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  Bikram Yoga: Out like a light _POSTEDBY cat -  
Our Bikram Yoga studio held a 10:30 class last night to ring in the new year. It was a fundraiser and all donations went to Wilderness Conservancy.

I didn't make it, unfortunately. Fell asleep at 9 p.m. and didn't wake up until 7 o'clock this morning.

Anyway, I hope you all had a good New Year's Eve and wish you a happy and healthy 2009.

Thursday, January 01, 2009   1 comment    Printer-friendly page  

  Bikram Yoga: Old age creeping up _POSTEDBY cat -  
I practised yoga in the front this morning, right in front of the podium*. There are mirrors on the sides of the podium and I had a real closeup view of myself as I put my chin on the floor before Cobra pose.

Horror of horrors! I have three grey hairs :(

*I'm normally a Row Three Girl, but Mike asked me to move there.

Saturday, December 27, 2008   1 comment    Printer-friendly page  

  Bikram Yoga: 74 yogis on Christmas Day _POSTEDBY cat -  
Hope everyone had a good Christmas. Ours was very busy. I taught the noon Bikram Yoga class (and only class of the day) and SEVENTY-FOUR people showed up! There were in fact 76 (4 brand new), but two left before class started, saying it was too crowded. It was quite scary, but I managed to get them all through the ninety minutes without anyone passing out in the steam and heat. If there's one thing I wish I could do over though, it was to get everyone's mat positions sorted out before starting the class. I had to interrupt the students between the two sets of Pranayama Breathing to move their mats to let a few stragglers fit in.

Meanwhile, back at home, John cooked a brilliant dinner. His sweet potato casserole was the best I'd ever tasted. It had pecans on top. YUM! The turkey was done to a turn, and we're looking forward to turkey/lettuce/mayo sandwiches for the next few days.

Gifts this year included three Swatches (yes, I love Swatches!) and some opera glasses.

Four of us did the quiz. We found it very difficult. Let's hope everyone else found it difficult, so we have a chance of winning this year.

So a Happy Boxing Day to all Habershons and loyal readers. I'll be teaching the 4:30 yoga class and then have the whole weekend off!

Friday, December 26, 2008   1 comment    Printer-friendly page  

  Bikram Yoga: New training location _POSTEDBY cat -  
Los Angeles, Hawaii, Acapulco, and now . . .

Palm Desert:
A famous yoga guru celebrated a hot deal in the desert on Monday with a different kind of bubbly — a bottle of fizzy Coca-Cola.

Bikram Choudhury, founder of the Yoga College of India, is the man behind practicing yoga in studios with triple- digit heat — made popular by stars such as Madonna and Quincy Jones.

Saturday, November 22, 2008   Comments?    Printer-friendly page  

  Bikram Yoga: Three classes in one day _POSTEDBY cat -  
ARRRGGHHH! The horrors of Bikram Yoga Teacher Training. I've just read this in the blog of someone who's taking the training right now:
On Wednesday night Bikram kept us up until 1:00 AM. We did our usual morning class and then for the evening class, we had a teacher from Australia. We were all shocked and secretly happy that it wasn't Bikram who would have tried to kill us again! After that class was over and everyone was lying in Savasana (the resting pose), exhausted as usual after our second class of the day, Manali said she had a surprise for us and to stay in Savasana.

Well, we just laid there like a bunch of dead dogs and we heard, "check, check, 1, 2, 3, 4", Bikram's signature entrance when he comes in to teach. Yeah, you guessed it, it was our third class for the day! Surprise, surprise. You wouldn't believe the reactions from people. There was disbelief, anger, shock, tears, lots of human emotions. We stood up to do the initial breathing exercise where you have your hands interlocked underneath your chin and you raise your elbows as you inhale. I couldn't get my elbows to go up! I was so tired from the class I just finished. It wasn't just me because EVERYONE else in the room had the same problem. People were swaying back and forth. Bikram was laughing and saying we all looked like dead meat! To shorten this story, I started out very weak but I gained momentum as the class went on and I did almost all the postures and never had to leave the room. People were running out in a mass exodus to get more water, others were fainting, throwing up, having to be carried out.....it reminded me of the first week! Bikram said that this was a test of how you handle adverse conditions that are handed you in life. I was happy to know that my way was to resist in the beginning, but eventually, resign myself and just do the best I could. One guy who is a former Navy Seal was dry heaving in Balancing Stick. Now that's determination! Bikram wasn't through with us because later, at lecture, he kept us up until 2:30 in the morning. We were all so tired, it was unbelievable. Then, of course, we got 4 hours of sleep and it was morning and time for another class. And I thought the 8th week was going to be easy!

