Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I left the office at 7 a.m. :-)

It is as it is, I will take it with humour. I worked longer again. I had plans for this evening, I had to postpone them.

When I finally arrived at home I met E. in front of the door. "Would you like to go out for a beer?" he asked me. Of course I liked it.

We went to the Israeli restaurant. There is a huge bar. I ordered a glas of Chardonnay, E. had a beer and we shared a starter. It was relaxing. For a long time we hadn't been there, but the waiter still remembered what we used to order.

I had planned to write about my new evening routine, but to go out is not a daily routine. I asked myself if it is so important to write about my daily routines. But I think it is.

We changed the office rooms a few days ago. Guess what happens. Automatically the colleagues walk into their former rooms without noticing it. Only when they want to sit down and they see that someone else sits on their chair, they realize it: it is the wrong room. This happens a few times every day. It is not attentive, it is sleepy. I'm more mindful i.e., I know where my new room is. I don't walk into the former office room and then I wake up and I'm shocked where I am. I am present. Yes, I say this with pride. Because I know me, I am a daydreamer, too.

It is a help for us human beings to be on auto-pilote from time to time. I think 90 percent of all we do is a habit. Most of the time we do not reflect, if our daily routines are useful or not. But this is the process I'm going through now. My life has changed and now I check, if my former habits are still usefull. Every activity that is performed once a day is worth to be examined in my opinion.

And tomorrow I will throw my dresses in the next corner or on my chair as soon as I've closed the door behind me in order to have a shower first. Then my so-called "private life" can start. That's the way I want to start my evenings - with hot and cold water.

Good night.

Thank you Edith for your tips. They are always welcomed.

Time is limited

I practiced within the limited time (what else). That means that I cannot do all the asanas of the first series. But I did the core asanas: mari d, kurmasana, garbha pindasana and baddha konasana (re Matthew Sweeney). Perhaps I should write that I indicated kurmasana, but as long as I tried it, I shouldn't complain. It gets better. Everything gets better, which is exercised on a daily basis.

When it came to sirsasana, I added pincha mayurasana and handstand (couldn't find the Indian word). I did the last two asanas against the wall. I didn't hold them long. The courage is important. I had the courage to get up.

As every morning I fell out of pindasana. This makes me crazy. Fast I go on as if nothing has happened.

It was predictable, I feel better now as before the practice. If I only had more time.......

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The people I meet every day

The first person I see is my boyfriend. He is still sleeping when I wake up. He looks happy when he is sleeping.

Then I meet all the people in the underground who are on their way to work. Almost every day I think that I want to walk to work. I look into tired, unsatisfied faces. Some people are well-groomed for the job, I guess. But most people are just tired, absent. Only sometimes friendliness happens. Last week I couldn't hold me and when the underground stopped I almost fell. I could see how a man tried to hold me. Very friendly. Most of the time people walk on my shoes, they want to be the first to leave the train. Horrible.

At the office I see my new colleague now. He is friendly, interested in life. That's my new highlight. My former colleague had a poker face. It absorbed my energy somehow.

Then the boss comes in. His face always shows tension. When I see it I think at once: Ursula, relax your face.

During lunch time I go to the Schranne very often. The woman at the salad bar is so nice. She cares for me. She wants to prepare me every day another salad, it was her idea. Wonderful. "Don't eat every day the fitness salad", she said one day, "I will prepare something else without animal products."

On my way home I stop at the grocery shop. The owner is a helpful, relaxed guy, too. He offered me that when the doors are closed I could knock and then he would open his shop for me again. He knows that I always have to work longer. I told him about my absorbing working life. These shop owners are psychologists.

Later at home I meet again my boyfriend. I can observe him how he is writing his last emails. He is no more so relaxed like in the morning, but still full of power. He is never too lazy to write the last Email.

Sometimes during lunch time I meet friends. But time is too short. I get nervous, because I have to be back on time.

Visualizing a new evening

I walk home. I stopped walking home because I always stay longer at work, even today. I wanted to regain these daily 15 or 20, sometimes 30 minutes and so I took the underground. It is faster than to walk. But to walk is so much better for the body and the soul. I can do some grocery shopping on my way if necessary. But no stop at the fried potatoes.

At home I throw the bag in the corner, I put my nice coat on the hanger. I undress as fast as possible and throw the clothes over a chair. Then I go to the bathroom, the shower awaits me. I have time for body care. Then I will make a tea and I will eat an apple or so. This must be enough food and drinking.

I can make a plan for the evening before I leave work. Before leaving work I use to make a plan for the next working day, I can also plan my spare time.

A great danger is that I switch on too early the PC. Blogs and Emails absorb me. This PC- activities can wait till I have finished the cup of yogini tea.

Summary:
-planning the evening at work
-at home throwing the bag and the clothes in an empty corner
-shower
-tea
- activities of choice.
- 10 p.m bed

no potatoe chips, no red wine.

The evenings

The evenings are too short. I need better evening habits. To eat too much and to drink red wine, because I'm exhausted is not a solution. I'm mentally exhausted not physically. Perhaps I should really throw my clothes in the next corner as soon as I've closed the front door. Then the shower. The shower refreshes me. Afterwards I can eat. I fear to take a nap, because I fear that I wake up the next morning.

Perhaps I shouldn't eat in the evening anymore. That's perhaps the best solution. A tea can be enough. To eat makes me heavy and lazy. I don't want to mention the booze that I had yesterday and today and we have only Tuesday.

Oh, to be with the young man in a room pleases me. He is very optimistic and at work I play joy and optimism, too. This makes everything easier. This is part of my professional habits. I don't show moods at work. I at least think so, colleagues might better judge it. Working life is better now, but the one problem remains. I feel that the "important" people expect me to stay longer after work and I don't want to. Point.

It is still dark when I start practicing

It was not a famous practice this morning. I wondered if I should practice at all. My body told me that the surya namaskaras felt always well and so I started. I didn't sweat. It was a practice that woke up my body, very soft. No real progress. I had to omit a lot of asanas (lack of time), no vinyasa today, no headstand either. It doesn't matter. I haven't stopped practicing.

I asked myself what has changed since I've started Ashtanga yoga? (I thought about it during my practice - very good focus :))

- my body is stronger and more flexible

- more important, my attitude has slightly changed. I do not say so often, perhaps I do not think it at all, that I won't be able to do a posture. I know that some postures need time, perhaps a decade or even longer. But it is doable. And this attitude became a general attitude towards the tasks that life gives me. It is doable.

- Has my concentration, my focus improved? I don't know. I don't believe it.

- One thing has definitely changed. I want to build my life around yoga and not the other way round.

Monday, January 29, 2007

OK, it was not 6 when I left the office

It was half past six when I could leave the company. It would have been impolite to go, while the others were moving the stuff to another room. For me it was too late to go the the led Ashtanga class, even though the studio is round the corner. I brought my yoga mat to the office this morning and in the evening I had to carry it home. And no yoga. What a pleasure.

I will shower now. 2 hours and I will have to go to bed. 2 hours only.

Monday morning

My practice this morning was not exhilarating. The body was not flexible, I feared to go to the edges. I asked myself if I should go on, but I went on.

I did the suryas, the standing sequence, a few forward bendings and a very short closing sequence (sirsasana, halasana, matsyasana). But I did a long savasana. Why not. I was on my mat. I tried to concentrate on the breath, but somehow I was almost absent. Could I be too tired? I was in bed on time. Performance changes, that's it.

Then I showered, the cold shower at the end was so cold. But then I dressed my warm grey jogging pants and my white warm jacket. It is so good, to feel so warm now.

I shouldn't write that I don't want to go to work, but so it is. We change the rooms today and I have to fight for the seat I want to have. And I will have to pay attention that we move within working hours. I want to leave the company at 6. I feel harassed when I always have to stay longer. The work is not my life. 9 hours must be enough.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Page 124, 5th sentence, 3 sentences

Donutszenmom makes me move.

The book I read at the moment is called Cleaver and it is by Tim Parks.

Unfortunately I noticed too late that it was page 124 that I had opened and not page 123. But I liked the quote and as I'm flexible, here it is:

"The truth was, his elder son had written, that my father seemed to fear he would cease to exist if he didn't see himself reflected in a young woman's eyes, preferably at the moment of orgasm, just as he feared he might melt into thin air if his image wasn't constantly present on the country's televisions screems. He always had at least three or for shows and documentaries on the go. It wasn't the truth at all, Cleaver protested." (Cleaver by Tim Parks, page 124)

The book is about a journalist. His elder son wrote a book. The English journalist went to Italy to reflect on his life.

A recommendation. I woke up. I'm no more tired. I will go on reading in bed.

E. called me, he wants to watch TV with me. This means I lean against him with my book, while he is watching TV. I like this. Bed you must wait.

The last deed today - the Greece restaurant

Was this really a good preparation for tomorrow morning. I know that the morning starts the evening before.

It was fun. The last times we didn't get a seat there. Today I called and tried to make a reservation and I was lucky. We got two seats at 6 p.m. We did the full programme there: starter (Greece salad), main course (baked aubergines with zaziki), dessert (yogurt with honey), retsina, ouzo. My boyfriend had beer and Gyros. How I feel heavy now. I think this was enough food today for the entire week.

