Monday, February 24, 2014

A new week is ahead.


Last week 4 Mysore classes and 1 led class happened.
I guess this week it will be 4 Mysore classes. I'll tell later in this week why.

I got stronger already. I practice till bakasana these days. It is enough.
I have a balanced practice with forward bending, back bending, inversions, twists and balancing asanas. I'm more than happy that I get help in kapotasana. On Thursday I had a highlight. Supta vajrasana was very good. I could still touch my feet when bending backwards. This asana has been never that good. That is back bending is improving. I practice correctly........

Relaxed start in the week for everybody.


Thursday, February 20, 2014

What to do if there is no Ashtanga yoga teacher in town?


"Thanks for your comments. The problem is that I don't have a ashtanga teacher in my town. I am commited to practice everyday, but sometimes I find muself practicing a sequence of simple Hatha yoga instead of continuing withe practice of ashtanga. Last year, fro 7 months I practiced with a certified teacher and I saw the progress both in asana and in the rest. But alone and without a teacher sometimes is really difficult to be faithful to the method. Any suggestions?" 

It's easier to go to a Mysore class every morning than to practice at home for sure. 
Yet there are many many examples of Ashtanga yogis/yoginis who practice in the morning without a shala round the corner. Some yogis/yoginis are also so advanced that they don't find a teacher for themselves anymore.

It might look as a disadvantage, yet it can also be a possibility to grow if one is forced to practice alone. Learn to be disciplined. Find out what motivates you in a way that gets you going.
It can be better to practice alone than to have an inexperienced or indifferent teacher in town.

During the years I've collected methods that make me practicing. Here are a few:
1. Practice with the CD by Sharath. It's the best on the market. You only have to switch it on the the show can go on......
2. Practice always at the same time. Know when you begin, but also when you want to have finished your practice. Limit the challenge.
3. Take pictures to get feed-back from them and enjoy your progress.
4. Write a yoga journal.
5. Plan to go to a workshop every 6 month.
6. Make your own list of triggers that motivate you. Get to know yourself.
7. Find a role model and imitate the behaviour.

At the end of last year MSch came to Munich. He offers Mysore classes at 6:30am. First I thought this is early. Yet when I arrived he was already in Savasana. Once we yogis/yoginis had breakfast together. I had to ask him what motivates him to practice every early morning alone. The voice of Sharath gets him going. The shala in India and to practice there is a huge motivator, I guess for many yogis/yoginis. I understand this.

There are always obstacles on the way. Name them and find a way to practice anyway. Let your mind find solutions. To practice yoga in the morning also alone might be difficult, but it is not out of reach.

I love to finish with one of the famous quotes by P. Jois: The body is not stiff, the mind is stiff.

Oh, and now I remember what a yogi once said in a workshop: If your job doesn't allow you to practice yoga then change the job.
If it's necessary for you to have an Ashtanga teacher move to a location where you find a teacher. You wouldn't be the first who did this.

Let it happen.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

3 tips for those who are interested seriously in Ashtanga yoga


1. Search for the best Ashtanga yoga teacher in town. Take your time. Yet if you found him/her then stick to him/her.
2. Establish a daily practice.
3. Plan a trip to Gokulam, India, travel to the source. If it's not possible to fly this year, then perhaps next year. Have it on your list.

Once you're on your way don't rethink your decisions every other day.

Monday, February 17, 2014

One practice every day seems to be enough


I feel so very good after the Mysore morning practice that my mind is planning another session in the evening. When it is evening I realize that one intensive yoga session is enough for me.

Possible would be some preparation asanas for meditation. That's it.

It seems to be more realistic to do another urdhva dhanurasana against the wall during my morning session than to start freshly in the evening if I want to do a bit more.
Shall my morning practice be enough.

Back bending cannot be avoided anymore....hahaha.....so good. I get adjustments, my understanding deepens.

In real life it might make sense to focus on the own strength.
In Ashtanga yoga we work on many aspects, on our strength and on our weaknesses, strength and flexibility, back bending - forward bending. There is something for everybody to be challenged. It's program not to omit anything.

Ushtrasana: the hands are on the side not on top of the feet.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Will it ever improve? kapotasana


Yes I practiced.

Insight: If I don't focus on back bending it will never improve.

The method how I exercise these days is convincing. Even better, I get always support when I'm in a Mysore class and the adjustments are safe, experienced, supporting. I'm more than happy about this.

1. The front of the leg is engaged. I want to come out of the pose, too.
2. It's about stretching the body upwards. One must create length.
3. The chest shall open.
4. Elbows remain together.

