Friday, June 8, 2007

and the yoga camp saga continues

last thursday, i somehow managed to get to the 6 am makeup class (1 down 2 more to go). a small class of 15 to 20 people instructed by a british barister now judge and also part-time yogi. followed by the regular 8:30 am class, a "back-to-back." then the 3rd one at 5 pm. and for anyone wondering what that is like ,the verdict:

-2nd class was really quick. my brain wasn't working at all, which made the class seem easier (i guess i was too tired to fight myself);
-3rd class was hard, but i struggled through it (actually, i did every single posture in all 3 classes. not bad for a beginner, eh?)

we finally completed the posture clinics friday afternoon. there is no more memorizing and performing the posture instructions. we also had the talent show friday evening, there were 26 something performances, mostly music, some dancing, comedy...some painfully bad performances and some quite brilliant. apparently someone proposed to someone at the very end of the program. i guess it was cool to see all the performers wanting to share a part of themselves with the large group. but then on the other hand, another couple of hours of your life planned by the yoga camp establishment.

saturday, a small group of us rented a car and went to a quiet beach on the northeast shore. we skipped the larger yoga camp bbq in waikiki and decided to have our own. later in the evening, i went to go meet another large group at a waikiki dance club. it was a nice mixed group there...i got back to my room at 4 am and slept until 8:30 am, when i miraculously jumped awake and began drinking obscene amounts of gatorade and water, in a desperate attempt to rehydrate and undo the previous night's activities. needless to say, i struggled through the not hot and pretty easy sunday class. tomorrow morning, tuesday at 6 am, yet another makeup class. 1 of 1 remaining.

and as i am counting, all the other yogis have started the countdown until the end of yoga camp. but in the meantime, the yoga camp saga continues...

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

flamboyant yogis and hurt feelings

morning class was great. it was taught by a french guy, one of the owners of the paris studios. he was doing it french style. that's what he said. whatever that means. oh, he did do one of sets of triangle pose in french.

through the nauseating monotony of yoga camp, i find myself daydreaming alot. daydreaming of white sandy beaches with crystal clear blue waters. palm trees. waterfalls. lush green mountains. isolated by the pacific ocean. like hawaii. sometimes i laugh at all the yoga camp dramas, very skillfully performed by many yogis. roommate dramas. romance dramas. comedy-romance dramas. here i am, with 300 other people. at a 9 week yoga camp. middle of the 8th week. locked inside strange rooms from morning to evening and told what to do. same things over and over again, until you start to daydream. and then you daydream about more mundane things like what to do this weekend? a group of us will be going to a quiet beach on the northeast part of oahu. cold beer and bbq. at the beach. not a bad change of scenery.

so the dramas are not limited to yoga campers. the yoga camp counselors, staff and visiting, are themselves a bit bored doing the same thing for 8 weeks. take for example: flamboyant gay asian guy from l.a. (who was a hairdstylist in his previous life, visiting teacher. or faculty as he and bikram say. he facilitated our evening posture clinic (the time alotted for you to perform the instructions for poses). he's a bit of a dramatist. while he was specifically addressing one student about a previous injury of the student that was affecting her postures. so a couple of people were having hushed, but audible, conversations. and he blew up. what was being said was very important. you could learn something. you're wasting my time. so why am i wasting my time? he's right, it's rude to talk through the clinic. but for crying outloud, give me a break. so began his tirade of ego masturbation. and he decided we would perform and he would give a very quick, dry and tearse commentary on our performance. but 3 performances later, he just couldn't stay quick, dry and tearse. and he goes as far as to explain why he had a little temper tantrum. and then he blamed it on us campers. because we hurt his feelings. anyhow, in the end, the flamboyant yogi stopped his temper tantrum and returned to his flamboyant self in his aloha hot pants (aloha like really bright aloha shirts, but they are pants...really, really tight pants). peace was restored in the land of yogis. order returned to the world.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

matter over mind

it took me forever to get out of bed this morning. monday. the weekends are so predictively short. 2 more weeks and i'm back in paris. the first 7 weeks have flown buy, day after frighteningly identical day. like robots. the yoga factory. most everyone i speak to, have constant deja vu. we have postulated that perhaps the sensation of deja vu occurs when you meet people you have meet in a previous life. vegan salami paninis. what's happening to me?

