Sunday, January 31, 2010

Up......

...my bf moved my body with his hand: "You wanted to get up."
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

...the next 2 days...

It makes sense to get up early tomorrow morning. At 12am we must sit in the train to the north. It will take us about 4 hours to get to G. There probably HH will pick us up. His birthday party will start at about 6pm. Food will be served, much food. HH wants to celebrate till after midnight. His birthday is on Monday. will beIt will be a long long day and night tomorrow. I don't know when we in bed. On Monday we will get home by train again. In the evening we will be at home.
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.

....till marichyasana C....

I practiced till marichyasana C and then I had enough. I stopped, and showered and now I feel like going to bed again. It would have been a good kurmasana, I know it, but the motivation to go on equals zero. I am still ill. Or is this an excuse?
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......

I woke up without alarm clock

That's great. My day has started and it is still in the morning. I entered a clean kitchen to prepare my first cup of coffee for myself. But I feel still a bit slow (and sick). Time to write my journal to give the body still a bit of time to wake up and to become flexible before I step on the mat. I will practice today, it is OK to practice very modest. To start with a few sun salutations and to see then if it makes sense to go on with primary is surely a good idea. The body likes to be moved.

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

At home again

Back home from the wine tasting evening: It was surely a nice relaxed evening. The wines were excellent. As expected, the best wines were offered at the end of the evening, but they were all good, much better than what is usually offered in the restaurants. We tasted 2 white wines and 6 red wines (OMG), which came from Turkey or Israel. E thinks I had not too much wine, but I wish it were less. I talked more than I drank. Hopefully this is true. I don't feel drunk at all - the evening was long. But I feel still ill. My nose is clogged, now I even cough a bit. I don't feel healthy, nothing to worry about, but to feel fit feels differently. Tomorrow I will sleep till I wake up without alarm clock and then I will practice yoga. On Sunday we will drive to the north of Germany by train. A cousin of E has his 60th birthday and we are invited and we must attend. On Monday we will get back to Munich. My yoga free day will be the Monday or Sunday or on both days.
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.

Hair

Chakalak, have a great day.

Wine tasting this evening

I wanted to avoid it, but E so want me to accompany him and so I will go. It is not my first wine tasting evening, I am experienced. The first wines are the not so good ones, I will take tiniest gulps. Later the better and best wines are offered. As soon as I like a wine very much I will stick to it, I will exercise focus off the mat.
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.

Ah, an excellent practice with many surprises


Oh my, another serious picture of myself, but I feel great, fantastic, awesome.
My yoga practice had a lot of positive surprises for me. To jump through improved. I think that the exercises that I do to do bakasana B helps. And it helps that I exercise handstand. I loved how I floated through my hands.

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.

It's still cold outside....

So much to do. Where to start. I want to write my journal first. Then yoga,.........

Yes, up, a bit late, but I don't care

Oh, up, I slept well, but I'm not yet 100% recovered. The cold still bothers my nose, I feel a bit weak. I have no fever, but I'm sweating. I think it is possible to have a moderate practice.
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

I do have a yoga plan for tomorrow...

Today I did the standing sequence and I think I can do the first series tomorrow. I will practice slowly and then it should be possible to move the body. It is good. One asana after the other can be done......
Time to go on with my socks. I'm knitting warm socks for myself. I have so much wool here.

It will be a relaxed day, the body needs it....

To move is good, to drink is good. When I rest today I will be fit tomorrow. :)
Time for a hot tea......
Yeah the sun salutations were great.....I'm not yet sure if I do some more asanas or not. I shall see.....:)

A "trick" for Pavarotti trikonasana


Parvritta trikonasana is insofar rather challenging as the hips are supposed to remain parallel and this is so difficult to control by oneself. It is easier to keep the hips parallel when going down with spread arms. When down the twist can be done. I learned this during the yoga fair last weekend and I think it is helpful. Test it yourself!
Hahahahaha, I did spell checking and it was recommended to write Pavarotti instead of Parvritta. For me this is now the Pavarotti trikonasana. The name of this asana is easy to remember now, isn't it.

