12/30/09

prasarita breakfast venture


prasarita paddotanasana C yesterday. i'm not one of those bendy people who get the arms to the floor in this asana. i managed to get the practice space warm and enjoyed my yoga practice. the weather gods relented and we had a warmer day. i also had a full breakfast 2 hours before practice, rather than splitting into before and after practice. that may have given me more energy. prior to practice i surfed the ashtanga and CR blogs for inspiration for both my diet and my yoga. we all face the same challenges - difficulties with our diets and with our practice. people share how they overcome these to enjoy their practices. a blog new to me is that of nycashtangi, who wants to draw inspiration for growing a home practice. cheers to that. happy new year. i am not sure if i will venture into the city to capture fireworks. it could be very cold outside at night.

talent show demonstration suggestions?

yikes! we have a talent show during the
annual party and for my 10 minute turn
they've asked me to do yoga asanas.
i can't do power stuff that i could
not do well in front of 150 people.
it will have to be pretty tame stuff.
so what should i do? cybershalamates,
please offer suggestions. they also
asked for a costume. ha! so how
about just my long yoga pants and
tank top or a t-shirt? i can tell
you it will be cold in the place.
it's winter here and they don't
heat spaces. please make suggestions.
i can see me bring my space heater
and an extension cord!
thanks!

12/28/09

longjohn floorasanas

i did yoga in long johns, sweater, yoga pants and socks this morning. need i say the room was cold? does a little heater have buddha nature? i don't know, but it was worthy of worship this morning. i did floorasanas tm of Primary. later, to get to the kitchen for breakfast, i donned a scarf, hat and a parka. i can't wait for spring.

don A y otras yerbas aromaticas

the morning of my flight in Chicago, i appeared like a regular gringo to the shuttle bus driver who took me from the hotel to the airport. he spoke to me in English, but i responded in Spanish. i had heard him speak the previous week on the drive to the hotel and I thought he was from PR or the Dominican Republic. he started talking to me in Spanish and soon I became to him Don Arturo of Fajardo and Other Aromatic Herbs, as my grandma would have said. the "don" is a form of respect when addressing older gentlemen in latin cultures, but it really isn't used any more by Puerto Ricans except by an older generation. here i was in Chicago and it turned out that the driver of the shuttle was born in Fajardo, my town in PR and it was the first time he carried in his van a fellow 'Rican that was was living and working in China. so when he said goodbye to me he called me Don Arturo. haha.

12/27/09

holidays Christmas lunch

i'm in transit back to China. the airport in San Juan was not crowded at all, but then the holidays are still going on. there is snow in Chicago and heightened security. here is our Christmas lunch, a Puerto Rican meal of pork, rice and peas, avocado - asparagus salad, pasteles and tomato casserole.

and my aunt's Christmas tree

12/24/09

Grimmly in Puerto Rico

while waiting an hour in line to buy a nintendo for my little cousin at ToysRUs, i spotted the perfect plushie to represent Grimmly in my council of cybershalamates. (i think it's a figure from Madagascar, the movie.)
my mom loved the figure. i told her it represented Grimmly and showed her his site. she gasped. i mentioned which poses i could do but not as well and which ones where very difficult.
the cat was wondering what i was photographing, so she nudged my back and asked for a scratch.

feet slept

how my feet looked to me while in dolphin pose at the beach on monday. i was rightside up in the other side of the world a day and a half before. uhm, felt dizzy while writing that.
and other assorted beach sightings.
i slept on the beach while my sisters got in the (cold) water. it was 12 hours later in China. the setting was wrong in the camera, so the photo is a bit overexposed, but you get the picture, right? Did you check out Craig doing handstand at the beach in Mexico?

silly faffing testimonial

i feel silly complaining about paying for computer storage of my images; the cost was low, as Skippety pointed out. i signed up for space for my pictures and maybe within 24 hours i can post more again. in reading the materials while i went through the process, the space allotment includes videos posted. so once you reach 1gb of space, you need to purchase more but it's not expensive. you may reach that point with your videos, Grimmly.

