Monday, October 31, 2011

"Die Liebesfälscher" by Abbas Kiarostami 2010


What an intensive movie:

A quote that I remember: "Why to make oneself unhappy due to ideal conceptions."

Juliette Binoche and William Shimell were so convincing in that French/Italian movie by Abbas Kiarostami. Wow.

Surely not a movie for the masses.

A film that consisted of dialogues.

....my mind is still busy with this movie.....


Our yoga room


The door was still open when I arrived this morning. We yoginis and yogis shall have fresh air when we start with our practice. When the doors are closed and when I've started my practice I soon feel warm. The room is heated and I'm glad about it. I usually practice on the right side in that room. From that place I can see the arriving yoginis...hahahah.....just a joke. Drishti is never the door!

Yes, I enjoyed my practice.
It's amazing how much I sweat.

Till Thursday evening I'll be alone at home.
I shall see if I'll be in the mood to do some extra exercises. The vinyasas occupy my mind, I so wonna improve them. Pranayama and meditation is in my mind, too. Write it down let it happen. 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

At home again...


I just enjoyed a sweaty led class. The body is so much more flexible in the afternoon than in the morning. Primary seems so much easier since I practice second series. My goal above all asanas goals is to maintain a daily practice (6 times a week). At my age the body learns slower and I'm in peace with it. I do progress, this is enough for me. I don't want to invest more time and more money only to be able (perhaps) to learn an asana faster. Ashtanga yoga won't become a profession for me. I share my insights here on this blog, that's it. I have patience. It will all develop.
I enjoyed my urdhva dhanurasana adjustment as always.
I realized that my vinyasas became a tiny bit better. The last 3 hours of my life were again excellent.

Picture: This morning I was at an exhibition on fans. What an interesting accessory. After World War I the fans disappeared as women were allowed to express their opinions freely in public. In earlier times a fan was used for secret messages. Sometimes it was used also to hide bad teeth, or to hide a naughty laughter. When bored the women used the fan to scratch themselves behind the ears. Haha, I need a fan - for my pictures. I love this accessory. Also Louis Vuitton has discovered this thing for his fashion shows.
When I left the museum I saw this shop with all these old things (see picture). No, I bought nothing. I was also glad that there was no catalogue to the exhibition. I would have bought it how I know me. I walked home with a few new images in my mind. Enough.

One night and tomorrow second series. :) Fantastic. 

Btw, most of my pictures I publish on Google+. You can circle me if you like. A link is on the right side of this blog. 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Saturday is my yoga free day.....


I don't plan a yoga session anymore on Saturdays.
If I find myself on the mat, it's OK, if not, it's also OK.

The great advantage when I don't practice is that I've a lot of time for all the other things in my life that I also love to do - like taking pictures at night. Haha........

My week starts on Sundays, I'm looking forward to a prolific week.....:)


Getting to know life....


What is still possible with me in that life, What is possible today?
What am I allowed to experience.
What works, what not.........

My Ashtanga yoga indeed changed my life a lot. My love to that practice allowed me to see that different ways of living are possible. Not only my body became flexible, also the mind learned to stroll on new paths. I looked above the rim of my plate. I had to give up beloved concepts on how to live. I still feel a bit lost in cosmos, this is OK.

Writing has a similar function. It's a method to explore life, others and oneself. It intensifies the experiences. It shows ways. It shows me corners of myself and others I wouldn't have explored and discovered if I weren't writing. These insights can be life-changing. Minimum it's a reminder to live consciously. Writing motivates me to live, to see new  places, to try something new.
- To write lists "100 things I like about a person I don't like so much usually" can give interesting insights. One can also write a 100 list of a person one likes or about a relative. Repetitions are allowed and exactly these repetitions can give us a surprising answer.
- To write unsent letters (a writing technique) can reveal feelings one wasn't conscious. To journal is indeed a way to get to know oneself.
Do it and be surprised what these simple techniques can evoke.
Journalling also reminds me to act: I'm not sure if my yoga practice flourished like it did, if I weren't writing. A huge motivation to step on the mat is because I want to write about it.

Lately I discovered that my new passion taking pictures has indeed also the potential to widen my horizon. Of course I have to walk around and open my eyes when I want to take pictures. Who likes to take pictures  of the same street every day. One has to move to other places. Taking pictures keeps me lively, curious. In order to create exciting pictures it's recommended to change the perspective. this alone can be eye-opening. If one likes to do portrait photography one has to approach people and this needs courage. It means to step out of the comfort zone and to approach strangers for a  rather exciting play.

I love my tripod: Ashtanga yoga, writing, taking pictures. It keeps me lively. It shoos me out of the bed in the morning.

Life is exciting.
I'm glad that I can see this so.

Back to the basics: Today I'll prepare a mushroom salad. My cooking ritual has started already. I was in minimum 3 shops to get the best ingredients. I'm a hunter. I talked with the shop owners and learned that the mushrooms come from Poland and Russia usually. Only in the tiny vegetable shops they come from Germany and therefore they are fresher. Mushrooms from Poland are minimum 1 week old due to the transportation.

Most of the time I try a new recipe, also today. 

Friday, October 28, 2011

My new goodies....:)

I couldn't resist to buy these goodies today. Can you imagine what it is?
1. The spoon is a spoon for olives. It allows to fish them out of the glass. The vinegar flows back.
2. The little brush of wood and soft bristles is for cleaning mushrooms.

The creativity of our Western society knows no limits.

This was inhaling, pause,.......exhaling will follow. 
Energy needs to be moved.......

The mind, the coach for the body.....


When I jump forward I tell to myself: the hips lead, the knees close to the body,
When I feel reluctance to drop back into urdhva dhanurasana, I think: just do it, 3 times, this is nothing. And then I do it. And today I was surprised: each time I did it, it was easier.

When mind and body work together the practices become strong. 

Sometimes I break down a practice that lasts more than 2 hours now in tiny bits:
- only 5 surya namaskara A's, doable.
- only 3 surya namaskara B's, doable.
- standing poses only till parsvottanasana. That's still basic.
- then the blocks: back bending, forward bending, balancing and headstands.
- then urdhva dhanurasana, one pose only (but with many exercises)
- the end is a piece of cake.
That way I make a long practice less challenging. It allows me to be focused for a limited time. After a block I start the next block with fresh energy. I don't forget to enjoy what I've done so far.

Kapotasana is a challenge for the mind and the body. I will stay optimistic. These difficult asanas are good as they challenge the mind, too. It's a habit to think positive, as it is a habit to sit straight when sitting at a desk.

My practice was excellent. How I love Ashtanga yoga.

