Saturday, August 31, 2013

Saturday


When I don't want to feel time pressure, I need Saturday off from yoga. I try not to have appointmants in the mornings during the week, sometimes it's inevitable. Then I've another day off and I also need this one then. It makes no sense to get up once in a week at 5am, otherwise at 7am. I won't practice at 5am. This would be so out of the rhythm.

I still feel a bit lame, inactive. Might it be so.

Breakfast is over: I had the Matcha tea and berries with popped Amaranth and soy yogurt. The vegan challenge is in good swing. It feels excellent.

Ingredients for a vegan lunch/dinner are at home.

Time to go. Photography is the focus today.


Friday, August 30, 2013

Friday, yoga makes flexible


This morning I had an appointment, duration till the early afternoon. Then I was hungry. Then I did grocery shopping. Now it's evening.

There are those days. Not always yoga fits into my schedule. Not even shooting, which is time-consuming as well. Snapshots are done quickly. Taking pictures takes time.

Here I sit now and it's evening. Good. I know I didn't waste my time. Even this would be OK. Everything is OK these days. Hahahaha..........

If you're interested in my blog on photography, here is the link: http://ursulapreiss.com/blog/ It's new and the blog is on my website. Oh, it's written in German, yet one can enjoy the pictures. It could be a good idea to wrote a few sentences in English, too.

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

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Primary today


It has been a sweaty Ashtanga yoga practice this morning: primary spiced up with third series asanas. Whenever I practice a third series asana I mark it on a list. This motivates me, this pushes me.
What motivates YOU?

I can do all asanas of primary without warming up my body. It has been even fresh outside and the floor has been cold when I took pictures, nevertheless all asanas were possible. I do prefer when it's warm.
I need a warm place when I shoot second series.

Also today a vegan life style supported my practice. What I eat and drink makes a difference.

Enough for today.
I've a long to do list for tomorrow, I must be well-rested.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

4 quarters...

Today my energy returned. At 9am I got up, but I felt good. I felt so good that it was sure that I'd practice.

Mentally I divide the 2 hours and so long lasts an intensive Ashtanga practice into 4 quarters.
1. The first is to warm up and to do some asanas that need extra attention.
2. Today I practiced second series, so this quarter was dedicated to back bending.
3. The leg behind head poses come here mainly. I add sometimes third series asanas.
4. Now I must motivate myself to go on. "I can", is a mantra. Music helps. And also today I did all the asanas of second series. It was time enough for the closing sequence. Done.

To divide the practice into 4 parts helps me a lot to stay focused. 30 min are doable is my experience. I became much more focused than I was a few years back. These tiny tricks help.
It's worth to practice alone. One learns different things. Discipline is one of the skills one can exercise when practicing alone.

Another vegan day is lived. I had not so much time to eat. 2 meals were enough today: breakfast and a very late lunch. What I eat and drink either supports my practice or it makes it difficult. This is so.

This practice betters my life, every day.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Matcha tea


Matcha tea. The cult. I'm into it.

The green powder is a soft way to wake up. It's antioxidant. I love the taste and the green.

The softness fits to yoga.

When I started discovering yoga about 30 years ago it was important to massage my inner organs. The asanas caused this. Today one thinks more of the muscles and the shape of the body.

Let's think of the inside of our body, too. What we give it is important. The asanas care also for the inner organs. I don't know a better method how to keep the entire body healthy, but through practicing yoga.


Monday, August 26, 2013

The second day of the challenge


The second challenge (30 days vegan) starts differently.

In the first round I was not interested in Matcha tea i.e.. Today I realised that it's a cult to drink Matcha. I bought a bowl. Each bowl is individual and created in a zen monastery. I've now already a bamboo broom. The tea shall foam. I drank it already and was in love at once. Coffee tastes bitter, green tea tastes harsh. Matche is green tea, powder. It wakes me up, yet much softer than the coffee. I'm already into it.

I also try new recipes. See above. The vegetables got soft in the oven. This gives a special taste. The dip was godly with artichokes and lime juice, agave syrup and basil leaves. Oh my, I forgot everything around myself and enjoyed this taste explosion on my tongue.

That I joined the Facebook group is also very supportive.

