Archive for June, 2011

Going Local with 108 to go

June 25, 2011

After a wake up text from AC I decided to get up and go to our local teacher down at the Quaker Hall this morning. I had intended to practice at home after doing the shopping, but home practice always seems to get interrupted by something or another. Very surprised to find 8 people already there, the In the Sticks Ashtanga community is obviously growing. Surprisingly good practice, C got my hands to the floor in Prasarits C, and I completely forgot to do PPD, only realising during seated.

It was a humid, clammy morning, so i got nice and warm, even binding Mari D on the 2nd side and a really nice Supta K, which C came and deepened, I am back to being able to exit into Titibhasana again, my arms are stronger with all the Turbo Dogs I do at home. I realised that apart from a couple of people, the room had almost a completely new set of people at this point, most seemed to stop around Navasana, so by the time I had done my whole primary plus Pasasana and all the backbends and dropbacks, pretty well 2 shifts worth had been in. C got me bound on both sides of Pasasana

The room has a carpet which C rolls up so that we put our mats on the wooden floor, after a couple of Urdva Dhanurasana I moved my hands back on to the thick rolled carpet, trying to use it in lieu of a Bolster to try and stand up, I thought it was jammed against the legs of the Piano, ooops as it slid back, but luckily stopped under the Piano, I realised if I had tried to stand it would probably have been a case of “A” flat yogi”, as I would have come up underneath! Will have to resume the at home Bolster experiments. I abandoned that experiment, did a couple more UD’s then started the dropbacks, safe landings 🙂 C came to assist my standing up, but her rocking motion meant it was impossible to keep my hands on the floor, I think next time she needs to let me walk the hands in a bit more, rather than rocking from where they land.

A city Shala practice tomorrow, but no idea which one yet as the trains arrival time seems to be a moving target on the website, let alone what time it gets there in reality.

It’s an auspicious day, 108 days until my plane touches down in Bangalore and I arrive in Mysore. My nearest and dearest are coming around to the plan, still explaining “why” isn’t happening, Mother is panicky, a few years ago I went to India and got really sick, then this year I had the blood poisoning etc, “what if it happens there?” she wittered. 


Mentally released

June 22, 2011

Since that email I have practised twice, the first was one was tired and my mind was elsewhere (Mysore), though Monday practice has always been a struggle. Today was much better, when my mind shuts up and is “in” the practice the whole thing flows, heat is generated and after an hour I arrive at closing. Good UD’s, 3 safe dropbacks. Time for Tea.

I read something today about how we need to give ourselves permission to do things, put ourselves first, often it’s something we really want to do, but won’t acknowledge, especially to even our nearest and dearest. How often we are held back by feelings of responsibility, self worth, confidence in our ability to do whatever it is , fear of what others may think.

After reading that I realised that it was the email from Mysore that mentally took the shackles off and made me able to give myself permission to do something i have spent 3 years dreaming about, to finally take the initiative. Not just to be registered by them, but to do what I want, to make the leap of faith to start to enjoy living instead of just putting up with life, to put me first. My mind has a new sense of freedom, it’s planning the next 6 months, looking ahead, that’s something I have been trying not to do in case the “project” got stopped before it had started, so avoiding some of the perceived disappointment. I can now get rid of some of what drags me down, especially the main thing. There are other responsibilities that I can’t jettison so easily at home and of course I am still a Director of another Limited Company and have to arrange for someone to handle that while I am away or put it all on hold, which isnt an option with the 150 people who turn up to the meetings every month.

I have been mentally released, but now have a list of things I must do or arrange above the Ticket, done the ticket yay, now for Visa, Accommodation type stuff.

Mysore – Let the countdown begin

June 20, 2011

At 12:48 my Iphone email made its little noise. And finally Mysore said yes, I can visit the source in October. So let the countdown begin. I can start to plan in earnerst and not just in my dreams. How soon can I extricate myself from the job, though the longer I can stick the job, the longer in theory I can stay away.

Kino in August, Mysore in October, my god its like a massive weight has been lifted.

