotic - the shuttle was nowhere near where the site had said it would be - so i ended up wandering around and around trying to figure out my way out of LAX airport. finally - i saw one - a yogi. YES! i was saved. i ran right up to him and poked his shoulder. "are you going to the bikram teacher training!??" i said all excited, without even saying hello or introducing myself (oops). and that's how i met chuck from chicago (now one of my best friends here in my home away from home). eventually all us crazy yogis got ourselves from the airport to the hotel - where we prepared ourselves for the next two months of our lives on the bikram rollercoaster. 

bikram himself? let me tell you - there is no man in the world like him. he speaks the truth. even when he talks nonsense. he explains yoga and he defines life. he gives you mean when you need mean. he gives you honey when you need honey. but at the end of the day - everything he says makes sense and has a purpose. this is why we are told to trust him. trust the process. and absorb it. like bikram says "there is no place in the world, no school, no university, no institution, or organization that offers what i am selling. the product i sell is LIFE; humanity and spiritualism. with bikram yoga, you live as long as you want, anywhere you want. dont follow the world. let the world follow you" and im telling you - he is right. i came into this training telling myself i wouldnt get sucked into bikram himself - and that i was here ONLY for the yoga. well now i know its impossible to do one without the other. he has infected my brain. and everything he says is what i bring to my mat every class. and what i bring to life every day. ill be starting a section of inspirational truths by bikram in the following weeks so you can all get a feel for what im describing...

i wont go into too much detail in this post as its cramming an entire week of feelings and memories into one spot - but there are certain things i must share! 

bikrams first class? it was INSANE. this man broke us down. one by one. thankfully i stayed strong throughout and stayed on my mat (my new mantra has shifted from "lock the knee. lock the knee. lock the knee" to "stay on the mat. stay on the mat. stay on the mat." every teacher this week has emphasized the importance of remaining in the room - building the group energy. we need to be strong for our neighbors. because it isn't easy seeing over 420 yogis in one room - slowly falling to their knees one by one around you. leaving the room. sweating. crying. vomiting (sorry but yes its happened, right next to me actually). it was the most eye opening experience i ever had. the class was the hardest, most emotional, hysterical, scary, and vulgar 90 minutes (plus) that ive ever spent in a hot room. and i LOVED it. you hate bikram - but at the end of the day - your life is wonderful :)

we are very blessed to have guest teachers visiting during TT - each one brings a different energy to the podium and i find myself grabbing onto their words of wisdom, advice, and knowledge. to inspire you, here are my QUOTES FROM THE HOT ROOM WEEK ONE:

Anna from Bikram Headquarters - Tuesday, April 17
- in the morning our bodies are strong - in the evening we are flexible
- learn to be cautious, not fearful
- listen to your body, feel it, find it, adjust it

Ulises from Bikram Yoga Mexico- Wednesday, April 18

- you cannot save your energy for tomorrow. who knows if you will be here tomorrow. use it. don't waste it.
- every time you choose to sit out a posture, it is a decision you are making. you are thinking. stop thinking. and just breathe. come back to the yoga.
- you have nowhere to run, nowhere to go, nothing to think, nothing to do.
- your mind is your worst enemy. when it is saying "you cant" tell it to shut up and then lock your knee. learn to control it. 
- fear and anxiety are built based on past experiences. let it go. you are no longer in the past.
- i love every single one of you. from the bottom of my heart. seriously.

**this was my most powerful class. emotionally. physically. mentally. spiritually. he pulled emotions out of me i never knew i had. he was so contagious i ate it all up. i think im headed for mexico next...

Abhi from Bikram Yoga Santa Clara - Wednesday, April 18

- commitment to the yoga: you have to make up your mind when you first come in that you will stay in the room for the 90 mins, then work as hard as you can

Emmy from Bikram Headquarters, Thursday, April 19

- precision is EVERYTHING
- focus on the power source of each posture
- in savasana, there is healing and recovery, do not sabotage what is happening. 
- control your bad habits. you can have a habit be your worst enemy, or be your habits worst enemy. 

Danny from Bikram Yoga Vancouver- Friday, April 20
- just like brushing your teeth, you need to work on your spine everyday. (spine > teeth)
- suck it in. fill it up.
- yoga is going to your edge, and finding stillness there.

Patrice - Friday, April 20
- in stillness, there is healing.
- the best thing you can do for your students is to continue to work on your own practice
- tell your students to breathe, listen, and look

Lisa Johnson- Saturday, April 21

- your eyes and your abs are the most important aspects of your balance
- still body builds a still mind
- tell yourself i am. i am. i i am light. i am truth. **and lying there on my mat i said to myself i am....happy :)

oh my lord this is getting out of control long - i apologize and promise to break future weeks down into daily posts. in the meantime... 

MY HALF MOON DIALOGUE (aka "judgment day")
although there is no judgment in bikram yoga or here at teacher training (big emphasis on practicing non-judgment) - the moment of reciting HALF MOON pose to Bikram Choudhury and 420+ yogis looking at you on stage seems like judgment day to me (i mean - hes judging our performance, our deliverance, our energy... what do you call that?) i remember waiting in line to go and completely blanking - i was freaking out. i knew the dialogue. i had been reciting it since i got here with the tv remote in hand using my roommate colleen as a body to guide me. i was singing it. i was rapping it. i had nothing to worry about. but as each student went and the numbers between the stage and i grew shorter - the more i blanked. i kept singing lyrics to "where i come from" by montgomery gentry (what the heck!?) somehow i got it together. walked on stage. grabbed the mic. and introduced myself. from then on - i had a complete out of body experience. i was watching and hearing myself deliver it perfectly in front of everyone. with all the right tones, all the right energy, all the right seriousness and all the right playfulness. i couldnt believe it. i was impressing myself - and i just kept going. that is, until bikram stopped me halfway. EEEK. he said "wow. fantastic. you see her energy? THAT'S how you teach a class". i couldnt believeeeeeeeee it. i was so proud of myself. as claire told me afterwards (director and mentor from BYO) - bikram does not give praise when it is not due. so im quite happy with my feedback :) later on that evening i was sitting on my mat waiting for class when felix (a montrealer) came up to me and explained how much he loved my delivery and energy. he offered me a teaching job at his wifes studio in laval anytime i come to montreal on weekends !!! 

to give you an idea of our groups energy im going to share a moment i will NEVER forget. adriana, a student from brazil, came on stage to deliver her half moon pose. this girl is beautiful. and when i say beautiful. i mean B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L. inside and out. you can see her heart when you look in her eyes. really. she was so nervous she could hardly breathe. she started and kept stopping. tears rolling down her face, continuously apologizing to us. in one second, a fellow trainee started reciting with her, and then the entire room was reciting together for her. adriana pushed through it, crying the whole time, with her hand on her heart. and please dont picture some girl sobbing, making an ugly mess. this was so beautiful. everyone had tears in their eyes - the energy in the room - the togetherness. it was unreal. im feeling it now all over again. there have been moments like this where i just stop and think "WOW. i am so blessed to be here. to meet these people. to feel these connections." yoga is all about connections. with your mind. your body. your spirit. but it also between a student and a teacher. and between fellow yogis. this week i have felt it over and over and over and i love the life i live and the moments i experience. i am very lucky. 

yoga is everything. everything is yoga. life is beautiful. life is loveeeeeeee. im high on it all :)