Wow, is week 4 really over already? Sheesh!
Considering how much the first three weeks dragged (at least for me), I’m so grateful that this week went by that much faster. I have no idea what exactly made it seem so quick, but I have a feeling it was due to the fact that we were back to not knowing exactly what was coming every day. Last week was a bit monotonous. We cycled daily from yoga class to lunch to anatomy lecture to yoga class to dinner to posture clinic. Every. Day. This week, on the other hand, things actually got changed up a bit. It’s amazing what a bit of variation in the schedule can do for your willpower to get through the week!
This week was mainly focused on Rajashree, as she returned on Monday to spend one last week with us before she had to return to LA. She spent most of the week’s afternoon lecture slots doing her own posture clinic with us, in which she went through each posture in the series one-by-one and answered all our questions. It took almost 10 hours in total (not in one go, obviously), but it was so worth it! She even let me demonstrate Standing Separate Leg Stretching for her – which was mortifying because I suck at it – so she could explain to me exactly why I suck at it. Apparently I have a few vertebrae in my lower spine that have a weird habit of totally flattening out during back bends, and curving during forward bends, hence why I can’t touch my forehead to the floor in Standing Separate Leg. You’d have thought that, after three years of practicing this yoga, I would have figured that out already. Just goes to show that you learn something new about your body every day practicing the 26/2. The series might be the same every day, but your body never is. And there is always something new to learn.
This was further reinforced for me this week during Rajashree’s evening yoga classes (she taught four out of the five), in which she walked around on the floor of the yoga room and gave us all personalised corrections throughout class. Although she only gave me one, – that I have to bring my body down more during Balancing Stick – listening to the corrections she was giving everyone else all week was nonetheless incredibly helpful. If she told someone else that they needed to even out their hips more during Standing Separate Leg Head-to-Knee, I would try to do the same. If she told someone else to suck their stomach in more, I’d suck mine in more as well. Why? Because there is always somewhere to improve in your yoga practice, regardless of how long you’ve been practicing. And there is always something new your body is willing to do in yoga class, but you won’t know until you try to push it to that point. I’ve heard a million times in the last six years that I’ve been practicing yoga that it’s called a yoga practice for a reason. Yoga is about practicing and trying (in the right way), and being humble enough to admit to yourself that there is still room for improvement. There are amazing yoga practitioners out there who can do ridiculous things with their bodies, but their egos are so big that they think they’ve got it all down and don’t need help anymore. That’s why they are yoga practitioners, and not yogis. I’ve heard that time and time again for years, but Rajashree’s classes this week brought me back to that idea in a big way.
So did that mean my classes this week were always wonderful and enjoyable?? Hell. No.
My left knee has been in all kinds of pain this week, and my thigh muscles are so tight and tired that I came out of Awkward early in almost every class. Meanwhile, the teachers aren’t playing Mr. Nice Guy anymore, and the doors rarely get opened during Savasana between the standing and floor series. So it has been hot in there. I, myself, haven’t been brave enough to look at the temperature gauge in the room lately, but a friend told me at one point this week that it was reading 45 degrees centigrade at the end of class. That’s 113 farenhiet. And that’s not keeping in mind the humidity. So, yes, classes are getting progressively harder. But I do also believe that we’re getting progressively stronger. We may all be getting a little worse for wear at this point, and most of us are dealing with joint pains or muscle strains, but our stamina is nonetheless increasing. Fewer people are having to sit down during class, and people having to leave the room during class is getting rarer and rarer. I’m sure all this progress will be thrown out the window tomorrow when Bikram returns, but at least we’re doing well for now!
It did help, though, that we had a couple of really great visiting teachers this week, who talked to us about life after training and all the amazing things that lie ahead of us. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: positive thinking works wonders here. So during the couple of really shitty yoga classes I had, and the boring anatomy lectures we were forced to sit through, I reminded myself of everything I’m excited to do once training is over. I’m hoping to teach in every city we go to on my dad’s tour next summer that has a Bikram studio, and in the mean time I can’t wait to start teaching back at home and really getting my career going. And I’ve been day dreaming more and more about hopefully opening my own studio some day soon. And all I have to get through to achieve those dreams is just five more weeks here!
Now, on a bit of a totally different topic, I’ve been getting asked a lot about what happens to your body here, so I should probably address that. My simple answer is that it’s different for every person. The guys appear to be losing more weight (one of them has apparently lost 12 pounds), whilst the girls are all over the spectrum. Some of us (not myself) are bloating from the increased water intake. Some have gained weight on the scale, but appear to have lost weight when you look at them, which I’m assuming is from gaining muscle mass. And some don’t seem to have been affected much at all. As for me, I lost four pounds in our first week here, and have completely plateaued since then. I, personally, don’t see a difference in how I look, but Boyfriend is insisting that I look skinnier in the photos I’ve posted. So, really, I don’t know what’s going on here. I’ve heard that the time that most women lose weight is actually about two weeks post-TT. So I guess we’ll see.
What I do know for certain, though, is that my body is detoxing like crazy here. To the point where I had a Thai iced tea the other night when we were anticipating a particularly late bedtime (which didn’t end up happening), and the caffeine actually make me start trembling. Some others remain totally unaffected and are drinking coffee every day, but my body is not having it at all. Honestly, I’ll probably be able to get shit-faced off half a glass of wine when I get home. I’ve also completely lost my appetite. One bowl of Pho noodle soup at lunch is enough to fill me up, and I rarely want to eat much at dinner, either. I don’t feel ill or under-nourished or anything, though. I’m giving my body what it’s telling me it wants, and so far that’s been working out fine for me. Oh, except for some reason I seem to have developed a permanent craving for peanut m&ms, and my roommate has been constantly craving olives. So basically here at TT you develop the eating habits of a pregnant lady.
And on that note, readers. I must be off. I’ve got a whole lovely Sunday ahead of me to study Dialogue and nap in the sun. (I really need to start working on my tan so I come back to England in December looking something other than my current shade of Vampire White.) I shall also be trying to stop myself thinking about what lies in the week ahead, what with good old Bikkers coming back and the promise of 3 AM lecture finishes hanging over our heads. I’ll tell you all about it next week! If Bikram hasn’t killed us by then. x
Yoga classes done: 43
Latest bedtime this week: 12:30
Current position in posture clinic: STILL Standing Head-to-Knee (as we didn’t have PC this week)