Thursday, July 31, 2008

This morning in the shala and a trick for garbha pindasana

I was astonished this morning, the shala was not as crowded as usual. There were still enough people there. But when I arrived I could start with my practice at once. Perhaps this was because tomorrow will be a moon day.

No, I do not look around very much, only a little bit.
Some people here have gifted bodies. It is amazing what they can do with their bodies.
Others cannot move at all. I think that they were sitting in offices their whole life without moving.

A body which cannot be moved anymore is like a Jaguar that is only in the garage, I thought this morning.

The air here makes me sweating like never. It is incredible. Practice was good, but not as good as on the other days as I still have this cold.

The trick for garbha pindasana: I put lotion now on my legs. This makes garbha pindasana very easy, because then the arms slide through the legs folded in lotus. The arms are gliding, because the legs are so slippery because of the lotion. It is not so recommended to put lotion on the arms, too, because then it becomes difficult to hold the arms in mari c and d. Accidentially I found this out and it helps me a lot to do garbha pindasana.

A classic Indian farewell

"Sit down, sit down," they told me.

So I sat down. A man took red color out of a little box and made a red point on my front between my eye-brows. Then I was given a banana and a coconut. They put it in a paper bag and said good-bye to me.

Yes, I relocated. I have now a room on my own with a wonderful balcony only for me. I left the Green Hotel one day earlier as thought. Everything is perfect. I am very lucky. All happens.

I am glad that tomorrow is a moon day, which means there is no yoga. I need a day to recover from my cold. My last Aspirin was taken last night. I am still caughing.

And I have plans for tomorrow. Papa will pick me up at 11 and he will show me shops where I can buy a blanket to cover my body at night. I also need an incence holder and 2 meditation cushions. One for me and one in case I have a guest. Then we can sit comfortably on the floor on my balcony.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A nice story found in the book "After the ecstasy, the laundry"

Page 110 (After the ecstasy, the laundry by Jack Kornfield)

A disciple of Zen sent his master faithful accounts of his spiritual progress.
In the first month, the student wrote, "I feel an expansion of consciousness and experience oneness with the universe."
The master glanced at the note and threw it away.
The following month, this is what the student had to say: "I finally discovered that the Divine is present in all things."
The master seemed disappointed.
In his third letter the desciple enthusiastically explained, "The mystery of the One and teh many has been revealed to my wondering gaze."
The master yawned.
The next letter said, "No one is born, no one lives, and no one dies, for the self is not."
The master threw up his hands in despair.
After that month passed by, then two, then five, then a whole year. The master thought it was time to remind his disciple of his duty to keep him informed of the spiritual progress.
The disciple wrote back, "I am simply living my life. And as for spiritual practice, who cares?"
When the master read that he cried, "Thank God. He has got it at last."

No blogging more for today. I will have to relax at the hotel. I will perhaps order one of these delicious juices there. I will burn some incence, I will meditate for a while, I will probably chanting aumm. Then I will sleep. Hopefully I will be fit tomorrow morning - THE PRACTICE. Now I am feeling even feverish.

Papa, the Riksha driver

I must write about Papa, my Riksha driver . He is one head shorter than me, has very black hair and very black eyes. He is smarter than the others. He can speak English much better, he also understands me. Either he only nods with his head, or he says "Yes Mam" or he just starts his engine when he understood where I wanted to go. He knows many many places here in Mysore. When I say "Oh, this is beautiful", he knows what it is - the hospital, or the university. He never forgets anything and he really wants to solve my "problems". A few days ago I mentioned that I wanted a shawl and now he wants me to take to shops where I can get a shawl. But the shop close to the bookstore was not the right one. "You want quality Mam, here only quantity. Other place better." He told me. Today he brought be to the Three Sisters. I had not explain to him where it was. He knew it. I meeted Cara there for a late lunch. He brought me a little booklet on how to rent mobile phones - in English. I can keep it.I only had mentioned that I considered to hire one. That is service. Yes, he smells. When I sit in the back bench I have his sweat in my nose. I think then that he probably has no shower at home. He has several shirts and sometimes during the drive he puts another shirt on. They are all not ironed and full of wrinkles. He keeps both shirts open. He must be cold I think then. If I do not start washing my clothes soon I will smell, too. But then it will be: sweat, Deo and Indian oils. :)

Tomorrow he will tell me the price for the last days. I am curious what he wants. Will it be a moon price? I do not care. Today I left a Riksha again because the driver has never heard anything about the hotel where I stay. And I am very sorry I cannot usher anybody.

The red rose

Yesterday when I came home from my adventures, I found a red rose on the table next to the bowl where the leaves of a rose swim in water. The cleaning woman wanted to make me a joy. How sweet. I held on with my life and enjoyed it. Of course I put 10 Rupies under the rose. Communication takes place in many forms.

(Of course I give tips whenever I can, but that is nothing. The trip becomes more expensive than expected because I like to have a bit of a luxury - red roses for instance. I still stay at the Green Hotel and this makes my life comfortable here. Next month I will move to a room close to the shala).

Before travelling to India I read some books as a preparation: culture shock India i.e. It become clear that it is almost impossible to understand the people and the country.
I thought a few things are international: It is "thank you", "please" and a smile. And this is what I say and do a as often as possible. So far that was a very good idea.

.......and the message of a red rose is international, too.

Practice this morning

In the shala the air is hot and wet. This makes my body rather bendy. I had another wonderful practice this morning despite my sore throat. Everything gets better. I sweat like never in my life.

I have not yet found out why the people change their places during their practices, but I will find out.

But something else I have found out, a very important rule. It is an absolute "no", to greet people. Absolute silence is required. Today I met a very nice woman in the changing room, where people do the closing sequence. I know her already and I like to have a tea with here. I scarcely whispered : hello. She made a sign to me not to talk at all. Another woman, too pretented not knowing me. I got the message. Silence in the shala. Focus is the practice and not other people.

It is all there, I must only open my eyes

Yes Tracy, I was at the "Silver Nest" yesterday. And I have some beautiful toe rings now. I love them.

But from the beginning: How is shopping in India? Some families here around the shala have shops for the yoginis. They sell important things like shawls, silver jewellry in their houses or in the garage. When the front door is open one can enter. So I put my shoes off and entered the "Silver Nest". Only the husband was there, but he wanted to show me the jewellery. Very soon I found a few very nice toe rings. I asked what they cost and he told me the price. Is this a fixed price, I asked and he said yes. So I paid, we exchanged some more sentences and then he gave me incences as I present. I thanked him and drove home.

At home I wanted to smell them, but I did not know how to illuminate them. I walked around in my room and there I saw a lighter. It was there all the time and I have not seen it. I have not seen the incence holder, too. Look, I thought, it is all there, I must only open my eyes. The incences are very very good. I chanted aum, while they were burning. It is my substitute for listening to the radio. A good substitute.

Later I ate at the Green Hotel this spicy vegetable something. I caugh, my throat is sore. Yes, I feel ill. Damned. I hoped that the meal would help. Later I took an Aspirin. Now I have only one more Aspirin. :( Then I must suffer, or Cara knows perhaps where I can get it.

Cara, an Indian?????

We drive with her motoroller from restaurants to shops.
She showed me where I can get the best chocolate here, where I can drink coffee, where I can buy shawls. She shows me India. Thank you so much.

