Week 9: “Rock and roll” Bikram Yoga Teacher at your service!!!

As I’m sitting in the back of a cab riding along the roads of Phuket, I can say these past 9 weeks have been the most amazing, interesting, powerful days of my life yet. From the beauty of this country to the immense feeling of accomplishment, I struggle to even find words that can illustrate my happiness. I’ve loved Thailand since the moment I’ve stepped off the plane and am so grateful TT was held in this beautiful part of the world. 
Week 9 of teacher training WOW. Where do I begin? I think it was my favorite week… We had the privilege of having daily sessions with Bikram to go over each posture and breathing exercise. We also did this (minus the breathing) with Raj and Emmy. Let me compare the three to help show the differences among them. With Raj, we focused more on yoga theory and therapy from various ailments through the help of the postures. She has a maternal, genuine way about her. She comes in the room and you really are captivated by her kind demeanor. Emmy, on the other hand, is a firecracker! At 88, she can get in and out of advanced postures faster than me. Witty, wise, and always right to the point! She is also so sweet and referred to as the “encyclopedia of yoga, health & fitness.” Just to be in her presence is a gift! She is the one who teaches you the most about your OWN practice versus that of your students. Then, there is Bikram! For all those with mixed feelings about him… Prepare yourselves… I love the man! He’s ridiculous, over the top, cocky & absolutely hysterical. In his posture clinic, he really teaches you how to TEACH the beginners. The people who are “screws loose, fucked up idiots” that need your help. Not the flexible students who walk in the door but the ones who suffer class after class. Not the ones who manage to do every single posture but the ones who barely get up from their mat to finish the two sets. And, not the ones who can even make it through an entire 90 minutes but the ones who run out the door & you shout after “just do the best you can & I’ll see you here again tomorrow.” You may be surprised to hear all of this come from me and indirectly from him. But he really stresses us you have to encourage your students. In the room, yes “fucking kill those stupid people” but tell them thanks for coming honey see you tomorrow, preferably at the same exact time the next day. He’s sold this yoga all over the world and hooked people to his brand. Whether you agree or disagree with this particular yoga practice, I have to say the man knows what he’s doing. Will I ever hang on his every word? No. But will I go out there and spread the yoga I love always hearing his little kooky anecdotes in my mind? Absolutely!
One of the funniest moments was him jumping on my back during half tortoise after announcing the reason I don’t feel anything in the posture is because I “haven’t had an orgasm in a long time.” As he jumped on me, he shouted “feel it now?” Everyone roared in laughter. I was hysterical, sweating from how hard I was laughing on stage. It was one of my favorite moments and a testament to how amusing he is!
Another fun part of week 9 was being part of the demo team. For those who don’t know, a group of students (only those without tattoos since Bikram despises tattoos) perform the 26 postures on stage during graduation. I wasn’t planning to do this. As I mentioned in earlier posts (my toughest couple of days in week 7 which I can barely remember by now), I was reluctant to do more than I already was. But with Manali’s encouragement (a nice way to say her request) I went along with it. It ended up being really fun! A special way to connect with a few trainees I wouldn’t have otherwise knew well meanwhile be alongside some of my friends!
Another special part of the week is having my roommate Aurelle’s family here with us. Her mom Martha and brother Shuli are visiting for a couple of weeks. They’re able to see the inner workings of TT and get to bring us a little normalcy from the outside world. Although I’m meeting then for the first time, it feels like familiar faces have come in from afar 🙂 many loved ones from the group’s home countries came to celebrate! It was a great new energy in the air. 
Week 9 wrapped up with an incredible Friday night class with Bikram. There’s lots of traditions so I won’t spoil the fun for future trainees… But it was great! As pranayama started up, I was choked up. Surprising I know, but being between two of my dear friends from my group 8… Ramone from Mexico and Nicolle from Chile… Hearing Bikram’s dialogue one last time (for now), I was in awe of the moment. Tears start to build in my eyes right now remembering the energy in the hot room during that moment. It was amazing!
Saturday was graduation. We had practice for the demo team and then our own preparations for the day’s festivities. The ceremony was wonderful. Fun from the moment it started through the speeches and awards. One person who I may not have given enough credit to and spoken highly enough about is Manali. She was recognized during the graduation ceremony for all of her hard work. From my perspective, she is the glue of TT. Kind but firm, sweet but powerful, and loving but strong… She manages to handle every single person who is involved with the program. I really admire her and her efforts. Someone I will keep in touch with from time to time in hopes of always staying connected to the community and source of Bikram yoga. She’s just so lovely and I am grateful for how much she liked me throughout the experience. From calling me “Rachel” (the name of Laju’s friend who the staff swore I resembled) moving to my “introduction” to the fellow trainees as “my Rachel.” I will always have wonderful memories of her and the entire staff from the past 9 weeks. It is actually really funny. A friend from TT asked me if I’d be on staff sometime. In the beginning, I would have said yeah maybe. Towards the later weeks, I would have said absolutely NO. But now I’d say maybe, you never know. I asked the friend why and what did she think. So kindly she replied “I think you would, you have a little something extra, just something, I can see you being staff, and even being asked to be.” She added that others see that in me as well. I was flattered. Humbled by her touching words. I told her “eventually in the future when my mind (the brain) is fucked up enough, MAYBE” (TT joke or for anyone who knows the dialogue).
Following graduation, there was a dance party (yes sober 8th grade dance style) in the yoga disco. It was more ridiculous than it sounds. Ha! My favorite moment was Bikram dancing his ass off with us. My all-time favorite moment was him grabbing my roommate Aurelle, shouting “you ready,” and flailing her around the dance floor at lightning speed. God bless her for hanging onto him for dear life because that man can get downnnnnnnnn! It was a blast!
On the other hand, Sunday morning was awful. Packing up our home after 63 nights, saying goodbye to friends, and popping out of the safe, secure yoga bubble once and for all… A brand new Bikram yoga teacher. How was it possible for these people who you knew for 9 weeks to leave such an impression on you? I mean for your heart to hurt saying “see you soon, somewhere.” To cry, hugging and holding each other so so SO tight. It’s incredible. These lifelong friends that you’ll remember till the end of time who saw you at your realest moments. From laughs to tears to feeling like shit… A bond is created straight from your heart and soul to theirs. The stories we shared and time we spent side by side truly etched within me. I was devastated to say each farewell… Meanwhile reminding myself of what lies ahead and excited for the upcoming week of travel in Asia. It’s true the yoga bubble has popped but it does mean a really incredible thing, I AM A BIKRAM YOGA TEACHER 🙂 & now I look forward to teach my first class this week in Bangkok!!! I’ll be updating afterward! Till then… Xxoo.

