This week started quite good but suddenly Tuesday afternoon, during the second class of the day, I lost it. Had a hard time to breath. If you can’t breath normal anymore, you’re lost… forget about it, finito, end of story. I had my worst classes ever this week. Watching people around you who seem to do quite well make you lose your confidence even more. What the heck is wrong with me? Thursday morning the GREAT, no the GREATEST Emmy Cleaves gave class again. Wonderful! Eightysix years old it seems, but she’s one of a kind. I heard her say that ‘stress is going to sit on your chest’… or something like that.. Then I realized that if I don’t focus on my breath for 90 minutes, to make sure it doesn’t halt for even a tenth of a second, to make sure my chest and diaphragm stay nice and loose and relaxed, my upperbody gets so contracted that my lungs have no more room to expand. The hotter the room, the more I have to stay focused.
From that moment on things started to get better. I had a class during which I had the feeling, for the first time in my Bikram life, that I was doing yoga. For the first time after 600+ classes. Amazing. I was so focused and relaxed that I really found stillness during some postures. As soon as I felt that my breath didn’t flow normal anymore I just stopped. I didn’t care if Bikram was giving class, screaming and shouting, or whoever. I just stood up straight, or lay down in savasana during the floor series. I realized that breathing normal actually is most important. Better to do just one pose and find your stillness, than doing 26 postures and not doing yoga. ‘Don’t let anyone or anything take your peace’, Bikram says. These words are starting to get meaning now. He’s pushing us so we just get there. No matter if he insults women, no matter if he shouts at a guy for three times he should suck his stomach in, no matter if he asks a chubby girl if the food is cheap in her country…
Keep your peace
On her blog, Noémie tells about the time she had to pee during class. As a co-incidence I had to pee right at the start of class during Pranayama breathing, Friday afternoon. I drank about three glasses of water before class, but I never realized that this could happen. Bikram was giving class, so this was another challenge for me. Would I be able to choose for whatever I wanted to do, for whatever I felt I should do, to do whatever makes me feel comfortable, or should I conform myself to what I think others expect from me. At first I thought I might sweat it all out, but I kept being distracted by this feeling I really had to pee. If you can just forget about it and keep your focus then that’s allright I guess, but I couldn’t. I think I also liked it if I just dared to leave the room. What could Bikram do? Bite my head off? Send me home?
So I did. During Savasana, before the floor series started, when everybody was lying on their back, I ran to the door, jumped right into the cold hallway, to the restroom…. Woooow, that felt gooood. As soon as I could I ran back to the hotroom. Bikram started the floor series already so, as humble as I could be, I waited till the posture was finished so I could go back to my mat during Savasana. Before the second set started Bikram said I could go back to my mat and thanked me for waiting. You could have seen a balloon above my head like in a comic book saying ‘Yes master, thank you master, no problem master’. What a world. What a crazy world. But I like it. This afternoon my roommate Bram said ‘we are living the good life’, while looking at our table full of food for the coming week, being prepared and well organized. You’re damn right we are living the good life!
Thursday evening, if I recall correctly, we had a lecture by Jim Kallett. Jim is a teacher, having his own Bikram school in San Diego, and as it seems a close friend of Bikram. Jim speaks highly of Bikram and told about the history of Bikram Yoga. How it started. Jim’s a very good speaker. I couldn’t stop listening, focusing only on Jim and probably with my mouth wide open. Jim talked for perhaps three hours but it didn’t seem that long. Everything he said was interesting and I guess he has a nice voice and what he says comes straight from the heart. To be honest, the next day Jim gave another lecture and kept talking on and on and on.. It seemed he just couldn’t stop. As if he just had to fill the hours until next class started, which probably was the case.. So, kudos to Jim, but as long as it really comes from his heart, he’s the best speaker we have had up till now. Jim gave two classes this week. Very good also.
Thursday night, around 12, we started watching the Bollywood movie ‘Jodhaa Akbar‘. Although Bollywood movies in general are quite long, this one took 3,5 hours, I would recommend this movie to anybody. The man and woman that are playing the lead role are both very beautiful and the whole production is of high quality and has a good story. Very entertaining. I might even watch this movie again some day at home.
Friday evening after class we were free. No lecture, no Bollywood movie. Just doing whatever you want to do. Heaven.
Michon gave class Saturday morning. He’s a senior staff member. I really like his humor. Its as dry as the Sahara. Starting Poorna Salabhasana, full locust pose, he said ‘don’t be scared to touch your neighbour, just don’t feel anything’. He had more funny lines, but unfortunately I can’t recall.
Unless you had to do a so called ‘make up class’, you were free for the rest of the weekend. Yahooo.. A ‘make up class’ is a class which you have to take if you f*cked up, so to speak. For every class or lecture we take, we have to sign in. No matter if you are in class, if you forgot to sign in, you’re f*cked.. There’s a girl who forgot to sign in four times already in one week.. So the next four weeks she’ll have to take a ‘make up class’, right after the official last class of the week. Sad but true. The good thing is, or what makes it even worse for this girl and others who forgot, some students voluntarily stand next to the entrance of the hot room or lecture room to ask anybody who passes by if they have signed in. I guess some people just lose their heads. They don’t know if its day or night, if its the first or second class of the day. Like a girl who told me today that when she finished a posture sometime this week she wondered where she was and who all these people were around her.. She lost all track of time, space, herself.. This is TT. This is Bikram Yoga Teacher Training! Sounds dramatic right..
Two weeks down. Its going fast now. Monday the posture clinics will start, or better said, the dialogue classes. We will be divided into smaller groups, of about twenty people, and will instruct poses in front of two groups during these classes. Exciting!