I start feeling tired. I didn't accomplish everything I wanted to do. My rooms are a mess. I was lazy. I did not everything I wanted to do. I feel remorses. I think that there is so much to do at home, that I'm glad that I can go to an office tomorrow morning.:) (to the office). But I want to leave at 6 p.m.. Please. I want to go to a led Ashtanga class. The number 6 pursuits me.

I'm glad that I'm so tired. I want to sleep. I want nothing else anymore than to sleep. This wish I can fulfill. I only have to go to bed. It is doable.

And then I want a relaxed week. Please, a relaxed week. The week will start with my Ashtanga practice tomorrow morning. I'm too weak to visualize it. I'm tired, so tired.

On thinking


I thought: "Ashtanga yoga is very good." Is this thinking? Of course not. An idea came up, nothing more.

Thinking starts when I ask i.e. what is the best at Ashtanga, what is the worst at Ashtanga. Ashtanga yoga keeps me flexible, I learn to concentrate, it makes me happy. But I can be hurt also when I do Ashtanga. I takes so much time that I'm no more able to clean my rooms, I always want to go home from work at 6 p.m. are the more negative aspects.

Or I start thinking when I ask what other people might think about Ashtanga. My boyfriend i.e. might think that in earlier times I wanted to spend all my holidays with him, now I wanted to go to India. What would a comedian make out of Ashtanga yoga if he/she liked to use it in a show? What would my grandma think? What do the colleagues think, former friends, someone who does yoga for 30 years and so on?

To find out what is the worst, what the best issue, or to examine a thing from a different point of view is, where thinking starts. Then, after all this thinking, it might be possible to decide what is best for oneself.

What is the conclusion? To think needs time. Do I have time?
Yes, the pictures shows a part of Munich downtown.

2nd series - second part

I checked, when I did my last post. It was about 20 minutes earlier. The middle part and the closing sequence was done in 20 minutes.

I omitted the vinyasas. I took the practice easily - a few backbendings, I tried kapotasana. I wanted to enter kapotasana from lying on the floor first. I could lift my body a few inches. It was nothing, but that way many poses started. At first it was not even possible to realize which post it should be, but after half a decade......:).

I wanted to do pincha mayurasana. I touched the wardrobe first, but then I could stand longer than usual without touching the wardrobe. I also did handstand and I had a good feeling.

My body is still tired from holding the asanas so long yesterday. It is good that I stopped now.

2nd series - first part

The standing sequences are done. I need a break. It is not so easy today to practice. I'm somehow out of breath. Even music does not help so much today. Perhaps this break will relax me and I can go on with fresh energy.

3-2-1 - middle part now: NOW

Saturday, January 27, 2007

After yoga some food

I don't know why, but I didn't found my pictures anymore. I was searching today - the result is to be seen.

This small Italian restaurant is at the Schranne next to the yoga studio. The cook prepares my penne al'arrabiata without olive oil and without butter. The Merlot is drinkable. To eat something there after yoga is almost a habit already.

Ashtanga playground - standing positions

I feel as if I'm searching for the needle in the haystack. And I found one. This post is also a mental exercise. I want to concentrate on the bright side of life - the bright side of this yoga class. No complaining, no critical remarks. Dristi. My dristi is what I've got out of the class today.

What I learned:
- In order to get up from utthita parsvottanasana it is helpful not to lift up the upper body, but to press the leg into the floor. Then the upper body gets up almost from alone. And this is true. It is much more elegant to get out of this position that way than to lift the upper part of the body.

- At first yoga mudra, then baddha padmasana with head falling backwards, then padmasana and then utplithihi. That's the correct order, I heard today. It is like the awakening lotus flower. This makes sense.

We were 4 people, 2 very beginners and the nice French woman. I was happy that I could do again the standing positions. That was it. It was intensive. I'm looking forward to my practice tomorrow.

January is already over. At the end of March B. will be back hopefully. She is great as a teacher.

I must practice on Saturdays, because I have time

I have time on Saturday morning, that's why I practice. Saturday is the time for the first Ashtanga series and Sunday I work on the second Ashtanga series.

I practiced right now and it was a satisfiying practice. I didn't omit the vinyasas. When it came to headstand, I added forearmstand and handstand (against the wall). When it came to handstand I felt how my hands started sweating. That's very seldom. My hands are always dry. But it was sort of fear. I went up and joy was there, because I conquered the fear. It is doable. I did the 3 king asanas today.

The core asanas of the first series are:

marichyasasa d,
kurmasana,
garbha pindasana,
baddha konasana

I want to concentrate on these asanas during my next exercises. These asanas need more attention than the others. They are difficult, but perhaps I shouldn't write that they are difficult. This shows too much respect and the learning process might be more difficult. To call these asanas the most beautiful asanas of the first series might be more helpful. Baddha konasana is easy for me. But the other 3 core asanas are demanding. Whenever I will find time I will think of them and do them. Let's see how I will progress.

I loved my practice, because I had time. I could concentrate on my breath. The bandhas helped me. To jump through is rather difficult. I have to build more core strength. This is the secret.

When I looked out of the window today, I could see how the snow flakes were dancing in the cold wind. They are so light and happy. They fly up and down and again up. It looks so easily. Wonderful. Inspiring. To have a practice like a dancing snow flake, that would be great. That's a beautiful visualization the next time when I practice. Tomorrow.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Dinner with E.

After the yoga class the evening was not yet over. E. picked me up after class. We went out, we landed at a Thai restaurant. Good food, a good bottle of red wine (a Shiraz from Australia), made us like to live. For years I read the menu from the left side to the right side and not the other way round. This was the reason why we had the best wine or should I write the most expensive wine that they offered there. I talked, my boyfriend listened to me and from time to time he told me that he liked me.

I'm tired now. I wanted to share my experiences of my travel activities. But this must wait. I'm totally tired. I want to sleep right now. Good night.

Marie and the 3 king asanas

After work I went to a led Jivamukti class. Marie was the teacher. Marie is a sun. She is such a good teacher. She cares for her student. She knows the names, she motivates, but does not force the fearful yoginis to do handstand i.e.

Today sirsasana , pincha mayurasana and handstand was part of the practice. I did handstand alone and I had a very good feeling that one day I will be able to do even this posture.

We did some partner exercises after these asanas. One yogini was in child's pose, another yogini lied on the back of this yogini backwards. It was a very relaxing pose. I was lucky with my partner, she was an experienced yogini with body feeling. She liked me as a partner too, I could see it on her smiling.

I enjoyed the practice after work. My week-end has started. I'm happy.

They all want to stay with me at the office after working hours

M.-C., you are so right. They all want to stay with me at the office after work. Today the boss announced that I will get another office room with the young Bulgarian colleague. I already knew this since last Monday. I was already told this, but today it was made official. The boss said: "We will make the move at 6:00 p.m. next Monday." I thought I couldn't trust my ears. At 6:00 p.m my spare time starts. I must have widened my eyes. They must have been double as big as usual. Then I could hear him saying. "At 6:00 or at 5:30." I can't believe it. I want to go home at 6. At 6:30 is Ashtanga led class. Do they make jokes with me?

PS: Stand up, fight for your rights.

I admit, at work I pretend to be in a good mood, I even make jokes. That's why they can't get enough from me. That's it probably.

Finally Friday

"I'm a tiger, I'm a tiger." This was it, what I heard when I switched on the radio after my Ashtanga practice. It made me smile. It was like a message for me.

After having slept, some nice kisses from my darling and some tender hugs, after having done headstand, I feel prepared for another 8 hours at work.

I practiced. I didn't force anything. At first I thought that I would do only a few surya namaskaras. But then I went on. It was pure joy. I had only time for the standing sequence, a few forward bending and a short closing sequence with savasana. I was concentrated, breath was good.

I already planned the evening. I planned to leave the company at 5 p.m.. Haha. Then I will go home. At 7 p.m is a led Jivamukti class with Marie. Marie is a very good teacher. She is a sun. I'm looking forward to be in her class. Then E. will pick me up at 8:30. I recommended to him to come on foot. To move is good for him, too and surprisingly he accepted. We will go out for dinner. When I cross out the coming 8 hours it will be a fantastic day. :)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Depleted

Depleted even though I cannot complain. I learn something new at the job. That's always a motivating factor for me, to learn something. But I cannot wait till I can go home. And then at 5:50 the young colleague wants me to explain him something. He knows that I want to go home. It is redundant to ask me something at 6 p.m. I wasn't like that in earlier times. I do not understand why I'm like that now. I cannot make out what it is, perhaps the expectations that I have to stay longer, perhaps also something else, but it is hard for me to bring me through the day.

I will start fresh tomorrow. Tomorrow is another day.

A highlight this morning

Highlights first: I only say pincha mayurasana. I was in pincha mayurasana this morning and I didn't touch the wardrobe with my feet to get into this position. I could hold me for a very short time. I think I was shocked that I could balance in this position without having touched the wardrobe first. I went down, not touching the wardrobe as well. I have the feeling now - I can do it. Super.

