Saturday, September 28, 2013

SHARATH JOIS YOGA - important vinyasas

In the video Sharath shows 2 important vinyasas. One is after uttkatasana, the other one at the end of standing sequence. It's not handstand, so much I want to say. Please watch yourself. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Enough yoga done

After 2 hours of Ashtanga yoga practice I realized that my concentration faded away. Not only the concentration, but also the willing to do the next asana. Then it is enough. I stopped in the middle of the practice. Back bending was neglected today. I must have practiced VERY slowly today. For me the quality is more important than the quantity these days. Sometimes one learns more when practicing less asanas intensively than everything superficially. I don't know if it was a very intensive practice today, fact is I've enough now. I feel good.

I spiced up primary with third series asanas. On the picture is purna matsyendrasana. I exercised it 10 times by now. Then I wanted to take a picture again to see if anything has moved. The asana  has moved since the last time. I'm ready for the next tiny step, that is to get rid of the blanket that prevents me from falling out of the pose. To balance one must lean backwards. This may intensify the twist, but this is it, I think.

This is a method I apply also in life: if something seems overwhelming, I search for the next tiniest step that seems doable. Then I exercise this one till I get bored, till it is mastered. Then I ask: where is the next horse to ride. The next horse can indeed be "the next tiniest step". Many of these tiniest steps bring me closer to goals that seemed not reachable for me. What a lovely trick is that, isn't it?

Yes, it was planned to go to a Mysore class this morning, yet then it was so comfortable to be with my E, who will be on a business trip again today. I preferred to dawdle with him a bit to running to a yoga class. I'm flexible and disciplined.

Why doing these advanced yoga poses? Is it really necessary? Is primary not enough? 
Primary is not enough to say it right away, because it's unbalanced to do only forward bending.
Doing these crazy asanas of the other series teach me a lot.
First, if I think an asana is impossible I'll never ever be able to do it. So my first step is to think: it's possible. This modified thinking IS life changing. One day, it might last decades, crazy poses can be done. And this is an 'aha-moment'. Aha, it's possible. What was just a thought became true.
This thought is contagious. Perhaps these crazy asanas that I practice pushed me forward to focus on photography much much more than I've ever thought it would be possible.

This weekend I'll attend a portrait workshop. I'm so excited, so in anticipation. :)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

I strengthened my discipline muscle

Primary happened today at home. I had focus. Nevertheless I needed 2 hours and even a bit more for my practice. I spiced up the series with 2 asanas of third series. Both were twists, viranchyasana B and purna matsyendrasana. At the end after the 2 hours I added pranayama and I meditated 10 min. Then I showered and to be realistic, my practice lasted rather 3 hours, without blogging. I loved to practice. I sweated a lot. As always it bettered my mood and also my opinion about myself. Hahahaha......

Before practice I found a list of goals written 2009. Two out of the 3 goals were accomplished. I'm able to do supta kurmasana and I practice first and second series. The third goal was to stand up from urdhva dhanurasana. I'm working on it. It got better. Yet my right shoulder is still not 100% OK. This is the reason why I withdraw from group sessions. The adjustments of the assistants are dangerous. This shoulder injury lasts  months now. It is as it is. My focus when I go to classes are not to get helped, but to take advantage of the group session and to get into flow. I love to be part of the community. All situations change. I should be able to adjust.
A good teacher can make a difference. That I'm able to do supta kurmasana is because I had M as my teacher since a few years. He "allowed" me to do second series. I was not stopped. Eka pada sirsasana (one leg behind the head) finally brought me closer to supta kurmasana. When M moved to Munich teaching Ashtanga yoga here, I realized what an opportunity this was. I changed my life to profit from his teaching. We were only few yoginis and learning was intensive. Now we're so much more. For me it was clear that he'd attract yoginis. The shala is crowded these days. I'm thankful because from him I learned basic tools, like engaging the legs. He showed me the vinyasas and correct vinyasa count. I should be able to be content with a bit less attention now. I know how to practice correctly on my own, thanks to him.
The situation online has changed as well. There are so many good teacher who share their knowledge online. This pushes me forward as well.
Focus when I practice is myself and not what's going on around me.

Primary: Every day I will work on standing up from urdhva dhanurasana. I seem to be closer than ever. I know this, because I practice this pose against the wall. My hands reach the wall much deeper than a few months ago.
Another goal are the vinyasas. There is a long way behind me and a long way in front of me.

