Visiting Teachers Arrive

Week 3 started out with several visiting Bikram Yoga teachers arriving at training. These teachers are not part of the staff that helps run the training, but they are all certified Bikram instructors who have gone through what we are going through anywhere from six months to 13 years ago. The best part of having these instructors here is that they teach the yoga classes. Each day, each class, we have no idea who’s teaching. I feel incredibly lucky to be taking classes from such experienced, intelligent teachers; hearing how each one delivers the same dialogue is helping me learn effective ways to encourage and push students when I finish the training.


Speaking of finishing training…


The other day Craig, the Director of Teacher Training, said that in just over six weeks, many of us will be teaching our first class. Six weeks! The teachers and staff here are always telling us to stay present in the moment which is sort of easy to do given I am so far away from home without much to think about except yoga, more yoga, and even more yoga. But when my mind does start to wander, I realize that I’m going to have to apply everything that I’m learning and actually teach a 90 minute yoga class. Ahhh! I have been a student of this for about a year and a half, and I’m learning that a huge amount of knowledge, courage, nerves, energy (not to mention some strength, balance, and flexibility 😉 ) go into teaching a class. Standing up in front of Bikram to say the dialogue for Half Moon posture isn’t seeming so bad…


This week of yoga itself was much more challenging than Week 2, but in a good way. Week 1 was simply disastrous. To recap, nausea, dizziness, inflexibility, and anxiety got the best of me in every class. Week 2 was a breeze in comparison. I was working hard, although maybe still holding back a bit, but for some reason I never got too hot, and I never felt too exhausted after class. Yoga this week has been far more physically draining. We are no longer supposed to take it easy in class, so I’ve been pushing pretty hard and really trying to stay in the postures for the full amount of time. Maybe I want to work my hardest for each visiting teacher, I don’t know. I’m also finding that I’m able to stand much more still in between postures than I was at home. For example, in Balancing Stick Pose (the posture that simulates a heart attack so we don’t have the real thing!) I always used to have to bend down, get my head below my heart, and take a drink of water. Now I just stand there. A lot of the time I am seeing stars and spots like crazy, but I just try to breathe through it.


The best instruction this week came from Diane, a senior teacher from West Roxbury, Massachusetts, in the Thursday evening class. She came in and declared her guidelines and rules for the class she was about to teach: Breathe. Breathing was mandatory, everything else we should give our best shot. Kelly, my studio owner in Waltham, Massachusetts, titled her own blog in regards to breathing. Looks like these Massachusetts yoga teachers have the right idea. 🙂

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