Archive for November, 2009

When it comes together

November 29, 2009

Despite the crack of dawn bus ride, through a hail storm in Harrow where a whole street of car alarms had been set off, I had one of those rare practices today when my mind is in it and my body is on it. I was largely left alone today, even though we had both Cary and Denise adjusting. No excruciating adjustments in either Prasarita C or UHP, so I had energy for seated and all those vinyasas. Sometimes when I do 2 days in a row at the Shala, by day 2 all the travelling as well as the practice leave me tired, but I think yesterday’s workshop, although challenging was not overly physically hard and it opened me up for my usual plod through Primary this morning.

First adjustment came in Triang Mukha and advice about how I enter and bind my hands, reaching beyond my feet is quite recent, so I presume I have now been doing it long enough to do it properly. Denise administered a nice assist in Mari C, which I am sure helped with managing to bind both sides of Mari D on  my own, for the first time in a while what with my reticent right knee. Supta K rocked today, although I have gotten used to doing that on my own now, its still a posture I enjoy, though its buzz of joy has now moved elsewhere.

The first Urdva Dhanurasana was hard and it started going through my mind that if I can’t do UD what hope for a dropback, but after re-setting myself I managed 3 more with walking the hands in to deepen the bend, which gave me the confidence to stand up and start playing dropbacks. Nobody seemed to be interested in coming to help (unbeknown to me they were watching from afar), so after a few hang backs I decided to just go for it and did 4 with safe touchdowns on my own, then Denise arrived with Cary watching from a couple of mats away, she let me go down on my own, but made me bring my feet back onto the mat, it just doesnt feel wide enough, then helped me back up. I need to get used to Denise’ technique for bringing me up, I almost crashed back down when she was rocking and I thought we were coming up and I also forgot the knee pulling in thing from yesterday. But it was 7 dropback day! Cary came over after to say my backbends have progressed a lot in the last 2 months and that standing is just a matter of time, though I have to say it doesn’t feel like it.

But it was a practice when it all came together, my hamstrings have gained the inch they seemed to have lost, I bound all the Marichyasanas, Supta K and did dropbacks on my own.

After practice off to Euston with Mel to meet Helen for a yogi’s brekky at Pret that lasted 3 hours, well it was chucking it down, though I did wonder what some of the other clientelle thought was happening when we were doing mini Bhujapidasana entry demo’s for Mel! I do enjoy yoga socialising after practice.

A day off from the Labour Camp tomorrow to recover from the busy weekend.


End of dithering, I’m going to Kino in Thailand :-)

November 28, 2009

I held off publishing this post until I woke up this morning to find all the confirmation e-mails in my Inbox and my brain still saying its a great idea.

I woke way early this morning thanks to a travel alarm clock I had long forgotten I posessed going mental in the cupboard, I managed to find it and turn it off, but the thing kept going off and I couldn’t work out how to shut it up, so I buried it in the sock drawer, by which time I was awake!

Well Mel was right when she left the comment the other day that when you do the math to justify the expense, its only a matter of time until you get off the fence and press the “pay” button.

Well it’s done, I’m going to practice with Kino in sunny Thailand, I booked a flight that leaves 3 days before the retreat starts and departing 2 days after it finishes, so I get some R&R on either end with 6 days yoga in the middle. Paypal condescended to finally allow my credit card to pay the deposit, so I’m all set.

Early train to London, though not quite as early as Helen’s for the David Swenson intro to 2nd series workshop at TY. I found the part up to Kapotasana useful and interesting in as much that some of the things may help me in my quest to stand up from dropback. Pulling the knees inwards when you come up from Ustrasana and Laghu Vajrasana seems to engage areas that would otherwise be passengers. We did Laghu Vajrasana with 2 methods, having the arms straight with hands around legs above the ankles, thumbs on the inside, sliding the hands up to keep the arms straight as we went to the floor and 2nd method of holding the fronts of the legs. We did Supta Vajrasana in pairs. I discovered that with a bit of coaxing I can do Eka Pada LBH on each side, but not at the same time. David mentioned that when jumping into Bakasana, that the head should remain low and that you get more control if the feet come together as you jump, hopefully avoiding face splat! This really was an intro to what is to come, David said the only way t learn it is in a Mysore style environment a posture at a time. Most of it beyond Kapotasana looks light years away to me, that’s presuming I ever learn to stand up, though I can actually do Nakrasana.