Back at YP

June 19, 2011

After two weeks of having to revert to plan B, I managed to finally get back to YP this morning. Interesting train journey, by chance I sat next to someone on her way to do Teacher training at TLC, first time in all these years of yoga commuting I have been able to talk about practice to pass the journey. 

 It was busy when I got there, but for some reason people don’t seem to like the front row, so I took my usual spot. Sweaty practice with very little intervention. In fact the only real adjustment was in Bhujapidasana, when C adjusted the cross of my feet which left me stuck, unable to extricate myself into Bakhasana, C had me do it again. Nice to do Supta K on my own and lifted into Dwi Pada. 🙂

Pasasana is now back to finger touch on side one and back to overlapping if not quite bound fingers on the second side. A few weeks ago I had after yoga breakfast with K, she told me about a way of getting that extra few millimetres to get the shoulder further around in Pasasana . Today she was my mat neighbour and when she got to Pasasana, after doing it, she stopped to show me her method, which involved stretching the arm along the ground and then stretching the thighs forward before bringing the arm around the knee. I will try it next time I practice. It’s one of the best things about practice, people are willing to share, thanks K.

After Urdva Dhanurasana I was left to my own devices with dropbacks, no help with standing up. I did 5 on my own wondering if help would arrive, but i was getting tired so went into Paschimottanasana , at which point C arrived, I half expected her to get me to stand up, but she just squished me flat, though she is still on this mission about what my feet get up to in the forward bends.

C is the only teacher who adjusts the final breathing sequence, well it’s more of a tweak, as when C is in the vicinity, but not necessarily in view, my muscles seem to automatically do what they are meant to! A nothing special practice, but nice of the sun to shine on my mat in Savasana.

Away from the mat D-day is looming, no news either way from Mysore, so I’m in limbo. Much as I hate my job and really don’t want to go to the new place, unless Mysore give me some good news very soon I am going to have to spend 3 hours a day commuting rather than on my mat until I can work out a Plan C or D or whatever we are up to now. The Bus would get me there 45 minutes before my start time, after a 30 minute round the houses ride and a walk down a muddy footpath. The alternative to the footpath is a mile and a half road walk, and then the same at night, that’s provided I escape on time and can run the footpath route in 6 minutes to get the bus home or wait an hour for the next one. Yoga could well become a weekend only activity and being as it’s the thing that makes life worth the bother a lot of the time that is not something I want to dwell on. So come on Mysore send me some good news.


June 13, 2011

After managing to survive the weekend with a tooth stump but no ache I was on the phone to the Dentist first thing and luckily got an appointment before lunch. The news was as I feared, the rest had to be removed, not a pleasant experience, it took him 30 minutes to get all the bits out and left me with a face looking like i was a Boxer not a yoga student and unable to speak without sluring and dribbling, not to mention 4 Mysore classes worth of bill.

I had “talked” to 3 people in the last few days about Mysore and all said do it, send the application in, so to cheer myself up I duly filled in the online form in my non eating lunch break and hit Send. Half a second later the instant reply came, but not quite what I expected. Basically it said that despite applying in the window that they are not currently taking “bookings” for places when I want to go, but NOT to send in another application, so I seem to have been consigned to the Pending tray, which is a bit of a drag as I wanted to get going with the visa and arranging the flights, not to mention working out when I need to hand my notice in or not of the answer is NO. Extracting myself seems a job in itself.

So home to try and eat something soft and swallowable as the anaesthetic has worn off my face is beginning to throb, but I know painkillers will piss my stomach off. I decided not to practice this evening, just to rest, medically this year has been a write off so far. Someone told me I need to relax my face, but at this time I think it could win me an Olympic Gurning medal.

Breath, hips and Mysore

June 12, 2011

The second Sunday running the train company have scuppered my plans to go to my usual Shala. So round the corner to AYL again, which is fine and really quiet in there today. Louise again in charge today, though left alone in my window corner until UHP.

