Thursday, May 30, 2013

I'm dancing, I'm relieved.....


The appointment was at 4:30pm. This would have allowed me to practice in the morning, yet I was not able to do anything. It was a very lame day yesterday. Feelings varied from curiosity to excitment. I calmed myself down with food.

On time I was at the dentist. It's such a luxury place. In the entrance hall close to the reception they have a basin. Plastic cups stand there. If one turns on the water only mouth warm water is running. There one can rinse the mouth.
Water and coffee is offered, if one has to wait.

I sat in the waiting room when the dentist came in. He greeted me with a hand shake and a smile in his face: "We can offer you something good."

And it was something good that they could offer me to heal my gum and save my teeth. It's so good that I must almost cry while writing this. Before getting into detail here, I want to sum up what had happened by now. Shall my experience have the potential to help others.

- Regularly I got my teeth cleaned. The woman who cleaned them sent me to the dentist as she saw her limits to clean my teeth. First a very young dentist who I remember now saw my teeth and interpreted the x-ray that we had done first. He wanted to pull out 1 tooth. I thought that I'll refuse. It should become worse. From my knowledge now I think that this is the only tooth that must be pulled out. This young doctor, probably he has just finished college and applied his knowledge was not so wrong with his diagnosis. The next time I should see his boss. I don't want to call this dentist "dentist No1" anymore. For me it's the money dentist. I tried to find a friendly word. This money dentist wanted to pull 11 teeth and he wanted to implant even the wisdom teeth. The costs were so high that I fell off my chair when I learned about it. This time the assistant dentist walked behind his boss like a beaten dog. If one gets so different therapy possibilities at one dentist one must doubt. It's a huge difference if one gets 1 tooth pulled or 11. The assistant dentist was not yet a business man.
The diagnosis and therapy shocked me.
They started with a week antibiotic. Three times a day I took these pills which were like bombs in my body This was as I know now the first wrong step to cure my gum. To give an overall antibiotic kills all bacteria also the good ones in a body. But not only this alone. The overall antibiotic only kills the bacteria in the tissue. In the gap between the teeth the bacteria survive and soon they will increase again. The effect of the antibiotics is from very short time. In addition the side effects were horrible. My bowl couldn't work anymore. I needed the next pills to cure it.
I think now that this prescription of antibiotic was very good for the pharma industry and bad for my body.

- Then I went to another dentist, I call him the theory dentist. I wanted to hear a second opinion. The theory that this dentist told me sounded very good. First one tries to heal the gum and when nothing is possible anymore one pulls out the teeth,then one can make implants. I asked him if they can do this and he said "no" as they were specialised in implants and he suggested first to cure the gum. I wanted him to look at my x-ray to apply his knowledge to my special case. Yet he was a lecturer. Finally I asked him if he knew a dentist who would be able to help me. He said "no", but wanted to ask his boss. When he returned he said that they don't know a dentist and suddenly he looked at my x-ray. "What we can offer you is to pull out these 5 teeth, and we can make surgeries to lift the gum to clean under it. Then you only have to spend xy-Euro." It was a bit like on a market. I think his boss told him: Don't send her to someone else. We make this business ourselves.

- My last hope was now dentist No3. I'll call him dentist No1, because he is a No1 dentist. They suggested to clean first the gums and then to progress with the therapy. But first they want to clean and kill the bacteria where they are. Then they want to check the results to make further decisions what to do. One tooth must be pulled out pehaps. It was the same tooth the assistant dentist of the money doctor wanted to pull out. We talk about 1 tooth. This is something else than to pull out 11 or 5 teeth.
This one tooth has also a history. I've been angry for years, because a dentist wanted to make a crown on this tooth. Unexperienced as I've been with 20 something I agreed. At the end I was told it made sense to make it fast as it will become more expensive to get crowns on teeth. This can never be a reason to get a crown, because it costs less now than in 3 years. It was done much too early.

In June my teeth and my gum get cleaned and antibiotics will be put on places where needed.

My tips: 
1. Be very critical if you shall take antibiotics for the entire body.
2. From time to time go and see another dentist to get another view on your teeth, also when everything seems to be OK. My dentist should have seen my issue. My gum got ill during the last 10 years. This illness could have stopped much earlier with a correct diagnosis and therapy.
3. I cannot emphasize enough the necessity of prophylaxis: clean your theeth profoundly after every meal.

As soon as I left the dentist I called my husband to tell him the good news. He invited me to the Greek restaurant. In vain I tried to make a reservation. We're full, I heard, yet we went. E could imagine himself there and after 30 min of waiting we got very nice seats. Next to us sat a group of Brazilian women. And later a Brazilian dancer made us all hot. She was too good to be true. I ate too much, I drank too much ouzo during that Brazilian night in our Greek restaurant. I had to celebrate.
I'm recovered. My debauchery was still within a healthy frame. I'm so happy. I've hope now again.

(Spelling check is not working, I hope I found all the spelling mistakes.)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Sipping coffee, a home practice is on the schedule


It's early in the morning, I'm sipping coffee. In the morning my world is still peaceful and calm. It will be so till  this afternoon when I'll see another dentist for a third opinion re my teeth and my gum. I'll fight for every single tooth.

