Retro Throwback: The HotTT

On Sundays, please enjoy the Retro Throwback where I share my favorite posts from some time ago.

So…have you guys heard about this new hot yoga teacher training (The HotTT)? I learned about it through a Yoga Buddy on FB (aren’t yoga buddies the best?).  On their website, the HotTT is described as:

…true alternative to Bikram yoga teacher training. It is an 8 week – 500hr Yoga Alliance Hot Yoga Teacher Training where you will learn to teach the Primary Series (26+2), in an intense training environment, without the associated attachments.

Now, let me be clear about a few things before we get much farther:

(a) I am not a certified yoga teacher of any shape or kind

(b) I know nothing about the HotTT other than what is on their website (and through a couple of email exchanges)

(c) All I know about the standard Bikram yoga training is what I have read on his website and what I have learned from talking to people who have experienced it

(d) I’m not endorsing either curriculum. I’m sharing some information about a new program and my reactions to it.

What Got Me Looking at The HotTT?

Since the HotTT bills itself as an alternative to traditional Bikram training, I was curious as to what that alternative looked liked. You can view their curriculum, and I think you will see that there are similarities and difference to theBikram training. The things that stood out to me as obviously different, is that The HotTT is the three day course on meditation and the expectation that you will participate in regular meditation exercises during the training.

If someone will force me to do meditation I might get he hang of it.

The second difference with HotTT is that you get to learn aboutyin yoga. Admittedly, I do not know anything about yin yoga except my acupuncturist is always telling me to go do it. On the HotTT site, they describe yin yoga as a complement to the hot yoga that we do – which is exactly what my acupuncturist tells me. You also get introduced to Synergy partner yoga and kids yoga.

Do You Want to Know Why I am Not Already Certified?

There are some practical reasons as to why I am not already certified. The first is that Bikram runs his trainings in direct conflict with my work. I know I am different in that I am only contracted nine months out of the year. Since Bikram training starts near the end of April I maybe could maybe kinda sorta work something out as I’m usually wrapping things up when he’s launching his spring training.  But there’s a bigger hold out for me….

Sleep.

I like to get my sleep. I have no problem working my butt off, but I need to get at least seven hours of solid sleep, and I do not think I’m being unreasonable here. Have you heard about the Bikram trainings? You should expect to stay up past midnight often and get very little sleep. I have no idea what the point is of being sleep deprived, and I don’t care. That does not sit well with me.

precious sleepThis is one thing that I noticed and immediately appreciated about The HotTT is that you will get your rest. Weekdays typically run from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm. Saturdays usually done by 3:00, and Sundays are optional activities. The sample schedule shows that you should expect to take two 90 minute classes most days Monday-Saturday (same as Bikram).

Some Other Interesting Differences

I don’t know how many people attend Bikram tranings, but I know the answer is more than 200 at each. For The HotTT, it’s limited to 50. So you will get to know the teachers, and they will get to know you. And as a teacher, I like that. This is important. Teachers will know how to support you and help you grow into someone who is ready to launch as a new teacher when they leave. Maybe that is the case too with Bikram – I can’t say – I just know that the conditions for The HotTT are set up in a way that supports this.

The price is currently cheaper (10, 650 vs. 11, 400 for Bikram). However, The HotTT includes two meals in this price which I am pretty sure you do not get with Bikram – at least not normally. I’m not sure how things will be playing out at the new Thailand location.

Now, the thing to keep in mind is that you are not certified as a Bikram instructor when you complete The HotTT training. Trust me, this was the first question that came to my mind. But of course you will be certified to teach hot yoga generally speaking, and it might be possible that you would have more opportunities available to you. It’s something to explore.

Look how easy I am to take care of.

By the way….do you have kids? The HotTT has childcare options to discuss with you. I have a pug. Are there pug care options? :)

Wanna Go?

Right now The HotTT has three trainings lined up. This is personally great news for me as I could likely make the summer training in Europe. Now, realistically, I probably won’t be doing that. I just spent all my money on a shiny new water pump for my car, and I’m going to be getting a shiny new tooth soon! That mess costs at least half the price of teacher training! I only wish I were joking.

