Archive for June, 2010

1 to 3, so lots of assists :-)

June 20, 2010

Yep we had Susan teaching just 3 of us this morning, lots of people away for Fathers day, so great for the 3 of us who did practice. When there are so few students you realise you can’t “hide”, you tend not to be lazy and are much more focussed on your practice, knowing you are being watched from the silver ball. Standing was quite relaxed, though I was a bit stiff and tight this morning, not sure if having Saturday off before a Shala practice is such a great  idea, usual assist in PPC,which was nice and didn’t piss my wrist off, managed to do UHP on my own, I think it was better today because the sun wasn’t blinding me. Utkatasana, there is something wrong with my shoulders, I have been more conscious of squatting lower with this one, but suddenly my shoulders feel all inhibitied and stuck. Susan got me to do it again, but everything feels scrunched up and not space.

Seated are a lot less of a mind game than they were a year or so ago, I realise now that I used to think of standing as easy and seated as hard, now I just do it. I thought Triang Mukha was going to be a stress for the hamstrings, but when S. started assisting I just found everything begin to lengthen out, sweet.  Lovely assist in Marichyasana D, managed to bind myself before being taken in deeper, I truly no longer dread this asana. A toe in the back to remind me about my sinking Navasana, before some well thought out observations on my jumping forward in the vinyasa, to save my wrist (was I wincing I wonder?), that when I jump forward instead to jump and land behind my hands, which means my hands remain flat and the wrist is happier. These little observations are as much the reason I slog into London on a Sunday morning as much as for the adjustments, its so easy to get into little habits when you have to practice home alone most of the time and start potentially storing up pain for later, I’m glad Susan takes the time to point them out.2 goes at Supta Kurmasana today :-) I can do this on my own, but its easier to bind the hands after the teacher squish in Kurmasana, nice crossed feet and lift out. Second attempt with Susan trying to get my feet crossed more behind my head, I do enjoy this posture, it almost gives me more satisfaction than anything else I do on or off the mat.

4 goes at Pasasana :-) , first on my own,  my fingers are getting so much nearer these days, then an assisted one, with advice about working my elbow to move the hand nearer the thigh, then using the wall as support like I do at home, then the having the heals on a block for stability, this one works , hands bound by Susan and stayed there. So that’s what it feels like to be in it on my own!

Urdva Dhanurasana was not great, my wrist was objecting, but walking the hands in helped, I really need a new mat with some decent traction, my hands were still sliding on my yogitoes mat. Then a few minutes of hang backs on my own with advice about keeping my legs straight from the sidelines before finally assistance to get me to the ground. Its been nearly 2 months since I have done a dropback on my own because of my wrist and I feel like I have lost some of the control  I had begun to build up, but at least doing assisted ones is stopping the fear factor creep back in and I know that I am going to land safely and not jar the wrist.

It ended up being quite a long practice today, assistance to the end with Uttana Pidasana, think she was saying I need more backbend in that one and lower legs, I am never sure what angle the legs are supposed to be at?  Lovely back  manipulation in childs pose after Headstand, that feels so nice.

Really enjoyed my practice, though it took a while to get going, with so few people, there is a lack of heat and energy which you have to generate for yourself, but I am always glad I make the effort on a Sunday, thanks Susan

Cloudy with sunny spells

June 18, 2010

Practice is very erratic the last couple of day, yesterday was dire, stiff and not happening, today I got a wake up text from Susan at 5.45, I was already semi conscious, but the text made my mind up to get up and onto my mat. Thanks Susan. Having 10-15 minutes to wake up seems to make a lot of difference, even if I only stretch a little before the first Surya A at 06:00hrs.

I could tell today was different as my fingers made far more meaningful contact with the mat on the first Surya forward bend. As I did the Trikonasanas I found that extra bit of length appear in my hamstrings, though this doesn’t seem to translate into the Prasaritas in the mornings, I can usually make my head touch the floor at the Shala but not at home in the middle of the night.

Seated had some purpose, there was length in all the forward bends, not the feeling of somethings going to snap like I had yesterday, bound all the Marichyasanas, though I am still flummoxed as to why I have been better on the 2nd side which is usually a struggle. I changed the programme today, I carried on after Navasana, Bhuja, a not quite bound Supta K, though sitting here now I realise I missed Supta Konasana! I wanted to do the postures I have been missing or not doing as often as I need to do, especially the bum balances, they are the poses that make me realise what those Bandha thingies are for. Oops I missed Setu Bandhasana as well, though added in my criminal Friday  Pasasana! So that makes  2 missed poses and one I shouldn’t have done today LOL.