i have practiced a little while here; half primary and yin poses with a lot of faffing and interruptions from family members. i want to have strong practices in 2010. going to the shala on Sundays might help me get back on track with that goal. i think that one reason my practice has slowed down a bit, besides that i have been working long hours, is that i am a few pounds heavier now that i was last year. what happened is as follows. i arrived in China last February. i was unfamiliar with measuring everything in metric, so i did not know that during my first weeks, i gained about 6 pounds, or 3 kilograms. my weight, in metric became 63 kg and has stayed there all year. however, my best weight for yoga, i realize now, is 60kg, or about 132 lbs. i'm almost at 139lbs, ahem, i mean 140lbs. so i feel sluggish. also, i used to know how many calories where in the food i prepared and estimated for food eaten out. but with the metric system, i don't have full knowledge of calorie counting, so i have to rely on intuition. i also cannot read labels in Chinese. i also have been a bit slack on using Cron-O-Meter, so i will need to resume using it. a calorie restriction practice that has helped me in the year has been to eat very little at dinner time- just a snack, and make my breakfast and lunch bigger meals. okay, there, that's my yoga and nutrition testimonial for the day.

12/23/09

space here

i started to upload four photos from my visit here today and received a message that i had exceeded the space allowed for picture posting. now i would be required to buy additional space. this seems to be a new development. i thought when i started blogging 2 years ago that there was no limit to the amount of photos one posted. i have kept photos relatively small in size. are people also experiencing this? it is sort of what hapenned to Flickr. one used to be able to post many pictures there and now you have to pay for space after you reach a certain limit. i don't know if going back and editing pictures out of posts from the last two years, particularly those with a lot of photos would gain me more space, because i think these decisions are made by the service providers, who have let us use this service for free up to now. and there is no guarantee that if i reduce the number of pictures in my site it will gain me more space. i can try doing that. what are other people experiencing? if i have to pay some money i may do so. however, it adds to the costs i already incur. where i live this service provider is not available, so i pay a service to help me post entries. paying for space in which to add pictures would only add to my costs. if expressing oneself in blogs will become expensive, it is not going to be spontaneous, but sponsored by enterprises who can afford it.

12/21/09

standing computers inoperable


this is a view before the sunrise from my mom's house, and a photomerge of the panorama. i practiced standing sequence at the hotel during my transit to the Island. i lucked out that the bad weather in the East coast did not affect the Midwest. Tiffany wrote a while back poignant observations of differences between American and Asian airline carriers, things related to level of service, food offered and the age of planes. i won't repeat what she said, but i'll just add that i encountered my own problems...(edit) it was a wonderful coincidence that i sat next to a Mandarin speaking Chinese lady from Shanghai and her son. they live in Chicago. it was nice to see a lot of tourists in San Juan. that helps the economy.

12/19/09

happy christmas


my colleague gave me this beautiful card, which i scanned and am posting. she is from Beijing and she studied in England 2 years of high school and college. i love her accent. the card is a beauty; i like how it is fresh in design, saying, "happy". my first plane is delayed 4 hours. it's not a problem, given my 15 hour layover. i learned that when there are so many hours in between flights, it is labeled "overnight flight". that means to the airlines that you have to pick up your luggage at your first destination, then check it in for the next flight. i didn't know that and my bags are heavy because i'm bringing a lot of gifts. it is not a problem. i felt funny checking in for the flight because this is the first time when flying from here that i have seen so many Americans. we should have a reunion or something and share stories of our lives here. (Edit - i was misinformed in the airport at Shanghai. what i should have been told was that i needed to go through customs in Chicago, then take my suitcases to the airline baggage check counter to check it to its destination. in Shanghai they made it look like my destination was my first stop. you live and learn. Further Edit, if a connecting flight is later than 12 hours, the bags cannot be checked to the final destination. so you have to pick them up at the baggage carousel after your first flight, take them with you and not check them until 4 hours before your continuing flight. it is a good reason to travel light.)

12/18/09

layover club shower

i'm sounding like a twitterer, i suppose... except i'm not in that service yet. but if this is useful, i'll mention it- i just realized today that my flight to PR has a layover of 15 hour layover in Chicago. i didn't notice that when i booked the flight last may because i was paying greater attention to selecting flights that were reasonably priced and that had only one plane change. during the holidays in cold seasons, if you go on flights with more than one plane change, if one flight is delayed, you can miss the next one. i looked at getting a one day pass at an airline club with a shower. these are not open 24 hours, so it didn't make sense to be able to use it only for 2 hours for the sake of taking a shower. for a little additional, a room at a hotel near the airport seemed like a good option. i used one travel site. as i was checking out, the final step was what appeared to be a window within a window, in which i was to log in to the bank account with a passcode entry. i think in retrospect, all it wanted was the pin. but i envisioned that it wanted my passcode for the bank account so i high tailed it to a different travel site where i selected the same hotel at the same price. there i wasn't given this electronic request for a passcode. who would really want to enter secret passcodes through the internet? okay, here is a peek into what i may be posting in the next few days. cheers.

guidelines for FB in the popular press

there was an article in the popular press on guidelines to keeping your information in Facebook as private as possible. Here is the link. basically the summary is that some of your information may be viewable by everyone; your list of friends may also be public; you can hide from web searches; quizzes and games gives access to the application to your profile information, and to that of your friends. the article recommends that you customize your friends and groups. i grew a bit weary of having homework for what is supposed to be a social network.

