Archive for April, 2012

Heat & assistance #1500

April 29, 2012

This turns out to be post number 1500

The wild weather shows no signs of abating, as I walked to the Station in the pouring rain with the wind ripping my Brolly out of my hand I wondered if the train would actually run, never mind just leaves on the line, what with the gales it was more like whole trees and power lines coming down.

But it came and we crawled into the city. And for the first time in however many years I have been making this Sunday journey I had proper yoga company in the form of J from the local Shala, she wanted some heat ( she has not long come back from living in warmer climes) and who had decided to try out AYL for the first time. I think she could become a regular.

Very quiet there today,the Radiator spot was free, so a nice warm practice, with help coming at the usual places. I knew I had lost the Supta K race when I saw the Assistants toes in Kurmasana, it feels like a free pass when you get put into it, as opposed to doing it on your own.

Pasasana as usual better in the mornings, especially in the warm before 4 UD’s spent trying to decide whether to do drop backs. I decided to try one, which i landed ok and so I did another that actually had some control, at which point L came over, but unlike last week where it was the stopping point she did 3 assisted ones with me, though she said my propensity for the right hip to twist and to drop back lopsided has returned. I had no sensation of it and she had to show me what was happening, but it could explain why my left foot stays parallel and the right splays out. But at least my back didn’t object to the process during or after, so hopefully healing is beginning to happen.

Moon day next Sunday, very inconvenient!


It arrived

April 28, 2012


I got home on Friday to find the Postman had brought something nice for a change, not a bill, not spam, but finally a copy of Graeme Montgomery’s beautiful Mysore Style photo book. Although it is out of print the Author still has some available from his website. It’s a fabulous book, full of people I know doing the postures, the photos are actually in the order of the practice, and in-between photos around Mysore, places I recognise and even a guy riding his Bike with a basket balanced on his head who Laura and I came across near Devaraja Market back in November. I wonder if he realises he has been immortalised in the book, or perhaps that’s why he smiled at us as we took his picture that day.


“Back” to practice, though my back seems to have plateaued in the healing process, it’s no worse, but isn’t improving any more it seems, despite daily Ice treatment and not doing drop backs, well OK I did one on Tuesday, just about landing it, but after advice from the Toon Army southern division leader, I havnt done any more. Her advice being that I’m not giving it a chance to heal. The rest of practice is fine and in some decent heat would be perfectly passable, the twists are bound again and even UD done gradually is pain free.

AYL in the morning, hope L has the heating cranked up or at least my fave spot by the Radiator is free just after 8am.

Stopped at the end.

April 22, 2012

YP seemed possible until I got to Euston, a train packed with London marathon runners, spectators and the usual Sunday early risers had to queue to get through just three ticket barriers, it took 10 minutes to get through, any other Sunday all the barriers are just left open! So by the time I escaped it had to be round the corner to AYL.

Not as hot in there today, steady practice, lost the Supta K race to L and got a nice squish in Baddha Konasana from V 🙂 I would also be interested to know how near to the floor she got my hands in Prasarita C, they felt way over. A couple of goes at Pasasana on each side, I was hoping someone would come and join my fingers up on the first side, they were so close, I managed the second side on my own.

Urdva Dhanurasana x 4 before standing up for drop backs, first one my hands just made it before my head, second go I landed, but my back didn’t like it and V came over to stop me doing any more, I think she saw the grimace and my little back rub! She gave me a nice Paschimot back stretch out before I headed to the sunshine in the Finishing Room.

My back is much better, thanks to the Osteo, ice and the tennis ball, but not quite there, as spotted by V, at least she stopped me doing any damage.

To the Osteopath

April 17, 2012

After 1 practice in 3 months, Sunday was my third practice in a week with Cary, just a pity my back wasn’t as open as it had been on Saturday. After Mysore where there is little intervention and AYL where their is adjustment but not pickyness, it’s been funny having someone adjust my feet in Downward dog and hands in Virabadrasana while at the same time pressing my leg to make the knee bend, her attention to detail always surprises me. I tried to drop back on my own, I landed two and crashed head first once, but I have lost the control I had before the back problem.

I finally took the back problem to the Osteopath today, although it has improved a lot in the last week, it’s still very tight. Her verdict, I have pulled a Tendon in my lower back, the Piriformis among other muscles lower down have contracted to help protect the Tendon, there are a few hard tender areas. These trigger points are pretty sore, but it turns out I have been doing the right thing with the ice and tennis ball, the heat on my particular injury is not so helpful, so her advice is to ice it twice a day, carry on with the tennis ball and continue to do practice. She spent quite a while on the lower back and trigger points, not the usual “cracking”, but gradually increasing pressure, the Piriformis being extremely tender, but she thinks another few days or so and I should be back to normal.

Although I know my range of motion is somewhat impaired compared to normal, my range of motion,even injured, is way past the average uninjured person of my age who she sees. Most can’t touch their toes let alone put their hands flat on the floor, even with a back problem and as for bending backwards. So although we have the occasional yoga induced injury, hopefully our practice will keep us more mobile and active as we get older, though it would be nice to stand up from backbend again before I’m past it!