Mentally I prepare myself for the dinner tonight in a Thai restaurant:
First I have to do the reservation, lol.
No wine, no dessert, only a bit of rice is my plan.
I'll enjoy the vegetables and the tofu in a hot red sauce.
(Shall I not say tomorrow: the mind was willing, the flesh was weak. hahahaha)

I don't make plans for tomorrow. I'll be curious what will happen. Next planned yoga session is the led class on Sunday.

Picture: Darren Rowse gave us photographer a weekend task: primary colors, anything with primary colors (red, blue, yellow). The picture shows my first attempt.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

To negotiate is one of my strength....


To negotiate is one of my strength. I was so excellent today and it was fun. I'm good in face to face conversations. In groups I feel weak. However. Today I was in top form.

And this all after an excellent practice, first Ashtanga series. Till navasana I practiced with the CD by Sharath. Then I practiced on my own. This allowed me to add some asanas, like forward split. Oh, and I dropped back 3 times. This is a good habit to practice one asana after the other, if it's liked or not, if it's fearful or not, if it's my day or not. This habit gives self-confidence.

Drishti: In Ashtanga yoga we look either upwards, forward or to the side. We never look down or back. The lowest we direct our eyes is the tip of our own nose. Is there a hidden message behind our dirshtis?

I'm motivated to act, to sell, to convince, to find out my limits off the mat, too. Life is an experiment, what else.

On my way home from the Munich countryside more or less, I stopped at the main station. I accessorized myself. :) Hahahaha.....

Am my untamed mind jumped from one topic to the next again. Concentration is fading. I feel good and exhausted. 

Long breath and passion


Yeah, that's what I eat for lunch. I poured olive oil over it and a special vinegar with thyme and apple. Pepper, no salt. The colors are beautiful, it was tasty. Four different tastes are on this plate. The tomatoes and the pepper are sweet. The olives salty, the rucola bitter, the vinegar sour. It's lively food and so I feel afterwards: lively, not heavy. I had a sunflower bread with it and afterwards some white raisins on a vanilla soy pudding.

Ok, back to passion and the long breath and a bit of self-praising. I think this is one of the strength of my blog or my person. I've a long breath, I practice Ashtanga yoga for 8 years and blog since 6 years already on a regular basis, daily. My practice is most of the time not a boring routine, I practice with passion. I hope I can express this, but I think so. Often this is a contradiction, reliability and passion.

I want to recommend a book here: it's by George Leonard "Der längere Atem". He describes how to become a master. His example is Aikido, but the principles he describes can be applied to other areas, too. One thing he emphasizes: be prepared that there will be plateaus. then simply move on, don't give up. This is good advice for all of us that we tend to expect highlights every day.

We live in a society where most people want quick success. If this does not come, we are quickly frustrated and give up. Not everything I tried I wanted to do for the rest of my life. But Ashtanga yoga I want to do for the rest of my life (till 100, hahahaha). It helps me to know that sometimes I only have to do it, without expecting too much or even highlights. This plateau can last for months. Being prepared helps not to make decisions at the wrong moment. Passions and highlights return when practicing passionately with all the energy that is awailable also during the lame phases.

The interesting aspect of the book by Leonard is that at the end he applies his principles to relationships.
I don't plead here for standing every boring contact. But my experience is that every relationship that lasts longer has phases where it's a plateau. This passes like everything. More intensive times can follow, more difficult ones, more beautiful ones.
I'm lucky, I had several very passionate loves in my life. They didn't last. After a very short time, after few months, they were often over. Forever. Hahahaha.......for me as a reliable person almost unbelievable. Where did all the love went? All the oath and promises? Only phantasm? My personality allows me to live both, being passionate and to be reliable. I love the highlights, if they are over I return to an even breathing till my breath is taken away again, but I needn't give up anything only because it (activity, relationship) became  more difficult or lame or......... I can enjoy this variety. I have not the expectation of a never-ending orgasm. This would be too much. Even for me.

One of the gifts at a certain age is that one can have friendships that last for decades. One never knows who this will be when one meets people in the 20s, but with some a lively interest remains. This is so nice. My friends are like my roots. It gives self-confidence, stability in life. One feels loved and accepted. It's interesting. Those friends also can give precious feed-back. One can laugh with each other. Our often superficial society has nothing else to do but to focus on a few wrinkles when talking about age. Advanced age allows experiences one cannot have when young. My recommendation: start cultivating friendships as soon as possible. Have time for friends.

I'm very happy that I know my bf since more than 14 years now. It's my longest love story with a man. :)

Primary today. I practice at home. My plan: I'll practice with the CD by Sharath till navasana. Then I practice on my own to stay longer in the asanas that need extra attention.

I must be good today, good at negotiating. I will. This is one of my strength.

Mmmmm, shall I publish this? Why have I written this?
Perhaps it was a reminder to apply this all to my projects. Focus here is needed.
I don't have the time to write another post, hahahaha......

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

So many titles in my mind, I cannot make a decision.....


After my yoga practice I feel always differently, I think differently and I act differently. This practice gives me a deep satisfaction. I love my body and I love to feel it the way I feel it when I practice Ashtanga yoga. This is my thing, this practice fits to me. I don't want to give it up anymore. This might be egoistic, I'd do "almost" everthing to be able to do that morning practice as long as possible. Greedy I feel sometimes because of this, egoistic, ruthless, but this practice is sooooooo goooooood for me.


Self-sabotage I call it now. I used to write differently about it. I used to say yoga always brings me back on the healthy path. I see now the gluttony in restaurants as self-sabotage.
For some time I ate best quality of food, but not much and no alcohol. I feel excellent, light and full of energy. I also lost that extra kilo.  Nevertheless to have the perfect weight doesn't guarantee a perfect practice, but it's more likely that the practices are good. Today I had an excellent practice. It felt so, I don't know how it looked from the outside. It felt great. Highlights happened also:
- My knee was behind the shoulder comme il faut. I never was so far.
- I was able to balance when I pushed me up from handstand to pincha mayurasana with legs in padmasana. I didn't  fall against the fall. :)
No self-sabotage anymore, shall my life-style support my practice and not compensate it.

