Archive for October, 2012


October 29, 2012


A lovely extra hour in Bed, followed by for the first time since I can’t remember when a stress free Sunday train ride to practice, in the Shala on my mat before ten to eight. It was busy in there today, not heard that many “one more’s” since Mysore, is it really a year since I was there. Another friend from last year leaves on Wednesday, how do people manage it every year?

A much sweatier practice, the humidity generated by that many body’s makes for a more bendy, flowing practice. Left alone in standing, before nice assists in Paschimot , Tiriang Mukha and Baddha Konasana, having managed to beat the teacher into Supta K 🙂

My right hand has sussed Bhekasana, but the left doesn’t get it at all, Emma did a nice assist, despite the left hand pointing the wrong way she got my chest lifted.

UD is good, dropping back is not bad, but standing up without a block isn’t happening. I found AYL’s one block tucked away in the cupboard and stood up easily enough from that before Louise came over to do the full range of assisted drops, cross arm half way and another drop, walk in and come up, she hardly touches my hips and i just come up.

So it’s been a yoga weekend. Moon day tomorrow “sleep & more slop” as the Shala blackboard said this morning.


Extra practice & Yoga Show

October 27, 2012


An extra practice today as I had a freebie to the Yoga Show at Olympia located down the road from TLC. A freezing cold morning, so cold and slippy that the train failed to stop at the next station, sliding on through unable to stop, then proceeding to crawl in to London so it could stop at the next 3 stations.

Warm enough at TLC, but it turned in to a bit of a slog as I had gurgling guts for some reason. The usual good assistance though from Phillipa, Dwi Pada exit from Supta K and binding my Pasasana, before squashing my only one hand in the right place Bhekasana. My back wasn’t very open, I managed to drop back but no way was I able to come back up, after 4 attempts P came to the rescue to do assisted ones. Always tomorrow ( train and weather allowing!)


My foot print

So after practice along to the Yoga show, I missed it last year when I was in Mysore. I was hopping there would be something different this year, as the last few years it had become a bit samey. Started off with a mini seated Shiatsu session before trying the Podiatry foot assessment where you have to walk across a board and a picture of your foot comes up on the computer showing where you exert the most pressure through your feet as you walk and stand. I’m fairly balanced, but the examiner correctly pointed out my tight calf muscles from the multi coloured computer picture.

The Yoga Wall

The Yoga Wall was new this year, a Belgian company showing off a wall the straps that you can hang off and do supported postures, fun to try and harder than it looks, isn’t everything!


Lots of the usual stalls selling mats, books etc, but nothing new.

Last toy I got to play on was the Feet up, a way of doing Sirsasana without the weight pressing in to the head and neck, it’s much easier to go up.


October 22, 2012


Trinity College

A nice weekend away being an Ashtanga tourist again. Ireland being the 16th country where i have laid my mat. Saturday morning i finally met Maria, who took me on a whistle stop tour of Dublin, starting at Trinity College, via her Shala Samadhi and their Ashtangi cafe “Queen of Tarts”, there may be no Battenburg or Eccles cakes here, but the Scones are delicious! We then took in Grafton Street, Temple Bar where the locals don’t go, the Castle, Chester Beatty museum and a lovely little park. Saturday evening out with E to Cornucopia Cafe, great to catch up with E as I missed her last time she dropped in to AYL.


Queen of Tarts cafe


Temple Bar , where only tourists go.

Dublin has quite a few yoga options these days, not just Samadhi and Blackrock but also now the lovely Oscailt run by Suzanne and John, who are both Authorised. Sunday practice in Dublin begins at the very civilised hour of 9am and Oscailt just happened to be located in the same street as my Hotel, so just a 5 minute walk to practice. The Shala is in the Basement and soon warmed up, even though there were only 5 of us, my body was rusty after a day off walking miles around the city. Mostly left to myself. Cramp in Bhekasana so abandoned that and went to closing.


Oscailt, home of


Farmers Market


Pretzels and cake


E had invited me to the Blackrock Sunday yogi brunch. This meant a trip on The Dart train down the coast, Suzanne had also recommended I take in the Farmers Market at Dun Loghaire, which is a couple of stops beyond Blackrock first, so that’s what I did. The market was great and the harbour was full of little sailing boats racing. Brunch was long and fun at Cafe Java, talking about Mysore and practice.


Sailing at Dun Loghaire

Monday practice at the less civilised hour of 6:30am, the heaters tripped out the electric, but luckily not before they had warmed the Shala up, the lights came back but the heaters didn’t. Less rusty and more bendy, Suzanne assisting me a bit more today as well, Tiriang Mukha, Mari A and a really good Baddha Konasana. Better backbends and up from the block, Suzanne said I didn’t ned the block and so it proved as I managed to drop back and stand up 3 times on my own.

I can certainly recommend at Oscailt if you are ever in Dublin.