Not to drop back too early is a trick to learn the pose

The picture tells me that when I bend backwards, I cannot really bring my arms backwards, too. Should I work with weights?

No, I don't give up, but it will take years.......I so want to speed up this process......:)

Sunday


It's Sunday. All shops are closed in Germany today. It's raining. I got up early, that is about at 7am. I'm happy with my work of last week. It satisfies me that I got done so many things. Finally I found again the boxes by Roessler. I still need more, but those I got yesterday already helped me to store my pictures in a beautiful way. Decluttering, cleaning, repairing, organizing - these are the main steps to a home where one wants to live. These are the steps to a simple beautiful life. So good that I've reached the last step 'organizing' already. Yet decluttering and cleaning are ongoing activities.

Yesterday I saw 'Le passé', a French movie directed by an Iranian film maker. The houses shown in the movie were full of stuff. It looked very lively. People live here, was my impression. Yet it looked chaotic, too. The movie was a relationship drama. Behind me a woman cried, one could hear her sobbing. On my right side sat a woman drinking Beck's beer. This herb smell was in my nose in alteration with the intrusive smell of popcorn that came from the left side. I regret it that the sizes got bigger and bigger here. Now we've American sizes, what means that people can eat as long as the movie lasts. One can hear the rustling when the always hungry ones have finished the huge bags. Going to the movies is always also a group experience.
So glad that I have no relationship drama. This allows me to focus on art, reading, yoga, you name it. And I can focus on loving instead of being distracted by issues like jealousy, getting over lost lovers, difficult children. It's a wide-spread error that lives without drama are boring. They are not.

It's yoga time......a home practice is on the schedule. 
In a blog post on a conference with Sharath I learned that Sharath is convinced that if one practices an asana long enough one can learn any pose (except if you're 80+). Yes, this makes me optimistic that my back bending will improve and that one day I'll be able to do kapotasanaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.


Friday, February 14, 2014

Moon day


Moon day.
It's still early morning. The sun is out and illuminates the chimneys on the roofs. It promises to become a wonderful day.

I won't practice today, because it's a moon day and these days I respect the tradition rather because it's fun and because  I need time than to be convinced of any consequences because the moon is full or new. However, I'm busy and I enjoy that I have so much energy.
Yesterday I watched TV on my PC. It was a documentary: A woman, a few years older than me only, moved to Thailand. She wanted to have affordable ambulant care. She was preparing for death. I know, I know it's good to see that life is limited. It intensifies life. Realizing the end of this journey through life is a good adviser, too. It helps to make decisions abaout what is important and what not. Don't postpone anything anymore, I think, tomorrow it can be too late.
This woman was courageous. She has never been in Thailand, only knew it from pictures on websites. She gave up everything to move to that home which was still under construction. Two thumbs up.
Yet I still feel so in the middle of life. Perhaps because I'm healthy and because I want to learn so many asanas and because I want to take so many pictures. To move to an old-pension home to get care would be much too early. Looking up to the sky, sending a 'thank you' to the source.

Moon day.
Today I have to clean the old flat. I want to start with the bathroom. At 2pm I've an appointment here. The grips of the old blinds need repairing. My trick to get me going today: Reward is a movie I want to see, a French one, 'Passé.

Future music: Yesterday the consumption of the water was measured. Usually a person has to be at home so that someone has access to the water meter. In the future this will change. One can measure via funk. This is an advantage. I mean all the time that is lost because people have to be at home. I gossiped a bit with the man, I mean he was talkative. This human contact of course is missed then. But those who love to talk will always find people for a chat.

Ah, the coffee........so good..........

PS: Happy Valentines for those who need a day to get reminded that loving what ever, who ever is what makes life so wonderful.

Yoga posts will come again, they will.......

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Minimalism


Busy, busy.... it's myself who gets me going and nobody else, this is the very good point. I respect my basic needs. I take breaks when I need them. I eat well. My meals are finished when I'm full, when my stomach had time to start digesting the food and not after 30 min (that short was my lunch break in companies).

Yesterday Mr R came to hang up the curtains. It lasted 4 hours! Hahaha......I always underestimate how long things last. We talked a lot about traveling, living, and how to furnish homes. We're both a fan of Southern Europe life style. To work 4 hours in the morning, then having a long siesta and working again in the evening is a life style that respects basic needs of human beings. I'm very happy that I can rest these days when my body or mind needs it. I can, but I also like to get things done. So I work and reach my limits. The more beautiful are the breaks. They feel deserved. Hahaha.....

The curtains hang now and I love it, I've privacy again, when I want it. Many of my neighbours don't care. I do.

