Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A cut in my life

Also today I went to the Mysore class at Airyoga. The new teacher in town is so super good. I'm more than enthusiastic. My learning curve goes up again. I get the best adjustments ever.

Yes, my yoga life changes again:
Monday through Friday I'll practice at Airyoga with M. Time: 6:30 - 9:00.
On Sunday I'll do a home practice.

It's time to move on. I'm flexible in many ways.

To practice so early allows me to work more intensively on my photography. What a happening.
I'm so happy happy.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

On discipline

Usually we think that a person is disciplined if this person does what she/he wants to do. People who are disciplined get things done.

How to be disciplined?
What are the ingredients when being disciplined?

1. One must know what one wants to do. This can be i.e. to get up early to practice yoga.
2. Once the decision is done one shall not question it every day.
3. The mood is not important either. If one likes to do it or not is not a helpful question if one wants to be disciplined. Just doing it, is it.
4. Having a strict routine helps to stick to the plan.
5. When a habit is formed it gets even easier to be disciplined.

After having done an activity it's time again to be emotional. To enjoy the accomplishments will make oneself stronger the next time.

I had the discipline this morning to get up at 4:30am. I showered, had a tiny breakfast and then I went to the Mysore class, that is offered at Airyoga since a few weeks. The class starts at 6:30am and ends at 9am. The door is open at 6:15. When I arrived 5 or 6 Ashtangis practiced already. We should become even more, nevertheless I had enough room. The Airyoga is a beautiful shala. The Ashtanga yoga community in Munich is growing. I saw no familiar face.

I was so excited. I didn't know what to practice, first or second series. When M, the teacher came to me and asked me to practice primary for the first week as it's tradition, I had no issues with it at all.
My breath was fast during the sun salutations, as I was still excited. How will be the adjustments? I say it right away, they are perfect. Finally again a teacher who understands the poses, someone who has feeling in his hands.
In Marichyasana D he moved my body upwards while I was inhaling. He turned it around while I was exhaling. He created room. It was a deep adjustment. It could be felt that he has understood the anatomy and the goal of the asana. This was not the only adjustment that I got. Of course I got help in back bending, too. I'm happy beyond imagination.

At 9am I was at home again. My practice was done and now I've time to focus on my other passions.

Good is I can also leave my mat there.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Strolling around

Before tiredness could come up, I went out. It was warm outside, the sun was even shining. My camera was around my neck. I was ready to hunt beautiful things, I was ready to capture the moment in a picture. This vase on the picture catched my attention. Snap, here it is.

My home is clean and organised again. It doesn't fit to practice yoga when half unpacked suitcases are in the way. To join a Mysore class felt a bit early. I washed the clothes, I dedusted, we all know what is to do after an absence of 2 weeks.

I don't know yet where to practice in the future.
Only the next day can be imagined. Tomorrow I'll practice at home, second series. Being attentive will be more important than a good performance.

Being focused on the breath will also be more important than going deep into the asanas.
Last practice was on Friday. So I'll have 3 days off tomorrow. This is not a tragedy, yet something to consider when starting a practice.

I'm happy that jet lag shows it's soft side. I stand a bit next to me, yet the general feeling is good. It's obviously possible despite my expectations of the worst.

At home

Sunday we spent in the plane. I could sleep. I wanted to watch at least one movie, yet I neither saw a movie, nor did I read. Suddenly hours were gone and I've no consciousness about these hours. This tells me that I slept. In the evening we arrived in Munich. At almost 7pm it was already dark. This is confusing for the organism. What's the time, I wondered.

Before midnight I went to bed, at 3am my eyes opened. Till 5am I could convince myself to stay in bed.

Now I'm up and I know jet lag will attack me later of the day. I'm ready.

I love to explore the world, to be at home is equally wonderful, also when this home is a villa motley.
My unpacked suitcase tells me what my next steps will be today.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Another sunset in Arizona

....and for me it's time to go to bed.

I want to practice tomorrow again. Primary. It's part of my preparation for the trip back on Saturday.


Ah, what shall we do today, was the question this morning (after a lovely primary).

Let's go shooting cacti.

Here we go.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

At Starbucks with free wifi....

