GRADUATION

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Graduation

Bikram busted out one of his many pimp suits for graduation and joked about looking like Al Pacino from Scarface or Marlon Brando from Godfather.  What an incredible guru, the Mafia Yogi.  Graduation was a wonderful ceremony and there was a tremendous demonstration by 25 members of our class to show the yoga postures to the families and friends who came.  It was quite lovely.  Guess who was filming?  That's right, Adam C, cameraman extraordinaire.  At first I was a bit upset that I would have to film, but I got to sit next to my good friend Emily in the back and we laughed and I created a very unique film for the archives.  

After graduation most people lounged around and said final goodbyes, but many just said, "see you at the party tonight."  A group of us took off to a cool restaurant in Glendale that used to be an old firehouse.  They converted the truck bay into a cool bar and the rest was for dining.  It was really nice.  

But around midnight, we realized that we were having too much fun and forgot about the party.  So we rallied our train of 5 cars and dashed through the streets of LA in our party quest.  15 minutes later we parked on a great hill with a tremendous view of downtown and climbed up the steps to a three story stucco castle built into the side of the hill.  A winding staircase that wound thru the marvelous dirt garden (it would have been marvelous if there were some plants) led us up to the extravagant fiesta.  

There was a projector illuminating the main outside wall with billboard-sized photos from training.  It was awesome.  The outside patio was setup as the bar and yogis were gettin' drunk.  Thats right, drunk yogis.  Nothing better than that.  Booze flowed all night and the night was still young.  Inside the house was packed.  A DJ overlooked the dancefloor 20 feet below.  The theme of the evening was red lights as everything seemed to be illuminated from behind with red lights.  The dancefloor was packed.  Even some of our teachers were there getting their groove on.  Work hard, play hard.  There was probably 200 yogis there or more, it was wonderful.  I sang some freestyle raps in honor of the occasion and everyone cheered.  

pictures coming soon

First class

After a brief recuperation period (Sunday) Tom and I were scheduled to teach on Monday.  I was so thankful that I did not drink at the party, but I was still a bit tired from rolling home at 4am.  

There are 3 or 4 yoga studios within 20 minutes of our place in Glendale, which is very convenient.  La Canada (pronounced Canyada) is just 20 minutes northeast and in a very nice town of 100,000 people.  It was a great little studio and the owner, Rose, has two little kids and a great personality.  We took her class Sunday night and got our asses beat.  So Monday Tom and I showed up to do some damage.  Tom taught a great class at 4:30 and I took the class.  He was perfect, all of our training had truly paid off.  I taught the 8pm class, which Tom took, and I did very well also.  Amen.  We completed the circle and now are officially yoga instructors.  

Standing up on the podium in front of the class makes everything else disappear.  It was awesome.  While we still have much to learn as teachers, it feels as if we have taken the next step as teachers and broken open this new realm of learning.  I truly feel that you learn so much more when you teach the subject yourself.  

Vegas

Then we went to Las Vegas.  It was my first time.  We drove up (4 hour drive) on Wednesday morning, unpacked and began the tour.  Tom absolutely loves Vegas and has been there enough to give a great tour.  In four days we ate at a dozen fancy restaurants, visited the magnificent aquarium in our hotel, saw the Blue Man Group, Cirque Du Soleil, rode the Star Trek rides, walked the strip, hit every casino, and drank at almost every cool bar.  WOW.

(this is the view from the bar in our hotel at Mandalay Bay)

We stayed at THE Hotel at Mandalay Bay, right next to the Luxor (pyramid).  Down the line you can see Excalibur, then is the Bellagio and Ceasars Palace.  New York, New York, and Paris across the street next to the MGM Grand.  Just a crazy place.  

One of the greatest things in Las Vegas is the water fountains in front of the Bellagio that are choreographed to music, my favorite was "Luck be a Lady, Tonight" by Sinatra.  

(the fountains can dance upto 80 feet!)

Here is the view from the opposite side of the lake with Paris in the background.  Hundreds of people would line the perimeter of the lake to watch the show that happened 4 times an hour, all day.