Saturday, September 18, 2010


For those of you who did not know, I am attending a two month long yoga teacher training program to become a Bikram (hot yoga) Certified Teacher. This means I am about to spend the next nine weeks living, breathing, sleeping, eating, yoga. It will surely be the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life and here are just a few of the reasons this is true:

1. We will be taking 2 yoga classes a day, Monday through Friday, with the exception of Saturday when we will have only one morning class, and Sunday, which Bikram refers to as our "Day of Rest." He says in his book that people who do yoga on Sundays are "crazy people," but come on, eleven classes in six days...not so crazy, right?
2. While going through this physical equivalent to boot camp, we will also be learning the dialogue, including the body alignment, Sanskrit names and benefits to the 26 postures included in the 90 minute long class. 
3. We will be teaching what we have learned along the way to our fellow classmates (did I mention there will be 370 of us all in one room? Everyone love public speaking, right?).
4. Bikram himself is apparently a very intimidating guy, which one might expect from the person who invented a 90 minute yoga class in a room so hot he likes to refer to it as his "Torture Chamber." 
5. For those of you who are not familiar with Bikram Yoga: our eleven classes a week consist each of 90 minutes in a room heated to about 120 degrees (again, did I mention there will be 370 of us all in one room? Good thing by now I am used to being surrounded by people dripping in sweat and somehow choosing to ignore it).

For these reasons, I know it will be a physically, mentally and emotionally draining experience. So why do it? Why pay all the money (it is not cheap!) to come down from Seattle to San Diego and put myself through all of this? All I know now is doing Bikram Yoga over the past five years has drastically changed my life for the better, and in the process I have seen it change dozens of other student's lives as well. It is not just a great workout (averaging 1000 calories burned per class, mind you), but something that when incorporated into your daily life it will show you how to live up to your greatest potential in everything that you do. So, right now I am sitting here on Saturday morning in my hotel room, picturing us all crowding into that giant, hot room and putting our yoga mats down way too close to each other's. We will be gazing up at this man they call Bikram in front of us, waiting  for him to begin yelling at us through his microphone for an hour and a half. We will be pushing ourselves deeper into the positions than any of us ever thought we could go and holding us there until we feel me might die and perhaps asking ourselves, "what in the hell were we thinking coming here?"  I cannot wait until our first class Monday afternoon. 

The yoga room is the larger one, lecture hall the smaller: