Archive for May, 2008

Practice on a Saturday

May 31, 2008

I suppose I am never going to get to be a truly devout and enlightened ashtangi until I give up this habit of doing practice on a Saturday. But Saturday is one day when I have the time to practice without having to worry about squashing it into my day or worrying about other stuff I should be doing. Though I am conscious of taking a day off and there’s always Tuesday’s Moon day to look forward to.

A nice 2 hour practice this afternoon, no lack of strength, despite Alison,¬†the hairdresser giving me my pre holiday short haircut this morning, worth going just for the lovely head massage ūüôā¬† I was more open today, part of that coming from having the time to spread into the postures, managed Mari A-C, into Lotus for D but nowhere near a bind, maybe tomorrow. I tried the Supta K experiment of trying to raise my crossed feet in order to give me the space to get my arms round the back, it kind of worked, though what a teacher would say….. Strong backbends, the more I seem to be able to open my chest the more likely Urdva Dhanurasana is to happen. But it was just good to have an unrushed practice.

I really wish practice could form a bigger part of my existence, the balance in my life seems all wrong, though having talked to others I am not the only yogi with this dilemna. As well as slaving for Nepotism UK Ltd, I also run the travel club in London, next Saturday is the AGM, so I have to prepare a good part of the report as well as keeping the general running of the club going. Dont get me wrong I enjoy doing it and the opportunities it has given me, like being interviewed by “Metro” last year, doing a TV quiz, writing articles for¬†Real Travel & snippets for Wanderlust¬†and giving travel¬†lectures. A few years ago it would have scared me shitless to have to stand up and talk in front of people, now I love the interaction when I give a talk about Japan or the Middle East to 200 people.

I need an early night, crack of dawn bus to my first AYL practice.




Another week done-Supta K Experiments

May 30, 2008

For a 4 day week, it’s seemed a bloody long week, especially getting lumbered with other peoples stuff cos they have gone sick, this pisses me off, especially as I havnt had a sick day in over 10 years, for being honest you just get taken for granted and crapped on even more.

Home to practice whole of Primary, I am getting quicker, though not sure this is a good thing, hit closing poses just past the hour mark, strong backbends today for some reason. I have been experimenting with Supta K, I can virtually every time now, grab my hands behind my back, then walk, crawl my feet inwards, but cannot cross them, so tonight I undid my hands, crossed my own feet, once the right foot¬†is in place I can press them together, got my head on the floor again¬†but couldn’t get my arms back under far enough to rebind my hands. Thinking now, maybe I will try elevating my crossed¬†feet in some way, so that I can maybe be able to rebind my hands, thats the trouble with practising at home most of the time, feeling stuck and having no idea how to get the next step. As for my Pinchu Mayurasana experiments I now realise what the term “Faceplant” means!

Weekend of shopping for my holiday tomorrow and getting my hair chopped. Sunday the train company seem to have put an extra early bus on the timetable, if this turns up I can actually make it in time for the chant at AYL, hopefully my practice wont stagnate in Cary’s absence.

Expensive dangers of boredom

May 29, 2008

Work is as dismal as ever, so at lunchtime I went for a walk in the sunshine,which inevitably entailed passing shops selling Cadbury stuff.I am good at avoiding the bakers now I’m mostly wheat free, but chocolate is amother matter.Back in the office I was reading blogs and checking the Turkish weather, 36c today. I read Clare’s mat blog and then e-maied yogamatters and bought a mysore style rug to go over my threadbare mat,hoping it will give me the traction I seek for backbends. I had no intention of spending anything today!

Practice tonight was a bit stiff after my day off, but I did my practice and then felt compelled to try Pinchu Mayurasana, I havnt tried in a year or so, but now I am finding a modicum of control in handstands I thought I would try, well The door didnt think it was such a great idea ia all…….Not sure if I should be trying stuff in advance of where my practice is, but its fun for now.

