Sunday, August 31, 2008
I hadn't set the alarm clock on Saturday evening as I wanted to sleep longer. Usualy I am a bit after 6 on my balcony. Soon later she goes to her Mysore class. We greet each other usually.
At eight I was up today and soon later on my balcony for my breakfast, coffee and bananas.
"Do you join us?" she asked me. "We rented a taxi to go to the Chamundhi Hills, a temple, a palace and the gardens."
Me: "OK, I come."
She: "15 min."
Me: "Give me 30 min."
After 30 min I was ready for an adventure. We were four woman today: S. from Australia, Ch, from Japan, Ch. from Singapore and me from Germany.
We had a real adventure, but more later, tomorrow.
That's how it is here: Relax and all is coming.
Bad news: E. had opened my mobile phone bill. I obviously had called him too often.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
The mosquitos didn't allow me to stay too long outside. So I went inside and laid on my bed. I couldn't resist. I tried to get my legs behind my head, right leg first, then left leg, then both legs. That's how a comfortable evening of a yogini looks like. :)
It is hot here and yesterday I wore a yellow skirt that covered my knees and a T-shirt with short sleeves. I had the feeling that was too much. The eyes of the Indians remained a bit too long on my legs. This can be dangerous in that chaotic traffic.
What to bring to India during monsoon time: Comfortable pair of trousers, some for colder days and some for warmer days. Comfortable because most of the time we sit here on matresses in half lotus pose. It is also good when the trousers go till the ankles, because it is at least a bit of protection re the mosquitos. One skirt is enough for a party or to provoke a bit. Some of my clothes that I have in my suitcase I cannot use (too short skirts).
I like Indian clothes, but not for me.
Nevertheless I loved our breakfast group, I loved the company that I had this morning. I went with D. from Singapore to the Om-Cafe. There we met B. from France and C., also from Singapore. These woman are open and friendly persons and it is a joy to be with them. We 4 even plan to go to the jungle together. That can be fun. We await the next moon day. Nobody wants to miss a practice. We are all damned committed re Ashtanga yoga.
We were only 8 people today in a room usually up to 80 people practice. That was really nice. Everybody had enough space. I like space.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Second version (accepting): "Oh, how good the dogs are barking all night and the family is at home talking loudly till late at night, this turns my place where I sleep into a very safe place. I will sleep very well here."
It is unpredictable: Sometimes I sleep well, sometimes I toss and turn and cannot sleep.
It is as it is.
(I hope I can convince my bf to consider the barking of the dogs as "Die Nachtmusik" by Mozart, when he will be here. :)
Picture: another street with these typical little shops in Mysore
I think this is easily possible. If someone gets up an hour earlier in order to do Ashtanga yoga life has changed already. That is not big thing. Life changes all the time.
I have not yet heard that somebody has said: Ashtanga yoga has changed me.
And that is true, because something is missing: AWARENESS.
With awareness much more than only life would change.
I am not yet ready for dropping down into doing urdhva dhanurasana on my own. Too scared.
The shala is almost empty now. I really have space to practice. I prefer to have more space.
A man told me this morning after practice that the need for space can change. The longer you were in India the less space you would need, he told me. He is probably right.
Can we focus on 2 things at the same time? I remember that even scientists wrote about that matter. I think it is not possible. It is only possible to go from one focus to the next. This can be done very quickly. But one thing at at time is probably the only possible way. And my focus was the breathing today, the length of the breathing to be precise. Inhaling was supposed as long as exhaling.
Tomorrow during led class it will be the right vinyasas. This has also something to do with breathing, but it emphasizes the connection between the movements and the breathing.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
And the centre of your being is empty. It is just like the hub of a wheel. The whole wheel moves on the empty hub. Your innermost core is empty, nothing, nothingness, shunyam, void, ayss-like. You are afraid of that emptiness, so you go on clinging on the rim of the wheel or, at the most, if you are a little daring, then you go on clinging to the spokes; but you never move towards the hub. One starts feeling afraid, shaky.