I’m tired, but it was a good morning, I just hope the bus comes tomorrow and I get to practice at YP.

Your ITB is solid!

November 26, 2009

Cristina came out with that statement after she had spent 40 painful minutes heating up, frictioning out and manipulating my left shoulder, Piriformis and SI. The spiky massage ball I have been using has been doing some good, she said the Piriformis problem was now much more localised, though she still got my lower leg twitching and me wincing in pain while trying to stay quiet, as she added more and more pressure with her thumbs and then her pointy elbow. Relief comes from the lovely hot stones she uses, its a beautiful sensation as the muscles relax and accept the heat.

I seem to have a band of tension going down the left side of the back of my body from below the shoulders through my back into my SI and Piriformis, which now apparently extends into the Ilio Tibial Band (ITB), via the left hamstring which has tightened up considerably over the last couple of weeks. I have learned so much about anatomy, from yoga and the niggling injuries over the last few years, Piriformis, SI, QL, until tonight I didn’t know I had an ITB let alone know where it is, but she said mine is so hard I should have something done, but alas my time was up and she had another Patient waiting, though she pressed her thumbs into the ITB to demonstrate its rigidity and explained thats the reason the Hamstring has got so tight.

Where would I be without this brilliant therapist who does ashtanga and understands what we put our body’s through, she has given me a twisting exercise to do to help the Piriformis stretch out, though as someone used to twisting deeply I have to go quite a way before it kicks in. She has given me instructions TO DRINK MORE WATER, she made me drink a big glass before she let me out, do the twisting stretch, keep using the massage ball especialy after practice and the next appointment to remind her about the ITB. I always leave her room feeling so much better, despite the level of discomfort involved in the treatment.

I wonder if I can get another appointment before I go to Singapore.

Supta K headbanging!

November 25, 2009

After spending half the day banging my head against a brickwall trying to decide whether I am going to Thailand or not, though it was more fun than working, especially with all the comments on the last entry when I was and still am trying to make the maths work, I got home and zipped through Primary until I got to Supta Kurmasana. I tried to enter in my usual way of a deep standing forward bend, trying to get my shoulders under my thighs before sitting down, but ooops before I could lower down I toppled forward crashing on my head and left shoulder, cue volley of very un sanskrit language!

As I was that far through I decided to plough on, safe in the knowledge that Cristina can add the neck and left shoulder to the list of things she is planning to stick her pointy thumbs and elbows in tomorrow night, when I get my monthly hour of pain and pleasure.

I was more tired by the end tonight, I only managed 2 decent Urdva Dhanurasanas, but still landed 3 dropbacks, so alls well that ends well. During the day I got an e-mail from YP telling me Cary wil be away rom Friday and that Denise will be teaching on Sundays until Christmas. I sent Cary a message wishing her happy holidays and just got a reply to say the YP e-mail is wrong and that I am in for a serious “backbending sesh” as she put it on Sunday!

Doing the Math & justifying it!

November 25, 2009

I know I said that the Thailand retreat thing was tooooo expensive, but I just keep on looking at it, trying all the flight company’s to find an economic way of making it happen. Over the weekend I had abandoned the idea and thought about doing Kino’s weekend in Edinburgh in March instead, but by the time I have paid for the workshop, transport up there, accommodation and food, there wont be much change out of £400. For another £150 I can fly to Thailand, though of course the workshop and accommodation costs need adding on. I really really want to go and do Kino’s retreat in the sunshine and am desperately trying to justify the expense. What to do????

