Archive for January, 2008

Early morning

January 31, 2008

I have a mental amount of stuff to do this evening to get ready for the weekend lecture and meeting, tomorrow nights its Counted practice, so I had gone to bed with lists wirling around my head. I woke at 5.30am, was wide awake and thought fitting in practice tonight will be hard, so I made the monumental decision at 5.45am to crawl out form under the warm duvet and get on my mat. I have never been on a yoga mat at this hour of the day. Also it being the 31st of WoYo I was determined to finish what I had started 30 days before.

Practice was an interesting experience, my body thought I was joking, my head was nowhere near my knees even after the 10 Surya’s. My arms were stretched instead of bent in Padung and Padahastasana, though the lateral postures were not too bad, though I was stretching for my toe in Trikonasana. I thought it was going ok until I came to Utita Padangusthasana, I now know I can’t balance in the dark!

Seated up to Upavistha Konasana, though the forward bends had not been deep. Janusirsasana A & B were ok, but my knees considered it still way to early at 6.30 when I got to the Marichyasana sequence, I only managed A & C. I fell out of Bhujapidasana and could not straighten my legs at all in Kurmasana.

Closing, first Urdva Dhanurasana I only managed to stay up for a couple of breaths, second one I stayed for 10, knowing that it was unlikely I would manage to get off the ground for a third time. Quite surprised to do backbend at all. But at least I have done practice for today, it wont be niggling at the back of my mind trying to fit it in. I will be able to concentrate on the other stuff and if I find a few minutes later this evening, then all well and good.

Practice this early, being this stiff after 8 hours sleep is a whole different ball game all together. I now admire even more those yogi’s who are on their mats in a Shala at 6am, though that said if I had a Shala near me I would most likely be there.It must be easier to motivate yourself to practice, as opposed to my warm bed only 2ft away from my mat at home. If I were to continue getting up early and doing this practice I wonder if it would become easier, or will I always be this stiff, or does the body adapt and find early morning suppleness?

That wasnt all, I then did my handstand practice while waiting for the toast! I think I am starting to feel where it should be happening internally as I jump with both feet and knees together, I can manage about 8 attempts before my arms have had it, especially after all those vinyasas. Tiff tells me it will happen one day if I just keep at it, heres hoping.

Random vinyasa

January 30, 2008

A bit lacking in energy, practice didn’t really get going. I ended up doing standing, then a few easy seated poses.Though I did make my now daily attempt at Titibasana from Buja and handstands. 

Some days though it just isnt there. My mind is working all the time, practising the talk I am giving at the weekend, this is taking away from practice as things spring to mind that I need to change or want to add. I am not nervous, I am looking forward to doing it, but I’ll be glad when its done.

Poses for the present

January 29, 2008

As I did my practice last night, “my child escaped the chair” at regular intervals, but there are some poses that are impossible to do when your mind, or at least mine is not completely on the job. Handstands and Urdva Dhanurasana are two poses along with Triang Mukha for some reason when my mind shuts up totally  and I try to engage the bandhas, the ujayi and do the posture, if my mind is only a little off then it doesnt happen.

Practice was not bad, my knees don’t hurt this morning, which is good, probably due to appreciating that Mari B on side 2 wasnt going to happen last night, I just did a modified twist. Urdva Dhanurasana happened in a good way, 3 that were strong and grounded.

Keeping the child on the chair is obviously the way to go, I just need an empty room with white walls, no visual distractions,no books(except yoga books), no phone, no palm, no pc, trouble is my house doesnt have any rooms like that!

Perfect yoga time

January 27, 2008

After yesterdays energyless practice, today was totally different. Late morning practice, 3 hours after Muesli breakfast, body warmed up and ready to stretch. 11am is definitely my body’s optimum time to be on the yoga mat. Full Primary today, good energy and focus, the whole thing in 90 minutes when it can take me anything up to 2 hours some days. The morning sun streaming through the window soon helped heat my muscles up. A practice like this one at home is rare, up to Marichyasana C was good, no knee niggles for a change, though am still being ultra careful now my knees are not as painful, though as I sit typing they are stiffening up I notice. The most difficult to do posture at home is Supta Konasana, mainly due to lack of space for the up and over. Closing backbends were balanced and centred through feet and hands, why I can do this some days and on others can barely get my shoulders off the ground is a mystery. The only blot on practice was the crap Sirsasana.

Late morning is when it seems to come together on the mat, all the necessary elements seem to turn up together.

Finite yoga

January 26, 2008

My get up and go has got up and gone. I have done some practice every day this year so far, with the intention of completing WoYoPracMo, but my energy level today was on the red. Ashtanga is hard, there’s no getting away from it, last nights practice was great, but when I got on my mat at home tonight there didnt seem any way to generate heat and energy. My mind loves practice, but my 43 year old body seems to have a finite limit as to just how many days it can go without a break. I settled for doing standing and then seated up to Marichyasana A, then some closing. My feet were slippery despite not being sweaty, due to this mornings pedi, my feet havn’t been this shiny and smooth since I was born, this meant my feet almost flew out from under me as I pushed up into Urdva Dhanurasna. I need grooved soles!

I spent the afternoon at my pc trying to make a CD sleeve for when the guy delivers the final version of the chanting workshop CD next week. I don’t have MS Publisher, so was trying to do it in MS Word, this meant printing a copy, then comparing it to a CD sleeve, then reducing the sections to try and make it fit. Good job I have plenty of paper.

