Monday, September 18, 2017

Second series yesterday, primary today


Yesterday I practiced 90 minutes Ashtanga yoga in the morning before breakfast.
Today I was in the afternoon on the mat. Primary was on the schedule.

I got weak, so weak. I'm still rather flexible. My main focus is to practice modest and not to create back pain again because I'm too ambitious.

My diagnosis now is that I've chronic back pain. I read a book by Jonathan Kuttner and joined his Facebook group. I knew at once that I was on a right track. My pain has no cause anymore. In the meantime after more than a year all injures should be healed. There is nothing anymore that could cause this pain. My mind has learned to create pain as a cautious measure.
It's possible to unlearn this. Breathing plays an important role. It helps me almost immediately.

I was recommended to keep practicing, but modest. The practice shall not bring back the pain as usual.

The last two practices were rather good. At once I'm optimistic. Perhaps I've left this pain chapter behind me, I think. Realistic is to be patient.

Also yesterday was a very exhausting day. I discarded books again. It's hard work to move all these books. Nevertheless all went well. It was amazing and a wonderful surprise.

Tomorrow is my focus on back bending.
I'm curious what will be possible.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Discarding things


Saturday is a rest day. That is it's a yoga free day. Psychologically this is important. There is a start and an end. To practice 6 day in a row seems doable. To practice without breaks for the rest of my life seems crazy. I have the feeling to be refreshed after one day off.

More important for me is that I have time to do all that stuff that gets postponed during the week.

We discarded things today, mainly books. This huge staple of discarded books is not yet out of the house. When the books are gone the task is finished. When I give books to friends I use to say: I'll never take anything back.

When I read a book and when I liked it I google the author and pin a picture of her or him in an album in Pinterest. About two weeks ago I was in Santiago de Compostela. I saw all these pilgrims and got interested in all these reports and diaries that were created during the pilgrimage. I read some of these books. They are not all of good quality. Each book has another focus. Everybody experiences something else. I feel good informed now about the path to Santiago without having been there.

What does the path tell me, many ask. What can I learn? One man wrote that he would never be able to walk these 800 km, but to walk to the next hostel and might it be 8 walking hours away, seems possible.
I experienced something similar in yoga. One breath at a time is the open secret to make it through a series.
Whatever one does there are basic tips that help in any discipline. One must find them and live accordingly.

Many many pilgrims pack too many things. When we were at the airport I put my luggage on the flat conveyor to get it delivered to Munich. I saw that I had 14 kg. This was the weight many pilgrims have in their rucksacks. After one day they have blisters, they are exhausted. Only 15% arrive Santiago. Every year about 10 pilgrims die on the path. Many are simply not prepared. Many don't exercise in advance. They don't listen to the advice from more experienced pilgrims. One cannot carry more than 10% of the own body weight, rather less than more.

Back to my books. I save a picture of the author on Pinterest when I've read a bood. I add the title of the book that I read from this author. It reminds me of the author. When I want to read the book again, I have to buy it again. This is so much cheaper to pay rent for it and to clean it again and again. This album also gives me ideas what I want to read next. Creating these albums helps me to let go of all these books.

The life style of a yogi is simple. I love space. Things have the bad habit to steal my time. They need to get organised, cleaned and so on. Less is more.

Today I created room. I cleaned, dusted huge areas of the book shelf.

I'm ready for a yoga practice tomorrow.




Friday, September 15, 2017

It's late


It's late, it's Friday night.

I neglected my blog, because I thought I don't have to write a lot about yoga. Fact is, I practice, then my back pain returns, I stop with yoga, after a while I feel better, I start again....

From time to time I get a comment from readers who follow my blog for years. This touches me a lot. It motivates me also to keep writing. Life is so interesting. This blog needn't to be about yoga all the time.

Time to go to bed. I had bought new sheets lately. Tonight I changed the sheets. Everything is white now. To jump in a fresh bed with new sheets is great. It's as if one sleeps among white clouds.

Tomorrow more......




