Archive for February, 2007

Tuesday – The abyss

February 28, 2007

Yesterday was such an abysmal day that i really could have done with a much deeper practice than that of the Town Hall.Work was as bad as it gets, that my colleague and I were close to just walking out and telling the arseholes to get on with it. Usual story we do our best, despite the restrictions they stupidly employ, its not good enough so the MD’s daughter gets in a strop, stamps her feet and runs along the corridor to Daddy, who as usual does her bidding and comes to see us. Spoilt little brat needs to go out and work in the real world and get shouted at.

But though I felt crap I went to the Town Hall. Last weeks foray into second series having had the same effect as last time, ie we went from 12 or so down to 5 of us. The practice went through standing, actually allowed to do Parivrita Parsvakonasana with straight leg this week. Same with the Trikonasanas. Prasarita C is coming along, way over on my own and managed to come back up without pitching forward. Seated as far as Janusirsasana A, missed out B & C, then into Mari A & C, missing the two lotus postures, I find this so frustrating, I thought she was missing out Janu B & C to give us time for the Marichyasanas. Only 3 Navasanas, Baddha Konasana was interesting, my hips opened as C stood with her whole weight on my thighs. Managed to come up and over in Supta Konasana, think I could nail this one if I had the space to practice it at home, instead of just a couple of times each week in a class. A couple of decent backbends, I wish she would just leave me alone in this one, it works for me when I mentally go through the list Dena gave us, Inhale, Udiyana, Feel foot prints and go for it.

But some practice I guess is better than none, in such a bitty practice it is difficult to use yoga to leave the days events behind, if this had been the Counted practice on Friday I would have been “in it” and all the crap would go. Alas I went home and hit the sack at 8.45 having mentally given up on the day. I didnt even check my e-mail!

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In an hour

February 27, 2007

I managed to do standing up to Utita Padangusthasana. But it was the seated postures I wanted to do. To save time on a weekday evening I only did vinyasa between postures and not sides. I have decided for the time being to go back to using a strap in Mari D, so that I at least have the feeling of binding and not stressing so much with this posture.

Furniture is a problem at home, Supta Konasana is impossible to come up and over from, which is why I now try and do Ubhaya and Urdva Mukha Paschimottanasana more often. I fail miseribly to come up with straight legs, but once there I can balance and stay.

My elbow has become painful for some unknown reason, so left off doing a proper Urdva Dhanurasana, instead did drop backs down the door.

Practice is beginning to take longer and longer, I seem to do less in 60 minutes than I used to, but maybe what I am doing, I am doing  better.

Tonight back to the Town Hall with C, at least I know she wont be dabbling in second series this week. Tuesdays are just to stretch and do postures, which is a world away from now what I expect of doing practice. Friday’s are practice.

Well thats wasted 20 minutes of another dreary day in the office, looking out at the pouring rain.

Sunday

February 25, 2007

An hour and a half doing practice, but still only got to Upavistha Konasana. My legs are tight, am I doing too much practice?

I love how much better I feel after time on my mat, I enjoyed my practice and I suppose that is what counts, nobody else will judge it and I should not either, but you know how it is, we mentally have our own targets when we practice, will I manage Mari D today (No I didnt), someone told me to practice without expectation, maybe you will do something new today, but be unable to do something you did the last time. There are just so many unquantifiable things that go into practice and how it turns out, the warmth of the room, the state of the mind, is that chiti vitri taking over, general tiredness.

This afternoon I got round to writing up some more of my notes from last summers workshop in Bali. Memories of such a fabulous two weeks. I noted that after the the 6th morning I was pretty tired. Also that during the two weeks I had two practices that I judged fantastic, two that were awful and the rest just happened. I wish I was back there with Dena, I have not felt so well and alive since I returned.

A flat day

February 24, 2007

After the joy and contentment of doing the counted practice last night, today seemed a bit flat, a wander into town, internet at the library, then home. I on the phone after lunch with news from the frozen north. Again mention of possible migration for me up there too. My legs, well thighs to be precise ache from last night, more from the running for trains than practice I feel.

Nothing for it but to get on my mat. Had just intended to try and stretch the aches out, but after some Surya Namaskars found myself half way through the standing sequence before I realised it. Was way over in Prasarita Padot C. Decided to carry on at this point, I went from stretching and breathing to a more committed practice. Did every asana and every vinyasa up to Navasana. Mari D is getting nearer but my foot went back to slipping out mode and my arm still cant get round the leg, but it was better than last nights attempt at least. After Navasana did the Badha Konasana, Upavistha Konasana and the seated balances before doing some warm up backbends down the door before laying down for Urdhva Dhanurasana, a couple of reasonable ones, well I thought they were ok, but they would not get a high score at the yoga olympics.

So 90 minutes later having intended to just stretch for a few minutes it was Savasana. There is no practice next Friday, due to a workshop, so rather than have nothing to look forward to I texted Cristina and booked another session of having my neck and shoulders removed from my ears, its not always relaxing, some of it is downright uncomfortable, but when she gets the back of my shoulders to release with the deep tissue pressure, its as wonderful as I imagine the feeling will be when I manage Mari D again.