Another story: I usually give my best when I'm in a Mysore class. This is also something that develops with time, the ability to practice till the limits. This intensives the practices.
A few days back I felt weak, I was not in the mood to drop back into urdhva dhanurasana. Fear was felt, I felt stiff. After my three wheels from the floor and my 3 drop backs against the wall I waited on my mat till M would come to hold me when I drop back. He also lifts me up, hahaha, it's so easy. But M is attentive and concentrated when he teaches and he realized that I omitted to drop back on my own. He told me why it's good to practice it always: Fear can return. Abilities can get lost..........and what I indeed see, too, perhaps I interpreted it: It's not good advice to ask oneself every here and then: Am I in the mood for this today. Simply doing it, is it. No procrastination. This is one of the intentions of the vinyasa count in my opinion. One breath follows the next, one movement follows the next, vinyasa asana vinyasa. There is no time for being moody or for asking basic question like: why all this.
Today I felt the reluctance to drop back, but I did it 3 times and I could hold me. Yep. Not big thing, I thought afterwards. :)
What I observe during my yoga practice is also applicable for other parts of my life. Focus is a key word. Action and not so many questions keep the things rolling.

I must focus on my project, one by one. No self-sabotage anymore. I don't need lousy jobs. I don't feel lonesome without envious colleagues. I have beloved people, men and women around the globe, of course also in Munich. I want to have the time to enjoy these friendships and I have the  time for this for the time being and I enjoy. I don't feel lonesome, not a bit.
I also love that I can pamper my bf a bit. Every night we stroll around to move a bit. :) I motivate him.....hahahaha.......

So, enough now.
Shall I be strong and focus on my projects.
Shall I not feel bad that I've a life that I love.
Shall I not feel bad that I'm so greedy. It also means that I'm passionate, that I've energy.
Shall I not feel bad that I'm not so indepandant as I always wished to be. Enough people suffer already in companies, I don't need to be one of them.

PS: The book my Seth Godin "Linchpin - Are you indispensabe?" is very good.




Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Evening...


I was out and met a friend. This was nice, very nice as usual. One word provoked the next and at home I realized that I've forgotten to ask her if she likes me to take pictures of her. Next time.

I just went through my day. What else happened? I discarded old clothes. To create room is always something that I appreciate. Letting go is a fearless act: it tells me that I've the feeling that there is no lack. Everything is available if needed. I can let go when I feel so. The act of throwing things ago is liberating.

In the last years a lot of things had to go, it's an ongoing process with no end in sight. It is how life is, it's like ebb and flow or inhaling and exhaling. It's good if energy flows in both ways, in and out. If this is not the case the flow is interrupted. Those who only buy things have soon a problem. The other way round might not be a good solution, too.

The place where one lives is part of one's own life. It's good if energy can flow there freely.

....and I know already what I need next: a second storage battery for my camera........inhaling, exhaling.....


Each pose can be cultivated - more and more.....


Might I be happy with those silhouettes, I don't want to lose more time with taking pictures and filming. That's how I start utthita hasta padangusthasana. Nowadays I want to lift the leg straight. First I stretch my arm and bring it in a horizontal position. Inhaling begins when the leg moves upwards. I need the deep breath for this, the breath helps me to reach the finger. I saw this on one of Laruga's videos
Note to myself: I'll focus next time to keep the leg more straight, also a bit bent is bent. 



In India they insisted. The chin must touch the shin. 


The secret of each balance asana: focus on the breath, strong bandhas, engaged muscle. Don't think anything. Each thinking even a "this is good today", makes me wobbling.


In the last phase one can see who is a hero, or who wants to have it easy. This pose shapes your body for the better if you do it with energy. To point the foot is OK. Keep it as high and possible. 5 breaths also counted slowly is nothing. 

The same sequence comes in the middle part of primary but then I lie on my back. Here the truth can be seen how open the hips are in reality. 

This filming and taking pictures spoiled my practice. I think I will dedicate only one day for this. Shall it be the Thursday or the Saturday. I want to practice, this is more important than to document so much. 


Monday, October 24, 2011

I love to have an overview....


Second series has 3 blocks in my opinion.
First come the back bending asanas, one more intensive than the other. Most challenging is kapotasana. It will take years till I'll be able to do it.
Then after some neutralizing asanas, some intensive twists, the forward bending block  follows. All these challenging leg behind head poses come. I don't which one is the most challenging. It seems as if they are all doable without adjustment.
Then  a lot of balancing poses follow, karandavasana is the most difficult one.

Urdhva dhanurasana and the tic tocs are not part of the middle part, they count extra.

Back bending is a challenge for me.

Tomorrow I'll practice on my own. I hope I'll have enough energy for repetitions.
Thanks M for this wonderful free bird.

Can this be......



...that I slept so long.
It was a slow start. In the morning I was tired. Practice was hard. I avoided to drop back into urdhva dhanurasana. After yoga I went home. Then I slept till almost 5pm. Why that?

I live like an ascetic lately. Enough sleep, no booze, healthy food, but not much. Nevertheless happened  this "break-down" this afternoon. I slept as if I were dead.  If I'm able to sleep I seem to need it, I think I won't have missed so much, but I want to do so much. Sometimes the unconsciousness needs time to work. I'm up, time to start my morning routines that I call night routines now. I'll write my journal and I'll read. The light is almost gone, that's so at 5:30pm. I'll take my pictures about light tomorrow. Yeah, it's too late now.

So, time for some handstands first. So important. 

Of course I'm up...


It's not me on the window sill having breakfast. I had mine at my desk. I had a banana with nuts and soy yogurt. I'm up, energy is still low. Perhaps I should have slept a bit longer. To have a sweaty led class in the late afternoon and a Mysore class in the morning with only one short night between 2 practices is intensive.

I got up a bit after 6am, checked my mails and what else happened overnight online. After my first cup of black coffee, this is usually 30 min later I take a shower, first with warm water, I always finish with cold water. The body is fresh afterwards, the cold water wakes me up........and then, I dry my body......and then with my fresh rather cold body........I move to the bed and crawl under the cover and press my body against E's body to warm myself. Hehe, he has not yet complained. Warm, cold, warm..........this is indeed a big pleasure.

Second series today. Focus shall be the breath. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Down to earth.....


It was my bf who shooed me to the led Ashtanga class this afternoon. Perhaps he liked to stay at my yoga place. At 3pm he told me: "You must go to be on time." And I went. I was a bit lazy, excuses why not to go fogged my brain. The best decision was to go. Of course. As always. My practice was excellent.

My Asthanga yoga practice brings me down to earth. It shows me that the moment is exciting and worth living consciously. All the hero dreams are soap bubbles. Hearing the breath, sweating, engaging the muscles, stretching, bending, that's it. This practice gives me strength and motivation not only to dream a life, but to live it. The current moment is exciting when experienced consciously. Every action and might it be even a lame one is better than only mind games and plans that only happen in the phantasy. The menu cannot compete with a true meal.

