Thursday, January 31, 2013

Concentration


Yesterday night I watched TV, a talk show. I realized that the participants couldn't concentrate at all. They jumped from one topic to the next, even though it was crystal clear what they should discuss. Yet thoughts arised, and quickly they were expressed. Perhaps the talker weren't prepared good enough, this can be. Yet my feeling is they simply couldn't  concentrate that long. (There were 2 exceptions in the group). To focus requires energy. I admit 60 min is a long time.

Why shall one concentrate at all? To discuss a topic is not a brainstorming session. If one wants to get results or even if one wants to discuss with each other focus is necessary. Otherwise one sentence stands next to the other without any connection without any sense.

An Ashtanga yoga session lasts 2 hours. We exercise to focus that long. This trains us for many other activities, too. Concentration is necessary if one wants to learn a language, if one wants to write a letter, it's necessary for anything. I have my 25 min units of concentration and then I have the Ashtanga yoga that challenges me to stay focused for 2 hours. Ashtanga yoga is also a mental exercise!

During my practice I gaze at a dristi, I listen to the breath. There is not much distraction.

This differentiates an Ashtanga yoga session to other yoga classes. Distraction is part of many yoga styles: there is music, the teachers explain poses and lead through the class. If one hasn't understand anything one can look around.

Oh, it's so easy to jump now to the next topic. So many thoughts are available. Yet I focus. Concentration was the topic of this post. The end.


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Searchers, such and such


I know some spiritual searchers. They search and search and search and find, yet what they find doesn't seem to satisfy in the long run. Then they search again. Searching can be exciting, it can even lead to trips to other countries. One can enjoy the company of other searchers.
My "spiritual search" lasted not long. I soon found and this was it. Advaita is my home here. Ramesh Balsekar is the one who opened my eyes through his books. So happy that I could see him once in Mumbai. Yet this was the end of my search. I don't even read any books anymore to that topic.

I know people who search there whole life for the perfect partner and never find. The next one please, the next one please, all lovers are so unacceptable, that the search goes on and on. The search criteria might be not really helpful, the own character difficult, whatever it is, the search for a partner that fits goes on and on and on.

Others search the right diet. They become weight watchers. Then they try the sunshine diet or whatever the market offers. Also here I've found my life style. Since I'm 20 years old I'm a vegetarian and since a few years vegan (as good as I can be here).
I also found Ashtanga yoga for myself, for my body, the mind and the soul.

Yet, me too, I'm a searcher. I hope not for the rest of my life. I search for an occupation where I'm so good at that others like to pay for my services or goods. Good to know that I know what I don't want anymore. To get back to a 9 to 5 job would be a horror for me. I read one book after the other about people who have left the company life and who have created something new for themselves. This shall motivate me again and again to see rather possibilities than failure. I also don't want to be a yoga teacher.
I love to write, I love to take pictures, yet I doubt and doubt if I'll be that good at it one day that people pay for it. Perhaps I should ask myself every evening: What tiny step have I done in that direction. If I do 300 tiny steps this year, perhaps I'm a finder here, too.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Second series today


I postponed everything to a later time. Updating my driver's license to my new name can wait. Everything else, too.

Oh, oh, the night was sleepless. To get up at 6am was impossible. E consoled me: You don't have to get up. Seducing words and I remained in bed. Now I feel well-rested.

Shall it be a minimalistic day today: Ashtanga yoga and preparing a dinner. I want to try out the lentil salad with mushrooms that I found in one of my vegan cooking books. If other activities happen it's fine, if not, it's fine, too.

On the picture is bhuja pidasana, an asana from primary series. I put the chin on the floor now, it's considered a bit more advanced than putting the front on the floor. The balancing becomes more challenging. This pose can prepare for the third series asanas. There are a lot of arm balancing asanas in third series, in primary we can start preparing ourselves for them.

What shall be my focus today? Back bending. It must be back bending.

Monday, January 28, 2013

I like Mondays


I knew that it wouldn't be easy today. Yesterday evening I've been at a led class. To have only one night between 2 Ashtanga yoga practices is intensive. Often the morning practice is a bit weaker. So it was today. We slept too long. I haven't heard the alarm clock. Then the mood was rather to stay at home. That I left my home to go to a Mysore class was the best I could do. Every practice is better than no practice.

I had insights. I know about the advantages of focus. Back bending must be my focus. What can I do to motivate myself to do some extras here. This is necessary when I want to progress. A glorious idea came into my mind: I'll create an album of back bending asanas that can support the classic back bending asanas in the Ashtanga series.

