Tuesday, September 30, 2008

To create a vacuum

I am busy to throw things out. I want space, I need space so that something new can develop. It is symbolic and it creates a feeling of becoming free.
Inhaling and exhaling are different sides of the same coin, buying and decluttering are different sides of the same coin, too.
I found a few clothes that I do not like anymore, that I throw out. A few law books have to go, too. The process must go on.
Empty space...ah......what a relief.

Buh, yeah, I was on my mat

It is not so easy to enjoy all the ups and downs. Especially to accept the downs are difficult. But before I write about the ups and downs, I have to write about the start. To start alone was a challenge. Sit on your mat and wait what happens, I thought. That's what I did. But after a while I started practicing. I had zero ambition. I only wanted to practice, no matter how. Music helped me today. Twice I interrupted the practice for a break. It was OK. Some poses were astonishingly good like utthita hasta padanghustasana, others were rather akward like pindasana. I rolled out of this pose. To practice alone has totally different challenges. I practiced, I am even a bit proud now, optimism is growing again and my energy level is now much higher than in the morning. I do not crave for chocolate or a cake, but I am looking forward to my mango with soyayofu as breakfast.

I am already in a hurry. It is my social day. Gossip, gossip, gossip. :)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Fall

On the picture a corn field can be seen. The corn is already cut, the field looks helpless and naked.
But I wanted to write about the book I am currently reading, it is too good, I have to mention it: It is "A gradual awakening" by Stephen Levine.
It is on meditation and I quote from page 3: "We observe the natural process of mind and discover how much of what we so treasured to be ourselves is essentially impersonal phenomena passing by. " Or page 5: "Or to be more precise, it is our identification with this ongoing process as "I" which becomes the problem."
This is easy to understand, but it is easy to forget it, too. This is why daily meditation is so important. It is important to experience that these thoughts that are coming and going are very instable and that it is absurd to be identified with it.

I finished...

I finished the day with 6 min spinal breathing, and 12 min meditation (at least something). Breathing was rather fast and deep and I wondered what made me so excited. It was difficult to breathe slower. 6 min were over rather fast. I gave me a short break before I meditated on my blanket that I had bought in India. I was astonished that I was still able to sit. The session was rather interesting, because I lost the feeling for my body and where I was in my room. I felt floating, but at the same time I felt the floor under me. Yes, this was interesting and the 12 min were over much too fast. After the buzzing of my meditation clock everything was over. Soon afterwards E. came home and now a hungry bear is busy in the kitchen.

Tomorrow I have a schedule:
to get up at 6, spiritual practices, at 12 I will meet a former colleage, a sauna visit is planned afterwards, at 17 o'clock I will meet B. for dinner, meditation at the end of the day.

New moon

Energy was very low this morning, so low that I went to bed again when E. had left the home. I covered myself with 2 blankets, because I felt so cold. My left leg broke in when I walked. This is not a lie. I don't know how I managed it to get up finally. I did the dishes, I vacuumed, I did the laundry, I wrote my journal and I even read something inspirational by Randy Gage. That's something. At least.

In order to get energy, I drank 2 cups of coffee, I put on my toe rings from India in order to cheer me up. I switched on the radio. I felt so cold this morning that I decided to turn on the heater. September is a bit early, but I felt soooo cold. Then I read the comment of Lars, that it is new moon today, which comes with low energy. Then I had an explanation. :) It was like a rescue.

My days are like a blank piece of paper and it is my job to paint something on it, or to write something or to leave it blank. It is a totally different task in comparison to have a paper which is already full and it needs improvement or change.

To return to a satisfying morning routine is my job now.

Time for meditation before I will go out for a walk.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A cat

Is she beautiful. Pssssst: she is afraid of mice.

A picture of the Sunday excursion

Wood for winter times. It is ready to be burnt. Enough for today.

The river

Rivers are sometimes like mirrors.
It is too late now for yoga. Tomorrow I will be on my mat again. I will start sitting. Then I will stand up to samasthiti, I will chant silently and then I will lift up my arms. Primary series with full vinyasas is on my schedule.

The nature, the air

Germany is green, because there is so much rain. With warm clothes it can be wonderful to walk around and to see how the nature is changing from fall to winter. It was a pleassure to breathe in the cold clean air.

The Chiemsee

It was cold, but idylic there. After lunch we went out for a walk. M. has had his birthday. We were a round of 5 people. I was the youngest, so topics circled around health. So it is.

Driving toward south

Sometimes the Alpes can be seen on the way toward south, but today it was misty. Later the sun shined. We headed for the Chiemsee.

Elections in Bavaria

Free and secret elections in Bavaria today: This morning we went to the school where the voting boxes where located. You can see on the picture that the votes are secret. So no further comment here on that.
After voting we drove toward south.....

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Back bending with David Life (Jivamukti yoga)

The DVD is called back bending, but it is not the only focus. The choreography of the DVD is quite nice. The roots cannot be hidden - it is Ashtanga yoga (only the vinyasas between the poses are missing). I was looking for a DVD focusing on backbending. This one has back bending on it, but perhaps 10 %. I will give it a try on one of the evenings when I want to try something new.
I am motivated to create my own back bending routine. :)

Done

...and it was good.
Must hurry now. Bf is waiting for me downtown.
Am I glad that I practiced.
The body tells me: thank you, thank you.

The first surya namaskaras were great

I feel much warmer now. The body likes the movement of the surya namaskaras.
The challenges remain the same no matter if one does 1 month yoga or more than 5 years. Again and again the way to the mat must be found. Then it is most likely something wonderful that develops.
And outside the sun is shining now.

Out of the blue

Out of the blue I am in not such an excellent mood. No, I don't want to blame the cold weather, I don't want to blame the monthly flooding, ahhh blooding, I also don't want to blame my mother who draw my attention to the fact that I was getting older and that it would become more difficult to get a job. No, I don't want to blame anything or anybody. When I observe my mood, I think, when I become a witness of my mood, joy and lethargy should become the same - a play of the energies, pure entertainment. :)

And I have a wonderful week before me: Tomorrow we are invited at a birthday party, on Tuesday I will meet a former colleague (and I am so curiuos what he has to tell), in the evening that day I will meet my dear friend B.. On Wednesday I have Mysore class and afterwards I will go out with S. for a drink. S. was in Mysore a few years ago.

In a few hours when we will come back from buying birthday presents downtown I am so sure that my energy level will be up and more funny thoughts will entertain me.
Then I will also be motivated to do yoga, despite the freshness everywhere.
Till then, I think, it is awfully cold and I do not want to work anymore and I don't want to have to buy a new refrigerator. All crap. (Mood changes already for the better....only the weather remains cold.)

Friday, September 26, 2008

I was not lazy today

I was not lazy today, even though the day started slowly for me. Still before noon I picked me up and went throught the piles of paper that were on my desk. Many papers could be filed, many papers could be thrown out and some still cry for action. I vacuumed, I dedusted. That my cleaning woman is coming again in October motivates me to declutter. I think that not so much can be seen what I have done today, but I know the difference.

No yoga today, this was OK, too. I had the feeling that the body needed a break. This is no excuse.

Beside the work we did in our home E. and I had a lot of time together. We just came back from(it becomes already embarrassing) the Greece restaurant. We had dinner there. It is dark outside now and I think the day is over. Shall we read, shall we watch TV? Sometimes it is possible to do both.

My lazy, luxurious life

I slept as if I were dead this morning. Much too late I got up. In the meantime E. returned from the physical therapist. It is his last day off and he could convince me easily that it would be nice to go out for breakfast. Said and done. We went downtown for a coffee and something sweet. We both were weaponed with a book and read in the cafe.
I am still relaxed. I enjoy the present moment, I do not care about the future and the past is over.

Effort and emptiness

This post is inspired by the book Ashtanga yoga by Gregor Maehle, page 52.
Effort and emptiness - both can be experienced when we do Ashtanga yoga. It needs effort to do the poses. But looking inside we can perhaps finally experience emptiness. When this is experienced yoga becomes meditative (in my opinion). It can be a focus in one of the next practices: the obvious effort outside and the emptiness inside.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Food - time

I had time to cook today: Indian food. I wanted to try something new, but E. liked the hot red lentil soup. I went shopping for the ingredients. In an Indian shop I found laddhus, this sweet dessert, that I ate in India. I had to buy it. My soup was delicious. We had a rose wine with it, which is of course not typical Indian. So what. I loved it to go shopping, to cook and finally to eat. Now I have time for it. What a gift. And E. liked the laddhus, we ate all. :)

After dinner we laid on our bed and talked. How lovely to spend the time this way.

(No yoga today, it is OK)
Picture is taken somewhere in Munich downtown.

Flexible

Bf has an appointment and afterwards we'll meet downtown for breakfast. I am flexible. My practice last night was very intensive. It doesn't matter when I practice later today. Next week I will be alone at home again. Then I can get back to my morning practice.

Today is the funeral of S.. I guess with her I have lost a secret backer. She often travelled alone, because her husband didn't like to travel that much. People who do this know how much fun this can be. It needs courage to live the life one wants, but it is worth it. When I think of my India trip I start flying - a bit.

Back to the now: Consciously I will walk to the cafe, where I will meet E.. Awareness makes the differnce. :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Self-practice in the late morning, Mysore class in the evening

Yoga, yoga, yoga, not so many other things happen. This gives me energy for the practices. In the morning I had my self-practice. I appreciate it. But as important as my self-practice is the practice in a group with our excellent teacher B. in Munich. This evening we were 6 people, vibrating energy could be felt in the room. Redundant to say that I loved my evening on the mat. I didn't like to go out first, because it was so cold and so comfortable on my bed. But I can lay on my bed all the time when I am 99 years old. So I went and I didn't regret it. I know, I have to be patient with urdhva dhanurasana. Ashtanga does not only teach poses, but an attitude. One has to become patient.

Today I got an email from one of my former colleagues. Another colleague will leave the company. This was known already for a very long time. Like for me, there won't be a substitute for him either. The others have to make his work, too. Am I glad that the company didn't prolong my contract. This was the best what could have happened to me. Thank you, thank you. I will find sources, so that money will come in again. For now I enjoy it to relax, some duties have to be done and I approach them slowly. The amount of work in that company would have killed me. I am free, I am free, not totally, but I am on my best way to free myself from more and more chains.

Volatile like the stock exchange

I practiced. That's the very good news. It is not easy to start that's what I see. As soon as I have started it gets better and better. I try to change my self-talk: Instead of "oh no, now I am already exhausted and now I shall do urdhva dhanurasana" I say to myself "I love urdhva dhanurasana". I have to admit, after a few seconds I add: "more and more". It is a love affair, that grows very slowly.

My body was rather stiff today. Why not. The body is so.

Yesterday I read something rather interesting in the book by Gregor Maehle - Ashtanga yoga. In the book "Yoga Mala" by P. Jois urdhva dhanurasana did not yet exist. This pose must have been added later. I always have the feeling that this pose comes so sudden. The primary series is a series dedicated to forward bending and then this most difficult pose urdhva dhanurasana, a deep back bending. I see that it makes not so much sense to discuss why this pose is now part of the primary series. Worldwide Ashtangis practice this pose before the closing sequence, so do I. Or should I write: Worldwide Ashtangis struggle with this pose now. It is so challenging. Interesting is that even a very traditional practice does change over the decades.

The practice also teaches to stay patient. When urdhva dhanurasana is mastered the next most difficult pose appears at the horizon. No pain, no gain.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

At home again

I make it short: a pedestrian almost knocked me over ruthlessly on an almost empty pavement, unfriendly salespeople everywhere, I feel at home again. :(

Busy, busy

I sleep longer as usual, I get up at 8 or even later.
And now I will meet E. downtown. Yoga must wait. So it is.
There is so much to do: I need ink for my printer, batteries, a refrigerator. The shops are far away from each other. But if everything would have happened according to my plan, I would still be in India and being there I could have done nothing. This should give me a certain calmness.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Full vinyasas

It is nice to do full vinyasas - to look up, to stretch the body upwards between asanas is almost a relaxation.
It was a late practice today. The body was rather stiff, even though it was late. The body is a diva.
My practice was not totally painless, of course not, but I was careful: no further injuryies was priority.
I feel good - the weather is bad. :)

I miss something, I miss something

I feel it, I must practice. The black mat is already waiting. Each and every cell of my body is waiting to be stretched and moved. Ahhhhh.

Period of grace

I give me a period of grace. I am not yet back to a strong morning routine. This morning I slept too long, then I wrote my journal. This at least is done. In the meantime my bf woke up and I went out to buy some "Brötchen" in order to prepare a nice breakfast for us. It was rainy outside and cold, very cold. The black coffee warmed me when I returned. Having a long breakfast together gives me the feeling of vacation. This week E. will still be at home. How nice: 4 more breakfasts together.

I did some chores this morning - cleaning the dishes i.e. But other activities seem so difficult, like buying a new refrigerator. That's how it is sometimes, may it be inner blockades or laziness, fear to make the wrong decision, whatever, but some tasks seem so difficult that it seems easier to postpone them than to tackle them. But by the end of the winter the balcony won't serve as a refrigerator anymore. And now I have time to buy one.

I will find time to practice today, it will be later when my body will be more flexible. Back is much better already, but I must take care.

What to do with my life? This is the question that will come up soon and more intrusive than now. Money must come in. How to make money, that will be the question. Soon. But for now I give me a period of grace.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

"I love to practice Ashtanga yoga" - self talk

Perhaps it is better to say "I love to practice Ashtanga yoga more and more". I am inspired by the book on running marathons that I read yesterday again.
However, I found my way to the mat. My self-talk must have been convincing. Very carfully and attentive to my lower back I practiced. It was a slow practice, I didn't like to harm myself again. Nevertheless the movements were good for me. I worked on intermediate series. I stopped before eka pada sirsasana. That was the pose where I overstretched my lower back yesterday. Important is that the movements are even and beautiful, isn't it? Instead of doing classic relaxing pose I did the pose Lars recommended yesterday. The soles of the feet touched and were on the sofa while the legs were falling apart. This is very relaxing for the lower back.

