Archive for April, 2010

Kino Day 6 – Led Primary

April 30, 2010

The Mat Tree

6am start this morning for Led Primary, our last practice with Kino. I had no expectations this morning, after 2 years of mostly Mysore practice I find it hard to go with someone elses count and lack of time to get into the postures. Kino though seems to like the number 4, a lot, it seems to take her ages to get to 5! This means I actually managed to bind poses like Marichyasana D and Supta Kurmas, no not quiteana in a led class for the first time, her slow count gives time for a bit of wriggling. It seemed tiring today, the backbend sequence was very hard going, I think we did 6 x Urdva Dhanurasanas, trying to stand up from the last one, didn’t quite manage that. I was wary when it came to Matsyasana, I did a slightly modified version, but managed the following pose Utanna Pidasana without the dizzy sick feeling managing to come up, so that was good.

A nice Savasana and then some chanting to finish off a wonderful week of practice.

Kino @ Yoga Thailand group photo

Pasasana – Reasons it was given in case you were wondering

April 29, 2010

Kino gave me Pasasana today, despite the fact that I have yet to stand up from a dropback. I was surprised and delighted. During this afternoons Q&A session someone asked her about this. Her answer was that she gives the start of 2nd series when she can see the following.

  • Practitioner must have a consistent integrated Primary series.
  • They must be dedicated practitioners who are doing everything possible to stand up from backbend.
  • Poses up to Laghu Vajrasana can be given without harming either the student or the ashtanga lineage. Kapotasana is not given until the student CAN stand up from dropback, because this could cause back injury, pain.

So it feels like I was given it on merit by a certified teacher.

Kino Day 5 – Pasasana!!!

April 29, 2010

Buddha on my bed

Todays practice plumbed the depths and reached to the heavens. It was really hot in there today, My body just seemed to be made up of little rivers of sweat. A much more conscious practice today, really engaging the legs in the upward dogs in the vinyasas. Practice has become consistent, the “hump” poses don’t seem to be the issue they are at home, Mari D has happened every day, Supta K is deeper, even Ubhya and the UMP bum balances are feeling different, my body is changing. Garbha Pindasana I managed to get my arms through for the first time ever, but was then stuck, I couldn’t move, luckily Susan saw me beached and came to the rescue, getting me up so I could rock round the clock, its great having one of my own teachers here, she knows when to be around.

I had done Urdva Dhanurasana and was busy playing hang backs and trying to walk down the wall, Kino appeared in front of me, I thought we were going to do dropbacks, but no, she asked me if I had ever done Pasasana, I said well not officially! She said its time to try and had me bound and then supported the balance as I got my heals down. She said to do it 2 more times on my own, second one I was so close to binding Susan again came to the rescue trying to join my fingers up for me. Thanks Susan.

Kino re-appeared to help me do dropbacks, much better after yesterdays workshop, I think I remembered to engage everything!

So after the high of being given Pasasana it was the low again of dizzy nausea as soon as I went into Matsyasana, straight out as the room span round and I tried not to be sick, headstand for about 3 breaths, then Savasana, when the world went completely spinning out of control, I knew I was going to have to be sick and somehow made it off my mat and out into the garden, this is not pleasant, why is it happening. There is a Doctor on the workshop she thinks its a combination of heat, dehydration (I’m drenched thois far through practice), blood pressure, and maybe something in my neck, its weird that it hasnt happened in Supta Konasana or Halasana.

But apart from this Matsyasana and what followed issue, practice rocks. Pasasana I can’t believe it, at last!!

Backbends

April 29, 2010

Awesome backbend workshop, Kino started off explaining with the help of her skeleton friend about how its more about the front of the body than the back, she said its better to feel pain , discomfort in the thighs than in the back, she also showed us where the Psoas actually is, its the first time anyone has explained its location and action in a way that I could comprehend.

