Archive for October, 2008

The next day

October 22, 2008

Had a day off practice yesterday, I need to make sure I do this, I was getting into the habit of doing a lot more practice than was probably good for me and ending up aching and tired a lot, there was quantity but maybe not the quality of practice I need. It wasnt so much the practice but the effect it was having on life off the mat, I just didnt have the energy left for life, like last night I watched the soccer, but ended up struggling to stay awake, work is just a struggle full stop, I had to turn the aircon on in my office this afternoon to stay awake, life seems to be just passing by.

I have just done my practice, but like all days that follow a day off I was tight, particularly in the hamstrings, but my lower back is feeling much better for the break, so that’s a positive. That said my backbends were not very bendy at all. Although my back is much improved, when I am up in Sirsasana, I can still feel discomfort in the left side of my back, ardha sirsasana was “attempted” is all I can say about that. But I always feel more awake after practice, not to mention more balanced and able to deal with life in general. Perhaps the answer is getting out of my warm bed and doing practice in the mornings, but unless Cary was waiting at the end of it, I dont think there is any chance of me waking, let alone emerging from under the duvet.


Our Survey said!

October 20, 2008


Yesterday I ended up having a cyber blog chat with Susananda about how we perhaps without realising try to have a peak practice when we are at the shala with a teacher. Its like all the practice we do at home is just training for the main event. I know what she meant, I do try and arrange my home practice during the week so that I am hopefully open and bendy enough to enjoy my shala practice on a Sunday morning with Cary, though I am not doing it for her, but for me and I don’t want to lose that reasoning. But mainly my home practice is so that when I receive an adjustment my body is open for it and can release into it. I dont want it to end up being a kind of marks out of 10 thing, judging. I have tried hard to have no feelings either way after practice, good, bad, indifferent and try hard not to let it influence the rest of the day. Bella told me a while back that I would learn more about practice and my body while I am injured with this stress fracture, than when practice is easier, she was right. I want that after practice feeling of well being to be there whatever has happened on the mat.

Practice at home is never judged, well except by the judges who sit on my radiator,  a New Zealander (Kiwi), a S.African (Ostrich) and a Swede (Elk), who have somehow found their way into my suitcase on the way home from my travels, as you can see they don’t rate my practice too highly!

I did practice when I got home, most of primary, with crap backbends, my lower back is much better today but my back like Mari D has lost the plot of late. Sirsasana and Ardha were better this evening, but doing practice 3 hours after dinner is not ideal, my dinner almost returned as I squidged myself into Supta K.

Sunday practice – Ustrasana is a no no!

October 19, 2008

Usual crack of dawn trip to the shala, lots more people there this week, good to see. My lower back is still on the blink, it was beginning to move after the 10 Surya’s, no adjustment in UHP this week, not that I should admit it, but yes I secretly glad to be left to my own devices, though I do engage with it far more on my own than when a teacher is helping. Purvottanasana had Cary squashing my good foot to the ground, Triang Mukha is still painful, but managed the Janusirsasanas ok without a block. A really deep adjustment on both sides in Marichyasana C, Cary got me to take my wrist and put the hand on the hip, dont suppose I will be able to repeat that trick at home alone, Mari D is still nowhere near happening. Supta Kurmasana I am not sure about today, Cary told me to cross my feet, she touched my foot, but I am not sure if she “helped” or if I did manage it on my own, which would be a yippeeee moment. A lovely adjustment in Baddha Konasana, as I relaxed Cary used more pressure until I was past my feet.

After a non straight legged Setu Bandasana, I sat up and sneaked in my Ustrasana, for what will be the last time! I am sure Cary has seen me add it in before, though she has never remarked on it, but today she came over and said “that’s a 2nd series pose and you have not been given it yet, do it at home, but not here“. She’s knows I did the workshop last week, so I presume she thinks I should know better now. I had to be satisified with some legs together bridges, to open me before having 4 goes at Urdva Dhanurasana, none of which were great, but considering how rigid my lower back is they were better than expected. She did give me a nice squishing in the following Paschimottanasana. She does make me laugh sometimes though, I was in Matsyasana, trying to Ujayi, but as usual my mouth was open and drishte was who knows where, but I was concentrating in my own little world, I don’t know how long she had been behind me, but her more subtle signs must have failed as I didnt notice her until she started waving her hands! Sirsasana I think I need to take some pictures to appreciate what teachers are seeing and why they all keep making me change my head position, I thought I was straight, I felt stable, but Cary got me to turn my head quite a way to the right, I stayed vertical, but it didnt feel right and I couldn’t decide where my eyes should focus, I did manage 1.5 Ardha Sirsasanas as well, but lacked control after the head moving.

Practice had taken nearly 2 hours with Savasana, not that there’s a rush, but it is taking longer these days, especially at the shala. I had 6 minutes to catch my train home after emerging from Euston Sq and running to Euston and grabbing a bag of Pain au Raisin, not something I like doing after practice, but I’m not waiting another 40 minutes for the next one, then to add insult they stoped the train one stop short of home and put us on replacement buses, so instead of 3 minutes, with all the faffing around it was another 20 minutes, grrrrr. The theory of doing practice and having the rest of the day to myself only works to a point as I fell asleep for half the afternoon, another weekend over, roll on next Sunday!

