Week 1 round-up: Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore

WE MADE IT TO THE END OF WEEK 1!!! Woohooooo!!!!

Honestly, I never thought it would happen. After our first class with Bikram, I couldn’t imagine getting myself through another day, let alone an entire week. But, at long last, the weekend arrived, and the start of week 2 is upon us.

This week seemed to be mostly about emotional highs and lows for everyone, especially in the hot room. Now, I’m sure those highs and lows will only get more extreme as time goes on – just because we made it through our first week here does not at all mean that we’re through the worst. In fact, I’m relatively certain the worst hasn’t even started yet. I just think that a lot of us have been spending this week finding our feet here, and sometimes that has been difficult. I’ve been missing Boyfriend, my roomie Yvonne has been missing her two (very young) children, and many others have been having similar issues. It’s also very difficult in the first week to imagine doing it all again eight times over, when every class has been so utterly exhausting.

I, personally, only managed to not sit down at all in two of the ten yoga classes we did this week. I know quite a few people who managed more than that, and quite a few who managed less. There were also a few who fell ill this week, and so just had to stay in the room lying down most of the time. What we’ve all learned, though, is that we can’t judge ourselves on any of it. Whether we think we’re doing well or not, the most important thing is that we all make it out of there alive and healthy. My first day here I stupidly got it into my head that I’d make it a goal to never have to leave the room. But who fucking cares if I have to? I’m a strong person, and in the three years I have been doing this yoga, I have not once left the room during class for any reason. But the rules we had for ourselves at home don’t apply here. So advice for future trainees: do whatever you need to do in order to keep your sanity and your health!

If you are able to push yourself, by all means, do. Being trained personally by Bikram himself is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so if you can do your best and get him to give you corrections or feedback that will further your practice (or even get him to stand on your back during paschimotanasana), then definitely take advantage of that. But if you need to have a “take it easy” class, no one will blame you. The most important thing is that you don’t burn yourself out.

My morning classes have definitely been weaker than my evening classes thus far, mainly because I wake up feeling so stiff that I can barely straighten my legs during hands-to-feet pose, or do any back bending whatsoever. So I have, admittedly, been going very easy on myself during those classes, and I’m finding it really pays off in the evening. Friday night’s class was one of the strongest classes I’ve ever had, period. The bottom line: just take care of yourself. Remember that your body will go through a lot of changes here, and that your muscles might ache in ways you have never experienced before. It’s fine. Just do what you need to do.

As far as the other aspects of training go… weeeeell… it’s been interesting. Nothing (so far) like what I had expected. We have only had one late night, which was Wednesday, when Bikram made us watch a Bollywood movie called Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai. Whose plot, by the way, makes no goddamn sense. But it has a banging male lead so I don’t think any of the women minded watching it too much. Besides that night though, we got to bed around 11:30 the rest of the week. And lectures were skipped altogether on Monday and Friday nights. We’ve all been speculating as to why this is, and the general consensus seems to be that it’s because our group is so small. Before we move on to posture clinics and anatomy lectures, we must all deliver the dialogue for half moon pose in front of Bikram, and after only three sessions of doing it, our group is half way finished. If they had used every lecture period available last week, we’d easily have been done by Friday afternoon, whereas most other TTs have used the first 2-3 weeks on just this one task. So we think they’re slowing down deliberately.

Does this mean that all of this “going easy” on us is going to come to an abrupt end this week or next? I honestly have no idea. Given that there are only 128 of us, I think anything could end up happening. We just have to wait and see.

In the mean time, please enjoy this clip from the film we were forced to watch, in which the ridiculously attractive male lead crashes the birthday party of a girl he literally just met, and she decides to find it charming instead of very creepy and also weird. X

P.S. To follow my time here on instagram, please follow me at @samantha.e.french

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