Archive for April, 2007

Garden asana

April 29, 2007

halasana.jpg

Back garden Halasana 

Saturday morning got home from shopping and found myself doing some asanas in the back garden sunshine, but had to come indoors as there were too many of those horrible wasps around my trees. I cannot risk getting stung again, last time I ended up in A&E with anaphylactic shock for a night. Saturday’s asanas were about making sure I got rid of the stiffness from Friday nights counted practice.

Sunday afternoon full primary, every asana and every vinyasa. I thought it was going to be crap, I was so tight in my legs doing the Suryas, my hand barely flat in Parivrita Trikonasana. But I continued and it got better. Seated were ok up to Mari C, Mari D still wont come back.  After Navasana I was really into it, my body had opened, practice changed from not quite going through the motions to being enjoyable. After Friday’s adjustment in Supta Padangusthasana, I improvised holding the bed base to keep my hips down on the floor. The only posture I modified was Setu Bandasana, as I had woked with a crick in my neck.

Urdva Dhanurasana was strong for a change, arms not quite straight, but I stayed up for 3 x 5. Sirsasana was a success today as well. What are the conditions that make this posture work, I wish I knew. I had thought about calling it a day after the standing postures, but am so glad I persevered. I enjoyed my practice.

I am still managing to keep my wheat intake down and my smoothie intake up. Its 2 weeks since Cristina suggested the possible solution to this IBS nightmare. My system seems to be getting the plot, since last Wednesday I have felt really well, so perhaps it took 12 days for my body to adapt, I just hope this good gut feeling stays around a while.

Practice & Shortbread

April 27, 2007

Friday at last, another week nearer, the workshops, my holiday, and telling them to shove it where the sun dont shine!

A lovely sunny evening as the train crosses the river, past the chimneys of Battersea Power station and into the southern suburbs to Balham and the sanity of practice. Pre practice cuppa with lovely wheat free flapjack and a quick dash round Sainsburys where I find the Smoothies a pound cheaper than Waitrose and some wheat/gluten/dairy free shortbread at a bargain 99p, yes.

Just six of us tonight chant the opening mantra, tonights was a truly flowing practice, it just flew by so fast. I love my practice, but am usually glad when its done, but tonight I felt disappointed when the standing postures were over. Adjusted only in the Trikonasana’s during standing, managed the standing balances tonight as well. Vinyasa to seated, the seeming speed continued, we had such energy tonight. My own energy seems better, especially after I let go of the wind that had been in my guts, my practice just took off after that! Usual good Mari A,B & C but as usual lacked wriggle time for D. We did an extra Navasana in honour of it being Louises birthday! Supta Kurmasana fingers again touched, but unbound. And Easter adjusted me in Supta Padangusthasana, cannot remember ever being adjusted in this one before, though that rib bone still makes this posture extremely uncomfortable.

Managed all 3 Urdva Dhanurasanas tonight, rest of closing ok until Sirsasana, was well wobbly tonight, Easter adjusting me to keep me up there, just could not balance. This is another posture that comes and goes, I just don’t worry about it now, if it happens it happens.

Call and response closing chant that got louder and louder as we competed with the Nokia tune of a mobile phone ringing in the cloak room! 1hr 45mins start to finish including Savasana, that was a really flowing fast practice, it seemed easier than when it feels like a 2 hour slow slog.

Openings & Light theft

April 26, 2007

Home to find the decorator has finished the living room, so space again for my little blue mat. Thursday night I try to open my body after its night off last night. Did all the standing and as far as Mari C, then a very modified Mari D, before doing the closing postures. The standing were surprisingly open after a day off, though the 1/2 half hour early this morning may have helped.

Apart from being bored shitless at work all day, not that there isnt work to do, its just tedious right now, well always tedious in reality, but I actually measurably began to feel better today. No IBS, a nice walk along the canal at lunchtime, maybe the efforts I have been making to improve my digestion are starting to come to something. It must be those Apple & Blackberry smoothies! Though thanks to finding a gluten free blog and receiving a very helpful explanation I now understand that gluten is not only in wheat, but also found in oats, barley, but that the gluten in wheat is the most likely to upset my digestion. So am hopeful that I am doing the right thing.

The most annoying thing this week is that some miserible b******* stole the four lights from my front garden path. I have these little lights that are solar powered and come on when it gets dark, lighting my way to the front door, but last night we looked out and they were gone.

Rest Day

April 26, 2007

I suddenly realised that I had done some practice for 10 consecutive days, so thought I deserved a day off yesterday.

At 6.30am this morning I was wide awake, so decided to just stretch, this stretch turned into most of the standing postures, not that they were deep, everything was tight, especially the legs, but it was interesting to see and feel the difference from practising in the evenings. The last time I was on my mat this early was in Bali last year, after the first week I kinda got used to it, but it sure makes me glad I chose a 9am slot for the Stockholm workshop rather than 6am!

I sit writing this bored at work, nearly time for tea, but sans Hobnob bickie, its 10 days since I had one with the reduction of my wheat intake, not that I feel much difference.

