Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sunday is the only day where I practice on my own.

Sunday I practice on my own. To be honest, I have enough from primary. I know there is still much to learn, i.e. the vinyasas, yet I'm able to perform all the asanas. One can get always deeper, I know, I know......

I have developed stamina. To practice till bakasana A is not so exhausting anymore than it used to be. At the end the body is warm and bendy and I have still energy to do a focused back bending. It's not that I do it with my last breaths ever.

Nevertheless, I want to focus faster on back bending and not doing it after primary when on my own.
Yesterday I saw the interview with Matthey Sweeney. He has developed the lion sequence as a support for back bending, kapotasana. I want to give it a try. I know that his series are challenging, yet different challenging as a classic Ashtanga series as the vinyasas are missing.

I start sweating already, when I think of my practice. Hahaha.......Time to roll out the mat.......

Friday, July 25, 2014

Led class today - primary

There are a few asanas that challenge me when I practice primary in a led class. Navasana is one of these poses. I lack core strength, I guess. Or am I so exhausted already when this pose comes? If the teacher counts the 5 breaths  fast I think: I can do it and I really give my best. If the counting is slow I think: no way and I start cheating right from the beginning (I hold my legs with my hands). My motivation to hold this pose for so long fades away. I don't feel challenged anymore, I just want to survive this pose. Haha.....

I practiced in the first row today. When in marichyasana C and D I had to turn around as these 2 poses are twists. What I saw was work in progress. Oh my, all these struggling yogis and yoginis. I know I've been there.

In the changing room a woman asked me: "Do you go to the Mysore classes, too?" 'Yes," I answered. "It's so early," she replied. "If you want it, it doesn't matter," I said and she agreed.

The more one wants something the tinier the obstacles become. To get up at 5am  is possible then. I'm curious now if I'll see her again.

Today I won't go to bed on time. I won't set a timer to wake up early. I'll enjoy my day off from yoga tomorrow.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

I drop back again

Back bending: I drop back again. From standing position I go to urdhva dhanurasana. I didn't miss it. It's not so important to do it. More important is to work on standing up from urdhva dhanurasana. If this is possible to drop back is a piece of cake. The goal is not to fall back, yet to drop back and to be in control of the body.

Yet 2 days ago MSch told me to drop back again. I wondered if I were still able to do it. There was no time to develop fear. I dropped back and this was it. This dynamic movement is repeated 3 times. I try to walk my hands closer to my feet when in the position.
I know that when the moment comes when I cannot hold myself anymore, that I have to stretch the arms towards the floor. Consequently and firmly. They must hold the body. I realized that my feet pointed outwards. I was cautious, I guess. Next time I try to keep them parallel. My head didn't touch the floor. I could hold myself.

This week I had 5 intensive practices. I needed a lot of sleep during this week. I'm glad that we have a led primary tomorrow and that I have a day off on Saturday.

If I weren't asked to stop at kapotasana, I wouldn't work so intensive on back bending. I always get adjustments when I do kapotasana and urdhva dhanurasana. This is a leverage effect. So much moves. On Sunday I'll take again some pictures. I'm curious myself if I can see the felt progress.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Kapotasana - strong legs

The secret of all the back bending asanas lies in the legs. They are supposed to be strong, much stronger than one might imagine. Strong legs protect the lower back and make a practice safe.

The picture is taken last Sunday. What I like is that the legs are rather parallel. The elbows don't move apart from each other as they used to do. Important is also that I can hold this pose and I can focus on the breath.

My legs are a bit sore from yesterday. That means I had an intensive practice.

I practice in the morning. When I want to do more yoga, I prepare my own vegan meals, I clean the flat. This is part of a yogic life style. too.

I stare at the picture and I think: I'll nail this pose!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Stay longer - 10 breaths

I know that this is an excellent tip by MSch. I fear sometimes I didn't even hold this pose for 5 breaths.

What's the effect when I hold urdhva dhanurasana longer?
1. The pose becomes comfortable. Yes!
2. When it feels good to be in the pose, it's possible to get a bit deeper into it. That is I walk my hands again closer to the feet.
3. When a pose becomes comfortable, it's easier to breathe deeply and the breath will finally help to come up.

In Sharath's book it's even recommended to lift up 5 times. Each time one can move the hands a bit closer to the feet.

I don't know why I'm so optimistic today, but I am.

I always get perfect adjustments when I do this pose. This has a leverage effect. I'm so thankful.

The plan:
1. Lifting up 5 times
2. Staying longer in the pose
3. Focus is on breathing and lengthening the body.

Sunday, July 20, 2014


Pashasana is one of the four core asanas of second series of Ashtanga yoga. It's also the first asana of second series. It's a twist with an additional challenge: One has to balance. 

There are 2 main challenges:
1. To reach the wrist while wrapping one arm around the legs.
2. The heels are supposed to be on the floor. 

If one feels any discomfort one is guided in which direction one has to work. Lately I was asked if I felt anything on the side of the feet. Yet I don't feel any discomfort here. I feel the tendon between feet and leg on the upper side. In order to become more flexible here I step my feet backwards in down dog so that my heels don't touch the floor anymore and then I try to push them down. 

In the second picture I don't sit. The body is slightly lifted. The legs are active. Also in pashasana one doesn't sit, legs are active.

All twists are good reminders to eat healthy. Then the extra pounds will disappear by themselves. Twists are easier when in excellent shape.

Don't hook the fingers. It might seem as progress, yet finally it isn't. The twist starts from the hips. One has to stretch the body. Then oneshoulder goes backwards the other one forward. The pectoral muscle is stretched. When the palm of the hand is turned around the shoulder moves forward, but it shall move backwards. So try to reach the wrist or a few fingers.

My heels are too high. When I roll back I fall out of the pose.
I'm convinced now that my approach to this pose must change. The heels must be on the floor while I try to reach my wrist with the one hand.

I know that this pose is possible for me. I've been there with help. To get into the pose is not yet possible.

The weather invited me to practice this morning. It's hot here. I so enjoyed my sweaty practice. And I've pictures for this week. I'm looking forward to an intensive yoga week.