Archive for August, 2013

Copenhagen Kino Day 4 – last practice & The Bridge

August 31, 2013

My final Mysore practice with Kino and Tim, it’s been a great week. Less people there today for some reason, so more space and more help from the get go in Padunghastasana with Kino before Tim coaxed my left arm over in Parsvakonasana B, the arm will go, but just can’t do it on its own. A 4th day of deep stretch in PPC, why my arm is happier going backwards is a mystery.

Last walk to practice

As its Friday I was wondering if people would only do primary, but as I was being assisted in Purvottanasana I noticed the Finnish girl in the next row doing Pasasana, so figured its a usual anything goes day! Supta K is coming, I’d managed to cross my own feet and send the hands round the back, then realised I was being lifted up with my feet behind my head, Tim couldn’t get my hands to dock, the left arm can’t get far enough round or high enough yet, but a month ago it wouldn’t even go round the back.

Gustav Church

So after my bit of Friday second series it was time to experiment with the blocks against the wall again in Urdva Dhanurasana, if I get my feet in as far as I can then I can lift up, first one is good, second attempt is just about up, but by the third my arms had enough. As there was a bit of a backbend queue I played around dropping down the wall before Kino arrived for cross arm half way, then down to finger touch the floor before pinging me back up.


So a great week with yogis from all over Europe, the register was an ashtanga atlas, we came from Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Iceland, Germany, Belgium, France, Switzerland and UK.

Sand sculpture

After breakfast I finally got round to doing the Boat trip around the city, my Landlady told me about one that is 50% cheaper but just as good. Interesting hour seeing the sights and some of the interesting buildings in the backwaters including an Apartment building built on the water that was converted from a Submarine base!

Training ship

Queen of Denmark’s Jetty

Ex Submarine dock, now Apartments

After lunch as the sun was at last shining I took a metro trip to the beach at Amager

Wind Farm in the sea

Its just beach, no funfair, not even a shop, just a beach with views of the (in)famous Oresund Bridge and the huge wind farms, with Sweden in the distance.

The Oresund Bridge where Saga Noren finds the body.

I had walked to the headland to get a view of the bridge when it suddenly went dark and started to pour with rain.


Copenhagen Kino Day 3 – and a walking tour

August 29, 2013

The B&B’s resident cat, who seems to have taken me for his long lost pal, is a clever little moggy, he heard my alarm go off this morning, forced the door open, jumped on the bed and gave me a ” it’s my turn now” kind of look, before flopping out and going to sleep.

Kino’s photo from today’s Mysore practice

Yoga was better today, well it felt easier at least, once the Surya Namaskars were done and the postures began. Much quicker today, more flow, the usual standing assists Padunghastasana and PPC. It amazes me how fast some people are, especially those who are split, one girl I noticed was already doing Pasasana while I still on PPC.


Seated began with a Kino squishing of Paschimottanasana, left alone after that to perform the new miracle of binding both sides of Ardha Badda P and after a lot of squirming to cross my own feet over my head in Supta K, I was tempted to just hang out there, it’s been so long since I did that on my own!


Kino assisting backbends

I discovered some of the brick shape blocks in the toy store, so after the rubbish UD attempts off the floor I got the blocks out and managed a UD using the blocks. Kino did my dropbacks today, three times down to finger touch the floor before starting the lift off, I came back up without her seeming to do much. Closing is still everything except Sirsasana, which I can’t find a way of working towards. Uth Plutihi last about 3 seconds.

View from breakfast

After breakfast I did the free walking tour, well it’s free except that they want tips at the end, but it was actually a good tour of the city that lasted three hours, taking in the main sights like City Hall, Parliament, The Queens house and the street where Carlsberg beer was first made.

Little Mermaid, impossible to get a photo without a Japanese tourist getting in on it!

Not quite sure what you are supposed to confess, Pasasana on. Friday perhaps!

Copenhagen Kino day 2 with some Borgen and Killing

August 28, 2013

Too much cake yesterday, well thats my excuse, as it felt much harder today. Lots of help in the right places, I think they observed a lot yesterday to see just what my arm will and won’t do. Getting help every day makes so much difference, pity physiotherapy isn’t more than just a once every couple of weeks event, it shows what’s possible, though a few hours later I can feel it.

My walk to the Shala

Tim’s PPC assist is the first time my arm gets stretched, then in Utkatasana he was rolling my shoulders inwards and making the back of the shoulder engage to stop it going forward so much, left to my own devices I don’t have the control to do this, but knowing what it should feel like helps a lot.

