Friday, September 30, 2011

On a love affair


When I fall in love I like to spend all my time with this beloved one. I cannot get enough from this person. But it comes the time where enough is enough. Not that feelings might have changed a relationship, but also the insight that it's good to have some distance after a while. Other friends need time as well. It's also a pleasure to be alone. A symbiotic relationship can develop to a relationship with a bit more distance, with a bit less time together. The intensity needed fade away. I'm convinced of this.

So I feel re Ashtanga yoga for the time being.
For years I had never enough time for my practice because I had a 9 to 5 job and always had to work more than this. Household needed to be done, too and sometimes I wanted to see my bf. A Mysore class was offered once a week in the evening for only 7 months a year. Times have changed and in the last 2 years I could live an almost symbiotic relationship with my Asthanga yoga. Time was not limited anymore and I enjoyed it to wake up with this practice and to go to bed with it. In the meantime Mysore classes are offered in the morning. The practice itself, taking picture, watching youtube videos, blogging, reading books about yoga was all part of the affair. Indeed a very lively and playful connection.
The insight that I must give room for other activities is painful. It's a bit like being left even though I'm the active part. Life has more to offer. I want to get paid for my activities (it won't be teaching yoga).
- What gets attention grows, what gets no attention dries out.
- To limit time always intensifies the time spent is also true.
October is a hot Ashtanga month in Munich. 2 teachers who I both appreciate a lot offer workshops. I won't go. It's painful. The thought that I won't attend is not joyful. Must I really vex myself that much? I mean, I could find ways and money to participate. I could. It's perhaps a sign that after 2 years something new is growing. I want to tame my passion for Ashtanga yoga. A bit.

That we've Mysore classes in the morning here now has changed my life and my ideas how I want to live. That was much. Practicing 6 times a week, blogging about yoga, taking pictures shall be enough. Next year I even want to travel to Rishikesh.  I'm reasonable. I want to keep this Ashtanga love lively. This is why it's good to have something else in life, too.

I shall see how my life goes on. What can I decide anyway.

Yesterday I didn't practice. What a relief that I managed it to write the letter to the health insurance. If my yoga practice makes me more stress than it brings relaxation to me, something must be changed. In the evening I was so in peace, because things got done. (Good that I can blame the innocent yoga practice not to have done a few duties, hahahaha.)
Today I practiced. It was good despite the thought that I don't progress. This cannot be true, too. 3 years ago I couldn't take my legs behind the head, nowadays I can. Today I tried to improve these tiny things that make a difference. The videos from Laruga influenced my practice today. I could integrated some tiny improvements.
- I lifted my leg straight for utthita hasta padangusthasana.
- My hand could grasp the toe without help of the other hand in ardha baddha padmottanasana.
Ah, how nice.

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Primary today


Primary is on the schedule. It will be a home practice. I'll start and end the practice with the CD by Sharath. It sets the right rhythm right from the beginning on and I hold the last asanas longer than I do without being led throuth the closing sequence.

Focus will be the vinyasas. I watched the youtube videos by Kino MacGregor yesterday night. I realized that mayurasana and  jumping back have in common that I have to move the body forward so that the weight is on the arms. How to move the weight forward is still a secret. I'll explore it today.

Another focus will be the correct vinyasa count. Also the vinyasa count makes Ashtanga to what it is. Uddhaji  breathing, drishti, vinyasa and vinyasa count, bandhas are important in that yoga style. In Ashtanga yoga the eyes are open and gaze towards a point. Eyes are not closed.

I'm glad that I do primary today. It's still easier for me than second series. I need it easy today. 


It seems as if nothing gets done in my life. I dawdle and dawdle and dawdle.
How much room will I give to my yoga practice, I wonder. It's so time-consuming. Daily practice: yes. But no more. Life has more to offer.

Time to step on my mat. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

It's an inner game.



It cannot be seen from the outside. I was able to take my leg behind the head, also both. Nevertheless it was hard today. Only the breaks that I needed were hints of the inner fight. I went on and on. No extras today. I also omitted nothing. I know that also these lousy practices are important. It's difficult to describe what it is that makes a practice hard. Is it pain? Discomfort? Lack of mental energy? I don't know. Sometimes I feel like a van who has to climb a mountain, somtimes I feel like a plane flying full speed. Today I felt like a van with furniture of 2 families in the back.

Today was the last summer Mysore class. Next time, next Wednesday M is back. It was a lovely summer, it will be a hot winter.

Afterwards I went to the hairdresser. It seems to be  my body day today. Two hours the hairdresser washed and cut and combed and dried and cut my hair, my few hair. I fear she was more interested in me. She's also doing yoga. She wants to meet me to learn something. If she emails me I recommend our Mysore classes. My messages must be clear: I want to take pictures, I don't want to teach yoga. It's better not to mention yoga at all, I become passionate when I start talking about it. I'm still a bit too shy regarding my new passion taking pictures. I gave this activity "taking pictures" more room in the last weeks. It feels good. It helps me to tame yoga. 6 times a week for 2 hours, a short evening session and meditation is the limit. Blogging time is not counted. There are other exciting things in life but yoga.

At home again I wanted to make a U-turn. It's a mess here. This is what I have to do now, I must give my home some energy.

Feel free to visit my blog on photography.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Ramesh Balsekar


It's 2 years back already. I remember. I lost my job earlier than thought and wished. Facing the facts that I was without a job again, I didn't hesitate and bought a ticket to Mumbai, India to see Ramesh Balsekar. The 24th September I arrived. This allowed me to meet Ramesh still alive. The 27th September he passed away.

What a mercy for me that I could see him at least once.

"Of course you can see him", M said to me. "It's your guru."  R accompanied me.

My days in India are so sweet memories. I'm thankful.






Jumping back....


Clairebear commented that it's already hard to lift the body up with crossed legs. And it is demanding. It already requires core strength. One must be able to keep the legs close to the body. Muscles need to be engaged that we usually do not use.
There is always a tiny step less demanding. If it's not possible to lift the body up, it can be an approach simply to keep the legs as close to the body as possible. First one might like to hold them with the arms. The next step is to keep the legs close to the body without support of the arms.

Bandhas need to be engaged.

Then one can try again to lift up the body with an inhaling. Abdomen need to be engaged. With the next exhaling one can lower the body to the floor again. Shoulders move down. Repetition. After a while it should be possible to hold the pose for 2 breaths, then for 3 breaths.....

Another exercise is to have one leg on the arm the other one is kept as close to the body as possible. The one hand  needs to be pressed against the floor very strongly in order not to sink in on one side. My opinion is that one needs also a lot of strength in the arms in order to manage it to jump back. I try to hold the position for several breath. It can be good to hold it for 15 breaths, too.