It's been a year, and I still can't look back at those nine weeks without feeling a little anxious.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008   Comments?    Printer-friendly page  

  Bikram Yoga: Where's the camera when you need it? _POSTEDBY cat -  
I noticed a lot of feathers on the ground as I pulled into the car park at yoga this morning. There are a few stray cats in the area, one a Condi lookalike, and I figured one of them had had a good breakfast.

When I got out of the car a feather landed on my shoulder, then a few more on Wendy's roof, and then more, landing like snow all around us. I looked up and saw a magnificent looking hawk standing on a tree branch devouring a bird. The feathers were flying everywhere.

It was a sad but amazing sight. Mike went out and had a look. He told me that he'd look up the hawk in his Indian Totems book. Unable to wait, I checked it out on the internet.

Hawk - Messenger, intuition, victory, healing, nobility, recollection, cleansing, visionary power, and guardianship.

So what's your totem animal, Habs and loyal readers?

Saturday, October 25, 2008   Comments?    Printer-friendly page  

  Bikram Yoga: Go Raj! _POSTEDBY cat -  
Raj Bhavsar has made the U.S. Olympics Gymnastics Team.
BEIJING – Houston gymnast Raj Bhavsar, who persevered through good times and bad by striving first to remake himself as a man of Olympic character, is now an Olympian in full.

Bhavsar, 27, of Houston was named today to replace 2004 Olympic all-around gold medalist Paul Hamm on the USA Gymnastics men’s 2008 Olympic team. Hamm withdrew after acknowledging he could not recover from a broken hand and a strained rotator cuff in time to compete next month in Beijing.
Not only is he from Houston, but he also practices Bikram Yoga at my studio!

Check him out on the rings.

Someone to root for!

Friday, August 01, 2008   Comments?    Printer-friendly page  

  Bikram Yoga: Another habit broken _POSTEDBY cat -  
On January 21st, 2007 I made it through my first Bikram class without drinking water. Since then I've made it through every class (except for the teacher training, where that never happened) without drinking. But I've always kept my water bottle by my mat, just in case. It was much too difficult to leave it outside the room.

This morning I was running late and took the 10 o'clock class instead of the 8 o'clock. It must have thrown my routine off, because after the Eagle pose I realized that I'd left my water bottle outside on the shelf with my shoes and carkeys. My first instinct was to run out and grab it, but I kept still and decided to go through the class without it. Piece o' cake. After the first momentary panic I never gave it another thought.

So perhaps this is the next phase of my yoga practice. Bikram Yoga without water! Just me and my mat. Nice and unencumbered.

Saturday, July 05, 2008   Comments?    Printer-friendly page  

  Bikram Yoga: #75 _POSTEDBY cat -  
This morning I taught my 75th Bikram class.

All 75 have been a wonderful, life-changing experience.

Not that life wasn't wonderful before . . .

Tuesday, May 20, 2008   Comments?    Printer-friendly page  

  Bikram Yoga: Teacher Training in Acapulco _POSTEDBY cat -  
Bikram's Spring Teacher Training began today. It's been moved from Hawaii to Acapulco. For anyone who's interested, here's a student blog. I'm getting the heebie jeebies just thinking about it.

It looks as if things might be a little more bearable for them, however. They have real chairs to sit on for lectures, and not in the room where they do the yoga.

Good luck to everyone out there, including Sherry and Marshall from Houston!

Monday, April 07, 2008   Comments?    Printer-friendly page  

  Bikram Yoga: Teaching and loving it _POSTEDBY cat -  
I've now taught eleven Bikram Yoga classes and love it. It's getting a little easier but I have a long way to go. It's difficult to focus for 90 minutes without forgetting some of the dialogue. All it takes is for someone to drop a water bottle or bolt from the room or let out a groan, and my concentration waivers. But so far there have been no calamities and no one has got injured (I hope). My largest class was last Sunday at 8 a.m. -- 53 students. Beth, Taz and I are currently scheduled to teach two per week each. I have to thank both my bosses here -- one for giving me the early morning or weekend classes and the other for not minding if I come into work late.

Anyway, taking the Teacher Training was the right move. Even though I suffered and whined the whole way through it, I'm glad I did it. Life is good!

