Archive for April, 2008

Need a rest

April 29, 2008

I did practice last night, but after the mysore practice the day before my energy tanks were pretty empty. I ended up doing vinyasas between poses rather than sides and could barely get off the ground for Urdva Dhanurasana and lacked any control in trying to walk backwards down the wall. I never feel practice is a waste of time, but there are days when it doesnt give me what I know it can.

My old teacher practised with us on Sunday, I had an e-mail from her yesterday saying its great that I am doing the mysore practice now, but to be aware of taking enough rest, I know she’s right. Today when I did my pre brekky handstands I still felt tired, tonight I will do my backbends when I get home and then rest, no more practice today, that point has been reached.

My new BackNobber arrived this morning at work, I have had a little go with it, but need to study the little booklet that came with it and put on a t-shirt with more resistance then the shirt I have for work, the implement slides off it too easily when I apply pressure. At least I have time to get the hang of it, if not I will take it with me on Sunday and get C. to show me the best way to use it.

Another one bit the dust at work handing in their notice, at this rate anyone who stays a month will get a long service award. They just dont get it, never have I worked in a place where you are as much of a number and completely expendable. It must be costing them a fortune in adverts, agencies, training and then they leave. Cant wait until I do, having survived 5 years I think I deserve to be retired off with a £50K pension.Some hope.

Stiff knees

April 28, 2008

I wondered if I would live to regret doing Mari A – C yesterday, well today my knees have been achingly stiff, but strangely not painful, which must be a good sign. Other parts of me are also stiff from practice and to be honest I feel a bit wacked out and generally knackered, I need to do some practice later if only to feel like I can stretch out. Last night as I typed my blog I was suddenly hit by horrible spasms of cramp in the back of both thighs, I finished last nights entry standing up, as soon as I bent to sit down it came back.

Today I followed C.s advice and decided rather than wait, to try and buy my “Backnobber” online, my crick can’t wait another week, I chanced upon another company in the UK doing it for 20% off in April, so if anyone else wants to try one of these, heres where to go. If C. rates it I reckon it must be worth a go, mind you I’m getting that desperate with this neck crick that if someone said find a field full of cows and rub cow crap into it I probably would believe them. I suppose I could always try it on my knees first :-)

The best 2 hours

April 27, 2008

If the rest of life could be as good as those 2 precious hours doing practice on a sunday afternoon with C. then everything would seem a lot better with my world. As usual getting there was a trial in itself, what with delayed trains, which when they did arrive were already packed. Stopped off at the cafe to meet someone from the travel club for tea and a chat before wandering down to practice.

A nice surprise to see Easter there, not to teach, just to practice, she looks well. The shala was really warm today, I was dripping after the suryas. Adjusted in Utita hasta Padangusthasana. Not sure if that helps as having someone hold the foot means I dont seem to stretch the hamstring out as much so when it comes to the last part, holding the foot out, it drops like a stone.

Seated used to be a trial to be got through, now I enjoy them, feeling at last that I am getting somewhere. My forward bends seem much deeper and easier lately and again got adjusted in Triang Mukha, just about managing to grab my wrist, wey hay… The extra heat I seem to generate internally at the shala as opposed to at home meant I managed Mari A, B & C today and even found lotus for D, but no bind, my knee joints must get warmer and more maleable, hopefully I wont regret this tomorrow morning. Kurmasana I managed to get deeper on my own before being adjusted than I have ever managed, sweaty flexibility, my head then chin on the floor and my hamstrings weren’t even objecting, then the Supta K adjustment, I must be getting better at this, my hands found each other feet crossed and locked over my head, I wish I could get a picture of me doing this to have as my avator! Managed to lift with a degree of control and start to extend my legs, C. said “Best one yet”.

Urdva Dhanurasana was not bad, I knew I was being watched, it was time for wall walking. As usual it takes a couple of goes to get the confidence and lose the fear factor, doing it every day this last week since she introduced me to it has certainly helped, though I forget to breathe which then induces panic as I get towards the bottom of the wall, third attempt I got all the way down, but coming up now seems to be the problem, I twisted about a third of the way back up and lost it completely ending up crashing in a heap at the bottom of Easter’s mat, sorry to disturb you Easter.

But apart from that little hiccup it was a great practice, my mind is getting better at getting straight into the practice,connecting and leaving the outside world behind, though its taking noticeably longer to do my practice now thanks to these seemingly new postures, not that I mind in the least, but I suppose thats the point, I feel I have taken ownership and responsibility of my practice, its mine, mine.

