Archive for May, 2007

At Last

May 31, 2007

Practice at home as far as Navasana. And what do you know I managed to finger grab/bind on both sides in Marichyasana D. I think if I had had someone there to adjust me I could have got further. Having said that I think in the long term its better to wriggle and reach and find those extra centimetres yourself, rather than constantly have someone put you in a posture and then not be able to repeat the trick on your own. But the satisfaction of just feeling my fingers on both sides for the first time in months was wonderful.

After Navasana went into closing, via some Ustrasana and Laghu Vajrasana, before doing a decent Urdhva Dhanurasana.


Practice & Buddha tools

May 30, 2007

Another bitterly cold wet May day. I had to venture out at lunchtime to buy some pencils and a compass for the Buddha drawing workshop on Sunday. I have the equipment, but my artistic skills are lacking to say the least!

I just could not be bothered to walk down to the Town Hall in the cold rain last night, to be honest I think my Town Hall practice days are numbered, I just do not get enough from it. So practice at home last night, everything up to Navasana then the closing postures. Marichyasana D is still an enigma, though it is becoming more balanced between the 2 sides, I did not manage to bind the 2nd side, but I did finger touch on both sides, so there is progress. Backbends were good, even without doing the warm up ones, I have more control now, something has changed.

17 more days of slavery, then its off to Thailand and Laos, for sunshine, culture and Buddha’s.

Scientific evidence!

May 29, 2007

The following small article was in the Times on Saturday, helping to explain why we feel so good after practice.

THAT walking-on-air feeling you get after an hour’s yoga is not just placebo – the postures give your brain a big blast of a calming neurotransmitter, says an MRI-scanning study.

Boston University scientists scanned 19 volunteers’ brains before and after they spent an hour doing yoga. The people who spent 60 minutes in warrior and downward-dog poses had a 27 per cent boost in their levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid. This is thought to induce relaxation and calm emotions. The study, in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, says that yoga may effectively treat depression and anxiety.

Too cold for Mari D

May 28, 2007

Typical Bank holiday weekend, its wet, its freezing cold and there is sod all on the telly. 

Sunday practised up to Mari D, before I rang from the frozen north, where ironically the weather was drier, if not warmer.Today it’s even colder, or so it seems, even indoors I sit here typing with a jumper and an enormous Icelandic woollen cardigan on, but I did do the whole Primary this morning. I don’t seem to have much to say about the standing postures lately, they just seem to happen, the only changes have been to Utita Padangusthasana, which has been more balanced and a few steadyish head to knee breaths as well. 

Seated were OK, not as open due to the temperature, which even with not missing a vinyasa, I was still not that warm and did not want to push it, Mari D has gone again Friday’s mini success, but it’s not that far away, if I was warmer and bendier I would get there. Noticed I could not get as far into Kurmasana and Supta K either today. 

Did my extra postures before Urdva Dhanurasana (Ustrasana,Supta Vajrasana & Laghu Vajrasana), this seems to work well, giving me 3 fairly nice backbends with straight arms. Seated balances are coming back too, ok maybe only manage them for a few breaths but… 

But at least I practised, this afternoon I shivered my way through a dvd of
Madagascar, I love kids cartoon films, they are easy to watch and nowadays there is usually some adult humour hidden in there as well

Mari D – again

May 26, 2007

Rather than slogging on the train to Mysore practice I decided to have a mysore at home, save the train and 2 hours travelling. So made a cuppa unrolled the carpet revealing the “home” mat and managed to have a good connected practice.

I just decided to practice and see what came, standing were fine, though hamstrings a bit tight in the forward bends. Seated began as usual with my stroppy knee  in Ardha Badha, but after the janusirsasanas things opened up, Mari A – C were good, then to D, first side a good twist but nowhere near a bind, changed sides and found there was some space so kept the breath going and my arm went around the knee, after another 10 breaths or so the other arm went round the back and “Yahooooooooo” I was comfortably bound. I wonder if it will reappear when I next practice, what I cannot understand is why it happened on my problematic knee side, when the other side (Left knee in Lotus) is easy, yet it wont happen.

Pre closing I did some other backbends before Urdva Dhanurasana, and then had a good UD, I just need to open up the front and back before I do the main event it seems. My mind was still in Mari D when Sirsasana came around which is probably why I couldnt stay up there, narrowly missing the cd player on the way down!

A good practice though, felt good afterwards.

8 Random things

May 25, 2007

I didnt know what this was about until I got a comment a little earlier, the commenter was good enough to explain the plot, though it seems everyone has been tagged, so I will forgo that part, but here’s my random 8.

