Saturday, June 30, 2007

Indian restaurant this evening

It was probably too much that we ate. We are all satisfied . I told a few nice stories, too connected with German TV, so I won't repeat it here. We all laughed, ate, chatted, enjoyed it that we were together.

And now it's time to sleep - next highlight is the morning practice.

Yoginis' habits

Celebrating the moment
Being detached
Not judging things and people (incl the own person) , but observing it
Being content
Doing asanas and pranayama
Living vegan
Reading inspirational books

Rules, rules, rules. Wazlavik (?) once said: We cannot not communicate. So we always communicate even though we might say nothing, or ignoring others. When this is right, we can also say it is not possible not to behave. We always behave in a certain way. Why not choosing a peaceful, supporting attitude and action?

Lazy Saturday till now. I'm reading, I'm sitting on my sofa, I'm drinking black coffee. I need this time of doing nothing. I'm not downtown today, this helps me to save a lot of money. Oh, I forgot I just ordered a new book online. This reminds me of my yoga and money series. Yes, I will go on, but not today, not now.

On pranayama - a quote

What pranayama can cause:

I quote from the book "Science of pranayama" by Swami Sivananda, page 88 ff.
"The body becomes lean, strong and healthy. Too much fat is reduced. There is lustre in the face. Eyes sparkle like a diamond. The practitioner becomes very handsome. Voice becomes sweet and melodious."

And so on. Sounds good.

My practice - a present

I slept longer than planned. Finally I found myself on the mat. I started slowly and went on slowly. It was an examination of the poses today. I wanted to do the poses correctly, straight back, hips parallel, even breath, strong bandhas, dristis.

Jumping back: I was able to bring my legs through the arms when I wanted to jump back. This was really a joy. I kept the body lifted, only when I jumped back the feet were slightly touching the floor.
After sirsasana I tried pincha mayurasana. The feeling for the pose is coming again. Paschimottanasana improved. To use the bandhas in this pose helps a lot.
Focus: I took a break or two, but I stayed on my mat, I didn't run away.

My body got softer, no resistance was felt, of course limits, but I had the feeling I progressed.

It was a gift this morning, that I had such a nice practice in the here and now in front of the balcony, with the fresh air that touched my skin from time to time, with the sun that was shining. A perfect morning. I'm even in the mood to start my cleaning activities now.

I opened the window...

...and I could hear that it was raining. I stretched my body into familiar yoga poses like paschimotanasana and mari a,b,c in front of the balcony. It is amazing, but in the evening the edges are experienced differently than in the morning. The pain is a nice pain in the evening, in the morning it hurts.

My young neighbours are still sitting on the bench, chatting and laughing. I like this.

It's reasonable to go to bed, too. I want to practice tomorrow morning.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Fiction on the mat

Ashtanga does not yet prepare me for life. Life still shakes me. It does not hurt enough, this stretching in the morning, my yoga practice. It's for children what I do on the mat. Often Sharath accompanies me on the CD- this is an illusion. I'm alone.

We were out: E, G. and me.
Yes I dressed something nice. He didn't notice. It's not important for him. It's fine. I dress for myself.
Then he started reading his Email via his pda or dpa or whatever after dinner in the restaurant.
Me: Stop reading your emails. (Perhaps I was harsh? I don't like it when he reads and answer his emails when we are out, that's true)
This was it what I must have said. I really do not remember anymore.
Later I noticed that E. was offended.
I asked him, what had happened. I really didn't know, but I noticed that it was something serious.
He wanted to drop me off and then his mother after the dinner at the Greece restaurant. But I accompanied him. I just wanted to know, what made him so angry.
Later, he: If you give me orders again in front of my mother, you can look for someone else.

Self-talk: Everything is neutral, everything. We make something out of it. Everything is projection. I'm a fan of reality shows. Reality is the best thing. Oh, how I will torture me tomorrow on the mat. I will stay. I will be able to stay. I will stand the solitude (funny, I had to look up this work in the dictionary). I will do urdhva dhanurasana till I will fall on my head. I will stretch into paschimotanasana till my legs will start trembling. No I won't give up earlier. I only give up - in the last second of this life. But what do I not give up???

Somehow I'm very sad, must admit it. Life doesn't get easier only because I grow older (and because I can take my leg behind the head. )

Why do I publish this? I shouldn't.

Practice this morning

Practicing patience, practicing contentment - this is yoga, too.
I practiced, even though it got a bit hectic when bf got up due to the jet lag. I was half through of the primary series, when he got up.
Me: Do you get up now?
He: Yes.
I thought: oh, no.
I went on with my practice, but I really had to concentrate. When he is at home, it is as if 10 people are here.

I even forget what I wanted to write. Practice, yoga, yes. I practiced. Body was rather stiff, but I didn't care. I didn't omit an asana. It was good, but now I must go on with my morning routine.

I still have to dress and I can still chat a little bit with E. and I even have time for a kiss or two.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

April 2003


"How long do you practice yoga?"
Sometimes people ask me this question. I wanted to know when exactly my Ashtanga path started. With yoga I started decades ago. My Ashtanga yoga practice started in April 2003. I had a few months off from work and I liked it to walk around. During one of my strolls downtown I found the Jivamukti studio. They also offered Ashtanga. At first I didn't know the difference to Jivamukti yoga. But I learned it after a while.
Since spring 2003 I'm doing Ashtanga now. At first I practiced it once a week in a class. Now I'm on my mat alone every day. That's a certain development that I can see. 4 years of intensive yoga now and I still wish I would be more bendy and strong instead of loving the moment. I know, I know, practice and all is coming.
On the picture is my lunch. It is salad. I pay about 3 Euro for it. It's corn, kraut (on the right side of the picture - it is the vegetable from which the Germans have their nickname), carrots, tomatoes, white beans and zucchini. It's about 300 gr and every day I hope that I won't get fat from lunch. But afterwards I buy some chocolate. If I only could give up this bad bad habit.
4 years now Ashtanga yoga and so many years before me. I have so many poses in mind that I want to be able to do and pranayama and the trip to India. Oh, I'm lucky person.

Oh, oh, I'm waiting

I'm waiting till I really have to go. I wait till the last second. Seems to be a more pleasant place at home than at work. :(

to cook the body bendy

That was my feeling today during my practice alone on my mat. With each movement the body got hotter and bendier. I'm more concentrated than a few months ago. I don't need music to keep me on the mat. My breath is enough. Oh it was so wonderful. Not all poses were well performed, but who cares.

I could scarecly lift me into urdhva dhanurasana, but I tried it. There cannot be done more. The body needs time to digest the intensive practice from yesterday.

I wish I had more time. Must look for needless activities in my life.

What else? It's rainy here. Darling will be back later than planned, airplane is delayed. Poor travellers. I can already imagine what will happen this evening. We will sit in our favourite Greece restaurant, delicious food in front of us. I will ask them: Tell me, how was it? They: Good. And then it will be me who will talk and talk and talk. But I got a daily report via Email and many phone calls. I'm up to date.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Mysore class

It was great. Bettina is great, she is really the best teacher I know. The atmosphere that she creates in her rooms, her adjustments, the sensitivity how she teaches this demanding series, it couldn't be better. And so it was that I felt that my urdhva dhanurasana gets better. I still feel resistance to drop down and I don't know at all how to get up. Body seems to be a brick, gravity incredible strong. But best news, it comes, it comes, I can feel it, I can even smell it. One day .............

Strength, yes I wanted to write about strength. I think I do still not have enough of it. It would help me to get up from urdhva dhanurasana. Also the exit from bujapidasana would then be possible. This was not at all possible today, I fell on my nose to be honest. But I'm fine. I always suspected it that yoga is dangerous.

Reading in the underground: I read about pranayama. The breath has direct influence on our mind. Interesting. Inhaling, exhaling and retention, that's what we can do with our breath. Yes, there are endless variations.

Oh, it's late, must go to bed. Tomorrow is the last day that I will be alone. Last chance to practice with Sharath in the morning. E. and G. are already on the plane to good old Germany. At first they fly from LA to Chicago and then from Chicago to Munich. Tomorrow at 9:30 they will arrive. It's rainy and cold here. Bad luck.

E. will go to our Greece restaurant tomorrow in the evening. Shall I drink retsina or not? Oh my god, always these world moving problems. :)

Ashtanga on Wednesday morning

I got up on time and practiced, which was astonishing as I had a sleepless night. I woke up several times and I had difficulties to sleep again. I even got up once. But at 5 the alarm clock rang and I started my morning routine.

Coffee, journaling, Ashtanga yoga, shower, breakfast, blogging.

