Saturday, December 31, 2011

In Munich


It was uncomfortable to drive home. A mixture of snow and rain came from heaven. We could only drive very slowly.


I'm amazed about my 85mm lens. This pictures was taken from the car. I looked to the right and click - this is the result. Not that bad is my opinion.


Ha, at home. First I turned on the heater. Then I unpacked my vegetables. Before cooking I must decide which music I'll turn on. And then I'll cut my carrots and red pepper and garlic. Thai food is our last dinner.

I wish you all a wonderful evening.
New Year wishes come tomorrow. 

It's still the morning....


It's 10:08am, I call it morning. I'll give him another 30 min of sleep as he went to bed late. Was it after midnight when he finally went to bed. Can be.

My mother has the geese already in the tube. Two big animals are stewing there.
We'll have vegetables. Yes, poor E. But I know better what is good for him and for me: carrots, red pepper, tofu. I got a salad yesterday from my mother with everything (except animal products of course). It's good not to compromise too much. The salad was fantastic.



If E will drive it's 2 hours, if I'll drive it's 3 hours till we'll be in Munich again.
I love my villa motley, indeed. It's tiny, but it's cosy and warm. I'm yearning for my luxury yoga mat, my mess, my bath tub, my own bed.

Time to wake up E.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Arrived


It was an exhausting road trip. We left G's home much later than wished. It was the golden hour when we sat in the car. I had my camera handy and took pictures. My camera shows a beautiful Germany.


One night at my parents home and tomorrow we'll be in Munich again.

I'm looking forward to being at home again. My own bed, my yoga mat, what a luxury.
And my flat is super warm. :)

This counts.


This counts: sun salutations, standing sequence, paschimottanasana and closing sequence is a practice. 
It was so good and easier than I thought. 

Yep. Tomorrow the same please. Then I'm ready for the new year. 

Happy with the happenings?


Bad question. Hahaha.....

In 2 hours we'll drive in the direction to Munich. 2 hours are available for sun salutations, showering and packing.

We have already  invitations. The 31rd we'll go to a neighbor. She has invited some people, outgoing people, people who are interested in physics and esoteric. Hahaha, this is a good tension. I love it when my bf meets people who know what Maxwellsche equitation is. This will please him. R will buy Krapfen from the best bakery downtown. We'll bring Champagne and midnight is organised. The Krapfen will be our dessert.

And the next day she'll prepare an Indian dinner. This is also very good.

When I'll have the courage I'll ask if they like me to take pictures. I need models in the new year.

So time for some sun salutations. I so feel like moving. My body and my soul wither when I don't move and breath. 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Shopping spree...


It's a ritual to drive to Hannover between Christmas and New Year. Prices are low and so we found some goodies (shoes,scarves, nightdresses).

It shall not be that I practice. I miss it. Either I sleep too long or I think it's too cold, or my stomach is full or we drive downtown. The excuses are endless. It's good that I miss my practice.
My head is clear again. Might it happen that I find the way out of the bed early tomorrow.
After lunch we'll drive home. The first stage will be my parents again. On Saturday I'll be at home again. Yepeeeeeeee. How I will enjoy my tiny warm villa motely.

The planning of the New Year Eve menu is in full swing. I think of something Thai inspired. Yeah, I'll cook.

The last year makes it's last inhalings and exhalings. I can sense it. I'm ready for the new one. :)

Self-discipline in 10 days.....


I'm a bit in a hurry now. 3 days are left in this old year to start and finish the book "Self-discipline in 10 days". It's btw a good book, excellent even. I started it and after a few chapters only I was so self-disciplined that I stopped reading and started acting. I got lazy again and now I want to start and finish it. If one works alone, if one is independant it's so important not only to dream but to act. Not to procrastinate IS important if one wants to accomplish something. I need more self-discipline. Hahahaha......

To keep going make things easier.

The correct counting in my Ashtanga practice is a pointer to get going. Too many breaks interrupt the flow. It's so much more difficult to stop and go, to stop and go, instead of being in the flow. When flowing the body becomes hot and soft and the mind has no time for redundant questions and jumping around to other topics. There is time for dreaming and thinking and worrying and being optimistic, too, but not when something shall be accomplished.

Oh, I know the theory.

So this yellow book is in front of me. I'll learn some new techniques and I'll be motivated for the new year.

Many bloggers look back. What has happened in 2011, they wonder.
I make it short. I had a lot of time for yoga, I had time for friends. I also worked on my projects (not enough). It was a good year. lol. It's as if I was sowing in 2011 and in 2012 I'll harvesting. I shall see, I'll let me surprise.

Also in the next year I want to practice Ashtanga yoga, I want to have time for friends and please I look to the ceiling, please, I look again to the ceiling, most good things shall come from above (not sure about this, lol), so please, shall my projects start flying. I want to do what is possible from my side. 

It was a fight


It was a fight between pain and tiredness yesterday night. Finally the pain in form of a headache faded and sleep could happen. Was I happy in the morning when I realized that I fell asleep finally. I had massaged my head for hours, it seemed so. It was more that I did anything. It was 11am when I opened my eyes, still a bit dizzy.

The very cold water in my face this morning was awesome.

Ah, my head is clear again. Life can go on.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I've a headache.


...and no Aspirin here.
I move my head to the right and to the left. I breathe deeply, nothing helps. I role my head. And I hope that it disappears. This pain. In my head.

Never ever travel without Aspirin. 

I sip water. Shall this help.

It distracts me, to write.

It develops to a migraine. I moan and curse.

The picture on this post represents winter for me. Darkness, uniformity.

Disappear you headache, hush, hush.......I want to sleep.

I like it.


Yeah, I like it: my new pictures.

Yesterday E picked me up at the station. In front of the station was a Christmas market. We stopped there for a last glow wine for this year. An older couple asked if they could join us at our table. As soon as they settled down the woman started to tell what she didn't like. She didn't like to pay 150 Euro for a dinner at new year's eve. She didn't like to get home with the public transportation at night. If she had to do this the whole evening would have been spoiled for her. She went on and on.