Town Hall & fruit news

April 24, 2007

Usual aggravation filled day at work, leading to a bit of the damn IBS, am beginning to think stress is as much to blame as what goes in my mouth. Anyway resisted the temptation to crash out and walked down to the Town hall for practice with C. The room seems to divide into the right hand end being those are have been practising a while and the left end the six or seven graduates from the beginners course. The beginners get to only vinyasa between postures and not sides, not that I am jealous. No adjustments in standing apart from the lateral stretch in Downward dog during Surya’s Namaskars. Come to think of it no adjustments at all tonight, oh apart from Padangusthasana forward bend. Felt OK once I got going, even managed to jump into Triang Mukha from the vinyasa. We only did the easy Mari’s A & C, before Navasana and Bujapidasana, I managed a nice satisfying Titibasana coming out of Bujapidasana, only to realise that I was the only one doing it and 12 sets of eyes were watching me! I am not good at yoga, but I suppose it should teach me to appreciate how far my practice has come, my thoughts returning to that first week in France with LL and watching in awe as Mel did it, here I am six years later now the one being watched.

Kurmasana was not bad, would have got further if not for having such a thick T-shirt which got in the way when wriggling into position, Supta K was the same, feet crossed, fingers almost there. A couple of decent Urdhva Dhanurasanas and the rest of closing including a 20 breath Sirsasana, though my dodgy guts would not allow me the half way and up again part.

Well the good news is I have found a fruit smoothie I actually like the taste of, there is a kids range which has drinks still with all the good fruit in, but which dont have the “bits” in, I plumped for a pack of Apple & Blackberry and to my amazement it tasted sweet and very nice, no need for violent head shaking or screwing up of the face or massive spoonful of sugar, I actually enjoyed it and was sorry when I had finished it up. Each carton has one portion of fruit, so am well on the way to scoring some brownie points when I see the Nutritionist! 

Lack of space

April 24, 2007

I have the decorator in this week, so furniture is spread around other rooms to make way.

Practice consisted of standing postures and seated up to Mari B, while avoiding stuff, it was a case of doing postures rather than being engaged in yoga, but its better than nothing and I will have to make the most of tonights class at the Town Hall with C, I hope she doesnt pfaff around and just goes through Primary properly.

One good thing was booking my space on the Buddha drawing workshop last night, it should be fun and its in a good cause. Easter has some of the Art of the Himalayas artists coming over to London to exhibit and explain their beautiful Mandalas and Thangkas. If my Buddha doesnt look like a pipe cleaner man I will be surprised!

Practice & Research

April 22, 2007

A weekend with a lot to think about and then find answers to.  I hope the positive changes I have made regarding diet, wheat free Muesli, no biscuits, less tea, more water will begin to kick in soon, but after 40 years no doubt its going to take time to adjust. I have spent hours looking at Smoothie makers to solve the fruit issue, there’s so many of the damn things, though I have discounted one which kept having reviews saying that the tap broke after half a dozen uses. But at least if things don’t improve as I hope and I end up “confessing” my food sins to the nutritionist ( I confess to being a tea drinking, biscuit eating, sugar loving, fruit hating etc etc), at least I will be able to tell her I tried, she wont order 5 Hail Mary’s but line up an apple, orange, banana, pear and a mango and make me stay there until I have eaten them. I have read so much stuff over this weekend about, some of it contradictory, one says leave out the sugar, ie chocolate and sweets and replace with fruit or dried fruit and nuts, then I read on another website that dried fruit is an irritant that can set off the IBS, you can’t do right for doing wrong it seems. So I now seem to be on a new journey along with my yoga journey.

Practice, well its getting slower, after the best part of 90 minutes I had only got to Upavistha Konasana. Having said that I enjoyed my practice, the postures were good. I did Utita Padungusthasana and Ardha Badha balances, I managed to get myself a good way into Marichyasana D, after a few minutes wriggling about. If we had more wriggle time on a Friday night I think I would manage it, as I’m pretty open by then in that hot practice environment. That’s partly why I need a Mysore environment, with others around I am less inclined to break my practice, but the extra heat and being able to take my time entering postures I can get there. Managed 3 x Urdhva Dhanurasana and even played with standing drop backs, not that I get far. But I have learned to relax my backside, thus taking away the lower back pinching and then going a little further, there is movement, however small.

After practice and lunch it was time for more research, this time trying to read about knees to give myself a head start for the YogAnatomy workshop which is coming up fast. I now know what a Miniscus is, that’s progress, presumably its the thing that bloody hurts in lotus!

Wheat free = expensive

April 20, 2007

4pm eventually came around, a long week, I need my mat.

