Thursday, April 30, 2009

....oh, the wisdom of Mr Balsekar arrived

90 wisdom decks by Ramesh Balsekar arrived.

Here is a quote:

There really is no bondage other than the mistaken belief that one is the individual thinker, the doer, the experiencer.

Message of the day

Enjoy the ride whereever it may lead you.

Mine will take me to an Indian restaurant this evening. Oh.

Just an observation

Younger people fear to get old. Life is over when they are 50 or so, they think.
Nevertheless the older we get, the happier we become. This is true for many people.
And life isn't over yet either. Smile

Zah, zah, zah

Zah, zah, zah, oh, ah, zah, zah, zah.

Scared

I thought: Today I am courageous, today I drop back on my own. My back bending is as deep as it never was. It feels also good, I enjoy it to arch back. But no way to let go, no way to drop back on my own. I need psychological support, means I need my teacher B. to do it.

I practiced 1 hour, only second series till parsva dhanurasana. Loved it.
Urdhva dhanurasana will still keep me busy. It is a challange, no doubt.

Has this something to do with me?


I plan to double it. An intensive life, a quick death, that's it.
I get phone calls, I am dawdling, I drink black coffee and I eat chocolate. Music is on.
Mood is great.

Thank you for everything.

Oh, a phone call from Nouvelle-Calédonie

I actually realized that I got a postcard from Nouvelle-Calédonie this morning. Yesterday in the evening I was too tired to check my mail. My friend A had written me a postcard. This morning (her evening) she called me from Nouvelle-Calédonie. It is far far away from Munich, where it is I don't know exactly, have to look it up.
What are a few more wrinkles, a few pounds too much on the hips, a few wrong teeth, tired eyes, that need glasses to see the world clearly, when it is possible to experience the joy of friendship.
This really is my greatest gift, that I have friends, whom I love and who love me.

A story from my beloved Grandma:
Someone asked her: How old are you?
She: Me,too, I was 17 once.
The same person: You are 100.
She, with a face of incredible astonishment: What? So old already?

When we are really old we often forget our real age (the age according to our calender). I can still remember. Smile.

Your yoga practice has flow

That was a great compliment yesterday after Mysore class from a fellow yogini. I know that I "cheat" a bit when I practice, many asanas are far away from looking as it is supposed to be. But when I have flow and others can even see this, I think this is more important than the perfect asana.
I enjoyed my practice in the Mysore class, I was in the here and now. Everything was forgotten only my breath had my attention and my body. This will be my focus for a while, to have focus. The dristis were neglected so far during my practice, but I remember them now. When in an asana I will try to keep consciously my eyes stable. That is focus, too. It is said that it calms the mind. Thinking provokes rapid eye movements. To keep the eyes stable influences the thinking. It works in both directions.
On my way to Mysore class all the ugly fights and discontentments, even aggressivity of some of my colleagues was in my mind. Get them out of your mind. Don't let those little monster spoil your evening, I thought. And I was absolutely able to be on my mat, when I was there. Consciously I will focus on the focus now. Where shall be my focus is an important question. During practicing Ashtanga yoga it can always be the breath. But the exercise can go on off the mat. After working hours my focus can be on my other projects or simply in the here and now. There are many possibilities.

This morning I got up later. Black, black coffee is next to me and I need it. It was after midnight yesterday when I returned home. On my yoga place are the presents from my dear friends. I unwrapped them when at home: books (something to entertained me), something for the skin (smile), something to drink (tea, hahahaha), something to put my cosmetics in it (beautiful). The most precious gifts are my friends themselves, whom I know over decades, interest never faded. One friend even knows me from my 20s. I loved the gathering yesterday evening in this Afghan restaurant due to my 50th birthday. B. insisted to stay till after midnight, we were the last guests, Munich is a village, restaurants close early.

And today I have a day off. I have time for a long, long practice. Ha, what else can I wish. I am happy and in peace with myself. It is a nice feeling.

Picture: another one from Italy.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A few sun salutations - a must

I did a few sun salutations A and B this morning. I didn't count how often I greeted the sun. The breath matched with the movements. This is important for me. Then I sat down in padmasana and bowed forward. I sat on the carpet, very simple it was today.
I am busy already and it will be a long day.

It is easier to move the Alps than to change the opinion of a person about myself. When I will get feed-back from the boss this morning, I will listen. It is nice that someone has so much time to think about myself, I will think and enjoy the attention.

Mysore class will be great again in the early evening, I know it. I am so looking forward to it.

No time to loose, I will have to hurry to the Afghan restaurant to meet my friends afterwards. It will be after midnight when I will return home. A long day. A day I am looking forward to.

What to dress, what to dress is the question now.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Always in the front row

Nothing stops me but the time, my own modest choices and my exhaustion.
Also today I didn't manage it to be on my mat on time. I was a bit late. 20 min too late and this is damned much. I practiced till parsva dhanurasana. Closing sequence had to be quick. There was no time for pranayama and meditation.

Most of the time I practice on my own. I have to. I also think that this is the final goal to practice alone. Mysore classes prepare for this.

Oh, I feel good now. I loved my intensive practice this morning.
Time to have breakfast.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Less asanas, but pranayama and meditation

I had a lovely practice this morning. I was a bit late on my mat, so I had to compromise a bit. After some forward bending and a short closing sequence I sat down for pranayama. Only a few rounds are enough. And then I meditated 10 min. I loved it.

The asana/vinyasa practice is good for the body. It gives me strength and flexibility for the day. It also prepares me for pranayama. Pranayama controls the feelings and the thoughts. It connects the body and the mind. Meditation is a perfect end. Thoughts come and go. My meditation practice is more or less a concentration practice. Each time when thoughts come up I name them mentally (future planning, feelings, restlessness, past, hearing) and then I go back to the breath. "I am", I think, while being aware of my inhaling and exhaling. I go on observing the breath, till the game starts again. The effect of this exercise is that I become calm and that I bring myself in the here and now.

