Monday, July 31, 2006
During our last days in the US we drove down to Montery. It was hot outside, we had a car with an air-condition, on the radio they played "One Burboun, one Scotch, one beer" by George Thoroughgood. We made the music as loud as we could and drove through this incredible landscape. The coast on the one side, the plants, trees, mountains on the other side. Everything seems to be so huge here.
The other day we drove back from Montery to Santa Cruz. Here we went to the restaurant on the beach. We know it, because we were already there. E. likes the margaritha and I like the Chardonnay there. It was like coming back.
I omitted yoga on Saturday. I remembered the very last minute, that Saturday is a day off. The hotel room was not really spacey and so I ommitted yoga on Sunday, too.
On Sunday we had our last dinner at a Thai restaurant. We made some more shopping at GAP. We flew back at night and slept overnight in the plane. It was raining when we arrived, but this was OK. I was shocked, when I came home and looked at my balcony. The flowers were dried out, of course. But there were 2 eggs in one of the flower boxes, eggs from these abtrusive doves. They noticed that it was quite inside, nobody, who shooed them away. What to do now? I don't really know. At the moment the dove sits on her eggs, on my balacony. A horrible image.
Friday, July 28, 2006
We landed in San Francisco on Thursday: Every cell of my body told me: stretch me, stretch me. Waiting for our buggage I made my first uttanasana. It felt good. Soon our buggage arrived. We picked up our car (it turned out to be a convertible, a Mustang). That's what men like, especially E., his face showed deep contentement, even a smile.
It is a difference to stay at Four Point Sheraton downtown Portland or at Motel 6 SF. The worst thing at Motel 6 is te penetrant smell in the rooms. I overlook the plastic cover on the bed of course, but the smell is ugly. After a while one gets used to it. Incence would do, but as we prefer non-smoking rooms, the fire alarm would likely go on. The advantage of our new hotel room: It is rather large and I can do yoga. I can spread my arms as wide as I want. I rolled out my mat and practiced. What for a shock. I was so stiff.
This morning I practiced again after my shower. I was shocked again. It was as if I have never done yoga so far. I couldn't even keep my legs straight in halasana. I tortured me from asana to asana. I say to myself: "Don't give up now. It is as it is. Nobody is judging you. It is your spiritual practice. The main point is to do it." It was so hard. Unbelievable hard. Was this the Chardonnay, the cheese cakes and all the other sin food that I gave to my body? Don't know. But I will go on. I will go through this valley.
All other things are more than perfect. Yesterday we were at the Sonoma valley. It was sunny, I like the countryside, the houses there. I took a lot of pictures. We had a relaxing day. In the evening we met a friend of E. and his new girlfriend. E. and the guy know each other from university. We had dinner downtown SF at an Italian restaurant. This was not my choice, but I'm open to the wishes of others.
At the moment we are at Barnes & Nobles, our favourite bookstore here, the internet connection is perfect. And here we find enough mental food.
Thursday, July 27, 2006
I used to save my nice clothes for special events (which never came) till the clothes were out of fashion. I changed. I'm here in Portland, and this is exactly the moment my most beautiful clothes were waiting for. I put on my new purple jacket that I bought yesterday. I was very generous with my eau de toilette. I went downtown for a last New York cheese cake and a last glas of Chardonnay. What for a lunch (guess, my inner child succeeded). On my way to the restaurant I saw some men sitting outside of the restaurants searching my eyes (of course I can bear the gaze). OK, they had no chance than to look. I walked slowly, highly pleased about my life, self-contended with my purple jacket down the street. Finally I arrived at the restaurant and I enjoyed my cheese cake and my glas of Chardonnay. I had a little chat with the waitress on SF, Portland, cheese cakes and so on. Then I went back to the hotel, I had to leave the room.
Back to clothes: buy it and wear it. That's how they like to be treated. I don't save my clothes for "special events" anymore. The special event is always NOW.
My version of the famous bridge in SF.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
I guess there will be no yoga today. I don't like to practice in the gorges of the hotel room. There is no space. I feel limited there. Only on the bed I have enough room. I will not complain about the room, I liked it to be here, but for yoga I need something more than a beautiful, clean, calm room. Space is needed, so that I can breathe, lengthen and broaden my body.
I'm not adventurous enough today to go to another class, another teacher. I don't want to take a classical hatha class. A first primary series Ashtanga would be the best now - Mysore style.
We made sure that I can stay at the room till 3 pm. E. already checked out this morning. This evening we will fly to San Francisco.
Yesterday we had our dinner at the Thai restaurant where we found the food so good. I had a stir fried meal with mango, broccoli, red pepper, onions, tofu. So delicious and vegan. I ordered a Chardonnay as well. E. ordered the same meal. Instead of tofu he had scallops and instead of a glass of wine he had a beer. I learned that he will be back here in September. Probably not with me. But this is fine. In the end of August I will go to South Africa with him. And India is an my schedule, too.
Now I will go on reading "The Brooklyn follies", I will pack my suitcase, I will go to Border one more time, I will check the news, I will read and answer my Emails: in other words I will hang around till we will fly to SF.
I just came back from the yoga bhoga studio. They moved to another place. Last time when I was here in Portland, they were still located at the Galeria downtown. Now they are in SE Portland and I had to take the bus to get there. The studio is bigger and modern. There are even little rooms for changing clothes. And in the neighbourhood was one of the best Italian restaurants, told me a Japaneese woman.
Ashtanga was on the schedule. 10 people showed up, 9 woman, 1 man. We started with 3 surya namaskara A, 3 surya namaskara B. Then came asanas from the first, from the second and from the third series. We got 3 pieces of paper with little paintings of the asanas. The levels of the students were very different. Sometimes I think the more tatoos the more advanced is the aspirant. I definitely missed a business opportunity: tatoos for yogis/yoginis. I'm totally naked, pale skin whereever you look. I didn't understand the teacher, not one word. I'm sure this was because of my modest language skills. But language is not always so important. I know the series and I saw what the other yoginis were doing. I sweated in the beginning, but then the asanas became too demanding for me and I lost the flow.
