Archive for June, 2010

It’s arrived!

June 30, 2010

I feel like I just entered the 21st century, my long coveted iphone 3GS arrived this afternoon. I plugged it into the computer and let it do its thing, it got talking to the itunes thing and now I have some music loaded. I now have to work out how to drive it. I worked out how to text and put in a contact, it connects to my home wifi, the only glitch has been that I can’t connect to the internet except by wifi. Luckily calling an 0845 is free after 7pm so I called the helpline and have been taken through changing the settings for data, though fat finger syndrome makes this a bit difficult when someone is firing information down the phone while I try to type using the teeny tiny on screen keyboard, this is going to take some getting used to. I now have to wait for the settings change to happen, I was told to go and have a cuppa and turn it on again in 10 minutes.

I liked the way when I was texting Susan (she’s the only 1 in my contacts so far!), that it predicted the word I was trying to spell, it came up in a little box with an “x” next to it, but I couldn’t work out how to select what it was offering me.

While waiting I browsed the app store, there isn’t an “easy stand up from dropback” app, but I did find a free wordpress one for mobile blogging. There are just so many toys in the store, I can see I am going to have to somehow try and limit this addiction, otherwise I am going to be playing on this thing instead of doing practice!

What’s the problem with Wednesday?

June 30, 2010

Up at 5.30, on my mat at 5.45, I had the intention, it was a warm morning, but there must just be something about Wednesday’s. Last Wednesday was abysmal, maybe that was on my mind, though I was determined not to leave my mat completely disillusioned with my efforts this time. Standing were slow, but not too bad, though the twisted Parsvakonasana lacked rotation today, the lower left side of my back seems to have tightened up for some reason.

Seated gradually deteriorated, monkey mind, lots going on today, whatever, I slogged through to Triang Mukha, my back tightening with every posture and each vinyasa, until upward dog was virtually undetectable. Out of the corner of my eye my little spiky massage ball appeared and I at once decided that Savasana with a tennis ball under my Piriformis and the spiky ball under the lower left side of my back would be a much better course of action than trying to slog through. A 20 minute luxury Savasana with the little balls pressing into those niggling points of discomfort, I am sure they are the trigger points for what goes on higher up my back and into my neck.  Hopefully the very hot shower after will stop me seizing up during the day.

My neighbours of 34 years are moving today, they have sold up and bought a place costing 70% of what they received and is retiring in March, jammy sod. I remember the day they moved in, I found their then 18month old daughter in my kitchen after she had followed my cat, I took her outside and looked for her Mum, I saw her over the fence and asked “does she belong to you?” This morning saying our goodbyes I mentioned that day and she said “You wont be able to do it now”, I laughed, the daughter is now 36 and the wrong side of 20 stones!

Keeping up the am practice habit

June 29, 2010

This hot sticky weather may be good for my practice, but certainly not for the night of restfull sleep I need before I get on my mat each morning.

Even though when I have woken at 5.30am I havn’t felt particularly rested the last 2 mornings, I have still been on my mat by ten to six. Yesterday I got to Navasana and did closing before breakfast. Monday practices are always hit and miss depending on the Sunday Shala practice and the travel stress.

This morning I woke on time thanks to the rain hammering on the window, the rain is welcome, but it does not seem to have cleared the air much. The bad news was that I had managed to sleep with my wrist underneath me, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, not good, quite painful, but after sticking it under the hot tap while the kettle boiled I managed to get it gingerly moving.

Practice seemed more dynamic today, more flow, more focus, faster, I actually managed to complete a full Primary series, including 2 x Urdva Dhanurasana (my wrist was not so impressed!), Pasasana and a full closing sequence, a quicker practice makes for a longer Savasana, 8 minutes today!

Backbends are still not working in the morning, I have gone back to doing some more at night when I get home while the dinner cooks, some 2nd series Ustrasanas to warm up, then UD’s and some nice hangbacks. The pinching evident in my lower back in the morning does not seem to be there at night.

I’m quite surprised to have kept this early morning practice going for so long, I havn’t missed a day in the 3 weeks, though the temptation to turn over is always present. At the start I needed the text message wake ups from AC, Susan and Helen in order to wake up nearly 2 hours earlier than usual, now I am waking up and I am not even setting the alarm.

