Sunday, September 30, 2012

The room is empty.....(almost)

Now they can come. And tomorrow they even will come: the 2 Polish men who will paint the walls and renew the floor. All the books are carried out of the room. We've been busy the entire day yesterday. In the evening I even felt sore, could scarcly walk anymore. It's better today. There are still a few things left to do. It seems managable by Monday morning.

The renovation has been so overdue. I'm happy when it's done. Yoginis admire a clean and simple environment. No more distraction than necessary supports the practice.

This year I've touched all possessions we have.

When carrying things back, I hope that I still find things that I can discard. Having what one needs, but not more is great.

Simplicity became a key word in my life.

Today the 3rd quater of the year is over. Wow, already. One more to good. I've still plans for this year............
Things get done, bit by bit...........

Yoga: Today I can still do some asanas here. Tomorrow I won't have this room available. Whatever I do, also when it's not a full second series, is good.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

The work must go on....

Much was done yesterday. I worked like a wild one. Pomodoro after pomodoro* I got the books out of the  shelves, cleaned them, carried the shelves to the other room and put the books back. Books are so heavy. I had no time to discard anything.
My desk is empty already, too.
Nothing is on the wardrobe anymore.

Best of all, the Polish man answered to my Email, he hasn't forgotten me and the floor is already ordered.

It takes two more days to make the room so empty that it's relatively easy to paint and work in it. Wardrobes and bed can be moved within the room. I cannot put them anywhere.
This renovation is so overdue.

I think yesterday was Day 6 of my 30 days vegan challenge. 
Already on Friday it became a real challenge as we went out for dinner. Good was we went to the Greek restaurant. I had 2 starters as usual there, a salad and artichokes. I'm not sure if the cake with flaky pastry as dessert was 100% vegan. There might have been honey in it. However I count this day as vegan.
Yesterday I had no time to cook. So I got back to one of my eating routines: Sunflower bread and a vegan spread with mustard, tomatoes. This I had at lunch and at dinner, too. In the evening I had red wine. This morning I realized that I've gained weight: 1 pound. It's not a tragedy, really not, yet interesting.

There is no time to lose, breakfast and then I'll attack the next shelf.

*Pomodoro is my timer. I set it for 25 min. Then a tiny break is recommended before the next 25 min are set.

PS: Yoga practice must be modified. Where I'll have place I can put my body in a few asanas. That's it. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

There is always a tiny next step... the direction one wants to go.

My focus of today is clear.....the room must become empty. Was it 4 times already that my pomodoro made tick tack tick tack and when it rang I knew that the next 25 min were done.

By now my yoga place still exists.

The more I do the more I can define the goals for today......there is no time to lose. A break is done.....three, two, pomodoro. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Primary today....

I'm back to primary today. It's good to have days that are more exhausting and others that are rather relaxing. Primary became easier since I practice second series. And second series became easier already since I exercise a few asanas of third series. 
Second series yesterday was again excellent. I integrated again a few third series asanas. I tried marichyasana  G from Advanced B and had to realize quickly that my body is not yet ready for such advanced asanas. On pictures many postures look so easy, so doable. 

Since I'm 100% vegan my joints are like oiled. Food has an influence on how we feel. 

My focus today: The vinyasas. The vinyasas make Ashtanga yoga to what it is. 

Today is day 6 of the 30 days vegan challenge initiated by Attila Hildmann:
1. I'm back to eating my breakfast in a bowl and not in a fancy glass. I also don't layer the ingredients. It must go fast  in the morning. I found new ways to vary my breakfast. I know now how to make it heavier and how to make it lighter. "Popped Amaranth" tastes good and are corbohydrats that are filling. To add vanilla is a good idea. Agaven sirup is a possibility if one wants to have it sweet.

2. I tested a few of the lunch/dinner recipes. Some of them will become regulars, others I've discarded already. Nevertheless I learn new ways of preparing a vegan meal. I'm so amazed how full I am after the meals. Bread is a tabu. The recipes are filling due to avocado and almond mush.

3. The effects already after 6 days:
- I have a lot of energy. This is remarkable. (Nevertheless I didn't sleep well tonight and I feel like mashed potatoes right now)
- I lost weight, despite not being hungry at all: I went from 48,4 kg to 46,6 kg this morning. 46 is my goal.
- The recipes make me full.
- I'm away from my routine: bread with spread in the evening or pasta or a salad. I try new things.