- I've friends who only like dresses from a certain brand.
- Once a friend visited me and she only liked to walk on the one side of the street, not on the other side. One side seemed too tight, the other side seemed to be bright. It was very important to walk on the bright side.

The new medias enforce this simple thinking pattern. Every day I'm asked if I like a video, a picture, a statement, or simply the new profile picture of someone.

It is all very simple. This is indeed a bit too simple for me.


This question "do I like it?" might indeed even make sense from time to time to be able to make decisions. I prefer pastel shades to black. It helps me to make a quick decision what clothes to buy, to give only one ecample.
I experience an invasion of this question. 

Often the likes and dislikes are learned. It can make sense to question them.
Best example is the weather. We all know what bad weather is. Even in the radio they speak about bad weather which is mainly rain and low temperature in Germany. In other regions of this world this is already different. An Indian friend of me likes the cold snowy weather here in Germany. Thinking of "bad weather" can spoil even a good mood. In my opinion this question doesn't make sense if it has so much influence on my well-being. I love the sentence: There is no bad weather, only bad clothes.

Sometimes it doesn't help to question why something is liked and why something is not liked.
Sometimes we have to accept our preferences. It will always be so that we like things and that we don't like other things. It depends how strong we're influenced by it.

As long as we live, our bodies will always show us limits, no matter how flexible we are. I think with the mind it's similar. It's possible to exercise the mind to become flexible, which means for me to see more aspects of the same thing.

We all have thinking patterns. It's surely interesting to examine those.
"I like it", "I don't like it" is only one approach to anything and it's a simple pattern. We all use it.

As mentioned already: Not only the body can become flexible, also the mind.
Why not approach anything with a new question?
Re a new difficult asana it's possible to ask how to learn it instead of asking if we like it or not.
Re the weather the question what to dress to feel good might be more helpful than to ask if we like it.
Every event has different sides. Why not finding out the best and the worst side of it.

Finding a new approach to life events is a training for the mind. Best is to write down the results.

The world is more colorful, it's not only black and white, it's not only "I like it", "I don't like it".

Practicing asanas keeps the body flexible.
Observing oneself and to look for thinking patterns and to add new ways of seeing things can make the mind flexible.

What are your favorite thinking patterns?

PS: To travel is in my view a good exercise to stay flexible. 

Is that possible?


We woke up at 11am. We couldn't believe the alarm clock. "Look at your watch", E said. It showed the same. This is impossible. We went to bed late, but not too late.
It should obviously be so that we sleep so long. E's brother didn't get up earlier, too. This must have something to do with the north. Once I've heard that everybody sleeps longer in the north of Germany. Wow a good excuse for not finding the way out of bed.

We must walk, we must. The weather is too good. The sun is shining. There is a sea very close and I want to use the weather for some nice pictures.

PS: That way my back bending won't improve. Hahahaha.......


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

On the road again.....


"If you come earlier, we can be a bit longer downtown."

Yeah, I'll take a train earlier to the north of Germany to see my E. He loves my company.
We usually go downtown Hannover when I arrive. It's time for a last glow wine for this season and afterwards we usually have a tea in a café. It's the first day after the Christmas holidays and people exchange their presents in the shops. Some people buy new stuff as the prices are down on everything between Christmas and New Year.

5 more days in the old year.
I'm looking forward to the new year.
It's planned that I cook a Thai dinner on New Year's eve. It was my idea. Time comes to search some exciting recipes.

Focus and simplicity are the markers through the new year.

We eat early here for lunch. My mother prepared a very delicious salad.

It seems as if my mind is empty. I never understood why this shall be a goal. From time to time it might be relaxing not to think. In general I love my brain activities. One shall only not confuse it with the truth. It's entertainment, stories. 

Monday, December 26, 2011

I trust.....


At 10am I started my practice.
Today is Monday and Mondays are reserved for second series.
Not every practice is intensive, not every practice has highlights, but oh what was I happy that I practiced. It's good for me to move, I feel this. To sit on the sofa all day long and to interrupt this sofa time only to eat is exhausting for me. I need to move. Indeed my yoga practice became a need. It was not sure if I'd practice today. The beginning was difficult as it's much fresher here than at home or in the shala in Munich. I started and the freshness made me move. (It's only felt freshness. It's of course warm here.)

Every practice becomes easier when other parts of life support it: enough sleep, healthy food, optimistic attitude, daily practice help to perform these crazy asanas of Ashtanga yoga. Often we self-sabotage ourselves. Ashtanga yoga is a life-style and not only limited to a practice of 2 hours in the morning. But this develops with time. Practicing asanas has life-changing potential. We're not yet a yogi when we're able to spell the word. Or what I've read somewhere: there are practitioners of all levels.....:)
The photographers say: Do you still take snapshots, or do you already take pictures.
This might translate to the yogic life: Do you still practice "only" asanas or are you already a yogini? Also practicing asanas can be much more than forcing the body in a position. Combined with a deep breath and dristhi it can become meditative.

I'm relaxed and happy that I practiced after 3 days off.

Also tomorrow I'll have time for second series.
In the afternoon my round trip will continue. I'll travel to the north of Germany to see E and G and A......:) 

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Sofa time


The birds flew away when they saw me with my camera. I had to move the curtain. They are so attentive. They realized at once that something was moving.There on this naked tree they felt safe. Hehe, I could capture them with my camera.

Another Christmas day is almost over. It seems to me as if it's all about eating. We're even watching a program on cooking and eating. It's interesting what these women create. Years of experience stands behind these meals.

Tomorrow I'll get back to a more modest life-style.

Simplicity!
Simplicity!
Simplicity!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

It has been a long way......


....to such a lovely practice like this morning (8 years of daily practice).
The joints felt as if they were just oiled. I felt strong. One asanas followed the next. Flow was experienced. Yep. It was a long way to that level. Nevertheless I'd say I've not yet left the basic challenges. It's close, perhaps 2 more years or one, and then I'll be able to jump forward AND backward without touching the floor with my feet. This is for me the moment where I think that the basic stuff is somehow understood. Learning never stops. 
After 10 years it will become easier a friend once told me. She is so right. 


