Hip opening quandary

This week someone in the ashtanga yahoo discussion group was suggesting that sitting often with crossed legs helps to open the inside part of the hips, which will protect the knees. She mentioned that doing pigeon pose will only help opening the outside of the hips. If this can help me open the hips so that I can do the legs behind the head poses easier, I may try sitting cross legged as if I was in meditation whenever I'm at this computer. I sit that way when I meditate also. I'm going to give this a try and see if I get more hip opening. Now I can't sit cross legged while at the computer at work - well not at least without getting some bemused comments from colleagues. I could give that a try if it will advance my yoga practice. Enough musings for today.
The temperature was warm in San Francisco this morning, so the studio was warmer than usual. We returned to the larger studio. Teacher has been asking people's opinions of whether we prefer to practice in the smaller studio, where the heat builds up sooner because of the size, or practice in the big, luxurious studio. I gave my opinions by email. In the smaller studio, I concentrate on my breathing better because I can hear the breathing of the other practitioners as well. There are days when not everyone shows up, so practicing in the smaller studio might work. But on days when everyone shows up, we might end up where you almost get an impromptu adjustment from your neighbor while doing an extension. I read that happens in some studios in NYC. I would imagine that during the colder winter months, the smaller studio would be more appealing because the heat would build sooner and stay longer.

Because the studio was warmer, I sweated a whole lot. I paid attention to raising my back as high as possible in Marychasna C and D. Yesterday I was collapsing my back, something I am wont to do, so teacher brought a blanket to sit on that day so that I would raise the back more. Today, with intention I was able to lift the back as much as possible without the use of a prop.

CRON-wise, it was the monthly cake day at the office, which usually sets me off-course. I figured eating cake for dinner would not be sufficiently nutritious, so I brought my usual soup to the office, since I had to work late. But after completing my work I stopped at a deli-mart and bought two big pieces of cheese. At least it was not a huge block I consumed. I probably need the calcium also, since my main dietary sources of calcium are spinach and supplements, but I otherwise eat vegan all the time. So once in a while, I consume cheese. Hindi yogi's vegetarian diet includes dairy, but I'm not lacto vegetarian.


Practice today

On Tuesday Teacher adjusted in Supta Padangustasana, reminding me by doing so that I tend to collapse the feet in this asana. Yesterday I missed practiced but I resumed today, doing Second Series up to Eka Pada Sirsasana. Teacher did a great adjustment in Pasasana. After I was bound, she got me to get the feet flat on the floor. I remembered I needed to lift the chest as I twisted back. She also adjusted in Kapotasana A and B. I got the midriff to lift in A really well and it felt good. I had not attempted Eka Pada in a while, so my left foot, the one usually tight, was resisting. I've learned some tips by observing how Iron Man manages to get the feet to stay on both sides, by kind of wiggling his body until the shoulders find their place under the feet. He also gets into Dwi Pada exactly as Vanessa described in her blog a few weeks ago, by bringing up the left leg, using the left hand to hold your body, then using the right hand to bring the right leg back. My left leg needs to feel more loose and stay up behind the head without popping out before I can attempt and succeed at bringing the right leg back after the left.

Lucas and friends

A while back I talked about going to the symphony with Lucas' mom. She took some pictures of Lucas and his new friends in the pasture. I'm posting one here. I credit Lucas's mom for teaching me how to eat vegan, and for getting me enthusiastic about vegetarianism in general. She's a gracious lady that without preaching inspires others to eat healthily. Cheers.


my day today

I've been consistent with yoga practice this week. I found of a way to walk to the bus where the climb up the hill is very gradual. The first approach I took last week involved steeper hills, which discouraged me from getting to the bus stop in the first place. Because I've gone to practice every day, I feel more flexible. Another thing I noticed this week is that my blood pressure was 118/77. That is amazing for me because I've been at higher than 144/87 recently. Maybe it's that there is no pressure of a major deadline at work, and that I ate brown rice a couple of times. Now that last statement sounds funny, but in the hypertension forum they talk about putting people on a rice diet. It seems those are not calorie restricted people as I am, so in general they need to improve their diet. But maybe there is some benefit to absorption of lipids with brown rice that reduces the amount the heart has to work to pump blood through the system. I'm ruminating about this here, but if I mention it in the CR Society list, I may sound stupid.