This morning, a Monday morning I had to go downtown. This is it, I thought. Many Arab women were downtown, too. Most are on a shopping spree. Some sip a coffee in one of the restaurants and cafes. I strolled around and enjoyed the intensive guidance in the tea shop re my Matcha tea. I walked home and cooked my lunch.

Tuesday I'll be back on the mat again: Second series!


Sunday, August 25, 2013

The second challenge


I start again with Attila's "30 days challenge", that is to eat 30 days vegan. Today is day 1. In the meantime Attila has created a page on facebook. It's a lively group. I'm amazed how much knowledge comes together there. Matcha tea was a topic yesterday. I have it here, but the box slept on my spice shelf. Yesterday I tried this sort of green tea and it tasted so good, that I know that this can be a substitute for my coffee in the morning. So this morning indeed I prepared a Matcha tea for myself as a wake-up beverage. It tastes like green tea only softer. One has to whip it like milk. This I've not yet done, but this is necessary. Otherwise the green poudre sinks to the floor of the cup. I use a different cup than for my coffee. I've a tiny Japanese one for my green tea.

It's not so easy to swim the river upwards. To live in a society where most people eat animal products it's easy to get seduced to do the same. I don't blame others. I know that when anything is not so easy, one learns a lot from this, too. One becames an expert in learning, in observing, in motivating and and and...

Yesterday after midnight I was in the mood to go out for a walk. Round the corner is a bar and the party was still in full swing. I had expected deserted streets, but this was not the case. I loved strolling around a bit. It refreshed me.

Today is Sunday. Second series is on the schedule. I'm looking forward to my practice.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Less is more


Friday is primary day and this around the globe. Me too, I practiced primary today. I added only hanumanasana, the split pose, because this pose improves my back bending.

Less is more is the title. It was inspired by my photo session yesterday. I wanted to shoot primary in one session. I did it. Yet at home I realized that I have to discard half of the pictures. It would have been better if I had focused on the first half of this series. Quick everything was done, but not really carefully.

I also learned from this session and insofar it has been a good experience, that when I want to offer to shoot the asanas of an Ashtanga yoga series, half of the series is more than enough in one session.

Less is more and this is also often true re the practices: better to focus on what one wants to improve than to whip oneself through too many asanas.

This morning I focused on the vinyasas. And I'm challenged here. The vinyasas were neglected. The only asanas that could still get much better is the one on the picture above. The goal is to bring the leg to the floor. I exercise this asana daily since quite some time, and it improved already.

Yoga is finally a mental exercise. Patience is learned, perseverance, too.

----------------------------------------

A few days back a friend asked me if my E is shooting all the pictures.
But no, it's most of the time me.
When my E takes pictures of me, I usually stand in bright sunlight and I have to smile.
When I take self-portraits, I'm usually in the shadow, and I look so serious. Hahahaha....


Thursday, August 22, 2013

"Ursula, are you a yoga guru?"


"Ursula, are you a yoga guru?"

"No, I'm not. I'm a student of Ashtanga yoga, a very passionate one."

On primary


Today was a shooting day.

At home I did the sun salutations and the standing asanas to be be at least a bit warm.

Then I drove with my bicycle to the "Pinakothek der Moderne". It's a good place to take pictures as it's rather calm there. I also love the background, this bright wall.

There is also shadow. This already has a slight disadvantage as it was rather fresh there today. The floor is stone. So the place where I take my pictures is cold and hard. Hahaha........Who cares.

I practiced one asana after the other without vinyasas. This is possible these days. I'm able to do almost all asanas comme il faut, even rather stiff. This is a huge progress.

When I practice primary these days I can focus on improving the vinyasas. The asanas are no issues anymore. That's great.

Some asanas I've to shoot again. Some pictures got blurry, others were rather disclosure pictures.
This will happen on Saturday if the weather allows me to practice outside.

Time to feed my website www.ursulapreiss.com with my pictures. :)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Done, 120 min inclusively 10 min meditation


Also today I had a very intensive practice. It makes sense to work on the 20% that make the difference. In my case this meant today that back bending has been a focus. Nothing supports the back bending asanas more than hanumanasana, forward split.

I spiced up second series with third series asanas. A long way is to go till those asanas are mastered.

It makes more sense to work on the weak asanas, than to whip myself through all the asanas. This is at least my view now.