   
                                                   

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Week 8: I came, I saw, I conquered

It is near impossible to believe that two full months of TT have passed. Even crazier, I feel I’ve accomplished a lot of what I set out to do while here but I’m still NOWHERE ready to leave. Not Thailand, not the yoga bubble, not my new friends, and no not even Bikram himself. From watching Bollywood movies till 3 am (aka sleeping on the floor) to dreadfully difficult classes, each part has its place in this magical journey.

I learned a lot about myself this past week… At times, especially before getting here, I feel I place way too much pressure on myself. In some ways, I know I do and it’s not for any good or healthy reason. But on the other hand, it can work a bit in my favor. I’m learning that maybe I’m just someone that performs and does better in a higher stakes situation. And that perhaps, pushing myself tends to lead to the best results without TOO much stress or unreasonable effort. On Wednesday, the latter was proven to me multiple times. First, I was asked to be on the demo team for the group that performs the 26 postures on the stage at graduation. I was initially reluctant and uninterested to volunteer (think my initial theory re too much pressure). However, once asked by Bikram’s niece Manali who I really like and respect, I couldn’t dare say no. Next, at posture clinic, I was asked to deliver Pranayama deep breathing. Note that this is not even typically covered here at TT so the chance to practice it in front of a teacher and the groups was great! I had not studied it for more than a day. It went really well even though I was just winging it as I went along. Also on Wednesday, I was given the opportunity to deliver dialogue for two postures in front of a Bikram yoga Bangkok studio owner. This was the biggest test of the day for me because I want to teach my very first class there. It went SO GREAT and from the words of one of my best friends here “it couldn’t have possibly gone better!” I am proud of my accomplishments that day, this past week, and the entire training. I know there is a lot to look forward to after training wraps up but I’m just not in any rush to leave the Bikram yoga bubble behind. 
We had a lot of time with him this past week. From book signing to picture opps to really amusing classes, he’s a character I will undoubtedly miss. Yep I said it I will miss Bikram Choudhury! If you can’t understand why, hear me out on some ridiculous stories from the Friday night class. During first set of backward bending, he called me out. Nine out of 10 times this is a bad thing. And… It was. “You … What the … (To the class) she’s fucking meditating.” Now it was funny but awful all at once. Thankfully I redeemed myself. Because second set he pointed and said now you do it “perfect.” Easy enough to please 🙂 the next hilarious moment was one of his favorite sayings that he just took to the next level. We were in full locust pose:

“10 seconds just like high school sex… And your mom is coming home… No time… Put it in the stomach… 10 seconds.” 

I’m not sure any level of explaining can do it justice but I was downright dying. The start of the joke gets me every time, so the mom coming home bit really got a good laugh out of me! Then, to end it all, he was making claims about doing a collaboration song with Snoop Dogg. Now Bikram does sing dogs that we constantly listen to, but did I believe this line? Absolutely NOT! Wow was I wrong. He ended class with their song all about “getting the cash,” which is just about the only thing those two have in common. He danced and boogied his ass out of there while the whole class roared with laughter and applause. “Few screws loose fucked up” but how can you not be so amused by the guy?!
I’m hanging on to every moment of this week! Sad that week 9 is upon us but I intend to enjoy it more than ever! By the next blog post, I’ll officially be a Bikram yoga teacher 🙂 thanks all for your support! 

Stay tuned for what week 9 brings my way… I sure am!!!

           

                           

Week 7: Read at your own risk

