They always say, "it's not what you do, but how you do it," that counts. Bikram says this a lot and it certainly rang true today. I was one of the first 40 people out of 417 (yes, the headcount is dropping since day 1) to perform the first part of Half Moon Pose for Bikram live today. I have been studying this particular dialogue since March, you would think it would be a piece of cake......and it has been until today.
Just this morning, on my 6am walk to Starbucks with Ish, I recited it cold and confident. I was cocky, I was ready, I had no idea what I was in for. After watching the first 30 people and hearing Bikram's subsequent remarks, I could not wait to get on stage. With all my corporate experience in speaking in front of rooms with just as many people, if not more, for much longer periods of time, I thought I had this in the bag.
As the guy from Madrid finished up before me, I felt my heart start beating in my stomach. WTF!?! Ok, butterflies are good, I told myself. I got a cheer from the NYC crew which helped to boost my spirit as I walked on stage and introduced myself to Bikram. This moment was 5 years in the making, no pressure or anything.
By the 5th line, I froze, but jumped right back in with the help of the crowd who's always there to throw out the next word - thank you my fellow yogis!! The only thing I knew is I was not going to let this man see me sweat. I kept my tone and intonations high, my energy sounded positive, even though I was dying on the inside. It was like Nancy Kerrigan falling during what should of been, and what was expected to be a perfect routine. But I kept going and made the room laugh with my confidence. Every line I recited was verbatim, except for a few pauses.
I nailed 93% of the dialogue today with just a few breaks in certain unexpected spots. I did better than most but the perfectionist in me yearned for the Perfect 10. After all, Nadia Comaneci is my childhood hero. Why did I feel like the next 9 weeks was riding on the perfection of this 3 minutes of dialogue? An even better question is, why do we forget the dialogue? According to Bikram, we forget the words when we don't go into the teaching because we're trying to get out and get to the end. We need to be with our students and express ourselves through the dialogue. My personal goal after today is to make my students as comfortable as possible, but to be firm with them so they take me seriously.
Fear will make you lose your personality. I am grateful for being fearless today and being "me" up on that stage. Bikram's comments are actually hard to remember because the whole thing happened so fast and hours later, my heart is still trying to slow down. He said, overall I was really good and had really nice energy. He liked my, "PUSH, PUSH, PUSH!!" He knew I knew the pose verbatim, as did everyone who got up there today, but only a handful of the people actually got a perfect 10. I am thrilled for them and excited for my own progress still to come.
As Ish said in class tonight, "if you were perfect, then you'd have no where to go." Thank you Ish, my fearless warrior, for reminding me of what's real and bringing me back down to Earth.
There was so much more that I learned today, so many wonderful and challenging experiences but I need to catch a nap before my 9:30pm lecture, so it's off to La-La land.
One last thing, a dear friend asked me to clarify something from my post yesterday regarding JFK being a celebrity who died young through his own faults, even though he was shot. Bikram himself used him specifically as an example. While I tend to agree with you Sal, in thinking deeper about it, he should have never been in that car that day. He chose the wrong people to protect him, he was too public in uncertain times, maybe for reasons we will never know. I will ask Bikram myself when I get more face time, but we do know this....he was an unfaithful husband and told lies, maybe not in politics, but according to Bikram, if you're 99% right, you're 100% wrong.