Sunday, October 17, 2010

End of Week 4

Ok, so I haven't exactly been posting daily!  Here's an update after 4 weeks.

This Teacher Training class of graduates is going to be absolutely amazing.  When we're done, there will be 380 new Bikram Yoga teachers all over the world - with each teacher trained to a great job.

All four weeks so far have been spent with us taking the standard Bikram Yoga Beginner's yoga class twice a day Monday through Friday - once at 8:30 am and again at 5 pm. The class is held in a hot room - about 105 degrees, lasts 90 minutes, and consists of 26 yoga postures that anyone can do.  It might sound tough, but really, it's just "stretching in a warm room" :). 

Some of the classes have been taught by Bikram Choudhury himself.   Some by his wife Rajashree.  Bikram is a three time All-India Yoga champion.  Rajashree is a five time All-India Yoga champion.  Other classes are taught by amazing, experienced Bikram teachers who live anywhere in the world and come to Teacher Training to help train the new teachers.

The rest of the days Mon-Friday we have classroom time in the afternoon from 12:30 to 4.  And again class time/lecture time from 9 pm until at least 11, sometimes 3 am (more on that later). 

Usually from 12:30 to 4 pm we break up into groups of about 40 people.  We go one posture (again, there are 26 postures) at a time, with each of us teacher trainnees taking a turn reciting the dialogue (script) written by Bikram himself that we will use to teach each of the 26 postures.  While one of us recites the dialogue, three of us are demonstrating the posture.  And, there are experienced teachers here on staff who critique the presentation, help us improve, take notes, etc.  So, we will all go through all 26 postures, one at a time, practicing delivering the dialogue, in front of about 40 people.  So, by the time we are done we should have the dialogue memorized and have the experience delivering, ready to teach our first class. 

Now, about the night time lectures.  Bikram is a UNIQUE dude.  You really should check out the bio on his website - here.   He moved to Hollywood in the 1970s.  He has had so many famous actors and other celebrities as his yoga students, there is no way I could list them all - Kareem Abdul Jabaar, Michael jackson, Martin Sheen, Demi Moore, Richard Nixon, etc. etc.  He loves movies, and especially Bollywood movies.  If you don't know, Bollywood is the name for the India movies business. 

So.... Bikram likes to have us watch the movies with him.  We have a big tent that fits all 400 of us sitting on decently cushioned chairs.  Several times already we have started movies around 11 pm or midnight and they end around 2 am or 3 am.  Then we have to get up for our 8:30 am class.  Here's one of the better ones so far if you want to check out a Bollywood movie - Jodhaa Akbar.  Prepare yourself - it's 3 hours and 32 minutes long and it is not in English - you will be reading subtitles for over 3 hours.

We get the weekends almost entirely off.  We have a Bikram Yoga class 8 am Saturday and then the rest of the weekend free.  We basically spend that resting, recovering, and memorizing the dialogue.

That's it for this post.  Anyone who reads it - thanks for paying attention.  Post a comment if you want to hear more about the movies, the classes themselves, the yoga, Bikram, anything.  Let me know what interests you and I'll try to post about it .... more frequently than once every 4 weeks!!!