4/30/11

visit knee moment

since i have a guest coming to visit, i thought i would not be able to practice this morning. but my friend took a later train, so i had two extra hours this morning. i continued with the asymmetric sequence of VK. last sunday i did the full primary. i didn't complain in my blog about it, but my left knee hurt very much the day after and i was limping at work for four days. the next time i do that sequence, i will need to modify and not attempt the full expression of binding asanas. the VK routines feel healing. i can't jump on the ashtanga bandwagon. this is how my body is acting at the moment.

4/29/11

asymmetrical highlights daisy

i continued with the asymmetrical sequence of the right leg poses of VK this morning. i also watched Grimmly's revved up video of the same.

for my friends in the UK, i watched the highlights of the royal wedding on BBC perfectly, without glitch, despite slow internet connection and net nannies. very happy moments shown.

Daisy will be visiting from Henan this weekend for our labour day. there will be dancing and maybe romancing.

4/28/11

supine track full

today's practice was the supine asanas of VK, for the right leg. my practice has taken an hour recently and the first half hour consists of warmpup poses - bhanda warmup, pranayama, chanting, hip opening asanas, gomukasana, chest opening dropbacks, surya namaskaras. that leaves half an hour for the poses of that day, wherever i left off the day before.

weight has crept up on me. i need to once again track what i'm eating with the COM software. i asked the nutrition list suggestions on how to prepare food with my new anticipated longer-hour schedule. my friend in Japan responded. to practice CR correctly, i should only be eating at breakfast and lunch. i remember that means having some fruit at night, what Grimmly is doing now. that means eating a low calorie filler (guar gum puddings) twice a day. i have only been consuming one at breakfast. i will take the mixes with me and have one after lunch, to keep me full. i don't take easily to feeling hungry. the fillers help my CR. learning is remembering, in my case remembering what worked in the past.

4/27/11

seated tea cup

i practiced the supine, or seated poses of the right hand side of the body of Vinyasa Krama this morning. it will take a few days to complete the sequence for both sides of the body.

in the picture, someone is demonstrating extreme tea service, where water is dripping from the can into a tea cup. it's from a visit to a tea factory in Leshan.

yesterday feels owl-style


yesterday was my colleague N's last day at the office. (psst. i'm the same age as her dad.)

N. and K.

typically when someone leaves, the whole group gets together to go to lunch

sometimes, the colleague treats everyone to cakes. these are 12 different kinds

then they go around the office taking remembrance photos with everyone. next friday it's my turn. people grow on me. i'm grateful to having worked in a great company and to be transitioning to another great one. ... my writing feels owl-style.

4/25/11

sequence pose beautiful

i did the Tadasana sequence today up to Pasasana, or Noose pose. my mind was quiet. the practice was beautiful.

4/24/11

warmup knee prickly

i did a short practice of warmup poses. i was sore from yesterday's Primary at home. my left knee hurts. i plan to resume the VK during the week. shout out to Noble - if your right knee is hurting, doing Second Series might not agravate it; the binding poses of Primary are more likely to challenge knee issues than Second Series poses. at least that is my experience. prickly thing, this practice is sometimes. photo by Victor G.

4/23/11

primary standing ebony

i did the full primary this morning, clocking at 2 hours, including Savasana, and excluding any warmup poses. i could not feel my legs while standing preparing breakfast afterwards. i could feel my shoulders. binding in Marichyasana D was not possible. the closing poses where possible in the entirety of their expression.
sculptures at an ebony museum.

optical bending twisting

i kept looking at this photo to see if there was an optical illusion going on. it's not Titibasana, for which forward bending would have been sufficient. he's bending and twisting. i don't know what it's called. i reblogged it from yogadudes.

edit. i don't think it's photoshopped. it's probably someone blessed with a lot of flexibility - or a contortionist expert. below is his Titibasana C, from this flickr page.

4/22/11

architecture derived from mathematical formulas

i recently attended a lecture by architect George Legendre at the Hong Kong University's Shanghai Study Centre. Legendre is a design and technology professor at the Graduate School of Design of Harvard and founded IJP Architects in London. He topic of his presentation was "IJP Explained: Mathematics in Practice." All of his designs are derived from mathematical formulas.


a bayside exhibition center


work for a sculptor


a bridge in Singapore, completed

a pavillion

submittal for the ThyssenKrupp Elevator competition in Dubai, 2009. friends of mine and i also entered this competition.

a museum design

feet concept today

i did the Tadasana, on your feet asanas, of VK this morning. i viewed one of Grimmly's videos, the one speeded up 4 times on the supine sequence, in its entirety livestream. that's worthy of a journal entry, given the slow access to the internet at home. picture of a concept model. the graphic presented and my subject are not related today. life feels that way sometimes. (edit. there was some connection between the graphic and my life on saturday. i communicated via email that day with the architect who made the model. we made plans to get together soon.)

4/21/11

fun photos


the photo booth gives you these fun photos for free after giving you the ones you need for attaching to forms. yo, Steve, i like your products.