This picture is already past. It's taken at Mission Bay.
We arrived in Arizona. We found a Starbucks in the middle of nowhere. We've free wifi here and this was it what we were looking for. I'm glad that it's not cold inside like in a refrigerator. I love to have it warm.

The way from San Diego to Phoenix is desert. There are rocks, also dunes. The width of the country is amazing. From time to time these huge lorries can be seen. We have music on. I feel like in a road movie.

The second picture in this post is taken in La Jolla. It belongs to the past, too. How is this pose called, I wonder....

PS: Oh yeah, I'm back to a morning practice and it feels so good.

Oh, I almost forget to tell a story: Yesterday we sat in a Japanese restaurant. Suddenly, very silent 5 or 6 men in uniform came in and they went straight to the restrooms. What's going on there, I wondered. Then more men in uniform came. Some carried a stretcher. I feared the worst. Drug abuse in the restrooms, perhaps someone was already killed. About 30 min later the men returned. On the stretcher was a man with long black hair, an oxygen mask on his face. He was holding it by himself. He was saved. Must guest didn't realize what had happened so close to them. Life went on as usual.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

"Where are you guys from?"

"From Germany."

Then the waiter switched the Channel on the huge screens to soccer: Champigons Leage. We're sitting at Miller's Field. Breakfast was over already when we arrived at 12. So we had lunch here: Salad, french fires, orange juice. E has fish burger which came with a salad, too.

As last time I got a cold. Painful. Yet I've no time to focus much on it. I even manage it to practice. Without any ambition I do my asanas and vinyasas. At the end I'm more than happy.

During the day I experience the hot sun, the cold wind, the beauty of the sunset at Mission Bay with my beloved E.

My camera is always around my neck. I'm striving for simplicity in life and in my pictures, too.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Up and ready to move....

I slept well, despite my cold. It's all in the throat. I hope the worst hours are already over. Quickly I showered this morning, so that this was done.
Today we'll fly to San Diego, with a stop in San Francisco. It will be a long day.

I didn't go to a yoga shala here. This is no more so important to me. What can I learn? I can always learn something. Yet the thought to get stopped spoils to go to a shala. I know that this is only in my mind.

Bye-bye Portland. It was nice here.

Flying yogini...

This morning I walked around. My highlights here are Powell's, the Japanese Garden, the Chinese garden, the Thai restaurant. When I've revisited these places, I'm happy. I saw all these places again.

The surrounding of Portland is stunning, too. Yet it's better to get there during summer time.

I relax. I feel the flu inside me, yet it's not coming out. Tonight we'll meet a friend and tomorrow it's time to say good-bye to Portland. I want to be fit by then.

I admire travelling yoginis. For me travelling means to fall out of routines. It takes time for me to adjust to time and location. I also realize that it's unique to be so far away from home and I want to explore the surrounding.

When yoga is a bit neglected, my photography gets more attention.

Friday, October 18, 2013

The voice... gone. I felt this coming. The breakfast room is too cold. The fan is on and is blowing cold air in the faces of the guests. I don't feel that bad, but the voice is gone. I don't have to talk.....

The mornings here are very cold. From the early afternoon on it starts becoming great. Then the fog is gone and the sun is out. This means it gets warmer and warmer and the tree and buildings appear in a light dress.

I have to take care for myself now. Some hot coffee? Yes, yes, please.......

A wonderful day.....

In the morning I visited the Chinese garden. I had green tea there, observed those who did Thai Chi and took some pictures. 

In the afternoon I started cloning myself. At night I finally had a twin sister. What a joy. 
For tomorrow I've no plans yet. This is good. It might be that I remember to practice yoga. That would be so good. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

So cold......who cares......focus is the world around me.......

I hope I won't get a cold. They cool the breakfast room. Not only for me it is too cold. An American woman complained and wanted another place to sit. I so understood her. Tomorrow I'll ask for a warmer place, too. My throat demands attention. As a yogini I know what to do. To stretch out the tongue massages the throat; this little technique shall shoo away the bacteria. I believe in it.