I got one new idea regarding kapotasana: it is a possibility to lay on the floor (legs back of course) and then to push up instead of coming down from kneeling. I tried it the other way round. My body didn't lift up very much: a few inches, if at all.
But dhanurasana was good. I could bring my elbows clother together. And mayurasana was good. I balanced rather long on my arms without touching the wall with my feet.
In total I see how important it is to develop a practice for oneself. Classes can give inspirations, adjustments, and so much more, but they do not substitute a practicse of oneself.
Oprah: Oh I liked her programme yesterday. Eat less, exercise more. But how she filled these basics. She is a real actress, cool, exciting. She looked at the spectators with a poker face. But then she became seriously: No, you haven't done everything to loose weight. And again the message. It is a show. Love it. Not every day, but here in America I can't get enough of it.
Oh yes, I found a few fancy clothes.
And tomorrow we will head for San Francisco. I already checked which studio would be nice in San Francisco: something like greenpath.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
I was on my own today. I wanted to go to yoga during lunch time, but I didn't read the address precisely enough. I was at SW Morrisson St, insead of SE Morrisson St.. A very friendly postman told me: "That's a bad address". He must know. If not he, who then. We found out that the studio must be on the other side of the river. So I missed the vinyasa hour at yoga bhoga studio. But tomorrow they scheduled Ashtanga, that's even better. There is always another chance. Tomorrow is moonday, but I celebated moonday today. Yes, this flexibility is allowed.
I was at Powell's bookstore instead. It is a huge bookstore here in Portland and I bought too many books on yoga (First there is a mountain by Kadetzky and Yoga bare by Self), on vegan cooking, on business, on beauty. All my favourite subjects are covered with interesting readings now. I got a huge bag to carry everything home.
I will relax a little bit now. As I know me I will lay down on bed and I will try to get my legs behind my head. I think this asana is so cool. My boyfriend will be back at 7 and we will go to Jake's today. I will dress my most beautiful dress which is in my suitcase, even though I know E. doesn't care. In his opinion jeans and flat shoes are beautiful, too. He likes me how I am. Perhaps he likes my soul (hahaha). So I think my nice clothes are more for me than for him. What has this to do with yoga? To be honest, I don't know.
Monday, July 24, 2006
I sit in the lobby of the hotel now, blogging, reading my Emails, checking the news from Germany. I found out that it is for free at the hotel. Last time I paid more than 20 USD at FedEx shop, as I couldn't find an internet shop. In Germany internet shops grow like the mushrooms out of the blue. 1 hour cost 1 Euro and here I paid 12 USD for the same time - this is 12 times more.
The first highlight on Sunday was the practice at Casey's Ashtanga studio: I met Susan again and I think we both had an intensive practice. Casey was there all the time and I got some very good adjustments: strong and sensitive at the same time. I was helped in paschimottanasana. I learned that in janu sirsasana the bended leg should form an angel of 90 degree (my angel was smaller). Then it is more a stretching of the one side of the body and no more a harmstring stretching. In dhanurasana the ellbows should be closer together. I will work with a rope at home to help myself. And I had one of the best shoulderstands. My elbows were pushed together and so I stood very straight and tall. We all sweated. The atmosphere at Casey's studio is very intensive. I already miss it. I was too late to go to the morning class at 5 am today as jet lag disappears. I wake up at 6:30 this morning.
After a cup of coffee, a lemon cake and some strawberries at Starbuck's coffee with my boyfriend, who was waiting for me there till the end of my practice, we drove in the direction of Mt Hood. I love the wild country. We saw a water fall and the Columbia river, which I liked best. We searched the "lost lake", but we couldn't find it. That means we have to come back. That's what happens often when we travel: somtimes we miss something because we are too late, or we have not enough time or we learn something too late and then we think that we have to come back. Sometimes we actually come back, but sometimes not.
Hungry we came back to Portland and then we had dinner at Todai's, a Japaneese restaurant. I had my glass of Chardonnay, salads, sushis. Chardonnay is the wine I like best. French desserts (crepes, petit four) were offered, but I think it doesn't go well together with Japaneese food.
I like the wild and huge countryside. I made a lot of pictures, but I have to add them later as I don't know how to do it here.
Sunday, July 23, 2006
I was curious. My boyfriend, who is not at all interested in yoga was so nice to drive me to the yoga studio and he waited for me at Starbuck's coffee till the end of my practice. Casey's studio is too far away from our hotel. We walked from Starback's caffee to the studio and there came Susan round the corner. We recognized each other at once. It is really modern times. We met on a blogger webside, and yesterday we practiced one next to each other. I enjoyed it very much. I could hear Susan's breathe during the practice. And once I saw her in prasarita padottanasana, it was a perfect pose. I think she had a very strong practice. I loved it to practice next to her. She is a very open and friendly person, too. I'm happy I met her. I was very concentrated during my practice, too. A lot of people of all levels practiced, many sweated so much, that one could see the water rolling down their bodies. It was rather hot and humid yesterday. The room was full of energy. Miss an atmosphere like that in Germany. I'm looking forward to another practice today in an hour.
Then beach time, food time, bar time, fun time. Everything perfect. Want to go in more details tomorrow. No time and no good internet connection at the moment.
Friday, July 21, 2006
It was easy to get up at 3 a.m. It is too exciting to fly to America. I even found the time to water my flowers on the balcony. They will be dry when I will be back, I won't be able to save their lives. But I wanted to give them water a last time.
My boyfriend E. (I will call him E. from now on in this blog) is always a little bit late. I'm always too early. When we fly together I'm late too. In the morning we had to find a new parking space in order not to pay a fine again. I was already in the taxi. The taxi drove behind E. till he had found a parking space. Then we headed for the airport. We were on time. E. loves the business lounges at the airports. As he has the senator status (he flies very often) we can enter this closed areas. I have to show my tickets as well and the women on the counter always check, if I have the same flight. I always wonder how friendly people can be. When I fly economy class I happen not so often to be treated so politely. Is it that they teach the people to be friendly or do they just hire friendly poeple for this job. I don't know. In Frankfurt we were a little bit long in the business lounge. When we left the lounge we saw a huge line in front us where our bodies and hand lugguage should be checked. With the senator status of E. this problem was solved. We could take another way with 3 people in front of us. I was not sure if we catched the plane otherwise.
