Sunday, January 31, 2010
This is true. And I am up now. Not that there is much to do, but I have to shower and pack the suitcase. The earlier we are at the station, the better. Every hour a train goes to the north. HH's birthday party is today. It's a cousin of E.
I won't travel with my PC and I won't travel with my yoga mat.
On Monday evening we'll be back.
HH, we love to come and celebrate your 60th birthday. :)
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Oh, I have changed a lot. I go usually early to bed and early up. These parties till 2 am or even longer exhaust me. But 60 years is something. I will enjoy the party and I won't be tired, but lively and in celebration mood, enjoying the people (they all like me).
I must program my mind not to eat too much. That's for sure. There will be a buffet, so I have a certain influence on what I eat and how much I eat.
There won't be time for yoga.......this are my moon days tomorrow.
Time to clean the kitchen, time to go to bed.
However now I do not start again. I will cover myself with my brown blanket and I will sleep another round. To sleep is good. At least I moved my body a bit......
FB: Networking is something else than collecting facebook friends (perhaps I am wrong): One click a new friend is added, another click another friend is added. But what does this mean to have a huge list of friends without knowing anything about them. Those who cannot say at least "hi" before they can flip through my privat picture won't become my fb friends anymore. This is a rule, and there is no rule without exception: I add yogis and yoginis, women and handsome men without having met them anywhere (online meetings count,too) . And again I see how stupid it is to create a rule. Decisions come from alone when a decision needs to be done, also decisions happen. I like politeness, perhaps I am old-fashioned, I don't care.
Hatschi, hatschi, hatschi, grggghhhhhh.
Friday, January 29, 2010
Hatschi, hatschi, grggghhh this infection, I hate it......hatschi, hatschi.......
I took a magnesium for my muscles. This was surely a good idea and now go to bed and I will dream.......:)
E ordered 10 bottles, I love to cook meals to the red juice.
The language, yes that's what I like on these wine testing evenings: the talking about this white and red juice, this drug, that we like so much.
Darling, I will come and I will be on time as usual. I won't let you taste this poison alone, äh medicine, äh ok wines.
I could hold the wrists in marichyasana B and C.
Kurmasana was difficult first. But I added some second series asanas that I do when I put my leg behind my head and then I repeated kurmasana. It was so much better then. I could stretch my legs, at least it felt so, but the feet didn't lift from the floor. Not yet. Next time.
Urdhva dhanursana: I dropped back. Feet were parallel on the mat. This is an improvement.
I did not many breaks, which was very good, because this creates flow and sweat.
And afterwards I added pranayama and meditation.
Meditation: Thoughts came up and disappeared. I heard the heater. Then pain in the leg was felt and disappeared. Hunger came up. I needn't run in the kitchen now, I thought. I won't die in the next 10 min only because I do not eat immediately. Hunger disappeared and a bit later I felt hunger again. Known thoughts appeared and disappeared. And finally my alarm clock told me: 10 min are over now. Breakfast time. Ha.
First I need another cup of coffee.
This evening we have planned to go to a wine tasting. I so don't like to go. But I agreed to accompany E. I don't know what to do??? I just asked him, but he so likes me to accompany him, so I will go.
Picture is for Anna, who prefers me smiling. :) :) Yes, the day has started in my chaos. My grandma used to say: I have always something to do, I have amusement park at home. Here it is the same. I live in an amusement park, hahahahaha.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Time to go on with my socks. I'm knitting warm socks for myself. I have so much wool here.
I got another job offer this morning (I've not heard anything about the last one, this seems to be past already). Let's see what will happen. This time it is a job in the luxury branch, unlimited. Nothing is unlimited, but I don't want to become spiritual. I stand with both legs on the floor, on the handmade carpet. Money must come in. It will motivate me to work on my other projects when I have a job. Life happens, everything is out of control.
The very next step to work on my tax declaration is to switch on the printer!!!! I have to print out invoices........
Yes, I feel ill, weak, but to move is good. I can take breaks, like now.
And I will do some sun salutations, pranayama if possible with my clocked nose and 10 min sitting exercise.
Time to become active. There is a lot to do.........I start with ironing this huge mountain of clean and dry clothes. I need ironed yoga clothes.......:)
A modest practice at home will be possible. This evening I won't go to the led class. I want to be fit on Friday morning. The body always has the last word and the body tells me: take a rest.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
It is as it is. I can only accept and make my days a bit calmer than usual. To rest is good, I know, I know and to drink (what I do).
It is planned to get to the north of Germany the next weekend, till then I must be totally healthy again. A cousin of E has his 60th birthday, we must be there.
That was it for today, I feel weak and tired. Everything is an effort. Time again to search my bed or the sofa to watch TV a bit.
Bakasana B: The trick with exercising against the wall helps to understand the pose and to learn how to balance and finally how to jump in to the pose.