Only the here and now exists. These practices makes me live intensively.

Picture: Another picture from the Lago di Gardo

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Rainy and sunny

The weather forecast predicts sun and rain on my birthday. From everything a bit, as usual.
When I tell that I turn 50 in a few days and that half of my life is over now, people usually answer: You are rather optimistic. Yes I am. 100 is doable, I think.

Firstly I have to survive my birthday parties. I am glad that I have different parties, one with my best friends and the other one with the family. Oh and I will also be alone with me, I will have a day off and I will soooooo enjoy it.
The family brought me already to the point that I start thinking like they do: Oh am I glad when it is over. NOOOOO. When I think so I don't like to have a party. I want to enjoy it. I want to think: when does it start, I can't wait and this shall last forever, at least a little eternity.
Resolutions are made. Next birthday party with the family will be in 10 years. I know it is almost a crime that they do not get an invitation card, it is without style. Nothing can be shown to the neighbours and relatives. But they will have to live with it. They got a phone call and an email. Enough. A friend said to me: It is nice to live such an etiquette. It is, but only if it is no pressure, if it does not come with expectations nobody can fulfill.
I will exercise my humor. It is a weak plant, but I will water it and till my birthday it can become something solid, something flourishing, like the tree at the opposite of the street. Fun is on my schedule, Champagne, good food, castles and people, who bear me since 50 people. A bit discontentment and carping shall be allowed.

So - rainy and sunny, like my life so will be the weather on my birthday, from everything a bit.

Why to do yoga?

A year or so ago I attended a workshop. Before we started with the asanas, the teacher asked questions about yoga. One of the questions that occupied my mind for a while was: Why do we do yoga? The given answer by the teacher was: We do yoga to get to know ourselves.

Is this true I wondered? Do I get to know myself when I do yoga?
When I practice yoga I am confronted with attitudes of myself I am familiar with, i.e. a certain impatience, also discontentment. I also see that I do not give up so quickly to mention a positive approach. But what I experience on the mat is not experienced in all areas of my life. I might be rather ambitious with my Ashtanga practice, but I am not ambitious all the time. I conclude, how I experience myself on the mat is rather limited to what I do on the mat. Generalizations are never correct.
So do I really get to know myself when on the mat, practicing asanas?
Stop again. I talked now about the conditioning, we all have. The masters agree, that we are not our conditioning. So we can only experience what we are not and not what we are.
Do I see this when I practice these asanas? It is possible to practice with awareness. Yes. It is possible to observe the upcoming thoughts, how they come and go. It is possible not to be identify with them, but to be detached. Nevertheless the practice is so demanding that it is easy for me to get distracted.

It is possible to see how the mind is working when doing meditation, sitting calmly, doing nothing. Then for me it is easier to see all the thoughts coming and going and being not identified with it. I see that I am not my thoughts, feelings. They are changing all the time. Through meditation I can learn to see what I am not.

Does asana practice prepare for meditation only. Are the asanas necessary to prepare myself to sit calmly on a mat? So much effort only to be prepared for something else? The physical exercise is important, I think. It has it's own value. It is intensive body care. But the goal to get to know myself when doing yoga is a bit far-fetched for myself. In that matter, sitting meditation can do more. Sitting meditation and observing the mind, helps to understand how the mind is working and that we are not the upcoming thoughts and feelings.

I'd like to apply the concept by Balsekar who says that it is to be understood that we are not only not our conditioning, but that we are also not the doer. Can I understand this when I do Ashtanga yoga. It is far-fetched I think.

So why to do yoga? My current answer: to have fun.
The practice keeps me fit, I feel good when I do it, especially good I feel afterwards. (The body and the mind appreciate this practice).
This is very much, to have fun, to enjoy the moment. What else can I wish.

Picture: Taken in Italy, Lago di Garda.

The position of the hips

The breath is my focus nowadays.
But beside the breath I checked the position of the hips this morning during my Ashtanga practice. They are supposed to be parallel most of the time. It is so easy that they get out of line. This makes in most cases the pose easier, but also sloppy. The hips are also the pivot when forward bending. Forward bending starts from here, the back is supposed to remain straight in most poses.

Beside my yoga practice I try to do what has to be done i.e. going on organising my birthday parties.

I try to create little oasis in my life. Every here and then I have the feeling that I want to escape, to withdraw from everything. This can also be done mentally, but not always it is successful. Oh meditation was restless today. I stopped after 4 min. Pranayama was great. I love my breath.

Picture is taken in Italy, Lago di Garda.



Saturday, April 25, 2009

We are all the same, only different


We are all the same, only different. I didn't understand this sentence a few years ago, I start understanding what it meant by it and it is so true. A sentence that can bring a new view in one's life. I do not even remember anymore where I've read it the first time. This is also not so important.
What is meant by this sentence?
Our genes our conditioning determines our lives. This is equal for every person, tall, small, man, woman. Only the genes and the conditioning is different. They give us the frame within we act, have to. Nothing must be done. Due to our genes our conditioning and what is around us life simply goes on without the necessity of doing any effort to do anything. It simply happens.

In the little village where I work a woman didn't feed her baby till it was dead. Did this woman do this on purpose, I wondered. I cannot believe this. Usually we care for babies, they look sweet for us, this guarantees our all survival that we want to feed these little creatures. This woman obviously didn't feel the same way. Voluntarily? No. Even the law judges such cases differently. She will probably put into a psychiatry and not into prison because she is considered not being able to take responsibility of her baby. But there is not so much difference between her and me.
Also this woman acted according her genes, her conditioning. What is the difference between her and a successful actor i.e. He/she, too acts according the given possibilities. We are all the same, only different.
Knowing this mercy must be felt with other people and the own behaviour.
Knowing this peace must come into ones life. Life becomes something that we can observe, it makes struggling redundant.