But back to the business lounge: Here you find a lot of men, fed up with flying. They hang around in their chairs, eating biscuits or whatever is offered in this area. Some man work with their computers, some read newspapers. More and more women appear nowadays, but the men are in the superiour number. I look around. I'm the one who still likes to fly. The picture in the business lounge was the same in Munich as in Frankfurt. Tired men whereever one looks.
In the airplane I got my vegan meal. It was good. If you order a vegetarian or a vegan meal you are served before all the other people. I slept, I read Paul Auster The Brooklyn Follies (I highly recommend this book). And then we arrived. The weather is fine in Porland. We picked up our rental car and drove downtown. I recognized some shops and caffees. How nice to be here.
It was about 2 pm, when we arrived. E. checked his Emails. I changed clothes and lay down on the bed. Later E. suggested to sleep a few hours and then to get up at 7 pm to have dinner outside. I agreed. But you never get up after 3 hours after such a day except you set a timer. I woke up at 9:30 p.m.. We decided to stay at the hotel. It was too late for dinner. The next time when I woke up it was 3 a.m. My eyes opened. It was as if I couldn't close them anymore. I was wide awake. I turned around and looked at E. He opened his eyes as well after a soft touch from myself. We looked at each others eyes and smiled. This is jet lag. I couldn't sleep anymore.
The hotel is very nice, but there is no place for yoga. There is an aile around the huge bed. There is an aile to the bathroom. There is an ail to the desk and to the chair with the table, but no room for a yoga mat. The bed is very high. I have to climb up it like it is a hill. When I sit there in lotus position with the many many cushions behind me, I feel like a queen.
E. went to work rather soon and I searched Casey's studio early this morning. I think I will have to take the public transportation tomorrow. On my way to the studio I found a Starbuck's cafe. I decided to go for a cup of caffee. I was hungry, too (sideeffect of the jet lag: in the morning I'm already as hungry as a wolf). And I did the mistake I wanted to avoid. I ordered a lemon cake with the cup of coffee. It tasted good, but it is not good for my body. I know that it is difficult to stay slim in the US. The portions are double the size as in Europe. A cake made of sugar and fat is not a healthy breakfast. I sat down in front of Starbucks and I ate the sin (in form of a cake). Then I took the lid and covered my cup of coffee and continued my way. My yoga mat over my left shoulder, my bag in my right hand and the cup of coffee in my left hand. After a while I asked myself why I walk around with this cup of coffee. I never walk and drink. But I saw so many people do it here. I needn't to adopt everything. When I drink my cup of coffee I want to sit. I put the cup of coffee in a basket and went on.
I met already very friendly people. I was looking for an internet cafe. There are not so many here downtown. A man who saw me standing at a corner with a map, asked me what I was searching for. I asked him for an internet shop. He recommended the FedEx shop. It is not really an internet cafe, it is a shop with PC and internet connection. But I can read and write. What else do I want. I only have to enter my credit card - this was it.
It is needless to say how I like it to be here. A little bit later I will find a place where I can have lunch, I will read Paul Auster, walk around, buy some fancy clothes. A dream.
Of course I will take pictures. Tomorrow I will find out how I can publish them.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Yes, I practiced one more time. And now I should have already packed my suitcase. It is here in front of me, but still empty. The practice was good. I switched on the CD "strength and flexibility" by Sharron Gannon. There is a split pose among all these asanas. Nowhere more than here I feel and see the difference between my left leg and my right leg. I need to be patient. I don't want to injury me again. I sweated. Despite the heat or perhaps because of the heat I had a very intensive and concentrated hour. This was a good preparation for the long hours in the plane tomorrow. And now I have to hurry. I want to be in bed in 45 min. To get up at 3 am. is a difficult exercise. Everything must be on the right place.
I took the picture this afternoon. You see the "Karlsplatz Stacchus".
I managed it to roll out my mat (even though it was later than I wished it was) and I did some beautiful surya namaskara a and b. I stretched, I breathed I enjoyed my body. Almost sad, that nobody saw me. I was curious. As I didn't pay attention to my left leg yesterday I wanted to check if it hurts today. But it is so much better. It is not yet over, but almost. During parsvotanasana it came out that my right leg is more stretched than my left leg. But if I'm attentive they can be equal very soon. It is really hot here and this supports yoga very much. The body is somehow soft. But as I was already a little bit late I had to stop practicing after the standing asanas.
I had lunch with B.at 1 p.m.. It is always uplifting to meet her. She knows always stories of people who became successful with crazy ideas. The brother of her boyfriend i.e. became rich with flagpoles, after he had already tried to make money with toothbrushes and other stuff. The son of this man has already published a novel. It seems as if everything is possible, when I listen to her stories. This gives me hope. I see chances to live without being a company slave. We were in the restaurant round the corner of her office. The garden was crowded - it is summertime. When we arrived the owner of the restaurant took the hand of B. and my hand at the same time and he kissed our hands one after the other and again from the beginning with passion only an Italian man shows in public. We were in a good mood. After those intensive kisses on our naked hands we had no choice but to smile.
My tasks now: to clean my home so that I like to come home after my trip to the US. I have to pack my suitcase. And perhaps some more yoga?
On my way home I passed by the "Karlsplatz Stacchus". You can see the well there, which is refreshing during summer time. People are sitting around it. The pedestrian area starts there.
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
What for a good decision to go to Mysore class. I would never had such a good practice alone. We were 5 today. S. practiced next to me. We have the same speed. Once she looked very seriously at me and then I realized that I was on my way to omit marichyasana D. I stopped navasana at once and did the previous asana. How attentive from her side.
