Mahabharat (the 92-hour movie that I saw only 3 hours of and will likely be forced to keep watching during training) is essentially like the Ten Commandments, without Charlton Heston and all the Hollywood glam, of course. It lays the ground work for our goals in life. The Mahabharata is the longest Sanskrit epic. About 1.8 million words in total, it is roughly ten times the length of the Iliad and Odyssey combined, or about four times the length of the Ramayana. Its importance is compared to world civilization to that of the Bible, the works of Shakespeare, the works of Homer, Greek drama, or the Qur'an, in other words - IT'S MAJOR!
Bikram's style, I'm coming to learn, is to start at the beginning and pretend we know nothing. He's right in that we are all so programmed one way or another, so what Teacher Training aims to do is reprogram our thinking and open our minds beyond what we're used to, what is comfortable.
I am especially enjoying all of the car analogies I'm hearing along the way. In this morning's class, Barry from Reno, NV (a retired solider from the military) said that the "Kick is like the Engine and the Breath is the Fuel." While the teacher was referring to standing bow pulling pose, the lights went on in my head and the posture started to gel for me in a new way.
Later this afternoon, Bikram informed us that Barry was visiting today to talk about bringing Bikram Yoga to the military in this country to help soldiers stay focused and readjust into life after service, something that's always been a struggle for troops in the US. Personally, I could not think of a better place for this yoga.
Along these lines, Bikram is constantly thinking for others and staying global in his outreach. He asked us today, "what are you going to leave behind for the world?" I struggled for a while trying to come up with my answer, but that's just it! I don't have an answer yet, and it's ok, but I want one. This is why I'm here.
Bikram also brought it back to JFK (don't worry Sal, I haven't forgotten to get the scoop) and reminded us of his brilliant speech (which Bikram will of course take credit for writing at some point over the next few weeks): "ASK NOT WHAT YOUR COUNTRY CAN DO FOR YOU, BUT WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR COUNTRY." Remember that one? It still gives me the chills to say it out loud. We all can't be selfish in this world. If no one is thinking about tomorrow, then who will?
Our bodies are our powerhouses in every sense of the word. You will never know what's under your "hood" until you get on an open road and push the petal to the metal. Life is meant to be enjoyed. The #1 crime, according to Bikram, is wasting time. I couldn't agree more, but I'm not hear to preach and tell everyone they are lazy. In fact, when you try too hard, you actually die faster. So don't get caught in the quick sand of life either. Find your flow, find your balance and meditate. Bikram doesn't teach meditation - HIS CLASS IS THE MEDITATION.