12/16/09

pincha luminary family


Seven Petal Lotus and Springy Sitarist took a closer look at my practice yesterday. i practiced a few asanas as if i was in their rooms. i thought i would outsmart my fear of falling from Pincha Mayurasana in the middle of the room. so i placed the travel mat folded at the edge of the mat to give me extra grip. i though i had seen a luminary yogi do that. it didn't work for me so i defaulted to the usual way, against the wall or door. i'm getting ready to travel home for the holidays. that's a movie title. i read it somewhere. it will be nice to see my family; there may be some drama because people are struggling. yoga, meditation and calorie restriction help.

12/15/09

stuff life incense


my practice is humble this week. can't be showing the inspiring stuff Grimmly is showing. long hours. i'm grateful for my work and life in China. my next pictures set will be on Cambodia. thanks for the thoughts on FB privacy. i selected friends only, and opted that the FB profile not show up in search engine searches. today we did a memorial service in our office in honor of one of the founders who died last year. we placed roses in a vase and lit incense. he was young. life is sometimes fragile, sometimes strong.

12/14/09

enlightenator OM pendant

i love Yoga Dawg's 2009 holiday gift guide. i want an enlightenator.
my colleague in San Francisco sells a beautiful OM pendant. it doesn't chant OM like YogaDawg's, but it's shiny stirling silver. i know; i have one and i helped her set up her online store. i think the site is working. if you order one, i will get blessings of gratitude and good karma points, that's all.

12/12/09

hangback FB farm

after our group meditation yesterday, i went to the big mall with lots of high quality fakes and made some Xmas shopping. it's called Pearls and on the jewelry floor you can find real pearls next to imitations ones. most of the customers where westerners. for some reason i did not want to speak English. well ,the reason was that i was in bargaining mode, which you have to be in when you visit there. this is not something i am culturally accustomed to but have learned to do here. the only places i don't bargain are at grocery stores, large department stores and at my tea supplier. so i asked my questions, complained about the high prices and requested discounts in Chinese. later i went to a spa for a massage but stayed too long in the sauna. that was dehydrating. yin practice this morning. i was trying to see how far back i would reach in the hangback. not very.


how are people dealing with the new privacy requirements of FB? i have read that rather than protecting the individual's personal information, it makes it worse. if any person in your group joins a cause it apparently shows up in your page. recently, i have had the strangest messages, such as that i recommended a work at home program, which i didn't, or that i was playing the farm game, which i am not. if someone in your list is joining a cause or visits a site, it shows up in your page.

12/11/09

shopping street in YangShuo

during our site visits, we often took motorcycle driven carryalls. depending on the whether you were on paved roads or dirt roads, a ride on one of them could be an amusement park ride. the ride to the restaurant during the float down the river was on an unpaved road, so we were tossed, heaved and hoed along vegetable fields. in town on paved roads, you still had to hang on tight to not fall. near our hotel in YangShuo was an inmense internet cafe. i forgot the passwords of my internet account during the first visit but on my second visit i was able to speak with my mom. afterwards we went to a bar and sampled the local beer, which was sweet. i'm not sure that for me that was the best idea because it caused disruption in my digestion that lasted five days. so now i tend to avoid all alcohol when traveling. on the last few hours before departing, we walked around the shopping streets of YangShuo. I found a beautiful silk scarf for my sister.

farmers market in YangShuo

Napper asked me to take pictures of vegetable and fruit stands in South China during my holiday. i kept out on the look for them. on the last afternoon in YangShuo, while walking to the ATM, i came across the local market where the farmers bring their produce. it was inmense. it must be where local residents and restaurant owners shop. i could not use flash because it attracted attention and bothered the stall owners. so the photos are a bit dark. there is a lot of artistry in how these vegetables and fruits are displayed. thanks, Napper for asking me to take these pictures; the arrangements are beautiful.

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