At home I practice full vinyasas, a variation of how it's supposed to be. Grimmly draw my attention again to the book "Astanga yoga" by Lino Miele and Sri K. Patthabhi Jois. Here the first and second series is described with full vinyasas. I'll study it again a bit closer and next time I'll follow the instructions of the book. Also during the closing sequence one returns to samasthitih, again and again, i.e.. 

Prasarita padottanasana A through D are separated asanas. I even think that this makes sense. My experience is that for each asana the feet need to be in a different distance from each other. For the first asana they need to be closer together if I like to to keep the back straight. For C they need to be further away from each other when I want to take my hands down to the floor (not possible yet when I try it alone). 
Doing all the vinyasas will make the practice a bit longer, for sure. I want to try it. 

The picture is taken in Munich. 

Still 10 days


Yesterday was the last Mysore class for me in this year. The shala was crowded, almost like in India. The energy could be felt. Redundant to say that I loved this last Mysore class.
One month I'll be on my own now. Yes, indeed, it's that long. I'll not only be on my own, I'll have to practice on different places, at my parents home and at G's home. Getting out of the routines is always an exercise for the mind. It tests the level of flexibility that is possible. It shows also how important this practice is. If it's important it's also possible to practice, also if the rooms are a bit colder, also if the place is not so perfect. A few sun salutations count as a practice.

I know people who like Christmas, my bf i.e. He likes to be at my parents home and he likes to spend time with his mother. I love this attitude. Why not enjoying parts of the celebrations if the whole thing seems to be too big and hectic. This was (is) my mental exercise: I will focus on the things I like. This is for sure to have time with E. We had a coffee together outside.
I asked him: "What could I like about Christmas?"
He: "The presents you get." Hahaha, very true.

There are of course a few more things. The first glow wine on one of these Christmas markets is one of the things I like. To burn candles, to eat oranges, to knit are all habits that belong to that time, too and they come with the feeling joy.
I love to look back of the last year and I love to plan the new one.

A tip for being organized well:
I have a register in my calender for recipes and the ingredients that I need to prepare it. On my way home from yoga i.e. I can stop at a grocery store and buy exactly what I need. This saves time an money. In order to eat healthy one must cook. This is my experience.

Multi-tasking is out.
Focus has a lot of power.

Every practice has so many aspects: The asanas, the breath, the concentration, the vinyasas, the attitude, self-discipline to practice alone. One aspect is often easier than another aspect. My understanding of the asanas has deepened in the last years, so the performance. I'll shift my focus to the vinyasas and a concentrated practice. The correct vinyasa count seems to be a pointer to practice concentrated. It tells: practice without interruption. Don't procrastinate. Keep going. This also calms the mind. No time is created for thoughts like: OMG now kapotasana.......

Time to step on my mat. Primary is on the schedule.
Will it be the last practice at my home for this year? I think yes.

People at the door: No, I don't want to buy the Bible.

Inhaling, pause, exhaling, pause, inhaling.............

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

It's still before lunch


I feel good after having slept very long. I cannot remember to have switched off my alarm clock which should have made me get out of the bed at 6am. When this happens I'm sure I needed that sleep.

The day yesterday was round. It started with a wonderful yoga practice in a Mysore class. I practice slowly these days. This makes a practice easier. But I also think that my breath became longer, which is good. A long breath is needed to come up from all the back bending asanas. To start the day with an excellent yoga practice is half of the rent for a good day. After yoga it's also lunch time already.
In the last year I focused on second series. Yes, I think the poses got all a bit better, but that's it. My fingers don't touch my toes yet when I practice kapotasana, I'm still not able to come up from urdhva dhanurasana. Mayurasana is somehow possible, also the headstands in the end are nice and handstands improved enormously. For me this is absolutely OK.
1.  Firstly for me it's more important to practice intensively and focused than being able to jump easily from one asana to the next.
2. Secondly I think that if it's difficult to perform an asana the mind is challenged.
- I have to work on the attitude that a pose is possible.
- Perseverance is needed.
- I work on a relaxed state of mind.
- Frustration is observed from time to time, but it has no influence on my behavior. It comes and goes.
3. My mind has the task to understand a pose precisely when I cannot perform it quickly. I've enough time to study it closely. Tiny steps finally lead to an improvement. My ability to learn improves that way.

After my yoga practice I picked up my E for lunch. He's on holidays already. We went to a tiny Italian restaurant round the corner. The owner of this tiny Italian restaurant has renovated the rooms. Sometimes one reaches the opposite of what one wishes. These green walls are ugly. The dark mirrors on the walls shall make the room larger, but it has the big disadvantage that one person always sees himself/herself  in an ugly shaded mirror. The mirrors are too dark to make the room look bigger. The bench on the wall is too high (and green, too), higher than the chairs. So one person sits now higher than the other, this is not good. In addition I fell forward. I changed the seat, but the owner wanted me to change it again as she feared that people who will enter the restaurant will push me. My back showed towards the entrance door, which is not a nice feeling. The chair was more comfortable. There is an open window to the kitchen now. The relationship to the people in the kitchen (one cook is the ex from the woman) is tense sometimes (like everywhere) and now all the guests here the cursing. "Shit", we could all hear her saying, why ever. This dirty green everywhere is so ugly and all the beautiful black and white pictures, presents from guests, are eliminated. Yeah, it's difficult to preview the results of our actions, it's impossible so to say.

In the evening I could cross out some items on my list.
- I bought the filofax sheets for my calender 2012
- I bought the accu for my camera, a present from my parents to me.
Redundant to mention that I've found another book for myself and also a pair of trousers for at home (needed that).

All my energy was evaporated when it was evening. I feel refreshed now, how good.

An email of one of my best friends arrived me yesterday. She wrote in capital letters. DEAR URSULA, I WON'T MANAGE IT TO COME TODAY. Every year we meet for a glow wine on one of the Christmas markets. Not this year. Stay cool, I wrote her back, let's meet next year. Times are hectic before Christmas.