Yesterday I practiced Ashtanga yoga at home. So I will today. It's raining outside. A self-practice is offered. I doubt that many yogis and yoginis will schlepp themselves to the shala. Yet this doesn't influence my actions so much. The weather is horrible. My home practices are rather good for the time being. I'll join the party again when our teacher will be back.

At home I'm creative. I add preparation asanas before kapotasana. That way this pose is so much easier. I do forward split. This seems to be a very supportive asana for back bending. I blend third series asanas when it fits.
In classes I stick to the series as given. I focus on flow. Years back I feared not to practice during the absence of a teacher. Yet I became rather independent.

Discipline, perseverance and patience are mental skills that one exercises when practicing Ashtanga yoga. Often these mental exercises are overlooked: Practicing Ashtanga yoga is a concentration exercise. It's not only about the fancy asanas or about fitness.
It's also about becoming optimistic. When practicing daily it's very likely that one makes the experience that things improve, sometimes even the impossible becomes possible.
One can learn to direct the thoughts.

Yesterday in the evening I even meditated for 10 min. It was great, too. It was not: oh my, when is it over. I sat and observed the breath. Thoughts came up. I thought: planning, if the contents of the thoughts were planning. I thought: hearing, when my attention was at the noises that one hears if one lives rather downtown. Then I returned to the breath with my consciousness. Eyes are closed when I meditate. It was just one practice, yet I liked that my concentration was so good.

Better to practice than to write about it.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

How to approach third series


1. Yesterday I omitted full vinyasa. It's strange, but this made the entire practice easier. At the end of second series one starts from samasthitih, but the back bending asanas can be connected. It felt good. It saves time and energy.

2. I remember that my yoga teacher told me not to practice the standing asanas when I add third series asanas. I had forgotten this. I practiced them because I felt too stiff. The standing asanas prepare the body for the middle part and make me flexible. Yet it's possible jump directly after the surya namaskaras to pashasana.
Pashasana, yep I've the feeling that my new way to get into the pose will help me to get rid of the blanket under the heels. Till now I was on the balls on my feet, got into the twist, bound, and then I rolled back.
Since a short time I start getting into the pose when the heels are on the floor. This is a bit more challenging. Yet that way I cannot role out of the pose. I'm not yet able to put the blanket aside, but I feel that this is the way to go.

3. Not practicing the standing asanas, leaving out the vinyasas in the beginning of second series helps to have energy left for the third series asanas. Nevertheless they come at the end. My trick is to blend them and to add them after asanas where they fit. The leg behind head asanas of third series I add after the leg behind head asanas of second series. I practice these challenging asanas much earlier than it's supposed to be. I don't care for a while. I know I wouldn't practice them at all if I wouldn't practice them earlier when I've still more energy. At the end of a practice I'm usually tired. The body has no energy more, the mind is unfocused.

4. Just to complete the list. To get rid of the extra pounds that many of us have the practice is easier, too.


Also this night I had difficulties to sleep in. In the morning I was tired, sleepy, without energy. It was difficult to make a fist. Slowly energy entered my body, when a bit stronger I got up, prepared a black cup of coffee for myself, enjoyed it and a tiny breakfast, too. It's cold here, the sun is out. I'm looking forward to my sweaty Ashtanga yoga practice.


Monday, May 27, 2013

Routines


I had a plan for this morning, yet I got up too late. I don't know why, but I couldn't sleep in. This morning I must have switched off the alarm clock, but I cannot remember anymore to have done it. Of course in the morning I could sleep. I could hurry to the yoga class. Hurrying is not what I want these days.
That I overslept disappoints me. Might it be so.

The Mysore class that is offered today in a new shala lasts 90 min. This is short for me. I had already a plan how to press my practice into this time frame. I would have omitted full vinyasa. I always do full vinyasa when I practice second series. To do half vinyasa could also be a good idea for my practice at home when I want to add third series asanas.

I have no time: Yesterday we had the "no-time discussion" in our photography group. One woman asked us how we found time for our photography. Yet I'm more and more convinced that one has time for anything if it's important enough. Years ago, I had to search for time for my Ashtanga yoga practice. I found it in the morning. I got up earlier, I got up at 5am to be precise. Yes, amazing, but I managed it to get up that early.
If we fall in love with someone we also find time for phone calls, writing Emails, meetings and day dreaming.
Everybody has the same time: 24 hours.

In this context I love to quote Oli Kahn. He moderated the Champions League match and was asked how the players manage the stress. He repeated what he had written in his book "Ich" ("I): routines help. If one exercises the same routines again and again, they become so strong, that it's difficult not to do them. This helps to do things and it helps to do things with less stress.

I love to check my routines from time to time. Sometimes they need modification.

My routine in the morning is:
- getting up (goal is here 6am), having a quick shower
- sipping coffee and having a tiny breakfast
- checking my mails and sometimes I write my blog in the morning. It's very time-consuming. It could be good to postpone this after yoga. Yet I love to write sometimes already in the morning. :)
- writing my 3 morning pages
- then I'm ready for my yoga practice
- when at home I shower again afterwards, this time more profound (hahaha), otherwise I often take a bath before evening.
- When my yoga practice is done, it's ofen already lunch time.

Routines need some time till they flow and till they are strong. They develop automatically as they are helpful. To work on them consciously makes sense. Quickly also bad routines develop, i.e. coming home and switching on the TV.

What do I want to practice today: second series. I'll spice it up with third series asanas.......