I've plans for today. I want to go to the Chinese garden to participate at the tea ceremony there.
Right now it's foggy outside. This can change during the day. Yet fog is something interesting, it creates atmosphere.

I feel like going out soon. My yoga practice must wait. 2 days ago I could still do the leg behind head poses. So nothing to worry about.
Who knows when I'll be back here again........

Japanese garden in Portland, I found it

I found it today, the Japanese garden. I create an album on flickr. Enjoy.

I think one cannot upload more than one picture in a blog post. Every pictures needs room around itself.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The destination today: the Japanese Garden.

After a delicious breakfast I feel ready to rock'n roll. Today I was strong and I didn't even look at the muffin. 

I checked if the sun is out today again and it is. Taking pictures comes first. It's very likely that I practice later. I did so yesterday, why not today, too. It's unique to be here in fall and to have sunshine.

So many ideas live in my mind. They cry for realisation. I can't wait.........

PS: No jet leg that spoils my days. I feel the time difference, yet so softly, so tenderly......

I got lost in Portland

Twice I got lost today. My destination was the botanic garden. I must have been sleep walking. Good is I've now a printed map. The hotel room is circled. I'll always find a way back. I walked around a lot. This is sure.

I even climbed up all the steps that can be seen on this picture. Yet there wasn't the botanic garden either. The view was nice. Yet I prefer to be in the urban canyons with it's trees that are so colorful during fall. 

Yep, Portland has a lot of beauty. 
So and now I hope I manage it to put my body at least in a few asanas of primary. No vinyasas, just asanas. It could help me to get used to that narrow space that I have here. The bed uses up all the space in that huge hotel room. It's king size.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Settled down

It's cold here, very cold, but sunny. Yesterday I walked around. A lot. I had to explore my surrounding. I wanted to get some orientation.
My basic PC issues are solved. I know how to use my external storage. Nothing can stop me anymore to fill my camera storage with shots again and again. It urged me to walk around.
Fall has come and the leaves turn red and yellow. When the sun is out one can have the impression as if the trees are on fire.
The situation of many people here has not improved. So many are homeless. Also a lot of old people live in the streets. But also the very young ones. These homeless people dominate the picture of the city.

Today I want to go to the botanic garden with my lensbaby. It's such a luck that it isn't raining. I also fear to step on the mat. I feel stiff. The hotel room is nice but small. To roll out my mat is possible. Shall I do this. Later, later. I'm too curious about the world around me.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Oh, up so early

I'm up before the breakfast buffet opens. I'm here in Portland in a hotel room in the 9th floor downtown. I'm sitting on the bed trying to download my pictures from the camera to an external storage. It's the third try. My camera is full, so if I want to take new pictures I must manage this. My PC is full, too. Hahahaha.....Prolific me.

In the meantime I've been so often in the US that it's a bit like returning to a familiar place. Two days we've been in the LA area. Laguna Beach, Huntington beach were stops. Portland is so different, alone because of the weather. Yet also here it's all so familiar.

Jet lag is so soft this time, but that I'm very hungry now is part of it. And in the meantime the buffet is open. Ha. Later more......

I've free wifi good.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

I am glad that I practiced

Yes, yes, I stepped on my mat. What improved in the last year is my concentration. I don't run away from my practice in the middle of it. It can be that I stay longer in some asanas to relax a bit. There are asanas that allow this. But I don't run away anymore. This also allows to go deep into the asanas, as the body stays warm and flexible.

Primary was on the schedule and I spiced it up with some third series asanas. Not so many third series asanas were performed, but a few.

At the end I did urdhva dhanurasana. I don't give up here. Never. Hahahaha......I'll come up one day from this position. From samastithih I'll drop back and I'll return to samastithih. I'm convinced that this is still possible for me.

Feeling excellent. Strong. Flexible. Optimistic.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Every day is different

Yesterday I had a highlight during my yoga practice: I could grasp my wrist in pashasana. Usually I hook the fingers. Wow, that was a deep twist. What a surprise, too
Yet after one hour of practice I couldn't go on anymore. Energy was used up. Nothing seemed to be possible anymore. I stopped.
I tried to find a reason for this exhaustion. The night before I stretched my body again at night. This might have been too much. One practice during a day is enough for me.

