A Modern Day Guru ?

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“Before you start your journey, know your destination.”
~ Bikram Choudhury
 Yes, I am now a certified Bikram Yoga teacher and am wondering if I just experienced 9 weeks of hell with a modern day Guru.  Would a real guru in my lifetime live in Beverly Hills, own 40 Rolls-Royces and Bentleys and mingle with professional athletes, movie stars, and musicians?   Be a self proclaimed guru to the rich & famous?  Is the guy crazy?  Absolutely!  Bikram is a ruthless businessman and self-promoter and he knows how to work a room full of politicians and celebrities…from every angle…training 800+ new teachers each year to carry his message around the world.  Would a ‘real’ guru says things like this to his students during lecture and yoga classes:
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“Suck your stomach in. I see many fat, flabby, hanging over stomach. I hate hanging…. Oh you guys have dirty mind. I talk about stomach, ass, you think something else.”
“My yoga is supposed to be hard. That’s why I call it ‘Bikram’s Torture Chamber’. Here you kill yourself. If you unlucky, you don’t die.”
“What time is it? I can’t read the time because of all the diamonds [on my watch].”
“Today I bought one shirt with your money. $139. Italian shirt. What, you think I want Pakistan shirt?”
“I sleep 2 hours per night. I don’t go to bed til the sun comes up. What is the biggest crime in life? Killing time.”
“You come to yoga with junk body, screw loose brain and lost soul”
“I hate fat and lazy people.”
“If I can do it, Statue of Liberty can do it. No problem. Every doctor in the world told me I would never walk again. Now I can stand on my head in lotus position all day.”
“This 9 weeks time will be the most valuable, precious, expensive time of your life.”
“This yoga help you fall in love with yourself. You will never find another human being who love himself as much as I love myself.”
“It doesn’t matter what you have if you don’t know how to use it.”
“Dialogue MUST be EXACT! No dialogue, no yoga. No yoga, no money. No money, no honey.”
“You are born to give, not to get. Zero expectation – end of the day, you are winner.”
“I need a drink. (Bikram during class). This is not your time to drink. If you feel thirsty, look at me drinking water.”
“Continually push your fat ass beyond your flexibility.”… (You talking to me?)
“It’s like a melody, the way I put the sequence, medically, scientifically.”
“Suffering is my medicine.”
“Weight lifting give you only wheelchair. Sports give you mental hospital. And jail.”
“Your mind supposed to be your friend, but because you don’t discipline it, your mind is your enemy.”
“Best food in the world is no food.”
“Who gave you the right, whatever the f&*# you call, you f&*##$% idiot, to put needle in your body.” [talking about tattoos]
“Life is like a river, twisting and turning. No one can stop the river, nothing can stop it. If a rock or tree is in its way, river just turns in another direction. River takes another road.”
“When medical science stop, that’s when yoga science begin.”
“If you have the right key you can start the car in half a second. If you have the wrong key you will never start the car in hundred years.”
“I want spine backward bending. I don’t care how you do it. F&#* it. You can burp, you can fart, I don’t care. You can jump from window, but I want spine bending back!”
“From now on, those tops [bandeaux tops] are illegal in my class. In Bikram class all around the world, they are illegal. Put it on my website I want everyone to know. You constantly fussing, tugging, pulling, worried about little boob show. At least if it big boob come out it more interesting, that ok I don’t mind that.”
“I’m not going to tell you what you like to hear. I can’t tell you lie to make you happy.”
“If I learn better english then maybe I not be a yoga teacher. I become a politician. I am politician. I create politician.”
“Very flexible people are f*&^%$# stubborn because they have a fat ass and a fat brain.”
“If you die, is better, faster. You suffer less. But I introduce so many problems, you live 100 years longer.”
“You white people, Western country, are combination of cancer, gangrene and Aids.”
“I gave you goldmine key. I own goldmine. The key is yours. Do what you like with it.”
“I sell healthy life, good life, happy life. As long as you want it.”
“You’re doing pretty good. Actually, I brain wash you pretty good so far.”
Most of the world is fat and sick and unhealthy and f*&^#$ up.”
“Come down and push, push, push in the bush, and ass in the grass, and boys with the toys, you have an ant in your pant, come up stop in the middle.”
“Body is a temple. I give body a second name. You want to hear it? Body is a toilet. Everyday, 24 hours a day, you are shitting into your body. The whole world is shitting into it. You call food. That’s why once a day you have to flush it. Flush with Bikram yoga.”
“The worst thing in the world you can do, you call sports, I call mental masturbation. 3% physical exertion, 97% body destruction.”
“The beauty of yoga is, if you do posture 1% or 99%, as long as you do the right way you get 100% benefits. Yoga you don’t do, yoga you try.”
“You beg me to come to your city to give lecture. I make $10,000 in 2 hours. I tell you how shit you are, how lazy you are, how fat you are, how stupid you are, how bad you are. All I do is put you in front of a cosmic mirror. Show you how ugly you are. You have fat ass and ugly hair. That’s my job. Best job in the world.”
“Never ever, no matter how bad they are, they in wheelchair, in coffin box, everybody have to lock the knee and grab the foot.”
“A bad man can teach english or science or mathematics. But a bad man cannot teach another bad man how to be good man.”
“Americans taught me, no pain no gain. In India we say, ‘No hell, no heaven.'”
“Get everyone’s name who did not read my book. They are not going to graduate tomorrow until they read my book tonight.”
“Did you know, a young man came from India at the age of 30. His name was Jesus Christ. Do you know his name?”
“Can you believe it?”
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In America, entertainers are now considered guru’s by the younger generation. After going thru 9 weeks of training and practicing Bikram Yoga for 7 years, the answer from my perspective is ‘Yes’, this guy is a modern day, 65 year old Indian Guru, sporting a black speedo and long hair tied in a top knot who can motivate, intimidate, and inspire just about anyone at any age to practice Yoga to improve their life.
and yes, this training will help you with ‘knowing’…
“Self-realization is the knowing–in body, mind, and soul–that we are one with the omnipresence of God; that we do not have to pray that it comes to us, that we are not merely near it at all times, but that God’s omnipresence is our omnipresence; that we are just as much a part of Him now as we ever will be. All we have to do is improve our knowing.”
~ Paramahansa Yogananda
What’s the most important thing in your life? Your life! -Bikram Choudhury