So good, my practice this morning

In the middle of the primary series I wanted to give up. I was exhausted. During the last week I only did a few asanas, so I got weak. (I was ill.) But I went on this morning and I sweated. To go on till parsva dhanurasana was of course too much, I did the whole first series. Nevertheless till my Indian trip last year I got stronger in general. I do vinyasas also between sides now. Before my Indian trip I did vinyasas only between asanas when I practiced alone. Most of the time I did even full vinyasas today.
The practice with a few pounds more on my ribs was more exhausting than usual. Not to practice or to practice very modest and to eat the same amount of food makes me gain weight at once. So today I was back on my mat, ready to become fit again.

The yoga way cannot be described as climbing up a mountain and finally one is at the top. It is always up and down, up and down. It is important to go on when on a personal top and also when on a personal down.

Supta kurmasana was bad today, so what. Marichyasana b and c were great. Focus was my breath. I was very happy because the breath matched with the movement when I did surya namaskara B. This only happens when practicing a bit faster than surya namaskara a. So I had my highlights and my disappointments and all within 90 min of practice.

If the breath is important, it is good to practice pranayama. The breath connects the body with the mind. The breath has the power to influence the feelings. The possibilities of the breath are underestimated. I enjoyed my few rounds of alternate nostril breathing. Go to your capacities, but not beyond, my Indian pranayama teacher told me and this I respected.

My 10 minutes meditation were great at the end.

(Now I must call my parents and handle their disappointment because they have not yet a birthday card invitation.)
It is sunny here, a perfect day in other words. I want to be entertained.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Paschimottanasana was sandwiched

Oh yes, a lovely practice happened this morning. It was a start again. There was speed in my practice and focus. How good I feel now. The body needs it to be moved. Ah, I feel good. Forward bending today, I enjoyed paschimottanasana. My standing poses were balanced.

And in addition it is Friday. Smile.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Coffee for me, please, extra strong

It is not important to stay on the wagon all the time, but to return is important.
So extra strong coffee for me this morning, 3 cups. The cold shower brings me in the here and now every morning. I love my cold shower in the morning. I am up now, must still dress and put some make-up on my face (part of my morning routine)
The breath will guide me through my day.
How I will hate it when I will see my forgotten yoga mat under my desk, when I will arrive at the office. But this is already snow of yesterday.
Awareness, awareness, awarenss............to be in the here and now, that's it.
Oh, must hurry up again.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Mother Therese

Everybody, also those who pretend to dedicate their life for others do it for themselves.
The victims are no victims.
Mother Therese once wrote in a letter to a friend: Inside myself it is ice-cold.

Did she want to warm herself with all her help for others ?

For me it is pure nonsense when people want to make me believe: I have done this only for you. And you are so unthankful.
(Then a selfish act is regretted because it was not possible to make a business out of it.)

I forgot my yoga mat at work

I forgot my yoga mat at work. I must have been rather confused today. B. has yoga mats, that one can lend. But I want to practice on my own yoga mat. It is a no no to practice on a yoga mat of someone else. What to do, what to do. I jumped off the underground a few stations earlier and tried to hurry home to fetch another yoga mat. When I arrived at home, I realized that I was too late. I would be too late at the Mysore class, so I decided to stay at home. I am sad. I so wanted to get help in ud. I am so close and I hoped I could drop back perhaps today or the next time. I also had a question re parsva dhanurasana. It is not important. I will practice alone here. Shit.

I so wanted to meditate after my asana/vinyasa practice

Back on my mat: I am still a bit ill and I cough from time to time, the nose is clogged a bit, the body weak. What a surprise, the body felt transparent, when I practiced asana/vinyasa yoga (Ashtanga yoga). I think this is because I didn't drink wine at all the last days. This is so good for the body. As main poses in the middle part I did paschimottanasana and urdhva dhanurasana. Oh, I needed more time for more asanas.
(I will be so spendthrifting on my birthday to drink only a few gulps of my Champagne when this shall be enough. I will pour the rest away. It is more or less a symbolic drink, no need to exxaggerate.)

A few rounds of alternate nostril breathing followed. And I meditated. There was the huge wish to meditate. What does meditation mean for me for the time being? Sitting on my mat in silence reminds me to live in the here and now. It is a protected situation, I am only distracted by my own thoughts and the sound of the heater. I am alone with myself. It is easier in such a protected situation to practice awareness and not to get lost in daily life with its auto-pilot reactions. After 10 min I was almost a bit disappointed to hear my timer. It was so nice, only to sit, to know that I live - that's the gift, that we live.
I am glad that I have Mysore class this evening. It is the highlight of the week.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The "Old Widow" is in the fridge

My wine dealer in Berlin was even a bit more dramatic: "You don't drink the old widow, do you?" he asked me and frowned his front when I wanted to buy a bottle of "Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin". Ah, I thought he only wants to sell another brand but I love the Clicquot, perhaps because it was my first Champagne that I drank, and perhaps because it has this special taste. Wink, for those who know......

Yes, birthday planning is going on.
To have a bottle of champagne in the fridge for my 50th is important, that's for sure.

PS: Perhaps a bit of explanation: The champagne company, see above, was conducted in the last years by the widow of the former owner. Something like that I've heard.

A sticky person on a sticky mat

I seem to have been a bit optimistic yesterday, I feel still ill today. Movement is good for the body and so I found myself on the mat. Modest. I only wanted to do what was possible easily. And what surprise I had a sweaty practice till parsva dhanurasana. That's how far I practice now the second series. I loved my practice and I knew that it was good that I practiced. I feel great now.

We all have to handle moods, illnesses, injuries. Sometimes it is necessary to withdraw to take a break from everything, but more often more is possible than thought. To stick to routines, perhaps to modify them a bit is great.