Good 2 B back..

February 23, 2007

As the words of a soccer chant go. 4pm outta that hell hole, run to the station scattering quacking ducks, all the trains are on time, that’s a good start. Balham is not the most selubrius part of south London, but if that’s where I have to go to enjoy the best practice in the capital with one of the best teachers, then so be it, maybe I should get a hoodie disguise so I blend in a bit more. I was early so followed my multimap.com print hoping to locate the new shala while it was still light, found the little Mews ( A mews is where houses once had stables underneath and living space above), but could not find the place despite a couple of cooks from the Indian restaurant trying to help. This left no time for my usual tea and kitkat ritual, so just had the kitkat. I planned to hang around on the corner, waiting for people with yoga mats to arrive, who may know the place, but when I returned I saw that I had been looking on the wrong side, presuming all the even numbers would be on the same side, but Easter had opened up and despite the dark I saw the orange sign that has made the journey from the old place in Clapham.

The new place is much smaller, but cosy and warm. I parked my mat by a radiator in the corner and warmed up, trying not to dirty the walls doing handstands. The Buddha’s are there still watching over us and one by one familiar faces arrived and one new one, the more the better. It was sooo good to be standing at the end of my mat chanting the opening mantra, as soon as we chant and start to practice all the crap goes away, I am where I want to be, doing what I want to be doing, with a bunch of really nice people. I really enjoyed the lateral stretch adjustment in Downward dog, I love that sensation of opening up the body, space appearing, mentally as well as physically. The standing postures seemed to be done in no time at all, I was absorbed, no thoughts interupted me.

Seated started well as I quite unexpectedly found that I could actually grab my toe in Arda Badha Paschimottanasana, cannot remember the last time that happened, I was adjusted in Triang Mukha as well, I actually like being adjusted in this posture now. It used to be a posture I found horribly uncomfortable, my foot used to hurt as it pressed into the floor and I couldn’t find my sit bones, now with Easter’s help my weight is better distributed, so that I can go forward evenly and stretch out. Mari A,B & C were deep and good, I really like these 3 postures, but alas my D was the worst it has been all week. It started badly as when I was getting my foot into lotus I rocked back and cracked my head on the radiator, I said I was ok, but was not really, but I was not going to miss having a go at Mari D, but I couldn’t get my arm around my knee on either side. I need time to set up this posture, which is I think why I was able to do it in Bali doing Mysore style all the time. Bujapidasana was ok, but Kurmasana and Supta K were not great. Badha Konasana is getting there, I don’t feel as trapped and stuck, Upavistha and Supta Konasana are also improving. The floor at the new place despite being wood seems to have much less give in it than the old place, so with my bony back and sides Supta Padangusthasana was painful again. The “Bum balances” Ubhaya and Urdva Mukha were not good tonight, but at least I seem well on the way to being able to wrap my arms around my legs when in Lotus in Shoulder stand.

The time just went, practice was over though I am sure that was more than 10 breaths in Uth Plutihi, Easter has us work and engage until the end. I enjoy the closing chant, no need for call and response as we all know it and join in, the room filled with that joyful sound, before one last vinyasa and Savasana.

The new place is going to take some getting used to, not least the journey to get there etc. The old place was my practices home, I am sure in time if we can continue to find four people to get this practice to happen every Friday night, this cosy little room will begin to feel welcoming and hopefully my practice will once again begin to grow and expand.

The trains home were on time too, but as I type I am trying to dry out as a rain deluge was waiting at this end, I am saturated, but just so glad that I went to practice and was able to give body and mind that special time and space it needs.

Yahoo, it’s Friday at last

February 23, 2007

This has been a long week, I have regretted opening my eyes every morning knowing its “same shit different day” at Nepotism UK ltd.

Last night I took it easy just doing Surya’s and the seated postures, trying to coerce my anatomy into Mari D, there’s no change, almost, nearly, but not quite. Foot stays put but the right arm just will not get itself round the left knee.

So I woke up today knowing that at last the two precious hours in the, to be renamed, all new, “L” shaped room, are going to happen, Full counted primary series practice. The 2 hours of the week when I am engaged, enjoying what I am doing, coming back to life after a week of having the life sucked out of me by the arseholes who run this place.

Those damn trains had better be on time tonight to take me to deep south London. I am looking forward to seeing the new place, its said to be smaller, room for just 14 mats, so long as there is a corner for mine, I will be happy.

Wish I was not here-but on my mat

February 22, 2007

Last night had a reasonable practice, all the standing postures and up to Navasana. Mari D is maybe getting closer, thanks to advice received. Left leg lotus, foot stayed in place and had my fingers touching, but not bound for a couple of breaths. Right leg lotus, again foot stayed put, but I just cannot seem to get my arm to go around the left knee and back under, it wont happen. Then did Badha Konasana and Ubhaya, before doing a couple of Urdva Dhanurasanas. An hour and ahalf had gone by without me even realising.

