A class of 395 Bikram Yoga practitioners from 26 countries graduated as teachers last Saturday. The journey was long and intense, physically, mentally and emotionally. Now we are now licensed to teach Bikram Yoga and, essentially, improve people’s lives around the world … maybe even save a few.
Here’s a recap of the final part of the trainee-to-teacher transformation …
Last Friday’s evening class: the 98th class, the final class. Bikram Choudhury taught it. It was an incredible class: each breath, each posture, each Savasana counted itself down to the end of training (think New Year’s Eve party in Times Square). After Eagle Pose, we took “party time” by cracking open cans of Coke to honour Bikram, who loves to drink the stuff when he’s teaching. When class ended there was an explosion of emotion in the hot room, along with plenty of hugs, dancing and picture taking. We all clapped loudly as Bikram made his final descent from the podium.
After seeing our fellow classmates in minimal clothing and no makeup for nine weeks, our graduation on Saturday was quite the eye-opener; we all dressed up to celebrate a very important milestone. Families and friends came from all over the world to attend the ceremony; those who couldn’t make it supported their loved ones by watching the live-streaming online. Bikram and his faculty – Emmy Cleaves, Jim Kallet, Lisa Johnson and Shelley Kompel – all delivered speeches on stage. Rajashree Choudhury led our demo team of 25 graduates (handpicked by Bikram and his staff) to perform an astonishing routine: the 26 postures compressed into 12 minutes. Bikram Yoga Vancouver-bred Chelsea Carlson was one of the performers! Finally, the full transformation came to fruition as one by one we crossed the stage to receive our certificates from Bikram.
Back in Vancouver, I’ve transformed into a Bikram Yoga Teacher. Thank you all for following my journey, and Danny and Lisa for giving me the confidence to go forward with this dream. I’d like to wish my fellow BYV trainees – Ashley, Beth, Chelsea, and Jesus – the best of luck in their teaching journeys.
Read more about Tiffany’s adventures in the hot room on her Hot Yoga Girl blog.