The level of the students was different today, but it didn't matter. Some beginners are demanding, but others fit into the group. This was the case today. It was an exhausting, but quite practice. One woman was in class whom I hadn't seen for a long time. She progressed very fast. She is very ambitious, that's for sure. Two events interrupted the steady practice: once my mobile phone rang - shame on me. Secondly: the door ring bell. A student came. He was 1 hour too late. He said good-bye very soon as B. and he agreed that it would have been better to come tomorrow again. Today I've heard that B. has students who only take private lessons for 80 Euro (about 85 USD). I'm not yet sure how I find it. From time to time a private lesson might be special. But I also like to meet other people, see how they progress, observe their lives, listen to their stories and so on. I see that one of the main goals is to devolop a practice for oneself. That's the real challenge.
I had not the courage to get up from dhanurasana. I'm so full of fear, even though my back was rather bendy today and I felt good in dhanurasana. Perhaps I still need some time. The time will come when I really want to do it.
I'm happy that I practiced. I feel very good now. Before the practice we climbed up the stairs and F., the young man of the group asked me: "Will we feel better afterwards?". I said:"That's for sure." And so it is. To practice betters the mood.
Another picture taken near by the Isar.
The annual meeting of sanacorp (a trade firm - branche pharmacy) was round the corner. When I arrived the first shareholders were already eating the offered breakfast. I took a cup of coffee, to0. I like to go to shareholder meetings. It is more informative than only reading the business part of the newspapers. After the meeting I asked myself why I had bought this share. Dividens are good, it is a healthy company with enough equity. But I couldn't see any vision. They only act within the German borders. No ideas for expanding and so. It is a serious, but boring share. As soon as I see black figures I will sell it. Yeah, yesterday I had the courage to check what had happened with my shares. Also sanacorp has red figures now. Problems are the expensive German health system and the reforms, which are planned. And the lack of ideas of the management.
Most shareholders were old and hungry. Lunch was at almost 2 p.m. - rather late. Bavarian food (means a lot of meat) was offered. I waited till the buffet was opened, but when I saw what it was, I ran away.
B. my teacher wrote me that there is still a place to practice this evening. I will go to a Mysore class today. It will be the last one before my flight in the US. It is hot here, but this supports the practice. I don't know why, but also today we got up too late.
Another picture from our week-end trip to the Isar.
Monday, July 17, 2006
I had to go to the underground, which is rather close to my home: 7 min
I got to the main station: 5 min
I had to change trains. I had to take the S-Bahn: 3 min
Then it was about 30 min till I had to get off.
I was searching for the bus stop. People told me to go down the street and to turn to the left. There was a school and in front of the school was a bus stop (5 min). I had to wait: 20 min. There is a bus only every hour, twice a day there is an extra bus. I think it is for the pupils. Finally the bus came: I sat in the bus another 20 min. When I went off the bus I looked for the street and the house no. I had to walk down the street, which took me another 7 min or so. I left my house at 12 o'clock and at 1:30 I arrived.
The man from the recruiting company told me that I could take the bus just in front of the S-Bahn station. After 2 bus stops I could get off and the bus would stop in front of the company. This was not true. I don't know why he didn't tell the truth. I lost one day.
I took another way to get back. An employee of the company recommended another bus, another underground. But I had to walk 10 min to get to the bus stop. No bus came. I was at home 1 and a half hours later. I want to spare to describe it again in details. It was a nightmare.
I don't want to buy a car. I get no parking space where I live. The money I get more I can spend on a car, on a garage, on oil, on parking fines and so on.
I came home and I was so exhausted. I had no energy anymore. I was disappointed, too. The job is fine, the interview was very good. I think they would hire me as well. But the interviewer agreed with me that a commuting time longer than 1 hour makes no sense. 1 hour is my absolute limit.
At home I ate so much. Too much. A croissant, tomatoes, artichockes, a jam sandwich, a vanille soy dessert, dried ananas, a cup of coffee. It was an attack, caused by frustration. I needed energy, I was depleted. I think the job is nothing for me. I will sleep it over, but even if the job is fine, the commuting hours would destroy everything. Yes, a disappointment. I always go with hope to interviews.
Now, I have to concentrate on my other plans. I have no time to loose. I need another cup of coffee.
The worst thing: no yoga so far.
Sunday, July 16, 2006
My practice this morning was - not very good. The body was stiff. It was difficult to move. I did the suryas, the standing positions and then I worked on the 2nd series. My body was so heavy. My closing sequence consisted of sarvangasana, halasana, matsaysana and padmasana. It is always an up and down. I think the better one is the less differences are between the good and the not so good practices. But in my case the differences are exorbitant.
Yesterday I searched for the book "Yoga Mala" by P. Jois. I was so happy that I found it. I remembered when I first hold it in hand I didn't understand what vinyasa was. OK this has changed. The number of vinyasas are mentioned in the book as well as in the book by Lino Miele (which I didn't find yet). I want to know by heart how many vinyasas every single asana has. I want to count the vinyasas during my practice. In the yoga mala each position starts from samasthiti. I will try how it is. There are a lot of pictures in it, which show Sharath and Patthabi. A must have, when you like Ashtanga.
We spent the afternoon at the Isar (see picture). Some people did sun-bathing, some even jumped into this dirty water. For me it is enough to see it. I'm pale and I will stay pale. We sat on a bench and read our books. It was a relaxing summer day.
Saturday, July 15, 2006
Nothing special to report. In the morning I did the grocery shopping. Then I took a nap. My boyfriend played soccer. When he came home we went downtown. We landed in a bookstore. I couldn't resist to buy the book "Brooklyn follies" by Paul Auster. He bought 5 books or so all about mechanics. It is rather difficult for me to listen to subjects like Kinetik or so. We ate outside at one of our favourite Italian restaurants. My spaghettis were very good.
