Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Dialogue Dilemma

I set a goal for myself that I want to accomplish before I board the plane to San Diego next month. I want to know the dialogue fully and completely. The reason for this is twofold:
  1. Every single person who has gone to training before me has recommended doing so.
  2. I want to sleep! Sleep deprivation is guaranteed at TT, but is worse if you need to stay up studying dialogue for the next day’s posture clinic.
I’ve made pretty good progress towards my goal. This morning while I was getting ready for work I was able to learn Rabbit Pose. That means I have only two more to go! BUT, with the exception of the first six poses (up to Standing Bow), I’m not able to recite any of them effortlessly. I have to think very carefully about each line, which means instead of 10-second postures, most of mine are about three minutes!

Up to now, I haven’t had much opportunity to practice in front of live bodies. Last week two teachers at my studio made me say Half Moon Pose in front of my studio owner while they did the posture. I was super nervous, but did it without making any mistakes. It was just longer than 60 seconds. Now every time I go into the studio, they make me say another posture. Nerve racking, but good experience for me.

Getting my head around the dialogue has been incredibly challenging. You see, I’m an editor, so it’s very hard for me to not correct the grammar. It’s actually affected my professional life. I’m more likely to overlook shoddy grammar these days at work and many of the emails I write are short and directive – just like Bikram’s dialogue.

Probably the most challenging aspect of learning the dialogue is the inconsistencies in language. For example, in the standing series, all of the postures start and end just a little bit different. Same deal with the floor series. My solution to this dilemma is just to focus on the “meat” of the posture and not worry too much about beginnings and endings. I figure I’ll have time at TT for that.

There are also slight variances in the use of certain words – for example, “the” versus “your.” There doesn’t seem to be much rhyme or reason to it and as much as I try, I can’t get it right. Ultimately these nuances may not make too much of a difference when I’m actually a teacher, but I’ve been told they are important in posture clinics.

For those of you who are learning the dialogue, take solace in the fact that the floor series postures are much, much easier than the standing series. I have learned these very quickly – all within the last week.

I’m really looking forward to actually using the dialogue in posture clinics and eventually, in the future, when I’m a teacher, in my classes. As much as I find it challenging to learn, I enjoy saying it and see its value.