An opportunity to exercise awareness

This morning I was so busy with chores, only basic chores. I made the bed, washed the dishes, ironed, put things at the right place, I put dirty clothes in the washing machine, I took my Armani coat to the dry cleaning shop and the garbage down to the backyard. Hours are gone now. Practice awareness, I thought. It is easy to practice awareness when doing these simple tasks. If only someone could observe me, I thought, it looks so beautifully when I do these chores. Hahahahaha. To write about it must be enough.
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.

Winter

The view out of the balcony doors this morning showed me that it has snowed again during the night. It is still snowing a bit or is it only the wind that blows the snow around? I make it warm inside. I can hear people shovel snow outside.
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.......:)

Sick!!!

This cold drives me crazy. Ah, it also drives me crazy when people are sick and when they go among people., sick as they are. I know I am the same. But now I got this infection and I don't feel well at all. My nose is clogged. I can scarcely breathe through my nose. I'm sweating, but I don't think that I've fever.
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

Hatschi! Hatschi!

I'm getting a cold. I feel it. I hope the hot bath helped me to get rid of it as soon as possible.
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.

Nuitrition and movement belong together


I started lunch with a few green olives. The main course can be seen on the picture on the left side. I cooked bush beans (10 min). I poured fresh citron juice over it. Beside, you see 2 cocktail tomatoes, a few hearts of artichokes and a few tried tomatoes. Beside the plate is an olive bread.
I always like desserts, so I cut a banana and put a chocolate soy pudding over it.

Beverage: Earl grey.

I had a really delicious vegan lunch. Easy, quick and good.

Time to clean the kitchen. I will take a nap then. Yes. I enjoy my time.

Mysore class

Pashasana: For the time being I'm not able to bind alone, it's the weight, but with M I can bind.
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 made it out of the bed......

Mysore class this morning. It is the last day of this week where I exercise second series. Then primary is on the schedule. I love primary, too, to bend forward is wonderful.

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 that's how I exercise mayurasana

A long way to go, this is even the opinion of optimistic and supporting M. Yeah, mayurasana is a most difficult pose for me. First I work on the correct hand position. Before the hands and the elbows are not closer together, nothing else is possible. I change the block. First the right leg gets support, then the left. Perhpas it is better to make the support higher. I will try it the next time.

And I study this pose in the books. And I close my eyes and I imagine myself doing it.....:)

Kapotasana, I cannot believe it

I cannot believe, that not more is possible, but it is so. Grggghhhh.

On the middle part of the second series

The middle part of the second Ashtanga series builds strength in the upper body, so is my feeling. I could fold easily my arms as seen in the picture, it became more difficult and I blame the new strong muscles for 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!!!!!!!!

The correct vinyasa count

I started with the CD by Sharath and this was a good idea. I realized that when I practice alone I need more time to get into an asana and some asanas I don't hold so long. With one breath one shall be in an asana. I can do this usually (I have the standing poses in mind), only when I do parivrtta parsva konasana (see picture) I take more breaths. Also when I role into this pose, it can be done with one breath. Yes, I've spoken. This shall be my focus next time: the correct vinyasa. To take pictures helps with the self-timer helps to get quickly into an asana. The cameras give me either 10 sec or 20 sec, this is rather less time......

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.

I slept too long

Such a picture I missed so far. Me in the kitchen, sipping black coffee. I slept too long. This is not the end of the world. There is still time for everything I've planned.
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

Bakasana B - learning exercises


How I'm learning bakasana B:
First picture: I jump up against the wall with both legs at the same time. They remain bent. (As I am not yet able to do it, I went first in handstand and bowed them later, but this is not the goal of this exercise). It is important that the distance is far enough from the wall. The next step is to bend the hips. The arms are not straight up but in an ankle to the wall. This is why you need room. To take the knees under the armpits is the goal. Bandhas might help. It is important I think to be in control of the movement.
It is difficult for me, but I try. My first step is to lose (Anna!!! my teacher) fear. I'm just learning to jump up with both legs with both legs bent.
Studying the pictures I saw how important it is to go forward with the shoulders without losing balance. the arms are straight but not 90 straight up, but in an ankle to the floor (or the wall).

