Diane Duscharme, a senior Bikram Yoga teacher and 20+ year Bikram Yogi was at the Bikram Yoga Grapevine studio giving a posture clinic on Bikram Yoga's 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises. I took class first, which Diane taught and then stayed for the posture clinic, both Saturday and Sunday; total it was about 10 hours of yoga. As a person about to go to Bikram Teacher Training, I found her class and posture clinic to be exceptionally valuable, it was so dialog driven, it really gave me a better sense of why we say certain things at certain times and why it is important to stick to the dialog and not create your own wording. After 2 days I left with 13 pages of notes, a better understanding of the posture dialog, a few sore muscles and a bunch of good information to improve my own practice, all in all, one heck of a weekend!
Saturday I got to Bikram Yoga Grapevine a few minutes before class started, the room was pretty full so I had to set up in the back row. I didn't notice until after class had started but for some reason I was an yogi island in a room full of yogi's. There were people in front of me but no one to either side of me. This made me feel slightly alone and sad I was without some of the class energy with no one on either side. That feeling quickly changed when I saw people having to reposition themselves and move their mats in Triangle, all the sudden I was pleased I was on the back row all by myself, plenty of room to stretch out without worrying if someone is going to sweat on me or my towel.
Today I set up in the back again, basically in the same place I did yesterday, heck, it worked well yesterday, why not do it again today. Now I already explained in previous posts I am a bit OCD and A LOT annal retentive (see other posts if you want more information), so it should come as no surprise to anyone that once I noticed my Kulae towel was sewn crooked, it was all I could think about. Yes, that's right, it is crooked. I know how that happens too, it isn't a defective towel, it just is the way the fabric is. The fabric comes on a big roll or bolt and when they cut it, they just cut, sometimes the weave of the fabric is not exactly straight so it gets cut a tiny bit crooked. When you WASH the towel, this "crookedness" becomes even more obvious. So through the first few postures all I could think about was how I was going to cut the towel straight and sew the edging to make it even. I tried really hard to not think about it, I really did. It helped that Diane Duscharme kept telling us to not look down, to look up or straight in the mirror, this gave me less opportunity to notice the crooked towel. But in Toe Stand we had to look four feet in front and there it was, the angled, crooked towel laughing at me because it knew I couldn't do anything about it. Darn towel!
Besides my island and towel issue, my two classes were absolutely awesome. I love taking class from teachers that really use the dialog and don't add their own commentary and Diane Duscharme really uses the dialog. I use to like this just because it was what I was use to from my own "home" studio in Dallas, as I traveled around the country for work I would go to other studios and there was sometimes a large difference in the way people taught class, I always liked the studios that were more like the Dallas studio where the proper dialog is a big focus. Now that I am preparing for teacher training, I like dialog driven teachers even more because then I get to use class as a teaching moment, I try hard to really pay attention to how they say the dialog and when they emphasize specific words.
The two days of posture clinic were simply amazing. I learned so much! We had to have spent the first 20 minutes just on the breathing exercise, Diane went through a fairly extensive explanation on how to breathe through the nose but using the throat. It was really quite fascinating, I had never been shown the difference or really explained the difference in quite the same way. We all tried it and sure enough, there is a clear difference from breathing using the throat and not. And something as simple as "no backward bending" in the breathing. Sure, we all know we aren't suppose to backward bend but to hear that when you do bend backwards, it can add pressure to the neck is useful information. When you get to USE that information right away by trying it both ways, well, that is just fantastic!
Diane used the phrase "ultimate destination" a lot to describe what teachers mean when they say certain things in class. For some students, the instructions in class are virtually impossible to follow, because they are not that flexible yet or maybe they don't have the strength yet. What Diane was explaining is the dialog is the ultimate destination, where you eventually want to end up, some day, in the future. Also, it can sometimes be more the direction of where the eyes or arms are suppose to go so when they say to "see the floor" behind you, very few people if any can do that but if you look back and always "try" to see the floor behind you, you will be going in the right direction and trying the right way.
My ultimate destination is to be a Bikram Yoga Teacher, eventually, in the future...when I've improved my dialog enough...then only..... :D Just need to keep going in that direction. Namaste