I’ve been doing the ‘hot-sweaty’ Bikram Yoga for years… but, unfortunately, when I wanted to ramp-it-up, I found out Bikram-teacher training was 10 weeks, $10,000 and held at the Hilton at L.A. Airport. That sounded grueling, impossible and unnecessarily noisy, respectively. A few of you already know that I’ve got an odd sensitivity to noise (can’t have the radio and the air-con on in the car at the same time – too much going on!) – so I needed an alternative to the ‘airport run-way’ yoga plan.
A good friend (Fran Best) told me about her friend who went on a one-month Ashtanga course and had also lost several kilos in the process; no surprise I was falling over my feet to find the website (not that this was about weight-loss, but if centering my chakra meant losing a bit-from-the-hips at the same time… well who’s complaining?) I booked the next scheduled course (Greek Islands, Sept 2012) and celebrated with nachos for dinner that night (because, after-all, I would be losing multiple nacho-kilos come September… right?).
So, here we are, I’m a week in now and while my lululemon-short-shorts are still fitting the same (too much tzaziki)… my body actually feels like it’s transforming from a stiff, dried-out kitchen sponge – to one that’s had cool Evian Water poured all over; becoming flexible, purified and useful again.
Aside from some other noticeable impacts from daily Ashtanga Yoga practice (whiter eyes, deeper sleep, clearer thought, knee-joint pain relieved), I’m also loving the insights into the philosophical aspect of Yoga tradition that began some 3000 years ago. There’s comfort in the fact that something’s been applied with great success for centuries, as opposed to being this season’s fad-following. The Ashtanga yoga style itself is extremely challenging; I can tell already it will be a 2-3 years before I’ve achieved a decent level within the initial, primary, series. So much hip and joint opening and muscle lengthening to be had… who knew!
The most unexpected highlight of the experience so far is the other 20 people on the course. It’s such an intensely close experience (downward dog 6.30am daily, breakfast together, lunch together, dinner together… repeat 6-days a week) – but combine that with a myriad of cultures and religions from around the world and you have one seriously random Global Big-Brother set-up. It’s like the United Nations with meditation. More on that to come.
Sundays are our only day off each week. They are for rest, beach and blogging. So, I’ll check-in throughout the month; just to ‘chakra it to you, baby’, hope you enjoy.
Questions Welcome! Namastasty.