Well week 7 sucked. For all of you out there waiting for my positivity to (temporarily) run dry and my patience to come to a screeching halt, it happened! Many people around here seem to think its normal or healthy this happened to me just like the majority who have suffered here at some point. Do I agree? Eh not so much. Can I or would I change how I felt at the end of this week? F no. I’m embracing this bitchy attitude and aware it’ll be a momentary lapse in my positive, uplifting perspective on things.
Before I even begin to describe what’s pushing me over the edge, let me explain how I feel. Brace yourself especially mom (because I did it to you) & dad (because you wouldn’t dare imagine the shit I did in high school)… I feel like my teenage self here. Trying to sneak the system constantly or just suffering to “obey” the incessant rules. It reminds me of cutting HS daily (especially junior year) or sneaking out in middle of the night. Always finding a way to get my fun in regardless of whatever system was in place meanwhile that angst of looking over my shoulder to see if the rule enforcers were catching on. It used to be my mom or teachers and the like. Now its teacher training staff. Yep that’s right. At 26 years old, I feel a decade younger trying to finagle an ounce of freedom Monday through Friday just to remind myself I’m an upstanding adult.
So what pushed me to bitch and moan like this? Was it 6 weeks of being patient, tolerant, and respectful? Yes. Was it those same 6 weeks being bubbly, friendly, and supportive to others in their struggles? Mmm yes. And was it staff members (who regardless of how nice they are) made me want to explode and show them the nasty bitch I still can be? Oh yes.
It’s not worth the energy of diving into every last detail. But I had my breaking point Friday. It’s taken me a good 48 hours, much R&R alone, and some tears to acknowledge how truly shitty this experience can be. After the weekend, I’m feeling so much better. I mean for about a day and a half, I have had the PRIVILEGE of choosing my whereabouts. If that’s not luxury I’m not sure what is!!!
All that complaining aside, I’m still SO grateful and appreciative to be here in Thailand. I’ve been dreaming of this experience for so long and I won’t let any obstacles I am facing here take away from that. It’s a true blessing I am here. First that I am healthy enough to be. Next with the support of family, friends, & all my yogis back home. And most of all with the courage inside myself to take a huge risk… To know I will find a way to make it work. I’ve managed through many other challenges and this path is yet another. If I was able to beat the system in high school and sneak behind all the rules (with straight A’s I may add), I’ll maneuver through these next two weeks doing whatever I can to survive. No TT staff will come in my way or steal a bit more of my peace than they already have. 
Glad you’ve come and gone week 7. I’ve had more than my share of you. Here’s to the last two weeks of TT where I vow to take even better care of my well being and follow Bikram’s advice from lecture to “fall in love with myself.”
I’ll leave you all with a beautiful quote from the man himself… Namaste —
“My yoga class is that sweltering day. It’s one long, hot meditation. We put incredible pressure on you to teach you to break your attachment to external things and go within. Instead of blaming others for your own weakness, fear and depression, you will learn to take responsibility for your own life. You’ve got to face yourself in the mirror, every part you don’t like, every mistake you make, every excuse your mind creates to limit your potential liberation–there’s nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. No escape from reality. With these kinds of demands on your abilities and attention, you will soon forget that there is anyone on the next mat in the classroom, much less notice what they are wearing. After you learn to discipline your body and mind under these conditions, you will truly be able to concentrate; no external will be able to break your powerful focus. That’s why I say the the darkest place in the world is under the brightest lamp. In the Torture Chamber of my class, you will find a beautiful light, and the source of that light is within you.”   Bikram