The first step is done. I think my goals are doable during my life time. Ha.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


9:38. Damned, so late. Why, why, why didn't I get up earlier??? The mind is trying to find an answer. A waste of time. Yeah, there is the construction at the opposite of the street.They start working in the middle of the night. I guess the noise starts at 3am. Why ever I find the way out of the bed so late. I know it takes a lot of time till I fall asleep these days, even though I don't nap.

Today I prepared a cup of coffee for myself to wake up after waking up and not a Matcha tea. Brrhhhh is this bitter. The green tea is so much softer, so much more elegant. This black fluid is almost like a punishment for my sloppy life style....hahahha.......

I'm up.

During the last days I focused on photography. I do exercises from an excellent book: Extraordinary everyday photography. My flickr account is growing fast. I've a lot of fun trying out new techniques. Yesterday I created my first panorama picture. This technique can really be useful if I want to shoot yoginis in a shala one day. The weather allows to shoot outside. Good weather so uplifts my moods, every mood.

Mysore class is missed. Last Wednesday was so good. Missed is missed. Will have to practice in solitude. Everywhere around the globe are yoginis and yogis who step on their mat alone. This thought motivates me to join this group of lonesome wolves.

Sharath has started a channel on YouTube. I shared his first video by him on my last blog. Don't miss it. It's about pranayama. Here it is again. I adore the simplicity of it.
Pranayama is done after the asana practice. It's so much more subtle than a sweaty practice, it has to be practiced after the asana practice.

Time to move on.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


This is the first video by Sharath on YouTube. He obviously has now a channel of his own. He's teaching 2 pranayama techniques in this video. 

I think this is a huge step forward. Now also those who cannot travel to Mysore/Gokulam can learn from Sharath himself, who is a most dedicated Ashtanga yoga practitioner and teacher. 
I'm happy that I've found this gem. 

I'm happy that Ashtanga pranayama techniques are no more kept as a secret but shared openly. Wonderful.

Guruji - Yoga Shala (India, 2005).

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Chores and cooking

This morning we watched TV. The Oktoberfest has started at 12 o'clock. Our major opened the first cask of beer. I had to see it. Haha...
Then I cleaned here........
Then I cooked for us.
During the weekend I love to pamper my E with something delicious. It's always an adventure when I cook as I test most of the time a new recipe. This time it was 'panna cotta', a vegan version that I tried out. The result was too hard. It was almost impossible to measure 1g Agar Agar. I asked on a page on facebook how to measure 1g and within 1 min I got an answer. With letter scales one can measure very precisely also small portions. Yep, this is the solution the next time. I liked it.
The learning curves goes up with actions.

Yes, thoughts come up often, that I want to do more, yet I remember myself always: As it is so it must be.

I'm not yet sure if I shall start my yoga practice tomorrow with second series at home or with a led class. It's not necessary to make a decision now.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Busy, busy......

Sometimes I sleep well, sometimes not. When I sleep, I sleep, I get up when my organism is ready to go vertikal. I ignore the alarm clock. Often it's a bit later than 6am, yet most of the time it's not after 8am.

Today I'm so busy. By now I had no time for a yoga practice. I'll move the Friday practice to Saturday. This seems possible.

A yogini stays cool also when the schedule has to be adjusted to life as it is. I'm cool and relaxed. One step at a time.

Picture: Our backyard. It got green over the years. :)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

So relieved....

Only change is permanent. I'm so happy that our teacher has found another yogini who is able to assist him. We became too many. Support is needed. Yet not everybody who wants to assist should do this. Today's yogini loves to adjust, she is present, attentive. It's a very talented yogini. What I've learned within 10 years, she has learned in 1 year. Yes. She has a lot of potential either re her practice and re teaching. Her adjustments also tell me that she has understood something. She's listening to the breathe i.e. and is adjusting when I exhale. Comme il faut.  Not everything can be perfect, of course not, but she's open-minded and open for feed-back. I'm very very happy.

It was no issue at all. At 6:30 I was up. I ate my tiny breakfast. On time I could leave the house. On time I was in the yoga shala. It was an intensive practice. I sweated a lot. These days I'm able to practice 2 hours without breaks, yet there seem to be these tiny breaks that I scarcely realize at home. In a group I eliminate many of these interruptions. I sticked to second series today. No extras. No repetitions. A lot of sweat. Contentment at the end.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Oh, so cold....