Today the shopping spree continues. 
For me it's like a modern Koan: what to give to people who have everything, wish nothing, nevertheless they expect something (material).
It's again me who gets the most presents. I had wishes. Haha. Nevertheless, I think I'd be happy if this Christmas would be reduced to one good meal together with friends or family. It needn't to be Christmas eve, first Christmas day, second Christmas day. And all this hunting for presents is too much. But perhaps people need these days off to travel to their beloved ones. We too, we've to travel.
I will survive also this Christmas. I feel also a bit unthankful because everybody puts so much effort in this big big celebration and I don't appreciate it so much, because I want less less less.

The best Christmas presents that I found is the one for my brother and his wife: It's a book about hens, "crazy hens" it's called. I didn't now that there exists so different hens and they are so beautiful and crazy, too. I know now from where it comes if someone calls someone a crazy hen.
The feathers of these hens inspire me for outfits for the next year, hahahha.....

It's planned to practice. A sweaty practice makes every day better.

PS: I love daily life. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Attitude


To think that one can everything can be a learning block like the opposite approach that one thinks that things are not possible.

Self-study is a must.
So far I haven't found a better self-studying tool but taking picture of myself and filming myself.

A simple smile eases a too ambitious approach to everything, also to a yoga practice.

For me a yogini works also on a relaxed attitude (not "only" to perform the asanas).

Likes and dislikes, success and failure belong together, they are only opposite sides of the same coin.

My second cup of coffee is next to me. It shall warm me. It's winter time, it's cold here. A thin snow cover is everywhere. I feel reluctance to go out to a Mysore class, but I know how good it will be for me. I go, of course.

I like it, I don't like it, I like it, I don't like it..........is a very simple thinking pattern to view the world. I have enough of it now. As if this is the only decision one has to do when seeing anything, feeling anything, hearing anything. Do I like it?

Time to shower. I don't like it. lol. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Six more days till Christmas.....


......I hope that we'll drive home to my parents the 23rd or the 24th and not earlier. I need the time here to close the last year. I feel hectic, perhaps because so many people are running around and perhaps because my to do list is still so long and perhaps because it's a learned habit.

It's 2:04pm and we had breakfast. lol.

This old year has still 13 more days. I want to celebrate New Year evening at home. If this will be possible depends on the weather (as every year). When the streets will be icey ans full of snow we'll be stuck in the north of Germany. Before worrying about this it makes more sense to focus on the next action.

I've still one hour and then I want to go to a led class. Yesterday I didn't practice. Time is running through my fingers. On my desk is a yellow book that is smiling at me every day. It's called "Self-discipline in 10 days" and it's byTheodore Bryant. It would be good to finish it till the 31st of December.

Enough written here, enough. Tonight I want to be able to cross out some items on my list. 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

I start hiding myself


This new Facebook timeline thing killed my time. 


Facebook introduced the new timeline format. From the 24th December on everybody will have it. I switched today to see what it is. And it drove me crazy. Suddenly all my likes were visible to everybody, not only which pages I like, but also which links I like, which is much more detailed. It's even allocated to the time when I clicked on the like button.

- This makes the first page of my Facebook account a mess.
- In addition I don't like to show publicly all these posts which I might have even "liked" as a matter of politeness or because I had a crazy day and I liked everything on that day.

One by one I made these likes of  links visible for friends only. It took hours, but I think it was necessary. I couldn't see how I could do this faster. Thinking about this timeline and getting furious about this disrespect to publish things that were private so far, I also started hiding my other likes (books that I've read, movies that I've seen, activities that I prefer).
Now too events are shown on that timeline: 
- First is that I was born.
- Second is when I joined Facebook. Hahahaha......Indeed relevant events.

It seems to me that the society divides into two main groups. Those who avoid and even fear the social media like the devil in person.
The second group doesn't care at all.

I still think that the first Facebook page gives a first impression of a person.
Do I really want that everybody (those who like me, those who don't, my stalkers, my former colleagues, my neighbors, all people around the globe no matter which age, religion or attitude, those who I've blocked (also this was necessary already) and and and) can find out within 5 minutes that I liked "I'm a star get me out of here?" in January 2010? My clear answer is: NO.
I've another imagination how I want to present myself  on a first encounter. I don't want to tell my entire life story or what Facebook thinks what it is, including whom I know, what I've read, which music I like, which movies I've seen, what activities I prefer within no time.
Shall people take their time to get to know me, if they want this. Yep.
I discover the art of hiding.
I discover the art of slow approaching each other.

Most people want quick satisfaction. More fun are those pleasures that come with a story, that need time to develop.
Example 1: To stop at a bakery to eat that cake might stop feeling this hunger hole in the stomach quickly. I prefer to go go to a market to buy fresh ingredients and to prepare a meal which tastes much better at the end.
Example 2: To walk up a mountain and to see the view after hours of sweating is much more satisfying than to take the lift and to be up the hill within 15 min. The view is the same, the feeling is different.
Example 3: What a joy is it when after 8 years of exercising and trying it, finally one can stand on the hands only in the middle of the room. Ahhhhh...........
I know further examples, shall this be enough.

Taking time for things and people is not popular. I want it now and at once is what seems so attractive. It isn't. Not always.

New things will always come. I regret that new features are often so inflexible.
We've changed in the last decades. Privacy means something different for the single person of today. Nevertheless it's still something that we shall respect.

My Facebook page shall be more private. It gives me room to express my feelings and things I don't want to share with everybody. Hahaha, poor friends.
On Google+ I'm connected with photographers and yoginis. There people share their work and passion, not so much the daily this and that.
Twitter became a simple marketing tool for me.

It's evening now and I curse. At least I know what killed my time.
I love these social media, but I also think one has to know how one wants to use them.

Signed by an extroverted person.
Being open doesn't mean that it's fun to walk naked on the road all the time. Brhhhhhhh, it's winter time.

Comments are very welcomed.
I love to hear how you find it. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

On the mat I forget my self-made issues.