I am still having to modify the half lotus poses on the left, my knee is recovering very slowly from the Garbha accident of the other week. I want the knee to be fully functioning by October. I know I can do Mari B and D and know once the knee is happy again that I will be able to do it. I almost beat Louise into Supta K, but not quite, though the Kurmasana was good and she didn’t need to do much to knot me up and leave me to exit on my own. Left alone until Pasasana, L finger touching the first side and fully binding the second 🙂

Good backbends before only managing to get in one dropback on my own before L arrived to do assisted ones. Telling me to slow the rocks, get the breath and work on the movement of lifting the hips, saying once the hips come forward everything above will follow on it’s own. It still feels no nearer to happening on my own though, despite all the efforts I make when I’m home alone.

A nice practice but where did the sun go, it was a lovely morning when I arrived, but it was pouring by the time I finished and went for breakfast with a few yogis, including teacher T who said October is a good time to go to Mysore. Everyone I talk to about my project is positive and encouraging, though T said the accommodation costs may be higher than I had been led to believe. I talk to people who have been whenever I get the chance now, I am looking forward to finally sending in my application, hopefully getting a positive response and then setting the ball officially rolling.


June 10, 2011

I ended up doing a full practice this morning rather than staring up at the Dentists ceiling, I had stood outside hoping they were going to be open,but nobody came. Luckily the tooth, or what’s left of it isn’t aching and fingers crossed that situation continues until I can get an appointment after the weekend.

So home to my mat for the first full practice since Wednesday. First one after a day off and my usual Friday anything goes hour of doing what I fancy, mainly second series, handstands and backbends. The extra backbend work has improved my Urdva Dhanurasana a lot, pushing up is a lot easier and less mentally taxing, even dropbacks happen faster now, less standing, less thinking, more doing.

Afternoon appointment with Miss Steelthumbs and her very hot Lava Shells ( as apparently seen on the Apprentice), love that deep heat in my shoulders and annoying Piriformis, a nice treatment, no pain, just heat and her thumbs undoing the knots. Hopefully I will be bendy for Shala practice in the morning.


Weirdness, I seem to have deleted the previous post about swallowing my tooth doing dropbacks, but WordPress seems to have moved the comments to this post, I have no idea how either happened.

The Heat is on

June 8, 2011

D-day is nigh, but the fears and doubts persist. Am I making the right choice, following my heart and not my head. Giving up a safe job, though a job I long ago stopped enjoying, to finally go to Mysore when the company relocate next month.

The pro’s
Company new place is an hourly (if it turns up) bus ride and £2K a year to get to. I can’t see it lasting especially in winter.
The extra hours travelling each day will eat massively into my practice time.
The job is a big part of why I feel so down so often.
I need a break, it’s 16 years since I had one.
Being so sick earlier in the year made me think I need to take more care of myself.
I need to want to wake up more than 1 day a week. Many days it seems I give up on life being worth the bother.
Doing something for myself, or is this a mid life crisis?
Mysore it feels like now or never.
My practice means so much, surely it’s right to spend time on it while i can.
A situation closer to home, which is only going to deteriorate & take more and more time.
I have the funds, but am worried about committing so much.

The Con’s
Am I crazy to give up a job in this economic climate, even one I hate that is suddenly going to cost me £2K a year to get to and 3 hours travelling a day instead of the current 10 minutes
I am 46 will I get a job when I get back?
Will life feel like worth living after, or is this just a dream, will everything just be the same, but with no money coming in?

I never thought I would ever want to go to Mysore and to be honest wondered what’s the point when I have some great teachers here, even if I only see them once a week. But as my practice has developed over the last few years and I talked and practiced with senior Teachers and have asked them if I should spend time with them or go to Mysore, every one of them has told me to go to Mysore if my circumstances permit.

If I don’t go I know in years to come I will regret it and be resentful and probably continue on this downward spiral of depression just getting through each day without having lived, but merely existed until one day I don’t wake up and it’s all too late.

I need to resign and start to live or resign myself to a life I don’t want.

Deciding to dump the stress

June 5, 2011

A rapid change of plan this morning, despite the train coming on time it got later and later as we headed toward the city. I was left with a choice of running and hoping the tube worked, arriving late at the Shala, then having a rapid practice or dumping the travel stress and walking round the corner to AYL. So that’s what I did, the 2 minute walk, glasses steaming up as I opened the inner door to find a space by the window, I always seem to end up with that space or the one next to it at AYL, Louise and Anna teaching today, so knew I would get help in the right places.