Eka pada sirsasana: I tried it. It is difficult in the morning. Yoganidrasana is somehow easier, not that I'm in that position, but I'm rather close to it. Then eka pada sirsasana will come, too.

Jet-legging E. got up early and so did I. I think it was 5 a.m. when I stood on my legs, preparing 2 cups of coffee. This meant I had much more time for my practice. It was a very satisfying practice this morning.

And now I have to vex myself through the day, one breath after the other. E. has already evening meetings today. Managers from the US are in Germany. I will meet B. at the station's lounge. That's my highlight in the evening.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

E. is back

At 6:09 p.m. (I saw the time on the telephone display) I got the last task. A task especially for me, after work. Yes, I show commitment. I have to.

But then I hurried to get home.

E. is back from the States. On my way home I bought some nice food (dried tomatoes, red wine, a cheese called l'amour blanc, fresh sunflower bread, artichoke and bananas). I know he is always hungry and he likes to eat. I was not sure if he managed it to get on a plane from Frankfurt to Munich, as most airplanes were cancelled this morning due to the snow. But when I arrived at home I saw a tired man in the door frame. He was already in bed. Jet leg. I prepared the little snack that I've bought. I needed wine this evening. I wanted to relax from the mentally exhausting job. E. ate with me, as expected.

Then I talked about my humble life in Munich. It took 2 hours till I was through. Then I asked E.: How was it in your life? He was in Portland, in San Francisco, in New York. I learned that there is a huge construction area in New York, where the world trade center was. I know that he has had some margaritas, as usual. We started with 1. But we added 2 at the pier in San Fran and ........ Till now I don't know how many margaritas he enjoyed. He needs a few minutes and everything is said. It was nice. And that's good. And now he is sleeping. And I will have my evening shower.

Nice to have him back. But I can be alone with myself, too. I always could be alone with myself, most of the time. 1 hour and I have to sleep, too.

Wednesday only

Mood? Let's change the subject. World is white here in Germany, too. Even though I prefer summer time, I must admit that it looks beautifully, very beautifully. To sit on a yoga mat, looking out of the balcony doors and seeing that everything is covered with a white duvet is wonderful.

I already mentioned my yoga mat. I practiced. I switched on the radio today to better my mood. My soul should adopt the rhythm of the light music, which they are playing in the morning. I observed myself how I practiced. My body was soft. I went from one asana to the next. I found out that it is the vinyasas that make the Ashtanga series so different to the other yoga styles. Thinking of this, made it easier to perform the exhausting vinyasas :).

I must think of the French woman from the Ashtanga class last Monday. She said that in Germany very soon Ashtanga would be much more popular than now, because soon people would get to know that it would be possible to build muscles with Ashtanga. This is really a funny aspect of this spiritual practice. Ashtanga as a muscle-building spiritual practice.

It was good that I practiced. I love it. Each practice is different. It remains exciting.

I wish it were already 6 p.m.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Thai massage

Perhaps I'm not the type for massages. Of course it was very pleasant to feel the hands of this young Thai lady on my body. Thai music also came out of the CD-player. But I expected something else. In the leaflet stood something about passive yoga. But what I experienced today was no passive yoga, it was pleasant (not exciting (I'm not sure if I use the right words)). Even my ears were treated. My hands were massaged, my feet. It hurt me when the fingers were pressed in my back muscles. My body jerked. It was like a shock for my muscles. Perhaps I have too much tension in my body, but I don't know and I don't believe it. The treatment of my back was not relaxing. I was laying either on my back or on my belly. Once my arms were taken back so that I had to lift up the upper body. I thought now it starts with passive yoga, but this was it with passive yoga.

It was nice. Next year, perhaps another try.

Lunch break - the salad bar

I discovered a salad bar at the Schranne during my lunch break. Guests can combine their own salad consisting of 5 ingredients. I like the fitness salad very much. It is with grilled tofu on top. I know that I spend a fortune, when I eat outside during lunch break. But I want to relax, I want to go to one of the many restaurants that offer a special lunch or not a special lunch, but something nice to eat. I want to order food, I want to get what I ordered, and I pay for it.

I'm too lazy to stand in the kitchen in the morning cutting vegetables and rinsing lettuce in order to have something to eat at 12:15 p.m. till 13:00 p.m.

No pindasana

Ohhh, the server is available again. What for a relief.

I omitted pindasana. I didn't like to fall out of this position this morning. Practice was good, but I had not the time to do all the asanas. But I did dhanurasana. I lifted up my body three times. That's something. It is never really easy. Yesterday I was helped to get up from this position. At first I tried if I could do something on my own to get up. But now way. My body does not know what to do. I do not move upwards, not even an inch. Gravity is too strong. Mostly I go out of this position rather fast. It was a good practice yesterday evening and it was a nice practice this morning, too.

It was 11 o'clock when I finally was it bed. I opened my mail shortly after 10 p.m. and I discovered that I had to balance my accounts. I seem to have only time for yoga and blogging. I neglect every other activity. That's where addiction starts.

But I enjoy my addictions: yoga and blogging. It is fun and they won't do any damage to me.

Shock this morning: the world is white, snow here, too.

Monday, January 22, 2007

By the way

I cancelled my trip to India. I don't want to go anymore.

I probably will go to South America with E. during my holidays much later this year.

At last I only had the wish to meet all these like-minded Ashtangis in India. But I can meet Ashtangis at workshops, online, in studios. Unfortunately I discovered Mysore too late.

I do not understand why there are not more Ashtanga teachers in India.

To go to India to do yoga there is a classic trip. Of course. But at the moment it is not the time for me to go.

Led Ashtanga class after work

It scarcely happened to me, that I was that fast so demotivated to work than in the job I currently have. One reason is that we really do what we (my colleague and me) can. I start working at 9 and I stop at 6. My colleague comes at 8. We do not speak for 5 minutes. We work fast. We probably meet the deadlines. What we get is pressure. I used to work in the accounts department alone and now I have a rather unhealthy environment. This frustrates me.

Why do I write this?

Because the dissatisfying life from 6 to 9 had something very positive today. When I left the company I went to a led Ashtang class. I didn't like to think of what was already the past. I wanted to be in the here and now. I didn't like to get my spare time spoiled by thoughts of the work. The consequence: I had such a good FOCUS today during my practice. I was on my mat. I went deep into the asanas. Bandhas, drishtis all was honoured. It was so good.

At home again I had this wonderful evening shower. I remember when I got a comment and a reader wrote that I should shower in the evening, I thought: Oh my Goodness, now the reader already recommend when to shower. But I was open-minded and I said to myself: Give it a try. And now I love it. I have more time for taking care of my body than in the morning. I feel so relieved after my shower. It was such an improvement in my life.

Now 1 hour is left. When I want to have a good practice tomorrow morning I have to go to bed at a decent time. And I want to have a good practice. So 1 hour - for plays.

The week has started

The mornings always start the night before. I went to bed on time, but couldn't sleep well. I even got up once to walk around.

This morning I had to collect myself. To get up was not that easy, but I did it. I had time for my morning pages and for a Ashtanga practice. I know it, that time is limited in the morning, but I also experienced it today. The disadvantage is that I have to practice rather fast and that I cannot do all the asanas. The advantage is that I have more focus. I do not have time for breaks, I have to go on and on.

Only to think of pindasana makes me feel out of it. This is definitely not a position, that is easy in the morning. Oh, now I remember, I forgot mari d. What a shame. How can I forget such an important asana.

The practice helped me to make the start of the day somehow satisfying. I hope everything will be so smooth today like my morning practice.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Chronic unwillingness

Chronic unwillingness: That's how a Scottish man, who had lived for more than a decade in Germany, described us Germans at B's birthday party. I remembered at once: I don't want to go to work tomorrow (chronic unwillingness). Finally I have a word for it. And it is not me alone who is so, it is as we Germans are, it is part of the German mentality. That's it. What for a relief.

I loved it to speak English. It was only possible when the Scotsman needed a break for breathing. This was not that often. But I could talk enough. I was glad that this time it was not me, who entertained the people the entire afternoon. I often speak too much. I also liked it to listen to English.

I had a very nice afternoon and B. liked my present - a journal.

A practice with music

Will I ever progress? This was the question that arose during my Ashtanga practice - second series. My insight is that the practice is a mental practice in the same manner as it is a body practice. Perhaps this is the progress already.

The mind is jumping from one issue to the next. The mind is bored so fast. This makes me going from one asana to the other in a very fast speed. More focus, more concentration would also mean that I would be longer in the asanas and this would mean that the asanas improve. But the mind is so uneasy. It is said that focus on the breath calms the mind. Not today. I felt stiff, but I was brave. I didn't omit vinyasas. I did as usual half of the second series.

After the practice and after my shower I feel rather good now - relaxed, but powerful at the same time.

On Sundays I give me a different breakfast than during the week. During the week I eat usually a banana with soy yogurt, nuts and raisins. Today I will eat a piece of sunflower bread with soy margarine and self-made jam from my mother. I will drink another cup of black coffee.

