Archive for September, 2008

Moonday on cue

September 29, 2008

I don’t know about anyone else, but this Moonday has fallen at about the right time. I was pretty wiped out from practice yesterday, my legs are still aching and its something of a relief not to have to justify an excuse in my own mind for not getting on my mat and plodding through Primary. That said, I will do some of Easter’s yin poses to keep things open ready for when it starts again tomorrow.

It’s also given me chance to catch up with all the travel club end of month stuff and to start writing my blurb/crib sheet for Saturday when I have to present the London meeting. Although over the last 5 years or so I have given talks and lectures there on many occassions, it’s the first time I have been responsible for running the whole thing, its amazing how many little odds and ends there are that keep in excess of 100 people entertained and happy for 3 hours. I first attended some 15 years ago, sitting at the back, I never thought I would end up at the front with the microphone and a Director when it became a Limited Company. At least I have practice in the morning first at TLC, hopefully with Michaela pushing me along, my only problem is in that dark, warm room later on, I can’t nod off at the back with the other yoga bunnies who sit on the table at the back!


I am aching!

September 28, 2008

Practice today was a mixture of pleasure mixed with moments of almost agony, my hamstrings are still protesting 6 hours after I finished. Cary had got the shala nice and warm this morning, I love to practice in a warm room, where you feel safe to stretch out, quite a big attendance today, this brings a nice energy. Apart from the usual squish in downdog during the Surya’s I didn’t get adjusted at all in standing, unless you count my palms being pushed together in Virabadrasana.

Seated were another matter, I didnt think my Dandasana was that bad, but, it was shoulders back, hands flat, arms straight, drishte, everything got amended. Having watched a bit of the Kino dvd last night I was more conscious of trying to jump up more and through in the vinyasas as well today, it made me concentrate on them more at least. Left alone until Marichyasana D, having managed A-C ok, I was doing “D” with the arm on the outside of the leg, concentrating on the twist, then Cary asked if I would like to try and bind, something I have hardly managed since Bali, first side felt good once my hands got joined, Cary then adjusted the twist much much much more, it was good to be taken there. I was worried about the second side, my right (injured) foot in lotus has ranged from painful to completely excruciating of late. She let me get my foot in place first to see how it felt, then again took me into the bind, I only managed about 3 breaths before my foot objected, but that’s progress of sorts, though there is now way currently I could have done that on my own.

She upgraded Supta Kurmasana from fun to tortuous today! I was quite deeply in on my own, hands bound, but rather than bind my feet and lift me, she got me alternately pressing the big toes together, then the heals, then all the toes, then heals and toes, how can such a relatively simple action be such incredibly hard work? I actually felt nauseus as I came out, the following Titibhasana was a physical impossibility. Baddha Konasana, though being adjusted is hard, I actually don’t mind it (yes I know I have said that about Supta K over the last few months, but all bets are off now!), I almost got my head to the floor. I used to be able to do part 2 of Baddha, putting the head on the feet, but now I am getting further with part 1, I can only just about do part 2.

It was another day when the more Urdva Dhanurasana I did, the better they got, though I have to say I was VERY tired by this point and wimped out on trying any kind of dropping back experiments. At least shoulder stand sequence is a rest of a kind before Matsyasana, where I got told to close my mouth, Ujayi breath and drishte my nose! This used to be the point where my mind said I was home and dry, but no longer, Cary’s little Ardha Sirsasana addition to my practice, means the challenge lasts until the end. I tried a couple today, no help/adjustment, not sure if she saw my efforts (bet she did), second attempt I couldn’t go back up with straight legs, had to fold them in before re-raising, but at least they didnt touch the ground. Practice practice, it will come.

Practice seems to have taken on a new challenging dimension again, but I enjoyed it, though I am now doing a good impression of a physical wreck. Practice evolves, I just have to get my head around the fact that it will never end, there is no end and even if there was an end I would never get there.

 On the way back to Euston I went via Sainsbury’s (Pain au Raisin habit) and Drummon St, where yoginis and yogis were departing that shala, we gave each other knowing smiles as we passed, you can tell the yoga students, we all have that look after we have done our practice.