I am so glad now that I had a wonderful practice. It is possible to practice even when the body is a bit overstretched or injured.

It is not always easy to practice alone. Why not use the methods like positive self-talk and visualization that runners use to do a marathon. This could be very helpful. Self-talk and visualitzation happens all the time, why not doing it consciously.
Visualization: In the book on running marathons was recommended to create a mental movie of the best performance one has had. To think about it when it gets tough is a great motivation for runners, why not also for yogis. The second mental movie runners should create is a movie when the run is over. This is always great. This is true for yoginis, too. When it is over, I feel always excellent.

"I love back bending more and more, I love urdhva dhanurasana more and more" are sentences that could help me. Urdhva dhanurasana was rather good today. I didn't try to drop back from standing position because of my back, but I lifted myself up twice. It is a long way till perfection.:)

My life here

At 6 p.m. we arrived at our Greece restaurant yesterday evening. We prefer to eat so early as it is allowed to smoke there later. It is also difficult to get a seat later. So we enjoyed our Greece dinner. We were at home on time to see the first evening movie. I do not have it so often, I even cannot remember when I had spent an evening in front of the TV with E.. But yesterday we watched "The firm" by Grisham. It was exciting. But one movie was enough for me. Afterwards I went to bed with a book (The non-runners guide to marathon).

I didn't set the alarm clock and so I slept till 9 a.m. this morning. I got up then, checked my Emails. Oh, A., from Japan had written, how nice. Cara (No sleep till Mysore) is in Chicago again. That was the news that happened overnight.
I felt cold, my hands were cold, my back is better, but still hurts. I had breakfast. The butter that was on my balcony during the night was really hard due to the low temperatures. I had found a perfect substitute for my broken refrigerater. This made me laugh, there are always alternatives. I felt still cold, the hot coffee hasn't warmed me. So I decided to take a hot shower and then a cold shower. This is good for the blood circulation and warms me usually.
Some chores were done as well. The cleaning woman did a lot. I walk through my rooms and I admire her fantastic work. It is so nice here now. Nevertheless there remains still a lot to do, the laundry i.e.
Then the phone rang. It was my father. His cousin S. passed away last night. She was only 63 years old. I met her perhaps 4 times in my life. I liked her. Once I had the opportunity to meet her in her home. It astonished me, because it was so unconventional. Everywhere were books. This I always like. She was collecting glasses. Everywhere were glasses as well. The one room had different levels. We sat either on the steps or on chairs and drank champagne, enjoying the company. That is all over. One of the few truth is that we are all mortal. The death of S. was very sudden, she was in hospital only for a few days. It is good not to close the eyes to the very fact that we won't life for ages. I know that S. lived a life she wanted to live: she travelled a lot and she obviously loved books. We are all a bit speechless. Death surprises us, as it is a tabu. But tomorrow it will be us, who will pass away. I remember the books of Jed McKenna and his advice to live life death in mind - always (death as a life coach).

No yoga so far. I should take it easy. I should role out my mat and do what I can do without much effort. To play yoga is perhaps not such a bad idea. Tomorrow is Monday and then I can start with fresh energy.........................

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Books on running (and what has this to do with yoga)

So far I have read 3 books on running till marathon:
- The non-runner's marathon trainer by David A. Whitsett, Forrest A. Dolgener and Tanjala Mabon Kole.
I bought this book because I wanted to learn something on mental training. I was before a huge accounting test and needed motivation. Many tips were marathon related, but many tips could be used in other areas, too. I just opened the book and read on page 103 on positive self-talk. Instead of saying to myself: "I love to run hills", I can say "I love to do vinyasas" (or back-bending, or whatever seems to be difficult for the time being). The book is a ressource for mental techniques. I remember the book as very dramatic. I even cried at the end. It is a book on the American dream "from dish-washer to millioniare" or from "non-runner to marathon". All people of the group achieved the goal to run the marathon. We do not speak of time. I recommend this book.

- Joschka Fischer - Mein langer Lauf zu mir selbst (freely translated: my long run to myself by our former German foreign minister)
This book on running is not less dramatic than the first one. Fischer described how he started. He was too fat and when he ran the first time he was so ashamed that he had bought a huge cap that nobody could realize that he was the German foreign minister. But he didn't give up. Of course not. He lost weight and more weight, apologized at meetings to go out for a run. He had lost so much weight that many people thought he was ill. Then it became public. Fischer had found a passion: running. The highlight of the book was the marathon that he ran. The book was so convincing that I wanted to run, too. Nowadays Fischer returned to his passion before running: good food. He gained weight again, so much that I cannot imagine him running. Running seemed to be an episode of his life. This leads to the third book:

- Wovon ich rede, wenn ich vom laufen rede by Haruki Murakami (Sorry I do not know the English title of the book. I read it in German language)
This is more a quit book. The word "preseverance" comes into my mind. Haruki goes on and on. Nothing can stop him. Once he said: When I would have interrupted my running during the times when I was very busy, I would have stopped running already. This is such an important insight. Highlights are discribed in this book as well, i.e. the 100 km run. Nevertheless I found the book much less dramatic. Between the lines I read that it was important for the author to run on a daily basis. The highlights are important, too, but much more important is the daily running and this is not so spectecular. Murakami has probably the most experiences in running and he is the most modest one. This makes the book so charming.

And what has this to do with Ashtanga yoga:
I tried to compare the both activities: At once I see one advantage Ashtanga yoga has. I do not have to go outside. Runners usually have to run when it is cold, rainy, hot. Yoga is mostly practiced in a room.
Daily: Running and yoga - to do it on a daily basis is the best.
You are alone with yourself, finally. It is possible to run in a group or to go to a shala with many people, but finally one is alone with oneself. I consider it as an advantage, because it fits to my personality. My bf prefers soccer, which is always performed in a group. I am small and in groups I am weak.
Runners set goals, ie. running a marathon or even within a certain time.
Do Yoginis set goals as well? At once it comes into my mind, that I want to master poses, urdhva dhanurasana. I want to deepen my breath and so on.

Running and doing yoga can be a self-experience.

Am I glad that I can practice yoga in a room. :)
My trip to Mysore is comparable with the New York City Marathon. I am sure.
My focus is my daily practice and I hope that I can do Ashtanga yoga for many many years that might follow.

The mind - a commodity

Thinking, contemplation, concentration, meditation
The nature of mind is thinking. What comes up all the time is undirected, vague, leading nowhere. Thoughts of the past, future plans come up as well as pictures what the senses realize right now. They cannot represent the world, they are the map, that we make of the world. It is how we imagine the world. We take this upcoming thoughts too seriously. In reality it is how the mind functions. It exists and so it is producing thoughts.
But we can do something with these thoughts: We can direct the thoughts and this is called contemplation. Thinking becomes contemplation when it moves not through association, but is directed.
Concentration is staying at a point, focusing on a mantra, a flame, a sound. Contemplation and concentration are mental processes.
Meditation is no mind. Understanding the functioning of the mind can lead to no mind.