Friday, September 01, 2017

A new month - time to refresh the resolutions


My resolutions these days are practicing daily. A short modest practice will do. It's difficult not to go to the limits every day. My goal is to avoid pain. Doing less is better than going through a series that creates pain afterwards. My body must unlearn to feel pain. I want to interrupt the circle that is: I practice, pain comes either already during the practice or afterwards, I stop practicing, pain fades away, I practice again, pain returns, I stop practicing, pain fades away, I practice again and so on.............Adjustments are necessary. I was very creative.
After my yoga practice I must be able to take steps without pain. If I have to pull myself upstairs I did too much.

Today I practiced half primary. It felt exhausted enough. My focus is the vinyasas. I see the importance to build strength to protect my joints.

The closing sequence is very short these days. It's lotus pose. It's remembering myself that I have very good reasons to be content with my life and my yoga practice, too.

I'll find time to do pranayama today. Deep breathing calms the mind. Deep breathing gives the message that all is OK. There is no reason for worrying.

The sun is shining......... Time to go out.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Flexibility


Flexibility has many faces.

Often we mean being able to perform crazy asanas when we speak about flexibility.

One of my favorite quotes by P. Jois is surely: Body not stiff, mind stiff.
Flexibility can also mean to free the thinking from limiting patterns. To develop the attitude that anything can be possible is the right direction.

We can be flexible while breaking rules.

It's possible to vary the speed of the practice. Asanas can be altered. This all means being flexible.

Due to my lower back pain I have to be very flexible. I think I know the steps to move out of this experience. It's bad advice these days to search for the limits day in day out. Doing less, but on a regular basis is better. My last practice two days ago took this into consideration. It felt good. I must alter my practice in a way that there is almost no pain.

My mind must learn again that a yoga practice feels good.
My mind must unlearn that a yoga practice comes with pain. This is a huge challenge. I'm ready for it.

Being flexible can also mean to give on one day 180% and to take it easy the other day.

I start seeing that this dead end road that I'm in has lessons to learn. I'm more and more in peace that I'll practice at home. I miss the community, but these days yoga classes are too regularized, which is the opposite from flexibility. My goal is to be flexible, to expand my possibilities in a reasonable way.

Before writing this I had opened Pinterest. One can get the impression that yoga only serves one goal and that is to get a hot body. This is a side effect. Never forget that yoga can bring so much more. Yoga can bring peace of mind.



Friday, July 21, 2017

The July challenge



Kino's July challenge pushes me forward. There are poses that I usually omit because of my back issues, i.e. navasana. As it is part of the series, I explored what was possible. How to get into this asana had to be altered. But look, it's possible.
Setu bandhasana will be the next huge challenge. It seems impossible these days. I got too weak. But I'll explore my possibilities. I'll approach this asana open-minded.
I'm more than happy that I could do supta kurmasana and all the other asanas, too.

Every second day I practice primary to get stronger again. I get stronger every day. It's a stony way back, but at least there is a path.

I changed the sentence 'Don't give up' to 'Keep practicing'. It's positive. The mind only understands positive messages. And I keep practicing. I can harvest the first fruit.

For those who want to follow the challenge on Instagram, here is the link.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

On back bending


Today my focus was second series. Everything was perfect in the beginning. I felt flexible, even strong. Pashasana was fantastic, I could even reach the wrist on one side.

Then came shalabasana. I didn't know how to lift a leg. This is I wanted to lift one leg after the other, but nothing could be moved. I started with lifting the upper body. After that my legs lifted from the floor slightly. Sigh.
The above asana felt intensive. My upper legs got stretched. It allowed me to do bhekasana.
A weak dhanurasana was possible. Then I was on my knees for ustrasana. I couldn't move an inch backwards. I went to passive stretching on my wheel. I went back on my knees. Yeah, I could reach my heels, but this was it.

If I want to do back bending I have to do one preparation asana after the other. Otherwise almost nothing will be possible.
I moved to the twists. They always relax the body. Parighasana was great, too.

My timer was set to 90 minutes. There were still 15 minutes left, so I lied down on my back to relax. A mistake. I didn't know how to stand up after these 15 minutes. There were cramps in my back. Finally I was on my feet.
To walk around is so much better than lying on my back.

I feel good now. No pain. I'm glad that I practiced. I found my limits. I accepted them, I had to.
I'm still a bit shocked that back bending seems to be lost. Also this is temporarily.