Category Archives: Bikram Yoga
This bird has got to leave the nest. It’s time to grow.
I thank you all for being with me for the past 1.5 years.
ps : To know more, hit me up on FB. Prying eyes are prying eyes 😉
Which oddly enough, wasn’t Bikram Yoga!
About 3 weeks ago, I [gracefully] fell down on my ass in the carpark ON MY WAY to dinner. Before you lot get ahead of yourselves [yes, my 3 readers in total], this was BEFORE any drinking so please don’t nod sagely and go “Ah yes, she was drunk, that’s why she fell down”. In fact, I was sober and just taught!
So walking along – doo doo doo – thinking of what to order for dinner – doo doo doo, should I have lamb? Or pasta? doo doo doo – when suddenly my left foot gives out under me and SPLATCHUNK I land [gracefully] on the floor. On my ass bone. First thing out of my mouth was “OH SHIT I fell down!” [I mean, no shit, Sherlock] but a friend reckon I should’ve said “I meant to do that!”. Thank goodness the carpark was empty save for the parking attendant who looked over curiously at me.
And since then, my ass bone [ok, fine, coccyx] hurts and I can’t lie on my back during Savasana. Forget Standing Bow or Bow or Standing Head to knee. In fact, one day -in my mind- I was screeching “FUCK THE 26 + 2, GO DEEPTHROAT A CHAINSAW WAAAARRRGHHHH” before laying down on my side to Savasana.
After teaching a class in KL, I was talking to a newbie and I asked him what he does for a living. He answered, “Oh, many things, I’m a life coach, I also do Cranial Sacral therapy, Breathworks…”
– Cranial Sacral? What’s that like?
“Oh, it’s how your bones realign itself….”
– OOOH Can I try?
“Sure! You wanna do it now?”
– WEE! 😀
I laid down on a yoga mat, rolled over on my side, and he put his palm under my sacrum, [I rolled back on to it] and the magic started. It took only about 10 seconds before I could FEEL IT. What, exactly, you may ask? I felt buzzing, pulling and scraping [?!] in my sacroilliac joint [the source of my injury]. He remarked that we both made a connection really fast [cause I do yoga? :D]. In a few minutes I felt buzzing travelling up my spine … on to my shoulders and neck [where he remarked “Oh WOW, you have lots of nerve damage here!”] and down into my hands [“Wow, more damage here!”]. The AMAZING thing is that NOBODY knows about my nerve damage, and it’s something you cannot discern with the naked eye. Short to say, I was pretty amazed!
After a few minutes the therapy ended, I rolled over to my side to ‘recover’. I felt REALLY good after the therapy. Albeit a little pulling / scraping sensation / pain in the area, but generally, my HIPS are aligned! WOO HOO! Save for major lethargy [which the therapist said is normal], I’m feeling great!
So go try it! It has to be the most RAD thing since I’ve done Bikram 😉
At the ripe old age of 2x, I have taken up … ballet.
Part of me was influenced by Natalie Portman’s fluidity and grace in Black Swan. The majority of me wanted to learn how to use my damn muscles for once because I have figured how to use my joints during class [and I can already here Emmy screaming “USE YOUR MUSKELLSSSS”]
Ballet split sole shoes? CHEEEECKK!
And I am off!
It has only been 2 classes but HOT DAMN it is DIFFICULT. I have now learnt that I have :
– Hyper-extended knees
– Super uber flexible joints [Teacher adjusted me a little and remarked, “I move you here a little and everything else moves. OK… GIRL you need to work!”]
– SUPER tight hips. Thanks, running, thanks a lot.
In fact, ballet has given me more … awareness on my body movement and alignment. I am more aware of my hip in Triangle [OH MOTHER OF GOD IT HURTS SO BAD NOW] and hello uneven hips in Standing Bow.
Now I’m even more tempted to try on pointe 😉
A lot of times people, especially students and those new to Bikram Yoga ask me, “Are you ever BORED of doing the same TWENTY-SIX postures, day in, day out?”
And the answer is “No!”. I do have lots to work on [HELLO upper body strength] and as every one else says, every single class you attend is a challenge. It is different. The dialogue is the same, but the personality of the teacher comes through and you are then either a struggling whimpering mess or a strong champion.