This post is a summary what I read in the book "The book of secrets" by Osho (page139 ff).
It was a reminder for me not to take the raw material, the thinking that happens all the time too seriously. It is how the mind works. It is so important to meditate to realize this. Even when I sit and when I do nothing the mind is active, entertains me , sometimes in a way I like it, sometimes in a way I do not like it. It is a misinterpretation to take it for real. This can be experienced in meditation. I want to get back to it. I want to sit again on a regular basis, just to see the nature of the mind. The mind is neither bad nor good, it just functions according to its abilities. Like the body the mind can learn.

Back to bad weather: I appreciate it so much that it is cold outside. My refrigerator is broken and because of the low temperatures I can use my balcony as a refrigarator. Many things are neutral, we only judge it in the one or the other way.

Friday, September 19, 2008

I was too aggressive

I was too aggressive towards myself yesterday and now I have it: Pain in the lower back.
I did uttanasana and it was possible, but not without pain. The movement is good nevertheless. I feel this. I am convinced that it is possible to go beyond the own limits, but slowly. One has to be smart to do this - smart and conscious. It makes no sense to force the body to do anything it is not yet really prepared for. Now I have an injured body. That's the punishment.
Redundant to say that it is difficult for me now to step on my mat.

Bf was flexible - Italian restaurant this evening

I deserved it, I worked so much in our home, too. It is all so nice now. Oh, I enjoyed the spaghetti tarantina. So goooood. And the red wine - a Shiraz (not so) gooooood. But the Zupa Romana was again sooooo gooooood. Now weekend can come. What to read, what to read?

The experts

Am I glad that I delegated cleaning my rooms. The woman is perfect, she is a profi. At 2 o'clock she arrived. Till 6 o'clock we both were busy. We both accomplished so much. I can breathe again. The windows are clean, the floors are clean, everything is clean. This is at least my feeling. I was occupied with the kitchen. I threw out as much as possible. Especially spices, that were obviously out of date landed in the garbage can. I could bring 2 bags to the backyard. 4 hours we worked almost without interuption. So much is done. What a relief.

Bad news: My refrigerator is broken.
Bad news: Bf did grocery shopping, no restaurant visit this evening.

Full vinyasas?

Before I started my morning practice, I read in the bible "Astanga Yoga" by Lino Miele. In the forward I read: "As strength and stamina develop start adding Vinyasa between right and left sides and when the body is strong and there is enough stamina try to complete the full Vinyasa by returning to Samasthitih between each asana."

As I feel rather strong for the time being I wanted to try to do full vinyasas. My feeling is that the step to do vinyasas between sides is much larger than doing full vinyasaas between poses. It was even relaxing to do uttanasana. The gravity helps to relax deeply in that pose. To start freshly from samasthiti when doing the next asana helps to focus again. It is somehow like a new start. So far everything went well. I was rather stiff in the beginning, but my body became more flexible with practice.
A warning: And then I became overzealous. Supta kurmasana was not as good as I wished. I tried to put the left leg behind the head. Fear was felt already. Then I tried to put the right leg behind the head. Done. I went further and wanted to bring the hips in one line which deepens the pose and Auaaa. That was too much. Sudden pain is always dangerous and now my left side of my back is overstretched. It even hurts, not in each and every pose, but when I move I feel it. I don't think that it is really bad, but it will take time to recover.

It is so important to be cautious, to give the body time to learn the poses. I know this, but sometimes I am still impatient.
I am glad that I was on my mat, even though it was not that easy. Now I am curious what I can do tomorrow. (I curse silently.)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Step by step

The most important step is already done. I called a cleaning woman and tomorrow she will come. Till then is a lot to do. I have to do as much as I can before her arrival. There will remain a lot to do for her.

My yoga practice must come later. I got up too late and I had breakfast first. It is as it is. :(

The wheather: a wonderful sunny but cold day - typical fall.

So familiar

I was quick and placed my mat close to the door. This is my favourite place. I went to Mysore class this evening. It was the first time after a very long time. It was so nice to see B. again, and to meet my German Ashtangi fellows. We are a wonderful group here.

I have forgotten that my body is more flexible in the evening. I had a wonderful practice and I needed it as well in order to stay motivated.

My yoga practice: I feel so good now. It was so wonderful to bend forward. Oh, what a joy. Supta kurmasana was great and pashasana was great, too. Urdhva dhanurasana is my challenge but it develops, too. What an evening with so many highlights and a relaxed breath.
So and now I am hungry.

I started...

.....and the hot spots are clean already, that is the sink in the kitchen, the bed, the sofa. An important decision is made, too. I will hire a cleaning woman. I need help.

Now we sort out all the drugs that are too old and that we do not need anymore. The less we have the better. The telephone interrupts us all the time. Perhaps we should schedule 2 days for that task (Sorry, that was just a bit sarcastic.)

I am rather optimistic now, I think I can tame the mess here.
Not so good news: My bf came from the doctor and it is recommended not to fly within the next months. So we will stay here in Munich. We won't fly to California now. I think he is more disappointed than me. I am totally OK with it. Bavaria is really a wonderful place to be. Perhaps I will finally write my book, because I have more time.

Nothing has changed

I feared it, and exactly so is it. I am at home more than a month later and the mess remained the same. Where to start? I feel overwhelmed. But I have to start, I have to do anything. It drives me crazy. The shower was good, made me somehow lively again after the primary.
It is so cold outside. I feel caged in my home as I do not like to go out because of the cold.
Enough complaining. Perhaps the mood is better in a few hours. It goes always up and down.

OMG

It was incredible hard. I don't know how often I thought that I wanted to stop. I went on and now it is over and I am glad. To do all the vinyasas is more challenging, I see this now. It is colder here as well, nevertheless I sweated, but not like in India.

Do not have expectations, I told me all the time, just go on. This helped perhaps. It was not a really good practice. And now I feel depleted, exhausted. Why must it be so difficult from time to time?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

No craving for chocolate anymore in the evening

Instead of eating self-made Indian chocolate in the evening, I sat on my sofa with a book. Since a few months a book sits on one of the book piles here, inspired by Tim's post I opened it today. I speak about the book by Haruki Murakami on running and writing. It is a quite book.
It is difficult to compare running with doing yoga. A few similarities seem to be obvious. It is hard sometimes. Pain is felt. It is not only pure joy. "No pain, no gain", I heard several times in India. To find a way to handle it makes the difference of those who go on and those who give up after a while. Knowing that pain will be felt is already the first step not to be overwhelmed by it. To accept it is the next step. Focus, breathing help to deal with it.

For me it was a huge success already to accept that my first surya namaskara is a bit stiff, the second is already less stiff in best case. A development can be observed. The body goes from stiff to flexible. The Ashtanga practice is not a show that is perfect and even from the beginning to the end. Every day it is the same game. The flexibility that is felt at the end must be worked out. Every morning.