Sunday, February 03, 2008   4 comments    Printer-friendly page  

  Bikram Yoga: Murray sticks with it _POSTEDBY cat -  
I see that Andy Murray is keeping going with the Bikram Yoga classes. Below is an update from the Guardian:

Wednesday, January 09, 2008 Read more about Murray sticks with it  Comments?    Printer-friendly page  

  Bikram Yoga: Maiden voyage _POSTEDBY cat -  
I taught my first yoga class this morning; i.e. one with paying customers! Details: it was a 6 a.m. class. There were 21 students (seven men and fourteen women) and no beginners. I got them in and out of the poses and nobody left the room except for one student who had to catch a flight to Toronto. I left out the second set of Half Tortoise but was quickly corrected by the people who obviously wanted to delay Camel as long as possible. My main problems were with the lefts and the rights. I'd practiced the rights over and over, but when it came to switching them around I was stuttering a little. One line, for instance, goes: "Create pressure with your left foot sole against the right leg biceps of the thigh muscle." It's tough enough to remember that line without substituting rights with lefts and lefts with rights. But I muddled through and the boss seemed happy.

Beth taught yesterday's 6 a.m. and Taz did today's 8 a.m. We are done with our first classes. It's a relief. Now we know we can do it. Our journey has begun.

Friday, December 28, 2007   4 comments    Printer-friendly page  

  Bikram Yoga: Andy Murray's doing it _POSTEDBY cat -  
From today's Telegraph:
His current fitness trainer, Jez Green, has been working him 5½ days a week and on the Thursday half-day he is expected to go to a Bikram yoga class. This may sound like a dozy outing for pregnant women who don't mind inhaling incense, but in fact it nearly kills him. "It's insane how hot it is in there. It feels about 45 degrees and all the time you've got to balance, stretch and hold your position. You sweat so much and you feel you're going to faint. It's one of the toughest things I've ever done - and that's supposed to be my afternoon off." But he's not complaining.

And no -- we do not inhale incense.

Saturday, December 15, 2007   Comments?    Printer-friendly page  

  Bikram Yoga: Take care of your spine _POSTEDBY cat -  
Bikram says you can't be truly happy unless you have a healthy spine. Everyone should stretch their spine every day in four different directions: forwards, backwards, to the left, and to the right.

Time for Saturday morning yoga!

Saturday, December 15, 2007   2 comments    Printer-friendly page  

  Bikram Yoga: First class _POSTEDBY cat -  
I "taught" my first class this afternoon. No paying customers. It was really my first run-through of all 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises. In attendance were Beth, Taz, Therese (instructor), Diane, and Callie. It went fairly well. They said I did fine and liked my voice. The bad things? Well, for a start I was late! I left work an hour in advance, went home to change, then got stuck in traffic. Not a good way to start. I found the Pranayama Breathing timing (not covered in the training) especially difficult and winged most of the dialogue. The good things? I didn't stop, and nobody got injured. When I got into trouble I managed to look at the students and tell them what to do next. It was a lot less stressful than the clinics at training.

It was a long 90 minutes and I can only hope that the next session will be easier. Meanwhile I just have to study, study, and study.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007   2 comments    Printer-friendly page  

  Bikram Yoga: Teacher Training - 97 classes, 55 instructors _POSTEDBY cat -  
We did 97 classes in the nine weeks of teacher training. Fortunately I was never late and remembered to sign in every time, so didn't have to do any makeups. Below is the final list of instructors who taught them:

Tuesday, November 20, 2007 Read more about Teacher Training - 97 classes, 55 instructors  Comments?    Printer-friendly page  

  Bikram Yoga: Teacher Training - almost home _POSTEDBY cat -  
The graduation was moved from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at a hotel down the street. I stayed until 6 but then had to leave for the airport. So unfortunately I am not clutching a certificate. I am, however, now a certified Bikram Yoga instructor. Cool, huh?

So here I sit in Las Vegas Airport after a freezing cold middle-seat five-hour flight from Honolulu. Definitely a no-frills flight (ATA). Blankets were $9 each and no one offered me any refreshment. But you know what? It was better than sitting on a smelly back jack on a sweaty floor. And nobody came by and kicked me when I nodded off.

It's 5 a.m. and my flight leaves for Houston at 7:40. Can't wait to get home.

Sunday, November 18, 2007   4 comments    Printer-friendly page  

  Bikram Yoga: Teacher Training - four hours' sleep _POSTEDBY cat -  
Bikram lectured from 9:30 p.m. until 2:30 a.m. last night . . . or should that be this morning? . . . I have a very large headache and have to be back downstairs in five minutes for the 90-minute class.

On the plus side . . . tomorrow is the last day. Graduation is on Saturday.

I think I'm going to make it.