From the position below I try to float back. So far the one feet touches the floor. Repetition is necessary. Nevertheless I think this could be an exercise to approach the correct vinyasa.



Monday, September 26, 2011

Extra exercises beside the regular practice to learn the vinyasa


I've the exercise from the book by Gregor Maehle. He recommends lifting up the body and holding it up to 15 breaths.
The next step is to swing the legs through the arms and to stay there for another 15 breaths. The closer the legs are to the body the better. The strong muscles between hips and legs are needed. They become stronger when using them. What is seen on the picture is still the easy part.

These tiny exercises I'll integrate in my daily life. Jumping backward seems possible, but not without exercising it. Practicing it when doing primary alone is not enough. It needs special attention.

This morning I practiced second series. After a break of 2 days my practice was exhausting. I did it and this is what counts. Afterwards I felt good, this is always so.

I just wrote about extra exercises. In general I want to tame my practice. Exercising 6 times every week is enough for me. There are two workshops in October that interest me. I'm not sure if I'll enroll. There is already enough yoga in my life. Of course it's always nice to see yoginis and to learn something. But enough is enough.  Other areas of my life shall flourish, too. The goal of my yoga is to balance me, to keep me fit. I've no professional ambition, this means I've to limit the time for yoga. It cannot use up all my life. It has the potential to be very demanding.

It's so good weather outside. I'll have a coffee outside. 

It's dark at 6am now.


Monday morning: I feel it in the bones. It's a bit early for me today. When I focus on the breath and when I survive the practice it shall be enough today. More ambition would be too much. I feel slowly and between sleeping and being awake. I need a second strong coffee. It was dark when I got up at 6am. Nightmares had chased me through the night. I'm glad that I'm up. A modified routine should led me through the first hour of the day. I was too weak to break out of strong patterns.
Let's see what the week will bring. I'm curious.


What a nice place here (see picture). It was the restaurant where we celebrated mother's birthday. They offer Thai food and Bavarian food.

Time to move on.........

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Bread and wine. Party and daily life.


My mother's birthday party is over. We all celebrated the annual ritual with a lot of good food and wine. The weather was perfect as well and E and myself strolled around in the close forest. The smell of nature is still in my nose.

Now we're back home. I love daily life too.
Tomorrow I'll get up at 6am and at 8:15 I'll start greeting the sun. My body needs this yoga practice. Living means moving for me.

It was a yoga free weekend. This is sometimes so.

Daily life and party time - bread and wine, it's all part of life.


Friday, September 23, 2011

Time, time, time.....


Of course feed-back is very welcomed and I'm not at all offended. I know that it needs courage to make critical remarks (which I actually see as feed-back). Last but not least it's up to me to accept what was said. And D is right. He realized that I interrupt my practice too often for little breaks and this destroys the flow. Mmmmmmmm. I argued that I need props for second series. I.e. for pashasana I need a blanket. D: "You could also have your blanket handy." Mmmmmm. Right also. These little breaks are avoidance of effort. I relax during those breaks and the mind is distracted.  I know this, but it seems to be out of control. My practice became longer and longer in the last months. After the conversation before the practice this morning, I knew what my goal was: No breaks, no extra breaths, no hair adjustments, no moving of my mat.........Very consequently I focused on the breath and the correct vinyasa count.

The effect:
- I was ready 20 min earlier!!!! These breaks add up.
- My breath was faster because the practice was more exhausting. This told me also that my cardiovascular system got exercised, more than usual. This was what I always missed.
- There was no time for extra thinking or for being frustrated because the jumping through was not perfect.
- My practice got intensity.

The adjustments didn't interrupt my practice.
We summer hole Mysore practitioners are really pampered.

Realizing that my practice was 20 min shorter as usual I thought that these little breaks use up my time in daily life, too. The feeling of having not enough time is an ongoing topic in my life.

In class I'll focus on the flow for the next weeks minimum.
Otherwise I'll go through my routines. I need more time.

And here on my blog I'll focus on my weak asanas (upavishta konasana, urdhva dhanurasana i.e.) and the vinyasas of the primary.
Gregor Maehle recommends to do exercises beside the regular practice. I hope I manage to do it. Focusing on a few exercises could be good. Time: 6pm? Let's see if this additional effort will have a compound effect.




Thursday, September 22, 2011

All things end finally. There is the closing sequence.


Salamba sarvangasana: Sometimes I see pictures of workshops and not one single yogini or yogi is correct in that pose. Most of the time too much weight is on the neck. The elbows need to be parallel. The weight is on the elbows. Ankles are together. Best is to correct oneself via a picture. It's not necessary to go to shoulderstand via halasana. It's also not how it is supposed to be. Go straight into the position. The chin moves a bit upward. From time to time one has to adjust the pose. Details count if you want to play it safe.

Halasana: It's an active pose. The back remains straight. Only the legs lower. If possible the palms of the hands can touch.

Karna pidasana: Here, too, if possible the palms can touch, but this is often the next step.

Urdhva padmasana: It's possible to fold into lotus pose without helping with the hands. I usually help a bit. The pose is active, too. It' not that the knees rest on the hands The hips move upwards. Relaxation comes at the end.

Pindasana: One of the few poses where the back is rounded. Challenge is not to role to one of the sides.
Matsyasana, the counter pose follows. Dristi is the third eye, the front remains without wrinkles. (wink, wink)
Uttana padasana: The legs are in an ankle of 45%. Many have the legs much higher (it's easier that way). Check it.
Sirsasana: I want to have it easy here, this is why I take care that my elbows are close together. Many many yoginis have the elbows too far away from each other. This makes it more challenging to balance. More strength is needed. The better the balance the less strength is needed. I always measure. The hand must be able to hold he upper arm, then the distance is correct.


And finally the baddha padmasana, yoga mudra, padmasana and utplutih. Done.

How long to hold each position is surly a good question: It's counted differently. To count till 10 is not wrong.

10 min relaxation on the back (minimum), the show is over

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The headstands.....


Supta urdhva pada vajrasana comes before the headstands. The vinyasa of the asana is new the asana itself is the twist bharadvajasana. To show this pose filming is required.

Let's talk about the headstands: 
I liked to practice the second series, but please not the headstands. Not the headstands. This were my feelings.
In the meantime I've developed the attitude:
- If you like the pose enjoy it.
- If you don't like the pose just do it.
(I wish I'd think so in other areas of my life, too.)

I don't omit asanas.

Sometimes I don't like a pose in the beginning, but this can change. I'm not yet a fan of the headstands but they improved my balance a lot. To see a reason why to practice an asana makes it easier to do it.

In the beginning I fell so hard on my toes, I was not convinced. Nowadays I engage my body and I land without the pain.

