Thursday, July 30, 2015

Urdhva dhanurasana

10 years of exercising this pose and I cannot reach my heels with my hands. A shock. 

PS: Yoginis exercise contentment.
PPS: Who is breathing so unevenly?

Enough feedback and work to do. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Urdhva dhanurasana - dropping back

This video gives me feed-back. First: it's amazing what is possible on not so good days. Second: The upper body needs stretching.... 

I thought that my feet would move to the side, but they only lift up a bit. 

When I lose control about the movement I'm still so high. This is why it's so difficult to come up from this pose. I remember how difficult it was to have the courage to drop back. I'm so glad that I'm able to work on improving this challenging asana. 

A sleepless night

I have a sleepless night behind me. That is in the morning I slept. The alarm clock was ignored till E woke me up. I switched off this awful sound. First thought when I finally opened my eyes: how is my back. It's good when I move. To bend forward is painful, but this pain disappears when I stand it for a while and when I move slowly.

A home practice is on the schedule.

Attitude: Curiosity. I wonder what is possible. What happens also shall happen. Learning and progress is not linear. It's spiced up with ups and downs. Only the breath remains even: inhaling, pause, exhaling, pause...........

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Not painfree, but.....

I practiced at home. Slowly. Attentive. Always ready to switch to a short closing sequence.

More was possible than expected. I practiced what I usually practice: Half primary and the beginning of second. I stopped after the twists (not after yoga nidrasana). Three times I did urdhva dhanurasana, I didn't drop back.
The closing sequence was very relaxing.

I have the feeling as if the nerve is at a better place again. My diagnosis: It is/was sort of lumbago.

My back feels so good now, that I don't take an Aspirin.
If my back feels so good tomorrow morning, I'll join the Mysore class again.

My concentration improved. Also at home I have intensive focused practices.

There are always obstacles on the path:
Sometimes I'm injured, not necessarily because of THE practice. I'm glad that this is very seldom.
Sometimes I travel and the yoga place is not inviting.
Sometimes I have eaten too much and the extra kilos make the practice difficult.
Sometimes I think I miss something and I don't go to bed...... what ever it might be.......

It's always good and joyful to return to this practice....also when peak performances cannot be expected.

Fingers crossed that I feel excellent tomorrow.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Aspirin, to stand the pain

This morning I practiced at home, primary as it's Frida. I only omitted supta kurmasana. I felt OK when I started. My back pain was almost forgotten. Now it's back. It's so bad that I took an Aspirin already. Something is not at the usual place. During a sweaty practice it's difficult to make out when a movement is not OK.

I sit here and curse and hope that during the next 2 days miracles will happen. Saturday and Sunday I won't practice. On Monday I'll do a modest second series here, means mainly back bending asanas.

It feels like a lumbago. Strange is that pain disappears when I move, when I walk around i.e.

Please, please let this go away.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

What to do, what to do?

Also today's practice was painful. Already trikonasana A drew my attention to my  lower right back. After supta vajrasana I switched to the closing sequence. I omitted bakasana, the twists and the leg behind head poses. In general I'd say it's good to move and to practice. Yet in my case I have the feeling the 'injury' gets worse when I practice certain asanas like twists and these leg behind head poses.
When practicing in a group the practice is intensive. I cannot practice with half of my energy. I search the limits and this is perhaps not that good right now.

All back bending asanas seem to be OK. It feels even good to practice them.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday I'll take a break.
I can decide tomorrow morning at 5am what to do.....

We are such a wonderful group of people every morning that I'll miss all the dedicated yogis and yoginis. Time to take a Magnesium. It shall be good for the muscles. Fingers crossed.

Monday, July 20, 2015

There are many kapotasanas

This is raja kapotasana. It comes at the end of Advanced A series. I don't practice it. I took this picture for the July challenge on Instagram. To be honest I get a painful cramp at the back of my upper legs when I try this pose. This is why I leaned my legs on the fence. In the end position one shall rest the head on the sole of the feet. 

This is eka pada raja kapotasana. I use a strap to create a connection between foot and hand. Also this picture is taken for the July challenge. 

I realized that I'm really happy with what is on my plate. To master kapotasana, laghu vajrasana, to stand up from urdhva dhanurasana is enough. I don't feel stopped. I work on the asanas that I'm not yet able to do. I'm not bored either. I have so many ideas that I want to exercise. 

