Monday, April 30, 2012

Without embellishment

It was the best what I could do today on my birthday. A yogini organized a yoga room for today. Just before it would have been too late, I threw my yoga clothes in my handbag, I took my thin blue yoga mat and I ran to the shala.

I practiced primary today. Straightforward was my practice. Nothing was omitted, nothing was added. Purity is the word that fits to describe it.

The yoginis and the yogi gave their energy, what a lovely birthday present. It allowed me to be intensive, focused.

I'm a fan of daily life. Why doing anything else today than on other days.

Again I look for a nice quote.......perhaps I find one later........


I seriously consider to practice yoga today. :)
This will surely make my day round.

In addition I'm very happy that I have to do nothing. No obligations, only fun is on the plate today and a dinner at an Italian restaurant at night.

As usual the weather is good on the last day in April.

Life flows.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

On moods.

Yesterday night I was in the mood to read in one of Ramesh Balsekar's books. Just as a reminder. "Let life flow" was the one that I found first on my book shelf.
I found some interesting sentences on mood.
I quote from page xiv: "There is also, scientists contend, a set point for happiness - a genetically determined mood level that the vagaries of life may nudge upward or downward, but only for a while. With time, the grouchy tend to become as cranky as before and the light-hearted, cheery again."

So, nothing to worry about. "Good" or "bad" events simply bring some movement, till life goes on as usual, as predetermined. Hahaha.....

It was a lovely day yesterday. We sat in a beer garden under the shadow of the trees. It was dark when we returned home. See second picture. People were still sitting outside as it was a hot day yesterday and at night it was still warm.

Oh, oh, time to step on my mat, at least for some sun salutations..........

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Countries where I've been.

It's weekend, yoginis

That's how I love the weather. This too must be mentioned. Today I had just left the cosy bed, then I went to my yoga room and opened the balcony doors. The sun is shining, it's warm. I can be barefoot all day long, I can dress my fancy summer clothes. Oh, the birds are singing. It's a summer day here. All the house rats and couch potatoes will come out and they will be dressed much more colorful than in winter time.

We've a guest. E's mother is here. She's 86 and so active. She loves to travel. I made some plans. I think it could be an idea to go to the Schrannenhalle. It became a gourmet temple and who doesn't love to eat high end food. It's nice to stroll around there, also if one doesn't eat.

Today is my yoga free day. I enjoy it. The book by Matthew Sweeney is next to me and I look at the poses to come in anticipation. Ashtanga yoga is so crazy, it fits to me.

Happy weekend to everybody. 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Oh, my hips

This morning I felt my hips. It's a new feeling. It was and is as if they are sore. Might be that skandasana was intensive yesterday. Nevertheless, I could practice as usual. The feeling disappeared, only now it returned again.

It was the last practice before a break till the 9th May. M is on vacation. This fact gave me energy, I wanted to have a good "last" practice. Energy reserves could be mobilized.
Tomorrow I respect the day off.

On Sunday I'll practice second series in the morning. Just this. I can work on the asanas that need more attention than just doing it.
On Friday I'll practice primary with hanumanasana as extra.
During the week I'll work on second series and the bit of third.......

I slept when I returned home. How good that I set the alarm clock. I disappeared, I wouldn't have wake up without this alarm. One and a half hour I slept. In Pakistan they nap 4 til 5 hours, I consoled myself and found it harmless that I killed only 90 min.

Just lost another hour, simply with organizing blogs and Google+ and updates I shall perform. I get crazy and the weather is so wonderful. I'd better move out.

Ha, my balcony doors are open. This morning I was already barefoot in my sandals. Summer time has come. Yepeeeee.

BTW, this tree on the picture stands in front of our yoga shala.....:)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Primary today with some extras

The extra was skandasana. I was curious today how this feels. With the leg behind the head this standing on one foot this pose is a balancing pose. It probably doesn't look elegantly when I get into the pose, but it's doable.

I also wanted to see how it looks like from the side. It's all about stretching, lengthening the body. Yeah, it's a very good start. Next asana requires to stand up with the leg behind the head, lol.

Finally it's warm here. I was out with flip flops on. I love to be bare foot. OK, enough for today. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I'm ready for soccer

At home finally after an exciting, wonderful, yet exhausting day.
I was a good salesperson of my own person. I think so. I know how to approach people and I'm approachable. It's interesting to smell the flair of other communities. I met smart, successful people today with high-end education, high-end manners, who even expressed sort of humor.