Another thing, I'm grateful for Tim mentioning the lady who blogs on spending wisely. Through it I also found the Simple Living Forum, although Erin may have pointed me to that forum before. Maybe I wasn't ready for it previously. I certainly am trying to live simpler and spend wiser.

I'm not sure when this apartment will be all organized. Maybe it will take a month. I'm trying to do what Deborah says of feeling that "now the fun begins" and use that while organizing. Of course you all know that when you say "I'm trying" it means, "I'm trying but I know I'm failing." Action must precede feeling, the psychologists say. So if I put the chin up, smile, and feel that organizing my apartment is the most fascinating thing to do, who knows, I may act like I'm enjoying it and get it done a la Fly Lady. Who cares if it starts as a "let's pretend act." (While I was typing all this, things fell on the floor because I've got mountains of stuff propped on top of more stuff, so occasionally slippery slopes occur and things that droop like a Dali painting just plop to the floor.) If truth be told, my mom knows I'm not disorganized.


Back online and on the mat

My computer and Internet connection are set up at home. Yay! So let me see. V. was out of town so yoga at Berkeley was going to be communal, without the teacher. So I went to my usual yoga "home" that I go to during the week, where C. teaches. An American yogi star was commanding our typical room, so our group practiced in the smaller studio. The closeness intensified our practice since we really could hear the breathing in the room. Also, when you're closer to your fellow practitioners, you can feel the intensity in their concentration, which motivates your practice more.

I showed up an hour an a half early to the studio, since I don't typically go to the shala on Sundays and could not remember the Sunday schedule. With luck, S. was there and put up with me knocking impatiently on the door and opened for me. My practice was nice despite the sporadic practice last week.

As people kept coming in - our usual cast, I suggested to Teacher that I could do my closing asanas at the front of the room to give my space to the next person. She said not worry as she had people get mats closer to each other to make room. She said the crowding was normal in ashtanga rooms; we're just happen to have a luxuriously big space usually.



Hilary is correct that the BRAT diet typically stands for bananas, rice, apple sauce and toast. Sometimes it's also called BRATT, where the last "t" stands for tea. I blocked out applesauce out of my mind and ad-libbed to apple juice. You can tell applesauce is not a fave of mine. In any case, the diet is supposed to give low fiber, easy to digest foods to someone with gastrointestinal problems. Mine seem to be gone already. For a few days I'm currently consuming a cup of rice at one meal, but I'm otherwise back to my normal diet.

I missed yoga practice this morning. Somehow my routines are not down pat yet. I hope they will be back next week. It's not just yoga, a lot of my routines are happening every other day rather than daily. My apartment needs to settle down. We design the spaces we live in, but later, they design us. So since my space is not settled yet, neither do I seem to be. Work is peaceful, though.


Practice today

Yesterday I did not practice because I had what seemed to be a 24 hr stomach flu. More likely it's that I have to be vigilant in the new apartment regarding when food might spoil in the refrigerator, because it is a smaller refrigerator that does not keep food as evenly as a large refrigerator. This was my experience three years ago when I had a similar refrigerator. So I absentmindedly consumed some greens that where past their prime. I went to the doctor. She found everything to be gurgley inside but said that I did the right thing to take Imodium. She advised to eat per the BRAT diet - bananas, rice, apple juice, teas for a day or two, then resume my regular diet. If the problem were to occur again or persist, then there could be a problem. So I went and bought rice and a rice cooker. I'm feeling better already and went to practice this morning.

It's funny, Beryl Bender said that as yogis, we should not get all excited because someone offered praise or a positive comment, but that it's certainly nice to receive it. Well it seems that despite my spotty practice as I get back into it after my move, I have been concentrating on what I do, particularly in the difficult asanas such as kapotasana and urdha danurasana, that I seem to have been doing things correctly enough to get Teacher's comments, such as that I'm aligning symmetrically correct, I'm reaching and arching beautifully, etc., etc.. Well I'm not supposed to get puffed up, but it feels nice that I'm concentrating and getting good results.

Believe it or not, I have not set up the computer at home, so I haven't been able to read other people's blogs. I hope to do it in the coming week. I miss reading fellow CRONies and Ashtangis blogs. I hope I can finish setting up the apartment this weekend. When working most of our time is dedicated to our career, our jobs. We're left with limited time to our own pursuits. Yoga takes a considerable amount of our personal time, so time left for personal things is occasionally scant. So getting organized and settled in the new place will take time. I spoke on the phone with a friend who moved apartments and was established in a few days. He only moved from one floor to another, and left a lot of things in boxes, but his main things were organized in the new place. In mine, the only things organized are the food in the refrigerator, the clothes on hangers, and the location of the main big furniture items in the apartment. The result, as I mentioned to someone today, is that the apartment looks like a raided Egyptian Pharaoh's tomb, with precious valuables strewn throughout.


