The Roller Coaster

September 19, 2008

It’s FRIDAY!!!  I cannot believe that week one is nearly over.  Wow.

So, everthing anyone ever told me about this Training being a total roller coaster was right.  It literally is moment by moment up one minute and down the next.  I’ve seen some pretty deep lows this week and had some pretty high highs.  This is GOOD!  Am I right?  Yes Boss!

Anyway, my classes are feeling a little stronger.  I had quite possibly (what I thought) the worst class of my entire yoga career yesterday.  What’s funny about it is that I thought the class I had Wednesday night was the worst.  Get my point?  But then last night I had a strong class with Bikram.  I felt good, like I was floating.  I’ve cried every single class since I got here but last night.  There’s nothing wrong with that, I am certainly fairing better than many of my fellow students overall.  But it’s hard emotionally.  It’s all good, all part of this process I see opening up and as hard as it is, I am trying to let it go.

So people have been asking me, why do people collapse, vomit, pass out, etc, in the class here.  There are so many reasons for it.  And it’s not even just because it’s Training.  Bikram Yoga is like a refiner’s fire.  It’s the kiln, where you put your body to shape it, to mold it.  When you put your body in the fire, the shit comes out.  Whatever that means for you, it happens.  Tears, nausea, vomiting, fainting, it’s all just the body purging itself of the crap we’ve done to it for however long we’ve been alive.  One of our teachers said (I believe it was Jim Kallet) that the body NEVER forgets.  Everything we’ve done to our body is still in our body.  So you go into the room, the heat and the humidity, and you feel that purge.  Let it go, this is good.  Some of the students here are adjusting to the elevated humidity of the room (around 70%), others are coping with viruses, others are dealing with weak bodies, others are suffering emotionally.  We all deal with it, in different ways.  But what we learn from it is to get back to our mat, stand back up, and work.  Every day, class by class, breath by breath.

I gave my dialogue for Bikram last night, and I nailed it.  Felt awesome to be done with that.  Just, you know, 23 more postures to go!

This place is becoming more and more familiar to me.  I’m getting it why we have to let go and be here.  I have enjoyed having this time already just to not worry, not think, just do.  I’ve opened myself up, and I’m here.  I’m also looking forward to the weekend when I can rest a little more, study, and maybe even go to the beach.

So, how’s my body doing?  Overall, I’m doing great.  No dehydration, no cramping (WOW).  Overall, I’m just dealing with a slightly cranky digestive system (SOTBB), some fatigue, and my emotional junk.  I’m grateful to NOT be vomiting, or leaving the room, or passing out.  I’ve stayed on my mat, in the room, and that’s the goal.  I’m taking care and eating well.  So far so great.  Even when it sucks, I remember how far I’ve come.  I feel SO much new depth in my postures.  Just this far in!  I can’t wait to see how I feel in 8 weeks.  I’m holding things, pushing things, and feeling stronger class by class.  Thankful, thankful, thankful!!!

I had better be off to prepare for class.  Can’t wait to write again this weekend.  Namaste.

Mi primera noche en Acapulco

September 13, 2008

Ok I promise not to make all the blog titles en Espanol.  I’m awake in my hotel room and I’ve now had two cups of coffee.  So, I think I am ready to write.  When I left you yesterday I was sitting in the terminal at the airport.  When I got to my gate, I met about six other Trainees.  How awesome!!  We were all on the same flight out and I was fortunate to be sitting across from one of my fellow students, Danielle.  The flight was fine, and on time.  We had a tiny plane and the takeoff was seriously bumpy.  But we arrived right on time.  The Houston airport closed not long after our flight left.

From the sky, Acapulco looks like paradise.  Hotels as far as the eye can see.  Beach, pool, hotel.  Repeat.  I spotted the Fairmont from the air as we landed.  It’s massive!!!!  After collecting my bags, and having two Mexican boder patrol guards rifle through my underwear and socks, I found a taxi.  One of the first things anyone notices here is the humidity.  Think Houston, but Houston in a sauna.  VERY humid.  And I am used to Houston.  So yeah, HUMID.  But not as hot as Houston.  So, it’s a balance I guess.  My fellow students mosied off to their various hotels.  Most of them are staying in the Fairmont, but a few of us have different hotels until the weekend.  I am staying at the Hyatt, since I am here a day early.  But today I will move to my permanent home at the Fairmont.

My taxi ride was fun.  The airport (and the Fairmont) are on the south end of the strip.  My hotel is about 20 minutes ‘north’ (as best as I can tell).  We climbed through the city and up into the hills.  Acapulco is hilly and surrounded by mountains.  It’s gorgeous.  It reminds me of Managua.  Bustling, colorful, LOUD, and very very crowded.  I spotted three Wal-Marts on my way here (yay – not) as well as a Sam’s, Costco, Burger King, McDonald’s, Tommy Hilfiger store, and a slew of car dealerships.  Wait, am I really IN Mexico?  Oh yes, yes I am.  My favorite billboard was the *ALL NEW McFLURRY* which apparently features *sabores exoticos*…  Yeah, OK.  I saw that billboard about, oh… twenty times in my 20 minute taxi ride.

Anyway, I arrived at the Hyatt.  It is also a MASSIVE resort.  I can see a Wal-Mart from my balcony (yawn).  But I can also see the bay and the mountains.  YAYY!  MOUNTAINS!!!  I might be OK here afterall.  I met two other girls from my Training yesterday afternoon.  I had a little bit of an adventure figuring out how to get the power on in my room.  You have to slide your room key into a little box by the door to activate the electricity.  I should haver remembered that from Thailand.  I was peeved to walk into a warm hotel room, but the AC works just fine.  I filtered some water, found some ice (yes it’s all filtered here) and, of course – logged into the web.  I’m paying for my internet here but it will be free at the Fairmont.  It’s worth it to me.  I haven’t ventured out of the hotel yet.  Last night I ordered room service for dinner.  $10 for pasta, iced tea, and bread.  SO worth it not to have to venture out exhausted in search of food.  It was far more than I could eat.

