Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Excellent practice

Especially the attitude towards my practice was good: I did what was possible. However the result was, I enjoyed it. No judging happened, no discontent was felt. That way my entire practice was really joyful.

Relaxation: It's so important for me to relax and especially these 10 min at the end where I lie on my back and do nothing but breathing, these 10 min I want to omit. No, I got my soft brown blanket today, covered my body with it and breathed. It was silent here. I realized how my belly went up and down with each inhaling and exhaling, how wonderful I thought. And then like a thunder coughing happened again. Afterwards I went back to the stillness. It was great.

PS: Tomorrow I'll fly to Majorca with my E. Next practice will happen there......in the sun. Yepeeeee.

Yep, up

Another home practice will happen. Yes, yes. Second series is on the schedule. I am curious how flexible I'll be today. I start again with the CD by Sharath, he will lead me through the standing sequence.......The sun is shining, I expect at least a sweaty practice......:)

I wrote on Sharat's facebook fan wall that it would be good to produce a similar CD with second series. I got no answer (so far). Hahahahahaha. At least he knows now that there is a need.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Wow, a huge step

Deeper, go deeper, a bit deeper, ah and my finger tips touched the little step on my wardrobe. I was thinking of this the entire day yesterday. This is progress. Perhaps the knees are a bit more apart than yesterday. I don't know. I had the feeling I was deeper in that pose than ever.
It is warm here today, this helps of course, the body was sweaty and bendy. Whyever. I expected a bad practice today, but I always like to be surprised by the opposite.
Next time I will focus on deep breathing when I do the pose........

It was a good practice this morning. As usual I started with the CD by Sharath, This is a perfect start for me for the time being. What helps is allowed

I observe.....

I will always cough, this thought came up. This will never end........but today I feel much better. I slept well, I didn't wake up this night. The coughing that happens now is coughing light. One and a half week I was busy with this cold or whatever this was.

I will practice at home again, second series.
Insights: Either it goes up or down............like in yoga so in life. Somehow I have the feeling it goes up today again. I shall observe.......:)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Home practice

Another home practice today. It was reasonable to stay at home and not to go to a Mysore class. I slept well tonight, but during the day yesterday I coughed much too much.
Perhaps I am so weak that I gave up resistance, but I have the feeling as if my back bending exercise for kapotasana improved (see picture). Oh, I sweated, but I think this is good.
Coughing again. Damned.
My attitude towards my practice today: Practice, do it, don't judge. I am learning second series, I play with the poses, I do additional exercises. Flow will come later.
Some poses were good, others not. Yes, so it is. Joy comes, joy goes, joy comes again, how funny.

So and now I give me a second breakfast. I am glad that I do not have to leave the house.

Am I recovered, I mean 100%?

To E: Shall I go?
(To my yoga Mysore class, I mean, he knows this.)
He: You are not totally fit again. On Thursday we'll fly to Majorca.

I know that he is right. I know it, too, I only wanted to hear it from someone else. Ahhhh, this does not please me at all. But I will practice alone again, here on my wonderful yoga place. My practices are less intensive when I practice alone and not in a Mysore class. I do not have to leave the home in addition. It's cold outside. It's reasonable to wait till I am recovered 100%. Ahhhhhh, it's not easy, I'd so love to go to this Mysore class.

E is on a business trip again............

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Downward facing dog - a classic

Adho mukha svanasana, a classic. The feet are hip width apart. Me too, I tend to have the distance between the feet too large.

Paschimottanasana - the hand positions







There are 4 hand (and arm) positions in paschimottanasana. I was told that the elbows show to the sides in position one. They do not hang down or rest on the floor. To rest comes at the end (this I was not told).
In position 4 the wrists are held, but I do what is possible for me, so I fold the fingers.
Forward bending......ahhhhhhh.

Better!