When is a pose mastered?
1. When it's performed correctly.
2. When one can perform the vinyasa as well
AND
3. When one feels good in a pose. When it feels comfortable to do it.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

90 min


90 min of intensive Ashtanga yoga practice (second series spiced up with third series asanas), then my concentration faded away. Fine, I thought, closing sequence and this was it for today. It feels so damned good to practice. Ah, I'm so happy that I practiced even though it was already afternoon.

My right shoulder is still not 100% OK, but so much better. Pincha mayurasana is difficult with this pain. Shoulder injuries last. I'll be picky next time who I allow to adjust me. Some teachers are rather a danger than a support. Sigh.

Ah, thank you, that this practice happened, it turned my day around. An average day became awesome.

Water is running into the bath tub. Time to finish here.......

It shall be so


I go to bed very late these days. Late means far after midnight. Yesterday night I read about photography. It motivated me to take some pictures. Time influences the contents of a picture. In the morning different ideas come up than in the evening or late at night.
When my eyes open in the morning, I get up. No alarm clock wakes me up. I live according to my needs. It shall be so.

Duties first today, too. It all lasts so long. It shall be so. This became a mantra and consoles me. Always.

It's afternoon now. So late. I curse. Yet the sun stands too high. It makes no sense to shoot outside. I've time to practice. Yes, yes, yes........

Monday, August 19, 2013

Being organized


Amazing how difficult it can be to discard a sleeping back that I haven't used for decades. I cleaned the storage room today. And this yellow sleeping bag had to go!

Being organized also means that one knows how much time it requires to complete different activities. To clean the storage room lasted 2 hours,  a bit more. I put out everything, then I discarded a few things, then I cleaned and then I put back things. Great. Hahaha......
Knowing how much time activities require can help to make a decision if one starts and finishes with a chore or with anything else.
My yoga practice lasts 2 hours. Hahahaha.......knowing this means that I have to be organized well.

And now it's raining again.


One never knows how a day devolops. Much too late I got up. Yet that this storage room is clean now pleases me. That I was in the mood to prepare an Indian inspired meal for myself was excellent. My own meals are the best. No, I don't use canned tomatoes anymore.

Time to take a break. Yeah, why not practicing after my break? Everything else can wait.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

A shift


Many of us have a life full of stress. We search for relief.
My yoga practice has been a tool to balance my work life for many years.
- The practice kept me fit, so I could sit on a chair for more than 40 hours a week without getting back pain. - My practice bettered my concentration. This ability made me more productive at work, too. I 've been able to work through immense work load.

My life has changed. Yet there is the insight that stress needn't to come from outside only. One can make oneself stress, too. The factors that make a life unhealthy are numerous.

My yoga practice always showed me the way back to a more healthy way of living if life off the mat was turbulent. It balanced my life.

More and more a shift happens. My life around yoga shall support my practice. And not the other way round. I see more consequently that if I want to improve my practice, all areas of life must pull in the same direction.
Atilla Hildmanns says 90% of my exercise is nutrition. His body is exercised these days, he is in good shape, so to say. His cooking books will soon be available in English, too.
Yet there is more than nutrition: environment, friends, thoughts, hobbies...
Do they support a practice? Do they spoil a practice?

It's perhaps underestimated what a life style can do for a yoga practice.

It can be that I become more conscious about other aspects of the practice than the physical ones.

I can imagine that when most areas in life support the practice, it will reach another level. I'm curious. I'm working on this.


On being organized


Quickly all is too much. We all have activities that are so greedy that they can use up all the time. It's important to find out what it is that steals the time. Today a passionate photographer who initiated a group on fb, withdrew. It is sad. Good is that the group will go on. I help to organize a bit, too, that is I will give a picture topic every third Sunday. This seems doable for me. 2 other photographers will also help to keep the show running.

I got reminded how important it is to have tools. Being organized is a skill. One can learn a lot here. My favorite tool is my pomodoro, a timer that I set for 25 min within which I work. Then a 5 min break follows, then another pomodoro.
Another important tool is  not to want too much. Simplicity is a key word here.

From the organizer ladies I learned not to try to catch up, but to jump in. They create flight plans that shall bring busy people through the week. It's never about being perfect, but about adjusting the activities to what needs to be done first. Strong routines help.

Lately I discovered how supporting it is to finish an activity. I often set at time for an end of an activity. I.e. after 2 hours of yoga I think it makes sense to come to an end. There is another day. If not much was done within 2 hours, prolonging a practice doesn't make so much sense either.