Today I was busy with preparing my trip to the US. Our home here must be so nice that we like to return. I cleaned, discarded things, mainly bags. Do we collect bags, too? I ironed a mountain of clothes. The battery of our alarm clock has ended his life, I got a new one.
My new vacuum cleaner is fantastic. It's such a difference to the old one. I got enthusiastic.

And now it's late. Dark.

Tomorrow is Thursday. Primary is on the schedule. I'm looking forward to my practice. I'll spice it up with third series asanas. There is so much to learn......

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Ashtanga yoga is a mental exercise, too

Ashtanga yoga is a mental exercise, too.

Stepping on the mat at home one has to eliminate all the other distractions, all the other fun. Not everybody is able to do it. Some yoginis need a group, a teacher who is observing and helping. Otherwise they don't move.

We Ashtangis also have to remember the series. Oh, I see a lot of cheat sheet in classes. Some even practice second series and need it. One can clearly say, these yoginis had not yet the discipline and focus to learn about 28 asanas by heart. I'm not impressed.

Focusing on the breath is a concentration exercise. All the issues, plans, joys fade away when focusing on the breath.

Moving the mind to an activity or an object is a technique. To concentrate on this activity or object is an effort, a skill. One can learn it. To be able to concentrate is a very helpful technique.

Yes, I'll have the discipline to step on the mat today. I'm so motivated. My practice yesterday was intensive. I feel it in my body today. I did a lot of back bending. I felt slight progress. Yet in the evening I doubted if I would ever be able to perform kapotasana. I know that this is not so important.
Yesterday night I saw videos on back bending, jumping through. These days we have so many learning possibilities for free. A gift.

More important than to reach goals is the daily practice. Here I am. I'm ready for another exercise on the mat.

Monday, October 07, 2013

Jumping Back in Padmasana - Kino MacGregor

Such a good explanation. I need it on my blog. 

I collect good habits

Yep, I collect good habits. One of my favorite habits is to set a timer. This means an activity has a beginning and an end. Usually I work in 25 min rhythm. My yoga practice needs 2 hours, sometimes more, sometimes less. I'm flexible here. I mean when 25 min are over and I've only 2 pieces of clothes to iron left, I do it. Re my yoga practice my ability to concentrate decides if I go on or stop after 90 min.

Sometimes a time frame must be even longer. Attila, a famous vegan cook and cookbook author here in Germany has published a book. He convinces people to eat 30 days vegan. It's not only this, he also recommends to integrate sports. White rice and bread shall be avoided during the 30 days. But I distract. The point is, it's a 30 days challenge. This seems doable. Even for me it creates different feelings, when I think 'for the next 30 days I eat vegan' to 'from now on I'll keep a vegan diet till the end of my life'. OMG.

I do the 30 days vegan challenge the third time. The third one has started 1st of October. I'm fine-tuning my eating habits. During my first challenge I discovered Matcha tea and a lot of recipes i.e..
During this challenge I'll ask for vegan food in restaurants and not for vegetarian food. The vegans became a movement and everybody knows now what it means. The restaurants are ready for us.

The very good news. I've my ideal weight. Today the scales showed: 45,7 kg. This is great. This makes my yoga practice so much easier. I started my first challenge with 48 kg. I had enough with these 2 extra kg. It's a lot for my tiny body. I know now that 45 kg would be perfect for me. Hahahaha......Health has priority.

The first mental exercise is to start something. No matter what it is, if we start an activity we have to eliminate all the other distractions. This is already focus. If we can start with our yoga practice every morning, we can also start a vegan challenge. Now is the time. The trick is to set an end also. If 30 days is too much the time frame can be shorter. Good luck, Anna.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

To eat well is part of the life style that one prefers.

