Jane’s mantra

Three weeks to go…

Jane Clark, future teacher, working on being present

I am so tired all the time. My shoulder is killing me. I live, eat, breath and sweat yoga.  I either binge eat or don’t eat at all. I am obsessed with hydration and electrolytes. My weight fluctuates within a ten pound range within any given week. When I am not practicing, I am memorizing, memorizing, memorizing. I am in my own personal Bikram hell, exiled to a chair in the living room where I must stay until the posture is securely stuck in my head. I count the days. I lift weights. I religiously do my physical therapy for my hip and shoulder so I won’t get hurt at training. I have list after list of what to bring, what to prepare, what to eat, how to think. I walk around visualizing how I will present Half Moon pose to Bikram and 400 disciples without getting nervous. I chant my mantra “shivoham”, “shivoham”, “shivoham” which means “I am shiva”, or “I am present”, when I am so clearly not present. I think about where my life will be on November 19th. So many people want to talk to me about this experience. “Are you excited Jane?” “Are you ready?” “Bikram has changed my life, I’m sure you feel the same!” This is my BEFORE.

It seems to me that the 9 weeks leading up to the real 9 WEEKS are really the hardest for someone like myself. I am killing myself to be prepared for teacher training in hopes that I will have the privilege of enjoying the training process itself. I am so looking forward to making new friends. I am so looking forward to being immersed in something meaningful, helpful and fulfilling. I just hope I am not over-doing it. This is not unlike training for a marathon. And my track record has been to over train. I can only hope that once teacher training comes around that I haven’t over done it. I hope that I am ready for the race instead of having run it on my own 10 times too many.

I have decided to do a 30-day challenge for the month of August. So far so good. I actually don’t even think about it. I just practice, like I always do but I stopped taking Mondays off. It is actually easier to just keep going then stopping and starting. I will have two weeks in September before I go away that I plan to spend goofing off… I plan to take Chris Fluck’s advice to eat ice cream and pizza and get “soft”. I will play with my niece and nephews at the beach. I will watch movies. I will probably run and swim and bike. I will eat my Mother’s cooking. I might even get my hair cut and my nails done (crazy, I know).

Training will be an unprecedented experience. One for which I actually have no expectations. I can only envision it one day at a time, maybe even one moment. I think that is the best part: the preparation and planning will be over and then I can just be; I can finally be shiva, after so many weeks of living for the future. It will be amazingly hard and totally relaxing at the same time. I will finally let go.

So what about November 19th? What about the AFTER?  It just might be a little bit too much for me to think about right now. I hope to teach, full-time, whatever that means. I want to practice full-time, whatever that means. I want to run and swim and play. I want to be healthy and eat healthy. I also want to eat pizza and ice cream and drink beer. I want to be present and have balance. I want to mean it when I chant my mantra: Shivoham.

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