I knew that I had to start earlier with my practice than the other days in case I wanted to have sufficient time. My resolution was simply to step on my mat at 5:45. It was 5 to 6 when I was finally on my mat, but this was still good and on time. For tomorrow I have the same resolution: I want to be on the mat at 5:45 and if I only sit there..........

All my colleagues are ill. It is the German illness, to go to work when ill - how important we and our work is, especially when we have to crawl to work. Oh my. I am the same. Especially when I am ill I feel important like never. I simply have to go to work and suffer there.

Monday, April 20, 2009

From doing to non-doing

To know that there is nothing to do is the transition.
Everything happens (,also my birthday party. I gave up planning. I only do what comes into my mind spontaneously now. hahaha. I am relaxed.)

I was reading the inspiring book by Satyam Nadeen "From onions to pearls" during my commuting time.

There is no control over life, I read.
Oh is that exciting.
Picture is taken on the way from my Italy-trip. It is an old castle already located in Germany.

I blame my yoga practice for this

I was ill, I was in bed with fever during the weekend, but I recovered rather fast. Within 2 days I feel so fit again that I will be able to go to work. This is because I am strong due to my regular yoga practice. Of course I cannot be sure of this, but I believe so.

An intensive life and a quick death, if yoga can bring this it is a huge gift. What else can one wish.

This morning I rolled out my mat again and did surya namaskaras. It felt so good. I was modest as I still feel week. Tomorrow I will be able to do more.

No extra hours of work today, this is sure, to recover fully has priority.
Birthday planning is going on: I already told the bosses that I will take a day off on this day. Half of my life time is over I tell everybody, must drink Champaigne on that day. No work.
Picture: Another picture form Italy around the "Lago di Garda".

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Energy is coming back slowly

I managed it to invite my birthday guests for the 29th of April, the day before my birthday. I only have to tell the restaurant owner, that we will be 7 people instead of 6. Then one of my birthday parties is organised. E. will be the only man. B. I only know for 8 years, all the other guests I know for more than a decade or even longer. Love this. Individualists. My female friends are all beautiful and interesting people. I also love it that E's mother is coming. She is 85. "This year I planned not to come", she told me," but as it is your 50th birthday, I have to. E. is already enthusiastic what present she has found for me.

I have accomplished something already and I am looking forward to my birthday now - more and more.

Picture: Lago di Garda in Italy.

On writing

To write has two aspects: it is to go inward, but it is also possible to go outward, when publishing the written words and thoughts on a blog i.e.. Writing is to communicate with oneself, but it can also be a possibility to build a bridge to others. How fascinating. Critical minds may add that words also can destroy bridges. What immense power words can have.

Picture is taken in Italy at the "Lago di Garda".

My yoga place

I thought it is time to publish again a picture of my yoga place. In the morning the sun shines into my face. That's why I close the curtains when I practice too late, after sunrise. In summer time I can open my balcony doors which go to the backyard. "Fresh air" comes then into my room. I want to plant flowers on my balcony this year as I will stay in Munich the entire time.

Time to do the dishes. I want to go on with my morning routines. Discipline is the word. Discipline helps to go through life smoothly.

Hors de combat (part 2)

Do your routines also when you are ill, I've learned from the Flyladies.
So I forced myself to take a shower this morning. It refreshed me.
I made the bed. Slowly, I feel so weak. I have still a bit fever. I cough, but it is up in the throat. The throat still hurts, but I am on my way to recover. I hope so. I will relax today. So the bed is made, too.
Then I prepared a breakfast for myself: coffee a sandwich with mango jam.
The sun is shining - a little walk outside later is perhaps not such a bad idea.
I do not even think of yoga. To move my body from the bed to the kitchen is already exhausting.

Picture: A cake that I saw in Italy. It looks more than art than something to eat.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Hors de combat

I need a break from sleeping. My skin is hot, I have fever. My throat hurts awfully in other words I am ill. I thought I couldn't sleep again, but I can. I only take a break from sleeping. My self-made winter socks warm my feet.
When I am ill I always know that I need a break. I need to withdraw a bit before everything can go on. again. I fear this b-party is in my mind. It drives me crazy. I will be able to handle it with calm, I just tell myself.

Back to bed. I am alone and so I allow myself to express a bit self-pity: I so wanted to practice today. But I need sleep. Bed I am coming.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Greeting the sun even though it is raining

Only surya namaskaras A and B happened this morning. Very intensive.
(But not enough, I must mention this.)

Picture: When coming from the South arriving Munich, these churches are one of the first buildings that tell me: I am back.

No please, no sore throat. There is a yoga exercise I remember to shoo away a sore throat - to stretch out and down the tongue as far as possible. This I will do today as often as possible.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The breath is the boss.


The breath was my focus today or a bit more precise the beginning or the inhaling/exhaling. Somewhere I read it and it is something like a trick. The beginning of the inhaling or exhaling starts a fracture of a second earlier than the movement. The breath is the boss. The breath gives the commands. The breath tells the body when to start moving. The surprise is that the practice becomes easier.

Body was stiff today. Must have been an intensive practice yesterday.
Picture: A tree in Italy.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A new pose - dhanurasana and parsva dhanurasana

It is my first birthday present. B. gave me a new pose today a back bending pose, love it.
I was totally absorbed by my practiced today. I had totally forgotten that I had a busy day behind me. Work is getting more and more, but I like this. Soon I will run around like in my last job. It was all forgotten, when I was on my mat.

I think now that it is good to add the poses of the second series after the middle part of the primary series. It builds strength and strength is important.

Oh bed time already. I want to get up soon. To practice yoga is more important than to write about it.
Picture: A Bavarian village. It is taken on my way home from the Italy trip.

Yeah, yeah, yeah

I was on my mat this morning again and I practiced.

The breath is it that helps me to improve the asanas. So focus was my breath this morning. With inhaling I lengthened the body. This creates space. With exhaling I folded into the pose. And again with the next inhaling I tried to lengthen the body even a bit more and with the next exhaling I tried to get deeper into the pose. The breath is the secret.

