Archive for December, 2007

All set

December 21, 2007

I got a tin of sweets in the company raffle, expect my nieces will demolish them while I am away. The meeting was a surprise, our line manager wanted to thank the 3 of us personally for the work we have done this year and gave us each a very nice bottle of wine. Shows you never can tell can you…

Home this afternoon, but practice has just not happened, well unless you count the 3 Surya A’s I did, before the doorbell rang with the first visitor, followed by my sister and kids bringing my pressies before I jet off. Lovely they were too, a mug that shows how the earth will change with climate change when your pour a hot liquid into it, a travel clock, a USB device for keeping my tea warm and some chocolate. From my parents books, new Adidas cardigan and a warm throw, great for Savasana or for wrapping round my shoulders. All lovely presents which will be useful and enjoyable. Alas I had to hand over the wifi Nabaztag Bunny to my sister and nieces, but I know they are already have as much fun with it as I did when I was just “testing” it for them. Umm wonder if they have them in Duty free?

So its now gone 8pm, I know practice is not going to happen. I have found a couple of ashtanga places in Shanghai, so hopefully I will get to practice while I am away, I know my body will be aching to stretch after 16 hours of travelling. My bag is packed, just need something I never seem to get on Fridays, a decent nights sleep.


Waiting to escape

December 21, 2007

The final half hour and then we are outta here, yippeee. We have the raffle at 1pm, then we escape, though before we escape, some of us have been called to a meeting, **** knows what that is about, but its obviously something they don’t want the masses to know about.

Practice last night to Mari A, then closing. My knees didnt want to play after that. Family round this afternoon, practice, finish packing, let the holidays begin.

Packed & seated

December 20, 2007

It had to be done, found my rucksack out and its almost packed for my trip , just the ususla last minute odds and ends to go in. It didn’t take as long as expected, I have been making a list during the week and it was just a case of locating the stuff, most of which has not seen the light of day since my last trip. When I am not at work I seem to live in jogging bottoms, T-shirt and sweatshirt in preparation for doing practice or having done practice.

Talking of practice I was planning not to do any, but after packing found I had some time, so did the seated postures and some closing. As I had not expected to practice, it was a practice without expectations, so it couldn’t be a disappointment, but it was good just to do some.

I also cracked the 40,000 points on my Palm’s Bejewelled, yay


December 18, 2007

I had a master plan this week, this evening was earmarked for getting my stuff ready for my trip. But after a day in “that” place, hunched over my keyboard, I just had to do something for me. As usual time is the constraint, so I did standing up to Prasarita Padot C, then did all of seated and closing. This evening was the complete opposite of last night, the longer I practised the better I felt, I really could feel myself stretching back out to my full size, I was finding spaces to move into with each posture.

My knees even condescended to do Mari B and D though with no bind. My knees are getting there, I can now go straight into Janusirsasana A & B, painlessly without having to wait for my knees to play the game. I am starting to look forward to Baddha Konasana now, I just wish my torso would hinge forward better, but considering where this posture was maybe even 6 months ago, there is incremental movement.

Its funny how the body can know what it wants, Before doing backbends for some reason I wanted to try Pasasana, and found that I can almost bind, though my ankles are off the ground, so I suppose this doesnt count in some peoples eyes. After that I did Ustrasana and Laghu Vajrasana, before 3 satisfying Urdva Dhanurasana. How come some days I can hardly get off the ground and then days like today when its still an effort, but I can do the posture. I am wondering if its more a mental than a physical thing?

Rest of closing including Sirsasana, managed to come down to half way, but lost it while trying to go back up, oh well….

So my rucksack is still in the attic, clothes in the wardrobe and passport in its place. But practice was definitley the better option, I can see this ending up being a throw it in the bag on Friday night before heading for Heathrow. 


December 18, 2007

Strange practice last night, ploughed through to Marichyasana A, but just felt weaker and weaker the longer I went on, then developed a splitting headache. Did Urdva Dhanurasana and Salamba before giving up.

I think I was fairly knackered before I started, work is stupid, they are expecting to get the same amount done in 15 days as they would in a normal 22 day month, by the end of the day my eyes are on stalks after looking at this screen and trying to produce miracles, plus my colleague is off because of a bereavement, leaving me to hold the fort during one of the busiest weeks of the year, by the time 5pm comes I have had enough and could quite happily crawl into bed without bothering to eat let alone practice. But I know that I often get the most from practice when I least feel like doing it.

3 more days to survive, then I escape before it all begins again with WoYoPracMo, at least that will be a positive way to begin 2008.