Pincha mayurasana: The body needs to be more straight. This should be possible to do. It helps when I flex the feet.
Mayurasana: The back must be round. I have done this pose.
Nakrasana: I forgot this pose......:)
Kapotasana: I fight.....
Yes it was great, I do what is possible and I am content with what is.......I am patient with myself.
I will try to do the correct vinyasa count today. And I think my yoga practice shall give me the opportunity to exercise awareness. This is so important. Thinking anything while doing something else does not improve life, nor a yoga practice. Dreaming might have good aspects, too, but more often it has not. Life is missed, when dreaming.
It's white outside and cold. It has snowed again during the night. I will have to dress a lot of clothes when I want to feel warm.
And another black coffee is needed when I want to wake up NOW......
To move and to eat well, these habits belong together like twins. I know when I write that I need to lose some kilos this leads to protests sometimes, but it is so. At my age less and less food is needed. I have to get back to my eating routine: a small breakfast in the morning, raw food for lunch (salads) and anything vegan I like in the evening........ I hope I can stick to it. E and myself ate out yesterday. This is always wonderful because this is time for ourselves, but usually it also means that we eat a bit too much. I didn't like at all what the scales showed me this morning.......
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
And I study this pose in the books. And I close my eyes and I imagine myself doing it.....:)
I worked on pincha mayurasana today: It IS better to be a bit more away from the wall. This pose has 3 challenges. First the arms and hands are supposed to have the correct position and they need to remain as placed. Then the pose becomes easier. Elbows are one under arm length away from each other (like in headstand and not further away), the under arms are parallel.
The second challenge is to swing up, without touching the wall. If the wall is too close it gives too much wrong security. The third challenge is to remain in the position. To breath correctly helps. I exercises this pose first with a strap around my upper arms and a block between my hands. Then I tried it to do it without this support. It is important to press the arms into the floor, especially the inner sides. The thumb plays an important role when balancing.
Pashasana is lost due to my 2 kg too much weight. And E has invited me for dinner this evening. Eka pada sirsasana was not possible today either. But I arched backwards.
Enough blogging: I could go on and on and on, but I have other things to do.........Really!!!!!!!!
I did also the closing sequence with the CD by Sharath. I realized I got stronger. It was the first time that I held sirsasana as long as counted. Only uttpluthih I stopped earlier.
The picture: To relax the face is so important. The front needn't show wrinkles. This is another focus.
A word about second series: Second series exercises much more than the first the upper body. Ah, before I describe everything, I will take a picture during the day.......:)
Monday, January 25, 2010
Sunday, January 24, 2010
The body is not really flexible today. Supta kurmasana was not possible, grgghhhh, I couldn't hook the fingers, they did not even touch. It's still my injured shoulder that does not allow me to go deeper into the pose. It's better to be careful.
Oh there are still some asanas to do.......
The standing leg can be much more engaged and stretched.
The hips are supposed to be parallel.
Sometimes I have the feeling I fall backwards, but I am far away from falling backwards.
On the picture is a variation of the asana, I hold my leg with both hands.
Doing hanumanasana is very helpful for this pose. A long way to go.....:)
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Have I learned something during the last decade? Yes. What I've learned was expensive.
1. Buy and sleep and when you wake up after decades you will be rich, how André Kostolany once recommended is no more true today. Live cycles of products, life time of companies are much more limited than in earlier times. Shares are short term investments, perhaps for a few years, but not for decades.
2. Never sleep, take care of what's going on. When I met E more than a decade ago I was so busy with kisses that I forgot my shares. This IS a mistake. A few kisses less can make a difference. I don't blame E. but myself. E made my life better. When money is invested in shares, it is important to take care of it to avoid the worst.
There are still some other points. Important is to realize I must manifest the loss, I must sell: I start with Cisco and China fashion first. On Monday. Damned. No, this is not a good evening.
I went straight to the Ashtanga workshop with Arjuna ( www.ashtangayoga.info ) when I arrived at the fair. I had brought my own yoga mat with me. On some of the mats that were on the floor were already bags to indicate that the mat is no more free. What a wonderful habit it is in India, I thought to leave the shoes in front of rooms. Everybody entered the yoga room with winter shoes. We changed our clothes next to our mats. I was there half an hour earlier. More than 100 people attended the workshop, what a potential. And then it was 11am. Arjuna chanted and finally we started with the sun salutation. We did many sun salutations A, perhaps 10 or more. I think it was a good strategy, because all these beginners wanted to get a feeling of the Ashtanga yoga system. It makes no sense to show the whole series. We had done the first surya namaskara B when a man opened the door. 90 min were already over and the next group should come in. What? Even Arjuna was not informed about this. I was glad that they changed the idea to stop the first group here. Who wanted to leave the room could do so, others could come in and take the empty places. The women to my right and my left left the room. New people came, they had to change the clothes on the mat. Quite a disturbance could be felt in the room. We started again with a few surya namaskara As. Between each standing asana we did again a surya namaskara A. Arjuna had everything under control. There was time for one sitting position and then we relaxed on the mat. I got a tender (I call soft adjustments tender) adjustment when we did one of the first suryas. All these surya namaskaras made me sweating.