The true challenge for me is not to eat vegan when I'm alone, but when I'm in restaurants or with relatives. Hahaha. I fear it's even more difficult to stick to a vegan diet when with relatives than in restaurants.
Also Attila sees the difficulties here. He sometimes brings his own food and adds it to what is offered. This is nothing for me.

Today I'll eat what is in the fridge: I'll be creative. I don't want to throw out my vegetables only to test another new recipe. Pictures of my meals can be found on my vegan blog.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Pincha mayurasana: I want to learn to fall.

If I want to be able one day to be in the middle in the room when I practice pincha mayurasana, I must learn to fall.
Yesterday I went from headstand (the regular one, hands not folded) to dwi pada viparita dandasana.

The head lifted from the floor. My feet were too far away from the head when they landed on the floor. I lost control much too early, but I faced my fear and did it. No harm was done, I was only a bit shocked. This exercise requires repetition.

Against the wall my pincha mayurasana is rather good. I stand stable without touching the wall. As soon as I'm in the middle of the room it seems impossible to come up. I'm scared to fall. So I must learn to fall. This pose seems so close, yet it is still so far away due to this fear. I hope I'm mentally strong today to try out to swing over.

The headstands at the end: In the beginning I placed my hands in the position where they are supposed to be when coming down and I let my body fall at the same time. Often it was a rather hard landing. The toes felt it. My body remained straight till the end. Then I watched Larugas videos. I'm always learning from her. And here I saw that she lowers the legs first, then she places the hands. This makes the landing so much softer than coming down with a body like a stick.

Third series: I found a solution how I manage it to practice the third series asanas. I move them behind asanas of second series where they fit. All the leg behind head poses of third series I practice after the leg behind head poses of second series. I'm still fit and concentrated at that moment of my practice. At the end my energy is often already gone. And then still something new seems often overwhelming. For the time being I'm happy with this solution.

Yesterday was day 4 of my 30 days vegan challenge: The recipe of the below meal is from the book by Attila Hildmann "Vegan for fit". It's the green warrior. So delicious, so green. :) I'm very happy that I started this challenge as I learn so many new recipes that are simple and delicious and fast prepared. I have to adjust them a bit, i.e. I didn't add green asparagus. Asparagus is something for spring time. It would have been too much in addition. The recipes are filling. And this morning when I stepped on the mat I was very happy to see that I'm back to my regular weight. (vacation and restaurant meals make it sometimes difficult not to gain weight.)

Why I want to be 100% vegan and not only 90%: A comparison comes into my mind: When having an open wound and you sprinkle chili over it, a tiny bit is already too much. The animal products are not good for the body.
It adds up and these 10% less animal products save a lot of animals over the years.
The China Study arrived. It exists now already in German language. It's the scientific reasons for a vegan diet. I recommend it. It motivates.

Thank you for buying your amazon products via my blog. Links are on the right side of this blog. Sometimes I link like above. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Day 4: I'm full

I'm really full now. It's the 4th day of my 30 days vegan challenge. Yesterday I bought the ingredients, which was not so easy. With a job assistant we searched on many shelves to find "popped Amaranth". I've never heard about it so far.

I say frankly: It tasted good, but it won't become my daily breakfast. My kitchen is a mess now, I even had to use a pan to make the coconut flakes brown. The Amaranth makes this breakfast too heavy to my taste, I feel too full. I appreciate a light breakfast. Amaranth consists mainly of carbohydrats. Good is that I know now how to make a breakfast heavier. I'd not marinate the raspberry. For this I needed an extra bowl. I'd put the Agaven juice and the vanilla powder in the yoghurt. This is much faster and easier. It saves time. Who has time in the morning? I won't prepare my breakfast the evening before.

The first time it's normal that it takes more time to prepare anything. Nevertheless. My breakfast must be prepared super fast.

Then the Amaranth, tiniest balls rolled over my cupboard. I don't know how to close that plastic bag.
The glass was a bit small, too to put everything in it. I won't buy a new glass.
I meassured the ingredients. 1 yoghurt has a bit less gram than indicated. I didn't use another yoghurt just to have 10 more grams.

I googled Agavensirup. It's an alternative to sugar for sure. But it's not good either. I don't need to have a sweet taste all the time. The sweetness of fruit is enough for me.

To sum it up:
1. This breakfast is good when one wants to be full in the morning because the next meal is very late. I need to feel light because I want to practice yoga.
2. This breakfast can be a very good dessert and it really looks great.
3. It can be good for brunch.
4. This meal is very nice for guests as brunch or as dessert.

