Archive for October, 2009

Ta Da! The video- 2009 Year of the drop back.

October 31, 2009

Last night I tried all the suggestions, reverse prayer, chairs, Susan’s hands cradling the head, which was far more intense than I expected, I almost did it, every day the blogosphere and my mind seemed to be taking me ever nearer.

So Saturday morning I get home from shopping and start doing backbends while I wait for the kettle, ending up doing all the ones I enjoy Ustrasana, Laghu Vajrasana, Kino thigh stretch backbends, some proper Urdva Dhanurasanas. Then its time, I can’t put it off, I dont waste time going to the wall, I put down a cushion and inhale, exhale go back, see the floor, but gravity speeds things up too much and I just about save myself. Stand up try again, sloowly going back, remembering Dena’s advice of trying to almost aim my hands at my feet, the floor appears and I go for it, hands on floor, head lands on cushion at the same time. But at least it felt like I had some control. Stand up, replace cushion with a small folded up blanket. At least videoing it, I can see how near I am getting.

Delete file, press record, try again, exhale going back for as long as I can, trying to increase the bend in the upper back so I can see the floor, floor is there, hands out, ready for touchdown, yeeeeeeeees, I land on my hands without my head touching the blanket, as Dolores O’Riordans, The Journey plays in the background. Follow the link below, to see the one file that didn’t get deleted and never will!

The only slight problem is my right knee, which is a bit painful at the minute, from trying to stop the foot splaying out, I now need your suggestions, exercises etc as to how to keep my feet in place and not annoy my knee. Dare I do it at the Shala tomorrow?

Ta Da!


Dropback attempts video!

October 28, 2009

I decided to do standing and then resume my backbend efforts this evening, culminating in the usual array of various dropback experimentation. Some of them began to feel much deeper, so I tried to video them to see how far I was getting. I must be boring the yoga blog fraternity with my never ending experiments, the only ones who get to see them for real are Susan, Vanessa, Sarah and AC, so just for fun I uploaded tonights to you tube (couldn’t get them to work on WordPress), so that the rest of you can see how far I am getting, you just need to tell me if I am still too far away to go for the floor or not.

Just go here to view

It may come up with a message saying “Unable to reach server”, but pressing the go button arrow in the corner made it work anyway.

Tennis ball & Tiger balm

October 28, 2009

After Monday nights abortive practice, when the phone kept ringing, last night I had a nice uninterupted half Primary, plus backbends. Its funny how practice can renew the body’s energy. When I got home from the Labour camp I could quite happily have crashed out and slept, except for the fact that my favourite dinner was in the oven.

The longer practice went the more energy I seemed to have, even managing to jump back on all the vinyasas. Is it in my mind or do the vinyasas actually give impetus, heat and energy to the practice, on days when I perceive that I am short of time I leave some of the vinyasas out, thinking it saves time, but then I find I don’t keep the heat in my practice. Last night I seemed to have a nice flow and I got through the asanas quite quickly. Backbends were not great, but I can walk in on my UD’s now, which is taking some of the strain out of my shoulders by having the hands further forward.

Susan’s tennis ball suggestion for the Piriformis and Sciatic problem is working out. I have taken to using the ball for the first 5 minutes of Savasana, almost managing to induce as much pain as Cristina does with her steel thumbs. If I can find that point, then at first its almost agony, but then I find I am relaxing and last night I even had the sensation of something plopping and releasing, sending a tingle down the back of my leg. I then have a proper Savasana, before putting a little of that magic Tiger Balm on that painful point before I go to bed. Its great, I now get to sleep without it waking me up at 2am.


I asked, It is in the mind.

October 25, 2009

The easiest Sunday of the year to get up for practice with getting that extra hour under the covers, though some people forgot, like a woman at Whitechapel station yelling why her train wasn’t listed, you should have seen the look on her face when the guy reminded her about the clocks!

