Saturday, April 21, 2012

Week 1

I officially survived week one of Bikram's Boot Camp, or Bikram's Torture Chamber, or Hell - any of the three titles will work, but I prefer the third one, as it's the most accurate. I never really believed in Hell... until now, that is. Hell is most certainly real, folks. It's located in the ballroom on the second floor of the Radisson LAX hotel, trust me on this one.

I will quickly recap week one for you all, but I must warn you, if you think this is going to be an uplifting post, think again. If you're looking for some light-hearted, inspirational reading, go ahead and close out of this window on your computer screen, because this ain't it (yes, an English major just used the word 'ain't' - so what).

Week one was hell - mentally, physically, and emotionally. Our daily schedule goes as follows :

8a - sign in
8:30a-10/10:30a - Bikram Yoga class
10a-12p - lunch break
12p - sign in for lecture
12:30p-4p - lecture/posture clinics/dialogue clinics
4:30p - sign in
5p-7p - Bikram Yoga class
7p-9p - dinner break
9p - sign in
9:30p-midnight (or later!) - lecture

For kicks and giggles, here is list of thoughts that have entered my head throughout the past week :

-I hate this place.
-I am in Hell.
-Someone please choke the folks who praise Bikram, as if he is some sort of god.
-Bollywood movies are the dumbest thing ever.
-Bikram can kiss my ass.
-Bacon is delicious.
-This program has nothing to do with the true meaning of yoga.
-It's hot in here.
-My Hydroflask is the best purchase I've ever made.
-It's f'in hot in here!
-I live in a hotel. This is not normal by any standards.
-Am I crazy?
-I just paid a lot of money to be tortured.
-Am I crazy? (That one gets repeated a lot.)
-I miss my bed.
-I miss the smell of my house.
-Life is too short to be miserable for nine weeks.
-Leave me alone.
-I'd rather run a full marathon every damn day, as opposed to doing this crap. (Yes, I've run a full marathon. I know just how much hard work it is, but it's a piece of cake compared to this, let's be clear.)
-I love, love, love the color green! (heehee)
-I will never do another double again as long as I live, once I leave here.
-This is total bullsh*t!

...the list goes on and on...

My body hurts in places I did not even know existed. I haven't shaved in days - I'm far too tired! My skin looks like I've just hit puberty. My nails need a manicure in a bad way. Blah, blah, blah... Thank goodness I'm not trying to impress anyone here - we are all too tired to care!

My emotions change literally by the hour. One hour I am okay and I feel strong, the next hour I am crying hysterically, frantically searching online for flights back home (thank god we are located right next to LAX!). After day two I had resigned myself to the fact that I was going back home. I even went so far as to pack my bags (after having unpacked them just two days before) and book a flight back home. Thank goodness I have some amazing parents and friends back home who called me regularly (and continue to call) and gave me pep talks. Safe to say, I decided to stay.

One pretty awesome person back home told me something along the lines of (can't remember it verbatim - it's been a long week, sorry), "You don't do what you want to, you do what you have to." I have to do this. I don't want to, or not right now at least, but I have to. I must do this in order to fully grow as a person. Another friend, who has been through training herself, explained my reactions like this : It's all based out of fear. Training brings up many, many emotions and instead of allowing myself to feel them, my instant reaction is to run away from them. This is precisely why I must stay here. I need to feel things; allow feelings to come and go; cry when I need to; scream when I need to; love when I can; talk when needed; be silent when appropriate.    

I delivered my dialogue for Half Moon Pose to Bikram himself this past week. His response went as follows, : "I have no corrections for you. Beautiful dialogue. Just need a little more, a little more confidence, but who wouldn't love you? You're an adorable and sweet girl." I was beaming from ear to ear. That's a huge compliment coming from a man who, many times, wears people out on stage in a ruthless way. I've held onto those words ever since he said them to me.

I've never been quite this homesick, not even when I was away at SMU (hard to believe, huh?!). I miss everything about Memphis, but perhaps that's the point of training, or one of the points at least - to appreciate what you have, where you come from. I have a huge support system back home and I'm reminded of that each and every day. The tremendous amount of love that surrounds me continues to amaze me and warms my heart in a way that words just can't adequately describe.

On a more positive note, it is pretty amazing to witness a yoga class here - 400 plus yogis in one room, all working towards the same goal. It's beautiful to see how so many different kinds of people - all ages, all ethnicities, all beliefs - can come together in one place and produce such a magnificent energy. For now, I am enjoying my two days of down time to reflect on myself and be still inside. I am holding each and every positive and motivational word I hear (both here and back home) close to my heart, and most importantly, I am believing in myself. I am strong - this I know for a fact.

Until next week... Namaste.            


  1. you are STRONG woman- remember that :) and i loved your kicks and giggles comments- i felt many of those in my time there. especially the 'is signed up for this?' but you know what- you can do it! xo!

  2. I. Love. This. And. You.

    People say that the journey begins after TT. It's true. I'm still on the journey, as are most people who have gone through yoga teacher training. You will keep learning things for many years about BY and of course, about yourself.

    If I had one regret about TT it would be that I didn't have much fun. I mean, it is hell and a torture chamber but you can also have a ton of fun if you choose. I should have chosen to have more fun. The one thing that I TOTALLY LOVED was keeping track of everyone's dialogue bloopers. Those were the highlights of my days in TT.

    Just laugh all the time and don't take anything too seriously. And start counting the number of times you overhear people saying they had "breakthroughs."

  3. Glad I read your post.

    I have been thinking about starting a blog about something,...anything and now I know I must.(that's another story)

    Anyway, it was refreshing to hear you say that you thought TT was bulls**t because honestly a lot of it was.It has been a year for me and I had forgotten about many things until now.I think it takes awhile to process it.After your done you are proud to have finished it and happy to be home but you forget so quickly about what it was really like.
    I guess in some ways that is precisely the point.There is a tremendous amount of bulls**t and in the end it brings you to yourself.Sort of like Memphis...Ha!! No joke!As I always say"they don't call it soulsville for nothing"Speaking of which,I missed Memphis something awful.I would look at FB and see people post about shows they we're going to see and wishing I could be at THe Hi Tone,The Buc,even(gasp!!)Murphy's for Christ's sake!!!That reminds me.There is a show thursday I must go to see because I missed it last year when I was at TT.

    I know in the end you will come out smiling because everyone does.You DO have fun and meet some amazing people.Nevertheless,there is a ton of garbage and stupidity you have to sift through and it is easy to forget that when it's over.Oh, and BTW after you start teaching it keeps coming.The difference is YOU are different!!

    Thanks for letting me vent.I think I am going to call my husband now and tell him I love him.

  4. This needs to be in all the future TT Welcome Packets!

    1. Thanks, Olga. I agree. Something of this nature needs to be presented to people before they get here. Thanks for reading the blog and commenting - I love to hear what others think about my posts!