One must try it. Ideas must come to realization, then one can adjust them, modify them or discard them. But one must have tested them. I love this tree on the picture. The location is good for taking pictures. Exactly like this tree on the picture I imagine the tree where buddha sat when he became enlightened. Me too, I got insights. It's too cold for yoga sessions outside already. At least pashasana is not possible when it's cold and when I have to put on a thick pullover and a jacket. I tried it. The result was more than lousy.
Next summer will come.
But what to do during winter time? I must find rooms that I can rent from time to time. Of course one can shoot when it's cold. Yet it's difficult to perform advanced yoga poses outside without warming up. Making the best out of every given life situation is one of my life mottos. Solutions will be found. Perhaps I should make a list of easy asanas.....that can be performed any time without warming up.

This morning I turned on the heater. It was fresh inside, too.
I slept so long this morning, till 11am. Impossible. Hahaha......Whenever I get up I start with my morning routine as always: checking mails, sipping Matcha, having breakfast, writing my journal, stepping on the mat.......
To practice 2 hours is a good idea. Not all asanas were done, but I worked on back bending and I spiced second series up with third series asanas. After 2 hours I have enough. I mentally check if I had a balanced practice. Have I done back bending? twists? leg behind head poses? balancing poses? If I can answer with 'yes' to these questions I think I've done enough. Patience is necessary.

New is that I add pranayama and 10 min meditation at the end. It's not that I think I have to do it, I want to do it.

Will I get up tomorrow on time? Yep I want to go to a Mysore class at 8am. Wow. Might it happen!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Home practice

I slept rather long. It was after 12 o'clock when I started my Ashtanga yoga practice. Two hours I dedicated my time to this practice including pranayama and 10 min meditation.

When within my own walls, I focus on the asanas and vinyasas that need extra attention. So it was today.
Tomorrow I want to add third series asanas again. On Wednesday it's planned to go to a Mysore class.

Be prepared: Sooner or later everybody will have to study alone. This knew the old yogis, too. I'm a bit sad about it, but so it is. I'm glad that I realized what an opportunity it has been for me when M came to Munich and when he had only few students. That time back my learning curve went upwards. My practice soared. I still profit from this time. Now the shala is crowded. The beginners are more needy that I am. Might it be so. I'm a lonesome wolf and an autididact. Nowadays are many sources to learn and to improve the own practice. Soon I can film again. I'm looking forward to this feed-back. Accepting what is, is an exercise for the mind.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The challenge...

Since I've found vegan cookies in super markets and since I know where to get these delicious vegan cakes my challenge to eat 30 days vegan has become a tiny bit unhealthy. So today I put again some effort in eating healthy.

I stood in the kitchen and cooked. I love to pamper my darling E with something delicious. He loves avocados and as he said he loved the pumpkins, too. The sentence, 'you can cook it again', tells me everything.

The color of today's meal was so extravagant: orange and poison green. Wow.

Thank you, Attila, for this recipe. Yeah, click on Attila and you can get his book in English now for your kindle. It's translated now. Don't hesitate. You'll get a book with high end vegan cooking. The recipes are astute and simple at the same time. Cooking the meals enlarged my cooking skills. It's genius. It's a book full of ideas. Between every word you feel that this man who has written this book is a passionate cook, an adventurer in the kitch.

We couldn't eat everything, so tomorrow I'll have the left-overs.

Saturday is my yoga free day. It's the day where I can catch up with everything. I need this day off. My motivation soars on this day. I want to get back on the mat. And tomorrow is Sunday, my yoga week begins. Can't wait........

Friday, September 13, 2013

I walk the talk

Today at least it was true. I know I preach it. A short practice is better than no practice. So today I was on the mat for 45 min. Then I had to go out. These 45 min were well spent. The body loved it. I had to stop in the middle of a wonderful practice. I knew this before I started.

I'll have sore leg muscles tomorrow. Not because of my yoga practice. I rode the bicycle despite the rain. I've a rain coat, it protected me from getting wet. It was cold and a lot of fun. I felt my muscles. About 80 min I was on my bicycle. My body got moved off the mat, too.

Now I don't want to move anymore. Enough for today.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Body and mind arrived....

I sleep well again and I got up late. Haha.......This is better than not to sleep well and to get up late.....

My focus is again my life in Munich. I'm active. My passions, Ashtanga yoga and photography require all my attention. Yes, I practiced again yesterday, second series. Concentration got so much better. Two hours I can practice without breaks. Yet, I practice slower when it gets tough. It has advantages to stay longer in asanas. The body has time to adjust. I've time to study the asana. I don't want to whip myself from one asana to the other, only that I can say at the end that I've done everything. Those asanas get more attention that are weak.
When I practice I'm happy. I don't judge the performance. I know that I do what is possible and this varies from day to day.