I practiced one of the last times (till bf will be back) with Sharath till marichyasana b. Mari c and d need more time. I can bind but I cannot reach the wrist that's why I want to hold this asana longer than counted on the CD. It takes more time to get into this pose, too. In the evening it is better. Let's see what will happen this evening at the Mysore class. I forced me to get up into urdhva dhanurasana. When I want to learn it, it is not enough to dream about it, to visualize it, it must be performed on the mat as difficult as this might be. To take my legs back after bujapidasana was not possible again. I have to work on it, too.

Headstand is more straight, that's at least my feeling. Would have appreciated it if I had more time. Everything is limited.

It's a rainy day here. What to dress?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Wild style yoga

Was this the extra mile I went this evening? The crucial 20 % perhaps?

I tried pincha mayurasana, did a lot of twisting asanas. Last but not least I overcame my resistance for urdhva dhanurasana and tried to go back. It was nice to feel less fear. At first I didn't like to lift me up. I started with standing pose and bowed backwards. Feeling bendy I lifted me up from laying position, too.

I don't think that the feeling is only good when the yoga practice is over. There are moments, minutes, half hours where I enjoy the practice and where I wish it would never end.

Early to bed, early up tomorrow - this is my plan. I want to practice tomorrow and the day after tomorrow with Sharath. Then bf will be back again. As I removed all the doors I cannot switch on the CD. It's an exercise in being flexible.

Ready for the night

And there is still some time for a satisfying evening routine.

I was downtown after work. I posted another bill, spent money on good food and chocolate. I must find a source for vegan sweets. I'm somehow craving for sweets after meals.

Much daydreaming today, even though I'm not unhappy with my life. It's what I want to do at the moment. My daydreams are like an escape of the reality. Perhaps I see a bit too much figures every day.

Ambitious

So much ambition was experienced today. But to accomplish something I have to do more. I have to stay on the mat. No breaks. Critical mind, shut up. It was a good practice. I started with the CD by Sharath and then I worked on the second series.

I even lifted myself up into urdhva dhanurasana - 3 times. Every time it was better. Mentally it was difficult to do this pose. It is a challenge.

And my work is a challenge, too. To be more playful would be nice. Good news. The company probably will move downtown. This is a reason to deliver good work. I want to stay. Not for an eternity. But what is for eternity. Next year at the same time I will reflect about the last year and I will make new plans.

So let's practice awareness today, even though it might be annoying to see how many unsolved issues come up, how much aggression comes up, how many limitations are lived. No judging either. Haha.

Monday, June 25, 2007

I like this fighting yogis and yoginis

Led Ashtanga class this evening. To hold the poses a little bit longer than usual gives me the opportunity to study the poses a bit more intensive, that's why I go to the led class. It's amusing to see all the other yogis and yoginis. Most of them are beginners. Next to me practiced a man, who breathed like a steam machine. I was very astonished when I saw him sitting in lotus position.

I tried to go deep into urdhva dhanurasana, tried to walk my feet closer to my hands. It must happen this year, that I stand up and drop down. I feel it, I need some time. Oh, I'm so ambitious. No smile during my practice, I'm so concentrated.

Believe it or not I'm tired now, on the other side I have so many words in my head, I want to put it down. Tomorrow. A friend of me cancelled our meeting. I'm not that sad, because I'm so busy at the moment.

Topics to write about:
E. and me - 10 years now
awareness and psychoanalyse
what the asanas teach us
Yoga and money No6

So many plans every day.

Monday morning

I was on my mat. No CD today. Standing sequence was performed and a few sitting asanas. It was again difficult to go on and finally I stopped after a short finishing sequence. I was very distracted again. My body was not overstretched due to the intensive practice yesterday. This is a very good sign that I respected my limits. There was too much chatter in my mind today.

There are days where the drive is missed, energy is bound due to stupid other issues, which cannot be solved while I'm on my mat. To practice mechanically, just doing it was not possible today. The mind is the crucial point.

A long week is before me. One breath at a time it seems doable.

And there are 2 things I'm looking forward to: Led Ashtanga class this evening and then I will go to the Karolinenplatz: open air concerts are there for one week now.

It was delightful this morning when I saw how much I did yesterday in my home. My home seemed to be larger. I loved the space where I spend so much time.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

My self-image has changed through yoga

I think more and more of me as a self-disciplined person. The reason: I see how I get up every morning at 5 in order to do my Ashtanga prayer (practice). Admitted not in all areas of my life I'm so disciplined and consequent, but I can see that this habit is spreading into other parts of my life too.

A few days ago I had a phone call with a friend and I told her that I got up every day at 5 in order to do Ashtanga yoga. She: how awful. But it is not awful, because I do it voluntarily. It is my decision to do so, I'm happy with it. I changed. It does not improve my life to stay in bed till ten or even longer. I fear I miss something of this exciting life. So I get up. I like to live.

And here still some gossip: I heard about an Italian Ashtangi (rather famous), that he gets up every day at 3 a.m in order to practice on one day the first AND the second series and on the next day the first AND the third series. That's dedication. What I do is nothing in comparison to that. But we won't compare, will we???

To see such examples makes it easier to get up at 5. Definitely

What I observed

My focus on the mat, when I do Ashtanga yoga improved during the last month. This is at least my impression. I stay on the mat. I don't run away so often for some breaks. I stay in the asanas for some more breath.

But my reading habits are rather bad. I start a book, then I start the next and the next, then I get back to the first. Sometimes I do not know anymore who wrote what. This makes me crazy. A novel and 2 non-fiction books is OK, but 5 or 6 books at the same time is a sign of bad decision and distraction.

1 book in a week is OK. If it is boring, I will discard it. Why should I keep boring books. I will still make a decision today which book will be my company in the next week. I guess it will be the book "Science of pranayama" by Swami Sivananda. It is a small book and I can carry it around in small bags. I know, I'm very practical. Enough blogging - the tea is waiting.

I was disciplined


I started and nothing could stop me. I had to found room for new books. We must stop buying books. Unfortunately my boyfriend found pleasure in buying and reading books, too. This was my bad influence. Every second day he told me that he had bought another book. But I don't like to move in another flat only to have room for books.
My lungs are somehow dusty now. I need a cup of tea.
My rooms a sacred space: It will still take some time and work till I can really say this. In comparison to this morning it's a little paradise here now.
I have to do accounting now. I must enter my expenses for today. This daily money habit must be established again.
It's not yet 10 p.m. There can be done a lot within 2 hours left.
I have still 4 mornings where I can practice with Sharath, then E. will be back again. He gets up later than me, so I cannot bother him with a CD by Sharath.

A clean home

It's again so difficult to start cleaning my home. I'm so convinced that spiritual practices demand a clean environment. But to clean is not my meditation either. But I have to, I have to.....

Our private class with B.

I understood the main difference between Ashtanga and Iyengar style. The focus at Ashtanga is breath, flow, bandhas, the focus at Iyengar style is the correct performance of the asanas. That's why it is OK in Ashtanga to have a rounded back i.e. while doing parsvottanasana. The head should touch the leg, when the back is rounded a bit - It's OK. It's the same for utthita hasta padhangustasana. Chin should touch the leg.

I got some inspiration for tittibasana after bhujapidasana. B. recommends to try to bring back both legs at the same time. This pose is also easier when the hips are open. I will work on this.

With supta kurmasana it is the same. The more open the hips are, the easier it is. To be patient is a secret. As if I didn't know this. Just do your practice - that's it.

Urdhva dhanurasana: I was recommended to walk legs or hands closer together. Yes, yes, I will try and if it is a little bit. It must happen this summer, that I go up and drop down like a rain drop. B. calls this asana fearasana. It is a very emotional asana. It's probably a key asana.

What an intensive practice. How I loved it. S. had to go home after our class. I went alone in a cafe, but it would have been better to go home straight away.

What a morning


One little blackbird came back this morning. :)

I'm ready to go

As usual I'm too early ready. Today S. and me, we have a private lesson with our teacher B. I'm so incredible curious what she will teach us. Can't wait. But I have still some time.

At 10 our class will start. And it is a sunny day here. It's all perfect.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Even cushions need a break



It's evening here and I have done nothing, but walking around, spending money. (I know why I started my yoga and money posts)

I will not feel remorse about it. I must see that I need breaks. Always to do lists, challenges, something to do. I enjoyed this Saturday. And tomorrow I will see what I can do.

Yoga and money No5



As much as I think, I cannot find a parallel to yoga and money for this blog entry.

Perhaps you suspect it already. Not to spend everything that comes in is a secret rich people know.

Here a task. Make a list of your pleasures which cost nothing or almost nothing:

Here is mine:

- I like to do Ashtanga yoga (Yepee, I found a connection to yoga)

- to go for a walk and to take picture pleases me

- to read blogs, books (books are expensive, I know)

- to go to the steps and to do pranayama there or to be honest just to sit there and look around, watching other human beings.