‘Pure’ Bikram

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Rajashree during our morning class today:

‘ When you teach, if you touch one person and change their life…then you will know the essence of this Yoga.’

Mardy Chen was my first yoga teacher…a cross between a Texas fairy godmother and a high fashion NYC model.  She doesn’t walk in to a room, she glides in to the room and her smile is contagious. She & her husband Jeff own 4 studios in Austin, Pure Bikram Yoga: http://www.purebikramyoga.com/  and yes, they are one of the top 10 Bikram studios in the US:  http://www.details.com/culture-trends/critical-eye/201102/10-best-bikram-yoga-studios-in-america

Mardy, Jeff, & Kathy showed up at Teacher Training this week and were part of the Advanced Demo today!  So great to see familiar faces and their practice was stunning- absolutely beautiful.

You never forget your first Bikram Yoga teacher…everyone remembers their FIRST time.  I think I rec’d a flier in my mailbox about a new studio opening close to our house in Austin and I was intrigued.  Not only were they offering a demo class w/ free food but I also thought it might prepare me for the week long Yoga retreat my sister had talked me in to attending in a small fishing village outside of  Zihuatanejo at http://www.edenmex.com/ with her favorite teacher from the Bay area, Zoreh.  Since I had never attended a yoga class before, and my sister Julie was Miss Yoga Queen, I knew I had to do something to prepare for this retreat.

I attended Mardy’s first class in that new studio, which turned out to be exactly 2 min from my front door,  and got my butt kicked big time.  Everything about it was challenging, and I struggled in every posture except ‘Camel’ for some strange reason.  ‘Rabbit’ was my nemesis.  At first I hated the standing series and couldn’t wait to get to the floor.  After about 6 months I hated the floor series and only wanted to do standing postures.  Then my body started getting picky about each of the 26 poses, developing love/hate relationships and absurd justifications for doing/not doing each pose.  I’m embarrased to admit that this struggle lasted several years.  Thank God Mardy was the type of teacher that ‘kills you with their kindness’- she knew exactly what I was going thru and pushed me beyond my self-imposed limitations.  I feel so grateful that our paths crossed and for the amazing teachers Mardy hired to help us on our journey. Today, I find myself in Week 9 of Teacher Training and I’ve grown to love every single pose, even ‘Rabbit’, even in 124 degree heat with 397 people sweating their guts out, mat to mat, from all over the world,  living their passion.

