zaterdag 24 oktober 2009

Week 3: Balance there comfortably

Well, week 3 is over and so far so good. This week had a lot more structure to it. Emmy was here giving classes in the morning and lectures in the afternoon, which have been very instructive. I got a poke in the butt in half-moon- my first correction since I've been here. A good one too- I guess it's true I push my hips forward but I don't really squeeze from behind, and it's good support for that posture. We've had some great guest teachers in the evenings and they have really inspired and motivated me. The big lesson you learn in yoga (and improv) is to stay in the moment- always stay in the moment, and it's so easy and so hard to do! I'll drive myself crazy thinking about 9 weeks and 99 classes and 26 postures that need to be learned. Far better to just be in each moment, in each posture and not worry about the rest. This week I had no nausea or dizzy issues which was such a relief. I seem to have found the good balance of food, water and electrolytes needed for myself to get thru these hot classes. Pedialyte rocks! It's totally disgusting to drink, but a shot of it before and after class and I've been good to go. And I have to admit that mixed with a bit of water and iced up and during class I find it to be the nectar of the gods. But I've started leaving the water bottle out of the class again this week. I haven't been having dehydration issuse this week, and if it's not necessary it's really better not to drink anything during the class. We've started posture clinics and they are a lot of fun. Everyone goes up one by one and delivers the posture and then gets feedback from one of the coaches. I'm so so glad I learned up to triangle and even a bit more before I got here- there is a lot of visible panic going around and so far I still feel pretty prepared. That may change in a couple of weeks! Next week Bikram is back and there will be less sleep and more tension I guess.

zondag 18 oktober 2009


Just an update over the weekend, before I go back to the hotel. Boingo is 10$ a month and you can cancel any time, which I didn't mention in the last entry.
Saturdays are busy getting things done- emailing, calls, laundry, groceries. We went to the Fashion Show mall yesterday and spent way too much money buying yoga clothes for teaching. I got a really cute pair of pants and two tank tops. It's an investment right? I got kind of excited about it- I can actually start to imagine myself getting up and teaching and I'm so looking forward to that. I was also excited to go grocery shopping- food! I bought more rice-y and soup kinds of things to make a sort of dinner in the room with our little hot pot. We have to bring our rolly suitcases to fit everything in to walk back to the hotel. We went out to dinner at an indian restaurant where a bikram teacher was waiting tables. They were very friendly and the food was nice. Sunday.. ahhhh. A sweet day with time at the pool, studying some dialogue. I went to the cafe for a big omelet and hash browns and it was delicious. They say here if your body is craving something, to go for it and I totally finished the whole thing. yum!
Off to study more dialogue and I'm going to try and make some pasta with plenty of himalayan salt on top for dinner tonight.
More practical matters- I budgeted 150$ a week for food and stuff (but not for yoga clothes!) and I am happy to say that at the moment that I may be able to keep it at 100$ per week. Groceries are more expensive than I expected but it also goes in waves- the first week I spent 100$, the 2nd week $40 and this week $60 and next week should be a bit less again. After grocery shopping there aren't too many big expenses, so there's a little room for treats like coconut water or trips to the fashion show mall.. :-)

zaterdag 17 oktober 2009

Week 2: Water, water, water

Well this week was definitely more intense than week 1 although still not at full level. The heat is on and the bollywood movies are a playin' until 3am. Thursday was a bit of a breaking point for me- had a not-great AM class where I was dizzy and nauseous. I stayed in the room though. The whole rest of the day I felt slightly sick and was having a hard time eating or drinking. Then the PM class- oh dear! It was a blazing inferno and the floor was hot enough to fry eggs on. I didn't stay in the room that one- I tried- I stayed upright during the standing series, and then we flipped over to savasana for the floor series on that baking hot floor. Flipped over again in cobra and kept saying to myself, just stay, just stay... and then I crept out in locust, got control of my breathing, and then went back in 3 postures later- only to lie on the floor until savasana when one of the kind teachers just came over and pulled me out again. Sweet. Apparently Bikram didn't realize how hot the floor actually was until after the class, and he had them turn it off (the floor heating I mean) for Friday's classes. I spent all Friday desperately trying to eat and drink enough to make it thru both classes. I made it, but this nausea and lack of appetite are new things to me. Otherwise, we've had some good lectures with Bikram, we got thru all 300 Half Moons and have seen some pretty good movies- Akbar/Joddha- I recommend it for any bollywood fans- really beautiful visually and a darn good story.
In all not a bad week, I'm looking forward to posture clinics and anatomy beginning, and hope my stamina improves so I can get thru these 11 classes a week!