Practice on Tuesday’s always seems to be good of late, full primary last night was pretty bendy with the central heating turned on. I was getting tired towards the end, but still managed some decent UD’s and 3 dropbacks. It’s doing the first one that is hard, once I have done one, then the 2nd and 3rd are far less stressful. I am trying to get in plenty of practice this week with the workshop on Saturday, that will be fun. I watched Kino’s dvd last night to find out what happens after Laghu Vajrasana, ye right….

Typical Monday

November 23, 2009

After such a lovely Sunday, good practice, good energy, good company etc, it’s back to reality on Monday. 8 hours of crap at that place, then drag my stiff body home to my mat. I seem to give so much energy to Sunday practice, that Monday practice doesn’t seem to happen. I have stopped trying to do a complete practice on Mondays, settling for half Primary and some backbends instead of setting myself up for a fall, both mental and sometimes physical. So I crawled through to Mari A, but I wasn’t warm enough, its been a cold day and my house was cold. I am still determined however not to leave my mat without doing a dropback or two, so after a couple of UD’s and some warm ups I managed 3 fairly controlled dropbacks 🙂

Its becoming more obvious than ever that my yoga practice is taking precedence in my thoughts and life, it felt far more meaning full when Cary congratulated me on the progress of my practice yesterday, than it did today from a comment about some piece of work or other I did. Yoga makes me happy, work just pisses me off, even when it does go right you know something is gonna go tits up sometime soon.

I found Kino Podcasts today (should have been working, but am beyond caring), a nice thing to have on in the background while I’m on my PC at home, in the one I just listened to she was talking about the length of Guruji’s life and how he was born at a time when India had no electricity to seeing himself on an I-Pod at the end of his life. What amazing changes he saw in his lifetime. Kino makes me laugh as she does an imitation indian accent. Kino is like Dena, in that I love listening to her talk about yoga. I am now downloading all the podcasts, so I can listen to them when I fly to Singapore in 4 weeks time.

High praise indeed.

November 22, 2009

The bus “eventually” got us to London after a detour through Camden, grrrr, so I had to get straight on the mat. Cary’s theme for the day this week seemed to be foot position in Upward dog and the chest coming forward more. She mostly left me alone until UHP, then OMG did she administer one of those sweat inducing adjustments, it’s brought me out in a cold sweat typing about it. Some poses are just excruciating for some body’s.

Despite having had to run through the tube thanks to the bus, I seemed to have more energy today, I notice it in seated doing all those jump backs, I can tell how well I am, by how long it takes my arms to give out. I managed to bind Mari D, then Cary came along and got me to let go in order to change my hand position, second side is a no goer at the minute with my knee playing up. Great adjustment in Baddha Konasana, she squashed me flat, I used to hate being adjusted in that pose, now I almost slow it down in the hope that help will arrive.

A couple of abortive Urdva Dhanurasanas, before I managed to rise up for 3 and walk in, though engaging my abdominal muscles after yesterday was hard going. I then played around going back as far as I dared without crossing the tipping point as Cary had told me to wait for her this week for full dropbacks. I was brought back to the present when C. next to me, crashed into the Dehumidifier!

Then it was time, I had my crash blanket in place, Cary told me to go for it while she was squishing C. after her dropbacks. I did a couple more on my own as she helped Susan, managing one which seemed a really good one, which got me a well done and a big smile from both of them. Then it was time to do them with her, if my mat was 4 inches wider I would have this done, I seem to either get to the tipping point with control and can almost hang a smidge longer and aim my hands or some like todays where I get to the tipping point, my feet start losing the plot and my hands just have to land somewhere before my head does. But every week I am getting more control, more confidence, what seemed like a pipe dream or just for the “Bendy Wendys” at the start of the year is now a reality, even if I lack Susan and Kristen’s control.