I loved the colors of the berries this morning, so I took a picture of my tiny breakfast. It consists of 1 soy yogurt, popped amaranth and the berries. My breakfast is not 100% the same every morning. Sometimes I add few (3 or 4) nuts. When I have a sweet day I add agave syrup. Very often I add cinnamon, sometimes vanilla. When I'm very hungry I add more popped amaranth. As fruit I try to buy seasonal fruit. I'm away from bananas. When I take a banana I share one with E.
I drink a glass of water in the morning, but also something warm, something that wakes me up. This is either Matcha tea or a small cup of coffee. That's it.
A tiny breakfast is very important for me as it wakes up my organism. Bowl movement starts and I need an empty bowl for my yoga practice. I don't start with my yoga practice at once after breakfast. So this light tiny breakfast is no more a burden in my stomach after 1 hour.
Breakfast means break a fast, this can never be a huge meal, but something small.

Beverages during the day: Most people drink calories. The body needs water when thirsty, still water, not sparkling water. Sparkling water makes the body sour. For me sparkling water is too heavy, I don't drink it. I've difficulties to gulp it. When I go to a cafe I often order a cappuccino with soy milk. It's almost like a meal.

I try not to eat too much. Below is today's dinner. I prepared a salad and a soup, a red lentil soup. I tried something new. I search simple yet delicious recipes.
My experience is that the vegan community is growing, this is so fantastic. Yet also vegan food can be unhealthy. Restaurants are always businesses. One must cook by oneself.

I enjoy to do Attilas challenge: 30 days vegan. Each time I adjust something else. For instance during my October challenge I don't say in restaurants that I'm vegetarian, but vegan. I also try to have a vegan dessert at home, as most restaurants don't have vegan desserts. For the time being we don't eat out often. This will change when we'll travel again....

I hope I could inspire you with this post. It could be an idea to update my vegan blog with recipes. I'll let you know here on this blog when it's updated.

To eat is not the focus of my life. I love to eat well and healthy. Yes yes, but I don't want that all my thoughts circle about eating. I feel excellent when I forget to eat, when my life is so interesting that I don't have time to eat. Then my life is intensive and this happens not so seldom. I'm not afraid that I'll starve when I skip a meal, yet I don't want to feel hungry either. Less is more, how so often.

Great practice

It was 11 o'clock when I stepped on my mat. Sundays are dedicated to intermediate Ashtanga yoga series.

Motivation was high to work on back bending. After kapotasana I added urdhva dhanurasana. After all these back bending asanas of second series, it's easier to do this pose. I usually practice this pose also against the wall. When my hands touch the wall, I walk them a bit deeper. From there I try to come up. Today I was rather close to the floor and I could come up. I think I understand this pose better now. One really has to push with the hands, one really must work with the legs too. A deep inhaling does the rest. To think that it's possible is helpful, too.

When I practice I add hanumanasana to every series, forward split. This pose helps me to improve the back bending asanas, as it stretches the front side.

I wonder what I shall practice tomorrow. An intensive back bending part will be part of my practice, this is for sure.

This practice teaches me discipline and patience. Things develop, yet slowly. 

Picture: I baked a vegan carrot cake. It's delicious, yet I doubt that it's healthy.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

The fear to get stopped

This is indeed a speciality in Ashtanga yoga that people get stopped at a pose because a teacher thinks a pose is not perfect enough and that's why a student is not allowed to move on.

I'm not able to come up from urdhva dhanurasana, yet even in India I could move on to pashasana. When I I've been in India, I've been not even able to drop back. Saraswathi taught me the first pose of second series.
The first students learned first and second series in a row, they didn't even realized when second series started.

If I cannot get my leg behind my head, it's impossible to practice the asanas of third series. Then the poses of third series are not possible at all. Yet a very imperfect kapotasana allows me  to move on with second series.

When I go to a new shala I practice primary first. There is a lot to learn there and the teacher can see how a student is practicing. I'm thankful for every feed-back. Yet the next time I want to practice also second series because of the asanas I'm not able to master and because I think a balanced practice means to practice back bendings, too. Only what I practice I can learn.

I see only one solution: I must focus on back bending. These back bending poses are within reach. I don't think that I will be able to do Viparita salabhasana or Ganda Bherudasana. But this is future music. It's not necessary to spend time thinking of them. Back bending asanas that I want to be able to do are urdhva dhanurasana, laghu vajrasana and kapotasana. That's nothing, isn't it?  Hahahaha........