The headstands were scary first, because I was only on my head for a fracture of a second. It is doable. I inhale deeply and in the little pause between inhaling and exhaling I put my hands where they shall be (pic one on the collage).

The headstands prepare me for the back banding. This surprised me, but it is so. The upward dog is surprisingly deep after the chaturanga dandasana.

In the meantime I'm more on top of my head and not on the front. It's also more even. I was a bit afraid at home as I couldn't role out of the pose here. I don't want to use too much strength, I prefer to balance better and to have it easier therefore.

Tomorrow primary is on the schedule. The vinyasas, the vinyasas.....are the topic.

....I'm not bored to write about my yoga practice. I think this is exciting, hahahaha.....


Sanskrit: 
It's the morning and I feel like completing this post. Recently I looked up the sanskrit names of the asanas to make it easier to remember them.

Mukta hasta sirsasana:
Mukta means free, hasta means hand, sirsasana means head. Now it makes sense: the first 3 headstands are with free hands.
Baddha hasta sirsasana:
Baddha means bound: And the next 4 headstands are indeed with bound hands.

Janu sirsasana:
Janu means knee.......Janu sirsasana means knee-head position.

Ardha baddha padmottanasana:
ardha means half,
baddha means bound
padma means lotus
ut means intense
tan means stretch
asana means pose

Half-bound lotus pose means this pose.

Knowing a few words in sanskrit help to learn the names of the asanas.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Kapotasana.......


Nothing frustrates me more but kapotasana. I even see progress. Nevertheless, when I get out of this pose I'm in a valley emotionally. My limits are reached psychologically and physiologically when I attempt this crazy pose.
- The hands are so close to the feet, but they don't touch.
- The elbows are far away from each other. It's impossible to keep them parallel. I try it. Finally they must rest on the floor. It's indeed a long way down.

What remains? repetition, repetition, repetition and practicing contentment.

Tomorrow I'll have help. How good.

This pose is possible within my life time. It IS.

How many more years will it still take?

Urdhva dhanurasana devolops very slowly as well, but it doesn't frustrate me so. Today I dropped back again from standing position. Feet were parallel. I didn't push the hips forward as much as possible. I engaged my leg muscles. The feet were grounded. It was a nice falling back. My arms could hold me, I felt safe. No way to come up.

Ah the back bending asanas. They are so good for the spine.

Gomukhasana A and B



Haha, I discovered this morning that the order of the picture is not correct. Details count, but I don't care now. It is as it is. 
To get into gomukhasana one jumps through to a sitting position with straight legs. Then the legs can be put in gomukhasana position. First I thought I jump forward and land on my knees. 
Also this pose is an active pose. If I don't balance actively, I fall. 
How to balance: I press the feet in the floor, bandhas are engaged. When the breath is deep and even and when the eyes gaze to a point it's possible to remain calm and stable. Relaxation comes later. This might be a sitting position, to hold it energy is needed. 

Yesterday I read a blog post by Susanna and Jens on Sharat's conference in Denmark. Interesting was that Sharath mentions that also the yamas and niyamas are practiced when practicing asanas. I think he's right. 

This means that the asana practice covers all the 7 points of the Ashtanga path. Only No 8 "waking up" remains a mercy. 

The asanas give stability in life. I agree. 



A great influence on my yoga practice has the food that I eat and the beverages that I drink. I eat healthy, I eat vegan (no animal products) and it feels so good. I got into the habit to drink more water, this feels good, too. No, I don't walk around with a water bottle all the time, but I've a glass of water next to my PC. Always.

Tonight I had nightmares again. When I woke up I was amazed how real everything appears when dreaming. I cannot remember the contents anymore. It disappeared when I opened my eyes. It disappeared like the fog in the morning that the sun burns it away. But what is the difference when my eyes are open. It all seems so real, too, indeed. I know, it's dreamland no 2, entertainment with open eyes.

The plan was to be on the mat at 8am. It's 8:30 already. So it is. I take it easy. What can "I" do anyway?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Parighasana.........



The joy that I can spend my mornings with Ashtanga yoga is immense....:) I cannot imagine a better start of the "workweek", but to practice one of the series.
Today I practiced second series in a Mysore class.
Also today I forgot one asana, vatayanasana. I fear I've to repeat the correct order of the asanas. I practiced vatayanasana a bit later. Good that I remembered this pose still on time.

In my blog we arrived parighasana (see picture). This pose looks so harmless but it isn't. Due to my overstretched left leg, the left side is less flexible. Also the right side is not really convincing. I take care that the upper legs form an ankle of 45%. What I see is that the upper body needs to move forward. It seems to be a twist pose.

This pose gets an extra treatment tomorrow: I'll repeat it and I'll hold it longer than 5 breaths, perhaps 8 breaths or till I get bored.

Pincha mayurasana was very good today. I was able to come up twice without touching the wall. To go from headstand to pincha mayurasana was also possible without touching the wall with the feet. Tomorrow I will make the distance to the wall larger and larger. This pose should be possible in the middle of the room after the summer break. That would be great. There are again and again poses that confronts me with fear, fear to fall, fear to injure myself. When the fear is conquered finally it's always a good feeling that substitutes the fear. :)

Yoga and time is still a topic. My life must be organized consequently when I want to have so much fun with this body and mind work in the future, too. Ashtanga yoga needs time. Life must become simpler and simpler. After yoga I went through my drawers here at home and I threw away what I could. Many many pens had to go. A pen that cannot write anymore is garbage. It's always an act of liberation to let go. After my discarding sessions I feel always relieved. This process must go on. It never ends. Letting go is an essential skill that makes life easier.

Aging means for me becoming essential. I know more and more my likes and dislikes, my needs and passions. Everything else has to go (till something new interests me, hahaha). Re my yoga style I've focus. It is Ashtanga yoga that I love. It's satisfying to go deeper into one style instead of switching styles like jackets. I remember a time when I didn't care so much. I was happy about the different offers here in Munich. This has changed. Yoga means Ashtanga for me.
Focus in other areas in my life develop slower.

Tomorrow I'll be alone again on the mat, a mental challenge, for sure. I'm looking forward to my practice. It's planned to be on the mat at 8am. This is a good time.


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Second series today


Morning routine: My body is still stiff. I just got up. A development can be felt every morning. I wake up and I feel stiff, after the Ashtanga practice I feel flexible. I don't get up and step on my mat at once. First I drink a coffee and I have a small breakfast. This wakes up the body and it's a routine to empty the body before practicing. This might be a tabu, but it makes a difference. I feel also better when my tiny breakfast is digested a bit, I use the time till I step on my mat to write my journal or to update my blog or I converse online. From being horizontal to standing in front of my mat passes about 90 min. (...and I wonder where my time goes, haha)


Another  huge influence on the practice has indeed the weight. I eat healthy. Salads don't burden my organism more than necessary. It feels good to feel light even after dinner. Everybody who does sports knows this. All sportive people take care of their weight otherwise they get problems with the performance.