- no, I don't like to watch TV.

I wish I would found pleasure in cleaning my home. This would cost me nothing. It would give me peace.

The attitude - a yoga practice


Yoga also teaches an attitude towards life, people, "problems". This attitude can be practiced daily.
To be content with what is, not to find the hair in the soup all the time - it's a life style that is taught.
Even in the sales training for selling insurances we were told: take it easy, life is so more beautiful then.

Yoga and money No4


Daily habits:
Ashtanga yoga: This is my opinion of course. I think yoga gets easier when practiced daily, especially Ashtanga yoga. It's too demanding, it cannot be done only here and then if progress is desired.
Money: It is the same with money. Good habits are helpful. Let's start with 2 money habits. First: Find a time where you can enter in your software your income and your expenses on a daily basis. I gave up this necessary habit, but I will start it again. My time will be the evening when I come home, before reading the blogs and Emails. Second: Before buying, ask yourself if the purchase is necessary. This is especially important for me. I buy what I see and like. Don't forget to ask for a receipt. You need it in the evening when you enter your expenses.
If anybody has bought an accounting software and has difficulty with the accounting system, I will post some helpful hints. So please let me know.

Yoga and money - a task from last week

Yoga means asanas.

Money means figures.

Last week we talked about fixed costs.

I have updated mine and I'm shocked like every year. I know that I live in the most expensive city in Germany, but I do not lead a luxury life.

Here are my monthly fixed cost in Euro (USD is nowadays about the same):

Rent: 554.60
Current: 34.00
Additional payments (heating and so on): 21.84
Casuality insurance: 4.79
Household insurance: 3.83
Defense insurance: 13.77
Life insurance: 88,56
Bank charges: 2.30
Credit card: 1.75
Fees for TV and radio: 17.03
Daily journal: 37.50
Telephone (no calls): 32.65
Total: 812,62

I have a business, I have to pay for 2 shops, a website, bank charges, mobile phone, membership fees. It is 62.95

My fixed costs are 875.57

Let's analyze them: I could end the defense and houshold insusances. But all the other expenses are a must. I have no car, I only have basis expenses.

So far I have not eaten, I have not paid for an underground ticket, no clothes so far, no yoga class, no phone calls. Nothing. This is worth extra observation.


My greatest personal achievments so far


I overcame bad eating and drinking habits, I gave up smoking.
And I found peace with men. During my lifetime several of this species tried to convince me that they are not so bad as I thought they were. Finally they succeeded. (I know now that they are even worse. hahahaha - this is a joke of course).

Not to think of the future is a trick



I got over my reluctance this morning.

At first I thought: Oh, it will be again so exhausting.

I changed my thinking to: Role out the mat, for now there is no more to be done.

Once the mat was rolled up, I switched on the CD, I stepped on my mat and chanted with Sharath the opening prayer. This was the beginning.

Today second series: I must pay attention that my ambition does not lead to omit asanas. I know that I want to finish second series this year, but picking only the asanas I like is not a solution. One step after the other.

I lost the feeling for pincha mayurasana. I added handstand. It was much better than pincha mayurasana.

Kapotasana: I held the pose a few breaths. I wanted to see what would happen. I'm so afraid in this pose. I had my hands on the wardrobe and remained there for 3 breaths. An improvement? Probably yes.

Important for me now is that my movements are even (same speed, no hurrying to get into a pose). It looks so much more relaxed and elegant.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Don't discuss, just go



And I went. I put my clothes in my little pink bag, put the mat over my shoulder and went to the Jivamukti center - a medium class with M. awaited me.

It was not so demanding like an Ashtanga class, but this is good for me, too, from time to time. Yoga can be relaxing from time to time, more fun, less ambition.

I had a real highlight. While the others were learning sirsasana, I tried to fold my legs into padmasana, while being up. I could do it. I was so shocked that I almost fell out of the pose.

M is very attentive and loving. At the end, when we are all lying in savasana she goes from body to body to give a little neck massage.

And this was the beginning of my weekend. No, I don't write this huge to lo list now. I will go to bed on time and tomorrow morning I will practice. Then I can be more precise, it's early enough.

Moon day for me today

I know, yesterday I wrote something else.

This morning (even though I got up at 5) I feel heavy, still frustrated, unmotivated and so on. I'm sure that I can find some more words for my mood.

Best is, I can accept this mood. I cannot be happy all the time. This would be too much for me, it is unbearable to be happy all the time.

Moon day for me this morning. I did 3 or 4 suryas. That was it and this evening I plan to go to M at the Jivamukti yoga center. This shall be the beginning of my weekend.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

My morning practice is holy

I don't allow me not to practice tomorrow morning. Point!

I have an idea

I want someone to take pictures of me while I'm doing the series (the well-known Ashtanga series). This seems to be a difficult adventure. But what, if I go every day to the steps and when I ask every night someone else to take some pictures of me. This can be fun.

I ask myself how it could be possible to have a positive idea this night. Everything seems to be a little bit greyer than usual.

I really don't know if I shall plan a practice tomorrow or not. No, I don't allow me to desperate, I don't allow me to give up everything I want.

Google Adsense

I feel like a virgin, who got a child. Now I have ads on my blog.

I'm not allowed to click on the ads. Let's see. I don't think that I will ever make 100 USD. Only then I will get the money. I had nothing to do and now I have these ads on my blog. And I don't know how to finish it.

The motivation for this blog is to keep up my daily Ashtanga practice.

Frustrated

It's easy to say: Next time when I will be frustrated I will observe it. Even frustration has its beauty.

When frustration is experienced, it is difficult to keep up humour.


OK, I get the contract, beginning next month. I was not sure anymore, but I think they wanted to give me more salary. I was not prepared well enough. I didn't know anymore how much it was exactly . I'm not happy with the money I get. Boss emphasized that it was all a misunderstanding. Of course I will get a contract. Fine. Such troubles only for a contract that lasts one year. Test period is half a year. They can fire me all the time. What do they want?

Worse: I messed up one company. Bank account is no more correct, nothing is correct and I don't know how to correct it. I feel like a beggar when I have to ask questions. I need the weekend.

I bought a little bottle of wine, chocolate, dried tomatoes, artichokes, olives, to daze myself.

No energy. I don't want to go to work again.

How fast the feelings change, they are so flexible, today this feeling tomorrow another feeling.

I must go on with my projects. But not now.

Attitude

Reluctantly and without ambition I stepped on my mat this morning. I thought it was good that I felt so this morning. I thought: observe it, but practice. This is the attitude I need for work. To observe it, to work and to follow my own projects.

After the suryas the phone rang. I learned how to stop and to start a CD at the same point where I stopped it. Sharath had to wait. I knew it was my boyfriend, who called me. He was in one of the hotel hells in Las Vegas. He is happy.

Attitude is so important. All events are welcomed, because it is something I can observe. No judgment, to judge everything is a habit that is learned from people who didn't know better.
Nobody shall have the power to influence my mood, my behaviour, except myself.

Today summer time starts and I like to live. This evening I will go again to the steps. I like to sit there with all the other people. Some have dinner there.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Oh, Tracy, the beautiful mala arrived



Thank you Tracy. It's such a beautiful present. How I look forward to do pranayama with it. Unfortunately I had to go home after the photo shooting, because of the beginning rain. A very thin young guy, with a sad face, who wanted to be alone, was my victim. To take the photos cheered him up a little bit. I like the steps there.

Yoga and money No3


Every thing needs a place:

Yoga: My black heavy mat is next to the sofa. I only have to unroll it and then I can practice on it. My blue mat for the classes in the yoga studios is in the wardrobe. My yoga clothes are in my Indonesian chest.

Money: Most of the time we have papers when we have to do with money issues. We have to file it. I recommend 3 (4) files:

1 file for all the money things like miles and more, health insurance, insurances in general, life insurances, saving contracts, rent, and so on.

1 file for taxes (collect everything what could be used for this purpose, we judge and organize it later at the end of the year)

1 file for shares

(1 file for your business, but this comes later. )

File everything alphabetically. Tim, me too, I can highly recommend the book "Getting things done", by David Allen. I applied his methods years ago and I'm very happy with it. It's about organizing the own life. I try to focus on money issues here. One of his recommendation is to have the files handy. Mine are below my desk (see picture). We are all too lazy to stand up all the time to file something. This is only one thing that I changed after having read his book.

Task: file your papers alphabetically.

Reminder: Till the end of this week we know our fixed costs, we have filed everything alphabetically and we have an accounting software. If someone needs more time, let me know. Anonymous posts are welcomed as well.