Thank you for touching me Mardy. The Yoga is my daily prayer.

Mardy & Jeff, owners of Pure Bikram Yoga in Austin, TX

‘T’ as in Texas Bikram Yoga Fall 2011 Trainees.  Everything is bigger & better in Texas! 

Yoga Porn:  

The late Jason Winn hosted the first posture clinic that I attended at Mardy’s new studio.

Random Ramblings…

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Random Ramblings from LA during the last week of Bikram Yoga Teacher Training:
Bikram used to be a crazy stunt man:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oayIFqgCzVE&feature=related  and he also made the late night talk show circuit in the 70′ & 80’s.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpZyzrbwYWs    BTW, he claims to have invented ‘Disco’ as well.
Joseph Encinia – 2011 World Champion of the Bishnu Ghosh Cup from Dallas is here to demo the Advanced Series. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enFsZB8VxtA&feature=youtu.be  This poster shows his amazing transformation over the past couple of years practicing Bikram Yoga.  He mentioned that yoga helped him lose 50 lbs.

and Yukari Miwa, the current women’s International Yoga Asana Champion is also in town for the Advanced demo class tomorrow http://www.yukariptus.com/yoga.html

Nacho Cano has been practicing with us in the ballroom!  I think he owns a studio in Miami.

Erik Perrson, one of the TT staff members is really a drummer in a heavy metal band. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apnsyFqsT1c&feature=share

Ardis, has been in my Posture Clinic- Group 6 and is going to be a fabulous Yoga teacher but she is also an excellent singer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k07VD3ksFOs&feature=related  Amazing Estefania, (also in my Posture Clinic) is the current Chile Women’s champ:  https://picasaweb.google.com/109915022130857178767/EstefaniaGarcia#

We just spent 6 hours in the hot room doing poses with Bikram and a Hollywood film crew shooting an instructional video.  Rumour has it he has done this several times with teacher training groups and usually does not like the end product.  The entire process was very painful.  Pic below is of camera crew setting up in the ballroom.

It is the last week of training so many people have extra food items they are trying to get rid of so we’ve set-up an open pantry.  This was found next to the Mac & Cheese.  I think I’ve seen and heard it all at this boot camp.

Random Yoga Porn for the day:  

The male ‘demo’ team at teacher training

‘Eighty percent of success is just showing up’

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“Eighty percent of success is just showing  up”
                           -Woody Allen

We’ve done it, BYTT 2011 has ‘shown up’ , we’ve finished posture clinics, we’ve signed our name at the sign in desk atleast 120 x’s, struggled and breezed thru 83+ yoga classes, tolerated being herded around like naughty adolescents, endured late–late night lectures and Bollywood movies, along with old TV clips from the 70’s & 80’s and now it feels like it is time to go home.  The only problem is we have 10 more days left of this boot camp!  How the hell did that happen?  We don’t graduate until Nov 19!

I’m tired, not of the yoga, but everything that goes along w/ taking two classes each day.  Things I will not miss:

  • Having to drink 4-5 liters of liquid a day to stay hydrated
  • Showering twice a day- my skin has aged considerably and I may need to get a pixie haircut since my hair now feels and looks like horse hair
  • Surviving on 4 or less hours of sleep many nights
  • My obsession with’ ice’ during class
  • Becoming addicted to pickles and nasty, salty turkey jerky- actually anything salty…
  • Wearing 4 different outfits each day:  2 hot room costumes, 1 posture clinic outfit, and street clothes for evening lecture ( I’ve spotted some people wear their PJ’s)
  • Cooking in my bathroom…only Lotta will think this is funny :-)
  • The constant discussion about the temperature in the hot room!  I stole this image from a fellow trainee because it sums up our feelings regarding the temp up to Week 8.   ‘ The room is not hot…you’re hot!’…’ The room is not cold…you’re cold!’   Seriously, the heat has been all over the map during training- kinda like our daily moods.

