8/31/08

combination toilet and sink

OK, so despite being an architect, I had never been exposed to this. My visiting friend put a group of friends together who have known him through different times of his life - his cousin from childhood, his buddy from early career years in Houston and myself, from his mid career years in San Antonio. We visited at the home of his friend originally from Houston. What am I writing about? The toilet. It doesn't have a sink in the same compartment where it is located, so the previous owner of the flat installed a toilet that when you flush, water comes out of the top, allowing you to wash your hands. It definitely is something to talk about. We enjoyed the most delicious Mexican food on Haight Street and later shared some ice cream back at the flat. I did not observe calorie restriction today but enjoyed a charming afternoon going to a Buddhist meditation and later to the visit and dinner. I didn't have my camera with me, so I borrowed the image is from this site, which claims to be a directory of wonderful things.

In response to Alfia's comment, here is a commode that appears to have hot and cold water in the sink that drains into the commode's tank, from this source. It's appropriately called the Neo Metro Combo Toilet and Sink. Cheers.

good practice happy kid

Practice in Berkeley was very strong today. Springy Sitarist commented that the weather is warm and it makes our muscles supple. This is the time of our Indian summer - the two short weeks of actual warm weather here. I over ate yesterday, so the influx of calories must have given me the impetus to keep going. I think Teacher got my hands to the floor in Prasaritta Padottanasana C. My arms did not resist the gentle pushes downward. In Supta Vajrasana, I was really squared away, no irregular body twists while going up and down. Backbending was very good. Assisted dropback practice was very strong, with the legs really working in bringing me up. The knowledge of what needs to be happening is there.

Have a happy Labor Day weekend. I wanted to mention, for Alfia's benefit, that at the soiree yesterday I met the neighbors of my friends in Oakland. The neighbor is a sculptor from Ecuador. He and his wife have the most beautiful and friendly 3 year old boy I have met. He told me they had traveled to Kazakhtan to adopt him. Well he is certainly a very well adjusted and happy kid, very well loved by his parents and neighbors.

how do newbies get into yoga?

an old friend who is 3 years older than i had called a month ago saying he wanted to visit the city and do basically what i do on weekends, including yoga. i said ok, that he should not stay out late the night before because i would meet him at his hotel lobby at 6:00am on Sunday for the trek to the shala in Berkeley. he seemed enthusiastic about the adventure, until the reality of what this meant set in. he would have to eat lightly the night before, have some fruit at 5:00am and practice some standing poses in a shala. he thought he was going to a meditation meeting. i explained the practice was meditative because people are following a routine while concentrating on the breath. the meditation event we were going to go to would be at a different time, and that would actually be a sitting meditation. the yoga involved movements. eventually he called to cancel going to yoga because he said he did not want to wake up early on his vacation. i think he wanted to stay out late, but that is another story. it got me to thinking, what is the process by which someone is exposed to yoga, learns it and keeps practicing it? i don't think it is going cold to a room where mysore style is practiced. i think people go to a led class, learn some asanas, feel better in their bodies, then decide they want to do this more often. at that point, the teachers of the led classes should sense that this person wants to develop his or her knowledge of yoga further, just as the teacher has done in his or her own path, so they should direct them to study with teachers of the self practice method. so i think you get exposed to yoga in gyms, and possibly shalas, feel better and then seek out more classes in it, until you want to be deepening the practice and you find shalas where the self directed method is taught. do you cybershalamates have similar opinions about how people find and keep this practice?

my expression was serious in the picture of me in front of a painting because i did not know if you could photograph yourself within the DeYoung museum. for the picture of me outside the DeYoung i thought of yoga in order to relax my expression. the friend referenced in this story made and broke almost every plan he made for the weekend. he took all sorts of advice from me and proceeded to do different things, because his opinions seemed more prudent to him. he psychoanalized me withouth my request although he is not in the medical field. pema chodrons books have been guiding me through the weekend. there are too many stories that i will not tell. i enjoyed going to a party on my own Saturday. my friend did not want to spent a lot of time at this soiree, so i suggested that i go alone. there i met interesting people from everywhere - 4 continents, people of amazing values. our host just built a tent retreat in the backyard of her home, but that is another story for another day.