At least I can count on Shala Sundays

June 27, 2010

A record this morning as the tube pulled into BG Station at 08:07, I just knew practice would be good, it was already a hot, sunny morning. I had a massage yesterday, where the Therapist had gone deeply, make that painfully into the Piriformis/ sciatic knot with her elbows and thumbs, she released something because that whole area was more open today, now she has got it moving, she is going to attack it again on Wednesday, so if you hear howling about 5.30, it will be me as her elbow finds the spot!

I moved across one mat width from my usual spot to be in the shade, though 30 minutes later the sun seemed to have moved! I love practice in that kind of temperature, surrounded by the shared energy of the other Yogi’s, all of whom I could name, YP folk are certainly a friendly bunch. I enjoy the chant, everyone joins in and we are certainly more in tune than the English and German football teams were singing their national anthems this afternoon, though having the odd proper Chorister like Mel probably gives us an advantage!. Standing just seemed to pass, only UHP was crap, mainly because the sun was blinding me by then, I know I should move, but I like my little space at the front with S. on my left. Once upon a time I would have found it almost intimidating to have someone doing such an incredible practice next to me as I slogged through mine, now its an inspiration.

Seated are so much better in the warm, my knees love it, ABP I managed to bind, before a double length Triang Mukha as Mel came to adjust as I got to 4 and was thinking about exiting, suddenly down we go, deeper and deeper for another 5, I don’t mind.  Twisting rocks on days like this, all the Mari’s bound before a super dooper Supta Kurmasana, bound and then lifted out with my feet in place behind my head :-) Is it stupid that doing that posture makes me so happy, at least something does I hear you say. Apart from Triang Mukha I was left alone through seated, so it was all my own work, creating my lake, I havn’t sweated this much since Thailand! Pasasana without wall or block, I am beginning to find some balance and my fingers are getting ever so near, after I had tried on my own Mel came to help, telling me I am just soooo tantalisingly close.

Thank god for my Yogiteoes mat, it allowed me to do my Urdva Dhanurasana’s without much sliding and annoying my wrist, followed by some hang backs, this week I kept going on my own until Mel came to ask if I wanted some help, until my wrist heals the only way I am going to experience that deep bending sensation is with assistance, 3 nice dropbacks. So nice to have a no rush practice, no rush to get to work after and no rush because I managed to arrive on time, this means I get a no stress Savasana, no worry about the time, just laying in the warm stream of sunlight flooding through the windows, letting go, eventually thinking I had better make a move, it’s been 12 hours without Tea!

It was one of the best practises I have had at the Shala in a long time, I think the hot sunny morning helped, yesterday’s massage loosened me for a change, sometimes after a treatment I am stiff the next day, but I also think my nearly nocturnal early morning yoga of the last few weeks played its part, though dragging myself out of bed tomorrow will be as much of a challenge as its been from the start.

Home to the match, oh well, Germans again………one day

The saga of trying to buy my iphone from Tesco continues, I was e-mailed another phone number,  the right number, BUT their computer system is down and they can’t order it for me! Is someone tryingto tell me something

Tried to buy my iphone from Tesco!

June 25, 2010

I finally decided to take the plunge and get an iphone, not the brand new one, but the 3GS, which would be perfectly adequate for my needs. Tesco were doing a great deal, their e-mail customer service was helpful, I got my PAC code and called the free phone number to get it ordered. 10 minutes on hold then it cut me off! Plan B call the number on the e-mail, got straight through, very helpful lady answered all my questions, but when I said ” can I buy one please” she said she couldn’t sell me one or set up the contract, but she put me through to Tesco direct who would be able to do it, WRONG AGAIN, although they could sell me one, it would be full price and only as Pay as you go! They gave me yet another number to call, eventually got an answer and found out that this was the number that deals with any network EXCEPT fucking Tesco’s and no they couldn’t sell me my iphone or set up the contract. This person told me to go to a Tesco Phone shop, ha ha! I just tried to look them up online, there isnt even one in central London, let alone out here in the sticks. WTF, Tesco are a joke, they may have the cheapest deal by a mile, but it is completely impossible to actual take them up on it. Oh well it looks like my Samsung Tocco is going to be with me for a good while longer as I am certainly not paying what the other providers are still demanding.

A 6th day in a row- just.