Buh, this all makes me so curious how my practice will be tomorrow morning. How will I be able to handle the pain tomorrow?
Time to go to bed.

Picture: A building in Passau.

I feel cold

I feel cold. This is the dominating feeling. Cold, damned cold. I don't want to go out anymore. We have enough food at home, so I also can stay at home. I feel lazy. I slept for a few hours. No motivation to do anything. And again the feeling that it is so cold here. I cannot complain my flat is rather warm. I am barfoot. From time to time I open the door to the balcony and stretch my naked foot outside: Cold, I think, so cold. The balcony door should stay closed.
But I am also lazy. Too many chores are waiting for me. They waited for months, now they can wait another day, I think, knowing at the same time that it would be much better to start cleaning anything.
And this fly drives me crazy. I cannot catch it. The sound it is making while flying around is awful.
It sounds as if I had a crash landing here. Now I realize that I was walking a few centimeter above the floor while I was in India. That's over. Flying is over. Now I have to walk again, perhaps I even have to crawl - in the cold.

I gave up

I left my mat after 5 surya namaskara As and 3 surya namaskara Bs. It was difficult enough to practice that far. Of course I am frustrated now. But so it is.
It was incredible difficult. I blame the jet lag and the cold wheather for the difficulties. To practice alone is also more challenging. At 8 p.m. I was in bed yesterday, but at 2 a.m. I woke up. I stayed in bed and slept again. Finally I got up at 7:30. I left my mat at 9 a.m. because I felt so hungry. In India it is plus three and a half hour, lunch time. But I wouldn't have died if I had breakfast a bit later.
The body was also stiff. But this too, was not the first time, that my body was stiff and I didn't stop practicing. But today I have not had the energy to go on.
Breakfast was very good (sunflower bread with apricot jam and black coffee). At 11 a.m. I have an appointment with the hairdresser.
Life goes on and tomorrow is another opportunity to practice.

Picture: it is the walk between the hospital and downtown Passau along the Inn.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Rainy and cold

It is rainy, cold and already dark outside. I am glad that I do not have to go out anymore. That's how it is here. Soon I have to wear my winter coat again. My body lives still Mysore time. It is only 8 o'clock and I am already tired. I hope I can sleep well this night.
I am already too tired to meditate. It takes some time to arrive.

Hard, but finally satisfying

It was not easy to start and then it was rather hard to practice. The situation is different now. The energy of the group is missing. Now I am alone on my mat. This has advantages, too. I am not distracted by others, I can listen to my own breath.
Somthing else is different, too. I do vinyasas also between sides and this is hard.
I must have been an eternety on my mat, practice was very slow. Every pose was performed.
I am happy now (that it is over). It takes some time to adjust to the new situation again. But so it is. I am convinced that finally self-practice is the goal.

Picture: It is the river Inn, that flows through Passau.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

"...I am ultimately a devotee of nothingness, a servant of emptiness, a slave of infinite silence and endless peace."

During my stay in Mysore I had time to read the book "Tantra - A way of living and loving" by Radha C. Luglio.
Radha went to Pune, to Osho when she was very young, in her early twenties. She lived in the commune for decades. She even worked there. 5 years she cleaned the floors in the ashram. When reading this I thought that this woman must learn something, she was wasting her precious time while being young. Reading her book till the end it became clear to me what she has learned. She learned to respond to the moment, to live in the moment, to welcome it. That's what meditation is about. Now she works as a Tantra teacher.

She finished her book with the words: "My true love affair is far beneath the surface (of being a tantra teacher, my remark), close to a deep and hidden ocean that is nameless and boundless. For like Laila, I am ultimately a devotee of nothingness, a servant of emptimess, a slave of infinite silence and endliss peace." (page 222). Nothing can be added to such a confession of a tantrica.

Where everything began


That's Green Leaf, too. Here everything began. The picture is taken on one of the very first days. Will I return to that place? I don't know. It will happen or it will not happen.

Sunday - waiting for the conference

This is over, too. No conferences on Sundays.
It was always a good opportunity to see and meet all the yogis and yoginis.

"No water, no ice, no sugar, please."


In other words: "Plain pineapple juice. please." Thank you, Cara (No sleep to Mysore). Now I have one picture taken in my favourite restaurant "Green Leaf".

"In India nobody cares."

"In India nobody cares." I guess this will become my favourite sentence for the next week.
I drove home with our BMW. We stopped at a huge parking space in front of a supermarket in order to have lunch in a village on our way home. There were a lot of empty parking spaces there. I am not such a good driver and so the car came to an halt occupying the half of two indicated parking spaces. My bf wanted me to drive back to bring the car exactly between the lines. I didn't like to do that: "In India nobody cares." There are not even lines for parking spaces. But I am no more in India.

I wished my Indian drivers could have seen me how I drove 160 km/h on the highway. But I am also sure that they were the better drivers. We only have the faster cars and the better roads.

Picture: It is Passau, a typical German pedestrian area.

I am up

I do what must be done. This is cleaning. The illness of the mind (having preferences) is almost cured for the time being.
It is difficult to decide what is most important, so I started with the laundry. It is wonderful to have a waching machine. In India I had the feeling that my clothes became dirtier the longer I was there.

And now I go on, I feel so energized, yoga comes later today.

Picture: It is Passau, I took it on my way downtown close to the river Inn.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Hahaha, Greece restaurant this evening

We had the full programme: ouzo, salad, baked aubergine, Greece yoghourt with honey, retsina, ouzo.
I must go to bed now. I won't set an alarm clock. I only want to sleep.

A lonely ride (on my mat)

The last hotel had only small ailes between the bed and the wardrobe, between the bed and the desk, between the table and the chest. I didn't like to practice there. But I had to change the hotel and this time I was in a room that was empty in the middle. It was like an invitation to practice.
I rolled out the mat. It was a lonely ride on my mat this morning. Difficult. Something has changed in my self-practice. I do vinyasas between the sides and not only between the different poses. I want to keep that habit that I developped in Gokulam. It made me strong. Did it? I felt weak today. No, I didn't omit anything. Thinking of the led class in the shala didn't help me to have it easier. It is over now and I am happy. The bad practices are important, too.
Time to see E. in the hospital. We will drive over Regensburg to have lunch there. Then back to Munich.

What makes me laugh inside: People are so tall here, I can eat everything here, everything is soooo clean.

Friday, September 12, 2008

My No 1 in the room No 1

Finally I arrived at the hospital and soon later I stood in front of his door. I knocked. Then I entered. And then I saw him, how he was sitting on his chair in a room with white walls, white linen, a white bed and a white TV. He is a bit out of balance. At once it was clear for me that it was good to return. He feels still dizzy and he cannot walk straight. It is as if he was drunk all the time, he told me later. But it is so much better already, we were even out for a walk.
He: I have forgotten how tiny you are.
Me: Oh, I am not so tiny, darling.
I remembered A. who asked me once (at a party) if it was possible to kiss my tall boyfriend when we both stand.
A., it is possible. :)

Am I in India or what?