Yeah, great, I feel good.....

Mysore class was fantastic. I work on the asanas of the second series. From time to time I have to move my mat to the wall to have the wall as a support. This is the case when I exercise bakasana B and pincha mayurasana. This interrupts the flow a bit, but this is OK. Second series exercises the arms, a lot of strength is necessary. At the end I'm scarcely able to do chaturanga dandasana. Now, I feel full of energy. Some chores must be done.

Up, that's all

Coffee shall help me to get into the day. Energy is still low. I just straightened my back. It's good to know that I cannot be too late. Whenever I appear in the Mysore class it is OK. I have the feeling as if I could sleep the entire morning. But who knows how long I will be able to go to these morning Mysore classes, I have to profit from them. How can a person be so tired after so many hours of sleep, I wonder. This is not good for the mood, too, but I don't give moods much meaning or much attention. What must come next, I wonder. I will have a small breakfast. Yes, I still have a banana here and soy yogurt. Then the shower. Deep breathing. I know it will be cold outside. It's Monday. Second series is on the schedule today. Breath by breath I will move my body from one asana to a vinyasa to the next asana. I will feel much better afterwards. I know this. :)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

To sit in silence, observing the breath

To sit in silence, observing the breath was the end. These 10 min sitting in silence could become part of my evening routine.......Breakfast now.

Urdhva dhanurasana - done

Ah, the feet, why are they not parallel???
At least I did this back bending. No extra asanas happened today. This was enough.

Oh my, a lousy practice

Oh my, a lousy practice, too many interruptions, too many breaks.
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.......

Ardha baddha padmottanasana


This is one of the asanas I thought I'd never be able to do. I like it now. The shoulder can go further to the knee. The head does not yet touch the leg, but it is OK, I enjoy doing this standing asana, this balancing asana.

Utthita hasta padangusthasana, right and left


These pictures are for learning. I feel so good when I do this pose, but the pictures tell me something else. Interesting is that I have in small rooms much more balance than in large rooms. It is as if the walls hold me.
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.....:)


Utthita parsvottanasana

Are the hips parallel?
Is the back straight?
Uddyjana bandha?

The yoga week begins......


And the week starts with forward bending. I will practice primary. The vinyasas and the breath is important and shall be the focus.
A detail: In Ashtanga yoga we often hold the big toe with our first 2 fingers. A teacher once called this pistol grip. I pull the big toe towards me in trikonasana, paschimottanasana i.e. What I learned lately is that the big toe shows resistance and so that the toe remains where it is. These are little details, but the more advanced we become the more the details become important.
Picture: marichyasana A. The chin touches the leg, dristi is the foot.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

My last act for today

I cleaned the kitchen, .......this helps to have a good start tomorrow morning......:)

I better log out from my share depot- at least for this evening

Whyever, but today I checked my share depot. Everything was deep red. Not one black figure could be seen. I lost 50% of my money that I have invested in shares. I need another glass of red wine. I worked hard for the money that I had invested. It is simply a nightmare.

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.

Feel the waves of your own ocean - the yoga fair

I know what I want when it gets down to yoga. I have focus. I am not distracted when I look left and right. It might all be wonderful helpful, it might make people happy and healthy all these astrology info and Ayurveda, these stones and angles, rainbow chairs and crystals.....

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...

Up, but tired

Oh, at 6 I switched off the alarm clock almost in trance. I slept till 7:30. And I am still tired. But I will make it to the yoga fair at M,O, C. Yes. I have the possibility to practice Ashtanga yoga and to look around. I have still enough time here for everything, for the shower, a little breakfast.
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

For arm muscle lovers


or what Ashtanga yoga can do for you....
or chakalak......
or it's weekend, my darlings.......don't forget. :)

