Sunday, 5 July 2009

Final pics

Graduation Day

Me and Irish Patrick

Graduation Dinner

The amazing demonstration

Lulu after class

An interesting way to spell Hannah

Me before teaching at Oceanside, San Diego (they have no mic so I had to shout extra loud...which wasn't hard for me!)

Me and Dom

Our certificates!

Liz and Bikram

Lulu waiting to take centre stage!

Rach and Simon digging in to the buffet

Liz, Dominic (Anna's boyf) and moi

Me and lovely Anna from Hawaii
Nelia, Me, Liz and Stan - all trainees (now teachers) from Spring 09
at Bikram Yoga, El Cajon
Liz having a well earned rest in Balboa Park

We drove through mountains to get to San Diego...the GPS (SatNav) went crazy!

5:30am before my first time teaching a proper class!

Liz before her first class (and lovely Wendy, the studio owner)

Lulu at Bikram Yoga, El Cajon -learning last minute dialogue before her first class there.

Our bed! We all slept together and it was lovely! No funny business.

Advice for any future teacher trainees

For anyone reading this blog who is heading off to TT at the Desert Springs Resort soon...

  • If possible, take a microwave/blender/rice cooker/bowls/spoons or anything you want to cook with. A knife and chopping board will come in handy too.
  • Buy a water cooler or water bottle with a large opening (for class) so you can put ice in there. The desert is boiling.
  • Bring a camping chair or a floor seat, otherwise you’ll be sat on the floor for hours during posture clinic (or get to posture clinic early to get a wall spot!)
  • Prepare yourself for late nights (up til 5am sometimes watching movies). Sleep deprivation is part of the process. Just accept it and sleep when you can.
  • The hotel internet is about $12 a day. I used a cheaper alternative for $10 per month. Go to and this works in the hotel lobby.
  • There’s a Ralph’s and a Rite Aid opposite. A shuttle will take you to Trader Joes and the laundry mat at the weekend.
  • Keep hydrated. A pinch of sugar, salt and lemon juice in your water is great for electrolyte balance but Coconut Water and Kombuca are incredible for rehydration.
  • The hotel has a sushi bar downstairs - the seaweed salad is delish. The spa is also amazing. Save about $100 extra for a full body massage - it's incredible. Starbucks is also in the lobby.
  • LEARN as much dialogue as you can before you go. It’ll make your experience a lot more enjoyable and you’ll get more sleep.
  • I put on weight – not too sure if it was water retention or muscle mass but I’m slowly shrinking again. A lot of girls put on weight and most men lost weight.
  • Most importantly, enjoy it. It’s hard work but so much fun and you will meet some amazing people from all over the world. The friends you make at teacher training are the ones who carry you through til the end. They are the only ones who understand how you are feeling.

Graduation and my first teaching experience

I can officially call myself a certified Bikram Yoga teacher! I got my certificate on Saturday 27th June (after a very long ceremony). Then me and my closest friends went out for dinner and I was in bed by 10pm. I was absolutely exhausted. The whole 9 weeks was an amazing experience but the lack of sleep finally caught up with me. Next day myself, Liz and Lulu travelled to San Diego. I felt so weak. I must have gone for a wee about 15 times before we left. I couldn’t stop peeing and I felt shaky. Maybe it was all the water retention letting go? However, we made it to our little apartment (one bed, a kitchenette and toilet). We stayed in the centre of San Diego and it was a perfect location for us to get to the 3 studios we were teaching at.

My first class was at 6am. I got through it and surprised myself with how much dialogue I knew. It was a bit scary but I didn’t really have time to get anxious as it was so early. I taught 6 classes in 4 days and by my third class I was hooked. The first two classes were ok, but the third one felt amazing and I could see people were starting to respond to what I was asking them to do. This yoga is so powerful and I now know how important it is for the teacher to maintain the energy. It makes people work harder and feel better.

I’m now sat in a hotel room near LAX. I’ve come full circle. I’ve said goodbye to my friends and I’m now waiting for my wonderful boyfriend to get here so we can have a holiday. I think that was the hardest thing to deal with whilst on training – missing people from home. My final message goes out to my amazing family and friends. Being away from home makes you realise what is important. I can’t wait to come home and settle back in to my lovely life. My only wish is that we can all take class together. That way, we can all live until we’re 120.