I plan my activities for Monday: 
- Yoga first.
- In the afternoon I've to make some appointments.
- I hope that I'll have time for taking pictures.

If more will happen it's great.

Let me know about your favorite tool to stay on top of things?!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Sirsasana - a classic


Yeah, it's straight! Headstand is a classic in yoga. When I tell people, not-yogis,  that I do yoga the first question is: Can you do headstand? Everybody knows this pose. It's rather easy to learn, yet it remains an impressive pose.

I'm up, I got up much too late. It's Saturday, yet I want to practice. Taking pictures spoils most practices and yesterday I took pictures.

Oh, what I wanted to write: Most of the time progress cannot be seen on a daily basis. There are ups and downs. Yet after a few years of daily practice, even simple poses can improve. This is why taking pictures is such a huge motivator for me.



Friday, August 16, 2013

A busy day, focus was on taking pictures.


Tiny steps are so often the secret for a satisfying day. Planning the next 25 min is so much easier than wanting too much.

After some difficulties to get into the day, I made a decision about the what next. What shall happen in the next 25 min, I wondered. What is neglected? It was sunny here and this is not so often so. I had to take pictures again. The pictures are needed for my website. Today I focused on the closing sequence.

Have a look. The link is here. Feed-back is welcomed.

I did asanas today (few), but I cannot say that I had a practice. I plan (hahaha) to step on the mat tomorrow. My website is growing, I could feed it today with some pictures. This is something. Yepeeeeeeeeeeeeee.


Third cup of coffee is next to me


How to get into the day? And it's already 10:15. It's a day where I want too much and all at once at the same time. Good idea that I've started my timer now. I don't want to spend more than 25 with my blog post.

Yesterday I practiced half primary. It took me almost 90 min to get there. I added asanas, yet it was a rather difficult practice. After the day at the dentist and the consoling therapy afterwards with sweets and wine I hadn't expect anything else, but a heavy practice.

Today is a warm day. It could be a good day to practice outside and to take some pictures.

Picture: In Gokulam, India they insisted that the head touches the leg. Suddenly it was possible. In India my practice improved a lot.
I have to look up the name of the pose: utthita hasta padangusthasana.

Enough said for now.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Parivrtta Trikonasana


 I love the performance of the asana parivrtta trikonasana. It's a balancing pose and it's a twist.
A challenge is to keep the hips straight.

1. If one wants to balance it's always very helpful to ground. Those body parts that are on the ground have to be firmly there. It gives me additional stability here when I push the front foot forward, the back foot backwards.
2. Additional stability in balancing poses can be reached when engaging the leg muscles and the bandhas.
3. It's always about creating room. Before entering the pose I lengthen the body. It happens with an inhaling.
4. With an exhaling one moves into the posture. All movements are initiated by the breath and most movements start with the hips.
5. In a workshop I learned a trick how to keep the hips parallel. I move forward straight. My arms are spread to the sides. When no forward bending is possible anymore, I pose the one hand beside the foot, taking care not to move the hips. Then I swing the straight arm backwards and upwards.
6. Fingers are together.


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Beaten!

 

I know all the tricks, all, not one worked today. I didn't practice Ashtanga yoga this morning. At 2pm I had another appointment at the dentist. I had a few important activities on my list this morning, this is true. All were done. There would have been time for a yoga practice. It didn't happen. My mind was wandering and busy with my teeth. 

Today the amalgam of the teeth of the left upper jaw should be removed. It lasted 30 min. As always I got an injection. This one there didn't hurt. Awful  is the sound of the drill. This sound enters the brain. I keep my hands relaxed and focus on the breath. Yet the sound of the drill is intrusive. 

When the left upper jaw was done the dentist wanted to go on with the treatment. I needed a break of 10 min. 

Another injection. The injections at the lower jaw are worse as they must meet the nerve. Oh oh oh oh oh, I moaned. Finally the fluid was in my body. We waited. The tongue, the lips and the right side must become numb. A strange feeling. 5 min we waited, then I could hear again how the drill unclenched the amalgam. The sound is the worst during the treatment. Afterwords it's the dumbness. 

I walked home after the treatment. Movement is good, I think. Always. 