The weight, the weight..........again and again this blues. I love daily life. I'll prepare my own meals again. Only once a week we eat out these days, which is good. I always lose weight when I cook. I use spices to make a meal tasty and not fat and oil like the chefs in restaurants do. 2 kilos less would make my practice so much easier. I work on this.

After Mysore class I had to hurry to be on time to get my new passport. This is done now and I like this new pass as it's smaller than the old one. I mailed a letter, I did grocery shopping, I ate, I did chores for 25 min and now it's 2pm. I'm not yet showered. Finally it's good that I'm so busy. This makes life interesting.

The visual of today is a contribution by M. Thank you! :)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Marichyasana B




Also 2013 I'll take pictures of all the asanas that I practice. It shows me the way. A picture says always more than thousand words. Seeing myself on a picture in a yoga pose motivates me to practice. I'm amazed what is possible with a body, with my body.

Today is my Ashtanga yoga free day. I want to do the moon sequence by M. Sweeney. It's softer and not so exhausting. It supports my Ashtanga yoga practice. And tomorrow I can go again to a led class. The yoga season has started, I'm happy.

Dristi is the nose in marichyasana B. The shoulders shall be in line. Also this pose is about the hip flexibility. The arms can serve as a lever to keep the chest open. It's a pose that I love. I can relax totally when I do this pose. So it shall be.




Friday, January 25, 2013

The map of the world is not the world.




The map of the world is not the world, I learned when I attended a NLP (neurolinguistic programming) workshop. It was mainly about communication with others and with oneself, it was about motivation and how to influence the thinking. The title of this blog post was a core sentence.
This sentence can change the view of the world. Views, thoughts, opinions are just the map. Another person has another map (Hahaha, I wrote mat. My mind is infected by yoga). Truth is something else.

The Advaita philosophy says the same with other words: Consciousness is all there is.

More is not necessary to know in order to sail relaxed through life. It helps to be entertained. It integrates humor into life because one sees that everything is a story and everybody has a different one. Our thoughts are like a guide that might be absolutely wrong, it might be genius as well, yet it's a guide, a map, not the absolute truth.

Life is a game. It's great cinema.

Marichyasana A can be seen on the pictures above: 
Oh oh oh, what do I see. On the one picture are my fingers are stretched. They are supposed to be together. The pose is OK, yet I can still go deeper and stretch my upper body forward. The shoulders are even. The foot position is correct, too. The outer side of the foot is in line with the body.

This morning I went to a Mysore class. I practiced second series. Next week I begin to add the third series asanas again. This first week of Mysore classes I wanted to get stronger. How I enjoy the practice. I'm in a permanent high when I practice yoga.

Then I ran home, ate a sandwich and ran to my friend. In a week her baby is expected. We both must hurry now if we want some pictures with her baby belly. Not that the little one is faster than we. :)
One pleasure chases the next.



Thursday, January 24, 2013

Janu sirsasana A, B and C



Janu sirsasna A is one of my fav asanas. It's so easy. I relax when I practice it. 



 When I practice janu sirsasana B I realize that Ashtanga yoga doesn't forget a single muscle, not even the perineum. 


Also the toes are not forgotten. Janu sirsasana C takes care of the toes, also the little one. 

Tirieng mukkha eka pada paschimottanasana



Dristi is the foot. I gazed at the foot even though it doesn't look like this on the picture. Back and neck are in line and I looked forward, I know this, without frowning. The eyes are rather open when I look forward. This wakes me up.

I also see why I'm told from time to time to move the bent foot a bit more away from the body. I'm not sure if this is so good for the knee. My sit bones are on the floor.

Also here I can repeat: it's about the hips. I remember that I was very happy when this pose was done a few years back. The stretching discomfort was not a nice one. This bettered a lot. Today my tolerance to bear discomfort was rather high. Also this changes from day to day.


I practiced primary today. Taking pictures motivated me. My pictures give me the best feed-back that I can get.

These days there is no asana anymore that I want to omit when I practice primary. I like them all. After 10 years it gets easier, a friend told me once. This is it perhaps what she meant.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Ardha baddha padma paschimottanasana



1. Dristi is the foot here, too. In the first picture my chin stretches forward, a tiny bit at least. On the second picture I cannot see that I look TOWARDS the foot. When the chin stretches forward the whole pose changes. It has an influence of the upper body, it opens the chest.
2. The position of the foot got better. The sole of the foot is supposed to be parallel to the wall. It's easier to do this if one engages the leg muscles, comme il faut.
3. The shoulders shall be parallel. This is what one has to know so that one can work towards this goal.
4. These days I put the foot higher on the leg than I used to do. This helps for asanas to come. The last pose of second series requires that one roles back while holding the toe. One has to role over the arm. If one is able to have the foot rather high on the leg and if one manages to have the shoulders parallel one doesn't role over the elbow, which is painful. Then one roles over the lower arm.

