I couldn't write yesterday at all because we left lecture at 2am!!!!!!!!!! The morning class was led by Rajashree, who told us we would be having an easy class since we all needed it. She said it was important that we all finish the class because we had too much anxiety and everyone was getting sick, or muscle cramps. She told us that our evening class would be led by Jim, a senior teacher and he would also give us a gentle class, however we would not find the same Jim or Rajashree next time we stepped into the yoga room.
I actually made it through the whole morning class without sitting down on my mat once. I have been putting all of my energy into the standing series (about 12 postures) and then completely running out of gas for the floor series. Our energy is supposed to be increasing over the weeks so I tried to spread it out a bit during the morning class by only doing one set of most of the poses. I did the second set on a few and hopefully I will be able to increase the poses I can do second set on. The great thing about being here is that the classes are so hard, if you can get into the postures correctly and push yourself a bit more each class, your practice will change dramatically. I don't see myself practicing in a 105 degree room with 70% humidity, in Mexico, normally so the room in Richmond will be a peice of cake compared to what's going on here. I left that class feeling really great about things, at least I have gotten a handle on where I am and although it's not as advanced as I hoped (everyone's facing this), I'm not lying on the floor for half the class either!
After class we had lecture with Bikram again, it was mostly posture clinic but he talked at the beginning a bit about how your life should be dedicated to helping others and then you will always be happy as you will have no expectations for receiving things yourself. You will always be happy and grateful for the things that do come into your life as a result of your karmic actions. Posture clinic was really hilarious again as he told some poor girl she really needs a lot of help on her personality since she was too spacy when she said the dialogue. Like I said, can't wait for my turn! Everyone is getting really tired of hearing the same pose over and over though and people were really struggling to stay away and feeling pretty bored.
The evening class came at 5pm and it was taught by Jim, who warned us at the beginning that he was not very good at teaching easy or slow classes but he would try. He encouraged us to get in the postures correctly and just listen to him. The problem is that by 5pm the room is as hot as a furnace and the humidity is so oppresive, as soon as you step in you just ask yourself - what am I doing here?? You want to turn around and run out but by then the class has started and they lock the door. Even if you try to get out they won't let you! That's one of the worst feelings, knowing you can't escape even if you need to! Jim's class started out fine and I did the whole standing series, but by the time we did Savasana I was dead and lay on my mat in the fetal position feeling awful!!! Everytime I lay on my back my eyes would roll back and close so the only way was to kind of turn on my side, face down and want to kill myself for the rest of the class, which really ticked by slowly. I used all my willpower not to run screaming to the back of the room and somehow ended up being able to lie there. I couldn't get comfortable no matter how I lay, it felt like blood was pumping to my fingers and legs but it was a really uncomfortable feeling. I know it was cells getting fresh blood and waking up but it just felt weird and really uncomfortable.
Anyways, I hauled myself up for the last breathing pose, you kneel on your knees and exhale with your stomach, it's a pose where the instructor is only clapping and you breathe along with the claps. Everyone was sitting up and the room was quiet except for the clapping and the breathing, unfortunately at that moment some guy who had gone to the back of the room chose the time to start hurling into a bucket. I seriously thought a lot of people were going to lose it right there, myself included. All you could hear was his heaves and it was so disgusting, especially since we were all feeling pretty ill already!!!!
I was feeling really terrible after class. I thought I had made some progress this morning but to be forced to lie on your side in a ball for half the class was awful - plus it was an easy class by Jim! I staggered out of the room and just collapsed on the floor. The worst thing is that you have to go up 3 flights of stairs just to get out of the building into the fresh air and I could not make it! My legs felt weirdly heavy but like they were not attached to my body! When I stood up I actually saw people crawling across the floor to the shelves to pick up their belongings. As I was stumbling out the front door, this girl who was walking back in came up to me and said 'you did a really good job today'. I have no idea who she is but it put a huge smile on my face, it meant so much for someone to say that, right at that moment, especially someone I don't know!
I fell asleep for an hour after class and we went back for more posture clinic, after which we watched a Bollywood movie called Kahona Pyar Hei and it was pretty good but sooo long, we were not done until after 2am. It was a love story with lots of singing and dancing and it was new Bollywood so it was cool but the script went on forever.
Today we woke up and everyone was really slow-moving. We went to yoga class in the morning and it was led by Ulysses who is from Mexico. He was really great about telling us how to control our mind and focus and keep positive. He said the best way to keep going is to look in the mirror and you will never see a face contorted in pain looking back at you because you're confronting yourself in the mirror etc etc etc. I had a great class! I was able to finally tap into some positive energy in the class by replacing my scared or anxious thoughts with happy ones, even if they were random. I was thinking about eating some fresh pineapple when we were done, my mantra was 'pineapple' for the class, then 'swimming in the ocean' etc. It sounds really simple but it's hard to control your thoughts under intense pressure and it really helped me tap into the power of thinking that way!
The girl beside me was lying on her mat in a ball, bawling and I felt so bad for her, I think she was feeling really sick but her friends came by to give her cold water and help her up when it was all over. The best thing about the class was the end savasana when ulysses was telling us that he dedicated his energy, words, and the class to us so we could be strong and always know yoga. When I am less tired I will write more about the emotional and physical aspects that are involved in the room but needless to say, it was exactly what I needed to hear to allow myself to relax and open up and let the changes in my body occur.
After class we had posture clinic all day and Bikram ripped a whole bunch of people apart. Then the time finally came for me to give the dialogue! I was in a line of about 20 people before I got up there and I was so nervous I threw up before! (I also think the coffee I drank right after class didn't help) When I finally got up there I had to walk across the stage of the lecture hall, pick up the mic and introduce myself. Bikram was sitting on a big chair on the ground in front of the stage and there were 350 people looking at me! I introduced myself and people gave a round of applause which was so nice and I think my friends started it off. Then I had to turn around with the mic and lead 4 people on the stage through the posture. I was shaking so much it was ridiculous but somehow the words came out!!!! I finished the pose and then Bikram told me I needed to speed it up a bit and it would be a 100% perfect class. I can't tell you the relief at being done, and the funny thing is that after lecture about 5 people I have never met randomly came up and told me I did a good job! It was awesome.
We had the evening class at 5:30pm and in walked Bikram! I was so nervous because last time I got slaughtered in his class and I was feeling very afraid of him. However he promised a 90-minute class and he kept his promise, he didn't ramble or hold the poses ridiculously long. I somehow had a great class! I actually did every single pose, both sets and found myself pushing beyond what I had even been able to do at home! I have already seen new muscles coming up, especially in my legs and the pain is starting to pay off. Bikram got me on one pose, I was holding it a bit longer than others and he looked over and said 'aha, you have a good posture but your knee is still not locked, it's like you are making the money but robbing the bank!' Basically he told me the same thing a couple classes ago but I can't get my right leg locked, I'm sure it will come over time. It's weird when he talks to you because there are so many people in the room and he's leading them all, then he casually looks over and starts giving pout more targeted comments and when you look up and he's talking to you it's a bit like being put in a spotlight. I'm feeling really good right now though so I actually took it happily and realized he's telling the truth. The rest of the night we did more posture clinic and now it's almost 1am and I'm going to bed!