I called E to ask him to do grocery shopping. I had not the energy anymore. The dumpiness disappears, I know, yet it will last a few hours. To go horizontal was my wish. 

Now only 1 tooth is left with amalgam. 

We had dinner and now I sip red wine and we had marzipan as a last sweet end of a salty, spicy dinner. Wine and sweets are the quick fix, the fast drugs. I'm enjoying them right now. 



A downward facing dog for A in Canada to keep her motivated to do the tiniest step in the wished direction on a daily basis. Good luck. Much doing, not so much thinking will help. A bit of humor cannot be bad either. Wink.

Utthita trikonasana - my pictures help me a lot to improve the asanas


Yesterday in the morning I shot this picture in the corridor. I went to the corridor as I didn't like to cut my arms. In my rooms it's difficult to create so much distance so that the whole posture can be seen in a picture.

What do I learn from the above picture?
1. I think the body is not really parallel to the wall. The upper shoulder could move a bit more backwards. Then the twist is deeper.
2. My head position could improve, too. The chin should move straight to the right or left side. The head should not move backwards. This is neck flexibility!

I see also good points of course:
- The feet stand correct.
- The upper body is straigth, movement comes from the hips.
- The hands are closed, also the thumb is close to the hand and doesn't stand away.
- Leg muscles are engaged, so are the bandhas........ok I could go on.....

Almost desperately I searched a location yesterday where I could take pictures of myself in yoga poses, a place that allows to capture the entire body. I took my tripod, my yoga mat, my remote control, my camera, put it on my bicycle and I drove around. The Pinakothek der Moderne came into my mind. This building is under construction. I hoped that less people would be there. It has a roof in front of the entrance and this would guarantee that there is no sun. Sun is good for the heat, but to practice in bright sunlight is awful for the practice and the pictures.



Practicing alone most of the time I must be creative. I must find out how I can give myself adjustments. The first picture shows how I manage to open my shoulder a bit more and how I move the upper body parallel to the wall. 
It remains to work on the head position. 



Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Hasta padangusthasana & Pada hastasana




Nothing helps me more to improve my practice than my pictures. These both asanas are the first asanas after the sun salutations. The body is warm by then but not so flexible. I see that there is still a lot of potential. The upper body can get much closer to the legs. I know that engaging the bandhas helps a lot here. Good is that my back is straight. My feet are hip width apart and not more.
The legs are active, so are the front hip muscle. The shoulders move upwards. The face remains relaxed.
Spine and neck are in line. The toes give a bit of resistance.

One can keep the mind busy. There is a lot to check if one likes it.

Yep, it's a wonderful beginning of the practice.

When I started with yoga I was not able to reach my toes with my hands with straight legs.
Being content is an exercise for the mind.

Yoginis enjoy a relaxed attitude towards the events in life. The practice shall strengthen this attitude. Tools are learned to keep this attitude also off the mat.
1. One tool is to breathe evenly.
2. Another tool is to have a dristhi, means to keep the eyes steady. Also this influences the mind. One learns to focus on a wished object and to fade out others. It calms, thinking becomes less.

Yoginis don't search the highs and ups in life, the tragedy: Today happy, tomorrow angry, the other day desperate, then hopeful again. The goal in yoga is to move away from this roller coaster. Exciting things might happen, yet one observes them. Judging makes everything worse or better. Observing is the medicine against judging.
Also the daily routine to practice brings a lot of steadiness in a life. I remember times where I went salsa dancing till the early morning hours. These days I go to bed early as I want to get up early to practice Ashtanga yoga.

Is this boring? Yep, one can see this so.

Yet I personally prefer to discuss the color tone of a picture all night long than to have dramas in my life. I enjoy a balanced life in all aspects of my life. I'm enjoying the tiny things in life.

Being cool is the new happiness. :)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Visvamitrasana preparation



I was amazed. After a week off, I stepped on the mat for second series and I had an excellent practice. After two hours I wanted to come to an end. I did the closing sequence and then I meditated 10 min.

When I practice alone I blend the second series with third series asanas. If it's only 3 third series asanas it's perfect for me. Kasyapasana I exercised. And I tried virachyasana A, which was a challenge.

Yesterday I bought the e-book "Visvamitrasana".It inspired me. I learned poses that can serve as preparation. I'm a fan of tiny steps. The above pose "compass pose" is very helpful, yet easier as  it's not a balancing pose.