morning class was interesting. i was in a horrible mood this morning. it was taught by a flamboyant, talkative, gay asian guy. in his previous life (yoga talk for before becoming a professional yoga teacher), he was a hairdresser. hair by him. body by bikram. he said. he, on one hand, was so energetic and hilarious, nice for a monday morning class. i, on the other hand, was so grumpy, disgruntled, and had almost nonexistent power to fight the little voice in my head that tells me such things as:
-"drink lots and lots of water in huge gulps",
-"it's too hot in here"
-"you drank too much water so you feel queasy and it's way too hot in here so fuck the yoga, just sit down"
-"what the fuck are you doing? sitting doesn't cut it, lie down"
-"it is still too fucking hot, you must embrace your ice cold bottle of water in a shameless act of desperation to cool down"

so maybe at best, i did almost all of the standing posture series. also refererred to as the warm up for the rest of the series of postures. so somewhere at the end of warmup, i went down. for good. and i didn't give a damn that i was down.

we had a guest lecturer, a physicist. he made a presentation using general physics to introduce his theories on consciousness - it's physical manifestation as scientifically measurable energy. something like that. it was really a topic i am interested in, but like many others, too exhausted to even really pay attention.

tonite's class was good though.

Monday, June 4, 2007

circling the island

i went to hanauma bay today. i don't remember my first visit there in 1996, but it was very disney-like. parking. fees. mandatory film about being an environmentally responsible visitor. i snorkeled and laid out on the beach. i've gotten really tan already, just from 2 days of sun this weekend. it was a very hot day today.

afterwards, we went to kailua to a local health food store. i ate a vegan panini with vegan salami. it wasn't bad, but i sure as hell would have never guess salami.

a group of us went out to eat thai for dinner tonite. i love that there is asian food and restaurants EVERYWHERE here. korean. thai. vietnamese. chinese. japanese. indian. etc. i also noticed the variety of temples and churches. i've made almost a complete loop around oahu. counter clock-wise from honolulu/waikiki to north shore/haleiwa. i have yet to visit the west side (the dry side).

the makeup class was quite nice since the practice room was a bit cooler than usual. in fact, i realized the improvement of my practice since i got here. my strength and stamina has improved greatly. i think my flexibility has as well, although my hamstrings, glutes and lowerback are extremely tight and sore all the time.

so i had a great weekend. i spent most of it outdoors at a beach. i had a few cold beers. i spent time with good company (i think there are no more than 10 people i will most definitely stay in contact with). i skipped the posture clinic group gathering tonite, as did a fellow group member, and i'm sure there were other mia. 30 something of us were supposed to meet in one of the hotel rooms of 2 group members. i went to eat thai instead. i'm sure i will have to explain myself tomorrow morning to my fellow group members, as to why i did not attend an extremely exciting and wild gathering.

back to the grind tomorrow. yoga galore. posture clinic ad nauseum. faculty (as bikram calls his staff and teachers), an odd bunch themselves. and the best part, 300 something fellow students...but i don't want to go to school tomorrow!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

a quick summary

obviously, i have not kept up with this blog more recently. a quick summary - see previous entries. repeat as necessary. i am definitely getting better at pacing myself, specifically and in general.

somehow, i have managed to accumulate 3 makeup classes to attend. including one tomorrow morning at 10:00. i am afraid that one of the makeup classes will have to be on a weekday. which means add a 3rd yoga class to my day (06:00). and don't forget the regular class at 08:30. nor the class at 17:00. i must admit, prior to accumulating these makeup classes, i was curious about how yoga 3 times a day would feel. how scary.

other than the neverending dialogue performances in posture clinic, bikram lectures, and all the other camp activities, i have managed to escape the madness with a few people. 2 weekends ago, we rented a car and went to the eastern part of oahu. we hung out at makapuu beach. big sandy beach. busy, but not waikiki busy. last weekend we rented a car and went to north shore (obviously northern oahu) and hung out at waimea bay beach. today, we rented a car and went to the northeastern part of oahu, to kualoa beach. east side (windward, rainy side), waters were pretty calm. the north shore beach we went to had these incredibly strong waves breaking right onto the shore. it took a lot of strength to not get washed out to sea with every wave crashing into you and crashing you into the shore. then the riptide pulls everything back out, sucking you out towards the neverending turquoise shades of the pacific ocean. today's beach was absolutely calm. quiet. postcard.

tomorrow, we are going to hanauma bay. to snorkel with the masses. after makeup class.

yesterday, i was in such a great mood. i don't know what it was, but after morning class, i was very calm. peaceful. happy. talkative. out going. good humour was seemingly infectious that evening.

i guess i felt a bit overwhelmed since the last entry. i know, overwhelmed at the yoga retreat? i think it's probably more the physical fatigue. you really don't get much freetime, come to think of it. i think this feeling seems congruent to my failure to more regularly keep this blog.

i guess today was a much needed and desired escape from yoga camp. we ended up driving back to waikiki buy continuing along the coast all the way to northshore. we ate some delicious charcoal grilled whole chickens with a dry seasoning rub. crispy skin. tender and juicy. delicious. and since we're on the topic, the 1st trip to northshore we feasted on coconut fried shrimp and shaved ice with ice cream and azuki (red beans) at the well known matsumoto ice shop. eastshore, we ate overpriced sandwiches.