Italian waiters, foreign languages and Merlot

They can live two decades here in Germany or even longer, but they never learn how to speak German correctly. I speak about the Italian waiters, perhaps this is true for all the Italians, I know I generalize here. E and I were at one of our favourite Italian restaurants this evening. The waiter that we know of course and he knows us, ushered us to a table. A bit later he brought us the menu and a bit later he approached our table again. I ordered as usual spaghetti tarrantina and a glass of red wine, a Merlot. I saw how this waiter smiled. This does not happen often. Usually when I see him I think of the sentence that I've read once: Don't teach people to be friendly, hire friendly people. And each time when I see him, I wonder why they have hired him. So today he smiled at me. I smiled back and then he corrected me: You mean "Merlot". He pronounced it with an open o and he pronounced the t. This is wrong, so incredible wrong and it sounds so funny. I smiled back a bit friendlier than before and said: "Yes, a Merlot, please." I pronounced Merlot exactly how he had corrected me. He left us and I cracked myself up. Darling I said: Now I know that this man cannot speak French either. This man made my evening, I was so entertained.
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 (which is often "only" concentration)

I'm reading an interesting autobiography "Grenzenlose Erleichterung" by Felix Gronau. This book inspired me for this post.
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.....

Sava dak karakadoka sava dak shine shine saba dak tralali ja sava dak.....
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.

Primary becomes easier......

It seems as if primary becomes easier since I practice second series so intensively . No asana is perfect, this will never happen. All sorts of feelings come up when I practice. It goes from "how long do I exercise this asana and no progress at all", till "wow, that I am able to do this is great". I had flow, balance was there.
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....

...as I wrote a few hours earlier:

The week is not yet over. It is an exception that I am at home on a Friday morning. Usually I practice yoga in a Mysore class. But this Friday I was at home because M (the yoga teacher) is travelling.
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.

It's Friday, honey

This does not play such a huge role in my life for the time being. It doesn't matter if it is Monday, Tuesday or Friday. Only Sunday is the day that can have an influence on my life as the shops are closed. When I worked I liked to go out with E on Friday evening. It was sort of celebration because I had made it through another week. We still have the habit to eat out on Fridays and it is the time that we dedicate to each other (and this is not so much).
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 want to drum

I went to the theatres this afternoon and watched the movie "Ein Sommer in NY - the visitor".
A calm and excellent movie. Wow. Stirring.

Oh, I am in a hurry.....

I will go downtown.........I am in a hurry........

PS: Sometimes the thought comes up that I publish too many pictures of myself?????

A playful yoga practice, hanumanasana


I warmed my body up with the sun salutations. Then I tried pincha mayurasana. Yes, yes, this pose is coming.
I realized that hanumanasana is important and exercised hanumanasana then, forward split and side split. It was too time-consuming to explain how I exercise so I took two pictures. I let gravity help me when doing side split. It is relaxing. When I do forward split I use blocks. Also here 4 words come into my mind again: a long way down.
Tomorrow it is planned to practice with the CD by Sharath. This will be really exhauting...

Self-porträt


Thurday already......

...and on Thursday primary is on the schedule.
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

Kapotasana in Jan 2010

M was so kind to take a picture of me doing kapotasana. Not that I could pose the hands where they are on my own. M put them on that place. And there is still a long way to go, a very long way till my hands can be put on my feet. The pictures help to see what can be done, what has to be done. The hips are supposed to go much more forward. What can help, I wonder, and I remember hanumanasana (split pose). Last but not least hanumanasana opens the hips, gravity helps to do this. Will my hands touch my feet within a year???? This will be the big surprise.
The elbow drift outwards. How to keep them parallel? Perhaps to work with a strap might help.
Second series, yes, challenging, challenging.....:)

A yoga fair in Munich at M,O,C,

There is a yoga fair in Munich during the weekend (Sat and Sun). This shows me: the community of yoga practitioners is growing. It is possible to attend different yoga classes. I can imagine that a lot of stuff from books to yoga mats can be bought there, too.
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......:)

Mysore class this morning.....

Wow, second series exhausts me. In the end I am no more able to do a chaturanga dandasana. I cannot hold my body anymore and I fall on my belly. Second series builds arm muscles.

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.........:)


Every person counts in Munich and NY

We are not so many people in the Mysore class. Some of us Ashtanga practitioners are still in India, Kovalam. Not everybody has the mornings available for practicing yoga, I know this.
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

It was wished, so...