My breakfast is vegan for years. Instead of bananas I want to use berries and apples. That's it. I won't look anymore for alternatives for a breakfast, but during the weekend. I'm happy with mine. It's light and healthy. A soy yoghurt, some nuts and fruit.

It's always satisfying to have tested something new.

In the course of the day I'll write the recipe in my vegan blog. The version of Attila and my variation, which is a bit easier to prepare and a bit lighter.

I clean the kitchen now. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Without vinyasas....

....a practice can become a piece of cake. But the vinyasas are important. They build strength.

Putting the body in asanas was so wonderful. But when I keep watching TV I won't be able to sleep. Only negative news. 

Everywhere i go - Chris de Burgh cover

 Bravo! I love it.

I became a challenger, for 30 days.

Yes, I'm a challenger for 30 days. For a minimum of 30 decades I'm a vegetarian. Since some years I'm convinced of the vegan life style for many reasons.
It was a piece of cake for me not to eat meat anymore and of course also not to eat fish. To be vegan is not so easy for me. I only want to mention: mango cream with ice cream or panna cotta or cheese with grapes and a glass of red wine. To eat vegan in restaurants is also not soooooo easy. I'm so convinced of the vegan idea, that I want to be more consequent.

Attila Hildman has published another book "Vegan for fit" (It's in German). Here he challenges us to stick to a vegan diet for 30 days. The book comes with tips and many recipes. One shall stick to the recipes in the book so that this enterprise becomes a success. I've already realized that this brings me out of my cooking routine what is fun and it comes with surprises. The broccoli on picture 2 was so delicious with the sauce. It was a new taste explosion on my tongue. I loved it. Very good is that the recipes are filling. I only need to eat twice a day.

The salad on picture one was my own creation. I've been creative. That one shall stick to the recipes in the book  I learned  yesterday in the forum (German) that Attila has created. Here the challenger gather and exchange their stories and experiences. It's a lot of fun and it's supporting to try something new when being part of a group.

Also today I'll prepare a salad, I'm flexible. I don't want to throw away my ingredients. But then I try to stick to the recipes as close as possible.
I'll post the recipes that I've tried out on my vegan blog for those who love to be challenged, too.
The broccoli recipe is already a favorite meal.

Today is my day 3.

Tonight I slept awfully. This is sometimes so. I woke up later as planned. Who cares. I'll practice Ashtanga yoga at home. My yoga place is so beautiful. I'm looking forward to my practice.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Second series today

It's Sunday. I had a day off yesterday and today I'm ready again to step on the mat.

It's about finding the boundaries of today (not yesterday). To approach slowly to the boundaries makes a practice easier and it becomes more joyful. A bit of discomfort is necessary to advance. Discomfort can be nice. The longer we practice the more discomfort we can stand without finding it unpleasant. I welcome this body feeling. It guides me.

To observe what is happening during a practice is the exercise for the mind. Feeling the boundaries and staying there.......focusing on the breath..........again and again......this strengthens willpower and betters concentration.

It's still a challenge for me when I practice alone not to take breaks.

Time to move on......

Saturday, September 22, 2012

On relaxation

There is no easy pose, I use to say.
Also this last pose of every Ashtanga series can be a challenge and it has the potential to grow and it's possible to deepen the state of relaxation.
Relaxation was what amazed me in my first yoga class more than 30 decades ago. I had moved to Berlin and wanted to do something exotique. Flipping through the university sports offers I found yoga. This was it. I missed the first class as I took the wrong train and then it was too late. Next time I was there.

The teacher was very bendy. He could put his hands next to his feet while his legs were stretched. This had a wow-effect on me, I couldn't scarcly reach my shin bones when I bowed forward.

At the end we should lie on our backs and we were told to strain all or muscles as much as we can and then we should release them. Face muscles included. We repeated this exercise 3 times and then the teacher led us through the body and asked us to relax the toes, the feet, the calves.....and so on.

Soon I was in a state between being awake, concious and deeply relaxed at the same time. It seemed impossible to move. Thinking didn't happen. Just being. Never ever before I had experienced such a state of mind. This was what fascinated me most.

One man started snoring. I wasn't thinking about it, I just heard it. Relaxation pose is not about sleeping. Sleeping can be relaxing, too, of course. I love my afternoon nap. It prepares me for the second part of the day. I usually wake up well-rested.

We practice relaxation pose in Ashtanga yoga, too. 
- In order to get into a deep state of relaxation I scan the body and relax one body part after the other.
- In order to feel at ease I need a timer to tell me when the time is over. The feeling of time gets lost during this pose and this makes me nervous.