I also tried to move evenly, not quick, slow, quick. slow, the even breath dictates the speed of the movements. That's the goal, I think.

With a little trick I made myself more content. Wednesday means forward bending to me now and no more doing the entire primary series. When I do more than paschimottanasana it is already wonderful. Thursday means back banding and with one back bending pose, I relax already.

Urdhva dhanurasana: I lifted myself up 3 times. In the morning I won't be able to drop back. UD is perhaps the only pose where the body is able to do more than the mind. This is interesting.

How to exercise the mind is the question?
To tell myself that I can do it is always a good idea.
To do some extra exercises will probably give me more trust.
And to visualize how I do it could be really a good idea, too.

2 rounds of pranayama (alternate nostril breathing) were performed, time was almost over.
Finally I found peace during my meditation practice. It's so necessary to have these calm moments every day as in almost all areas of my life pressure can be felt again. Am I glad that I found the concept of the here and now as most problems are future horror shows.


Picture: spring in Italy

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Back home and lazy

I missed my practice this morning. I wrote in my journal, but to practice would have been equally important. Time is over now. Life goes on. Time to have breakfast, time to dress. A long working day is before me, but a week with only 4 more days.
It makes no sense to regret that I havn't practiced. Over is over.
Tomorrow I will probably have another opportunity..........

Monday, April 13, 2009

...and the little villages with not so much room

I must upload a few pictures, tomorrow I will be busy again with other activities. And it is already time to go to bed. Time flies. Up at 5 tomorrow. I am prepared to do it.

A night scene in Italy at the Lago di Garda

Comment? Romantic place there? Yes, and windy, too, which gives atmosphere.

The lake, the mountains, the villages around Lago di Garda

The mountains can be seen only vaguely. But they are there with snow on the top.

Scenery at the lake

This can be at any lake of this world. The scenery is everywhere similar I think. Human beings seem to like lakes and to look at it.

Spring in Italy

I like nature. It is beautiful.

Me in Italy


The lake and me

The proof that I was there.

The view, or one view of the many views there

This was the Easter Sunday view. The lake, trees, an old house, the mountains.

Among Italians

Easter Sunday is a family day here. We had a reservation in a restaurant in the mountains. We had our lunch among Italian families. I loved this, but I fear I only love it because I didn't understand a word of the very lively conversations. The food was lousy. I drank too much red wine to it only to gulp it down. E. was happy with his choice. The view was excellent. After lunch I sat in the grass and enjoyed the sun on my skin. It was relaxing. I love these lazy hours.

Again the sun is shining and there is another chance to eat something good today. In Rovereto we will have our last Italian lunch here. I will buy some olive oil here. And then bye-bye Italy, was nice to be here again.

Lago di Garda means good food (in general), red wine, sun, German tourists, the lake, mountains, sailing boats and simply something else than usual.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

I am an experienced traveller

On Friday evening when we arrived at the hotel where we've already been 2 times, we had to learn that we hadn't made reservation. The online reservation is so confusing and in Italian language, that only when getting 2 emails the reservation is done. The owner of the hotel remembered us from earlier years (people remember me, it is so, I write this without arrogance) and was so sorry. It was not the first time that this had happened that day. He organized another hotel room for us. This was great luck as the hotels are usually full during these Easter days. E. said "sorry" to me. But there is no reason to feel sorry. To travel means to be flexible. Not everything is predictable. To travel is always a bit of an adventure. Traveling means to love the insecurities, the adventure. And I love it.

The hotel room that we have now is closer to the the shops and restaurants, but there is no view to the lake. What is important for me is that I have room for my yoga practice. And I have room. Yesterday in the evening I practiced. My stomach had to be empty again after these 3 course menue during lunch time. I guess today it will be the same. I will eat much during lunch time. We made a reservation at a restaurant in the mountains, a really lovely place. And the sun is shining, too. Beautiful. In the evening I will practice. Ohhhh.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Pasta

The best penne al'arrabiata are offered in Italy. No doubt.
The best spaghetti pomodore are offered in Italy. No doubt here, too.

And tomorrow is not a fasting day either.

Sunshine, all sorts of noodles, red wine, espressi, afternoon naps. Wonderful. Three days is a perfect time for this.

Friday, April 10, 2009

I am a fan of full vinyasas

It is not necessary to start every pose from samasthiti. Even in the yoga mala asanas are summarized. Janu sirsasana a,b,c belong together, but also marychiasana a and b and marychiasana c and d. It is not necessary to get back to samasthiti how written in the bible. But to get back from time to time to samasthiti, to start freshly is so good. It gives me a short break to gather myself. I stretch up, I hang forward which is really relaxing. And then I go on. It is simply wonderful.

My practice was great this morning. It was the first time this year that I could open the door to my balcony. The sun shined and the warm air came into my yoga room.

Time to pack my suitcase. Next time when I practice I will have a view to the Lago di Garda in Italy, just behind the Alps.

How I will entertain my beloved difficult guests on my b-day.

My birthday party organisation turns out to be a bit difficult for several reasons. One is that the guests do not like each others. Sigh. I tried to find a solution for myself to take it light-hearted. Yesterday I took a walk during my lunch break and I had a very good idea. I will tell sex jokes during lunch, one after the other, so loud, that also the guests at the other tables can hear them.

Here is one: A pianist was hired to play background music for a movie. When it was completed he asked when and where he could see the picture. The producer sheepishly confessed that it was actually a porno film and it was due out in a month. A month later, the musician went to a porno theatre to see it. With his collar up and dark glasses on, he took a seat in the back row, next to a couple who also seemed to be in disguise. The movie was even raunchier than he had feared, featuring group sex, S/M and even a dog. After a while, the embarrassed pianist turned to the couple and said, "I'm only here to listen to the music." "Yeah?" replied the man. "We're only here to see our dog."

