Bikram Yoga TT: Bittersweet Symphony

2015/09/20 Posted by MsAJL

Nearly a month into training… I think my friends back home started to notice I was gone, so here’s some correspondence with my pole dance & contortion pals. Also a bit of bragging to my parents about my new friends at training ;)


WEEK FOUR: Bittersweet Symphony

MAY 11 – THE HAZELNUT
Word up, buddy! How you traveling? We just finished our 34th class and I’m trying to coax myself out of bed to go eat…

Eating is my full time job now…

MAY 16 – ELASTICDANCETASTIC
Hey, thanks for checking up! We’ve done 43 yoga classes since we got here – it’s exhausting!! Weekends are much needed rest time, but massages here are super cheap, so that’s our weekend treat :) I’m not really getting flexy over here – many are just struggling to stay in the room, rather than run away screaming or crying, hahaha! My practice has changed a lot over here because it’s so gruelling – I focus a lot more now on strong foundation and precise alignment… I think my core is getting stronger, but my abs have disappeared! I have to force myself to eat A LOT – to make sure I have enough energy… I never thought eating could feel like a full time job! As a result, I’m pretty much eating without any regard for aesthetic. I’ve pretty much gotta eat whatever I crave otherwise I just get sick of eating altogether! It’s a pretty crazy experience… but we’ve still got five more weeks to go!!

MAY 17 – ELASTICDANCETASTIC
It’s pretty much what I expected – we’re pretty well prepared with horror stories of projectile vomiting, ear infections, all night lectures… So in the grand scheme, I think I’m actually doing pretty well! Steve & I are staying for an extra couple of days after training, just to relax. But I’ve also been looking into this 10 day meditation retreat in July – just outside Melbourne… We’ll see what happens!
I’m excited to get back to contortion though. Can’t wait to see what you guys are up to!

A lazy standing head to knee pose… with waterfall!

A photo posted by Andrea James Lui (@andreajameslui) on


More waterfall yoga – it's only Wednesday, but already I can't wait for the weekend again!

A photo posted by Andrea James Lui (@andreajameslui) on

MAY 17 – THE LUI FAMILY
Today is our day off. We’ve done 4 weeks now: 43 classes, 56 to go. It’s pretty exhausting – I spent most of yesterday sleeping! But we’ve been getting massages every weekend, so that’s been a huge relief.

There are some pretty amazing people at training here. The other night we had dinner with a 70-something year old Russian lady, who actually giggled at some of us who have to sit down in class! She has not sat out for a single posture since we’ve been here. Before teacher training, she had regularly done doubles (two classes in one day) and 90 day challenges (every day for 90 days) and I think she said she’s been doing yoga for about 10 years or so… which sounds like a long time, except that means she started in her 60s! She also had a chuckle at the vegetarians, who are dying because they need protein. Every time I want to sit down or drink water in class, I think of her laughing at us and it keeps me going a little longer!

We also have a new friend, whom everyone noticed from the very beginning because he is suuuuuuuuuper flexible. He’s also super skinny (Bikram calls him Flying Chicken Bone) and he has a visibly lopsided spine. It turns out: two years ago, he was in a bicycle accident – he got car doored and then run over by a truck. Run over. By a truck. It’s a miracle he’s alive let alone walking around, doing handstands, bending in half – forwards AND backwards… He’s pretty inspirational, but he’s also clever, funny, and fun. We like him a lot!

There’s also this other lady here… She’s kinda nuts and A LOT like Auntie Janet. We’ve been helping her study and learn yoga dialogue because she’s really struggling. She seems totally crazy, but every now and then, she drops tidbits about herself & her past and it turns out: she used to do martial arts and dance; she’s fluent in Italian because she used to live in Italy, working for the US embassy; and before she retired, she was a US diplomat, specializing in counterterrorism. Can you imagine someone like Auntie Janet working in counterterrorism??

There’s another guy here who used to be in the Canadian military – he’s from Vancouver Island. He was also struggling with the yoga dialogue because he’d get angry when he wasn’t word perfect. One teacher sort of made the connection that he doesn’t need to be military perfect anymore because he’s in this new life now and when I asked him about it, it turns out he used to work in bomb disposal. Crazy.

There are other people here who’ve had cancer, eating disorders, PTSD… it kinda makes us feel like we’ve got nothing to complain about. Everyone knows me & Steve as the married couple who are so lucky to be doing this together. So we’re doing pretty well over here :)


Click here for Weeks 5 & 6!

One Response to Bikram Yoga TT: Bittersweet Symphony

  1. Richard says:

    This is the first time I have a chance to read your blog. Very interesting. This is the first time I have a chance to read your blog. Very interesting I knew there’s a time zone difference between Australia and Canada as I have been there a few times. I didn’t realize it was four months. Ha ha. Thanks for sharing

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