I sit here sweating and it is before the yoga practice. Why ever. I had my last serious coughing fit yesterday at 5pm in a cafe. TV was on they were broadcasting a soccer match with the Bavarian team. This was good so my coughing couldn't be heard everywhere. It started with an intensive scratching in my throat. I realized at once, this will hurt and be a long coughing fit. I tried to warn E, but I couldn't finish my sentence when the coughing started: loud, painful, endless. I had to take out the drop that I was sucking. Soon tears ran down my face. I turned the body away from the other guests and coughed and coughed and coughed. The time between the single coughing was too short to sip from my peppermint tea to calm the throat. Like a miracle it ended.
The night was calm. Here and then a bit of coughing happened, but not these monster coughing attacks. I slept rather good. I am optimistic now that I am over the hill.
Shower now before my yoga practice and shower after the yoga practice.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

To see things differently

To see things from a different perspective can surely be "enlighented". :)

No yoga today

No yoga today. I wonder why I like this. But the body needs a rest day.
To experience a beginning and an end of something intensifies what happens between these too points.
I am still coughing and this drives me crazy......it's getting better, but when is it over! Damned!

Time to enjoy silence, time to sit for 10 min.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Et Dieu.....créa la femme

.....et l'homme aussi.

Or how did this all happen??????

When you feel good....

...however I feel, I want to go out this evening with E. He is ready to go out with me. I was at home the entire week, it's enough now. I grave for penne al'arrabiata and a glass of red wine in a clean restaurant. Yep. I am waiting. E is so diligent. But when he returns from work, we'll go out. I will have my drops in my handbag in case I get a coughing attack. I just had one. It is endless.

In Ashtanga yoga only interim goals exist, little oasis

After years of practicing Asthanga yoga it is seen clearly: there are these interim goals that can be reached and this creates joy. To hook the fingers the first time when practicing supta kurmasana is a highlight. So it is when dropping back the first time. These steps deserve to be celebrated, they deserve to be acknowledged. But soon the journey goes on. Next interim goal can be defined and so on and so on and so on. More than in any other discipline - the daily joy to practice is the goal in Ashtanga yoga.

How taking pictures help me




First picture: I was so sure that my feet were parallel. The picture proved something else. I wouldn't mind if I dropped back, but these are exercises to drop back correctly. Good that I saw the position and I could correct it (see second picture).
Speed: In India we held the arms crossed in front of the chest, with one exhaling we went back and with the next inhaling we went up. So it is when dropping back, exhaling down, inhaling up. The self-timer does not give me more time, I must do it so fast.
Back bending felt good today. A long way down is still true.

Strength building meassures


Uddyanda bandha and mula bandha are necessary to lift up. Shall these exercises finally allow me to jump back without touching the floor with the feet.

My yoga place

In summer time flowers are on my balcony. There is sun on my balcony till short after lunch time.
Once my student neighbour said to me: You have never sun.
Me: This you only think because you get up after 12. I have morning sun.

My flat is tiny. But I just thought it makes no sense to move to a bigger more expensive flat only because we need storage room. To let go is the exercise. And I love my yoga place.
Sometimes I like to invite more than 1 person and for this my flat is too small. But let's face it: I am not such a housewife who likes it and is able to prepare lunch or dinner for 8 people or so. Perhaps that comes in my life later. For now there is no room and time for such activities.

Fresh orange juice for me.....




Ahhhhhh, soooooo, goooooood. :)

E bought cough syrup

E bought cough syrup. He is the drug specialist among us. "Hahahahah," I thought, " he wants to sleep during the night." He sleeps deeply and not all of my cough attacks wake him up. I cough and I can hear him breathing evenly in most of the cases. This is good.
I feel better than yesterday, but I am not yet 100% recovered. It was difficult to sleep in because of the coughing and at 4am I woke up, coughing, till I gulped the cough syrup and the pastilles. Now I sit here and pearls of sweat are running down my body. This usually does not happen, too.
These colds need a week to disappear, minimum. These colds make us patient.