There were so many yoginis/yogis at the fair, but I haven't seen one familiar face. Newcomers were everywhere. There seems to be a growing interest in yoga. But most give up after a while. It must be so.
Arjuna is a great teacher and what he performed on the stage looked really great. He reminded me a bit of my school teachers when I was still in school.
It was nice that I was there. My curiosity is satisfied.
Tomorrow my yoga week starts with primary. That's it!!!!!
And I am looking forward to the Mysore class with M on Monday morning. Yepeee...
Ahhh the coffee, should have made it a bit stronger. I know, I will need another one.
And hopefully soon I will feel awake.....
Friday, January 22, 2010
Yeah, too much food. The Italians have best food, but they have immense difficulties to learn any foreign language.
Of course it is allowed to laugh about my English. But I swear by my Ashtanga yoga: If I lived in England or the US for a decade I would speak better. I have spoken and Amen!!!
On meditation: When I meditate, I can observe how the mind works. Thoughts come up all the time. It is possible to focus on something, to concentrate (on the breath i.e.), but soon new thoughts come up. Concentration can be lengthened. But sooner or later thoughts and feelings come up again and they are of different quality. Some thoughts come and soon they disappear from alone. Others need all the attention and move, touch, create further more intensive feelings. F. Gronau wrote that during meditation we can experience that thoughts and feelings come up, but it is possible to observe them. It is not necessary to act as usually. Feelings can be endured. It can be seen and experienced that compensatory action can be avoided. Awareness can be the only "action". Surely an interesting aspect. All thoughts disappear finally and new thoughts and feelings appear. The game starts over again. That's how the mind works. It's the nature of the mind (and there is nothing bad or wrong with it).
It is the same with body sensations. Perhaps the knee hurts from sitting. It can be observed and endured, it is not necessary to act. It is possible to observe. Surely a wonderful insight and ability.
F. Gronau uses an interesting picture: when the mind wanders around while we are busy with anything else, it is as if a TV-programme is on that distracts us all the time from what is going on right now. Energy is bound. Life becomes more intensive when we are able to switch off the TV for a while and when we are able to be attentive.
The nature of the mind is to produce thoughts. Many people are dreamers and are somewhere else all the time. I observe this when I take the underground: I can see people having self-talks. Others jump on my feet, and apologize then, but they simply haven't been attentive, they were mentally somewhere else. To exercise the mind, to learn to focus is surely a way to intensify life. Knowing that thoughts do not represent the truth, but are nothing else but stories might help to let go of taking this flow of never-ending thoughts so seriously. Simply exercising awareness can be very fulfilling.
Sava dak karakadoka sava dak shine shine saba dak tralali ja sava dak....
ha and again sAvA dAk kArAkAkOkA sAvA dAK shine shine....
Ah a comment to the picture: It is a preparation for eka pada sirsasana (leg behind the head). The head lies on the leg and can press it backwards (self-adjustment). Most important is to engage the belly muscles, to engage uddyjana bandha. When I do this the leg stays behind my head without holding it with one hand. This pose IS comfortable. I got the idea from the book by Gregor Maehle. It is very helpful.
I added hanumanasana. My shoulder still does not allow me to do a deep supta kurmasana.
It is as it is and it is already better.
Yes, happy that I had such a nice practice.
I will have breakfast now (at 1:40 pm). During the day I will eat modestly. E invited me for dinner, it will be an Italian restaurant today.
Picture: marichyasana B - the direction: the chin is supposed to be on the floor not the front....
I got a phone call and I was asked to send my cv, I got a job offer for 3 months.
What shall happen, will happen. Please let it happen: money shall come in......:)
Time to step on my mat, time to practice primary with a bit of music in the background.
The CD by Sharath is too much for me today......:)
My black mat is already waiting for me.
Even though it is Friday, the week is not yet over. I have one long day to do what needs to be done. When I look back I only remember one really prolific day of that last week. Today can be the second one. I did yoga, which was great and I saw a movie "A summer in NY - the visitor". Beside this I read a lot. Unfortunately I found an autobiography that has my full interest. It is a German book "Grenzenlose Erleichterung" by Felix Gronau. If I had to categorize it, I'd say it is another good Advaita book. Not so much was done to get back to have an income........
It's very good, that I'm rather relaxed, but too much time is wasted in dreaming and dawdling.
A lived life is more exciting than a dreamed one. A lousy pasta meal is better than reading the menu. But also having a lousy pasta meal is missed when listening to the always busy mind. I get back to my awareness activity. Being aware is it. I must write another post on the mind....
I distract. Planning shall help me to make my days more prolific.
