(thanks Michael Harris for the title idea).
So this was the hard week. the week where everyone cries during class, where EMTs were called because people passed out, where multiple people found their breaking point, the week where they turned the fucking heat UP. ugh. So they now have this new heater system where there are about 18 heaters hanging from the ceiling. they turned the one by the door in such a way that it blasts you with burning heat each time you enter the room. i call it the Spirit Crusher, because you always feel good just before you walk in the room, then the Crusher is there to knock you down a few pegs. my biggest struggle this week was my jaw. At the beginning of the week, i couldn't even open my mouth at all. when i practiced, i had to jam my tongue between my teeth to make sure i wasn't cleching my jaw. i got so sick of drinking smoothies. but now it's better, largely due to Justin from NE Fremont generously bestowing his massage therapist skills upon my jowels. he gave me a 15 minute massage before class yesterday morning and afterwards was the first time i could open my mouth all the way in nearly 2 weeks, so yay!
Poor John Salvatore (an AMAZING teacher from NY) got the worst of it. his afternoon class on wednesday, i think, was the worst. people were dropping like flies, then people started yelling out "open the door" and craig got really mad. then someome yelled "close the door" and i thought craig was gonna scream. and he sorta did. everyone was trying to leave the room, and everyone else was cramping up so bad they couldn't move. luckily, my row assignment was right in front of the doors so i was happy as a clam each time the door opened up. but i got to watch other people going through the worst of it.
Another sad part of this week was that michael harris left us to return to his studio in Bend. It was very sad. he said that our group had affected him more than any other group since his own training in 1998. we cried, he cried, he took a group picture of all of us and said goodbye. his posture clinics were the best, because he chose people at random, and then at the end of each session he lead thoughtful discussions about anything really. sometimes they got really heavy, and sometimes they were funny. hopefully he will return for graduation. Here's a picture from a few days ago of mike and me:
i also had a hard time with a realization that a fellow yogi wasn't the nice, mature person i thought he might be. aren't canadians supposed to be nice? craig said earlier that forgiveness is a selfish act as it releases the chains from your own heart, but i don't think he even deserves the effort on my part to forgive him. in fact, he doesn't even deserve me writing about him in my blog, so i'm going to stop.
But as Bikram said, everything comes in ebbs and flows, and in the place of a shallow and one-sided friendship came two real ones.
~*~*~*~Warning Parental Units: Proceed With Caution!~*~*~*~
So, mom and dad, i am warning you right now that you're not going to like what you're about to read. are you sitting down? okay, good. I got a tattoo. now, i know what you're thinking and yes, it is something i've been thoughtfully considering for at least 3 years, i went to a professional, clean and reputable tattoo artist, i'm not planning on getting any more, and you wouldn't ever know that i had it if you weren't reading about it now. it's on my back, right in the middle, so it won't show, even when i wear tank tops, open-back dresses or shorter shirts. I've done extensive research regarding tattoos and bikram yoga, and the sweat and the heat help tattoos heal faster and more evenly. Mom, you're probably crying and i'm sorry. Dad, all i can tell you is that i'm not the only one of the 5 kids who has a tattoo. also, maybe now my ear piercings wont bother you so much?
So here it is:
Note: it's still somewhat irritated since it was only a few hours old in this photo, but the pedals are colored in white (with pink in the center), which will start showing in a couple days.
The word 'Creideamh' is the Gaelic translation for Faith. Faith has always been a powerful word to me, but has become even more so during this training process. the only thing that gets me through it all is Faith - not in the religioius sense, but having ultimate faith in myself. John Salvatore said it best last week in an acronym "FAITH: Finally Allowing It To Happen".
And the flower. It's a magnolia flower, just like the ones in the tree outside of Goma and Gompa's house.
I really love it, and don't regret it, even a little bit. I know that I got it for me, and what better time to commemorate than this teacher training program where i am being pushed to the limit mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually with the end result of learning to how to love myself? My friends Margery and Charles went with me and held my hands. it didn't hurt like i thought it would, but it was definitely uncomfortable. about 30 seconds from the end i just couldn't handle it any more and cried, but then he said he was finished. Now, it just sorta feels like i have a bad sun burn.
I feel like i've written too much but i know there is so much i am missing. it's crazy how much happens each day, but it is all going by to quickly. I'm really excited for this new week. It's amazing how we only have Sundays off, but they always seem to wash everything away and start us all anew.
- It's like a party in my mouth! -Shannon re: Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Paschimotinasana
- I come back to training to feel what it's like to be the Krispy Kreme in the oven again. - John Salvatore
- Your foot should be coming out of the top of your head in the mirror. - Maria Jose [should have said "Your foot is coming up over the top of your hear in the mirror"]
- Start to finish there is only one thing that matters and that's your students. - Julia
- I give you this blessing: may your first class have no beginners. - Craig
- You won't have a tear unless you go close to your heart and soul. - Rajashree
- We are so wrried about the future or past that we forget about the present. - Rajashree
- Talk and teach positive. - Rajashree
- Desire, emotion and gravity all pull us in the same way. - Rajashree
- An Angel is a demon that stands between you and your enemy. - Craig
- Yeah, there is a little gambling there. - Frank re: Vegas
- You know what I do? I come into your house, blindfold you, rearrange your furniture then ask you to find your way around. - Michael Harris
- If you're teaching in a dialect that's not your own, work that shit! - John Salvatore
- We don't treat the symptom, we treat the system. - Rajashree
- Yoga's value is trying to take care of your own life. - Rajashree
- You work your whole fucking life, 10 hours a day in a dance studio to play a fucking FORK?! - John Salvatore re: being in Beauty and the Beast on Broadway
- It's like switching seats on the titanic - it don't matter, that shit's goin' down! - John Salvatore
- Keep your heart open and open the hearts of others. another open heart in the world is another open heart in the world. - Mike harris
- My heart is my guru. - Rajashree
- Everyone has something to give if you know how to accept it. - Rajashree
- Sure it's short, but i'm sure it's irritating. - Ron re: learning Tree Pose