I sometimes think of the job that was offered to me on Friday. I'm so afraid of not having enough time anymore for my Ashtanga yoga practice (in case I will get that job). Ashtanga yoga is so important for me. I wouldn't have time anymore to travel to India, too. On the other hand I think that yoga can support the "other" life. It is not necessery to live like a monk or to do nothing else than yoga. I can go to bed early, then it is easier to get up early in the morning. I remember how I admired Sharath when I've heard that he gets up every morning at 2 a.m. in order to practice. It is doable. I was already in the same situation a few years ago. I had to get up early in order to practice. And I had managed to do it for more than 2 years. I practiced every day half an hour in the morning. But half an hour is not enough for me anymore. I hate long commuting hours, that's clear so far. I fear that a few tough years are before me. I also know that I can stop it any time. That's the rescue in case I can't stand it any more ( what I still not have).
On Monday I will have the interview, on Tuesday I will go to a shareholder meeting during the day and in the evening I will go to Mysore class, on Wednesday I will meet B. to have lunch together and I will pack my suitcase, on Thursday at 6 a.m. I will already be on my flight to Frankfurt and then to Portland, USA. I won't have a lot of time to think a lot.
I made the picture downtown Munich. I think I should work for tourism.
When things in your lives seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 cups of coffee. A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.
The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous yes."
The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.
Now," said the professor as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.
The golf balls are the important things--your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favourite passions---and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.
The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.
The sand is everything else---the small stuff. "If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.
The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you. "Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.
Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18.
There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first---the things that really matter.
Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."
One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented.
The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked.
It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."
Friday, July 14, 2006
My morning practice was at 5 pm. I had no time earlier. What a bad excuse. I wanted to write something about Ashtanga so I had to practice at least at 5 pm. And it was a wonderful practice. I switched on the CD by Sharath. I even tried to jump through. Sometimes I was very close to it, sometimes I felt fear. My left leg is slightly better. I lifted the legs straight in utthita hasta padangusthasana. I managed to do 2 dhanurasana. Chakrasana was difficult today. In total it was one of my best practices.
And now I remember why I hadn' t found time for a practice in the morning. Yesterday I made the 100st entry. I wanted to write something for the figure freaks among us. I'm not yet sure if I want to become one, too. But last time at Mysore class we talked about the number of vinyasas every asana has. In the book by Lino Miele it is exactly written how many vinyasas each single asanas has. It might be an option to count it while practicing. I will try it out.
I couldn't find the book. It is one of the most important books, hidden somehow. That's why I was going on to sort my books. I cleaned one book shelf this morning and entered the books in a blog. I could sort out a lot of stuff as well. But I didn't find the book.
The man from the recruiting company called me again. Someone was on the phone saying his name. He: "You know why I'm calling you?". Me: "Yes, you want to talk in French language with me". He (smiling): "No, I want to talk about the position that I offered to you yesterday." It was someone else. To make it short. The company wants to see me. On Monday in the afternoon I will have the interview. I suggested the afternoon, because in the morning I want to practice Ashtanga. I will be the only applicant. Help! Now I hope that I will be courageous enough to add at least 10 per cent of my last salary. When I will get the job and the wished salary, I will have to plan how Ashtanga yoga will fit into my new schedule. For Ashtanga I will be able to get up very early . That's for sure. I must ask if I can start working at 10 am. That's perhaps a compromise.
As the practice was so good today I show you another lion of Munich.
This afternoon I got another phone call from the recruiting company. They have again another job for me. I seem to be in demand. But they wanted me as an employee this time. The task sounds interesting. But the company is outside of Munich. That would mean that I would have a lot of commuting time, lost time. I would have to supervise 2 part-time workers. But I would also have a boss (which is not the general manager). So, I would be the filling of the sandwich. Stress, stress. Then I can forget all my other activities. That's the worst thing. I never get up at 4 o'clock to practice Ashtanga. This is an illusion, I know me. The good thing would be that good money would come in and rather soon. It is so difficult to make a wise decision. I would prefer to do interim management. To work, then to make holidays and working on my plans/projects, then to work again would please me. I shouldn't give up with my plans. I'm not sure if I will be successful, but I think I have to give my fantasies a real chance to become true. But it is also rather seductive to be a payroll-she again. I will sleep it over, I will go to the interview, and then I hope that they take someone else. Another alternative is to name a moon salary so that they take someone else.
I was at an outing with my boyfriend this evening. Life Music, food, conversations, you know those parties. I drove home. It is so difficult to get a parking space here as I live in the middle of the city. Now I'm tired. I long for my practice tomorrow.
The woman in the water is in front of the Neue Pinakothek in Munich. In summer it is nice to relax on the water, but in winter?
Thursday, July 13, 2006
The good news is: I practiced. It was not so bad. I added some standing variations and I left out some vinyasas and also asanas of the middle section of the second series. I did one dhanurasana. I asked myself, if I was able to get up from this position. The answer: no way. I practiced - that is really good. My left leg is always better after the practice, but during the practice it hurts. I long for the day till it will be over. And then I will be so much more attentive (it is at least a resolution). It is hot here and this is good for Ashtanga. It makes the body soft.
Before yoga I did the "belly exercise" I learned in the workshop with Danny and Reema. I stood, as recommended in front of a mirror. My legs were bent, my hands were on my knees, I inhaled, exhaled and then I draw my belly in and up, I loosened it and draw it in again. I did this several times. In the mirror you can see what are muscles and what not. This exercise is more difficult as it seems. But I have the feeling it will help. More and more I see how important the bandhas are. When I want to jump through with straight legs I will need strong bandhas.
On the picture you see a balcony I saw on my way home yesterday.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
It is almost midnight. I am in a very good mood. I don't know if it is the 2 cuba libre that I drank. I was out with my boyfriend after yoga class. Or is it the fantastic Mysore class, I came from. Or perhaps both. Today we were five people (1 man, 4 women). The man was not one of these men with huge ego. He was part of the group. This was good. But back to me (with huge ego :)).
I leaped ahead. I was concentrated and so bendy. B., my teacher helped me to get up from dhanurasana and I went down as well. Once. But I did it. I felt fear, but I conquered it. I just did it. So proud. A new world lies down to my feet.
