Late last night I met my roomate. She is a really sweet girl and exactly the same age as me, she is also the only person who I have met who might be in competition with me for who owns more beauty products! She is the only student from India, and is practically related to Bikram. It is interesting because on the one hand all the staff know her and she has already spoken with Bikram and Rajashree (his wife) but on the other hand I know she is feeling a lot of pressure to be one of the best.
This morning we woke up and went for the buffet, we sat at a table next to the ocean and had a 2-hr brunch while getting to know each other. We have discovered a lot of similarities about our outlook and families and get on really well so I could not have asked for a better person to room with. After brunch we went to WalMart and got all the essentials, it took us about 2hrs since the store was so packed but I think we are good for food for the week, lots of sandwich stuff and Mr. Noodles.
At 6pm we had orientation, we basically went into a large lecture hall which featured carved pillars and a stage and Rajashree conducted the intro. She is really beautiful and was wearing a white sari, she was really positive and encouraging about the whole experience. She told us that we are on a journey over 9 weeks and we will be amazed at what we leave with, basically explaining the hard work is all worth it. A few things she mentioned were that we will learn to make our weakness our strength, use patience and tolerance and we need to use honesty and integrity to produce results from the training. The overall message was: don't have any expectations and she encouraged us to come out of our shell and take advantage of the experience. I am feeling some shyness at being faced with all these new people and such an overwhelming physical and mental task but the talk helped.
She also told us to work hard but know when to take it easy and she mentioned that if we analyze too much before the result comes we won't get there. I guess people are all here to be transformed into teachers and they attach different meanings to what being a teacher means to them. Overall she was telling us to trust the process and if things don't happen when we expect them to that's ok, the phrase she said was to work hard and then rest on someone's invisible hand and the karma from your actions will be supporting you. Tons of yoga talk but I'm at yoga camp and it was pretty cool to have a lecture about love, acceptance and inner potential rather than market research, sales and protocol! She finished by asking us to allow her to help us because that is how her growth and learning will occur, which I thought was sweet and humble.
There were a couple of other speakers and we found out Bikram is going to be teaching all 9 weeks of this training, which apparently has never happened as he has to travel frequently. I don't know whether to be happy or scared and I won't find out until his first class tomorrow evening, but I am sure it is probably a combination of both! They asked us to write our name on our yoga mat, so its facing the teacher, so they can correct us... and we're supposed to take a positive attitude to these corrections! This training is going to be as much mental discipline as physical and I'll keep you posted on the point where I am grateful that Bikram has told me my triangle pose sucks!
After the orientation we had a dinner in Ballroom A, which was beautiful and the food was nice, there was even dessert. Marvika (roommate) and I sat at a table with some pretty funny guys, Ivan - a philosopher from Croatia and T.D. - a web programmer from Australia. Either way I think we managed to freak them out about the dialogue when we simultaneously recited Half Moon Pose. It was nice to meet some people who were as nervous as we were about reciting it in front of Bikram and we figured out that when the time comes I will be shaking like a leaf on the stage, Marvika will be laughing hysterically and the guys will be crying, seriously the stress level here is high and the thing hasn't even really started yet!
Tomorrow morning at 10am we have orientation part 2 and then the first yoga class, taught by Bikram at 5pm! I saw Bikram in the lobby tonight and someone said "he's short!" to which I replied "careful, he's a superhero and can hear all!!" It was interesting to see the man in the flesh and it drove home the fact that we're going to be literally sweating pretty soon so wish me luck!