Picture: Feminity was the topic of last week in the photography group. The week was over and nobody has published anything even though we are all woman. I loved the topic, so I took my camera, the result is above.


Friday, May 24, 2013

Friday


It was good again that I practiced yesterday. I did primary with some third series asanas. All asanas of primary were possible (why not, why do I doubt), yet the vinyasas were weak, very weak.

How can I improve the vinyasas?
Am I still too weak?
Or do I lack the correct technique?

I'll keep practicing it. I know it can last years till the vinyasas are super good. I started too late. The insight that it's important like the asanas came too late. Bad habit to complain about the past.

Better to focus on what I can do NOW.

We've still the summer break here. I plan to visit the other studios. I got curious again what's going on in Munich in the Ashtanga community. One of our yoginis goes to Iyengar classes. I admire her practice. Perhaps some Iyengar yoga could improve my practice, too.

Yesterday I watched "Frauentausch". It's a program where a woman or man lives in the other household. They live the life of the other one so to say. It's amazing how inflexible people are to adjust. But I admit I wouldn't like to miss my morning routine, too. I'd be very reluctant to give it up.

Going to other studios might improve my flexibility. I've to adjust to what is offered. My main concern is that most classes in other studios are limited to 90 min. This means for me I have to hurry through the series. Yet why not get into it for some time. Speed can be a challenge. It can help to focus and to eliminate the breaks.

Time to practice here at home. Primary today as it's Friday. It got late already.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Tooth blues and plan for today


Yesterday I got a second opinion about my teeth. I'll get a third one next week and this was it then. This shall be enough to make a decision.

On these dentists day I seem to be unable to do anything else. Yesterday morning I felt excited and wanted to prepare myself. When I was at home again in the evening I had Adrenalin in my blood. I calmed me with food and a glass of red wine. I hadn't eaten anything the entire day except a small breakfast.
The dentist No2 is located far outside of Munich. This is a negative point for me. To return home means to walk 20 min to take a first train which comes in 30 min distances. After one station I have to change the train which means to walk to other rails which are a bit far away. Then again I must be 30 min in the train before I reach Munich main station. From there I need about 15 min with the Straßenbahn to be at home. To commute 90 min minimum with an open wound in the mouth is doable, but not a joy.

OK, but what was his opinion or diagnosis:

He would only pull 5 teeth, 3 of them are wisdom teeth, and not 11. This is a huge difference. Wisdom teeth don't count, I've learned. They are trouble makers despite their name. I had never troubles with them, but one was pulled already 30 years ago. I still can remember the pain, but not why it was pulled. Many young people lose the wisdom teeth and can live without them. The wisdom teeth are the teeth No 8. No dentist even thinks to implant those teeth, except dentist No1. It is not at all necessary to implant wisdom teeth. Dentist No1 was creative. He even wanted to make money as much as possible with my wisdom teeth and my naivety. But  I'm losing my naivety.

So the dentist from yesterday would implant 2 teeth. And what about the other teeth, that should be pulled by dentist no1? He sees a possibility to heal the periodontosis with deep cleaning. This should happen via a surgery, but there seems to be a possibility that I can have my own teeth a bit longer. After the deep cleaning it can be that the bones recover. I want to try this first . For sure.

I'm so glad now that I got another opinion. I hope that dentist No3 comes to a similar conclusion. If not I'll have difficulties to convince him to do less, I know this. Every dentist is convinced, that he's right.
But I'll wait, I wanted to hear a third opinion. First I must listen. Then I'll  make my own opinion.

The therapy plan of dentist No2 is 10 times (!) cheaper than the one of dentist No1.

Yep another issue of dentist No2 is that they can do the implants, yet not the crowns on the implants. So I need a second dentist anyway. Dentists are specialists these days.

Many dentists write on their signs that they are specialised in implantology. Yet this is not a protected profession. A dentist can read a book or make a workshop and then he can render this service as a dentist. Implants are expensive. Experience is everything here, I think.
It's the same with yoga teachers or photographers. If you want to be one, you are one.

In my case or for all those who suffer from periodontosis it makes sense to see first a dentist specialised in healing the gums. To implant new teeth shall be the very last step. Yet if a dentist is specialised in implantology he is proned to do it faster than necessary. Makes sense.

I'm a bit less afraid now and a bit closer to a solution, a tiny bit closer.

It is even possible to live well without teeth No7. I tested it in front of the mirror. Even when I smile as much as I can one wouldn't see it. Yet beauty is not my issue, it's life quality. I want to be able to bite and to eat properly.

I lost 2 pounds from yesterday morning to this morning even though I ate a bar of marzipan chocolate beside all the other food I shoved into my body to calm down yesterday night. This shows me how exciting this all is for me and how much energy I need.

Summary and tips for a periodontosis treatment:
1. Get your teeth cleaned professionally on a regular basis.
2. Then a test about the bacteria might be necessary. The result might mean to take antibiotics. This I've done already. It's strange but I feel a difference. This is still closed therapy
3. If this is not enough it makes sense to undergo a surgery. The dentist opens the gums and cleans under it, with laser i.e. Then the gums and even the bones might recover. This can be checked via a new x-ray 3 months later.
4. The last step is to pull out teeth and to implant them. Especially those dentists specialized in implantology want to start here.