Yesterday I went to the main station in Munich to buy a ticket. I went to the counter.
Me: A ticket to Passau please. How much is it? I have a "Bahncard", that garantees me an allowance of 25 %.
She: Then it costs 21,80 Euro
Me: OK.
She: If you buy the "Bavarian ticket" it will be 21,00 Euro.
Me: Then I will take this one.
She: When you buy your ticket yourself there at the machine (5 steps away), then it will cost you 19,00 Euro.
Me: What? Of course I do this.

I bought the ticket at the machine. 1 Euro was spitted out, it fell on the floor. I picked it up, when a man came and asked me: "Can you give me 50 cent. I need it for a phone call." I looked him up an down and thought that he never wanted to make a phone call. Me: "I don' t like that." He would have never answered: Thank you, Mam. :)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I sweated like in the shala in Gokulam

I don't want to conceal it. It was difficult to start.
As soon as I started, focus was there, too. Today was second series day.
I went till pincha mayurasana.
Urdhva dhanurasana was good.
I listened to my breath. It was deep and even. My body is stronger. I can feel this, nevertheless it is difficult to meassure it. But what I can meassure is my weight. We in the Western world are brainwashed. I couldn't resist to step on my scales, without any clothes. And? And? The same like before my trip to India. Deep inside I obviously hoped I would loose 1 kg or so. It is OK. We are simply spoiled regarding our weight and how thin we imagine ourselves.

Time to pack my suitcase again. I will take the train to Passau at 1:30 and I will stay overnight there for 2 nights. On Saturday E. will likely be able to go home. I hope he will be reported sick for some time to recover totally. He sounds much better already.

Where I am?

This morning I woke up and I didn't know where I was. I looked at all the books and wondered where I was, but then I remembered. I was at home.
I slept so deeply after the soccer match Finland - Germany. We won. :)

I am so full of joy. I feel so energized that I wanted to write this down before my self-practice.

Not even the flooding in my bathroom didn't change my mood, my joy. I had started washing my and E.'s clothes, but the washing machine needed cleaning, too.
Barfoot as usual with my toe rings on I did the necessary chores. So, the bathroom floor is clean now, too.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Frankfourt - Munich

The flight Frankfourt - Munich is usual a flight for business men and business women. And so it was. Well-groomed people were in the plane, expensive seductive eau-de-toilette was hanging in the air. India is not less seductive, the smells are different, not innocent also. I love both.

Picture is taken on my way from Mysore to Bangalore. I like this picture because the one part is focused, the other part vague. It is over. That says the other part of the picture to me.

What made me laugh here: I had to go shopping, toilet paper :), some food, wine, too. And then I saw the bananas. In India they are as small as my little finger and here they are such a show off, so vulgar.

I am at home, Bob Dylon is singing his songs, I have a glass of red wine next to me (Cabernet Sauvignon for those who want to know). And damned, now it is cleaning time. Can this be meditation, too?


Gokulam - Bangalore - Frankfourt

I am back. The flight from Frankfourt to Munich is delayed - 50 min. I feel better than I thought that I would. A bit of a headache, a bit tired. That's nothing.

Gokulam: Everything was packed. I was sitting on my bed, waiting for my taxi. I had still 20 min to wait. It knocked on my door and it was L. from NY. How nice to get even a good-bye hug in my last minute in Gokulam.

But then I had to go. The taxi driver was waiting. On my way to Bangalore I saw rice fields and so many little shops. I took my last pictures. There was a lot of traffic. The taxi driver managed it to drive to Bangalore within three and a half hours. This is really great. At the airport I had put 100 Rupie in my hand, we shook hands and the rupie bill wandered silently into his hand. He smiled.
Me: You are a very good driver.
He: Thank you, Mam.
That's what I wanted to hear a last time "Mam". He had opened the roof of his car. His hand was waving above his car when he slowly (?) started driving back to Gokulam.

Here a tip: At the airport my luggage was weighted: it was 26 kg. 6kg too much, they told me. You can either throw 6 kg away. The man showed me a garbage can or you have to pay 30 per kg. Innocent as I am I thought 30 Rupies, but it was Euro of course. So I tried first to find things to throw away. Could I throw away my Gods? No, of course not. Could I throw away my books by Osho? Osho in the garbage can? No, never. So I gave my blue jeans to a cleaning woman, threw away a cooking book and shampoo, deo and things like that. I went to the counter again: 25 Kg.
I "only" had to pay for 24 kg: 120 Euro. Fine. This won't spoil my trip I thought, even though I was sure that not everybody who had more than 20 kg luggage had to pay. Here my hint: In doubt, put the heavy things in your hand luggage. Nobody weights this and travellers often have huge hand luggage. Now I know why.

This morning I arrived at Frankfourt: Where do you come from? At a coffee table I asked an man, who looked Indian. He came from India and we had a lively conversation. I plan to invest in India. :)

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

My last practice in the shala in Gokulam

When I entered the entrance room Saraswathi was sitting on the bench. That was great, because so I had the opportunity to chat a bit with her and to thank her for her help and the wonderful time that I had here in the shala. She is such a great teacher.

Then I entered the shala and I couldn't trust my eyes. It is his second day here and eeyore was practicing already on stage. :)

I rolled out my mat in the last row, but still on the carpet and I had an excellent practice. Somehow I slept well last night and this always supports the morning practice. I am happy with my decision to travel home, perhaps that's why I slept so well.

Despite his protesting, I think my darling is rather happy now that I am coming home. He even told me to book a hotel room close to the hospital as Passau, where he is, is a bit further away from Munich.
I know how to heal him: Kisses, a feet massage with Indian oils, some stories, he can laugh about. Oh and I want to buy an Idian God for him: I guess it will be Ganesh, who will soon reside on his table next to his bed. I am sure this will cheer him up whenever he looks at it.
The doctors will have it difficult to compete with me and Ganesh.

And that's what meditation is: to live in the moment, to stay alert in the here and now. This implies that each and every moment life can go in an other direction. And soon I will be on my way home. To be precise, within less than 24 hours I will be already in Munich.

Was that nice that I was here. I wrote a lot, I posted a lot, nevertheless it could be only a glimpse of the life here.
That's why I want to end this post with the words: Come and see by yourself. It's worth it.

Monday, September 08, 2008

I will fly back tomorrow night

I opened my emails today at Anu's internet cafe and got the very bad message that E. is in the hospital. What shock. My mobile phone akku was empty and somehow the phone lines here couldn't connect me to Germany. When I finally got a line he was not in his room, but I reached him. It is all not so bad as relatives make it, nevertheless...... He felt dizzy during the weekend and broke down.

He wanted me to stay in India, even though he cannot come now. Of course I will fly back to him. Everything is already organized. The taxi will pick me up at 6 o'clock tomorrow in the evening and at 2 o'clock at night I am on my way home. Of course I do not care that the dishes are not clean. :)

This morning I got pashasana. It seems as if this happened an eternity ago. What a lovely gift.