Thank you for the opportunity

Thank you for the opportunity to see how unattached I can be. I reacted emotionally, I judge it as good. I fought for myself. Limits must be shown. Inside I felt somehow quite. Was I really quite? I think yes, I can be emotionally, I have less and less fear. I felt a lot of energy. But I see now, that I can use this energy for me, for my projects, even though others provoked it.

To make it short, but to give a bit of background. Before I started my job, I negotiated with the firm I'm working for now that I would work 2 and a half month independently and then they would give me a contract for a year. I had to negotiate the money for the 2 months very hard and I had to give in till it hurt me. Today I got a phone call from HR: Do you accept that you work one more month like now? We want to get to know you better. They will give me a contract for one year, so they can fire me anytime. They do not risk anything. I suspect my colleague, who listened to the phone call and who later told me that he had the impression that I had difficulties with routine work, that he reported this to the boss. I hate attacks on my money. The offer I got today has only one goal to pay me 1 more month less.

By the way I got another job offer today. It's too far away from my home, but to see opportunities is always good.

Let me use this fresh energy for my projects. I feel well. I had no expectations re firms anymore. Nobody can disappoint me anymore when it comes to character masks in companies. Everybody is looking for someone to kick at.

A little smile, while practicing - will this be possible one day?

It was again very good. My body became strong (not strong enough, but stronger) and transparent. Poses improved. This is at least my impression today. If I only could look a little bit more friendly. It's a pleasure to practice and I look as if I were at a funeral, my own funeral.

I practice with Sharath till marichyasna b. I need more time for mari c and mari d. I could go rather deep into these poses and I could breath , when I was in these poses. I also want more time for supta kurmasana. Otherwise I won't improve. The CD is still too fast for me for those poses. I lifted up into urdhva dhanurasana 3 times. And then I pretended to drop back, but I didn't. This pose must happen this summer. Please.

I didn't fall out of pindasana.
Most annoying pose was garbha pindasana. I practiced with short pair of trousers today. My skin got sweaty and I couldn't stretch my arms through my legs. It hurt. It was as if clue was on my legs. Long pair of trousers are better for this pose.

Summer time in Germany. I like sunglasses, skirts, sandals. Only on warm sunny days it makes sense to wear it. I have to dress now and then my working life begins.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

It's almost 10 p.m.

My morning practice starts now. I know it, early in bed, good practice in the morning, late in bed, bad practice in the morning. It's all so simple.

My body has changed dramatically through yoga

Everywhere I have now parcels of muscles. I'm not a body builder, am I? I do Ashtanga yoga.

A story that pleased me this morning in the underground

I read the following story in the book "Walking on water" by Anthony deMello:

A man served God faithfully for his whole lifetime.
One day he said to God: Lord I was always a devoted worshipper but now I'm old and I need your help. Lord, let me win the lottery so I'll have a peaceful old age.

And he prayed and prayed and prayed.

A whole month went by, another month, a year, 3 years.

One day in desperation the man said: God, take care of it.
And God said: Take care of it yourself. Why don't you buy a ticket?

Yoga and money No2


Yoga: a sticky mat, comfortable clothes are good. This are the basics. A strap, blocks, some books and CDs are nice, but not really necessary.
Money: You need an accounting software and Excel to manage your private money. Our grandmas wrote their expenses in a book. Money was tight. It was necessary to know where the money was spent. It's the same today. It's not so difficult to use a software (some patience is probably necessary), but absolutely necessary. We don't discuss a yoga mat either. A calculator is a must-have, too. Those who don't have it, buy it. Any questions? Ask aunt Ursula.
1 daily money habit will be to enter the expenses and the income intothe software on a daily basis. But this comes later.

I was downtown

I posted my bills, had food downtown and then I walked home. It's summer time. I walk through the streets, watching people, thinking of the lates news: Germans are now as fat as Americans. When I see overweight people, I think the news is true, when I see slim people I think, no it cannot be so bad like in the US. It's really better not to think than to think such a nonsense.

Work was good today. I attacked a lot of these challenges, which seems to be simple, but which I couldn't do without asking someone. I was courageous and asked again and again. My in-box is now almost empty. At 5 I went. I don't want to exxagerate the working thing.

I'm done and happy

Second series today: The standing sequence I did with the CD by Sharath. Then I went on on my own. Only my hearable breath was with me. I collapsed when it came to bekasana. Power faded. I went on slowly till eda pada sirsasana. It was a great practice.

The series are a challenge, but would I be interested in it if it were easy. I don't believe it. I need something to bite on. With yoga I have enough to bite. I had the feeling today that I need another 10 years to be able to do the second series. When I thought this, I was shocked.

Tuesday today, only Tuesday. I have to write another bill now. I want money, cash, flees, mice.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Led class this evening

All this effort in the morning and in the evening, and in the middle of the day I have to work. Oh the practice was nice, even though I couldn't hold the poses as long as counted. I'm still too weak. Willpower fades, when it starts hurting.

Urdhva dhanurasana was rather good, at least I had the feeling that it was good. Will I be able to drop back from standing pose, this summer??????

Till Sunday I will have to practice on my own now. And on Sunday S. and I have a private class with B.

Oh, oh, the hero poses in the morning

Good practice, even though I was not orthodox. I left out the vinyasas between sides and janu sirsasana b and c. At the end I did a few variation. I used the belt for supta padangusthasana.

The hero poses are really challenging in the morning.
Navasana is good to check the body fat.
Urdhva dhanurasana was performed, but difficult.
Urdhva mukha svanasana was held longer than only for 1 breath. I hope this will improve my back bends.

Daily practice, no alcohol during the weekend, light food, 1 pound less, enough sleep - all this supported my practice today.

And this evening I will go to a led class till navasana with S. What a pleasure.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Yoga and money No1

It's best to practice yoga, especially Ashtanga yoga on a daily basis. To practice less than 3 times a week means torture and still stand. If we want to become better than the average person, we have to practice daily. I have no time, I'm injured, it's difficult to get up in the morning are all excuses. If it is important there will be time. Oh, I'm severe today, more with myself than with anybody outside.

With money it is the same thing. Money must be on the schedule every day, if I want to be good at it.

Easy task at the beginning: Do you know your fixed costs? I know that I made an excel list years ago. I update it every year. This year I haven't updated it. So I will start again with this basic task to gain basic knowledge.

Next post on this matter will probably be next weekend.

I'm pregnant with an idea for a while



I want to write about money, yogis/yoginis and money. I think there are 3 things in life that one cannot delegate:

Money issues (everybody wants my money), health issues (means 80 % a healthy lifestyle, a doctor cannot help here) and good luck (attitude towards life among other things).

I want to write about money, because I noticed that this area in my life is neglected a bit (construction). I want to improve it. Perhaps an interesting travelling can develop.

What qualifies me: Almost 5 years I advised private persons regarding there retirement arrangements. To be more precise: I sold insurances, health insurances, life insurances and others. I work as an accountant for more than 10 years. I have shares ( I won't give tips, no no never. But shares are investments). Of course I read a lot of books on that issue. Enough, enough.

I want to be free. Yoga will help me. Yoga helps me to stay flexible. My possibilities to move enhance. Money does the same. I have not enough money to live from it. But this is the goal.

Let's start from the very beginning. See next blog entry.

Party downtown


I wanted to post my bill downtown at the mailbox of the recruiting firm. But the doors of the building were closed. That means that I will get the bill paid a week later. It's OK. I won't suffer from hunger.

Downtown was the big city party. We are a society with many old timers. There is not so much youth in Germany. So people with grey hair were dancing in the sun. It was a good atmosphere. Many people took pictures. Me, too. One is published now.

My life a construction



On my way home I passed by this construction and I knew at once: this symbolizes my whole life. My whole life is a construction. And I'm the only one who has to improve, organize, manage it. No male hero, no fate, no God, no angles who will mend my clothes, who will do the chores or go to work for me tomorrow.

Where ever I look construction: work, home, relationships, finances. I cannot find a glimpse of perfection somewhere. I'm tired, angry, desolated, aggressive. I want a bit perfection. I want to be lazy.

I have only one choice: I flee into the here and now. I don't want to know anything. I want to forget everything. It's enough when I know the order of the Ashtanga series. What else counts? Unfortunately I live as if there is nothing else but yoga. The problems pile on my desk.

Oh today was a good day. I did a lot of what was on my to do list. My accounting is almost updated. I wrote a bill. Next page, next blog entry.......I was downtown and there was a big party. I loved it, I even danced.

Just do it

Before I had started I felt a slight resistance to practice. But what is a slight resistance? Nothing. I think only my own death can keep myself from practicing. When I say death, I mean the death of the body and not the death of the ego.