I made something raw, something lively for dinner.
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)

Done.....the filling

5pm.....
My morning practice is done now.
Second serious.
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.....!!!

Ahhhhh, better than I thought it would be.....

Part one, the surya As: done
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......:)

What a noise again that night.....

This spoils my sleep. It was as if a plane was circling above our home. I woke up because of this noise. But I fear it was again the snow company........
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

Oh, I was prolific

The bank statements are the core of every accounting. And these bank statements are entered now. It kept me busy for 6 hours. Of course with this activity my tax declaration 2009 is not yet done. I will go on tomorrow. When I get up early I will have a lot of time for so many activities. Oh, I fell energy. Five prolific hours every day, this must be also doable for someone like me......

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.

Classes, pilgrimages, workshops, home practice

What a variety:
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 feel full of energy....

Basic chores are done......I even ironed. I realize, I have not enough winter pullovers. Hahahaha.

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.

Am I glad that I went

The yoga practice is divided into eight parts. Consciously I divide them into these parts. It helps me to stay motivated during my demanding practice. Part one is done, very good, I think. Then part two is done, very good, only 6 more parts and only 2 are demanding.........Between each part I give me a little break.

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.

In a hurry...

I'm in a hurry. I am glad that I do not have to be at the Mysore class on the dot. But now it's time to pack my yoga clothes. It will be hard today, I have to go, I have to.....:)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The hot bath shall help

I relaxed in the bath tub. Shall the hot water help my shoulder.......Grghhh.

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.......

Ah, my shoulder gives me some troubles

Primary today: My right shoulder is still not OK. It hurts. Marichyasana C and D were a nightmare and I couldn't hook my fingers when I did supta kurmasana. "Shit, shit", I think. Injuries mean not only no progress, they mean a step back. Is it already better, I wonder. Probably yes, but it is not really tangible.
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......:)

Ah, I was up on time......

...but now it is almost 10am. Fb drives me crazy. It kept me busy this morning.
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

Not a single thought is true

It's all fiction, baby.

Pranayama and meditation


I started with a few surya namaskara A and B, simply to wake the body up. To sit in lotus pose for 15 min starting with a stiff body is not so easy. A few suryas do not exhaust me. I added baddha konasana to open the hips. Then I folded my legs into padmasana and lied down on my belly. It is another exercise to open the hips.
Then I started my practice with pranayama (alternate nostril breathing). I took a short break after a few rounds and then I meditated. Meditation is more or less a concentration exercise as I focus on the breath. It's been a long time since I have done these exercises. It was wonderful. It is much calmer than practicing the asanas. To be enough for oneself, this thought comes up. To have 10 calm minutes every day observing the breath is wonderful.
I enjoyed my pranayama, concentration practice. It's breakfast time.

Saturday

It is good for the body to have a rest day, especially as my practices are so intensive lately.

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

I took a hot bath

I took a hot oil bath. I washed my hair with a new shampoo extra for blonde hair. And afterwards I didn't shower with cold water. Soon I see myself in bed sleeping. The hot bath relaxed me. Life cannot be understood, I thought.

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.

Ah, it must look like a piece of cake

Ah, it must look as if it is easy, when I practice Ashtanga yoga. A spectator must have the feeling: Me, too, I can do this easily. Only when trying some of the asnasa or movements the revelation shall arise that it is not so easy. But when watching me, it must look as if it is a piece of cake. That's how my practice shall look like: Like a piece of cake. Me - a piece of cake......

What makes a yoga practice easier?

An Ashtanga practice becomes easier
- 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.

To practice Ashtanga yoga for spiritual reasons...

This thought and motivation does not go out of my mind.....
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.

What would happen,....

What would happen, if I gave up practicing Ashtanga yoga?
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........

Wow, up

It is not important if it was difficult or not - I am up. The black coffee is next to me. It is needed. And yes, I will go. I will go to that wonderful Mysore class. Primary will finish my yoga week.
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

Led class this evening - it was excellent for me

For me it is great to have from time to time a led class with half of the asanas of the first series. Every practice can be demanding, it depends on how intensive I practice. And I have a wonderful relaxation at the end. At home I often omit it. I feel great. It was a wonderful evening.