B. told me to lift up the leg straight for utthita hasta padangusthasana. Another challenge.
With the help of B. I could reach my wrist in marichyasana C easily. I was so bendy today. Because it was so hot perhaps. I'm so motivated.
B. said that we will be all teachers in five years. I do not feel like this. But perhaps in five years I will think differently. (then I will be an old bag with a 5 in front of my age, perhaps then I want to give back what I have recieved so far. At the moment I think I shouldn't limit myself. This is only a fantasy, nothing concrete, nor a wish). My wishes are to built an export/import business, to write my book and so on. But to be open is always good.
On the picture you see dolls on the roofs of Munich. Since I write this blog, I am more and more attentive. Walking through Munich I do it with open eyes. I hope you like this picture.
Later she called me again. She found a guy in the company who speaks French. He wanted to call me this afternoon. I'm still waiting. But the later he calls me the better. I can still speak with myself a little bit here in my flat. I can think about what I want to say. I can look up some vocabulary. I hope that this guy will call me tomorrow.
I would like to get the job. I like to speak 3 languages.
This afternoon I filled in the form. I already mailed it. It took me more than an hour.
No yoga so far. But at 7 pm I will go to the Mysore class. I'm looking forward to it.
PS: cleaned out my shelf in the kitchen where all my spices are. I could throw out a lot of old stuff. I want to make my life pure and simple. Back to the basics.
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
I practiced and it was good - second series with many variations. Powerful.
I have to pay attention to my left leg. It still hurts.
I sweated and this was good. Dhanurasana was good. As soon as I started I could go on and on.
Tomorrow is a morning practice on the schedule.
Summer time in Munich.
Little successes regarding my projects can be reported:
-yesterday the artist Ch. sent me the book cover, that he designed for my book. I like it very much. I cannot write more about this book as it is not yet ready to market.
- Downtown I bought a book by Andre Kostolany, a rather well-known independant gentleman. He passed away a few years ago. He made (and also lost and made) his money on the stock exchanges. And he wrote inspiring books. His book motivated me to buy shares again. I bought China fashion today. I hope it will double (hope dies at last). One of the sentences in the book: The tables in the cafes/restaurants had always been my desks. Sounds good.
On the picture you see a pedestrian area of Munich, which starts just at the opposite of the main station. When you look at the horizon of the picture you can perhaps see a small part of it. When you turn left at the end of the road, you will find the post office there.
I feel stiff, it is hot, I ate too much. Yoga? It is still not too late.
I was not able to take all the positive energy I feeled at the 3 day workshop with Danny and Reema to my everyday life. I struggle.
Still no yoga today, no morning practice as planned. But I will find time to practice today. I swear it to myself. And if it is a few surya namaskaras.
Monday, July 10, 2006
The first day focused on the 1st Ashtanga series, the second day on the 2nd series and the 3rd day on the advanced A series. We did many many variations. This was consciously part of the workshop. The Ashtanga series are considered as suggestions. It was the recommendation not to take it as a dogma. We should feel free to adopt the practice to our daily needs or to our needs when aging, or to our needs when powerful and so on.
Specially on the third day, but also during the other days Danny and Reema performed asanas. Danny said: Now I show you something that you can do when you are old: Then he made handstand, folded in padmasana, leaded the legs to the right side and to the left side and then back to handstand. So good. I saw the first time of my life a perfect Kapotasana performed by Reema (a perfect Indian beauty). I sat down and watched what they did, my chin fell down, my eyes were fixed to the show. It was magnetic.
I couldn't do everything, but I could do more than I thought.
The stories/theory in the beginning were interesting:
-those who practice yoga for years will be able to have a quick death without long suffering before death was one of the subjects. Yoga prepares for death.
-Another subject was to see the Ashtanga series not as a dogma, but as suggestions.
-Yoga is a science, not a religion.
-Yoga gives enorm strenght and flexibility - a peak is perhaps at the age of 90.
-Yoga leads to happiness.
We did pranayama after the "theory". The first exercise was to stand up, knees bent, hands on knees, then to inhale, exhale and then to lift up the belly as far as possible, to bring it back to normal and to lift it up again. Not easy. This exercise has a cleaning effect. It is especially good to do it in the morning. Classic pranayama exercises were executed. Then the asanas followed, beginning with the standing positions and many variations.
I asked why so many Ashtanga yogis are injured from time to time: Danny said: it is greed and not being attentive enough. It is easier to get injured if pushed by a teacher. Strong adjustments help to get further faster at the cost of getting injured. So, let's be patient and attentive.
A daily home practice should be built up slowly. It is fine to do at first "only" 6 surya namaskaras and padmasana. Asanas can be added piece by piece.
I was so proud that I had the courage to book the whole workshop (At first I was not sure if I was able to do asanas of the advanced series). Only about 15 people booked this fantastic workshop. Half of them were teachers and rather advanced ( I think 10 of them could do hanumanasana easily). I belonged to the 5 people who struggeled with many asanas. But this was OK. I tried what I could do. I even got a compliment that I did well.
I am very motivated and inspired. I like the idea to see the series as suggestions. I'm sure that I will add asanas (variations) to my practice. I've lost a little bit the respect of the "difficult" asanas of the advanced series .
The 2 gurus didn't stop teaching after 2 1/2 hours. They went on and on with the class. They both teached with passion. The adjustments were soft. They should show the direction, but without pushing students too much. We practiced about 4 hours each day. That's also one reason why I didn't find time to write.
I wanted to watch the last 2 soccer games, too. Now the world cup is over. The pizza is in the oven. Life can go on.
Today I didn't practice. I didn't even think to practice. I wanted to give my body a rest time. The three days were very challenging for me.
Saturday, July 08, 2006
I was rather astonished when I heard this band while entering the hall of the Chamber of Commerce. Very rhytmic and they spreaded fun.
All those who passed the examination for the degree of a master were invited by the Chamber of Commerce. Those, who had highest marks got a present (a book) and they were photographed with a Bavarian politician and the bosses of the Chamber of Commerce. B. and I are proud of our certificate of accounting, even though we were not among the best. A man was honored because of his good results as a bar keeper. I think to be a master in mixing drinks is something different than a master in accounting, without hurting anybody. I like good drinks.
