I have only taken a few pictures so far, but you can check them at this site: http://therizabella.multiply.com/photos/album/4
The first 2 days, I was quite homesick, but after talking to the staff teacher Kyoko, it felt good to get it out. Now, even with laundry-both washing (machines on every floor but a bit $) AND drying, food prep/management, living with a stranger, and what-have-you, or maybe moreso because of them, I'm getting better at keeping home away from my mind. It comes every now and then of course, but at this point, I think I can handle it.
Attire in Hawaii, as an FYI, is pretty casual. Long-sleeved polos are pretty rare, if seen at all; jeans are ok (Craig wears 'em), but Bikram says he hates them besides anything green 'coz they remind him of filthy American hippies. Outside, I still see people wearing jeans, and short-sleeved polos (more or Hawaiiana floral shirts); shorts and shirts are cool, too. And Crocs are like the biggest thing here, ohmyGOD everyone's wearing them, I kid you not.
Roomie and I were off to a bit of a cold-war start. We keep to our own respective space, even while in a bed together (king-sized; pillow-wall in between), and we're both neat and conscientious (I think), but there's that feeling of awkwardness and trying-not-to-step-on-each-other's-toes, you know? But lately, things have been looking up. And I hope that trend continues--in posture clinic and with my roomie, especially.
There's also been a sale here of Bikram merchandise, care of Barbara. She's nice, and we've become a bit close, wahaha. I call her Miss Barbara (Filipino sense of propriety?), and that endeared me to her.
Let's see: We had our first 1 yoga class with Bikram on April 16 in the evening. Most of us, myself included, dropped like flies. I swear. I soon realized I have to have a little sugar/fiber/healthy carb in my system before I go to class, preferably about half a banana an hour before. The next day April 17, class with Bikram again in the afternoon (morning class with Rajashree canceled because of a maintenance issue). April 18-25 we have been having doubles. The first morning with Rajashree, I ignored a twinge in my left ankle when I did toe stand. That night, in Bikram's class, it manifested itself starting with awkward pose, then garurasana, dandayamana janushirasana, and dandayamana dhanurasana. The next day, my other ankle started hurting as well. Tiger Balm has become my best friend, plus the clove smell does make me happy, too. Asked Luke about it, and he said just to do the postures as correctly and as much as I can, and what do you know, he's right, I'm getting better, slowly.
We've had Antonia, Craig, Bikram, Rajashree, Luke and Emmy as teachers so far. Antonia I didn't get much energy from, plus it seemed she was just throwing her voice out. Craig teaches a truly tough class. Bikram is a one-man show: an awesome guy so far. Rajashree's mystic healing love personified. Luke is surfer-cool, and then without us knowing it, is already pushing us to our limits. And Emmy is...Emmy is classy, elegant, gentle, but firm, the proverbial iron will within a silk glove. She's so cool.
As for posture clinic, it helped to see others going with similar issues I've been having. I finally plucked up the courage and delivered mine last Friday. Ever since I introduced myself, Bikram has commended me on my English and for posture clinic, he said it again. "You sure you not born here?" or something like that. I've made some friends, as well. It's the 2nd week, so that may change, but I am grateful to some who were open enough to practice the dialog with me. Plus seeing people recite it and reciting it with them from the back, eventually doing so from memory, as Craig told us to do (aside from doing it with bodies in sight and mind), as well as the if-they-can-do-it-so-can-I mentality helped a lot. I think I did pretty well. But thank God that's done; now to practice Pada-Hastasana and Backward Bend. With Ardha Chandrasana over and done with yesterday, postcards done, and this post underway, then laundry, dishes, food and sleep management and dealing with all kinds of people daily issues, I think I can finally move on to daily Anatomy review and Dialog momorization. Gotta do it soon! Book signing for Bikram's new book tonight, which means earlier night for us and more time to do stuff. I have every intent to use it. So signing off for now!