When I'm on the yoga mat I forget what else I have to do, what else I have to buy. I'm focused. It counts my back bending, it counts how I balance, it counts how I bend forward, I listen to my breath, I feel the stretching discomfort, but this is it. What a relief. Issues disappear. They are all self-made.
To keep this coolness is it.

I'm sitting on my chair and I'm typing in my PC like a wild one.
What is done, what do I still have to do, is the question.
I ran around today.
1. I have a Christmas present for my mother. It's something for the ever-young skin how the salesperson presented the lotion the other day. I could smell that he has had some alcohol, it was 10am in the morning. I'm not a moral person.
2. I have a Christmas present for my father. It's something sweet for his tongue. It's a Sautern. He'll love it.
3. I found a book about hens for my brother and his wife. I wanted to see the hens by myself, hahaha. But they have indeed hens in the garden. They have so awesome hens. They eat their eggs. I hope they love the book, I'm sure they will. The pictures are fantastic. (sorry I respect the copyright). I've pictures of hens, too, see above. Seven little ones are under the feathers, please have a look at the feet. It's a hen from Kauai.

What I still need:
1. Something for E. I had an idea. In that wine shop the man offered me a Sautern from 2001. It costs 100,--. I asked my E if he'd liked it. Oh, he gave me an extra kiss. "Is it worth it", he asked me. Sometimes we ask ourselves: is it worth it. I.e. we see a nice tree while on the road in the car. "Look", I say or he says it, when he sees something nice. Shall we take a picture, we wonder. Is it worth it, we ask ourselves? (In 95% it's worth it.)
2. I need something for E's mother.
3. I need something for his brother. They both have always most wonderful presents for me. E must help me here.

4. I need to buy a substitute battery for my camera. This is what my parents like to give me.

5. This is not a present, but I need a new calender for 2012. I use filofax, I couldn't find the right one today. It's always time-consuming to look for such things.

6. Missed deadlines often means that one has more time for the same task. Tomorrow I have to write a letter. It will need some time for it. It's doable. Yes, it is.

Shall I please also manage it to practice yoga and to do some chores tomorrow. A few days are still left till Christmas. Inhaling, exhaling. All this hectic and in a few days I'll do nothing else but to hang around on sofas.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Goals for 2012


Btw, my last post was the 5,555th one. :) 

My goals for 2012:
1. To maintain a daily Ashtanga yoga practice, 3 times minimum and 6 times maximum seems realistic for me. I'll practice twice primary and 4 times second series.
2. I cannot imagine that it's realistic to add extra sessions to work on the asanas and vinyasas that need extra attention. What seems doable is to repeat asanas during my home practices.
- Repetitions from 3 through 5 times is not too much.
- To hold the asanas for 8 breaths is another method I can apply.
- Pre-exercises are helpful, too.

Re primary it's the vinyasas and upavistha konasana, supta parsvasahita and to stand up from urdhva dhanurasana that needs attention.
Re second series it's kapotasana, pincha mayurasana, karandavasana and the tick tocks that I want to intensify.
3. I want to film the asanas, all of them, and I want to take fresh pictures of the asanas. It's one of the best learning tools I know.
4. How often and when do I like to exercise pranayama and meditation? I'll reflect on it.
5. Visualization shall accompany my practices. It seems to make more sense to visualize asanas or vinyasas than to add another session of practice. It's an exercise for the mind, shall I not neglect the mind, haha.
6. 45 kg. Nothing supports a practice more than this: 47kg pashasana is possible, 46kg all the leg behind head poses become easier if not easy and 45kg made me always experience deep deep back bending asanas. Being consequent with a vegan diet is the secret here.



What else........
It could be fun to go to other studios who offer classes, just to see what's going on in the Munich Ashtanga community. My experience is that one gets often more feed-back in classes than in workshops. Other yoga styles don't interest me anymore. All the music is only a distraction from what is important: to feel oneself and to listen to the breath.

This is a draft. I wrote down what came into my mind. I'll surely rethink it.

It seems as if I work on things.
But finally it's more to be ready and to be open and transparent for what shall happen!!! 


(I love to plan, hahaha. It's a favourite occupation of my mind.)



Pssssst......


Not the asanas are the true challenge, but the vinyasas, the movements that connect the asanas.

Picture is taken at the Chirstmas party yesterday. 

I can cross out


1. I picked up a prescription
2. and bought the L-Tyroxin (I had to go to 2 drug stores). Nothing is done quickly
3. I've a new spectacle box, the old one wasn't to close anymore
4. I had a healthy lunch.

I walked in the cold what felt wonderful after the Christmas party last night.

5. I wrote my journal, I read something uplifting

Whenever anything is done, I'm happy and relieved. Most tasks need longer than I think they would.

Next activity is to vacuum, it's overdue. 

Gifted bodies - the Christmas party


During the show nobody was allowed to take pictures. So I could focus 100% to watch it.

Wow. The dance group came from Australia. The music, the dance, the acrobatic pleased me a lot. The golden 20s were simulated. The show was body art with a tiny bit of S/M touch. Or how shall I interpret it when a woman is dancing in high heels on the body of a man in underwear. Shoes played an important role, mainly those which are not really made for walking.
A striptease of a man was also part of the show. Yep, we saw a most awesome male body.
One man was performing his show blindly on a rope at the peak of the tent, sort of pole dancing perhaps.
There was nothing that did not please me. Indeed I saw an exciting performance yesterday.
It was one of the best Christmas parties for a long time.


Yeah, yeah, we had good seats, too.
Headstands, side and forward splits seemed to be so easy for the one woman. It's a piece of cake I thought, look. I know that I'll change my opinion as soon as I'll be on the mat trying the headstands by myself.

Primary today. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Everything still calm here


The pre-Christmas time always seems to be a bit hectic. I wonder from where all the people come whom I see downtown. They push, pull faces, hunt presents, eat, drink, push again...........The subway is crowded these days. I consider to walk to the station.

