Friday, April 28, 2017

Luck is on my side



Today we have rainy weather. Tomorrow the sun will come out, partly it will be cloudy. On my birthday it will be warm and sunny. And on Monday it will rain again.
This entertains me a lot. This morning it even snowed. The roofs were all white. And exactly on my birthday in 2 days it will be sunny and bright. A big thank you flies to the weather makers in the sky.



Sunday, April 23, 2017

Cardio, strength training, Yoga, nutrition


Cardio:
It's overrated. It's time-consuming and boring. I have the feeling that it has not so much effect on my body. My feet have wounds now from all the walking. OK, I could find better shoes. I admit, that to walk a bit is better than sitting all day long. In order to have a good training for the heart, I think it must bump hard. That is interval training should be added.
Many people do cardio in order to lose weight. Yet not much kcal are used up when walking. In addition one has found out that people get hungry after cardio and eat more than usually.
What I take from all the researches AND my own experiences: It's good to move, but I won't set my goals higher and higher. 70.000 steps every week is enough. I will take steps fast, so that I get out of breath. I consider to go by bicycle much more often. With that goal I won't win a prize on fitbit...haha....

Strength training:
I think it's important and underestimated. It's also rewarding. 30 min every second day is enough. Breaks are important. Being strong makes daily living easier. Being stronger will help me to master some of the difficult asanas. I'm sure. I won't lift weight. My own body weight is enough to work with.

Ashtanga Yoga:
The asset of this activity is that one can get very flexible. I love it. I got stronger, I got very flexible with time. Ashtanga yoga is my focus. The rest of the activities circle around this activity.
Pranayama and meditation is part of this practice, too.

Nutrition:
Everybody knows something else. As a yogini I want to live without doing harm to other creatures. I also want to eat well. It's possible these days. Everything is available, but we also have to make smart decisions.
I had underestimated the importance of protein. I try to avoid sugar when possible and processed food. My portions are small. I have 2 meals every day, breakfast and lunch. this is enough for me. I love to eat.
I'm on my way to become a chef.


On my yoga practice:
The last few days I woke up with back pain. I was not motivated to do anything, but walking around.

Today a new Ashtanga week has started, and I practiced. Oh my it was painful. Several times I did fascia massages. NOW I feel good. To practice these days requires a lot of motivation. I have a focus and a plan. During the next week kapotasana will be my focus. I'll dedicate 20 min to that pose when I do second series. My timer supports me. I started today with the execution of this plan. I did different exercises. I also added passive stretching.
Pictures will follow.

Practice is over. I'm looking forward to the next one.

Picture: Myself 7 years ago on my former balcony.

Monday, April 17, 2017

One hour on the mat, despite Easter


One tiny wrong position, one wrong movement and this sacroiliac joint gets crazy and the muscle around it, too. Then I curse, not loud, but I curse. This tiny joint dominates my life. It causes pain again and again. I know what to do to calm it. I have to roll out the muscle with my fascia roll. I had forgotten it at home. Nevertheless, I also know asanas, especially the twists, that help to relax this huge muscle.

I think now strength training will stabilize my back. Let's see.

It was surely a mistake to practice only here and then. This is past, too. I'm on the right track again.

This journey is an adventure. Sometimes it's bumpy. I'm looking forward to my practice tomorrow morning.

This morning it snowed. It looked great. Some trees were green already and then the snowflakes sat on the green leaves to rest there for a while, for a moment.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Sunday means second Ashtanga series


Wow, Yes, I did it. I did it with many variations, I practiced slowly and after the twists I started the closing sequence. As it was not possible to get from salamba sarvangasana (shoulder stand to halasana, I finished my practice with the last three sitting asanas. Great. It's so much harder to practice with pain. But I get to understand what's going on in my body. I'm learning to take care of my body during the practice. I force nothing. But I also keep practicing.

One hour was enough.

Tomorrow I'll start with strength training again before my practice. To document the progress I ordered a journal. Everything is available these days to make it easier to practice. One only has to do it.

My new rules, if an asana is not possible and not painful:
1. I prepare this pose with an additional exercise. I.e. it's very helpful to do a split pose before the back bending asanas. If done correctly it stretches the front of the hip flexor.
2. I repeat this difficult asana up to three times.
3. I try to hold it longer, at least for 8 to 10 breath.
4. Another motivation could be to take pictures of the pose. Every month I could compare what happened within  this month.

This sounds like a good plan. Every finished practice makes incredible optimistic.

The picture is taken in 2010 in Barcelona. Today I found a title for it: Being blond is a life style.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Primary


I practiced primary today. I don't want to lose the asanas of primary. The picture is a few years old already. This pose is no more possible. I must still learn again to lift up the feet. But these days I know how to do it. It's about stretching the legs and not trying to lift them up. This is a tiny, but important difference.

It was a painful practice. Three times I used my fascia roll to relax my muscles. It's not permanent pain. I can more and more locate the pain. I also found out in which position it can be felt. I don't want to focus on it too much.

Not all vinyassas were possible. I was astonished that it was possible to jump forward and it felt good.

My focus these days is discipline. I want to have a daily yoga practice again, no matter what happens. I get up at 6 am. To make it easy I go to bed at 9:30 am. Sounds easy, but you know there are so many distractions these days. I set priorities. It's my yoga practice. No discussion.

One must really believe in oneself if one falls back that much.

It's still before breakfast. I'm looking forward to it.