   

                             

Week 6: A day in the life

It blows my mind and practically breaks my heart that 6 weeks in Bikram TT have passed. Thailand has certainly become home to me. The thought of leaving is one I can’t wrap my head around yet. Thankfully, I’ve got three more weeks here then one left to travel!
I’ve found that more than anything else, people from home are so surprised by the schedule here. Yes, I’m in a beautiful place. Yes, I love it so much. Yes, I’m deeply committed to Bikram yoga. BUT it is pretty hard work here. I don’t feel the need to constantly talk about it, yet it’s a frequent conversation topic out here. People struggling to memorize their postures, suffering pose by pose in the (very f-ing) HOT room, and deeply missing their loved ones. It’s pretty normal. All part of “the process” as they repeatedly tell us. I’ve experienced a few bumps in the road myself; however, thankfully and luckily, they really are too minor to even bother sharing. Instead, I think a good aspect to shed light on is the daily schedule here. One day as a good example — Thursday May 28.
8 am: class sign in

8:30 – 10: Bikram class 1 taught by Bikram’s wife Rajashree (temps and humidity is far above 105 degrees and 40%)

10 – 12 pm: shower and brunch in the main dining area

12:30 – 4: Lecture with Raj discussing yoga therapy and various Bikram yoga research done. During the second half, we were able to share a personal stories (half of the group did this week 1 & the rest of us went week 6)

4:30: class sign in

5 – about 7 pm: Bikram class 2 with the man himself (entertaining and mildly ridiculous as always)

7 – 9: shower and dinner

9:30 – about 2 am: Lecture with Bikram discussing a WIDE variety of topics followed by two episodes of the most painful Indian show ever created (just assuming from the “special” effects & “plot” line it can’t get worse)
Then, off to bed to start it again the next day!
The one activity we didn’t have this past Thursday, which sometimes replaces either the afternoon or evening lecture, was posture clinic.