Dropback preparation

Today I found my breadth and felt nice and meditative during and after practice. Teacher thought I was paying attention while practicing my preparations for dropbacks, my "fake it till you make it moves". There's intelligence built into these preparations. It gets the body ready for the real thing. You know, "keep feet hips distance apart, push the tail back, pull the chest up, lift the hands and as they lift keep the chest lifting, as you start arching back move the pelvis forward to the space created earlier - then, because this is a pretend pose, don't go all the way to the floor, come back up, but keep the chest lifted and the head comes up last. "

Today Bhutan Tourist, Legacy Rose, Snow White and El Crucero joined us for practice, along with most of the cast that was there yesterday. These people are beautiful- and sweet.


Starting again

After a week of absence, it was nice to practice with: Banda Girl,The Writer, The Cyclist, Surfer Guy, Periwinkle Petals, Orange Blossom, Iron Man, Moustache Blanc, Flowering Willow, La Margarita, Kool Keds, Honest Abe, and some others my brain has not named, or whom I did not recognize since I practice without my glasses on. My practice was a bit stiff, for obvious reasons. I didn't even try to bind in Marychasna D, but will do so tomorrow. With my new apartment, I have to walk 5 more blocks to and from the bus to get to the shala, so my feet at least are getting more of a workout.

My kitchen is so small that I actually have to really concentrate on preparing the foods I typically prepare. The one point concentration actually results in joy. There is joy in feeling the goodness of a carrot as you're peeling it, or a sweet potato, or beet or ginger. Freshly washed cilantro filled my nostrils and lungs as I prepared my pates yesterday. There is happiness in small, simple pleasures.


Beginning again

I left the previous apartment ready and am beginning to get settled in the new one. So I went to a led class that really was smorgasbord of yoga asanas, with a sprinkling from 2nd and 3rd series and mostly asanas from primary, set to a variety of nice music. It was fun. Surely different than Mysore, but a way to get back in to the practice. I noticed Periwinkle Petals was in the room as well. I hope this way I can get back to my usual Mysore practice routine starting tomorrow.

I haven't set up the computer in the apartment yet, which will have DSL instead of cable internet access. I went to return the internet modem to Comcast Thursday. I arrived at a contemporary space with row upon row of attendant spaces. There were three attendants and two people being attended. One of the attendants reprimanded me for standing at the door and said, "the line starts over there." I walked the full length of the space, along some foot prints stickers on the floor with a label that said, "the line starts here." The only attendant not tending to anyone was in front of me. She was oblivious to me and kept on typing in her computer. After 10 minutes, she looked from her computer and asked me, "are you next in line?" I was the only one in the line. I extended the modem and offered ID. She did not need my ID. With a card reader she was able to scan the modem and know who it was leased to. She printed a receipt and bade me goodbye.

Wow. These people must watch TV and script their own sitcoms, because it was comical to be asked to walk all the way to the end of the room, stand in line while being the only additional person in the room, and then made to wait for what was to be an instant transaction. I wonder what architect sold them on the idea that there would be lines of people queuing at this facility, when the transactions to order cable service are done by phone, and the technicians come to your apartments to install the equipment.

During all this time, because my computer is not set up, I have not been able to use Cron-O-Meter to track my daily calories. I've monitored my weight, which has remained stable. Except for a couple of days where I strayed from my typical diet, I've been good. Today I had lunch at the "King of Falafel" next to the yoga studio. I'm never there at a time when they're open. I figured that it would be easy to eat vegetarian there. Actually I enjoyed what is typically my daily fare anyway - baba ganoush, hummus, tabouli, tomato salad. They placed two falafels for me. They were tasty, but I realized they were deep fried, which means they contribute to AGEs. Not good. At least I don't eat fried foods daily. I just remember that restaurants are in the business of making money, not protecting your health. I could not just order a bit of hummus and a bit of baba ganoush. The servers wanted to make a "veggie platter" out of it so they can charge for a meal. I ate only a half of a pita bread. Everything was delicious, though, and fresh. I'm posting a recent picture I took.


