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Patricia D. Pittman, M.D., MBA

…43 Classes Later!

Welcome to Week 4, we have successfully finished 43 classes!

This past week was a fun one and one that flew by. Bikram has been away for the last two weeks so the vibe here has been a bit more chill and relaxed. The staff is more calm and collected and everyone is getting a decent amount of sleep.

We were also really lucky to have Emmy Cleaves in the house while Bikram was away. If you do not know Emmy Cleaves, she is worth a Google, because she is truly an inspiration. At 86+ish she teaches Beginning and Master’s series at Headquarters and at Training. Don’t be fooled, she is tougher than any other 86+ish woman I know! She is wise in her understanding of the body and how to use proper alignment to better support ourselves in postures to help deepen and further our practice.

She held two posture clinics with us…the first one she made EVERYONE do Triangle because she believes THIS is the MOST important posture in the series for alignment. It was a good learning experience as a teacher too because it became very obvious when someone needed to have a longer/shorter stance, when they needed to sit down more, or rotate the hip. The second posture clinic was for anyone who wanted help with a specific posture…this was fun for about an hour…and then it turned into a sort of show-and-tell or “look what I can do.” I get it, some people need that sort of accolade and acknowledgement to make them feel better about themselves.

Having Emmy was a true treat and not something every Training gets, I know I will be a wiser teacher because of her.

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Anatomy, or so it’s called….

At BYTT there is also a required Anatomy course and two tests you have to pass….no kidding I could see and feel the stress levels of my fellow yogis start to elevate around me. We spent two weeks with this man who called himself a ‘doctor’ and claimed to work at UCLA, despite the fact that there was no information on him anywhere to be found.

I am not one to criticize my fellow physicians, but when you aren’t 100% transparent with your credentials, I start to think you’re full of shit. More interestingly is when I would try and talk to this ‘doctor’ he couldn’t even look me in the eyes….a true tale-tell sign.

By day two I was fuming…

My biggest qualms were not that he didn’t know the correct valves of the heart, the main hormone in the female body, or the fact that he incessantly argued with me that the aorta originates from the Left Atrium….but the fact that when I corrected him, his first response was “Well, don’t worry, that’s not on the exam!” I don’t fucking care if it’s on the exam you moron, you CANNOT.BE.GIVING.PEOPLE.WRONG.INFORMATION!

You see, this guy does not even practice the yoga series and has no invested interest in it….in fact, while he was here he was spotted smoking on the beach with a drink in his hand. Class.Act.

All in all, the 2 weeks were a wash in my opinion.

Yoga is a healing practice and our teachers DESERVE to have been taught the importance of the postures and how they effect the human body. More so, the group should have been made more aware of the most common reasons why students come to the studio and how to address them. Instead this clown was teaching us about Scurvy and Spina Bifida…both are important, but have nothing to do with yoga.

RANT.OVER.

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The day-ins & day-outs are pretty much the same & by Thursday it feels groundhogs day….I never know what day it is or what the date is…I just show up where I am told to go. I will say that what keeps me going through the long days are all my new friends here at Training…we really are a family here, and everyone wants to help support one another. It’s beautiful and it’s comforting when I feel so far away from home.

One of my new favorite things is the PM lectures….at sign-in the Staff will put on some great music and the whole room turns into a huge dance party! It’s awesome and you can’t help but feel good!

We have also started posture clinics…every trainee has to deliver every posture in front of their “lead” and posture clinic group. There are about 40 people per room and while that doesn’t seem like too many, it’s still surprising how nervous you get. Luckily I learned most of my postures before I got to Phuket, but some other students are having late nights and struggling with the dialogue which is totally understandable considering the amount of dialogue we have to memorize!

I am having fun with the posture clinics and most of the feedback is constructive. I am pretty motivated to get through my dialogue and deliver it well considering I teach the day I get back! Boop!

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Weekend Fun…..

It’s Sunday here now…my favorite day of the week! It’s the only day of the week we don’t “have to be somewhere”…I like to have my coffee on the balcony and enjoy the peacefulness of the morning.

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Yesterday, we had one morning class at 830AM and then my roommate and I headed out to get off the compound for some real fun! We went on an excursion with 5 other friends to go rafting and then to visit elephants. The rafting was beautiful and peaceful….and we spent a good majority of our time playing around taking photos!

The River Raft Crew!
The River Raft Crew!

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SHTK on A Raft, In the Water, Sailing Down the River!
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Camel Cruisin’!

The elephants were bitter-sweet. I love elephants–despite there size there is something gentle about them. They have kind & innocent eyes. I am not sure the THIS was the elephant excursion I would have preferred, had I known. Like many commercialized animal exhibits I believe the animals could have been treated better…I am not a huge fan of ever seeing animals chained up, not even a dog, much less an elephant.

With that being said, I am an outsider and have no place to judge how the people here live. The people that ran the excursion lived on site in run-down shacks smaller than a one-car-garage. So, I get it. These people are doing what they can to feed their family and make ends meet.

So, I did what I could….I rubbed their trunks and gave them a hug and thanked them for the ride. My roommate Tara also got some bananas so we were able to feed them. You always hope it’s not as bad as you think and send some positivity to the Universe that she looks out for all Her critters and creatures.

Elephant Hugs!
Elephant Hugs!

If you are interested Emmy Cleaves and her husband are huge fans of protecting elephants…support them on Facebook at Emmy’s Elephants!

After this day of adventure we came back to the hotel and went straight to the beach for our coconut-mango shakes by the ocean. Refreshing and light. After that we hit up the Thai foot massages also on the beach….sometimes I have to pinch myself because it doesn’t all seem real. In the afternoon the massage joints are quiet so its extra peaceful. Since we went in the evening, when we were through with the massages it was sunset time, so my rommie ran in the water and I sat on the beach and counted my blessings. A gorgeous way to end the day!

Blessings....

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Speaking of my roomie…..thanks Tara Duffy for being the best roommate on the compound! You have  a heart of gold and always make me laugh!

Roomie Bows!
Roomie Bows!

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Until next week….Bikram’s Back!

Much Love & Namaste!

~P~

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