Now comes the important part: In Ashtanga yoga we also learn to relax during the practice itself under diffiult circumstances.
- The difficult circumstances are the asanas that we practice and that cause a certain discomfort. It is important to keep breathing then. There is the tendency to stop breathing when it gets tough, but this is the task to stay relaxed and to have an even breath.
- Focusing the mind on the breath is the next relaxation technique during the practice. No worries should come up when we are busy observing the inhaling and exhaling.
- Another challenge is to keep the face relaxed when exercising challenging asanas. Having a slight smile on the face can relax the whole body.

Yes, Ashtanga yoga teaches more than fancy asanas.

Friday, September 21, 2012

3 asanas from the closing sequence

Salamba sarvangasana: I miss my feet on the picture. For learning purposes the picture will do.
- I think my elbows could move a tiny bit to each other in order to be parallel.
- I could stretch a bit more to be even a bit more straight.
- Important is and I do this that the chin is not pressed again the chest, it moves upwards.
- I always take care that the weight is on my arms.
- I don't go from halasana to shoulder stand. I did this for a very long time, but it's not really necessary and it also shall not be.

Halasana: Hips, hips, hips.....the movement starts from the hips to lower the legs. The back remains like in salamba sarvangasana. In my last pictures my feet were a bit sloppy, I corrected this. In Ashtanga yoga we stretch them.
Also here it's good that my chin is up and not pressed against the chest.
The next level and I'm working on this is to bring the palms together.

Karna pidasana: The eyes remain open. Dristi is the navel according to Matthew Sweeney. I thought it's the nose. However, the eyes are open and uddjay breathing is done till savasana. In a workshop by Lino Miele I learned that one looks towards a gazing point. Also here I work on bringing the palms together.

Today is Friday and I'll practice primary. Today my yoga practice comes first. Sometimes when I've too much to do I postpone it. Other activities have priority then. This relaxes me much more than a yoga practice. Things get done then and this is a good feeling. Yesterday I was so busy, it was evening when I was at home again and I omitted my practice. It's so OK.......I think it's also a sign of being flexible.

Today I'll start with the CD by Sharath to get into the rhythm. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What to do when a practice turns out to be super lousy?

During my trip in Bulgaria I had a super lousy practice. Before starting with the second Ashtanga yoga series I had posed my tripod on the right place, my camera was ready to capture some of my asanas. It made no sense to take a single picture. I was more than stiff and I tortured myself from asana to asana. From time to time I told E how bad it was.

I can list some whys here. I'd rather focus on what to do if this happens.

One can stop, of course. This IS an alternative and sometimes perhaps also the best one can do.

There are other possibilities:
Next time when I've such a difficult practice I'll do less instead of forcing my stiff body in asanas that are scarcly possible. I've no issues anymore to take my legs behind my head but on that day in Burgas it was almost impossible.
Looking back I think it would have been better to take more time for everything. It would have been better to practice slower and stay longer in an asana. This makes the body softer. Instead of trying an asana that seems impossible one can look for a substiute for this day. Sometimes less asanas are enough, too.

Here my list what to do when nothing seems to go:
1. practicing slower
2. staying longer in an asana and focusing on the breath
3. repeating an asana - the second time everything is easier
4. practicing an easier substitute
5. leaving out the vinyasas between sides or practicing them the easy way
6. setting a timer, 25 more minutes are always possible
7. Focusing even more on the breath instead of the performance
8. Focusing on enjoying it
9. Realizing that this is only one practice and tomorrow it can be totally different again.
10. Searching the limits, those of this day, every practice is unique.
11. developing humor.

I'm back home and I'm enjoying it.

A good mat makes a difference.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Last day in Burgas, Bulgaria

The last day has come. Tonight at about 10pm we'll be in the air again on the way home to Germany. 

One more day here. We'll walk along the beach, we'll  have another late lunch and I'll admire again the wild cats to whom I must say good-bye. 

I return with some nice stories, new impressions and I've found another most awesome place on this globe. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

It's much better: parivrtta parsva konasana

It's much better. In the last months I worked on getting deeper. The thigh of the one leg is parallel to the floor, this is as it is supposed to be. The rim of the one food could be more on the floor. The hand could be turned a bit. 

What I see is a diagonal line from the hand to the foot. That's it. 