Mostly I rested yesterday evening.  I showered, sorted my suitcases out (I had to almost repack them upon check-in in Houston yesterday), read, studied my dialogue a little, and chatted.  I considered going to the pool, but was just so tired.  I’ll have time to go today when I get to the Fairmont.  I went to bed around 9.  I got to sleep pretty easily, but the noises woke me up for a while.  I am near the elevator and the lack of carpet in the hotel makes everything echo.  I heard doors, footsteps, music, voices, carts, all of it – off and on all night.  But in spite of the noises, which I will have to get used to, I slept well.

This morning I am drinking some coffee and trying to get caught up on the situation with the hurricane.  I know my home is without power.  Last report was that there was no damage, just lots of wind and rain.  My sister is having damage at her in-law’s house and has no idea if her house is damaged.  I feel an ache for all of them.  I know even if I were there, there’s nothing I could do, but it’s hard to just watch it.  I keep praying, and have faith that this will all be fine.  The storm will soon pass.

So, how am I doing?  I am fine.  I feel the ache of being away.  I have this little grey stuffed cat that I brought with me.  It has been loved by both of my babies.  It smells like home and since I grabbed it walking out the door, I had it in my purse during my trip.  It reminds me of my kids, and it comforts me.  I fell asleep with it in my arms last night and when I woke up with it on my pillow, it made me smile.  It might sound silly that a grown woman has a stuffed animal, but hey, it works for me.  I feel better today physically than I did yesterday but I defintely feel the climate difference.  I am having some sinus congestion and have a little cough.  Nothing major, really, but still annoying.  Also, I’m not entirely sure about my stomach.  It’s, umm… not entirely happy.  But I wonder why.  It could be because of the weird food I have been eating, things I NEVER eat at home.  Or it could be my first case of what I will here on out affectionately call South of the Border Belly SOTBB.  If it is SOTBB, at least I have it early.  If it’s not, good.  Either way, I’m fine.  I’ll be fine, and even if it gets worse, I will be FINE.  I’ve had far worse stomach issues overseas and SOTBB is cake compared to the mess I had in Pakistan.  I’m good.

I realllly realllly realllly want to take a yoga class.  I know this must sound insane, but I haven’t had a class since Wednesday and I won’t get another one until Monday.  My body aches for the heat.  I am all stiff from travel, and a new bed.  Maybe a swim in the ocean would help.  I’ll keep you posted.  I know that come Monday I won’t be whining for yoga anymore, but right now, I want YOGA!!!

Emotionally, I am all over the place.  Saying goodbye was hard.  But overall, I feel OK.  I know this will change, literally, hourly (or even by the moment?) over the next nine weeks.  I am reminding myself to smile, and BE HAPPY, and also to let go and be thankful.  I’m here, I made it – hurricane be damned!!  There’s all kinds of good stuff ahead for me, and all kinds of hard stuff.  It’s hard to believe sitting here sipping coffee and watching the ocean that in a week, I’ll be dealing with so much new stuff.  I have to remind myself that I can only do this one day at a time, moment by moment.  I am going to cling to this over the next nine weeks.  One breath at a time.

I thought of some things I want to share, and put out there before the madness begins.  First, why I want to be a Bikram Yoga Teacher.  So many of my teachers have said to write this down, so that as things get hard, I can come back to these things and be encouraged and reminded.  So here goes.

Why I want to become a Bikram Yoga Teacher:

1.  I want to share the yoga that has saved my lfe.
2.  I really LOVE this yoga and I believe in it.
3.  I have a passion to see people’s lives changed.
4.  I believe this is my calling.
5.  Nothing else has made me feel as good, walk as tall, and be as strong as this practice.  If I can see even ONE person experience this change in their life, I will be eternally thankful.

and so many more reasons.  But those are my top five.  For now.

Also, here are a few goals I thought of over the past few weeks for Training.  Nothing major, just some things to keep my eyes on as I practice and learn here in Mexico.


1.  Never give up.
2.  Have faith in the process.
3.  Let it go.  Cry if I need to cry, scream if I need to scream.  But laugh and smile too.
4.  STAY IN THE ROOM!  Barring any, um… SOTBB issues, never leave the room.  Even when it sucks.
5.  Give myself over to the journey.  Learn, absorb, and be open.  This is happening already!
6.  LEARN THE DIALOGUE!  Study faithfully.
7.  Keep a record of what’s happening to me physically and emotionally.
8.  Be here now.
9.  Take care of my health, eat what I need to eat, stay hydrated, be smart about my wellbeing.
10.  Connect with my fellow students, but remember to guard my energy and not over-give myself away.
11.  Soak up the experience.
12.  Find a calm in the hot room, and drop my judgment at the door.
13.  Smile.
14.  Laugh
15.  Make friends  (not hard)

Wow, this is a massive post.

I’ll wrap this up with a couple of photos I took yesterday.  Be sure to check out Isaac’s Blog too, he’s got some GREAT videos up already.

First, the view from my balcony. Not bad, eh?

Another view (you can see the Wal-Mart)

Here’s ME!!! I am REALLY here!!!

My room here at the Hyatt

My dinner!!

And finally, my first Mexico sunset.

I will try to blog again when I am settled into the Fairmont. Thanks for listening and reading.