Somehow I am thirsty now, very thirsty. I need something to drink.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Detachment

Being here in Gokulam, being part of a rather small community of about a few 100 Ashtangis is an opportunity to practice detachment. Every day someone travels home, every day there are new arrivals. There is "good-bye" and "hello" every day.
One more time I see how important it is to enjoy the current moment.
It will never come back.
New moments will arise.

Me too I feel as if I am already preparing my departure.
I start thinking of doing lists: what gifts to buy, what is still to do, to see.
Next Sunday my darling will arrive and I am about to organize the taxi from the airport. Being here with E. is my last episode in Gokulam. How beautiful to be here with him for some time, how beautiful to travel back together.
I do not expect a great breakthrough in one of the demanding asanas like supta kurmasana and urdhva dhanurasana within the next two weeks. There will be ups and downs and slowly I will progress. This is totally OK for me.
Two months are enough for me here in Gokulam. It was enough time to settle down, it was enough time to get used to the intensive practice in the shala. I guess I even developped more strenght.
But after these 2 months I am ready to go home. I already feel it. I am still enjoying the wonderful weather here. Emails from friends tell me that it is already fall in Germany, what means it is getting cold. But who cares about the weather. I already imagine myself renovating my home.

Oh, a new arrival: Eeyore arrived at Anu's internet cafe. How nice. :)

A day off from yoga

It is Sunday and I apprreciate it to have a day off from yoga. This experience is new to me. It is not out of laziness that I do not want to practice, it is because I feel that my body needs to rest for one day. My morning practices in the shala are very intensive.

I will meditate this evening. Since my pranayama class, I prefer to do a sequence that exists of sitting down and focusing on the here and now, chanting a prayer, thanking the teachers, praying for success, doing some asanas, doing pranayama and then meditation. Also the stretching afterwards is part of the sequence. This all can be done in a rather short time. The chanting does not last longer than 1 min. Asanas can be reduced to a few essential ones. Pranayama rounds can be reduced to 3 rounds. Meditation can exist of chanting 10 aums, or it can be just sitting, observing the thoughts, imaging a mantra. It feels good to do the preparation. To sit down only and to start meditating seems to be rather abrupt for me now. The sequence prepares the meditation and it deepens it. The sequence is given, but the single parts can be handled flexible. I like this playful approach to meditation. Last but not least to meditate is something that is joy and not a duty.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Seeker

Only those, who are seeking can find out that seeking is redundant.

Saturday: led class at 7:30

Only a few yogis and yoginis were in the shala this morning. Sarasw. led us through the primary series. Even though I haven't slept so well, my practice was wonderful. The body was bendy, I experienced flow. I held all the poses as long as counted, except sirsasana.

Not much thinking happened, it was all too exhausting. I only remember that I had found a good title for this post, but I have forgotten it. Too bad.

Afterwards I had breakfast with Ch. at the Green Hotel. How nice to return to the place of my first days here. How nice to sit there having a perfect cup of black coffee, pineapple juice, vegetable sandwich with an open-minded, friendly man and to exchange infos about yoga and India and whatever comes to mind.

Picture: Holy India - I found this little statue on one of the houses when I walked home yesterday.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Friendliness

It was loud outside yesterday evening (Ganesh festival). So I went out for a walk to see where the party was. A concert was given close to the coconut stand. I went there and stood in the last row. A man was coming to me: Come and sit down, he said. He ushered me to an empty seat. I thought he wanted to get in contact with me. But he joined again his peer group. There was no intention behind his approach, but friendliness.

I sat a couple of minutes on my chair when a girl came to me. She gave me Indian sweets, that her parents must have bought for me. How nice I thought. The sweets were wrapped in newspaper. I admit it, I didn't like to eat it. But wasn't that just nice. Such things happen here so often. And it is all pure friendliness, the joy to get in touch with a foreigner. I love to be here.

The red thread

I thought it would be my first Riksha driver.
Then I thought perhaps the cows, that are everywhere could be the red thread during my time in India.
But they aren't the red thread either.
It is the attitude: relax and all is coming.
Perhaps I have made my first "series" business contact today.
Cara will go out for dinner with me tomorrow.
And right now I met S. from Australia and she asked me if I wanted to see the enlightened palace on Sunday. This all happens without much organizing, without much effort.

To relax does not mean to be in bed all the time, but to let life happen.
Time for a coconut.

This made us laugh

Each of us had a different sitting pose. We are individualists. Picture is taken on the last trip to the temple

Wonderful and exhausting

I have no preferences anymore regarding the number of the students that practice in the shala. How nice. Whatever is, I like it. I like a crowded shala (much energy) and an almost empty shala (much space). Today we were less than 10 people. My practice was rather slow and intensive. I welcomed it that I sweated so much. The breath was good, too.

Picture is taken by Ch. on our last trip. It is part of the temple.

Me, a shala papparazzi?

A bit of history:
Krichnamachar was the teacher of two rather famous people: P. Jois and BNS Iyengar.
Both, P. Jois and BNS Iyengar teach Ashtanga yoga here in Mysore. In the shala of P. Jois nowadays his daughter Saraswati and his grandson Sharath are teaching. Iyengar himself is still teaching, as I have heard. He has had famous students like Lino Miele and Devereux. Nevertheless his shala has only a few students these times. I wanted to see the shala which is close to "The Palace". It was forbidden to take pictures downstairs. I found myself in a very beautiful space. Then I went upstairs, where still teaching should take place and I found this shala, see picture.

It is said that Iyengar's teaching is a bit more flexible, taking into consideration the different abilities of the students. P. Jois is the more succesful one (regarding the number of students). Why is this so I wondered. I think it is because of the students he has had, students, like Swenson and others, who wrote books and spread the Ashtanga yoga system worldwide.

Will Ashtanga yoga spread like an epidemic? I think we will become more and more, but for the mass it is too exhausting. This sentence leads to my next post about by practice this morning.

A. left Gokulam

Beautiful A. left Gokulam yesterday evening. In the meantime she should be back in Tokyo, Japan. I missed her this morning in the shala.
We both didn't take all the rules too seriously. We whispered a hello, or smiled to each other when one of us entered the shala later and when our eyes crossed. Dristhi could be held later.
We had much fun together at hot parties, in best restaurants.
And now we have another plan: Sushi eating in Tokyo.
What a joy to have met this wonderful woman.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Practice this morning in the shala

I observed my practice, I didn't judge it. Surprisingly it was a good practice, I felt bendy. The breath is the focus, nothing else. This is enough.
When I understood Sarasw. correctly I will get pashasana next Monday. It is nice, but it won't be life changing. It is a gift that I appreciate, of course.
And I haven't mastered urdhva dhanurasana so far. Who cares.

Picture: It is one of the Indian tea shops where I do not stop. This is perhaps too cautious, but so far I am healthy and this shall remain so.