All of it

May 28, 2008

Despite being a working day I got on my mat at 8pm and just set off with the intention of doing an hour or so and seeing where I got to. The battery on my wall clock had gone and I just carried on, unaware of the time, I noticed it getting dark and by 9.45 I found I had done the whole of Primary. My stopping point has changed, I used to go to Navasana if I knew I wasnt going to do the whole thing, but since C. got me doing the totally undreamt of Kurmasana and Supta K I always carry on to them. But by then its not too far to finish seated and then closing, so I end up ploughing on, doing wall walking after Urdva Dhanurasana and trying to stay upright in Sirsasana as long as I can. Practice is taking much looooonger.

Before practice on Sunday C. was talking about WHY we all spend upward of 2 hours a day doing this. My reasons have changed since March when I moved to the mysore practice.¬†The Friday¬†counted practice was relatively comfortable, I literally went with the flow, it was my sanctuary from a lot of other stuff that was and still is going on and my mind could rest in a better place for 90 minutes. But it needed no thought on my part as Easter named each asana and counted the vinyasas for us. Now my mind has to tell me what to do, its up to me to count and I am far more engaged within the practice, I am enjoying exploring asansas that I thought had nowhere left (for me) to go, and I can stay in the postures longer if I want, its now more about the practice, the little technicalities C. has added like drishte’s and hand positions, and the big technicalities like Supta K are making this a whole new experience. Alas I am changing teacher’s again for a while, so while I get used to them and they to me, I suspect practice may have reached a mini plateau, before it can start to go places again.

My day off today, I need one.


There in Spirit

May 26, 2008

Although frustratingly I couldnt get to YP to practice thanks to this country’s crap rail system, I still began just after 4pm, as if I was there, stopping at 4.30pm to chant as my fellow yogi’s were doing, I was with you in spirit on my mat, plodding through in my cold house to Janusirsasna B. I missed being in a place so condusive to practice, warm, quiet (ish), interuption free,¬†a teacher’s beady eye,¬†all these things help practice to happen, but it was the temperature that stopped me today, I felt like I couldnt really stretch out. A shame on a day when I actually have time to practice. Typically tomorrow is supposed to be warm, but time will be lacking on a work day. I e-mailed AYL asking if I can drop in there on Sundays, they said yes, so with luck my practice can continue to grow in C.s absence.

Well I’m posessed!

May 25, 2008

I sat reading the paper this morning and came across an article which says that people who do yoga and read their hosoroscope will end up being posessed by the devil. I suppose we have all made Faustian pacts such as if I do Urdva Dhanurasana, I’ll be happy forever, until the next pose we desire comes along. This is not the first time I have heard of members of the clergy spouting about yoga, I remember reading about a Vicar who wouldn’t let his church hall be used because he believed yogi’s would be turned into¬†demonic beings, I suppose we could do Padangusthasana holding onto our newly grown pointy red¬†horns instead of our big toes! In their eyes I would probably have had to be exorcised at birth, having arrived with 2 thumbs on my left hand. For me, yoga is the most positive thing to enter my life and if I am posessed by it or the devil¬†,then so be it.

A 2 hour slog on the bus to practice today, no sodding trains yet again on a bank holiday, our last Sunday with C. Quite a few there today, why oh why can’t they find someone to fill in for the 3 months she is away. A steady unspectacular practice today, she seemed much more pleased with my UHP today and its beginning to feel a little more comfortable doing it. She hasnt commented on my lack of Ujayi in a couple of weeks, so maybe I’m doing that too, its hard to tell?? Only other adjustment in standing were drishte and hand positions. Not that many adjustments today, though she got a wonderful twist out of me in Marichyasana C, she left me to my own devices with D, I got further on my own than I have since I cant remember, lotus happened on both sides and my fingers briefly touched, but couldnt bind, that “Practice and all is coming” thing could be right. She did arrive for my new favourite pose, Supta Kurmasana, I was quite deeply in on my own and she got me the rest of the way again, crossing my ankles over my head. My hamstrings dont scream anymore and my head is quite happy heading for the mat, I am still stunned with amazement at doing this, but that is what a great teacher can do, show you, help you and most importantly give you the belief that you can do it and with practice its happened. It has shown me again that although it was hard to leave the comfort zone of the counted practice, changing to a mysore practice with a gifted teacher can suddenly join things up and make them happen.