Time was pressing now, but I was determined to do what I thought at the time was a complete practice in a morning for the first time , Urdva Dhanurasana was a struggle and my wrist is not happy as I type, will have to get on the G-Jo, rest of closing done at pace, but done none the less, before a 4 minute Savasana.

That’s 2 weeks now of getting up and doing practice before work, I don’t know if this is going to be sustainable, but I am able to enjoy the World Cup each evening without the practice thought hanging over me. I could hear all the Irish yogi’s in Dublin cheer as that first mexican goal went in last night.

If practice is like the weather it rained today!

June 17, 2010

I overslept this morning, well to be more accurate I woke at 5.30am and thought just a few more minutes and then suddenly it had gone 6am. So no time for waking  or warming anything up, I got straight on my mat in a cranky, sleepy and stiff state. It was not a nice experience, my fingers were not even grazing the mat in the forward bends in the Surya’s, grabbing my toes in the first forward bend was a traumatic experience for my hamstrings. Everything just seemed wrong this morning, my body, my mind, the temperature. I ploughed stiffly through standing, not enjoying it at all and decided that before I did myself an injury to call it a day after the Warrior sequence. There is always tomorrow…………

What changed?

June 16, 2010

How can 2 days and 2 practices be so different? I was on my mat at 05:55 just like yesterday, but it felt unquantifiably different, more energy and certainly more focus. The Surya’s were still a trial, if I am really stiff and creaky this is the most likely point of getting back under the covers, but I know that if I did that just once, then I would probably do it again  and again. It’s part of the mental game to revisit uncomfortable places, asanas that are not our favourites.

Once I am into the standing postures I don’t think they are much different from how they are in the evenings, well maybe the Prasarita’s are not so wide, but I seem to have more balance in UHP. Seated are slower, I am realising that keeping the momentum up is the key that stops practice grinding to a stop. The seated postures felt more workable today, Triang Mukha and Janu B were torture yesterday, today there was less physical and mental resistance allowing me to grab my wrist beyond my foot. I even just about bound Mari D on both sides, how’s that for 06:50 on a Wednesday morning!

I got as far as Bhujapidasana, it was then a quick debate with myself about either finishing seated or doing closing before time ran out. I decided that as so many people have said how important it is to do a proper closing that I would do Pasasana then closing. BIG surprise I managed to do  a couple of good Urdva Dhanurasanas after the first abortive lift and drop attempt (hand too far back = pissed off wrist), no’s 2 and 3 I stayed up, that is a first for that time of day! Followed by a proper closing, though a curtailed Savasana.

Practices like yesterday’s will doom this experiment to failure, but practices like todays make me look forward to tomorrow’s, yes I know wishing my life away again! Whether this could become my regular practice post World Cup I don’t know, especially as I am not getting to do Supta K as often or the bum balances which have been improving of late. The after practice good feeling lasts until about 10am, before the depression of another day in that place takes over.

Harder morning

June 15, 2010

Yesterday I got up at 6am and did a reasonable half primary and some closing, it was actually closing less proper backbends, Urdva Dhanurasana is the pits at that time of day, it just doesnt want to happen, to manage a reasonable UD at that time of day I would need to do a completely criminal 2nd series poses warm up first, time precludes this option, so after one dire push up that annoyed my wrist I abandoned it, but apart from that it was an ok practice.

To make up for the lack of backbends I did 30 minutes of them when I got home last night, before settling down to watch the World Cup in guilt free bliss knowing I had done some practice. Italy versus Paraguay was alas as dire as my morning attempts at Urdva Dhanurasana.

This morning I was up and on my mat before 6am would you believe, but OMG was it a slog, one of those days when my body just didn’t seem to be up for it. I plodded through to Marichyasana B, but it had taken forever, no heat, no energy, no Bandhas, no backbends and not much breath. At least doing closing made it feel like a practice, Savasana was the highlight and I would still be there asleep if it wasnt for the fact that my next door neighbour roars off to work on his motorbike at 7.25.

I can’t remember how I coped with the last World cup, I did go to the Shala every Friday night, but I don’t remember doing much practice otherwise, I certainly wasn’t getting up in the middle of the night to practice. I think that my wrist is getting some World Cup benefit too, as usually apart from doing my practice I would be playing on the internet in the evenings, so its getting less mouse and keyboard time. Hopefully tonight’s Brazil versus North Korea will be more interesting.

