Hot room confessions

a snapshot into my Bikram yoga world

Archive for the month “August, 2013”

Is it ok to watch people in class?

When I have to sit out a posture in class I sit on my knees with my hands on my knees (think blowing in firm pose). I keep my eyes on my own eyes in the mirror. I don’t drink. I don’t move. I don’t watch anyone else (unless it’s a world-class yogi in front of me like Afton Carraway and then I’m guilty of peeking).

Afton in locust pose…. how can you not peek at this!?!?

I was practicing on one end of the room this week and I was so far over only one person was to my left. The ENTIRE floor series she laid on her side staring my direction. Logically I knew she was staring past me at all the other people in the room but it FELT like she was staring at me. It felt so weird!

When is it OK to watch other people in class? For example, when there’s a newcomer in class- like first class ever- I totally don’t mind if they watch me during class. When it’s so hot you can’t concentrate and the instructor is talking about lefts and rights and hands and feet all mix up… it’s hard to follow. It’s a lot easier to match your body to someone else. In fact, when there’s a firs timer around me I go into poses slowly and deliberately so they can see what the setup is. It also forces me to start postures with the dialog instead of lollygagging into the posture because I’m tired. So in a way, I like having first timers around me. 

But what about non-first timers that sit and watch people? Is is acceptable to watch people?

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Emmy Cleaves, Mary Javis, Rajashree Choudhury

At the Bikram Yoga Women’s Retreat, I had the honor of taking classes from three lovely women: Emmy, Mary, and Rajashree. All three were different and complemented each other wonderfully.

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Emmy in frog with Bikram on her back. Crazy!

The first class of the retreat was advanced with Emmy. Now, my studio owner has been talking about Emmy for forever. About how great she is, how high her expectations are, etc. I was nervous about not taking beginner class before but it was OK. Since I’d done that a couple times I knew what to expect as far as flexibility and stamina. Emmy got Afton on stage and had her demonstrate the crazier move and poses. I was cool to take advanced with over 50 others. At my studio it’s typically 10 or less in an advanced class. Emmy was just as my studio owner depicted her. She’s expects your best and isn’t afraid to tell you the truth- loved her! Emmy taught one of the beginner classes each day.

Mary in an AWESOME locust pose. 99% of people get their legs only about a foot above the ground.

Right after advanced with Emmy was beginner with Mary Jarvis.  The class went over 2 hours (I was EXHAUSTED). Mary was kind and loving in such a magical soothing way. She said a lot of amazing things, I wish I could remember them all…. she talked about how she knew we were all trying our best and that we didn’t have to prove it to her. She was definitely soothing and comforting during class. She talked about her injury and how she was in so much pain she doesn’t  want anyone else to feel that much pain.  She talked about not spending the whole posture thinking about getting OUT of the posture. The class was great, although I was POOPED! Sadly, this was the only class Mary taught.

Bikram and Rajashree in spine twist.

Rajashree is definitely the maternal one of the three. There were a couple kiddos (like 12 or 13 years old) and she would give them lots of feedback in class and call them baby. She Is into the emotional side of yoga (something I know nothing about). She taught a class most days and led a couple of meditations a couple of the mornings. I learned something- I can’t mediate. It’s probably the ADD I have mixed with the aftershocks of the master’s stress. I just couldn’t shut my mind off!

It was uber weird to practice without mirrors. Never done it before. You really had to focus on how postures feel and you didn’t worry about how you looked (as far as hair/costume adjusting). It was weird to then go back to the studio and see myself after 7 classes without a mirror.

The energy was AMAZING I’m not sure how many women were there but I’d guess 300-350. Picture a room full of women moving together. It was a room full like minded women. I wasn’t the freak yoga fan at the retreat. Most women there practiced 5-7 days a week. They have their hydroflasks and their favorite yoga gear (yoga brand or not). Since there were no mirrors I did some peeking of the postures in front of me and these women have beautiful practices. I could sit down for dinner at a table full of women from all over the country I don’t know and we could all talk about yoga. Sure the classes and posture clinics were meaningful, but meeting and being with people that feel the same about yoga really meant something to me.

I can’t believe I wasn’t sure about going on the retreat. I mean, it was in Austin! It was amazing, refreshing, and fun! I can’t wait till next year. The problem is that it’s not going to be in Austin anymore. It’s going to be in the DC/Virginia area. That means buying a flight and staying at the retreat. We may not be able to afford it. Boo.

Rajashree, Mardy (my studio’s owner), and me the last morning of the retreat!

View from my mat before the last morning’s mediation. Again, room full of like minded women getting up to meditate at 8 am on a Sunday. Love it!!!

What have you been doing the past month anyway?

So I’ve had an eventful month- in a good way. Finished my masters, got to go the Bikram Yoga Women’s Retreat, celebrated graduation (several times), sat around and watched TV, and went to yoga everyday.

It’s like if I post on my blog, real life is coming back. School is starting (high school where I teach- no more grad school!!!). I don’t know if I’m ready… but I guess if given the choice I wouldn’t be ‘ready’ for a LONG time!

The Women’s Retreat was amazing, The yoga was amazing, the women were amazing- Emmy Cleaves, Rajashree, Mary Jarvis, and ALL the women I got to meet and practice with. The energy was amazing in the hot room. Hundreds of like minded women moving in unison. It was definitely a weekend that I will never forget.

Rajashree teaching a class at the retreat- look at all those T’s as in TEXAS!

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