I'm so happy that I practiced.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

It has been a lame week


It has been a lame week in so many aspects. Energy was low. I felt heavy. I felt stuck. Nothing moved. It should be so. Enough said. The week is over.

It's Saturday. I feel active again. Light-hearted.

Yep, I'll be stiff and weak when I'll be back on the mat. I'll take it easy.

Time to move on......

Friday, August 09, 2013

Back from another dentist session


Today I got only half of the dosis of the usual injection. Nevertheless my right cheek is still paralysed.

Each session brings something else to light. A former dentist has used a material to fill the root that one couldn't remove anymore. I was asked if I had been in a foreign country for a treatment. Of course not. I expect quality in Germany, this is why I go to dentists locally. I don't want to get a cheap treatment with cheap material. Can it be that some dentists are creative?

However: the bone is OK. The tooth makes no trouble. The ill parts are removed now. The filling that I got today can be removed if necessary.

Also today's session seemed to be necessary.
Next week the fillings of the left upper side shall be removed. I'm not sure if this is necessary. I must ask if I get crowns here, too. I do prefer fillings.

I don't want to think about my teeth anymore now. I relax and tonight I'll go out with E.




Thursday, August 08, 2013

Ah, the cats...


Today is "Day of the Cat". These four cuties work in a café. They have hard work to do.

Yesterday I was again in that cat café. A camera man was there, too. He filmed the little ones, his flash light was on. The owner of the café had to tell him to switch it off. It's much too aggressive for the eyes of the cats.

Then 2 mothers entered the café with three children. These kids could scarcely walk, but as soon as they saw the cats they were able to run behind them. The cats are faster. Ha!

Also the grown-up people there are so needy. They radiate: I caress you, if you like it or not.
It seems to me that most of us must learn how to communicate with creatures from another tribe. Cats and other animals have different needs than human beings.

Yet there are also guests there like me, who have joy already to see these cuties.

I love that place. To be surrounded with cats pleases me.

------------------------------------------------

I got up later than wished. I obviously needed sleep. Then my morning movie started. On my way to the bathroom I switched on the PC. A quick shower refreshed me. Then I prepared a cup of coffee for myself. I checked my Email and what's going on in the world. Then it was time to wake up my E. I prepared a breakfast for him: I cut a peach and rinsed some currants. And of course he, too gets a cup of coffee.

Never make the bed when your husband is still in it, I read once. So I wait till he is out, then I make it. When I'm alone I'll have breakfast and I'll write my journal. Then I do the dishes.

Then I can do yoga. Yesterday no practice happened. Energy allowed me to walk around. It was not enough for an exhausting Ashtanga yoga practice. I walked around a lot. To move is always joy for me.

Also today I'll take it easy. No strict plans, just being. I feel like cleaning and discarding things. This could be a good idea.

Tomorrow morning I've another appointment at the dentist. The root treatment shall start. Two sessions are necessary to finish the work that another dentist has started and not finished. There are a lot of bumbler in the market. I'm so happy to have found a true expert.

Have I mentioned already that I love summer time.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Transforming energy and feelings


Yesterday I was able to transform my energy. I felt exhausted and sad. This is a topic, this is energy. It's a heavy energy, rather dark, calm. I took my camera, an idea for a picture arose in my mind. Suddenly I found myself working. I carried the table to the corridor, I positioned my camera.....and my feelings changed. I got curious. I'm always curious when I take self-portraits. As I'm not behind the camera when I shoot, the pictures are surprises. At the end of the evening I went to bed satisfied.

Sleep was good last night. Relaxing. It's fresher here again. It has rained yesterday and temperature has dropped a lot. It's a relief.

When we practice Ashtanga yoga we also influence our feelings. We calm down when we're happy. We become relaxed when our feelings are more on the dark side. The even breath causes this. This is why it is so important to focus on the breath.

I had a few days off now from practice.
Today I want to practice. I feel ready again.


Tuesday, August 06, 2013

From 2:30pm to 4pm


Another dentist session lies behind me. Today he worked on the first quadrant, that is the upper jaw on the right side. These days no treatment starts without an injection. By now and it's almost 7pm my right cheek was paralysed. Fine.