To live without any teeth is not recommended as it often causes digestion issues.

I'm ready for primary today. I can integrate third series asanas. Today my focus are the dristhis again. Hahaha.....My big toes, how I love them.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Focus, focus, focus


Ashtanga yoga is a mental exercise (also). If one knows this, it's very likely that this skill to focus improves. To focus consciously makes life easier. One can chose an uplifting focus i.e.. To focus on the breath when in pain can help to make the pain bearable.
The mind is wild by nature. It can be trained like the body.

What shall be the focus for the next 25 min, is a good question.

On the mat, when practicing Ashtanga yoga I exercise the skill to focus. I focus on my breath, drishti, correct performance of the asanas. Excluding all the other worries that we all have in life is relaxing. Not only this, one even speaks  of the power of focus. Things get done when I'm able to focus on a given task.

Focus on and off the mat is one of the tools that improves life in general.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Practicing at home


The day before yesterday I practiced at home.
Yesterday nothing happened.
Today I practiced again at home. My legs were slightly sore. Yet it got better during the practice.

I'll work more on my discipline. I don't want to be dependant on classes. Some of the very good teachers are autodidacts. I got a lot of help, yet one must also learn to move further alone. Self-study is part of the process. Conditions are very good these days. YouTube videos from the best are available for free.

2 hours I practiced today. It was so good. The practice has a very good influence on my mood. It relaxes me.

10 min meditation now. I'm ready for this practice, too. Something calm for me.

Monday, May 20, 2013

The genes




The older I become the more I see the influence of the genes. This might be because younger people often think that they can cause something. Me too, I thought this. The older one gets the more the word "fate" comes into play.
This finger pointing seems to be be a gesture fixed in my genes. Hahaha......

Everything seems predetermined, every gesture is default.

A fun weekend, indeed















Source: flickr.com via Ursula on Pinterest


A group can be so supportive. This is so in yoga and in photography, too.

And sometimes it's just the fun factor.

Yet next time I'll suggest to meet during the Golden Hour (in the morning or in the evening) and not around lunch time. :) Hahaha......

Sunday, May 19, 2013

My other passion - photography



Yesterday I finished a project that had started the 1st April 2012 and ended yesterday with the above picture. For one year I wanted to take a portrait, every day. I started with self-portraits, yet I didn't like to take 365 selfies. So I discovered street photography. Soon I felt like a paparazzi of the ordinary people. From time to time I found volunteers, and I had a shooting, which pleased me a lot.

During this last year I had a lot of time to test a lot: color, black and white, perspective, body parts, movement, different light situations and so forth. I've been in different countries during the last year, i.e in Turkey and Sweden just to mention two of the countries that I could visit. Always my camera swung around my neck. I've been always ready to capture an interesting frame, an interesting person.

Here is the result of the work of one year: 365 days, every day a portrait.

Enjoy. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

A holistic concept and Angelina Jolie


How could it come that far? The diagnosis is periodontitis in the last stadium. In the last 10 years I've seen a dentist at regular intervals. He knew my issue. Yet his knowledge was obviously limited, he was too careless and he also had not the means for a profound therapy. Just to get my teeth cleaned by an assistant was not enough. Once he cleaned profoundly the pockets, yet the bacteria already were much deeper and disturbed the bones. With a test he could have found out.

This is the past. It's difficult to find the experts. Everybody claims to be one, yet in reality they are rare.

Also tooth cleaning can be done so and so.
Finally 1 year back I found someone who is specialized in cleaning teeth. A profound cleaning lasts 1 hour and not only 15 min and this woman finally sent me to the dentist. She realized that her possibilities to clean my teeth were limited.

The dentist who examined my teeth and tooth flesh wrote a therapy and cost plan. The clerk who wrote it should explain it. She was not able to do it. She maundered something about a holistic concept that they offer. This should justify the price, I think. Yet did I really get a holistic treatment by now? No, I didn't.

Since this dentist started my treatment I had to consult 2 further doctors.
- The penicillin that I should take, burnt. I feared my gullet would get damaged. I found online help. A good tip would have been to drink much much more water than just one glass. To be prepared also helps to stand the pain. The pain was so awful that I wanted to interrupt the treatment. The dentist was not reachable. The doctor that I reached online convinced me to go on with the penicillin therapy. It was good so.
- The penicillin also killed the healthy bacteria in my bowl. To give something at the same time to restore them would be a holistic treatment. I consulted another doctor, because it was so bad, I couldn't get out the "stones" of my bowl anymore. The doctor gave me a prescription. Everything is fine again. Yet this is what I would have expected from the dentist. Teeth are not better or worse than a bowl. Doctors might have preferences re body parts. Yet if one wants to offer a holistic treatment one must care of the other organs, too.

Being that careless helped me to make a decision. He won't make this surgery.

The next dentist that I consulted went a step further. He also recommended that my partner should disinfect his mouth as the bacteria can be passed down to someone.

My tip: If you get penicillin, always ask which consequences this has on your body. My bowl wouldn't have restored on its own.



Also here in Germany the approach of Angelina Jolie possibility to get breast cancer is discussed.
My view:
Fear of anything is most of the time worse than what really will happen. The chance that Angelina Jolie would get and die from breast cancer was not 100%. It was higher and what I read the likelihood was 60% to 85% higher. There was a chance not to get breast cancer. Why not focus on the possibility to stay healthy. Why not checking the body more often than usual and stay optimistic?
Everywhere I read that one shall see that the glass of water is half full and not half empty. Where are all these optimistic preachers?
To get amputated her breasts prophylactical really makes me wonder what a relationship this woman has to her body? There is no substitute for the own body parts.

