My First Yoga Class without a Drop of Water

May 29, 2008

As you know, Bikram yoga is done in a very hot room so, in each class, it is normal to sweat like crazy (2-3 liters of juicy sweat). To prevent deshydration, it is important to drink a lot of water and electrolytes before, during and after the class.

I follow this drinking guideline verbatim, so I drink these days 8-10 liters of water/electrolytes per day. In each yoga class, I drink 2-3 liters with no apparent effort, from any human position and situation. These amazing superpowers led Craig to give me the nickname of Aquaman (that was before Bikram called me Mr. Pregnant;-).

At one point, I noticed that my inmense love for water during the class was almost an addiction. Even during postures, I was thinking all the time about when my next water break was going to be. I deeply believed that I needed that huge amount of water during the class to survive the class.

Yesterday, Casper and Jeanne challenged me just before the evening class, to stay the 90 minutes of class without drinking any water at all. At first, I was as reluctant about it as a cocaine addict about getting into a detox hospital. However, they did a great job in convincing my highly rational and sophisticated masculine mind with the words: “don’t you have balls to do it or what?”. As a good man from the Basque Country, I have enough balls even to cut my balls if needed, so I accepted the water challenge.

I would lie if I said that I didn’t suffer during the class without water but I survived the whole class (taught by Bikram) without drinking. This showed me the big difference between NEED and WANT. I thought that I NEEDED the water to do the class but I DON’T NEED it at all. I just WANT it (with all my heart).

If in life, we were able to differentiate the cases when we really NEED something from the ones when we only WANT that something, we would be able to stop being slaves of our weak minds, increase our self-control and go through life much happier.

Said, I am freaking drinking the next class (but just because I want to 🙂


Swimming with Dolphins

May 28, 2008

On Sunday, to celebrate our weekly day of vacation, we went to Acapulco’s water park to swim with dolphins. It is always said that dolphins are the smartest animals so I was really looking for an opportunity like this one to interact with them. The price per person for 1-hour swim with the dolphins was 1,300 pesos (US$130) so the expectations were high.

It looks like all men in the training are scared of dolphins because only women joined. I had the good luck to enjoy this activity with 5 really sweet girls from the training (as you know, I am always suffering and sacrificing myself;-). From left to right, they are Bonnie from Australia (remember her from my scuba diving last week), Colleen from Oregon, Jeanne from Phillipines, SuperGuille from Heaven, AnnaMaria from Hungary and Anastasia from Russia.

You can see all the pictures that I took of the event in my Flickr site (the link is on the right side of the blog). For this post, I want only to highlight my 4 main learnings of the day:

(1) Dolphins’ skin is softer than the ass of a baby

We swam with them a lot and touch them. I was surprised by how soft their skin is. Next time, I am going to ask them for their secret an create a skincare product for woman with that. They are so soft that you want to hug them. However, I hated the part when they tell you to kiss the dolphin in the mouth (can you believe it?). When my turn came, I looked at the dolphin at saw two problems with the mouth kiss: First, he was a male and second, he was a dolphin. So our love was doomed since the first moment so I decided to change at the last moment the mouth kiss by a cheek kiss as you can see in the picture.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posture Clinic is Over!!!!!

May 27, 2008

Hi all!!! Just a quick note that yesterday we finished Spine Twisting Pose and with it the posture clinic of the training. This has been long and painful but now I feel as relieved as after giving birth to a baby with a big head, sharp horns and that is coming perpendicular wise (and I am just a guy:-)

In the last 7 weeks, we have covered the 26 postures in the posture clinic and for 26 times, I had to tell the dialog of each of them in front of the teachers and the rest of the group. It has been an amazing practice for my public speaking skills, my english communication skills and my patience skills (in addition to teach each posture, I had to watch each posture taught 40 times).

Along the way, I received valuable feedback after each posture to improve my voice projection, connection with the students and presence and posture on stage. I have learned a lot but I couldn’t wait to see it over:-) Now that it is over, we are going to have more available time for Bikram’s lectures and also for visiting guests. In addition, I hope to have some mock class exercises to link several poses together and see how it feels to teach a real class.

Finally, I wanted to talk about my posture clinic group. This group of 15-20 people have always been with me in all posture clinic sessions. I have got to know and love each of them. It is a group of amazing people. So here it goes….

HAIL GROUP 1!!!!!!!!

Left to right and top to bottom, SuperG, Danielle, Simone, Laura, Edy, Manali, Melissa, Sean, Rea, Debbie, Nora, Alison, Oscar. Bottom, Danielle, Kylie and Allison.

Big ausence in the picture of great Henry Abuuuuuda!!!

Ex Poena Adveho Formositas

May 16, 2008

[Thanks to Kirk for letting me take a picture of his cool tatoo]

I am just at the end of week 6 of the training and this latin phrase really summarizes how I feel right now. For those, like me, whose latin is a bit forgotten and not in shape, the phrase means: “Beauty comes from within pain”.

