after getting ready for yoga today i practiced Savasana one hour. it's not something i do often, but i felt dizzy when i woke up. in the calorie restriction list there was a question from someone new to CR whether it was normal to experience dizziness after having reached a low BMI. the condition of feeling dizzy when getting up from a chair, a bed, etc, has a name - hypo something; not -condriac. i'll have to look it up and edit this entry later, haha. it's hypotension, "orthostatic hypotension". he was advised to slow down his CR practice (not reduce calories so fast). i don't experience dizzinesss, but yesterday i ate only 1200 calories, compared to my usual 1800 to 1900 and this might have caused the dizziness. the undereating was caused by going to the event last night, where there was no food, and eating little and very late when getting home. i understand why the fellow architect passed out during the event last night.
i did a short yoga practice this morning so i could get to the office early, so i could leave on time to go to this event. Edit: google maps located the address six blocks from the actual location. so i walked a lot to get to it. it was well attended, but the venue location was tiny. i bumped into friends and met some new ones. the event had side events - someone at the start gave loud directions telling the speaker to adjust the screen, saying, "we are professionals here", then proceeded to spend time chatting with another person during the presentation. the speaker interjected later, "i am a professional also (he's an architect, landscape architect and photographer) and understand why it was pointed out that the screen was not properly adjusted." someone fainted. i wanted to pass out myself - it was nearly 8:00pm and there was no food. as the fellow architect who passed out was being carried out of the venue and an ambulance was being called, i skedaddled. oh, the talk? it was about the speaker's new book, which investigates eco-lodges. that was fascinating, and the photos of the locations in pristine areas - of lodges that don't disrupt nature - was stupendous.
now for my yoga dish. i took my time getting into Pasasana on Friday. i used a prop on the feet. today, sunday, i again gave myself time but did not use a prop. i remember that here in Asia they just want you to squat and do it. the position. my intent was practicing Intermediate today. i tried to control the mind, but the mind had other plans. boy, it resolved a lot of problems during the reveries, i mean distractions. so i didn't get too many asanas done, finishing at Danurasana.
a thought coming to mind recently during practices is that asana means comfortable seat. so i'm trying to find the comfort zone in an asana. most positions require effort to get into them, but once you're in the position, it should feel comfortable. i thought about that as i pushed up in upward bow.
i'm about a third of the way in editing pictures from my last trip. my delay in posting pictures from one of my trips stands at about two months now. so not having pictures ready about that to post, here is one from a while back, cousins and friends comparing shoes. haha.
Last night i was invited to Two Cities Gallery to hear jazz pianist Steve Sweeting and singer Heidi Krenn present a program titled "Composers at the Crossroads", on the music of 20th century German-Jewish composer Kurt Weill. I was familiar with two tunes, including his classic, "Mack the Knife". I obtained Steve's permission to take a photo without flash, but the camera battery went cataput. The setting would have looked like this one, from this jazz music blog. the photo of Kurt Weill is from this page on his life.
Here is a photo of Heidi Krenn from this source. An Austrian who won a Fulbright award to study in New York, Heidi is a jazz vocalist capable of handling sophisticated harmonies.
Yesterday my braces were taken out. I look forward to eating warnuts and almonds again, which I gave up for a year and a half since they would stick in the braces. Maybe i can kick the peanut butter habit now. Today, "I 'aint goin' dancin" like I did the last two weeks. Preparing taxes beckons. Here's my new smile. How is that for a face picture? I know, I look like the spitting image of my cousin the froggie:
You have a nice day now, you hear?
My friend T, who recently went to Tibet, sent me a link to the website of Thai architect Suriya Umpansiriratana. Suriya is an architect whose website showcases designs of religious architecture - buildings in a Buddhist monastery in Thailand. The work feature includes monk's cells, classroom, meditation hall, scripture hall and museum space. The architecture is sustainable, contemporary, simple, elegant, functional and peaceful. The setting is tropical, so the buildings are very open. You can visit the site for more information on the projects. Suriya gave me permission to post these pictures, which are from the website.
i received my new wide angle lens. my camera only allows 10 second delay in self-timing, so it might be difficult to push the picture taking button then get into a full expression of an asana in 10 seconds. we'll see.
so i tried the new lens on the views from our office windows. nice angles.