Yoga Porn for the day:

Pray- Love- Practice

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End of Week 7 and my prayers have been answered!  Completed posture clinic last Thursday but still may need to string 3 or more postures together like a real class.  I feel like it is going to take me another month to have all of these postures stored in my long term memory.  We had an additional 150 teachers in the hot room with us on Friday & Saturday for recertification and Bikram was in rare form.  Amazing energy and waves of peace during these classes for some reason. There was minor drama when a trainee had a wardrobe malfunction and Bikram went a bit bizerk and banned ‘bandeaux’ tops at all Bikram classes around the world.  Should be interesting to see how this is enforced…

Does it mean you have been brainwashed when you start humming Bikram’s new song, http://itunes.apple.com/album/dhana-dhannya-pushpe-bhara/id379305740?i=379305744&ign-mpt=uo%3D5 or the theme from a Bollywood movie all day long?  God help us in the Yoga Bubble…

Monday evening we had a Halloween pizza, pop,and dance party that was a nice change of pace from our normal late nite lectures or posture clinic.  Our lecture room was transformed with flashing lights, Disco balls, and a proper dance floor.   Pictures of Posture Clinic Group 6, an amazing group of diverse, compassionate & talented people from all over the world:

Had a fabulous weekend when the girls came to visit from Houston.  We stayed at a lovely hotel in Santa Monica, The Huntley, which has a beautiful Penthouse bar and restaurant- I highly recommend checking it out for the views.  http://www.thehuntleyhotel.com/penthouse-restaurant.php Also shopped on The Promenade, had massages at Burke Williams, strolled on Venice Beach at Sunset, 2 hour Hollywood/Beverly Hills tour, and even had time to take Sunday 10 a.m. class at Bikram Headquarters.  The studio was very nice, fresh new carpet, free towel/matt, plenty of parking on the street, steam room, and tons of newbies in the class.  Carol was the teacher and she was very patient with all of the new folks- mostly young guys – she also taught at TT and was in my posture clinic.  For some reason the temp was less than 90 degrees and low humidity- heaters may have been on the blink- but it was the easiest class I’ve had in 7 weeks!

Yoga Porn for the Week:

If you ever get the chance to attend Duncan Wong’s workshops/retreats that he hosts around the world, it will be well worth your time.  He is one of the few teachers I’ve met who doesn’t talk negatively about Bikram Yoga even though he is not a Bikram practitioner.  He calls his style ‘ Yogic Arts’ which is martial arts/Zen mixed with a bit of hip/hop.  He grew up in San Francisco but now lives in Japan and has been Madonna & Sting’s personal yoga coach. Check out : http://yogicarts.com/

6 weeks- 65 classes- Group 6

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End of Week 6…65 Yoga classes complete…my posture clinic is Group 6!  Six represents harmony, balance, sincerity, love, and truth. May the light within you shine brighter each day (thanks for the morning prayer DMZ).

This week it was 124 degrees for some of our evening classes-( the guidelines are 105 degrees 40% humidity at most studios) more than 50 people left the room- and Bikram was back, though he did not seem quite as harsh as weeks prior.  He only said the ‘F’ word a couple of times and only called a handful of people ignorant lazy fat asses and he said our postures were improving.  Week 7 is rumoured to be the toughest week- we may have posture clinics twice a day to deliver dialogue and finish the 26 postures by Friday, plus our normal 2 classes per day and late nite lectures & movies.  The evenings are starting to blend together at this point but I believe we saw 3 additional episodes of the Indian Epic, The Mahabharata.  God, I hope we don’t have to watch all 94 episodes. The last episode involved wresting (Dwandwa yudda) and babies being torn in half  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jarasandha so it was quite amusing to see this without the use of CGI.

I still love this Yoga and so far my favourite part of training is Emmy Cleaves classes and her weekly lectures on the body.  Someone mentioned she was 86, then someone else said she was 91 – regardless, she still looks amazing- could be because she has been practicing Bikram Yoga since 1973.

Emmyism’s:

” Be careful what you think, your cells are listening!”

” Pain is a priceless gift that nobody wants”

” Flexibility is consciously letting go

” The major problem in society today is mental over-stimulation and physical under-stimulation”

In Camel pose: “Grab a handful of heel”!

Emmy at the end of class: ” Let’s blow this joint! “

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Our guest lecturer this week was Jon Burras- who does ‘Bodywork’.  He talked about alternative medicine and healing. We are calling this guy the ‘Fascia’ guy http://jonburras.com/ since he said the word ‘ fascia ‘ 225 times during one of his lectures. “Bones float in a sea of fascia” ;  “Fascia is the path way for energy in the body. ” Some of his statements about the medical profession in the US and fitness pushed a lot of people’s buttons.

The Radisson hotel has bed bugs, hookers in the lobby, and a pet squirrel, which everyone has named, ‘Balwan’ after one of the very popular staff members.  ‘Balwan’ hangs out at the pool and near our posture clinic cabanas and does yoga poses in exchange for food.