Tonight I forwent my usual tea and kitkat before practice routine, in order to investigate the Organic food shop for wheat free fodder. Well 30 minutes later after deciphering labels I came out with a big bag of wheat free Muesli, some wheat free flapjack and a hole in my wallet. Why does it cost more when they have left the wheat out, I didnt buy the biscuits at £2.99 for about 10 its taking the piss? Could not find CJ’s suggested Dragon fruit, so wandered up the road to Balham Waitrose, no luck in there either, but did come out with probably the most healthy drink I have ever bought a smoothie made of strawberry and banana to go with my train picnic on the way home. It occured to me that maybe this is the way to get fruit, that I dont really like down into me, buy some, bung it in a liquidiser, hold my nose and gulp it down without it touching the sides and a big sugar lump to follow. Would its “goodness” be the same? If things don’t improve I know an expensive date with the centres nutritionist awaits in a month or so, I can ask her, but if anyone thinks I have a plan feel free to comment.

Practice at last, 8 of us tonight, enough yogis and yoginis to bring that lovely concentrated energy to the room, but few enough to give us all a little arm and leg room. A was there tonight, she has been ill, good to see her back on her mat, let the games begin! Standing just flew by, Utita Padangusthasana was a draw as Easter adjusted me in it on the first side and I was actually ok on the other side.

Seated postures were good, a warm day, followed by a warm up had opened my hips and knees, so that I had lotus if not a bound toe in Ardha Badha, Janusirsasana A & B felt easeful, I was able to concentrate on lengthening rather than hip issues, Janu C brought laughter as Easter said we would feel the foot on the spleen, I said “where is the spleen?” and I heard a voice laughingly say “dont worry nobody’s foot is anywhere near it” The Chitvari game with A was already going on, after Janu C I did my vinyasa as Easter said “Hold chitvari” I looked over to see A grinning from ear to ear as she slowly lowered herself down as I held it, got her back during the Marichyasanas though, hee heee 🙂  I enjoyed Kurmasana and Supta Kurmasana, once again I had fingers touching if not docking and did Titibasana, yeeees. Who would believe that balancing on your hands with your legs sticking out would be so satisfying!

I am finding Supta Padangusthasana a pain lately, especially when the leg goes out to the side, I am begining to get further over, but there is a rib bone on either side that has no flab covering and is excruciating when my body weight is on it.

Two full Urdva Dhanurasanas and a 3 breath one, had to come out early as I could feel my hands and feet both sliding out from under me. Sirsasana nearly didnt happen, my first attempt I went over the top, luckily our mats were staggered so didnt take K out opposite me, second go couldnt get up, eventually on the third go when the count was gone 10 I managed to get up and stay for about 8 breaths.

I love Easter’s Savasana, not the usual “relax this, relax that, relax the other“, but descriptions like “having no thoughts in the jaw, the tongue or the teeth”, my body really lets go, but is awake and conscious of its surroundings, its like all of this practice, its how its for me meant to be, a flowing joy for mind as well as body. Train home with my picnic and smoothie, first sip made me shake my head hard, people nearby must have thought I was escapee or something, not used to that taste or texture, didnt expect “bits” in it, got it down in the end, I hope my stomach appreciates the effort I am going to!

I don’t like fruit!

April 20, 2007

My usual thursday evening practice, just trying to open up ready for the wonderful counted practice this evening, am so looking forward to it. I hope the place is open when I get there so I can do some hip, knee opening before we begin.

I got an e-mail from the Nurtitionist at the Wellness place I visit. I am doing the right thing keeping a diary and reducing my wheat intake, but she added the rider that I need to eat fresh fruit and veg. OK I eat some veg, though I’m not overly struck on the stuff. However fruit is another matter, I don’t eat or like any! The nearest I get is dried fruit, raisins, sultanas, dried apricots etc. I know I should try again, but attempts made by elders to force the stuff down me as a child live long in the memory. I really need to find a fruit I would like, it must be sweet, easy to eat, ie not too messy, free from pips etc, I hate mucking around with food, its the reason I dont eat fish, what with all the bones.

Before practice tonight I plan to visit the organic food shop in the hope of finding some Gluten/Wheat free Muesli and biscuits. But the fruit thing is another problem.

Is it my imagination?

April 19, 2007

No Moon day excuses for last night, on my mat and up to a modified Mari D, my knees and hips are becoming more accepting of this posture again, I now have hope that it may happen again.

Urdva Dhanurasana, could only find the strength to do this twice, why are my successes with this posture so sporadic?

Tried to do the postures we missed out on Tuesday at the Town Hall, forgot Supta K etc , but did a decent Sirsasana, came to half way but could not get back up to vertical. A long Savasana, which was ended by a text message from Srh, asking if she could come for a cup of tea after teaching her class. And that is where I fell off the wagon, tea and wheat filled hobnobs, only 3 and I promise to try and not have any today. But the incentive not to eat any today comes because my stomach is having a tetchy day, not distended, painful IBS, but its rumbling and considering its options. So the question is after 4 days of doing the right thing, was Cristina right in her wheat intollerance theory or is it my imagination. Is it just chance that having eaten some biscuits, that this morning the problem has returned, or is wheat the answer? I have still been eating bread, so is there something else in biscuits that sends my stomach over the edge when combined with wheat?