I go on answering your problems just to be polite. They are all bogus - basically meaningless - but they help you to avoid yourself. They distract you. How can one go in? There are so many problems first to be solved. But if one problem is solved, immediately another bubbles up. And if you look, you will see the other problem has the same quality as the first. Try to solve it and a third one comes up, which in turn is immediately substituted."
Found in: Yoga - The path to liberation by Osho, page 160.
My mind was rather distracted today, nevertheless I got back to the breath all the time.
Next to me was a fighter, a friendly man, but a fighter. It is not necessary to point at others, but sometimes it is easier to understand. I know what it means to fight.
That is the shift that I want to make now: from fighting to playing, from being active to let it happen. Is this still yoga then, I ask myself?
Picture: Me in front of the old shala.
"India very good!"
My cleaning woman asked me if I found India good. With a smile I could answer yes, India very good.
Me: "Do you like some chocolate?" I didn't await the answer and opened the little silver bag where I had stored the chocolate that I had bought at Cubs. It is white and black and inside are pistachios. My experience is that almost everybody likes this black sweet. Of course she liked chocolate. But she refused to take it. She held her hands towards me with the palms showing upwards. I had to give her the chocolate. It is so amazing firstly that communication happens without many words and secondly that many things are so different here. Oh, she enjoyed the chocolate and me, too.
Picture: This time it is a larger street to Mysore.
Yes, me too, I think they are great, these Gods and Goddesses.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
It is time for pranayama and meditation.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
To exercise drishti is much more than not looking around observing the other aspirants. It means to keep the eyes quit. There is a connection between eye momement and thinking. It is called "rapid eye movement". You can make a test. Ask someone to imagine a green elephant and you shall see how the eyes will move. So thinking and eye movements are connected. When keeping the eyes quite, thinking becomes more difficult. And this is the goal of the dristis.
Drishtis help to control the mind. The technique is keeping the eyes quit, without movement. Yoga trains the body and the mind.
I am in a hurry now. Must stop writing about this interesting topic.
Picture: Also Indians buy water to stay healthy. Not every Indian drinks tap water.
Today my legs were crossed behind the head and my fingers were hooked. I could hold this pose on my own. I only do not know how to get that far alone.
Today I was at the shala at 8:10. It was already too late. The clock at the shala has its own time. It is so much better to come at that time. Then the shala becomes empty.
Practices are very intensive here. It was scarcly possible to do some asanas before my pranayama and meditation session yesterday evening. No rule (practice only once a day) is necessary. To listen to the body, to practice with awareness is enough to know that only a few asanas should be done to prepare the body. Meditation was wonderful yesterday.
Silence, my breath, nothing else.
Monday, August 25, 2008
During the next poses I asked myself how Sh. can know that Sa. told me to come at 8:15. Then I remembered that I had to send a picture with my application. So when they use the application to make some notes, Sa and Sh. have the same info. They only have to find the person who suits to the picture. Ha - back to the breath, inhaling pause exhaling pause.........
Practice was good. Between some poses I wondered why I torture myself every morning with these difficult asanas. Deep inside myself I must know it.
"Yoga makes strong," Sh. said yesterday. "The breath and the dristhis have changed my life." I know what he means. The dristhis are a bit neglected during my practice, but I can see that the breath has the potential to change our all lifes (for the better of course). It can make me more relaxed. And when I am more relaxed I am usually enjoying life more.
The only thing which was not sure when I arrived here in Mysore, India was, if I was allowed to practice in the shala as I had sent my application too late (not 2 months in advance, what was not possible for me).
All expectations imply that they can be fulfilled or not. If they are not fulfilled usually human beings are dissatisfied.