8/30/08

Kadayawan Festival in Davao, Phillipinies

My friend Jessica went to the annual Kadayawan festival in Davao, in the south Phillipines. This is an agricultural area of the country and it happens that durians are in season at the moment. She accompanied fellow photographers and took beautiful poignant pictures that capture the beauty of the Filipinos of this area. The pictures are posted here with her permission.
The following five pictures were taken by Jessica's friend Shem Longakit. The first three are of the lovely Jessica and the other two of durians.
A fruit stand with durians.

8/29/08

bakasana to donkey

I practiced with Second Series poses, from Bakasana on. Legs behind the head poses generate a lot of internal heat and make dropbacks feel nicer.I am teaching myself new software on my spare time. Here is a page from the training manual. Recognize someone? Look who posed for the picture in his spare time, Donkey! You look good, man. So many talents. Palo Alto with the FUR!

For those of you who spent a sleepless night worrying that I wore my practice shorts inside out yesterday: I wore them correctly today. I checked.

8/28/08

practice perspective

Practice - hello? I have been taking care of some personal things that disrupt my schedule so practice today, after warmups was only backbending - and in reverse at that - dropbacks on the wall, bridge, Urdvha Danurasana. This must be up there with the strangest practices so far. It's not ashtanga, but it is yoga nevertheless. I felt a calming of the fluctuations of the mind.Through the marvel of Photoshop, you'll never know that I wore my shorts inside out without noticing. Oops! I guess I wanted to understand their structure from a different perspective. And laugh about it now. And speaking of perspective, it was a mistake to align the bottom of the mat to the viewfinder in the camera, because it was at an angle, therefore in perspective, with lines projecting in angled directions. Topsy-turvy, that.

During the bike ride to the office, a girl zoomed by pedalling aggressively and wobbling at the same time. Later, a few yards in front, she was on the floor, in great pain. Either someone cut her off accidentally, or her wheels caught in a street drain, causing her to fall. She hit the side of her head. Many bikers got off their bikes to offer calling 911 or the police. We asked her if she was alright, whether anything was broken. Eventually, someone offered her a hand and she stood up. She had a concussion on the side of her head. She had many piercings under her lips, with pointed jewelry. If that jewelry pushed against her skin in the fall, it must have hurt a lot. Why do people wear that stuff? It's different, but not so cool.

8/26/08

danurasana variation chain

Practiced Second to Supta Vajrasana this morning. I had a block nearby to lay my hand on while setting up for Pasasana, just so I could emphasize keeping the feet flat on the floor. The block was useful before wrapping the arms.
In Danurasana, I did the Anusaran variation depicted here, with a rolled mat. What is neat about this variation is that when you take the mat out, you really lift a lot. The variation is keeping the legs on the floor, lifting the torso up; keeping the chest on the floor, lifting the legs up; then lifting both the legs and chest up without the mat.

Yay for experiments. The lowest drawer of my chest can hold my legs while wrapped up to do Supta Vajrasana, pretty decently. I'll have to record that sometime.
This is the chain and lock I used to tie my bike to a post on my street today, when I went to work. The chain is guaranteed to work against theft in the city of NY. That is sufficiently strong for me. It weighs more than 10 lbs.

found it

So I was scanning something that a friend asked me to scan. It required removing the lid of the scanner, which is one of those Dell scanner, printer, fax dooder uppers. When I removed the lid and jozzled (sp?) it around, out fell the long lost advanced series DVD, which I had inadvertently placed in a pocket the lid has. So now I will have 2 copies, the moment the new one arrives. One for home, one for travel? It pays to do things for friends. In celebration, I photographed it along with a few other things from my altar.

My poor neighbor. I was at my best hamster-in-the-cage this morning, waking up at 4:00am, accidentally dropping a wheelie to the floor, rattling the printer lid, pulling and pushing assorted furniture, stumbling into the foot stool at the computer, opening and closing the apartment door, which makes a vacuum sound every time it opens because of an automatic closer. All the time I was saying, "don't make noise, don't make noise" Aha, yea. The noise wakes up one of my neighbors, the American. The other neighbor, an Argentenian, would have to be awoken in an earthquake.