I’m not sure how I feel about not being an officially certified Bikram teacher, but it is something I would be interested in having a conversation with someone at The HotTT at some point – maybe in a year or so. From an instructional perspective, I am very impressed with the thought and consideration they have given to both the curriculum and to the students. It looks like an excellent program with a lot of potential. If anyone ends up going, let me know!

Retro Throwback: Recovering From My Hiatus

On Sundays, please enjoy the Retro Throwback where I share my favorite posts from some time ago.

Not too long ago, I wrote about how I had taken a 10-day hiatus from my practice. The thing about taking a hiatus is I eventually had to go back to class.

I went in on Day 1 with a good attitude. I had intended to go to the afternoon class (wasn’t sure about my hydration) but a schedule change forced me into the morning. So I went with no expectations and kept an eye on things given my concern about my lack of water intake.

Class 1 was ok. It wasn’t awful. It wasn’t awesome. I sat out a couple of postures here and there, but I was back. It went better than I expected.

So Class 2, which I took the next day, should be fine, right? Well, as is the case with Bikram yoga, if there’s one thing we’re all gonna learn it’s to have no expectations.

expectations1

I walked in the class and immediately felt like I might die. So I went to the lobby until the last possible minute. By the end of the first set of the first breathing exercise (so let’s say we’re five minutes into the class), I had made a giant puddle all over my mat and was considering sitting out for the next 85 minutes.

I’m not even joking. I had to barter with myself so I wouldn’t sit down during the second set of the first breathing exercise. It went something like this:

Ok…you are probably gonna die in this class today, but at least stay standing until party time. You can make it through party time. After party time you have permission to skip the rest of class. For the love of God try to remain upright for the warm-up series even if you have to come out of a posture early.

I somehow made it through party time without sitting down, and I believed I had made a serious accomplishment. I think I deserved applause. And let’s not even talk about the state of my mat by the end of party time. It was basically a giant slip and slide.

I sorta tried to do the one-legged balancing postures. I think I started sitting down in standing bow, but then I had this insane idea that I should keep getting back up. By triangle I was out. I just sat there and breathed. I was good with that.

I managed to do wind removing, and I turned over on my stomach for spine-strengthening. I quickly realized I was delusional if I thought I was going to do spine-strengthening. I turned over onto my back and laid in savassanah. I’m not sure how much of the rest of the floor series I did, but you can bet I skipped camel and rabbit.

But I made it. I stayed in the room. I didn’t die. I worked out whatever needed to be worked out. Then I crawled out into the hallway and propped myself against the wall. I remember people speaking to me, but who they were and what they said has long left my brain. I can’t be expected to retain anything after a class like that.

Here’s the beauty of it all – Day 3, 4, and most of 5 (I’ll write about 5 in another post) were spectacular. Really strong and very enjoyable classes. By Days 6 and 7 I was falling back into the normal it’s a class, it was fine kind of thing.

In the end, if you’ve had a hiatus, all I can say is that at some point you have to face the music and walk back in that room. I’m not saying you’ll have a bad class. I’m not saying you’ll have a great class. You’ll go in and have whatever class you will have. So don’t be afraid. If anything, be excited to get back in the hot room and see what it brings.

Retro Throwback: Soon I’ll Only be able to Breathe

On Sundays, please enjoy the Retro Throwback where I share my favorite posts from some time ago.

I am going to have to own up to the fact that there are things far worse in life than doing stupid camel. I am also going to have to own up to the fact that maybe camel has actually taught me a thing or two.

Recently, I came down with a no good, horrible, very bad toothache. It was a tooth that, five years ago, had a root canal and a crown put on it. When I went to the dentist, the x-ray showed nothing. We agreed that in all likelihood it was cracked. It was going to need to come out and so off to the oral surgeon I went.

Before I could totally skip out of the dentist’s office though, he wanted to make an impression of my lower teeth (the tooth in question was on the top). Now, I’m in pain here. I showed up to the dentist first thing in the morning unable to talk without crying. I’m not exaggerating. I hate getting impressions done, but they needed it for whatever reason. No choice.

I told you I was awesome.