The tricks to step on the mat:
- It's not easy to step on the mat at home. Also today I use tricks to make it easier: I say to myself: only sit, or do the sun salutatins A (not B). I know that I go on when I've done it.

- I discovered that it's easier for me to start when I hang forward for a while. This stretches the hamstrings already.

Self-discipline is a very useful skill.

After the summer break I wanted to be able to do pincha mayurasana in the middle of the room. It's scary. I should be able to do it. When I practice it close to a wall, my feet don't touch the wall anymore when I come up. Being in the middle of the room makes a difference. This shows me the huge influence of the mind. Pincha mayurasana shall get some extra attention today.

What else: Yesterday night we went to a laser show that used the "Old Pinakothek" as a screen. Rhythmic music accompanied the show.  The laser made this old building turn around. After a while one has totally forgotten how the original museum looked like.
Have a look at my blog on photography if you like to see some shots.
You can like this blog also on facebook.


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Saturday


After the excellent practice yesterday I'd love to practice also on my yoga free day. But I know how good it is to take rest for one day. Ashtanga yoga is challenging. To take it very easy on one day of the week is good, I know this.
In order to have a relaxed life sometimes other duties have priority. Today everything else has priority but yoga. If everything is done and I've still time I consider the moon series by Sweeney.

Today I also want to cook and to clean the flat. All this prepares the next intensive yoga week, that starts tomorrow on Sunday with second series.

Time to move on.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday evening, some combine this with the beginning of the weekend


After my yoga practice I went out with my Nikon. I wanted to take pictures of locations that could serve as a place to take pictures of people. I remembered a place close to the Castle Nymphenburg. A decade ago I lived closer to that place and I was much more often there than nowadays. Once it was raining that time back, but I felt like strolling around. I put on my Burberry and walked slowly to that place at the end of the artificial river that leads to the castle. The place was deserted, I liked it. Then a man with 2 Afghan arrived, also enjoying the view. It happened that we talked to each other. I've probably admired his dogs with the long blond hair. I think we talked about dogs, business, rainy weather anything like that. Then he invited me for a drink to his home which was not so far away. I agreed and followed him. At his home he opened a bottle of wine, I made myself comfortable on his sofa. We were talking about everything and nothing. One word gave the next. Soon he went to his bathroom. A bit later I heard how the door opened. I looked to the right because I wanted to add something to the last conversation. There he stood, totally naked. Quickly I grabbed my handback and I fled from his flat. This was a bit quick. I mean his offer. 

Mmmmm, if you like to see the place where I met the two Afghan with the man, please have a look at my photography blog

More stories were wished and they come, lol. 



But I distracted. I wanted to write about my yoga practice this morning. It was more than excellent. In the morning my mind was spinning, digging in the past, remembering old old stories, regretting some mistakes. This is the best moment to step on the mat, I thought. And so it was. On my mat I had focus on my breath and I practiced one asana after the other. My left leg is healed now 98%. This makes it easy to bend forward on both sides till the limits don't allow to go deeper. I added hanumanasana. Supta kurmasana, urdhva dhanurasana were perfect. I finished the practice with Sharath's CD. It's so much easier now for me to stay in headstand as counted. 10 min deep relaxation followed and then a hot bath. My practice saved my day. Again.

Life is predestined, why worrying?


Life is predestined, why worrying?

I should fight more, is a thought that comes up sometimes. At the same time I see that this is not necessary. Everything comes as it shall come, fighting or not fighting. All attempts to change fate for the better are in vain. The name fate says this already. Acceptance is what is possible, acceptance of everything. Better or worse, it's all out of control. Sometimes it's even difficult to decide what is better and what is worse.

A lot of fire I feel burning inside myself when I think of my yoga practice. It's the spine of my life. Everything circles around this center. It gives me stability, relaxation. My practice gives me even advice how to live. For instance: I see how good it is to focus on the breath during my practice. This tells me to apply focus in other areas in my life, too. And it works.
Might be that my yoga practice (I refer to all the limbs) is only a tool to better life, but it's a damned good tool.

I celebrate this morning with a second cup of bitter coffee. This bitterness tastes good for me. Not everything needs to be sweet to be good, it can also be bitter and salty and sweaty. In one of my last practices I licked away  the sweat from my lips. A slight salty taste entertained my tongue. How delicious. The variety is it: sweet, bitter, salty, sour.

This morning I thought it could be a good idea to buy flowers for myself on a weekly basis. I love repetitions, rituals. Shall the beauty of the flowers blow away the tiny bit of worrying that is still coming up from time to time. As long as I can buy flowers, there cannot be a lack of anything else, isn't it? A good reminder that comes with beauty. When I worry a lot I can buy many flowers, when I worry only a bit I can buy 1 flower and when I don't worry at all I can buy flowers because I love flowers.

Upavishta konasana (see picture) develops slowly. I'm glad that I practice again primary today. There are still poses that need a bit more attention. Beside upavishta konasana, it's kurmasana and the vinyasas of course. The highlight of my primary is still how I do supta kurmasana. The impossible became true. I go into the pose via dwi pada sirsasana. :)
I took some pictures yesterday of my practice so today I can practice without interruption, which is a challenge. Visual food for my yoga blog has been prepared. Focus can happen.

My new blog on photography is growing: please have a look, here.
It's on facebook, too. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Saraswathi 70th Birthday Tribute (documentary)


Watch and enjoy. 
It was a great luck that she was my teacher in Mysore.
Indeed my time in India was unforgettable beautiful and intensive.

Happy birthday Saraswathi.

The power of observation


Yesterday I stood in front of the mirror after the shower. I put some lotion on my face, but I wanted to make this little routine to a conscious act. I observed myself how I was doing it. Observing myself changed already how I usually do it. I used both hands to massage the white lotion in my face instead of one. This cosmetic product makes my face look fresh. This little face massage relaxes the face. I started with my cheeks. Then the tips of the hands moved to front via the root of my nose. The finger moved to the sides. I always move my fingers upwards, hahaha. My neck got the rest of the lotion. Then a bit of make-up.......and so on.

Back to observation. To observe oneself can be enough to initiate a change. Most of the time we're sleepwalking. Life becomes another quality when I observe consciously.

As soon as I draw my attention to my breath, it becomes deeper. I just draw my attention to my sitting position and at once I lengthened the spine to sit more upright.

What is true for tiny little activities is also true for the yoga practice. To observe is a skill.