Baby Vaio to the rescue

September 27, 2008

So much for Dell, my baby Vaio laptop found and played the Kino DVD without any problem. I have only watched Chapter 1, Kino talking about practice and what led her on this journey. Although she can be seen doing some pretty incredible, not in my lifetime postures, her message is, if you are inspired to practice, get on your mat, it doesnt matter if your postures aren’t perfect, just doing them and being present with your body is an end in itself. Its a good message as many would give up immediately after seeing some of her postures, thinking no chance. She is certainly inspiring.

Dvd wont play :-(

September 27, 2008

After doing the shopping I came home and practised through to Navasana, even though the Postman  delivered my Kino DVD mid Parsvottanasana. My right hamstring is extremely tight still and its not very warm despite the sunshine. Practice didnt get the momentum going, what with stopping for the Postman and the massage therapist phoning to give me my appointment. I really need to have the heat, focus and lack of distraction of the Shala.

So I figured after lunch I would sit and watch the dvd, but I just can’t get the PC to even see its in the drive, frustraaaaaating, I wanted to be inspired by a great teacher, but nothings happening. I gave up and did some backbends and Sirsasana.


September 26, 2008

Not a great title, there should really be a website where you could find witty titles for blog posts.

On the plus side today was Friday, however I knew as soon as I woke up that its was going to be an IBS day, grrrr, could feel it as soon as I got up. No idea what set that off overnight. An uncomfortable day at work, I couldn’t wait to get home and stretch, straight on my mat as soon as I got in the door. An ok practice up to Urdva Dhanurasana, the afternoon sunshine still warming the room, but I was disappointed that it didnt help much with the IBS. Later on I felt a bit better, so did a Pasasana to try and wring my guts out, then some inversions, culminating in Sirsasana, but oh dear I got over confident and tried Ardha Sirsasana, bashing my good left foot into the corner of the book case as I lost control and came crashing down. I think some of the problem was the IBS lingering and not letting me have the control or strength in my abdomen. So now I have a right foot with a stress fracture and a left foot with what I hope is only going to be a big bruise.

I get a lay in tomorrow, first one in 2 weeks, do I need it, but its up at the crack of dawn at 5am Sunday for practice with Cary.

And in the right order..

September 25, 2008

I managed to find an uninterupted 75 continuous minutes this evening and did virtually a full Primary series in the right order. It feels so much better doing it in one go, rather than the 2 halves, but its rare to find that amount of time. Its still too cold, but doing practice in one go did bring a little more heat and energy. I didn’t have time for all my backbend preps, so UD was not that great and as usual my right foot kept wanting to slide out because of the strapping. Sirsasana has returned to semi wobbly, but Ardha now seems years away again. I so wanted to get a handle on that pose before seeing Cary again, but it doesnt seem as if that will come to pass thanks to the niggling injuries.

Followed this with Osteopathic tightrope walking exercise, its harder than you would think, but it should help to redress the imbalance of my stress fractured foot.

The good news is my visa for India finally arrived today, Brahmani at Xmas here we come.

More Criminal activity+Ostepoath 2

September 25, 2008

Susan asked why I started the other day with seated, then complained that I wasnt warmed up. Well last night after the Surya’s I went for closing, doing lots of criminal second series backbends,  I would never be allowed to get away with at the Shala, before some not bad Urdva Dhanursana and the rest of closing. I even brought Sirsasana and a very inept Ardha Sirsasana back into play. Followed with some seated forward bends. My reasoning behind all this criminality is that its rare in the week to have the time and focus to do a whole Primary series. When I get home from work I have 45 minutes when I can do some practice, if I have time later on I  return to the mat and do some more, but I was finding that many asanas during the week were not getting a run out at all, so I came to the conclusion that if I rotate what I do afterthe Suryas in that first 45 minute slot, then at least I would get to do all the asanas during the week and they would not be such a shock to the system at the weekends when I practice with Michaela and Cary at the Shala. Its not an ideal solution and going straight to seated I wasnt warmed up enough, but at least I practice.