Here the next: There was a guy riding through the desert on his camel. He had been travelling so long that he felt the need to have sex. Obviously there were no women in the desert so the man turned to his camel. He tried to position himself to have sex with his camel but the camel ran away. The man ran to catch up to the camel and got back on and started to ride again. Soon he was feeling the urge to have sex again so once again he turned to his camel. The camel refused by running away. So he caught up to it again and go on it again.Finally after riding the camel through the whole desert the man came to a road. There was a broken down car with three big chested beautiful blondes sitting in it. He went up to them and asked the women if they needed any help. The hottest girl said ,"If you fix our car we will do anything you want."The man luckily knew a thing or two about cars and fixed it in a flash.When he finished are three girls asked, "How could we ever repay you Mr." After thinking for a short while he replied,"Could you hold my camel?"

The next: Two 90 year olds had been dating for a while, when the man told the woman, "Well, tonight's the night we have sex!" And so they did. As they are lying in bed afterward, the man thinks to himself, "My God, if I knew she was a virgin, I would have been much more gentle with her!" And the woman was thinking to herself, "My God, if I knew the old geezer could actually get it up, I would have taken off my panty hose!"

No, it is not yet enough, I have invited difficult people:
A young couple on the brink of divorce visit a marriage counsellor. The counsellor asks the wife what is the problem. She responds " My husband suffers from premature ejaculation." The counsellor turns to her husband and inquires "Is that true?" The husband replies "Well not exactly, it's her that suffers not me."

They need more my guests:
An escaped convict broke into a house and tied up a young couple who had been sleeping in the bedroom. As soon as he had a chance, the husband turned to his voluptuous young wife, bound-up on the bed in a skimpy nightgown, and whispered,"Honey, this guy hasn't seen a woman in years. Just cooperate with anything he wants. If he wants to have sex with you, just go along with it and pretend you like it. Our lives depend on it!""Dear," the wife hissed, spitting out her gag, "I'm so relieved you feel that way, because he just told me he thinks you have a nice, tight butt!"

More?
A man is in a hotel lobby. He wants to ask the clerk a question. As he turns to go to the front desk, he accidentally bumps into a woman beside him and as he does, his elbow goes into her breast. They are both quite startled. The man turns to her and says, "Ma'am, if your heart is as soft as your breast, I know you'll forgive me." She replies, "If your penis is as hard as your elbow, I'm in room 436."

My birthday simply will be funny, even the seriest guests............. unfortunately I won't tell sex jokes, but the idea wasn't that bad..........

Thursday, April 09, 2009

It is amazing

I am more and more convinced that things simply happen.
It is so amazing: I sit now in an office room with an Indian man, brought up in Europe, who wants to write a book, too. He too, like me wants to publish it online. Come on, I told him today, we will motivate each other to write down, what we have in mind. So we do. This is so incredible, I usually don't talk about my projects in my job life (or do I?). His girl-friend does not like him to spend so much time in writing. But I tell him he has to do it, if he feels like doing it. He shows me helpful online tools that help me to go on, and I tell him: you must believe in yourself, don't rely on your friends and relatives. When they believe in you fine, but most of the time they don't and then believe in yourself. I can be so incredible convincing.
Today he came up with a plan. He will bring his PC to work and during lunch break he considers to write his book outside.
I came up with a plan, too. During my 4 days in Italy I will write the sales letter and the contents of my book. My PC will travel with me.

He has so good ideas. Really. And I have motivational power.

But I want to get back to the beginning of this post. Things, encounters simply happen. Now I know which of my projects I have to work on: it is my book. The decision was brought to me on a silver tray.
Picture was taken the day before yesterday in the park round the corner. I walked bit around and took some pictures.



Focus on focus

Yoga an exercise for life?

I practiced this morning, not so many asanas, but I was on my mat performing asanas, doing ujjay breathing. I felt my bandhas. The gaze is neglected I know it. I sense it, the gaze is important. Never look at a direction you don't want to go. But more important than to look at a certain direction is to keep the eyes calm during the practice (calm eyes, calm mind).
Yoga exercises the body and the mind.
To teach the body asanas is not so easy, but satisfying as the results can be seen.
To teach the mind to have focus is not so easy. It cannot be seen. The nature of the mind is to be active all the time. Sometimes the mind has a task, then it can be very productive. Often it has no task, then thoughts are produced, endless thoughts, that lead to nothing. The issue is that we take these thoughts (often not so enlightened ones) too seriously. So in my view it makes sense to be able to focus the mind. From time to time it might be entertaining to let the mind be wild. When I am entertained it is good, but often I am not. During yoga practice it can be exercised to focus the mind, an ability with much use in daily life.
To exercise the mind will be a focus now also. The mind needs a task. It can be to let it check if the breath is even, if the bandhas are used, if the eyes are calm and so on.
Focus is so necessary in life.

Mysore class yesterday was motivating again like every Wednesday. What would I do without this Wednesday Mysore class. We even laugh, what I appreciate very much.

Focus, focus, focus, hokuspokus.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

My pace, my speed, my slowness

I practiced this morning. The clock shouldn't be my dictator today. "According to your own rhythm", an Aikido teacher used to say when we did some warming-up exercises. That was my credo today. I followed the breath. I didn't care how much I could accomplish within the remaining time. When I enjoyed an asana I remained a bit longer. In the middle part was time for paschimottanasana. The closing sequence was relaxing.

In total I had a balanced practice: I had standing poses (balancing poses), forward bending (to exercise modesty), back bending in upward facing dog (gives courage) and twists (stands for flexibility for me, but also neutralizes the poses). I had inversions in the closing sequence which makes the blood flow in the other direction and shows me the craziness of everything.

Time to enjoy the spring, it finally arrived.
Mysore class this evening. A perfect day is in front of me in other words.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

A sofa session again

I didn't like to sit on the sofa again the whole morning, observing heavy, melancholic but also aggressive thoughts, but so it was. I felt too heavy for yoga, felt motionless. But I feel it already, I am back to normal soon and soon I will be able to become active, means to organise my birthday parties with love and passion and fun. Relatives, what an invention!!!

