Saturday, October 25, 2014

Goal: kapotasana


When I think my goal is to learn kapotasana it implies much more than this. 

It implies to stay patient and optimistic i.e.. I exercise this asana now since more than 4 years. It's easy to give up or to think that this pose won't be possibl. I learned to keep the fire burning and to believe in progress.
It implies a deeper understanding of the poses.

I also learn to detach myself from the goal and to fall in love with the process.

It keeps me modest.

I also trust in the teaching method. To focus on the breath is important, especially when the limits are reached. Trust deepens  when practicing  correctly day in day out, results will show, inevitably.

There is no hurry.

And today is Saturday. It's a day off from asana practice. I use the time to get organized. Next Tuesday we'll get another shelf and then hopefully all books will found a home.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Not everything can be explained


Not everything can be explained. Neither in science, nor in Ashtanga yoga.

Today is a moon day. When I put on my shoes yesterday after practice I had a quick conversation with a yogi. It was about the moon days.

If the moon has an influence on our practice or not cannot be proved. I used to practice on moon days almost always during the last 10 years and was never injured on such a day. This is often an explanation why we shouldn't practice on moon days. The moon was an excuse if I was not in the mood to practice. Ah,the moon, I thought. Since 1 year I respect this rule. I have very intensive practices every day in a shala. On moon days no Mysore classes are offered, I appreciate to have a day off.

I think it's Western culture to question everything. This might be good in many areas. Yet it can also be a barricade. Instead of doing something, the mind is questioning and questioning and that way weakening the action. Focus is lost. Why shall I do this? Why shall I do that? What's the reason for this, for that? Why to put the foot here, why to turn the head, why to make a sound when breathing and so on.........Questions can never stop. One question provokes the next one.

Question and answer will never give the security we might be searching for. Life cannot be controlled. Life will remain a surprise. It cannot even be explained.

Trust comes into play. Sometimes a good alternative as attitude to questioning everything is to trust.

The moon, what ever influence it might have on me, it makes me smile. I'm enjoying a day off.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

And? How was the practice today?


From the beginning on I felt stiff. Usually the stretching discomfort has a sweetness. I can stand and enjoy a lot of such boundary feelings. Today I had no tolerance for discomfort. It felt awful to stretch. I cannot find out a reason. It's not important to explain everything. Every day is different.

And despite this sensitivity today my back bending was good. Perhaps because I don't feel the shoulders anymore when I move my weight to my hands when in urdhva dhanurasana. My back opened. My shoulders are more stretched.

My tips for others are also good for myself. I did it. Just doing it, is it sometimes. The quality of the performance varies, the joy to practice, too. When I was through I was glad. And tomorrow is a moon day. Yepeeeee.

After the practice it rained. It's cold now here. I'll crawl back under the duvet.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

60 years young and 3 students


I learned from a YouTube video with David Swenson, that P. Jois was 60 years old when he had 3 students. And he kept teaching and teaching not gazing at any result. A world movement developed.

For me this is encouraging. Too often we use age as an excuse not to do anything. It's too late, we think. There is a limit to everything and this is the death. Till then let us keep doing what we love to do.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The body is the boss


During the weekend I slept longer. I didn't set the alarm clock. It was about 7am or 8am when I got up.
So good that I practiced Ashtanga yoga on Sunday. It was about 12:30 pm when I started. I focused on second series. I had to check if I was still able to do all the leg behind head poses, yet they are all possible, even improved, even though I don't practice them. The reason: all the asanas of primary improve because I get always one most intensive adjustment after urdhva dhanurasana, when I am in paschimottanasana. The distance between body and leg is gone. My body lies on my legs. So I'm relaxed, I don't want to unlearn so much. I know that primary is the basis, it prepares for second series if one practices correctly.

Kapotasana or what I exercise to get there felt absolutely new today. I have the feeling as if I give up resistance. It feels better and better to bend backwards.

Relaxation after my practice was long and not at all superficial as usual. At home I went straight to bed and slept 2 hours. When this happens, I think I need it. Then the body needs to adjust what is learned.

I'm so happy that I can do this daily Ashtanga yoga practice. When it's over I'm looking forward to the next day.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The quality of the effort


Whatever I want to write is true and also not true. It all depends.......There are exceptions.......

I start with cautious statements and perhaps I can also only describe my own experience. I practice only few asanas more than 6 years ago. Yet what has improved is the quality of my practice.
1. That is the time span of concentration got longer.
2. I learned how to tolerate and react to the discomfort when reaching a limit. I keep breathing....
3. It's possible to get closer to the limits and to get a bit further.
4. The letting go of the tension of the body is much easier. Resistance got weaker what also helps to get deeper into a pose.

My focus these days is back bending, back bending and again back bending. I do it, give my best (which varies) and think: this was it for today. BKS Iyengar encourages me. He was much older than me when he showed breath-taking back bending. I still progress, slower, but I progress.

Most people love to do poses they can do easily. The difficult ones they like to avoid. In jobs this might be good. Yet in Ashtanga yoga we also work on our 'weakness'. The result: we have a balanced practice.

I got up early. My plan is to do second series only. It's a good preparation for the coming week when I can go to Mysore classes again.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Surprisingly good


It was a piece of cake to get out of bed this morning at 5am. I was so in anticipation to go to a Mysore class again that I got up as soon as the alarm clock woke me up.

How will it be, was surely a thought that came up. My practice was surprisingly good, even the back bending asanas. My explanation. My muscles got weaker in the last week and this made me more flexible. However. It was great to be back, it was great to practice.

Vinyasas and back bending - these are the asanas that I give special attention. 

Today I dropped back against the wall. I held the pose rather long till gravity pulled me down. Repetition is the secret to success. Yet also the believe that something is possible helps and gives enormous power.

Early to bed, early up. My nights have a frame again.