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Cardio, Yoga, Strength


I'm sitting here with rosy cheeks. I feel slightly exhausted which feels good. My lousy mood of today is like blown away. I was outside and walked. My goal was to take my daily  10,000 steps. My fit-bit tool says that I walked 7,935 stepy by now. I almost was downtown. To walk 10,000 steps, if one doesn't want to jog takes a very long time. I thought cardio training would complement my yoga practice. To be honest I think cardio training is boring.

What is cardio training? 
One repeats tiny movements again and again. The speed might change. It can be nice to be outside. But that's it. There is scarcly any variation that could make this activity more interesting. Walking, swimming, going by bicycle are typical cardio activities.

Why cardio training?
It shall strengthen the cardio-vascular-system. It's good for the heart, so to say. Sounds good. If it weren't that boring and so time-consuming.

I decided to walk much more as cardio training. Quickly I realized that I need good shoes. Not only this. The sole needs to get repaired rather soon. Or one buys new shoes. I have already red parts on the sides of my feet.10.000 steps, this is something. And in the last weeks I walked even more. The air in a big city like Munich is not so good.

Perhaps I should alter these 3 activities. Walking, swimming and going by bicycle during the summer month could be an idea to make the training for the heart more interesting.

BUT, more important for me is my yoga practice. The strength of yoga is that it's the best stretching activity that I know. Yoga makes flexible. The body and hopefully the mind, too. Yoga has almost no influence on the cardio-vascular-system. One gets stronger, but it's not enough. In order to accomplish some of the challenging asanas like laghu vajrasana it might be necessary to add strength training. Just doing it for 5 breath is definitely not enough.

Strength training is also very important, especially when we grow older. Strength training is very rewarding. Three times a week is enough. Within 30 min a lot can be done. Breaks are important. The practice is sweaty and my heart rate goes up. Results can be felt very soon. I don't want to lift weight. I tried a training that uses my own body weight. This is enough for me. That way my joints don't have so much stress.

Indeed, the fitness industry grew in the last decade. So much material is available. It can be a challenge to find valuable information. It's possible. I read so much during the last month. It can be rather confusing. In the meantime I got an overview again.

I want to do all this effort to stay fit as long as possible. This is one of the promises of diligent yoginis. This practice can help to stay fit. Am I also a bit vain? Perhaps, yes. My body is what I have. I live with it 24 hours every day. I love to take care of this perfect instrument of the divine.

Facing the obstacles can give a lot of energy. Keep practicing. ­čĆć



15 min longer than yesterday


Yes, I did it. My practice lasted 15 min longer than yesterday. I took some pictures of the back bending asanas. It motivates me. It's also a learning tool.
I always add twists after the back bending asanas, but after the twists I had enough. To practice with back pain is not that easy.

What seemed good, turned out to be the wrong path. This is also a life lesson. One never knows what is good and what is not so good in the long run. We tend to judge things, events rather quickly. often we are wrong.
I remember how I jubilated when I learned that I could practice every single day in a yoga studio. It injured me. This rigid asana training ignored every individuality.  I had to return to my home practice. That's what I'm doing now. I practice at home.

Of course I learned something during these years when I went to a yoga class as if I went to work. My concentration improved. Also at home I focus on my practice. I don't leave the mat anymore. I remember that this was an issue during many years. I think this is a huge improvement.

A few months back I attented a yoga class again. I'd like to have a group of practitioners that allows me to exercise what I consider good for me. The teacher practiced and taught at the same time. While he was doing his asanas he observed the few students. From time to time he interrupted his practice to give adjustments.
Practicing yoga means to focus, to concentrate. This is why Indian student went to yoga teacher decades ago. They wanted to improve their concentration to pass the exams. If one tries to do several things at the same time, the energy is scattered. Yoga is also energy work.
What could I learn from this teacher? If he hadn't tried to adjust me and to give me his wrong dangerous tips, I'd probably be there more often just to be part of a group.
It's so important to learn about the own limits as a student as well as a teacher. If you don't know your limits as a student it might happen that you injure yourself. It's always an approach, because often the consequences of  a mistake show the other day and not at once. If you don't know your limits as a teacher, you might injure others.

A friend recommended a very interesting book: 'Your Body, Your Yoga' by Bernie Clark. Alone the forward by Paul Grilley is worth buying this book. Yoga became part of the fitness industry. Yoga became a sportive activity for the masses. There was a need for teacher, a lot of teacher as fast as possible. Quickly teacher trainings (TT) were created: 200 hours of yoga and you're a yoga teacher. Great. The more rigid the teaching is, the easier it is to teach.That's what we can observe in yoga classes these day. This is no more what makes me happy.

There is still one yoga teacher I'd like to see. There is hope. :)
In addition I joined omstar. Kino MacGregor has created this online yoga platform. It costs a monthly fee, I think this is more than OK. Kino is one of the best yoginis, I know. She understands a lot of didactic. And it's motivating to feel part of a group.

Let's keep practicing. What works is worth repeating. What's not working must be left behind.


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

One hour on the mat



It feels always good afterward. To practice with this back pain is a challenge. It requires a lot of discipline to keep practicing. I went from one painful asana to the next. Sometimes I'm also pain free. However, I don't expect anymore to return to that lightness I came from. It feels good to practice at home. I get up at 6 am again. I've time to write my journal. There is even time to sit together with my beloved E, while he has breakfast. When I'm alone I start my practice. Slow. Very slow.

I still love it. I love to stretch my body. The asanas fascinate me.

Strength training is very rewarding.  It's very effective and not so time-consuming like stretching (yoga) and cardio training. Breaks are even recommended. Strength training and yoga fits very well together.

Being alive, being able to practice is enough reason to feel more than content.