3/31/11


i completed the supine asanas of VK this morning. i fell to one side when in the twists of some of the unusual poses. the final poses of this sequence are part of the typical closing sequence of ashtanga. Bamboo Knight is due back from Mysore via Singapore in a few weeks. maybe i should practice Primary at his shala on Sundays, and continue with my home practice during the week.

3/30/11

bike practice supine

as i was parking my bike yesterday, the one next to mine tipped over. when i righted it, a piece of fender broke off. in the office i typed up a note in english and chinese to the owner, offering to pay for the broken piece, giving my phone number. when i came back to leave the note, the driver was gone. i'm sorry about that.
today i did a short practice of supine poses.

3/29/11

supine brilliance show

today, i practiced the lying down, supine sequence of asanas of VK. i'm not lying. tomorrow i will have to continue it because it's a long sequence, then follow it with inversion asanas. the following day maybe seated poses. from the supine to the seated there's but a few days. this practice makes you appreciate the brilliance of ashtanga, because you see what all the movements in ashtanga are doing, except you are practicing it in slow motion.

Grimmly's review of the five volume Iyengar DVD, where the master screams and cajoles his senior teachers reminds me of the humbling i passed through when i went to a class with an old Iyengar teacher. not much practice occured then, but a lot of discussion around a few asanas during an hour and a half.  "no, no, no, no, no! (emphasis on the fifth no)","you're doing it wrong!" "come down!; you're going to hurt yourself." "don't go that far." - things like this when i would be doing a simple baby drop back against the wall, or a simple body twist. the slowness wasn't always present. when the administrator of the program was present; then there were a LOT of asanas handed out, just for the show. Below, Guanyin sculpture in a cave.

Savasana complete ceilings

my pratice this morning was Savasana. when you complete Savasana, you typically see ceilings. the ceiling i saw this morning was that of my practice tent, simpler than this ceiling of Tokyo Forum, which i suppose you would see if you did Savasana there on the carpet.

3/28/11

triangle stoicism concerns

i practiced the triangle sequence of VK this morning. i reflected on how i feel rather stoic lately. i'm remembering that in 2002 i worked in a large US firm and once received a book the stoic philosopy of Cicero as a gift. one of the founders of the firm admired Cicero so he wrote a book on how stoicism applied to contemporary life. he published it privately, gave copies to his family and colleagues. although the author had passed away,  i received a copy from the person in charge of his estate, after i expressed interest in reading it. life and work here in China make me feel stoic at times. i sometimes don't get wrapped up in emotions that arise from difficulties. but it does not mean i am free of concerns. image reblogged from yogadudes.

3/26/11

meditative sequence concept

today i did the meditative sequence of Vinyasa Krama, which includes the dreaded or respected (depending how you look at it) Kapotasana. why is Kapo in the meditative sequence? there's a concept to meditate on. 

so far this week, then, i did  the Tadasana sequence on sunday, the asymetric sequence (left side) on wednesday, the asymetric sequence (right side) on thursday, the bow sequence on friday and today the meditative one. next one should be the triangle sequence. any other practices not reported where faffing variations of  yin yoga.

3/24/11

samsaras ping expressionism

yoga burns the samsaras of life.

i did the bow sequence of Vinyasa Krama today . I'm not sure how one would get into Viparita Salabasana othere than by flexibility and strength. I mean, what is a modification for this pose?

in other news, a 150-meter tall hotel in the shape of a ping pong racket and ball is in design for Huainan city, in eastern China. You can read about it here, where the image is from and which shows more images of the complex, with buildings shaped like sports balls.

it's the same city of this community center in the shape of a piano and violin. what are these types of architectures called? realistic expressionism?

3/23/11

asymetrical asana Elsie

i did the left legged asymetrical series of VK today. it was  humbling that i had to use a strap to bind in Ardha Padmasana. i can bind on my own on the right side but not on the left. some ligaments on the left leg make loud noises when i bend it to do the pose. it's not painful but the noises are off-putting and it would be forceful to try to do the fullest expression of the asana. sometimes i think, oh, this noise is due to the fact i haven't bent the leg in, what? 24 hours? but it's weird.
that last word makes me think of this unusual article from which this funny photoshopped image of Elsie the cow comes from.

blog spammers shady

blog spammers are getting more sophisticated to get past blogger's spam filters. someone with a realistic sounding name leaves a reasonably sounding comment. the spammer has already created a blogger account. you wonder who the commenter is, so you click on the name to see check out the profile. when you click, it links to the website the spammer wants you to see. the intent of the "comment" is to direct readers to see a website selling a product or service. shady. if i continue to get these innane comments i may decide to put full moderation on my blog, something i have hesitated to do because i would only be able to control which comments pass once daily. i'm going to check out how many in the cybershala have set up full moderation in their blogs and if the number is a good one, i may opt to do the same.