8/25/08

CR yoga sandwich

yoga humor -humor can be a way to say something you want to convey but feel you can't convey it seriously. i wrote this a while back but did not post it, not sure of how it would be taken. since Cody shared a while back what he envisioned would be an ideal practice for him, i came up with

technical specification sheet for a calorie restricted yoga sandwich

this low fat, low carb sandwich involves preparing the sandwich bread of the standing sequence (at least the first five asanas, more if possible) and the closing sequence.

the meat of the sandwich (hold the mayo) is (your choice of)

_ if primary series - first 1/2 of primary to marichyasana d
_ if primary series - 2nd 1/2 of primary from navasana to the first asanas of second series
_ if second series - first 1/2 of second series to dwi pada
_ if second series - second 1/2 of second series from bakasana to the 7 headstands
_ if third series - the first five or six asanas that the body will allow
_ if third series - the next however many asanas the body, and knowledge will allow.

pick up lint around practice floor prior to eating
light a candle
burn a small patchouli incense stick
send blessings to buddha
send blessing to your teachers and cybershalamates
serve sandwich on a bed of lavender and eucapyptus scented mat
hold the chips - nothing fried

eat sequentially during the week in the order described (a primary sandwich before a second sandwich, a second sandwhich before a third sandwich etc.)

this is a journal, so i'm sharing my speriments. i'm not saying this is the method nor that this is what you should do. YMMV.

8/24/08

driver primary cycling

There was a different driver for the transbay bus trek this morning to Berkeley. This one took only two rest breaks, rather than the four that last week's driver took. I didn't miss my connecting bus.

Because my practice was spotty last week I felt like doing only Primary Series today. It was a nice and strong practice. Teacher gave great adjustments, reminding me particularly to engage the bhandas. During Bhujapidasana I got a cramp on my left calf muscle. But I continued gently on. Those don't usually occur during weeks of steady, continuous practice. Now I realize that I totally forgot to do Navasana. Ha!

In the middle of the practice the thought popped in my head that this week I'll resume cycling to work. I had stopped because the room in which we stored our bikes is not available, because it is a mechanical room. I will tie the bike to something on the street and take the pull away seat out daily. In this city any element of a bike that is not tied down and screwed down is stolen. I've had my bike broken into many times. But what is the use of having one if you can't use it? It is great exercise to bike to work.

amazing 9 year old yoga girl

Karen B, who teaches in Edinburg, posted this video recently. I practiced with Karen years ago in Orlando. She is a lamp that brightens a room with her kindness. The video is of a 9 year old Indian girl doing amazing yoga moves. She is hyper flexible. I had to laugh when she instantly got her legs behind the legs into Dwi Pada. Watching this video makes me want to be more fervent with my diet, which this week suffered. This also reminds me of the comical description Boodi made of Gumby Guy at her shala, who goes "Whoop", kicks his leg behind his head while standing into an instant Durvasasana. I had to stop watching the video at the middle, then went to the end. I will have to come back and watch it all. The girl does all of this while smiling :)

8/22/08

Everybody's meme

Chitta Vritti's meme, and Sonya's and Carl's and Karen.
Abbreviated explanation of rules by Zen teacher Karen:
Type the phrase “[your given name] needs” into Google and click “Go.”

Here are my results, with my comments following

Arturo needs your support and generosity
I agree
Arturo needs a home with experienced parents
Yes I'm just a todler
Arturo needs to play more blusie songs
You don't like my chanting?
Arturo needs to get on the Food Network to show the rest of the planet how to cook
It will be the CRON way, baby.
Arturo needs to continue family and sibling visits
Absolutely. Is once a year OK?
Arturo needs to keep boxing
Really?
Arturo needs to communicate clearly with different groups of people
Of course, it's a varied world out there.
Arturo needs to use his speed and boxing ability and frustrate Baldomir
More boxing for Arturo? Baldomir where art thou?
Arturo needs some guidance away from this dangerous topic. Arturo already has tendencies of ecclecticism and syncreticism
Bwaahahaha! Yes, I might be a tinge eccclectic. But I'll get back at you when I find out what syncreticism is. Maybe (0v0) can elucidate. And I'll levitate.

Yoga entrepreneurs in Beijing

There was an article in the SF Chronicle yesterday about two yoga practitioners from the Bay area that have been pioneers in Beijing by opening a studio there that has now grown to three locations. They offer hatha, ashtanga and bikram. Here is the story. Prior to their shala opening, the only classes found in Beijing, says the article, was in gyms or sports schools and were taught by aerobics instructors. It is like that in parts of the United States; but with the growth of yoga there are more studios dedicated to yoga alone sprinkled throughout in larger metropolitan areas.