Urdva Dhanurasana and then I finally completed Cary’s task of walking back down the wall with control, putting my hands on the floor into Urdva Dhanurasana and then coming up again with control, she put it succinctly “You got it”. Yep, yippeeee. And I managed it twice more.

So not quite¬† a repeat of last weeks stellar practice, my last with C. until she returns in September, but I can’t stop now, she has turned the lights on in the tunnel, I have to keep following them, LIfe Centre, AYL here I come.

Urdva Kite

May 25, 2008

it was nice and windy yesterday, so before doing practice it was into the school field with my kite. A gusty inconsistent wind made it hard, but my baby flew briefly. I need some gloves, as the wind caught, the string burned my fingers, I let go and ended up running after the handles diving on the just in time. Suffice to sat I was nicely warmed for practice.

Practice was strange, standing were ok, but as I began seated I suddenly felt sick and weak, I carried on, but doing vinyasa between poses.I got my knee into lotus for the Mari’s but coulnt bind, but did grab my fingers again in Supta K, I seem to be able to do this quite consistently now. Managed 2 backbends and some wall walking and a decent Sirsasana.

Today its hardly light,the rain is pouring, I need to set off soon and get the bus to our last sunday practice with C.. Devoted or what, I am spending 4 hours travelling for 2 hours practice. Next Sunday my practice will be done by this time, as I accept V’s invitation to play at AYL

Practice & Inspiring movie

May 23, 2008

The usual Friday schedule, home just after 4pm and straight on to my mat. A slightly better practice than last night, ie I managed to grab my own hands behind my back in Supta K, do some backbends and generally enjoy 90 minutes of practice, before dinner.

This evening I got around to watching the Guru movie, I am probably the last to see it, its existence had gone over my head until someone mentioned that C.s fiancee was the one who made it, which obviously caught my atention. I have been waiting for a quiet, uncluttered, non time pressured period to sit and watch it, since I bought my copy¬†at last Sunday’s practice¬†and so tonight¬†I watched it, twice. What a wonderful little movie it is, it makes me want to go to Mysore, I saw people in it I recognised from London and abroad. To spend months at a time doing practice in yoga’s natural environment, it must be special. Its wonderful to think that many of my teachers have been to Mysore¬†and are bringing back their experience.


I blame the caramel egg

May 23, 2008

A not bad practice last night, backbends were back in again, they seem to depend so much on how well the poses leading up to them have gone. But Supta K I couldnt bind my own fingers last night, despite seeming to be quite deeply in Kurmasana before, I blame it on the Galaxy caramel egg I had the night before when I was watching the football!

Friday at last, last practice with C. over the weekend before she heads off to get married, doing practice seems a good plan what with the weather predictions for the bank holiday, but we should know it always rains on holiday weekends. My kite still hasnt flown properly, as I look out the window the trees are barely moving.

Long day

May 22, 2008

Yesterday was a long day, I managed to wake up at 6am, dont ask me why or how and knowing I would be engrossed in the soccer last night I decided to leave my warm bed and get on my mat. I am soooo stiff at that time of day. I practised through to Janusirsasana A, did some backbending down the door, handstands and then cremated the toast as usual. During the day I felt much more awake and loose in my body, though staying awake through the game and its subsequent extra time and penalty shoot out in the evening was another matter.

Just for fun I will mention the following, a (young) work colleague and some friends went to watch greyhound racing at the weekend, there are usually 12 dog races, they decided there should be a 13th! The 13th race comprised them managing to avoid security and get onto the 460 metre track and run round for a whole lap wearing very little and in a couple of cases nothing at all, to the cheers of the people who were still there, as they rounded the final bend the security goons were waiting for them!