Friday, June 8, 2012
Yes - you figured it out for sure. Kareem Abdul Jabbar was at our training last night. When I saw that man step through the door, I just about started screaming. He is a legend and I've never been in the same room with him before. Literally larger than life, but has such a warm, relaxed presence And he does Bikram Hot Yoga! He sought out Bikram while he was still playing basketball. His game had degenerated to the point that he was near retirement. He came to Bikram and they worked together, using yoga to heal his body, and he was able to play another eight years as a result. There's some qualitative evidence that this yoga works. It's often referred to as a "healing yoga". And it is. Healing physical/muscular ailments, but its a whole body/mind/spirit that is healed by doing Bikram Hot Yoga. It's so challenging, that it forces you to go inside and find our source of inner strength. It's not about a bunch of naked masocistic exercise freaks who like to stare at their bodies in the mirror for 90 minutes. (maybe a few of those mixed in) It's so the complete opposite of that. If you haven't been to a Bikram class, please google it and attend a class. Please do it for me. :) Even if you hate it (and many people do) at least try it.
Last night, our 5 PM yoga class started out pretty normal. Bikram was teaching. His BIG orange chair set up for him. Hot tea next to him, small bowl of Wearther Original candies, water, air conditioning system over his head, cute little leapard pillow. But he's not spoiled at all, right???? He was in a really good mood. Super funny, not being quite a mean to the people he "calls out" for doing postures incorrectly. I swear the woman he corrects is always wear blue... "MISS BLUE... MISS BLUE... WHAT ARE YOU DOING? WHY YOU DO IT THAT WAY? ARE YOU CHICKEN SHIT?" always someone in blue. (note to self, stop wearing blue in the hot room) Anyway, the class lasted 2 hours. He mentioned that he had a guest coming who needed to see a couple postures for a grant at a university. So after a 2 hour class we had to do 4 more postures, to show off for him. Before we started the extra postures, I saw the back door open and a enourage enter. Amoung them was someone I recognized straight away. Who is the NBA's all time leading scorer, with 38,387 total points? He was a Center and is regarded as one of the best basketball players OF ALL TIME. He is known for his signature move called the "sky hook". Do you know? I have to go to class now, but will answer the question later.....
Thursday, June 7, 2012
Big shout out and crazy props to my big brother Chris for coming to teacher training last night !!! It was Chris's very FIRST Bikram hot yoga class evvvver. What a way to start with 450 other yogis cheering you on!! So special. Chris did a fantastic job! Made it through the whole class. Attempting all the 26 postures. (especially savasana) I'm so proud of you!!!! One of the best parts was Chris just looking around before class started, watching all the yogis. We are a pretty bad ass group of people and the collective energy in the hot room is palpable. It's like one big hot yoga half naked sweaty party. Then you kill yourself and start silently swearing as class progresses. The other day during a realllly hot class I just said outloud for all to hear " OK... I'M DONE. I want to go home now. I'm driving back to Idaho now bye bye". Then you get through the class and feel once again that if you can do this, you can pretty much do anything .....
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Wednesday morning. Slept great last night!! Woke up once in a pool of sweat. Why do I have to sweat 24/7 here? I guess my body is still self regulating. Anyway, I feel awesome. I know we are on the home stretch here. I have a sense of calm most of the time. So grateful to be here and have had a chance to put my body, mind and spirit through a renewal experience. I would like to tell everyone reading my blog to please consider coming to Teacher Training. Even if you have no desire to actually teach one class. It's surprisingly secondary to the main event here at Yoga Camp. The real "main event" is YOU. Bikram has a saying "born a baby, die a baby". What he means is that most people never figure out what they are all about from the day they are brought into this crazy world until the day they exit. That's not a life. Find out, ask the question, look for a new answer. Do some yoga. Get to know the most important person in your life. YOU.
It's midnight and we just started a movie. Right before starting Bikram said that "because he is so nice, IF we want to leave, it's ok. BUT he also said for those who do leave we can "eat shit and die". So, I guess I'm in the "eat shit and die" group. Happy to in the room. Can't sleep quite yet. Today we had two yoga classes. Both were good. Heat not too flesh melting high and I felt strong. I believe we are on class number 80 since arriving at Teacher Training. I would like to continue doing doubles when I get back home. It feels really good. First class at 8:30am is like the "warm up" and second at 5pm seems like the "real class". Tonight we had a lecture by Bikram's brother, who is a OB-GYN. Is a professor at UCLA. It was interesting but I'm not sure what the reproduction system has to do with yoga. People (all women) were asking questions about their bodies. I fell asleep once. Heard a question about Human Papilloma Virus and woke up again. More questions on HPV... and more... Hmmmmm? Well, better get some sleep. All is well in Yogaland. My Mom came to visit last night. It was soooo nice to see her and catch up. Love Moms! Your the BEST!