And she drives motoroller like an Indian. I am sitting behind her with no helmet on. She drives very good. But sometimes I think I have more than only 1 life. :)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

....and then I stood in the middle of nowhere


.....and Papa was gone. He was not yet back when I had finished my late blogging in a close internet cafe. He drove me to this place after I have checked a room in another hotel. But I decided to stay till the end of the month in the Green Hotel. The room that I was shown smelled too badly. Now I stood there in front of the internet cafe in the middle of nowhere. What to do, what to do. I wanted these Indian guys calling another Riksha and finally they did it. Papa had switched off his mobile phone. I had no idea where he was. There is no reason to be afraid, nevertheless I was afraid. Where I was standing was countryside, huts, dusty roads, only Indian people. When I stood there it is as if I were coming from another star. I look differently, I am dressed differently, and I hold my bag as if there were something precious in it.

Finally a Riksha came. The Green Hotel was very near, but I did not know this. I would have given this driver as much as he wanted, but he was really modest.

Was I glad when I was in the Green Hotel again.

After a while in the early evening I felt a bit lonesome again. I do not want that this becomes a habit. I went for dinner, the restaurant was full of people. I enjoyed a vegetable curry and a pinnaepple juice.

Oh, I have bought me some gifts, I thought. I will see what I have bought today. Back in my room, I tried on my new plastic slippers. So beautiful. Then I opened the bottle with the sandle oil. I wanted to give my feet a massage with this wonderful oil. I opened the bottle, the oil was rather liquid. I almost spoiled the blanket of my meditation bed. In the last second I could avoid this and all the oil dropped on my feet. I massaged my feet and then I wanted to smell this sandle oil. I pulled my left feet to my nose. I can do this easily, as I am a yogini. I smelled...NOTHING. My nose is my most sensitive organ. I smell almost everything. I pulled my feet closer to my nose......NOTHING. They have probably given me edable oil. Now I wanted to know it: What is in the other little bottles. Firstly I had to unwrap them as the Indians have wrapped it in paper and tesafilm. It was not so easy to unwrap them, but finally I could open the bottles and aaahhhhhh, there was oil in it, the ones I have smelled in the shop. I smelled the oil and it was so good.

Thank you: I was in the here and now.
(It is not my first business contact. I got the message.)

This morning I made the travel man of the hotel call Papa: When he came he said: Pardon. I looked at him a little bit seriously, but I said nothing. The mango juice this morning was too good.
In case I will not get the room, but I am rather sure that I will get it, Papa knows a house for me.
Papa, papa,

I am learning

Papa told me this, but also the nice guy at the reception, who is sleeping at the reception at night and during the day he is studying business: the price 3 times that is what they tell you what you have to pay. This knowledge helps me to negotiate when I want to. I do not want to negotiate so much.
Only with the Riksha drivers I negotiate. Before I step into a Riksha I tell what I am willing to pay. I know now the price from the Shala to the hotel. It is 30 Rupies. I know that this is nothing. But this is the price here. And I do not pay 50 Rupies. Often they want this if the price is not negotiated. I was already told to ask the Riksha driver to switch on the meter. And this makes sense, if one does not like to pay a moon price.
The Riksha driver at the shala know me already. When they see me they say: Green Hotel Mam.

Oh, of course I do it the Indian way. Do you know what I mean?

"One more"

The yoginis sit in the little entrance hall till they hear Saraswati saying loudly: "One more." Then the next yogini is allowed to practice. First one has to go through the entire shala. On the other side is a door and there is the changing room. When returning from this changing room Saraswati is pointing at a place where to practice.

Saraswati is so attentive and present. She gives adjustments, she calls the yoginis in, she shows them the place to practice. Nobody has to wait longer as necessary. She is a very good manager. I admire how she is working.

Urdhva dhanurasana and how it is teached in India:
Firstly I do it 3 times on my own. I start from laying position.

Then I stand up, my arms are crossed in front of my chest, right hand holds left shoulder, left hand holds right shoulder. Saraswati holds the back. while I am bending backwards, exhaling. With the next inhaling I come up. This is repeated three times as well.

Then I am supposed to drop down till the floor, again without remaining there. Exhaling down, inhaling up. Three times as well.

Then and this is the last time, I am supposed to go down and to stay for 5 breaths. During these 5 breaths I am supposed to walk the hands to the feet. Up, after 5 breaths, finished.

Then Saraswati throws the mat on the back and helps to do a paschimottanasana.
So urdhva dhanurasana is practiced 10 times. This is why I think I will progress.


Monday, July 28, 2008

"I am responsible......

for the rooms and the laundry.......This man is responsible for the Rikshas. " OK, I understood. It was the same in my last company.

"OK, I have a question regarding the laundry. Do you wash the clothes with a machine or with hands."
"We wash the clothes with the hands." The man at the reception showed me with his hands how they do it."
"And do you throw the clothes on stones?" (I have seen this here already and I thought with fear of my beautiful clothes)
"No, not all clothes we throw on the stones."

I have to wash my clothes on my own. I suspected it already. A yogini told me already to take soap and not washing powder.

I really don't know, why I am not afraid when being in a Riksha. Cows, horses, pigs, busses, pedestrians, bicycle drivers, cars, Rikshas, all drive on these roads (construction needed urgently). No rules exist, not a single one. And I sit in the Riksha and relax. I do not understand it.
Papa, he actually spells like this, took me to a bookstore today. There I met some yiginis. I feel always a bit better when I meet Western people. Now I have a map and a cooking book. Later I bought plastic shoes. But Papa also knew where I can get best oils. So we went to another shop. He wanted to usher me in the back room. No, no, no, I said. He: Come, come. Then I saw a few Western people sitting on a sofa rather relaxed. So I l went to the room with these men. And I met really good business men. They had the description of the oils even in German language. That surprised me. They also wanted to sell me something against wrinkles. "What do you think how old I am?" I asked him. "45 " he said shyly. He was good.. So now I have oils (against wrinkles, for soft feet, against sore throat), too. And I have perhaps a good business contact. Could be.

Papa knows a lot of places. Today I will pay him. I am curious what he wants.
Oh, it is getting dark. I hope he is already back. He wanted to have a tea somewhere.

Not every day the same

This morning:

"A pinneapple juice please."
"No pinneapple juice today, Mam. Today melon juice. Not every day the same Mam." :)

Aummmmmm

Yesterday I wanted to listen to music. But there is no music available for me. So I started chanting aum for a while. I listened to my own voice and it was so nice.

I relax here. I just had lunch at Anus internet shop. As dessert I had that delicious chocolate cake that S. from Germany recommended me. They prepared this cake only for me today. And this cake is a poem.

Otherwise I do not do much here. I relax. It is not planned to learn how to play one of the Indian instruments. It is also not planned to learn Hindi or another Indian language. Neither will I learn chanting these old texts. I will only go to a cooking class at Anu, because Tracy recommended me this and the food is very delicious here.
After lunch I only sat at the table, doing nothing. It was the art of doing nothing.

I like to talk to people and I have a lot of opportunities. That is what I do here. That was one reason why I wanted to go to Mysore, I wanted to meet the community. And it is a lot of fun to meet these yoginis from so many parts of this world.

The class this morning

Great again.

I am so lucky, that I can practice so late in the morning (I start at 9 a.m.), so I do not have to leave the room to do the closing sequence in the changing room. It allows me also to write my journal, to do pranayama and meditation before practicing.