In Ashstanga yoga we've some guidelines: 
- Is the breath deep and even?
- Is the posture correct?
- Do I know where to look at, how is my drishti?
- Bandhas?
- When I practice primary I also want to follow the correct vinyasa count.

Today I practiced at home. Sharath guided me through the beginning and the end. The middle part of the sandwich was according to my own rhythm. I prefer full vinyasa and I want to stay a bit longer in those asanas that are demanding.
It is harder and requires much more self-discipline when practicing alone. It's doable.

It helps to get better in observing when one wants to write down a habit in great detail.

Every action can be observed: the shower in the morning, how one eats or walks, how one is dressing or talking. It's also a concentration exercise how long one is able to do it. To start with short sequences is helpful. To get better in observation is an exercise for the mind.
Life becomes more intensive when practicing it.

Everybody who is writing or who takes picture is good adviced to become good at that skill.
For yogis/yoginis it's helpful, too.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Focus.


Despite not feeling so much progress when I practiced today, I feel so good now, even excellent. Focusing on how I feel  makes it easy to exercise contentment.

When I practiced vatayanasana today, I lied on the floor before moving into upward facing dog. I wanted to make sure that the hips were parallel. I felt how much more I had to stretch the front side that way. This will improve the pose. Today I wobbled a lot. Haha.

Having an adjustment when practicing dhanurasana helped me to have it easier when doing kapotasana. I think so. Perhaps I took it easy today.  I could go so deep into dhanurasana that my elbows went to the side. Dhanurasana feels good. This was a highlight today. A deep dhanurasana helps me to keep the spine flexible.

There is not much to pen down.
I'm glad that I can use my self-timer again. My pictures help me a lot to improve my practice. I will surely apply this learning tool in the future, too.

Tomorrow I'll practice primary again: The vinyasas will have priority.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Vatayanasana


It counts as a practice. It was afternoon already when I started my practice. I had other things on my list today and I'm so glad that I could cross out something. I know now how my self-timer works and why it not worked. Important letters were sent. Only my book was neglected. Damned.

I was glad when I finally was on my mat. After the twists I filmed vatayanasana, this balancing pose of the second series.

A movie says more than many many words. It's always a learning experience to see myself:
- the hips need to be parallel when in upward facing dog with the one leg in padmasana
- I could also work on my hand position
- dristhi is upwards

Just got an Email if i like to eat out. Of course. We'll go to the Indian restaurant round the corner. I think this fits together, yoga and spicy vegetables.

Busy, busy.........

OK, the video is up now, the learning tool is up now.


Monday, September 12, 2011

If I had only known this earlier.....


Currently I'm reading a book on journalling. The author Kate Thompson recommends to read loud the journal entry after having written it. A few questions shall help to give oneself a feed-back: what were the topics? What feelings come up? Answering these questions can be or should be done in written, too. This feed-back takes not much time but makes such a difference. I realize i.e. that my first two pages or even 2 and 1/2 pages have 1 or 2 topics (I usually write 3 pages). Then I jump from one tiny observance to the next. I jump from planning my life to planning my day. Concentration fades. I've the feeling I only want to fill the pages. It reads awfully, it's boring. I think it's possible to write a journal in a way that one likes to reread it one day. Realizing this I will focus on less topics, but I'll go deeper into it. It's never possible to capture a whole day. Also here focus is necessary.
If I only had known this little technique earlier I think. But I haven't known it earlier and it's wonderful that I've discovered it now.

If I had only known this earlier is a sentence that comes up sometimes when I think of my yoga practice. I wish I had worked more intensively on the vinyasas i.e.

What should you have known earlier in your yoga practice? 
I remember a former colleague who offered sales training while I worked in the insurance branch. In the first week in January she asked during such a training: "When do you think starts the final business of this year?" The answer was: "Now, in the beginning of the year." If one hasn't visited enough clients during the year, there is nothing to follow up at the end.

In yoga it's similar. I want to assert that learning the 3rd series starts with the sun salutations, with a proper downdog, with jumping forward and back ward correctly. I explain. An example. When doing handstand i.e. strong arms are necessary, but also the hands need to be firm on the floor. Strong finger help to balance. To press the hands towards the floor can be exercised already in down dog. Observe next time if your hands are flat on the floor, if the finger are spreaded. This gives stability. The middle finger point forward.
The practice also looks so much better when the fingers are closed when they are in the air.
I could give a lot of examples. Practicing diligently primary series builds the basics for what is coming.

Highlights happened today during an intensive Mysore class. I could come up from laghu vajrasana. I thank Kino MacGregor for this. Yesterday I learned from one of her videos how to do it. She is such a jewel for the Ashtanga community with her skill to analyse and to explain the poses.
Thank you Kino and happy birthday.

The discussion is where the hands shall be? Around the knees are close to them or at the ankles. Different ideas circle in the community. More important is to come up from this pose. Having had my hands around my ankles allowed me to come up from the floor. The knees came up, too. It's ok. It's all work on progress.

I've the feeling that we all leap ahead during the summer pause here. It's nice to see. I'm very thankful for the Mysore class  that is offered.

Happy Monday and keep flying. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Provoked to write my own list....


Peg Mulqueen wrote a list on elephantjournal on why not to practice Ashtanga yoga. This provoked me to write my own list:

1. The yogis of earlier times left their families to dedicate their lives to yoga. Only few could do this. Krichnamacharya wanted to make yoga available for every householder. When I practice Ashtanga yoga I do pranayama, asanas, concentration and meditation at the same time. This shall save time to live a regular life in addition to the practice. The more passionate one becomes about the practice the more time-consuming it will become and the more difficult it becomes to be a yogini and to be an employee, mother, lover......at the same time. My daily practice alone needs 2 hours (without showering, commuting) It's difficult to have children, a job, a husband, friends and practicing Ashtanga yoga. The attempt to make Ashtanga yoga available for everybody equals a revolution. It can better the lives of the masses. Nevertheless the masses won't practice it, because it is time-consuming. Not everybody manages it to get up at 5am or earlier.

The advantage: Consciousness develops that time is limited. One is forced to learn about time management.

2. You need a long breath. Most people want a quick fix: Slim and strong in 30 days i.e is something people are attracted at. A lot of poses of the Ashtanga series need years till one might be able to do them, not 2 years, but even 5 years and longer! This is not for everybody. It makes you modest.

The advantage: You learn perseverance. It makes you mentally strong.

3. Sooner or later the wish comes up to travel to India! This is so. This can create conflicts with your beloved ones. Perhaps your partner doesn't like to come with you because such a trip is accompanied with dangers like illnesses. It also makes no sense to travel to India for  a week. You will like to stay for a few months. This indeed requires money and time. Planning this can be life changing for sure. To understand this might be difficult for those around you.