But as always, Bikram has his motives for REPEATING the same asanas [postures]. Sure, it all has the benefits [and 1 posture leading to the next], but consider this :
Shaolin monks who practice kung-fu [and I am not making this up!] get up at the crack of dawn and after their meal / prayers, proceed to PRACTICE kung fu the whole day. My theory is that repeating the same movements / moves [I guess you can’t really call it a posture, can you?] to help cultivate GOOD muscle memory! Ergo, when your teacher tells you to PICK UP YOUR FOOT and attempt Standing Head to Knee or Standing Bow again, you damn well had better pick it up if you want to improve. However, if you don’t, you can just be lazy, stand there, look around, and then after class bombard your teacher with “I’ve been coming for TWO years and my Standing Bow looks the same! I want to look like Brandy Lyn!” 😉
A little more on Shaolin Monks, courtesy of National Geographic [and YouTube 😉 ]
So the example above was using Qi Gong. But what was INTERESTING was the concept of CHI [Qi?] or ENERGY. Every. Single. Movement you do CREATES energy! So it is VITAL to MOVE TOGETHER in class and MOVE with CONVICTION and not just flop your arms around like a dying squid.
In other words, yep, this badass Bikram bitch is back. I have recently ended a 4-year relationship, so obviously I did not feel the mood to blog as much. Sorry! However, I find it hilarious that when people find out they expect my ex and I to be at each others’ throats or avoiding each other like the seasonal bubonic plague of death. Uhm, hello. We are both mature adults and this isn’t freaking high school. But what makes it awkward are people staring at us expecting some sort of throw down, hence I feel so awkward for them that I just skedadle out of the scene like a rat on fire [and proceed to hide from THEM, not my ex!].
Remember folks, either you let life break you, or you can be fabulous and not care about those who choose to gossip-monger and create unnecessary drama.
I really do.
I freaking hate it. Hate it to my guts, hate it from the tip of my hairs to the ends of my toe nails. Hate it from my sciatic nerve back up all the way to my optical nerve. AH THE NERVE.
I sweat too much, my sweat stings my eyes, and for some reason I get crusty eyes the next morning after class.
The teachers talk too much [HA!], they shout and scream at you to lock the freaking knee “LOCK THE KNEE, LOCK THE KNEE, LOCK THE KNEE!” and they never seem to be able to SHUT the HELL UP and yet seem so happy clappy out of class. BAH.
The men sweat too much, they fling their horrid sweat on me, and some males don’t know the meaning of Laundry Day.
My back hurts during backbends, my back hurts during forward bends, my back is FUCKING killing me.
It is DIFFICULT, it is SO DAMN HOT and it PISSES me off.
But yet like a cracked up whore I still keep going back and I became a teacher.
Because it is difficult, because it pisses me off, because it is hot, because the teachers push me, because of all the reasons why I hate it, is why I believe in it.
And yet, who can deny the post-class euphoria is the BEST part of class?
Happy 3 year anniversary to me! 😀
If you haven’t read this article by Clancy Martin of Details magazine, please click here.
I have a few minor problems with the article. Namely the fact that *I* did not get any hook-ups AT ALL during my 9 weeks of Teacher Training. Nope, I didn’t make out with anyone, never held hands, and I do not recall following a man with “perfect, rippling muscles” back to his room.
Instead, I found myself either :
– memorising dialogue like a loon
– doing yoga poses in the hallway of the Las Vegas Hilton with my groupmates [at 12am, nonetheless]
– doing bodily functions
Apparently the advanced seminar had “libidinal energy” pulsating throughout the resort during the Fall 2010 Advanced / TT. I think she has confused great yoga energy with sexual energy. Sure your Kundalinis open and what not, but if ANYONE has the energy to even last through the whole day AND return back to the room for some BoomBoomBangBang, you have my TOTAL respect.
I mean, sure I felt like I wanted to get laid, but even the mere thought of having sex was tiring enough. Seriously. I’d rather sleep than rub privates with someone else.
And “hundreds of gorgeous, fit women everywhere” ? Let me tell you a story of how I gained 6kgs during training, acne flared up and Bikram confused me for a boy [and this happened to a majority of my friends, the weight-gain part, not the “boy” part]. The end. The AVERAGE age of trainees at my TT was 40. The youngest was 18, the eldest 60-over. Gorgeous and Fit? Definitely. But not in the sexual snide undertones that the writer had in mind.
Maybe I should get my money back since I did not hook-up at all during my 9-weeks in Sin City. *sadface pout*
A hilarious little clip about Bikram Yoga Teacher Training.
For some reason, WordPress doesn’t want me to embed it, so you’re gonna have to click HERE.
Ah, they’ve included everything. Only thing they missed out was “Trust the Process!”.
Thank you to Guide to Healthcare Schools for nominating Mind Playground as one of the Top 25 Bikram Yoga blogs.
Now I feel tremendous pressure to blog. And by blog I mean proper sentences out here and there and not just some link to a video of a song that I love posted together with lyrics that I have hastily pasted over from Google. You mean it’s not a proper blog post? BLEH.