Saraswati helped me to do urdhva dhanurasana. I am now optimistic that I will make progress even in this demanding pose.

Walk in, she said. And I walked my hands to the feet. That way my back becomes bendier. The room is hot and this helps a lot. Perhaps my breath produced a lot of heat as well.
Afterwards I was happy and done. I am still relaxed and done, too.

My fellow yoginis remember me to practice with a relaxed and friendly face. This is difficult for many of us.

And now is lunch time. What to eat? What to eat?

Masala Dosa and bottled water

After the conference Cara, the professor and I went to a real Indian restaurant, one of the more simple ones. Most guests were Indian. But Cara showed me how hot they cook the food. Every day I become a little bit more adventurous. So, me too I ordered this Masala Dosa. It is Indian Crepes with potatoes in it. It was very delicious. Cara has had wet tissues so that we could clean our hands before eating. In India food is eaten with the hands and I like it.

At home again I sent a quick prayer to the sky: Please no diarrhoe. But I felt well this morning. I have still difficulties to sleep in, but this is perhaps still a bit of a jetlag. Of course this is nothing in comparison to the jetlag of my American friends.

Yesterday I had a sore throat. That s it. I have pills for the most exotic illnesses in my suitcase, but no means to desinfect my throat. Today it is already better. Thanks God. I am sweating here, then it rains and it gets cold. I am always barfoot on stone floors. Often I have cold feet.
It is much more likely to get a cold here than malaria.
This morning I ate a sour lemon. That was perfect for my throat.

Slowly I become an experienced Indian traveller.

Sharath life

Yesterday at 4 p.m. was the conference. I walked down the street on time and what did I see: Cara parking her motoroller. How wonderful. I expected to see her and it is so nice that this became true. Later we went out to an Indian restaurant, this is worth a post of its own. Cara is an experienced Indian traveller. :)

First the conference: So many yoginis gathered in front of the shala till we all were allowed to get in. We sat all on the floor and after a while Sharath came in. He sat down on the floor, too (he did not use the huge chair on the podest) and started the conference with a short prayer.

He talked about the breath and the dristis and how important they are. He has to mention it he said, because there were always new students.

Sharath is a man with a lot of humor. Almost every question was answered in a way that we all could laugh. His approach to yoga is serious and funny at the same time. I am very much impressed.

The questions went so far that one woman asked if she were allowed to go to the shale when she had ladies holidays without practicing.
Sharath: No, the men could become jalous. Laughter.

Another question was how often one should eat. This is in my humble opinion a question that is asked because people are not aware. The body knows when there is hunger. But people want rules, rules, rules.
Sharath answered with a story: Do you know what a man is who is eating once a day? A yogi.
Do you know what a man is who is eating twice a day? A boghi (I do not know what a boghi is).
And do you know what a man is who is eating three times a day? A rolling man. And do you know......and so on.
They eat in the early afternoon. And after lunch 12 chappati. Laughter.

I excuse myself in advance. I am not sure if I report everything correctly I struggle to understand the Americans and I struggle to understand the Indians. So it is. Sometimes I understand even the opposite.

Another question was if one should practice twice a day.
Sharath: Is once a day not enough for you? Laughter. When still having energy we should help other people.

I was really impressed. Sharath seems to be a very self-confident man with a lot of humor.

The last words I can remember:

No pain, no gain.
Keep practicing.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Life happens

Notes on pranayama: In general pranayama is inhaling and exhaling (and holding the breath). It can be done consciously. Nevertheless inhaling and exhaling happens alone. It is possible to hold the breath, but after some time inhaling or exhaling will happen again, also without doing anything actively. It just happens.

To observe the moment when inhaling/exhaling is happening is great. The body knows exactly when it is necessary to breath again. Nothing must be done. It happens. And so it is with life, I thought this morning. It happens. We can fight, but finally things happen, like the breath.

No scales here

I have no scales here. It is part of my morning ritual in Germany to step on the scales. Somehow I missed this ritual.

But isn´t it enough to eat with awareness? The body is so perfect. It heals itself, it tells us so many things when we only listen. And the body also tells me when I am full and when it is better to stop eating. To eat with awareness is enough. Scales are not necessary.

And I think I have already lost weight.

My morning today

I had this delicious breakfast this morning: fresh pinneapple juice, so good, a fruit salad consisting of a small banana, sweet melon, fresh pinneapple and coffee. :)

I wrote my jounal there and then I practiced: pranayama, meditation and yoga.

Yesterday I really wondered what I was searching here, why I was here. But I remembered:
It is the yoga. And I had a wonderful practice this morning.

Meditation: Sometimes thoughts come up of stories of my past, things that really happened. But sometimes thoughts accompanied with feelings come up that the mind invented. No matter if a story was already lived or not, it seems to be the same.

Yesterday in the evening I felt a bit (only a little bit) alone. The first time since I am here. So I decided to go the the restaurant of the Green Hotel to have dinner with all the other guests, which are only a few. I had very delicious food, really. When I left the table I greeted the people of the neighbour table. I have seen them already the other days. I said: Good night. And exactly at that moment the lights went off again. Power problems here. The man: You should not have said this. Me: You are right. We exchanged then the usual infos: Where do you come from? How long do you stay? It all happened in a very dark restaurant. We could only hear each other.

I am glad that I know my room now even when it is dark.

Primary series and how it is teached in India

Here they do 5 surya namaskaras A and 3 surya namaskaras B. That is so good. :)

I think it is utthita hasta padangusthasana. It is that standing pose where the big toe is held and the head shall go to the shin. They really pay attention, that yoginis do that. They help a lot that this pose can accomplished with the head on the shin. I bow my back now in order to do this.

Navasana is done 5 times. I know this. But here I often make it a bit easier for me. I often do it 3 times to relax a bit.

After urdhva dhanurasans comes chakrasana.

Baddha konasana B: The head touches the soles of the feet.

When being in padmasana at the end first comes the forward bending. Then comes the sitting pose with holding the toes with arms below the back, then simple padmasana and then utplutihi. This last pose is held rather long.

They finish the series in samasthiti. Then follows relaxation.

Yes Mam,

100 % tomorrow. Hahaha.

I need a map, but I do not expect to get one from the hotel. Finally they gave me not a map, but an address of a bookstore where I can get one.

The Indians are always very polite and very friendly, but not everything they promise must become true. I do not care. On my first day here I saw a rather dissatisfied yogi because he did not get what was promised. Shiva commented this when the yogi has left the yard: "Too much thinking, no good."

I am a Mam here. Yes, Mam, I hear all the time.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

1 month practice in Mysore equals 1 year practice at home

That is probably a bit of an exxageration. Fact is, it is a very good learning situation here. The classes are very good and the yoginis do nothing else but to eat well and to relax. Everything has one intention: to be full of energy when practicing at the shala. This brings intensity. I have the feeling that I will make a lot of progress here.

At the coconut stand: I had my first coconut ever this morning. It was good, like sweet water. This was enough adventure for me today. I have a very slow approach to this interesting country. I am cautious. Today I walked down the main street to look at the shops. This is enough courage for me today.

Barfoot in India

"Put off your shoes", Shiva told me this, when I wanted to enter his home with my shoes. Now I know it better. To enter a house with shoes is really very bad behaviour. It is easy to remember to put off the shoes because in front of every door are a lot of shoes.