I walked home after the interview. It was warm today and my suit was too warm for the weather, yet appropriate for the situation. I sweated under the clothes that are sort of business uniform.

If the work starts, it will start at the end of May. Yepeeeee. Then I can celebrate my birthday without the burden of a new job.

I'm ready for soccer now: Champions League.


Contract signed.

I met a person this morning, I wish my yoga practice would be so professional.

- Everything was prepared
- Every movement was done, no more, no less, from the beginning to the end, with consciousness, not too fast, not too slow.
- Every movement/sentence has been done a hundred times, yet it was performed as if it was the first time.
- Lightheartedly was the play, this energy was contagious.
- Every detail was respected and performed as well as the important parts with the same attention, even joy.
- The beginning and the end had exactly the right timing.
- No procrastination.
- Experience could be seen and felt, every sentence was brought to the next level, again and again.

Indeed, I'm looking forward to my new accounting task and to the new monthly rhythm given through this task. I feel honored about the confidence that is given to me.

The picture is taken downtown Munich 2 days back. Street-photography can be so funny. The woman was a tourist, who wanted me to take a picture. The man stands there from time to time for the tourists obviously. The picture reminds me of a cigarette advertising campaign a few years back.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A rainy day

I look at the time on my PC and think "no". What have I done so far?

There is no substitute for the own practice, no matter what it is. Practicing anything turns into life experience.
Brrrhhhhhh, must soon practice. Soon my time to dawdle around will be very limited. Why not still joying the feeling of having time galore?

This morning I almost fell off the chair when I read Q's comment. He wrote that Ashtanga yoga doesn't exercise the upper body. Lol. This might be half true if one exercises only primary. But also here strength in the upper body is needed if one likes to jump through, if one exercises the vinyasas comme il faut. I personally have not found an exercise that's so holistic like Ashtanga yoga. Even the perineum, and the little toes, the pelvic floor are not forgotten.....and of course also not the upper body.

Only one word to weight lifting. It was created to create a what was considered a beautiful male body. This was huge arm muscles, breast muscles, back muscles. The legs were often very thin, underdeveloped. It's not really my taste. The body work is monotone. Weight lifting was not created to keep the body healthy. Most body builders take anabolic substances. "Beauty" was the goal.

Sportive activities have different risks to injure: running is much more dangerous than Ashtanga yoga. Diving might be even more risky. The insurance and health companies do have statistics.

If one likes to run on Monday, to do weight lifting on Tuesday, dancing on Wednesday, Ashtanga yoga on Thursday, swimming on Friday, hatha yoga on Saturday, so please go ahead.

I think it's much more rewarding to get deeper. Focus has different aspects.

Enough is said. I don't dance in every dance hall. I've found what I love and what I consider healthy and exciting for me. It's Ashtanga yoga. It's not such a secret.

Picture: As a lack of models I discovered street photography. Half of the population is making phone calls. The other half is eating or running from one place to the other. Then there is the group who takes pictures.....hahahaha.......
My mother used to say to me: "If you eat while standing you'll get fat legs." Nowadays I think, I give me time to eat. I sit down, I want to have a plate. It's a break and opportunity to practice awareness and to enjoy something delicious, consciously.  

Monday, April 23, 2012

Being passionate

Being passionate means to dedicate time and energy to an activity on a daily basis. Otherwise it's killing time. This is OK, too. Not everything needs to become a passion. But if one wants to become good at anything, more commitment than being busy with it once a week, is necessary. If one practices anything 3 times a week it becomes an interest, with 6 times a week you're into it.

This is not only true for body work or Ashtanga yoga. I read some books on photography lately. The recommendation: shoot daily.

Re Ashtanga yoga I see an additional danger. If done only once a week it's much more likely to injure oneself.

Our lives have changed. To many people sit the entire day. To move 2 hours a day is not extreme, but healthy. I think it's true: if we love someone, something, we find time for this person, we find time to do this activity. If not we've excuses why not.
My experience so far is that those who have a rather unhealthy life style are much more prone to tell me I'm extreme than the fellows with a healthy life style.

I'll soon go to a Mysore class and I'll also have time to take pictures, because I love to do both. The sun is out. Perhaps it'll become a bit warmer today. This would be soooooo fantastic as I want to shoot outside.

I enjoyed a healthy breakfast: Half a pear (the other half is for my better half, who is still sleeping), some nuts, a soy yogurt. I had a glass of water and a cup of coffee. With this the first meal of the day is already a healthy one.