A nice weekend where it all worked out

June 13, 2010

I was worried that my Friday early morning yoga would make me too sleepy to enjoy the show, the afternoon dragged, but once 4pm came around I woke up, grabbed a Burger at Euston before meeting Helen and Mel to go and see Hair, what a great night we had, though I was the only one of us who could actually remember the Vietnam war, well the end at least in the mid 1970’s, but I loved the music and the Maltesers, “Age of Aquarius” and “Let the sun shine in” have been spinning in my head ever since, it was surprisingly interactive, especially as we were up the back, the actors/singers came into the audience to hand out little flowers and encourage people to clap and sing, great fun with great company.

Saturday was a day off, it was Moon day after all and I had practiced 7 in a row, so my wrist appreciated the break and I got to have a lay in before going for a back and neck massage, which ended up being a session of undoing loads of knots in my shoulders and some sharp thumbs in the Piriformis, which was what I needed.

Sunday and back to the yoga and I am so glad to say back to YP as the train actually turned up on time, I was in the shala at 8.10, not bad going. Nice steady practice, time not to rush but to be able to stay in a pose a little longer if there felt like there was more space to move into. Not much adjustment today, just a quiet momentum. Managed to bind the hump poses Mari D on both sides and Supta K was a good one, I just know when it’s going to be and left alone to do it, even managing to lift up with my feet staying behind my head, until my wrist pointed out it had had enough of that game. Pasasana in the middle of my mat, no help from Mel or the wall, just a nice deep twist, balanced, even if my heals are not quite down and my fingers fleetingly touching, though nowhere near joining. It took a couple of goes at Urdva Dhanurasana to get a good one, but my wrist wasn’t objecting so I tried a couple more and walked in and then tried to push out of the chest towards my feet. I did some hang backs for a couple of minutes, hoping for help, I did some more but was getting tired so sat down into Paschimottanasana.

The trouble is if I keep playing hang backs for too long, I have run out of energy if assistance does arrive, but if I stand and wait, I get cold and my lower back starts to seize up, I regret now not giving it a minute or so more to see if Mel would have come over, or maybe she thought I wasn’t ready for it today. Rest of closing just happens, I try hard not to speed up so that I can get to my Pain au Raisin sooner, it had been a good practice and there was actually time for a decent Savasana.

I suddenly realised that my attitude and expectations of my practice have changed since Kino gave me Pasasana. I never ever thought I would enter 2nd series, even by one pose, but it seems to have stopped me striving and measuring, thinking of Primary in chunks, little humps like Triang Mukha, Marichyasana D and Supta Kurmasana to be got through before the terror of backbends and dropbacks. Practice now just happens, my mind is more often on or in the posture currently taking place, rather than thinking forward to one of “those” postures. No longer measuring means just accepting it for how it is, that one practice is rarely like the one before or the one to come, I am just happy for myself that I got on the mat and did it.

After practice at Patisserie Valerie, OMG is their giant Pain au Raisin wonderful with a pot of tea and some Apple juice, as those around choose the healthy looking Porridge and fruit. Its so nice just to chill out with yoga folk for a couple of hours, thanks to all those who made it such a lovely weekend.

6am again -Friday half primary

June 11, 2010

As I did my first Surya my mind was asking “do I really want to be doing this when there is a very long day ahead, even though the evening is going to be fun, shouldn’t I climb back under the covers for another 90 minutes of zzzzzzzz?” Somehow I kept going, though there seemed to be a lethargy and tiredness, slowing me down. I can’t honestly say my mind was on full drishte power during standing, I have done that sequence so many times that I can almost absent mindedly do it while my mind goes somewhere else.

After standing I decided to get realistic and just go to Navasana and do a proper closing sequence, people keep telling me how important closing is, not to skip it or rush through it. Triang Mukha felt better today, more length in the hamstrings. Marichyasana D I can’t work out what is going on, usually I can do the first side (my good side) and struggle into the second, but for some reason the last 2 days I havn’t managed to quite bind the first side, yet have been able to bind the second side??

I forgot that you are not supposed to do 2nd on Fridays (Thanks H LOL.), but it was only Pasasana!

1 very creaky Urdva Dhanurasana, then through a proper closing sequence, though alas a very short Savasana.

Ironically after starting this early morning yoga in aid of seeing the World Cup I am actually not going to see the first match tonight as I will be joining some other yogis for a night out at “Hair”. Really looking forward to a great night and as tomorrow is officially Moon day, a lay in and a massage.

6am start- but still no time for closing!