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Now that I have posted that and spent 30 minutes reading the further discussions on AshtangaNews regarding blessings, authorizations and certifications, this article seems trivial and capitalistic - an article on the commercialization of yoga. Ha! Please. People need to make a living. It it opportunistic for someone to establish a health center based on yoga? Yes and no. There is nothing wrong with it. Think of the thousands of people they are helping by passing on the knowledge of yoga.

8/21/08

Prasarita Paddotanasanas today for Bindi

video

Here are my Prasarita Paddotanasanas today, for Bindi. I'm still working to improve my cinematographic skills; I had to edit out the headless parts. The bottom of the camera for videos should align with the mat, otherwise, the shots will appear headless, the way Laksmi likes her public photos. See? I can get the head to the floor on at least A and D. My feet would have to go out further to get the head to the floor on B and C, and the head would not be aligned with the feet, but in front of them.

Fire fighting heroes

Peg D. is a friend of a friend of the photographer journalist, Al Golub, who captured these images of hero fire fighters during the recent fires in California. You can see more photos of the photographer at his website. His nature photographs are stunning.

8/20/08

Bhu-something and Kapotasana, the way it should be

Boodi posted it first, but it would be nice to have it archived here too, for reference. Kapotasana the way it should be.

Ashtanga wordle


yin meditation stretches

More yin yoga. Three days in a rut, I mean row. At least I meditated. It's a good thing that Wise Albert sent a quote by Chogyam Trungpa that states that, "When a person sits and meditates, it is a special situation; it is a sacred act of some kind... Along with that, a sense of appreciating the discipline is in itself important, whether you have accomplished the discipline over all or not. If you fall asleep on your cushion, or feel that you haven't actually sat and meditated at all -- as soon as you sit on your cushion, you begin to mentally venture out all over the world, and the only thing that reminds you is when the ending gong sounds and you realize you are meditating, supposedly, physically -- even then, even such daydreams and things like that are important. Meditation is a sacred activity. Chogyam Trungpa, from "The First Foundation: Mindfulness of Body."
The same thing could be said about yoga practice. The mat was there. I did my passive stretches; did some asanas without vinyasas; meditated. Om.

on labels and licenses

The whole discussion in the blogosphere regarding the new rules for authorized and certified teachers of the ashtanga systems, which started after Phillipe wrote about it in AshtangaNews left me a bit exhausted. Here is a parallel story in the profession of architecture, when a famed architect runs afoul of the board that regulates licenses. Arthur Erickson is one of Canada's most famous architects. However, he withdrew his license, according to the regulator, because he did not agree with the requirement of pursuing 18 hours of educational credits per year. He still continues to work, however, and his work is called the result of discussions with his business partner. Here is the story.

That is parallel to senior authorized or certified ashtanga teachers running afoul of the rules of the KPJAYI. I accidentally wiped out all of the main ashtanga links on the right hand side of my blog in attempting to add Ashtanga News to it. Ha! What does that mean? Now I have to rebuild those links on where to practice and obtain information on Ashtanga. I'm not a teacher but a practitioner. I imagine it is OK for me to use the "A" word in yoga in reference to my practice. Anyhow, warband said chez Cody this morning, that the word Ashtanga is in the public domain and therefore cannot be trademarked.

8/19/08

metro manila after the storm

Practice was short - Standing sequence, a few of intermediate, closing sequence. I started a bit late. Will aim for better practice tomorrow. My friend R. is back teaching in Manila. On various occasions she asks permission to get to the top of the 41 story building in Metro Manila in which she works to take pictures. Two days ago there was a storm. After the storm, she took these pictures, posted here with her permission.

8/18/08

cleaning the home practice space floor

Since writing saying that I experimented with spraying the floor around the practice space with water diluted with vinegar, then passing the lint picker upper, I think it's a bad choice of liquid. Vinegar dissinfects and leaves surfaces cleans, but it is basically wine that went rancid, so the smell affects one's attitude towards practice. I might try witchhazel, either pure or diluted in water, if I'm going to spray anything around the space prior to practice. Witchhazel has a pleasant smell. It is one of the ingredients in the mat cleansing spray I bought at the shala a while back. Or I might simply not use anything. I just thought it was a nice idea to have the floor super clean around the practice space, but if I'm cleaning the area right before practice, it can't smell bad. Well, this is my own one-rat research into what works in my practice.