To conquer this moment, I found a spot on the wall to focus on. I actually said to myself, “Find someplace on the wall to look at just like you would in camel. Crap. Camel? Has camel just taught me something? Stupid camel.” But that’s what I did. I found my spot on the wall like I would in camel and breathed through it. It was fine. I even managed to relax a bit.

Then I got to skip on down to the oral surgeon who also thought the tooth was cracked. It needed to come out. Great. Once I understood the procedural aspects of it all can you guess what the first question was I asked? Right – Once the tooth is pulled, how long until I can get back to yoga?

He said I could literally go back the next day if I felt up to it, but he thought I probably wouldn’t be hydrated enough to do so. Good call on that one. Also, my car decided to blow up on July 2nd and I couldn’t get it back until the afternoon of the 5th so that pretty much just knocked yoga out for four days straight. But as soon as I get my car I will be back in class.

So for now, I’ve learned that camel may not be so bad. Yes, I hate doing it, but having a massive toothache is much worse. Plus, camel has also taught me how to focus in on things and breathe when I am uncomfortable so maybe it is ok. But the Universe? My friend the Universe still pretty much sucks what with the toothache and the car blowing up and what not.

Retro Throwback: My 10 Day Hiatus

On Sundays, please enjoy the Retro Throwback where I share my favorite posts from some time ago.

Recently I took a 10-day hiatus from my practice. On one hand, the reason for doing so was a very practical one – I was out of town on business. However, there was a studio in my area, and I could have practiced. It would have meant attending mostly 6:30 pm classes, but I could have gone. I decided though before I left that I was going to forgo class for those days.

What? Why?

Well, usually I take a vacation each year were there is no Bikram studio or simply no time to get to one. But I also think that taking a week or even two off a year (all at once) can be a good thing. I find it gives me a nice mental break. I’m not sure if the physical break is good or not, but the mental one seems to be good.

My back had also started to bother me again just before I left town. This was highly annoying. I had gone nearly two months without any back issues. I was still scaling back in my practice (no kicking out in SH2K; no rabbit; no sit-ups…etc…) so I knew I wasn’t pushing myself there in a way that should have hurt me. I thought taking a break might be a good thing.

hiatus

So how long do you think my break actually lasted?

Surprisingly, it lasted the entire 10 days. I *almost* went to class around Day Seven (and yes, I had brought some yoga clothes and my hydroflask with me just in case). One evening, I was out with some people in my group and someone said she did yoga. I mentioned I also did yoga, and the next thing I knew I had three people who had never, ever done Bikram yoga before saying they wanted to go to yoga.

How do you say no to that, right? You don’t. When people want to go to yoga you arrange a trip to yoga. I suggested we go to a 6:30 pm class on a day when I knew the instructor. The person teaching will occasionally teach classes at my studio, and I assured everyone she was very,  very nice. I instructed everyone about drinking water, eating right, etc…you know what you would normally tell a new person. I stressed that it wouldn’t be about doing the postures so much as it was about being present in the room.

So we were all set to go until the day before. On this day, I was asked by one of the organizers at the event I was at if I would take our guest speaker out for dinner on the day I was supposed to take everyone to yoga. Of course I had to say yes. I wanted to say yes. I felt bummed about the yoga, but I wasn’t in town to do yoga. I was in town for business, and I decided that my priorities had to shift to focus on my work while I was here. Besides, I liked the speaker we had coming in and wanted to take him out (I used the opportunity to go to an entirely vegan restaurant and it was awesome).

This meant I had to back out of yoga which meant no one in my group was now going to go to yoga. But hey, I took them all along to dinner so it wasn’t a total loss.

Unfortunately, we had planned our trip to yoga near the end of our travel, and our schedule didn’t allow for us to reschedule it. It was an opportunity lost.

By the end of my 10 days, I was looking forward to getting back in the studio, but I also found I had enjoyed my little stint away. Everyday I made time for a walk – usually lasting about 75 minutes. I found a nice trail near my hotel and enjoyed listening to the birds, seeing rabbits, and even a snake! My back got better, but I think it was from a trip to the spa and not the lack of yoga that did it.

