Saturday, December 16, 2006

I wished, I could report something else

I set the alarm clock at 8 a.m., as it was late yesterday, when we came home from the party. I wanted to have at least 7 hours sleep. I talked (and listened) a lot, most of the time with a woman from the US. She spoke perfectly German with almost no accent. We talked about globalization, shares, writing. The evening was too short to talk to everybody.

At 8 a.m. this morning I got up for my morning pages and my yoga practice. My Ashtanga practice started so hopefully. 5 wonderful suryas a, break, 3 nice suryas b, break. Then I started with the standing sequence. The standing asanas are a balancing exercise. Today I trembled in parivritta trikonasana. But I could hold the poses without falling out of them.

After prasarita padottanasana d I got hungry. I stopped my practice went into the kitchen and ate a banana, raisins, some cheese and dried mangoes. Now I can really stop. It has to be a longer break now, my stomach is full. Why was it so important to go into the kitchen?

I will practice again, but now I have to wait.

But that's what I observe for a while now. The body is easier to handle than the mind. There is pain from time to time, sometimes the body is stiff, sometimes not. But that's all. The body is learning, slowly, but learning. The greater challenge is the mind. It always wants to do something else. When I'm on the mat I consider to eat. When I blog I want to be on my mat, I could go on and on.

How to train the mind, that's the question for the coming time.
I remember what I've read in one of Iyengar's books. He wrote that the body is heavy and slowly, while the mind is the opposite, fast, light. To bring them both together is the task. But how? How to bring the mind to the mat, how to stay there. I have to make it very interesting for my mind.

Distracted as my yoga is my writing. Often I delete sentences that I've written in my blog, because I jump from one subject to the next. I see it in my morning pages and on the mat as well. It is difficult to stay focused. For my morning pages I can accept it, because the goal is just to write whatever comes to mind. But I don't like it if I'm so distracted on my mat.

All is relative of course. I have a colleague, who is not able to do one wire transfer without interrupting himself several times in order to tell anything. There is no focus, no concentration at all. But do I really want to compare myself with him. No. I only want to relativize my lack of focus for myself.

Writing this I also can see that one step forward is at first 2 steps back. At first I was so busy learning the sequence. I even was not able to do some asanas at all. I was busy to look up the asanas in my book by Swenson. I struggled with individual asanas just to perform it. Till now I do not know all the asanas by name. And now another huge dimension is on my mat. The mind. I train my body for 3 years now, but what have I done for the mind? Almost nothing. It needs attention. I will look for special exercises for my mind. Very important.


CJ said...

My ayurvedic teacher would say perhaps too much vata?

Ursula said...

What is vata? Ursula

Karen said...

Hi Ursula. Part of practice is to practice putting your thoughts aside. When you think of taking a break, you put the thought aside and continue practicing. When you think of eating, you put the thought aside. Basically, you train your mind by setting aside these thoughts that arise because the mind is so quick and so busy. Many people think of the practice as the physical practice, but we also have to practice setting aside our thoughts during asanas. It's not easy, though!

Ursula said...

Hi Karen, the idea of putting thoughts aside pleases me very much. I will try it. Thanks.

Krishna said...

Hi Ursula

I have started reading your blog from the beginning and hence commenting on this old blog post . Your problem of lack of focus is not unique to you and many people have it .Just like we train the body through postures , we need to train the mind and simple meditative practices like Japa ,Mindful meditation will help us a lot in keeping the mind calm and focused . Some simple breathing exercises will also help . Yoga is an integration of body , breath and mind and we need to address all these 3 aspects properly .Nod doubt Ashtanga Yoga Practice has all these 3 built in to it but for a beginner it is better he takes care of doing these practices in isolation before integrating it in a full ashtanga practice .

Ursula said...

Dear Krishna, I think this is a very helpful comment.

If you don't mind I will quote you in some way.

Please enjoy my blog, I feel flattered that you read from the beginning on. to be honest I cannot remember everything anymore. Smiling.
And happy practices.

Krishna said...

Dear Ursula

I am happy that u found my comment useful .Feel free to share it with others .As I have just started my Ashtanga journey I am interested in reading your ashtanga journey so that I can learn and benefit from it .

Ursula said...

Dear Krishna,

have fun, be entertained.
Comments are always very welcomed.