The boot camp is teaching me humility & compassion…lots of compassion for myself and others.  I’m starting to feel more peaceful as each day passes, even though the environment is anything but- this training is designed to expose your weakest points and force you to work harder in that area.  Everyone here is experiencing some sort of challenge and learning more about themselves in the process.   Some days the yoga room seems like a toxic soup of negativity & fear and then the next class everyone’s heart is leaking off of their mats spreading love & joy.

‎’Let the yoga do the work for you. Unravel, Unwind, Unlayer.’ – Lisa Johnson, visiting teacher.

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Yoga Porn for today:

Whenever I need a quick laugh, I always think of Bruno, a crazy French guy who had the guts to open a Bikram Yoga studio in New Orleans, right after Hurricane Katrina.  http://www.yoga-108.net/bruno.htm  His entertaining style of teaching and not so perfect dialogue :-) helped to heal the pain & suffering in this city after so much devasatation.   He graduated from LA teacher training in 1999 and had taught classes all around the world beforing arriving in NOLA to open the first Bikram studio in the state.  ( I heard he is now back in France ) Needless to say, there was never a dull moment in his 90 minute class:

End of Week 5 …Nobody Died

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It is the end of Week 5 in the Yoga Bubble and yes, folks have been carried out of the room stiff like a corpse in a weird cramped position, some are fainting, some throwing-up, others just uncontrollable crying or laughing in the middle of class or wandering around glassy eyed like Yoga zombies.  Today, a girl in our posture clinic cried during the entire session…which was 3.5 hours…  Still, I don’t think anyone has died yet.   A few years ago I had a great manager in Australia and whenever someone on the team was complaining about a difficult customer or negotiation he would always put things in perspective by saying ‘ Did anyone die today? No? Then stop worrying/complaining about it and move on!’  I find myself worrying about memorizing the dialogue every single waking moment during teacher training and it is starting to break me down- feeling shell shocked and disappointed- but I’m not giving up yet.   I know I’m just a small spec in the universe and nobody really cares whether you know the dialogue or not at this point in the game, so I need to drop the worrying act and move forward.  Thank you ‘Jack’.
“Worry is using your imagination to create something you don’t want.”
~ Abraham-Hicks
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The evenings at TT seems to run on for–e-v-e-r.   Forget about any free time or quiet breaks to study or relax.  The past 2 weeks we had anatomy from 9 pm- midnight every night and a big test on Monday- which I did not bother studying for.   Then Bikram was back in town this week with some late night lectures and 4 hours of his favourite movie- the Indian epic: The Mahabharata.  We were only up until 2:30 a.m. on Wed. night which is not too bad but there are rumours that we will be kept up all night before our 9 weeks is complete.    Can’t wait :-(
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My beautiful roommate, Lotta and I in the hot ballroom.  Yes, she is from Sweden.
and a bit of Esak Yoga Porn:

Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough

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It is Friday night and the end of Week 4 in the Yoga Bubble.  After our evening class and final savasana, Michon started a dance party by playing MJ’s ‘Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough’ in the hot room.  We were also given the night off so everyone was in a positive mood making dinner plans and getting some late night shopping in before the weekend. Bikram has not taught class the last 2 weeks and I’m starting to miss him.  He is in Detroit this weekend so hope he is back in LA for Week 5.  We did see him once for a late night Bollywood movie this week which lasted until 3:30 a.m.  Mandatory, guards at the door kinda thing so no one could sneak out. Not fun.

Dialogue clinic is still painful for me and feels like a bad dream that will never end.  Some interesting stuff also happens in the yoga room- people sobbing on their mat, some sweating all over you,  a guy even stole some ice off my towel – but I didn’t mind, and there are still reports of folks peeing on their mat so they don’t have to leave the room.

The best part of teacher training is getting to practice with a variety of teachers from around the world and it is a special treat to have a US or International Champion up on the podium guiding us.