At home in Germany I am barfoot all the time, too. I like it to be barfoot.

Shiva is a famous man in the yoga community, too. He is the one who found the room for me. Every day I have lunch at his house. The yogi who was travelling more than 6 times to India recommended it. It is the best food and you will not get ill. I take advice of experienced Indian travellers. I need not to taste everything. He himself only eats the food of Shiva, he gets it delivered. I want to do yoga. I am not writing a book an Indian food. Firstly I want to stay healthy. He even recommended to brush my teeth with mineral water. Yes, I do this. I am not very hungry here, this is very new to me. To eat once or twice a day is enough for me and I do not even feel hunger. A very young girl is preparing the delicious meal at Shivas house. She is so beautiful and a really very good chef. Is this children work? I guess yes.

Coming and going in Mysore

Every day yoginis are coming, every day yoginis are going.

There are cafes round the corner of the shala where the yoginis meet. Even though I know nobody here it is easy to get in contact. It is possible to be alone, but to get in contact is easy, too. Many Americans are here, but I have already spoken with a woman from England, a man from Iran, who lives in India. I saw a lot of Japaneese people. The scene is international.

My spoken English is improving. :) I forgot my German-French grammar at home. I can live without it.

Some yogis are cool, some are not so cool.
India is not a Western country, it is in the East. Some can handle the insecurities, some not. You can see it at first sight. I can live with all what is new and different and I love it to be here. I am absolutely relaxed, even in the Riksha.

I have time for pranayama and meditation. Of coures I take time for this. I know that my next days will still be occuppied with organising everything, i.e. I want to use my own PC. The Indians are so helpful, perhaps they will help me to make it running.

Saraswatis classes

To get to the point: The classes of Saraswati are GREAT, simply the best I ve ever had.

The shala itself is beautiful, colorful carpets are on the floor. In Saraswati s classes are perhaps a few less people than in Sharat s classes, so I have all the space I need to do all the poses without paying attention of my neighbours. But the room is crowded enough so that I can profit of the energy of the others.

Saraswati gives a lot of adjustments. Me alone I got several ones and she saw at once when I did a mistake and she corrected me. She is great. I have already learned so much.

My first class was a Mysore class. I placed my mat in the last row (modest as I am). I expected to hear a lot of breathing, but on my right side practiced a man who did not breathe at all. Or did the carpet gulp his uddjay breathing? On my left side was another man. I could hear when he was exhaling, because then it sounded like a whistle. Oh, he remembered me to relax my face. That is so important. We are all learning. Me, too. Sorry for my not so charming comments about my fellows. We all do what is possible. Very advanced students are here and beginners, even though I do not know anymore what a beginner and what an advanced student is.

This is my focus: The breath and a relaxed face.

Todady is Saturday and Saturday is a led class. Saraswati counts so evenly, I have to call it perfect. I sweat like never here and I do not sweat so much. Wet from head to toes I leave the shala each day I practice. No, I cannot hold upplutthi for 10 long breaths. I cannot even write the name of the pose.

Oh, I am so glad that I was not stopped in the middle of the first series. Saraswati even told me that she will begin back bending with me next Monday. That means she will help me to drop down from standing position. Yepeeh.

Yes, I am here at the source. I already know that it was worth coming. Here is the source. It is lively, it is pure.

Cash for the Guru


Yesterday, or was it already the day before yesterday? I enrolled for one month at the shala of Patthabi Jois. They only accept cash and this was my first challenge. I had to draw money on a public place and I had to carry around a lot of money. Baba (my Riksha driver) knew the bank I wanted to go. Of couse he knows the bank. When I went up the steps to the bank I saw a man sitting there, a gun was on his legs. This gave me a feeling of safety. At the same moment I thought: Can a gun really give a feeling of safety?

Baba, my Riksha driver: I like to have him. He absolutely compensates my lack of orientation. He likes to drive his Riksha. When he drives it is as if he is playing with a toy for grown-up people. And I even think he likes to drive me. I am absolutely relaxed when he drives me even though the traffic must frighten me. He is waiting for me now. I asked him if he knows a shoe shop for me. Of course he knows. He does not take money from me anymore. He only wants to get paid once, because this is supposed to be cheaper for me. Shall I believe this? But he does not take my money now. Hahaha.

Oh, did I mention that I would never drive with one of these motobycicles. OK, yesterday I did it. Not on the driver s seat, but behind. An Indian man had to show me a room that I could rent, but I won t take it. I prefer to stay at the Green Hotel for a few more days, before I can move to the beautiful room two houses away from the shala on the 1st of August. It makes the trip more expensive, but also more comfortable.

Today the sun is shining again. Yesterday it was raining cats and dogs. It is monsum time here. At night it is cold, but during the days it is summer, when it is not raining and it does not rain every day. The city has a huge power problem. During the day there is a power cut almost every day. But nobody cares. Yeah, why should this be a problem. I only cannot write emails and update my blog. Who needs electric light when there are candles?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Relax and all is coming

Tomorrow Shiva will show me a room, that I can rent.
I have already a Riksha-driver who is waiting for me all the time whatever I do, blogging i.e. and it takes time.
I met very nice people, had my first lunch here (eaten with my hands) and tomorrow I will start yoga at the shala at Saraswati's class.

Yeah, I'm thirsty and I don't know what to drink, but I will be able to manage this.

This morning the first thing I did after the shower was doing pranayama and meditation. I sat there on one of the beds in lotus pose when a man opened the door and entered the room. I was so glad that I was already dressed. He wanted to check the shelves that he will paint tomorrow. I turned my head when he was coming in. Couldn't I have stayed motionless? Next time I will lock my room. But yesterday in the earlz morning at 4 a.m. I was too exhausted for everything. I am so relaxed now. Everything is cool here.

But yesterday at night I felt a bit lost, as driving through India at night is an adventure. The new airport is great, the railway from the airport has 3 lanes, but later it became really more rural. I saw closed little shops, from time to time a sleeping dog.

To stay healthy is important and an issue here. It's personal management to stay healthy I was told today.

And now I'm ready for the coconut stand. (I am sure my Riksha-driver knows how to get there. And I'm sure he will wait.)

I do not know yet how to upload pictures. That's still something I have to find out.
And I will probably rent a mobile phone.

I AM IN INDIA


But let me start from the beginning.

I had forgotten that travelling alone means to meet new people. At the Munich airport I already had a conversation with this man from Croatia, who was on his way to China. He worked in the ship industry and was fed up that he had to fly over Germany, only because it is cheaper. I understand this.
Later I very beautiful young lady of 15 years asked me where I would travel. India I told her. And so we could find together our gate at Frankfourt. And it was nice to have someone to spend the time at the airport. We met also on the plan for chatting. "To travel to Italy that is nothing for me." She told me. "Yeah, for me that is nothing, too". I answered. To go to Italy cannot even called travelling. You are there and then you are no more there. That is it.

But to go to INDIA that is travelling.

And there was the woman of three children, who sat next to me and who was going to an Ashram for meditation and for letting go.

I arrived at Bangalore airport (the new one) at midnight. Outside the taxi driver was waiting. Sitting in the taxi I had to call my bf. This is exactly the time where we talk about the weather when we travel together. Oh, it is warm here. Or oh, it is cold here. Then the taxi driver drove me to Mysore.