Yesterday a reader commented that she eats an apple a day for 40 years. This is impressive. A wonderful habit. I'll substitute my banana with an apple. This happened already today.
What good habits do I have for so long?
I have one. After each warm shower I shower cold. This is so refreshing and good for the skin. I started this when I was 19.
Do you also have a good habit for such a long time? 

Since a decade I write on a daily basis. This is also a good habit. If I wrote only when I had something interesting to say, I wouldn't write. Not each post is exciting or interesting or gives new insights. Some posts might even be boring or embarrassing. This is part of it.
It's the same with yoga. If I'd only practice if I feel good and if it's warm, I wouldn't practice daily. Today I feel slight resistance to go to a Mysore class, but I'll go. I know I'll feel good afterwards.

There is a to do list:
- shopping for Christmas presents
- 2 phone calls
- picking up a prescription
- cleaning - I want to leave these holy walls clean when I leave them for the annual Christmas trip to my parents and then to E's mother where E and she will await me already.

At 5pm I must be ready for the Christmas party. E will pick me up. This year we'll see a show. Dinner is offered, too. Of course there is no Christmas party without food. Yeah, I'm looking forward to it.

It's still time to enjoy the calm morning. I'm showered already and deodorized ( a new vocabulary, hahaha), I'm sipping my second cup of coffee. Soon I'll be ready for the public.

Yoga is a practice for the mind, too. It's a concentration exercise. I'll concentrate on my even breath during the Mysore class.
Nothing needs to be done, all will happen as it shall happen.

Time to move on.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Core postures of second Ashtanga series

Just had to look up the core postures of the second Ashtanga series (in the book by Matthew Sweeney "Astanga yoga as it is".):

1. pashasana ( a deep twist)
2. kapotasana (a deep deep back bending asana)
3. dwi pada sirsasana ( a deep forward bending asana. It's doable for me, but it can improve, of course)
4. karandavasana (a balancing asana)

There is a lot of wonderful work to do. 

I pause...


I pause.
Have I accomplished anything so far, I wondered? I have.
1. We, my E and myself had breakfast outside.
2. I've already a Christmas present for my mother. She mentioned a wish. Of course I also found a parfume for myself (Zen by Shiseido)
3. I picked up a book on photography, that I had ordered.
4. Grocery shopping is done. My better-half wants to lose weight. "Do you think we can lose 1 kilo in the next 2 days?" he asked me this morning. He always speaks of "we" when he wants to lose weight, lol. Yes, we can. I've ingredients for a salad here. I could write only about weight and food. Every day. This is an on-going topic in the Western world as basic as it might be.


5. As I feel so busy these days I had lunch in a new restaurant round the corner. They offer dark beer. This will interest E. This Italian restaurant has the potential to become a favorite place.


6. My boots need to get repaired. They are in the make now and some summer shoes, too.

I got a question about my book? No stress please. It's not forgotten. It's construction in repair. I'll get back to it.

This all sounds as if it's not much, but it is, with all the commuting.

In addition I wrote my journal like every day. I read 2 chapters in the book "Confessions of a public speaker" by Scott Berkun which is entertaining and uplifting.
A letter is written and sent.

Sigh.
I can't help, so is my life. It's fun, I love it, but sometimes I've the feeling time is running through my fingers. I care less when I was busy. What shall happen, will happen.

What comes next:
I'll clean the floors and I'll iron.

My practice had to wait today: I'm much more relaxed now with all the things done already. My trips lately reminded me to stay flexible. On the road one has to be flexible. When at home one can create very strict routines. Routines help in general to accomplish things. If they are too strict they can become stressful, too. As long as I practice 3 times a week my world shall be OK.
It's not night yet and I feel like practicing. 

An apple a day....


Just had an apple for breakfast with some nuts and a soy yogurt. It inspired me to look up how healthy apples are for my health. Here is a link. Apples are also good for the lungs and the bones and they don't have fat. Hahahaha.......

With a tiny healthy breakfast my day starts good.
I'm curious how it will go on.

My practice: For the time being I give karandavasana a lot of attention. I exercise tiniest steps and even these tiniest steps like lowering the legs folded in padmasana for 1 inch only seem to be almost impossible. I'm convinced, also karandavasana can be possible for me in this lifetime. It will take years. Having it difficult has one huge advantage: One strengthens the mind, one learns to become patient. To practice tiniest steps that lead in the wished direction again and again is the secret to success finally.
Sometimes it's the same in life, tiniest steps can also be enough to reach the limits on a given day. Shall I be relaxed today.

Second series is on my schedule today. Home practice. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

It's late


Just returned from the Christmas market close to the Odeonsplatz. They simulate a market place of the Middle Ages. It's fun. Therefore food is more expensive and not so good as on other Christmas markets. Haha.....

On the way home I saw this backyard, see picture.

I thought I'd be still a bit prolific after this little evening adventure. But I feel like going to bed. I don't even clean the kitchen anymore and this is a strong evening routine.
I want to sleep, I only think of sleeping sleeping sleeping...........

A list of things that needs to be done exists already. Shall I do all this?????????


The Rolling Stones - As Tears Go By



Instead of a post about asanas........it's music time here.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A pearl of sweat was running down my body....


I went to a led class tonight and I could experience a most intensive practice.

What pleases me most is not that I'm able to do all the asanas of primary Ashtanga series. Indeed I'm one of the few (if not the only one today in the led class) who was able to do supta kurmasana or garbha pindasana on my own. Of course I love to be able to do it.
More important is that I'm able to practice intensively. I have access to my energy. I'm able to give let's say 95%. This gives my practice focus, intensity and this makes it exhausting and relaxing at the same time. The extremes are both felt.
Exhausting is my practice because the energy is available, I can use it for the practice.
Relaxing it is because I focus on what is NOW. No other worries or thoughts disturb the peace of the now. Also Christmas wishes and New Year wishes don't exist. Hahaha....

And then I was in headstand and a pearl of sweat was running down between my breasts towards my chin. Feeling this sensation on my hot skin makes me happy. I kept focusing on my deep breathing, but this is it: a pearl of sweat running down of my body. Ahhhhhhhhh................

