Archive for May, 2012

Six in a row

May 27, 2012


Well that’s six in a row since Monday’s Moon day. It’s been so nice to be able to practice in some decent heat,not just in the Shala, but at home too, now summer seems to have turned up at last.

Four practices at home then two shared with others at the local Shala and AYL. The two couldn’t be more different,even if it’s the same practice, the local Shala has a whole wall of “toys”, but AYL has none, though i suspect Louise has hidden them to stop me playing on the blocks! I tend to get left alone at the local Shala, down dog squish, Prasarita C and a rebinding of my already bound Supta K, I think the Teacher likes the novelty of adjusting someone without the need for a pile of blocks. Alas she managed to unimprove my Pasasana on the first side.

Some nice assists at AYL, where we have an Assistant as well, Tiriang Mukha, Mari A and I lost the Supta K race to Louise, Supta Konasana I saw R gracefully come up and over landing silently, I came up and over a few seconds later, hovered and then “THUD” as I landed with Agi laughing two mats along. In a near silent room there is plenty of humour.

My back aided by the heat is now almost back to working order, UD I’m walking in, though not quite as far and by the middle of the week I realised I had got control back in my drop backs and was choosing when to land instead of gravity making the decision. So at home and Local I’m back to 3 or 4 blocks and coming up, at AYL it’s still Louise (where were you today V?). Dropping back on my own then 3 rocks and up, but L says my rocks need to be longer, everything has shortened up, the breath is too short as well, but at least she says I am back to almost going back evenly again.

So it’s slowly coming back. Next Sunday is doomed, no trains and class cancelled for the holiday, Monday moon day may have to be elsewhere, though last time I did that I hurt my back!


Coming back

May 20, 2012

Surprisingly quiet at the Shala to begin with this morning, today wasn’t a Moon day for us on this side of the Pond, but when I looked round as I started seated the place was full. I always seem to arrive just after most of the early shift have gone, but at least its nice and warm then and my place in the corner by the Radiator was free.

My back is so much better in heat, especially when it gets a mega squishing in DD on the second Surya 🙂

More assistance in standing this week, Parsvakonasana as well as the usual PPC and UHP. I notice my right Hip was looser as V took it out to the side in UHP, it has been tight lately along with the lower back problem. Talking of which my back seems to have plateaued in its rehab, it is a lot better, but seems to have stopped getting better. I realised today that despite the heat and feeling more flexible than I have since Easter, the movements that it doesn’t like are the transitions in the Vinyasas. From Chaturanga to Upward dog then rolling over the feet into Downward, these movements really pull the Hip, Gleut and the lower back on the right side, especially with the quantity of repetitions we do of this. My back seems happy enough in a static backbend, but moving within i feel it immediately. If I really, really slow down I can alleviate some of the intensity and also by putting more weight into the left leg and arm, but that probably isn’t sustainable in the long term.

I lost the Supta K race today, though I couldn’t see any toes to know who it was who bound me up 🙂

I did make the complete 360 in Garbha but slid out in Kukutasana. At least Pasasana got bound, I have gone back to Tania’s method of squatting even lower before taking the arm around and then coming up before going for the bind.

I got in 4 not bad Urdva Dhanurasana’s, then 3 safe drop backs before V came along to assist. I think she is getting me in training for Dena, standing on my feet to stop them splaying out and telling me Dena will nail them to the floor, she is probably right. Back to the letting go earlier and earlier on the way up game as well, at least I’m ready for her doing it and on the last couple my thighs did get the plot and engage on their own, they just need to do this a bit earlier. At least I can do this again now without it pissing my back off.

Its starting to feel like practice is coming back, though I need to be careful, injury makes one attentive and present if nothing else.

Moon day tomorrow




Yoga – religion or science

May 17, 2012


Something different from practice today. Instead a trip to The new Lifecentre to take part in Ruth’s ” Is yoga science or religion” workshop, part of the Chai and Chat series.

To aid the thought Chai and snacks

8 people took part including one via Skype from Malta. A variety of people from those who practice, some teachers and trainee teachers.We split in 2 groups one group to try and find reasons why yoga can be considered a religion and the other group to consider it a science. Then Ruth brought it all together.

These are just the notes I took, no doubt I missed plenty as well as some of it going over my head.