Today after yoga I will go on with my tax declaration.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
I'm thinking of my kapotasana. I must exercise it more often than 3 times a week. I will add some back bending exercises when I practice urdhva dhanurasana at the end of primary. And I will add hanumanasana to open the hips.
Oh, oh, oh, hahahahaha.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
The elbow drift outwards. How to keep them parallel? Perhaps to work with a strap might help.
Second series, yes, challenging, challenging.....:)
On Saturday morning is an Ashtanga class with Arjuna, the man who created the famous page http://www.ashtanga.info/
Yes, this is my yoga class, the Ashtanga yoga class at 11 o'clock with Arjuna. I know all the other yoga styles. Re yoga I know what I want, it's Ashtanga.
For those who are interested: http://www.yogaexpo.de/
Pleased to meet you there......:)
Second series is deep forward bending and deep back bending.
Pincha mayurasana: I found out that it is easier to find balance when my first leg is up and the second leg follows when I have found balance already. To let the second leg follow a bit later really makes a difference. I know very advanced people go up with both legs at the same time. Today I managed it to go into the pose without touching the wall and I could remain in that pose for some breaths.
Sirsasana: I do not fold my hands anymore, I put one hand in the palm of the other hand. This makes it easier to open the hands when I want to lift myself up into pincha mayurasana from sirsasana. We learn krandavasana that way. First I go into sirsasana, then I fold my legs into padmasana, then I open my hands and I go up into pincha mayurasana with folded legs. My oh my. Give me 3 years and then I will be able to do karndavasana. Step by step, breath by breath I will approach this pose......:)
And afterwards I couldn't resist to stop at a restaurant to have some noodles there...
Next Mysore class will be on Monday.
Time to be prolific.........:)
The more it is important that I go. And I want to, because these morning Mysore classes are the best that is offered here. We must become more Ashtangis in Munich.
Second series for me today again, the last time during my yoga week. Tomorrow primary is again on the schedule.....:)
Slowly my weight goes down again. This is very good. Too slowly for me, but it shall be OK.
Breakfast today: a banana with soy yogurt and a few raisins and nuts. I need a bit of food, energy before this intensive practice.
Oh, something interesting is going on in New York........Free Ashtanga....wow.......
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
The ingredients: field salad, 100gr mushrooms, a sour apple, a small onion. For the sauce: Olive oil and cider vinegar (half as much as the olive oil). In the recipe of the sauce I read that it is good to add 1 tea spoon maple syrup. Mine was too old here, I had to throw it away. Nevertheless the salad was delicious. I ate white bread with soy margarine. There are many possible combinations. I think it is good to eat lively.......
(I want to lose these 2 kilos......Hahahahahahaha)
My morning practice is done now.
Pashasana was not possible (2 kg too much on my belly)
However, I had not the feeling that this was an excellent practice.
It's done now and I am glad.
I know how I can have it easier quickly. It is boring and I repeated it so often 2 kg less or more make a difference. Salad this evening and this IS delicious.....!!!
Part two, the surya Bs: done
Part three: the standig sequence till utthita parsvottanasana: done
Now the filling. This break was good. But it is fun today. I play doing yoga......I am curious now how pashasana will be......:)
Now it is late already, 9:30. More than 3 hurs later than I wished to get up........
This shall not spoil my day, too. I am up now.........
Monday, January 18, 2010
One thing I can already say: In 2009 I earned my money "only" as a freelancer. I can survive also when I'm not an employee. The last year was better than the year before, nevertheless I'd summarize it: not much money, but much fun. It's OK.
I will set the alarm clock for 6am.
It's time for my evening shower and soon time to go to bed. The morning starts the evening before.
There are classes: led classes and Mysore style
Workshops are offered.
Pilgrimages are important too because we all like to travel and yoginis from all parts of this world can meet each other. They can practice yoga and change ideas and gossip (a bit). Places are Gokulam, Kovalam, Goa.
To stay independent a daily home or hotel practice is recommended (when not attending a workshop or class - hahahahaha). That's why we practice Mysore style. This is the speciality of Ashtanga yoga. Everybody practice according to his/her own rhythm. This is unique. Mysore classes prepare us for our home practice. And now enough. Focus on taxes now.
I am so prolific today. This is great.
When I go to this wonderful Mysore class three times a week, I will be at home again at 12, to be earlier at home is not possible. Then my other life, my life off the mat can begin. There is still enough time for a lot of things. I want to go out every day, it is not good to hole up and to be at home all day. To dress proberly every day disciplines and it reminds me that yoga is not everything. Tomorrow I will practice second series at home and then I will buy a shelf for books.
And now? tax declaration 2009. Am I powerful today. OMG.
The first surya namaskara As form the first part. Nowadays I can accept that my body is stiff first. Often only the finger tips can touch the floor when I bow forward. The question comes up: How will my body be today. It is difficult to make predictions.