My E picked me up after yoga. He was on time. Hahahaha. I teased him. We went to an Italian restaurant and we had some time together. In the restaurant we met colleagues of him. We greeted each other, exchanged friendly words. Then we enjoyed the evening.

A bath now...........

PS: I just thought that what I described above is one of the unwritten goals of yoga. Practicing these deep asanas soften emotional blocks  and finally they disappear. This allows that the energy can run freely through the body again. This gives the feeling of liberation. This gives energy.


Yesterday was my yoga free day....


....which does not mean that I didn't watch some Youtube yoga videos. My body could rest.

More important is that I had time for other things: cleaning i.e. When I don't know anymore where to put my cup of coffee on the desk in the morning, I know what I have to do.
To put clothes in the washing machine doesn't count as work, but I washed all the hand-wash clothes, too. I also cleaned the bathroom. At night I did the dishes. I had prepared a healthy dinner for us with tomatoes, mushrooms, salad. Everything looks a bit better here after my cleaning session yesterday.

In addition I have a new project. I go through my wardrobe and create outfits from the clothes I have. Yep. I create i.e. 10 winter outfits. This shall be enough. I've 5 warmer pair of pants and I match pullovers to it or a jacket and a coat. I also try to match a handbag. Then I take a picture and post it on a private blog with the label winter. Now comes the important part. All the clothes that do not fit to anything have to go. My wardrobe is too full.
If I have a favorite pullover that I don't want to throw away and nothing matches to it then I've to go shopping. :) to find a company for it. I have beautiful summer clothes, but no shoes to it i.e. On the other hand, I've handbags that I never use.
1. This project allows me to be creative.
2. It's also an exercise of letting go.
3. It's another step in the direction to make life simpler.

On Saturdays I call my parents. Yesterday I learned that a relative, only few years older than me is in the home for old people. She had cancer and after the surgery that lasted 4 hours she didn't recover fully. She needs chemical therapy and she must be not able to go to it on her own. This is why she needs help. Redundant to say that I almost couldn't believe it. I could have given her life style advice, but she wouldn't have listened to me. She used to say to me: "People like you don't exist anymore."
Me to my father: Look, this is why I do yoga. I want to die healthy.
Me to my father: And this is also why I eat vegetarian.
He to me: And it's your imagination that this helps.
Here we are again. If imagination helps, why not. He meant it differently. My parents are not convinced about my passionate yoga practice and they also think I should eat everything. But I don't. I'm able to say "no". This was surely also one of the mistakes of my relative. She is too nice, wanted to please everybody and neglected therefore herself, her own needs. she gulped down everything.
It's so important to go one's own way. This means for me also to stand the feeling to be alone. Feeling alone is not life-threatening.

"If you do not follow somebody, you feel very lonely. Be lonely then." J.Krishnamurti

I heard some more stories about illnesses. Shall this be enough.

For me yoga is a way to stay healthy, and I mean the body and the mind. I learn to listen to myself. It makes me sensitive. So many situations that I experience on the mat, I can see in life, too. My yoga practice shows me solutions, possibilities how to handle things. Often my practice is a pointer how to handle life situations.

Focus is such technique I exercise on the mat, it's useful in life, too: 
- Not being focused is time-consuming. Back to a yoga class. All the breaks make a practice longer: Starting a conversation when getting adjusted, running to the restroom (might be necessary), taking extra breaks because the practice is challenging, adjusting the hair again and again, playing with body parts....and and and this all uses up time. Flow doesn't happen that way. Experiencing flow is a satisfying feeling.
- On the other hand what gets attention grows. What doesn't get attention fades away and even disappears. Intensity can happen. I see the power of focus. It makes life better.
I try to give attention to those things I want them to grow.
I try to refocus if my mind is busy with things that I think are dead end roads or negative.

This is why I use my timer for any activity. I make a decision on what I want to focus, i.e. on cleaning the kitchen. For 25 min I want to focus then to get things done. Afterwards I relax. Applying this helps me to stay more relaxed in general.

Today I'll go to a led class. I'm looking forward to it.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

First comes the imagination

The very first step of anything is often to think: Yes it's possible. 
This is a mental exercise. It's easy to say it, but to be convinced goes deeper. In the meantime I'm able to do a lot of asanas of which I was convinced I would never be able to do. This helps me to trust that other asanas that seem to be impossible are doable, too. Karandavasana is such a pose of the second series, that is indeed challenging.
The second step is to imagine the pose and how I perform it, it's also a mental exercise. The entire pose might be too  much. Each pose can be broken down to little steps, even in tiniest steps. 

M showed me the next exercise that I can try to approach karandavasana. 
I take my legs folded in padmasana on my arms. 



I imagine to come up. I also engage all my muscles that I think could support this adventure: arms, bandhas, pectoral muscles. To imagine to come up might be already too much. The next tiniest step might be to imagine how the legs lift up one inch.....hahahaha, this is challenging enough. Indeed nothing moves upwards so far when I do this pose alone.


I wrote about sun salutations in my last posts. Here I am again. Especially in second series strong arms are needed. This is why I lower slowly into chaturanga dandasana. And I go slowly into upward facing dog. This all builds strength, the arm muscles become stronger. 
Karandavasana needs years of practice to master it. One can start with the sun salutations to learn it. 



A tip for the yogini with no time:
A few days back the shaving lotion of E was empty. Of course I had a substitute. I had to substitute the substitute then. In the following days my mind remembered me minimum 5 times to buy it. This is a waste of time. The mind can do better things. If I want to exercise my memory I can learn the sanskrit names of the asanas or vocabulary.
So the tip is to write down in the calender what one needs to buy. I've therefore a register "to buy" in my calender that is always in my handbag. My mind is free for more important things, I don't have to remember anymore, I can look up what I need.
In that "to buy" list I gather things I need or want, so I don't have to go shopping for each single item. On my way home from yoga I can stop at the shops.
This saves a lot of time. Not only once I had to go shopping twice or three times a day because I've forgotten things.
This little activity, to write things down at once can have a huge effect.