If one practices the poses of primary correctly, one can really practice the basis that are needed again and again in the series to come. Since I exercise second series, too, my understanding of the poses deepened.

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I practiced second series yesterday at home. I did a lot of additional back banding exercises. After the standing asanas I added side splits, upavishta konasana and supta parsvasahita. These are my weak asanas in primary. It's about the flexibility of the hips. This in mind betters the asanas.

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Yesterday  night we watched TV: I'm a celebrity get me out of here. After that, Desirée Nick was in a talk show. As I'm a fan of this smart and elegant woman I had to watch this, too. At 1am I was in bed. When I saw how late it was I knew that I won't get up in the morning to be on time for the Mysore class. I enjoy the luxury that I don't have to do anything. I can give myself all the sleep that I need.

Home practice today. No time is to lose. I friend will come for lunch.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Padhayoragrai


Padhayoragrai is a gazing point. It means foot.

I checked the book by M. Sweeney and the book by P. Jois "Astanga yoga".

1. In the book by P. Jois I found 3 forms of paschimottanasana:  A, B, C, D and the dristi is always the foot.
2. M. Sweeney shows 3 forms. Paschimottanasana A has the nose as dristi, paschimottanasana B has nose or foot as dristi and paschimottanasana C has the foot as dristi. This means with each asana he stretches a bit more forward (not down) with the chin.


I'll stick to the recommendation of P. Jois. Next to the description of paschimottanasana are pictures of Sharath performing the poses. I cannot see at all that he's looking towards the foot. One must live with contradictions.

- So I have a look at my 2 pictures. The first pictures shows me with dristi nose. The head lies on my leg. It's as if it rests there.
- The second picture helps to keep the back in line with the neck. It also helps not to round the back more as absolutely necessary. It shows the direction in which the movement goes - forward. With the foot as dristi the pose is much more active.

PS: It's always gazing towards a point not to a point. To actually see the foot (or any other dristi) is not necessary.

PSS: It's all about the hips.

PSSS: Details count.

I'm also my own coach.


I wonder from time to time how to progress faster. Perhaps I can manage it to learn kapotasana not in 10 years, but in 5. I'm working on it already 3 years. I really fight for every mm. I also experience setbacks.
- The time that I work on this asana during my practice is short. Lately I added back bending poses that I know. It's supportive. Also mentally back bending gets easier that way.
- I can use my timer to hold the poses longer.
- After kapotasana I could practice urdhva dhanurasana as well. The more back bending I do, the better

There is something else I want to change. I usually differentiate between "mistakes" one can avoid and such one cannot:
- For instance someone might not be able to reach the toes with the hands when practicing kapotasana.
- Yet if someone knows that the outer feet is in line with the body in marichyasana A, it's doable for everybody. Those who pose the foot close to the stretched leg, don't know how to do it correctly, that's all.

I try to avoid all the mistakes I can avoid. Watching You-tube videos of advanced yoginis helps me here a lot.
Now it comes: I think it should be possible to stay on my mat for 2 hours also at home. I'm able to do it in a group setting, why not at home. My PC is the big distraction, it's so seductive to check Emails during my practice. So when I think I need a break when I practice at home, I want to go in child's pose till I feel ready again to move on. Yoga is about concentration. If I feel like not being able to go on, I'll do the closing sequence.
There will be still enough practices with interruptions. This is so when I plan to take pictures or little movies. They help a lot. I'll keep taking pictures. Of course. Also when the practice is spoilt then.

Time to practice, I feel ready. Second series with focus on back bending is on the schedule, nothing else.

Monday, January 21, 2013

I fell


On my way home from the Mysore class I fell. The ice and snow is melting, this makes the streets and sidewalk slippery. In my right hand I had this huge umbrella, in my left hand I had my handbag. Then my right leg slided away. It was so fast, it happened in a fracture of a second. Suddenly I sat on the wet floor, still my umbrella in my hand. The right leg was bent, the knee was on the floor. The inner foot was on the floor, too. The left leg was bent too, yet the foot pointed backwards. In such an awkward pose I sat in the snow like paralyzed and astonished what had happened, till a woman wanted to help me to stand up.
I checked if all my bones were at the right place. They were.

Thanks to my yoga practice nothing had happened. I'm neither injured nor have I broken one of my bones. Only the shock pumped adrenalin through my veins.

Now I was sure that I deserved a lunch at yam vegan deli. The wrap with a delicious filling consoled me and calmed me.