Ambitious I started.

Supta vajrasana: I fell on the head. I went too far backwards and then I couldn't hold the pose anymore. But this was a good experience. I noticed that it didn't any harm to me. I only lost a bit a fear.

Kapotasana: I tried it again from laying down. I could lift my body a little bit. That's better than the last time.

Eka pada sirsasana: I could bring my leg behind the head, my body is totally cramped in this pose. It probably looks ugly, too.

After pincha mayurasana my over-zealous soul had enough. The closing sequence followed.

It was a very good practice. It seems to get easier to go till my edges. It was an intensive practice. Flow was experienced. And even better: I didn't leave the mat. For me this is always a sign that I could concentrate, that I wasn't distracted. I remember: Once I thought of my mango soy milk breakfast.

Oh, mango-soy milk breakfast. Delicious. Must have it now.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Walking


Picture: my way to my favourite cafe this afternoon.
I was out a second time this evening. I wanted to walk. To walk is easier than doing yoga. Lazy day today. Duties are too many, so I didn't like to start. I can do something tomorrow. Tomorrow is not never.
I feel aggressive, because I haven't accomplished a lot, today and in life in general. Hahahah.
...and I cannot drop back into urdhva dhanurasana. Is that really a healthy posture? I doubt it. It's a posture to torture the body AND the mind. I need another cup of tea. It tastes good and the tea has the task to bring me in the here and now.
Always moods, no balance. I hope I get tired soon.

Saturday schedule


I have a good excuse today to go downtown again. The book on mathematics for my bf arrived. I have to pick it up at the bookstore. This bookstore is not interesting for me as they sell only scientific books. But when I'm there I'm already almost downtown and there is a lot of distraction for me: shops of all sort, people to watch, cafes.


Again excellent

But let me describe what I did:

The first part till mari b I did with the CD by Sharath. The CD is perfect. What would I do without this help, I don't know.

Mari c: I need some time to get into this pose. I could hold my hands. Then I repeated the pose and I could hold my ankles. That's what I wanted to accomplish today. I could turn my back. Breath was still there.

Mari d: I was no more in the mood to do this pose twice. I could bind, but not hold the ankles. The bent leg is not on the floor, of course not, but it goes into the directíon to the floor.

Kurmasana: I tried it with a strap, but I'm not so convinced of it. I was so flexible today, that I could bring the leg behind the head. The problem is that it doesn't stay there. And how to get to the floor with the leg behind the head. And then how to take the arms behind the back. Many questions. This pose is still a secret for me.

Pindasana: I forced my arms through the folded legs. As I sweated, my legs were sticky. Finally I managed it to stretch my arms through the non-existing space. Even my elbows were through. I don't like this pose.

Kukutasana: 3 times I had to try it and then I was up.

Supta padanghustasana: In order to deepen this pose I used the strap. I can better relax when I hold the stretched leg with a strap which is around the head and the foot. When I'm relaxed stretching is easier. This pose is a good preparation for hanumanasana.

Urdhva dhanurasana: I feel far away from going down on my own. I made preparing exercises. I stemmed my hands in my back and went back as much as I had the courage. I did it three times. I see improvements, but I need time. I don't want to get injured.

Flow was experienced, breath was deep. I didn't leave the mat for breaks. I didn't need any distractions like music. I loved my practice today. It was wonderful.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Yoga is a mental exercise

Yoga is a mental exercise, I just wanted to mention it.

I'm tired now.

Good

Till mari b I practiced with the CD by Sharath. Then I switched off the CD player. I need more time for mari c and d. I want to improve these asanas and when I do it quick, quick, nothing will happen, nothing will improve. I accomplished to get rather deeply into these two positions this morning. For kurmasana and supta kurmasana I wanted to have more time, too. How to get into supta kurmasana on my own is still a huge question mark for me. Practice was good, breath was deep. Joy was there, too.

I even made a decision during practice. I won't drink red wine this evening when I will meet B. We meet at our favourite Italian restaurant. Penne al'arrabiata with a glass of red wine is my classic meal. But water will do it, too. I want to have a good practice tomorrow morning.

5 breaths, 5 possibilities to focus:
1. Is the position correct?
2. Where is the breath?
3. And the bandhas?
4. Drishti? There was something, wasn't it?
5. Do I enjoy it?

Friday today. What a gift.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

I stopped reading



I went to the steps with one of my books, actually with 3 books, and 2 pair of glasses (sunglasses and glasses to read). My blanket was with me, too. I started reading after an attempt to breath consciously, doing pranayama.

Then I read: the menu is not the meal.

I add: And reading is not life. I stopped reading.

I sat there for a while and enjoyed my time doing nothing. Pranayama, reading is also doing something. I sat there and after an hour or so (I didn't look at my watch) I went home.

I want to be in bed on time, even though it is not that easy. At 10 p.m. it is not yet really dark here. I think that I'm a little child that has to go to bed early and I don't want to be that little child that has to go to bed. Am I not a night bird? But my morning practice is holy. And it starts the evening before.

Reading in the underground

I had my book "Walking on water" by Anthony de Mello in my little pink bag. I was not too lazy today to take out my glasses to read a little bit during the 15 min of commuting time in the underground.

One chapter was on living. I make it short.
To live means:
1. to be oneself
2. to be in the here
3. now

Shall I go to the stones again in order to do nothing there?

Another Ashtanga yoga practice

10 to 6 I was on my mat, listening and practicing with Sharath. It promised to become a wonderful practice with flow. Body was willing, mind still sleeping. Just after prasarita padottanasana d the telephone rang. Ring...................ring.....................ring. Shit, pain in the ass, fuck it. It was bf, who is meanwhile tired in San Diego.

I switched off the CD, as I don't know how to stop it. Must check how to stop and start it. I forgot parsvottanasana then. Following asanas were good. I'm somehow discontent with my practice at the moment. I want to be better. I think, I will never be able to do tittibasana and so on. Must stop this way of thinking. Should find extra hours for practicing.

At first I have to go to work. "Challenges" are on my desk. :)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A joke on happiness

A son tells his father that he wanted to marry Ms Miller. The father objects, Miss Miller has no dowry. The son insists that only with Ms Miller will he be happy. Thereupon the father says: To be happy - and what good will that do you?

Probably not bad, but....

My practice now was probably not so bad, but I felt so disappointed. Why can I not be better at yoga. Really it was not bad, only in garudasana I couldn't hold the left side for 5 breaths. I fell out of the pose due to muscle pain. I was too weak. Oh, I must mention it. I threw a CD by Sharron Gannon in my CD player. I did Jivamukti yoga this evening. Hanumanasana was better as usual. Other demanding poses were well performed,too. Only the mind sat in the corner almost crying: it is not good enough.

Strange thing: I don't want to put lotion on my face since yesterday. I sweat due to the yoga. I have the feeling that my skin is happy without anything. It's a little bit less what I do now for my face beauty, but why to listen to the cosmetic industry, when I feel well. Mascara and lipstick and I'm done. Of course some eau de toilette, Chanel No 19.

I slept too long

That's the naked truth. I woke up at 6. I cannot even remember if my alarm clock went on. It must have been so, but it has had no influence on my behaviour.

4 surya namaskara a. That was it. Sad: This evening is no Mysore class.

Hopefully it will be a calmer day today.

My schedule for the evening:
-accounting
-writing another bill
-15 min of doing nothing
-shower
- will there be time for a yoga CD?

I shouldn' work too long.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

15 min of doing nothing


It cries for repetition. A blanket and the breath - more is not necessary.

On doing nothing



That's what I see when I'm sitting on the stony steps. Nice view in the middle of a city. I did nothing, I sat there and I breathed in lotus position of course. This time I was there with one of my Mexican blankets. It's more comfortable to sit on a blanket than on the naked stone.

I recovered. To do nothing is nice. Really sweet.

At home - only Tuesday

Yes, I'm somehow exhausted, but in a positive way. Even though not everything runs smoothly every day I accomplish something.

Martha Beck recommends that everybody should do nothing every day for fifteen minutes. I asked me if this is another duty I want to do? Or is it really relaxing, will these fifteen minutes really connect me with my inner voice? When I finally will do nothing for fifteen minutes I will report about this nothingness. :)

I suspect that a nap does not substitute the 15 minutes of doing nothing. That's what I will do now. I was at work very early and I was the last who went. Tomorrow I want to practice. It's my pleasure. I need some relaxation. NOW.

A very satisfying practice

I had a very satisfying practice till yoga nidrasana this morning. Focus was there, concentration. 1 lost 1 kg (2 pounds) yesterday due to the stress. To be thinner always supports the practice. To jump back, doing chaturanga dandasana with one kilo more or less makes a difference.