When I say I do free style I add the pose from the second picture i.e. That way I can give myself an adjusment. If the feet were a bit more apart I could go deeper. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Back from a boat tour

The locals know the good places. How good that we had met V. here. We searched for frogs in muddy water and we found a lot.

It's not yet too late for a late practice. It will be a playful one...........It's more the time for action and not so much for writing.

Saturday, September 15, 2012


Oh my, these parfumes were heavy.
Some professionals just walked out of the lobby to the swimming pool. Wow. Hotel rooms are not for sleeping only.......
I, for example, I practice Ashtanga yoga from time to time in hotel rooms.
Today was a day where I only wanted to do what I really liked to do. I omitted the vinyasas. Hahaha. I took some pictures, the light was good and the room is big enough to take pictures from the side.
The practice pleased me a lot, it was meditative.

My pictures teach me a lot, always. They guide me. Next time I'll focus on the bandhas. I realized that I neglect them.

Enough for today. Life in Burgas requires my attention.

On love.

"Falling in love is a happy luck, but loving is a decision, often a fatal one." said Serge. And he continued: "And you've never made this decision."

This is one of the sentences that sticks to my mind. It's from the book "Die kurze Stunde zwischen Tag und Nacht" by Angelika Schrobsdorff.

Pictures are taken in Nessebar, Bulgaria. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Still in beautiful Burgas

I went to bed with this book and I got up with it. It had 507 pages and not one was boring. I mentioned it already, it's the book by Angelika Schrobsdorff  "Die Stunde zwischen Tag und Abend". It's been a book that requires one day off from reading to have time to think about the story, the life of this woman.

Otherwise we walk along the beach. People sit on benches in the parks till late at night. They smoke and sit. It's warm here, in Burgas is no wind. "Do you want to know how many degrees it has in Germany?" I asked E, who sits next to me in the lobby. He wanted it. The answer 8° Celsius makes the days here even nicer.

We have long lunches. It takes hours till we're through our courses. But we eat only twice: breakfast (means to break a fast and this is supposed to be small) and lunch.

The rental car waits for us to see the countryside around Burgas. I AM curious.

Picture is taken in Sozopol.

No time to lose, the here and now requires attention.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Concentration got better

My concentration got much better. This morning I practiced without interruption one asana after the other. One reason why this is so might be that I use my timer more often than ever. I set it for 25 min and during this time I focus myself on anything. Also when I read a book I use this timer.

I could do all of the asanas without any problems. Even to put my legs behind my head was no issue. Kurmasana was possible, too. Only urdhva dhanurasana was stiff and discomfort and reluctance was felt.

The vinyasas were more than lousy. I gave up finally and performed them like 3 years back, means hand in front of the crossed legs and jumping back (no lifting up of the legs, no swinging through the arms). I admit, my mat is not supporting to do the vinyasas.

Not only Ashtanga yoga needs daily attention. Everything that shall develop needs this daily attention. This is so with my plants on the balcony, it's so with my photography.

Tomorrow is Friday and again primary is on the schedule. I hope for a better performance, but as mentioned so often important is to practice. 

Back in Burgas

We're back in Burgas. It's warmer here than in Sozopol. It can be that it seems to be warmer because here is no fresh wind.

The hotel is so much nicer here than the one in Sozopol. The mind loves to compare.
One evening I sat on the sofa in the one room in the Sozopol hotel and I wanted to pull the table a bit closer to me to have it more comfortable. My fingers sticked at once under the table. Whatever sticky dirt there has been, it provoked an iiiiiiiiiii and I ran to the bathroom to clean my fingers. From that time on my relationship to the room was different. I found it dirty, even a bit disgusting. The fluffy carpets next to the bed I had pushed under the bed the first day already. Fluffy carpets are not a good idea for hotel rooms. I also didn't like the furniture. Boring to death.
Most of the time we were outside on the beach.
Here it's so beautiful that one can become a couch potatoe or bed potatoe.

I know why it is said to have a clean yoga place. It's so much more inviting to practice. The outside is also important.

We had a late lunch yesterday when we arrived. It was the best one so far, meditteranean style. Here I got best vegetarian food. Bulgaria is a meat country. Afterwards we stayed at the hotel. The novel "Die Stunde zwischen Tag und Nacht" by Angelika Schrobsdorff is so exciting and well written that I couldn't stop reading till after midnight.

I'm sitting in the lobby, Internet access is for free only here (which is good).
I'm so glad that we've 5 more days here.

Time to practice.
It's Thursday and primary day. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

It's getting lonesome here.