My Ashtanga practice is time consuming, I have to be effective and well-organised in the rest of my life. 


Thursday, December 08, 2011

"My practice aggravates."

Yep, when such a thought comes up, I know that I've a mental task on my mat.
It can be that my practice becomes worse, it can also be that this is not the case.

Perhaps I shall exercise to become more patient?

So, when such a thought comes up, I firstly identify it as a thought. A thought is always fiction. This alone helps me not to give it too much meaning.
If it's a helpful thought why not using it. To think that things get worse is not helpful. I substitute this thought and think instead: Simply doing the practice is it. However. And I keep going...........and focus on the breath again. Ah, the breath.....is always available.

Primary was on my schedule. My vinyasas disappointed me, but as mentioned already, important is that I practiced. I think I've to practice the vinyasas in an extra sessions if I want to get better here and I want this.
I started with the CD by Sharath and switched it off after buja pidasana. The CD is always helpful.

Sun salutations B:

I put the flat hands next to my feet to measure how deep I want to stand. A few months ago I touched the floor with my finger tips. To stand deep and if it is for one breath only, builds strength. And strength is needed for the second series for the back bending asanas. I wanted to show the connections between the asanas, here it is. Working on strength is hard for me, I know I need strength, so I stand deep.



With an inhaling the arms move upwards. The danger is that one comes up with the legs, too. I see that this is also in my case so. Next time I take even more care of this. Pictures always tell the truth!
One can shift the weight a bit to the toes or to the verses.

I've two more topics re the sun salutations: the breathing and the hero poses.
Utkatasana is also a hero pose, there is one more. Here is the link to my utkatasana history. Haha, I stood very high in the past, but nowadays I want to come up from laghu vajrasana and also from the other back bending asanas. I need strong legs for this and I use every asana to get stronger.
In classes I see at once who wants to have some fun and who is working on this pose. (I don't judge!)

At 11am I had finished my practice. Starting point was after 9am. I'm happy about this as it shows me that I practiced asanas by asana, not so many breaks happened. 

Still sun salutations.....



Urdhva mukha svanasana is a counterpose to all the back bending asanas. It's recommended even to hold it a few breath more after intensive asanas like supta kurmasana.

I take care that
- my legs are engaged. There is distance between thighs and floor. Strong legs are needed for more intensive back bending asanas
- my shoulders are down
- that dristhi IS nose or third eye (not the ceiling). Looking upward comes often with a wrinkled front. Dristhi shall not make us ugly. It deepens concentration and focus. To keep the eyes calm, calms the mind.
- I go slowly from chaturanga dandasana to upward facing dog. This develops arm muscles. I match inhaling with the movement.
- hands are firm on the floor, fingers are spread.
- I realize that my verse tend to move to each others. I often realize that the feet of yoginis fall outside. I worked against it, obviously a bit too much.


This is uttanasana A from the side. There is a lot of potential in this deepest forward bending asana of the sun salutation. This is one reason why I know that primary is still a series I need to practice. It's not at all boring, there are still many challenges.
I love that the back is straight. :)

Balancing poses: When jumping back and jumping forward I try to shift the weight on my hands. I don't manage it to keep the feet in the air. That's the goal. I want to put down the feet without the slightest noise.
Being able to do this is the best preparation for the vinyasas and balancing poses. There is a connection between the poses.
It's no more that I think to jump the feet between the hands, I think to bring the hips as high as possible. The hips lead, not the feet, those land from alone. This thought and intention makes a difference. Also jumping forward and backward shall be done controlled.

Tomorrow I chat about sun salutation B and the hero pose.

At home again: 


- slowly the jet lag disappears
- I get back to a healthy diet. Fresh food and small portions keep me fit.
- suitcase is unpacked
- mountains of dirty clothes are washed and ironed.
- dust is removed
- mentally I'm here again, too.

So, time for a primary. It has a lot of challenges.

My "I want to do list" is long......

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Forward bending...


...in modesty.

Focusing on the moment is relaxing.

It's dark already here.

Winter time. People run around and push to find Christmas presents.

At every corner is Christmas market.

Today it even rained.
My yellow umbrella with the sentence "I love rain" on it cheered me up.

I wanted to write about the sun salutation A and the vinyasa. Downward facing dog is the pose, the rest is vinyasa. The vinyasas are the moving part and not the not-moving part. A movie would be good, but I had no time.
One can say that the middle part of primary exists of sun salutations with different asanas when doing full vinyasa (returning to samasthitih and starting from here).

The sun salutation has 4 different kind of asanas, that are not held, but performed:
- it's forward bending combined (1) with an inversion (2) (see picture, it's uttanasana A)
- it's upward facing dog (3), which serves more or less as a counterpose to all the forward bending asanas
- it's balancing (4)

All these different kind of asanas can be exercised already when doing sun salutations correctly, it can be challenging.



Tuesday, December 06, 2011

The first asana........


The first asana in the Ashtanga yoga series is adho mukha svanasana or downward facing dog.

adho = downward
mukha = face
svana = dog

Take care that
- your feet are hip width apart. Also your hips are not that wide. The feet are rather close together
- the legs are engaged. All asanas are active poses.
- the hands are firm on the floor, too, the fingers are spread
- the shoulders always move away from the ears.
- dristhi is towards the navel.
- the bandhas are engaged
- the back is straight it doesn't hang through, the pose forms a triangle with the floor.

If practiced comme if faut, this asana can prepare for many asanas that follow:
- When the hands are firm at the floor and the fingers spread it prepares for all the arm balancing asanas
- Often I enlarge the distance between hands and feet to stretch the back of the leg above the verse. This is needed for pashasana.
- Deep breathing and engaging the bandhas is relatively easy to practice when in this pose. To be able to do this is important for the entire practice
- Strong legs are necessary for all the back bending asanas. One can start exercising them here.

No asana without vinyasa............this shall be one of my next posts.

For me the sun salutations are no more only a warm up exercise. If done correctly they prepare for following asanas.