Part two are the surya namaskara Bs. Today I didn't take extra breaths between the suryas. I simply tried it and I could do it easily without coming out of breath. After the three surya namaskara Bs usually my flat hands touch the floor when I bow forward. The body is warm, I do not feel exhausted anymore, but slowly I start sweating.
The standing sequence are the part three: Sometimes I have balance, sometimes not. I am still fresh and have energy.
And then the filling of the "sandwich", the middle part, part four: Now be committed, I tell myself. Give energy to it. Especially when I am in a Mysore class and when I get help. I try to reach my limits and I try to go a bit further, with much attention of course. My shoulder reminds me to be attentive. Nothing can be forced. I try to remember to engage the needed muscles (legs, mula bandha, uddyjana bandha, perhaps arm muscles). I try to remember to relax the other parts of the body, especially the face.
Urdhva dhanurasana is perhaps an extra part, part five.
And then I can cool down. The poses that form the last part are a piece of cake for me, even though they can be done sloppy or with energy. This is part six.
Part seven is to relax, not easy for me. I looked around while in savasana. M said to me: This is the dead body pose, which made me laugh.
Part eight: Awareness off the mat goes on. Respecting the own body goes on. Respecting others goes on, too. Deep even breathing can go on, too, to relax the face too.
Am I glad that I went.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Time to prepare dinner. E wants noodles, spaghetti to be precise, always spaghetti, hahahahaha. And I will prepare a field salad with an orange an balsamic vinegar and olive oil of course.
It is important to practice, I know it, also when not every pose can be done.......
I know already that tomorrow I won't be able to do dwi pada sirsasana. No way. I must heal first. The pain tells me exactly when to stop.
OK, I practiced, weak it was.
Tomorrow I can profit from the energy of the group and from M.
Either it goes up or it goes down. Today it went down the hill.
A juicy orange now for me......:)
Oh, it was nice to chat with my friend C who is still in India and who gave me a quick update what's going on there....
Fb has surely more advantages than disadvantages.
Nevertheless there are issues that drive me crazy.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Simply to sit and to observe the breath could be a good idea. Yes it is......What and who holds me back to start my day with pranayama and meditation......Nobody.......So.....
Friday, January 15, 2010
My right shoulder still hurts. That's why I decided not to go to the workshop for advanced yoginis on Saturday. First the shoulder must be healed totally. Tomorrow is my yoga free day. Perhaps I do pranayama and meditation.
I reduced my goals for 2010:
2 figures are now in my mind: my weight and what I want to earn in 2010. That's clearness. All the other wishes like decluttering the home, learning French must simply happen. 2 goals are enough. Now I only have to plan how to accomplish it........:)
My reward: the trip to Goa in Jan 2011. Oh.
- in a warm room
- in the evening
- when the breath is used as a guide
- when I practice slowly
- when I don't go to my limits
- when I take some extra breaks, i.e. when in downward facing dog
- when practicing not correctly, i.e. not using the bandhas, not engaging the legs
- when I omit asanas and vinyasas
- when I am relaxed
- with music
- in a group of committed yogis and yoginis
- when well-rested
- with an empty stomach
- and usually a few kilos lighter
- with an opitimistic attitude
- visualization helps
- not to forget the supporting teachers
- a daily routine makes it easier to step on the mat
- after many years of practicing it
This was a brainstorming. Some points are surely a recommendation on days I feel weak, others not. There are endless ways to modify a practice.
I practiced slowly today (Mysore class). My back opens, it is an amazing feeling. I had focus and I engaged my muscles. The breath helped me......yeah, I feel good.
What does this mean???
There seem to be 2 directions: The one is in the future. To practice yoga or meditation in order to accomplish something in the future. What is this something? Probably something that looks better than the now: a happier life, no sorrows, no sad moments anymore, no anger. Can Ashtanga yoga do this???
I came to the conclusion: accept what is and go on. This makes spiritual exercises redundant. This approach does not bring only happiness, but the entire rainbow of feelings and states of being. Yes, a relaxed mind can develop, hopefully.
To accept what is,.........whatever it is.......and then let go......
Time to wake up my bf, a second time, with another kiss somewhere in his face.
Sooner or later I would have to start some sports, because it is very unhealthy not to move the body at all. It often comes even with illnesses. Perhaps I would have a few lazy years, but then I would have to start again with something. And every beginning is much more difficult than simply to go on.... I cannot avoid to move my body, to do some sports when I want to stay healthy and when I want to avoid that life aggravates with each year that I become older.
I will go on, to move the body comes with a certain portion of effort. I know to practice Ashtanga yoga is the best I can do for myself.
I go, also today. The weather shall not be an excuse not to leave the house. In one hour I'll be on the road to Ostbahnhof........
I will take care, as my shoulder still hurt, I will practice consciously.
The breath shall be the guide.
I want to find time for my pranayama practice. The evening could be a good time. I can add 10 min meditation. The wish to meditate again comes up.