Many shops and restaurants have closed already. Less tourists seem to be in Sozopol, Bulgaria. For us it's still perfect here. It's windy and warm enough to be barfoot. I always wear a jacket, it protects me from getting sun burnt when the sun is shining merciless and it protects me from  feeling cold when the wind is blowing.

It amazed me that so many were lying on the beach from the morning till dawn only to get tanned. Isn't it a bit boring I wondered?

My suitcase is packed already. Today we get back to Burgas by bus. We'll change the vehicle 3 times. First we take the taxi to the bus station, then we'll take the bus and then we'll take the taxi again to get to the hotel and this with my 5 pieces of luggage: my suitcase, my handbag, my PC-bag, my camera bag and my yoga mat.

Yoga didn't happen here much, only twice, I don't know why. There was room enough here......
Shall it be my yoga summer break. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Very relaxing everything

We're back to our vacation rhythm, means we're one of the last who appear for breakfast in the restaurant. Then we stroll around. Wind, sun, the sea, everything pleases us. At a place that smiles at us, we stop for a drink, we read and are happy together.

Twice a day we eat: breakfast and late lunch. Three courses we have most of the time and this fills us for the rest of the day. Bulgaria is a meat country, I survive with starters and desserts like baklava and pancake with green figs.

Tonight is soccer time: Austria - Germany. We'll watch in one of the restaurants close to the sea. Some have already closed. It's the last days here, then everything will be closed till the next season.

Tomorrow we'll take the bus and we'll get back to Burgas.

We have 2 rooms here, but the location doesn't invite me to practice. A lousy excuse. Shall it be so. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

A new week starts

I woke up without alarm clock. My sleep was deep. Most of the time I sleep not so deep, I wake up when I turn around, I wake up when the slightest sound can be heard. Not so this night. I miss some time in my memory. I feel so well-rested, I feel ready for the day.

With my pyjama on I went on the balcony after having opened my eyes and after some dawdling time in the cosy bed. Sun is shining again, it's rather warm. On the balcony is no wind. Close to the beach is wind that cools the skin and plays with the hair. Sun and wind make me wear a jacket. Sun and wind give me a lot of joy. I protect myself from it, only to have more fun with it. The sun warms me and even tans the exposed skin, like face and feet. The wind reminds me that everything is in movement, everything changes. Merciless they can be, the sun and the wind.

It's vacation time. For me this is no difference to my daily life. I also do on vacation what I love to do on an ordinary day.
I want to practice after breakfast. Friday is classic primary. Sunday is classic second series. Today is Monday and I want to work also on third series, but I must see what is possible.

Till late at night we can here the Bulgarian life music that is offered in the restaurant close to the beach. Sometimes it is as if the singer are in competition with each other. Who can sing louder? Who can be more dramatic? I listen and I'm entertained. The music tells me that I'm far away from home (Sozopol, Bulgaria).

Pictures from Bulgaria can be found here, it's my flickr album.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Happy and relaxed in Bulgaria

What a hard practice

Sun salutations, standing sequence, back bending, twists, forward bending asanas, inversions, even urdhva dhanursana happened. It was all so difficult. Today my practice turned into a mental practice mainly: to keep going was the task. Not all asanas were done, neither all vinyasas, but most of them. It felt all uneasy. I got frustrated, disappointed and reminded myself that most important is to do it.

At the end I set my timer and meditated 10 min.

Being a yogini is a life style.

The Bulgarian party was fun last night. We had excellent food and wine, me even vegetarian. I asked the waiter for it and he spoke English and cared for me. He offered rice with vegetables, which was perfect for me. Later we danced and watched how the Bulgarian people danced traditionally. My table neighbors were great, too. On my left side sat my E, on the right side sat a Bulgarian who spole German. He explained me some of the traditions. I.e. in Bulgaria the men are served first. He wanted to warn me so that I wasn't astonished. I wasn't. To walk home beside the sea between the bars and restaurants pleased me especially.

One must also live a bit, also as a yogini. I don't blame the party for my lousy practice. Now where it's over I feel good, yes, yes, yes.

Today we'll make a trip out of the city. I'm ready.


Saturday, September 08, 2012

Time to relax (in Sozopol, Bulgaria)

I skippped yoga and I enjoy my day alone here in Sozopol. I walk around and I take pictures. Often I only sit somewhere and I am.

Sozopol is a place where Bulgarian people spend the vacation. It's all so cultivated here that I don't mind at all that so many people are here.

Time to go to a beach bar again to watch people and to enjoy the weather.

