Saturday, 30 May 2009

Week 5 and I'm alive!

I’m still surviving and I passed my anatomy exam! It’s Saturday morning and I’m finally feeling hungry. This week I’ve struggled to get excited about food. I think that’s why I caught a cold– just haven’t taken in enough nutrients. However I am ADDICTED to cartons of Coconut Water (not milk or juice). It is fantastic for replenishing electrolytes. At first I thought it tasted like mouldy water but now I can’t get enough. It’s so good for you. I recommend anyone to try it, especially if you practise a lot. Just make sure it’s cold when you drink it.

This week has been so much fun. I’m really starting to enjoy everything. I have moments of feeling tired and lonely and irritated but they pass. The energy is incredible and everyday it feels more like were becoming a family here.

Wednesday night was another late one. We started off with a great lecture from Bikram (although I felt really sick for some reason). He says that only 5% of life should be about making money, the other 95% should be about learning to become a better human being – and this can be done by practising all forms of yoga. The postures (asanas) are only a fraction of yoga. Other things like karma yoga (being good to others without expecting anything in return) and raja yoga are also ways to help you live longer and have a good life. Bikram’s orange book explains them all brilliantly. I’m beginning to realise that it doesn’t mean we should all drop everything and emigrate to India, it’s more about being aware of ourselves and instead of doubting ourselves, use the tools to make us strong.

After the lecture, we had a movie until 4am. This time we were made to stay awake, we couldn’t lie down and if you fell asleep one of the staff woke you up. All part of the process apparently.

Thursday night was very different. We had a lecture from Jon Burras ( He’s a yoga therapist. He first talked about the body and why we can sculpt it into any shape we want. I’d love to be able to explain his theories as well as he can but here are a few points.

We aren’t held up by our skeletal system, it’s our connecting tissue (fascia) that gives us movement. Energy flows through fascia, but if we get an injury, the fascia can build up and harden and it blocks the energy flow. Hence the pain and tightness.

Emotions determine who we are as a person. These emotions can also block energy flow. Someone who holds emotion inside (and doesn’t let it out) is more likely to suffer from disease or illness because the energy builds up inside. If you think of a child who has a tantrum, they are a mass of energy. After the child has calmed down, they’re fine again. If you keep holding the emotion in, you hold energy in. Yoga is a great way to help you release this energy (whether it be emotional or physical). That’s why you can cry during class for ‘no reason’. It also explains why you can go through pain whilst practising – the layers of energy are beginning to be released around old injuries.

Back to me;

Best yoga moment of the week: Getting on stage with the Madonna mike (see pics) to recite Separate Leg Stretching pose (even though I called it Standing Head To Knee apparently).

Light bulb moment: When I was shown exactly how to do Cobra pose – can’t believe I’ve been doing it wrong for 4 years! My advice is to ask your teacher to check yours; it’s the most important posture for the spine.

My favourite place: Bed. I rarely get the chance so I try to slip in for the odd 10 minutes here and there. Never take having an early night for granted.

Best advice given: To have a natural birth (!)

Best song I’ve heard this week: After class this morning, they played “Don’t worry, About A Thing” during savasana and everyone sung. Made me smile.

‘I wish I’d waxed’ moment: Demonstrating Triangle posture on stage for Emmy with very skimpy shorts on. She announced to everyone, “Don’t worry, we can’t see IT”.

The thing that made me wet my pants: The Mexican wave (see video). It started with just five of us and suddenly all 325 of us were doing it. Then Bikram walked in.

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