I haven't slept so much this night. It doesn't matter. The stress gives me a lot of energy, even focus. I had a wonderful working day yesterday, not too much work and not too less. I hope this will repeat today.

This morning I paid bills, that was also something, that I accomplished.

Oh, and I've forgotten to mention it: I will travel again. On Friday I will be on my way to Italy. Yoga in Italy, I am looking forward to it. And again, I must hurry up.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Distracted

No yoga today.

I will withdraw from all situations that I do not like. I will become ruthlessly egoistic again.

Time is running and I have to be on time today. Buh.
Am I glad that I have to focus on invoices soon.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Every event...

has it's good and it's bad sides. Sometimes it only takes decades to understand and see this. '

solala

I practiced, it is over and I am glad that I can say that I practiced. More is not to say today.
I am still too fearful to drop back into urdhva dhanurasana, even though I think that I can arch back rather far. It is within reach.

Time to enjoy the last hours of a finally warm Sunday.

I want to be your Botax

When I see people with a grumpy face, lost in sorrows, I think:
I want to be your Botax Baby. Relax, smile, loosen your face.
Sometimes I must be my own Botax.
A smiling relaxed face looks 10 years younger than an angry, desperate face.
Even better it is possible for everybody to smile. It is a matter of exercise and attitude.

To write it down, to let it happen

Lately I walked around here and I passed by a building where people were working. I had my camera in my hand to take some pictures, when I heard these workers shouting: Take a picture of us. If it is so easy to make a joy to other people, I will do it. I took some pictures, we laughed, we had some fun. I shouted back: May I publish you in the Internet? Yes, yes I heard. It was not an empty promise as can be seen.

Work: "Write it down and make it happen" is a book title. I changed it to "...let it happen", because nowadays I like to see the passive aspect of life.
I am so amazed I must write about the following. Usually I think of 10 goals I want to work with. As often as possible I write them down (3 times a day or more often). Sometimes I only remember 8 goals, which tells me how important it is to write it down. If I do not even know what I want to achieve, how can I know when I've achieved it?
Re my job life I wrote down in the beginning of the year: A job that allows me to do yoga (means it must be possible to start working at 9). Two months later I had this.
Then I changed this goal to: Keeping this job for 14 months. This seemed to be difficult as I hadn't enough work in that company. 2 months later it happened that I should work for 2 departments, I have enough work now and it is much more likely that I will be able to stay there for the next 12 months.
Now I will have to think about the next step: It can be to have enough power to work 40 hours a week to earn some more money than I do now with about 35 hours.

To write something down is such a powerful tool. I so recommend it.

Regarding Ashtanga yoga I got modest: Only 2 poses I write down, urdhva dhanurasana and supta kurmasana and both asanas improve so quickly. Ahhhh.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

My body feels purified

I had a late yoga practice this afternoon (full vinyasas, but also a few breaks). My body seems much more transparent than a year ago. This is a wonderful feeling, it is as if it is cleaned from the inside.
No asana highlights happened, the breath was with me, I sweated. I enjoyed my practice, being in the asans, hearing the breath and experiencing flow.

At work I realized that my concentration is rather good in comparison to other colleagues. Did I learn this from my yoga practice I wondered. It could be.

I finished my yoga session with pranayama and meditation. 4 min I could sit then I got nervous, I stopped meditation when I looked on my timer the first time, but so far it has been already good.

(A side remark: How can I stop feeling tyrannized and dominated by my parents. They miss the birthday invitation already. I only make this one party for them. I want to have fun organizing it, no stress is necessary. No phone calls are necessary to ask me if the invitation is sent already. Point and sigh. There is still a long way to go. Sigh again. Why can I not understand them and why can I not feel mercy with them.)

It can only be awareness

Also the breath is moving. When I inhale it feels totally different than when I exhale. The breath is lively. The asanas are what can be see from the outside, the body moves into different poses, the single asana can be held, but soon we move to the next one. The bandhas are inside, always at the same place, but movement is felt here, too, as I release them when I inhale and I use them when I exhale. And movement can led to imbalance.
Only awareness is stable and calm. One can get back to it all the time, it is always available when lost performing these demanding asanas and when lost in the chaos of life. Awareness is the quite point, that does not move. And this is what I want to find when I do this lively Ashanga yoga practice. To perform these crazy asanas is amazing, but it is easy to get lost even in the own admiration. To practice asanas with vinyasas perhaps finally leads inside. First it is the asanas that are so captivating, then the breath, lively too, then the bandhas and finally this nothing that is not moving at all but observing all this. When found this quite place, which is always there everything can happen outside, peace is still felt. This inner peace shall be my focus today when I practice. Focus today might be awareness. I will observe what my body is performing, what my breath and my bandhas are doing. It is not possible to do asanas around the clock, but this awareness can accompany me where ever I go. The mat is a place where to practice under easier conditions than in real-life scenarios, but finally this awareness will spread.

So again my yoga practice is an awareness practice. Curiousity might substitute ambition and wanting and doing. To let go, to let it happen is the way, from active to passive.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Oh, an evening shower

What a wonderful ritual to shower in the evening before going to bed.

Birthday tragedy is in full swing (as expected)

It was not good writing. I deleted everything.
I will stay entertained, whatever happens.
And again, my life is so rich so colorful. I get everything again: Black, red, green, rose, white, patterns, blue. Perhaps I can go through a few lively stories, that I will love to remember later.