  1. I thought yoga was something done by old dears in cold church halls on a Tuesday nights. Now I know better. It’s saved my life, it keeps me sane. Many is the Friday counted that is the difference between getting on a train and jumping in front of one.
  2. I was born with an extra left thumb, which was removed before I had any input.
  3. I love to travel having visited over 70 countries, my favourite being Japan, but Saudi Arabia and Iran were interesting.
  4. Don’t drink alcohol.
  5. I have lived in the same house for 38 years, I bought it 15 years ago.
  6. Love the music of Kate Bush
  7. I walked past 2 of the Bangkok bomb locations on New Years eve, less than an hour before they exploded, they were already planted, someone was watching over me that night.
  8. I want to go and live somewhere cheap and warm, where I have time for yoga.


May 25, 2007

I opened an e-mail first thing, good news, the Buddha drawing workshop is happening, the Nepalese have been granted visas to come to the UK. There are a few Thangka exhibitions in London over the next month or so. They are beautiful objects, I see some on the wall every Friday when we practice.

Talking of which after a night off to watch the Champions League final it was just an hour’s practice in the evening sunshine last night. In earlier years I would have done the postures I like in a short practice, but times have changed. I read somewhere (think it was Donna Farhi) who said practice with integrity, not missing out the postures we don’t like. So last night I did standing up to Utita Padangusthasana, so I would have time for more seated poses. Then did the seated up to Supta Kurmasana, which resulted in a finger touch. Did all the Mari’s, though as usual D was not happening, but at least my knee has stopped grumbling.

Did Ustrasana and Supta Vajrasana to open up more for Urdva Dhanurasana, which has been going well lately.

It felt like a good practice, despite it being just an hour. No Counted practice tonight, so practice at home instead, though had better get some Buddha drawing practice in over the weekend, otherwise we could be having pipe cleaner Buddha’s!

Mish Mash

May 23, 2007

Last night at the Town Hall with C. A bit of a mixture last night, did all the standing postures including actually doing an unmodified Parivrita Parsvakonasana.

Seated consisted of Dandasana, Paschimottanasana, before doing Pigeon pose and then a bound Ardha Badha Paschimottanasana, before heading straight to Marichyasana A, B & C, alas no D after all that good hip opening, a wasted opportunity.

Then we semi dived into Second series, Ustrasana, Supta Vajrasana and I again managed 5 x Laghu Vajrasana, before going to the closing poses, Urdva Dhanurasana was pretty good and solid, rest of closing was not bad.

I have been investigating getting contact lenses for doing practice, but seems to be a no go as it would cost a fortune to have my strange prismatic prescription made into lenses. The Prism makes my wayward right eye focus where its supposed to, at the same single point as the left, rather than each eye focussing on an individual point of its own, I need this to do the balances particularly, the optician said if there was no prismatic element then it would be viable, but the prism is integral, so its keep the glasses.


May 22, 2007

A busy but tedious day at work, had to do the induction or should that be indoctrination of a new starter, I wonder how long long she will put up with the atmopsphere in that place. The morning started with a girl who had been off sick, who having filled in all the self certification stuff was hauled into a disciplinary meeting about being sick, she had the last laugh by having her notice already typed out, good on her. That’s the problem with Nepotism UK, once “The Family” get a downer on somebody there’s nowhere to go, nobody to appeal to, you are screwed.

So practice, well I did some that’s about all I can say, just tried to keep my hip open and knee happy. Did some twists to help my guts and some backbends, but that was it, by the time I got to my mat I lacked energy and enthusiasm. Tonight to the Town Hall with C, have no expectations, but it will have to do for this week, knowing theres no counted practice with Easter this Friday.

Geo Asana

May 20, 2007

Last Sunday
Stockholm, this week rural Buckinghamshire for a spot of geocaching in the morning sunshine. For the uninitiated this is orienteering with a GPS, the goal being to find a hidden container. To get to the final container we had to find a series of 5 micro caches after solving some clues (Clue asana). We almost gave up on the first one, but after 20 minutes searching finally stumbled across the metal tag with the next set of coordinates and we were on our way. It turned into a 2 hour circular countryside walk ending up in some trees to find a plastic box hidden inside a log.

Real asana this afternoon, had intended to get to Navasana, but standing had been good and seated up to Marichyasana C also, I struggled and wriggled in D, but alas am still not there on either side. My wrist began to object after Bujapidasana, so missed the odd vinyasa through to the end, saving my wrist for the trials of Urdhva Dhanurasana, which I managed OK. I need not only a mysore practice somewhere, but also more space for practice at home, Upavistha I can just about do, but there’s no space for Supta Konasana, too much furniture. But a decent practice, despite my uncomfortable wrist. 

Another weekend has gone by, its going to be a long week, especially as there is no counted Friday practice the next 2 weeks, no light at the end of a weeks tunnel.Maybe I should try the Vinyasa flow on Thursday evening?