Yin yoga, but no new toy

December 16, 2007

A lovely sunny morning, so I went into the city early, though it was bitingly cold in the shade, but nice in the sun. Tried a few places along TC Road, alas all had the blurb about my new toy, but none had any stock, so much for touchy feely shopping. I do like to have a final look and play with things before I press the “buy” button. Seeing it on the web is one thing but I often wonder if the reviews are written my the manufacturers. Still had time so visited Spitalfields Market, its indoors which is a bonus on a winters day and ran in to my artist friend Karen, selling her lovely pictures. One day I may buy another one, I already have a signed print at home. I suspect that in 50 years time (If I last that long!)  my nieces would be better off inheriting one of Karen’s pictures than my new toy!

Down to the Shala for the Yin yoga, met Easter hobbling down the road on her crutches. She took her boot off to show us the damage, her broken foot is black and blue, poor lass, luckily all todays postures were seated or supine. Began with a more open Badha Konasana, 5 breaths is easy, five minutes became uncomfortable. Upavistha (Dragon fly), but with the forward bend onto bolsters, if anything it emphasised how far I am away from the floor as I needed two bolsters to lean on. Luckily supine twist came next, I love the twists and was very very very near to falling asleep. I don’t like sphinx posture at the best of times and I have to admit it was agony. In this practice we are encouraged to go to a comfortable edge, but stay with it and don’t fidget, no chance, my arms, back and shoulders were screaming. Never mind “Water boarding” Al-qeda suspects, just put them in sphinx posture and wait for them to tell you which cave Osama is holed up in.

When Easter first told me about the Yin practice I thought it sounded relatively easy in comparison to the intense sweaty ashtanga practice, but in its own way it is very bit as demanding physically and probably a much harder mental challenge. Ashtanga is 5 breaths and gone, Yin is up to 5 minutes, staying with this kind of intensity for that length of time is a whole new ball game. It is supposed to be restorative. As I sit typing I am tired and know I am going to sleep well tonight, I actually fell asleep on the tube coming home and if it hadnt been for another commuter bumping into me as they got off at Stockwell, I would have slept through my connection and ended up in Edgware!

Samson syndrome

December 15, 2007

I tried a different tactic last night, a hot shower and drink before hitting the hay. Alas still had a very disjointed nights sleep after doing the counted practice. Back to the drawing board. Gave in and went down the town for my holiday haircut, last minute Christmas shopping, but aborted the post office twice, before and after the hairdresser, the queue was out the door and down the street and wasnt moving.

I practised this afternoon, up to Navasana and closing. It was actually a good practice, despite my hair being cut off I seemed to have more strength and stamina than last night. Samson should of had the same hairdresser and bubble and squeak for lunch! Also being able to take my time getting into the Janusirsasanas and Marichyasanas made all the difference, Janu A & B, were ok, Mari A-C as well, and my knee didn’t seem to mind me attempting Mari D too, no pain and a nice deep twist. Though my knees are still a nuisance, the effort I have been making with backbend to stop the feet splaying out and engaging the thighs, does seem to very gradually be improving things. Amazing how a teachers comment can have such far reaching effects.

Managed Urdva Dhanurasana again without shoulder stress, though again it really helped having time to set the posture up and have everything in the right place before lift off. Sirsasana today was 10 breaths and THEN I went for the half way and back up, managed 3 breaths and just about got back up, but the effort lost my balance, but maybe just maybe this will be my next new posture,  a couple of years ago I would have said no chance of me ever doing that.

That’s the thing with yoga, it seems patience is the way to go. When you first start yoga its like being a kid in a sweet shop, you want everything and appreciate nothing. You suddenly realise that its not as easy as the graceful teacher at the front makes it look, at that point you either give up and think er “maybe not”, or you have a teacher who has sown an intangible seed and encourages you to begin this journey and persevere with it. Years down the road there are postures I am still crap at, but many have come to me, providing those brilliant “Yes moments”.

The Shala is having its Christmas party tonight, I would love to have gone, but I just couldn’t face another train trip as I am there again tomorrow afternoon for the workshop and en route to investigate, ie get to touch and feel my potential Christmas present to me!

Final countdown- Tinsel Buddhas

December 14, 2007

Easy trip down to south London for our final counted practice of 2007. Not quite so cold tonight, arrived early to warm up a little. With a few minutes to kick off the door unlocks and Easter comes hobbling in, poor girl has managed to break her foot falling off a chair while getting some bolsters and stuff ready for a class earlier in the week. But it shows what a great teacher she is, despite a foot in plaster in some kind of boot and two crutches she is still there to take practice, though am worried when she says she is going to use the crutches for adjusting!