We're of course all influenced of the society in which we live. It seems to me that the step to make a beauty surgery is taken quickly in the US. It's perhaps also the power that doctors have in a society. Instead of getting more self-confidence about the body, people get a surgery. In societies where people are self-confident about themselves doctors wouldn't make money with the insecurities of people.
Angeline Jolie didn't do only a beauty surgery. Of course she also got implants.
The surgery that she had, had risks.  Also breast implants are a risk. I understand that she wanted to get breast implants. Yet if she wanted to minimize any risk of breast cancer it would be good advice not to get these implants.
For me it was not heroic what she did. It was an act out of fear. There was a possibility not to get breast cancer.
For me this act is not understandable. I also don't understand why she is promoting it in such an active way.

Also Angeline Jolie is not immortal, also not after this surgery. Her children who feared to lose her from breast cancer, will lose her one day.
We all will die, and we don't know how and when. Life cannot be controlled.
Possibilities are based on statistics.
Might she have a long life and not die from breast cancer.

Death is still a tabu.
Me too, I don't want to die.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A minimalistic day



When I've an appointment with a dentist, then this is it what I do this day. I plan nothing else but this. Before seeing the dentist I prepare questions, after having seen him, I must digest the answers.

My idea is to get consulted by 2 more dentists. Then I'll have 3 diagnosis, 3 suggested therapies, 3 different costs. One must live with the fact that all agree with the diagnosis, but the offered therapy is slightly different.

I don't want to make an Odyssey out of it. I can make fast decisions. My situation also requires to make a decision. Things can get worse. Yet to hear 3 doctors before such surgeries where I'll lose more than 10 teeth seems reasonable to me.

The first dentist who made all the x-ray is not forwarding them to my new dentist. "You can get to another dentist," he told me, yet now he boycotts it. The assistants tried to call, yet nobody picked up the receiver. I know this already from this dentist. They are not reachable. To follow-up if they've forward the x-ray is my job today.

Next week I'll see another dentist specialised in implants. He might be excellent, too, yet the consulting rooms are so far away, that I cannot imagine to get there when in pain i.e.. And my teeth must be checked often after the surgeries.

Since yesterday in the afternoon, I'm a bit further: the decision who'll be the dentist is made. It will be the one that I saw yesterday. I must trust here. My first impression is very good.

Many dentists offer special treatment for phobic patients. I'm not a phobic patient. It seems to me that the only handling with the fear of a patient is to give him/her a general anesthetic, to knock him/her out completely, so to say.
My handling with fear would be softer. When I've fear I start gathering all the information I need to feel safe. Insecurity creates fear. Knowledge can indeed calm. A general anesthetic shall be the last step in my view.

At home again I read in the book "Verbrechen" (Guilt) by Ferdinand von Schirach. The author has collected stories that he experienced during his time as trial lawyer. At night I told some of the stories E. "Such stories you're reading?" was his comment. I needed it, it distracted me from my teeth.

Yoga: For the time being it serves to relax. I'll take out the ambition to accomplish anything when I'll practice today. Enjoying the form of the asanas is it. The breath will be my focus. This calms the mind.

The sun is shining and I feel good. Sunshine has a positive influence on my mood.



Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Back on the mat


Party time is over.

It was all so good to gather to celebrate birthday. We know so wonderful people, this fulfills me with joy.

It was afternoon when I was on my mat. I wanted to focus on my breath. It's a relief. It calms the mind. My body was flexible, yet a bit weak. I could do the advanced poses like the eka pada sirsasana. In sum it was a relaxed practice, a short one.

The next day:
I'm sipping coffee. Today is Tuesday. Home practice. Our teacher informed us about the schedule of the next weeks. He'll be often absent, yet he cares for his students. He suggests where to practice and found even someone who shall substitute him. Yet there is no substitute for him, I think he knows this.

Perhaps summer time is the time to look around and to visit the new Ashtanga yoga studios here in Munich. Let's see if the teacher have learned anything, too. Hahaha....



Friday, May 10, 2013

"Practice and all is coming."


"Practice and all is coming." It's a quote by P. Jois.

It's surely true, if one doesn't practice nothing will happen at all. Yet for myself I've modified this sentence. Practice correctly and all is coming. From my observances of others and myself I realized that it's possible to repeat mistakes for decades. This can lead to injuries re sportive activities. Or it can lead to nothing re languages i.e.

2 examples:
- Wrong shoulder positions over decades can lead to pain there when practicing Ashtanga yoga.
- Writing in English day in day out won't improve my grammar. I must write correctly. This requires studying the grammar. My vocabulary won't increase either when I don't learn new words.

Practicing alone is not enough. One must study again and again what one is doing, if one wants to improve. A critical mind is required.



Wednesday, May 08, 2013

"Shall I eat this?"


The owner of the Indian shop round the corner asked me this:

He: Shall I eat this? (he pointed at a cake wrapped in plastic). I love her. I love you all, too. But I love her. (His hand touched his chest where I suspected his heart.) She's so jealous. She wants me to be fat, so that other woman are no more interested in me. Shall I eat this?