Today it was discovered that a former dentist has started a root treatment that he has not finished. Ill gauze was not removed. This causes that the bones withdraw. Not everything can be seen on an x-ray picture. So the next two treatments will be dedicated to the roots of this one tooth.

In the middle of the treatment, the noise of the thrill almost caused a headache, yeah, suddenly it was silent. Too silent. No current anymore. I thought I was in India. Hahaha......there is a construction around the house and sometimes yeah there is no current anymore.
After about 15 min the treatment could go on.

I'm a shocked. It turns out that I get crowns. I thought only the fillings should get exchanged. Yet the dentist prepared all the teeth on my upper right jaw for crowns.
Right now I don't want to know anything about my teeth. I'm so indifferent. Do with me whatever you like, but don't bother me with anything is my attitude. I sip a Rosé to cheer me up. I'm exhausted. It's too late now to want anything else. Next time I want to get more explanations before the treatment. But I also trust this dentist with the dark curls. Yeah I trust him. I also said this to him today. I hope that having said this provokes that he doesn't exploit my trust.
He works well. I can feel this despite the injection. He has long thin fingers, they are perfect for his profession.

The issue of today was that when all the fillings were removed and when new fillings were done, the teeth must fit together again. The teeth are like a gear wheel. Not one filling shall be too high. It's detail work.

At the end he asked me if we shall go on with the root treatment. I said 'no'. I was done after 90 min.

I always walk home after the treatment. It lasts 30 min. It calms me. It distracts me. I take streets that are deserted. I want to be alone then.

I looked in a mirror here and moved my face. I'm almost back to normal. Almost. I love to be alone right now with my sadness.

Temperature dropped, there is wind. Soon it will rain.

I'm listening to a CD: Bob Dylon.

Impressions of yesterday


Yesterday I've been at the dentist again. My teeth got polished and the dentist checked the wounds where my wisdom teeth got extracted. The wounds are still open, but this is OK. With a scissor he cut the threads with whom he had sewed the wounds. 
Another appointment is necessary. Fillings need to be exchanged. 
When I learned that I could get an appointment already the next day, I laughed out loud. So early. It's good to bring it behind me, I thought and agreed on the date and time. 
All is so much better already. Yet I'm still somewhere in the middle of the treatment. 
Another appointment is in about 6 weeks. Then the depth of the gum bags get checked again to see if it's better. I know already, it is. 
I left the dentist with the wish for distraction. Abercrombie & Fitch was my next destination. Finally a shop here in Munich where I find clothes that fit. The lound music, the darkness, the heavy fragrance, the sexy shop assistants didn't allow anything but to enjoy the here and now. It's so dark there that one only knows what one has bought when at home. 
No, I was not in the mood to cook anything for myself for lunch. Also preparing a salad seemed too much work. I stopped at a vegan restaurant on my way home to have a late lunch. One can sit outside in the shadow there now. It was relaxing. 





Later I walked to the "Katzentempel". These cuties cheer me up. Just to see them is a huge joy. When I arrived another woman pressed her nose already against the window. Yesterday Balou, Gizmo, Jack and Ayla had a day off. They sprawled close to the window.


Round the corner of the "Katzentempel" is the ice cream shop located. I enjoyed my 2 balls of sorbet.

I slept awfully. At about 3am I got up and read in one of my books. Then I went to bed again in savasana position. This helped to fall asleep again. I take it like a yogini: sometimes sleep is good, sometimes sleep is bad.

The second cup of coffee is next to me. It shall wake me up.
Energy is low. I feel lame. It will change, I know this. I start sweating already. A sure sign that I'm alive.

Today the appointment at the dentist is so late (2:30pm) that I've time for yoga. I need a yoga session. After 90 min of treatment nothing will be possible anymore. Either I practice now or I forget about it. I want to practice, whatever is possible. Goal is to spend some time on the mat. Ambition goes to 0. Sigh.

We're not the doer.
Life is a happening.


Monday, August 05, 2013

Monday morning


Monday morning. I feel ready for the week.

Yesterday we slept. Oh, and I sweated. We had to recover from the party on Saturday night. At 3am we returned. Yep, it has been that late. I overslept to go to the last led class. It should be so, I thought. It has been still very hot and I thought that it's best to do siesta when it's hot.