A joke: A sixty-year-old woman tells her friend about the wild sex she's having with her thirty-year-old tadpole lover.
"My dear," asked her friend, "aren't you afraid that all that exertion might cause a heart attack?"
After a moment's consideration, the woman replies, "Well, if he dies, he dies!"

Saturday, January 20, 2007

My Saturday

At 1:30 p.m. I picked me up, I put my yoga clothes in my bag, I put my mat over my shoulder and up I went: Ashtanga playground downtown.

On my way to the studio I met a former colleague. I haven't seen her for a decade. I remembered her name and I called her. She was pleased to meet me, too. We talked about the past, when we both sold insurances. She wanted to drink a cup of coffee with me, but I wanted to go to the yoga class, so I said good-bye. We exchanged business cards, but I'm not really sure if we will meet again.

The yoga studio was crowded. I wondered if all these women would go to Ashtanga playground? Then a miracle must have happened. No miracle had happened. When it was my turn the woman at the reception desk told me that there is a beginners workshop today and no Ashtanga yoga. I was really friendly. I said: "Oh, yes. "She: "Yes, it is in the Internet. I will show you." It was confrontation at the first moment. It was OK for me that there was no Ashtanga class. I can even understand it. It is not such a business to occupy the only yoga room with 2 people and a teacher. But now the woman wanted to prove me that it was my stupidity to get to the studio, because I hadn't checked the Internet. And I was even more stupid than she. I started an argument and asked her if she wanted to proof me that I was wrong and she was right. Did I really had no other choice than to react like that. I had checked the Internet before I left my home. They must have corrected it later. I went. I was angry, not because I couldn't attend a yoga class (I only expected a mediocre class), but because of this stupid confrontation. On my way downtown I met the other woman, who wanted to go to the Ashtanga class. She didn't know either that there was no Ashtanga yoga today.

Munich was full of people. All busy, shopping, looking around. I was not in a shopping mood. At least I didn't like to buy clothes. I walked over the Viktualien market and I enjoyed all the food and fruits there. It looks great. I headed to the English bookstore. To buy books when I'm close to a bookstore is a reflex.

I bought:
-The Essence of Style - how the French invented high fashion, fine food, chic cafes, style, sophistication, and glamour. As a francophone, I thought this book is a must have.
- Fabulous after 50 and sexy at 60. This is more an investigation in the future.
- How the rich get thin- to know how to get thin and stay thin is always important in a society where there is too much from everything.

A few steps away from the life style corner was the spiritual corner:
There I found: Awareness - also important for someone who is seeking,
and last but not least in this bookstore: The Why are you here cafe. I liked the 3 questions:
-Why are you here? Do you fear death? Are you fulfilled?

Then I went to aran, a restaurant with very good food. It is a self-service restaurant. Finally I could order my salsa sandwich and my cappuccino with soy milk. I sat down on this high uncomfortable sitting possibility. My feet were on two wooden blocks, legs were fallen apart comfortably. I relaxed. The neighbour: You really found the right sitting position. Me: A bit insolent, isn't it? I made a gesture to show how much room I needed for my comfortable body posture. He: No, not at all. Then we talked about food. I couldn't resist to tell that I follow a vegan life style. He had to tell me that craps are only good and fresh when the veins can be seen. It was more helplessness, than arrogance. What to say to a vegan lady when it is obvious that fish is on the own plate. Then we found out that he lives in the countryside, I mentioned that I prefer to live downtown. I think we both didn't like to touch another topic. Could be again a disappointment. The golden watch on his wrist was too big to my taste, hair too grey, ego too big. It is so amazing how fast we make up our opinions on people.

I passed by another bookstore on my way home: Here I bought The elements of style - do not be astonished when my writing gets better from now on. Will write for food - another book on writing - even the bookstore owner finds this book excellent. Wherever you go there you are - a classic, a must-have, yes definitely. And The one in the mirror - see what you truly are. That was it. And all this, because there was no yoga class.

There is no yoga on the schedule anymore today . Shops are closed now. It is time to relax.

I stopped with my practice

How was this with the feelings a few blogs away? I'd like to use my feelings like I use my clothes. This was not possible this morning. The mood to practice faded. After the first 5 surya namaskaras I had a break. Then I continued with the next 5 surya namaskaras b. I need more breaths than indicated doing surya namaskara b, especially when I step forward with one leg. Yesterday I listened to the backbending CD and in the beginning of the class surya namaskara b is part of the sequence. It is counted very fast. Then it is also possible for me to match the breaths with the movements. I only have to be faster.

After the surya namaskaras I called my mother, then bf called me from San Francisco. He was in a bar with life music. How I'd like to be in San Fran. I must create a life for myself where I can travel whenever I want.

In the meantime I will enjoy my life here. I decided to go to Ashtanga playground. It is not a good substitute for a good practice, but a good substitute in case I do not practice at all. When I remember well the plan is to work only on 2 asanas - the trikonasanas.

Only 3 surya namaskaras a, 3 surya namaskaras b and then only 2 further asanas, then the closing sequence is a little bit less for me. But I want to stay open. Perhaps it will be much better than I think now. I will practice to stay open-minded. I can do what I want when I am alone on my mat and I'm much too often alone.

Friday, January 19, 2007

I had to practice according to the CD "backbendings"

I practiced a second time today. I switched on the CD by Sharron and David "backbendings".

The first time when I practice with a CD I often do not understand everything. I have to concentrate what comes next instead of concentrating on my breath. But this gets better the more often I practice with a CD. And I will definitely do this. I like the CD.

There are demanding asanas within the sequence like handstand, forearm stand, split pose.
I like the asana combinations: Janu sirsasana right side, then marichyasana c right side, then left side feels really great.

Shoulderstand is held for 75 breaths. This was a little bit long for me and I added some variations.

Kapotasana is called "little wheel". It is teached to go up from laying down. It is easier than to go down from the kneeling position. I could lift my body up a few inches. I was very proud.

Vinyasas are not performed on this CD. The CD is a real distraction.

I highly recommend this CD and DVD: "Backbendings" by Sharron Gannon and David Life

How I want to be

I want to be cool, so cool.

And I want to see the things of life and the people I meet with a lot of humour.

I want to decide which feelings I want to feel. I know them all now and I want to use them like I use my clothes in my wardrobe. I decide what to dress, I want to decide how I want to feel.

A day at home

I slept a little bit longer (7 a.m.). The telephone woke me up. It was my darling, who was calling me from Portland, asking how I was. But I feel well. And I'm happy that I do not have to go to work today. This does not at all speak for my work. I still have one goal regarding my job. I want to do the annual accounts at the end of March - a highlight for every accountant?!.

I switched on the music and I practiced this morning. I took a lot of breaks. It was fine. I practiced slowly and I enjoyed the asanas. I didn't omit an asana or a vinyasa. I remembered the breath, I remembered the bandhas and I remembered to enjoy the whole thing.

I played with supta kurmasana, I did dhanurasana 3 times. I cannot judge how I was, but this doesn't count. I practiced. Shavasana was great. I felt the hard floor under me, it gave me stability, even security.

Then my morning shower followed and I have still plenty of time to waste. What for a day.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Backbendings with Sharron Gannon and David Life

I watched the DVD "Backbendings" by Sharron and David this afternoon. I really like it that they talk about vegetarianism. I had to smile when I saw that they fed the cats with asparagus and carrots.

The cats are walking around and sitting around while Sharron and David are doing yoga. Once Sharron is in headstand and the cat is coming very closely to the face of Sharron. She kept going with her breathing, while David couldn't stop smiling. Then the cat was bored and slowly went away.

The DVD is great. But I feel like the cat, only to watch other people doing yoga is a bit boring. I prefer to practice myself.

I can imagine myself sitting in the grass on a blanket. Then it could be interesting to watch someone doing asanas. But to sit in front of the PC watching a yoga class is good to gain knowledge about the sequence and how to perform it, but it is just information gathering. Fun is to practice myself. Tomorrow.

A friend called me later and invited me for her birthday. I didn't like to talk too long on the phone and so I said that I had been at the dentist and that I had to recover. She told me that I can moan on her birthday about it. Only women with huge psychological problems, health problems or teeth problems will come and perhaps her friend T, the only man. Oh, we will be a very funny round. I like her birthdays. I'm invited for more than 10 years. I have also a present idea now: a journal, there is a lot of place to complain, to cry, to be unhappy and so on.

We have a huge storm over Germany at the moment. It is recommended to stay at home.

OK, it is over

I'm done. It was exhausting psychologically. The dentist was as usual perfect. But now I have to recover. The first step was done today. No, I don't feel really well, but it hopefully will get better soon. I had to go to the dentist, I had to.

On my way home I stopped at the station. I bought Yoga journal, yoga, business spotlight and Newsweek. I wanted to flip through magazines to distract me. It helped for a while. I was sitting on the bed and I looked at the pictures in those magazines. Then I ate a piece of bread with cholocate. It must have been with chololate, of course.

Weather is stormy here today. Schools are closed in the afternoon because of the heavy storm, that is expected.

