Our very own Kitsilano yogi, Tiffany Leong, recently embarked on a journey to become a Bikram Yoga Instructor. Tiffany will be blogging to us from Fall Teacher Training over the next three months. Read her inaugural dispatch from training central in Los Angeles, California, right here on Bikram Yoga Vancouver’s Bikram Yoga Blog!
I arrived in Los Angeles a week ago, my life packed in two pieces of luggage, along with 400-plus Bikram yogis from all different parts of the world. Despite our differences, we all came here to experience one unforgettable journey: the journey of becoming a certified Bikram Yoga instructor.
In a nutshell, Bikram Teacher Training is the nine-week intensive study and practice of Bikram Yoga, away from home, with Bikram Choudhury – but that’s only the concise definition. It’s really one of those things in life that cannot be fully defined until it has been experienced.
After listening to Bikram, his wife Rajashree and the faculty staff’s opening speeches at orientation, I’ve come to realization that there is a huge parallel between a trainee becoming a Bikram Yoga instructor and a new student becoming a Bikram yogi. Just like a new student needs to acclimate to the hot room, teacher trainees need to acclimate, too.
Our first week was all about acclimatization: settling in, meeting like-minded yogis, adjusting to doing a double class every weekday, understanding the rules and etiquette and getting used to the long hours. Even Bikram called it a “vacation” week, but warned us that it would become more and more intense as the weeks go by.
Yes, it was “vacation” week relative to the training itself, but it was most certainly not a vacation. We usually have to complete 11 Bikram classes each week, but we completed 10 classes this week. Miraculously, not only is my body adjusting to the demands of the yoga but I’ve also experienced some minor transformations in my postures (I believe it is from the energy and power of practising with a sea of Bikram yogis).
Aside from the physical aspect of the yoga, we were also challenged to recite Half Moon Pose on stage in front of Bikram and 400-plus pairs of eyes watching. To many trainees, the two-minute stage presence was more challenging than a week’s worth of yoga. Luckily for me, the completion of these two tasks was a success and it gave me the confidence to face what’s ahead in the next couple of weeks.
To be continued … Namaste,
Read more about Tiffany’s adventures in the hot room on her own blog, The Hot Yoga Girl.