I’m headed back from my 10-day hiatus, and looking forward to hitting the studio on Day 11. I’m curious to see what my practice will be like after being gone this long. It’s always different, and never what I might expect.

Retro Throwback: Go to Yoga!!!

On Sundays, please enjoy the Retro Throwback where I share my favorite posts from some time ago.

Mark, my long-distance yoga buddy over at Do the Posture, Please!! had a great post back in May called Go to Yoga!! It’s one of my favorite posts ever. Why? Because first of all it’s all true, and second it’s totally inspiring.

I needed some inspiration and reminders that going to class is a good thing. I had a bit of a sucky summer.

Why did my summer stink? Here are a few answers:

1. It was a bit on the cool side temperature wise outside this year. Go to yoga!! At least it’s hot in there

2. I had an infected tooth that had to be pulled. Go to yoga!! Go before and after that sucker gets pulled.

3. The water pump on my car exploded. Go to yoga!! Oh wait…I have no car…ok… Go for a walk!!

4. Sweet Maximum passed away at the age of 12. Go to yoga!! Work through the emotions that come up.

Camel loves you

5. I was broke from all the money spent on my tooth and my car. Go to yoga!! It’s already paid for.

6. I have to watch what I do because of my backGo to yoga!! Smile because sometimes I honestly can’t do triangle or camel.

At the end of the day, I was always glad I chose to go to yoga. Do you know what is worse than going to yoga when you are having a rough time? Not going at all.

 

Retro Throwback: My Yoga Struggles

On Sundays, please enjoy the Retro Throwback where I share my favorite posts from some time ago.

Welcome to the second issue of the  Yoga Carnival! The theme for this issue is My Yoga Struggles. Bloggers were asked to contribute a post about anything related to the struggles they have encountered as a part of their yoga practice. I hope you find the results interesting because I think you are in store for some fascinating reads. So grab some popcorn (or kale…whatever is your thing) and enjoy the ride.

1. Ten Lies We Tell Ourselves in Yoga Class: I’ve lied to myself in yoga class for almost a decade. It’s just part of the process. We come to our mats full of expectations for ourselves, our bodies and the people around us, and over time we realize that the lies we tell ourselves about having to be thin, or flexible etc. just don’t matter. That’s part of the beauty of yoga, it allows us to let go of those lies and live our lives. In this piece I take ten lies I’ve told myself over the years, and struggled with, and put them in context that is hopefully helpful for yogis of all disciplines.

 2. It’s Never Easy: I define the word struggle and think about how the word applies to my practice. Struggles push us, and they are not always easy, but they are not always terrible. Many good things can come from struggles.
3. The Panic Attack: What happens when you follow a panic attack with a yoga class?

Retro Throwback: Quinoa Chickpea & Avocado Salad

On Sundays, please enjoy the Retro Throwback where I share my favorite posts from some time ago.

My days have gotten pretty busy lately leaving me little time to want to cook. If you feel the same, I suggest checking out this amazing Quinoa Chickpea and Avocado Salad. This dish is vegan and it will hold well in the fridge for a week. The dish takes about 30 minutes to make (this doesn’t count the time it takes for the quinoa to cool before adding it to the salad). I suggest making the quinoa in the afternoon then returning to finish off the salad when it’s at room temperature.

Because I wanted this recipe to last for multiple meals, I made a bit more quinoa than what the recipe calls for. Rather than make one cup, I made two and found it to be more than enough. The easy thing about this salad is that you can then adjust the remainder of the ingredients to your taste for however much quinoa you decide to use.

I had bought an avocado, but decided to not include it in the salad. Avocados drive me nuts. They go bad pretty quickly, and I hate dealing with leftovers and trying to figure out how not to get it to turn brown. So, rather than add avocado to my salad I whipped up avocado mayo (also vegan), and used it as a spread on some french bread.  It was delicious, and the mayo keeps for up to two weeks. This is a recipe to know as it is a great way to use up avocados and get some extended life from them. I always add in more garlic and onion powder than what is recommended. Just make it to your taste.

The salad does not get soggy. It travels well. During the last week, I took it with me to work for lunch and I had it for dinner after class. I am fine eating it straight from the fridge. A glass of white wine goes well with it. Enjoy!

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