In Asia there is another learning and teaching tradition. The teacher often makes it difficult for the student to study with him in order to be sure that the student is really interested in learning. Many Zen stories tell this. Sharath also told a similar story during yesterday's conference. It is not like in the Western world that you have to pay a fee, study 2 years, pass an exam and that was it. Here there are almost no rules or they change often or they are considered as arbitrarily. The teacher selects the pupils and not the other way round. This creates insecurities. It is not comparable with our systems.
For me the conference was about expectations and to let them go. Those who want to do yoga shall do yoga, practice yoga, study the text and go on practicing yoga. Authorizations come at the last thing. Without expectations the stay in India is much more relaxed and learning can happen. Then it is possible to experience something new and to come home as someone else, someone more experienced. Otherwise we remain the same.
Isn't it also boring to look always for the same rules the same behaviour, familiar things?
Expectations are like weed. I have less and less expectations and this makes my life easier. Nevertheless I discover some here and then. Quickly I try to let them go.
"Every home is a school" said one of the volunteers of the charity organisation Pratham Mysore. "Come and see." He meant it how he said it. Many families in the slum have so many children that they can form a school. That is why the mothers, who are often illiterates are teached, so that they can teach the children. But the mothers have to be teached first and that is what foreigners can offer. Gokulam is probably not India. Will I go to the slums? Probably not.
(Today was again one of the days where I wished I could express myself better. )
It was sort of party with A. at Green Leaf yesterday as half of my trip is over.
What would I make differently?
I would bring 2 towels instead of one. :)
Sunday, August 24, 2008
As soon as a yogini is no more able to perform a pose she takes her mat and goes to the back of the room to do the finishing sequence. Not many people did the entire series. I think it was about 6, no more. All the others stopped earlier. Not being able to come up from karandavasana does not seem to be a reason to stop.
What I learned: In parsva dhanurasana the legs are closed. The yogis sit on their feet and legs when doing cow pose and not between the legs.
Organic market at Boopi's: Afterwards A. and I went to the organic market. An organic farm sells vegetables and fruits there. The first time I tasted a jackfruit. I loved it at once. The jackfruits have great chance to substitute my bananas in the morning.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
The picture is interesting insofar that it is taken in the "old shala", in the opposite house where the shala is now.
My focus was again the breath. I could hear my breath because the shala was not crowded. Inhaling pause exhaling pause inhaling pause exhaling......
Sarasw. even helped me to do supta kurmasana. The pose is volatile. I could hook the fingers but it was not really stable. When Sarasw. crossed my legs I could not keep my fingers hooked anymore. Either I could hold the crossed legs or I could keep the fingers hooked. One of the rare truth is: not every day is the same.
Surprisingly good was sirsasana. I could hold it 15 breaths. This has never happened so far.
The breath guided me through the practice. I tried to do the vinyasas correctly. I listened carefully to Sarasw.'s counting.
And then it was over and we all relaxed on our mats for some time.
Friday, August 22, 2008
My goal was to save some energy for an intensive urdhva dhanurasana. That was also why I stopped so early. And urdhva dhanurasana was rather good. The back seems to open slowly But I think I am still far away from doing it on my own. I am curious when I do not write this sentence anymore.
I missed today's practice. All the students arrived at 6 for the led class, only I arrived at 8 in order to practice Mysore. Somehow I did not get the information to come earlier. Sarasw. drove to Bangalore today, so there was a change in the schedule. Everybody knew it, except me. :)
Imagine all the students doing led class and I sit in front of the shala waiting for my Mysore class. But the shala was closed after the led class. I was disappointed. The woman from Signapore cheered me up. You could go home and do a home practice, she told me with a smile. And she was right. No reason to worry.
I had breakfast with the woman from Signapore and the woman from Japan. We laughed a lot. I thought tiger balm would be good against my mosquito bites. I thought it came from China, but it comes from Signapore.