Brandy Lynn Winfield:  current International Yoga Champion

Ida Ripley:  International Yoga Champion, 2009

Afton Carraway:  Current US National Champion

Another great teacher this week was Shawn Taylor who rocked the ballroom with his positive energy- he could have brought those vibes back from Burning Man but more likely it is because he is a NOLA boy :-)

Dialogue Hell

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If you are going through hell, keep going… Winston Churchill

Yep, this week was hell. There are 26 postures in Bikram yoga (+2 breathing exercies) that we need to memorize and recite during our daily posture clinics  ( really only dialogue clinics) at teacher training.  During Week 3, we had to memorize 3-4 new postures and present them to a group of 40 folks and 3-4 teachers who provide feedback and tips on improvement.  Did I mention that I had only memorized the 1st posture (Half-moon pose) to present in front of Bikram?  What the hell was I thinking?  Mardy & Nora Jeanne were both very clear that it would be best to memorize the entire set of standing postures before training but I made the decision to go on Safari and relax on the beach in Zanzibar, go island hopping in Greece,  sample lots of food & wine in Venice and hit every music/food festival in Austin & New Orleans before heading to Teacher Training.  This is a problem now folks!

If you are reading this post and plan to attend Teacher Training in the future, I highly recommend that you memorize ALL of the dialogue before attending.  This will eleviate quite a bit of stress and outbursts of crying and you will have the luxury of actually refining your dialogue and presentation skills vs. just focusing on rote memorization.  There are many senior teachers from all of the world helping us in Posture clinic which makes the process a bit easier.  Still, if everyone had the dialogue memorized before hand, then these amazing teachers would be in a better position to really assist us.

Everyday this week has been like ‘Ground Hog Day’ for me.  Wake at 6 a.m., study dialogue, protein shake for breakfast, study dialogue, Yoga at 8:30, shower, sandwich for lunch, study dialogue, Posture Clinic, study dialogue, Yoga at 5 pm, shower, dinner, study dialogue, Anatomy lecture from 9 pm to midnight, sleep…rinse repeat, rinse repeat.   I’m putting in a ridiculous amount of time studying to no availl.  Feedback from the teachers has been that I’m trying to be too perfect and I should stop beating myself up.  I’m ‘thinking’ about it too much… and just need to relax. Too perfect? I’d be happy just being able to recite the dialogue verbatim without totally spacing out during posture clinic.   Imagine what it feels like, ahead of time, to know that there is no way you are going to be 100% successful in your delivery of the dialogue because there are not enough hours in the day to study ?  Again, tip for future attendees:  Memorize ALL of the dialogue !  Just do it.

Relaxing by the pool after class on a beautiful Saturday morning,  I needed to laugh a bit because my family & friends propably think I’m just off galavanting on another amazing travel adventure or Yoga retreat …NOT

Michon taught the morning class and I was amazed at how authentic his teaching was.  His style was both annoying  & endearing.  He is also the Teacher Training Drill Sargeant who keeps everyone in line with his dry sense of humour and military background and endless do’s & don’ts.  The guy is often rude and pompous but if you get close enough to him and actually make eye contact, there is a warmth and sense of caring underneath the facade.

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Yoga Porn for the day:  Thank you Jeff!

Speedo Heaven

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In October, 2008 I arrived in Sydney, Australia which would be my new home for the next 2 years.  I had been practicing Bikram for the past 2 years in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and knew that I needed to continue my practice to be successful in my new job down under.  Luckily, there was a studio in Darlinghurst, just a short walk thru beautiful Hyde Park near my temp housing. When I arrived at the studio, there was a sea of guys in Speedos!  I had never seen so many wall to wall guys in one room with skimpy attire and they all had great yoga butts.  This was the first studio I had been in that had more ‘boys’ than girls. ( In Oz they call men ‘boys’ ).  The studio seemed to be lit from within, had lovely statues, a place to actually store your matt, proper dressing rooms, kitchen area and a resident cat.   Darren Ma, http://www.bikramyoga.net.au/ was the studio owner and he was gracious & charming with piercing eyes and of course a great yoga butt.

Just as things were starting to spin out of control with our first posture clinic today (which was moving way too fast), Darren Ma from Sydney shows up to teach the 5 pm class at teacher training and he was absolutely fabulous.  It was so comforting to hear his voice and positive energy reverberating in the hot room.  The heat & humidty was also perfect in the room for his class.

When I closed my eyes during Savasana I was back in Oz living on Sydney Harbour enjoying the sunset and a glass of Shiraz planning our next exciting trip to explore everything Aussie land had to offer.    But alas I woke up to a cruel reality.. today is only the beginning of week three, with only 23 Yoga classes completed, 25 more postures to recite, and anatomy lectures every evening until late…plus an exam!   God help me, this is not what I signed up for…