Mysore class:
I went. My back felt excellent this morning. Now it feels lousy again. I don't know why. It became so painful that I couldn't do headstand. It was not possible to get into the pose not even with bent legs. Beside this I had an excellent practice!!! Vinyasas improve. 
Today I sweated so much that I'll bring a towel tomorrow. When my arms are slippery, I cannot even try to jump into bakasana. 

Progress, even the slightest feeling of progress is a huge motivation. 

I'm looking forward to an intensive yoga week. 

Urdhva dhanurasana: 
How to stand up? I read that it could be good to move first on the finger tips. I tried this today, but I couldn't lift my hands. This is now my next step. It should be possible. Perhaps I come up from there. Hope dies last....... (but it dies). (not)

Sunday, July 19, 2015


I think that my hands are as close as never before to my feet when I practiced alone. To reach the toes with my fingers is not enough, when I want to have the elbows on the floor. I must probably reach the heels.

It can be seen that I worked on lengthening the hip flexor. Hanumanasana helped me.
It's painful to lenghten the shoulder parts. Yet this is what my picture tells me. There is still potential in the upper body. My dharma wheel will help me to stretch the upper front body.

Something has moved.
And even better. I feel painfree in the lower back.

Home practice today.

Once a week I want to practice alone for many reasons:

1. Once a week I want to practice second series only. I want to have enough power for the back bending asanas. And I want to repeat these back bending asanas. That way my practice is intensive, yet shorter. I practice usually primary till navasana and then second series till nidrasana. This lasts 2 hours.
2. The second reason is rather a sad reason. My back (pain) is still there. I blame supta kurmasana for it. But who can be sure about the cause. Fact is I want to practice modest with a lot of care and attention on Sundays. Mysore classes rather make me ambitious. Right now I feel rather good, almost pain free. This relieves me. To move always better the situation. Is it sort of lumbago? I don't know.
3. Once a week I want to take some pictures. My pictures help me a lot. They give me feed-back.
4.For the time being I have so much fun with this Istagram challenge created by Kino.  Every day we upload a picture, this is a lot. Sunday is a good time for trying some other poses.
4. I love to stay up a bit longer on Saturdays. To practice when tired in the morning is not so good.
5. My dharma wheel helps me. I want to work with it.

When it's too difficult to practice alone, I'll get up again and schlepp myself to a Mysore class. What a luxury to have a choice.

Friday, July 10, 2015

What it means to be a stiff person.

Also a stiff person can be flexible. This is the good news.

Every body has another consistency. There are stiff bodies and very flexible bodies. My body is rather stiff. So when I bend backwards, it looks as if nothing happens. The body doesn't curve. Gravity isn't enough to get deep into a pose. Yet when I have resistance I can arch my body much more. I need strength to get that deep into a backbending asana, yet it's possible.

Today is Friday and primary was on the schedule. I almost slept in today. Almost. I was in the studio on time and had a lovely practice. What else can I wish. 

Thursday, July 09, 2015


Since 2008 I exercise this asana. This pose improved in the last 2 years, even though I'm not yet where I want to be. The blanket should disappear one day.

I don't know why it's easier to hook the finger than to reach for the wrist but it is. Yet only to bind is easier.
When the fingers hook the shoulder moves forward and this is exactly the opposite of the purpose of this pose. The one shoulder moves backwards. The shoulder blade of the one shoulder supports this movement. See history. When the shoulder moves backwards this pose can prepare for back bending asanas.

Today I had 2 more insights. Nothing new, yet I realized the importance of the tips. The legs must press against each other. The second important tip is not to sit like on a chair. It's not about relaxing. This pose is a very active pose, too. When lifting up the body, the pose becomes more stable. The weight shifts forward and this should help not to role out of the pose.

I summarize:
1. Correct binding is important.
2. Knees press against each other.
3. The body lifts up slightly, so that the weight of the body moves forward.

There are always body parts that are engaged, others are not.

You are courageous.

Yes, I am.

When I drop back I lose control from a rather high point. I come from heaven so to say and I land on earth with high speed.

A fellow yogini is so close to the floor, so very close, yet she has not yet the courage to drop back. We were entertained about this lately.

Again I think that each pose exercises the mind, too. To drop back requires indeed courage. One must trust oneself that one can hold oneself. Nobody wants to fall on the head.


I'm not amused. I slept in today. A home practice is on the schedule now.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Kapotasana..... I exercise it.....and exercise it....and....

