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Hotty Bikram Teacher Training

Unlike other teacher training, the hot yoga training is a real physical test. It's done in nine weeks, with about two hundred participants in a totally steamy room.

Let me share with you my experience of becoming a Yoga teacher.  It started in the summer of 2003.  At that time, I was job hunting and had plenty of free time in my hand.  I had tried many types of exercises, such as: running, tennis, volleyball, swimming, Pilates and of course – Yoga! 

At first, Yoga to me was just like the other exercises, but after injuring my knee during an 8-kilometre marathon, I decided to concentrate solely on Yoga.  The fluid and gentle movements can help strengthen muscles and allow the knee to heal naturally, which is definitely a better alternative to surgery.  I did Bikram Yoga at its branch in Virginia, five times a week. And, in less than six months, the pain in my knee subsided.  I was so grateful to Yoga that I wanted to share this knowledge with others. Before going back to Jakarta, I decided to join the Yoga training course at Bikram’s Headquarters’ in Los Angeles. 

In July 2004, I moved into an apartment in L.A. (which was on the Bikram’s recommended housing list), leaving my wife, family and friends behind.  Joining the Yoga instructor course was a big step for me. Even though I knew all the 26 Bikram Yoga routine positions, I was anxious and uncertain if I could complete such an intensive training (11 classes in just one week for nine weeks!).  However, the steep tuition fee of US$5500 was a great motivation for me to complete the rigorous course.

In the first week of practice, all the students put on their best show.  Legs reaching for the ceiling; body bending like pretzel; everybody tried to impress the instructors and each other.  Nobody seems to mind the unbearable summer heat.  By the third week, our bodies started to wear down.  Some injured, some break down in tears, some quits and as for myself, with my body and limbs all aching, I’m beginning to doubt myself.  Am I good enough in this class of 200 students?  I told myself if I can pass the fifth week I will succeed!……

During these demanding times, I depended on my friends and family for support.  My crazy (who wouldn’t be when kept in a room that was about 100º F everyday) roommates and I help to motivate each other. My “van-mates” (friends that I ride to practice with) and I would practice dialogue on the way to classes.  However, my wife was the main reason for my determination.

Seven weeks had passed and I was relieved that the course was nearly over.  Then, something unexpected happened.  First came the news of the birth of my nephew and 3 days later the death of my uncle.  My emotion was like a roller coaster. Feeling blissful at first for getting a new addition to the family and sorrow for losing another. Even tough I did not know my uncle well, I was overcome by grief.  I cried all night and the next morning practice did not seem to matter anymore.  I was at my lows and it took me three days before I could get my act together.

In the final week, every one was practicing hard.  We had improved tremendously, both mentally and physically, than when we first joined. (I even lost about 8 kg).  The nine weeks of grueling exercise had molded us to become a better person and a better Yoga teacher.  We had learned through sweat and pain to overcome the worst in us. After graduation, in August 2004, I started teaching at Bikram Yoga studio in Virginia for a month and another month later in San Francisco.

by Ignatius Dwiardy (Ardi), editor: Samira
a Certified Bikram Yoga Instructor who is currently teaching at a couple of yoga studios in South Jakarta

 

Keyword: Health, Jakartadoyoga, Yoga, Yoga Studio, Jakarta, Indonesia