We started off with lunges, engaging the stomach, then into the ribs, lifting the ribs up and in theory sending the liver and kidneys into the pelvis and the stomach up into the ribs, Kino said this is why some people look really skinny when they do backbends. We intensified the stretch by moving the hands into prayer at the top of the head and then behind the head. After this little warm up, we did Salabhasana, which made us think about how the legs need to engage to support the backbend. Followed this with bridge, but a much more intense version, engaging the feet, pressing into the big toes to keep the inner thighs turning inwards, lifting up as engaged everything, it feels completely different.

The hardest part for me is this sending the shoulderblades back down the back, mine just want to be up near my ears. We then did Urdva Dhanurasana, before working in pairs doing dropbacks. Although I have done this workshop before, I still got a lot from it that I can take into my usual practice, its just remembering it that is rthe problem!

Susan's favourite blogging pose!

Kino Day 4 – Dizzy Matsyasana

April 28, 2010

I now know how to adjust the Fan which means I am getting a reasonable nights sleep at last.  Practice is better, stronger every day. Standing poses I seem to be left alone mostly, though one of the assistant teachers adjusted Prasarita C and Kino assisted UHP this morning.

I seem to be getting through the seated postures much quicker than I do back home, less faffing around getting into the Marichyasanas, though I have been spending longer in Supta K, trying to get in deeper before lifting up.  Though of course I still not dare fully go into Bhuja or more than a couple of breaths in Uth Plutihi, the wrist is improving, but far from being back to normal.

I did 5 x Urdva Dhanurasana then started playing around hanging back and walking down the wall, we actually have a backbending workshop later today, so I didn’t want to do too much. Then Kino arrived to do assisted dropbacks with me, it doesn’t seem to take much for her to instigate me coming back up, she has barely seemed to pull and I have engaged something and come up with good control, ass she said the other day there is no pixie dust that will make it happen, its just practice. We are considering ahveing T-shirts made with the logo “I send my Pelvis forward”! ha ha..

Practice had been good up to backbends, hot and humid is doing wonders for me, then when I got to Matsyasana a strange thing happened, as I went to arch my back I was suddenly very dizzy and started feeling really sick, I had to bend forward, but the floor was swaying, I don’ t think we had an earthquake, I had to leave the room to throw up, yes I know TMI, but its kind of a weird thing to happen, the previous times I have experienced dizzyness in yoga is backbends, but they were fine today. My suspicion is maybe a little sun stroke?? After what seemed an age to get my equilibrium back, I tried to do Sirsasana, but had to come down after 5 breaths as nothing was in focus and I had a swimming drishte in front of my eyes.  So a strange practice, every day my poses have been better.

Susan blogging!

April 27, 2010

Here is Susan busily keeping her avid readers up to date.

Kino Day 3 – Stronger

April 27, 2010

A better night’s sleep, I still cant work out how to adjust the fan in the room, I could only get it to turn off by pulling the “power key” out of its socket, sleeping instead with the window open, but at least I slept and woke up with the alarm. Practice today was much stronger, each day has been progressively better, more energy, more flexibility, though I still need to be very wary of not pushing my wrist too much. I also seem to be slowing down my practice again, a case of it filling the time available. Standing are now back gto where they usually are. The sticky morning heat is defintley helping, no breeze again, despite our prime beach side position.

Seated are getting their consistency back, I think the enforced break for my wrist has also been good for my knees, binding the Marichyasanas each day is not a freak. I have started to re-instate proper vinyasas, but my wrist prefers jumping back to jumping back through. Very little assistance in seated today, I love being able to do Supta K without intervention, though I could do with a “foot towel wallah”, the sweatyness makes getting into a bound Supta Kurmasana quite easy, today I decided to try and lift, my feet were so slithery that didn’t want to stay bound, my Foot towel wallah would wipe my feet once they are bound, so they stayed there in dwi pada.

Left do my own devices in Urdva Dhanurasana, so after some bridges I used the wall to support my wrist, then did proper UD’s. So much better today, though I need to walk in to help my wrist. Kino gave me time to play around hanging back and using the wall to do dropback down, much more flexibility, its coming back, but in the se conditions how could it fail to. Then Kino helped me do 3 dropbacks, glad she was there, even with her help the first one I landed too far back, which without support would have really pissed my wrist off. But the next 2 felt controlled and good, hopefully by the end of the week I wil be doing them on my own again.