Today more than 100 mainly photographers circled me on Google+. Someone has put me in a cirlce with obviously much effect. I enjoy the interest that others have in my pictures. Life goes on. Breath by breath. Rome wasn't build in a day either. I love what I do, what else can I wish. Writing, taking pictures, practicing yoga, an exciting ménage à trois. And from time to time I entertain my bf. He picked me up after yoga and we enjoyed a delicious Indian meal. I was not dreaming this, I was celebrating wonderful moments.
I'm ready for a hot bath now.

The picture: I saw these balconies on my way home from the bakery this morning. Balconies are often used as storage rooms in winter. Away with all the redundant stuff. Less is more. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Being disciplined can bring a lot of joy.


This morning I went into my kitchen to prepare a first cup of coffee for myself and my kitchen was clean. What a joy. I didn't feel like eating out yesterday. Fever returned, my feet and hand were cold and so I prepared kidney beans with a red pepper and a lot of garlic for us. Garlic is a medicine, a virus killer. And after dinner, I cleaned the kitchen. Being disciplined can be learned.

A few tricks might be:
- not to discuss if one does a task or not, simply doing it counts
- doing it NOW and not postponing it is good, too
- seeing the first tiny step that is doable
- knowing and remembering that the result will bring joy
- talking to oneself: I'm cleaning the kitchen now or I step on my mat now.
- knowing how long it takes

Every person is different, it might help to observe oneself when doing something easily. Then one can use the pattern for another activity one likes to do disciplined, too.

My night was interrupted with coughing, but I feel convalescent. We won't drive to my parents this weekend. This would be too early, I still feel weak.

The series: 
I analysed primary and second series.
It's obvious primary has mainly forward bending asanas (22). There are 2 twists, 2 back bending asanas (without urdhva dhanurasana) and 3 balancing asanas.
All asanas are deeper in second series, but it's amazing that most asanas are balancing asanas (15) followed by back bending asanas (9). There are 4 twists and perhaps 5 intensive forward bending asanas.

This shows me again how good it is to start relatively fast second series, too in order to have a balanced practice.
It is said that forward bending protects ourselves. I also think it makes modest.
In order to do the balancing poses, courage is needed and inner strength.

Today I'll practice the moon sequence by Sweeney. It's without vinyasas. The warming up sequence is even relaxing. I feel I need this.

If you like you can follow this blog on facebook or on Google+. Links are on the right side of this blog.

Friday, October 21, 2011

....so cold feet.


I've so cold feet. I massage them, I put on my warm socks, I sip hot tea, nothing helps, my feet want to stay cold......

Yesterday night in bed I so missed that I hadn't practiced. A practice wouldn't have been possible or reasonable due to the fever. But today I stepped on the mat and practiced primary. I sweated, it felt good.

- Supta kurmasana, see picture, I had to repeat it. The first time I was not able to hook the fingers. I added eka pada sirsasana. The first highlight happened. I was able to move forward with the leg behind my head without holding it. The trick is to point the foot. After eka pada sirsasana, supta kurmasana was possible. I try now to get the foot so deep behind my head that it can touch the shoulder.
- Next highlight was that I was able to open my lotus pose in the air when jumping back. I scarcly believe it, but it's true. I repeated it and also the second time was good.

All the inversions felt good for my throat. Even though I do not really know what I have, sort of cold surely, to move is always good. I relaxed on the bed after my practice.
E did grocery shopping yesterday. I wrote him to bring some fruit. He returned with 2 bags of fruit: oranges, apples, honey melon, banana, mango. So much healthy food must be good. :)

I just checked my feet: cold.

PS: Repetition, repetition, repetition is what brings success. 

Lists



A list:
What I've done so far.
1. I got up
2. I cleaned the dishes
3. I had breakfast
4. I showered
5. I vacuumed
6. I started the washing machine
7. I ironed
8. I answered to an email
9. I congratulated my father to his birthday
10. I folded clothes and put them away
11. I wrote my journal
12. I updated my blog, twice (lol).
13. What beside the daily practice can help me to improve my yoga practice.

Every body writes lists. Most of us probably write "to do lists". It can be a good idea to write a "not-to-do list".
It's recommended to make lists with 100 points, repetitions are allowed. Repetitions show what's important. They are like a marker on the road.

There are "to-do lists", "not-to-do lists", "shopping lists".

Further ideas for lists are:
1. Which places do I like to see.
2. Which roles do I play in life and which further roles do I like to play
3. Things I want to learn.
4. What do I like about myself or any other person.
5. What do I not like about myself or any other person.
6. Novels I want to read.


Be creative and enjoy your lists.

Picture: I love my pictures, they help me to learn. The shoulders are not yet 100% parallel.

Knocked out


Suddenly I had fever. Fever weakens the body and the mind. I lied on my bed covered my hot and exhausted body with two blankets and slept most of the time yesterday. That I can do this is a luxury. I remember times where I went to work because I feared I'd lose the job if I'm not present all the time. I might have felt that my work is important and that only I'm able to do it. What nonsense. In one company we had so much work and so few people that I went ill to work due to solidarity. Now I've the luxury to live an illness. I can listen to my body and fulfill it's needs. I drink a lot and I eat fruit and sleep. The Aspirin that I took yesterday brought the fever down.

We wanted to drive to my parents this weekend, because my father celebrates his birthday, but this is impossible now.
Mysore class is cancelled, too. I didn't practice yesterday, today I want to do a modest primary. I shall see. I don't feel on top.

I'm a disciplined person, or better, I've a few strong routines that I always do: I'll make the bed (after my bf has left it, lol),  I'll clean the dishes. It feels good to have this done.

Ah, it also feels good to suffer publicly.

Btw: the book Linchpin by Seth Godin is a recommendation. You can buy it via my blog, a link is on the right side. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

No way to leave the house today.....



First I want to recommend a blog. Kevin, a passionate Ashtangi, fellow blogger and friend is in Gokulam India, in THE shala. He's originally from England, his English is excellent and he writes so nicely. He writes daily about his adventures there and every post comes with a picture minimum. Exactly how he describes his days, so it is. Read yourself, here is the link.

I'm ill. I feel lousy, hahaha. It's true. No way to leave the house today. I'll take it easy. My appointment this afternoon is already postponed. I'm glad that I did this and that I don't want to play the role of a hero. When I'm ill, I'm ill, I don't force myself to anything anymore if not necessary. Am I glad that I can take care of myself. If I were an employee I'd go to work. I know me.
My practice will be modest. To move has healing potential. I've no fever, so it's good to practice a bit: primary today.
Again I had a night full of dreams. This is new, I know me as a daydreamer. The dreams that happen at night I usually don't remember and I don't make efforts to do.

Yesterday in bed I had planned an intensive practice, I wanted to push me to the limits.
But Ashtanga yoga has many aspects. It can also heal. This is often forgotten. I'll practice slowly today, breaks are allowed. I stop when I feel it's better to stop. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I'm integrating yoga poses in my daily life......