No Closing

October 18, 2008

Sunny, but chilly on my mat this morning, like most people in rip off Britain I am loathe to turn my heating on unless I really need to, with what it now costs for gas. Standing were not bad, but my lower back is still not happy, doing updog during the vinyasa it feels like it has lost its ability to hinge, its just stuck and uncomfortable. I am wondering if Alfia had a point when she said it could be because of dwi pada, ie my experiments to bind my feet in Supta Kurmasana, which had I read her comment ealier I may not have put my back through during seated. I have lost Mari D completely now and the twist is uncomfortable because of the lower back angst, I love the twists, I love that feeling of wringing out my guts, but I don’t like the discomfort in my back. The forward bends were better though, more length in the hamstrings, even in Supta Padangusthasana.

When I got to closing I tried the first Urdva Dhanurasana and immediately came down, my lower back was not happy at all 😦 . I think I need to work on closing when I am warmer and can spend a lot more than 5 breaths in my prep poses. Today was my first practice without strapping on my stress fractured foot, I still need to sit on a block in Triang Mukha, presumably some of the tendons are still not quite right, but I did do Janu B, so there’s hope. I just hope my back is more up for it at the shala in the morning, at least it will be warm in there, much more condusive to practice than my cold upstairs.

No Funny stuff

October 17, 2008

Home at 4pm and onto my mat with a cup of tea by my side. Just a traditional Primary series with no additions or dodgy second series attempts, except for extra goes at Supta K from Halasana and Ustrasana before Urdva Dhanurasana. My lower back is still playing games, during updog in the vinyasas its not bendy at all, being quite stiff and uncomfortable, but it seems to manage the backbends themselves. I do seem to have gone back to be years away from Marichyasana D again, cant believe back in June I was binding both sides on my own, why does this posture come and mostly go so much? Though I did manage one down and up again Ardha Sirsasana. A not too bad practice in the afternoon sunshine.

Its been a funny week of practice, I think I basically did too much last weekend, 10 ten hours practice between Friday night and Sunday night, then taking 2 days off with the moonday, everything tightened up, but I really needed a break, I should have booked the massage I had last week for this week instead after all that practice and the workshop, but alas my resources don’t stretch that far, especially having shelled out for the Osteopath and Dentist lately as well.

I went in our local WH Smiths the other day and was amazed to see Yoga Journal on sale, I am astonished that they think they will sell enough around here to make it worth stocking it, especially as we have no mysore practice round here, ie only led classes up to Navasana and a backbend every third week if you are lucky, if there are more serious ashtangi’s round here than I realise, maybe we could get something together.

Hopefully a lazy Saturday and a better, more open practice with Cary on Sunday to look forward to.


October 16, 2008

All I wanted when I got home was a nice slow, deep practice, what I ended up with was 30 minutes of backbends before tea . After sorting out various #1 geriatrics, PC questions and sticking #2 geriatric in front of BBC4, I later eventually got to do standing and up to Bhujapidasana, via doing Janu B again without too much discomfort in my foot, though not without more interuptions, half the reason I get out of bed at 5am on a Sunday and slog into London is because I know I will get to practice, in the warm, in my own time, without any fucking interuptions. Gave up at 9pm when they wanted yet something else. I must find something to put in their tea, so I get 2 hours of peace. All day I get blah blah blah at work, I just want PEACE AND QUIET when I get home!

My shoulders and lower back are a little sore, but they felt like they have more space, particularly noticed it in Prasarita Padot C. Although I managed some reasonable backbends, I noticed my lower  back was tight and had little room for bendyness during upward dog in the vinyasas. I think its time to get Cary’s backnobber out and try and ease things out before I crash out. Friday tomorrow, I dont want to wish my life away, but roll on Sunday morning for the 2 most precious hours of the week.

Janusirsasana B’s return

October 16, 2008

I didn’t have much time for practice last night, but I made some time from somewhere, I needed my practice after another crap day at Nepotism UK, when my colleague has gone sick yet again, dumping me with all the crap.

I did all of standing then up to Marichyasana A, though with only sporadic vinyasas. When I got to Janu B, I couldn’t find my block, so decided to risk putting some weight into the side of my fractured foot, surprisingly it didn’t scream “no”, though its still pretty heavily strapped, but that’s the first proper Janu B in 10 weeks, so maybe its starting to heal at long last.

Hopefully tonight I will have time for a deeper practice, though my lower back is still achy as is my left shoulder, being hunched over a keyboard for 8 hours doesnt help, though I have developed a new game at work, when I have to take something off the printer I have been trying to drop back and grab the piece of paper, though have yet to succeed. There are some days when I maybe get 30 pieces from the printer so get lots of goes and during the day I know I ma getting nearer to grabbing the sheet. If anyone comes in I’ll tell them I am bending over backwards for the company!