The advantage: Yeah, keep the fire burning, life is supposed to be exciting. Discover the world, discover yourself.

4. Practicing Ashtanga yoga is a lonesome trip. Those who don't practice it won't understand that you like to take your legs behind your head. Only a few like-minded people world-wide understand this.
The final goal is to practice alone. Also in a Mysore class you're alone on your mat. This requires a lot of intrinsive motivation. Practicing Ashtanga yoga is not playful. You're confronted with yourself.

The advantage: You get to know yourself.

5. Injuries happen. This is perhaps the point I don't like to write down at all. My body is resilient. I thought I'd never injure myself, but me too I've overstretched my hamstrings several times. Last week I was in an Ashtanga yoga studio in Berlin. The teacher asked me in the beginning if all body parts are OK. This told me that many yogis have something. It might be part of the journey to overdo from time to time, which is accompanied with an injury or sore muscles. Injuries are part of many sports. Soccer, skiing is much more dangerous. Doing nothing isn't healthy either.

The advantage: We learn to respect our limits and to be friendly to ourselves.

6. It's amazing how quickly one loses strength and flexibility. Knowing this, I also want to practice during vacation. My suitcase is full of yoga clothes. In addition I've to carry around my heavy yoga mat. A hotel room is only a good one when there is room for a practice. It's good to have a partner who respects that you like to practice also on vacation.

The advantage: Fun is guaranteed also on vacation, because I can always practice yoga. The practice is a point of reference in my life.

7. I personally prefer to spend my spare time in mixed groups, 50% men, 50% women. I don't know why men are not attracted to Ashtanga yoga, but usually in groups are 90% women. Mixed groups are more balanced. There is less gossip and perhaps also less rivalry.

The advantage: Lonesome men can indeed find a beautiful woman. Male partners usually have no reason to become jealous. Hahahaha. I personally love to meet my girl-friends. Having a common interest gives a lot of stuff to discuss, I enjoy this. Friendship with women is part of my life, too.


Enough.

Every coin has two sides.

I don't know what could spoil my love to Ashtanga yoga.
Time to practice. My yoga week starts on Sundays with second series.

PS: Don't miss my blog on photograhy.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Ashtanga yoga and enlightenment


Ashtanga yoga and enlightenment: This combination is not my invention because I like to exercise my mind and because I love to be creative on my asana free day. No, this connection exists already. Enlightenment is point no 8 on the 8-folded path. Some call it liberation, realization, ecstasy.

A short repetition what Ashtanga yoga (eight-folded path) means might be useful for the following analysis: 
1. Yamas describe how to handle others and our environment
2. Niyamas can be interpreted as self-observance, being content, inner and outer cleanliness
3. Asana means exercising the body.
4. Pranayama, exercising breathing.
5. Pratyahara means handling the senses.
6. Dharana means exercising concentration (focusing on the breath i.e.)
7. Dhyana means meditation.
8. Samadhi means inner liberation, enlightenment, ecstasy



All this goes back to the 2nd till 4th century after the birth of Jesus Christ when Patanjali has written down the yoga sutras. So old is the idea of yoga already. What is so fascinating is the simplicity of the system and that we can apply the rules in our daily lives centuries later. 


During all the centuries and translations a lot of interpretations are available of course. 


Behind these basic rules stand the questions:
How shall I live?
Who am I?
How to be happy?
How to handle all the issues that we all encounter in life?


No 1 through no 7 help us to live a better life. It gives recommendations for all the adversities that we all experience. 
- The rules show us asanas to stay healthy. 
- They show us how to focus when the mind is distracted and worrying. 
- Be content, we learn. 
- They must have find out already that it's nicer to live in a clean environment. Having a clean body is recommended, too........and so on. 


(The yoga system doesn't promise a good life after death. Yoga is not a religion.)


For all life situations are simple rules given and all these rules make life better. The final goal to be happy all the time cannot be achieved when following rules no1 through no7. All the practices improve our lives for sure. Our prison becomes more comfortable, but it remains a prison.


There must have been the experience that a few people have left this prison, that a few people have found a deeper constant equilibrium. All the yoga practices didn't help. But the experience must have been made that there is still something else. To find peace on earth is a mercy was the conclusion. One can do not much for it. But a totally different approach to life exists: No 8, the mercy. Ecstacy for the few.  


The difference between the yoga system and other life-improvement activities indeed is that one speaks of enlightenment. But, I repeat, to gain this status or understanding nothing can be done. This is only one reason why most people are not interested in that topic. This is even understandable. If nothing can be done, what to do, why being interested at all? 


Forgetting point no 8 can give the impression that yoga is nothing else but acrobatic combined with a breathing technique. But no 8 exists.


Also when a yogini can do lotus pose while in handstand, this is no guarantee to wake up. No better place in heaven is guaranteed either. 


Some yogis/yoginis think they can gain a higher consciousness when practicing yoga, when practicing asanas. I wonder what they mean by this. Either I'm conscious or I'm not. This has nothing to do with yoga. Higher, better, more......???????


No 1 through no 7 has the concept that we can control our body, our thoughts, our feelings or breath. Advanced yogis even went so far that they controlled their heart beat. 
No 8 says the opposite. Nothing can be controlled. Things happen or they don't happen. 
This is an interesting difference. No 8 is about Advaita. 


Some called Ashtanga yoga power yoga. This created a lot of troubles in the community. Is the Ashtanga yoga system misunderstood when calling it power yoga? My personal view? Yes, it is. I learned in a workshop from someone who has called her book "Power yoga" that the reason why it was  called so decades ago was because a book called Ashtanga yoga wouldn't have been sold. Money was the reason. Please, I don't judge. I understand this. It was a strategy to sell something good with a name that does not fit. It led to a lot of misunderstanding.
All these controlling exercises might give the impression that we gain power when practicing yoga. It's a wrong impression.
The name "power yoga" also tells me that no 8 was neglected. Perhaps it was not even realized that there is this tiny modest point no 8. 
No, I don't go to power yoga classes.


Writing about No 8 is worth another chapter. It is. This post as preparation was necessary. 
No 8 is part of the system even though nothing can be done for it. No 8 makes the difference. 


First we try to control everything till we finally realize (what a mercy) that everything is out of control: what a cosmic joke. 


I cannot name Ashtanga yoga practitioners who experienced the mercy of no 8. I can name others who have experienced the mercy of no 8. 
Enough now, enough. 


Comments are welcomed to such a difficult topic. 
- Is Advaita  a topic for you?
- Are points no 1 through no 7 helpful tips for your life?


PS: the different scripture is a happening, all out of control, lol. 
I don't correct it, my kitchen has priority now. 

