There is a Fall 2012 Teacher Trainee in my midst. She is a strong student, with beautiful energy. I met her for a snack right before I taught my 18th class. I won't give names here to protect privacy, but she has all the same nervous energy that I did. Even though we are the exact same age, I felt at least 10 years older in my mind, as I was giving her the low down. She's going for it and a part of me is so jealous, but the other part of me would never go back. I think what I feel is an envy and longing for the simpler, longer, more structured days of training. They were drama-free days, spent with good friends without egos. How can I recreate this stillness, this paradise in my own mind? I hope to find this answer in the last days of summer and through more teaching.
In the mean time, I dedicate this post to the Fall 2012 Trainees and everyone who will follow them. Here is the Mother List....
What to Bring:
- Your car (if it's an option); car = freedom in training and in LA. You will have time to use it, especially on weekends.
- Extra shower rod for the bathroom; ideal for hanging your mat on to dry after class. The alternative is hanging mats to dry by the pool.
- 64oz Hydroflask. Bigger is better, just trust me on this one. At the very least, the 42oz. You can order them on hydroflask.com
- All yoga clothes and "teaching" clothes you have. Don't invest in a lot of new gear before you get there, as you'll have access to a lot of new yoga labels and Lululemon is close to the hotel.
- As far as regular clothing, bring your staples; the stuff you live in day in, day out. I call these items, "my uniform" (i.e. if you were stranded on a dessert island and could only bring a few comfy tops and bottoms, what would they be?). Don't forget a few nice, "going out" pieces because you will want to and there are events other than graduation that you will want to look nice for.
- Bring running shoes and even hiking shoes, if you want to explore the gorgeous trails outside of LA.
- You can't bring enough flip flops but you can bring too many regular shoes. Less is more with shoes.
- Swimsuits and cover-ups for the beach and pool. I was at the pool for at least an hour a day on my break between class and lecture.
- If you like protein shakes, like I do, invest in the Magic Bullet. It was not a problem to use it my room and it comes with some insulted cups for other beverages.
- As for other beverages, a coffee maker will make you the Mayor of your hallway and a lot of new friends, and/or a hot water heater for tea.
- Wait and buy your yoga mats onsite at the water station. You will end up needing two during training.
- Buy a mini-laminated dialogue at training, but you can make one at Kinkos before you go as well. This will motivate you to take it with you everywhere. The pocket size one I made wasn't laminated and was great for taking notes on for that reason.
- Bring your iPhones (or another comparable smart phone that allows you to take voice notes). Listening to yourself saying the dialogue is the best way to learn it. I still play it in my car all the time. Bikram's dialogue is also available on iTunes.
- You will need a seat cushion or neck pillow to sit on during posture clinics. The floor is hard on your tush for three hour windows. Something that works as dual support is ideal. Those stadium seat cushions work well also. You can buy this at Bed, Bath & Beyond when you arrive.
Last but not least, LEARN AS MUCH DIALOGUE AS YOU CAN BEFORE YOU LEAVE! This will save you a lot of stress in weeks 3-6, when you have round the clock posture clinics and need to learn a new pose almost every day if you haven't already. Knowing the dialogue before training will enable you to teach sooner when you return to your home studios. Just trust me on this one. Having said that, I only knew the warm-up (through Eagle) prior to arriving, and my life turned out ok. However, I needed a solid two weeks upon returning to master and recall everything.
We are all Teacher Trainees in Life, learning our own paths, how to swim in our own ponds and oceans. Peel back all those unnecessary layers and open your chakras. Go in peace on your journeys. Life as you know it will never be the same.