I feel still tired. I couldn't sleep in last night. This is sometimes so.

On Saturday I stopped at my Mango dealer's shop to get some fruit.
He: You look so pale.
Me: I don't go in the sun anymore. I love the sun, but I stay in the shadow.
He: We in Pakistan do the same. During lunch time when the sun is very hot, we sleep for 4 or 5 hours.

Me thinking: 4 hours or 5 hours. Lol. And I think it's too much when I stay in bed for 2 hours sometimes. Hahaha........No bad feelings anymore from now on, when I sleep too long. Too long is also relative.

I can imagine myself taking a nap today. :) as long as I need it. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012


My yoga week has started with primary, led class this afternoon. This series is by far not performed as I wish it were. This doesn't mean that I do not enjoy what I'm able to do. It feels good when I practice. I came so far already, I see this.

Handstand is improving. This is a surprise.

One night between two practices. I'll go to bed soon. I want to be fit for tomorrow. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Being aware

Many many people go through life not realizing what's going on right in front of their eyes. I discovered street photography lately as I lack models. So I walk around with my camera and I search people that seem to be interesting for me for a picture. Everything is moving all the time. One must be really fast. There is a great moment, i.e. a man is desperately searching for his cigarettes, in the next moment this moment is over already and he turns his back to me. If I weren't fast I'd missed the situation. A friend lately told me that there are cameras on the market that take pictures already when you lift the camera to capture the otherwise missed moments.
What I see  in the streets are people making phone calls. It seems to me as if half of the population is hanging on the phone. Some are eating or drinking. (Bad habit! hahaha).
Some are also present. Yesterday I took a picture of a man who was standing on a ladder painting the house. First he realized that I took a picture. He asked,  how he could get the pictures. I offered to send them via Email. He had his business card handy and didn't miss to offer his services. The floors here need repairing and it's very likely that he has a new task very soon. And this only because he was present.
Not being present means to miss opportunities.
It can even mean to bring oneself in danger when crossing the street sleepwalking i.e. I wonder why not more accidents happen with all the mentally absent people in the streets.

When I practice yoga I exercise being aware. In Ashtanga yoga we practice with open eyes and we look in a given direction. This is important. Despite open eyes I can feel what's going on inside my body. I've awareness in both directions: inside and outside. Despite directing the eyes to a dirshti it's possible to realize what's going on in a room. Thoughts can be realized, too. Not giving meaning to it, refocusing again and again mentally to the breath is the exercise for the mind. It intensifies the practice and this IS satisfying.

There is time enough for dreaming and drifting away, I think. A dreamer is writing this post. Life becomes richer if the mind can be used in different ways. Consciously.

I was excited yesterday before the Mysore class. To practice pashasana right after the surya namaskaras and to omit the standing asanas is new to me. It shall shorten my long practice. I was not sure if I'd be able to do it. I was. My last too practices were excellent again. Primary gets better and intermediate series, too. It's good that my practice is shorter, a bit more energy is available for the last 5 poses.

It seems so as if I get a new job. Hahahaha. It will be one week every month as an accountant downtown. I think this is OK. This will pay my health insurance which is very expensive here. It's as expensive as a rent. The tax adviser will drive me to the company. Lol. "I get you", he might think. I'm curious about the new people that I'll meet. I also think that my yoga practice, my ability to concentrate will help me to manage the other tasks, too. We shall see. Only change is permanent.

Life is an experiment.
I want to find out what is possible.

Today is my yoga free day. I'll clean and read and walk and take pictures and I'll pamper my ill darling.........I've a lot of fun in life.

PS: Don't clean with high heels. I put them on only because of the picture. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

A Champagne day.

First I didn't realize it when I returned home from yoga practice. E was still at home. I suggested it to him. Already yesterday evening he felt ill, a cold. This morning his voice was so rough that it was indeed better to stay in bed. But I know him. He makes it possible to go to work. So, I was surprised to find him at home. He had not yet eaten breakfast. How good, so we could match a common meal.

"For me it's a Champagne day, do you like a glass of Champagne", I asked him.
I was a bit surprised but he wanted it. I've always a Champagne in the fridge for special days. Despite my wine dealer in Berlin I sticked to Veuve Cliquot. "What", he once said to me when I wanted to buy a bottle, "you drink this old widow?" Yes, for me it's the old widow.

After an intensive sweaty yoga practice it goes direct into the blood this bubble water. Ah, so good.
I realized you enjoyed this luxury water, too.

Happy birthday, my sweetie. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

How I'll practice from now on.