Suddenly half way to Mysore I felt so sick, so incredible sick. I had an awful headache, my stamoch felt sick (What has Lufthansa given me, I thought), my legs hurt, I was even shivering. The taxi driver has had the window open and fresh air blew into my face almost all the time. I did not like to tell him to close the window as I feared that he would fall asleep then.

Finally at 4 o clock in the morning I saw the Green Hotel. What a wonderful hotel. Indredible beautiful. My room even only a "travellers room" is so beautiful, too. I slept on a hard matress. I love hard matresses.

Where is my headache, I asked me. It was gone.

Before falling asleep, I thought of the Croatian man, probably still being on a plane. The woman next to me was probably already in her Ashram. And the young beautiful girl will surely sleep.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Suitcase is packed - I'm ready for India now

It was an almost meditative work. I went to the wardrobe and put the clothes into my suitcase, then I went to the wardrobe again and I put the next piece of clothes into my suitcase.

I will have this heavy suitcase with my clothes, a rather heavy handbag, my yoga mat and another bag with my PC.

Tomorrow I will put my make-up and shampoo into my suitcase. This was it.

I do not know if I have everything or if I have forgotten anything. I hope not. It was not so easy to make choices regarding the clothes. Perhaps I should have packed a few more warm clothes. I shall see.

At 4 o'clock tomorrow I will get up. My bf will take me to the airport. I will first fly to Frankfourt and at about 11 o'clock I will be on the plane to Bangalore.

It's raining here, mentally I'm ready now to go. I'm calm inside, looking forward what will come.

Old bones can be flexible

I had a rather bendy practice now. It was supposed to be my morning practice. :)
At least I practiced. I was focused.

But now I'm lost in space again, old emotions break out. I damned have no time for it.

Important, important

Needed batteries for my meditation clock and my clock, that will wake me up in the morning. What would I do without these little helpers.

That's done, too.

I was out in search of the here and now

It was raining, but I went out without an umbrella. I wanted that the rain would rinse everything away. I didn't wear socks in my sandals. I wanted that my feet would start freezing. Cold always brings me in the here and now.

I had my last penne al'arrabiata and a red wine in one of the restaurants round the corner. In a bookstore I found a book on India that I bought.

It was a great mistake to call my parents before my Indian trip. Even worse, I know that it was me who allowed them to spoil some hours of my precious life. I would have needed all the time for myself. At least I know now how important it is to get rid of all the conditioning. Nobody shall spoil my life. E. said it very clearly: Why did you call them?

My jeans jacket must go with me to India. For years I haven't worn it. Today I had put it on and it was so comfortable.

My parents exhaust me. There is no interest in me, they only want to control me. And I'm fed up with it. Once and for all.

Books that I will pack in my suitcase:
- How to read a book by Adler
- An English- French grammer
- After the ecstasy, the laundry by Jack Kornfield
- Emotionally free by David Viscott (now you know why)
- Quantum success by Sandra Anne Taylor (there will be a life after my extended holidays)
- the guide on India (to have at least a bit orientation)
- and two travel novels: Do travel writers go to hell? by Kohnstamm and Dork whore by Iris Bahr.

Enough. I need space for a few clothes in my suitcase, too.

Am I strong enough now?

Am I strong enough now for the phone call with my parents? Shall I call them before or after my yoga practice? It's better to do it before the practice, I thought. Firstly I haven't postponed it anymore, secondly I can recover and focus on the here and now again. That's what the practice is about.

They really thought I wouldn't go to India, because I will travel to the US probably after the Indian trip.

At first I talked about the trip in Norway. They both are interested in seeing the fjords. We talked about their birthday party in October. They turn 70 and 80 this year. When it came to India my mother passed the phone to my father. She then left the house to buy a birthday present for a relative. They really wanted to prohibit that I go to India. With emotional blackmailing? They should know me better.

"We thought you wouldn't go to India because you are going now to the US?" My father repeated, what my mother already told me.
I attacked: "You both are the only ones who try to spoil my trip to India." During the conversation I repeated this sentence, because that's what it is.
Nevertheless the conversation was rather peaceful.
We expect an email every week, was the "wish" of my father finally. He probably understood that they could nothing prevent anymore.

I can sit on my sofa when I'm their age or older.

And now I have to let go, I don't want to waste my precious time with their fears and their worries. Yeah, I know it all happens because parents care for their children (even when almost 50 years old).

(Damned, my heart still beats faster than usual. I'm not yet really detached.)

Perhaps something funny at the end.
My father: When you were the last time in India (25 years ago) your aunt said: Some few even return.
Me: Yes, me for instance.

Am I now ready for the next phone call? The German tax office?
My tax declaration is not yet done and I won't be able to finish it today.

Picture: Norway, something for the tourists.

My last day before "The trip to India"

I got up at 6 a.m. .It was a bit later than I wished to get up, but I couldn't sleep in yesterday evening . It's all too exciting.
The more I found it important to do pranayama and meditation. And it was good. I didn't wait nervously till it was over. I observed what happened in the moment and relaxed and finally I was almost surprised when my meditation clock buzzed.

What would I do without my meditation clock. I need batteries for India in case they stop working.

My right shoulder hurts. Perhaps I have ironed too much yesterday. That's possible. So many chores are still to do.

I have to focus today. What is really important to do, will be the main question. What can be done very quickly will be the second question.

Soon I will have to wake up my bf. When he will be out of the house, I will start with my yoga practice. I want to have an uninterrupted practice today. Oh yes, my yoga practice is important.

It wil be the last practice here. Till now I do not yet know how my yoga space will look like for the next two months.

Tomorrow at the same time I will already be in Frankfourt. Is that all exciting.
Picture: Norway - the North

Monday, July 21, 2008

A totally new experience

I practiced after this hot bath and my body was so soft and flexible like never.

Difficult was only urdhva dhanrasana and savasana. Especially savasana is important, so I didn't skip it. Consciously I relaxed muscle after muscle, the face needed special attention.

To smile during the practice, that would be nice.

Relaxation - ahhhhhhhh


I took a hot bath. Ah, that was good.

I switched on the soundtrack by Miles Davis from the movie "Lift to the scaffold" with Jeanne Moreau, I burnt Indian incence called "morning star", and I put oil into the water to make it soft. It all helped me to relax.

I have still one day to prepare everything. But I'm so excited. Have I anything forgotten, I ask me all the time.


Picture: Another meditative picture taken in Norway.

How many hours do I still have to prepare everything ??????

A lot is done, a lot still needs to be done.

Hotel is booked now, a pile of Rupies are here. These were the most important tasks.
Oh, my tax declaration. Somehow I must postpone it till the end of September.

I become nervous for no reason. It's a sure sign that I need a break.

On the road, without a precise destination

That's how my life is at present, I'm on my way, but where do I go?

That's how my Indian trip is organized so far. Flights, taxis everything is organized, but so far I do not yet have a hotel, a precise destination.

So I know what I have to do today.

Firstly I will make a cup of coffee for E. I want to pamper him a bit on my last two days here.

Pranayama and meditation

I'm already excited, even nervous because of my Indian trip. There is such along to-do list.
A good opportunity to practice pranayama and meditation, I thought.

Again I modified these practices. It was obvious that 10 min pranayama and 20 min meditation was too long for me. I looked too often on my watch. 5 min pranayama and 10 min meditation I do now. Slowly I want to let it grow. For now I even forbid myself to do more. I want to become greedy for more. Then I will add one min more, then I will do 6 min pranayama and 11 min meditation. It's more important to practice twice a day, to sandwich the day, than to be overzealous.