Before you call 911 to tell them that I have gone crazy, let me explain myself:

Sometime this week, I felt at my really lowest both physically and mentally. On the mental side, I got really pissed off last Friday when they made us stay in the conference room until 4:30am watching some indian TV series from the 70s. I found it (and still find it) very stupid, especially while I was dying the following day in the yoga with only 2 hours of sleep. So mentally that was the straw that killed the camel (since the beginning, I have found that sometimes the way they treat us here is not the most appropriate for adult people). On the physical side, I got a bad sore throat early this week and for 2 days each yoga class felt really hell. So you can imagine that I was hating the rest of the world and wanted to kill someone.

However, in the last couple of days there has been a turning point and I now feel much better, optimistic, happy, ungrumpy and ready for the weekend. On the physical side, some of my friends here really took care of me and now I feel like a bull again (and I am touched by their tenderness). My last couple of yoga classes, I felt really good and I have noticed how much I have advanced in my practice lately. On the mental side, there are still a lot of things here that I don’t understand, don’t share and plainly find stupid. However, I have also realized that net-net, my experience here is so amazingly positive and life-changing that I shouldn’t get angry by those little stupid things. As I cannot forgive things I consider stupid, I have decide to forget about them (forgotten, non forgiven:-)

Anyway, so now I know that the pain I have had some times in the first 6 weeks of the training, explain a lot of the positive feelings and thoughts that I have right now. I have definitely passed the turning point and I hope to really enjoy the last 3 weeks to the maximum. I have made an incredible group of friends, my body feels great, my mind feels great and I have learned that bones are floating in a sea of fascia (we had a lecture on fascia and it was very interesting;-)

For those of you who find crazy that I complain and talk about suffering and pain while living in a resort in Acapulco, I would like to say that (1) everything is relative, (2) things are different from the inside than from the outside and (3) you will get crazier when you check out my AMAAAAZING skin tan and lovely figure 😛

Sore Throat comes, Sore Throat goes

May 15, 2008

The good thing of writing in the blog with some days of delay is that I can tell complete stories, start to finish, since they are over before I have written about them:-)

On Sunday evening, after coming back from scuba diving, I got a very bad sore throat. Monday and Tuesday were really bad for me. If just doing the yoga class is hard enough, imagine how it is like when you have a red, infected throat and fever (for those of you who are thinking why I went to yoga being sick, things work here like a military bootcamp. Unless you are dying, you are asked to get in the hot room with the rest – even if the only thing you are able to do is lay down and think bad things about the staff members:-)

I wanted to sincerely thank to all the angels that have taken care of me during the last couple of days. Especially Allison, Jeff, Jeanne and Tanya. It is good to fall sick when there are people who worry about you and take care of you don’t you think?;-). On Tuesday, Allison (mother Allison from now on) made a natural medicine cure for me based on hot water, lime juice, ginger and salt. She also brought me enough limes and ginger for me to prepare it for the rest of the week. It really worked!!!. I won’t definitely ask for it in a night club (it doesn’t taste that great) but it cured me very fast. Today (Wednesday) I have been much better and I am almost recovered.

In comparison with Monday and Tuesday, now the classes look really easy and pleasant!!!;-)

Only Take Memories… Only Leave Bubbles

May 15, 2008

Last Sunday, I was finally able to get out of the resort and do some scuba diving (yuju!). Last month, I bought a waterproof case for my camera (it was even more expensive than the camera itself) and I was looking forward to using it. It is up to you to decide, after looking at the pictures, wether it was worth it or not. I went to the trip with John (from North Carolina and my fellow tiger), Bonnie (from Australia) and Deedee (from sunny Idaho).

We left the Hotel at 8:15am and went to the other side of Acapulco where a boat was waiting to take us to La Roqueta Island. We did 2 dives of 50 minutes each, have lunch in the boat and were back at the Hotel by 4pm.

Overall, the dives were pretty nice. Acapulco is on the Pacific side so the visibility and amount of marine life is not comparable to the Caribbean’s or the Red Sea’s. Said that, I was impressed by the high level of life and activity in the reef that we visited. I definitely place La Roqueta at the same level than Key Largo (Florida) in terms of diving quality.

We spotted a lot of great animals. Apart from the infinity of small tropical fishes, I saw a moray eel, a sea snake, dozens of stingrays, a sleeping octopus (octopuses go out hunting at night so it is then when it is fun to see them. During the day, they rest inside holes so you can only see their ass), an inflated puffer fish, a bank of crazy butterfly fish, a big torpedo ray and an eagle ray (one of my favorite animals under the sea. Unfortunately, I spotted it just after jumping into the water so I could only see it from far away).

You can see all the pictures in Flickr, but let me brag a little of underwater camera and paste some of my favorite pics…

Here is a PufferFish (Pez Globo) inflated like a balloon (apparently this one didn’t have stings):

The same PufferFish but not inflated: Read the rest of this entry »

Mi first white hair (juventud divino tesoro!!!)

May 11, 2008

I am very happy on Saturdays after the morning class (no class or lecture until Monday morning). Today, I decided to celebrate this great moment of the week by having my hair cut.

I went to the hair stylists in the Hotel’s Spa. I have to admit that they are pretty good (head massage included;-) and not expensive at all ($20).

Here are pics I took just before and after the haircut. Can you notice the difference?

Anyway, little did I know what was going to happen after the haircut. Fernanda (a very sweet mexican girl from the travel agency that has organized the training) was the first person that saw my haircut. After complimenting it, she pointed out that I had white hair at the back of my headRead the rest of this entry »