Bridge across the Liffey

The sun actually came out for my last few hours exploring, it’s been dry, but cloudy most of the weekend. A great weekend meeting yogis, exploring and doing practice.


What I said when my flight home was cancelled!

The previous 15 countries my mat has visited are England, Scotland, Sweden, Estonia, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Turkey, Indonesia , Thailand , Singapore , Hong Kong, Australia and India

Some coming, some going

October 7, 2012

Another double Shala weekend, trying to remember and put in to practice the stuff we did with Kino last weekend. Much busier at TLC with Phillipa on Saturday. Lots of useful help as usual in places like Supta K and Pasasana and Bhekasana, dyslexic hands still. She left me to play backbends after adjusting Urdva Dhanurasana. Finally after much sweat and using the Block I managed to come up three times off the mat, but it’s not coming as easily as it was a month ago, it’s a real struggle as I seem to have lost the mental connection and I’m knackered by the time I get there.

A long practice followed by a busy afternoon running the Travel club, we had a talk by a guy who drove a black Cab round the world for charity, he raised over £20,000, drove over 40,000 miles and the Cab’s meter rung up a bill of circa £76,000! At the meeting I also met another Mysore friend. Everyone I meet who has been is trying to work out how and when they can get back to Mysore.

Over 2 hours on the crap rail replacement bus to get to practice today. Steady practice, nice assist in Baddha Konasana , everything bound, longer Krounchasana hamstrings in the heat and with some help from Louise both hands the right way up in Bhekasana ! Urdva Dhanurasana was ok and dropping back was controlled, but once at the bottom, I was stuck and getting more and more tired trying to stand up. Despite managing to stand up during the week and yesterday, frustration as I couldn’t find the mental connection or the energy to do it today. Eventually V came and stopped me exhausting myself completely and did a couple of assisted ones.

At the Shala in the heat and humidity some postures are much easier, the Marichyasanas and Krounchasana, but it seems to take more energy than at home. Hopefully as I get more physically used to the additional bit of 2nd I will find the energy and rejoin the mental dots to stand up. Bhekasana at least is coming.

Kino weekend

October 1, 2012

Friday night
Looking at Muhla and Udiyana bandha. Who knew sitting still could be made so hard! To engage the core not only in the posture but to think about keeping the connection when we exit, not collapsing . Injuries happen when we disentage physically as well as mentally. Guruji said only 3 times in life should we disengage the Bandha, Savasana, sleeping and on the toilet. Kino talked about burning through Samskaras by the internal heat that only comes with regular practice . Philosophy of how we react to situations, don’t fire missiles back, burn them up in the internal fire peace is a moment to moment choice.


Saturday AM
Led primary, my first since Christmas day in Mysore. I reckon Kino actually counts slower than Sharath! Back from lunch I saw that handstands are possible on my mat, as I watched Kino through the window using my mat !


Kino demonstrating Bhakasana

Saturday pm
Arm balances, mainly learning Bhakasana and jumping in to it. Fear of jumping into Bhakasana, we went into it, then slowly over on to the head and then back up. Exiting Bhujapidasana via Bhakasana. She had us balance in Bhakasana for a minute! We finished with one arm side plank, trying to grab the toe without spiralling in to a fall!


One hand balance

Sunday am
Mysore practice. Really nice practice, mainly left alone apart from Kino assisting PPC. I half expected Sarai as an ex AYL teacher to assist Supta K, but she just watched though she did Baddha Konasana with me. Nice backbends, deep dropbacks but I couldn’t get back up, though it was distracting with people who had finished walking past, not to mention some people chatting and even drinking coffee before checking their cheat sheet for the next posture! Kino came to assist, she said it comes and goes to begin with and that my alignment and backbend were much better now. S mentioned later than adding the intermediate backbends can also take it away for a while.

Practice followed by one of the great yogi breakfasts at LPQ, so good when we get together like that.


Some have an amazing practice

Sunday pm
The afternoon was about backbends, how they often become all consuming. Kino started off with the anatomy,Sacrum Nutation moving forward and counter nutation as the sacrum goes backward.


You want my Sacrum to do what?


my shoulder won’t do that!

Using Mr Skeleton to show how the shoulder should move as we try to move the elbows towards each other. After the anatomy we sweated!
Laghu Vajrasana in pairs and on our own, though I found I could actually get back and get up without help. Kino had us stay down for 15 breaths!

Kapotasana or at least going back, touching the floor and pinging back up.

Assisted Urdva Dhanurasana, then assisted standing up.
Dropbacks for many were something new going by the crashes! She had us hang back and stretch, then said if you can see the mat ( your mat that is!) then you should be able to do it. I could, though I landed further back using her method.

Excellent weekend, if I can’t get back to Mysore for a while then I’m pretty tempted to do the two weeks with her in Miami next year.

Monday night – home to practice and I managed to stand up from backbend on the first go, am wondering if it’s performance anxiety!