Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Believe in yourself

It's soccer world cup. I love to see the matches. But I also love to listen to the interviews of the players. The world best soccer player (Ronaldo) said that he always believed in himself. In addition he practiced more than all the others. When his colleagues were under the shower already after a match, he still played with the ball.

Believe in yourself is such a precious hint. Doubts plaster the path. I'm glad that I didn't give up my yoga practice. I probably had too many days when I didn't practice, but perhaps these breaks were necessary. I had to avoid inflammation.

This back injury is now 2 years back. I heal in steps. My feeling is that I leaped ahead again. In the beginning of my practice I was not 100% pain free. I exercised variations of some of the standing asanas. But then the pain disappeared. Totally. I could do even supta kurmasana without much preparing asanas.
When I feel pain, it's of short duration. It fades away very quickly. After the practice I feel good. That is I can even take the steps without pain. Yep it has been that awful.

I'll keep believing that one day this back pain belongs to the past again.

What I realize. I love Ashtanga yoga. The huge weakness is that there is no didactic. One is left alone more or less. Best case is that learning of new asanas is very ineffective. Instead of mastering an asana within 6 months, it can last 10 years. Worst case is that this missing reasonable approach to very demanding asanas injures people. That's what I experienced.

This is my new topic here. How to be a good autodidact. How to learn asanas effectively. How to understand asanas.

What was possible today on the mat fulfills me with great joy. I have hope again that I can return to my former strength and flexibility. I can still progress. It will be a lonesome ride. I miss a yoga group, but by now I cannot imagine to get back to any of the groups here in Munich. In the meantime there are even choices. But I have my blog and readers and this keeps me motivated, too.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

You're one practice away from good mood

This morning I got up rather early. It was about 6 am. It's much later than 2 years ago when I got up at 5 am, but 6 am is still early. It's bright day already. Sun rise is at 5:15 am. Time is good to get up at 5 am again. I remember that I loved it to get up just before sunrise.

So today I was very busy. I had to pick up my suitcase. I had to get to the post office. Chores had to be done as we expect guests. Flow was experienced. When it was lunch time I went to the Indian restaurant round the corner. Siesta time, I thought and after lunch I went to bed to nap. When I woke up I felt as if I had been dead. I wasn't, but I felt so lame. So lame. Again I postponed my yoga practice. Energy was low, then I remembered a quote that I saw on twitter: You're one work out away from good mood.

I schlepped myself on the mat with the attitude: Whatever happens is OK.

It's so true:
You're one yoga practice away from good mood.

Friday, May 25, 2018

I keep practicing

This morning I was so tired. Suddenly I realized why. I wanted to give up drinking coffee. So this morning I had prepared a cup of tea for myself. It was Earl Grey Tea and I love it. But it didn't wake me up. At 10 am I was in bed again. The telephone woke me up after 20 minutes. I had slept again. I still felt like in trance. Tired. Bad mood. Lame. And I had so many plans for today's yoga practice.

I managed  to go out of the house after the phone call to get batteries. This was an item on my to-do-list. On my way home I stopped at a bakery, ordered a cup of coffee and my fav cake. Mood improved, I felt energy. I was motivated to practice. I bought strawberries for the after yoga snack and headed home.

Yes, I practiced. This quote is so true:You're one practice away from good mood.

Friday is my forward bending day.
These days I work more on the method how to learn a pose than to hurry through one of the Ashtanga yoga series. I take my time and my timer. Some asanas I hold for one minute. Oh, a minute can be so long when I'm in a split pose. I know it's important to relax, to breathe deeply and evenly.
To hold the poses longer than 5 breath can be very useful. 5 breaths is too short to have an impact on a stiff body. That's why I hold some of the challenging poses longer. I always add the splits and hold them for one minute. I see already results. Yet this could be a topic for next blog posts.

Happy relaxed weekend to everybody.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Urdhva dhanurasana


The chin touched the wall. External clues help to get deeper into a pose. I'm glad that I practiced, I'm glad that I could experience 90 intensive minutes on the mat.

Nevertheless my practices don't refresh me. They exhaust me. I need to sleep in the afternoon. My body needs to relax. It seems so. I feel done.


This was my urdhva dhanurasana in 2000. It looks rather wild. My urdhva dhanurasana of 2018 looks more disciplined and more precisely.


Mistakes happen. To keep the legs parallel with a strap is not a good idea. It's much better to put a block between the thighs and to hold it. This makes the legs strong. With a strap around the legs, they move outwards. This is not the intention. 


I'm sure that practicing urdhva dhanurasana was good for my body. The pictures show how slow progress can be.
The pictures also show why I'm so impatient these days. How I practiced made it impossible to progress faster.

In order to progress I recommend myself to hold this asana longer than 5 breaths. 5 breaths is too short. The body won't really stretch within such a short time.
In order to get stronger it makes sense to move into that pose more often. Up and down, up and down 10 times every day, that's what makes strong. And strength is needed. Finally I want to come up from that pose.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Another intensive practice

It was the afternoon when I started primary. I get stronger again, slowly, but it's remarkable. My joy is huge that my back pain is almost not existent. I have to adjust few asanas. The closing sequence is possible again. 

After the practice I feel good as well. I'm exhausted, but that's it. I don't have to do fascia massages or twists to get my body back to normal 

To practice at home allows me to focus on myself. I can rest if possible. 

Splits are always part of my program. 

After two years of doubts, I'm sure now that my yoga practice can improve again. This injury was a wake-up call. Self-study is necessary To do every day the same asanas without reflecting if this is still useful makes no sense. In the meantime a lot of information is available about almost everything that is important: nutrition, strength training, cardio. There are tips and tricks about how to do the asanas. It's easier these days to create a safe practice.

Tomorrow I'll focus on back bending. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Back bending

No, I don't begin from point zero again. But sometimes it feels so. Today was my back bending day. I don't rush through the back bending asanas of the second Ashtanga series. I add asanas, I repeat asanas, I use props. Walking down the wall is so helpful. The goal is that the asanas must feel good. I know how this feels. My experience is that the closer the asana comes to the perfect form, the more comfortable and easy it seems to be.

The 90 minutes on the mat practicing back bending were must intensive. Afterwards I was so tired. I took a siesta later and slept, still exhausted from my effort to get deeper and deeper into the asanas.

Most difficult is to alter from back bending to forward bending. I practice usually soft counter poses, but to get from kapotasana to eka pada sirsana seems impossible within one poractice.

Practicing anything also means to work on the mind. Believing that something is possible is a huge step in direction of this goal.

We have summer weather here already. This helps.

Tomorrow primary is on the schedule again. Focus is the vinyasas.

I'm so thankful, that practices are possible again.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Celebrating tiny successes

1. In April I practiced more often than during the other months in 2018.
2. Today I did chakrasana again.
3. My lack of strength is more striking than my back pain. I'm getting stronger with each practice.
4. I enjoy my practice.
5. Yoga nidrasana was possible. I could begin with the next focus that is to relax in that pose.
6. Also the closing sequence was possible.

I'm thankful that I can practice again. What a gift.