Over 2 hours today, not that it matters, even if you do slow down in this heat you dont lose temperature.

Every day is better, may it continue

Kino – Day 2, much better

April 26, 2010

Day 2, woken when I still asleep, after a not very good nights sleep again, oh well, not like I have to do much else after practice here! Anyway it was much hotter this morning, much less of a breeze coming in off the sea and my shirt was drenched after the Surya’s. Standing felt better, though my hamstrings are still shrunk, but Triang Mukha and the Janu’s were longer and less painful today. I am not sure if I started earlier or was faster today, because when we chanted at 7am I was already doing Paschimottanasana.

I actually think my whole practice had more flow today, less faffing on my part and more energy and confidence in my body’s ability. Easily bound all the Marichyasanas, I think maybe I have lost some weight, I am certainly not eating as much as I do at home, though am typing this with a steaming mug of real tea and a slice of Battenburg! (I need the energy for the strenght workshop that begins in 30 minutes). Bhuja pidasana today I went straight to my version of crossing the feet but not lifting. Followed by a great Supta K, love it in these slithery conditions, its just so much easier. If I could have trusted my wrist I could have lifted with my feet behind my head, doing that is such a yes moment for me, there are some satisfactions in life money can’t buy. I got assisted in Baddha Konasana and for the first time in ages in Urdva Mukha Paschimottanasana, which was nice.

Closing slowed me down, I really wasn’t sure how much weight to put into my wrist, it feels a lot better, I have a feeling Kathryn’s impromptu swimming lesson yesterday gave it good exercise against the resistance of water. I played around doing bridges and was testing pushing up onto my head when Kino arrived, letting me put my wrist against her ankle to give it support as I pushed up into proper Urdva Dhanurasanas, woo hoo, she went off to help next door (Susan) and I thought my back feels good, so started playing around doing hang backs just to see how far I could get, the floor soon came into view and it was decision time, but luckily Kino came back to take the decision out of my hands or wrist and assisted me in dropbacks, which felt good.

Rest of closing, though again my hamstrings were screaming at Halasana, I couldn’t work this out after doing the Janu’s etc without pain. But a much better practice today, if my wrist improves a little more I will almost be back to what passes for normal.

After breakfast, which included being fed slithers of fruit without spitting them out, don’t ask me what they were, they all look the same to me (horrible) I then had a swedish massage, my hamstrings got some therapy at last, so hopefully tomorrow they will like Halasana as much as they do at home.

Afternoon Strength workshop

Which should be sub titled “send your pelvis forward” Second time I have done this workshop, but I find it useful to have stuff broken down. Began with learning to put weight into the hands and then jump throughs and back. When Kino said Bhujapidasana was next I was a little worried with my wrist, I did carefully do it, though I was being mentally scolded from across the room! I only lifted for a second or so while being assisted, we worked with partners, but it was enough for the wrist to start sending warning signals that I was pushing my luck. Headstand was ok, but handstand was a leap of faith, I havn’t done a toast handstand in a while, but with assistance today I was able to go up. I find it hard to remember all the little technicalities, even though they make sense at the time, so hopefully Susan will blog with more anatomical accuracy about what was supposed to be going on.

Kino Day 1- Where did my hamstrings go?

April 25, 2010

Our first day of practice began at 6.30am, after a not very good nights sleep, another new bed to get used to! So after almost 2 weeks off practice with the wrist it was time to see where my practice had got to. Surya A did I leave my hamstrings at home? I have never known forward bends to be so hard, my legs are still aching, I half expected my backbends to be abysmal, but not forward bends, they are easy right? My wrist objected to the upward dogs, so I did some of them on my knees. A few adjustments in standing Trikonasana, then Prasarita C, at which point Kino came to ask about my wrist, though the standing poses don’t really put much pressure on it until UHP where you are kind of pulling against it.