My practice was not easy today. The group setting helped me. I'm very motivated and so happy that the season has begun.
I went to my yoga class as if I went to work. Now my work is done and I've time for all my other activities. This is a perfect day for me.

30 min of napping and then I can move on........oh.......

Black coffee helps, isn't it?


Up, yes, yet still from another world. To go out is not what I wish this morning, but I'll go to the first Mysore class of the season.

Yesterday I practiced, this  has been a good preparation.

Yeah, I go. I stop the inner discussions. I know that I'll happy when it's over. Yes, I go.


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Moon sequence by M. Sweeney.


Yesterday was Saturday and it's my Ashtanga yoga free day these days. Also when I haven't practiced every day of the week, on Saturdays most of my energy is given to other activities. I stick to the recommendation: Don't try to catch up, jump in where you are.

If I do yoga, the Saturdays are for the moon sequence for instance or for pranayama and meditation. 
It was a goal 2012 to learn the moon sequence by M. Sweeney. I trust him that the moon series, created by him  supports  the Ashtanga series. He is an Ashtangi himself. The series doesn't exhaust me like an Ashtanga yoga practice, yet it's challenging. There are no vinyasas, this makes it easier. And this is what I did yesterday, the moon sequence.

I also set a timer. I wanted to hold the asanas 1 min. This felt good and it was long enough to get deeper and deeper into the asanas. The entire series was too much. I feared to overdo. What I wanted to avoid was to get overstretched before the Mysore classes start again. I checked my body this morning, yet my hamstrings don't complain. How good.

Today second Ashtanga series is on the schedule. Nothing else. I'm ready, mentally. I know my body will feel good afterwards.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

I am....


- stiff by nature
- not strong by nature
- and also not really disciplined.

This all needn't to be a disadvantage. In my case I'd say it was even an advantage.
I studied the methods, the tools how to become strong and flexible. I had to learn the basics and I had to refine them. I learned how to learn. I studied the anatomy of the body, the asanas. I found role models online, yet I also must practiced the insights.

I know that a daily practice can do miracles. It made me strong and flexible. This body work improved my practice, not my talent.
I have a list of tricks that brings me on the mat on those days where it's difficult. I know what keeps me going. For instance it helps me a lot when I have M. Sweeney's book next to me on my sofa. Only one more line of asanas I think and this seems to be doable. I see when half of the middle part of a series is done. The rest is doable, too, I usually think then. It's helpful to study oneself. What keeps you going? is a good question.

And sometimes laziness is good, too.
During my last practice I had the feeling as if my practice has changed. I'm more concentrated than I used to be. The breath became even more important. I'm no more in a hurry to do the next asanas. I fully exhale and take a pause before I move on.

Breaks can be supportive. Sometimes they can also show how important it is to find time to practice.
I realized that it's so much more easier to practice in the morning than in the afternoon or evening, even though the body is more flexible at a later hour of the day. So many tasks and duties and distractions wait every day, the mind is no more so calm and relaxed like at le't say 8am. The old yogis knew this, too.
Finally this is a goal: being focused on the current moment, the breath, the bandhas, the dristis. Being cool, being relaxed, experiencing joy because of the next deep breath. No, this is not boring at all. It's satisfying.




Friday, January 18, 2013

Done and happy


Yeah, yeah, yeah, primary is done.
Before 10am I was on my mat. The mornings are the best time to practice, I thought. The stomach is empty, I'm still fresh. My practice took a bit more than 2 hours, which is much. I took few breaks. Nevertheless it adds up. Music was on to make it easy to keep going.
I got stiff and weak, but I'm back. I even dropped back and I didn't fall on my head.

Wow, I was content with myself at the end. I deserved a bath.

Tomorrow I'd like to practice the moon sequence by Sweeney. It's so much easier to practice daily than here and then.

Today was not the day to analyse the weaknesses of my practice.
Today it was important to do it. Just this.
Each and every asana was possible.
During the practices to come I can work on "perfection".

Oh, what a beautiful day. This practice, even when it's not the best ever, makes me optimistic.


Every day I ask myself....



Every day I ask myself if I have thrown out anything already. It became a conscious act to weed, a daily habit. Empty bottles, garbage, razor blades that don't fit anymore, shower gels that nobody uses, and 20 soaps are too many as well. Bye-bye.....

My daily newspaper has to go also when I haven't read it. Online I delete Emails. I let go of books that I've read.
Thoughts have to go, too, especialy worries. Thank you for the warning, I think, now I'm informed, bye bye.