I need my mat right now, the morons who run this place just moved the goal posts yet again, here we are with 4 working days of the month to go, the workshops guys hitting the priority list of stuff  we need, then what happens, they add a heap to the list and decide that half the stuff that was a priority yesterday is not today. Its no wonder that 90% of the inmates in this place are totally and utterly pissed off.

Second again

February 21, 2007

I went to the Town Hall early so that I could use the furniture free environment to do my handstands and Pincha Mayarasana. Also found that I could manage to come up and over in Supta Konasana.

We did all the standing, though C insisted we do a modified Parivrita Parsvakonasana, with the knee on the floor, rather than a straight leg. I like this posture and though I whole heartedly agree with offering a modified posture for those that cant, I think those who can should be able to do the proper asana.

Seated postures only up to Triang Mukha, then we dived off into second series, Krouchasana, bekasana, Ustrasana and Dhanurasana, before doing the closing postures. Urdva Dhanurasana was good, arms almost straight, not sure if it was a result of the previous postures or actually having my hands in the right place.

Savasana and home to do some of the postures we missed out. German yogi blogger had given me hints on how she does Mari D so wanted to try them out. Did the Janusirsasana’s to re-open my hip then did some good Mari’s A, B and a really open C. Followed her foot position advice for D and my lotus foot actually stayed put, but frustratingly I still cannot get my arm to go around the knee and stay there so I can bind, my twist is really good, but I lack stability while trying to get the arm around the knee and its usually at this point that the foot in lotus slides out. But I suppose at least my hip and knee don’t mind doing attempting it again, so there is hope.

I woke to the pouring rain this morning and the realisation of another day in this office, it saps my energy and my life, its like the place has a big black comic cloud hanging over it.

What’s happening

February 20, 2007

Practice is beginning to get frustrating. Last night after the standing postures, I decided not to annoy my shoulders with too many vinyasas. My frustration as you have probably guessed is with Mari D, I could do it last year.

After 3 months of a tight hip and painful knee, I have mobility back in both, which lets me do half lotus again. When I have my left leg in half lotus, I can get my arm around the knee but my damn left foot insists on sliding out. On the other side the foot also slides out and I just cannot get my arm to go around the knee. Using Superglue would be detrimental to the rest of the practice, so why wont my feet stay in half lotus and why wont my arm loop my leg. I know one asana does not make a practice, but my practice is in need of a little lift and doing Mari D is one that would do it.

Backbends were not that great, I lifted up, but lacked stability in the posture. Urdva Dhanurasana is another that was going well after Bali and is in danger of regressing to its pre Bali state.

The weekends gone again

February 18, 2007

Friday a good practice, its the start of the weekend and is the full stop on another week in that hole.

Saturday morning trip to town to use the broadband at the library, we were still unconnected. First  a treat, a visit to the Wellness place for a back, neck and shoulders massage. In my case mainly neck and definitley the shoulders, all that time over a keyboard and driving a mouse, all those vinyasas as well. The therapist was excellent I have to say, after warming my back up she worked deeper and deeper until the painful deep tissue areas behind my shoulder blades, deep breath in, breath out slowly as she pushed, I presume it was her elbow, then suddenly discomfort changed to realease as I felt the pop and spread of the muscles, it was a nice sensation.

I decided not to undo her good work by doing practice, instead home to find the phones are reconnected and I has been on from the Frozen North. Two hours on the phone, so much to talk about and maybe just maybe an escape route away from Nepotism UK Ltd. Saturday evening to a friends House warming party. Colleagues wife tells me he is on the edge with the place as much as me, needs a break or like me escape, something has to give soon as one or both of us will end up going under. I think we should quit together, our Boss knows what we do but bugger all about how we actually do it, they would be in so much crap, I would love to do it.

Sunday morning the whole Primary series, a practice with flow, but it still took me two hours including a nice Savasana, letting my opened shoulders sink into the floor. The standing sequence seems to go quickly now and seated up to the Janusirsasana’s, Mari A B & C are great but D is still not there. Last week my fingers got it together in D for those 3 quick breaths, now my arm wont stay round the knee and I cannot even touch fingers let alone grab or bind, what were the conditions last week that made D oh so close, why wont it happen again? Answers on a postcard!

Kurmasana and Supta Kurmasana were not great, but I was loathe to squash my shoulders, alas I cannot afford to have Cristina’s fingers release my shoulders every week, unlike Bali where it was done every day. Upavistha Konasana was not deep today, Ubaya Padangusthasana is getting there, Bum balance as its known.

Left out Setu Bandhasana again,  I know, I know, but didn’t want to upset my neck, did some walking down the wall and Ustrasana before doing Urdva Dhanurasana and the other closing postures, before Savasana I also did handstands and just for fun leg behind the head.

The weekend has gone again, I missed not going to practice, I miss the energy that a bunch of yogi’s practising together generates. Next weekend, whether it be Friday or Saturday my first priority will be to go to practice.