When I'm doing upward facing dog I think more that I am a fish, that is coming out of the water. Loved this pose today.

Kapotasana: I tried to get up from the floor. No way. I laid on the floor like a dead fish. No way to lift my body up from this position.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Adrenalin the whole day

What could go wrong, went wrong today at work. I was on adrenalin the entire day. I forgot to eat, to drink. I didn't go out for lunch. The work, that I wanted to have finished till lunch will have been finished tomorrow morning. But I don't want to think about work again. It was too much, I must recover. Colleagues and boss were very nice, but the stress, that I make myself is awful.

After work I went to a led Ashtanga class. Now I'm done. I cannot go straight ahead anymore. S. led the class. We held the poses unbearable long. It's a good exercise.

I will shower and then I will go to bed. I need mental power for tomorrow.
I do not even know, if I shall eat or not now. A crazy day. And it's only Monday.

So nice

I had a wonderful practice this morning. I had time for the entire 1st series. Flow was experienced, breath was with me. I was still too tired to think a lot. Only once I left the mat, looked into the mirror and returned.

I concentrate on surya namaskara b at the moment. I want to make as many breaths as proposed in the relevant scriptures. I do a few breaths more. When I step forward with one leg, I add a breath. What I see is, that I have to swing up my arms rather fast in order to do only one breath. Step forward, arms ups, this is supposed to be one breath. OK.

I was flexible today. I enjoyed the practice. It was a highlight today.

What else: Neighbours had a party in the backyard yesterday. So I went again to the steps round the corner. There I sat, did a few pranayama rounds in lotus position and enjoyed the evening. The stone was cold, so after a while it was no more comfortable to sit there. A few other people were there, too, drinking, eating, smoking. It was a warm evening. Calm and happy I went to bed.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

I went to the steps

There I finished the book by Cohen. Interesting aspect is that if someone wants to get to know the own self, one has to give up something - all the learned theorys, events of the past and so on. To give up in order to see, to experience what really is - exhaling first.

At the end of the book is mentioned that the great love between Poonja and Cohen had found an end because of different opinions about enlightenment and how to teach it. That's what I understood. Can this be true? To learn the whole story it is necessary to read the book by Cohen "Autobiography of an enlightenment".

I made another decision as I'm not so much interested in arguments. I will first read the second volume by Poonja (a student of Ramana Maharshi by the way), Wake up and roar. I like the title and I have the book here. Then I will go on with the book The Diamond in your Pocket by Gangaji. She is a student from Poonja, too. This is the reading decision I made this afternoon on the steps. I have to focus a little bit.

Satsang with Poonja now.
Inner voice:
And what is with all the invoices on your desk? Didn't you plan to update your accouting.

Chatter without influence



Chatter without influence: this is one of the sentences by Andrew Cohen after he has found his True Self. The name of the book " My Master is my Self."

It's a little book with 100 pages, huge scripture with great content. It's a collection of diary entries, letters from and to Poonjaji.

The book is motivating to find (search?) the True Self. Cohen describes it as an experience of love, no concepts, no past influences seeing the world as it is. Moment after moment is lived. Cohen succeeded in describing something, which cannot be described.

To get rid of all the influences of the past, books, concepts is worth the travelling. One difficulty: It cannot be reached by any effort, because it is already there. Oh my god, no effort, only to be open? How shall this go.

I highly recommend this book for all those who like to find their own True Self. So much love speaks from this book. It's convincing.

By the way: the building on the picture is round the corner where I live. To have so much space round the corner is really luxurious. I like to be there.

How do yogis/yoginis celebrate?

I'm not sure if this will happen, but when it happens this summer, I want to celebrate it. I think of going back into urdhva dhanurasana from standing position and up again - three times. This will open the door for the second series - officially.

This is a reason for some sort of celebration.

Especially for me, as I was a person for decades who couldn't accept a praise. When we got our high school diploma, I was the only person who shined through absence. My attitude: I have the paper, you can lick my ass now. There must have been a point in my life where I said to myself: I don't get your praise, and now I don't need and I don't even want it anymore. Unfortunately I didn't celebrate for myself my successes. Here and then I bought me a ring when I had accomplished something that was important to me. But that was it.

It took me decades till I started celebrating my accomplishments. Now I like to make a ritual out of it. Often bf and me go in a restaurant to have a party for two.

But what to do when I start second series:
- I think of going to the Olympic hill doing pranayama there.
- Perhaps to go to a vegan restaurant is a good idea, too.
What else? I have to think about it.

Kapotasana

What do I do? I'm on my knees (classic catholic position). My hands are at first on my back/hips pushing the hips forward, while I go back with my upper body. When I cannot go further I put my hands into prayer and take them over the head till they can touch the wardrobe. Here I stay for 1 or 2 breaths and than fast as possible I get back, happy that I've done it.

Emotions: Fear. I feel more doing kapotasana than in dhanurasana when I try to bend back on my own or when I go back with the help of my teacher. Fear is in fact so strong that I fear to pee (even though I use the bandhas).

I'm not sure if I will ever be able to do this pose. But here we have perhaps again a mental problem.

I guess I need time for this pose (5 years?) and a teacher who will help me. Sometimes I think I should try to get from lying into the pose instead from kneeling. I will have to play around with this pose. This is something for next Sunday.

It looks wonderful, when well performed. It's pure body art then.

Rebellious?



I practiced. It was later than planned. Body was so willing and soft, mind rebellious. After almost every asana I ran away from my mat and made a little break. I returned. Next asana. The asanas were performed very well. I was deep into the postures. But after almost each posture I ran away again.

I was distracted. Music was playing in the background. Because of all this there was no flow.

There was one pearl and another pearl and another pearl, but no necklace.

Picture is taken downtown Munich.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Why dirshti?

I live here in that area for quite a while, for more than a decade to be precise. I happened to have talked to a lot of people here, but anonymity is also respected. In a city of more than a 1.000.000 people, many people like to live their own lives.

I greet a lot of people and the other way round. There are 1 or 2 people who always make power play with it. Who greets first? Eyes of these persons look at me and away and again. I do the same. And again it's me, who says "hello". This was the last time. It's not necessary to greet everybody. Next time I know what a drishti is and where it is. I will practice it on my mat. I will look in the direction where I want to go. I will gaze at an unseen point in front of me, no blinkering, no distraction. I know my way and I go it.

I'm reading today: My master is my Self by Andrew Cohen. But this is worth an extra entry. Great book, must go on reading.

To exhale comes first



A mala has 108 beads. When I breath 15 times (exhale-inhale) about 1 min is over.

Exhaling - inhaling - next bead - exhaling - inhaling - next bead. Within 7 or 8 min I will have done one round.

So far I cannot sit so long. I get impatient. I'm curious if a mala will help me to sit longer as usual.

I imagined myself outside when I start with pranayama (seriously?). I found these steps round the corner. Here I want to start with pranayama. I can already see myself sitting there - with a mala in my right hand. In the evening people gather there to sit and look around. But noise and distraction often helps me to concentrate on myself. Breath, drishti, only me and the moon and the people around me, that's what I imagine now.

BBB wrote that it is helpful to be able to sit 1 hour in one of the sitting positions. I don't know if I'm able to sit 1 hour in padmasana. I'd be happy if I can sit and breathe 10 min (2 rounds of my mala). 1 hour - no way. Not because of padmasana, but because of.......I get wild when I think I shall not move.

An analysis

My weaknesses in the first series:

- kurmasana and supta kurmasana are far away from being called so. It's only attempts. These 2 poses need special attention.

- To Jump through is something I'd like to do. For the time being I'm really afraid of doing so. I don't know why I experience fear.

- I cannot go down from standing positon into dhanurasana. I will work on this, too. This will allow me to go on with second series. Truly spoken, I think it is too demanding for a 48 year old lady like me, but these are the rules and I play them. I also play the rules at work, why not in Ashtanga community, too. Before I can go on officially with second series I have to do this crazy flying backwards position. I do my best to be able to do so this summer, pretending that I agree with the rules.

-Dristhis - what's that? I remember that in one of my last practices I held the drishti. My eyes gazed at a non-existing point, very stable, without blinkering. It gave me stability and importance. But most of the time I don't know what my eyes are doing.

The greatest success: I would say that I have established a self-practice on a daily basis.

On my practice this morning

It was later than scheduled, but at 9:30 I was on my mat. Only after the first 5 suryas I left the mat for a little break. Then I went on with my practice till the end. No radio, only my breath and from time to time the little child of my neighbours could be heard.

The progress is probably, that the concentration gets better. The ability to concentrate is not so stable like the performance of my asanas, but it comes. Yes, it comes and this is so important. It will improve my life, that's for sure.

