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.


Wednesday, July 05, 2017

July challenge


It's a huge fun to see every day all the yoginis on Instagram. They all follow Kino's #July challenge. We became a worldwide community.

It's motivating to feel part of such a lovely group of practitioners. Many practice alone.

So also today I practiced primary. I work on the vinyasas. That's what Ashtanga yoga makes so special. I have the feeling I get closer to jump through without touching the floor.

Beside yoga I've a lot of fun with my repaired bicycle. I bought a helmet to feel safe. I made a promise to myself to drive slowly. I don't want to have an accident. It became rather dangerous to drive as there are so many wild bicycle drivers on the road.

Summer time is wonderful.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

July challenge - I'm in


Kino's July challenge #ashtangayogachallenge has started on Instagram today. It's focused on primary. I'm in. I love to feel part of the worldwide Ashtanga community.

It can be that I show on Instagram the correct pose and on my blog a variation of it.

Today I beamed me on a coast close to Portland. The dogs in the background fit to the pose: downward facing dog.

Join the fun, if you like........ as always one can connect with yoginis around the globe.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Omstars


Every morning before my Ashtanga yoga practice I watch a video on www.omstars.com.
It's very inspiring and very motivating.

Omstars is Kino's TV channel. She and other yoginis like Laruga upload tutorials. Even after 12 years of Ashtanga yoga practice I learn a lot. One of Kino's strength is that she can analyse the asanas. She learned a lot about didactic. She can also explain how to perform an asana step by step. She has no tabus: If a block makes an asana safe, why not using one. To practice safe is important for her.

I am enthusiastic and the 14 USD per month are really worth it.

A few days ago I listened to the Marichyasana tutorial. I'm so sure that what I learned will protect my back. I knew at once that it makes sense what she said. The foot of the bent leg is not placed next to the stretched leg. It's also not placed so far outside that the outer rim of the foot is in line with the body. The foot is in the middle of the thigh. This is the most natural movement for the knee. There is also no pressure on the lower back that way.

This morning I watched a tutorial about the first sitting asanas of primary. It was a reminder of the bandhas. Engaging the abdomen protects the lower back. Each time when I felt back pain this morning I engaged my muscles even a bit more.

Even though the practice of Kino is very advanced, she doesn't expect perfection from students. Whatever is possible this can be done. Correctly. She shows very easy vinyasas.

This was my highlight today. I get closer and closer to the perfect jump through and jump back movement.

This post doesn't end with a happy end. At the end of my practice, out of the blue, the pain got awful again. Perhaps shoulder stand was the reason. Whatever. I had to use my fascia roll. I walked around. I took a shower. Here we go. I feel excellent again.

I have to and I will work on strong abdomen.

Happy weekend.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Because it's fun


On pinterest I collect pictures of Indian yogis. One of these yogis levitated. He got my full admiration. I always wondered how he did it. One day I found out how to do it. It's inhaling and UP.

The show, the fun is the same like hundreds of years ago. Only the tricks have changed a tiny bit. (wink, wink)

When I created this picture I laughed. This is why I practice yoga, it's fun, so incredible much fun, not only when levitating.

There are obstacles, yet the fun is always larger than any shadow that might darken the view.
Some of the obstacles I removed from my life, others introduced themselves. I didn't invite them. Yet here it is. It's back pain. One day it will leave me. Till then we'll get to know each other closer and closer. This pain wants to tell me something. A few things I already understood. I practice alone these days i.e.. There is more to understand than this......

So also today I practiced. In the middle of my practice, just before ustrasana the valley of pain was reached. One cramp in the back followed the next one. I switched to relaxing poses. 90 min I want to practice. The twists always feel good. So I continued with the twists. A tiniest wrong movement and I'm in the hell and back to heaven again if the movement is correct. That's how it is.

When I finish my practice I stand on my mat and whisper: Thank you.
So much is possible and I'm thankful for this.


Monday, June 26, 2017

Alone and happy on the mat


The picture shows my most relaxing posture when back pain is felt.

Today I had to relax only twice in that pose. I practiced primary this morning. I motivate myself with videos from omstar.com, Kino's TV channel. Having seen a video makes unstoppable. I have to practice.

It's amazing how flexible I am. Even supta kurmasana was possible. Many asanas also tell me that I have the weight that allows these challenging postures.

There were also asanas that I couldn't perform:
- Purvottanasana and setu bandhasana. Both asanas require that the back is engaged. After all these forward bending asanas this is impossible.
- I don't try urdhva dhanurasana. It's a torture to even try it after all the forward bending asanas. It's added later in history. It's an advanced back bending pose that comes out of nowhere. There is no preparation, nothing. Exercise smart, I think.
- Shoulder stand is impossible. To get out of the pose triggers horror. I have to fall out of the  pose. This is an uncontrolled movement, that scares me a lot. How to fall out of the pose is the question. I leave it out. One day it will return, then I'll welcome this pose again.
- The vinyasas are lost, I don't care. To get stronger again takes time. I give my best. I lift myself up again and again.

So 4 asanas were not possible, BUT all the other challenging asanas were possible. I was able to perform all the core asanas: baddha konasana, supta kurmasana, marichyasana D and garbha pindasaana. This is good.

Nevertheless, I won' t forget to add pranayama to my practice. I don't want to sit and breathe and meditate right after the asana practice. I want to shower first. It feels better. I want to sit on a blanket and not on a sticky mat.

Walking around and the pose on the picture are most relaxing for me. They have the effect of a pain killer. They probably take away the cramp in the muscle. What exact happens in my body is still a secret.

A brand new week has started. Wonderful.

By the way, I'm also on Instagram and flickr.
If you like to see me levitating, please have a look.