That's how I write my journal. This shall improve upavistha konasana A. The longer I am in this position, the more comfortable it is. It also becomes easier to stretch forward and to go deeper the longer I write. I also read in this pose. This all must improve this pose. Hahahaha.......primary has still it's challenges.

When I sit at my desk I sit in padmasana.
When I want to wake up after my afternoon napping I do handstands against the wardrobe.
When bathing I do paschimottanasana.

It's all harmless craziness.

Time to go to bed. I have to be fit tomorrow, very fit. 

....it's the early morning....


....and it's still dark. I'm sipping my bitter coffee. Not everything needs to be sweet to be good.

Yesterday I enrolled for an online class on portrait photography. Mmmmm. I'm still happy with this decision. It lasts 30 days and starts in November. Me, a portrait photographer with only one model: myself. Hahahaha. I know how important it is not to stop learning. To move the body and to move the mind are signs that one is not yet half-dead, but fully alive. It spices up the entire life. I'm curious. Light will be a main topic in this class. Of course. It's all about light.

Yesterday I was downtown in a very posh shop. I was even a bit shy to enter it. Elegance can create distance, even an unseen wall. But I entered. Inside the shop was a tiny hall with a step that led to the second floor. The business happened only there. The salesperson who greeted me when I arrived a floor higher was so professional that I felt well at once. To meet people who have a nice personality and expertise and are able to present both easy-going are a pure joy. I walked home from downtown afterwards. The sun was shining, it was a summer day. I couldn't resist to go to the English bookstore next. The book by Seth Godin "Linchpin" wanted to go home with me. I bought it. I need uplifting literature, inspiring ones on a daily basis.

On the picture is parighasana: I'm glad to see that also the left side is better now. My overstretched leg is almost healed. Almost. This was indeed a learning experience. Nothing can be forced. Perseverance is it. My attitude during my yoga practice today will be: Let it happen.

Oh, it's time to shower.........


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Done....



Do I practice sloppy? I wonder.

The poses are volatile. Feelings change rapidly within a single practice. It goes up and down. That's how it is, I think.

I call this a practice now. I stop and I don't want to spend another minute thinking about my yoga practice. This was it for today.

Finally I wanted to take picture of a pose that is improving, Gomukhasana B.

Time to go out and to enjoy the weather.

Being content is also a yoga exercise. 

I'm up



The sun is shining. It's probably cold. Cold and sun is a nice combination.
Last night I slept well. I need my sleep. It has influence on my mood and my thoughts. Today I feel better than yesterday, how good.

I feel that everything goes slowly in my life. It is as if nothing moves. I know this cannot be, but feelings can cheat.

My pictures have too sides.
1. They give me feed back, they show me the direction. On the picture of today I do dwi pada sirsasana. What improved is that the upper chest is much more open than a few months ago. See here. There is still too much pressure on the neck. I think the legs must move upwards or to the side, so that the head can be  up and not pressed down.
2. Despite all the self-critique I see that this is a nice pose that I'm able to do.  I look at my pictures and I enjoy what I'm able to do. What I found extreme a few years back became normal and daily practice. Perseverance became my strength and not speed development.

Today I'll practice at home. This is what is so nice in Ashtanga yoga: I know what to do also when alone.
1. Mysore classes
2. Once a week a led class
3. One day off during the week
4. Home practices
5. Once in a lifetime to travel to Gokulam, Mysore, THE shala.

This is Ashtanga yoga. :) :) :)

Kapotasana: I must repeat it, repeat it, repeat it.

What else: A Japanese soup kitchen has opened round the corner. I want to test it today. Yesterday night we passed by, I saw a Japanese man eating his soup with sticks. I made a remark, something like: Look the Japanese men like it. A smoking man who stood outside said: It's good. Now I think I must test it. Veg soups are on the menu, too, I checked this.
And again a paragraph on food. I don't like these food topics anymore. We don't starve in the Western world, nevertheless we behave as if we lack basic stuff. Restaurants shall serve as a coulisse at least the next months. There are other exciting topics than eating, eating, eating. I'm bored by myself when I write about this.
Time to move on......time to do some chores and then ......inhaling, exhaling, inhaling.......


Monday, October 17, 2011

Do your best and leave the rest....



Either I tossed and turned or I had nightmares tonight. I cannot decide what I prefered, probably the nightmares. At 6am my alarm clock reminded me that the morning arrived. At 7am I was up. The cold shower  after such a night is a pure pleasure.

I start the week with second series. The poses are volatile. I do my best and leave the rest. M wondered why I make only tiny progress re kapotasana and urdhva dhanurasana even though I exercise so much and this since years.
"What holds you back?"
"What holds me back?"
I'm no more the youngest, I think.
M is creative and gave me extra exercises to improve the flexibility of my back. Me too, I look around here to find a possibility to stretch backwards, but it shall be passive stretching. I think of my sofa. I want to let it happen, I don't want to do anything actively.

Also the important leg behind head poses are volatile. Today I couldn't blame my weight. Nevertheless the poses were weak.
The results of my effort is out of control. I'm always surprised.


The understanding of the above poses deepens. The legs need to be strong and it's all about stretching forward.
Tomorrow I'll be on my own again. I should indeed make back bending a priority. Again.


After yoga I visited the new Schranne downtown. Oh my, is that posh there now, over the top. Champagne, chocolate, French sin,  and whatever one can get there now. It's a food temple. I only bought a baguette, I have everything. And toilet paper I couldn't get there. People only think of getting things and not how to get rid of it. It's equally important.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Like on so many Saturdays.......



Like on so many Saturdays I wanted to do at least a bit of yoga. But The Source had other plans for me. As usual I went to the bakery in the morning to get a breakfast for E and myself.
Then it was time already to hurry. A friend whom I've known for decades was in Munich and we met downtown in a nice café. Time was running. Wow, I've so attractive friends, I love it. Much was to tell and then it was suddenly late in the afternoon.
I ran home for grocery shopping, and now it's dark.

It's a rule in Ashtanga yoga that the yoginis shall not practice on Saturdays. In the book "Guruji" I found an explanation for this. P. Jois used to teach also on Saturdays and Sundays and on the 5 other workdays, too. His family scarcely saw him. So they decided that one day is for the family because they wanted to spend time with him, too.
Somehow I feel the same: One day is for all the other things on lists. And what a lovely day it was.

Tomorrow I'll go to a led class again. Perhaps my body is happy for a day off. But I'm not sure. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

It had to be....


