Week 4 has been a chore. My body is holding up pretty well with the expected stiffness and slow deterioration of my practice (depth and flexibility-wise). This deterioration is experienced by many if not most trainees. Our bodes are STILL adjusting, settling then moving again, and as Emmy Cleaves our 86 year old senior teacher extrordinaire said, "This is the time for you to be your own artist and re-sculpt your body into what you want." We are all hot, sweaty, tired and moldable. This time also marks the end of Dr. Preddy's lectures and the Anatomy portion of Teacher Training. Our final exam is Monday. Bikram returns next week as we hit the halfway mark of our Training. We have done 40 Bikram classes in 25 days... HOLY HAMSTRINGS!
Week 4 is also when they start to crank up the heat. I am speaking for everyone when I say that it is freaking hot in there. You walk in and think, "No". But then you start with Pranayama breathing and remember that it is overwhelming only when you look at the big picture. If you focus on each moment and each posture, time begins to go by and you get into it. Staying in the room, trying not to sit out any part of the class, and survival are my priorities. I heard from a reliable source that the temp in the room one day was 134 degrees. This however was the measurement up on the podium which is elevated about 8 feet and hotter naturally.
Going deep into postures is not a priority for me. The postures that I push in are few and different every class... in fact it just kind of happens. It was explained to us this week that during our asanas we may experience 'Pratyahara'. This is a Niyama of yoga. I am not pretending to be an expert on the subject.. Bikram yoga is super straightforward and simple- this is the beauty of why it works.. but it is still yoga.
It is a name for the experience of when you are in a posture and you have no idea what posture you are doing, your just doing it. Now.. there is a fine line between being so hot that you are careless versus Pratyahara. I have experienced this sensation increasingly here at training when our minds are most connected with our body. Today, during Head to Knee with Stretching (Paschimotthanasana I think) I looked around and I was down there! My elbows were almost on the floor. I don't know how it happened, I don't know why today, I don't even know if it will happen again. My whole class had been about self-preservation and colorful fantasies of being immersed in cold water. I do know that I am grateful and hopeful that this is the beginning of a new kind of opening in my body.
Overall, my body is needing less food but I am not loosing weight either. My body tells me what it needs and I go fetch plain and simple. I look around see beautiful bodies and realize that I too must be one of them. Clean sweat that doesn't smell and tight bodies that are at their best. Bikram returns next week and shit is about to get cray cray. This pictures I posted today are first of the dialogue and palm trees at the pool, this is a fun place to study but only when you remember to wear sunscreen. Below is a picture of the van that take us to Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and laundry on the weekends.. this is how we roll!