Moved but not unpacked

I'm unable to post at the moment - I've moved but not unpacked. My computer at home won't be ready for a week. At the same time I have deadlines at work. Food wise I'm attempting to eat as healthfully as I can, although I don't find everything at home. Yoga wise I've taken a few days off and will resume on Thursday, after the deadline at work. Cheers!


Complexity of my life revealed

What is it about moving that makes you remember things about your past that reveals how complex you are?

I don't have time to scan all the stuff I've been uncovering, but I thought I'd post this entry I made for a competition for a graphic. It was one of my discoveries. At the time I worked in a company that liked acronyms, so this was a graphic to go with the acronym "ICED PIG", to mean Innovation, Collaboration, Excellence, Dedication, Profit, Integrity, Growth.

Among my files I found lots of advice on how to use vinegar around your household, Ann Lander's tips for life, a computer generated drawing of an Air Force jet I drew, which in those days it took 300 hours to do (I kept track of the time), contacts from old projects from three cities ago, letters of recommendations from "influentials" from 30 years ago. I think I will keep the nautical map of the Virgin Islands annotated by my late godfather, a yachtsman, with the length of time it takes to motorboat between each of the anchor sites for a week's vacation.

I found my notes on the tips on nutrition given to me by an ashtanga yogini, Kino MacGregor. God bless her many times over. She's now attained certified level in her teaching. I learned so much from her on nutrition.
I found the diet that Rula Giosmas, an acupuncturist in Miami gave me years ago that was the first time I was able to lose all my adult onset overweight and keep it off. I'm vegetarian now, but this non vegetarian cleansing diet worked then. I called it then the "No" diet, because the list of "no" foods is quite large and there isn't much on the "Yes" side. People who read this asked me what else was there left to eat. This diet was meant to be done for a few weeks. Fruits could be introduced thereafter.
The "No" list: no sugar, yeast, flour/wheat products, nothing fried, no mushroom, no vinegar, no soy sauce, no miso, no red meat, no pork, no peanuts, no fruit except small green apples, no cheese, dairy, coffee, alcohol, eggs, no wheat pasta.
The "Yes" list: stevia sweetener, yeast-free products, millet bread, spelt bread, granny smith apples, lemon in water, rice cakes, chicken, fish, vegetables, vegetable soups, rice milk, soy milk, herbal tea, green tea, turkey burgers, Braggs liquid amino acids for seasoning, raw almonds and seeds, whole-grain pasta. Drink 8 glasses of water. Chew food well.
Sample Menu: Breakfast: kamut flakes with rice milk. Snack: vegetable juice. Lunch: brown rice with steamed veggies (or chicken with veggies.) Snack: rice cake, green apple. Dinner: chicken, fish or turkey with steamed veggies. I'm not feeling hungry writing this because I simply don't eat that way now. Since practicing yoga, my diet is veg(etari)an, but I am glad that diet helped me back then.

I do need to throw away a lot of this stuff I hang on to. I am OK at shedding stuff, but I'm amazed at the crap I cling to. Do you need a recipe for Oreo Delight? Scratch that, I tossed it an hour ago. I don't want to even start on photographs---
As I dig in other files, I made interesting discoveries about myself. The "No" diet sent me in a path of health that led me to get into yoga years ago, that led me to return to vegetarianism and to meditation. I perceive that my move will have a similar good effect on my finances. My motivation for the move is financial. I will be able to save about $350 monthly in rent, utilities and expenses. I read somewhere years ago that the average American would benefit tremendously from just this extra amount monthly. As I came to the financial section of my files, to be packed, I discovered that I'm very organized. All of the information such as my will, living will, insurance, annuity, 401k and investments are in order. So the step of moving to a smaller, less expensive apartment is one more step to what Dave Ramsey calls, "financial peace". Just as I study daily and seek peace with my yoga, meditation, architecture work, low calorie eating habits, I also want peace with my finances.


Cookies fluke

I've been really good CRON-wise. Except, with my mind being distracted by how much remains to be packed, I arrived home by bicycle from the office this afternoon to realize I had left without my jacket on, and the keys are in the jacket. So I cycled back to the office, got the jacket and the keys. San Francisco is cold, so I'm not sure how I didn't even noticed that I left the office without my jacket on, wearing only a light sweater.

