Archive for August, 2006

Le Paris weekend blog

August 29, 2006

Friday night practice was the usual flowing joy. Did I need it after a week over the keyboard, my head sinking into my neck, neck sinking into shoulders, back collapsing into the organs. It took the Surya’s to begin to open, Easter pressing into my sacrum and lengthening my spine out again. Seated asanas were not as deep as I know they can be, but with a busy, exciting weekend looming it took a lot to keep the mind on the breath.

Now seem to have lost Mari D, but hope it will return. Supta K without help was good. Managed a couple of satisfying backbends, I’m getting there, especially when I can take my time getting into them, right foot still has a mind of its own.

Felt much better after practice, work drags me down so much, practice brings me back to life.

Practice around my birthday is a measure, despite being a year nearer decreptitude, my physical practice is now more open and mentally deeper and more concentrated and conncted. I have also slowed down getting into the postures.

Easter gave me the practice for my birthday, yoga what a lovely present to receive.


Where did Mari D go?

August 23, 2006

A long day at work slaving over my keyboard, my head and neck sinking ever downward into my back undoing all that good work of Bali.

I just had to get on my mat, even though Wednesday is usually my day off. I seemed to fly through the standing postures in double quick time for some reason, my concentration was good and no dawdling etc.

Seated postures were good until until Mari D, whats happened ,wheres it gone, why didn’t my fingers come anywhere near making contact? I can do this one,l I have done it before, I did it last night, but tonight, nah.

Supta K was ok, but time was pressing so into the closing postures and the frustration of no Mari D was made up for by a couple of good Urdva Dhanurasana’s, arms are straightening again, but can’t stop my wayward right foot splaying out and losing the plot, someone out there could make a fortune making a “Keeping the feet in position” jig! But my back felt fairly open which can only be good.

If it wasn’t for work my practice would be great, but instead practice has to undo all the crap that work inflicts on me and thus cannot work on itself.

Summer’s gone

August 23, 2006

Summer has gone, big thunderstorms have put an end to the sunshine.
Practice now takes more effort especially to get warm, even doing Surya namaskars.

I practised Sunday and Tuesday. I am missing the intensity of the practice in Bali, everything was right for practice. At home now my arms wont go straight in Urdva Dhanurasana, but my fingers touched in Mari D last night.

Saturday-but had to practice!

August 19, 2006

Saturday, the weekend, shopping and then spent the rest of the morning severely pruning my apple tree ready for the new shed roof. The afternoon planning next weekend’s trip to Paris.

As another blogger said today, it’s Saturday and no practice, but as Kate Bush came out of the speakers I felt compelled to start doing sun salutations along to the music, I have felt stiff all day and just needed to open out. Well I had no intention to do practice, but I just carried on, the only change was that I did vinyasa between postures and not between sides. It still took 90mins with Savasana, Bali has really slowed down my practice, while at the workshop it was taking around the 2 hours most days. Although last nights counted practice is never a rush I felt it was quite a fast practice. My knees are finding life so much better now, they are more accepting of postures requiring half lotus and my left knee is virtually pain free in the practice, its over a year since I have been able to say that.

The UK summer is over, after a window of sunshine this morning we have had thunder and rain for the rest of the day, but at least its cooler now. Despite being cooler my body seems to be generating its own heat during practice. The workshop did not lead to any big leaps forward, but all around my practice has moved on, my body generates heat, my back is more open and a practice that was becoming stagnant has energy.

Back in the Swing

August 18, 2006

Last Friday Bali, this Friday Clapham! But wherever I am its still about being on that blue mat.Last night it was yoga for charity, a dumbed down practice for the masses in the Town Hall in aid of the local hospice.

Tonight its counted Primary series back in the “L” shaped room. Just four of us, A texts to say she is stuck at work. Its good to be back in this environment, wooden floor, warm room lit by the candles at the feet of the buddhas dotted around. The standing postures feel grounded, to the point that I manage Uttita Padangusthasana.

Seated feel good too, I have the energy to jump through on the vinyasas and joy of joys bind in Mari D on my good knee side. Managed it in Bali, but first time since coming back home. This room feels like home, my practice flows and I am absorbed in it as I try to keep the mind on the breath. Supta K is quite deep if unbound, but its certainly not as stressful as it used to be, its no longer a “dread posture”.