I practiced slowly. I needed time to get into the asanas. I enjoyed the asanas, all of them, no asana was omitted today. It was a great practice.

I went out yesterday: I can sit on my sofa when I'm old, that's what I thought. The English club was my destination. It was a 25 min walk to the club close to the station. I went down into the cellar, where the club takes place for years. Not for long I was alone at the bar. Englishmen don't let a woman stand alone in a bar, do they? One man gave me the schedule, then another man came telling me about the Sunday walk. I had a glass of water for only 1,20 Euro. At such an ugly place like this cellar they can't charge more. I drank fast and soon I was at home again. At least I spoke a few words in English.

Straight I went into the bed. The phone rang. I knew who it would be: I was right. It was a phone call from Hawaii from E. They feel well. Pearl Harbour was nice, food is nice, especially the smoothies. E. has now a Hawaii-shirt, with flowers and ananas on it.

Friday, June 08, 2007

To drink and to smoke

I looked down from my balcony. My young neighbours are sitting at the steps in front of the entrance door with a bottle of wine. They are smoking. To drink and to smoke is something for the youth, not for me anymore. I have already enjoyed enough of such pleasures.....

I breath consciously and eat vegan food now :). This is not boring either. Not in general, but today, now? And soon I will have a Cuba libre in front of me in the Mexican Bar. And tomorrow I will suffer on my mat. No that's too stupid.

Is that true, I have no idea what to do? This is really a rare moment.

I want a kick, I want a kick.

The here and now

It is said it is the best thing: the here and now.
Perhaps there is nothing else than the here and now.

I look around: the here and now needs some improvement. I already hear the words: weekend marathon cleaning.

I'd better move my body to another place. Which place? The black mat. Ohh, this is always a good idea. Later I could go to the English club, or to the Mexican bar, or to the bar "eat the rich". It'a all around the corner. To sit on the sofa and to read is also not the real life. But what is the real life?

I got the certificate of the last company. It was unopened on the kitchen table for 2 days. Today I opened it. I don't care very much what other people think of me. The certificate turned out to be a good one, not a very good one. It was listed what I have done during these 6 months there. It was such a long list.

I don't want to have a boring evening. That's the last thing I want to have now. Everything needs organising, even an exciting evening.

I should meditate (an excuse for doing nothing) for a while. Just to sit is perhaps the solution and a decision will come alone. The night is still young, so .......

I couldn't sleep

At 10 p.m.,I was in bed, but I couldn't sleep. Aggression, frustration came up because of behaviours of others, all events of the past. And because of this I couldn't sleep. This drives me crazy. Where was the here and now? Why am I aggressive? And frustrated in my paradise? A midnight comment from Tracy uplifted my mood enormously. :)

It was predictable that I wouldn't be able to get up at 5 a.m. Exactly this happened. There was time for a few surya a and 1 surya b this morning. Then I sat down in padmasana and bowed forward.

The day promises to became a good one. At work I have difficult tasks to do, difficult, because I have not yet done it alone.

It's Friday, the weekend knocks already on the door. And I need it.

Too much energy of me is still blocked. That's what I learn from my sleepless night tonight. That's why I'm sometimes so exhausted.

And now the here and now is demanding. The here and now that appears as work very soon.:) When I do not concentrate I make mistakes. So I have to wake up now. :)

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Pranayama


It's breathing without asanas. Goal: to be in the here and now. It
is supposed to be the best place where we can be. It's the only reality.

It refers to the heart chakra and the heart chakra is green.

Good and deep breathing for every body.

I need a mala now

It's a summer day and I went out for a cappuccino with soy milk. I got it in the cafe on the picture. It was a little bit hot there, but the stuff I read was equally exciting, so I didn't pay much attention of the heat.

I focus more and more on the breath when I practice asanas. So pranayama gets more and more interesting for me. I felt reluctant to buy an electronic clock to messure the time when I do pranayama. Only to count mentally the breath was rather difficult. Even though I'm an accountant I always forgot the last number. A helpful tool is a mala. At every repetition the fingers go one bead further. One bead of the 109 beads is made of another material. It helps to meassure the number of repetitions.

I need a mala now. I need it.

By the way, I read again in the book by BBB (Beryl Bender Birch). The hint of the mala is from her.

Probably nobody is interested that I haven't cleaned my rooms, that I haven't written important emails, that I haven't ........ I have still a few hours.

Another wonderful practice

A day off today: I didn't set the alarm clock. I slept till 8 and this was OK.

I practiced, wondering how the practice would be after such a highlight yesterday. And it was a second intensive practice in a row. Perhaps I give up resistance. I don't know.

Leg behind the head is difficult. I don't want to loose a word about kapotasana. It takes another 10 years I guess. So what. The way is fun and excited.

My reward: a breakfast without hurrying.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Self-practice is the crown


What supports my Ashtanga practice:
- Mysore classes with a good teacher
- a vegan diet
- books
- blogging and the Ashtanga community
- problems, whatever this may be. When it occurs I know what a problem is, now I can arrogantly neglect it, because I'm in such a good mood. I digress: Yes problems make me look for better moments every day. I search my mat then.
- led classes
- visualization
More and more doors open, almost accidentally.

The swoosh of the ocean

Now I know how to be at two places at the same time.

E. emailed me today that he had been on the Waikiki beach at Hawaii and that he had recorded the swoosh of the ocean for me. I came home from my wonderful Mysore class, opened the door of the balcony and sat down with my mobile phone. I wanted to here the swoosh of the ocean while sitting in front of my open balcony doors, feeling fresh air on my skin. Then I heard it: the swoosh of the ocean. I was at Waikiki beach and at my yoga room at the same time.

Oh, I must Email E.. He is very prone to buy a Hawaii T-Shirt with fruits pattern. I motivated him to do so. "Think of your favourite fruits and buy it," I wrote him. But his favourite fruit is banana. He cannot wear a T-shirt with bananas, I must Email him this, I must........

Mangoes would be good.

Heaven on earth

Mysore class - 3 yoginis today, much room for everybody and enough energy.

I had one of my practices, that make me go down on my knees. I flew through the practice. Breath was there all the time and all the "difficult" asanas got better and better. There was not so much fear in dhanurasana as usual. The whole thing was good, the details didn't play such a big role. I went from asana to asana in a steady even movement. The asana itself was held for some breaths and then again a steady vinyasa. Oh, oh.

It was meditation in motion.
I was present in the here and now. I was on my blue mat.

On my way home I thought: it is worth to get up at 5 and all the guantanamo-asanas are worth doing it. It was great today - I'm in an absolute high.

No yoga this morning


I slept too long. At 6 I opened my eyes. Obviously the last hour of sleep was necessary to recover a little bit. This evening I will go to a Mysore class - so it won't be a day without asanas.

E. sent me the first pictures of Hawaii. I found them this morning in my inbox. Yes, that's nice. He thinks of me.

My belly hurts. First day of ......I don't like this. Haha. Oh, how it hurts. Unbearable. I remember - tea of thyme helps. Every day something else.

Picture is from downtown. I took it yesterday. How I like it to make pictures.

A nice day for everybody.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The bills



I wrote my bills and I put them in the mailbox of the firm. Am I glad that I did it. Tomorrow is a working day and then we have a day off. I NEED this day off. I made so many mistakes today. Oh it was an exhausting day.

Picture is taken today downtown. Munich is a beautiful city.

It was one of these practice days...

.......where I left the mat several times. Distracted. But I returned. I was very glad that the body was not sore. That meant that I treated myself with care at the led class yesterday.

Second series today, which means I did a few back bends. There was not enough time today for more. At least 40 min of intensive practice. No sirsasana.

Thursday must come soon. I must do all the things that I haven't done so far. I must. I must. I cannot do yoga and work and that was it. I have some other duties, too.

Second day of the week today. It's sunny. Shall I dress a skirt today?

Monday, June 04, 2007

Too fast for Ebay, but now I'm experienced

Sometimes I'm too slowly. But this evening I was again too fast. I entered the 50 Euro for the book 30 seconds before the end. But this is still enough time for the other bidders to enter 1 Euro more. And this was the case today again. The book was sold for 51 Euro.

One minute before the bid was over, the phone rang. It was my bf. They are in Washington. In 50 min they fly to LA. It's hard I know. He stayed on the phone while I was bidding. I would have loved it, if I got the book for him.

Tomorrow I must bid for another book for him. But now I'm experienced. Let's see if I get it.

Who is hunting me?

After work I went to a led Ashatnga class at the airyoga studio. The woman at the reception desk: "Oh, you are coming back again." I'm too addicted.

