Soooo much to write about, I don't know where to start. So here you go, this is going to be a potpourri. Hopefully I don't jump too much from one thing to the next.
I arrived at the yoga championships on Sunday. This is my first visit so I had no expectations. Well, let me retract, I thought it would be nice to have a picture taken with Bikram or Emmy and maybe meeting Courtney Mace or Juliana (yes, yes, notice thedancingJ is in the same category here ;) but that's about it, no great expectations. As I was waiting in the "reception" area where the stands were located (where they were selling: yoga clothes [some super cheesy btw], eco-friendly yoga mats [surprised to see green mats here] and some other artifacts [I will talk about this later]) I noticed Bikram was standing next to me. What was my reaction? Hands on my mouth and speechless. I sent a text message to my studio owner “hey, I am here. Bikram was just standing next to me. He is not very tall, Oh my goodness, I almost fainted" hahaha like a teenager. I can assure you that I am closer to my 40s. The studio owner replied "hahaha you are too funny. Should have come last night. He was dancing with Victoria [one of my friends]". Whaaaat? Ok, so later on I found out that Bikram organizes this event every year around his birthday to celebrate with his love ones. Now I know when to drive up next year!!
OK, fast forwarding. I sat 2 rows behind Boss thinking I need to talk to him. "I bet he is going to be inaccessible once the competition starts", I thought. This was not the case. I took the opportunity during one of the intermissions to approach him "Bikram can I take a picture with you before I faint?" I asked. He laughed very loud, grab my chin and planted the biggest kiss on my cheeks, I got sooooo red, you can't imagine. Then he said "happy valentine's day darling". hahaha this was hilarious.
During another intermission, I thought, "hey it would be cool to meet Juliana but I have no clue how she looks like except when she does her amazing standing bow pose [her profile picture in her blog]. Maybe she is stretching / practicing somewhere" . Hey, there were a lot of Bikram geeks around. hahaha. Then I had a brilliant idea - I went to talk to Dianne Ducharme. BTW, she was the sweetest person in the room. She gave me a big hug and then asked me "how can I help you?". "Well, I want to meet a fellow blogger Juliana". I said. She laughed and replied "ohhhhh, yes.. yes, you need to meet her, you are going to love her, she is a good writer too". So we went all over the place and finally found her outside, playing with the yoga artifacts, hahaha. Some hippie guy (vendor) brought some weird yoga ropes. Ok, if you are the hippie dude reading this, my apologies. I just found it kind of weird, considering that Bikram refers to some other forms of yoga that allows for straps and blocks and stuff like that as yoga furniture. Anyway, there she was, the dancingj :) hahaha I didn't know she was volunteering for the event. That was awesome!! I am glad we met.
Meeting Emmy Clives
"Can I take a picture with you?" I asked. "Of course, you are shorter than me, I like it" she replied. ok
Meeting Craig Villani
My studio owner is friends with Craig so we had the chance to chat a little bit. He is coming to my studio for a master class soon. I told him that my best friend practices with Ben in BY Union Square and that she is going to his retrieve in the South of France. "You should come too" he replied. I wish. I wish. Took lots of pictures.
I could go on and on about all my encounters but I am stopping here!! I am just going to say that I felt I was having encounters in the third dimension, like I was in a different planet. LOL Everyone was very approachable and nice!!
I can't explain how amazing it was. I was deeply moved by some of the junior contestants and all I could think was "I need to go back to class right now" and "I need to lose 4 pounds around my belly and thighs" and 5 minutes later "no, I really need to lose 6 pounds around my belly and thighs" and "I want to try this fish posture. I think I could do it" and "what the heck is that? Where is his head? I couldn't do this in a million years".
Then we listened to Raj Bhavsar, an alternate on the U.S. Olympics Gymnastics team who didn't get to compete in Beijing and who curb his anger with lots of Bikram Yoga practicing. He gave us some incredible demos too (both during the championship and afterward as well - Bikram was showing him how to do some “special” push ups after almost everyone left - around 7:30ish I think. Looked like he was break dancing to me ).
Read Raj story over here http://ultrabrown.com/posts/bhavsars-heartbreak.
The awards ceremony was great. Bikram was hilarious. Love his sincerity and straightforwardness. At some point, I heard him singing, pretty funny. Someone told me he has a CD out there, really? Ok, Juliana, you need to hook me up :)
Still speechless about this whole thing!! I am glad that Brandy won. I was sitting with a group of teachers who graduated in 2006 so everyone was very excited.
Overall, this was an amazing day. Best Valentine's ever.
Uploading pics soon!!