B. und I had to do the difficult test twice. I asked me today why I always say that I failed twice. The accounting test is the most difficult test. In accounting 60 % fail year by year. To make it is great. But my real success was that I didn't give up. It was not at all sure if I was successful the second time. It took me another year, new classes, new books. But I studied and studied.
Before the first test I sat on my desk, tears were rolling down my cheaks because I did not know where to start studying. It was overwhelming.
Before the second test I almost desperated because I couldn't see these tax paragraphs anymore. They came already out of my ears. As painful as it was B. and I kept on studying. Now we are very proud (even though we passed the last part of the test already in February this year).
We enjoyed this party. It was the 3rd or 4th celebration party I think. I celebrated it with my boyfriend, with B., when we were informed that we did it, with B., when we got the certificates and today.
The party, the speeches, the people all was good, nothing out of the normal. I was astonished that the conservative Chamber of Commerce hired such a modern band. I wouldn't have expected a band at all. They played old rock'n roll songs. The rythm and the atmosphere was great, not so serious, more like " have fun". The food was - oh let's change the subject. Perhaps I enjoyed the party, because I wanted to enjoy it.
I had to leave the party rather soon, which was fine. At 7 p.m. my workshop with Danny Paradise and Reema Datta started. And this was the real highlight of this day. But I will write tomorrow morning about it. I'm tired now.
Thursday, July 06, 2006
I thought it would be a very hard practice after that intensive first Ashtanga series yesterday evening. This was not the case. The opposite was the case. Life has always surprises.
My attitude: observe what will be today. Don't exaggerate, you want to go to the workshop with Danny Paradise and Reema Datta tomorrow and you don't want to be hurt. I was curious. I had not to prove anything. And it turned out to be a fantastic practice. Not perfect, but sweaty.
I switched on the radio. Music helped me, it turned me on. Why not use it, when it helps. I worked on the second series. I was motivated and I had the feeling that I was in the flow. Yes, flow. I didn't hold the asanas very long. This was not so important. I tried to have confidence that when I practice it will get better sooner or later.
I am so motivated at the time so that I write these lines while sitting in padmasana.
Pain: a few thoughts on pain. What I read is that you are hurt from time to time, I'm hurt (at the moment it is my left leg that hurts), too, and my collegues are hurt from time to time as well. I can here an "aua" here and an "aua" there. Pain is perhaps an integral component of the Ashtanga series. Pain is a part of life, too. In Ashtanga yoga you can learn how to go on with pain. You can develop an attitude to it. You can transfer this knowledge gained in yoga to real life. Perhaps this helps to develop a positive attitude to these injuries which always happen.
I went home quickly after the practice as I wanted to see one of the last football games (France:Portugal). I missed the anthems, but I was only a few minutes too late. On my way home I passed by restaurants. Most of them had a TV outside. People were watching everywhere. But I went home first. After the match we (my boyfriend and me) went out for a drink. It was quite downtown. We could see only a few German flags. The hype is over. We sat outside of a restaurant with our drinks and talked about football, our German coach, jobs, our trip to the US and so on. Suddenly a rather cold wind came. We stayed for another 30 minutes. It was getting more fresh. It was time to go. It is again late now, after 1 a.m. I don't care.
I got an Email from a girlfriend: She wrote that her 7 year old son is crying all the time, because the German soccer team did not win. This must be a shock for all these little boys. It is difficult to accept that loosing is part of life, too.
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
The match yesterday was exciting, even though the German soccer team did not win. I was glad that I had hidden a handkerchief in my yoga pants' pockets. After the match all these wonderful youngsters cried. And the fans cried. It was sad. I wanted to smell the atmosphere downtown, so I went out with my boyfriend. Most car parades had Italien flags on their cars. But there were also Germans who made parades. We were in a very nice restaurant not far away from our home. The glas doors were all open and we stood on the pavement with many other people, who liked to party. I had two cuba libre, my boyfriend two Weißbier. When we saw a German parade we cheered to them, like all the other guests. At 1:30 a.m.we went home. I think our mood was back to normal. It was good that we were among all these people, cooling down. We are still convinced of our fantastic German soccer team. Now the party can go on till Sunday. It will remain exciting. I think we have a very special relationship to our Italian neighbours, as they feed us with wonderful food.
The motto of the world cup is: "The round thing (ball) must go into the square thing (goal). Some Italian changed it to "The pizza must go into the oven". (Ha, Ha, hope I could get across this joke.)
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
I woke up at 4 a.m. at night. I think that my accounting job activities touch me more as I'd like to admit. It was difficult to sleep again. I was sure that I wouldn't get up at 7 a.m. My boyfriend switched off the alarm clock at 7 a.m. As I didn't hear it I slept till 9 a.m. I must finally fell asleep during the morning hours.
This time I wanted to practice first. I had a light breakfast first. I thought that I needed the energy which the food would provide. The CD by Sharat helped me again. I practiced till the end of the standing sequence with the CD. Then I switched to second series. It was not at all easy after a break of 3 days. I said to myself to have confidence and when I practice all will come. I continued till eka pada sirsasana. I sweated. I did the closing sequence with the CD again. Next time I will do urdvha dhanurasana and paschimotanasana before going on with sarvanghasana. These 2 asanas needs to be practiced every day. In the book by Swensen they are added to the closing sequence. My left leg still hurts. But it is always better after the practice.
It was good that I practiced. Progress does not come overnight.
Now I am ready to fill in the forms.
Attached is another picture that I took downtown Munich yesterday while waiting.
Monday, July 03, 2006
As usual I was much too early. I had still 45 minutes to wait till the appointment. I walked around, took some pictures for my blog. The recruiting agency has their offices in the center of Munich. It is very close to a street where you find the shops from international companies like Chanel, Bulgari, Rolex, Cartier and so on. I walked around, looked into the shop-windows and I even recognized aVIP: Elfriede Jellinek. She got the nobel prize in litterature. I'm happy that I realized that it was she when she was already a few steps away. I know me, I would have stared at her even if I didn't like to do it. It is like a shock to see VIPs. The picture of some people one knows from TV and so on are so familiar that one thinks one knows these people, but this is definitely not true.