My back bending was good yesterday in the evening......my back was really open. I am curious how it will be today.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
And then I played around a bit. I practiced hanumanasana and some forward bending with vinyasas. Finished.
This evening I will go to a led class. This shall be enough for today.
I took a picture to see if it makes sense to take pictures from an angle and not only from the side or frontal. I think it makes sense. Yes, I am shocked how round my back is. I must focus much more on the bandhas and stretching forward.
Mayurasana and the first series: It is so true: mayurasana (a second series asana) can be prepared when doing the first series as it is supposed to be. After kukutasana it can be exercised to jump back, padmasana must be opened, the weight of the body is on the arms. It seems to me to be a perfect preparation for mayurasana. (M told me this and like ever, he is right). I never exercised this exit. Now I really have to learn mayurasana from scratch and it is very hard......To be an autodidicat and most of the time I had to be one (in classes I also didn't learn to jump back after kukkutasana) has a lot of advantages, but also some disatvantages. I had simply no overview. This is past. Now I have to exercise this asana as difficult as it is. I won't complain.
Often discussed in the community: When shall an Ashtangi student practice a new pose in the series? This question is often reason for emotional discussions. The perfectionists and traditionalists want a student to be able to perform an asana as indicated in the bibles before the next asana is given.
Swenson has a more modest approach: When a student is able to practice the poses one after the other (with a certain flow, without referring to books or DVDs) a new pose can be given. There is no perfect asana, modifications are allowed. People practice with different abilities and it might even be that some poses are never possible for some of us. Why not going on in a series when a student is able to practice one pose after the other according to his/her ability????? I agree with this approach 100%.
I think that Ashtangis should be able to remember the order of the asanas before they practice new ones. To ask the teacher after each and every pose: and what do I have to do next?????? is, yes what is it? I am somehow speechless about the discrepancy I observed of showing great ambition and the wish to get one pose after the other and to be too lazy or not finding the time or whatever to learn the order of the asanas.
I know from myself, that sometimes I was so confused with an asana so that I forgot how to go on. Sometimes concentration is not on the mat. I know what it means to be distracted. Sometimes adjustments are needed here, too and one has to ask how to go on in the series. It happens to everybody that an asana is forgotten. Sometimes it happened to me that I woke up in the middle of the night and I remembered that I had forgotten to practice an asana during a Mysore class. Over is over. But to see not the slightest effort to learn the order of the asanas is very strange to me. But perhaps I am wrong........Probably.......How can I know that no effort is put in learning the order????...... I am reflecting about my post......perhaps this post is not fair.
However: last time I was a bit astonished how often I heard: and what comes next?????
And what comes next???? This is also an important question for myself. How shall I go on with my life??? An unsolved issue? How much easier it is not to know the next asana. What will be my next life exercise???? Many questions, no answers so far.......
And then I went to bed again for a little nap. I spooned my E, his body was so warm. I adjusted my breath to his breath and slept another 30 min. Yes, this is luxury.
Time to go on with my life, breath by breath........(no stress).
It is good that I got up early, even though I am tired. My sleep was much better this night. My hot bath surely helped to make the body tired. The hot bath was surely also relaxing for my shoulder. My very optimistic hope that my shoulder would be OK again after the hot bath didn't become true. Patient is necessary. Some poses teach us to respect them and to be patient.
Today I will practice modest. I am curious what will be possible. My shoulder injury also influences supta kurmasana. However. A lot can be done.
Time to write my journal.
I think it is important to learn the order of the asanas of the series!!!!!
I think also it is important to know the sanskrit names of the asanas. I do have to repeat them. I want to build the habit to think of the sanskrit name of an asana before doing the asana....:)
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Tomorrow the attitude towards my yoga practice shall be: take it easy. Simply observing how the breath is coming in and out, observing how the body moves, shall be enough. This can be practiced off the mat, too.
Now it is almost 4pm and I just made the bed.....oh, oh, oh.......
Coffee is at home again, I went out for some grocery shopping. It is wet and cold outside. When possible I avoid it to go out again.
Intensive body care is on the schedule and perhaps even a hot bath. This is perhaps good for my shoulder.
Tomorrow I'll get up soon. No commuting time to go to a yoga school tomorrow as I will practice at home. First series is on the schedule tomorrow and in the evening led class......:)
Buh, I am still not really awake, but I don't want to drink a coffee. I need to sleep at night. Perhaps a tea will do.....
Even with an injury (shoulder/pectoral muscle) it is better to practice than not to practice. My shoulder didn't allow me to do dwi pada sirsasana. I omitted it. Also yoga nidra was not possible. Instead I repeated eka pada sirsasana. The second time I leaned back (M's wonderful recommendation). This helps to keep the chest open, which is finally the goal. The second time the asana is always easier, it was amazing how much easier it was.