the giant Buddha of Leshan under heavy fog

3/22/11

asymetric limited doing

today i did the asymmetric series of VK, uring the book and Grimmly's cheat sheet as reference. i only had an hour so i was not sure what to start with. so i did my usual warmups and a couple of Suryas then started with the right leg asanas. the most difficult to get into was Vashistasana and, who am i kidding, Akarna Danursana, where one brings the right toes to the ears with the right hand, while the left hand grabs the toes of the left leg. given my limited time, this means i'll have to do the left leg sequence tomorrow. will this make me right brained-thinking today, left brained-thinking tomorrow? anyhow, it was fun, sort of like doing one legged Primary and Intermediate in one go.

image from Leshan. Update: while at the office, my left back feels tender after practice. will my right back feel tender tomorrow? will Mia's cat screech louder than Cici's tomorrow? it's a cliffhanger of a developing story.

3/21/11

JDS mountain tower


I listened to Julien de Smedt give a lecture yesterday at the University of Hong Kong faculty of Architecture, Shanghai Studio. I was familiar with his firm's inventive housing in the shape of a mountain, designed in collaboration with BIG, located on a flat site in Copenhagen. These three pictures of the project are from this site.



In Shenzhen, China, JDS proposed a tower with turbines, an eco-city within a giant building. The architect mentioned that the project originally called for a tower 666m in height, later increased to 888m high, and later increased to 1111m high. These images are located here.

My colleague commented that most in the audience might have been students; I certainly felt in my 50s. I was energized by the talk. The architectural forms of JDS' work is inventive. The design methodology is creative. The graphics used to explain design intent are very clear. A picture of the architect.

3/20/11

oops moon yogi

oops, i didn't celebrate moon day. must be a good yogi. back to sleep. that's faffing on a grand scale. Image from this source.

3/19/11

buzz receipts variations

for my practice today i did the VK on your feet sequence. i didn't expect to get a buzz but i did.

i wonder if 16 years of college education prepared me for the amount of studying i do now, including 12 hours of mandarin, professional skills training, studying for certifications, daily yoga study. you'd think i was a PhD candidate.

am i going to have to pull out an all nighter to finish inputting my receipts into the computer in order to complete my taxes? i have about 1000 receipts to go through and have completed going through maybe 200.

but i digress. back to practice. doing dropback practice within the standing sequence was difficult. the interesting thing was feeling the balance of strength shifting to the legs, the thighs specifically in order to give them power to bring me back up. next there was the utkatassana variations. so like the Bach variations, but this one physical.

what time is it? do  i need to close? i would not have been a good shala mate in a studio today. i was gassy. being gassy during utkatasana variations is not a good thing. but maybe that is why Ramaswami says that the utkatasana poses are good for the colon. maybe there's some wind expelling? image from this source. hey, i read the brand speedo. so popular in Australia. but i don't know what is happening with my writing lately. there are a lot of words expelled.

3/18/11

connection super sponsor

i'm having internet access problems at home, which means can't read fellow bloggers sites or make funny faces in the book until i find new means. woohoo. so i'm waiting for the solution to that. and, while on break from a workshop this morning, i was talking to a colleague, both of us standing at the new, on loan, super duper Italian expresso machine. the one we don't have instructions on how to use. the machine instructed us to put water in the tank. i, while talking, put water in a tank. but it was the coffee bean tank. the wrong one to receive water. this was becoming like a nightmare, trying to understand the machine. both of us laughed. luckily the water came out another end and i took it out. now the machine asked for coffee beans. but they were none. it also asked for milk. but it's Saturday, so the milk is locked. haha. after my episode i pushed the "make coffee" button and it made a watery cup. i guess i washed beans during my interlude! have a nice Saturday and go sponsor your local coffee shop. Image credit.


3/17/11

short practice pada

short good practice focused on Eka Pada Sirsasana.

thank google translation

How does one thank Google for making one's life easier? The translation tool now has a feature that lets you select other alternative translations beyond the first one the program does. Why is this useful? Because I'm usually translating from English to Chinese and the first translation typically uses words that I have not learned yet. But by having a choice of different words, I can find other words and find one that I can recognize. Therefore I understand and can construct my sentences with more confidence. Thanks Google people.

3/16/11

humble smiling jim

today my humble practice was inspired by Smiling Jim, a former shalamate in San Francisco, who is gracing New York these days with his happy character. he used to do a hybrid practice where he only concentrated on chest opening asanas. i fantasized i could drop back to the floor, cold, so i did mini dropback practices. i did Ustrasana and Laghuvajrasana and Pincha Mayurasana. i received a medal for an unusual mix.