My pranayama and meditation was really great today. Not only once I looked at my meditation clock.

I slept in my own bed

Ha, I slept in my own bed. How wonderful.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Our last day in Oslo, Norway

Ashtanga Yoga Oslo: I was so happy that I could go to a Mysore class there. They have wonderful heated rooms and I got lovely adjustments.
Perhaps I even got the hottest hint from a woman who practiced next to me. She was very slim and about my age and she was able to do urdhva dhanurasana from standing position. I had to interrupt my practice in order to watch her. Later I asked her how she learned it. She gave me the hint to start doing it with legs very wide apart like in prasarita padottanasana. I think this is a a most helpful hint, especially for people of my age. It's easier to start that way, than to expect a perfect dropping back right from the beginning.

But that was not the only highlight on my last day in Oslo. In the afternoon I met Monica in the lobby of a hotel downtown. I was very happy that M. told about her interesting life, as she was knowing almost everything about me, because she is reading my blog. I could only introduce my boyfriend to her as something new.
Thank you for your gift. The tops fit perfectly. I made a fashion show in the evening. These black tops are too beautiful for yoga practices. I will create the appropriate situations for them and me. :). The fashion show was my last action in Norway before leaving this beautiful country. Thank you so much. I really hope we will meet again.

Norway - a recommendation? Of course. Go. I highly recommend it. Don't expect sunshine all the time, but then you will love it.

(PS: We took 1200 pictures in Norway. It's such a great country. I wish I had more time. I have so many nice stories to tell and pictures to show, but life goes on and on Wednesday I will be on the plane for India. 2 days are left to prepare this trip, I have to hurry.)

Of course I practiced yoga

Somehow I always found a place where I could practice. Even on the ship I did once the first series (except sirsasana). On trips I have to be flexible, I know this and I was flexible. Sometimes I had only time for pranayama and meditation. Sometimes I could do the complete first series because there was time and room.

Funny was that when I meditated again in a hotel (after the cruise), the floor below me was not stable. It was as if I still was on the ship.

I had wonderful practices and awful ones. It was very mixed. As usual.


Norway and the food



We read in a guide: Nobody comes to Norway, because of the food.

I'd like to modify this. Those who like fish will have a paradise in Norway. The restaurants/hotels often offer buffets in the evening. Delicious fish is offered. My bf was very happy. The herring, oh, the herring, so good.

In restaurants I usually said: I'm a vegetarian, I eat potatoes, vegetables, do you have something for me? I never felt as a trouble-maker and I got delicious food very beautifully put together.

Of course, nobody goes to Norway because of the food, it's the beautiful nature and it is breath-taking.

The weather is rainy, windy, sunny, everything. Warm clothes that protect from rain and cold and wind is very good. Then the nature can be enjoyed fully.

A room with a view (in Norway)

I sat on the bed half lotus pose, looking out of the window, E. sat on the bed his feet were on the floor, looking in the same direction.
Me: Oh, look.
He: Yes, nice.
Me: Oh, that's wonderful.

A room with a view.

And stillness

A lake like a mirror.

Another waterfall

Water. Water. Water. Pure energy.

Waterfalls

Oh, the waterfalls. There are so many waterfalls in Norway. They are white, full of power. Some fall straight down, others fall on rocks and have to find a new way. They are full of dynamic.

Norway - the North

Redundant to comment.

Ships

This is a very old ship. People seem so small when standing next to this vehicle.

An excursion

It's possible to do excurions for a day and to return to the ship at night. We did this once to see the countryside there.

The fjords

They are beautiful, the fjords. The weather became better, means warmer every day. It was so nice to watch the landscape.

The cruise - seasick

The sea is never stable. This seem obvious. Even though I think that the sea was rather calm on our first day on the ship, there was movement all the time. Of course.

I got seasick while sitting in a comfortable chair looking outside. Pranayama, oh yeah, I did it. Inhaling, when the front of the ship went up with the waves, exhaling whan the ship went down. I held the breath, when the ship tilted to the sides. I was already in a state between sleeping and awake when E. asked me to change places. We went to the middle of the ship. There it was calmer.
"When I was younger, I could stand this much better." He told me.
I looked at his pale face. Oh no, I thought, he too.
"Darling, you are Aries, I am Taurus. These are earth signs." I answered.

We were both seasick on our first day on the cruise.

I thought: One day when I will be asked again: Would you like to go on a cruise with me? I would answer:A cruise? No thank you, that's nothing for me.

But this was on the first day. It got better and calmer, seasickness disappeared.

I wear my sunglasses at night


Sunshine all night long. There was no night in the north of Norway. The sun was shining 24 hours. Pictures could be taken all the time. I wore my sunglasses at night. This is amazing.
Only the heavy curtains protected us from the sunlight when we wanted to sleep at Kirkense.

"Is this for fishing?"


At the security check in Norway:

"Is this for fishing?" The woman at the security check pointed at my yoga bag.

"No, this is my yoga mat." I answered with a smile.


We both had to smile about this misunderstanding.


But back to the beginning of our trip to Norway:

It was very early in the morning, but finally the suitcases were packed, when I heard a sound. It was my meditation clock, that was buzzing in my suitcase. I had to open it again, I switched off this important spiritual tool and then I was ready to go. Buh.
To travel means to carry heavy and bulky suitcases, it means to stand in line with many other people. There is pushing and pressing everywhere. Airports are overcrowded nowadays. It means to get bad food on the plane.
I could already predict that the stewardess had to come at least twice to tell my bf to switch off the PC, when in the plane. In earlier times I repeated the words to the stewardess, but nowadays I close my eyes. It's not my game.
To travel means to organise everything, cars must be rented, hotels booked, money needs to get changed and so on.

To travel means to get out of the comfort zone.
I like to travel.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

At home for a few hours


Buh.
There is such a thing like stress on vacation.
At 1 p.m. the taxi will pick us up again and there is still a lot to do. 2 hours are left.
But I want to focus on the positive aspects of limited time.
It's so amazing what I have already done so far, only because I know that I have only a few hours.

Pranayama and meditation: I don't care anymore when I look at my watch. Firstly I try to observe the impulse. When I cannot resist to follow whatever impulse comes up, I do what I think what has to be done (scratching, looking at the watch). And then I go on. To be the master of the mind and not the other way round would be nice.

Ashtanga yoga was great today. Back bending gets better, I thought, till I did urdhva dhanurasana. With the block between my thighs I scarcly could lift up my body. I repeated this pose without the block. :) This was much better.

And now I have to hurry again: ironing, emails, unpackung and packing the suitcase, doing the dishes and and and.
Picture: Paris - art at Place Pompidou

Monday, July 07, 2008

Addicted


Addicted to pranayama and meditation: I could have been on time at the Ashtanga Studio Paris in order to practice yoga in a group with a teacher. But I wanted to do pranayama and meditation first. Doing this first I wouldn't have been able to be on time. I set priorities. I start loving pranayama and meditation. I don't care that I look at my meditation watch from time to time.