A good practice, well it made me happy at least and as I was changing Cary came in to congratulate me on my hard work and progress, can’t remember her ever doing that before, at least she left me with a warm glow, she recognises that teaching can take you only so far, the rest is down to the student’s hard work. After practice brekky with Mel, good to meet you at last, so glad you finally made it to the Shala.


November 21, 2009

A good treatment this morning, she described it as being like a treadmill for the bowel and colon! Things had not gone as far downhill as I feared, my peristaltic reflex has improved, though I still need to drink more water, what does she think I am a Camel + the sugar lumps have to go, so if anyone sees me with sugar lumps you know what to do! Apparently tea will not suffice, it has to be water, pure and simple, she mentioned fruit again, yeeeuuk, I may have to get back on the kids smoothies.

The treatment made me tired, but that’s the body detoxing, nothing to worry about, so I just came home and rested and got on the phone to try and find a reasonable flight to Koh Samui, alas since I was first tempted the prices have gone up over £250, its just becoming too expensive.

Late afternoon I did a very slow standing, just trying to stretch out and make space, though I did notice the front of my body seemed to have more length as I stretched upwards, surprisingly I managed some reasonable backbends, even though I wasn’t very warmed up and 2 dropbacks.

Early start tomorrow, that bus had better turn up on time.

Will I see my Crown in the morning!

November 20, 2009

I suddenly realised tonight that the tooth crown I had re-glued in for the second time was suddenly not there anymore. Two possibilities, I either swallowed it while I was doing dropbacks or with a piece of roast potato. I don’t remember it feeling loose, it was there at lunchtime for sure. Tomorrow morning if I hear a rattling noise when the Colonic Nutritionist is doing her stuff I may see it again!

I don’t know why, but I had energy when I got home from the Labour camp and was straight on my mat at 4.15 for a really good practice, After 3 A’s and 3 B’s I seemed to fly through standing, it hasn’t been this good for a while.  I slowed down for seated, aware of how I have been feeling for the last few weeks, I didn’t suddenly want to hit the wall, I carried on, even almost binding Mari D on the second side, finger touch and no knee pain. I think I have lost a little weight in the last week, I have been very good since making tomorrow’s appointment, trying hard not to eat anything I know I shouldn’t and drinking loads of water, she always seems to know when I am dehydrated. Even wearing trackie bottoms and T-shirt I managed to bind Supta K and even more surprisingly managed to lift straight legs into the Upavistha balance. Its as if my body knows to get rid of the toxins, knowing what’s coming and my more careful eating is helping.

Backbends were good today, UD’s and walking in, followed by 3 dropbacks without my head touching.

I hope I am moving out of this cycle of inertia, tiredness and listlessness, its a spiral that’s hard to stop, I hope tomorrow’s treatment will kick start my physical and mental health back into a better place, its up to me to eat better, though its become a big problem in that having stopped eating HobNobs, Kitkats, Yorkie’s, Iced Gems  etc and stopped having IBS, those things gave me the energy to get through the day and do my practice after. I just stopped eating them and I know it was absolutley the right thing to do, but I havn’t replaced them, which is probably why I am so tired by the end of the day. They were also an excuse to leave my desk for a few minutes.

Kino time, my dvd arrived and has just started playing.


The bus is back, grrrrr

November 20, 2009

I just found out that on Sundays we have the dreaded rail replacement bus back until Christmas, meaning getting up in the dark, hoping the thing actually turns up and gets me into London in time for practice. I really thought we had done with this shit transport on Sunday’s, there were no signs up in the station over the last few weeks warning us, they have kept it quiet.

A very late, beginning at 9pm practice last night, an hour just to stretch through standing, a few seated forward bends and backbends including a dropback. To be honest my mind was elsewhere, working out the logistics of possibly doing Kino’s Thai retreat. It looks wonderful, but with the weak pound and the ever increasing taxes on flights it aint cheap.