Today I got up later than I wished. It shall be so, I think. Hahaha.......Now it's too late to practice before seeing the dentist again. Today they want to check my teeth and see if everything is better already. It is. I'll make compliments. Yet this is not all. They want to suggest to remove the amalgam, I know this already. No decision must be made today. I want to avoid crowns. Crowns are difficult to clean. The gums withdraw. They are expensive. I know that some fillings are so old that tiniest gaps have developed over the decades. Today I'll listen with an open-minded attitude.

I've no further appointments for the week. How I love it. I can do whatever I want. There is so much time for Ashtanga yoga and taking pictures.

My second cup of coffee is next to me. I'll sip it slowly....and then action, baby.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Mysore classes, home practices


I had 2 excellent primary practices in a row, one at home, one in a Mysore class.

At home I do extras like split pose. I repeat poses. I work on the vinyasas. If it's not possible because of these extras to do all the asanas within 2 hours it's fine. I finish my practice then and I'm happy because I know I worked on the 20% that makes the difference.

In a Mysore class I focus on flow. This is a concentration exercise. It seems that my practice in a Mysore class is very intensive. I know this because I slept again deeply yesterday in the afternoon.

I'm able to perform all the asanas of primary. Yesterday I dropped back 3 times again. It was doable without much fear.
The weakness of primary is still the vinyasas and to stand up from urdhva dhanurasana. So much patience is needed. yet it all seems doable. The mind is ready, the body still has to do the work.

On Sunday is the last led class before M's summer break. I'll go. It has been ages since I had a led class.

Sometimes in the evening thoughts came up to practice a tiny bit yet the body feels lame.

It's interesting to be in a Mysore class. If one wants it or not one realizes how the others exercise: Some betray themselves, have understood nothing, no matter how many years of yoga they have behind themselves. They take breaks, talk with others. There is no rhythm, no breathing. No effort can be seen.
There is also the other department. These yoginis work hard. They face the practice. They search the limit, they sweat. This can be seen.
I know that everybody does what's possible. We're the flute not the player.

To approach the own limits closer and closer is an ability. It has also something to do how good one knows oneself and this has something to do with experience.

It seems to me that the intention to do the practice differs a lot. It goes from having some fun via meeting people via getting fit and beautiful to enlightenment.

For me this practice keeps me fit and healthy. That's not all. It guides me. It liberates me. All actions get stored in the body and mind. With the asana practice my body and mind gets liberated from past events. This liberation allows me to be more open and flexible to life and what it has to offer in every fresh moment.

I won't practice today. A day off is good. I've so much to do. E will return from a trip. I've the morning to clean our flat and to make it comfortably here. It's necessary.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Something has moved


Yesterday I went to a Mysore class again. It has been ages that I've been there. A few new yoginis were there. One is able to do handstand in the middle of the room. She manages to get from handstand to bakasana B. Another one can to the splits easily. I love to see this. This stimulates the senses. This is motivating.

To do the splits means work if one is stiff. One has to repeat it daily. One has to go every day to the limit and a tiny bit further. That's it. It can take months (or years) till one is there, but it's doable.

Handstand is courage, but I think to know a few tricks is helpful, too. I observe that most yoginis work with the hands and fingers to balance. Yet I will ask those who are able to do it how they've learned it and what tips they can give.
I'd love to go slowly into the pose. That is I want to lift the legs over the sides.

My focus was flow. I didn't do much extras. I flew through the series. The extras I do at home.
Something has moved re urdhva dhanurasana. When I dropped back against the wall, I came deeper than ever. I know this because the wall is painted to a certain height. Orange. An ugly color. But I reached with my hands the orange before my break and yesterday my hands were below the line where the color starts. Joy came up und the thought got stronger that it's possible for me to stand up from urdhva dhanurasana. My strategy is good: at home I focus on the 20% asanas that shall help me to perform it. The forward splits i.e. support back bending more than any other exercise.
Perhaps I need another year to stand up, but it seems doable.

I got three adjustments: one in prasarita padottanasana C, one in kapotasana and then urdhva dhanurasana and all were helpful. In addition the energy of the group gave me drive.
On Friday I'll practice primary in the group. And then is M's summer break. I was astonished when I heard this. I'll have a lot of time to practice alone again. I'll have a lot of time to focus on the important 20%.

Today primary. I shall not dawdle. Today I'll see my friend a bit outside of Munich.