I'm the first who starts with the practice. And I'm one of the last who leaves the field, I mean shala when I go to a Mysore class.

- I practice the surya namaskaras A and B, the standing sequence till after utthita parsvottanasana.
- Then I start with the middle part of second series and 5 poses of the third series are added.
- Then urdhva dhanurasana which is still a challenge for me.
- Then the closing sequence.

Then I'm done. It lasts in sum about 2 and a half hours.

Yesterday M suggested to omit the standing asanas.
Huh, I thought, no standing asanas?
Also in the book by Matthew Sweeney "Astanga yoga as it is", I read on page 14: "The Advanced sequences are sometimes practiced without doing any standing postures. One commences the first Advanced posture (vasisthasana or mula bandhasana) after surya namaskara B. This has some benefits, such as a shorter and sharper practice, though the body is less open to begin with."

In my case I'm very busy with intermediate series. I have to practice all the asanas. To leave out the standing asanas is indeed worth trying as my practice is indeed rather long. This forced me in the last weeks to practice very consequently. But when the feeling comes up that I've to hurry through the practice it's too much. I'm curious how it will feel.

Today is my primary day. I'll practice all the standing asanas, primary and the 5 asanas of third series. I add hanumanasana (forward split). Without being able to do hanumanasana the first asanas of third series are not possible.

Health is important. Being strong, being flexible (body and mind), being able to concentrate and to focus helps to fly through life. It's worth to exercise these skills. It makes life easier.

In Connecticut, USA was an opening of a new Jois shala. A big party was organized what I could see in the pictures on Facebook. Became Ashtanga yoga a mass movement, I wonder? In Germany it's still so that when I mention that I do Ashtanga yoga 99% don't know what it is. This usually provokes me to explain it, lol.
It's obvious: Ashtanga yoga fits to one of the American business concepts: Double it, double it, double it. Ashtanga yoga will become a chain business (franchising). My intellect says that it has advantages when I get around the globe the same food (yoga). On the other hand I'm a bit confused to see this former exotic activity so commercialized. It's like with everything: not everybody will start yoga. To have the possibility is great.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

At home, how nice.

Oh, yes. I practiced second series today. It was good. My shoulders hurt this morning when I woke up. Perhaps my sleeping position was not the best. Who knows, who cares. My intention was to focus on my breath and not on my shoulder blades.

Three days off influence a practice. Not peak performance was my goal, but concentration. I needed not so many breaks today. This was very good.

Nothing was omitted. Only forward split was added. No asanas of third series was done. This would have been too much, this would have been frustrated me. Back bending was hard enough to bear.

A warm bath should relax my muscles. Afterwards I massaged my body with oil. I'll also take a Magnesium. Good idea.

My diet today:
As breakfast I had half an apple with a soy yogurt and some nuts.
I postponed lunch. I've not yet eaten. I'll give me a red pepper, a tomato and one bread with a vegan spread and mustard. As dessert I'll eat the other half of my morning apple and a soy yogurt.
When I'll still have hunger this evening, I'll eat all the chocolate and marzipan that I've at home. Hahaha, just a joke. Then I'll drink water, or I'll go out to take pictures. I'll focus on anything but not on my hungry stomach.

I'm back. In the meantime my suitcase arrived as well. It came with a yellow sanitary car. I had to go down to pick it up. And I was already happy that they would pose it in front of my door. A yogini is strong I told me all the time while I schlepped the suitcase up to the second floor.

Oh, I only wanted to mention: I'm at home again and it's all perfect as it is.

Time to have lunch. 

Arrived without suitcase

I arrived in Munich without my suitcase. Hahaha. In Munich they told me that 60 till 70 suitcases get lost with each flight of Turkish Airlines. This is why I shall not be disappointed when they deliver my suitcase 2 days later. The reason: It was holiday and many Muslims traveled to mekkha. We saw them at the airport in Istanbul. The men had only wrapped a white towel around their bodies!!!. They were barefoot in sandals. The women were dressed in white or black. A lot of hugging happened at the airport. What a picture. No, I haven't taken a picture. I regret this of course. A missed opportunity, nothing more.

I won't describe the chaos in the plane. I don't want to lose my precious time. How can one be so chaotic, I don't get it.

Never ever with Turkish Airlines again if possible. They have a bad reputation also re safety, but now I know why.