An unexpectedly good practice this morning, standing were solid, my hamstrings came out to play and it was soon time for seated, though not before Cary gave me the most incredibly challenging adjustment in Prasarita Padot C I have ever experienced. I had also suddenly realised as I did Parivrita Trikonasana and the sun came out, that I had that sense of happiness, of being where I wanted to be, doing what I wanted to do. (Not an experience I am ever likely have Monday to Friday!)

Cary seems to have a bee in her Bonnet now about the alignment of my feet, particularly in poses like Triang Mukha and the Janusirsasanas, plus now that I can mostly manage to bind these beyond my feet, that my hands be much lower down. I just don’t have the control over my feet that she is now expecting, ball of the foot forward, toes coming back, I can do one or the other, but not both at the same time. Managed to bind all of the Marichyasanas on my own and Supta K, I liked being left alone to wriggle my own way in to all these poses, its almost like if I’m adjusted into them its too easy.

I seemed to have quite a fast practice today, 75 minutes to closing, which was good because it meant there was time for backbend experimentation after 3 walk in Urdva Dhanurasanas, off to the wall for all the usual stuff before returning to my place for assisted dropbacks. First couple to the floor were iffy, but the ones after the half way cross arm dropbacks suddenly felt like they had more structure and control, exhaling to my safe limit, inhale again, then exhale to the floor, then walking the UD in and pushing up, but breathing these days and not sounding like I am giving birth.

Afterwards I asked her why I could do a dropback on my own on the beach, yet now it feels miles away. She told me that I am not actually that far away from landing and she has seen quite an improvement, even if I don’t feel like I have moved on. BUT she said my mind is half the problem, in a mentally safe place like the sandy beach it was easier to relax and trust, its the transition to doing it on solid ground that needs to be broached, she said once I do it for the first time the whole mentality of the posture will change. I can’t wait for the day!

Hands in prayer or stretched debate.

October 24, 2009

After running out of time at the first Urdva Dhanurasana last night (Dinner was ready), I decided this afternoon to do standing, a few forward bends and then go to Pasasana and all those fun 2nd series backbends I don’t get to do at the Shala . How the hell I managed to spend over 90 minutes doing this I still havn’t worked out. It was a nice practice, it felt less pressured, spending longer in the forward bends coaxing my hamstrings back out of hibernation.

MUCH better backbends today, 3 x UD walking in and pushing up, then the usual dropback experiments, walking down the door, cross arms, then trying to drop as far as I could, though the floor still seems much further away than it did on Noosa beach. I have this theory that as Australia is the other way up, the ground must be nearer! I noticed today that when I start off with hands in prayer, inhale and try and make my croquet hoop, exhale and go back and then compare it with starting with the hands stretched up, that when the hands are stretched  I am able to induce a much deeper bend in the upper back, as if I am giving my back more space to work in, of course the downside of this is that it is much harder to control going back with the extra weight and momentum of the arms and hands, but I was getting a good 6 inches lower down the door. See what happens at the Shala in the morning.

I overslept today, I woke with a start in the middle of a dream where I was in Hospital and the Nurses wouldn’t give me a Croissant for breakfast!

Wired at night

October 23, 2009

A long full primary last night. My hamstrings still need to find their length, though I did manage UHP. I seemed to have more energy and focus last night too, quite often at home I seem to lose the momentum once I sit for seated. My hips are still really tight, I can feel this in Baddha Konasana, where I can usually easily get my knees to the floor, even if my head doesn’t quite get there without an adjustment. The tight hips meant twisting in Marichyasana D, but not going for the bind, I have learned not to annoy my knees when my hips are not open.

Backbends were better, walking in, though the dropbacks have gone off. Sunday at YP will be interesting. Last night I tried not to worry about how far I got in backbend, but more about the inhale and tyring to exhale and keep exhaling back, so that the posture was less juddery.