Seated nose to knee in Mari A with Kino sitting on me and then she assisted Supta K, well she crossed the feet but my arm just won’t go far enough round the back, so the bind was with a strap to fill in the missing 4 inches. It feels like Pasasana is going to come back before Mari C or D, both of which my arm currently can’t stand. Salabhasana B Tim got me to put the ribs in the floor and lift the legs more.

Closing UD attempts off the floor, my back and right arm are willing, but the left isn’t interested. Played around dropping back against the wall, walking my hands down etc, then Tim comes to assist, full repertoire of cross arm etc then on the last one he tells me to keep going back and take my arms out of the cross and over my head, as soon as my fingers touched the ground he brought me back up, so no arm stress, but the deepest backbend since 5th December when I last dropped back fully on my own, hope he does that again tomorrow.


Inside the City Hall, no sign of Troels!

Another long practice followed by some Sarah Lund and Borgen tourism, the Copenhagen tourist board have the main locations from the series on their website.


Polices HQ from The Killing

Managed to find the police HQ where the Gernigsman eventually gets taken in The Killing and the Town Hall.


The Black Diamond from Borgen

Then off to Borgen land to see the steps into the Danish parliament and the Library Garden with its fountain where politicians supposedly go for quiet out of earshot meetings.

Steps of the Danish Parliament

The pond has a Duck House on one side, I wonder if it was paid for out of expenses!


Duck House is to the right of the fountain

Copenhagen Kino day 1

August 27, 2013

Yoga Mudra

Denmark, that’s now the 18th country my mat has visited, though this was the first overseas practice on my birthday since Munich in 2007 with Ursula. Yoga Mudra is up at the top of an orange building in a quiet courtyard in Christianshaven. Around 25 people doing the morning Mysore with Kino and Tim, a nice number, and as usual some familiar faces. Kino checked the state of play of my arm and told me just to do what I can do. Chilly morning but after the Surya’s sweat was running, assisted by Tim in PPC. Left to it for the rest of standing.


What with travelling I’ve not practised fully since Friday, so seated were a bit rusty, but still bound my new Ardha Badha P. Kino helped me on the good side of Mari D my fingers just couldn’t get there. Supta K is coming, glad they left me alone, I’m working out the order of arms then legs, if I take the dodgy left arm around first it works much better. Kino then gave me a good squishing in Baddha Konasana .

Birthday pressie

They left me to play backbends, the usual playing with the heals of my hands against the wall trying to push up without any success, then dropping back down the wall, Tim moved me to a better bit of wall that had some power sockets 2/3 of the way down, he said I could get extra prana if I stuck my fingers in the sockets! Decent practice which had taken two hours when I saw the clock.

Friendly B&B Cat

Back to my B&B , which is actually a room in an Apartment , the resident black cat had taken over my bed!


After breakfast I walked to the pretty Nyhaven with its colourful houses and yachts and other boats, then wandered through the city, stopping off for cinnamon buns and ending up at City Hall, no sign of Sarah Lund or any dodgy politicians!

The machine goes beeeeep!

August 26, 2013

Checked in, then through to Security, walk through the magic door, no beep, I must have had a surprised look because the security guy decided I warranted a wanding from the hand held body scanner. And as soon as he scanned the top of my left arm it went nuts, beeeep, beeep, beeep, I had to explain to him why his machine went crazy, he turned round and said “at least you k ow its still in there!”



A new bind

August 24, 2013


Post part 1 of Kino it’s been a week of seeing the physiotherapist, she’s annoyed they didn’t do the injection as she said that will make moving the arm further, less painful, ie it should be able to go further than it can by now if it wasn’t for the pain. She used massage to aid rotating the shoulder joint in its socket, which she managed for the first time, though the shoulder is still VERY TIGHT, she has also given me a couple more exercises to add to my list.

I’ve practiced every day this week and on Friday went to the local Shala to get some assistance, as AYL is closed this weekend for Sharath. C lets me plod through in my corner, standing is becoming consistent now, I can even just about keep hold of my toe on the second side of UHP.

I’m having to retrain my arm in the seated postures, but some of the results have been surprising, Ardha Badha Padmot pre fracture I never used to be able to touch let alone bind my left toe with my left fingers, well not without Michaela pulling my arm round and sitting on me to keep it there, but in the last few days I began to touch my toe and then suddenly I can bind. So not only is what i had coming back, but movements I couldn’t previously do are now making an appearance.

