Saturday, March 10, 2018

Yoga on the bed is nonsense

In addition we have Saturday today and this is a day off from yoga for the Ashtanga yoga practitioners.

I need an intensive warm up. Sometimes it's fun to experiment and to play around.

The exercise on the picture is for me still one of the best to approach kapotasana. First one has to find a good distance to the wall. Then one can walk down the wall with the hands. I repeat this asana several times usually. I think now that it's worth to repeat it much more often than I do by now.
This is the plan. Doing this exercise feels good.

It's useful to have a block between the feet or knees. It helps to keep the legs engaged and this protects the lower back. It also allows to move deeper into the pose. A strong foundation is always important.

Enough yoga on my yoga free day.

Thursday, March 08, 2018


Vasisthasana is the pose of day 8 of the Instagram challenge #flylikeayogi. The last time I took a picture of this pose goes back to 2012. Also this pose won't become part of my daily practice again. I prefer working on the side splits and forward splits. This will make this pose easier, too.

After 90 minutes my alarm clock reminded me to come to an end. I practice so slowly these days and I add so many preparation asanas that I've not enough time to do all poses of second series. After the twists 90 minutes are over. That's OK because I really work on asanas.

Sometimes I also practice easier versions and enjoy them. I need time to relax, too. Also today I used a timer and set it to one minute to hold some of the difficult poses a bit longer than just 5 breaths.
How to learn is so important. It's as important as the goal.

It has been a practice that exhausted me. At least the back bending asanas felt good.

Tomorrow I'll work on forward bending asanas again.

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

The splits

I work on the splits on a daily basis. Eka pada koundinyasana (see picture) is not part of my practice. This pose was the asana of day 6 of the #flylikeayogi challenge on Instagram.

A picture never tells the truth. I couldn't hold this pose for  second. I had luck that the camera made click at the right moment.

I just realized that this asana is not part of one of the Ashtanga yoga series. There are so many asanas, it's crazy.

I work on the splits because it opens the front side of the hips. This will help me to get deeper into back bending poses.

Working on the splits is stretching.

Here are tips for stretching
1. Relax (into stretch). Smile even. Breathe deeply. Enjoy.
2. Exercise daily with a lot of care. Injuries are set backs. Consistency is the key.
3. Be patient and enjoy the ride.
5. I try to hold the splits i.e. longer and longer. Today I used a timer. 1 minute was my goal. Oh my, one minute can be very long. Without my timer I wouldn't have held this pose that long.
6. Repetitions are another tool to work effectively on any stretching.

To do the splits on the ground or in the air are different challenges. First step is to do the splits on the ground. Eka pada koundinyasana was just a pose that I wanted to explore. Is it possible, I wondered.

Today I practiced primary. Really I feel like a hero. My back complained first. I kept practicing. At the end my body felt relaxed. My mind was exhausted. I feel excellent now, AFTER the practice.

What a joy to write an A1 in my calender. It means I practiced first Ashtanga series. It's the 6th time that I practiced in March. Halleluja.

My plan for tomorrow:
I'll add the forward splits as a preparation for the back bending asanas.
I'll do 3 repetitions, holding the pose for 1 minute.

3 repetitions
5 repetitions
Urdhva dhanurasana 5 repetitions.

With this plan I feel as if I'm on an autobahn towards my goal to perform the back bending asanas mentioned above.

Tuesday, March 06, 2018


This morning we had to leave the house really early. We were downtown till 2 pm. Being flexible can mean a lot. It's possible to postpone a yoga practice to a later time of the day. At 5 pm I was on my mat. I thought the body must be super flexible at such a late time. The opposite was the case.

After the standing asanas I tried eka pada koundyasana. It's today's pose of the Instagram challenge #flylikeayogi. It was not possible. I was stiff and I would have needed more preparation asanas. I didn't like to sacrifice my back bending for the Instagram challenge. I don't care to be late. I can post my picture tomorrow.

I'm so glad that I didn't omit my practice. Also the difficult ones are important. After an hour I only practiced what felt good. I took it easy. I'm glad that I did urdhva dhanurasana several times. This was it.

Tomorrow I can practice in the morning again. I'll work on strength and forward bending asanas, primary so to say.

Tomorrow I'll have a timer handy. The plan is to hold the difficult asanas for 1 minute.

Picture is taken yesterday. It's parsva bhuja dandasana or grasshopper.

Monday, March 05, 2018

I need to warm up to do poses like tittibhasana

Tittibhasana is the third pose of the challenge on Instagram #flylikeayogi. Today I integrated this pose in the first Ashtanga series. It fits in after kurmasana. By then I was flexible enough to stretch my legs.