Today is Thursday: On the schedule is primary. I'll spice it up with third series asanas. I'm ready again for this. The vinyasas of primary will be my focus.

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

Spelling check doesn't work......might it be so.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The soul must arrive, too.

These days we can travel within a short time from continent to continent. That is, our physical body can be brought very quickly from one place to the other. Our transportation systems got faster and faster. To settle in, is something else. The soul often needs more time to feel at ease at a new place.

I've heard from a tribe that waited at the airport after a flight till the soul arrived. The soul needs time to adjust.
When traveling to countries like India i.e. I always need time to adjust. It's also the time difference, but not only. Food, weather, habits, language is all different and it can take time till one is part of the new game.

Sometimes it's not even necessary to fly to another country and the soul needs time to arrive. Sometimes the soul is stuck and lost somewhere on the way. One has to catch it.
I even think of creating an arrival ritual to make it easy for the soul to settle in and to arrive.

Tomorrow I'll go to a Mysore class and I'm so looking forward to it. This time this is part of my arrival ritual. I'm sure this will help me to get back to my ordinary life here in Munich. To have focus is joy. When body and mind work together it's very rewarding.

When I'm in handstand and when I think at the same time what to cook, I fall out of handstand.
It might not be so dramatic in daily life. But when thoughts are stuck at anything, one lives only with half flame. I want to burn again. Focus is the way to an intensive life. Having formulated this, I feel already how the energy is focusing like a laser.

It's getting dark.....evening has come......a lot of activities are done, others are not done. As it is, so it shall be.

Today I'm ready again.....

It's the second day at home. Yesterday I was busy with activities on my list that had priority. When I had time to do yoga, an Email came in and I prefered to meet M downtown than to step on the mat.

My E knew it that I wouldn't get up at 6am and advised me to set the alarm clock at 6:30am. This was the time he wanted to get up. He had to.....and he was right. Even at 6:30 time I was in deep deep sleep. It's 9am now, I had already my Matcha tea and a shower. The cold water at the end wakes me up. Sometimes this kick doesn't last long. Also today Im getting slowly into the day.
I'm glad that I slept well. During the last weeks my sleep was a mess. It's a gift to sleep during the night and I slept even deeply.

Today is Tuesday. I'll start with second series. I don't think that my body is soft enough and strong enough for third series asanas after a break of 4 days.

Also today is some desk work to do. One task at a time........So much I want to do. This keeps me young. Yet I must take care. I don't want to make myself stress. Yesterday I had buzzing in my ears. It came and went. Take it easy, I told myself. What's the next step and then to focus on it is always good advice. And my next tiny step is to make the bed and to write my journal. After that my tiny breakfast will be digested and my tiny body shall be ready to practice.....:) 3.....2........1.

Monday, September 09, 2013

I slept well

I slept well. This is also why I don't care at all that I got up much later as wished. The alarm clock should wake me up at 6am. E switched it off. At 8:30 when E got up, me too I was ready to open my eyes slowly. I'm still a bit lame. Yet, how good is that my body and my mind could experience a deep relaxing sleep.

Have I written "a bit lame"? I don't know why I'm still tired and slow and not yet from this world, but I am.

This morning I'll prepare for myself a breakfast that consists of a peach, soy yogurt, popped amaranth and some nuts. During my trip I had bread, margarine and self-made jam. It's very very good, but I guess not as healthy as mine. It's good to get out of routine from time to time and my breakfast during the trip has been vegan, too.

My yoga practice was missed, too. Trips bring me out of my routine. This is so. Being back again, the task is to get back to it.

I took a cold shower. I switched on the radio. I prepared my breakfast. All activities serve one purpose: to help me to wake up, to get into the day. Brrrhhhhh. What a difficult start.........

So curious, how the day will develop......

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Ah, back home

Back home.

.....and I'm so looking forward to my healthy routines, that start with a Matcha tea in the morning and a light breakfast with fruit..........

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Nobody to blame...

Nobody to blame.....not even myself.......

No yoga happened yesterday. Fine. On trips this is so. Out of my daily routine I realize that it requires more energy to get myself on the mat. Obviously I need time to adjust to new situations. Is this an excuse? I think yes. The mind always looks for explanations. Yet this is not important.

Today I feel ready again. After lunch we'll head for the south. I've time till then and every single cell of my body is yearning for a practice. No time to waste........

Friday, September 06, 2013

On the road again...