It might look a bit strange but I wear long pair of trousers, very light ones, nevertheless most people are in bathing clothes here and I wear a jacket. I fear the sun. I always look for a place in the shadow. The sun is too aggressive for my pale skin. But there with a slight breeze of wind in my face, life is awesome. 

Friday, September 07, 2012

Concentration was excellent

Primary: done.
My concentration was excellent. A reason could be that time was limited. The men, my E and his colleague will return for lunch and I wanted to have finished my practice by then. So I started  and I went on and on till the end. No breaks happened. No single asana was added.
It was hard today. The body felt stiff. Especially the vinyasas were more than lousy. I could take my legs behind my head for supta kurmasana, which was not possible a few years back. Shall I be content. I am. I'm familiar with the ups and downs, they don't shatter me anymore. Frustration comes, frustration goes. Joy comes, joy goes. There are days where the practice has to be done and this was it. Today was such a day.

In the hotel we have to carry a green ribbon around our joint, day in, day out, also during the night and under the shower. It's not removable. This is surely for security reasons. Only guests shall be in the hotel, all the other individuals are suspisious.

I'm looking forward to walking along the beach, having a drink in one of the bars, some food, too. The wind will play with my hair. I'll listen to the sound of the waves.......we all have vacation feeling here.

Being with locals.

What? Friday already? 
This is primary day. (NO, how could this happen, my long text disappeared. Now I make it short).
The above asana can be a good preparation for kapotasana i.e. and for all the other deep back bending asanas, too. I thought I would be able to reach my calves. My picture tells me something else.

We were so lucky to have dinner with locals yesterday. 2 professors of mathematics (or physics?) joined us. About an hour we walked along the beach. Terraces of restaurants lined the way. In the restaurant they had chosen it was loud. Traditional music with dance was offered. We world travelors E, M and myself enjoyed the evening. When we walked back along the beach the bars and restaurants were still open and people sat outside having a last drink. 
Sozopol is surely a place with many many tourists from Bulgaria, Russia, Germany and many other coutries. It's not typical Bulgaria, but a part of it. As a tourist one can only scratch on the surface to get to know a country. Yesterday on our way to the restaurant I saw places I'd love to revisit to take some pictures. 

Time to step on the mat.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

At Sozopol, Bulgaria

Whether its aim is sensual pleasure, wealth or even enlightenment, desire remains
desire.  But when desire itself has been eliminated through the understanding of its
endless futility, the outward flow of the mind disappears and the mind becomes
vacant, perceiving the phenomenal universe as the mere appearance in Consciousness
that it is.
Ramesh Balsekar

As if I 'm here for a tiny eternity

It is as if I'm in Burgas, Bulgaria for a tiny eternity, even though I only arrived the day before yesterday. My company feels the same. This is surely also because the people are very very friendly here. Not a tiny bit intrusive, but attentive, helpful, relaxed.

We three world traveloers E, H, and myself are enjoying our morning ritual after breakfast: checking the net.

Bourgas is a hot tip. I'm already a fan of Bulgaria. More people speak German than English. Some speak only Bulgarian language. It's warm, there is always a bit of wind. I protect my skin from the sun.

At 12 we'll leave the hotel to move to another city. I've still 90 min. I could so some sun salutation. Yep. 

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Tittibhasana C

Tittibhasana C: This pose is neglected. Only 3 pictures including this one were taken over the years.

If done correctly  this pose is an extreme balancing pose. The goal is to fold the fingers. How can I get there?  The shoulders must move a bit more behind the knees. This is possible, but then I wobble and I fear to fall and sometimes I even fall out of the pose (see below). When the shoulders are more behind the knees, my hands can get closer together.
Next time I'll try to do this pose with a wall behind me that prevents me to fall. I want to feel this pose when done a bit more deeper without risking to fall.
Balancing is easier when engaging the bandhas. I'll check this next time, too.

We arrived in Bulgaria, Burgas yesterday. The weather is awesome, warm, the room is rather a flat. It takes 20 steps to get from the bed to the shower. I'll create an album from Bulgaria on flickr

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

...but today I exercise.

My yoga practice needs time. And sometimes I must give other activities priority, i.e. my tax declaration. Wow, it's done now. It was overdue and I felt stress when the thought came up that I haven't reacted to the reminder. Instead of practicing I opened my accounting software yesterday and I worked on my taxes, a duty of every citizen. Most activities last longer than estimated. It's sent and I can fly relaxed to Bulgaria this late afternoon.

