Out of the Bullpen, into the Hotroom!

After 2 years of more or less constant practice, my yoga journey takes on another chapter. I'm about to take part in the 37th Bikram Yoga Teacher Training in Los Angeles, California. The previous days in L.A. were always spent with something purposeful, like shopping, sightseeing, meeting other trainees, or getting organized in one way or the other. Yesterday, I didn't do much at all, except waiting for the training to start! It feels like it's been ages since i've been in a hotroom, i've done my fair share of sightseeing, i'm over the jetlag now... so i'm ready to go!

We had our orientation yesterday, with Jim Kallet (owner of the Bikram Yoga Old Town Studio in San Diego, and a veteran on the scene) introducing most of the staff we'll be spending our time with for the next 9 weeks (except for Bikram himself, who will appear today). It was pretty inspiring and made me even more eager to start. It seems like the entire Bikram Yoga Staff is very proud & happy to have the training back in L.A., after constantly changing the location for years. Jim said that Bikram had felt increasingly unhappy operating a "wandering circus" which was moving from hotel to hotel (past locations include: Acapulco, Hawaii, Las Vegas, Palm Springs & San Diego), with students having to practice in a huge white tent. Now it's back in L.A., which makes it easier & more accessible to most of the staff, including Bikram himself. The hotel might not be the prettiest of the lot, but according to Jim Kallet the Radisson staff went out of their way to create a worthy environment for the biggest teacher training to date (430 trainees have signed up). And most important, it has one strong asset: the 4.000 square feet "International Ballroom" on the 1st floor, which has been converted into the biggest hot yoga room in the world! After all, that's what we're here for: for the yoga, and not for the biggest pool or the nicest lobby. So, like bulls in a bullpen, we all can't wait for those doors to open, and to fill the room with our collective energy!

We all know it's going to be a demanding 9 weeks, and we have been prepared for that (as far as you can prepare for it), but it's also going to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience to be savoured & cherished. Everyone who i talked to and who's been to Teacher Training, seemed to have fond memories, no matter how hard it was. With many teachers, i even had the impression they wished they could do it all over again. According to Jim Kallet, we will forge lifelong friendships, and come out of it looking different, feeling different, and being different. We will go through both agony and ecstasy, but we will remember it as maybe the greatest thing we've ever been part of. I can't wait for things to start!

PS: Please be patient with me if postings, phonecalls or emails will be few & far between over the next few weeks. I'd like to post an update here each weekend, but as much as i'd love to keep everyone back home informed, this training is about me & my yoga practice, and everything else will have to take the back shelf for now. I'll quote Jim Kallet here: "Avoid getting involved in anything that can distract your attention from the training. These things include family, job, relationships, other people's dramas (including and especially your fellow trainees), and the outside world. Everybody will be going through tough times a lot emotionally, physically, mentally." Thanks for understanding & thanks for tuning in here nonetheless!


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