On my travel day I managed it to practice the sun salutations. Yepeeeee. That felt great. It prepared me for many hours in the train. I had bought a first class ticket for myself. Ha! I wondered why not more people did the same. First class waggons were almost empty. The price difference was 10 Euro. I saved money as I didn't need a reservation. This makes 6 Euro price difference. I got a magazine for free, makes 4 Euro difference. For this change I had better seats, I got service, coffee was brought to me. The seats were better, I had room. What a luxury for only 4 Euro more.

Also in the north of Germany is best weather. Children are bathing. We stroll around and observe the fun.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Ashtanga yoga, a mental exercise

Yesterday I saw a video, P. Jois was interviewed. He said that practicing is the first mental exercise. How true this is. One has to push away all the distractions and there are a lot these days. And one has to step on the mat to practice. This already is sort of focus.

Of course Ashtanga yoga is also a physical exercise.
Finally it's a concept to divide body and mind. They belong together.

Also today I practiced. And again it was an excellent practice. This means, I had the energy to work on these asanas that are difficult for me. I was concentrated. Pain tolerance was high.

This afternoon I hope that I can shoot the missing asanas of primary for my website:
Activities must be finished also. Also when they are not perfect.
After 2 hours of practice my focus was fading. It was planned to do more, yet I felt it was enough. I could have only continued half-hearted. Better to finish it with a nice closing sequence. The start is important, yet also the end.

The strict vegan diet feels good. Day 10 is mastered already. The challenge goes for 30 days. Of course I'll go on then. My cooking skills improve during these vegan challenges.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Being a yogini is a life style

It's amazing how a vegan diet supports my practice. Today is day 10 of the challenge (30 days vegan). I should add the callenge is more than just eating vegan, it's also about eating the healthy stuff. This is no white bread, no noodles no rice, but vegetables, nuts, tofu, fruit.........

Today I had another excellent practice. To think of having 4 quaters helps a lot. I don't plan to do all the asanas. I focus on the 20%, and I've the feeling this pushes me forward.
1. The first quarter is warming up and repeating some weak asanas. During the first 30 min I also do the splits.
2. Then comes the second quater with mainly back bending, including urdhva dhanurasana. I want to work on these asanas while still fit and focused.
3. Also the third quarter challenges me with the new asanas of third series.
4. During the forth quarter I ask myself what is still possible. It's a lot. Yet here I do also the closing sequence.
Either I finish my practice with 10 min in rest pose lying on the back or I meditate for 10 min.

On Thursday I'll get to the north of Germany by train. I'm very curious how I'll manage it to stick to my healthy life style. Might I get help from heaven.

It's a sunny day. Time to go out........

Monday, September 02, 2013

A lovely practice

The start was postponed. Yet as soon as I was on the mat I had a rocking practice. After the back bending asanas of second series I switched to third series. These asanas are demanding, yet I realize already that when I practice them I see progress.

It motivates me to document which asanas I've practice. When I've done an asana 10 times I want to take a picture of it. My list is on the sofa. The crosses get more and more.

It also helps me to plan a practice of 2 hours not more. I mean, I can go on when I wish, but usually after 2 hours concentration is fading. I don't plan anymore to do full second and half of third series. This is so much that it weights me down.
When I've the feeling that I've a good back bending day, I do more asanas of the same kind. I don't have to do everything every day. To focus on the 20% that make a difference is good for me.

When back in class I'll stick to the series of course. Then the focus is flow and not so much working on the asanas.

Nothing helps me more to improve my back bending then exercising the forward split. This is my hot tip for today. Don't force anything, yet practice it daily.

Perhaps it's too soon to generalize. Yet that I eat consequent vegan supports my practice enormously. Today I ate the rest of yesterday. This was not so super good. Tomorrow I'll prepare for myself again a yummy meal. :)

Sunday, September 01, 2013

The yoga week has started.....

I needed a kick, this morning. Start slowly, I thought. And finally I was on the mat for second series. Few extras like the splits I've practiced, too. Otherwise I was rather close to the series as it's designed. Once a week at least I want to practice comme il faut. On Sunday classic intermediate is on the schedule and on Friday classic primary. During the week I feel more creative after 10 years of practice. I focus on the 20% that make the difference.

Great, I've done it. This is what counts.

I plan already what I'll practice tomorrow: Second series and back bending of course. And after back bending I could do third series asanas. I love the idea.

Yesterday was my focus on photography: I attended a make-up workshop. I'm so fascinated of the result. A natural make-up can make a difference.