As Easter counts us into Urdva Dhanurasana I try to remember DK’s instructions-lengthen, hollow, squeeze, press into your footprints and roll up, only manage two, but feel happy and content.

After practice Easter comments that my back has opened up, if that was all Bali gave me it was worth the trip, but I know that Bali helped so much more. Back in my ”home” practice place I can feel my practice feels different, it’s stronger, deeper and even more satisfying and connected than it already was.


August 15, 2006

Well after an extremely long journey I am home. After escaping the chaos of Heathrow it was windy and raining and I shivered waiting for the bus home.

Though I have done practice once since my return its practice in patience that I need right now.
On my return the shed roof is leaking and needs replacing.
The freezer has croaked and I have to urgently get another one
And the modem on my PC has ceased to function.

This is the most annoying thing, I bought a nice new USB one and hooked it up, it worked fine last night.But tonight it has taken me 2 hours of uninstalling and re-installing to get connected. Everytime it found the new hardware, installed the drivers and said ready to go, but every time I tried to connect it said “Cannot find dial tone” grrrrrr frustatioooooooooooon. I have no idea what I did to make it work and am scared to turn it off in case I cannot get it to work again.

Technology is so brilliant when it works but oh so annoying when it doesnt do the business.

I need to get on my mat, dare I disconnect?

Bali Last day

August 11, 2006

Our last day in Ubud. We did a lead shortened Primary to finish the workshop, so that evertone could do it. And also some chanting before sitting in a circle to talk about the last two weeks.

In two weeks my practice has moved along, Mari D and Supta K have been great, just hope it continues when I return to chilly Europe. Its been a joy to be here and share the weeks with a really nice group of yogi’s.

Going back to reality is hard, the more I do these retreats I realise how important they have become for getting me through the rest of the year. There has to be a better balance in life.

This afternoon I went to Mt Batur to see the volcano, nice view shame about the over zealous sales people. Back home tomorrow, depending if they have opened Heathrow by the time we leave, otherwise I could live with staying here a little while longer.

Bali – Starvation to Gluttony!

August 10, 2006

Well I managed to complete the fast, but yesterdays practice was absolutely awful. I had no energy at all and often had to rest in childs pose inbetween. I was glad that I wasnt adjusyted too much and was able to just plough through. It was a case of doing the practice and getting through it.

Yesterday afternoons class was something else. We began sitting in a circle and had to add a word or phrase the the sentence “Yoga is…….” Good to hear everyones thoughts as we went around the room. Dena talked about what constitutes good practice, which she says is the ability to focus the mind on the breath in a posture. Simple postures practised this way are as good as the complicated ones.

We ended with chanting some sutras and then this
By yoga, Yoga must be known,
Through yoga, yoga advances.
He who cares for yoga, in yoga rests forever.

Straight arms and silence-shhhhhhhh

August 8, 2006

Morning practice was good, first mysore style since Friday. And joy of joys, having all the time in the world to practice, I did a few extra Urdva Dhanurasana’s trying to remember Dena’s backbend mantra “lenghten, hollow, squeeze, press” then go up and lo and behold my arms suddenly were straight, it felt like a different posture. I am realising it must be as much about technique as it is about strength.

Not sure if I should be blogging today, as its a day of silence and fasting, the silence part I can handle, but a day free of one of those delicious scones from the Bali Buddha restauarant, now that is a true test of yogic endeavour….

Back on our Bali mats

August 6, 2006

Practice began again today at 7am, lead class for a change, a bit stiff and tight from missing a day and walking around temples yesterday. No adjustments today just a word here or there from Dena, really enjoyed the class, but think my body will appreciate having more time tomorrow in mysore style to open in its own time. After we had been in Savasana for a while Dena started to chant, as we gradually came up from Savasana we joined in filling the room with a wonderful sound and enegy, truly a wonderful way to end practice. I wish she would do that more often.

This afternoon’s class was a theory and practical lecture and practice, one of the most interesting 2 hours I have spent with her.