Seated came after the chant at 7am, now all those vinyasas would be the test, I somehow managed to resist the urge to jump through and back, stepping instead, you see I can back off to some extent, the forward bends were incredibly hard Triang Mukha and the Janu’s, I had no length in my legs at all, a bit of a surprise this.The good part was surprisingly the Marichyasanas, in this sticky heat my knees at least decided to come out and play , very surprised to bind them all.It all threatened to go pear shaped at Bhujapidasana,  crossed and lifted  my feet and then my wrist said”no way”, a shot of pain had me dropping the feet back down, oh well I had done well to get that far. Supta K was a bit of a test lowering down, but once there I loved binding myself up in the sticky morning heat, I kept wondering if help would arrive, but quite glad to be left to my own devices. I did the all the vinyasas to the end of seated, but very, very carefully after the Bhuja incident.

Closing backbends were a mental trial, I must admit I was worried about pushing up with the wrist, I must have spent 10 minutes doing bridges, lifting and lowering to test the water, then I managed to gingerly push up onto my head and have a few crap attempts at Urdva Dhanurasana, well I pushed up by my arms were not straight. I decided to not even think about dropbacks today, my back needs to be bendier and my wrist needs to be able to take the landing, I can occassionally do common sense!

A surprisingly good practice in many ways, though this heat helps, its so nice to wake up not so stiff, perhaps tomorrows will be better now that the cobwebs of 2 weeks non practice have been blown out.

A seriously long brunch, it seems to just go on, much more my kind of food, Muesli, Granola, Toast, fruit juice, though a lack of proper tea, thankfully I have my own with me :-) and a few other little necessities! Susan and Kathryn are apparently now on a mission to get me to eat fruit, Susan has deduced it must be a texture thing as I drink fruit juice, but couldn’t bear to put a piece of fruit anywhere near my mouth.Kathryn also managed to coax me into the pool, not something I would normally contemplate as I can’t swim, but she kindly tested the depth, ie that my feet could touch the floor of the pool and that I wouldn’t drown as I was being put to shame by a pair of Toddlers who were happily splashing around!

Afternoon workshop

The afternoon workshop was Pranayama and Bandhas, that elusive Mula Bandha thing that everyone talks about, but how many truly engage it as they fight their way into Mari D! I do love Kino’s down to earth instructions about drawing in the sit bones, then pulling together thesit bone and pubic bones to make a base, her impression of Guruji pulling the anus in, then the “No pee”, before trying to lift it up internally, in our case according to her husband its the testicles that need to feel like they are being pulled upwards internally, yes… Udiyana then seems to engage on its own I’m glad to say!

We did a lot of breathing exercise, trying to breathe in and out for 10, which is hard when you run out of air after 6, then covering the ears and listening to your own breath. I love Kino’s explanantions, its like at school when you had a teacher who made it fun and easier to learn, she’s fun and describes it in terms where you don’t need to have done teacher training or have a degree in anatomy.

In essence she said yoga should make us happy, I know it does that for me, taking me away from the samskaras she talked about of trying to leave behind old learned habit patterns that no longer serve us.

The days here just go, but they are great and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else this week, even if my wrist wishes it was. See what tomorrow brings

Yoga Thailand – Here at Last

April 24, 2010

Finally I am here in this wonderfully tranquil yoga oasis of calm by the sea. It’s as good as it looked on the website. I have a wonderful room with a choice of upstairs or downstairs bedroom, a Balcony and a sea view, I am immediately glad that I took the decision to come all those months ago when I was umming and aaahing about the cost and affording it. Well there are some things that are worth the cost and this place is one of them. I have explored the grounds, walked on sand, met friends from London and Singapore and enjoyed if that’s the right word a take no prisoners thai massage in the massage Sala by the beach.

Apparently there are 10 yogi’s who were denied by the ash cloud, I am truly sorry for those people, may you have better luck next time, makes me appreciate just how lucky we were on Wednesday.

5pm we meet and greet, though I just met Kino in Reception. I love the big yellow sign in Reception.


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