Then I decided to dress something colorful and walk around as it is a sunny day today. Perhaps this will be my day off today, but I do not know it yet. Flexibility is needed here.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
My focus remains the breath. I do not care anymore if I can hold the wrists in marichyasana c and d. But I do care if my inhaling is as long as my exhaling. And I want to hear inhaling and exhaling. Before I can give something away, I must have something, that I can give away. Inhaling comes first, then follows exhaling. Exhaling - to let go, but to let go of what? Inhaling first, deep inhaling, then exhaling, to let go. I write this, because I only hear people exhaling. It was my fault also and I am so thankful that my teacher B. in Munich draw my attention to it. Now I try to avoid it. Inhaling, pause, exhaling, pause.
Have I mentioned it? I had a wonderful practice today. I observe it with great joy.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
But why to lenghten the breath?
My pranayama teacher had an answer. A long and calm breath calms the mind.
And this is it what we can exercise on and off the mat. In daily life we might not want to use jalandhara bandha all the time, nevertheless a deep breath is possible. A deep breath might calm the mind also in daily life.
The breath remains my focus during my practice: Inhaling, pause, exhaling, pause, and so on.
Have a deep and long breath.
Today Sa. said to me: "Monday you try a bit. " She meant back bending and this sounds so much better for me than "You do backbending alone on Monday". The practice exhausts me. After practice I do not wash my clothes anymore. I only put the clothes into the water with shampoo. My legs tremble when I start washing them, that is why I stopped doing it. I need to rest after practice. To check emails is possible.
I give what I can in the shala, nevertheless I think it can be more. That is perhaps a bad thinking habit.
And now I go home and wait for Cara. We will go to Green Leaf for lunch. :)
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
I will stay here 2 months, more than three weeks are already over. 1 month would not have been enough. To get used to the country, the intensive practice here in that warm and wet weather needs time. I had this wonderful pranayama class in the beginning, but it needed a lot of energy, too. Now I have the feeling that I can focus on my Ashanga practice. This is great. I often feel as if I have to start from scratch again, that I do not even know how to breath, that I do not pay attention to the right counting and so on. But as so often, sometimes we have to step back in order to advance.
Picture: It is one of the paintings the women do every morning in front of their houses.
Every day I am here now to check my Emails and to blog. In my first days I had no PC available and I was very happy that I could check my emails in the little garage (see picture). Now I sit upstairs.
Ganesh organises trips, taxis, his wife Anu prepares delicious meals. It is one of the big meeting points here (almost a living room for so many).
I can only say thank you for the great service that is provided by both of them.
Monday, August 18, 2008
And again it is raining and again my washed clothes hang outside.
We were just discussing if the tap water or the rain water is dirtier. So what.
The doctor put it in a cast and warned her not to walk up and down the stairs. It fanally mended after six months and the doctor announced the cast could be removed.
"Can I climb the stairs now?" asked the old lady.
"Yes," said the doctor.
"Oh, I am glad," she giggled. "I am sick of going up and down the drainpipe."
Found in: Yoga, the path of liberation by Osho, page 123 f.
Picture: Impressions of Gokulam
Every Sunday at 7:30 yoginis are invited to watch the led class of the second series practitioners. I will do this.
Then it was our turn. Those who struggle with the primary series poses had her led class. My focus this time was to listen to the counting of S. I was only ambitious when it came to urdhva dhanurasana. I lifted myself up and I wanted to hold the pose for 5 breaths.
Later I met A. for lunch and we went to my favourite restaurant: Green Leaf. The manager of this restaurant informed us about the medals the Germans and the Japans had won already in the Olympic Games. Isn t that sweet? He also mentioned that India has one medal in shooting. "India has perhaps less medals, but a more relaxed life," we consoled him. But he felt very good, he laughed about all this and he seemed to enjoy it more to talk to us than to count medals.
Picture: It is part of the temple in Gokulam.
In the evening I said good-bye to M. who was heading for England. Coming and going here.
Picture: It is the swimming pool of the Southern Star Hotel.