Thursday, November 15, 2007   3 comments    Printer-friendly page  

  Bikram Yoga: Teacher Training - he's really quite lovable _POSTEDBY cat -  
I fell in love with Bikram yesterday. He started going through all the individual postures and made miraculous adjustments to the brave students who were willing to go up there and be insulted. He's been insulting and yelling at us ever since we got here, using language unprintable for a family website, not to mention keeping us up until after midnight.

Yesterday was different, though. When we came back for the evening lecture the staff had set up a screen and computer and played us DVDs of some of the shows that Bikram had been on. We were shown numerous "That's Incredible" episodes, a "Good Morning America" from the 70s, and the "60 Minutes" interview from 2004. Just watching the young Bikram (he doesn't look much different now) and his antics back then was very endearing. Young Indian man coming to America and storming Beverly Hills. And what he was saying back then is exactly the same as he's saying now. He tells the truth, brutal as it might seem. He seriously believes in his 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises, and hasn't changed them in 30 years. I believe in them, too. Always have. And I have him to thank for the way I feel now. Completely healthy (well, a little exhausted right now) and completely free of any aches and pains.

After the TV shows Bikram continued going through the postures. I decided not to let him see my Balancing Stick. I'm so close to getting that teaching certificate and would hate to have it withheld because I can't get that perfect '"T" like in Tom'. I'm giving it 100% effort, though, and it's come a long way in the last nine weeks.

We have five classes to go. Rumour has it that on Friday evening after the 5 o'clock class we may be free. On the other hand, it's Bikram who decides, so I'm preparing for a final late night lecture.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007   Comments?    Printer-friendly page  

  Bikram Yoga: Teacher Training - updated instructor count _POSTEDBY cat -  
87 classes so far. Instructor list below:

Sunday, November 11, 2007 Read more about Teacher Training - updated instructor count  Comments?    Printer-friendly page  

  Bikram Yoga: Teacher Training - end of Week Eight _POSTEDBY cat -  
It's Saturday night at 11 o'clock. This time next week I'll be on an aeroplane flying to Houston via Las Vegas, hopefully as a certified Bikram Yoga teacher.

By 11 p.m. on Thursday all students except for 12 (one from each group) had delivered the Spinal Twist dialogue. There was plenty of cheering. I really messed up my last few poses. I don't know what happened, but they just didn't flow. Especially bad was the head to knee/stretching pose when Mike was the instructor. I struggled over every line, trying so hard to remember what came next. The only thing I did right was not to say "um" or "this is tough" or "I knew it before I came in" or "can I start again?" I just kept going. It was excruciating. He was cool about it, though. Gave me a big hug later that evening and said it happens to everybody.

The remaining 12 students had to deliver the Spinal Twist the next day in the yoga room with the microphone in front of everyone. A Thai student, Wit, was our (Group 1) representative. He did a great job.

Last night (Friday) was the talent show. WOW! How amazing it is to live and get to know all these people over eight weeks and then find out what they can do. There were singers, musicians, actors, dancers, comedians, rappers. Bikram sat at the front and watched without a word, but you could definitely tell which acts he enjoyed and didn't enjoy.

And today? Well, after the morning yoga class, instead of getting the rest of the weekend off, we were loaded on seven buses and driven to Waimanalo Beach on the east side of the island. It was mandatory. Bikram laid on the food and we were instructed to enjoy ourselves until 5 p.m., when the buses would bring us back. Although I was resisting being herded somewhere on a precious half-day off to sit on a beach with 300 people, it was a good day, and I got to see a bit more of Hawaii. The drive was incredible -- beaches and waves and blue and mountains. On the way back the sky was different depending on which direction you looked -- orange, pink, grey, red, black, white.

Tomorrow we have First Aid/CPR class. This is voluntary, but I decided to take it and get certified, rather than waiting until I got back to Houston.

On Monday we start the last week. Still two yoga classes per day. They don't let up there. Then we'll be seeing a lot of Bikram as he goes through each pose. There are also a couple of lecturers coming in. And in all my "spare" time I'll be memorizing the breathing dialogue and going back over the poses I messed up and then starting at the beginning to see what has remained in my tired brain.

More pictures in the album.

Sunday, November 11, 2007   Comments?    Printer-friendly page  

  Bikram Yoga: Teacher Training - two weeks to go _POSTEDBY cat -  
We have now completed seven weeks. Mike arrived on Wednesday to help with the training. He and/or Joani go to all of them. It was great to see him. As Beth, Taz and I surrounded him he looked at us and told us we looked like teenagers! My group didn't get him for posture clinic, but he taught the Friday evening yoga class. I was imagining myself back home again, hearing his familiar voice up there on the podium.