No, no, no! I'm not yet married for a month and I get fat and lazy. I don't get up early anymore and I care more for my nails than my back bending. No, no, no, to that tendency.
Yesterday night I put my body in the asanas of the first series. I didn't even use a mat. When in bed finally I imagined myself practicing the series, yet I added the vinyasas. This should serve as a preparation for today. Friday is my primary day. Yes and thank you to A. My yoga practice must be seen as a part-time job. That's what it is.
I'm ready......inhaling, pause, exhaling, pause, inhaling.........

I'm so looking forward to the Mysore on Monday.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A possible to do list


To do:
1. Journaling, yoga - primary
2. Reading (I read every day), studying French
3. Chores (focus bathroom)

At 3pm I have an appointment at my hand and foot expert: She'll care for my feet. Pedicure today. I thought I know everything about nails, yet this is not true. This woman changed my grooming habits re my hands. Will she change my grooming habits re my feet, too?
(With a towel I push back the nail skin after bathing after my first manicure with her. I don't clean my nails with a nail file anymore, but with a brush. It's softer and that way one doesn't injure the skin under the nail.) (As if I have no other issues but my nails.)

4. taking pictures (I'm behind my project "every day a portrait for a year)

What not to do:
- I postpone to go to the authorities for a new drivers licence. This can wait. It's snowy outside.

It's already much on my to do list. It's so much that I know I've to start at once.

My days end watching: I'm a celebrity, get me out of here. My enthusiasm of the first seires is gone. Perhaps because I don't know the people and the format is known. I was curious about Helmut Berger, but he's out already due to health reasons.

Primary today: I'll practice slowly. This makes it easier. What am I glad when the Mysore classes start next week. I need them.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Day 16 already


So far the new year was dominated by bureaucracy and entertainment.

- That I changed my name comes with a lot of work. Good that I have realized this so late. It wouldn't have changed my opinion. Yet I'm surprised how much is to do in that matter. I'm not yet through. I need a new driver's licence. The bank forgot to renew my credit card. Too many subscriptions still go to my old Email-address. Another bank doesn't accept the marriage certificate as a prove that one is married, they want to have a copy of the passport which is not yet ready. It lasts about 6 weeks till one can get a new one.

- Yesterday I've been at the National Theatre with a friend. They showed the opera Lucrezia Borgia. When I arrived fans stood already in front of the building with a sign in the hands: ticket wanted. It has been fully booked. My friend G has invited me, she has one of the subscriptions that is inherited from generation to generation. G has her favorite drinks there. Before the show we had Champagne with orange juice. During the break she usually drinks "gespritzen Aperol". I joined her here, too. Hahaha....we all have our routines. The opera was fantastic, I loved it from start to the end. Not only me. Bravos at the end. The spectators tramped with the feet on the floor out of enthusiasm. One man had bought a bunch of flowers and threw it on the stage. The blooms flew in all directions.

My yoga practice is neglected. Out of only 52 weeks of a year I've missed 2 weeks already, I think. A few practices happened, but not enough, I think.
Why not taking it easy?
Next week the Mysore classes begin again and this will change my structure of the day again. Then yoga comes first. Nothing is lost.

Monday, January 14, 2013

The vegan cooking class


I so wanted to know how the mango tart is made. It's the dessert that I always order when I eat at yam vegan deli. E offered a cooking class on Sunday and I had to go.

Now I know the secret of this dessert. The basis is yogurt which surprised me. Dried mangoes are used. This surprised me, too.

Beside learning how to prepare this dessert, we learned how to cut vegetables. We had huge knifes and how sharp they were. If one cooks vegan only one knife is required. I consider to buy one. The one I have at home might still be too small.

We prepared fennel in white wine sauce, oven roasted parsnig, a buckwheat salad, gremolata and thai spiced humus. Wow.

To be an experienced chef means not to be able to follow step by step a recipe, but to be able to cook by oneself.

Most recipes that one can find in cooking books were never tested. Exotic ingredients are used that one cannot find, not even in organic shops. Sometimes it takes hours to prepare a meal.
One must learn to cook, not to follow recipes only.

To prepare delicious recipes needn't to be complicated. If one wants to eat healthy one must know how to cook.

More cooking classes will be offered, it's definitely worth going. The cooking class made me more self-confident to be creative in the kitchen.

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Yes, yes, yes, I practiced yesterday second series till yoga nidrasana. With the same attitude like yesterday I'll step on the mat today, too: I'll take it easy.


Sunday, January 13, 2013

No excuses anymore


It's still early and Sunday a new yoga week begins with secons series. This is the schedule.