8/17/08

bus, head to floor, good flow

Since the new driver of the F Berkeley transbay bus takes a lot of breaks on the way to Berkley, making me lose the connection to the bus that takes me to the shala, I thought of being proactive and asking him nicely, "Did the schedule change? I have been missing the connection to the 51 bus". He ignored me. So, thinking I had not expressed myself loudly enough, I crouched and repeated my question near his ear. "No! No!" was his grouchy response. Yes, no changes, everything still the same, while changes abound. Where have I hear about that recently? So on his last break, where I was one stop away to the stop for the connecting bus, I debused (can I say that?) and ran to the next stop. Then a coagulation of three buses occurred, making me nearly miss the connecting bus, since the driver of the new one could not see me. So I decided that from a Buddhist perspective, getting early to the shala is a gift that is sometimes granted and sometimes not. If I get early, I can do warmups; if I don't I'll have to dive into Sun Salutations immediately. I'll adjust to the circumstances.

Remembering Bindi's comment, I placed my head on the floor on Prasaritta Paddotanasana A. I felt it in the gluts. I'll take a self picture sometime this week to see how it looks. But after straightening up, I could feel nervous energy all along the inner muscles of the feet up to the waist.
The practice flowed nicely today. Movements felt familiar and comfortable. The central nervous energy was calm at least between poses, where the energy would reset itself and the breath calm down. I did my usual half Primary, half Second to Dwi Pada. When assisted by dropbacks by Teacher, since he was only holding a strap loosely that I knew was there but I hardly felt, I overcame the fear of dropping to the floor. I felt very much in my body what the pelvis and legs have to be doing to bring me up. It required effort, but I really felt that it was the pelvis moving forward, the abductors and quads engaging that brought me up, with the help of Teacher's strap, which he held lightly.

I am predominately a quiet person. However, it seems that blogging lends me a medium by which I talk and talk very openly, almost as I did when I was a kid, where you had to ask me to shut up or to stop asking questions. Actually, since sometimes there is a cross between blogging life and real life, I am seeing quietness disappear in my live interactions with others.

The masterful pictures from the Grand Canyon were taken by my friend V. who has a powerful camera and great eye.

8/16/08

DeeVD versus VeeHS

2 hours of search in the storage area of my apartment did not yield my copy of the 2nd and 3rd series DVD of David Swenson, so I fished for a new one, along with David Keil's yoga anatomy DVD from the Amazonian River. By the way, David Keil's website is located here. Among the things I found in my storage are the VHS versions of David Swenson's videos:

  • Ashtanga Yoga "The Practice" First Series
  • Ashtanga Yoga "The Practice" 2nd & 3rd Series
  • Ashtanga Yoga The Advanced Series

I no longer have a way to watch these VHS tapes. If someone wants to take them off my hands, you can email me at the temporary email of writ60957 at mypacks dot net with your address and Santa will send them to you.

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Since I wrote that, someone requested them. Hope you receive a lot of inspiration from them! The Advanced Series video is extremely beautiful.

Saturday smorgasbord, yoga hygiene

This is a smorgasbord of ideas. It's Saturday and one recipe entry in Cron-o-Meter is Saturday Smorgasbord - when I go eat lunch at the food bar of Whole Foods and select healthy foods, with a tablespoon (OK, a soup laddle-full) of unhealthy fare like scalloped potatoes or macaroni and cheese. But that is next to goodies like artichokes, beets, spinach, tofu and avocado.

Today's pet peeve: low flow toilets. You have to flush them seven times to send the waste on its journey. That's not green, folks, despite your intentions of saving flushing water.

Today's yoga blog reading assignments: Susananda on Kino (check), Patrick on backbends (I checked - he's about to post on it), Ursula on living and practicing in Mysore (check).

And now, today's topic: hygiene. Hi Gene! Just a quick summary of the discussion on the calorie restriction list that some folks have dealt with infections such as urinary tract infections, for which their doctors prescribed Ciprofloxacin or Cipro. Many people have benefited from this drug, and many have suffered serious side effects. To yogis in particular, this should perk up the brain, because one of the side effects is that it can affect the muscles and tendon tissues. If you are going to take it, C.R. suggests that you request a small dosage if you're thin, avoid chocolate and caffeine, avoid sun exposure, take acidophilus, take a lot of rest, take pomegranate juice, move your diet towards the BRAT mode since diarrhea might occur. There are natural things you can do: take Indian herbs such as Foskolin and other natural antibiotics. Supplement with the friendly bacteria bifidobacterium infantis. I believe that the kefir I take twice a day contains these bacteria. Drink lots of decaf green tea; use rosemary and oregano in your foods. On the hygiene side, wash your hands often, disinfect doorknobs, disinfect underwear and sheets. The heat in the electrical dryers will help kill the bacteria; natural drying will not (I suppose unless you dry the clothes in the sun.)