I cannot remember when I pulled the shoulder/pectoral muscle. M thinks that it will last 2 or 3 weeks. OK, I thought it would take longer to heal. It is part of it. Sometimes the body simply tells us: you want too much too quickly.
The attitude: I love to go to a Mysore class, also because I see my fellow Ashtangis. They serve as an mirror. Whatever we do we do it with an attitude. This morning i.e. I was indifferent perhaps even unwilling to leave the house. Attitude usually changes as soon as I am on the mat. Then I become ambitious, I'm happy when I have my best practice every and I do something for it. The attitude is part of every practice.
Away from judging, simply observing can help to make a practice more joyful. More play, less ambition can even improve the practice and the quality of life. With fun learning happens easier. Smiling while practicing, yes a good idea......:)
(This reads as if I am preaching.) (I fear this was a reminder for me that says: take it easy)
Time to take a nap, I'm tired.....
I can nap in the afternoon..........
To have been twice in a restaurant yesterday wasn't so good either. It will be a difficult practice this morning at the Mysore class. I feel it already now. I will go and do what is possible. It is easier to practice in a group than to practice alone.
Today is a new day, I must go back to healthier habits again....
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
More important than the perfect performance of the asanas is to see that I can have focus. Focus is what I also need off the mat.
Usually when people want to know the differences between the different yoga styles and I want to answer only with a short sentence I say: Many yoga styles teach asanas (among other things) and to relax. Ashtanga yoga is work with energy. This is what Ashtanga yoga is for me (also): work with the available energy. Every body has a certain level of energy that can be spent. It is possible to direct this energy. To use it in an even relaxed way. This can be also applied off the mat.
I often think that I can be thankful for everything that provokes energy also if it is anger, disappointment. It is energy and it can be used in one way or the other. That is something that can be learned. Anger can be used for something positive, for work or whatever. (It was only an example, I don't feel angry)
A new Ashtangi likes to do Ashtanga yoga for spiritual reasons.......I recommended her Ramesh Balsekar and Advaita philosophy. I forgot to ask what it means to practice for spiritual reasons. I will do it next time.
For me Ashtanga yoga keeps the body healthy and the mind calm (I have this sentence from Gregor Maehle), but that's it.
Spirituality???? I don't know what this is.
Ah, my Ashtanga yoga is for my beloved body. In my case it seems as if the body learns faster than the mind. The mind is still very distracted.....
I'm looking forward to tomorrow.....Mysore class, to keep the body strong and flexible and to teach the mind to focus and to stay calm. :)
Yoga shall support my life, but it cannot be all and everything.
My body is worth that I do something great for it every day. Without doubt. And it will be Ashtanga yoga also in the future.
It also makes sense that I build my "working life" (which disappeared somehow) around my yoga practices. Yes, of course.
But yoga cannot dominate all my life. It is and shall be the dominating topic in that blog. But otherwise I MUST spend time on other topics, too. Most important: how to earn money. Step by step I must develop something. No, I don't want to get back to the companies. The thought alone that this could happen again makes me feel sick.
I repeat myself, I know. Five hours a day I want to be prolific........
A vacuum does not remain for a long time, I know, I know.....something will happen, I know, I know......I am impatient, but perhaps not impatient enough.....
I think whatever you do injuries can happen: skiing, soccer, running.
To be attentive helps in yoga to avoid injuries. But sometimes it is simply not possible to know the own limits. Now I have to step back. The pain that really hurts is my guide. It tells me exactly where to stop. Great.
Monday, January 11, 2010
I practiced - the second half of the first and the second series till mayurasana....
I couldn't come up from laghu vajrasana. M: Be happy that you have done it and go on. To have done it is important, this is enough. Don't analyze.......Something like that he said. He has the right words for me.
For the discontent ones among us: I think it is important to practice "only" primary on Friday. Since I've started learning second series primary somehow feels easier. To have from time to time the feeling "yes that was good", is relaxing. Motivation soars, when this feeling comes up.
To get up at 6 is good, it is a certain discipline that facilitates life in general.
And I have Mysore class in the morning. This is something to look forward to.....
Sunday, January 10, 2010
When I tell non-yogis that I do yoga either they ask "Can you do headstand?", or they ask "Can you sit in lotus pose?", or they ask "Can you do split pose?".
I can talk about each asana at least 10 min, if not longer..........(bad question for those who like to talk themselves.) :)
After the standing asanas I added pincha mayurasana. I wanted to apply what I read yesterday. I put a strap around my upper arms to keep them straight. I also used a block between my hands to keep the distance. I went much further away from the wall as usual. And this makes the difference. Now I really have to go up with the right swing. And I managed to do it. I could also balance for a while. I found out that it is important to press the hand and lower arms to the floor and to lift the body up. The focus is more on the thumb. The next steps must be to repeat this and to go even a bit further away from the wall. Then I must try this pose without the strap and the block. Gregor Maehle suggests to measure the distance of the elbows like we do it when preparing for sirsasana (headstand). Oh, this was a success today. I give me 2 more months and I have it, let's say: at the end of March I can do this pose in the middle of the room?!