Especially when facing asanas that are difficult for a body, we have the possibility to learn much more than just the pose: It's an opportunity to strengthen the wish: You must want it, baby. We can start appreciating the path. Tiny steps in the right direction can turn into great joy. Stamina can be developed. Visualization can be added as a practice.

A yogini is content. This attitude can be learned, too.

It's not only to reach the final form. There is always a bit deeper.....

I work on the breath when I try this advanced pose. I engage my legs. And above all, I try to enjoy it (which is not always possible).

Monday, July 06, 2015

Paschimottanasana 2007 and 2015

I'm pleased to see a difference. Also the forward bending asanas developped in the last 2 years.

The July challenge...

It wouldn't be Kino, if she didn't offer alternatives, more challenging alternatives to the asanas of the July challenge.

I was curious and tried some suggestions. It was hard. It was good that I tried some of the asanas: I realized that I have enough on my yoga plate. My focus is back bending (and not third series asanas). I'll get there again. One tiny step at a time..........first kapotasana must be 'mastered'. How I work on these back bending asanas improved. I'm optimistic that especially kapotasana is possible.... one day.

It's hot in Germany. This has a huge influence on my practice. I sweat more. The body is more flexible. The disadvantage is that the body is slippery which makes it difficult to stay in some poses like pashasana.

Prasarita Padottanasana C

I'm so enthusiastic about this July challenge on Instagram created by kinoyoga, aloyoga and beachyogagirl. Today's asana is prasarita padottanasana C. The better the forward bending is, the easier it is to bring the folded hands to the floor. Yet there is another body part that can be active: the shoulder blades. When they move inward, the arms move downwards. To move the shoulder blades inwards helps in all back bending asanas.

There is still something to do. With the help of a teacher it's a piece of cake to bring the hands to the floor. When alone it's not possible, not yet. I usually stay a bit longer in that pose. With each exhaling I try to to get a bit deepe into this pose.

When my alarm clock woke me up this morning, I heard thunder and rain. This convinced me to practice at home. I'm ready.....
The heat of the last days helped me a lot. The body was so flexible. I'm curious how it is today.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

July challenge......

I have a lot of fun with the July challenge on Instagram created by Kino, Aloyoga and Beachyogagirl. (See links on my Instagram account.) The topic of March is #backtobackbends. Every day thousands of yoginis upload a picture. There is such a variety of people, locations. I can't wait to the next day to upload my pose.

For those who still like to join - here is the challenge.

My personal challenge are not only the asanas, yet to get to know the new technique, my smart phone. My pictures don't have the square format all the time. There are apps that allow to add room around the picture so that the poses are not cut. I'm learning, learning, learning........

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Virabhadrasana A and B

Virabhadrasana A

A list of the critical points:
1. The position of the feet is important. One foot points forward. The other foot points forward, too in a 90° ankle. Imagine 2 parallel lines in hip distance. One foot stands on the one line, the other one on the other line. 
2. The hips are even. This pose stretches the front of the hips. This prepares for deeper back bending asanas. 
3. Legs are engaged and stabilize this pose. Strong legs are important for back bending asanas.
4. There are three 90° ankles. One is between foot and shin bone, another one is below the knee. The third one is between leg and body. 90 % of the students stand too high. 
5. The palms of the hands touch. The fingers are closed. I know that the pose becomes easier when fingers are folded. Yet we search the challenges and not the easy variations, isn't it?
6. Dristi is the thumb. 

Virabhadrasana B

1. It's important to stand deep,
2. The rim of the back feet is parallel. This makes sense because this pose opens the hips.
3. The back is long, no hollow back
4. The arms are supposed to be even. 

Both poses build strength in the legs. This is a challenge.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

This morning I woke up......

This morning I woke up and I felt back pain. It felt awfully. Perhaps my discomfort was low so early. It was 5am when I crawled out of bed. I canceled the Mysore class. I decided to practice at home. I feared that I needed to adjust the practice a bit.Yet as so often also today I made the experience, that it is good to move. After the sun salutations my body felt excellent.

Today Kinos July challenge #backtobackbends starts. So, I modified today's practice and took some pictures for this challenge. Focus is backbending. It's good to do some extra asanas, if they feel 'difficult'.
They call it a heat wave. For me it's warm weather. This supported my moves. Below is pic1 for this July challenge.

If you want to follow the show on Instagram - here is the Link.