I will practice at home again. I am ready for a home practice without ambition. I don't care when the breath is not correct. Good is to move the body. My practice yesterday was very good. Primary became easier for me, so nothing can stop me.

I want to go out this evening: penne al'arrabiate with a lot of garlic and chilie with red wine could be good for me. :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I sweated like a man

I sweated like a man during my practice. Almost. I sweated a lot, this is true. I had an excellent primary this morning (?) and I hope that with the sweat also the virus left my tiny body.
I was strong and flexible I had flow, only breathing was not so good due to my clogged nose.
I added hanumanasana (to lengthen the front of the body).
When I was in urdhva dhanurasna I stretched one leg after the other to the ceiling. The body got to know what to do to perform this exercise. Bad: I stopped breathing. Correct breathing improves every asana. Next time I focus on breathing, too.

Wow, what a great practice. But this was it now, no led class for me, this would be too much, I am still on my way to recovery.
Picture: I enjoy the sun and my little balcony.

My mat is ready

And me, too. Primary today. Attentive I will be towards my body. To move is good, I know this.


Better, but not good

The weather is good again, this is true. It shall become even warmer than yesterday, a real summer day. But myself, I feel better, but not good. There happened these aggressive coughing attacks last night again. Endless I coughed. I tried to breathe scarcely, I tried to lie on my belly, on my side, but this didn't influence this coughing. Finally my belly hurt. I wondered if this would build muscles and if this could be good for the asanas. Ah, no, I don't believe this. This coughing is simply annoying, I am out of combat, this is it. I know that this experience will make me thankful when I'll be back to normal again, when I will be strong and flexible again and a bit wild. A few hours I slept at least. This is good.
No led class for me today (so sad), but I will practice here, if possible.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What a lovely day

It's warm outside. My balcony is protected from the wind. It is so warm that I could even sit on my balcony already. When I look to the left I can see the balconies of my neighbours. Students live there. Some sleep outside during summer time. Today I saw nobody.
I was out already, did some grocery shopping, but I need more stuff. I want to eat garlic.
In the afternoon I consider a modest practice. It helped me yesterday, why not today, too?

Dristhi: nose

Aspirin: there are a few drugs available, which are simply fantastic. I take an Aspirin. Why suffer? It doesn't taste good, but it helps.
Slowly I do some chores. I also have to do grocery shopping. Slowly I will go through my day. I am glad that I do not have a job. I have the time to have an illness, a cold. Many people have to take very strong drugs so that they can work. Am I glad that I can relax and that I have the time to respect my body.

Aggressive painful coughing all night long

I feel awfully, I cannot describe it better. At 12:30am I opened my eyes. Again I woke up coughing: What's the time E? He told me that it was 12:30am and I thought it was in the morning 7am or so. I coughed the entire night and it was painful. This was the valley now, hopefully. But it's better when the cold shows it's face, when it manifests than when it is felt in the bones and does not come out. There is a lot of expression of a cold now. I got up drank water to clear the throat and tried to sleep again. My head is clogged, deep breathing is difficult. I feel like a mountain of misery. Hahahahahaha.

I sit here now, sipping coffee, sweating. The sun is shining outside. Perhaps I will have energy for a walk later. A nightmare this cold. So this was enough self-pity and complaining for today. I slow down and rest and think this is part of life, too.

An interesting aspect from the discussion on the meaning of life a few days ago: It was realized that people usually don't ask for the meaning of life when they feel happy. This is why the conclusion was drawn happiness is the meaning of life.
I don't agree, but it doesn't matter, I think this is an interesting aspect, which explains the importance of many people to feel happy.
I think there is no meaning: This is it. Point.

Ah, to shower, ahhhhhh.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Grggghhhhhh, I shall be reasonable

I'm coughing and it hurts. I am not yet ready for a Mysore class tomorrow morning. I also don't want to make my friends ill. I bite into this sour apple, I will practice at home tomorrow again. It's sad, but a good decision.