Religion – doctrinal,formal, scriptures,
Spirituality – Path, seeking
Practice – Asana, pranayama , devotion (Bhakti), Meditation, prayer.
The viewpoint can depend on if the yogi has deeply held religious beliefs, ie would the Pope (if he practised) consider yoga a religion?

Science – is the method tested? Skepticism , questioning.

Conclusions – it can be either or both at the same time. If treated as a religion it’s more a philosophy like an old religion not like newer dogmatic religions

Yoga in the 21st century is more like a practical philosophy which offers a choice of paths. It can for some people fill a void that used to be filled by religion, a community, a way of living and how we react to what life throws at us.

Was that hard?

May 13, 2012

Back to Philipa at TLC on a Saturday morning, only 6 of us up in the Loft, which means lots of help. Help in the usual places. PPC & UHP as well as Virabadrasana 2 in standing.

P gives one of the best Supta K assists in town, especially if you can do it on your own, it’s up there with Isa’s in Mysore and that’s saying something. Fully bound, feet way behind the head as she lifts you to Dwi Pada and tells you to bring the hands to prayer and balance, before she leaves you to exit via Titibhasana and Bakasana, which is where her comment ” was that hard? ” came in, she was laughing, as the sweat poured and I thudded back, adding a mini rest before finishing the Vinyasa. I love doing that, but I could see others think it’s some kind of medieval torture going by the noise and face on the guy on the next mat a while later!

More assistance in Baddha Konasana and the bum balances. At least my neck is no longer objecting to Setu B after watching Kino’s “How to” You tube video.

Pasasana bound with help then closing. UD then I tried a drop back to see how my back liked it, seemed good so did another before P came to do 4 assisted down and ups. My back didn’t object then or later 🙂

Sunday practice at AYL with much less intervention, just the more traditional assists in PPC & UHP. I don’t really need the help much in seated, just a tightening of my hand bind in Supta K and squashed in Baddha Konasana .

Better backbends, but the heat at AYL makes a big difference to how deep they can be. After 4 Urdva Dhanurasanas I stood up and again got in some drop backs on my own before V arrived. We are now back to me going back on my own and being helped back up, though with the V letting go progressively earlier on each one to make me engage, but she says still too much thinking going on.

Two Shala days in a row with heat and expert help make such a difference.

Last years plan of leaving the job and going to Mysore worked out great. In my head I had a kind of plan for this year once I got home. Get a job, continue to practice, start plotting a return trip to Mysore and maybe get a new Cat. I have had a Cat,well two cats, for around 30 years of my life and miss my last one still, he was far more than just a pet. My next door neighbours have a young Cat and have recently added two more Kittens, but the Cat and one of the kittens have ganged up on the second kitten and it’s not working out, so they are looking to possibly re home the second Kitten. Am oh so tempted, my heart says yes, but my head says no, put off by cost, the restrictions of having a pet and would it still be living in too close proximity to the other two, as all 3 grow up and go out exploring would my garden become a cat fight zone. And of course I would become far too attached to it.

Post Super moon back at YP

May 7, 2012


Last night I could see why it was Moon day, spectacular very low and large full moon at bedtime.

AYL closed for the holiday today so back to YP, nice to be back, surrounded by lots of friendly, familiar faces. The Shala bathed in sunshine and Cary prodding and adjusting. Practice started well, Cary’s Trikonasana adjustment resulted in a little pop and freeing of something in the right side of my back, pity the same thing didn’t happen on the second side.

Left alone for most of seated, apart from Tiriang Mukha and having my foot orientation changed in Mari B. The heat certainly helped my back, first bound Supta K in a week without it hurting my lower back. 🙂

After Garbha it feels like the hard part is done, a comment over breakfast after about how people rush through from Baddha Konasana to Setu B. I know I mentally think of that section as a down hill slope. Stopped from racing by the nice forward bend squash in Baddha Konasana.

I had forgotten about C’s tactic of letting us try and do something on our own first before coming to assist. I had done Pasasana once on each side, then as I went to do it again I found C had crept up behind me and suddenly I was being supported and my fingers joined up for a strong bind with my feet flat. Pasasana is coming along nicely despite the back.

Urdva Dhanurasana got done, but I just can’t walk the hands in much, it’s too intense on the lower back. As for drop backs, I did some hanging, hanging too far once and just about getting my hands there before my head, so stopped and did the rest of closing.

Yogi breakfast after with M & S, Mysore chat and how to reintegrate back into our normal lives. But we have all tasted Mysore now and all want to get back. One day……