Archive for July, 2007

At a loss + Plan C

July 31, 2007

It’s strange, like most I like the thought of “Moon day”, legal no guilt day off from practice, but then I find I am at a loss with what to do with the time.

Apart from a couple of Surya A’s when I got home from sitting in my office chair all day, I ended up unhealthily on the internet for 3 hours trying to plan my Xmas escape. Kerala has developed into a very expensive idea, as did plan B to Yemen. So by 9.30pm I was onto Plan C , Shanghai, flights still are cheap and there are some great hotel deals. But I do wonder why its so cheap, will it be freezing cold for a start. More research is needed.

Today is another day, I collect my new glasses at lunchtime, maybe I will be able to read in the evenings again without straining my eyes.

Astrology & Practice

July 29, 2007

I am not one who usually reads the astrology page in the Sunday paper, but today after practice I did. It said;

“Minds and bodies need respect, they operate better when they get it”. It also said “Don’t be pushed into overworking this week, by others, you need a break”

So practice this morning was a long slow crawl through Primary, doing everything up to Bujapidasana, then closing. Standing felt ok, though my shoulders are tight in Prasarita Padot C and Utita Padnagusthasana was not very balanced.

Seated were done slowly, but without stopping to wriggle too much, I just did each posture to where it wanted to be today, so today’s Mari B on side 2 was just having the foot on the thigh, I didn’t spend 10 minutes coaxing it into Lotus. Mari D was the same, didn’t even bother to try binding, just tried to be vertical and twisting.

Closing was different I did Ustrasana and Laghu Vajrasana before attempting Urdva Dhanurasana, 3 ok asanas, even got my arms straight on the last one, then tried to do standing drop backs. I like trying this now, its another posture that frightened the life out of me in the past, but good teachers have a way of encouraging you to believe that one day it may happen for you if you just give it a chance.

So it seems my mind already knew what the astrologers knew, take it easy, respect the body and enjoy the practice. But best of all they are right about taking a break, Friday cant come soon enough and the workshop in Sweden, just the intelligent type of break I need.

I tried to practice..

July 28, 2007

but my knee wasnt coming out to play, even in the standing postures it was making all kinds of noises, I could barely manage tree pose never mind lotus. Seated postures, even a very gentle Janusirsasana A was very painful, so I admitted defeat and stopped. Hopefully its just asking for a rest and will come out to play later in the week.

So now I am sitting with my laptop trying to find my Christmas escape, Kerala looks nice, never been to south India before.

Bargain day!

July 28, 2007

My knee is stiff and rebellling and despite all the work I have tried to do to open the hip and knee, my right knee in particular is struggling to rise far up the thigh without becoming really painful, its gone past the aching and releasing stage.

But at least I had a good trip into town this morning, walking through the park I came across a whole stack of Saturday papers complete with supplements just blowing about, when I got into town the local charity shop had a brand new pair of Adidas trainers in my size for £4 and a Beth Orton CD I had looked at on Amazon the other day. Considering I was tooing and froing as to whether to go into town as I didn’t actually need anything, it turned into a good trip.

Should I practice later or give my knees a rest, but then Monday is Moon day anyway, the legal no guilt day off from practice.

A normal Friday

July 27, 2007

After last Friday’s transport trial and tribulations, culminating in missing practice, tonights trip into the city was easy peasy. A lot quieter too what with the schools being closed for summer. There in time to have a nice organic piece of flapjack and a cup of tea before practice.

I mentally made myself just accept what came, as the counted practice does not allow wriggle time. Just as well I had adopted this attitude as my right knee was exceedingly painful tonight, lotus was never going to happen. But I was just so glad to be on my mat in that place doing my practice, I didnt mind. I did try to lift more before jumping back and I did try to be even on my hands when jumping through. We seemed to develop quite a quick hot sweaty pace tonight, which meant although I didn’t bind, Supta Kurmasana was quite deep. Not very much adjustment either, our practice was our own. Somehow Easter always gets this balance right, her slow, calm voice taking us through the asanas.

Backbend wasnt great, partly because I was tired when we got there and partly because my mat had become quite slippy from the sweat, but I did three of sorts. Rest of closing was OK, even managed to stay up for the whole of Sirsasana, though didn’t attempt the half way and up again, will leave that for Stockholm. Savasana closed by those resonant singing bowls. I took my own bowl with me tonight, I never seem to be able to get the same quality of sound out of it, so asked an expert, it turns out it’s how I hold it, when I hold the bowl in the palm of my hand the sound is dulled by the palm, Easter showed me how to balance the bowl on the top of my fist, so I don’t have so much contact with the bowl and thus get a much nicer sound. I am looking forward to “playing” my bowl tomorrow, I would play it tonight, but my new neighbours have a tiny baby.

A chink of light, maybe..

July 26, 2007

Yet again practice this evening had to be done in 2 segments. Surya A’s and standing, then later Surya B’s and some of the rest. The standing postures felt good, a lot more open than yesterday. The twists were nice, my body didn’t feel squashed like yesterday.

Later the Surya B’s and into the seated postures, by the time I got round to doing the second half, my hamstrings had regressed from their nice open state of earlier in the evening, so Paschimottanasana was not great, though the Janursirsasanas always feel better, as you can obviously do each side on its own and gradually find the space to move into. They are also where my knee and hips get the chance to relax and stop being quite so excruciating. I have been spending 10 breaths in Janu A to let my knees and hips let go. I suppose this is what is meant by having “Your own practice“, knowing when your body wants more time instead of just counting 5 and heading for the next posture.