Hopefully tomorrow energy, heat and focus will return

Happy Feet

January 26, 2008

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Can you spot the difference? I can certainly feel the difference after the experiencing the Pedicure. Just in case you cant see it, the top ones are last weeks and below are todays, after pictures. Quite a relaxing experience I was very surprised to discover, that is after the toes nail filing, which was a tad uncomfortable, they go in from underneath, she caught me by surprise with that one! My feet and toes are now squeaky clean, my feet now feel like my teeth do after a dentist has cleaned them properly. My heels feel unbelievably smooth, just got to try and keep them like it now! Yoga will be later, I dont want to scuff my shiny feet too soon!

Why cant practice always be this nice?

January 26, 2008

Train to sanity was sorely needed, a bit of a crap day, I needed my head to get into practice and leave all the rubbish behind. Good to see 9 people at practice, we are getting quite a little group going, we have a few new ones this year which is nice to see. Once they get the Counted Practice bug, they are hooked, much as I was. Easter is brilliant at taking us through this practice, just calling the postures, counting the vinyasas and adjusting, there is no actual teaching. We just flow from one asana to the next and this allows the mind to be absorbed in the practice.

My practice was a good one and I got some nice adjustments, someone more paranoid than me would say she was picking on me, as this is the second Friday running I got adjusted in Trikonasana, I know she is helping my torso head skyward and moving my hips into place, but once she has me where she wants me, she cant let go as I would topple over. Easter has an eye for letting you do your postures, but knowing when you are ready for phase 2, her adjustments are firm but gentle with it. She also took me deeper into Prasarita Padottanasana C, tightening my hands and tipping me deeper towards the floor. I have complete trust in what she is doing as I try to cultivate Viveka and not “help” but just go with it.

Seated were better, I think there was a millimetre of movement in Janusirsasana C, also managed Mari A-C. Bujapidasana into Titibhasana is coming back, I lifted myself and almost got my legs straight, but cannot fathom getting them back behind my knees for the vinyasa, probably something to do with already having flopped onto my backside!

The environment definitley helps my practice, knowing there will be no interuptions, concentrating because you know someone is watching, but not judging, the heat and energy of doing practice with likeminded people all help towards a practice which seems a hell of a lot better than the one I fight my way through each day at home during the rest of the week. The postures are nearly all deeper and to some extent easier. Urdva Dhanurasana is never easy, but I did it. Tonight my fingers didnt get to meet up behind me this week in Supta K. Easter always picks up on the energy in the room, she must have a 6th sense, when the energy is good like tonight we spend longer in some of the closing poses, notably Salamba Sarvangasana, Halasana and Sirsasana. The first 2 I could stay in for yonks, especially Halasana, that is my favourite pose, it takes zero effort to do. Sirsasana is another matter, it needs more practice, well lots of my asanas need practice.

I just wish I lived nearer, getting my yoga fix only once a week is not enough, practice at home, where I have to supply the concentration and energy is nothing like as good. I can see the benefit others who live in the Shala’s neighbourhood get from regular access to practice with good teachers in a great yoga environment. I better buy a lottery ticket for tomorrows triple rollover jackpot, then maybe I will get my wish.

Inside the last hour

January 25, 2008

Inside the final hour of slavery. Can’t wait to go and do practice, just hope and pray the train turns up on time. I hate rushing to the Shala. There is a Friday ritual now, catch train, get to South London, do shopping, have a cuppa, then go to the Shala to get warmed up before Easter begins the counted count at 6.30pm

T – Day 18 hours until my tooties succumb to this new experience, the before pics are taken, in 19 hours time I will be able to take the after pics. At least the counted practice is normally quite fast, no time for mid asana foot/toe picking, unlike at home!

Was it my imagination?

January 24, 2008

Practise tonight produced a strange sensation in my knees, but for a change not a painful one. I had gone through to Mari A in relative comfort, Mari B took a while, but when I did the following Vinyasa, as I pushed into Downward Dog I had the strange feeling that something in the back of my knee was getting stronger, a tendon, a muscle, there just seemed to be more stability as I straightened my knee, something I can’t always do after lotus postures, the whole of my knee felt different, maybe it was my imagination or wishful thinking, but when I’m done blogging I am going to get out my notes from the anatomy workshop and try and see what gave. Anyone have any ideas??

Rest of practice was not too bad, good backbend with straight arms, but Sirsasana was a bit wobbly. All good training for tomorrows Counted Practice, yay the highlight of the week. I suppose some people would find it sad that doing a yoga practice is the highlight of someones week.

T Day -2, that’s “Tootie day” when my poor toes are going to meet the Pedicure person, therapist, torturer. I have resisted the urge to pick my feet and bite my toes so that she stands a chance, I hope she is up for a challenge! 

Toast Vrksasana

January 23, 2008

Back to usual after the yesterdays Moon day. Started this morning for a change by doing handstands against the kitchen door while waiting for the toaster to cremate the bread and send it into orbit, I learned I have no bandhas at that time of day!

Practice this evening up to Supta Padangusthasana. Despite doing some yoga yesterday, I was still a bit stiff and struggled to open up today. Could feel my forward bends in particular were nowhere near as deep as they can be and my knees were not so happy, don’t panic I tried to keep to my yogic new years resolutions and not annoy them. Its not always directly after practice I feel them, if I have annoyed them I will find out when I get up in the morning.

There must be some kind of set of postures you can do on Moon days etc, while not being the full series would at least stop the regression into stiffness that seems to occur, especially in places like my knees and middle back that take so much effort to find openings in.

I spent lunchtime surfing for a retreat over the Easter weekend, but couldn’t find one that wasn’t a whole week, we are banned from taking the weeks either side of Easter as its the company’s mega busy period, so I was hoping to find a Good Friday through Easter Monday type of retreat.


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