I discarded yoga clothes. It had to be. Washing didn't really clean them anymore from my sweat. A lot of T-shirts and trousers had to go. I bought new fancy stuff after yoga. If one doesn't buy yoga clothes one finds a lot of affordable stuff and it's beautiful, too.

It's Friday, I slept too long in the afternoon. Now I'm waiting for E. Dinner at our Greek restaurant is planned.

Tomorrow I want to get up early. I want to do the moon sequence before meeting a friend I know for decades.

To create room is always wonderful. To simplify everything is the way. Less is more. Becoming essential. These are my credos.


Floral Friday and stepping through doors



"Imagine there is a closed door in front of you. Describe the door, what it looks like, feels like, what kind of handle or latch it has.
When you are ready, imagine you take a step forward and open the door ready to step through. What do you find on the other side?"
(This is a journal prompt.)

When thinking about this topic, I remember last Monday when I walked home from yoga. I wanted to buy a flower for a picture. I usually pass by a flower shop that has a lot of flowers outside. A huge soft lilac bloom pleased me most. I didn't like to take it by myself, so I was looking for the salesperson. The door was open and I entered the first time this shop (see above). No sales person was in sight. What an opportunity to take some pictures. After a while I left the shop again, nobody was there, it seemed so.
Sometimes doors are open and one only has to step over the beam. Surprises can wait behind. I was in awe when I saw this sea of flowers, this mirror and dark red curtain.

On Google+ are these weekday games for photographers: WomenWednesday, ThirstyThursday, FloralFriday and so on. It's fun to share pictures to these topics. You can circle me on Google+, a link is on the right side of this blog.

Friday already. I'm happy that I can go to a Mysore class. Especially back bending will get attention. Yesterday I took a movie of my dropping back into urdhva dhanurasana. It was shocking. There is an improvement for sure. My feet are much closer to each other and parallel. I don't bend the knees and go forward anymore, I stretch upwards. Nevertheless it looked all very weak and my hands are still too far away from my feet in order to be able to come up. It feels so intensive. Feelings can bluff.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I didn't avoid the difficult parts.......


There is a theory  that it's better to focus on the own strong points and to get better at them than to try to eliminate the shortcomings.

In Ashtanga yoga nothing shall be omitted. Facing our difficulties is as important as doing such asanas that seem to be easy. That way we're confronted with ourselves. It can be an interesting encounter. Meet yourself on the mat. Look at yourself.....and then let go.

Today I switched on the CD by Sharath and practiced till navasana with it. The reason: When I practice with the CD I'm able to do the correct vinyasa count. I don't dawdle, I jump through and direct into the asana.

During the second part I practiced on my own. I wanted to repeat kurmasana. I wanted to add forward split and eka pada sirsasana. I wanted to work on the asanas that need extra love and attention.

It seems to me as if many yoginis want to practice second series. But primary has indeed some asanas that repeat in second series. Tittibasana A (see picture) is a transition in primary and an asana in second series. It's not easier to hold it longer. One can start exercising it when practicing primary. It comes after bhuja pidasana, kurmasana and supta kurmasana.

Enough, it was good, it's done. The vinyasas needs to be practiced in separate sessions.

OH, I must move on.......I must.

It can be, it can that when we learn not to avoid difficult asanas on the mat, that we also have the courage and strength to face difficult situations in life. 

On learning


Repetition is one of the key words re learning.

It only makes sense to repeat correct things.
An example: To repeat the wrong spelling of a word doesn't improve English skills. It needs to be correct.
In Ashtanga yoga a sloppy practice over years can even lead to injuries. We need to work precisely.

I just thought it also makes sense to focus on the 20% that are important.
Reluctance is felt. I know what these 20% are regarding jumping through. It's building more strength. It's being able to lift my body up while on my knees. If I cannot hold this pose jumping back is impossible.

Also in order to come up from almost all back banding asanas I need more strength in my legs. On the picture is utkatasana. Going deeper, holding it longer is it. I know the asanas that improve my leg strength.

No pain, no gain, Sharat uses to say.
I'd substitute pain for discomfort. If no discomfort is felt at all, one can be sure that one is avoiding the hot spots. But with time I learned to handle discomfort. Correct breathing, engaging the muscles help to stand it. A relaxed face is also important. The author of one of the stretching books I read even recommended to smile when stretching as this sends the message to the nerves that everything is OK and then it's possible to let go, to stretch. The body stops protecting itself.

1. Today I'll focus on the vinyasas.
2. I'll repeat those asanas that need still some attention like upavistha konasana, kurmasana, urdhva dhanurasana.
3. The correct vinyasa count is important as well.

Learning also means to check if something is learned. In school most of us didn't like to have tests. They have advantages and not only that we learn to handle stress. It's a control. It can show what is  understood and what not. If something is learned it can be an opportunity to stop for a moment and celebrate and enjoy the success.
This week is already over, but next Friday I'll reflect what I've done re my weak points in primary.

How do you speed up your learning?

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Ashtanga yoga is character building


We're a herd of individualists in our Mysore class.
I admired M this morning that he doesn't give up, neither a yogini/yogi nor the idea.
Giving up is out of question for him.

For me, too. I've a long breath.

My daily yoga practice made me stronger, my body became stronger, but my mind, too.

Ashtanga yoga gives the opportunity to get to know oneself, but only if one has the courage to look.
Ashtanga yoga is a tool to enhance life but only if it's practiced comme il faut.

My topic is dristhi and focus for the time being. Intensity.
I must focus on the 20% that is important, everything else is avoiding the essentials.

Looking around, making extra movements, taking breaks only use up the available energy and time.
My daily practice reminds me of being focused and it gives me the opportunity to exercise it.

Tomorrow is primary day. The vinyasas and back bending shall be my focus.


Drishti



Unbelievable, I changed my journal writing routine. A simple but profound question is added. In the beginning I ask myself now: What do I want to write about? Then I stick to it. The effect is huge as I indeed stick to a topic. Writing becomes that way like searching mushrooms. One moves away the leaves and finds one mushroom i.e.. Where there is one, there are others too, usually. It's good to move the other leaves, too and voilà, here we go. And it's the same when writing: One story leads to the next.

Yesterday I wrote about my early writing experiences. It's was a topic that I found in a book by Kate Thompson. I remembered that we had to write beautifully in school. Minimum 2 hours every week we exercised this skill. Nowadays I'd call beautiful "readable". Then I remembered our boring composition test in school: these, antithese, conclusion. I thought this was it, but then my first love letters came into memory. My first boyfriend studied sports in another city and he wrote me daily. Very detailed he described his day and what he's learned every day. Sometimes he also made little drawings to show me what he meant. Very special were the little funny sentences on the envelope. I had to write him back of course which was not such an easy task. Often I wrote one letter several times. I had not sooooooo much to say. And then I remembered my first journals, the postcards that I used to write. To write postcards is a nice habit. It's a bit of time spent and brings a lot of joy.