Picture: Yes, again and again the same back bending poses, till it's done, till the hands reach the feet.....:)
Repetition is everything and patience.

Krounchasana

Krounchasana is also an underestimated asana. It is demanding.
I took some pictures today again. It is so helpful. First I have to be fast in an asana, it is how it is supposed to be. Usually with one exhaling the pose should be performed. Second I see details that is important, i.e. the position of the head. Ah, it was a good practice.

I practiced and now I feel 80% better

First my head was clogged, but I went on and I felt better and better. My head is clear now. Oh, I sweated a lot even though I took it easy. Simply to do it was the intention. I was rather bendy. Food and weight has more influence than I want to admit. The red wine that I drink when I go out with E can be felt in the morning when I practice. I stopped today after pincha mayurasana.
Highlight was that I could lift the legs when doing urdhva dhanurasana (one leg after the other of course). I did this exercise in the middle of the room, legs were close together and then I pressed the one foot on the ground, the other lifted. I could do it on the right side and on the left side. This makes me happy. Ha.

So, nevertheless I have to relax today. But I feel it I've left the valley behind me. It goes up again, up. Yes!

I tried to greet the sun

I tried to greet the sun and it was possible. Perhaps I've left the valley behind me. A modest practiced should be possible.

Yesterday I studied the dristhis. There are 2 dristhis according to Sweeney when doing the sun salutations A and B. It's either the third eye or the tip of the nose. It's never to look up or the hands. Even when doing virabadrasana during sun salutation A, it's the third eye. During the standing poses virabadrasana is performed as an asanas that is held for 5 breath. Then the dristhi is the hand. Perhaps the body is softer then already and it is possible to go back further with the head. M always reminds me: take care of your neck. It seems to be more important to look in that direction of the dristhi point than to really see the dristhi point.

My focus today is the dristhi during sun salutation: third eye and tip of the nose.

The meaning of life

I watched TV yesterday in the evening. There is a week of philosophy on one of the programmes. A professor, a specialist in Tibet literature and a moderator discussed topics like the meaning of life.
Do we need a meaning in life?
Is it enough to observe and to be entertained, I wonder?

I don't know how I managed it.......


......but I managed it to shower. I had sweated during the night and didn't feel well at all. Several times I woke up. In the morning I felt sticky. The water under the shower that rinsed away all that sweat felt good on my skin. What do I have, I wonder? It's something that I'd call a cold but not such a classic one with a lot of coughing and a sore throat and a nose that is running all the time. Coughing happens, my throat is sore, but I can gulp, and my nose is running too,but all very modest. Nevertheless I feel so sick, it is in the bones, the cheek bones hurt. This is perhaps because of a slight fever. I didn't measure it. I felt like porridge yesterday and today I do not feel much better. And a porridge cannot practice Asthanga yoga. It will probably be another day that I will spend relaxing on the bed. Grggggghhhh. At least I am showered, this makes me feel already so much better.

So, enough self-pity is expressed now, I do not really have something bad, I am simply out of combat for a few days. That's nothing.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Ah, a calm day

Oh my, right now my Mysore class would have been over when I would have been there.
It's not that I do not move at all. To move is good, but I give the body enough time to rest, too.

I will read and write and then I will relax again, drinking tea.
I don't feel like practicing at all! It was a good decision to stay at home.

Variations




Many asanas look similar. Only the ankle to the earth makes a difference, but with this the asanas becomes something totally new.

The body is the boss, I feel ill

I feel so ill that I stay at home, no Mysore class for me today. I practice yoga, awareness, I get to know my body better and better and when it sends me a message I respect it. "Big shit" I wrote in my private journal. Of course I want to go to the Mysore class. Today we wanted to have lunch together afterwards, but my body has the last word and I don't feel good. I will feel better faster when I give it a rest. Yeah, I will do a modest practice here, a bit later.