3 hours on that dentist's chair took every energy out of my body. But at the end I didn't forgot to ask him if I can do headstand again. He said yes and that I could do everything at once. The dentist took my hand in his cold hand, held it and recommended that I should go to bed. But I cannot sleep. I'm exhausted, but on the other hand it was all so exciting that my body is still in alarm. I think I only have to wait.

Another morning practice

At first it was not that easy to pick me up and to roll out my mat. I put away things in order to avoid the practice.

Then I said to myself: try how it is to do a surya namaskara a. I liked it from the very first moment on. I thought that I could do only a few surya namaskaras. I could see the trick. Once I'm on my mat I'm likely to go on with my practice. And so was it. My body was rather soft. I think the good food that I had yesterday helped. Good food means salad and not so much from everything. I enjoyed the asanas, even dhanurasana. It gets better even though I'm far away from going up from this position. I just cannot imagine how I can do this. But I won't give up, guess it will take some time, but then.......

I practiced, I'm happy. Time was too short again of course, but what happened on my mat was a practice, even though I had music in the background.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Are the gurus in reality divas?

This is only a humble question, because I was not at all able to find out when the gurus travel and when they are in India. They just do what they want. They do not think of their students everywhere in the world. "You must come to India and then you shall see if they are there or not," that's what I was told.

The gurus need a manager. He or she can make the schedule for the guru and announce it via Internet in advance for all the students in the world. Spontaneity/moods is something for students or divas not for gurus. They must be available. :)

At home again - my little paradise

It was a day full of work. I prefer this. It is a nightmare for me to sit in the office pretending to work. But I hate the artificial pressure that it is put upon us. We cannot do more than working.

Next topic: I have not yet written down all my 10 goals and tomorrow the very first step will be done by me to accomplish the first goal. I asked my bf, if I should write about it. He said no. I regretted at once that I asked him. He wouldn't write at all, he is not an expert in answering such questions. So I'll write about it. Tomorrow I have an appointment with the dentist. A major surgery awaits me and I'm so afraid of it. I'm even allowed to stay at home afterwards- Tuesday and Friday. I think that I won't be able to do yoga afterwards. I want to practice this evening and tomorrow morning. But the surgery has to be done. I postponed it already for a very long time.

My trick at the dentist: I try to think of my big toe the entire time when I'm on the dentist's chair. Oh, it will hurt, no not to think of my big toe, but everything else.

I will give me a reward when everything is over: today during lunch time I was at the airyoga studio and I booked a Thai massage. The difficult question: would you like a woman masseur or a man masseur. I really didn't know. After 5 minutes I was very astonished about my answer. I said: the man. I think that the woman at the reception desk was astonished, too. But then it came out that only the woman gives massages in the evening. Next Tuesday I will get my very first massage and it will be Thai massage. I'm very curious.

Thai massage is also called passive yoga. I guess that salespeople must only mention the word yoga and I buy everything.

Glad to be at home

I felt homesick during my business trip. That's for sure. I'm so glad to be at home again.
This morning I enjoyed my cup of coffee on my sofa and I could practiced.

I was dressed with my fire red pair of trousers and my pink top - very powerful colors on my black mat. The practice was so much better than expected. I didn't put pressure on myself. I only wanted to be on my mat. The first surya namaskaras were difficult. I could scarcely touch the floor. But I progressed fast. At the end of my practice I felt much more flexible than in the beginning.

Of course I fell out of pindasana like every morning. I could curse, I roll out of this position every morning. I did dhanurasana even though it was not so easy. I did it three times. The last time showed the best performance. I did shavasana and I enjoyed it.

I do not feel really well. The throat is better now, but I feel, that I have caught a cold which is still in my body. Breathing is not so easy.

Morning routine has to go on: breakfast, dressing, making the bed.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The shower

The business trip was an exercise in concentrating on the good events and ignoring the ugly events. I accomplished everything I wanted, I worked and worked and worked together with a very competent and professional woman. This was at least the good part of the trip.

Of course I had to start working at 8 a.m.. When we arrived at the company at 8 a.m. nobody was there. Most people start working between 8 to 9 on Monday. So we were standing there in the entrance hall drinking a cup of coffee. This was exactly my yoga time. I might be bad organised, but I'm so much better organised than most of the people I know. Not to take anything personal is an important rule at work, I think I already wrote it. So important.

Now I showered and all the dirt of the days is rinsed away.

Only this morning I did 4 surya namaskaras on my mat. I was stiff and the hotel room was not so inviting for a spiritual practice. Otherwise no yoga - only mental yoga, which means I exercised non-attachment. I'm at home again. How nice.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

What for a nice practice

Oh, to start was more than difficult. It took me more than 1 hour to do the first step. I feared my mat like the devil the holy water.

But finally I rolled out my mat and I practiced. I had a private lesson with Sharath - means I switched on his CD and it was perfect. I went into the asanas with 1 breath as counted. Breath was even and rhythmic, bandhas were used. I was in the flow. Wonderful.

After the standing sequence I practiced with music as I wanted to do the second series. It was good, too. I did all the vinyasas, I sweated, but I went on without interruption. I went a little bit further than usual. I tried tittibasana. It was nothing. But only through practice I will learn it. Ashtanga is 99% practice I've heard somewhere. When I have too much respect for the single asanas I will never progress. And today was such a day where I was adventurous.

I practiced the closing sequence again according the CD. I couldn't hold the headstand 15 breaths, but it was OK. It was a very concentrated practice. I loved it. At the end I put on my white jacket to keep my body warm. I relaxed in shavasana.
I know that I do the right thing when I practice yoga. It is my thing.

This was my last blog entry till Tuesday or Thursday. At 4:00 pm boss will pick me up. I will be on a business trip, destination is a little village in the middle of Germany. The trip means work, work, work. I like it when there is something to do. Of course I will travel with my yoga mat. I even have to bring my own food as the company is in a small village and there is only a bakery. I always like to meet new people, why not decide to enjoy the trip even though it starts on Sunday. And bf is already on the plane to Portland.

I forgot to write how to train the bandhas: to pee, not to pee, to pee, not to pee, to be or not to be, that is the question.

The 3 levels of blogging

The first level is the blog itself. It is very interesting. The ego is speaking.

The second level is the comments. Sometimes even more interesting.

The third level: It seems to be another comment, but when I read it I find the sentence or a variation of it:
Please don't publish this comment, at least not my Email address, but you can write to me if you like.
I like to write and then I'm moving on the third level.

All levels have their own beauty.

And now it is yoga time: second series - backbendings.

With 220 kmh (130 mph) to the airport

At 5:30 we had to leave the house to be on time at the airport. E. is always late and in the last second he still has to look for something. Today it was the winter shoes he was searching for as he is flying to Portland. I showed him the pictures of Susan's blog and this convinced him to take the winter shoes to Portland.

Late as ever we finally had to hurry. E. drove. At the autobahn I saw that he drove 200 kmh.
I asked him: How many miles per hour is it? I want to write in my blog that you drive that fast.
To drive that fast is only possible in Germany. In all other European countries is a speed limit.
He: It is 125 mph.
Then I noticed that he pushed the accelerator pedal again. I checked the km indicator. It showed 220 km.
He: Now you can write that we drove 130 mph.
Me: I could have written that we drove 130 mph, even though you weren't driven that fast.

I only saw a smile on his face. He loves it to drive fast.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Ashtanga playground - bandhas

We were 3 women and the teacher. The bandhas were the focus today. All asanas are better with bandhas, but it is almost not possible to do asanas like bakasana without bandhas, especially when I want to jump into this asana.

I had the glimpse that I can jump into bakasana, when I use the bandhas. That's something.

To go up and down into headstand while using the bandhas is easier, too. It gives stability. Conclusion: Bandhas are very important.

The 3 bandhas are moola bandha, uddiyana bandha and jalandhara bandha (last one is not that important).

With the help of the teacher I got up and down in urdhva dhanurasana. It was another try. I was again confronted with my fears, but at least I did it.

The hour at the studio were also theory. I was not at all exhausted at the end, and this was good due to my sore throat.

Book recommendation: Moola Bandha - The master key by Swami Buddhananda

A quite satisfying practice

Due to my sore throat I didn't like to give everything, but I wanted to practice. Saturdays and Sundays are the times where I have no time pressure. Surprisingly I had a very good practice. Mind was quite, I went from asana to asana. Body was not that flexible, kurmasana and supta kurmasana was almost not possible, but who will judge me when I practice alone. Nobody. Somehow I'm proud that I jump on my mat. Times where I will be more ambitious will come again. I know me.

In my last asana I sticked out my tongue in order to heal my sore throat. This yoga pose is called "the lion".

But this practice is not supposed to be the last one. This afternoon I will go to Ashanga playground again. The focus is on bandhas and this is so important.

Friday, January 12, 2007

The ouzos must help!!!

We tested a new Greece restaurant. It was Ok. Indeed I ordered 2 ouzo and 1 retsina. I had to. It was for my sore throat. :) Now I'm in the here and now. I don't want to think about my practice tomorrow.

Sore throat

Now it is me, who has the sore throat. I'm not amused about it.