Friday, September 09, 2011

Mysore class......


A perfect Friday so far. To begin the day with a yoga practice is the best start for me. I practiced primary (full  vinyasa) in a group of committed yogis and yoginis and we got pampered with supporting adjustments.

It helps me to leap ahead when my weak poses get adjusted.
Weak poses are upavishta konasana and urdhva dhanurasana.
Urdhva dhanurasana was surprisingly good today. I focus much more on engaging my legs when I want to come up than I did so far. Perhaps I forgot this. This is my work that I have to do. I'm not a heavy person, it's possible to pull me up. But this is not how it is supposed to be. The better my performance  the less the teacher has to do. I really tried to ground my feet and to engage my leg muscles in order to come up. Today it was good.

The vinyasas need attention: I've still the feeling I jump through somehow, all out of control. Also the jumping forward and backward can be done with control. It even shall be done controlled. I remember that Mr Swenson wrote in his book that the hips lead. There is still too much fear that control my movements. I must jump higher. The fear to fall over needs to be tamed. Perhaps I should fall on purpose to make the experience that I survive it.
I will break the vinyasa down in tiny steps.
- balancing on the hands can be one step as described in a former post.
The jumping back can be practiced in tiny steps, too.
- Lifting the body up is one step.
- Swinging through is another one.

My tip for beginners: Don't neglect the vinyasas. It's doable for 99% yogis and yoginis. A lot of practice is necessary, but it must be attempted.

What is worth doing is worth doing daily:
My tripod: yoga, writing, shooting...........have fun with my blog on photography. You can like the blog on facebook, too.


Thursday, September 08, 2011

It feels good.


I discarded clothes. I had to go twice to the backyard to take down that mountain of jackets, trousers, scarves, shoes. Relieved. Room was created. The last act is important, too. Only when the things are out of sight the work is done. The danger to hang stuff back is too big. I know this already. Letting go, also when it's only stuff, facilitates life a lot. A feeling of liberation comes up. Always.

What to do with my carpets?
I'll have to go through my CD collection, CD after CD......

Letting go of things creates room for new things,
letting go of the past creates room for new adventures,
letting go of unuseful thinking patterns creates room for creativity.

How did all these things enter my life?

Time to have lunch. Outside.

Picture: The swimming pool in the Radison blue in Dresden.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

At home.....


I'll try a practice later. My right shoulder, pectoral muscles and back muscles hurt awfully. Yesterday night I couldn't put off my blouse. My bf had to help me. It was that bad.
I tried to practice in the afternoon. To do sun salutations was painful already. Those asanas were possible that didn't require to move the arms above the head.

This morning I woke up, first action was to start a sun salutation. It's better. My sleep was interrupted each time when I turned my body to the right side. Nevertheless the healing process must have started already. My right side feels a lot better than yesterday.

During the soccer game I tried the primary series asanas. But here too, I've to stretch forward and the arms are above the head when doing the stretches like in paschimottanasana.

"Focus on healing," my bf said to me, this is what I do now. I'll postpone my practice to the afternoon, because later my body is softer. And I'll take it easy.

I refuse to take pain killers only to be able to practice. My intention is to become more attentive, more sensitive and not to suppress reactions of my body.

Nothing can be forced. 
- Instead of pushing too much it's better to approach the limits slowly.
- Staying long enough in a pose allows to get a bit further without aggression.
- I always make best experiences with repetition. The second time an asana is most of the time already much better. When I take pictures I've to repeat an asana up to 5 times sometimes. Each time I can realize improvements.

And what when it's too late already?
My experience is that it's good to practice around the injury. Pain shows the way. So no back bending for me today that requires to move the arms above the head. This is only kapotasana and urdhva dhanurasana.

A friend started a new blog on Ashtanga yoga and art. Her post about the workshop with David Swenson is very interesting: Read here.

My blog design is different again. Accidentally I deleted the former adjustments. It'simpler again, what I appreciate. Not so "creamy" anymore. I found someone online who helps people with blogger issues. Here is his link.

Time to move on......


Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Am I a true yogini? Always relaxed? Detached from the adversities of life?

My right shoulder is injured. Kapotasana. I could scarcely sleep. Every time when I rolled to the right side I woke up. Inhaling, pause, exhaling, pause.....it drives me crazy.
I want to practice today. I hope it's possible. My experience is that it's good to practice, but with care and to work around the body parts that hurt. I hope this is possible. Grgghhhh, yoginis are relaxed, always, I think. A mental exercise is given to me. Also this injury is temporarily.

Two years are over now since I had my last job. Yesterday in the evening I got nervous. Worries fogged my mind. What if I'll never earn a Rupee anymore for the rest of my life, I thought. Such black thoughts are usually accompanied with even darker feelings. What if I won't have money enough to buy new glasses for myself. I need new glasses. I can scarcely read anymore the amusement program in this little magazine "in". Perhaps one reason why I stay at home so often. Haha. What have I done in the last 2 years I wondered, what have I done. At least I can say that I worked on my book, project No 1. Only 4 more chapters. And yesterday I also worked on it even though no chapter is written. It will come. I needed an overview what is written already.

What have I done today I wondered yesterday night? A year consists of single days. Despite the rain I went to the locksmith. I could scarcely open my front door anymore. The locksmith promised me that he'd sent someone in an hour. An hour later the bell rang. And who stood in front of my door? The man who once had the dry cleaning shop round the corner and who had ruined my winter coat. That was also such a story. I worked at a company that time back and at the end of the year we all got a salary increase. A colleague and myself, too were convinced we should get more. My colleague was even more disappointed than myself, I should learn why. That day we left the company together to have a drink in a café. There she showed me the list of all the salaries of the employees of the company. I realized that only 2 people got less than myself, the cook and the concierge. I was not amused. Not at all. I went to a winter market after our meeting, I had to console myself with a Crêpe Grand Marnier. I started eating this sweet thin thing and all the sugar and Grand Marnier ran over my new red winter coat. What a fuck, I thought. I had to take the coat to a dry cleaning shop. A few days later I picked up the coat and it was ruined. I stop here with the story. It would be too long. I got back neither the money for cleaning nor anything else. Soon I left this company. I wanted more money. I got it in another company. I was hired from one of the worst companies. One year later I was out again. To risk something always means that things can get worse. This was all before I've started blogging.
So, and this man from the dry cleaning shop stood in front of my door. I saw his teeth and I thought, OMG, he's not on the sunny side of life. Teeth were missing, others were brown and rotting. He changed the lock. This is done, I accomplished something already, I thought. Delegation counts as own actions. One annoyance removed.

I distract. Yesterday I worried about my future. Is it really so good that I'm able to focus on the here and now, I wondered. Shouldn't I call this rather suppression?