What I wanted to say: To have a topic gives direction and depth can happen if one sticks to it. Surprises happen. It's amazing what is stored in the memory.

It's the same with photography: Most people, me too, walk around with a camera on vacation i.e. Then they see anything, a red car i.e. or a monument and then they take the picture. Then the next and the next, that's it. Work and I use this word in a most positive sense starts when a topic is given. Darren Rowse gives every week a topic, i.e. once we had the topic: refrigerator. How to present this? Ah..............

Also when I practice yoga I usually have an intention. Years ago I couldn't stick to it. I.e. I wanted to observe the breath, but after the sun salutations this was forgotten and my mind was busy remembering what comes next and I wondered what a pose is aiming at and so on. My concentration improved. It became easier to stick to a topic. I'm able to go further when this practice becomes challenging.
I discover the dristhis in my practice. Don't look in the direction you don't want to drive I learned when I learned to drive a car. We had to drive at night once. A car was coming from the opposite direction. The eyes automatically looked in the direction of the light, which is very dangerous. It's very likely that one drives in that direction. Dristhi to gaze at a certain point, to keep the eyes calm, calms the mind and gives focus. Intensity happens and this is satisfactory.

Never look in the direction you don't want to go.

Mysore class is on the schedule this morning. Dristhis shall be my focus, looking in the direction I want to move.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

On love


For I., who wished this topic: 

I've to start dramatically. A few years back I watched TV, they broadcasted a documentary about people who had killed their beloved ones, the lover, wife, girl-friend.
- A student had killed his girl-friend out of jealousy. There was no reason for this.
- An actrice had killed her younger lover because he offended her due to her age. (She was a bit above 40 that time.)
- An 80 year old man had killed his wife of the same age. For decades they haven't talked much anymore with each other.
The persons had all different walks of life, they were all different from character and age but they all came finally to the conclusion: love must always me altruistic, otherwise it's no love.

That's it. I get to the point quickly: Love means to be happy when the beloved one is happy.

Everything else is not bad or good, but no love:
Often love is confused with business.  I give you this, but I want that, whatever this is. Sometimes we want to get fulfilled our sexual needs. Or we need a partner because we cannot stand it to be alone. Some people fear to be alone when old and this is why they want to make a partner stay with them. All this is often called love, but in my view it deserves other names.

To be happy with oneself and the own life helps a lot to love others or the one and only one.
When I've written my journal (I love to express myself with words), when I've done my yoga practice I've the feeling that  I got already something from the cheesecake of life. And my cheesecake portion is rather big. My view. I know nobody who likes to have my life, hahaha.....I feel good, and then it's easier to see others happy, too. It's even a joy to observe it.
Find something that makes you feel good about yourself and your life. This might be a first step to become a good lover.

A few weeks back my E and myself were in a café. He said to me: When we fly to Hawaii this year (now it's out, yep the flights to these islands are booked already for November), then you will have perhaps enough "miles and more" to travel to Rishikish. This made me speechless and this is not so often that I've nothing to say. Yes, he loves me, I think. E doesn't like to travel to India for reasons I can understand. My trips to India are my thing. The "miles and more" idea make my trip so much more likely. His idea. He was finding a solution for fulfilling my wishes. He likes to see me happy. That's it.

I've been already in India twice alone. Of course I was asked if I were married. I answered usually that I had a boyfriend but he didn't like to travel to India. Then he trusts you, was often the next sentence. But this is not the point when we talk about love. It's not that a person tells another person, I don't control you, but I'm sure you only do what I like you to do! No matter what the beloved person likes to do shall be OK, because this is it what makes the beloved person happy. I usually don't discuss this. Why should I.
Liberty-loving little dove U is flying around, but she will return to a man who loves her. So it is.

And then it happens that a beloved person leaves us. This is impossible and scarcely understandable. Nevertheless this happens. We're alone again.



It can help enormously to focus on the sides of this person that were difficult for us, the shortcomings. No person is perfect. It helps to see the difficulties in the relationships, the things that made us mad. I don't think that it's necessary to make this all public. A journal is always a good company. Friends might listen, too. But finally when the wounds are healed a bit it should be possible to think again: If the beloved person thinks he/she is happy without us then this is it what should be OK for us, too. If it's not OK, it wasn't love. To wish him/her luck should be possible.
I often observe other behavior.

A vacuum doesn't remain forever is my experience, but it must be created. Letting go is a skill. Not only broken glasses need to go, but thoughts, too. People cannot be substituted. New people, new experiences wait along the way.

I consider myself open-minded and I meet a lot of people. Only with a few the contact intensifies and remains over years. When such intensive encounters happen, when intimacy happens, I enjoy.

Loving is an action word. It's a skill that we can exercise......

Love and erotic is not limited to the sexual intercourse. It starts much earlier. Love and erotic can infiltrate an entire life. It starts how a person moves, takes a shower, dresses....... When have you looked consciously into the eyes of another person? It starts here...........

Loving can be exercised in many ways on a daily basis. We're all surrounded by needy people. And when we meet again a person who makes our heart jump around........we're a good lover........because we're in peace with ourselves and because we learned about the joy of giving........

This theory is also a plan for action:
What do my beloved people desire?
Can I give it?
It is a joy to give and to see joy in the eyes of a beloved one.
I love to observe how my bf eats my hot and spicy lentil soup.........

I feared this, it's all a bit a mess and more a rambling post than an analysis. But so it is with love: unpredictable, crazy, the chili in life.

Monday, October 10, 2011

There is always an alternative.....


This morning it was rainy and dark outside. I hide under my yellow umbrella that looks like a sun while I walked to the tram. Soon a tram arrived, a few stations later I got off again. I change the vehicles at the main station. I took the steps down to the tunnels. A subway was already waiting. I wanted to jump in when I heard the announcement: There was an emergency at Marienplatz and the subway would have a delay. Emergency usually means that someone jumped in front of a subway to commit suicide. There is always an alternative, I thought when I heard the message, why couldn't this person see this. And finally we all will die, nothing needs to be done. Too late for this person. Life seemed unbearable.
The commuters started using their posh cell phones: "Hi, Mr XY here, I'll be later today." In Germany it's important to be punctual.

I decided to take another tram to get to the yoga studio. It was crowded, I reached my destination and enjoyed my yoga practice. I hurried to get home afterwards as I wanted to have lunch with E today. He's working from home. I've mixed feelings: I loved to have lunch with him, it's nice to have him at home, but these loud phone calls and conf calls are a bit much. It's so difficult to focus on my own stuff.

