Here's a quick and easy way to floor and otherwise incapacitate half of a room full of experienced yogis. All you have to do is cause a giant humidity wave to come into the city, making the humidity in the room over 80%, so that there's a visible haze around the lights and a visible, light fog from one side of the room to the other. Exhale breathing, and YOU GO DOWN.
Seriously, it was like a bomb went off today. Dozens of people left the room in the morning class. I fought my hardest struggle with the annoying "leave the room right now" voice that I've fought so far. Fortunately, there was a teacher right behind me and she did that thing with her eyes at one point when I caught her gaze of, "don't you even THINK of leaving the room". So I didn't, and it SUCKED. I felt like my skin was burning, or like I had gotten the worst sunburn of my life. But I made it, so once again, I have one less thing I'm allowed to get away with one things get uncomfortable. Dammit.
I froze in posture clinic today, during Toe Stand. It was trippy. I practiced this posture a lot, probably more than any other so far except half moon, and I got up there and just went completely blank. I couldn't think of a single word to say. It felt like an eternity, but was apparently only a few seconds. SUCKS!!! And it has nothing to do with nervousness, and nothing to do with practice! Fuck!!! Still, I grudgingly admit it was a good learning experience, and I know what to do to unfreeze if it ever happens - ditch the dialog, look at where the students are, think of what step comes next, and paraphrase. The dialog snaps back like magic, but it still SUCKED!!!
In this afternoon's class, there was a photographer from USA today taking pictures of Bikram teaching. I was right in front of him on the podium, so the photographer took a lot of photos with me in them, and was hovering around me quite a bit. There's nothing like the threat of ending up in a national newspaper doing a pose WRONG to make you concentrate like HELL. I couldn't kick my knee out in Standing Head to Knee, so he took one photo where everyone in the line was kicking out EXCEPT ME!!! Let's hope that my nipple piercings rule me out for inclusion in a family newspaper. Still, I got some good positive feedback from Bikram - he declared that my second set of Balancing Stick was perfectly parallel, which is so cool!!! Also, I touched my head to the floor in Standing Separate Leg Stretching, which I've never done. It was incredibly difficult, but when Bikram is two feet away and yelling at you to do something, generally, you do it. He walked around the room and made manual adjustments to various people's poses while the photographer clicked away madly, and it was really cool.
I received a package today from Anika, the director of the yoga studio I go to in Wellington. Inside was the most heartwarming gift imaginable... When I first started doing Bikram, I was basically completely sedentary, and started right into a 30 day challenge. My first instructor was a beautiful Canadian woman named Dagmar, and she gave me little gold stars on my chart when I completed classes. I think I was the first to get a star, because in those early days, I needed every form of encouragement I could get. I spent most of my first two weeks on the mat, lying down, gasping for air and praying for dear life. My package from Anika today contained about a dozen big gold stars, and on the back of the stars is written encouraging, inspiring, and heartwarming comments from all the students in the yoga classes. I teared up instantly upon realizing what they were! It's incredible!!! I don't feel worthy at all, but I'm determined to make everybody proud and to come back and kick the SHIT out of all of them in class (lovingly). So, if any of you are out there, thank you from the bottom of my heart, I'm touched and humbled. Who knew you could get a group hug from across the ocean?