and tomorrow: morning class and snorkeling.

next weekend: beach bbq

final weekend: yoga group debauchery (alcohol)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

sleeping through the melodrama

i felt so out of my body at the evening class today. at one point i was not remembering where the hell i was. probably not a good thing, but i'm fine now. i really need to work on not being so extreme. i need to pace myself better, last week i was just drained towards the end of the week. a friend told me that she used to do the same thing i do now...i just push myself and just kill myself. lately, it's not working, i am obliterated by the end of the week. so my new mantra: pace yourself. i guess that was one of my mantras in the hospital, pacing myself. not in such a goddamned rush like i've felt my entire life. hurried. early.

as far as the practical things go, the posture clinic comedy continues. dialogue after dialogue, i am actually bothering to memorize the postures. i basically only study the damned thing during my meals. lunch and dinner. which is about 2 hours a day. it's probably giving me indigestion. it's unbelievably frightening to get in
front of 40 to 50 of your peers and perform a monologue. i mean, dialogue. but i guess i'm getting better at the performance part. i don't get so damned scared like i did in the beginning performances..

ground hog's day. that's what many yogis are calling yoga camp. even the hilarious rules and enforcement of rules. i think half the appeal of this teacher training is the camp like environment. school like. and add a pampered version of boot camp. roommates. classes. lectures. tests. physical exercise. performances. talent show. yearbook commitee. picture day portraits for the yearbook. directory. you spend the entire day (08:30-23:00 to 01:00) with 300 something people. in class. out of class. inbetween classes. in your room. in the bathroom. at lunch. and dinner. and any snacks between meals (you never eat anything you really like in front of others in close quarters or you will most likely find yourself sharing your snacks with neighbors). you see each other everywhere. it's hilarious to think about it. i guess it's like a 9 week spa that kicks your ass a little bit (mostly at your own convenience) over the most mundane and sometimes utterly pointless and unbelievably boring. constipation inducing boring (much more often than i expected). the entertainment value of the various yoga camp activities has severely diminshed. and again, much more than i expected, the relevance to the practice and teaching of yoga is often unclear, very loose or completely irrelevent. sometimes, annoyingly so.

unsurprisingly, melodramatic sob stories unfold. all sorts of childish melodramas. and only sometimes entertaining.

as 7 weeks have passed, most people seem to have found a closer, smaller group of people you actually do enjoy spending time with. relationships of practicality. perhaps friendship. perhaps one in the same?

i'm beat. this school boy better get to bed.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

east side

yesterday i had been invited to go to a beach on the east side of oahu. so today i went with a group of 4 (2 indian yogis from the u.k. and south africa, an american yogi from florida and a canadian yogi from vancouver) in a giant rental cadillac. i guess it's kind of the "we all went straight from high school to university and started working and we didn't like it very much so why not more school, but not real school, cause that's really too much work, so why not yoga school" group. but we're still type a-ish, so we can't do just any kind of yoga school, we have to do the extreme hot yoga" group. nice people. we had a fun and relaxing time at a nice calm beach with the most crystal clear shades of blue waves breaking 3 ft from the could ride these giant waves just a few steps into the water. the incredibly strong undertow would pull you out towards the sea. you ride the wave in and let the undertow take you back out.

after playing in the sun, we stopped to grab lunch. we took advantage of having a car and went grocery shopping at a local japanese style wal-mart. i bought food for the week.

it felt great to get the hell outta the hotel. and take a break from yoga (not including the 8am class) camp. although everyone seemed to not be able to stop talking about yoga, albeit bitching about yoga.

later today, i went to eat korean bbq with some japanese yogis (from bruxelles, tokyo, l.a. and nyc.), 1 chinese yogi (from hong kong), and a british yogi (from australia). we feasted.

as if we didn't eat enough, we walked to a local ice cream shop and had ice cream. i already had a shake for lunch, i have been craving ice cream though (i also bought some mochi ice cream at the grocery store).

i went for a nice bike ride to burn some calories. i think tomorrow, the rental car group may go up to the mountain (where i rode my bike) and do a short waterfall hike and get to see a panoramic view of honolulu and diamond head.

maybe. if everyone can manage to get up.

some random observations: by this time, everyone is so bored that people that never ever talk to each other are starting to talk to each other. people are letting their guards down and i guess you start getting to really know what the 300 people are more like.

i should be a good boy and go to a make up class tomorrow morning...(punishment for forgetting to sign into a 5:00 class). i hear my mochi ice cream calling my name (i haven't fixed my ice cream crave).f