This brings to mind some natural hygiene routines that help yogis. Following Tony's suggestions, I keep vinegar diluted with water in a spray bottle. In the morning and evening, I spray the parts of the body most given to sweat; OK, the crotch. That cools the temperature of the body in that area and keeps bacteria from forming. I have expensive medications dermatologists give me, but good ole' vinegar works just as well as a preventative of rashes. Apply talcum to those areas. Shower before and after yoga practice. "Mmm, clean yogi", to quote Beryl BB.

On Friday when I dusted the floor before practicing with a disposable lint picker-upper, I applied some of the vinegar-water solution to the floor, which cleaned it before practice. I'm not sure if I will do that on a routine basis, though. I can't do the following at the shala because it would be too distracting, but at home, the water bottle to spray the practice towel down contains a few drops of lavender oil, which lends a nice touch to the mat. There is also an inexpensive electric aromatherapy thingie near the practice space. Once in a while, I take the mat to the shower, apply the same soap as for my body and scrub it with a brush. I feel like a kid when doing so. Since Tony was so concerned about incense, I light a small one by Morning Star before practice to freshen the room. I don't have incense going during practice, when I'm doing a lot of strong breathing and inhaling smoke particulates would not be healthy.

If you all have hygiene routines that work for you, please share.

Further culinary developments in London

Adding to the can of ham, gerkin, and egg, there is the proposed cheese grater, or Leadenhall by Richard Rogers. In the background of the rendering you see Rogers and Piano's masterpiece Lloyd's of London. (Sorry, I don't know who the credits for the rendering go to, but I believe the 3D modeling was done by ZNO.) So I wonder, which is the big cheese in London town, since you have a grater for it? Perhaps one of those post-modernist era creations? And why are the Brits so food-obsessed in the naming of their billi-dings?Love ya! Anglo-phile and Francophone here.

8/15/08

News on the Steiners

From the CYT Real Estate News Department - We interrupt your scheduled program to bring you news on the Steiners. The Steiners are a family of voles that live in the property of a colleague. Today I asked about how they were doing. Apparently a neighbor of my colleague didn't take to the Steiners and started barging in on their real estate. The Steiners relocated. Mrs. Steiner, busy with baking nut pies for her growing family was not available for an interview. I understand that scurrying actions were involved in the move, but I imagine the move was a simpler than that of the other Steiners who moved from NY to DC. Let's hope both Steiner families are happy in their new digs. Photo credits: JIbarry of the biology department at CalTech. CYT - news you won't find anywhere else (nor should you.)

Inversion snafu anatomy

I intended to include some inversion poses from 3rd Series in my practice today, but my practice laughed at me. I could not remember what to do. Then I went searching for my David Swenson 3rd Series DVD, but it appears lost in my small apartment, where if something is on top of something else, it's as good as gone until I reorganize. That means I may need to order a new copy of the DVD. That led to looking at what is offered at ashtanga.com. I noticed that Kino has a DVD out, and that David Keil came out with his yoga anatomy DVD as well. That's great. I guess my order is going to be getting bigger. Here's a clip from David's video. I took some classes from and ocassionally practiced with David. By the way, years ago I commented to Reinaldo, who was teaching me Mysore style that I thought David had gotten really trim after going to Mysore several times. R. responded, "the practice does that to you." I never had the chance to tell David, but he was part of my inspiration to look into calorie restriction. I did not see how I was going to slim down as he had done by going to India, so there needed to be a way I could do so. That led to researching the internet and finding the Calorie Restriction Society.

8/14/08

Notes from practice this morning

I haven't experienced shoulder pain after practice since the workshop with C&M. I think the biggest reason is because they made me so conscious of the two domes that exist in the chest. The first one is created when you move your pelvis down; the second one is created by moving your arms close to the sides of your body. I am conscious of this in downward dog, where I even think of chest opening asanas while holding the pose. I am especially conscious of this in any chest opening backbends. As a result, there has not been any stress on the shoulders.

As I practiced, there where 4 DwiPadan detetherings of Muni buses outside my window - within the space of 2 hours. I'm cracking up now when I hear one. I don't want to be malicious in laughing at the misfortune of the drivers who have to deal with this problem daily. Maybe my near deaf experience yesterday was a result of bad karma I generated from causing grief to the poor drivers for reporting on their predicament.