I love the humid oven like conditions in there, I had to put the Yogitoes down from the start, squished twice in Downdog, assisted in Parsvakonasana which doesn’t happen often, but left alone in PPC for a change. Left alone in the rest of standing in fact. It was busy in there today.

Paschimottanasana then Triang Mukha from Anna, managed to bind Mari D on my own, second side of course, my left knee is still not having it. I lost the Supta K race, I always try to get into it on my own before they spot me, but Anna must have been watching and I was only just in Kurmasana when she came to knot me up, though she did it easily, I just went with it, mentally banking the energy I was saving by her doing it for later. Left alone for Pasasana, which was good, as I finger touched both sides today 🙂

I felt good coming into closing, not wiped as I sometimes do, so I did extra Urdva Dhanurasanas before doing 5 dropbacks on my own. I didn’t expect to do that many, I thought Louise would be on me to assist, but she was watching and complimented me after on how much better they are now, controlled and landing safely, her only criticism being the fact that my feet turn out as I get deeper before landing. She then did 3 assisted ones with me, having me rock up on to my finger tips before standing me up on the 3rd rock.

It’s a long time since I have been in a Shala where you hear the words “one more”, I heard it often today each time someone departed for the Finishing Room their place was filled. Even the finishing room was busy, as I laid in Savasana someone gently lifted my hand and moved it over so one more could be squeezed in. Really good practice today, deciding not to do Olympic sprinting through the tube gave me the time and the energy.

I expected not to get a yogi breakfast today, figured i would grab Tea and a Pastry then head home, but suddenly found Pret to be an AYL annex, so got to hang out for a while on a very multinational table from Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Spain.

On the way home last night I attended my first Flash mob, Around 50 Geocachers turned up at 6pm in Trafalgar Square, it was part of a series of Geocaching flash mobs around the world at the same time. My Mum is also a Geocacher and came along too, no prizes but can you spot us?

No Bandages!

June 4, 2011

I overslept this morning and missed the usual yoga train. Luckily on a Saturday there’s another one, but then I found out that the tube I needed wasn’t working, decisions, decisions, where do I go to practice. I still hadn’t decided when we finally got to London, but decided to go to TLC as usual and surprisingly I still got there 5 minutes early, how did that happen despite having to run, get a bus and 2 extra tube stops?

TLC was quiet, only one other there when I arrived and only 6 of us all told. What I still can’t get my head round is that 4 of the others started after me, but were done and gone before I had got to Savasana, how does that work?

Philippa looked me up and down, I wondered what she was looking for, then she laughed and said “no bandages or straps!”, told her the left knee is still unhappy but otherwise I’m reasonably fit again. She knows she can push me and isn’t scared to give me some great adjustments. Lots today, but she knows when to leave me to my own devices as well. Lots of assists is a two way thing, on the one hand they break my rhythm but on the other they stop me retreating into my own world and getting lazy. P is very effective, almost to the floor in Prasarita C, she said I made a face and asked if the assist had been too strong,told her it was fine, especially compared to E’s mega to the floor assist few weeks ago.

Help in Triang Mukha and Mari C, but left to bind Supta K on my own and got Titibhasana exit though couldn’t quite get Bakhasana. Deep Supta Padang assist. And she easily bound both sides of Pasasana, once bound I’m quite stable. Started by doing Urdva Dhanurasana against the wall, P spotted me and gave me a big adjustment, the 3 following UD’s were good. One self dropback then assisted ones, all good. A nice long Savasana, back to this world to realise just me and one other still in the room. 

Interesting afternoon running the travel club, wonderful to have yogi and Journalist -Novelist Justine Hardy giving a talk on Kashmir, her book “Goat” is one of my favourites, about bringing Pashmina to Europe and turning the profits into charity. .it’s been a long time since I have run into Justine, she used to practice at the L-shaped room.