Ended up being a long practice ending at 9.15pm. I used to be nicely tired doing practice in the evenings, but for some reason now it leaves me high, wired and very awake. I knew going to bed would be pointless, so watched a DVD and ate some of the lovely white Belgian chocolate. By the time the DVD finished my Sciatic, Piriformis niggle had come back, thank god for Tiger Balm and a stress ball, though the ball isn’t really firm enough. I’ll have to walk past the posh schools tennis courts over the weekend and see what I can find 😉

A 3 button practice

October 20, 2009

After last nights dire practice I said I would bring in the incentive scheme of one big, white chocolate button for every good Urdva Dhnurasana. Well this evening I had a much better practice, everything up to Bhujapidasana, all the vinyasas, then Baddha Konasana, as my hips are really tight from all the walking, I’d had to modify Mari D to avoid killing my knees, though the scaitic/Piriformis thing felt ok. I know my forward bends will return, they just take a few days, but backbends are my life’s work, so I dipped into a few Ustrasana etc before doing 3 pretty good walking in Urdva Dhanurasana’s and then even felt like it was safe to play around dropping back against the door before closing my practice.

Now after practice I realised that although I fully deserved to take those 3 white 2cm buttons out of the bag and enjoy them, I just didn’t fancy them, talk about the power of yoga influencing what we eat!

Its been a quite good day for a Tuesday, a supplier rang me during lunch to say she had her finger on the button to buy a ticket for The Cranberries concert I failed to get a ticket for yesterday, Did I want it? Oh yes please, Albert Hall here we come.

4 days, felt more like 4 months!

October 20, 2009
Its made of chocolate

Its made of chocolate


 OMG was practice dire last night. 4 days off walking miles around Paris and eating chocolate has done nothing for my practice, I was so bloody stiff it was ridiculous, has the chocolate set in my muscles? My hamstrings have lost about 4 inches in length,  head to knee you’re having a laugh! That’s obviously why at my age I need to practice every day. I ploughed through standing and then did seated up to Marichyasana A, before doing 2 not very Urdva Dhanurasanas and some leaning back against the door. I am hoping this is just a blip, but I didn’t expect practice to have gone off that much.

Tonight for every proper Urdva Dhanurasana I manage, I am going to have a giant white chocolate button, there has to be a reward. Though I could quite happily gnaw my way through that chocolate sculpture, its beautiful isn’t it, but to my mind where chocolate is concerned there’s non too good to eat!

Just for V.

October 18, 2009
Piles of chocolate

Piles of chocolate

Here’s a photo for Vanessa and all seriously chocoholic yogis!
There were mini mountains of the most deliciously moorish chocolate I have ever seen, we spent hours wandering around tasting and sampling. A real shame U. was not able to help us eat it all, but we did our best. MySister did seem to like repassing a couple of specific stands I noticed, but then again I cant talk, as I sit at home blogging with an enormous bag of white chocolate buttons, yummy.
My sisters first trip to Paris, we also took in The Eiffel Tower, OMG was that cold up there, The Mona Lisa, Sacre Coeur, Montmartre, Louvre glass Pyrmaid, Notre Dam, Bateaux Mouche boat trip with the population of Tokyo.
What a great way to spend a Moon day weekend.
Moulin Rouge

Moulin Rouge


October 16, 2009

A long day, Eurostar to Paris, dumped our bags at the Hotel then on the Metro to the Eiffel Tower. A first for my sister, though while we were queuing a phone call from Ursula to say she is too ill to travel, what a shame. Get well soon. Yogini Magda may meet us tomorrow.

An hour in the queue, then the lift to the 2nd floor, the sun even came out for us at the top.The wind was cold though. Lots of photos, a nice way to start our weekend.

Found the hotel has free wifi, even if most of it is a bomb site from the renovations.

Chocky fair tomorrow, how many Lindt balls can you eat before Supta K becomes impossible.

Cristina was right, my piriformis, sciatic thing is ver sore today.