Week 9. I have been waiting to write this post because: I don't want it to be over, nothing I write seems authentic enough to capture the last week, and I am so nervous about teaching my first class that I am distracted.
The last week was extremely difficult because waking up and dragging my sore ass to yoga when I was so close to the end was brutal. The room was never hot enough to melt my sore joints and muscles. I saw the end coming and I wanted to rip that band-aid off! Pulling it off hair by hair and then reapplying it is not my style. The goodbyes to friends, the last classes, the looks of longing that we better make the most out of the time that we have- not for me. My friends in college had a name for me- Houdini. I disappear preferring to remember the times when time was not a constraint. In other words, I like to leave on my own terms.
Bikram's lectures during the last week were all-time amazing. I could not write fast enough even the common sense wisdom he spoke. It is good to be able to back up your claims about how this yoga heals. Boss's words the last week enable me to 'back that shit up'. The postures, oh the information and the encyclopedia of wisdom on the postures that is Bikram Choudhury- I was like a kid in a candy store. As people got up to ask questions, questions were either good or stupid- Bikram's words not mine.
I had been mulling over my question for a couple of days, debating on whether or not it would fit the bill. Luckily, someone else had the same idea and asked first. The question related to the importance of switching the grip during Pavanmuktasana. Bikram's answer was this, - Weird, weird question (stupid question), Do you know what I do when I am home? I get up on my bathroom counter and I get really close to the mirror with my black costume on (costume is Bikramspeak for your yoga shorts). I look in the mirror and I ask myself, "Am I weird?" and every time I get the same answer, the same answer is "Bikram you are the weirdest person I know."
So this is Bikram in a nutshell, it was an answer if you really think about it but don't think too hard. Stay out of your mind, it's a bad neighborhood.
Graduation and the final hurrah was amazing, but this is expected. My parents and my husband came to show support and I am so lucky to have them. My parents impression of Bikram was probably not ideal but hey, "Don't let anyone steal your peace" is what I remember. As I hear reports of first classes taught by my fellow trainees, I realize that when I give my mock class this Sunday I am not alone. I will see the faces of my group members with smiles in hopes that I am capable and it will go well.
My first class back home was not at my home studio. After flying in and a rough transition back to reality, I took a class in the city. I stood in the front and the teacher acknowledged my accomplishment. Class felt different, it was no longer just for me- I set an example and I could feel eyes on me. To that I say, yes I am capable of showing you how the posture is supposed to look and yes I have earned every inch of flexibility with sweat, tears, and a lot of muscle. No I am not bendy but yes I am precise. In the locker room after class, a woman came up to me and said she remembered me from when I was a regular. She said she had wanted to go to training but was worried about her age. At 52 she was preoccupied that it was too late or that she would stick out like a sore thumb. I realized that no one really talks about the demographic of teacher training. Ours was as follows based on my own observations and in no way is this official:
*About 1/4 men 3/4 women
*70% of women in 20s and 30s
*30% of women in 40s and 50s
*Most seasoned age 57 years old
*Youngest was below the age requirement
*Most lbs lost- 23lbs straight from the horses mouth
*Most lbs gaind- 23lbs straight from the horses mouth
I can tell you that never was my first though upon seeing a fellow trainee, He/She is old, he/she is too big, he/she shouldn't be here. NEVER- because it isn't about comparisons, it is about who you are. "Never to late, never too old, never to sick, to start from scratch and begin again."
Returning to my home studio is wonderful. Classes are almost more difficult than at teacher training. I have a few theories for this having to do with the amount of energy in the room, my nerves about teaching, and learning to deal with my new outlook on things. The mental aspect is after all the most beneficial part of the yoga to me. We have an amazing and close community and one of my fellow yogis told me that she completed a 30 day challenge in my absence. She said, that she didn't do it for herself she did it because she knew if I was doing two classes a day,then she could do one class per day. She was right and she did it! That simple event made all my training, sweat, and tears so much sweeter and all the more worth it.
I will teach a mock class on Sunday- so that is about a week after graduating. I will be on the schedule for next week to teach my first real class. I am beyond nervous, excited, and oh so ready.