Practical matters:The Hilton is about 250 meters off the strip and at the north end of the strip. If you go down Riviera Blvd. you will hit the strip. You can go left, and then after another 250 meters there is a Walgreens, and also an internet cafe. If you go right, about 250 meters there is a CVS pharmacy. Both these stores are good for pharmaceuticals, some household stuff (inexplicably the Walgreens closest to the Hilton doesn't sell Brita water pitchers) and food- but snacky kind of food like potato chips, cookies, etc.
For groceries we've been walking to the Albertsons- you walk out of the North Tower, take a right onto Joe Brown Parkway, then a right on Karen Ave at the stoplight and then it's about a 20 minute walk but a straight shot down the street and there is a sidewalk for pedestrians. We've been warned not to go alone as it is a dangerous neighborhood. There is also a CVS there and a Starbucks and a great little health food store called Rainbow's End, that also has a vegan cafe with reasonable prices (haven't eaten there yet so I can't say about the quality of the food!). The Albertsons is a perfectly good supermarket with a fair amout of organic brands, although not so much for organic fruit and vegetables.
I haven't done the Whole Food or Trader Joe's route yet. They are going to arrange shuttles over the weekend for us to go to those places, but they didn't have them set up the first weekend. I think other students either share with cars or have shared taxis.
Taxis, monorail and the bus seem to be the only transportation options if you don't have a car. Taxis are not too pricy if you share with other people. There is a bus that goes up and down the strip, $7 stop on and off all day. The monorail is insanely expensive at 5$ a trip or 14$ for an all day pass. The range of the monorail is not great- it starts at the Sahara Hotel just north of us and finishes at the MGM grand. It drops you off behind the hotels so you have to go thru the casinos to get to the strip- clever, eh?
Internet- you can have it in your room for 14$ a day. You can sign up for boingo and go to the hotspots- mcdonalds or starbucks, but the best is the convention center. If you don't have boingo or something similar it seems sometimes you can grab onto a network provided for any exposition in town- sometimes the expos have visitor computers set up too. They have one computer for visitors in general at the convention center too if you don't have a laptop and are totally on a shoestring budget. There is also the internet cafe nearby but I haven't been there yet for prices.

zaterdag 10 oktober 2009

1st week

Las Vegas! Prettier than I expected- there are mountains all around, and the weather has been lovely- 25 degrees and sunny every day. It's so DRYYYYY.
There are just less than 300 students, so they still had pretty good enrollment. I'm so grateful for the dutch crew, 4 of us, it's great to know a few people in the begin. The hotel is nice- they have really tried to accommodate us, the beds are comfy, and laundry is not so bad- the air here is so DRY, even inside, things dry out overnight. We have a tiny fridge. The water is really terrible, and that's a problem- we got a filter pitcher, but I'm not 100% satisfied. I'm really happy with all the things packed- it's great having my favorite mug from home and handy to have a few plates, etc.
The training.... welllll. I'm not going to make too much judgment yet. It's pretty much what I expected. The yoga so far is great- really awesome to be doing it, and with only posture clinics and lectures to go along with it, it's not so tiring, yet. I had a pretty rough class last night though- the floor was baking, I swear!

The Dutch crew went up the first day to do the dialogue, and now after watching 200 people say the dialogue for half moon (only 100 more to go!) I think we are happy we all have gone already. Rajashree is very nice! She is so motherly and gives really balanced classes. Bikram gave a great class on the second night. I can't wait to have all the different teachers.
We are set up in a big tent in the parking lot, which works well.
So far so good. They took it easy on us this week, we'll see how the next weeks go.

vrijdag 2 oktober 2009

Tomorrow it's Vegas

I'm going to Fall Teacher Training for Bikram Yoga. I've been doing Bikram for about 3 years, the last two with some intensity. I've been preparing for teacher training since about May.
Tomorrow I fly to Las Vegas with about 50 pounds of stuff- clothes, yoga outfits, a cutting board, knife/spoon/fork, bowls/plates, a laundry rack and some detergent. I will be at the Las Vegas Hilton for 9 weeks taking 2 classes a day plus lectures and posture clinics.
I really enjoyed reading other people's blogs about the experience, so I am going to write my own, although I have never written a blog before.
I'm pretty excited to go. It's going to be a huge break in my life and I feel so lucky that I'm able to do this. I'm already a theater coach/director and I love to teach, and I'm so looking forward to learning how to teach this yoga and to come back to Amsterdam and do it.
I have packed:
7 yoga bottoms and 7 yoga tops
2 pairs of jeans
2 cardigans
6 shirts/sweaters
2 skirts
3 pairs of sandals
1 pair of sneakers
1 pair of low heels
1 nice dress for graduation or other events
2-3 summery dresses for cover up
socks, underwear, bras
1 small cutting board
2 forks/knifes/spoons (2 in case my roommate doesn't have any!)
2 bowls
2 small plates
1 laundry rack to hang on door
1 bottle detergent
Tons of toiletries: band-aids, paracetamol, flu medicine, face cleanser, lotion, suntan lotion, shampoo/conditioner, shower gel and lotion, hair ties and clips, ear plugs, razors for legs,
1 coat (going to the east coast for xmas after the training)
1 bag of himalayan salts
1 empty glass bottle to make the solution for the himalayan salts (electrolyte replacement)
1 alarm clock
1 notebook- the paper and the computer kind each
1 ipod
adaptor for all my european things
Things I need to get when I get there:
brita water pitcher
protein bars (? maybe)
FOOD for breakfast and dinner (I have a list for this too but not going to go into it!)

Okay, I need to go finish recording the dialogue for training and I think I'm going to repack my massive one bag into a slightly less massive two bags.