Week 2

This week has been defined by intentional willfullness and increased commitment to practice. These are hefty statements! I could also say that this week was defined by Jim Kallett (amazing Bikram studio owner and teacher in San Diego) and the cold that has landed me on the sick line once. I have so much to share so please bear with me.

Jim Kallet has held two days worth of afternoon lectures and I cannot get enough. His lectures sink in immediately and blow my mind. Answers to questions I have had since the beginning of my practice are unfolding. The reason that Jim as inspired this intentional willfulness in my practice and in my attitude is that he has answered and rounded out the story of Bikram yoga, reiterated what Bikram says but in words that are easier to understand, and quite simply as he put it, "the body doesn't lie." His lectures have inspired more trust in this yoga for me and the benefits that I have seen in my body and mind as proof that it is ok to let go and trust this process intentionally and willfully. Among the wisdom and passion for Bikram yoga, here are a few pieces that are important to share:
*Breathing always normal is according to the posture.
*This yoga is telling people the truth and that yes it is going to hurt.
*This yoga is like peeling an onion, the deeper you get the more layers you peel the more it hurts the more it stinks. We carry all emotions previous and present in our body this is a part of those layers.
*It is the stretching that makes you feel dizzy, overwhelmed, whatever- not the heat.
*When acute problems become chronic problems, it is time to work on it and push.
*A correction given by your teacher is a mantra.

Physically, week 2 has been huge. The physical is after all what Hatha yoga is. Ha (sun) and the (moon) using two energies stronger and weaker weaker and stronger- in yogic science, to heal and maintain the body. I am first and foremost stronger. My body builds muscle and shows it off very quickly. In addition we (all us Bikram Teacher Trainees) are taking two 90 minute classes per day in a yoga room heated to above body temperature. As a result, there is a lot of sweat and systematic working and sorting of all the internal organs which are as a result running so efficiently (another reason to make sure you are doing your postures the correct way). Therefore, overeating is not an option. Before I came here to LA for training, I could shove the food in if it was good. If I was full I could finish the plate. Here, my body just says no more I am full. What it does with the food I consume is sort it immediately and use it. I don't just feel this, I see it in how my body eliminates. There is a very strong mind body connection developing.

In the huge hot room where we practice our Hatha yoga, we are assigned to rows according to group number (group numbers assigned alphabetically) and these rows rotate so everyone has a chance to see their practice in the mirror. For the first time since arriving, I saw my practice (two weeks in) and wow. I need to eat something! My diet is very well balanced but I am not mentally and visually comfortable with how dramatic the change is. It may be healthy to be slim and my body may be very efficient but my eyes in that mirror cue my brain to think.. more food. Whether I am to trust my eyes or my stomach though, that is the battle. Trust is the answer there.
I was told to expect bloating from all of the increased water consumption (8Lites per day) but I have seen no such bloating in my own body, others to bloat but we are ALL different in biochemistry with the same functioning parts. This could be in part due to the fact that yours truly has a fucking cold. It is going around but I have not allowed it to get into my head space but it is very real. I have a little decreased strength in classes and a lot of snotty hasty nose blowing in between postures. This marks my increased commitment to practice. The commitment to trusting that the sweat will filter the cold, the postures will strengthen my immunity, and that no matter how bad I feel I will not feel bad and will practice.

“Watch your thoughts because they become your words.
Watch your words because they become your actions.
Watch your actions because they become your habits.
Watch your habits because they become your character.
Watch your character because it becomes your destiny.

-John Salvatore
For a bio on Jim Kallett, click here.


Mark said...

Every blog I've read from TT has glowing words for Mr. Kallett and his lectures... Very cool. Wishing you continued luck!!

Kat said...

Keep up the hard work Kirsten! I'm really enjoying following along your journey with your blog. Enjoy!

Bikramyogajourney said...

Thank you Kat and thank you Mark! I am enjoying it too.

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