For those who don’t know, we are required to memorize a 90 minute dialogue in order to teach the Bikram Yoga Beginning Yoga Class. Here we are broken up into little groups (love my group 8 friends) and various teachers supervise as two groups are paired together to recite the dialogue. Other trainees are demonstrators while one person plays teacher. We have to deliver sufficient dialogue in order to be checked off. It was something to get used to but now it is enjoyable, especially depending on your teacher leads. I’m lucky to have done pretty well the whole time through with minimal nerves or stress! Thanks corporate America for lots of practice public speaking 🙂 you did me well for my next career!
With how busy the days & weeks are here, I think it’s quite easy to understand why time has just been flying by. Many of us say that it’s the fastest period of our lives. I have no doubt I’ll look back on this as the best, quickest, most amazing 9 weeks of my life… At least to date! The weekends are truly treasures in the midst of theBgrueling week days. This past one happened to be one of my favorites. Saturday was topped off with an AMAZING massage. Sunday after I wentbback into town and returned to watch the sunset on the beach. ItBreally is the epitome of paradise! Until next week!

   
                    

Week 5: It is so much more than a beautiful place…

Yes the backdrops are gorgeous, views are breathtaking, but Thailand is so much more than that. It’s a special place with the kindest people I’ve ever met and most surreal energy I’ve ever felt. To say it’s beautiful just does not do it any justice. 

 

It’s a bit of a cop out but really pictures and words can’t give it enough credit. There is something in the air, a way of life here that’s so special, simple & serene. 

 

Today was one of the most memorable days of my trip and honestly one that will stand out for the rest of my life. 10 of us yoginis visited 3 different temples… Each had their own style and all were incredibly peaceful. I feel more grateful than ever for one of the great Memorial Day weekend trips I could have ever asked for 🙂

    
                                                         

Week 4: “Your job is to make people so happy that they come back tomorrow”🙏🏾


It was a special week at teacher training. We had a whole cast of senior teachers here. The classes from Tuesday night through Emmy’s final one (five classes in a row) were especially strong. Not just in the sense of my own personal, physical strength but in the sense of such powerful energy. There were so many valuable tidbits shared from the senior teachers. One of my favorite themes, which was mentioned by two of the male visiting teachers, was the idea of taking yourself OFF of autopilot while you practice. It’s such a common, frequent thing I’ve seen as a student (& am even guilty of at times). You walk into the room, say oh I know these 26 postures, and just maneuver through them on your own command. But, that’s really not what the practice is about, not where the growth will happen & not the way it was designed to help people with their problems OUTSIDE the room. 

With 200 people practicing here, trust me you feel and understand why group energy is so important. I know it’s not desirable or feasible for every person to attend TT but I do wish every person that practices could experience the power behind moving together and with energy. It would be so valuable. Just imagine how peaceful it feels for everyone to move in unison only after instructed by a teacher. 

A senior female teacher also shared a quote that was so special. As I was laying on my mat and she said it, i thought holy shit my life is going to be so different after I leave here. The quote is the title for this week’s blog post. She described that she has it up in her studio and reads it to herself before every class. I could feel the sincerity in her explanation (again the group energy) and felt so grateful I could strive to do the same. For all the times someone told me my life was going to change so much after teacher training — YOU WERE RIGHT! I know it will and am excited for what lies ahead in this world!

The time with Emmy was incredible. Manali (Bikrams niece who runs TT) always says Emmy is the walking encyclopedia of yoga, health and fitness. She is SO right. Elegant from head to toe and about as agile as I am, she glows in her LATE eighties! A testament that this practice and a yogi lifestyle will overcome many of the obstacles others face in late age. We were lucky enough to have her energy with us for over a week… A gift of TT I will ALWAYS cherish!

Life feels great here and the experience gets fuller by the day. From great new friends to fun special memories, I’m so grateful to have this experience right here, right now… It doesn’t get any better than this, well at least not yet 🙂

#hotrobatinthehotroom

    

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

Week 3: Others hold up a mirror to show us what we cannot see ourselves

It’s hard to believe we’re one third of the way done with teacher training!  Not to mention how sad that is to even say!  Luckily, this is experience is quite good at forcing you to stay in the present moment so I won’t even begin to think about the end of it yet. Week 3 was great. We started our posture clinics, which is where we practice the dialogue we need to memorize verbatim. So far I’m enjoying it, doing pretty well, and a few postures ahead on my memorization. It’s a nice feeling to be learning the series of postures I love so dearly. We also had Emmy Cleaves arrive this past week. For those who do not know, she is the most senior teacher of Bikram Yoga. Somewhere in her eighties, she has the elegance of an experienced yogi and the knowledge to back it up. We are lucky enough to have her with us for a week and a half. This is not a gift to be taken lightly or one that every group of trainees receives! I’m working extra hard in her classes to be sure I soak it all up. 