this is a new expat experience illustrating a process that is necessary. during Expo banking rules were relaxed. you could exchange local money to your country's currency without needing to present a lot of documents. presently the earlier rules apply. so in order to pay bills in my home country and fund my retirement account, i need to change my salary into US dollars. my salary is paid in one bank. i requested it in cash, which meant i was given five and a half big bricks. that felt as if i was running a retail store and needed to fill the cash registers. I then walked it to my bank next door, deposited it and started the conversion process. i showed up to the bank with my passport, my work permit, labor contract, pay stubs and tax statements showing that tax was paid on the income earned. when all of those documents were copied and the money counted, the money was exchanged. there is a limit to the amount that can be exchanged yearly, currently set around 65k. the whole process took about an hour and a half and needed be done during working hours. after the money was converted, it was ready for transfering. i usually do this in the internet to limit fees. this week i forgot my account password, so i needed to reset it. it takes about one week for the password reset, so i must wait.
i practiced poses from the second half of Primary today. chanting quietly the loving kindness meditation that Grimmly wrote about helped. "may you be happy; may you be safe; may you be well; may you be peaceful." i added, "may you be healthy." my CRON practices are going backwards, so i need to eat more carefully.
image from this source. i think this image is saying that CR increases metabolism, improves sensitivy to insulin and induces longevity.
the yoga tent was warm enough today that i tried practicing in a Speedo, hot yoga style. it was strange in that it made me want to flow through the movements seamlessly as if i was swimming. it also made me feel like a sexy thang, which i don't think it's appropriate during practice. well at least i could notice if my udhyana bhanda was engaged. another reaction was that i wanted to make the poses appear beautiful and i had enough strength to do jump throughs correctly, although not every time. i did primary, which at my current speed means half of primary. my left leg is still gimpy; therefore some binding poses on the left side are still not possible. i'm receiving a wide angle lens this week, but photographing my asana renditions wearing a Speedo is out of the question. in any case, i know two authorized teachers who do their own practice wearing them. and if you go far back enough in history, sadhus practiced in loincloths.
How to write about this without saying too much? So i went back to the dance place I went to last week. I arrived on time so I decided to walk around the neighborhood. It is a typical Shanghainese neighborhood where vendors bring everything imaginable to the street so you can do your groceries. I felt self conscious at sticking out as a foreigner. But then I'm just a human being in a different culture. I almost walked back to the metro station to go home. Anyhow I went inside the place and started looking at the dancers. One energetic seventy year old man twirled an energetic forty year old girl who jumped doubly fast around him. Very cute. I found my partner of last week, a girl six years younger than I and one and a half times wider. When she hugged me while dancing it was like hugging Miss Piggy. Sometimes her belly would just bounce off me. I think she was asking me where I wanted to go afterwards. I'm not sure since it was mentioned too quickly. She complained when I danced a ballad with another girl I met last week. This one had just sang along with the band. It's a place you can do that if you want. Anyhow I learned the jitterbug and rumba steps of my dance partner. The ironic thing is that when I tried to dance a waltz with either one I misstepped a lot. This should be the easiest dance for me- the first one I ever learned. But here they do three steps, switch the direction of the pelvis and go another three, and switch again. It's almost like a tango, not a waltz. So at the end I said goodbye and headed home. Maybe my cousin Heriberto may have been right when he said that I liked white rice too much. He knew I dated a Chinese three years when I lived in Miami. Haha. On the way home in the metro I met some Mexican girls and gave them my card so I could introduce them to my Mexican colleague. He can take them to dance salsa, but not to my place.
This is my new Guanyin statue. I was always on the lookout for one. In an ebony museum in Emeishan Village I saw one I liked, but it was outside my price range. Then at the top of Emeishan, at the shop next to the temple, I found this beautiful ceramic one within my price range. Guanyin is holding the lotus leaves that she dips in water and sprinkles around to bless people.
It came in a beautiful box.
I love the sweet expression on her face.
i bought a Chinese cough medicine containing natural ingredients. the cough symptoms are disappearing and i feel better. the flatmate's guest took off. i felt relieved. the guest was no bother; a very considerate person. it was just the thought that a guest was staying a long time that made my mind churn since foreigners come on visas of one or two months duration. i noticed the flatmate bought a lot of guest toothbrushes. haha. he's planning to invite people again, i gather? i'll have to learn to control the mind. i wonder if i should step into a hot yoga room tomorrow or show up at my shala on Sunday to kick start my practice again. Green Giant would be there.
During the Chinese New Year holiday, my colleague Michael Bingham and his girlfriend Tress went to Harbin, the capital of Heilongjiang in northeast China. There they visited the famous International Ice and Snow Festival, held since 1963. They enjoyed a lot of games on the ice. They later traveled to Yabuli Ski Resort, China's largest ski resort and skied. Here they share their photos.
I'm an architect, originally from Puerto Rico, living and working in Shanghai, China. I practice ashtanga yoga and Buddhist meditation. I also observe calorie restriction while seeking optimal nutrition (CRON).