The physical side of this training has become manageable. My body feels strong and I no longer dread the classes. It's still sometimes difficult to breathe in the yoga room, but I'm making it through. One guy had a seizure on Wednesday evening just before Bikram's lecture and was taken to the hospital. He's okay now and back to the regular schedule. I was talking to him yesterday and he said he'd been off coffee since he came here, and that evening he'd downed a double-frappacino from Starbucks so he could stay awake for the lecture. I think we are down to about 280 students now. One was sent home for drinking. My diet has changed drastically. I'm especially fond of (in no particular order) fresh pineapple and boiled eggs and mangoes and cottage cheese and tomatoes and vegetables with tons of butter and those green olives with red insides that come in a jar. Beth and Taz and I go out every Saturday evening for dinner. Highlight of the week. There are plenty of good places within walking distance of the hotel. Right now we like the Cheesecake Factory. I stepped into a GNC store this evening to weigh myself. I've lost 16 pounds! 15 of those were probably in Week One.

As for the mental/emotional side of all this? It remains tough, and I long for it to be over and to return home and see John and the cats again. We still have three postures left to memorize and deliver. Then Bikram will be lecturing on each individual posture and taking us through the two breathing exercises. On Friday night we are having a talent contest. On Saturday there's going to be some kind of beach party, and on Sunday there's optional CPR/First Aid training certification. $50 per person. I decided to sign up, even though it means missing a precious day off.

And what have I seen of Hawaii? Nothing. There has been no time. The only spare time (Sundays and after 10 a.m. Saturdays) is spent catching up with sleep, buying food for the upcoming week, and studying.

Sunday, November 04, 2007   3 comments    Printer-friendly page  

  Bikram Yoga: Teacher Training - visiting instructors _POSTEDBY cat -  
The instructors continue to pour in to the training. It is great to hear their stories and receive their input. Sometimes there are five sitting in on one dialogue clinic. I feel quite spoilt when they file into the room. They are giving their time voluntarily.

Some of them also lecture. On Thursday Jon Burras lectured for almost four hours on the subjects of fascia and emotional anatomy. Never seen a lecture with so many props. He must have got through half a roll of Saran Wrap!

Talking of anatomy, I got 92 and passed! Dr. Trapani has now left town. I miss him. And Cathy.

Here's an updated list of the instructors (in order of appearance) who have led us through the 65 yoga classes:

Bikram 7.9
Rajashree 7
Craig 8
Antonia 2
Luke 2
Emmy 4
Julia 2.1
Kyoko 1
Jim 3
Kerri 1
Rich 1
Johnnie 1
Patrice 1
Charlie 1
Lee 1
Karen 1
Dave 1
Lynne 2
Jay 1
Brent 1
Val 1
Jenna 1
Lisa 1
Stacy 1
Elizabeth 1
Conrad 1
Anna 1
Mark 1
Jacob 1
Diane 1
Britton 1
Michael H. 1
Divi 1
Mike F. 1
Joel 1
David 1

Sunday, October 28, 2007   Comments?    Printer-friendly page  

  Bikram Yoga: Teacher Training - two-thirds done _POSTEDBY cat -  
With Bikram out of town, the last two weeks have been mostly posture (dialogue) clinics. We finished Full Locust on Friday night. Until Friday I was doing well with the dialogue, but in the middle of Locust I froze up halfway. I couldn't remember the next line. And instead of trying to come up with the next line I stood there looking at the sliding glass doors and wondering if I could bolt for them and run before the instructors captured me and hauled me back. It was weird. Let's hope that I return to my senses in Week Seven.

The yoga room remains sweltering. The two classes per day are still scary for me. It is so difficult sometimes not to come out of a pose and sit down and rest and try to catch my breath. Sometimes my heart must be thumping at at least 200 beats per minute. I should really take in a watch and count the beats. Some classes go well, however, and I feel myself going further and further into poses. They have started singling students out (in posture and yoga classes). On Thursday a number of us were hauled up to the front and told to practice in front of the podium while Craig was teaching. We weren't told why, but I suspect that my postures aren't up to snuff. Two of the others threw up. EUCHH! Then on Friday about 20 students were put into a remedial dialogue group and had to deliver their dialogue to a number of the staff while being threatened that if they didn't produce, they wouldn't graduate. I heard there were a lot of tears -- one foreign student crying that she'd sold her house and store to take this training.

It's all kind of brutal. You get into a comfort zone and then they pull the rug out from under you.

Sunday, October 28, 2007   Comments?    Printer-friendly page  
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