The class: Another woman, who practiced next to me and me were "advanced" yoginis (able to do the poses). The others were bloody beginners - first timer. B., our teacher can handle this. She was great like ever. My practice was intensive. I had focus. I practiced slowly, I mean the breath was as long as the movement. I hope I didn't stretch too far. I don't want to be sore tomorrow. Yes, there was pain there. I could stand it, it was between lust and I don't want it. I hope this practice doesn't make me masochistic. The face, I always forget to relax it.

I'm grateful that I found this practice for me.

And now I have to bid another book on physics at Ebay for my boyfriend. He keeps me busy. Bills are not yet written. I have to fill in the form from the health insurance. And and and and. Who is hunting me?

Focus

Inspired by the book by BBB I thought of focus when I entered my mat today. I could resist to run away and to make breaks. Flow was experienced. I omitted a few asanas like janu b and c. But it is OK. The attempts to do a kurmasana was painful. Of course. This is the most demanding asana of the first series.

But pain is another topic. Yesterday I read that the pain is programme in Ashtanga yoga. On the mat it is learned to stand the pain. Then it is easier to stand it in life.

It was a good practice. Really. And I'm proud of myself that I got up at 5, before 6 I was on my mat. It's a good start in a short week. On Thursday we have again a banking holiday here.

I plan to go to an Ashtanga class this evening. I want to interrupt the habit to come home and to eat too much, because I'm so exhausted. Ashtanga yoga in the evening is a very good idea to get rid of bad habits. At least I hope so.

Most important task today is done. I helped E. to get out of the bed. At 11 they will be already on the way to the US. He is always tired in the morning. He made sure that I don't forget him. Today and tomorrow he wants me to bid books at Ebay. It seems to be important, so I will do it.

Focus of the day: to live one moment after the other. No reason to worry about anything.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

We are your test persons



He is so right, my bf. But they are the best test persons I know. E. and his mother even ate the sticky rice, which was not eatable. They were so nice. The vegetables were good and healthy, spring roles were good, white wine from Israel was good, too. And finally we had a fruit salad from my mother. What else do we want. I like to cook, but lately I have not had so much time for such an activity. Cooking is experience, nothing else. I liked my new Wok. Best think is, I have already cleaned my kitchen.

Now I should write my bills. Damned.

Money makes the world go round.

My reputation re cooking


"Let's go to lunch/dinner to Ursula. We gained weight. When we eat Ursula's lunch we will loose at least 1 kg (2,2 pounds). "
This is a compliment for me. I always have enough food, often I prepare three courses. But my food is delicious, not because I use oil or butter, but spices, a lot of spices.
I know, I know, I should organize this corner in my kitchen. Another task in the long to do list that I have.

According to my own rhythm

It was a slow practice, a wonderful practice. Second series today. Body was hot and bendy, mind was fierce, pain was sweet.

Usually I stop at pincha mayurasana. Today I went on. Vatayanasana looks so easy when Matthew Sweeney performs it. For me it was difficult. I made the same experience with parighasana.

Cow face pose was easy for me again. Of course. :)

I can bind when I do ardha baddha padmotanasana, but I cannot bind when I'm in halasana. This astonished me a lot. So supta urdhva pada vajrasana was a humble try, too. Also this pose looked so easily in the book by Matthew. It wasn't.

There is a long way to go.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Beyond Power Yoga by BBB

The book is great. I was in a cafe to check it. She touches all the topics like pranayama, meditation, asanas of course too. Many stories about her life were told.

Her last chapter is about the three mantras:

Ko aham - Who am I?

Na aham - Not I (I am not that)

So aham - I am that.

A nice end.
From sweat to samadhi.
--------------------------------------------------------
On my way home I did grocery shopping. I intend to do a Thai meal for E and his mother tomorrow, my last meal for them before they will fly to Hawaii on Monday. I think they will like it. I got fresh vegetables and I will mix all with a bit of love, oh and not to forget the coconut milk and lemons.

My jokes with E.

Me: Darling, please I want to show you a yoga pose, a very, very easy one.
Me: Very easy, believe me. Come, please.

Finally he stands next to me.

Me: Darling, hold your upper leg in both of your hands. It's very easy - you must only lift your leg a little bit and you can even hold it.

Done.

Me: Darling now stretch your leg, you can still hold it, it is very easy.

He does it. He cannot really stretch his leg. I don't say anything.

Me: Darling and now both arms up to the sky. Hold your leg 90 degrees. INHALE - EXHALE -INHALE - EXHALE.

He: It hurts.

He shows me where. Butt. He always knows where it hurts. He always feels to where the asana aims at.

HAHAHAHAH - tralalitralala.

By the way: Do you know Guantanamo-asana? These are all asanas that hurt (Is there an asana that does not hurt?). It was not my idea, but the idea of one of B.'s students to call prasaritta padottanasana c so, especially when the arms are pressed to the floor. Sometimes I have Guantanamo-practices. I hope this is not too respectless.

Till navasana

After navasana I gave up. At first practiced with the CD by Sharath. Just before marichyasana I stopped the CD. I knew I would need more time for mari c and d. This was the case. I could bind, but it was a long way into this asana. 1 navasana followed and then I sat on my mat. Motivation was gone, body was already sweaty. I gave up.

Salamba sarvangasana, halasana, matsyasana was my finishing sequence.

To sit in padmasana and to bow forward pleases me. This was performed at the very end.

No sirsasana.

It is not always easy.

I have to go to the post office now. I had ordered the book by BBB - Beryl Bender Birch. This book is more on the stuff beside the asanas. This was an important part of her workshop. So I'm curious.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Only 10 min are enough.....

So good - a hot bath with white foam. It relaxes everything. I'm relaxed now, bath was a little bit too hot. Who cares.

I should acknowledge how I still have to struggle at work. It is still demanding but I like my approach. I tackle all the problems. I can concentrate. I'm so concentrated that I forget to make breaks. I forget to drink, I forget everything. Suddenly it is time to go. Colleagues say bye-bye and then I notice that I'm again the last to go.

This week I had to do the job for my colleague, too, because he was on holidays. That was much to do. Really. But I did it. Week-end now. How I need it. Practice tomorrow will be wonderful.

The evening is not yet over. I ponder to go to the English club, I'd like to speak English. To write is one thing, but to speak is even better (with my horrible German accent). It's fun.

Brainstorming on American food

Food is too much in restaurants - European portions are half of it.

Breakfast potatoes, Chardonnay, Caesar salad, muffins, NY Cheese Cake, veggie sandwich, Jamba juice, finger food - all things I like.

Starbucks. This chain is not successful due to the coffee, that's for sure. But I like that they offer cappuccino with soy milk.

A refill please, I like this, even though the coffee you get in American restaurants is nothing, but aroma. We have American friends and we bring them coffee from Germany. They know why and we know it, too.

Please, please, throw all these ready salad sauces in the garbage. Use good vinegar and oil. Vinegar and oil is like wine. It has style. These ready champagne sauces or how they might call themselves are not good. They spoil you.

The greatest difference: When I go out in a restaurant in Europe, I eat and after having eaten the evening starts. I sit and talk and sit and talk. In the US you are served fast, but when you have eaten they almost throw you out with the bill. For me then the evening starts. I want to stay. I always have to get used to it when I'm in America. Here in Germany a huge anger is that the waiter pretend not to see you at all. Sometimes we have to wave with our hands to get a little attention.

By the way in many restaurants here you seat yourself. It's not necessary to wait till you get seated. Very often you have to search a seat by your own.

I talked too long

After work I met a yogini at the grocery store. We talked about chanting, food, Hawaii, yoga, boyfriends, who eat meat, German bread. And suddenly it was too late to go to the last class at the Jivamukti center. It was good, as I was not really able to make a decision. The week was satisfying. I worked too much, but I also accomplished a lot. Yeah, it is a good feeling. But Friday evening the tanks are empty. I must refill them - somehow.

To chant makes flexible. To do things that one usually does not do broadens the limits. Aummmm. But there are still limits, everywhere limits, boundaries.

Yippiiiiiii, no spelling mistake.

Oh, it was hard

I was not really motivated and in addition it was hard. I happen to tremble and to fall out of parivritta trikonasana. This makes me angry. This pose was already almost "perfect". And now I fall out.

Come on, 5 surya namaskara a.
Come on, 3 surya namaskara b.
Come on, only the standing sequence....

I had to convince me to go on. Postures were awful and painful.
Friday is the day of the forward bends. Yes, I bow forward and again forward, humble.

I was on my mat, that's perhaps the most important thing.

A new month has started today: new resolutions were made this morning. Better and less food, more breaks, more smiles.

I noticed that many yogis/yoginis eat too much lately. This makes me laugh. Always the food stuff.