Happy Moonday

October 14, 2008

I took Susanandas advice and had yesterday off as well as today’s moonday. My lower back was very achy and uncomfortable from all the practice over the weekend, despite hot showers and going to bed with it slathered in tiger balm. Its easing now and hopefully I will be able to do some of the psotures I like just to stretch when I get home from work.

The management are deranged, our direct boss said yesterday that “dont you feel really great, when you manage to get stuff in and out on time, don’t you get a buzz?” we both looked at him and said “Nope, its just another problem gone away and there will be another along shortly“, maybe, no more like definitley, we have both been doing this far too long to get excited about it, even when it does go right. I said “You know what would make me really happy, to bind my own feet in Supta K”. Think this was lost on him!

Yoga Sunday- Nakrasana

October 12, 2008

A day dedicated to practice. Up early to catch the bus, then tube then another bus to get me to practice at YP with Cary. My back was still aching, I hoped practice in the warm would loosen it up. My lower back restricted me quite a bit, so practice was slow and cumbersome and took 2 hours! Cary is patient, she lets me plod through, standing were ok up to UHP, Cary deserved a medal for keeping me upright. It took all my breath to chant at 8.30. Seated were slow, no flow and I felt heavy, at home I would have given up and put the kettle on, but the shala does have an energy and despite my body’s reluctance, my mind was in the practice. Nice adjustments in Paschimottanasana and Marichyasana A. Surprisingly good attempt at Supta K, no adjustment, but almost crossed my feet, they are getting closer. Baddha Konasana, Cary got me to lower my thumbs on to the balls of my feet, its little details she is so good at, little things that can make big differences. Urdva Dhanurasana was a real struggle both mentally and physically, I did my 3, but my back was seriously objecting. Sirsasanawas steady and I even had a couple of goes at Ardha, I could “feel” I was being observed, came down into Childs pose and got that nice neck and back adjustment, OMG did that feel good. A nice long Savasana today as I had no reason to rush. I needed my practice, it was hard and nowhere near as good as it can be, but I suppose you just have to accept that aint all gonne be good ones.

I had intended to head for the Gallery Cafe for breakfast, but it was closed so ended up at Liverpool st for a cuppa before getting the bus to London Bridge for the afternoon 2nd series workshop with Mel Cooper. I booked this workshop months ago, before I fractured my foot or knew my back was going to be aching and thought about abandoning it,but it was a beautiful sunny day. I ended up with an M&S picnic eaten by Boris’s place by Tower Bridge, watching the fountains, taking photos and reading the paper, resting and relaxing in the sunshine. I just wished my back was as maleable as the water in the fountains.

Wandered down to Globe House, a lovely space in what looks like a building site! Good to see A. there as well as a few others I have previously bumped into. Yes, second series, well I have dabbled, but never at this level. It was good and if my back had been more up for it I could have got a lot more from it. One pose I didnt expect to do was the one where you sit in lotus (anyone know the proper name?), and the teacher holds your legs down as you backbend to the floor, I knew I could get to the floor, but was amazed to find I could actually come back up. Pincha Mayurasana will be years away at this rate and some of the others may never come, but woo hooo I can do Nakrasana, once I got the dynamic of the lifting movement coming from the body and not the hands and feet, 5 forward and 5 back was bloody marvelous. A fun one was doing tripod headstand then folding the legs into lotus or cross legs and coming down to balance on the arms, very surprised to do this, especially as it was instead of the Pincha mayurasana version Mel demonstrated, another whose name escapes me. 2nd is a whole new world, Pasasana, Salabhasana, Ustrasana, Lagu Vajrasana, Dhanurasana and Parsva Dhanurasana are  all within my realm, Eka Pada Sirsasana could be when my back loosens up, I can get my leg a fair way into this and Mel’s comment about twisting the torso away to give space did make a difference. I enjoyed Mel’s very sensible down to earth teaching, it is good to know Brahmani will have a good, safe teacher for when I am there in December, 9 weeks and counting.

I am now home, 14 hours after leaving this morning, tired is not the word for it. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


October 11, 2008

I am aching after practice this morning, I did the standing poses, then concentrated on twists and backbends in the hope of opening things up in anticipation of tomorrow afternoons 2nd series workshop, though tomorrow mornings Primary at the Shala will probably do that job. The left lower side of my back is really aching, I need to get back into the stretches the Osteopath had me doing, yes thats better, I just did the seated one, mid blog. Its been a busy morning, doing the washing, going to town to shop and get my hair cut back to what Alison terms “wash & go” length, then back home to peg the washing out in the sunshine and get on my mat for 90 minutes. Despite the sun, its still chilly and I really need heat to practice and open up.

Like a lot of the country I am waiting for the England match to begin, domestic dross and practice done, it will soon be time sit down in front of the TV and hopefully see some goals as Borat’s Kazakstan capitulate, or maybe not, no doubt Wembley will be populated by lots of people in dodgy wigs, though I hear the police have banned “mankinis”!