This is where we come to Marichyasana, A and C felt fairly comfortable, B took some knee coaxing and not a great twist but I got there. Then I came to Marichyasana D, which seems to take up so much of my mental practice. On the first side my knee performs lotus ok, more or less, its finding the balance to stretch, round the knee and bind that is the problem, but yay tonight it happened, not a great Mari D, but I was bound. Then we come to side 2, definitely a case of taking my time, gradually got my knee into a relatively knee pain free lotus, spent some time developing the twist and wodya know I managed to just about bind my fingers and stay there for a few breaths.

Taking this much time for just one posture has the effect of my practice losing its heat and momentum for the following postures. I do wonder about the integrity of my practice. Should I just go for Mari B & D and just go where they get and head off into Navasana, or is it right to spend so much time coaxing my anatomy into the asana, after all if you don’t try its never going to happen, well that’s how it feels anyway. Its a dilemna for the Mysore week, should I slow my practice down this much in order to accomplish one posture, or should I just plough through the series keeping the heat and momentum going??

After the Mari’s time had passed so did Badha Konasana and Upavistha, more hip opening, before attempting 3 x Urdva Dhanurasana and trying the warm ups for standing drop backs Laksmi mentioned in her blog.

So tomorrow is Friday at long last, I will have survived the 2 weeks on my own attempting to do two and half people jobs, am I glad its over. And South West trains permitting I will get my longed for and well deserved Counted practice tomorrow night, I need my mat, I need that mental space to be returned.

Wednesday

July 25, 2007

I wish I could think of a more original title. Another crap day at work, doing 2.5 peoples work, while my colleague sunbathes and our Boss is now on long term sick leave, another victim of staff just being an expendable number.

Knackered when I got home, just could not find the get up and go to do much practice, so did Standing up to the Prasaritas and then resisting the urge somehow to go into Savasana I did up to Marichyasana D, I am determined that my hip and knee are going to re-open. My knees are now finding the lotus after a bit of coaxing, but seem unable to manoevre my weight into the right place to try and get the arm around the knee for the bind. Oh well I know, be happy with where you are.

Then did my backbends, Ustrasana, Supta Vajrasana, Laghu Vajrasana and finally Urdva Dhanurasana, could barely find the energy to lift. The standing drop back felt better, I can feel I am getting further back, only a matter of time I feel until I go crashing, hopefully avoiding the IKEA bookcase which I think is now just one more yoga accident away from oblivion!

Much more open

July 24, 2007

Well my belly was back to being happy this morning, so tonight instead of a rushed practice when I got in from the slave camp, I decided to split my practice into manageable chunks. Part 1 was doing Surya A’s and all of the standing sequence before dinner. Standing just felt really good, especially the twists, my favourite of the standing poses, Unrestricted and open.

3 hours later came Part 2, Surya B’s and up to Supta Kurmasana, before closing. My knees are beginning to open a little more, or is it my hips that are opening, though my knees still hurt in the Janusirsasana’s and Marichyasansa’s. Mari D was not going to happen tonight despite a good twist, but it doesnt feel as  far away as it did. Supta K actually had a finger touch tonight! As is now my norm, I did plenty of back opening before Urdva Dhanurasana, which itself went ok, though only got the arms straight on the last one, I hope DK lets me do my openings during the Mysore practice in Sweden.

I spoke too soon

July 23, 2007

Remember just the other day I mentioned that my IBS had been dormant for a while and I felt better, well this morning I woke to a painful stomach ache, which has lasted all day. I think it was caused either by the nice biscuits (wheat) a friend gave me as a present or a bar of chocolate (Dairy) I had over the weekend. Either way these are two of the major things I have managed to resist over the last 3 months or so and if they are the reason for todays discomfort, it vindicates the changes I have made and it was my own fault. If it wasnt them then I am back to square one.

Practice tonight was painful thanks to my stomach ache, I slogged through to Mari D, Ok a very modified Mari D and a few attempted backbends, which I did more in aid of trying to open up the front, ie my stomach and give it some room to work, unlike now as I sit hunched over this keyboard. But all practice is good, so hopefully tomorrow I will wake with a happy belly and be able to practice. I so want my body to open before the week in Sweden.

Lazy Sunday

July 22, 2007

Another morning wasted trying to fix my mothers computer, the poxy mouse froze again, it lost the internet and I am losing patience with it. My old Boss, when I worked for a nice Boss, on one memorable occassion completely lost it with a contractors PC, he phoned them up and said if you want it back its in the canal, you better bring a dinghy!

So practice had to be done in the late afternoon after lunch had gone down. I felt so stiff, my thighs are aching, presumably because I have learned to engage them during backbends. The whole practice was hard, no real flow. I managed up to Bujapidasana and then closing, the standing drop back actually felt better than Urdva Dhanurasana off the floor, I leaned back quite a way, but I think you need someone with you to tell you how near or not you are to  the floor, I think its feet in my case rather than inches!

Lotus requiring postures were slightly better, Janusirsasana A & B allowed my hip to release a little more, before heading into the Marichyasanas, A, B & C were ok, I stayed for 10 breaths in B. Mari D had a good twist but no bind on either side. I really hope it comes back in time for the Stockholm Mysore practice. Mentally my practice is becoming about Mari D, rather than about my whole practice, its taking away from the flow and mentally I am thinking about the Mari’s before its time.

But you learn more about yourself when practice does not come so (Relatively) easily. I am glad I carried on, even though it was a 90 minute slog.

Am now planning my Stockholm spare time, we have Mysore practice every morning, but I will have the afternoons and evenings to explore this northern capital with its almost perpetual daylight.