The room is festivly decorated, mini Christmas trees on the window sills and the Buddha in the corner covered in red tinsel, plus little candles and lights all over the place, what a lovely environment to practice in, nothing distracting, just a warm homely feel, but I suppose this place has become my second home.

Six of us tonight including Swede T. and G. & E. the Shala’s owners. So quite a fast paced practice. Standing were good, even did a passable (for me) Utita Padangusthasana. Seated were a little too quick, Mari A & C were bound and good, but Mari B was a finger grab for the last 2 breaths, my knees need a little longer to get coerced into lotus, Mari D will have to wait for 2008. My shoulder kept up well, even managed to jump through for some of the vinyasas. Rest of seated were passable, if the pace had been a tad slower I think I would have done them better, but who knows, I was actually happy with my practice and that is all that counts, the only person who marks our practice us is ourselves. At one point I looked up and saw Easter sitting on the floor and despite her foot being encased in her plaster boot she was sitting there with a straight vertical leg almost with the foot behind her head! I wonder if Wayne Rooney could do that when he had his broken metatarsal!

Closing, the true test of my shoulders recovery and Cristina’s treatment. Urdva Dhanurasana x 3, yes did it, and two hours later I cannot feel it. Though UD was the point where my arms gave out. Sirsasana, wow I amamazed to report this, but I stayed vertical for the whole count of 30, though I wimped out on the half way thing. A nice lead Savasana, I know I was laying there with a smile wider than the Thames. I have a nice PC, my Palm, a house, but no amount of “things” seems to bring the happiness that doing yoga does.

Thinking about it now the fast pace was what I needed, my mind was absorbed in it, there was no time for other thoughts to take over. And the fast pace meant we were done in time to catch the fast train home. The organic food shop were giving away little sample Green & Blacks, a lovely desert after my sandwich picnic on the way home.

So let the weekend begin, Saturday holiday haircut (Alison calls it wash & go,she cuts it short!) and shopping and Sunday a Yin yoga workshop with Easter, I bet if we do balance postures she still still be better at it than the rest of us on her bad foot! 


December 13, 2007

Bored and clock watching at 4.45, waiting to go home I was reading the blogs on ashtangi net and ran across a comment about WoYoPracMo which begins in January, so duly decided to sign up, I had never heard of this so thanks Clare for pointing it out.

Practice tonight was seated and closing. First time since the treatment last Saturday that I have done all the postures and all the vinyasas, it went ok I am glad to say, even managed two Urdva Dhanurasana which was the straw that broke the thing in the first place now over a month ago. I just need to take care when setting this posture up, my hands need to be nearer each other as I push up, I think the problem was caused by my arms being out to the sides too much when I pushed up which pulled that intercostal and racked the rib into the wrong place.

I got over confident in Sirsasana, I was stable and then started moving to try and improve my backs position, I just about controlled the downfall without having to show you all a picture of a finally demolished IKEA book case.

Having signed up for woyopracmo, another yoga website which will no doubt help to get me through the tedious days at work, it was a bit of a distraction while practising tonight, the temptation to read the new messages and to see who had signed up every time I looked was ever so tempting, I really must learn to turn my laptop off when I do practice or at least have my e-mail on silent, not going “YAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO” every time a message arrives!

Last counted practice of the year tomorrow night, I see we have 4 signed up already, so there should be a nice energy as we share practice with Easter for the last time in 2007. I just hope she has the heating on full blast, as its bloody freezing here tonight!


December 12, 2007

So after following therapists orders and having a break, tonight I managed to squeeze in 75 minutes practice, which on some Friday’s is enough for a whole Primary series, but today it was enough to go to Navasana and some closing. Everything felt tight and restricted back on the blue sticky 6 foot space. My knees had gone back to total non cooperation mode as well, and took some playing around with until I managed the Janusirsasana’s and Mari B, I hope I don’t regret it tomorrow. Despite being introduced to “Viveka”, aka discriminative awareness, during the Summer, I am still very hit and miss as to when to try for an asana, ie not be lazy and when to back off.

I managed just one Urdva Dhanurasana, not wishing to irk my recovering shoulders and rib. Its easy to back off the poses that are challenging! Tomorrow I will go for 2. My middle back seems to have lost what little flexibility it had gained, oh well

Sirsasana was upright and steady surprisingly, that’s one I normally lose when I havn’t practised.

The last few months have been a frustrating stop-start of various niggles and injuries, I just dont seem to have had any consistency, which is why my practice has regressed from its 2006 Bali peak.