I work on strength and the vinyasas. Today back pain faded away the longer I practiced. I could jump up and down.

I love the asana practice.
Yet I realize that yoga is so much more for me.

1. It helps me to relax from other issues in my life. When I practice yoga it is as if I choose my favorite issues. I prefer to find out how to get into grasshopper pose than to search a craftsman who can repair doors that don't close anymore.
2. It improves my concentration skills.
3. My discipline muscle gets trained.
4. With each practice this yoga activity becomes an even stronger routine.
5. I take care of my nutrition.

I could go on....

Today I slept 2 hours after my practice. I was like dead. I know this tiredness. I somehow need a lot of sleep after having practiced yoga. This tells me that I have exhausted myself.

Tomorrow I focus on back bending.

Sunday, March 04, 2018

How to learn?

I joined the challenge #flylikeayogi on Instagram created by Kino. Every day we shall do and post an asana for 10 days. Bakasana was the second asana.

Yesterday on the third day tittibhasana was on the list. I had not time to warm up. To do the pose out of the blue is not possible. I loved to do tittibhasana, I lost it.

This morning I practiced mainly back bending asanas. To switch to a forward bending asana like tittibhasana would have been impossible. Am I out already after the second pose? It can be....

I love the classes on that accompany the poses. They are so helpful. So much is covered within an hour: easier variations, preparation asanas, strength, flexibility and technique exercises. Following the classes helps to learn an asana very fast. This is why I join a teacher. In my opinion a good teacher can help to accelerate the process of learning. Kino is an excellent teacher.

This reminds me how disappointed I am how learning happens in the Ashtanga yoga community. One shall practice daily. That's absolutely great advice.
One is allowed to practice till an asana that one isn't able to do. Then one can hear: You stop here. If lucky one gets an adjustment every day when trying this asana. Yet usually this challenging asana is practiced for 5 breaths. One can hope that it gets better every day. If not one is stuck there till the rest of one's life. The teaching of Ashtanga yoga is stuck in the last century. In addition it became very inflexible. The challenge is to teach too many students at the same time. The easiest way is that everybody (every body) has to do the same. There is no time for individuality. I got injured following this method of learning asanas. I learned much less than I could have learned if I had practiced more often on my own.

Why not using blocks?
Why not doing additional strength exercises, if it helps?
Why not exercising variations?
Why not giving some useful explanations?

When I went to Ashtanga yoga classes my main learning source were the mistakes of the other yogis.  I don't know how often I thought: don't do this, don't do that.

Learning has revolutionized in the last decade. I try to profit from the insights of a fitness community.

These days I practice at home. My practice becomes more and more my own practice. The Ashtanga yoga series are like a skeleton of a tree. They are the basis, the orientation of my practice. I want to practice close to series. Yet I change it if it's better for my back. Soon leaves will decorate the stems and the branches of the trees. They stand for variations, flexibility. They keep the practice lively. Adding asanas, trying variations keeps the mind awake. Exploring new movements deepens the understanding of this art. Why not doing this?

I practiced second series today. I enjoyed to write in my calender that I had practiced. It's the third practice this month.

Friday, March 02, 2018

A new month, a fresh beginning

In January I practiced 5 times.
In February I practiced 10 times.
I plan to practice minimum 15 times in March.

Today I practiced primary, because it's Friday. I added some asanas to have a more interesting practice. I omitted some vinyasas, because I got so weak.

Kino has started a new 10 days challenge on Instagram and I'm in. It's called #flylikeayogi. Here is my Instagram account for those who like to join the fun.
On Omstars Kino has prepared a practice, duration 1 hour. It prepares for the poses. Her classes are very smart with a perfect didactic. She offers easier and more difficult variations so that everybody has something ot work on. The asanas become more difficult gradually. Strength training, flexibility training and technique are part of the classes.

Today Bakasana is the flight pose. The video will get sent later that day. Yesterday I watched it and practiced later trying to remember the asanas. I think it makes more sense to practice with the PC close to me. It should be doable to follow her instructions while watching the video.

90 minutes asana practice and I feel so much better. This practice can do miracles.

To return to my practice as it used to be 2 years ago is difficult. I work on my attitude. It's possible to improve. I know, that my body is not yet too old.
A few days back I read that an 85 year old man wanted to reach the top of the Himalaya. He passed away on the return. He wanted to be the oldest man who was on top of that mountain. So 85 years and so much ambition. 'I can' is my mantra, too.