Having assistance on hand meant I could try Bhujapidasana again, I can lift and get there, but C had to get me back up, the left shoulder can’t stay back and is keeping me pulled forward. Supta K I can get both my arms under again, but still a few inches until the fingers can dock again, but just being able to get in to that position is a step forward. The first stage of Supta Konasana is helping to get lift my arm higher, I have to try and roll down a bit to get the stretch. Like with UHP I can keep again keep hold.

Brick blocks for UD

Up to Salabhasana B is good, I’ve tried to get my hands in place for Bhekasana, but can’t get it, think I need someone to put them there. After Ustrasana every day I put my hands in place for Urdva Dhanurasana, the heal of my left hand just can’t push, the shoulder just can’t do it and the hand lifts up. So off to the toy cupboard for an experiment, take two brick shape blocks, place them at an angle against the wall and hey presto by putting my hands on the top of the bricks I can push up into something that looks like Urdva Dhanurasana, it’s a start and hopefully will retrain the muscle memory back in to my hand, arm and shoulder.

Dropbacks down the wall, knowing I can’t go all the way really makes sure the legs stay engaged, I’m getting lower and lower and can always come back up, so I hope this means when landing is possible again that standing up will be easier to rediscover.

C also came up with a block plan to retrain Sirsasana, but my shoulder just couldn’t rotate anywhere near the position she demonstrated, so closing is still lacking headstand and Uth Plutihi, but everything else is back.

Danish Pastry’s yoga fuel

I haven’t recovered anywhere near enough for Sharath’s London workshop, i was really hoping to do it with all my shala mates, instead it’s off to Copenhagen for a little holiday and a week of Mysore with Kino, I hope as she said, she fixes my arm, but she has also promised to show me the Chai and Pastry shop!

David Garrigues in the UK

August 21, 2013


Coming to our local Shala in November.

AYL & a dose of Kino

August 19, 2013

Last AYL practice for a couple of weeks, what with AYL hosting the Boss from next Sunday. Got my usual spot in the corner, though there were a few spots to choose from, as it was quiet. Plenty of help, both Parvakonasana A & B, Louise was able to move my arm to where it needed to go,even though i couldn’t move it myself.PPC and UHP as usual assisted in standing.

Closed for the Boss

Seated are coming back, surprised to find I could touch if not grab my left toes with the left hand in Ardha Badha, it’s like “is that my toe?”. Marichyasana A & B bound both sides, C easily now on the good side and got assisted into D, which once bound was easy to stay in. The bad sides of C and D still have a way to go,but feel nearer. The Vinyasa is still mostly a Chaturanga, jump free movement, but I found I could jump forward to my hands, though jumping through is going to be a while yet. My arm was running out of energy by the time I got to Bhujapidasana so just lifted and tilted, but didn’t risk going all the way over.

Pasasana finger touch, then through to Salabhasana B was all good, must start experimenting with Bhekasana again soon. Usual closing Ustrasana, then putting my hands in the right place for UD but no lift, then the same but against the wall. My cross arm hang backs must be looking better, Louise came and took me into 3 deeply assisted bends, it’s so great to have that help again, she takes away my tendency to go back lopsided and gets me to control the breath.

Great to meet Shari from the Cyber Shala

A nice practice, but that wasn’t the end today, down to Soho to have breakfast with some other cyber Shala yogis, Shari over from the US, Helen and Mel cbefore doing Kino’s Twists workshop. It was great to meet Shari in real life, we kinda met in a round about sort of way last year at Kino’s London workshop, but didn’t realise it at the time.

This workshop was great, as apart from a couple of things at the end it didn’t involve my arm having to do much. The workshop focused on the twisting postures in Primary, Trikonasana B and Parvrita Parsvakonasana in standing and the Marichyasana’s in seated.

Kino demonstrating how to get the Lotus before going for the twist.

It concentrated on how the body moves and can be assisted to make binding easier or even possible. We assisted each other in Mari C, Shari’s great assist making it very easy to bind on my good side and even the bad side got further than usual.

She’s gonna fix my arm in Copenhagen!

Kino talked about thinking of “packing” the muscles over before going in to the twist, it was amazing how much easier Mari D seemed by following her instructions. Kino has a gift for breaking things down and getting you to go much further than you thought you could.

Kino’s workshops are always a challenge, she finished off with some core exercises designed to help the twists, so that all the torso engages and moves and not just the top of the chest, which is the tendency, all about getting out of the way what gets in the way, though not that I have much in the way again these days. Kino had us doing Navasana, then Bakhasana on our backs, moving between the movements while trying to keep everything engaged is HARD!

I had to sit out the final Bakhasana arm balances, even with new core strength my arm still can’t do anything like that.

As I was leaving she said “I’ll fix your arm in Copenhagen ” I can wish!