Me: (looking at him, looking at the cake, looking at him) Don't eat it.

He put this plastic cake aside.

(I'll observe his paunch during the next years, hahaha.....)

Becoming an expert


I'm so thankful that we have the Internet these days. So many people share their experiences, their knowledge. Others search help and get answers, too. I know that I'm not alone with my tooth issue. Others went through the same  process. Perhaps one day my blog posts can help someone else. This is why I'm writing about this rather private issue.

A human being has usually 28 teeth. 16 in the upper jaw, 16 in the lower jaw. When looking at the schemata by a dentist, the right side of the teeth is left and the right side of the teeth is right. It's as if you look in your face. One counts from front middle backwards. Yesterday I sat on my bed, in front of me were the papers from the dentist. I had a mirror in my hand and examined my teeth. Hahaha.....I simply want to know which teeth have to go. How do they look like these little pearls in my mouth?

The wisdom teeth have a bad reputation, despite the name. When soccer players have injuries one of the first  treatments is to extract the wisdom teeth, because under them are often bacteria. The wisdom teeth are considered as redundant. One doesn't substitute them.

How many teeth does a person need? This was my question yesterday. And more precise: Do I really need the last 4 teeth. I came to the conclusion, that I don't need these four back teeth. Nice to have, but the life quality is not that much influenced by them. I don't bite my broccoli that far back in my mouth. It's difficult to clean these last teeth. In addition I want to have as less foreign bodies in my body as possible. Foreign bodies always create issues, follow-up costs. And why?
I've also learned that there is a nerve in the lower jaw and if it gets injured parts of the face might get numb. Why risking this?
The insight that I won't need a substitute for the last 4 back teeth saves me a lot of future trouble and money.
Yet I fear they will be pulled.

There are people who have the so-called abbreviated row of teeth: this means that they have not substituted the last 3 back teeth. This might have an influence of the quality of life. To bite only with the front teeth sounds not so good to me.

I counted: 11 teeth shall be pulled. 2 of them are wisdom teeth. They are trouble makers as we've learned and thus redundant. Then we have 9 teeth. 4 of these 9 teeth are the last back teeth. As described one can do without them. Then we have 5 teeth left. For those I can get implants. This sounds better already.

Taxes: In Germany there is tax allowance for extraordinary expenses re health issues. To get the most out of it the treatment must be done in one year. I hope my treatment is approved.

I'm balanced and optimistic again. I'm also no more in a hurry. Nothing must be done at once, also not a tooth surgery. I'll know when I'll be ready for it.

In the past barbers pulled teeth. They cleaned the wound with a soap sud. Hahaha.....


Tuesday, May 07, 2013

On teeth, on tooth flesh.



How could it come so far?

I belong to a generation, parts of it thought the teeth get cleaned by themselves. Animals don't brush their teeth either, do they? It's true, I had a time in my life where dental care had no priority. In the apartment building where I lived also lived a friend, long hair, long beard, and no healthy teeth care either. Once I visited him and he had tooth pain. I sat opposite at him when I realized in this face and his silence that the pain got worse. Suddenly he stood up took the axe that leaned against the wall. Why ever he had an axe, because he needed it to cut wood for his tile stove. He swung the axe backwards, screamed and hacked against the closed door. Again and again and again. The door had a crack at once. My only thought: how can I get out of here. Yet then I had to go through that door and I feared this. This man seemed unstoppable. After a while, I'm not sure if he had no power anymore or if he had enough, he sat down, obviously calmed down. Choleric character? It seemed as if the tooth pain had disappeared. Me: "I must go now." Quickly I disappeared. Luckily I could open the damaged door. I went up to my flat, heart was racing like crazy.

Cleaning the teeth is the no 1 habit that keeps them healthy:

I know most people don't do it. In some cases it won't matter. Good genes. In my case I'd say it was not so good to be so careless, to say the least.
In addition most people don't know how to clean the teeth profoundly. I got detailed information 2 years back and I've changed my cleaning habits.
Most dentists don't like to spend much time to forward detailed information about prophylaxis. It's not well paid. I also fear many don't know how to clean profoundly.
The suggestions of dentists: Do you use an electric tooth brush. Yeah, by then I already used technical appliances, but this is not everything.
A woman, specialized in prophylaxis, who is also cleaning my teeth every 6 months nowadays, told me all I must know.

1. Teeth must be brushed after every breakfast/dinner/lunch/pralines and not only in the morning and in the evening. Few do this. I remember when I worked in companies, it was only me who stood in the restroom cleaning my teeth. Colleagues talked to me while my mouth was full of tooth paste: I should do this, too. But nobody did it.
2. First clean the gaps between the teeth close to the tooth flesh. There are tools for this on the market.
3. Then floss. Also here different qualities of floss are available. Always use the best available.
4. Then use the water pick with hand warm water.
5. Then brush with your electrical tooth brush. Hold it on a tooth and move it slightly to the sides. Then let it clean the next tooth. Don't forget to clean the plane that faces to the inner side of the mouth. Change the tooth paste from time to time. Don't use mouth water as it destroys the natural flora of the mouth.
6. Ha and now comes the Indian part: Clean your tongue at the end. This makes a difference.

To my excuse I can say that electrical tooth brushes didn't exist in my youth, nor did the other tools. Yet one must keep oneself informed.