This was my only important appointment yesterday.

Today I have 2 important to-do items on my list: 
Taxes and cleaning the bathroom of the old flat. It has to be done!!!!!! I try to motivate myself.

Right now I'm waiting for the man who will check the water consumption.

I hope I will find time for a practice at home!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

I overslept


I'm not amused, not at all. I overslept and I was so looking forward to the Mysore class. I tell myself that I needed that sleep, which is probably true. I'm sipping my second cup of black bitter coffee to wake up. Also for today I have a long to do list. This moving project is much more time-consuming than I thought it would be. I'm still busy to forward my new address to companies, insurances.

In the middle of the day I wonder: What have I done so far. It seems as if it's nothing even though I'm busy all the time. Everything takes longer than estimated. An example: I've a mobile phone. Yes, an old-fashioned one, I scarcely use it, but one needs it, for sure. This company has yet updated my name either. I called them. First one is in a waiting loop. Finally I got forwarded to a person. He gave me an Email where I should send the marriage certificate from 2012. I did it. The Email was a dead Email, google couldn't send it. I called again. Again I explain my issue. I was told to go to a shop to update my data. The woman read all the streets of shops in Munich. I realized which one is close. So next step was to walk to that shop. It was close, 10 min walking distance one way. There I had to fill in a form. The clerk faxed my document. Within 10 days my data shall be updated now. I trust. Hahahaha.......
In sum it took me more than 1 hour. Only one hour I think now, it felt much longer.

Right now I feel very motivated to update my data at the insurance companies.

Simplifying my life is still one of the main topics.
Everybody who moved tells me that one throws things out when packing and one throws things out when unpacking. I experience the same. I get an overview of my things and realize what I need and what not.

What left me today:
1. A Levis jeans jacket. I don't like it, it's too rough for me. It goes to R..
2. This brown pair of trousers has to go, too.
3. Two sun protection lotion. I read that one should keep them for a year only. Mine were older. Away with it.

How to organize clothes?
I live in a cold country. I might love skirts a lot, but fact is I wear more often pair of trousers due to the weather. I have jeans, I have winter pair of trousers and those for summer time and those that belong to suits. There are hangers that allow to hang 5 together. This is a space-saving solution. It's also a solution that helps to limit this sort of clothes.

I'm on my way to become an expert in decluttering, cleaning and organizing........

It's 8:30. Usually I'm through my practice. I'm not calm enough to practice here. I've so much to do. I start now.





Wednesday, February 05, 2014

All books are in boxes.


All books are in boxes. I filled 13 more today. It has been a dirty work. So much dust was everywhere. R came again to pick up the stuff that I discarded and that she can sell. The revenue goes to Africa, Ghana. I also gave her my coffee machine that I never used. I filter my coffee. I'm not such a fan to use a machine for every little task.

My part is done for now.

Tomorrow strong men will come and they will move all the boxes, the 3 tables and the Indonesian chest. 3 shelves will survive the move, too.

I know that I'm not lazy, yet I felt reluctant to pack. So I wondered why. My issue was that I always feared to put too much stuff in the boxes. I care for the backs of those who do this heavy job. I'll tell them tomorrow to open the boxes and to make 2 out of 1 if they are too heavy.

Sometimes I wondered if I were crazy to schlep so many things in bags to the new flat. Yet it made sense. The rooms are full of boxes only with the books.

Tomorrow I'll go to yoga first.The Mysore classes are too good, I don't want to miss a single one.
My E is so nice and he'll be on time in the flat to open the door for the packer. I can join a bit later.
My work starts again when the flat is empty. Then I can clean it. And I can unpack the boxes in the new flat. That is only a few I can unpack as we still need shelves.

I had to check it. Exactly 20 years I lived in the flat that we're leaving now. It has been my first flat with 2 rooms. And I so loved my little balcony.

A bye-bye ritual will happen......probably a  last photo shooting in the empty rooms......


Saturday, February 01, 2014

A curtain day....

Yesterday was a curtain day. After yoga I had an appointment with the man who wanted to fix the curtain rods in our flat. It took the entire day till they were up. On one side he hit an electric wire. An electrician had to come to repair it. It was all not dramatic. If one thing gets done every day I'm happy. Yet I couldn't do anything else yesterday. No single box was packed. It should be so. 

To have curtains in our new flat was my first wish. A place is so much more cosy when nobody can look into the own home. Some of my neighbours don't care. I do. 

Since I need curtains I also got interested how others decorate their windows. I found out that one can really live some creativity here and one can express oneself. Tell me what curtains you have and I tell you who you are. Enjoy my findings.