Journal entry from day 18. Original date: 1.18.10.

Wonderful guest teacher tonight- Diane Ducharme. She is a very well known senior teacher and the director of Yoga For You in West Roxbury, MA. She is very closely connected to Bikram himself, and is one of the few people authorized by him to run posture clinics and seminars.

Class was packed!!! My mat was squished way up in the front corner by the crack in the mirror. I made the decision early on not to let this bother me. For me, that’s pretty huge. I’m so glad I did though; I went on to have a great class. The focus that has eluded me for the past week or so was suddenly back. (I got my hands off the floor and into prayer (Namaskar) for a few seconds while in Toe Stand (Padangustasana) tonight. I have never done that before, and I have a sneaking suspicion it actually has more to do with my focus than with my ability level at this point.)

Other than just Diane’s presence, the truly great thing about tonight’s class was getting the opportunity to hear a different teacher say the dialogue. (Non-yogis reading, Bikram teachers lead classes verbally, and there is a very specific teaching dialogue that is recited almost verbatim.) This is the second time in as many weeks that my studio has hosted a guest teacher. Last week was Teri Almquist, the director of Bikram Yoga Merrimack Valley in North Andover, MA. Both times it’s been such a great experience. Different teachers bring different elements to the dialogue, and any slight variation in their delivery can allow you to pick up on something for the fist time.

For example, part of the dialogue for Bow Pose (Dhanurasana) is: “Take a deep breath, look up and the ceiling, and slowly, gently, kick both legs up.” So let’s go over my checklist for this posture, shall we?

1. Deep breath. CHECK!
2. Look up at the ceiling. CHECK!
3. Slowly.
4. Gently.
5. Kick both legs up. CHECK!

Oops- I forgot my slowly and my gently! I should really pick up some travel sizes of slowly and gently and keep them in my yoga bag so I always have them with me. HAHAHA! I kid, I kid! But the point is, despite having heard Jenn, Charlie, Audrey and Jeff say this over and over, I have never done it. Tonight Diane really emphasized those two words and threw in a little blurb about how not to kick harder until the dialogue calls for it further into the posture. Otherwise, your body will exhaust itself too quickly. So I tried it in the second set. Wow- WHOLE NEW WORLD IN THIS POSTURE!

It amazes me how my mind has skipped over those two words for all the months that I’ve been practicing. That’s why I think it’s so good to mix it up every so often with different teachers. Not that I would ever trade any of the regular crew at Bikram Yoga Northampton though. They're the best! :)


  1. Oooh... that is a GOOD one. Hadn't thought about it that way yet. Thanks! I love the "slowly, gently"s.

  2. OMG.

    I was in that class, too! I was in the front row too, toward the right; the girl in the orange top who couldn't stay upright. I've known Audrey for a couple of years, from our Utah days.

    I *love* your reflections from this class, as I don't remember anything Diane said, except, "The only thing you have to do is breathe. Everything else is optional." I'm so glad you wrote this (then linked to it from the 2/24 post)!

  3. Catherine- wow, small world! so, you don't practice regularly in Northampton, right? at that class i do recall some people up in the front to the right of the podium that i didn't recognize from our studio... so in a way, i do remember you! i'm sorry we didn't get to meet in person then, but glad we are at least meeting now in the blogosphere!

  4. i live down in the hudson valley, so nope, i don't practice there regularly. :( i know that at least a few extra people were there after going to rajashree's seminar at kripalu. audrey and my friend judy was there, her friend kelly (a guy) was there just to the right of the podium, then me, and just behind me was stephanie from bikram yoga summerlin (las vegas). super small world. :) great news on the e-newsletter - congratulations! you're a great writer.

  5. aw, thank you! i'm super excited about it! next time you're traveling through the area hopefully we can take a class together and meet in person! :)