The worst experience that I had with my teeth has been when I was jobless once. A former German colleague working in France recommended me to a German colleague working in Munich. I called him and soon after we met in a café for an interview. He was talking a lot. Suddenly I tasted blood on my tongue. I apologized and went to the restroom. There I rinsed my mouth with cold water to stop the blooding, yet with not so much success. I had to return to our table. Each time when I wanted to say something, I cleaned my teeth with my tongue first. I remember this man as a fat man in a black suit, sweating a lot. Pearls of sweat developed on his front. Some became so heavy that they rolled down on the sides of his face. We have all our body issues. The fat sweaty man and the woman with the bloody teeth. Oh my. We never worked together because the chemistry was too different.

From time to time I was adventurous enough and went to a dentist, i,e, after such an experience. The men in white saw my teeth and saw the Euros they could make. They wanted to make crowns crowns crowns. All the amalgam they wanted to remove. Nobody really cared about my tooth flesh and prophylaxis. Looking back, I'm glad now that I didn't give in. To build a house on a ground, poisoned with bacteria would have created a disaster.

Yesterday I learned what the surgery will cost. 11 teeth shall be abstracted. I don't know why wisdom tooth don't count, but dentist always tell me they are redundant. Let's subtract them. I need 9 implants. I negotiated. Perhaps it's not necessary to substitute every tooth. I'll make another appointment with the dentist to get more information here. I'll also ask another dentist for advice. The dentist also will open the tooth flesh around my teeth that will remain in my mouth to clean there. I felt shitty yesterday.

If the surgery will go well and if the implants last, it's a good decision to do it. If no,t it would have been better to wait till I lose my teeth via a natural process.

The antibiotics that I took a week or 2 ago killed the bacteria in my mouth. They also damaged my flora in the bowel. Now I've to care for my bowel. To have teeth issues is humiliating from head to bowel.

Do I fear the pain of the surgery? Not really. I lend a way of thinking from psycho paths and meditators. The current moment counts and I don't have pain now. I complain and worry about pain when I have it.

It's difficult to find a good dentist.

There is something that everybody can do:

BRUSH YOUR TEETH CAREFULLY.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Reflections on my practice yesterday and plan for today


I practiced yesterday: Slowly. With attention. I explored asanas, especially those that requires a prop.

 Pashasana was one of them. Thanks to Kino MacGregor I got some inspirations. Usually I'm on the balls of my feet when I get into the pose. As soon as the hand are together I roll back. This implies the danger to roll out of the pose. My heels are not too far away from the floor, nevertheless to bring them down to the floor seems to be a too dynamic move.
Yesterday I tried to get into the pose with heels down on the blanket first. It was doable. It's a bit more challenging to get into the pose. Yet this is the way to get rid of the blanket.

Oh, it made me smile yesterday. I was searching pictures of asanas. Then I found Lino Miele in purna matsyendrasana. And he used a blanket to stabilize the pose. This made me feel a lot better about my performance. :)
I looked a bit ill on the picture. So I made a back and white shot out of it. This turns every picture into art.

Today:
In the morning I feel always 100% better than at night. I want to practice. I cannot omit back bending.
First I'll do the three poses of primary that need improvement:
1.  upavishta konasana A
2. Supta parsvasahita
3. Coming up with straight legs to urdhva mukha paschimottanasana

Then second series:
1. I'll practice till after the twists.
2. Then I'll switch to third series.

Coughing! This is already more than enough, what I want to do on the mat. My body will guide me. It still needs energy to heal. Better to be a bit modest. Till Friday I must be super fit. On Saturday we've a big party. We'll celebrate E's birthday party with friends close to my parents home. Almost all the organizational work is done. Now we can look forward to the event. I do.

Knowing the goal, but focusing on the work that needs to be done will do it.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Cold feet and a too warm head



Yesterday my feet were so cold and I got fever again. I hope now that this was the worst day and the worst night. At night I sweated a lot. I bathed in my sweat. When I tossed and turned my head felt cold, because my hair was so wet. I coughed all night long. Was I happy that I was alone. I would have been an impertinence for my bed partner. My abdomen hurt in the end. The coughing finally sounded like the barking of a dog on a chain. I postpone usually to take pills. Yet my pain tolerance was not that high yesterday. The headache should disappear. I found an Aspirin and took it. It helped.
I'm up. I must have slept a few hours, I must have, otherwise I would feel lousier. The shower after getting up, was refreshing. Here I am, ready for the day!

Yesterday was my yoga free day: Saturday. 
I've been disciplined and got the frame of my glasses repaired. When I returned from downtown I've been so exhausted, the steps to the second floor seemed endless. At home I relaxed on the bed first.
I've been also disciplined enough to clean the kitchen after dinner. This morning I had a clean kitchen and a first little joy about it. It wouldn't have been easier to do the yesterday's dishes today. Discipline facilitates life.
When routines are strong while one feels good, they are also doable when not feeling so good.

Today I want to practice second series. I'll practice slowly that makes it easier and I'll take breaks if necessary. No wrong ambition today. Just to move the body is good.

On the picture is eka pada sirsasana. It got better, I think. My back is rather straight. Next time I'll take care of my foot. It shall be parallel to the wall. It can be helpful to use a block. I did this a few days back with primary. If the foot is stretched, the stretch in general is less. This can protect from injuries, especially if one exercises the split poses, i.e.