This morning it was another trip to the Osteopath, she was pleased with my progress, I have been fairly diligent in doing the exercises she gave me and my QL muscles are finding more space to work in, I can feel the difference. It was quite a deep therapy, deep massage, then the cracking, stretching and manipulation only Osteopath’s seem to do. She said the way my vertebra and back muscles seem to work, that yoga has been a good thing for me, she said without it and having a relatively sendentary job I would probably be having real back problems by now. She checked my foot again and has given me some balance exercises to do, so that when my foot eventually heals I don’t stay lopsided where I have been favouring my left side. The exercise are done on a tightly rolled up towel, standing lengthwise, like on a tight rope and horizontally across the towel, focussing straight ahead, the body naturally making minor adjustments to keep the balance. Doing it on something soft stops my foot getting stressed. She said it will take a while before my foot is healed, but with the exercises and doing yoga I am doing a lot to help myself. BUT I HAVE TO BE PATIENT!

Its cold

September 24, 2008

Practice last night ended up being a kind of freestyle effort that would never be allowed at the Shala. I began with seated as they have been neglected since Sunday, I got as far as Mari C, D wasn’t on the cards, then Navasana and Buja. Then did some standing poses. The problem is the weather has definitley turned, its cold at night when I get to practice. Did a few second series backbends and a really cheating Pasasana, using the bed to lever myself round, but for all that I didnt produce so much as a bead of sweat. I felt I couldn’t stretch, I just wasnt warm enough.

Just standing & Knitbone anyone?

September 22, 2008

I wanted to practice this evening after a day of sitting, but after standing I was just not mentally “in it”, I plodded through to Janusirsasana B, which I immediately regretted after sitting on my right foot, aaaah shit that hurt! So decided that as my mind really wasnt on the job to call it a day before I did anymore damage. 3 good practices in a row seems to be my limit lately.

Someone has suggested as well as strapping my foot to try something called Comfree, also known as Knitbone. I am getting to the point of frustration with this stress fracture to try anything. I thought the injury was around the ankle bone, but after the stress its had over the weekend, with walking and practice I woke up with pain slightly higher up above the ankle, I am sure this is the area I was grabbing on to for dear life when I originally did it and D was trying to prize my hands off to asess the damage, that was the area that swelled at the time. But since then the pain has been around the ankle bone itself and below. Is it a case that you can injure an area, but the pain manifests elsewhere, Has anyone tried knitbone?

So maybe I just need a rest, time for tea and a leaf through the programme for the yoga show 2008 which arrived today. I wouldnt mind going but a tenner is a bit steep to get in.

The travelling is the killer

September 21, 2008

Up again at 5am to go to practice. Amazing how the numbers change, last week around 15 people doing practice, this week just 3, what gives? A steady standing series, nice adjustments helping to open my chest in Parivrita Trikonasana and Parsvakonasana. Left alone until UHP, some weeks this adjustment feels good and sometimes… Though this has a lot to do with my right hamstring, which is incredibly tight, despite all the practice I do.

Charlie is not one for interupting your flow, an odd comment here or there and helpful adjustments, like in Marichyasana A, also comment about bringing my chest into play more in Navasana. No adjustment in Supta K today, so my feet didn’t cross, though they are oh so annoyingly close. After the vinyasa following Supta K. I just felt wiped out, my ujayi had turned into a grunt. Two days of travelling into London, all the walking yesterday and my foot problems, it was as if my energy supply had gone past the red and the engine had stopped. I carried on, but it took much more mental effort and engagement. Closing backbends again not great, though this is partly down to not being able to trust my foot, A) not to give way, B) Not to slide out from under me and send my head crashing to the floor. As I lift and put weight through my foot, I can feel discomfort, Charlie tried to get me to lift onto my toes, to change the focus of my weight, but my foot was not up for that game. I actually did 5 x Urdva Dhanurasana’s, but only 2 I was at all happy with. The weekend action has caught up with me, I could quite happily have slept in Halasana. It feels like I am having to re-learn Sirsasana, after being unable to do it for 10 days because of my grazed arm. It is a posture I have always struggled with and as for Cary’s Ardha addition, I am afraid she is going to be disappointed with my progress when I see her next week.

Bella said to me yesterday that you learn more about your practice and your body when you are injured, I think she is right, but now I am torn between doing my practice, but being slightly mentally not in the practice as I worry about my foot hurting or maybe giving way on me again and maybe my foot not needing to be put through something so dynamic. How do you judge?

As usual though I am happy I went and practised, its “me-time”, its special and I can’t do without it, but now its 2.30pm and Match of the Day is not on until 10pm, I feel absolutley whacked out and tired, my head is thumping and my foot is aching, I need a Moon day, when is the next one?