Music on the balcony

At 3 p.m. I left the company. All of my colleagues were still working. But I am a freelancer and I wanted to go. I needed some energy to go (I felt a bit uncooperatively), but the sun was shining, I simply wanted to go. Of course I asked if there is something important to do. But my assessment of the situation: everything could wait till next Monday. The boss even had sent us an email to go home as soon as possible (because of the sun). So I went. It is a sunny day here. I only wore my jacket. Good atmosphere expected me downtown. On a balcony of one of the big store houses music was plaid: Elvis Presley i.e. The people in the pedestrian area stopped and listened to the music, applauded and the mood went up, I guess.

Then I headed to the electronic store:
There was an info desk.
Me: Do you know where I can get a cable?
He: Which cable?
This I had feared, there are choices.
This man must have felt my desperation he added: Go to the equipment over there.

There I was looking for another salesperson and I found one:
Me: Hello, I have a red Dell PC and a harmon/cardon player. Lately I was convinced to upload the i-tune software from apple. And now I want to connect these goodies. I was told I need a cable for this. Do you have such a cable?
He: Yes we have, how long shall it be?
Me thinking, OMG, how long, I don't know.
Me: long.
So I tried to imagine the distance between my harmon/cardon and my PC and bought 5 meters. I still had a question in mind. And now I started loving this young man. He must have felt the question that was on my tongue: Where to plug it? Without asking the man explained me where to plug.
Me: Do you think I will be able to do it?
He: Yes.
This man expressed so much optimism and optimism is contagious. I will be able to connect my PC with my harmon/cardon. This shall be one of my weekend projects. To connect the PC, the Dell with the player, the harmon/cardon, yes......

The full sequence (a+p+m)

a+p+m, this sounds like a formula by Einstein. It means asanas, pranayama and meditation. In case something else came into your mind, you are not on the yoga path. It is Friday and my energy level is no more at such a level as in the beginning of the week. Nevertheless I wanted to practice. I did some surya namaskaras. I wanted to greet the sun, may it shine today. I continued the sequence with pranayama for 5 min. I imagined how my breath went up and down my spine. There was also time for meditation. For 10 min I sat silently on my Indian mat to center myself and to be reminded to enjoy and live the moment. Nothing else is possible.

Work life: I am glad, even happy how everything developed. Last but not least what happened turned out to be good. I want to have work, I don't want to sit around staring holes in the air. This is frustrating for me. It is a waste of precious resources. To change in the other department was therefore good. I have work here, very much, but I get paid by hours and I am still able to handle everything. I sit in the room with an Indian guy who was brought up in Europe. He likes to talk, I like this too (Not the whole time, but from time to time.) The conflicts with the colleagues are cleared, I experience help and friendliness now. I thanked the boss with an email for supporting me.

I won't work very long today. Perhaps I will finish my working day in a cafe downtown reading a book. The idea pleases me.
Oh, the sun can be seen already. How wonderful.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

A white blouse

I dressed a white blouse today. Hahaha. I am innocent. My soul is white.

My message from Osho today - the present

Learn to be in the present.Withdraw your energy from the past. Don't waste your time in memories. What is gone is gone. Say goodbye to it and close the chapter.What has not come yet has not come yet. Don't unnecessarily waste your time and energy in imagination, because no imagination is ever fulfilled. It is because of this that the proverb exists in every language: "Man proposes, and God disposes" because you imagine a certain thing in the future, and it is never so.Withdrawing yourself from past and future, you will become a tremendously intense energy, focused in the present, concentrated in the present like an arrow.Each moment being aware, alert, watchful, in the herenow, is the way not to miss the train. Every experience needs your presence here, this moment.And this is a simple secret, but it opens the doors of existence, of all the mysteries, of all that is worth knowing, worth tasting, worth feeling, worth being.

The tree (April)

It is still cold, the tree shows that it is winter time. Yesterday the 12th month has begun, 2 months in the company are already over. One year is still before me.
And it became clear that it won't be an easy walk, but stony. I was attacked so aggressively yesterday by a colleague of the new department, that I decided to go to the boss. This was the first time of my life that I complained a hierarchy upwards because of bad behaviour of a colleague. I thought he, the boss is good-looking. I am good-looking (fact is we are the most good-looking people of both departments I am working for), he will understand me. And he did. I dumped all that stuff on him, that's the work of a boss.
The other boss of the other department had brought a cake to work. Everybody was invited but not me. In the late afternoon, I was offered to take a cake, there was still something left, and I knew that she didn't like to take the cake home again. I felt pity, took a cake, made some compliments. The cake was good. How frustrated they must be all, I thought.
It is life as it is I thought, how wonderful that I am alive. I will use this energy that I could feel at work for my yoga practice. Get back to the here and now, I told me and I can do this better and better. Yesterday was the first day of the next 12 months and it started with a lot of dynamic.

After work I was at a Mysore class at B.'s beautiful yoga studio. I was focused and had a wonderful practice with too further fellows.

At home again I enjoyed the evening till the last second, till I had to go t bed. It was 10 by then.
What else can I expect but such a lively, colorful life.
There is always the moment the here and now available for me. I like to have so many opportunities to exercise this.

My yoga practice this morning had focus. I was not so flexible. Back bending was on my schedule. Oh, was I stiff, but to exercise is the secret. Nobody has peak times every day.
Might my breath be calm and even today.
We all are as we have to be, there is no choice. Neither the others nor me are really free.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Janu sirsasana D

Janu sirsasana d is considered as one of the most difficult poses of the first series. This picture was taken 2007. It was hot and my body was flexible. I had no problem to twist. When I look at that picture a title comes into my mind: Wonderful is the present, I am looking forward to the future, too.

No yoga this morning. I simply have to do something else. The tax office reminded me to pay the income tax and I consider myself happy because they didn't charge me with a fee even though the payment is overdue. This must be done. Today.
The bills must be written. Another bill must be paid.

This evening I go to a Mysore class and this shall bring me back to a more healthy lifestyle: I eat too much chocolate and I want to do more than a few surya namaskaras in the morning. So resolutions are made already.

It is dark here and cold, we all hope here that this will change. And it will.