Stuck by stitches

August 16, 2013

After having about 20 x-rays, a CT scan and today an Ultrasound scan in the last 8 months its a wonder I don’t glow like the Ready Brek man used to in the TV advert. Reminds me of Louise’s comment about how we all leave the Shala “sweaty & glowing” after practice !

Ready Brek Man-glowing if not sweaty

I was supposed to have the scan and the Glenohumeral injection, but there was nobody available who was qualified to do the injection, NHS not quite joined up, so I’ve now got to wait for yet another appointment!

Stitched up still

At least the kiwi guy who did the scan explained what was on the monitor, the layer of skin, tiny layer of fat, then muscle, Tendons and finally the metalwork. It turns out that most of the Rotator cuff muscles, Supraspinatus,Infraspinatus and Teres are working as they should, and this far along are doing as well as can be expected wIth the physiotherapy etc.

The problem seems to be with the Subscapularis still, in the scan the guy showed me the stitches are still showing that they used to reattach the muscle during surgery and this seems to be a lot of the restriction. The stitches should be gone by now, so it seems internally the healing still has a way to go, or maybe they will have to go for the keyhole option to remove the stitches if the muscle doesn’t actually need them anymore. He is going to send a report to the Head Honcho and also get a second opinion when I eventually get the injection.

On the practice front I upgraded Bhujapidasana to see how far I could get after my arms pushed my crossed feet up, I carried on over onto my head, all good so far, then found I was stuck and couldn’t get back up, I couldn’t roll over on to the arm, I couldn’t roll over my head without taking out the TV, it’s at times like this you envy those who get to the Shala on a weekday and would of had a teacher or Assistant to rescue them, eventually I managed to extricate my left arm and then untangle everything else!

List of cant’s is getting smaller

August 11, 2013


Shala Art

Two Shala practices in the last 3 days, the first one at the local Shala, not for the heat or energy, but for the toy cupboard, full of blocks, bolsters and belts. Also I knew I would get some different help and input and so it proved. A pretty standard plod to Mari B on the second side, which up to now hasn’t been possible, but i found I could crawl my fingers along the strap until the fingers met and for the first time in 8 months they bound. Toys for Supta K where I piled up 2 stacks of blocks for my feet, this gave me the height to get the arms under, Cathy gently pulling the arms around and up until I had to tell her “enough”. It’s still either feet crossed or arms under, but not both at the same time.
Sirsasana was where I needed an opinion, at AYL in the finishing room you are on your own, but going local meant C could tell me that the problem is that the injured left shoulder is too far forward, which is why I can’t walk in very far and not lift up. Rectifying it is going to be another matter, but at least I know what needs to change now. Locally there is nobody waiting for my space, so time to experiment and not to mention being guaranteed a wall behind. So I tried Urdva Dhanurasana with the heals of my hands against the wall and tried pushing in to the hands, though I’m still a way from lifting, but the wall kept the hands in the right place, even if the left hand lifts. A worthwhile practice, with some different ideas.

After practice I was chatting to one of the Therapists who had practised with us, she is treating someone with the same fracture as I have and suggested some different stretches. She also showed me how to self massage the scar and scar tissue to get the tissue to start repairing itself.

AYL this morning, very quiet to start with and a spot 2 along from where Louise hangs out, so lots of assistance, Surya B assist and DD, then Padangusthasana and Trikonasana A straightening me up and making it be much more like it should. Same with Parsvakonasana B, treading on my heal and aligning my Hips.

Down on the floor in seated it was even warmer, Paschimottanasana squashing, Tiriang Mukha then with my strap bound both sides of Mari A and B. C & D still have a way to go. Though I did bind D on the second side 🙂 Supta K got my feet crossed and arms posted under the legs, though they can’t go round the back, but with my feet crossed Louise gave me a deep forward bend assist, sooooo good to do that. As you probably guessed I’m getting much deeper adjustments now, Louise has it sussed with the arm, saying after, how well things are coming along now. Having a wall behind me meant I could again try Urdva Dhanurasana with the heals of the hands jammed in place before playing backbends down the wall, followed by the full rucksack Paschimottanasana squash. Closing still Sirsasana is too risky, but at least the list of things I can’t do is now a lot smaller than the list of what I can.

Last week I asked Kino if she minded me doing her Mysore week in Denmark with my current state of injury and practice with its mods and omissions, AYL being closed for the Boss’s visit and TLC for the carnival. She said “You come!” So I am, should be great. Maybe I will get to see Sharath in Mysore if I don’t manage to get another job anytime soon.