This shall be enough yoga this morning

I did all the standing asanas and then I exercised pincha mayurasana. This pose seems to be reachable. I wanted to do it when I still feel powerful. First I exercised against the wall, but without block and strap. Then I used the block and the strap again, so that arms and hands get used to the correct position. There is the strong tendency that the hands drift together and the elbows drift apart from each other. This makes it more difficult to balance.

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.

My new hairdo


My new hairdo: I want to have my hair in a way that I don't have to do "hair vinyasas" how B called it after so many poses. Hair must be bound in a way that allows it to lie on the back and to stand on the head, the top of the head and the back must be free of hair knots or barrettes......I hope my braid remains for one practice so that I do not have to adjust my hair from time to time anymore.....

How to say it......

...without making finger pointing.

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.......

New habits......

Sometimes a new behaviour becomes a habit rather quickly. When I go to the Mysore class in the morning, I usually have a breakfast in the morning before the class. I do not eat much, but something. When I practice at home I usually eat my first meal after my practice. This morning I woke up as hungry as a wolf. I had to eat first.

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).

Up

I opened the curtain to look out. It is still dark but I could see that it must have snown again overnight. The roofs, the backyard trees and my bolcony are covered again with a fresh white blanket.

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

Everything is prepared....

....for a good start tomorrow. I just cleaned the kitchen. It is a symbolic act. I want to start fresh every morning without any feelings like "OMG and this I haven't done either". Tomorrow is a new day.

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.

I slept as if I was dead....

...oh yes, this WAS relaxing. I needed that deep deep sleep, after several nights of permanent waking up and having a light sleep.

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.....

Super happy that I went....

...and not only because I got the new poses nakrasana (M and I were astonished how good I could do this crazy jumping) and vatayanasana.

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.....

Two cups of coffee,.....

....and a cold shower woke me up. Somehow weak and tired I sit here. To be tired in the morning is not a good sign. I shoo away the thought to stay at home. I know it is good to go. Better a bad practice than no practice at all. I know I will profit from the group in the Mysore class.
I can nap in the afternoon..........

Sleep

Sleep is not good lately. It is difficult to sleep in. I cannot count how often I wake up in the night. I really estimate now what it means to sleep well.
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

A sentence that inspired me today

The art of transforming a life into stories.

It is the subtitle of the book by Alexandra Johnson "Leaving a trace" on keeping a journal.

Every life is a story. Every day a story happens............only a story, nothing else......

This was an extra day away from the mat

It shall be OK. Tomorrow I will go to the Mysore class again. I will practice with care (not only because of my aching pectoral muscles on the right side under my shoulder).
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. :)

Under the shower...

thoughts came up about yoga. hahahahaha.
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.....

It's part of it.....

I am very happy that I have to write so seldom about it, but sometimes it even happens to me. I think I underestimated the intensity of the second series. Muscles are used now that weren't used so far and I have obviously injured shoulder or pectoral muscles. I do not feel anything when I move around. I only feel the pain when I put the right leg behind my head. Non-yogis would probably say: So why do you put your leg behind the head? And for a while it might be what I have to do. The pain is unbearable and feels unhealthy when I try dwi pada sirsasana (both legs behind the head) for instance.
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

Petite U - Paul Klee painted me....oh


Yes, that's me.....petite U.......

The snow monsters

Picture: The snow monsters that wake me up in the middle of the night when I've finally have found some sleep.

Oh, I am alone at home and nobody is here to talk to. I fear some further posts will follow.

Sometimes it is the body, sometimes it is the mind..

Sometimes it is the body, sometimes it is the mind that is unwilling to practice. Today it was the mind: all the asanas, so many asanas to practice now, OMG, I thought, when I stepped on my mat. But each practice has a dynamic of its own. This sentence was soon forgotten and I did what has to be done.....
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.