Picture: Our dinner yesterday. E was happy this morning and me, too, when we stepped on the scales. It was a delicious and healthy meal. As a dessert I had strawberries, it was too early for them, they need still time to be good.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

My new challenge

My new challenge: urdhva dhanurasana and then one leg up to the sky. I can only do it with the left leg. This exercise strengthens the leg that is grounded on the floor and the hips must push forwards. This finally allows to come up from the pose. I found out that it is easier when the legs are closer together. I tried this exercise first against my wardrobe to have support when I cannot hold myself anymore, but the pictures were very bad, so I tried it in the middle of the room. Hahahahahaha.
I exercise this now on a regular basis. May I finally be able to come up from this pose.

My practice was stiff and sloppy. I didn't feel so well, but now I feel better. Hahahahahaha. It is always good to move. Always.

The details, the details




I mean, I am an advanced beginner in the meantime, I want to take care of the details.
I want to write about the correct vinyasa count and the corresponding movement. M taught me this, who else. No matter which forward bending pose it is, most of the time the dristi is the big toe. The chin is on the shin and I remain for 5 breaths there. Then with the next inhaling I lift the upper chest, but only the upper chest. The back and the neck are in line and not like in picture 3, where I look forward to a fata morgana.
Exhaling.
With the next inhaling I lift the body up.
With the next exhaling I jump back into chaturanga dandasana. My feet touch the floor, I still need strength for this elegant vinyasa.

A detail on the correct vinyasa I wanted to have mentioned




M draw the attention to it: In the second series are a few asanas that are performed on the belly. The vinyasa is not to go directly into upward facing dog. After performing the asana, chaturanga dandasana comes next. Then I role over my toes into upward facing dog. These are the details, but they are important. Chaturanga dandasana shall not be omitted.
Good is that I do not look anymore to the sky when I perform back bending asana. Dristi is the nose. It's easier to relax the face with this dristi.
I can see it clearly on my pictures, there is still potential to open the upper chest, to draw the shoulders back.


Water......

Water is so good........I feel fresh now and so much better. Ah, this was a good idea to shower warm first and then cold. I also drink water now. Water is great, I think.

I am up and I don't feel good

It seems as if I have sweated during the night. I didn't sleep well either. Have I got this cold from E I wonder, he didn't feel well yesterday at all.
I will take a shower first and then I will practice slowly, without trying to reach my limits. Simply to move the body shall be enough. It's not that I have anything, but I do not feel fit either. I do not have fever, a little practice might be very good.

Oh, I enjoy my clean home. And my black coffee. :)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Primary tomorrow

Primary tomorrow. Focus will be the breath and the right vinyasa count. At 11am I want to be through!!!!!
So much more is to do than Ashtanga yoga. Yes!

Sharath is the best

I started listening to the DVD primary series by Kino MacGreggor.
I switched it off after ardha baddha padma paschimottanasana.

Kino has an excellent practice. That's for sure. Her jumping through is excellent. Not so many people are able to lift themselves up into headstand. Wow.
Unfortunately she talks and talks and talks and explains modifications in a most exciting voice. I couldn't listen anymore. I want to listen to my breath when I practice and not to this endless chatter.
The DVD is surely suitable to see someone very advanced practicing , but I will never use this DVD for a led home practice. Never!
OK, it's more fun to practice, than to watch yoga DVDs.....hahahahahaha.
(But this is only my opinion, I know others who use this DVD and practice with it.)

Yep, the DVDs by Kino MacGreggor arrived

I'll watch primary first..........
Shall this be my preparation for my practice tomorrow morning. But not now, I have other things to do now, like cleaning, and discarding thing: A pair of winter shoes have to go, and so many other things, too. I feel strong today........