The solution of all this: practicing, practicing, practicing. If necessary and it is necessary I plan extra sessions, back bending sessions that last 30 min. In the evening my body is also softer. This might help, too.

The next shala where I'll practice will be in Portland. I hope that I'll find it this time. Last time about 2 years back, I couldn't find it.

(Oh my, what crazy issues I have. Who and what shall stop me? I'm less and less dependant from teacher. Write it down and let go. Next topic please.....hahahahaha....)

Friday, October 04, 2013

Leg behind head poses

Primary has one leg behind head pose. It's supta kurmasana. I'm able to do this since I practice second series and eka pada sirsasana. I can hook my fingers very easily. I work to the direction to hold the wrist with one hand.

Second series has 6 leg behind head poses: 
1. Eka pada sirsasana
2. Dwi pada sirsasana
3. yoga nidrasana
4 till 6. Tittibhasana A, B and C.

Third series has 7 leg behind head poses: 
1. Viswamistrasana
2. Kasyapasana
3. Chakorasana
4. Bhairavasana
5. Skandasana
6. Durvasana
7. Viranchyasana A

Fourth series has 8 leg behind head poses: 
1. Buddhasana
2. Kapilasana
3. Marichyasana G
4. Marichyasana H
5. Bhuja dandasana
6. Parsva dandasana
7. Adho dandasana
8. Omkarasana

With each series the poses get more intensive. Today I added the third series asanas to my primary. Practicing them helps me to understand this pose. It opens the hip. It's important to take the leg slowly more and more behind the back, so that the body can be upright.

I don't try fourth series asanas. I've enough on my plate.
It helps to understand the asanas. It helps to stay longer in the asanas. Deep breathing is important.
To have an overview is good.

Yep, me too, I prefer to work on poses that are easier to me.

Today I practiced 2 and a half hours including pranayama and 10 min of meditation. I'm relaxed, so relaxed.

Time to move on....

Taming the mind

The last quarter of the year has started and I'm planning, planning, planning.....

Here the exercise starts, the mental exercise. Planning might be OK, but not too much. Planning is fiction. My plans often tell me what did not happen as I had planned everything. It's a reminder that life is not under our control. It's a happening. It's good to focus on the next action. My yoga mat is waiting for me already.

So what am I planning....hahahaha...
- Next Friday we'll fly to the United States. Till then I'll practice Ashtanga yoga at home. Perhaps I'll go one time to pick up my yoga mat.
- We'll be back the 27th of October. There is a new yoga teacher downtown. He offers Mysore classes from 6:30am till 9am in a beautiful shala, closer to my home. Finally classes are offered that last 2 and a half hours and not only 90 min. By now only M offered classes that lasted longer than 90 min. I try to have no expectations at all. To practice so early would allow me to focus more on my other projects, like writing and photography. This really seduces me to change the shalas. So in November I'll practice with a new teacher in a new shala.
- From the 30th Oct till the 14 Nov we'll be in South Africa. We'll move then to our new home and during Christmas time we'll be at our parents homes. I'll probably practice at home when in Munich till the end of the year.
- Where I'll practice in 2014 is in the stars. I'm ready for something new. To get up at 5am again is a challenge, yet challenges never stopped me doing anything.
I'd love to focus on third series in 3014. Whatever and whoever supports me, there I'll be.

Inhaling, pause, exhaling, pause.....between inhaling and exhaling is a little pause. This is important. Don't blend it, my pranayama teacher told me in India.

I'm ready for my Friday 'morning' practice at home. It will be primary.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

My role model

The longer I practice Ashtanga yoga the more I see how much it is a mental exercise. 
It's about observing. 
It's about concentration. 
it's about staying cool and carefree.

Practicing the asanas day in day out
makes it happen.
a flexible and strong body,
a calm and focused mind
will become a daily joy. 

Wednesday, October 02, 2013


Second post deleted.

If I don't write about the background, my posts make no sense. And I don't want to write about the background.
Perhaps I'll find the right words soon.

By now just a hint. It can be that my yoga life will change again. I'm so excited.

Till next Friday I'll practice at home. And on Friday we'll be on our way to the US, Portland.

To be disciplined is a mental skill. Time to practice.