There is so much to learn here. Every day you hear a new tip in the hot room or term in our anatomy lectures. It’s not overwhelming for me, someone who genuinely enjoys learning, but I could see how it could be mental overload for others. You’re also learning the dialogue for postures and trying to find a rhythm in the delivery of them as you teach. It’s fun and exciting! But, more than anything else, this 9 weeks is a learning experience about YOU! The staff constantly say this 9 weeks is all about focusing on yourself… Over and over again… Almost as much as they say “trust the process.” I sort of just glazed over it as they mentioned these phrases. And, then this past week, it clicked, holy shit this is really about me and it is quite an interesting “process” they’ve got out here.  

I mean what does “trust the process” really mean? Bikram’s process? Teacher training’s process? No. Neither of those. It’s your own process. How are you going to deal with feeling tired, stressed, physically exhausted? What attitude are you going to have when you’re forced repeatedly to just roll w the punches & follow whatever instructions are being given for the day’s activities? It’s a tremendous exercise is trusting yourself, understanding your behaviors & learning your limits so much more than it is about practicing 3+ hours of Bikram yoga every weekday.  I’ve been seeing a lot about myself and how positive my perspective really is while I’ve been here. There has been at least a handful of people who have either cried or seriously bitched to me, and it’s really made me appreciate the mindset I’ve developed over these past couple of years. People feel like crap or are sick of being told what is scheduled next, but I see it as an opportunity every day here. To decide how you want to act, the way you want to treat others, and the steps you take to go about your day. That’s where our choices are here, not in WHAT you do each day (no such luck for those struggling) but in HOW you do it. For me, the hardest part has been finding my alone time. I’ve adapted and realized waking up early a couple of mornings is worth that quiet moment to gather my thoughts or do some extra studying. It’s been helpful, peaceful, & a smart decisions that was all my alone. 

To wrap this lovely week up, I wanted to share the kindest, most flattering compliment I’ve ever received. I’ve bonded before class with one of the older guys here. We chat about spirituality, the yoga, all that good stuff. I was sitting on my mat before the am class and he came over to check on me. Nothing was wrong at all… But apparently he was worried because I didn’t have the usual huge smile on my face! So I assured him I was all good, not a thing wrong. Quite relieved he explained I don’t always have to be so bubbly, I can be a bit quiet as long as all is okay (he was actually the second person to point that out this week). Then he replied “you’re the type of person that carries the light for others, that’s a very special thing.” I literally was at a loss of words. I hugged him and said “that’s exactly why I’m here.” When I saw him later today and thanked him again for being so sweet to me earlier, he said sometimes we just need others to hold up a mirror & show us what we cannot see ourselves… This week I’m so endlessly grateful for that. 



#trusttheprocess #andyourself #hotrobatinthehotroom 



   

       

Week 2: Bring your practice with you wherever you go 🌏

A visiting teacher this week gave us the advice that no matter what you’re experiencing, remember your practice from your home studio, why you fell so in love with Bikram yoga, & bring that back to your mat here in Thailand at teacher training.  It was so beautiful to hear and resonated so strongly with me.  Her words were like breath of fresh air (inside the 95% humidity torture-chamber).  I’m learning quickly that the experience here will test your patience and determination often, but if you can just take a moment to remember why you’ve made this life changing decision, all doubts will be washed away. 

Week 2 had its ups and downs.  We’ve officially completed 21 classes the last two weeks.  But by the end of this week, I was more mentally drained than physically exhausted.  It’s difficult to follow someone else’s schedule for you and constantly be surrounded by the other trainees. It’s so exciting to get to meet people and share your backgrounds, but it becomes exhausting at times.  Then, to try to fit in staying in touch with family and friends felt near impossible!  I know I just needed some time to recharge because after just 1 day this weekend, I feel amazingly better.  