I rationalized that I had expended enough energy to allow myself some cookies. Except I don't know how to eat one. That is why I was overweight all of my life. If I bought a package, I would eat the package. That is really weird. Even though I'm of normal weight, I can still behave weird at times. It's much better when I allow myself two cookies on Saturday mornings while shopping at Whole Foods. There is no binging then. Just two cookies. This evening, it was a different story.

Temperature in the room

I was at the lower end of my weight and perhaps feeling chillier than usual. However, the girl that opened the studio likes to swing open the door to the outside, and open the door of the studio next to where we practice. So every time someone entered the studio, there would be a waft of cold air coming in. Legacy Rose and Periwinkle Petals must have thought I was unnecessarily distracted, leaving the room so often to close doors outside. After I closed the last door, the temperature stayed even in the studio.

M. was assisting Teacher today. She observed that in pasasana, it seems I may no longer need to roll up the mat to create a wedge under my feet. We westerners have more difficulty squatting than Asians, so this pose is a challenge. However, it seems I'm getting used to the position of the feet. I asked her if in laghuvajrasana I need to get the head to the floor. She says sometimes she hovers her head over the floor, if she feels she is going to lose the strength in the feet, so it's important not to lose the strength of the feet, which need to bring you back up.

In preparation for dropbacks, I been doing a "fake it till you make it" move, slowly doing everything I'm supposed to be doing as you fall to the floor, while not actually falling all the way to the floor. From across the room, Teacher said it looked beautiful and she would be by to help in a minute. I remember the first time R. reached the floor in a drop back. He let out a little shout of "oh!" as if recognizing what it was to feel falling to the floor. My recollection is that at that moment he didn't make it back up, but just falling correctly was an achievement. Since that time, I believe he's been doing drop back regularly, I haven't seen his practice recently. I've yet to get there in urdha, but it's coming. I just have to remember not to bend my arms while falling or while pushing up from the floor. Argh!



Teacher's advice today was that the problem with my practicing urdha danurasana on the wall is that I tend to bend the hands and elbows. That will not help when I'm doing dropbacks by myself in the future, because bent hands are not going to help me land correctly or come up.

For some reason, the studio was packed, as if people's schedule cleared and they had time to practice, or they came back from summer vacation.

I mentioned to Teacher that this week I may need to stop practice a few asanas earlier because I'm packing to move, in addition to having extra responsibilities at work. I plan to give full attention to urdha danurasana and dropbacks so that this part of my practice doesn't get rusty. She thought my plans were sensible.


What makes people start and continue practicing?

Karen asked herself as she observed newbies at her studio what makes some people get hooked and continue their ashtanga practice. That's a good idea to ponder. What in my observations makes people persevere in the practice? A sense of wonder about seeing the body being able to do a pose differently, better, from day to day. A sense of mental clarity. A sense of emotional control. The ability to be in far away places and not feel out of it. By far away I mean far from where you're originally from, where most of your family is, etc. I suppose that means feeling connected. Finding kind teachers who by their joy make you realize this is a fun, good for you thing to do. Learning that you do need to put your other aspects of life in order so you can do the practice - meaning eating right, not smoking, adopting a vegetarian eating style, or at least diminishing consumption of meat products. That last one may not resonate with everyone. One of the strongest practitioners I've met only recently adopted vegetarianism. He swore he would not be able to stop eating meat, but I believe his dedication to the practice made him change his mind. Oops, I'm sounding preachy. I don't like to preach vegetarianism; that is a personal choice. What were we talking about, oh, yes, what makes people begin this practice and continue it? Learning ways to deal with muscular-skeletal problems. Realizing the advantages of flexibility. Enjoying meditation more because the mind is at rest. I once had a teacher who said that she could predict if a person who started would become a practitioner. That's being a bit judgemental, in my opinion, or maybe she did have the ability in her to predict such things. I would add that to stick to the practice it helps to find like minded friends who want to practice with you. If you live in an area where there are no mysore style teachers, then finding other people to practice with and with whom to discuss your practice is important. The personal interchange with like minded individuals is important to sticking with it.


Raw baganoush recipe

Following Erin's recommendation, I bought the book, The Raw Food Gourmet and prepared the recipe for raw baganoush. I did not like my first try at it but knew this could become a staple of my cuisine. I was already buying commercially prepared babaganoush at Whole Foods weekly anyway. What I did not like of the book's version is that it tries too hard to make a raw version of the dish, down to the amounts of garlic and olive oil. The result was too garlicky for me. It was bitter. But not giving up, this week I prepared it as I normally prepare the other raw pates, with great tasting results, for my palate. For me this is a lower fat version and it's quite tasty. I appreciate Erin's recommendation on the book. It got me to try preparing a raw dish with eggplant. Now I know how to do so.