Yoga: 3 days no yoga. This was not good, hahaha. I didn't even unpack my yoga mat, not a single attempt to do a sun salutation happened.
Today I'll step on the mat and I'll practice second series. Yoga is a concentration exercise. I'll feel mercy with me if the asanas are not so good today. Mainly I practice, mainly I stay on my mat. I couldn't resist: I checked my weight this morning. Oh, the bakhlavah (a Turkish dessert, so sweet, so sweet) , it's so very good. Perhaps I had too much.

I hope my suitcase is delivered soon. I need my tripod. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Bye, bye Istanbul

The restaurants.
 The people.

A last breakfast here. E got up with me so that we can eat together. Then to the airport with the other 2 ladies. And hopefully in the early afternoon I'll be at home. That would be nice.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

What a luck, to be stuck.

It's indeed a very beautiful hotel where I'm right now. I thought E would sleep already in that huge bed when I return from the bar. A wife's colleague asked me if I want to go out with her. We had an entertaining evening together and I stayed much longer than I thought I would. But no, business dinner last long, even very long. I was the first who was back.

I hope very much that everything goes well tomorrow morning. First I've to go to the flight company at the airport, Turkish airlines. Hahaha, I know now why the plane was almost empty. Wow, was that complicated today. No information was given. Accidentally we learned about the cancelling of the flight.
What a luck that I can sleep in a nice bed tonight instead of lying on a bench at the airport.

Perhaps we come back to that wonderful city. The area that we discovered this time pleased us much more than the area where the tourists are and where the Blue Mosque is.

I'm excited because of tomorrow. I'm always excited when I fly alone. 

Stuck in Istanbul

I'm amazed how calm I became in the last years. Last but not least I experience similar things every day. I plan something and it comes differently. This is true for the small events like cleaning the bathroom or for the big events like exercising pincha mayurasana in the middle of the room. I plan an event, something else happens. Life is not predictable. I love the game to plan and to try to make life predictable, but I'm amused when I get surprised with something else.

It seems now as if I'll fly back tomorrow at 12am. It's of course more comfortable to fly tomorrow than to stay overnight at the airport and to fly at 4:30 something.  Only one seat was left, I learned. E organized it. Different phone calls were necessary. Information given were controversy and in lousy English. Sentences had to be repeated. The taxi driver who was organized by the travel agency was cancelled by phone. It seemed to be impossible to move the pick up to the next day. Hahaha.

Looking into the eyes of the cat I know it has the right attitude: schnurr, schnurr.
It all comes as it has to be.

3 days without yoga. I'll compensate with a good lunch consisting of 3 courses and a glass of red wine. Hahaha.......I must entertain my boyfriend a bit. He is working too much. And now he had this additional troubles with me. Quickly an hour or more passed by.

Turkish Airlines, they are not to blame either. Nobody is to blame........

My suitcase is almost packed. We'll move to the next hotel in an hour. It's on the other side of the street.

Kitty, kitty, gurrh, gurrh, gurrh......


I just learned that my flight back to Munich is postponed. I'll have to stay a day longer. This is good news.
Oh, it' not at all sure. It seems that Turkish airline will fly. Life is insecure. One must live with that fact. Nobody really knows what will be tomorrow. 

Traveling means organizing.
Now it seems that  I've to go to a Turkish airline office if I don't want to stay overnight at the airport.
OK, busy, busy now. 

Saturday, April 14, 2012


I'd move to Istanbul, so much I love it to be here. It was sunny in the morning, so we strolled around. I took so many pictures. Istanbul is a very young city. A lively city. Vibrant. This time I focused more on taking pictures of people. If you like to see more, please visit my Goolge+ page. The link is here.

Friday, April 13, 2012

First impressions Istanbul

Arrived in Istanbul.

We arrived in Istanbul. It's always worth to travel. Always. I sit here in a hotel room in the 7th floor, downtown with the above view. When I'll do yoga and I still have some time till dinner this will be my view. That I little monster may experience such wonderful things is a little miracle.

Of course I'll continue the picture series: beds in which I spent a night or two.
This time it's exactly 2 nights. How they care here. They just knocked on the door to move the beds together. I'm touched.

Time to practice and if it's only a few sun salutations. 


Hahaha, my camera captures everything. Yesterday I fell out of the pose bhairavasana several times. Merciless my camera clicked. But the pictures have movement.
Especially the balancing poses require strength. The better the technique is, the less strength is needed. With strength one can compensate a lack of knowing how to do it. Sometimes the body is not yet flexible enough to do the pose correctly.

I get back to the basics: 
Is the breath as it is supposed to be?
Have I engaged the bandhas?
Do I believe that it's possible.