We are back in Munich, one hour later as planned.
It's the best to go to bed and to get up early. At 1 p.m. the taxi driver will pick us up tomorrow to take us to the airport again. First stop is Norway, but we have a connecting flight to Kiergeness. From there our cruise will start the day after tomorrow. I hope the water will be quite.
Picture: Paris - Pere Lachaise

Pere Lachaise


Pere Lachaise is the famous cemetry here in Paris. The graves of Edith Piaf, Chopin, Morrison, Wilder, Honore de Balzac can be found here. We didn't find a grave of a famous person, but we didn't care. To go for a walk in a cemetry has always something meditative. It's a good reminder that everything has an end one day, even life - perhaps it will end tomorrow, perhaps in 50 years. To see an end to anything gives intensity.

It's our last day here. At 8 p.m. we will fly back. Our nice trip will find an end this evening.
Picture: see title of the post

Isnt's it all about the spine?


I lengthen the spine during my yoga practice.
I twist it.
I round it, while bending forward and while bending backward.

Isn't it all about the spine?
Picture: Jardin de Luxembourg a Paris

Pranayama

My yoga practice turned into a pranayama practice.

With each inhaling I strengthen the body.
With each exhaling I go deeper into the pose.

Focus remains the breath. Had a wonderful practice this morning. It was too late when I woke up to go the the studio here. So I practiced on my own. It was pure joy. And so sweaty.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Meditation

Meditation:
Someone closed the door of the car in the street, it deepened my meditation.
Someone in the hotel showered, I could here water running somewhere, it deepened my meditation.
I could hear someone close the door, it deepened my meditation.

There happens such wonderful meditation practices, too, Nothing disturbs me, whatever happens I can use it for me and not against me.

There was time for a yoga practice, too. So sweaty. And now I will join E. for breakfast.

La France et la bouffe

It's superficial to go the theatre or to watch a movie here in France. It's superficial to go to one of the museums here in Paris. But it is a MUST to go our for dinner and lunch as often as possible. This IS a show, it is theatre, it is what represents France.

You can feel it, to eat is most important.

It needs some conviction to make clear that a good dinner can also be without meat (and fish (thuna, crevettes) is meat, too). I can convince people, even French waiters. I like vegetables, vegetables alone are enough for me. So once it is clear that I will be happy with a meal without meal I get something which is so amazing. Most of the time I have something on my plate I don't know what it is. "You have to taste it," I tell to my darling and I pass him a bit of this astute food. It is as if I get always something that is the secret of the cook.

France and food this is the same. There are 2 words for bakery i.e. There are bakeries, that sell bread and those who sell cakes. When ordering wine, we are asked if we like red one or white one of course. When we go for a read wine we are asked cold wine or warm wine, heavy or light. There are so many distinctions here.

When I ask questions how something is made, I am considered as a gourmet and not as a trouble maker.

I ate a lot here already, but I haven't gained weight. It's fun to go out for dinner here (and expensive, too)

Friday, July 04, 2008

Ashtanga Yoga Paris


I could practice at Ashtanga Yoga Paris. What a beauiful yoga place. It's all Zen style. The steps are a bit steep, but only when sleeping there is the danger to fall down.

About 15 people came. One mat was next to the other. Heat developped in the small room. The 2 teacher were given adjustments all the time, soft adjustments which showed the direction, but not very pushy, more sensitve. Oh, I have to loose my shoulders.

The teacher wasn't happy with my urdhva dhanurasana. My legs are not parallell. He gave me a block between my thighs that I should press. I think that way I really can improve the challenging pose.

The Ashtangis left the room when they had finished their practice. So did I. It was great to practice with the Ashtangis in Paris. I highly recommend this studio. Perhaps I can go there again on Monday. That would be great.

It's lunch time. I just met my bf again. We had a phone call and I told him where the cyber club (internet cafe) was. But he still has to make an important phone call. I will meet him in about half an hour. It will be lunch time then.

I'm in love with Paris.

Picture: Paris, one of the houses and balconies

"You are primitive"

As usual I was too early at the yoga studio. To be precise I was 1 hour too early. So I walked a bit around and at the corner was a cafe. I asked the waiter if it was already open. He said yes and I sat down. As it was such a beautiful cafe with walls made of mosaic and colorful cushions in a corner, I took my camera out of the bag in order to take a picture. So far I haven't taken so many picture. A good opporunity, I thought, my blog in mind. When the waiter saw the camera he said: "No, no." "Oh", I said to him, " You have such a beautiful cafe, I only wanted to take a picture of this corner, but if you don't like it........."

The waiter disappeared in the kitchen and I thought that this was a good opportunity to leave the cafe. It was no more such a nice place to stay, not even for a tea. I didn't feel welcomed.

I left the cafe, crossed the street and then a man probably the owner, was runnig behind me shouting very loudly: "You are primitive, very primitive, you cannot take pictures........and so on. It was the first time that I didn' t regret it that I didn't understand everything.

I turned to him and said: Sorry, you have such a beautiful cafe, I only wanted to take a picture, but you didn't like it and so I haven't taken a picture.
He went on shouting: you are primitive, very primitive.

I thought: Who am I? I am pure consciousness.
I answered: Yes, I am primitive. Thank you very much. And bye-bye. (All in French language, I'm very proud of myself.). I only wanted to get rid of this guy, the best way to get rid of him is to have something in common, the same opinion, I thought.

I was dressed very elegantly today with pastel shades, my cleavage was decorated with lila pearls, my face with a bit of lipstick and mascara. I was carrying my white hand bag, my camera and my yoga mat. The man was not shaved, dressed with loose clothes and obviously really angry.

Finally he left me still shouting: primitive, primitive . My energy level was high. This could have been a danger and I'm an animal. My instincts are always awake. I was ready to run away, I was ready for a fight. But there was no danger.

I sat on a bench then , smiling and enjoying the energy level: that's good for my yoga practice I thought.

But I also reflected on taking pictures: Lately I read a book on India as a preparation for my trip. The author pointed out that the Indians don't like it when tourists take pictures of the misery, the poor people, because it paints a wrong picture of India. Nowhere in the world people like it to be photographed at a funeral. It's the same in India. I'm conscious that once I have a camera in the hand, I become a voyeur without mercy. There is perhaps a paparazzi in all of us. Perhaps this man prepared me for India. To be more sensitive, to ask people for permission before taking pictures might be a good hint. Of course I want to be polite. Of course I want to respect the feelings and privacy of others.

My love to France isn't touched at all through this event. I love it to be here.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Mousse au chocolat


Je suis à Paris.
I arrived.

This morning I got up at 4 and this was an easy exercise. As usual I was too early at the airport. Finally I sat in the airplane and in less than 2 hours I was in Paris. I took a taxi to the hotel. A soon as I was in the hotel room I also was on the soft bed with the white linen. After 10 min somebody knocked on the door. It was my boyfriend to give me a hello kiss and hug. So nice. He interrupted the important conference, because of me, to say hello.

Then I slept again. Deep. Till I felt cold. In the meantime it was already lunch time. I left the hotel in search of a nice French restaurant. There were many restaurants everywhere. Of course I ordered a glass of red wine (un couvert) and tomatoes as a starter, potatoes and grean beans as the main course. It's still difficult here to get vegetarian meals. The waiter couldn't convince me to take the thuna at least, so that I had something. And then I couldn't resist. It had to be the mousse au chocolat. It was all perfect.

In France I have to go shopping. Sizes are smaller here than in Germany and the clothes fit me. I found sexy prices everywhere. In France the low prices are sexy. So I bought some sexy pair of trousers, a sexy dress and a sexy jacket.