Afterwards I mentioned this poxy crick I have in my neck, C. said its probably down to the handstand practice I do in the morning and all the vinyasas, the extra quantity of practice, both in time and asanas with the extra vinyasas I have been doing since changing to mysore style is getting into my shoulders and neck, she recommended getting a Backnobber, so tomorrow I will.

 

 

Domesticity

April 26, 2008

A day of shopping, mowing the front and back gardens before the grass takes over, strimming and later flap jack making. Practice too, it has to be done, not that its a chore like all the other stuff. I waited until the late afternoon sunshine was streaming through the back windows heating the room, not quite to shala temperature, but comfortably warm enough to feel safe to try and find those extra inches in Triang Mukha and to have 3 goes at backbending down the door, as I know C. will have me doing it again tomorrow afternoon. I have also been having extra goes at coming up into Ubhaya and Urdva Paschimottanasana, trying and failing to come up with straight legs, one day…

6 weeks until Turkey, I need the break, can’t wait to get away from work and this drudge of life, to break the pattern and do something physically and spiritually uplifting for a whole week in the sunshine. Apart from those precious hours of practice on a Sunday afternoon with C. life is just draining me right now, I just want this bloody crick in my neck to sod off, I cant even enjoy sleep now as my neck cannot find comfort.

More energy

April 25, 2008

A better practice last night, more space in the postures. I managed Utita Hasta Padangusthasana just about, which shows my hamstrings have undone themselves. The whole thing felt easier.

Seated were better, though I still don’t know where C. found that extra 3 inches last Sunday in Triang Mukha to let me grab my wrist, last night I could just about grab a tiny piece of hand beyond my foot. I havnt quite abandoned Mari’s B& D, but I don’t waste as much time trying to coerce my knees into playing that game, settling for Supta Trivikrmasana and for fun try and get my leg around my head, I cant, but its nearer than it was to happening.

Backbends are taking more and more time, no longer three hit and miss attempts at Urdva Dhanurasana, now its Locust, Dhanurasana, Ustrasana, Laghu Vajrasana, Walking down walls, standing drop back attempts and then Urdva Dhanurasana. Its fun and its good to try.

Before I started this mysore style with C., I had settled for that being where my practice was and would probably remain, maybe the odd little thing would happen, a little opening here or there. Not a bad thing being reasonably content with where practice is, but C. has shown me that practice could be so much more and it wasnt so far away as I had imagined it to be, its certainly taken on a new lease of life, its much more dynamic physically now, challenging. I just hope I dont make the mistake of striving too much and injuring something. C. is brilliant at taking an adjustment to a safe point, somehow knowing when another inch would be too far, but when I practice home alone unsupervised as it were, there is a tendency to try to go that extra inch.

 

Practised despite my neck

April 24, 2008

I practised last night despite this bloody neck crick which is driving me round the bend. Taking a day off practice seems to set me back 3 days. Standing were okish, well except the standing balances which have gone back to being unbalanced, mainly because hamstrings were not open enough, hopefully after practising for a couple more days I will have refound the extension and will be able to balance. Seated felt a bit restricted, I tried to replicate the wrist grab in Triang Mukha from Sunday, I could reach past my foot, but couldnt remember which hand was supposed to do the grabbing, no doubt C. will re-educate me on Sunday. Went through all my backbends, including the new walking down the wall asana C. gave me, after 5 goes I could reach the bottom, but cant seem to get my hands to the floor without resting on my head first, how she got me to do it on Sunday I cannot fathom, its definitley a confidence/fear thing.

I think my body appreciated the previos day off, although it wasnt a spectacular practice, it didnt feel like a struggle, hopefully today will be better. My neck this morning only took 20 minutes under the hot shower, sending my head around in circles listening to it click and crack and eventually not feel quite so uncomfortable. Still not sure who to call, if anyone.

The day off & who should I call?

April 23, 2008

Not a complete day off practice, as I did handstands in the morning and my new backbend practice when I got home from the slave labour camp. That said I couldn’t have really done a proper practice, my neck crick has really come back in a very painful way. I hardly slept last night as I couldnt actually find a position that was comfortable, every time I turned over a lifted my head my crick kicked in. I ended up rising early unrested and spent half an hour under a hot shower trying to coax some movement, my neck is saw internally from the crick and red raw externally where I have rubbed it.

I think the time is fast approaching to try and get a treatment of some kind. Having rubbed/massaged it myself and not seemed to have made much difference I am wondering if its time to try a Chiropracter or Osteopath rather than just massage.

