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 ūüôā


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 ūüėõ

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 »

Half Way Through!!!!

May 8, 2008

In the last few days, I have procastinated a bit regarding my posts in the blog. I don’t know how, but lately, I¬†spend my days¬†either in class, practicing the dialog or sleeping. I apologize to the committed readers and sponsors and I will do my best to beat my procastinating tendencies.

Anyway, we are already in our 5th week of the training and yesterday we crossed the halfway milestone (yupi!!!). This is going crazy fast… My heart is divided in two: on one hand, I am looking forward to the end of this daily double yoga classes and the posture clinic. On the other hand, I am sure I will definitely miss all this a lot when everything is over.

People say that, at some point during these 9 weeks, one experiences a kind of healing crisis, where you find yourself extremely vulnerable and weak (and after surviving, you kinda prove yourself that you are able to do anything). In my case, I think that this week is the one. The last couple of days, I have felt emotionally exhausted, kind of nostalgic and vulnerable as an alheli’s capullo. I think is the combination of physical fatigue, being away from friends and family, with full schedule and no “cave time” for myself. Some of my colleagues here experience this crisis as a need to cry like crazy or laugh like a baby.¬†For me is neither. I just want to stay with my mouth close and my mind examining my past, present and future (all this sounds pretty bullshitted and all-over but that’s how I feel today).

Anyway, I think it is a wonderful experience. The complete isolation from the outter world is allowing me to focus on introsprection and it is helping me undestand myself much better. At the end, it might be true that all this could ultimately change one’s life.

Quote of the day: ” The bones are floating in a sea of fascia”¬† by Jon Burras in his lecture on Fascia and Emotional Anatomy

My Initial Impressions on Bikram, The Man

April 27, 2008

In the last couple of weeks, Bikram has been full time with us, giving us daily lectures and leading most of the evening yoga classes. That has given me the opportunity to getting to know him a bit better and creating an initial opinion of him. He has now left for a couple of weeks and will come back in May to stay with us until the end of the training. As a result, now it is a perfect moment to do balance of my experience with him.

Overall, I must confess that I was completely overblown by meeting him in person. As my good friend Nikos would say, I had my expectations really high but Bikram was able to exceeded them by far. He is a very unique person both in the good and bad sides. I have never had so much fun in a lecture as in some of his lectures. Given his extremely big mouth and his wild eccentricity, you either love him or hate him. I personally find him very endearing and one of the most interesting and inspirational people I have ever met. If you have time, please download and watch the video that CBS’ 60 minutes did about Bikram.

Anyway, as a good consultant, I will organize my opinion about Bikram in 3 parts (with 3 bullets each :-): Things I love from him, things I find funny and things I don’t like that much.

Things I love from Bikram…
(1) His vital energy and joie de vivre. I have never met a person with highest energy and joy in live than Bikram. He sleeps only 2-3 hours per day. He thinks that the greatest enemy of humankind is the waste of time and he seems to enjoy every single minute of his existence.

(2) His focus and sense of purpose. His purpose in life is to spread the message of yoga in the world to make it a better place to live. He always has this in mind in everything that he does. And he has been very successful: he has introduced yoga to millions of people, trained thousands of instructors and his franchise has more than 2,000 studios around the world, the largest yoga organization in the world. Not bad, don’t you think?

(3) His ability to say and do whatever he wants without thinking what people will say. He doesn‚Äôt give a shit about what people think and does whatever he wants with his life if he thinks is the right thing to do. Read the rest of this entry »

Elmo’s Fire Dance (Gloomy Sunday)

April 27, 2008

We have already started putting nicknames within the group of friends I am making in the training. I have helped creating some good ones like Ronaldinha, Spice Girl or TinkerBell. I am not extremely excited about the originality of mine: Elmo, the popular puppet from Sesame Street (although he was not present in the Spanish Version).

They chose it for two reasons: (1) some of them have problems pronouncing my beautiful name (and this sounds similar) and (2) I love to eat chocolate cookies with milk (in Spain we don’t have Elmo so I can’t verify that).

Anyway, this Elmo thing reminded me a beautiful video a friend showed me long time ago. In Youtube, there is a video trend of making nasty things to Elmo puppets. This one is a bit different than the rest of videos. It has a weird but touching combination of sadness, beauty and craziness (please play it with the music on).

Given that today is gloomy Sunday, here is the video-present from me to you!

First Week is Over!!!

April 13, 2008

We ended the first week on Saturday with a yoga class from 8-10am (good for us!!)

It is amazing how fast this goes and how many things have happened in just a week. Overall the balance is very very positive:

(1) I took 10 yoga classes this week¬†(5 with Bikram, 4 with Rajashree and 1 with Craig) and survived them. (a) I was able to stay always in the room (lots of people had to get out) and¬†(b) I didn’t vomit during class (on average 10 people in each class puked)

(2) I met Bikram and Rajashree (who by the way was Miss India in the 80s) and absolutely loved them. Rajashree is the sweetest person you could ever meet. Bikram has a very special character ( he is too blunt for some people and has a very big ego) but I think he is a genius and I enjoyed and learned a lot from his lectures and classes. 

(3) I attended 6 hours per day of posture clinic and succesfully performed the dialogue of Half-moon pose in front of 300 people.

(4) I didn’t get stomach sick, constipated or diarrhea. Apparently, these three things were very common among my classmates this week (as part of their adaptation to the training).

(5) I met a looot of people from the class. I don’t know if it’s the yoga, the food or just being surrounded by so many women, but I think I am behaving a bit more extroverted than usual. As a result, I got to know and got known by an incredible number of people.

Overall, a very busy week (we had full days from 8:30am to 11:30pm) but very pleasant.

Next week is going to be very hard:

(1) Emy is replacing Rajashree in the morning class. Emy is the most senior teacher in Bikram Yoga. She is 82 years old and, apparently, she is also one of the toughest teachers. If now, I am sore, I think next week I will be unable to move:-)

(2) Other things outside yoga classes get more time-consuming. We start Anatomy classes (a world-known doctor is coming to teach) and the posture clinic is going to accelerate (we are going to be divided in 16 groups instead of having plenary sessions)

(3) Bikram said that, in past trainings, at the end of week 2, half of the people would love to quit the training. No need to know that at the end of the training, everybody is very happy but I would prefer not to be in the half with an existencial crisis next week.

Anyway, I continuously feel great and I am optimistic I won’t break down next week (maybe in the 3rd one:-).