 I only want to use as much strength as necessary, not a bit more. It's all about softness, elegance, being transparent, light, relaxed, openness.

Here is another picture of me, falling out of the pose. happens fast.

Today is travel day. The flight goes at 12. This is very convenient. Nevertheless it's time to start the before travelling routine: showering, eating something that allows me to say politely know to what is offered in the plane those days. I will have to pack my suitcase. My flat shall look in a way that I love to return.

Next post, next practice will be in Istanbul. :) 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

When practicing Ashtanga yoga one is always a beginner

It has to be. The new poses require it. Being able to do forward split is necessary in order to move out of the new poses elegantly. I don't know why, but it is so, the 5 new poses of the third series demand all the remaining energy that is left after one of the first two series, also when I try them after primary.

Speaking from practicing or exercising them would be still too much. I try and lousy attempts is the result. I shooed my expectations to hell. Simply trying it, whatever happens is already good. I need a long breath for those poses. When I write "long" I speak of years.

I don't have to exercise contentment, I am content. I'm so happy  that I can do this, that I can exercises such crazy poses, that my body is so gifted, that I've the time. It fulfills me all with great joy.

When I fall out of a pose, I try it the next time again. And I fell out today.

I know, I know I have to look upwards. Then I fall. This tells me that this bhairavasana is a balancing pose. Lol.

Time to shoot. Hahaha, time to take some picture. Will I capture something interesting?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Once or twice a year....

Once or twice a year I think: What would be if I stopped Ashtanga yoga forever?
Once or twice a year I also think: Ah, now it would be good to smoke a cigarette?

The answer to the first question comes up almost as quick as the question came up. After a few years or perhaps even after a few months I'd feel so lousy that I had to start again moving my body. Then it would be so much harder. Everybody must move in order to feel good, no matter what age. When my grandma was above 90 her doctors gave her exercises. She did them in bed. So I keep going with my beloved Ashtanga yoga practice. I experience this question as a mind game not a real question. Nevertheless if it's there I wonder if I should take it easy what I do. And then it's so much fun again.

I just returned from a Mysore class.
Oh, how I feel good. I'd do everything! to keep up this sophisticated life style. Yes!

Of course I don't start smoking again. Hahaha......

The power of observance: 
Yesterday I was downtown with my camera. I didn't like to take pictures secretly. I felt not so good as a paparazzi of the ordinary people. It was not so easy to ask, but I did it. Again and again. Rejection is part of life, I think I can handle it. With my sweetest smile, I asked several people if I were allowed to take a picture. All people agreed.
Except an old man, all my models changed when they became conscious of my camera. A man showed me a peace sign. Redundant to say that these were not the pictures I liked to have. I had to delete them all. A very beautiful young woman, a sales person, felt flattered, but was shy also at the same time. I like the pictures even though they expressed something else and no more a young person relaxing with a cigarette outside of a shop.
This experience reconciled me with my paparazzi role. It has to be that I take my camera and shoot before asking, if I want to take pictures of life and persons how they are when they don't feel observed.

For those who are interested in my pictures, here is the link to flickr, where I post my portraits (and self-portraits). Feed-back is very welcomed.

Observing has the power to change things. In photography people might get shy or cocky or funny. When I observe my breath it usually gets deeper. Observing is a powerful tool. Right now I straightened my back, because I realized that I sat here sloppily.

The pictures are taken on my way home from yoga.

Time to take a bath. I'll massage my body with an oil by Weleda that I've bought lately. Then I'll nap. I worked hard today during the practice.
My second working part of the day starts after napping.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The renegades

Many people live outside of the 9 to 5 and longer life style, some voluntarily, some not voluntarily. The man on the picture looked content with his life style even though it was cold and he's obviously no roof about his head. I've a lot in common with outsiders. Me, not voluntarily was more or less kicked out of the paid-by-hour-society. It's a luck. I see it so. Even though sometimes the thought comes up: Why did that happen. I don't understand: I put so much money and time in my further education over all the years. I was willing to get pressed out like a citron. But no, I shall have another fate.

I sat here in the early morning, enjoyed my morning coffee. This is really a most appreciated beginning of the day: sipping black coffee, check what happened around the globe, reading and answering to my emails, admiring some pictures that were uploaded overnight.
Afterwards I tried to give structure to my day. Important tiny tasks were postponed and became a burden. I blame yoga. It's so time-consuming. This is not fair. It's good to have a reason or excuse why things were not done. They relief the soul. And finally I'm not to blame nor anything else, life is a happening.
Now the one task is done. The pomodoro timer that divides my time in 25 min helps me to get going and it helps me to stop for  tiny breaks before the play starts again.