Short and sweet

April 22, 2008

To make sure I got to try my “new” poses, I practised in reverse last night. When I got home I started with closing, lots of backbends and my new walking down the wall asana, which is much harder without C. encouraging me, I got stuck and bottled out after 3 attempts. After standing I went through to Mari A & C, I decided not to waste my time and annoy my knees on B & D, which gave me the time to have a couple of goes at Kurmasana and Supta K, finger touch yay..

I think last night was a practice too far, it wasnt flowing or easeful as I know it can be, I need a rest, which I plan to have today. The other reason for actually taking a break is that my neck crick has returned with a vengeance, spreading into my shoulder. I tried doing my handstands this morning, but could feel my body was lop sided. My plan is just to try my backbends tonight, then settle down in front of the TV and watch the match.

The yoga sweet shop

April 21, 2008

I want to practice tonight, even though I must be due a day off. But practising with C has been like finding another layer of sweets in the box. The asanas are taking a different shape, some are no longer anywhere near where I thought they were and would remain 6 weeks ago when I began with her. The only problem is that practice during the week has to be more carefully thought out due to the never ending problem of actually finding the time.

 Do I just plough through and do as much of the series as I can or am I more specific. For instance do I stop at Navasana tonight and then try the new backbending practice she gave me yesterday, or do I go to Supta K and try and squidge myself into the places she has taken me over the last 6 weeks and then try the backbending, and then not to forget the extra inches she found yesterday in Triang Mukha eka pada, now those inches have miraculously appeared I dont want them disappearing on me. Then I am also diligently doing my handstand practice every morning.

I have absolutley no objection to yoga taking up more of my time, the Mind map thing we did the other week only went to emphasise how much I need my practice and how important it is. But all these extra sweets are making my practices longer and longer.

C.s Incremental inspiration

April 20, 2008

I thought I wasnt going to get there thanks to the signal failures, cancelled and delayed trains and when I got into London they announced all services are suspended or cancelled. Oh well I was there so I went to practice, stuff getting back home that would have to wait. It seems the more effort I have to make to get there the better practice is.

I had more focus for this weeks mysore practice, a much slower steadier, less manic rythm. It amazes me how we all start together but our progression through the series is so different, but it does mean you get lots of adjustments, as we all get to “those” asanas at different times, apart from a nudge in the Trikonasanas, my first adjustment was in Prasarita Padot C, I am beginning to like being taken further, my shoulders no longer find it so excruciating. Help again this week in Utita Hasata Padangusthasana, being told when to inhale and exhale helped the pose as much as the physical help.

I could feel I was quite open today in Paschimottanasana, so when I went into Triang Mukha and felt the pressure on my back I went with it, but this week C. added another increment, I dont know how it happened but I managed to stretch beyond my outstretched foot and hold my wrist, never done that before. Lately my knees wont even get on the bus never mind come to the party, particularly the left one, I just about managed the Janusirsasanas, but had to modify Mari B & D. But at least my mind no longer measure my practice in terms of doing or mostly not doing the Marichyasanas. C. has given my mind new things to think about and reach for, somehow without making them a mental measurement of my practice, my mind is still in shock at doing them. Kurmasana and Supta Kurmasana also got taken further today, my legs went wider, my breath was more even, crossed my ankles, lifted and then she added taking my legs back, though after 3 goes couldn’t quite get this, but its another little addition to think about, which doesn’t rely on my knees and with practice seems possible. Deep adjustment in Baddha Konasana, her full weight taking me forward, I have lalways been able to get quite a way on my own with this one, but I thought I had reached my limit, not anymore, I have only been that far forward once before when DK adjusted me in Stockholm last year.

Urdva Dhanurasana felt ok, though I wasnt adjusted I could hear C.s instructions, “hands in a bit, elbows in“, As it had felt good I stood at the front of my mat and did a little drop back just to see how far I could go and was all set to head into the following Paschimottanasana, but I had been spotted and C. suggested I have a go at walking backwards down the wall, this is a different ball game, first attempt I kind of got to the floor, but my feet flew out from under me, second go I twisted somehow and lost it, there is a panic point where you get stuck, but she got me to go again and on number 4 I got down and came back up with her talking me through it. Another increment to my practice, another which feels possible and one I am determined to crack. I know why my home practice takes so long now, its all these things I never thought were possible for a 40 year old yogi with knackered knees, she has reignited my practice, shown there is a future and not just a past, my practice has places to go.

I can feel each week she is adding to my practice and its wonderful, mysore practice on a regular basis is much more challenging both mentally and phycially, but it feels like you get so much more from it, but it does need to be nurtured by a good teacher and somehow I have stumbled on a brilliant one.


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