I took an eggplant, peeled it, chopped it up, put in in a bag in the freezer overnight to "freeze-cook" it. Then I let it thaw 2 hours. I placed in the food processor half a bunch of fresh parseley and the eggplant and processed it to break it down. I added two tablespoons of nayonaisse (soy based mayonaisse), 1 teaspoon of dijon mustard, the juice of 1 lime, two tablespoons of tahini, a pinch of pepper and a pinch of salt.

Is Urdha Danurasana like limbo?

Practice was really nice today. Teacher gave great adjustments. I had missed going to Berkeley last week because of the Memorial Day holiday. His girlfriend E. was assisting. My Laguvajrasana has improved a lot. Kapotasana is getting better. E observed while I was doing Urdha Danurasana that I should relax the facial muscles. That is a fundamental advice for me. Over the years I've improved with respect to not tensing the facial muscles, but I sometimes forget. As I was getting ready to do drop backs, I was practicing arching back without going all the way to the floor. Teacher said, "Relax the throat. Lift the chest." Then he assisted with the dropbacks. I must confess that I haven't yet touched the floor without assistance. Theoretically, falling to the floor should be easier than coming to standing from Urdha Danurasana. I guess one just has to get over the fear part if someone is not there to help one fall. Also, it's that the body has to have the right arch and the legs be in the right position, so that falling is not a big deal.

There must be a connection between limbo and coming to standing in Urdha Danurasana, except limbo is not yoga. I hope there's a celebration - inside the mind, no screaming outside, on the day I come up to standing by myself in this asana. (Source of the graphic at left is www.flickr.com/photos/63092108@N00/210691038) I am from the part of the world where this dance originates, so something should resonate in my brain.


Notes from an interview with architect Daniel Liebskind

I recently attended an interview with architect Daniel Liebskind at the Jewish Community Center in San Francisco. I passed my notes to my architecture blog, which you can read here.

"The role of veganism in yoga" article

Erin sent me the link to this article on "The role of veganism in yoga" by Dr. Gabriel Coussens. It's a good read, so I'm linking it here. I have most of Gabriel Coussen's books, but I mainly recommend Concious Eating. I find the recipes in the back of that book to be simpler than those in the Rainbow Green Live Cuisine cookbook, edited by him. I don't make any recipes from the cookbook, but the pates that are my staples are derived from the first book and from Elyssa Markowitz' book.



Practice was good. My mind was rattling the names it concocts for my fellow practitioners. There's one I haven't mentioned, Periwinkle Petals. Well, she's part of the wonderful energy of the group. Teacher was bothered by allergies this week. I think she thought we would catch a cold from her because she said she was sorry she hadn't adjusted as strongly as she usually does. I wasn't concerned. These days, because of calorie restriction, if I get a cold, they don't last more than a day or two. They're more of a slight inconvenience.

This kind of reminds me of the production of Sugar Babies with Mickey Rooney and Ann Miller that I saw in Philadelphia where they announced before the show that instead of her usual 250 taps per minute Ms Miller would be doing 210 taps per minute that evening because her legs were a bit tired. Like Ann Miller, Teacher did not feel at her usual level of energy. I didn't notice less taps by Ms Miller, and if Teacher simplified her adjustments, they were still good.

But back to the practice. I hadn't done drop backs this week. It was a strange week since I didn't practice on Monday or Thursday. So the other days I did tying of the arms and legs with a belt in urdha danurasana. Karen mentioned she did it last week. A year ago L. had me do that to get me to keep the arms together. But today Teacher thought it would be a good idea to practice drop backs, so I did.

I also got adjusted in supta kurmasana. My left leg is more stubborn in getting behind the head and since my practice had been spotty this week, it was more stubborn than usual today, but it gave in (after a gasp that I hope Teacher didn't hear.) It's not a problem, as Horseback Rider used to say when I commented on my concern of all of the legs behind the head poses in the 3rd Series - the body just has to adjust. Sometimes your knee is bothering you, sometimes the back, but eventually the body adjusts to the practice.

I have a feeling that I may be posting briefly in the coming week and a half. I have to pack for the move to my new apartment, which happens next week. Also, when I get to the new apartment I have to check if my internet connection will work at home. I hope my transition to the new place goes smoothly.
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