Sometimes I look back to my job live. The best times were indeed when I could work from home. I had such jobs where no office was offered. To appear on time in a company day in day out was experienced as prison. Colleagues learned details about myself that I didn't like to present. One reveals a lot when with people for 8 hours every day. Working from home allowed me to eat what I wanted and when I wanted. I could nap when I was exhausted. It allowed me to enjoy the sun during a walk, when it was shining. I could live according to my needs much much more.
I could handle it to work from home. I was disciplined and I dedicated enough time to the given tasks, but I had to make it a topic again and again to work consequently.

When I want to get out of the valley where I'm right now, I have to be disciplined. I experience myself in a sort of valley (a very green one, also valleys have it's beauty) because I don't offer something to society that is considered worth paying for. Not that this is a great burden, but it makes me thinking: How can I be useful in a way that gives me joy, too.
I read a blog of a photographer called Rick, 62 years old. In one of his last posts he wrote that more and more of his peers think of retirement. Not he, because he likes what he does. This is the way to go. I agree with him that keeping up with the new technologies keep us young.

11am: I did not yet practice. When I start my mind is free to focus on my breath because things are done already.

I took this picture yesterday in the subway. Almost half of the population is playing with a mobile phone whenever it's possible. It's a way to get distracted. To stand silence, doing nothing, being focused on sitting only or waiting seems impossible.

PS: Also the thought to do something useful is nothing but a limitation. Shoo, shoo, away with it. :) If I hadn't written it, I wouldn't have discovered this mental trap. Life flows (with and without me).

Monday, April 09, 2012

A wonderful led class

This was a perfect led class this morning. Sometimes the series is a bit modified when bloody beginners are in class i.e. But this morning we did all the asanas of primary. I couldn't have spent my morning in a better way.

The vinyasas need extra attention. For sure. Slowly, slowly I progress. I can enjoy what I'm able to do already.

Tomorrow I want to work on pincha mayurasana. In the middle of the room. :) The thought alone scares me.

This week I'll have one Mysore class and 2 home practices. On Friday we'll fly to Istanbul. On Sunday night I'll be back. My yoga mat will travel with me. One never knows. It can be that I've time enough to practice on Saturday. 

Sunday, April 08, 2012

I practiced

Me, too, sometimes I'm not so in the mood to practice. I schlepped myself to the mat this morning, thinking that my moods shall not have the last word. That I wanted to take some pictures finally motivated me.

Wow, back bending was so lousy.
After these legs behind the head poses I stopped. A few pictures were done, my body became cold and stiff again.
I think it counts as a practice.

Incredible that again and again there are days where it's difficult, so difficult that I mention it here.

I'm so glad that I can go to a led class tomorrow. This will lead me back to a passionate practice. 

Snow is back

April is so. This picture here was taken yesterday. This morning it was covered with snow.

I slept much too long. It's 9:30 am here now. At that time I wanted to be on the mat already. Second series is on the schedule. Right now I feel stiff. This can change. :)

Time to move on. 

Saturday, April 07, 2012

It's a rainy day

It's still rainy and cold.
I was grocery shopping. We've everything at home to survive the next two days.
I intend to prepare a French inspired meal.

Life flows. 

Nothing is predictable

From one second to the other life can change. Life is not predictable, not re the small plans that we make, not re the whole life. Yesterday an accident happened. It's all OK, nevertheless.......this was not clear in the beginning.
Later we ate outside in a restaurant where mainly students are. The food calmed me.
I took some pictures in the late afternoon and this was it.
It was cold the entire day. And rainy, too.
It was my brothers birthday, I called him in the late afternoon. It pleased him.

Also this morning we've an appointment outside of these walls which makes me move my yoga practice to the afternoon. By then I should be rather flexible, hahaha.....

Yesterday a dear colleague and I made an appointment for a photo shooting. She didn't like to have the shooting in the cemetery, what I regret. More important than my preference for locations is that the model feels well. I offered her another location. The cemetery will be a place for self-portraits. I've no taboo. Nowhere else it becomes so clear that the main gift in life is that we live. One day it will be over, inevitable. All the anger, despair, hopes, tiredness, boredom, pain, but also the joy, greediness, love will disappear one day. Everything will be over one day. To dance between the grave stones to celebrate life can be a picture to remind this.
But death is a taboo. It has positive sides, too. Being conscious about it can give intensity to life. Death can serve as a coach.
I have a lot of ideas also for the new location that came into my mind. I'm excited. I want that she likes the pictures. We'll meet in the morning in 14 days to have soft light.