Today I practiced standing sequence, several asanas from the beginning of 3rd Series, mostly the LBH poses, and closing sequence. I could say about all of them - I did them relatively well on the right side - Kasyapasasana, Chakorasana, Bhairavasasana, etc. On the left, it took a while for the leg to warm up. At one point on the left side setup I was pulling on the leg as I placed it behind my leg. I was detached from the action, but felt how I was pulling a mass of bones- the structure of my body - around. I told myself - "easy, it's not a piece of wood." Later on I felt quite detached from myself. I remembered philosophical ideas. Who am I? I'm I the bones, the flesh, the spirit, my persona? I'm none of those. We associate a name to this combination of things that make up this body, this person. At that moment after practice I felt disassociated from the name, the person, the skin, the bones. I was just alive. Is that yoga mind?

I showered and got ready for work. I noticed that the two last toes of the right foot where numb. They remained so for about 30 minutes. I hadn't noticed that before but I didn't worry. I remembered CK writing about her adjustment from Sharath in Mysore last week in Kapotasana. He instructed her to straighten her arms. She did so. After practice her arms where numb. She felt she went to Mysore for the experience.

Hungry? Visit London

London already had the egg, the gherkin and will now have the can of ham. (Photos from this site) The first of those two buildings are by Foster and Partners. The can of ham is being designed by Fogo Associates. However, someone pointed out that there are three similar cans of ham at Xizhimen station in Beijing. New styles and design methodologies appear, enabling architects to experiment with new forms, sometimes resulting in similar forms. However, each building is a custom creation and adapted to a particular site. We can help complement the Brits' diet. Here we have water coolers, refrigerators, Texas-sized tea kettles, soup bowls, and stacks of pancakes.

8/13/08

Urdvha Danurasana Inflection

Just checking where I was with Prasaritta Paddotanasana C this morning. Not far enough.
Gomukasana, OK, but don't I look a bit lurched forward? Below is my Urdvha Danurasana Inflection (UDI) today. It rhymes with, but not be confused with UTI. It is, however, just as infectious in a good way. This is a beautiful asana. I'd say, I should be up to standing already. Don't worry, I'll shout to the top of my blog when I do so.

video

criminal trucker on stockton st. this morning

I almost lost my hearing walking on the way to work. A truck driver driving southbound at 9:00am on Stockton about to cross Market St. was either miffed that a driver cut in front of him, or that the light changed to green and the traffic wasn't moving, so he pulled on his horn, which plays at decibels appropriate to warn drivers in a freeway, but which is illegal to use on the city. The decibels are higher than those used by ambulances or fire trucks. Not only did he pull on it, but he kept it on for 5 minutes, causing pain to myself and six other pedestrians. I'm having trouble hearing at the moment. I don't usually cuss, but did so because this monster deserved it. When did being miffed by traffic allow a person to criminally cause harm to others? Next time I'll get the license plate.

DwiPadan de-tethering

I don't know why I had not noticed this de-tethering of buses happening in front of my apartment before. Maybe it's because I'm practicing more days at home and I notice the event. This morning it happened twice. So staying tethered for a bus driver must be as challenging as for a yogi to stay aloft in Dwi Pada. Of course only other yogis would know what I'm talking about. Which reminds me of when my father was in the hospital a few years ago, the young doctor recommended that he hold off from his daily morning walk. He asked him how long he walked, to which he replied, "Three rosaries." My sisters and I looked at each other bemused, but we understood that our father meant that each morning he walked the length it took to recite three rosaries. By the way, the DwiPadan detethering of buses happens to many of them. This just happens to be the picture of one this morning.

8/12/08

Architecture pose and Dwipadan Symphony

Ardha Matsyendrasana to me is architecture pose. David Swenson talks about the rules of opposition working in this asana. You create length by engaging opposite forces. It's the same with structures in buildings.

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I am balancing better in Dwi Pada. Feel free to comment with suggestions. It seems that if I got the left leg further out I could manage to get it behind the right leg. Feel free to laugh with me at my exit.

Dwi Pada and legs behind the head poses must be good counter poses for Urdvha Danurasana. I find that my UD is better after LBH poses. Maybe all of the forward bending of the latter are counteracted by the chest opening of the former. Oh, just, the rules of opposition, just like in architecture pose!

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