June 10, 2010

The text chorus began at the ungodly hour of 04:49! What person in their right mind is awake at that time of day? Anyway back to sleep until 05:46 and eventually stumbled on to my mat at just after 6am. I still can’t believe I am doing this, volunterily losing over 90 minutes in the land of nod under my duvet.

Waking my stiff body up with Surya’s is hard, I don’t like the sun salutations at the best of times, even at the Shala I am glad when they are over and I can start on the asanas, but doing them in the middle of the night, both my body and mind are asking what the hell is going on. Standing was a bit stiffer today, twisting into Pariv Trikonasana and Parsvakonasana didn’t feel natural at all. I do seem to have more focus on the practice with an uncluttered mind even if it is quite a lot slower going.

Seated started at 6.30, this really does slow me down, it all becomes a bit of a struggle up to Navasana with all those double sides and vinyasas inbetween, Triang Mukha felt horrible and I couldn’t quite bind Marichyasana D. Into uncharted waters after Navasana, well for this time of day at least, I found I could bind either one end or the other of Supta Kurmasana, but not both at the same time :-( I didn’t faff but I just seem so slow, but at least today I did manage to get all of the seated postures done, no vinyasas missed out. As usual I did Pasasana, my fingers feel close and I seem to be more balanced even if the bed is helping (no I wasn’t back in it!). Time for one Urdva Dhanurasana, not a good one, I just did it to prove to msyelf that I still could, followed by a 30 second Savasana before the day had to begin. Even staring at 6am there is no time for closing and there is NO WAY I am staring at 5.30!

I have ended up doing more practice than usual the last few days, with between 75-90 minutes in the morning and then last night I did standing and then from Navasana to the end plus a bit of 2s backbending, the best part of another 90 minutes practice, so a total of 2 and three quarter hours for the day, no wonder I am nearly falling asleep in the afternoons!

6.15 a new story to Navasana

June 9, 2010

I was semi conscious at 6am when Susan’s text finally brought me into the day, up I got and moved around, well faffed around, Karen alas I no longer have a cat to feed and if I had turned the internet on I would probably have not got on my mat at all! The text dawn encouragement chorus continued from Mel and AC, so at 6.15 I figured I may as well get on with it, trying today not to compare how a morning practice compares to my bendier evening sessions.

It took me to the 3rd Surya B until my head got anywhere near my knees, I seem to be able to stretch my hamstrings out better in the second forward bend, having a few minutes before starting practice does seem to make a difference. The one big difference is that morning practice is sloooooower, I seem to take more care getting into each posture so as not to overstretch anything that isnt warmed up. UHP is surprisingly steadier, is that because my head is not full of the days crap as it is in the evening I wonder?

Yesterday I finished after standing, today I carried on into seated, right up to Navasana, Ardha Baddha and Triang Mukha were not great, hips and knees are just not awake, though the Janusirsasanas were not bad, amazed myself by binding Marichyasana D :-)

Navasana, then a go at Pasasana, this is getting nearer, even in the mornings, by now it was 7.20, so alas no time for backbends or other closing, just a very short Savasana before starting the day.

It felt nice to practice, whether it makes the day in this place any more bearable only time will tell. On that point out of the blue I was called by a “head hunting” company yesterday about a job, god knows where they got my name from, but its nice to feel wanted, not a feeling I seem to get when I walk through the doors of this place!

6:45am yoga eeek

June 8, 2010

I was woken at 5.30am by the early morning dawn text chorus, I promptly shoved the phone under the pillow and went back to sleep. At 6.30am it went again with a message to “get up get on with it“, that AC can be very persuasive, but how did she know I was still asleep? Anyway I eventually crawled out and onto my mat at 6.45 and started doing my sun salutations, they were crap, I am just so bloody stiff at that time of day, my fingers were barely grazing the floor in the forward bends. I ploughed on through the rest of the standing postures, which did get a little better, some postures are condusive at that time of day and some aint, surprisingly Pariv Trikonasana was as good as it is at night, but both versions of Parsvakonasana were dire, my head was nowhere near the floor in the Prasaritas, but I managed to balance in UHP. Time was running out, so after standing I tried Pasasana, VERY carefully after last night’s little wrist mishap. It’s a start, but whether I can manage a whole practice when the postures feel so hard is another matter. My wrist didn’t swell up overnight I am so glad to say, so hopefully last night’s painful tweak has not done any further damage. I feel like I still need to do a “proper” practice tonight though, it’s like the morning one wasn’t pucka and  didn’t count.

If I am going to practice in the mornings I have to get the timings worked out, ie I need time for a shower and to cremate my toast and eat my Granola, instead of eating the toast as i walked to work.


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