3/15/11

two different salutations

two days; two different practices. yesterday, it was warmer. i did many poses. today it's colder. i only did sun salutations.

phone message whispers

after thinking i was being bright in a comment in Claudia's blog, i realized the message i received on my phone today was a hoax. this is excerpted from Shanghai City Weekend and was mentioned in Shanghaiist blog.

If you have received the following message from an unknown phone number, don't forward it again to anyone. It's believed to be a hoax.

BBC FLASHNEWS: Japan government confirms radiation leak at Fukushima nuclear plants. Asia countries should take necessary precautions. If rain comes, remain indoors first 24hrs. Close doors & windows. Swab neck skin with betadine where thyroid area is, radiation hits thyroid first. Take extra precautions. Radiation may hit Phil at starting 4pm today. Pls send to your loved ones.

This message is now circulating in several Asia countries via SMS, Twitter and Facebook. The fraudulent message has even had the power of shutting down schools and businesses in the Philippines.

Have you received this text message in the last 24 hours?
To learn more about the nuclear threat in Japan, check out this ABC interview with one world's foremost experts on nuclear power, Richard Lester. Or take a look at this legitimate BBC article, which shows what is happening in the Fukushima plant in graphics.
the person who passed me the message is a trustred friend, who fell for it as well, in a Chinese whispers sort of way.

3/14/11

crazy legs connecting

crazy. all this talk about ascetic babis, naked Jain saints who eat only once a day and do yoga, Richard Simmons demonstrating legs behind the head poses, the legacy of Krisnamachyara - you name it - all this had me connecting to the breath today during my humble yoga hour.

3/12/11

friends oven bread

last night my friends TL & XY invited me to join them to dinner at the home of their friends. the husband is Italian from a small island off the coast of Napoli..
they have an oven in their kitchen, something rare in a Chinese home.
so they made fresh sour dough bread with which they served bruschetta.

we played cards afterwards.

i went to bed later than my usual so this morning i meditated and now i am preparing for my Mandarin lessons of the day, whilst taking a blog break.
Photo credit.

3/11/11

visit to manufacturer of building cladding material

Yesterday we had the wonderful opportunity to visit the manufacturing plant of E-Grow, a maker of advanced materials for building cladding using fiber reinforced polymers and fiber reinforced gypsum. The founder, who is trained as an architect, gave us a presentation on the buildings in which his products have been installed.

This is the reception and meeting area.



This light fixture was designed by Zaha Hadid. We saw a presentation on their work for the new Guangzhou Opera House by Zaha, for which they clad the entire 5,500 square meter interior with custom panels of glass reinforced gypsum over the walls and ceiling. Here are pictures of the finished project from the manufacturer's website. The project is also discussed in ArchDaily.




Celebrating at the opening party:
For this project the factory operated three shifts 24 hours a day, running twelve CNC machines that created fifty panels a day. Because of the sinuous shape of the design, no two panels are alike. The project was completed and installed in five months.


E-Grow uses an innovative and patented method of casting molds of wax. For the Guangzhou project they created three custom molds per day. Here are pictures of the machines creating custom molds in which casts will later be made.

The residue of the mold-making process is wax, which is environmentally safe. It can be reused in new molds, so there is virtually no waste in the process.

A finished glass fiber reinforced plaster panel from a new project in construction.

The owner showed us the process of casting with fiber and gypsum plaster. We were also introduced to the use of the company's products in exterior cladding, such as for Thom Mayne of Morphosis' project of the Giant Interactive Group campus in Shanghai. It is located in Songjiang, in the same area the plant is located. There is an interesting description about the creation of this new campus in this article. Here are some pictures from that article.

The company created the custom rounded columns seen in these pictures, taken by photographer Iwan Baan.



The conference room in the executive suite has a glass floor. That is unusual, but I digress.

For the MOCA installation in Shanghai, E-Grow has cleated these leaf-like metal ceiling panels.


In Wuxi, the company is creating interior cladding for the Lingshan Buddhist Scenic spot. The design institute ECADI is the architect.


For transportation, the panels are divided into four pieces and assembled in site. Here are some pictures of the finished ceiling from E-Grow's website:



Next we toured the control room of the CNC machines and the design studio.

The company has a plant for manufacturing of metal panels used in interior and exterior applications. For the United Arab Emirates pavilion of Expo designed by architect Norm Foster, E-Grow shaped the Rimex roof panels. Here is a picture of the installation:


Samples of metals used and a panel in construction:


A worker finishing parts for a glass railing for an airport metro stop.

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