Oh, I want to complain a bit before I step on the mat. I fear to start practicing Ashtanga yoga after a few days of no practice. I fear to get injured and I fear to have a lousy practice. Much effort and bad results is what I expect. It can be that some of the poses won't be possible, which would frustrate me. My current weight won't support the practice either.
All this are reasons to practice no matter how hard it will be. There is the option to take it easy!

On time: I consider not to practice on moon days. Hahaha. Yes, Not because I think that the moon has an influence on the performance of my practice. I need more time for my other activities. When I had a full-time job I got up at 5am to practice, yet my practice was a low-energy practice and lasted often 30 min. This was absolutely OK, but nowadays my practice lasts minimum 2 hours without showering, blogging, commuting, ralaxing, pranayama and meditation. P. Jois stopped teaching on Saturdays because his family wanted to spend time with him. Teaching Ashtanga yoga has used up all his time, too. Sometimes I need more time to get things done. I don't want to have stress because of yoga. It's amazing how prolific I can be when I don't practice.

What motivates me to practice:
1. Yesterday Helmut Berger, the actor, left the Australian jungle camp ("I'm a star get me out of here" is broadcasted.) He is almost 69 years old, yet how he walked away from his bed, how he sat around showed how his body became a burden with age and with an unhealthy life style. This needn't to be so. Such images tell me that I HAVE to practice, if I want to enjoy life till the end.
2. Friends from the US were here yesterday. We picked them up at the art hotel. I saw this little statue at the entrance hall (see picture above) and I loved it at first sight. I WANT to practice because I love to put my body in asanas. I'm in love with the from.

To start modest makes sense: I'll practice slowly with attention today. No wrong ambition, this could be dangerous. I don't want to be awfully overstretched tomorrow, a little bit overstretched is OK. Hahaha....


Friday, January 11, 2013

Queen of the night


We don't like to fly or to dive, we also don't like to fall. We mistrust each adventure. No sports, please. Also riding a horse is nothing for us.

We love to eat and to drink. Yesterday I went through a little book, a wedding present that represents a voucher. Among different events we can make a choice. Quickly I went to the "dining and drinking" pages.
Let me share what is offered, it's so sophisticated, I laughed:
1. Ayurvedic cooking class
2. Brewing seminar
3. Candle-light-dinner Deluxe
4. Champagne and Co.
5. Cocktail workshop
6. The perfect Espresso
7. Dinner in the dark
8. Dinner with a thriller in a castle
10. Dinner in an underground mining (only for those who are not claustrophebe)
11. Erotic-food-cooking-class (I would have missed this)
12. Insect cooking class (No, please not!)
13. Concert dinner in the castle Charlottenburg (Berlin)
14. Concert dinner in the castle Nymphenburg (Munich)
15. Lying dinner
16. Mozart concert dinner
17. Sushi class
18. Bavarian veal sausage seminar
19. Whisky-tasting.

The choice was easy. I called E: Do you like the "Queen of the night?" He is not so into classic music, so I had to sell the trip to Salzburg, Austria: Mozart arias with a dinner, this pleases me.

What made me happy was that almost always a vegetarian meal could be ordered, too. This was not so a decade ago. We vegetarians and vegans have done so much food work already.
Yesterday I stopped at an Italian espresso bar. I hesitated to enter  as I needed something with substance not only water. It was cold outside so I got in and asked: "Do you have a cappuccino with soy milk?" They had it. The Italians here offer already cappuccino with soy milk. This makes me happy.

Every voice counts. Every day. It's a crime what happens with our animals. We must become more, much much more.
Yesterday I read the shocking news that in average every German eats 60 kg (132 pounds) meat every year. All the milky meals are not counted. This alone explains why half of the population has weight issues.

Much has been done already, much more needs to be done.

I will go on asking in restaurants for vegan alternatives. With my sweetest smile and I can be super sweet I'll ask again and again: Can I have the cappuccino with soy milk, please. :) If not, I'll propose to have it next time.

I slept in. I cannot remember to have heard the alarm clock. I missed the Ashtanga class. Did I really need 10 hours of sleep? It is as it is. No time to lose worrying about the past. Here I am. I feel ready. NOW.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Thursday


I didn't nap, I didn't dawdle, I enjoyed the day. Some things got done, others not. This morning I made again a decision: what is the one and only activity that I want to have done tonight. It's not yet done, but it will get done this evening.

Ashtanga yoga will never become addicting. It's easier not to practice than to practice and this will remain so. I cannot imagine something else.
Routines help to make it easier to start and to keep going. I'm glad to know so many tricks that lead me to a practice.
A certain amount of energy is always necessary.