I wanted to leave this mental valley as soon as possible. The book "The lazy person's guide to success" by Ernie J. Zelinski fell into my hand. Repetition is good and I read again what I already know. There are better ways to live than to work in companies. It's possible to earn more within less time. Hard work doesn't mean that one earns a lot. I've been there. I know this is true. Define what is success for you independently from other opinions, Ernie suggested: Having time for yoga, doing what I love is what I call success, having a Porsche is not at all important for me.

Having time is the true luxury nowadays. I sit here at 9am and update my blog. I can do what I love to do. And I have ideas, I can be creative.
I must focus on my projects and I shall not give up too early. I know I walk on a good path. Money will come in again. It will, it will,........

I also like to have a simple life. I want to make it even simpler. The clothes will be the next collection that I'll attack. When I was young I needed a jeans and a few T-shirts. My red phase was simple, too. All my clothes were red, I was dressed like a sun rise.  The black phase was simple, too. Black made me pale and people used to ask me if I were ill. Also this phase ended. Wearing only white things is a possibility, too. I fear I need a bit more clothes nowadays, but not as much as I've.
With my friend A we went through fashion shops in Berlin. Yeah, I loved this Moschino jacket. It was reduced and cost 50% less, only 350,-- Euro. I don't need that. 350,-- is a ticket to Mumbai.

It's possible to live very well without living over the top. The price for all these fancy things is too high. Only often the act of buying is entertaining.


This Arabic lunch cost me 6,-- Euro. It was Falaffel and salad and a sweet tea. It was very good and healthy.



This dinner was good, too and new tastes entertained my tongue. As a starter I had a salad (very good) and we had this Sicilian wine, which was good, I have enjoyed better ones already. Quanta costa: 55,-- per person. 

Yes, it was special this expensive meal and the evening with people I feel very close. 
My personal luxury is to have time.  The sun is shining. We've a most wonderful fall. I can stroll around, I can take pictures. That's great.

Perhaps decisions are not necessary. Saying yes to what is given can be enough.
A simple meal
A refined meal
a hectic time
lazy times
happiness
worries
sunshine
rain
what a variety.
I love it. 

I just tested my right arm and shoulder. It hurts. Damned. Hahahaha.......

Monday, September 05, 2011

Second practice this week...


Monday has started, the yoga week has started on Sunday.
When I fear that it can become tough, I consequently focus on the breath. Inhaling pause exhaling pause......

My goal for second series is to get rid of all the props: blanket under the heels when practicing pashasana, strap and block when doing laghu vajrasana, the wall when practicing pincha mayurasana......and so on.

I approached this goal. I don't use a blanket anymore for the 7 headstands at the end i.e..
I also used to practice yoga nidrasana before dwi pada sirsasana, because this order makes it easier. I changed this and I stick to the series as it is taught in Mysore now.
These are tiny steps in the direction I want to go, but something is moving and changing for the better.

Back bending was lousy. I'm familiar with the ups and downs. I'm glad that I did it.

Tomorrow I want to film vatayanasana.....

Good weather was yesterday, today it's raining again........

I feel good, I've done something for my body, I worked on strength and flexibility.
I also exercised the mind, I concentrated on the breath. All other thoughts and worries disappeared.

It's time now to focus on my other projects. Ashtanga yoga teaches tools that can be useful in other parts of life, too. My pomodoro will structure my day. Action now.....

Good Monday to everybody. 

Sunday, September 04, 2011

I practiced under the sky in the shadow.


Sunday is second series on my schedule. I so hoped for warm weather. At 10am I could step on my mat outside. I could practice in the garden of my parents. I stepped on my mat with zero expectations (after 2 relaxing days) and so I also couldn't get disappointed. Much was possible, even dwi pada sirsasana. My father thought I prepare myself for a performance for a circus.

No breaks happened, I observed the breath. It guided me through the asanas and vinyasas.

An observance: First I wanted to practice second series. As soon as I was taught all the asanas I had preferences. Please not mayurasana, I thought, and the headstands I didn't like either. I like to exercise the leg behind head poses. Seeing this I realize that this is an opportunity to learn. Likes and dislikes are part of life. The consequence needn't be that we only pick the likes and discard the dislikes. It's all part of life, simply observing helps to do all the poses. It can be that suddenly what I disliked, I like after some time and the other way round.

My recommendation: don't omit anything, neither an asana nor anything else.

Feel free to visit my photography blog. I created a facebook page for it, too. 

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Travelling and practicing yoga




Practicing yoga when travelling often  requires fantasy and creativity and SELF-DISCIPLINE.
Today we've to leave the Radisson blu in Dresden. Not so much time is left for a practice today and this after 2 days of nothing. We want to go out for  a breakfast, suitcases must be packed. I try to see it as an exercise of letting go. I often want to tame the tiger "Ashtanga yoga". It shall be important but not so ravenous that it eats up my whole life. It's amazing how quickly this habit can disappear from my life.
I just looked around. It's always an excuse that there is no room. A mat can be rolled out everywhere.

Three times in the week I think I should practice minimum. Monday I practiced, Tuesday I practiced. This evening when we're at my parents there might be a possibility to move a bit. Tomorrow on Sunday I could practice before we'll drive back to Munich. With every lazy day it gets harder to step on the mat.
On the other side it's really nice to travel and to see something else than the familiar surrounding.

It is as it is. Time to move on.

Shall I start on Sunday with second series. OMG, it will be a hard landing.


Dresden is very beautiful. If you like to see some more pictures visit my photography blog

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Where to practice?


Those who search, will also find.
We arrived in Dresden. The Radisson blu is surely a nice hotel, the rooms are a bit small for my yoga session. So I went to the sauna tonight. There is a swimming pool area, too and there I'll practice tomorrow. It's open from 6am on. The room is wet and warm, ideal so to say and afterwards I can swim, naked. Ah, wonderful.

A ship tour is planned to see the castles.



PS: The first picture is the Frauenkirche in Dresden. The second picture shows the river Elbe. 

"You'll experience a firework in your oral cavity."


This morning I said to E: This was a trap. I got envious yesterday night. This waiter could describe the red wine for minimum 10 min. This wine must be an experience, I thought and we ordered a bottle. "You'll have a wonderful company with this wine during the evening. If you drink it in 20 min it will taste differently than in 25 min," the waiter continued and left us then. So we were 4 yesterday: my friend A, my bf  E, myself and the red wine. What exciting company. Indeed.


A last breakfast in the 7the floor here now. Berlin will be at my feet. I love big cities. I feel excellent here. I enjoy the variety of people that I see here. Oh, time to move on. .......

Don't forget to visit my photography blog.

And I won't forget the few sun salutations..........