Namaste x

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Week 9...The Final Mountain

Graduation Day has arrived! Can you believe?

Final class with Bikram last night was incredible. There were about 400 of us, including friends and family. I was crying all the way through Kapalbhati Breating - I was okay until that point. Then the relief and sense of achievement hit me. I cannot believe that I have survived 99 classes (one was a makeup class) and 5096 asanas over 9 weeks. For once in my life I was actually proud of myself instead of wanting other people to be proud of me. OK, time to change the subject before another tear falls and I have to blow my nose.

Whoever said Week 9 was ‘party week’ LIED! It has been the most exhausting of all. We were kept up til early morning every night. I think Tuesday was the worst...5:30am. On Thursday night Bikram did his final lecture and showed us an incredible breathing exercise. We all did it for about 10 minutes. I had to stop at one point because I got a headache. Bikram said afterwards that it was because I have problems with my brain!!

Without actually being here, I don’t think you’ll ever understand how incredible this experience is. All I can say now is that I feel whole. The most important thing I’ve come to realise is that you have to look after yourself first. If you take care of you first (with yoga practise, being good to yourself all the time, taking care of your needs, respecting your body), then you can look after others much more efficiently and not feel any sense of resentment. Ultimately, helping each other is what we’re here for (karma) and what makes us happy. Does that make sense? I hope so. It applies to all aspects of life – work, relationships, friends, family.

It’s been a strange week too. The news that Michael Jackson died really shocked me. I’ve been so detached from the outside world for 2 months – I haven’t watched TV or read newspapers so I don’t know what’s been happening. Bikram was a friend of Michael’s. He talked to us about their relationship. Bikram also knew Elvis Presley (yes, I know this all sounds pretty crazy!). Two weeks before Elvis died, Bikram spent a day with him trying to convince him to take his class but he turned it down. Bikram Yoga did help Charlie Sheen with his problems though – he spoke openly about it on TV interview that we saw a few weeks back. Staying with showbiz, Freda Payne came to visit us yesterday. She praised Bikram and then sang for us!!! Please take a look at the video on this blog. She was amazing (excuse my singing at the start).

The week ended with a talent show on Friday night. We had pizza and cookies and sat there for 3 hours whilst watching our piers entertain us. They were all so fabulous...singing, belly dancing, poetry, sketches, Bollywood dancing – it was incredible. I am so lucky to be part of the Bikram family! Just got to teach my first class now to complete the first circle.

Right, I’m off for a pedicure – then to decide what to wear!

The Spring 09 TT Song...rehearsal

The Simon and Hannah show. Week 9 did send us slightly crazy!

Band of Gold, Freda Payne

Freda sang this on American Idol a few weeks ago. She was fab - it was so nice to hear music again.

Week 9 pics

Me and the Boss (at 2:30am)


Awkward Pose competition

Bikram and Craig Villani

Room Service for me and Rachel

Blue Day

Advanced Class...these guys are incredible

I love this posture

Juan and Bikram

The Swastika Pose. You close all the openings to keep all the energy inside...ha!

The advanced version of Head to Knee. You use your thigh strength to hold your leg up.

Me and Al from Florida

Liz giving Dom his thankyou present (Bikram is perched on the orange seat above)

Juan - who has amazing practise
Liz, trying to touch her head to feet

The boy yogi's of TT Spring '09

Rach, my practise buddy and fab teacher

Our T Shirts!

Emmy, Craig and Rajashree

Final Class - I paid homage to Bikram!

Me and Perfect Upside Down L Like Linda

Vivinenne, Simon and Moi

My yoga body...bigger all over - put on weight whilst here but it's mainly muscle

Caroline, Cathy, Adam, Simon and Me
Mark - who's on Staff. We used to live down the road from eachother in Southend! Small world.

Ballet vs Yoga



Saturday, 20 June 2009

Week 8 pics

Just kidding!

Kelsey doing the Final Spinal!

Lynne Whitlow

Me, Linda and Anna

Rachel (from Newcastle!) doing her final posture

There's a lot of these guys around here

Me on the podium

Me with the boys...there are lots of girls here too

I was genuinely asleep, cheers Adam!

Simon had a cunning plan to make it look like he was awake. This has to be the funniest episode of the week. I literally wet myself during the lecture.