The pressure to do duties off the mat was stronger than my inner push to practice every day of the still young year. 3 days off is still OK and tomorrow I'll go to a Mysore class. At 10am. This should be possible. Once a yogini told me: "I must steal the time for yoga." I understood at once what she meant.
One must be creative and stubborn to manage it to do this practice, I'd like to add.

Beside technique questions how to perform the asanas, the challenge to do the daily practice remains an ongoing topic, too. At least for me. Can I not finally solve this problem and stick to my plans, I wonder. I know people who are like this. In my case I must say I'm stiff by nature and I got relatively flexible. Perhaps (I don't know for sure) I'm also lazy by nature, yet I get me going. Every day. Finally doing things is more satisfying than consuming only.

Three more actions, I want to cross out on my to do list before midnight. I can do them all on the PC. Time to do them.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

A minimalistic day


A minimalistic day, what is this?
It's a day with one and only one action on the to do list. I've the idea from the minimalists.  The idea alone makes me smile. It creates relief. And as it is, usually one accomplishes more. My one thing yesterday was to get to the authorities for a new passport. As usual also this activity took longer as I thought. This is a rule: Everything takes longer as one thinks it will. Hahaha.....
They checked my picture before I got a number to know when it will be my turn. It was not sure if the PC would accept the picture. The required picture has to show the face only with a very small rim around it. I am glad that I took my pictures myself. 10 years I will have a passport and one shall like to show it. The result of a photo studio was not convincing.  It has been a photographic learning experience to create a picture according to the requirements, indeed. Oh and the PC accepted my picture.

My drivers's licence must be updated as well. These autorities are somewhere else. I had enough yesterday with all this bureaucracy. Today I feel refreshed again.

There are "must do" and "want do" activities on my daily list that serves as a guide through the day. Must do activities have priority. "Done" I could think when it was almost lunch time. One thing is done and I enjoyed my minimalistic day.

Afterwards I picked up a book at the post office. A second "must do" item was done then.

25 min are over. Enough is written. Life off the mat requires attention, too.
I want to move on. Today yoga is on the list!!!!! Second series.


Monday, January 07, 2013

A good start to say the least


2 hours of Ashtanga yoga and I'm happy. Yes, yes, yes, more than 2 hours I didn't like to practice. Second series was on the schedule and I practiced every asana. I did some additional asanas after kapotasana. Back bending shall improve. Back bending is my weakness. I'm optimistic. Kapotasana is possible for me, I only don't know why. It will last longer than I thought, yet this is always so.

Tomorrow I want to merge the third series asanas. It's not possible to add them at the end. I'm too exhausted then. I speak of the body and the mind here.

I deserved a bath afterwards. Food was left from my weekend dinners. I heated it and was happy with it. Vegetable in coconut sauce, spicy, it was a perfect meal with the chocolate soy pudding at the end.

With all the 3rd series asanas I'll give me 2 and a half hours tomorrow, but no more. The diva Ashtanga yoga must be tamed. I have other interests, too, my photography i.e..

Amazing how my mood went up. I'm singing 2 octaves higher now, after the work is done.

Notyetsointoit


Kino asked today on facebook how we'd describe the first week in on one word: "I'm not yet so into it", came into my mind. Not that nothing happens here, yet I've not yet found a rhythm. I'm still busy with my new identity. I go through my past email account and delete so many stored emails. I delete blogs that I don't feed anymore. Yesterday I was rather happy because I found out how to merge the Google+ accounts. Not all my networking activities are lost.

I realize there is the discipline to start something, but also the discipline to finish something. 
These online activities are as greedy as my yoga practice. They can use up an entire day. Enough is enough. To work every day 1 hour on updating everything should be enough. Greedy are also chores. Reading can steal a day, too.

It's grey outside. The picture on this blog is from last year, it fits to the day today. It's rainy here and grey.
The heater is on, the mat is waiting. I'm sitting here with yoga clothes on. No matter how long I practice, important is to start and to do anything. I also feel ready for this.

The to do lists are long. I've a lot of activities that have to be done (like getting a new passport) and others that I want to do (like studying French again). Time to begin with........yoga, second series.

At the end of the second week of 2013 I'd like to think: I'm so into it.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Life, a jungle


Life became a jungle in the Western world. There is too much of everything. One has to sort out again and again what is important and what not. If life shall be light-hearted, a joy, one must get rid of unused stuff, fearful thoughts, bad habits, electronic garbage.......so that there is room for living.

Saturday is my day off from yoga.
Yesterday I practiced till paschimottanasana. Then I got hungry, hahaha.....I stopped my practice and went to the vegan deli round the corner. The start of my yoga practice might have been been a bit late. Yesterday is over. I don't practice primary today because my practice yesterday was incomplete. I let go. Today is Saturday and my day off. The past is over. Tomorrow, on Sunday second series is on my schedule, no later than 10am. That's the plan now.
A day without a yoga practice gives me the feeling of having time.