It’s been an absolutely beautiful Saturday relaxing around the resort. I had some great conversations with people today, from over lunch to just laying on the beach.  There is nothing more I can ask for. My life here feels so peaceful!  And, It’s funny to say I really don’t miss home much… I miss people I care about of course!  But Connecticut (or Nj)?  No not so much.  I think it’s becoming clearer and clearer to me I’m ready for a break from the northeast.  I have no idea yet when or where, yet I know it’s a great time to explore the idea! It is also great knowing I’m entering a community of people that I can connect with from all over the globe. It really feels like my options are endless. I’m so so grateful and humbled for that.  It’s the most exciting feeling!

For now, I’ll just keep studying dialogue & taking in all Thailand has to offer. I know Week 3 will be more challenging both physically and mentally. So my immediate plan is to rest up this weekend and squeeze in a beachside Thai massage 🙂 tough life! 

#hotrobatinthehotroom

   
   

Week 1: “take it easy, baby”

From the mouth of Bikram himself, this week was all about adjusting and not about killing ourselves in the postures. It’s hard to believe 1 week, 10 hours & countless introductions with Bikram yogis from all over the world has already passed! It’s been an exciting week. His wife Rajashree was here, and we were lucky enough to have her teach all five of our morning classes. She has a calming, maternal energy in the hot room that was so fitting for our first week. The days here are long starting with 8 am sign in for the morning class running till around midnight (subject to the Bollywood movie ending time…)! In that time, we have our two classes, lectures, & brunch and dinner meal times. Free time is limited and it truly is the “yoga bubble” that all my teacher friends have joked about this experience being. 

There is so much to take in, it would take a lifetime to explain. For starters, meeting so many different interesting people. All ages, sizes, backgrounds, ethnicities, you name it. The Americans still take the cake for largest attendees but Australians, Mexicans, Japanese & Italians are close behind! It’s so exciting to hear everyone’s stories… Not to mention refreshing to not be the only Bikram-die-hard in a room for a change!!

Bikram himself is quite an interesting character. The best I can say is I see the reason he’s become so successful. For better or worse, he’s able to capture the attention of a room. I’m constantly looking to see the qualities and tips that I should take away from all his years of experiences, meanwhile chuckling away at his explicit language & inappropriate jokes. There are plenty of opportunities for both!

I’m definitely becoming acquainted to the area & our new routine here. Life at the resort  in Khao Lak is quite different than the experience at Phi Phi. It’s still beautiful but certainly a more commercialized spot! It would be fun to find some places off the beaten path in the area & squeeze in a little time to explore those gems on the weekends!

For now, just taking it all in… Enjoying the sweet, peaceful Thai people and also meeting my fellow trainees. Looking forward to learning and experience more in the coming months. I do think the next 8 weeks of training can be as great as the last was! Till next week…✌🏼️

#hotrobatinthehotroom

    
      

            

Koapookah Phi Phi 🙌🏽

Today we leave Phi Phi and head back for Phuket.  All I can I say is thank you to this special beautiful hosipitable island for three amazing nights.  I feel right at home here and so grateful to have had the best experience.  It may have been my first visit but not to be my last!

It has been so easy to be in the present moment here. No worries about what’s next, no concern over what happened, just the beauty of experiencing the time now. Aurelle and I felt that especially on our boat trip yesterday. Quite funny because in this part of the world when you throw a bunch of people on a boat there’s no waiver, no “welcome” from the captain, absolutely no organization meanwhile it all runs quite smoothly. No major mishaps and we hit all of the stops ending with a beautiful sunset.  Out in the middle of the water, on a little boat, with lots of interesting people on board, & islands surrounding us, I felt the purest peace. I was even pretty quiet for a few minutes!  It’s hard to be hear and NOT take a moment to breathe it all in. If you don’t you’ll lose sight of the beauty.  It’s really too much to take in at times. 

Koapookah Phi Phi for showing me what breathtaking really means and how to settle fully & comfortably into the right now!  Till I see you again!