Being attentive

Ashtanga yoga (practicing asanas) teaches me to be attentive towards my body mainly. I want to feel my limits, if possible I go a bit further, but not too much. If I go too far I risk to get injured and this is usually a step backwards.
Perhaps this attentiveness has spread over my life and I listen much more to the wishes of my soul than in earlier times. It makes no sense to follow each and every mood. If I'd do so I wouldn't practice daily, no way. But to feel and follow the main wishes is perhaps something that came with the practice. Shall my soul tell me in which direction I will go.

Cleaning day today......:)

Smiling......

We'll go out for dinner this night, but we don't know yet where to go.
Tomorrow I'll cook something, but I do not know yet what it will be.....:)

Hahahahahahaha..........

But tomorrow I will start my day with practicing primary. This is for sure!

Status update: my book

I must pick up myself (always) where I am at the moment.

I carry my soul on my tongue, which means I love to talk about my book project. And most people like to add their opinions. This is great. The feed-back is from "there are enough books on this topic on the market", till "when is your book ready". Everybody adds a new aspect, a new view, a new possible objection or motivation. Thinking of these opinions I must they they are all helpful, the more critical ones like the positive ones. It's a variety of different aspects that are given to me, that really helps me to write, to see possible readers wishes, to become more detailed.

Nevertheless I must keep up an optimistic attitude. This is not always easy, ups and downs are felt. So it is (life is so). Doubts, difficulties to start writing, other distractions make it difficult to do what I want to do. I think now it is good to integrate in my daily routine to read uplifting literature. To start something totally new at my age is a bit like swimming the river upwards. People are in general full of fear and don't like change. (In our Mysore class i.e. everybody puts the mat on the same place in that huge room.)It's good to read and hear voices who support this endeavour to dare something new. In my case it is important to limit this reading time. One hour a day shall be enough.

I am full of energy this morning, also optimistic, stubborn. I go on. I judge the result later.

On dristhis

It is not always possible to see the dristhi (gazing point). It is more or less to look in the direction of it, it needn't to be seen.

When I hear dristhi, I think of my driver's licence. It is part of the classes here to drive once at night. This is exciting. I drove in the dark when a car came on the other lane. I looked at the lights of this car . But the teacher told me to look on my own way: You will drive in the direction in which you look. This is a life lesson, I think. Look in the direction where you want to go.......

To enjoy the learning process

In Ashtanga yoga there is always something new to learn. It's a good attitude to enjoy the learning process. Not being able to do an asana needn't be a source for frustration, but it can make curious how to learn and master the new challenge.

"I cannot......."

M:"I thought you can do this."
Me: "No."

I did urdhva dhanurasana, the toes were pointing to the wall. Then I should lift up one leg so that the toes of the one leg were pointing to the sky. I couldn't lift up my leg first. To be able to do it is helpful, because it makes the leg muscles strong and I have to push foward the hips which is necessary when I want to come up from this pose.
This is what I will exercise now and if possible I'll take a picture of it, tomorrow. Today is my day off, I do not practice yoga.
I want to sit in silence for 10 min.
Today is marathon cleaning day again......:)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Led class yesterday...Mysore class today

....was great. Learning does not stop.
My hands are supposed to be next to the head when I push myself up into urdhva dhanurasana. I had put my hands too far away from it. To have the hands closer to the ears makes the pose more difficult, hahahahahha. I had flow, this is great and I was focused. I am not sure if my face was so relaxed as I wished it would be. Perhaps it is good to try to stay relaxed and to accept that the face is serious as it expresses concentration.

I am so thankful that I can practice so often in a group with a fantastic teacher. And in addition I have 3 times a week my home practice. It cannot be better for the time being. Today I have my last Mysore class of the week. Tomorrow is my rest day that I need. I have time to clean my rooms, but I have also time for pranayama and meditation.
I look out of the window and I see that the sun is shining. :)

Good news: the asanas become easier, it feels great to do them. I have more and more asanas, where I can say, I can relax when doing it. Yep.

Picture: Me waiting in front of the yoga studio - I am always too early!!!