June 25, 2010

Nearly blew it this morning, I woke first at 04:55, no way, turn over, back to sleep. Suddenly its 06:05, why doesn’t time at the Labour camp go that fast? At this point I seriously considered turning over again, two weeks ago I probably would have, but the mind set must be changing, I got up, made tea, shook myself into life and started to do practice. I had no idea how far I would get, effectively starting 25 minutes later than usual, but mentally knowing I had to get on with it seemed to bring a surprising focus and momentum. OK I admit to cutting back on the Surya’s ( 4 and 3), but despite the rushed start I found I was quite open in the Trikonasanas and Prasaritas, even a quite well balanced UHP.

I must have really got on with standing, I seemed to have gained back about 10 minutes, I knew I would face the choice of all of seated or doing some seated and doing closing. The focus and momentum carried on, my right foot miraculously appeared in half lotus for Ardha Badha, that rarely happens, let along at that time of day. All the forward bends had length. I tried re-instating jump backs in the vinyasas, though carried on with Susan’s jump to just behind the hands coming forwards, my wrist can only take so much.

Doing a “Just go for it” type of practice, as opposed to setting off with a plan seems to bring a kind of mental freedom, not having a goal means not having a disappointment. I carried on to Navasana, having bound all the Mari’s A to C and first side of D. As it was the last practice of the week I decided to do closing, rather than plough on. The mental game of laying flat preparing for Urdva Dhanurasana, then pushing up. I managed my 3 backbends, probably aided by the fact that I spent a criminal hour before last night’s match doing all the 2nd series backbends and experimenting with Maria’s feet up backbends! No time for hang backs, just an unhurried move through the rest of closing. And a 7 minute Savasana :-)

 I think in my case having too much time when I can faff (drinking tea does not count as faffing), or play around in practice, gives my mind places to wander off to and takes away momentum, heat and focus, but a practice constrained seems to make me focus and get on with it, keeping the heat, after all yesterday I started 25 minutes earlier and only got to Bhuja and closing.

But when all said and done that is a full ashtanga week, Sunday to Friday, I have done 3 full Primary’s, 2 half Primarys and closing and one crap practice to Mari B, but at least I managed to get up every morning and do it. Moon day and Saturday tomorrow, I am definitley turning over zzzz

Up to Bhuja + closing

June 24, 2010

My body clock does seem to have made the transition to “yoga time”, waking at 5.30am on the dot, but after yesterday’s dismal practice I was sorely tempted to turn over for another 2 hours, but the sun was shining and the birds were tweeting in the trees in my garden and I realised I was awake, so got up and made tea, stretching and moving as I waited for the kettle to boil.

It was still a stiff start, though at least my fingers were touching the floor after a couple of Surya A’s, but I definitley seem to have lost the length in the Trikonasanas and Prasarita’s that I had earlier in the week, where does it go, my body seems to have a finite amount of consecutive full primary’s in it, three in a row seems to be its limit.

I tried to do jump backs in the vinyasas to keep some momentum and to try and get some heat going on, it works to a point, the point being when my wrist says “ENOUGH”. Why was Janu A better than Janu B, its usually the other way round. Mari A & B were ok, but I don’t seem to be able to get such a good twist in C & D. I usually find Mari C quite easy, not today it seemed and as for Mari D, we are back to finger touching after binding at the start of the week. It was still a very slow practice, I checked the time after Bhuja and realised I would have to start doing closing. A couple of dodgy backbends, they really don’t happen in the morning, though they did in Thailand. Rest of closing followed by a 5 minute Savasana before a big breakfast, necessary as I am having a dental filling at lunchtime and will probably be too frozen up to eat the sarnies I have with me :-(

As Helen said its a practice and not a performance, it was certainly better than yesterday that’s for sure.

I should have stayed in bed!

June 23, 2010

Why am I blogging at ten past seven in the morning? Again I up at 5.30 and on my mat with my tea at 5.45am, but what a crap performance, if England perform as awfully this afternoon as I did on my mat this morning their World Cup is over. Not just was I stiff, I was rigid, aching shoulders, tight hamstrings, stomach full of wind (no the Maltesers ran out on Monday). The whole thing was a trial, my mind and body both calling me back under the duvet. I managed to plough slowly through to Marichyasana B, it took 75 minutes, which is kack :-( , no heat, no flow, just thoughts going through my mind of WTF am I doing this for?At the Shala there would be a teacher, shared energy, heat, the odd smile from a mat neighbour, I can’t ever imagine practice at the Shala being this dire

Tomorrow has to be better, trouble is its practices like todays that will inspire me only to stay in bed tomorrow.