Ooh and to watch my language too. Actually, who am I kidding. HAHA!
To view the complete list, click here.
Now to add more blogs to my blogroll! After some sleep, that is.
Remember back in school, there would be that ONE person who would obviously be favoured by the teacher? Maybe s/he was the prettier looking kid in class or they knew the answers to EVERYTHING [stupid smart-ass-know-it-all kids. I wonder where they are and what they’re doing].
In fact, it’s no different in Bikram Yoga. More often than not, the teachers’ favourite student is the one with a great, focussed practice. I will admit, it is easier to teach the focussed students than those drama-ing at the back “Oh it’s soooo hot” [No shit Sherlock, you just entered Bikram HOT Yoga], and “Ohh my back hurts” [Are you kidding me? I just said your back is GOING TO HURT LIKE HELL!].
Until one day he stepped into my class.
For privacy’s sake, let’s call him A. A was here to take class with an entourage – his mum, cousin and maid in tow. The night before, Jakob texted me that A will be coming and to “give him some space and do whatever he likes”.
You see, A is not just a ‘first-timer’. He was a special first-timer. He was a special needs child from Indonesia who came to Kuala Lumpur for some form of therapy.
Coupled with the fact that A does not speak English but Bahasa Indonesia [Indonesian language] and that my dialogue is in English [my Indonesian is at best, rusty] , I was fearful. I was a new teacher, I possibly can’t have distractions coming in and out at me! What if I forgot my dialogue and started muttering nonsense up on stage? How would I control the class? How would I control A? What would he do during class?
Turns out I had nothing to fear at all. A was good, calm and he did the best he could. Sure because he was special needs he giggled or talked or made sounds during class, but then again, I have had worse drama queens in class 😉 [And he is SPECIAL needs, and you are NOT!]
In the beginning, like all students, he had to acclimitise to the heat. Of course he didn’t know what was going on – why was it hot? He moaned and wiped furiously at his sweat but I told him “Jangan lap. Nanti lagi panas ye!” [Don’t wipe! You’ll feel more hot!]. He looked at me woefully with his big doe eyes and I prayed to God he wouldn’t bawl. He looked back to the mirror and refocussed on his practice.
His dedication to the practice AMAZED and HUMBLED me. His mum would come out after class telling me, “A tu mintak nak buat exercise hot. Jadi, kita bawaklah dia. Tiap tiap hari pun mintak!” [A was asking to do the ‘Hot Exercise’, that’s why we brought him here. He asks for it EVERY day!”.
I smiled. I really didn’t know what to say.
His family soon became a regulars at the studio. A’s mum said “Walaupun panas dan susah, tapi A tu suka!” [Even though it’s hot and difficult, A loves it!]. One day I asked his mum, What benefits have you seen with A and the yoga? I have always wondered how the benefits would accrue with someone with special needs.
“Ohhh, banyak! Skarang tu lebih mudah untuk dia nafas. Dan skarang pun dia tu lebih sabar sikit. Boleh komunikasi“. [Ohhh, lots! It’s easier for him to breathe now, and he’s more patient when communicating].
And here I was worrying whether he could get 100% benefits even though he couldn’t understand me 😉 But, like Bikram said, try the right way and you’ll still get the benefits!
“Tu, bagi salam kat kak. Cakap bye dengan dia” [Say bye to Kak (Big Sister)].
“BUKAN. Dia tu KAK! Bukan Auntie! Muda lagi la Cikgu Mei!” [NO! She’s not an Auntie! Teacher Mei is still young!] his mother said in chagrin. I waved it off and said that I am old enough to be called “Auntie” already. A’s mum said they’ll be going back to Indonesia for a while, but will see me after a month. That was in August.
That was the last I saw of them. I haven’t seen them since the Muslim new year, and with the eruptions and natural disasters going on in Indonesia, I hope they’re ok.
I still miss A every day. His happy smiling face, his smile as he does Half Moon pose, his mum as she tries to lock her knee, him going up to the mirrors to wipe it and say hello to his reflection during class.
A, you inspire me with your patience and dedication and love for the yoga. May our paths cross again, eventually, in the future.
Me : I won’t be competing in October. Too chicken shit to try 😦
Friend : And why are you chicken shit to compete. Nothing to lose except your pride..
Me : Well, I don’t have the most perfect of postures. Alignment still not there.
Friend : Nobody’s perfect. Competing helps you approach that level. Not to prove that you have.
Me : And I’m afraid if I compete, certain quarters won’t be happy about it.
Friend : OK, I don’t know about that.
Me : See my point?
Friend : Sounds more like an additional excuse actually, haha.
What wise words, coming from a non-yoga person.