Marichyasana C and D: I forced me into this pose till I could reach my wrists. I am back to my Christmas-weight (2 kg too much). These poses become better or worse with the weight, it is so!!!
Kurmasana: The feet still do not come up, but also here I experienced progress.
I added some poses after supta kurmasana to prepare eka pada sirsasana (leg behind the head). I was inspired by Gregor Maehle. He suggests to lay on the back when taking the leg behind the head. The stretched leg points over the head. Important is to engage the abdomen. I managed it that way to keep my leg behind the head without holding it - this is huge progress. My head leaned against my head. This was really great. Nevertheless, progress comes slow, daily practice is the secret.....:)
(I know a picture says more than 1000 words, but to go too fast into this asana might cause an injury)
To jump through was difficult, it's OK, it's still volatile, but it develops.
I added hanumanasana (split pose): I want to be able to do this pose. To be able to split the legs is helpful in so many asanas.
Urdhva dhanurasana: I tried to drop back only to see if I was still able to do it. I can do it and my feet remained parallel on the mat. This is also progress. No way to come up......I'm working on it.....:)
Ashtanga yoga aims to keep the body healthy and the mind calm....
As asana I studied pincha mayurasana: I will try the next time to be much more far away from the wall in order not to become dependant from that support. In a month or so this asana can be learned according to GM. The eyes gaze at an imagined point on the floor. For some aspirants this is difficult. The recommendation: to put something on the floor between the hands to have something to look at......
Time to step on the mat: primary today.
Saturday, January 09, 2010
Today is my yoga free day, but I consider to do pranayama and meditation. Later.
I will go shopping again when I know what to cook. And I will fill my storage with food. Who knows, perhaps it is good to have something at home......
Friday, January 08, 2010
Back bending was deep as well, even though I only drop back nowadays when M helps me. I want to keep my legs parallel. The feeling for the muscles that I must use is there.
Balancing: a tip: It is helpful to imagine that the feet are stick to the floor, to press them equally on the floor helps me to balance when doing the standing asanas.
Wow, they exist the good practices.....
Tomorrow shall be my day off.
Afterwards I went to Cafe Voilà to write my joural there and to have breakfast there. It was so much that I asked the waiter to pack it so that I could carry the rest home.
Yep, Mysore class this morning gives me the feeling as if I have a job, but a wonderful one.
Thursday, January 07, 2010
To jump through improved enormously since I use uddyjana bandha. But also urdhva dhanurasana was great. My back seemed to be open like never. It felt fantastic when I arched back.
In the evening the body is softer, I know, I know, but sometimes those super practices are important for the motivation. Yes, due to the Christmas cookies I thought marichyasana C and D would be difficult, but this wasn't the case. I could hold the wrist and lengthen the body and twist. Ahhhh.
Dinner now: see picture. This shall be enough. I am also no more hungry. And tomorrow I will go to the Mysore class. What else can I wish......
19,7 % live in China,
17,2 % in India,
4,5 % in the USA,
1,2 % in Germany (place Nr. 15)(but we become less and less).
And 2 of these animals, called "homo sapiens" get a postcard from me with New Year wishes for 2010. Handwritten. No, it is not yet too late...
I stopped at the "Pinakothek der Moderne" on my way home and I found a few wonderful postcards (drawings and paintings) by Max Ernst and Paul Klee. I bought more than I need. But for my blog I always need beautiful pictures.......:)
A few things are done:
I have my pills.
I have a new shower head and new batteries for my meditation watch.
Picture: This pumpkin ravioli with white wine sauce were great for lunch. The cafe where I was was so full during lunch time, nevertheless the waiter had time to bring me a glass of water when she saw that I had a pill on the table. She was very attentive, I didn't ask for the water.
Time to care for my money. Am I courageous enough today to check my shares???
When I really manage it to start my tax return 2009 and when I really manage it to go the led yoga class this evening, I call this day a "good day". It is good for me to be prolific. Action!
In my case I'm not sure yet. My thoughts only reach the evening. Tomorrow is always a new day, that is supposed to be lived and planned.
For today I decided that to do yoga once shall be enough. I will go to a led class this evening.
Beside yoga I want to do 3 things that are important. I managed it already to shower (!) (important, but does not count), when my hair is dry I will go to the doctor. I need a prescription for my thyroid gland. There is a nice cafe round the corner where I used to go when I was new in Munich. I will stop there and write my journal, having black coffee and a Brezel. It would be good to read something uplifting.
Important also is to buy a new shower head, the old one has holes - water is spraying in all directions.
What else: tax return comes again into my mind. This brings money.....
Make 2010 big, bright and bold, Richard Bandler recommended.....Yes, please.....