Back to it

April 14, 2012

Since Monday’s drop back abandoned practice it’s been 4 days of varying degrees of back pain. Tuesday I couldn’t stand, sit or bend without my lower back taking my breath away. By Thursday after 3 evenings of ice, heat and the Tennis ball I had some semblance of normality back. The trigger point going by the tennis ball wasn’t the site of pain in the lower back, but lower down in the SI and in to the Psoas at the front, thanks to Susan for explaining and sending some helpful info through.

So I was in two minds if to practice today, I had to be in London anyway, then I found out that Cary was covering at TY, so decided I would be in safe hands. The good thing about Saturday at TY is that you go into the studio an hour early and play around or practice, so I was able to warm up slowly and by the official start time I was quite loose and actually had a decent practice, everything bound, I was a little wary when I got to the 2nd side of Mari D, but it was fine. Supta K Cary got to me in Kurmasana stretching me further forward before binding me up in full Supta K.

Left alone to play Pasasana , after nearly a week off a bit surprised to finger touch the first side and bind the second 🙂

So the test, how would my back react to backbends? Urdva Dhanurasana was a struggle , but they got better, enough to try hanging back from standing. C came over remembering Monday and assisted me dropping back, her usual game of letting go progressively earlier coming up, followed by her trademark Paschimottanasana squash.

So eight hours later I’m not in agony, just a little stiff, hopefully tomorrows usual Sunday Shala practice won’t be too much. But if it is I stil have the appointment with the Osteopath booked for Tuesday.

Stiff back, no bend

April 9, 2012

I finally got to practice with Cary again today at YP, it’s been far too long. Just a shame my lower back, SI area has got stiffer and more uncomfortable since Fridays Shala practice, to the point that I couldn’t do a drop back at all today, Cary ending up doing manipulation on my back as she squashed me in Paschimottanasana after Urdva Dhanurasana. At least Pasasana binding is back, I had already done it when assistance arrived to do it again, nice bind and feet almost flat 🙂

Only half a dozen of us practising on a wet,cold bank holiday Monday, so more adjustment than I’ve been used to of late, I’m sure she was trying to get me to do the splits in UHP!

Hopefully everything will loosen up again, thinking about it Fridays second side Mari D assist was probably what has annoyed my back. Time for the Backnobber and S’s breakfast stretch.

Head Last – Take 2

April 6, 2012


Wally at last

A criminal Good Friday moon day Shala practice to make up for no train Easter Sunday. TY was very quiet, but filled up a little later, all the Ashtangi’s probably having a holiday lie in. Although it wasn’t cold it wasn’t toasty warm either, the big open spaces in the big Shalas are never warm enough for my liking. Left alone apart from a couple of tweaks in standing, glad not to get assisted in UHP, my right hamstring is very tight, it definitely needs heat.

More help in seated, Paschimot squash then Mari A and D. My already bound hands bound tighter in Supta K, but stretching the right leg out for Titibhasana exit isn’t happening.


London egg

It took quite a few more than the prescribed 3 Urdva Dhanurasanas to get some good ones. I thought I was going to get away with playing around on my own in drop backs, but on number 3 Jen, unbeknown to me, was waiting for me to land before pinging me back up to standing. Jen was standing in today, I havnt practised with her in a few years, but different Teachers see different things. I know it’s “head last” coming up, but Jen spotted that I tilt my head back going down, obviously looking for the floor, this takes the weight back faster , where as on the next 4 she got me to try and leave my head in line with my body until I was nearer landing, allowing for the control to last longer on the way down. So now it’s “head last” going back as well as coming up!


Post Office egg which was once stolen and returned before the price of stamps increased.

Nice also to run into L who I last saw at Santosha cafe in Mysore.

After practice and breakfast I went to Covent Garden, somehow despite having my credit card with me managing to not buy the new iPad , tempting though it was after playing on it. Instead I went to see all the Great Egg Hunt eggs all brought together for Easter in Covent Garden Piazza, finally got my photo of the “Where’s Wally” egg along with “The Post Box” and some beauties made to look like Globes.


Globe eggs

Practice, Flash mob & Chocolate

April 1, 2012


Chocolate Buttons

What happened to the summer that we lost an hours sleep for last weekend? It was so cold this morning the cars had frost on them!

At least AYL was like an Oven, L thought it was too hot, but I much prefer too hot and humid to cold, it made for a nice sweaty bendy practice.Left alone in standing apart the usual Prasarita C torture. New Assistant this week, I didn’t win the Supta K race, I knew someone was there as I got into Kurmasana and soon felt my feet and arms being stretched, bent and bound into place. She also gave me a nice Baddha Konasana squash. 🙂

Left to play Pasasana and Urdva Dhanurasana before then getting in 5 drop backs before assistance arrived. There is something about having someone in front of me, my stand ups seemed much better if a bit of a stumble once coming up. No practice next Sunday, the Shala is closed and no trains anyway.


A very small Flash mob

By the time I finished it was bright and sunny, so after the usual croissant and Tea pit stop I headed down to the south bank for the Yoga & Chocolate flash mob. It was arranged by an ethical chocolate company,

Well not much of a mob, but on the plus side more chocolate for those who took part. An easy stretch in the sun for me, more chocolate, the reward for the mob were quite a few of the tasty chocolate buttons in the picture,yummy, followed by a wander around the rest of the chocolate festival. The publicity lady for the chocolate company asked me if I thought yoga and chocolate could catch on, little does she know what chocaholics the yoga folk are


I resisted buying, somehow, though the price had a lot to do with it!