I wanted to go to a Jivamukti class, but every gulp hurts. I hate it.
E. asked me if I'd like to go out. I thought that this might be a good alternative to a yoga class. I can do some poses later in the evening. I have to get well soon and a smoky restaurant is the best place to cure a sore throat :). Whenever I think about my throat I do the yoga pose where I have to stick the tongue out. It shall give a massage at the throat and this shall help to recover soon. I checked my throat - it is totally red. A cold retsina might help as well. Good idea.

It was again me, who left the company first. All the others stayed. But all the work was done!!!!!
I'm at home, I don't want to think about these crazy habits anymore. My habit is punctuality. But even I stayed longer today.

To be in the here and now is the exercise now.

Self-fulfilling prophecy

This morning I thought that I must be tired. I had a glass of red wine, a Merlot to be more precise, yesterday, I went to bed late, my throat is a bit sore and it is Friday. So I started with very low expectations, but also with low motivation.

I sat on my mat and I was not bored. I just sat and I could sit and sit and sit. At least I wanted to do some sun salutations. I started my practice. I liked the sun salutations so much that I did much more than 5. Suddenly I liked to move my body in the familiar way. I was like a wheel that rolled down a hill, unstoppable. Breath was even and deep. Then I went on with the standing sequences, but after prasarita padotanasana the time was already over. I sat again on my mat and breathed for a while. Shall I be discontent. No, I'm not.

But I want to practice this evening for another time. It is so much more satisfying when I have all the time I need.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

As a dog among women

This title I found in a German magazine. I guess it shall motivate men to do yoga. I'm not sure if the title will do, but I liked it. So much more women do yoga than men. I ask me why.

I met B. this evening. She gave me a present - a typical Italian cake. The first attack on it is already over. Mmmmmm. We laughed, had good Italian food, told us stories about our lives. She is so optimistic - I like it.

I'm in a good mood. It is superficial to guess why I'm in such a good mood. Happiness comes and goes without any reason. There remains only to enjoy it.

Yoga in the morning

Yoga - it is part of my morning routine. I'm no more so afraid of skipping my practice due to tiredness or laziness. I was tired today - too less sleep. I need a bit more than 7 hours. But I practiced. The first step is to role out the mat. And as we all know, the first step is the most difficult. Then I sit in front of the mat. That's not so difficult as well, but then I'm on my way to a slobby or perfect practice.

I was on my mat, I did the standing sequence and even some backbendings. I finished with savasana. The few breaths in that asana relaxed me, blood could run freely through my body. How nice.

This evening I will meet B. at the Schranne. Also today I have something I'm looking forward to.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The future - never predictable

I want to be able to take my leg behind my head in the morning - damned.

To live fully and to die fast and happy. These are my wishes.

In the meantime I want fun and sometimes deeper insights. Yoga supports this.

The history

Yoga at 8 a.m. - for free:
A few years later, the preparation of my diploma was in full swing, when I discovered this advertisment. The yoga rooms were round the corner and I went to my first class there.

We were about 5 to 6 people, sitting in a warm room in a circle. The room was full of the smell of incenses (The air was thick to be honest, full of incense smoke) . Then the teacher came. He was almost naked. Only his penis was coverd by a sort of cotton tissue. The remaining hair on his head was long. He sat down. He was able to do hanumanasana to the sides.

We always started with pranayama. Then the asanas followed. We watched the teacher and then we copied what he did. No word was spoken. The asanas were held very long. Finally I managed it not to scratch me from time to time. The beginners were always scratching themselves, more advanced students remained without any movement in the asanas. I loved it. For years when I practiced alone, I practiced yoga how I did it there.

A few months ago I checked via internet what they are doing now. It is Tantra and they want that people live with them - a tantra community. Twenty years ago they already experimented with naked yoga and believe me this was progressive at those times.

I came back to yoga all the time. Most of the time it was a self-practice. Later I discovered the book by Andre van Lysbeth. I think he is a Sivananda student. I did the recommended 12 asanas for years, but I missed the challenges.

Jivamukti Yoga: A few years ago I lost a job on a rather bad way. I said to myself that I had to go new ways and I also took another street. I walked around, because I like to walk. So I discovered the Jivamukti studio. As I had a lot of free time I practiced there every day. I did my first Ashtanga class without knowing that is was Ashtanga yoga. This came later. I thought it was all the same - yoga . But one day I googled and now I know more, now I think I know what I'm doing, at least how it is called.

Often I practice alone - it is a challenge. I like to practice with others too. It is now 4 years that I practice Ashtanga yoga. It is amazing. I like it that I've met these like-minded online people.

My boyfriend says that when he met me I did already yoga. This was 10 years ago. So yoga accompanies me the last 26 years. But now I'm standing in front of the Alpes. I'm going to climb them.

The addiction - my yoga time is holy

Guess it is part of my personality: Xxxx, cigarettes, xxxxxx, xxx, aikido, salsa dancing. Name something and I was likely a bit addicted. Some addictions created some problems, some I liked. Now it is Ashtanga yoga and I like it. I get furious when someone wants to take away my practice.

Boss a few weeks ago: Perhaps you can come at 8.
Me: I do yoga in the morning.
This was the end of the discussion.

I have to go on a business trip. I told him that I wanted to start working at 9 there. It was OK. I guess he knows why. My yoga time is holy.

The first class

I think it was an Iyengar yoga class, it must have been. I cannot remember that we did surya namaskaras. We did poses and we held them for a rather long time. This I can remember.

Of course I can remember the highlight. When I talked about yoga I always told that the most amazing thing of yoga is the relaxation. The teacher led us from body part to body part. We should relax. I could relax and finally I didn't sleep, but I wasn't awake either. And that was it what I liked.

I didn't care about the asanas. The most exciting part of the yoga class was the relaxation pose. In the last years I omitted savasana. It is so strange. I added savasana again.
But that was it - the status between sleeping and being fully awake. I was almost unable to move, but my mind observed how I layed on my blanket. I loved it.

The start. What brought me to yoga

I came in contact with yoga 26 years ago. I was perhaps 20, perhaps 21 and I studied sociology in Berlin. I was always interested in other countries, cultures, habits, travelling. I looked for "exotic" things. I'm a very curious person. Every semester a booklet on university sports were published and there I found my first yoga class. I wanted to go.

The first time when I wanted to go to the class, I took twice the wrong train, so I missed the very beginning of this class. But the other week I was there and it was great. What was so great is readable in my next enry. It is amazing even for me when I remember now.

A remark: There was no sticky mat at this time. Blankets did the job. India was far away. People travelled over land to India. It was in the beginning of the 80s. I loved it to wear comfortable clothes.

A practice

At least the surya namaskaras and the standing asanas were good. Then I started with free style yoga. Power faded. I felt tired. It was too late when I went to bed yesterday. But the suryas already made my body more flexible and my body feels soft now. I had shoulder pain when I woke up and this is gone. I don't even know where exactly it was. This was the good effect of a slobby yoga practice.

If I asked myself, what I'd like to do, it were to stay at home. But I don't ask myself. I will enjoy the 40 minutes that I can still be at home.

I couldn't resist to buy a book on pranayama yesterday. It comes with a CD. I will write about it.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Shiva Moon

Shiva Moon by Helge Timmerberg is a wonderful book (sorry only German edition exists).

He travelled from the source of the Ganges to its estuary mouth. It was a travel to himself.

One of the key sentences: it is possible to get enlightened through work. I thought at once: but not through my work. This made me laugh at the same time. Work is so important, that's my insight, too.

Goal No 4

I think it is a little bit sad that I wrote it down as a goal, but how I live everything has to be organised even to meet friends. And this I want to do much more than I did in the last months. Job took so much energy and they want even more time from me. I was too exhausted and I prefered to do yoga than to sit in a coffee house in the last time. I meet friends outside usually as I'm not such a good housewife, space is limited.

I don't want to get absorbed totally by my job. Now I have already more power than a few months ago. I got used to work again. So I will give a part of my energy and time friends and other people, I like to meet. For me it is fun to be with other people.

On Thursday I will meet B. I'm looking forward to see her. And after blogging I will try to reach a friend in Berlin. I can call her any time, but the best time is after midnight. This is too late for me, but perhaps she picks up the phone a little bit earlier today.

What do I know about the breath?

My focus is the breath at the moment and I see how effectful it is to breath correctly.

Difficult poses seem to be so much more attractive as a breath, because I think they can be seen. The breath can be heard and the breath can be felt. Only when it is cold the breath can be seen as well. We are so focused on seeing that a nice pose seems so much more important.

But the secret is the breath. It supports going in and out postures. It also helps to hold the postures. It is an indicator how I feel. It shows fear, well-being, it reflects all the feelings.

It exists also a breath therapy. Some people suffer from bad breath I found out today while googling breath. There exists a breath illness: asthma.

Now I find that the breath can also be exciting. When I breath udyjia breath I think of the sound of the waves in Hawai. The breath can calm me. As long as I breath I'm alive. It took me a long time to see how strong and important the breath is. It is my focus now. The breath, the secret of all the asanas.