Saturday, May 04, 2013

Purna matsyendrasana


This is the new twist pose from third series that I often add after the twists of primary or second series. This twist is also a balancing pose. I need a blanket under my body in order not to fall out of the pose.

The twists that I've learned so far became already a tiny bit easier. This is a trick. If one challenges oneself with poses that are a bit too difficult, the doable poses, become even easier. It looks so simple that pose, yet it's a real deep deep twist. I was not sure if I were able to get closer to it. I know that thinking that a pose is possible is the very first step. I became optimistic, I changed my thinking to "it's possible" and voilà.

I also believe now that one day I'll be able to do this pose without the blanket.

The cold still bothers me. My theory: with pills the cold disappears within 8 days, without pills it disappears withing a week. I eat fruit. I relax. I drink a lot of water. I trust that my body will kill the infection. I plan only few things to do, yet I need a new frame of my glasses.

I've been reading an interesting book: Kevin Dutton "The wisdom of Psychopaths". One point has been that psychopaths and also holy people, those who meditate, have the ability by nature or learned to focus on what's going on right now. Nothing is more horrible than thinking of of fearful events in the future. The event often is less horrible than the thoughts about it.
Focusing on the present is a technique that can make life easier. I've found another argument to start practicing meditation again: 10 min a day is enough. yet 10 min I want to sit in lotus pose, focusing on my breath.
Another insight from the book is: Focus on the work that need to be done to achieve a goal and not so much on the goal.
Thank you for buying your amazon goodies via my blog. :)

Breakfast now: A mango, my vitamin bomb for today and soy yogurt.


Friday, May 03, 2013

What is effective?


For years I practice pashasana and I've the feeling I don't progress. I use a blanket under my feet in order not to roll backwards. OK, in the beginning I used a book, nowadays it's a thin blanket. Yet I want to get rid of any prop. I also want to hold the wrist.

Today I found some inspirations on "The Confluence countdown".

Twice it was recommended to practice the pose against a wall. This is what I'm going to do for the next months.

How to make fast progress? What works? What doesn't work? These topics are in my mind for some time.

1. Daily practice is important and helps to avoid injuries. It almost guarantees success.
2. A healthy life style! The weight is important and what we drink, too.
3. Repeating the difficult asanas, holding them longer is more effective than hurrying through a practice.
4. I also think that some additional asanas can help a lot, even though it's not the strict practice. Practicing hanumanasana improved my back bending asanas already.
5. It helps me a lot to watch YouTube videos of good teacher, like Kino, Laruga, David, Maria (see link above).

I will spend more time with those asanas that are still weak or where I need a prop. Some asana seem so close, yet nothing has improved for years. Pincha mayurasana is such a pose. I think I must be able to do it in the middle of the room. To focus on single asanas and to work on them till they are mastered is a good advice, I think.

And now I'm ready for the bed again.

What a luxury


I'm ill and I don't have to crucify myself with the decision if I should go to work or not. The cold is breaking through now. I know where I got it. After R's birthday party we stood outside for almost an hour to wait for a lift to our accommodation. I was dressed like in spring, yet it was winter weather.

Yesterday I had fever, I started coughing and sneezing. It's probably a good sign when the infection shows its face. Better when it comes out. This is already the way to recovery.

Therapies have changed. Nowadays also the doctors consider moving as a good idea, even when having a cold. The body is the boss. I shall see what is possible. I feel weak, but not incapable to do anything.

The frame of my reading glasses broke. I'm not sure if I'll have the energy to get it repaired today.
In the meantime the suitcase is unpacked. The washing machine is cleaning the laundry. The day has started.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

On the road again


I don't know when I got it, but I've got a cold and I feel weak and ill. It doesn't matter, not much is on the schedule today. In an hour I'll sit in the train to Munich. In the evening I'll arrive and I feel it already, I'll be ready for the bed.








Wednesday, May 01, 2013

I also celebrate 10 years of Ashtanga yoga


In the beginning I went to led classes and I didn't know that it was Ashtanga yoga that I was exercising. I was only wondering why we didn't get a neck massage from the teacher. The Jivamukti teachers usually ran from student to student in the beginning and in the end of a class to massage the yoginis.

Much later I learned what a cult Ashtanga already was in the US. And it still is. I got the information from the Internet.

That Ashtanga yoga would change my life that dramatically was not predictable. It became the spine of my life, my calm pole. This practice keeps me strong and flexible. Other activities are planned around this morning practice.

In the beginning I had once a week a yoga class, sometimes twice. Otherwise I practiced alone.

In the meantime M came to Munich and he is so excellent. It was a matter of time till we would become more and more yoginis. These days the room is crowded, one mat is next to another mat. Like everything this has good points and not so good ones. The energy in the room is great. Yet I'm again a bit more alone. The assistants often have not understood the Ashtanga yoga system, neither the asanas. M is busy busy.
I think this is the way it is. After so many years of practice one must be able to study alone again. It's so much easier than 10 years ago, as so many yoginis have published videos. The blogger write about their experiences. Time is optimum to study alone.

I want to plan a bit: In the next 10 years it should be possible to practice all 4 series. I've already started with the third series.

What is effective, what is not so effective will be a topic of my next blog post.