Cranked out another one

June 22, 2010

Despite the late night , still awake at 10pm LOL, I managed to wake at 5.30am all by myself, is my body clock beginning to reset itself to yoga time I wonder. After making my giant mug of tea I was on my mat at 5.45am, though today felt much harder, after the first few Surya’s I was on that cusp of getting back under the duvet, but managed to carry on cutting down the Surya B’s to 3. My hamstrings seems to have shrivelled up a bit, nowhere near the length in the Trikonasanas and Prasaritas I had yesterday and a very wobbly UHP.

It seemed harder to generate the heat and keep the focus drishte today, hips and knees clam shut and tight, one of those days when you just have to say that’s how it is, I managed to bind Mari’s A-C, but only a crappy finger bind on Mari D. I tried to lift into Titibhasana from Bhujapidasana, but my wrist STILL wont play ball with that one. Surprisingly another decent both ends bound Supta K. I think its a case of poses I enjoy, I seem to enter them with a more relaxed body making it easier, some poses I’m almost trying to fight my way into, stressing and struggling. Mentally once past Supta K it doesn’t seem so far to go to the end and my mind stops the “How about stopping now” questions.

Backbends are a stumbling block in the mornings, I lay there cooling down trying to get my body to follow the minds instructions to push up into Urdva Dhanurasana, I managed 2, but they weren’t great. But again I polughed on to the end, that’s 3 complete practices in a row, 2 at home.

Apart from getting my mind and body around getting up in the middle of the night and the crap backbends, my main problems seem to be the overwhelming desire for a snooze in the afternoon and my legs and back stiffening up sitting at my office PC all day. By the afternoon I look like an 80 year old cripple, not someone viewed as bendy cos they do yoga!

Week 3 – A first

June 21, 2010

My neighbour woke me up super early going to work at 5.30am, the sun was shining so I decided to get up and make my 1/2 litre of tea and drink it while I practised, yes heresy I know to some, but getting out of bed in what feels like the middle of the night to my body, I need some wake up juice, I must be one of the few ashtangi’s who hates coffee!

So on my mat first Surya A at 5:45am, yes I can’t believe I am doing this, 2 weeks ago I struggled to get up and do standing at 6:30am before breakfast! Not quite so stiff today and practising at this time of day is beginning to feel slightly less alien, though the Jury is still out on whether this could become the permanent practice time. The forward bends felt easier in the hamstrings, though I notice my shoulders are even stiffer in PPC, not that my hands have ever got anywhere near the floor in a hot shala at a more awake time of day, so I don’t have any expectations. I tried to speed up seated a little today, trying  to keep the momentum and heat, less faffing, even if I didn’t quite bind Mari D as well as I can, but I was open enough to fully bind my favourite Supta Kurmasana. It’s at this point that I know I will make it through the rest of seated, the double sided poses have been done and I quite like Baddha Konasana and what follows, even the bum balances look mostly like they should, well the first one does at least.

Completing seated it feels only right to do Pasasana, against the bed, then with heals on the block, my fingers touching, but lacking a Susan to join them up for me, being helped to bind yesterday, then staying there on my own seemed like a mini breakthrough.

I managed a bridge followed by 2 Urdva Dhanurasanas, its the backbends that have felt the most alien, uncomfortable and unlikely to happen the last two weeks, but I managed to push up twice and even added in some hangbacks against the door for good measure, before completing, yes completing the rest of closing, which means I have finally done a full practice in the morning, no bells or whistles, just an over riding feeling of satisfaction. Savasana even lasted 4 minutes.

It took me until 7.30am, thats 1 and 3/4 hours, which is quite good for a home practice, devoid of shala heat and energy, though it felt like a Sunday after, as I had a Pain au Raisin for breakfast. Breakfast seems to taste much better after doing practice, though I am getting worried about my new Malteser habit while watching the World cup at night.

OMG its gone 10pm, I really should be asleep, I have to get up in the morning!


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