Monday, June 4, 2012
Sunday, June 3, 2012
Sunday and one yoga class down. One to go. Then off to celebrate a birthday. French guy (who I have made it clear to that I'm going to be staying at his flat in France very soon), so you know it will be a interesting night. Looking forward to it. Especially since it feels like we havent really had much of a weekend here. I did get out for breakfast recently. Went to a place on Abbott Kinney that I love. I think it's called Three Squares? Anyway, they have fantastic food. Being served food is now a luxury. Simple pleasures as having someone deliever a cup of coffee to you while you sit down at a table has become so rewarding. Then when the food comes, you just feel like a million dollars. So simple, but so beautiful. I think I wanted to give our server a big hug and kiss after the meal. Being in the yoga room so much just makes you want to connect with people. So, I did have a break-through moment during this same meal. I had finished eating, just kind of hanging out looking at people. Families passing by, couples holding hands, random homeless person, hippies with surfboards, skateboarders listening to music... I started to look at the table next to me and noticed that the small dog on the womens lap was really well behaved and really didn't move the entire meal. THEN... the dog did something amazing. There was a piece of bacon on the table by the womans coffee cup, on the saucer underneath to be exact. I watched the dog slowly, very very slowly inch forward toward the bacon. He was then touching the bacon with his nose, I guess taking a big sniff, then the dog puts the bacon in it's mouth. AND THEN... he put it back and went back to his curled up position on the womans lap. I watched all this over about a 2 minute timeframe, but I think my life changed. I said that I think I have just witnessed the most powerful display of willpower by any animal or human. After sharing what I had just seen, someone said, "that dog could be your Guru"!!! And you know what, no disrespect to Bikram but seriously the dog blew my mind. His name is Lenny and he is a rescue dog. Was treated very poorly in the past. You could tell that he has a wonderful life now. I watched him trott off with his owners and it really looked like he was so happy that his paws barely touched the ground. Lenny the Dog. My new Guru.
Saturday, June 2, 2012
OK this is hilarious. I just woke up, it's 6AM. So, firstly, I'm happy that the clock didn't read 3:30 AM and I slept through the night. Secondly, Sharon my Aussie roommate just informed me that last night, while I was dead asleep I was snoring and saying the dialoge!! REALLY! Are you serious. I DONT SNORE and I DONT KNOW THIS FUCKING DIALOGE! But she swears that I was and tried to get me to shut up and then I started to just mimick whatever she said!! Wow, this is proof that I have lost my mind. Finally some tangable, indisputable truth. Sharon also said that I was rehearsing "Tree Pose" and said it perfectly word by word. I guess my brain is playing tricks on me because during posture clinics I struggle to get the words out. So freaking wierd. So, we both had a good laugh about it. Today we have two make up classes. Starting at 7:30 AM I hope you all think about me while your having a relaxing fun weekend. I'll be drenched in sweat once again. But it's cool, it really is. I'm good with it. It's why I'm here and I don't quite have a six pack yet so bring it!! Last night, I re-read all the cards that my beautiful female friends back home gave me before I left. They are filled with words of encouragement, hope and joy. I felt so loved, so very loved. Thank you again for being there for me. You all know who you are... I love you!!!
Friday, June 1, 2012
Heat, no heat.... Heat, no heat..... So we think we have a 7:30 PM class tonight, after no classes since Tuesday. I did go to a awesome BHY class at the brand new Marina Del Ray Bikram studio at 5:30 AM today. The studio is beautiful. I met the owner and hope to teach there sometime in the future. I come back to Los Angeles about twice or three times a year. 5:30 AM is the earliest I've EVER taken class. I think I got in a full day of activities before noon. This afternoon we had a lecture from Dr. Dilip Sarkar. It was about East meeting West medical science intervention lecture. Very good, I think the best I have heard to date here at TT. Dr. Sarkar said that it's only a matter of time now before yoga therapy will be integrated into how the West treats chronic diseases and disease management. I know it's coming. This is in my wheelhouse and I can't tell you how many physicians have told me over the years if only their patients would go for a walk OR do some yoga, they would be so much better off than just visiting their doc when something comes up. If people got intune with their own bodies, I think the USA's GDP would jump off the charts. So many things would change because the people would change. The Cleveland Clinic offers 10 yoga classes per day for their employees and has a new position called Chief Wellness Officer at the clinic. On thing that Dr. Sarkar said brillantly is that a genetic predispostion is something that you can't get around, as a person. Or other words, if your mother gets heart disease you have a genetic predispostion to also develop heart disease. This is a fact. However, if you change your behaviour than that of your mother, in particular start doing a regular yoga practice, then you achieve genetic suppression of this high risk genetic predispostion. That kind of sums up what the physicians were telling me all along. Do something different for your body, mind and spirit and you will take a different path.