The breath

I listened to my breath, this was the focus today, too.
I admired the breath of my darling. The sound is so even and deep, while he is sleeping.

But back to my breath:
-Inhaling and exhaling do not have the same length. It is not that easy to make it even.
-When I enter asanas breathing gets shorter and more excited. My interpretation: the pose is not yet really relaxing.
-I need more breaths than indicated in the bibles (of Lino Miele's book i.e.). The breath will be the focus for the next weeks or perhaps for as long as I can do yoga.

But I'm happy with my practice today. I was concentrated, I stayed on my mat. Only once I left it to listen to E.'s breaths. Pindasana and eka pada sirsasana are the most difficult asanas for me in the morning. Also this morning I fell out of pindasana. I like savasana now at the end.

Let's continue with a deep relaxed breath.

Monday, January 08, 2007

To be content is yoga - this was my lesson today

I knew that I would feel good after the led yoga class. As expected most students were beginners this evening. I'm a beginner, too, but a beginner with more than 4 years practice now. The other beginners saw the difference more than I do, because they don't know my struggles, but I do. That's all not so important.
The teacher omitted asanas and the vinyasas were only voluntarily. In my opinion we held the single asana too long. It was very hard for me to hold them so long. I don't want to imagine how hard it must have been for the others. But it doesn't matter. I think the teacher did what he could do.

In the changing room one woman started to complain: "The teacher didn't like to teach beginners. He laughed about us and so on. " I missed to say that we were all beginners and that he wouldn't like to teach at all if this was true. I only said, that I wouldn't believe it.

I got 2 adjustments. I liked them. One was in prasarita padotanasana c. My hands were pushed towards the floor. And I was helped to stand up from dhanurasana. That was perfect, because my dhanurasana felt rather good today.
Others got adjustments, too, but he was not running around giving adjustment after adjustment. The attention of the teacher was equally divided among all the students (my opinion of course). He smiled from time to time, but he didn't laugh about the students. No.

What I saw in the changing room was discontentment, complains, demands, jealousy, anger and so on. It became so clear for me: to be content is yoga. This was my lesson today.

I was often discontent with classes, too. It disturbed me a lot if only one asana were omitted in a class. It made me crazy. Now I have my self-practice and I see how difficult it is to create a perfect practice. There is not such thing like a perfect practice. To be content, that's it. That's yoga. That's what yoga contents, too. Then yoga becomes spiritual. Then it is more than leg behind the head - ohhhhh.

Flow

I experienced flow today. I needed no break. I was in an almost meditative status.

Yesterday I asked me several times: where is the spirituality at all the things I do? Today it was there. It was the breath that guided the practice. The asanas very of second importance, but important.
I loved how it was today. It was a reward. Body was also flexible. Perhaps because I couldn't resist to practice a little bit yesterday evening. The word playground inspired me. Why not play around on the ground from time to time.

Monday morning starts perfect.

Now: dentist - phone call and I shouldn't forget my mat and my yoga clothes. I'll go to a led class this evening.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Some figures

The first series has 69 asanas.
The second series has 78 asanas.

This alone impressed me, when I read it. Imagine 69 asanas every morning.

The surya namaskaras and standing sequence needs about 25 minutes, the closing sequence needs another 25 minutes.

The middle part of the 1st series can be done in 30 minutes, the middle part of the second series in 45 minutes.

Till now I forgot to messure the time. It is also difficult re my practice. Sometimes my practice is like salsa, sometimes it is as if I'm a grandma of 90 years. Not everytime I manage it to do all the vinyasas or asanas. But to find out what is my average time that I need for a full practice interests me.

Again..

.....the same feeling. Time runs through my fingers like water. It is already evening here. Yoga, reading, shower, a cup of coffee outside and the week-end is over. Where does all the time go?

I should have planned this week-end more precisely. At least I found an interesting yoga work shop in February here in Munich via Internet. It sounds as if I can attend a lot of classes and workshops that interest me this year.

One step after the other.
Plan for tomorrow is to call the dentist. This is very important.
In the evening I will go to a led Ashtanga class. I have to take my mat to work.
At home in the evening I have to care for my own finances. That's enough.

And then I will sit, just sit and if it is on my sofa and not on the hard floor. Because tomorrow in the evening I will know again that I survived another Monday. After the yoga class I will feel good.

Sunday morning practice

Motivated by the Ashtanga playground yesterday, I jumped joyfully on my mat this morning. Concentration should be on the breath.

I did almost no breaks, or should I better write, I needed almost no breaks? I couldn't go that deep into the asanas, but I performed them. I didn't omit anything, mind was calm and not judging. It was a slow practice with flow. Nothing special.

I want to complete something that I noticed yesterday while doing the surya namaskaras. I'm in uttanasana, then I inhale and lift my head and then I jump back. Here the head should remain where it is and not how I did it look down. I observed it yesterday when T. jumped back. It is just a little improvement, but it looks much more harmonious and the dristi is at once where it should be on the nose.

I finished my practice with tolasana, which I tried to hold longer than usual in order to pump as much prana in my body as possible. And then savasana. I think I deserve the last asana, too.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Ashtanga yoga - playground at the air yoga studio

Ashtanga Yoga with Thomas - he calls his hours Ashtanga yoga - playground.

We were about 8 or 9 people, 2 men were in this group. 1 woman has never done yoga at all. Another woman was very proud that she had already visited 10 times an Ashtanga class. A few others were not able to do the surya namaskaras. Remember this, I will come back to this.

Back to the basics. What's yoga? Yoga is to create distance to the own person and to create distance to the world in order to be able to see what is real (what is true).

Breath was the focus of this class.

We started with the surya namaskaras A and B.

Then the middle part followed. At first T. explained the uddjai breathing. The sense of this breathing is to create a sound so that it is easy to listen to the own rhythm. The breaths is the tact giver for the movements. Rhythm and flow - this is it what Ashtanga is.

I was glad that I could push away the thought - oh this class is nothing for me - I'm so advanced already. I emptied my already full cup of tea and then was place for new insights. I learned a lot because I managed it to listen with an open mind.

Back to the breath. We exercised to exhale while going down into ardha baddha padmottanasana.
It is an exhale when I bring my leg to the right side in utthita hasta padangusthasana. I have to observe this. I'm not sure how I do it.

What will help me is the analysis of the breath while jumping back. At first the body is lifted up with an inhale. With the exhale the legs fly through the arms and the legs stretch back. This is very helpful I think.

Sirsasana: Correct it is to go up with an inhale and to go down with an exhale. I'm sure I do many breaths. We went up and down several times - the toes should touch the floor and with an inhale we should go up again. Good exercise.

In salamba sarvangasana the neck should not touch the floor. This can be done while lifting the chin a bit. I got many inspirations.

To step back, to observe single asanas very closely was very interesting.

My focus is clear for the next weeks: it is the breath.

I learned that the most important asana is Tolasana (lifting up the body while in padmasana). All the other asanas are preparations for this one.The effect should be that all the breath is spread in the body. And then savasana. Energy should be able to flow (to race - remark of the author) through the body then. I always thought all is done for padmasana and meditation?????

I was so concentrated, the group helped me so much to focus.

When I went up the stairs to the changing room a woman (slight French accent, long curly black hair, very positive charisma) said to me: It is so nice to watch you doing Ashtanga. Ohh, I'm so damned weak towards compliments. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks.

We arrived at the changing room. A few seconds later another student came into the room: "You are all so good." The former woman laughed and said: "Everybody founds someone who is better than oneself." That's so true. Competition whereever one looks.

I enjoyed the class. What's really funny is that I thought that I would have to practice alone during the next 3 months while B. is in India. Now I see so many new opportunities to practice in a group so that I probably won't have the time to do everything I want.

I feel good. E. picked me up at the studio afterwards. We went to the Schranne for some Italian food. I loved my penne al'arrabiata and the Merlot. The cook knows me already and he prepared the sauce without olive oil especially for me. I love to live.

Friday, January 05, 2007

I did the book test, too




You're Anne of Green Gables!

by L.M. Montgomery

Bright, chipper, vivid, but with the emotional fortitude of cottage
cheese, you make quite an impression on everyone you meet. You're impulsive, rash,
honest, and probably don't have a great relationship with your parents. People hurt
your feelings constantly, but your brazen honestly doesn't exactly treat others with
kid gloves. Ultimately, though, you win the hearts and minds of everyone that matters.
You spell your name with an E and you want everyone to know about it.



Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid

Yeah, yeah, not so far away from how I could be seen.

My book

Goal No 3: I've written already so many books. In my mind. In my phantasy. But this year I want to write a book in reality. I know that it can be done very fast.

The first book that I wanted to write was when I worked as a salesperson in the insurance branche. It is an exciting branche. I collected so much money, I met so many different people.

One day during that time I had an appointment with the boss in his office. His German Schäferhund was laying on the floor. I met him after an interview with a "promising" new salesperson. The boss pointed to his bag.
He said: "Ms W., do you see this bag?" I saw his big black bag on the floor, a bag with room for a laptop and a lot of contracts.
Me: "Yes."
He: "Those, who are able to lift it up are hired." He must be somehow disappointed that day.