Winter clothes

It will take an eternity till I will have changed my clothes today. There is Mysore class this morning and I will go out of the house. I put on one piece of clothes after the other, as much as possible. It's a miracle that I can still move. I don't want to feel cold when I go out today. Time to pack my bag......

Up, but tired...

...my sleep is very light lately. I wake up during the night. Then I sleep again. Then I wake up again because my shoulder hurts.....
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

Asanas non-yogis know

It is padmasana (lotus pose), hanumanasana (split pose) or sirsasana (headstand).

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.) :)

Yeah, should post the recipe on my vegan blog....


Yeah, delicious, very delicious.
I cooked ribbon noodles with a sauce consisting of mushrooms, 1 onion, a lot of white wine a vegetable broth cube, parsley and pepper. I made field salad in addition, with a sauce consisting of white wine vinegar and olive oil. It was all very good and it is a vegan meal........for animal lovers.....:)

Wow, on my Sunday "morning" yoga practice

It was a very exciting practice with many surprises.

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.....:)

Studying the asanas

I read in Gregor Maehles new book yesterday and it IS amazing. I realized one more time how balanced Ashtanga yoga is: the whole body is exercised not only the legs and abdomen, but also shoulders and arms.
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

So, my Saturday without yoga is almost over


Yes, something was done: my home is clean again. There is still a lot to do to make this villa motley comfortable, but for today for now it is good as it is. More cannot be done.
I managed it to prepare a salad, something lively with celery, red pepper, tomatoes, an apple and parsley. For the sauce I used a citron (would take only a half the next time), white wine vinegar and olive oil. I put pepper in it, salt I use very seldom. It was something fresh, something healthy. It is a salad that can be stored easily. I enjoyed it.
Time to look at asana pictures. Hahahahahahaha. Time to study yoga poses. :)

...and where is snow storm "Daisy"

So far it is wet and cold outside, which feels colder than dry and cold. No snow storm is in sight. I was out and I bought the Krapfen for breakfast, like every Saturday. Repetition is part of life. Today is cleaning day, also something that repeats and repeats and repeats.

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

Two excellent practices in a row

Wow, yes, it was a wonderful primary this morning. What has improved is the jumping through (forward). I think that I do handstand helped me to improve it. My balance simply became better. My feet still touch the floor when I jump through, but I'm no more stopped. That I engage the abdomen muscles (uddyjana bandha) helps, too.
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.

Mysore class this morning shoos me out of bed

Yes, so it is. I will leave my home early today (after 8am). First series is on the schedule. It is good that yoga disciplines me. The thought comes up to stay in bed and to sleep and to sleep and to sleep. But I know how much fun I will have when I go. I have not yet met the yoginis in this new year. It's another reason to go out into the cold, dark world.
Yep, Mysore class this morning gives me the feeling as if I have a job, but a wonderful one.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

The yoga season 2010 has opened

Excellent, excellent, I must repeat this, I had an excellent practice.
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......

Led class this evening

I will go. It is already dark outside and cold, but I will go. I need this led class today. I feel stiff, heavy and weak. Hahahahaha.

6,8 billion animals, called "homo sapiens" live on that world

We are 6,8 billion animals ("homo sapiens") here on earth. In the meantime the data can be obsolete already. The data are from 2009 (wikepedia).
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.......:)

Back home

I walked in the cold for a rather long time. It was good.
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!

Either......or.......

Either things become better, or worse........
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.....

My sleep is light

My sleep is light and this cleaning company at the opposite side of the street makes such a noise already in the middle of the night, because these huge cleaning cars start driving out of the backyard. This drives me crazy, this spoils my night. Sigh. I am up, early, this is good.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Vacuum

The vacuum that was created last summer starts filling in so many ways. Exciting ways, wonderful ways. Why am I so reluctant! Why do I not accept that the past is over. Why do I not say "yes" to all these exciting offers. It is not possible to look into the future while looking into the rear mirror. The past is over. Let go. Grgghhh. I should do some space clearing, a symbolic act. I am clinging, this is not good.

Yes, it was delicious

I loved to prepare the spaghettis and they were delicious. This cries for repetition.....