Time to move on here........

Friday, April 06, 2012

On observing

Observing is probably a skill only human animals do it. I cannot imagine that a dog is observing itself while devouring its food.
Observing is a very strong tool. Observe and change. Once I said to my bf that he should bring his attention to his breath. After having said this I realized how his belly moved forwards and backwards. His breath became deeper.

Observing helps to improve the yoga practice. It's also a concentration exercise. No matter if one likes to take pictures, or if one likes to write, being able to observe is a basic skill. It can be improved by exercising it.
1. What helped me to improve this skill is to have first a focus of observation, i.e. the breath, or the face or the dristhi, or the hands, feet......
2. When I plan to write about my observations I'm much more attentive. It can happen that I've nothing to write about it afterwards, but this only means that I forgot to observe. Then I repeat it. Observing is part of the yoga practice.

Observing can be exercised at any given moment:
How does it look like when I prepare my morning coffee? When I want to describe it, I've to observe it first. I love to observe myself when I stroll around. When I do this exercise I walk differently almost at once.
How does it look like when I take a shower, when I eat, when I clean.

Observing is a skill for the mind, that has the potential to improve the practice.

Today is "Karfreitag". I'll practice alone here in the afternoon. In the morning I'll join E to a meeting. I'm flexible.
My practice yesterday was fantastic. I didn't want to leave my mat for breaks. I sweated and I wanted to take advantage from the flexibility that was caused due to this.

Pictures for A: It's the art from the Kunstgießerei. They have a showroom where they exhibit. 

Thursday, April 05, 2012

It's a concentration exercise

Yoga is a concentration exercise. It's a challenge for most people like the asanas themselves. It can be seen if someone is focused on the work, the practice or not. The concentration span can differ from day to day.

Being able to concentrate is a skill. It helps in life in general. I think in the movie "Der atmende Gott" it was mentioned by one of the daughters of Krishnamacharya: without concentration learning is not possible.

How does it look like when yogis/yoginis are not focused:
- They start conversations in classes.
- They clean feet or glasses.
- Clothes need to be changed.
- The need to drink must be satisfied at once.
- One looks around.
- After each asana one needs a breathing break.
- Windows shall be opened or closed.
- Hair needs to be bound again and again.
- Staring at the ceiling before urdhva dhanurasana.

I could go on with the list. In classes I improved to focus, at home it's much more difficult for me.

When I realized how quickly distracted I am at home when I practice I developed a strategy how to get better at concentration. I'm very motivated to improve my concentration. Why? Not being concentrated means for me that I need much longer for the same task. A focused primary may last 90 min. When I'm distracted it can last up to 3 hours.

The method how I improve my concentration:
1. At home I practiced with the CD by Sharath. No email-checking is possible when Sharath leads me through the surya namaskaras and standing sequence. This gave me the confidence that it's possible for me to practice without interruption also at home. I can, was the attitude that I could develop.
2. The next step was to enlarge the concentration span slowly without CD. I started with the goal to practice focused the first 5 surya namaskara As. After a while I added the 3 surya namaskara Bs. Focused practice means for me one breath one movement. No breaks between surya namaskara A and B. Then I added one asanas after the other.

The advantages of a focused practice: 
- Flow is experienced.
- The body becomes really hot, this makes the body also flexible, which allows all the crazy asanas.
- I have more time for other activities that I like as much as my yoga practice.
- Being able to concentrate is a general skill that can be used for other activities, too.
- I sweat. Sweating is part of the Ashtanga yoga practice as it shall detox the body.

Time to step on my mat.
Stay focused.
To make concentration to a topic is a very first step to improve it.

PS: In other areas of my life I bettered my concentration with a timer. When I have a time limit for actibities it's easier to stay focused within that time. 25 min works well for me. Then I recover. 

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Thank you, my darlings

The joy is great here. Yepeeeee, I got a check from amazon today.
First I thought it's mail for E. He passed it to me. Indeed, it was a letter from the US for me. I opened it and found this check from amazon.

Thank you very much that you've bought your goodies from amazon via my blog. :)

It's the second check that I got. I see it as an appreciation of my effort that I put into my blog.

Stay tuned, keep buying and keep entertained. :)