Sitting at my desk again the phone rang. I got a job offer, 2 or 3 hours on 3 or 4 days every week and round the corner. This would be great. The person who contacted me was also very friendly. Now my fingers are crossed. I want it. To receive a money shower from time to time is indeed very good for me. The job would allow me to continue working on my projects and to enjoy my yoga practices in the morning.
There are always alternatives. Yes!


Sunday, October 09, 2011

Led class means to be led.....


Led class means to be led......and not practicing according to ones own rhythm. Only because one knows already what's coming next does not mean that one should be faster than the group.
This is the challenge. To listen and to move on when it's counted.

But why am I writing this. I do listen. When I don't listen I lost concentration. Listening is also a concentration exercise.
I learned to listen  in Mysore. Saraswathi told me this. I thought I was listening in a led class but obviously I must have been slower or faster than what was counted. I couldn't believe it first, but a yogi assured that I didn't listen. Next time I was very attentive and I realized the difference. Then I listened.

When listening to the teacher it's less possible to "cheat". Then one has to hold the difficult poses a bit longer as usual. Also the vinyasas have to be done as counted. This is the challenge. It can be that one has to go faster in an asana as usual.

In some ways being led is easier. The struggle with myself, the inner dialogue to hold a pose as long as it is supposed to be is not existent. I also don't have to remember what comes next. On the other hand to hold the asanas as long as counted or to go in a pose quickly as it's counted correctly is the challenge.

To be led also means to let go of the often unconscious thought: I know it better than you. I listen to myself, my inner voice, my own body or whatever.
Led class means following. And this can be a wonderful experience.

A led class is not a Mysore class while someone is counting.

The different rhythm can indeed give insights.

I enjoyed the class this late afternoon. Once a week a led class is a good thing. It's as it is supposed to be and how it is taught in Mysore. A lot can be learned. It's a shift from myself to someone else.

I'm very happy with the offer that we have here in Munich finally. It cannot be better. One night and tomorrow is second series on the schedule. Wonderful. 

Saturday was a day off from yoga.....


Household things had to be done. It kept me busy yesterday.
Beauty over practicability. I put my blender in the cupboard. My mother is probably right when she says: "If you don't see it, you don't use it." But I saw my blender every day and didn't use it so often. Yesterday I created space on top, not in the cupboard. The kitchen is the first room that one enters when one enters my home. It's so to say the first impression that one gets from my villa motley.
Spices had to go. There is always stuff that I find that has to go because it's too old or because I don't use it. Decluttering is so important. Garbage cannot be organized. So true. I know now that to let go is an ongoing process. I celebrate this. I create room for new things that way.
I'm alone with my cleaning actions. I do less but more diligent.
I'm not through everything. I will go on today for 1 hour. 1 hour daily is needed to have a modest level of cleanliness at home. My hairdresser cleans one hour every day, too.
A kitchen must be clean. What I expect in restaurants I want to have at home, too. I enjoy when things are organized. My spices are in alphabetical order. The mixtures stand all together. That way I don't have to search long when I'm cooking.

I always know the next step. 2 doors need to be cleaned. They are on my list for today. And the bathroom, the sink needs some attention.

My effort is to make things simpler, simpler, simpler. To combine an intensive yoga practice and to work and to be responsible for the home requires to improve organizational skills.

I set my pomodoro yesterday, it's one of my timer. It's indeed a a tiny but effective trick to limit time for any activity.
- Firstly: It helps to start. Everybody can work 25 min on anything.
- Secondly: I work fast as the time is limited. Time limit intensifies this time.
- Thirdly: I don't forget to take breaks to recover a bit after a certain period and then I start freshly for another 25 min.
- Fourth: I've an overview and stop at a decent time when other activities are on my list, too.
- Fifth: Knowing how long I worked for a project fulfills me with satisfaction.

I've three timer, hahaha: 
1. an alarm clock that wakes me up in the morning.
2. a pomodoro that I can set for 25 min or less. It structures my work.
3. a meditation timer, that I use for meditation or when I want to be in savasana for 10 min.


Yoga didn't happen yesterday, not even the planned moon sequence that lasts one hour.
Saturday is my yoga free day. Free means not that I want to do nothing, but I don't want to do an exhausting Ashtanga series. Shall it be OK. Today my yoga week starts with primary in a led class. How easy it is to pack the clothes and to jump into the subway for a class. It requires so much more self-discipline to move at home.

Self-discipline will be a topic for next week.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Thinking about Ashtanga yoga


Since M is back I've the feeling I changed the streets. I was on a bumpy road and now I'm on the autobahn. With high speed my yoga practice will improve now again. This is at least my feeling. Motivation not to avoid the weak points is high. Making the best out of the time I spent with my yoga practice is what I want to do. No faking around, but practicing to the limits is what I want to exercise, and this is fun.

My finger type by themselves.  I wanted to write about self-practice:
My view is it needs to accompany  Mysore classes. The Ashtanga series invite even to do so, as they are fixed. It's not necessary to be creative in addition. Not everybody has this talent to invent anything.
Practicing alone helps to learn being self-disciplined, but not only. It helps to be more content on the way. There will always be situations where we are on our own. The teacher might move to another city or he might be on vacation. It can be that we travel a lot or that our work doesn't allow us to practice in classes. Then our home practice or hotel practice is available. It might be a bumpy road, but it can have it's beauties, too. There is no autobahn to heaven. Never.

In the last Mysore class M told a nice story, it fits here. Perhaps I may repeat it here, it's a nice metaphor:
Someone is climbing a mountain. After hours of climbing and sweating he/she finally arrived the top. An amazing view was the reward. Then he/she looked to the right. There was a parking slot with a lot of cars. People were enjoying the view, the same view. Nevertheless there is a difference.
(My remark: don't avoid effort, it makes the difference. The bumpy road is worth travelling, too.)

Jumping through: The picture today is an older one from 2007. From time to time I must have exercised already to lift my body up to prepare myself to jump through.
Yesterday I watched again the video by Maria Villella:
I think all the 4 steps that she mentions can be practiced isolated.
- On the picture above is step one. The effort is to bring the knees closer to the chest and to lift up the body as high as possible.
- Step two is to swing the legs through the arms. I can do this, too. But then I get weak already. I cannot hold this position long.
- Postion three is to bend the arms but to keep the legs in the air. No way so far to do it, I don't know how I should do it. This I must explore. I fear I need more strength.
- Position four is chaturanga dandasana. The legs fly back into this position.

Time for the moon sequence even though it's the morning. Hehehe.........