The last few days have been SO HARDCORE! This is gonna be a long post.
Yesterday we did yoga in the Westin Airport Hotel's Grand Ballroom while Bikram went on a Los Angeles-wide whirlwind of building code compliance madness! And, most importantly... he got the job done. To our stunned amazement, instead of us being three or four days in the hotel, we were out in one. Which made me a little bit sad, because the hotel had a grand piano that I got to play in the break. One of the side effects of this yoga is that my mind is getting really clearly sharper and sharper - I'm remembering names of almost everyone I meet - my thoughts are converting into words much more easily than I'm used to - and when I sat down to play the piano, songs I haven't played in 10 years just flowed out of me, beautifully and cleanly. It was exciting. Yoga class was COLD! And I learned that the heat is there for a reason. Sure, you've got tons of strength and stamina, but KNEES OW! BACK OW! HIPS OW!.
I stayed up until 3am last night making food for myself for a week - Kris made me recipies that were nutritionally balanced with this practice in mind - fajita steak burritos and nepalese gorkhal chicken with spiced yellow dal). I am, as everyone who knows me is aware, the world's slowest cook. More about the food later.
But today we returned to our shiny yoga studio, with two lovely new frosted glass fire doors, and all the little crossed t's and dotted lower-case j's. With the benefit of our new perspective - instead of dreading the heat, I was really psyched about it. Craig gave an explanation of what exactly "stomach tight" means, and it was one of those lightbulb turning on moments. My practice seemed to leap forward now that I actually understand how to tighten my stomach. Anyway, I actually extended my leg in standing head to knee with both legs locked. I didn't make it through the whole 60 seconds (who are we kidding, Bikram was teaching. 90 seconds? 120?). Still, I feel so much stronger.
Bikram had his claws OUT today. We did Half Moon postures today, and he was just cutting to the bone with some people. He was generally happy with most people, but from time to time, somewhat arbitrarily, he would just choose something that he didn't like and just attack it. There were some noteworthy ones, but the jaw dropper was when a very very surfer-esque girl got up and delivered a pretty great dialogue. Instead of commenting on her dialogue, though, Bikram paused and then said "Nobody's going to listen to a yoga teacher who looks like you do. Look at how you are standing!" She had a somewhat casual stance, with her belly a bit hanging out. Bikram then said, "you've got to learn to hold your stomach in, like me" Bikram stands up and shows his six pack , and then he said, "standing like that, you look like you're six months pregnant. ROOM COLLECTIVELY GASPS. To her credit, the girl held her shit together really well. At first I was horrified, but then... this is what we signed up for. I hold (or don't hold) my belly in, just like her. Though now I'm going to keep my belly in come hell or high water. Besides... I do want that nice stomach. There were a few other gems as well - in reference to a gynecologist (not sure how it came up), Bikram said, "Oh, a Pussy Doctor? All day in the same hole. I don't know how he doesn't get bored". There were others, equally tasteless, but... I laughed a LOT today.
I'm totally drinking the kool aid. It's ridiculous. I like Bikram more every day - of course, he hasn't attacked me yet... but if he does, I feel like I'll probably survive and come out better for it.
Oh yeah - the food. It was a huge pain in the ass to prepare, since I'm so damned slow, but the class after I ate the first of it, I was so incredibly energetic, so strong. And, I don't have to think about food for 5 more days. Genius. Thank you, Kris.
My mantra for the moment. Your Focus Determines Your Reality. (Right Leg Locked. No Knee. No Knee...)