Re computers there are PCs and apples. If you have an apple you belong to a religious movement.
If you practice yoga there is yoga (all sorts of it) and Ashtanga yoga. If you practice Ashtanga yoga for a while you belong to a cult. It's a life style, a demanding one. One must love it. I do. Beside the practice, I'm challenged to keep life simple to keep up with the practice.

Yesterday I read another chapter in the book "Getting more done: 10 steps for outperforming busy people" by Chris Crouch. My interest in how others organize their lives doesn't stop. The chapter was about Emails. His tip is to empty the inbox as fast as possible. To have a full inbox often comes with stress. I don't know why I keep mails or newsletters. Either I want to read them or I have to delete them. Sometimes I'm just sloppy and keep them without a reason, but emails add up fast. I created labels "to read", "to keep", "to act" with an "@" in front of it so that these labels appear on top. When I have no time to read a subscription, it has to go. If it seems to be very important I can move it to the "to read label". This helps to keep my inbox clean. Soon another Email/subscription/notice will fly into my inbox. There are so many diligent people out there. Hahaha.We don't lack information anymore, we have too much of it. I enjoy this all, yet it must be managed wisely so that it's now overwhelming.

Time to cook.

Thank you to M for this wonderful picture.


Thursday, January 03, 2013

No yoga, no post?


The new year has started with speed.

I try to remember what happened today. I do remember that I was busy all the time. No napping, no dawdling, nothing.
I need a new passport. The picture taken last year by photographers who took passport pictures like others sell bread, was lousy. A passport lives 10 years. This requires a picture that I like. I googled how such a picture has to look like and tried my best to create something beautifully. It took me hours, yet now I have something that I like. I feel like an expert at taking passport pictures.

Chores (limited to 1 hour), writing my journal, correspondence, this and that and it's evening.
Nothing worse than boredom. So all is good.

The recommendation of the old yogis to practice yoga in the morning has many reasons:
1. In India it often gets too hot after sun rise, so it's better to practice earlier.
2. The body and mind are well-rested and calm during the first hours of the day.
3. The stomach and bowels are empty.
4. Also the environment is still not so hectic for such a concentrated work.
5. AND, it's more likely that one practices yoga if it's done in the morning than if another time is scheduled.

Tomorrow primary is planned. Tomorrow yoga has again priority.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Fine-tuning my time management



Yesterday I practiced second series. It has been my first practice of 2013. The festive days could be still felt in the bones, muscles and joints, yet I did rather well. This morning, while the water was running through the coffee filter, I bowed forward to check if I was overstretched. No, not a bit overstretched.

I measured the time. I wanted to know how long it takes to practice primary. It was 2 hours without savasana. Mmmmmmmm..........it's time well spent. The time on the mat is precious time for me. It's very time-consuming, this requires that I'm smart with my available time, the 24 hours.

'Focus' is a key word if one wants to be prolific. I usually set a timer for 25 minutes and then I focus on a task. These tasks might be chores, reading, journaling, writing a blog or working on one of my other projects. I realized that it helped me a lot, nevertheless the feeling not having done enough still arises. Many things left undone. One reason surely was that when I worked on chores, I did nothing else but this: 25 min, a break and then again 25 min. Other tasks got neglected.
Currently I'm reading a book by Chris Crouch "Getting more done: 10 steps for outperforming busy people". (Thanks for buying it via my blog in case you think it could be useful for you, too). It's a short book, but this is in my opinion the work of an author to filter the information and to write down what is essential. In that book I found a good tip. We all have different sort of activities or projects. It might be possible to work on 3 different projects every day. The tip: "Begin working on your No. 1 priority no later than 10 a.m., your No. 2 priority no later than 2 p.m., and your no. 3 priority no later than 4 p.m." (Getting more done: 10 steps for outperforming busy people by Chris Crouch, page 19, loc. 117-18).
This is indeed a rather flexible structure of a day. It helps to work on different projects on one day. The feeling to accomplish something might increase.

My first No. 1 priority today is my yoga practice. It's still before 10 a.m. I don't want to be sloppy with my yoga practice on day 2 of 2013 already. Let's start.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Aummmmmmm


Up.
The new year has started. Optimism is the dominant feeling. And curiousity. What will happen this year?

Some notes that I wrote down this moring shall guide me through this yoga year. I shall see what will happen.  I can do the daily work, the results are not predictable.

Focus of the first month:
1. Vinyasas of primary.

This is enough.