What's nicer than to sit down in a cafe, outside, watching people.
I had a perfect day.

And this evening we will go out. A. will be with us. She is married to an Indian man and lives in Mumbai. I'm sure she will give me some tips for my trip. We will see her later this year in India again.

What a life.

And tomorrow in the morning at 10 (this is in France the morning) yoga time. Yesterday in the evening (this was my last act yesterday) I already announced via email that I would like to practice in the yoga studio here. In the morning I got the code for the door - via email as well. Communication was never so fast (around the globe) than nowadays. I'm very happy and relaxed in the here and now.

PS: I found a job offer in my inbox right now. I regret it so much, I'm not available. :)
Picture: Paris, the view at the first table, while we were having breakfast.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Especially on hectic days pranayama and meditation are good

It was a hectic day.
What is done so far:

- Drugs for bf are on the kitchen table.
- I saw S and her baby, very nice.
- I filled in the form for the health insurance, copied it and mailed it.
- I opened a new bank account. I get more interest there.
- I paid a bill.

This all seems as if it is nothing. But there are ways to go, there are bank account details to search and and and.....

What's left:
- I haven't done the tax declaration.
- I haven't cleaned anything.


I did pranayama and meditation. It was possible to forget the world around me and all the tasks I still have to do. I focused on my breath. Meditation was quit, too. I'm relaxed now. Motivation to vacuum or to even pack my suitcase is zero.

At 4 a.m. I will get up tomorrow morning. Within one hour I should be able to have a shower and to pack the suitcase. At 5 I will have to leave my home. At 7 I will be in the air already. After 8 I will be in Paris. I'm tired.

I must remember: it's all fun.
The issue: There are still so many things to do. It seems endless.

Funny was: I told S, that I will write her an email from Mysore. She answered: You won't have time. And she does not know my time issue. :)

With Sharath

I switched on the CD by Sharath this morning. It helped me to start, but very fast I was almost totally absorbed by my practice. I lack strength, so after the standing poses I practiced without CD, my very won rhythm led me further through the asanas.

Urdhva dhanurasana is difficult. I didn't try to drop back from standing position. I tried to walk the hands closer to the feet. At least I wanted to indicate it, but it was more, feet and hands approached a bit.

Shower and then I got busy:
I picked up some drugs for my bf from the pharmacy.
I picked up my clothes from the dry cleaning shop.
I went to the bank and ordered Rupies.
I made a wire transfer.
I cancelled my daily newspaper.

It seems as if it is nothing, but nothing is done quickly.

What else is to do? I have to set priorities.
My bf (I could shoot him to the moon) needs more drugs, have to go to his doctor first.
Then I will meet S., she was in Mysore already. I haven't seen her for months. This is pure fun.
I need a health insurance, I have to fill in the form, I have to copy and mail it.
I HAVE to do my tax declaration.

And then cleaning, cleaning, cleaning.
At 9 I will have to pack my suitcase for Paris. I will only need the small one.

Fun now. S. I'm coming.

Dangers

There is the danger that time is running through the fingers when not having to leave the home at a fixed time. I got up at six, but I got nervous. I thought of my long to do list. I put dirty clothes into the washing machine. I was dawdling. Nervously I was searching my ticket to France.

But no, I didn't let go the time that way. I didn't like to spoil this wonderful morning. Trust, I told me, you will be able to do all the things that are necessary to be done.

So I put my cushion on the floor and started with 10 min pranayama. Lately I read that pranayama means developping energy. And so it is. I felt full of energy afterwards. Ready to meditate.

Meditation (10 min today): I modified a bit what I did the last weeks. Not with each and every inhaling and not with each and every exhaling I imagined the word "I am" "I am" "I am" and so on . I sat quit on my cushion, when thoughts came up, then I thought "I am" and not all the time. I observed the breath, I became conscious of my face and relaxed it. A pigeon flew on my balcony. Usually I shoo these birds away and the impulse to shoo it away came up. But I remained almost motionless in lotus pose. I heard the pigeon, but I did nothing. It deepened my meditation. Then if flew away and it was silent again in the middle of a big city. Not only once I looked at my meditation watch.

Pranayama prepared me for meditation, and meditation prepared me for yoga. And that's what I'm going to do now. I don't mind how long my to do list is. Yoga first. I have priorities.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Oh, my right foot

The right foot hurts now. We walked too much. It wasn't reasonable to buy this pair of trousers by Escada only because the price seemed to be good. It's perhaps a bit too tight, too. And was it really necessary to buy this dark blue cardigan. But it is so nice. I don't regret it.

I only feel sorry for my right foot. I hope it will be better till tomorrow.

So much is to do. And I thought I won't have stress, when I won't have a job.
Where to start I ask myself. I recommend to myself: stay relaxed, make a list.

A most stupid question

"Do you think you will ever get a job?"

And such a question I was asked on my first day off (motivation: care!?????)

Even worse: Feelings of anger/aggression arose in me. I couldn't let go.
I have no time for such nonsense. I cannot influence others, but please myself.
Nothing learned so far.

I'm so disappointed that I gave others so much influence on myself. Why not surrender this energy? I know I can do it. But not always, seems so.

Generosity has many faces. It can mean to give money to someone needy. It can also mean to feel mercy with myself. OK mercy with myself. I mean I'm brought up as a Catholic. If I regret enough, sins will be forgiven.

Relaxed again. Oh, up and down, nothing stands still.

Ha, I have to hurry. B. is waiting for me.

(It's interesting how writing about events changes the same. Everything is again so ridiculous in the best sense. Above question became something to laugh about.)

I'm so relaxed, in such a good mood, the last thing that I need now is to become fearful.

A nap in the afternoon

I slept deeply, I woke up refreshed.

Ha, what a luxury life I have.

I will meet a friend at 4 p.m. We will go shopping together - a ladies thing. :)

One hour

I could practice as long as I wished. I did half of the second series within about 70 min. Oh, I sweated. I tried not to categorize the asanas in those that I like and those that I do not like.
Each asana is welcomed I thought, each life situation is welcomed.

I sweated.

It's a progress that I do not want to listen to music while practicing. It's easier to be attentive, to listen to the breath when not distracted by music.

To speak of the mind and the body are humble tries to understand a human being. In fact it's a unity, difficult to divide. They influence each other all the time.

And because it's my first day off, I will go out for a walk now. Awareness I will exercise. My life cannot be divided anymore in a life on the mat and a life off the mat. It's all an awareness exercise. Everything seems to be a game. Energy is felt - sometimes more, sometimes less, sometimes the energy is vibrating, sometimes slow and steady, but it's still energy.

The sun is shining, it's summer time. I'm relaxed and happy. Everything will happen without fighting. This is so relaxing.

The early morning

I was up early as usual. Bf got up before me at 4:30. He is heading for Paris today. Right now he may already be in the aeroplane. Soon after he has left the bed, I got up, too. I have no time to loose.

Pranayama was great.
Meditation I stopped after 8 min. Priority was to enjoy it and not to accomplish anything. After 8 min I got restless. So I stopped.

Yoga now:
I like it that my first day off is a day where I will practice second series, backbending, heart opening exercises.
Yoga is meditation, too and it is pranayama, too.

It becomes clear to me that in order to become clear and pure, living in the now, concepts, ideas, perhaps even attitudes must go. Not to add more (philosophy) , but to let go is the challenge.