By now, I have mastered the art of living out of a hotel room with no kitchen. My kiwi roommate Helen and I are closer than ever and I am so happy to know her. My group 7 has become a second family and is proof that you can know someone intimately after just a few weeks- if you both show your true selves. This is a terrifying task but is so much of what the WHOLE 9 weeks here at Bikram Teacher Training is about.
My feedback over the posture clinics has not been as varied as some. Some of my group members have been asked to act out postures as ghost stories, Steve Irwin, Bon Qui Qui, a beggar on their knees. But in general, the most often given advice for me has been the following: project more, keep smiling, let it out and let your personality come through. The first time I received the feedback to 'let it out' was from a teacher from headquarters in LA and I cried. He was right, the advice hit home, but how do I just let go and do it, it is so hard. I work on this every posture clinic and in reality I work on this every moment. There are people here who came for self empowerment, to get over fears of public speaking, and some to actually become teachers. I came with the intention of 1.successful completion and 2. to be able to teach for the rest of my life. We are all starting to think about teaching our first classes. The thought is exciting and nerve racking. This yoga is inside of us we just have to let it out in order to share it with others.
Physically, I realize how lucky I am in this following aspect. (Knock on wood) my knees are fine. Other than appeasing my mind monsters, my arthritic knees were a primary reason to keep with Bikram Yoga. I am only 30 but regularly took pain medicine to control my aching knee. Snowboarding was not possible without high doses, I was resigned to the fact that one day before I was 50 I would inevitably need a knee replacement. I have not had ONE problem with my knees here. They don't ache except for a little stiffness when I get up from sitting for a while. I see others with ice packs on their knees, indications that they are peeling layers away and revealing old wounds. My knees are happier than ever and that is priceless. Bikram himself ruined one of his knees in a weightlifting accent when he was younger and as his knee was crushed he was told amputation was the answer. His guru and this yoga rebuilt his knee, through the compression and strength training that is incorporated in this Hatha Yoga of Bikram.
Pain. "Pain is the sensation of stretching"- Emmy Cleaves. Pain is in your brain, it is a signal. I see the light that without a little pain, there is no stretch. Sure it can be uncomfortable but if you are not injuring yourself and you are stretching the right way, is it really pain? Yesterday, 65 classes and 6 weeks in after 2.5 years of consistent Bikram Yoga practice, I saw the light. I saw what was possible and that hope is stronger than the fear. The hope that I will see it again with the next class. For the first time, after becoming angry and frustrated with my body built in the Sheffield Steel factory and after shaking at how angry I was I let go and let it hurt.. and do you know what? NOTHING happened, I didn't break! I was not even sore today. I was able to let go and truly feel a difference in how my body felt from when I walked into the hot room for an 8AM class versus when I left. I stood up straighter and walked out of there knowing truth.
***This is my home for whole wild ride.
"We are all the same teacher, we are all teaching the same thing." - Jake, teacher and staff here at BKTT
“Don’t allow your wounds to transform you into someone you are not.” Paulo Coelho