Many people try to sell insurances, but not so many are able to do it. I was.

But most interesting were the clients. I liked it to go to the clients in the evening and to sell insurances. One evening I had an appointment with a man, who was working in the IT branche. I don't know how I got the information about his job, but I had it. I drank some wine in the afternoon and when it was time to go, I was rather boozed. But I went. I rang the bell of his house, when I arrived. The client had his flat in the fourth floor. I had to climb up all the steps. Finally I stood in front of his door, he asked me in. I saw a sort of sofa in his living room. It was more a mattress on the floor, covered with some blankets.
There I let my body fall. I was not in the mood to talk about insurances this day.
I asked him: "Do you know what www means?"
He:"Yes, world wide web."
Me: "What, world wide web?, that's great, I like it." I really liked it - world wide web.
Me: "Who had the idea?"
He: "The US-army."
Me:" What, the US-army, such a good idea."
He:"Yes, they wanted to make sure that the communication during war times could go on even when some crucial points were destroyed . So the world wide web makes sure that the information will find a way to the right addressee.
We only talked about the world wide web. In the end I said that the young man should do something for the time when he was old - the earlier the better. He signed a contract, it was not a big thing and I went home.

I wanted to write about another client, but I'm tired now. I was out with my boyfriend. We were at a Thai restaurant and I had 2 bad rose wines, food was bad, too, and waiter unattentive.

I'm happy, it is weekend. Probably I have to go on a business trip next week. Only to the North of Germany to a little village. Nothing special. To stay at home is probably better. Reading time now.

Oh, yes, I practiced again

It was at least something that I would call a practice.

I missed flow, I cannot remember that I listened consciously to my breath. Was there breath at all? Must be, otherwise I would be dead now. Sure is that I did the suryas, all the standing asanas and a lot of the asanas of the middle part. Vinyasas were not my focus today.

I said to myself that I needn't force anything. To be on the mat and to do one asana after the other should be enough for today. I allowed myself to be longer in asanas I liked. I only wanted to practice with no expectations. I didn't sweat at all. But psychologically it was an important practice, because I didn't omit it.

It is Friday and I'm looking forward to tomorrow. I will go to the Mysore class in the airyoga studio.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

I write.......

.........because otherwise I would talk too much.

Discovery tour during lunch time

The morning was horrible. I even broke my last glass. Before I could leave home I had to pick up all the pieces from the floor. But mood bettered and now I feel good, it is raining outside, but I don't care. I enjoyed my new dark blue winter coat on my way home from work. It is an expensive, elegant piece of clothes.

During lunch time I went to the airyoga studio. Since the beginning of this year they offer Ashtanga Mysore classes on Saturdays. Guess where I will be that Saturday at 2:00. I'm so excited to go again to a Mysore class. The studio is very beautiful, there is a lot of space. Perhaps I order a massage there as well. At the reception desk was a very friendly man with whom I could speak English. I like this. During lunch time, I felt already better. Life got exciting again.

I also have to admit that it is fun to work with this handsome Bulgarian man. He is so interested in accounting and I like to talk about it. I stayed 20 min longer because I forgot to watch the clock. Imagine. I even showed him my website and this was not at all necessary.

It was seen that I stayed longer. Boss was in the kitchen to fetch another cup of coffee (I'm sure he drinks too much coffee, he should sleep longer).

I phoned the dentist this morning. So good that I wrote about it. But the dentist is on vacation till next week. I have to do the effort of a phone call again. I have to do it.

I feel fit, I still have a lot of energy. Shower is waiting for me. And then I enjoy my evening. No special plans. My book "Shiva Moon" (only German edition) on India is very good. Perhaps I will read.

Not my morning

I slept well. This is the good news. After 2 nights of almost no sleep I was so glad that I slept deeply this night. I woke up at 5:30. somehow relaxed.

When I got up I didn't know what to do at first. I must have been so much on autopilot with my last routine, that it is an intellectual effort to switch to a new routine.

I wrote my morning pages and I had my first cup of coffee. Then I sat on my sofa with bad mood, almost impossible to move. I sat there cross-legged and there I wanted to stay doing nothing at all. Finally I rolled out my mat. I prepared another cup of coffee. Uttanasana was possible. I hang forward I don't know how long. Baddha konasana was possible. Then I tried a surya namaskara A. It was horrible. I preferred to do another uttanasana. Then I sat on my mat and drank the rest of the black coffee. That was my practice today - 10 minutes perhaps.

I'm fed up with feelings in general, too, might they be good or bad. They just take too much energy.

I had a cold shower. I feel refreshed now. The cold water made me shiver and brought me brutally in the here and now. I want to do nothing today. To think of 2 long working days till the weekend makes me crazy. Am I really so weak? It is dark when I get up, it is cold in my rooms when I get up. When I sat on my mat I could feel how cold it was. How to survive this day? I don't know, probably one breath after the other. My energy level is so low today that everything seems to be a huge effort and almost impossible. Every movement is a task - a challenge. Wishes to stay in bed come up, but I know I have to go to work. How can a person be so depressed without any reason that early in the morning? I don't know.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

I'm not tired


It is dark in the morning, when I get up, it is dark in the evening, when I'm finally at home.
I should be tired, but I'm not. So it is reading time. My new book is a travel book - a journalist writes about his travel in India in Shiva Moon.

Picture is taken in Hannover.

The third column

Most people forget what they wanted a week ago. Test it, if you do not believe it. Which asana was so important 2 weeks ago? Was it mari a,b,c or d or was it supta kurmasana?

So my third column of my writing activities (next to my 3 morning pages, and blogging) is to write down my 10 goals on a daily basis, so that I do not forget what I want. It is a repetition, not boring. Ashtanga yoga is not boring either. Repetitions help to remember and to stick to the goals or to modify it. When a goal is accomplished I substitute it with another one. Last year this helped me to pass this difficult tax test. I wrote every day: I want to pass this tax test. I will pass this tax test. And I did it. Sometimes it motivated me to go to my desk in order to study. The whole thing is perhaps a trick, but a helpful one. Some wishes, that I have are very little, but I have also very big ones, of course.

Let's start with the small ones:
Some of you went to the dentist in the last week. I admired Tim's daughter this morning. She was so brave. It will give me the courage to make this damned phone call tomorrow. I'm so afraid. I guess the dentist thinks already that I've changed the dentist. I know what he is going to do. It will be a nightmare, but I won't think about it. I will only think of the phone call tomorrow. It is important. This is let's say goal NR 1: a few new teeth, a new smile. I will buy me a beautiful smile. (It is not a beauty thing mainly, it is necessary to see the doctor. The hopefully new beauty of my teeth is only a side effect.)

Goal NR 2 is that I want to loose these damned 4 pounds. I can hear outcries already. Of course I'm slim. But I think it is not at all necessary to gain 1 or 2 pounds every 5 years. At the end (with 80 or so) it doesn't look nice anymore. I want to be a meager old lady one day. As you all know to loose some weight is not at all easy. Helpful is a deadline. Deadline is the end of January. This must be doable. I know how it is doable. I only have to do it: In the morning a fruit, salad for lunch (no bread of course), water and in the evening many things are allowed. For me it is of course vegetarian food or even better vegan food. I found this concept in the book by Allan Carr, who also wrote this very successful non-smoker book. Carr's method helped me to stop smoking. He already helped me to loose weight, when I started 7 years ago to work in the offices, which means to sit all the day. To sit in the office means that the body does not need much energy, which means not much food. 46 kg in the end of January, that's it. (I forgot to mention: in one of my former lives I was a puritan.)

There are no more body goals on my list. Yes, Ashtanga, but this is more spirituality. How good.

When I think that my main issues at the moment are if it is better to wash hair in the morning or to wash it in the evening, I can't believe it. This could be the beginning of a new.......... don't know what.

When I'm in the mood I write about goal NR 3 tomorrow in the evening.

Iyengar yoga: I called the studio today.They have new rooms now and classes at 7:30 p.m.. I can stay longer at work in order to show commitment and then I can go to a yoga class. That's what I call a compromise.

Time to go to bed. I should look for the phone number of my dentist first.

After the bath

I had a hot bath. I hoped to leave all the dirt of the day in the bath tube. 90 percent is there now. It was noticed in the bath tube that I gained muscles. I'm not really sure if I like it that much. Muscles are not defined, but I built muscle mass. That's Ashtanga yoga, I guess. Legs are very strong now.

I worked half an hour longer today. I used the time after 6 to go to the boss to tell him what we've done today. I hoped that he would notice that I stayed longer. How crazy, almost subaltern. I cannot complain. This morning when I entered the office I thought, how nice it was there, it was so warm, almost cosy. We have a lot to do now, what I like. I work together with the new young colleague and this is very nice. It is his first job and he is very motivated to learn something and he learns fast. No reason for complaining, but I do not feel satisfied either.

Sometimes I think that I've changed during the last 2 years where I stayed at home to prepare the accounting test. I want to be free. But during the last 2 years where I was really free I wasted too much time, now I get the punishment.