I started thinking that I will have to dry clean my wool white suit if I have to wait any longer and this only for a one-hour-interview. It was so hot and I sweated.
I was dressed in a wool white suit and a light blue blouse, white sandales, transparent socks. I had put some pearls around my neck. I felt beautifully and businesslike. My hair was open and I had put on some make-up as usual. I felt prepared to make a good "first impression".
Finally I could took the elevator into the 5th floor. The woman at the reception ushered me into an empty room. I was offered a glas of water. Then I had to fill in 2 forms - even though they already have my cv. The interviewer came 20 minutes later. She knocked on the door before entering the room, which I found rather politely. On the other hand it was time to come. How long should I wait? It was a young woman. Friendly. Professional. She asked questions, she was not shy. The conversation was pleasant.
I told her that I wouldn't give her other references than my credentials. As expected, it was not only her idea to ask for references. She has to do it, as it is the philosophy of the company to do it. She will be checked as well, if she is working regarding the guidelines. References are not relevant if everything goes well. But as soon as there are problems.......
Asked regarding my salary, that I want to have I added some 25% and this was OK, too. She said this is the highest level they pay. Yes, fine. It was not over the top. I want to get paid as much as possible. And it was still within the possibilities. In addition I think to get paid by hours is a dead end road. I want to play it safe that's why I want to earn a certain amount of money via accounting. But I always look for business activities with no limits.
I was not yet at home I already got an Email by this company. I shall fill in 2 other forms. They like forms. And I shall argue why I do not give references. It would be good if I return everything today. I will do my very best, as usual.
Even though it was a nice conversation, I felt exhausted afterwards. I went to the caffee aran to have a sandwich with a cappuccino with soy milk. Then I walked home. I did some grocery shopping on my way home.
For today I think I've done what I could do. At least I worked on one of my projects.
- got up at a decent time, I guess it was 8 a.m.
- wrote my morning pages
- went to the bank in order to pay in money
- made some copies to complete my cv. The copy shop owner was interested in my accounting service, when he saw my credential. He was not sure how to do a driver's logbook. I intend to give him a form. This could help him to make up the decision to leave his tax advicer and to come to me. He wants to save money. I don't like it, but I guess I'm cheaper than tax advisers.
- watched the press conference with the German soccer team.
- ate some sandwiches
- put my cv together, checked the address, name and time
- soon it is time to dress
In total I didn't make history, and the time is over. In order to move something I will have to wait till tomorrow.
I will listen to some music to lift up my mood, which is not bad, but music always lifts the mood a little bit more. James Brown would be good: I feel good, the weather is fine......
And now it is 2 a.m. It is too late to practice before the interview. I will practice afterwards. I can already foretell that I will need a CD.
It would be the best thing to get up earlier. 7 a.m. must be doable, it is still human.
Sunday, July 02, 2006
I slept and slept and slept this morning. I got up at 11 o'clock. I have to admit that we were out till 2 a.m. last night. After the soccer matches we wanted to enjoy the party atmosphere downtown. That's why it was so late. I didn't find time for yoga this morning.
At 2 o'clock we drove to the Starnberger Lake. You can see it on the picture. It is 40 minutes away from Munich and very beautiful and relaxing.
We had some lunch there. I ordered a salad. It happened what always happens. Me:"Do you have something without meat?" The waiter:"Yes, we have fish!"Me, smiling:"Fish is meat, too." But they were so friendly to prepare a salad without fish and without meat. Perfect. In Bavaria people eat meet. They consider you crazy when you follow a vegetarian diet.
We sat down in the shadow. It was almost a little bit fresh. My boyfriend read a book on mechanics and I began reading my new book by Barbara Sher " What do I do when I want to do everything". This is exactly how I feel. I have too many projects, but why abonden one of it? But how can I manage all these activities I like to do? I'm rather curious what Sher has to say.
At home again I cooked some noodles, but they were not a great success. In addition I remembered too late that I have an interview tomorrow. I already had put too much garlic into the pan. The recipe was from a German politician. No wonder that it tasted a little bit boring. Which politician has time to cook very often? But we both are full now and the evening can start. Nothing special today. Reading, watching TV, that will it be.
I'm a little bit sad that I didn't manage to do yoga. Monday morning is a fresh start.
Saturday, July 01, 2006
I said: "Shall we buy a flag, too?"
My boyfriend: "So far I lived very well without nationalism, I will go on that way."
I said:"Me, too."
My boyfriend's father has lost his leg during World War II. This in mind it is difficult to be naiv and not to see what could be the consequences of misunderstood nationalism.
And me too, when I was younger I used to say when asked which nationality I was: I'm born in this world. I was always interested in people from other countries. Later, when I've seen so much more from this world (I traveled to Russia, India, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Egypt, Hongkong, Turkey, Singnapore, Canade, I was perhaps 12 times in the US, I was almost everywhere in Europe) I used to answer that I'm European, always in mind that we all live in one world. I hope very much that we get closer together, respect each other, learn from each other and have fun with each other. The internet is a fantastic tool to support this in my opinion. And soccer, too. I'm so happy that I live in a time like this.
Enough philosophy. The party here is great. What I see everybody enjoys it peacefully. And now "we" have to win the next match.
Today I will cheer for England in the first match and for France in the second match. I did not know if we should cheer for Brasilia or France. But my boyfriend was sure: France. For those who will watch: have fun.
The match Germany:Argentinia was so exciting, especially the penalty shoot out. Excitment, emotions. And the party will go on today. After the matches we went downtown. The main street was blocked for all the people who liked to party. Everywhere were broken glasses, drunk people, flags, tooting cars, music.
2 matches are today: Brasilia:France and England:Portugal. Before the matches I will clean my home. To have a clean surrounding is also important and part of yoga too.