3 days I was without yoga. With no expectations I'll step on the mat today. Today is Tuesday, second series is on the schedule. Important is to practice. 

Monday, September 03, 2012

Tittibhasana B

Tittibhasana A,B and C belong together.

Neverthesess, I seperate them here on my blog. Tittibhasana B has a calm phase and a dynamic phase (5 steps forward and 5 steps backward).

As a preparation for this post, I watched the video by Laruga.

I realized that she stretches the legs when in Tittibhasana A. 

Secondly I wanted to understand the breathing when walking. 
- It seems to be: right leg step forward, left leg step forward is inhaling.
- Then follows an exhaling. This seems to be one step.
So this shall be done 5 times.

Then one starts with the leg left to steps backwards and repeats this for 5 times, too. Then one should be on the mat again.

Walking in this position is exhausting for me.

I feel like practicing at home today. A self-practice is offered. I don't want to commute. I want to experiment with some poses I usually don't do. This is, I want to add back bending asanas and I want to try viparita dandasana. It's for me a pose to learn falling.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Tittibhasana A

This pose is an asana and a transition:

The asana: Perseverance will grow when you practice it regularly. I think usually "stretch, stretch, stretch". I stretch the inner side of the legs. The verse turn outside. It helps to point the feet. Good is when the legs are even behind the shoulders.

The vinyasa: To move from tittibhasana to bakasana is still a transition I've to work on. Good that I've already developed the opinion that it's possible. This is often the first step. It's easier when the hands are closer together. Lately I learned that the inner thighs do the work mainly.

This pose shows willpower. Not to give up is the secret.

Lately I read a blog from a yogi who is much closer to the American Ashtanga yoga community than me. I had to check if he has linked to my blog (hahaha), but he hasn't. This is OK for me as I don't link at all. There was a list of blogs and I went through them out of curiosity. Most of them I didn't know. Wow, I found a post with 3 videos. Long texts and explanations were given in other posts. It takes time to write such posts, I know. Most of these blogs were deserted, last post was months ago. This is BTW the reason why I don't link. I don't have time to check if a blog is given up and most bloggers give up. I prefer to link to blog posts. This could be a good idea, I should do this more often. A few years back was an active place where blogger met. Nowadays few yogis/yoginis are active there, I know them all.
Less is more also when blogging. Like in yoga so it is with almost everything: Every day 30 min can be much better than marathon writing, marathon practice. The danger of these marathon activities is that it's too much and that one gives it up. Forever.

I practice yoga daily because I want to have it easy.......

What is worth doing, is worth doing on a daily basis. Then the skill that one wants to acquire has time to grow in peace, without stress, every day a bit.

It's Sunday, my yoga week starts with second series. I found some back bending asanas in the magazine "yoga journal" that could help me to approach kapotasana. I'll add them today. They are worth to take some pictures. It's something for the posts to come.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Yoga nidrasana

A cold shower, a black coffee and Internet access,  - with these three ingredients my morning starts fantastic. Consciously I enjoy.

I had started to go through the asanas of second series in this blog. Next asana is yoga nidrasana:
Via yoga nidrasana I learned supta kurmasana. Practicing this pose on the bed helped me to get the knees on the ground next to the body. Next step was to stretch the legs, then to take it behind the head, one by one. It's fun to practice it on the bed and easier due to the soft ground. Gravity helps. It's easy to relax on the bed, this helps, too.

Now I apprerciate this pose as it allows me to improve dwi pada sirsasana. In yoga nidrasana I don't have to balance. This allows me to work on opening the chest and taking the legs backwards.
It is possible to relax in that pose.

The first step re the leg behind head poses and there are many, is always to take the knees backwards. As always the movement starts from the hips.

The poses might even look crazy for those who don't practice Ashtanga yoga. If one approaches step by step it's just another pose. A form. What is possible the human beings do.

I do enjoy to see my body in such fancy poses. Fantasy knows no limits.
I even more enjoy what I learn which cannot be seen on a picture: it's focus. When I practice I check the correctness of the pose, surely, then I return to the breath with my attention. My eyes keep calm, gazing point is the nose. Calm eyes equals calm mind. This technique, calm breathing, focusing on an object or an activity, like blogging, can improve life. I'm no more distracted as I used to be. Therefore I get things done.

It's my yoga free day. Since my practices, also my home practices are so intensive I don't feel the urge to practice one of the Ashtanga yoga series.

PS: One of my next topics will be on pain or discomfort. There is so much misunderstanding.