An evening at the coconut stand

In the evening I went to the coconut stand. I wanted to know what was going on. It was Ganesh's day. Everywhere were lights and music. The women were dressed with their most colorful saris. It looked all very beautifully. I spoke with Ch and 2 women from Iran, who were studying arts here in India. But I didn't stay too long. My yoga practice was at 7:30. I wanted to have enough sleep.

How to learn to observe

The idea is from Osho again. In his book "So lost and so at home", he recommends to sit down and to observe other people, the birds, the sunset. Observing can be learned and exercised, observing without judging. Then it is possible to get closer to oneself and to observe the own thoughts the same way without judging. What a wonderful idea.

One little sales person is tired

Children are everywhere. They are so little and look so fragile sometimes.

Tomatoes in all possible colors

Sometimes I regret it, that I do not have a kitchen here. All these vegetables and fruits invite me to cook.

Another picture of the old market in Mysore

Please enjoy.

The old market in Mysore

Here Muslim women dressed totally in black can be seen. Even the face is covered. It is in contrast to the colorful saris of the Indian women, who don't mind to show their bellies.

Many houses need a repair,

but where to start. It seems endless.

The old Mysore

Yes, it is adventurous to walk through the old Mysore. Not so many Western people can be seen here.

Hand-made incenses

And so it looks like when incenses are hand-made. It is not a healthy job to role these thin wooden sticks in that black mixture. Not to buy hand-made incences makes her unemployed. Is it worth to maintain a job like this, when machines are available? But this is not a political blog.

...again in the oil branche

I took a Riksha to get downtown Mysore yesterday. Soon an Indian man spoke to me. He pretented to knew me from the shala. He wanted to show me the old Mysore. We walked till the university together and then he left me as I didn't like to go with him to the university. Soon another Indian man spoke to me. He pretented to do Ashtanga yoga, too, but with Iyengar, who is in Mysore, too. He even mentioned Shiva. Is Shiva in the oil branche, too, I thought. But I am an experienced traveller, I know the game from Thailand and from India, too. Somehow they find some Western people, they convince them to go with them to an oil shop or somewhere else and there they get a commission.

And so was it. Soon I sat in a dark back room and I admired all the little beautiful bottles. I had to smell one oil after the other. The story the salesman told me was so good, I have to write it down: "This woman closed the door," he told me," put off ALL her clothes (no, I thought), and showed me her skin. She had scratched everywhere (incredible, I thought)." After a short break. "With a knife -----she scratched her skin." He was searching a letter in a drawer, found it and passed it to me. I could read: "My skin is so much better now, because of this xy-oil." Oh.
I know I am spoiled, I worked 10 years as an accountant, so I checked first the date of the printed Email and it was dated by 1999. Is that really a good reference, I thought.

Unfortunately I had spent all my money already on jewellery, I told him. I could read his thoughts, they were clearly seen on his front: How could you be so stupid and buy jewellery when you can get these oils. Somehow I felt as if I should apologize because no money was left anymore: "You know, I am a lady." This didn't convince him.

I had a question, because he told me 1 drop of oil is enough for the whole body. "How can 1 drop of oil be enough for the whole body?" I asked him. Silence. He took a drop of oil in his hands, levigated it in his hands and then he gave himself a massage on his arms, his chest, his paunch, his legs. Before I could take another breath, I felt how his lower arm touched my nose. This was an obvious sign that I should smell it. And really, I could smell the oil. No time for another breath and I had his left lower arm on my nose. OK, OK. I scarcly recovered from so much intimacy when I felt his hands on my arms giving me a massage. "I believe it, I believe it," I hysterically said in order to prevent a massage on other parts of my body. Of course I should smell my own body, too and really I could smell the oil. :)

Before I left him, he showed me a dozen other letters from clients all over the world, who were all very happy with him. Most letters were rather old. I couldn't buy anything, the jewellery man was a good salesman. I had money left for the Riksha driver back to Gokulam, but no more.

Also the man who ushered me to the shop got no commission. That's why he probably left me after the first corner in the middle of the old market. I will find my way back alone, I thought. I didn't forget to take some pictures.

Yeah, the oil branche.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Whomever I asked

Whomever I asked yesterday if they would practice today, I heard: Yes, of course.
The shala is closed today as there is the Ganesh festival. But the Ashtanga yoga students here are very committed: no day without yoga. I had planned to practice, too. But I didn't get out of bed this morning. When the alarm clock rang I switched it off and turned my body to the other side. Now I know that this was not such a good idea as I had a nightmare. I dreamed of my last job. Finally I got up. I had no bottled water at home so I headed for Vivien's breakfast cafe after the shower. I hoped very much that she was open today and she was open. Yepeee. I had a very good cup of very black and hot coffee (coffee must be black like the hell and hot like the sin) and an Indian breakfast, Indian bread with aubergine chutney. I ordered extra honey.

On my way home I bought bottled water. In front of the temple was a long queue. Do they all want that Ganesh removes the obstacles in their businsesses, I wondered. Usually people buy some flowers that they donate. I should pray to Ganesh, too. Still I have time to write my book, but I have not yet started. Please, Ganesh remove my obstacles: my obstacles come in form of laziness and doubts. Despite these difficulties I managed it to do some brainstorming on my contents while sitting at Vivien's breakfast cafe. Let's see what I can develop. Relax and all is coming.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Sending postcards

I will try it again. This time I will have to go to the post office at 4 o'clock. Yesterday I was told to come tomorrow in the morning at 8:30. But today in the morning it was still not clear what to charge now, because the prices for sending postcards abroad are going up today. But people are so diligent here, that I do not care. I have no duties. I am here only for fun. I can do some ways more often than once and I am still relaxed. How nice.
On my way back I made again a few wonderful pictures. Till late at night the dress makers work usually.

Practice this morning in the full shala

The shala was full this morning. So many yogis and yoginis are still here in Gokulam, I was astonished. I found a place in the last row on the stones. The energy in the room helped me a lot. I practiced slowly, very slowly and focused on my breathing. lately I started wishing that it looks easily what I am doing. But the poses of the first series are not at all easy. Of course the breathing helped me. And finally it was over and it was very good.

Tomorrow is a day off in the shala as there is a Ganesh festival here. Ganesh is the God, who removes obstacles in business. Not so bad.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Diamonds are a girl's best friends

Every evening I open my bag and what a surprise I find something in it that I have bought during the day. Indians are great business people. Yesterday I found these jewelleries in my bag and sandlewood parfum.

Mysore from above

Mysore from above and me very relaxed.

Stiff, stiff, stiff

Practice this morning was stiff. Urdhva dhanurasana is still not happening.
"Practice more often" an intrusive voice is in my mind. "Now you have time."
"Relax, and all is coming" is another recommendation.

Fact is, I didn't like to practice yesterday. My body needed one day rest.
And I had a very amazing day yesterday also without yoga.
Perhaps at the end of my trip I will be able to do urdhva dhanurasana (dropping back on my own from standing position), perhaps I won't be able. Only the Gods and Goddesses know it. :)