Begin again (Bikram TT kick-off)

It’s been 6 months since I wrote a post on here. Yeah, I know. Pretty piss poor. Soz, guys.

A lot of things happened in pretty quick succession that stopped me from wanting to write, or having the time to write. On 20 March, a member of my dad’s band suddenly passed away, which basically stopped me in my tracks and ripped my fucking heart out, to put it lightly. My dad’s band and crew are my family. I hadn’t expected to lose one of them for a long time. To say AJ dying messed me up would be an understatement. But I didn’t even get to dwell on it. I had to start work on my dissertation, then exam revision got stressful, dissertation writing got even more stressful, uni ended, a lot of drinking happened, I graduated, I moved, my boyfriend and I went on a month-long jaunt around Europe, and, finally, I went back to New York for what was *supposed* to be the run-up to my Bikram yoga teacher training.

“Supposed” being the key word there.

Boyfriend and I had a whole teary and dramatic goodbye at Heathrow airport on 15 August. I was meant to be gone for 13 1/2 weeks. I had psyched myself up for months to be gone for such a long time. Yes, TT is only 9 weeks, but I had signed on almost a year beforehand to work for the sleepaway camp my cousins run for the last two weeks of August, and I couldn’t go back on it. So off to New York I went, thinking that I’d be gone for a quarter of a year, sobbing for most of the 7 hour flight. Questions fired off in my head like, “Am I putting my relationship at risk?” and, “Am I really doing the right thing by becoming a yoga teacher?” But then my inner Beyonce was all “Bitch you are an independent-ass woman and you will be FINE.” And I was all, “YES, QUEEN BEY!” Which really I should have taken as a sign that I am deeply emotionally unstable, coming to think of it, but I was *not* going down the negativity route. No, ma’am.

Sleepaway camp went by undramatically enough. I was grateful for the time I got to spend with my two baby cousins, which definitely made up for the gross camp food. And just as I was starting to talk myself into thinking that maybe these 13 1/2 weeks would go by faster than I thought, Bikram dropped an atomic bomb on us. With 2 weeks’ warning, TT got moved from Atlantic City, New Jersey to Thailand.

Yes, you read that correctly. Thailand. Like that country in Asia. Y’know, the one that’s on the other side of the world from the northeast coast of the United States. No biggie.

The dates also got moved, making the new start date 4 October – 3 weeks later than the original one.

So what did I do? Well, I shall tell you. In the following order, I:
– Thought it was a joke
– Realised it wasn’t a joke
– Panicked
– Cried
– Tried to think of other jobs I wanted to do
– Failed to think of any
– Cried
– Called my mother
– Called my boyfriend (cried on the phone to both of them)
– Changed my flight back to London
– Bought a new ticket to Thailand
– Packed my bags
– Hugged my friends and family
– Got on a plane

And so it was that, on 7 September, – 3 weeks after I left and 10 1/2 weeks earlier than I’d expected – I ended up back home. Pissed off, admittedly, that I’d been messed around, but happy to be back with Boyfriend and eating a Sunday roast in the pub with him, my mum, and our dogs. I got 4 extra weeks at home, which meant more time to learn Dialogue and work on my practice, and a whole unexpected month with Boyfriend that, to be honest, I couldn’t have done without. My inner Beyonce aside, I need that doofus in order to function, and he needs me. We’re soppy and gross like that.

But now my grace period is swiftly coming to an end. I leave again on Friday evening. I’m starting to pack (again) and starting to freak out (again) and the feelings are a lot more intense this time. I’m excited, I’m nervous, I’m going to miss Boyfriend like crazy. I’m excited to go back to Thailand, a country I was so reluctant to leave last summer, and to escape this dreadful English weather, and I know I will be smug as fuck when I come back in December with a gorgeous tan when Boyfriend and all my family and friends are starting to get so pale they’re almost translucent.

I am, however, also starting to get a little worried. Rumours about what can happen to you health-wise during TT are rife throughout the Bikram community. Ear infections, vomiting during class, migraine headaches for days on end, being so exhausted you can’t eat, losing 2 stone, gaining 2 stone, collapsing mid-day… And everyone seems to think they know how to avoid it. People are considering bringing their blenders, packing 200 packets of electrolytes, only eating raw and organic in the run-up to their departure. And I have done absolutely none of that. I like my Nutribullet but I’m not bringing it. I like eating healthy but I’m enjoying having all of my favourites one last time before I go. (I’m a mac and cheese addict and the Thais ain’t so keen on cheese.) Am I doing it all wrong? Am I going to fail at this miserably? DO I NEED TO BUY 50 CONTAINERS OF MACA POWDER TO PUT IN ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING I EAT DURING TRAINING?

I’m already exhausted and I haven’t even bloody left yet. The best I can do is take a deep breath and begin again – in my own way, on my own terms, doing what feels right for me. If that doesn’t work, then I’m fucked.

So begins my Bikram Teacher Training journey. Buckle your seatbelts, y’all. We’re in for a bumpy ride. x

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