4/20/11

schedule training outlook

i've had schedule creep this week, each day being longer at work. yesterday was packed with morning work, lunch workshop co-hosted by me, afternoon work, evening training. last night as i dozed, my flatmate was conducting a business meeting up to 11pm. i'm sleepy this morning so i only meditated. let's see what happens to my life with the schedule of a new job. the training last night was on communicating effectively through graphics.

i've been unsubscribing from the email lists of a lot of companies, none of which i subscribed to in the first place. it is hard to handle so much email. i don't erase old emails i consider important, although with outlook i can save it in the disk drive.

4/19/11

lotus experiences snow


completed the lotus sequence of VK today. feel more like reblogging other's yoga experiences, such as this picture from yogadudes. what the dude is doing seems like a bit safer than what Yyogini reported doing in her post about smashing into a tree while snow boarding. hehe. oops, don't mean to laugh. please be careful. by the way, regarding all of you watching the livestreaming of Sharath's led class from NYC- i tried watching. it's only possible viewing in these parts with a commercial grade connection and proxy server, which only large companies have. internet available domestically is slow.

4/18/11

binding earplugs quacked

i continued with the lotus bound feet asanas of VK this morning. bending and binding my left foot has issues. yet it felt great to do these asanas. the movements had healing powers. a friend and former colleague is visiting China. she is bringing me 100 pair of new ear plugs. and speaking of earplugs, i was dreaming this morning that i had a cat who invited a duck and some chickens to live with us. as the duck quacked, i took it to the patio. the quacking noise i heard was the alarm in my mobile phone. i had turned the volume down and it sounded like an animal to me sleeping with ear plugs.

4/17/11

observing early ebony


i am observing the moon day, not doing asanas, but a little meditation. my motivation, in part, is that i have to get to the office early to finish two drawings. an ebony Guanyin statue; looks like the moon lady.

4/16/11

alarm lotus dancer


the alarm clock didn't go off this morning. practice was short. i needed to get ready for my Chinese lessons. my intention was to continue the lotus poses from VK i did not complete yesterday, plus the last few inversions i missed on thursday, such as kukkutasana. i can attempt them tomorrow. i once again went dancing last night. there was a tall girl on holiday from Finland in the crowd. she was popular; a good dancer who spoke Chinese fluently. i danced twice with her, asking her to help me since i'm just learning. what made her so adept with the language? "give me a few more years", i thought to myself, "and i'll be as fluent..." (and more experienced at the dancing as well.)

Eco-lodge in Tibet


During their bike trip to Tibet, my friends TL&XY stayed in this family run lodge.

The restaurant has warm interiors with intricately painted wood.

The back gives to areas where crops are grown. The little protrusions on the third story of the building are the bathrooms. Nothing goes to waste.

From the bathroom, human waste goes directly to the vegetable path below, fertilizing it. The vegetables are fed to the pigs, which feed the humans later. These sustainable practices are found in eco lodges in remote areas of the world as well.

4/15/11

lotus analog ride

today i practiced the lotus poses of VK. the practice lasted 2 hours; it's saturday. there is a website that helped me keep track of the time during practice. i notice that it was easier for me to know how much time had passed when looking at the analog clock than when looking at the digital clock. the graphic illustration of time rather than digital numbers made my brain process the time quicker.

yesterday there wasn't a taxi available to take me to the neighborhood of the lady i needed to visit, then one that ran into my bike yesterday. a motorcycle driver offered me a ride. we got lost a few times and asked directions. finally he took me up to the door of the lady's apartment, deep inside a low-rise residential complex. i met with her, paying her medical checkup. she was fine; a bit sore on the side of her body. i made moves to give her a hug as i left, which a Chinese lady in her 70s would not expect from a foreigner. she pat my shoulders. the driver took me to my office. i paid him more than i would have paid a taxi, but i was able to do things quickly, with a lot of help.

4/14/11

intersection green examination

yesterday at an intersection a woman and her mother in law crossed the street at a red light as i was turning left at a green light. the older lady ran into my bike. i gave her my card and suggested she check with a doctor and call me later. i received news later that she was fine. i am going this morning to her home to pay for the doctor's examination. with so many people and vehicles it's difficult to maneuver a bike around here. i will be transitioning to a new job in may and will not be needing the bike to get to work. the metro reaches the destination.

4/13/11

propioception tutor daily

my propioception during practice has been higher, making me aware of what the muscles are doing during practice. the shadow cast by my body on the mat looked interesting this morning. i continued with the inversions asanas of VK today. i said yesterday that the inversions did not look difficult. wrong. the first ones aren't, but when you lower to viparita dandasana from shoulder stand, it summons a lot of fear. i placed a chair in front of the mat to crash into. i didn't get that far. the pose where you ring around the mat clockwise while inverted?  next.

regarding haircuts, i was told by my tutor last year to not say "i want long hair" because that is what girls say. I battled with stylists for two years, avoiding those words. my litany of instructions included, "don't cut too much; cut a little; do it like in this picture." yesterday i was prepared to say, "don't give me a crew cut."  that is close to what i always get. yesterday i did not care if the stylist thought i was being girlish and said, "i prefer long hair". i showed her the chinese characters for long hair. "cut only a little?" she asked? "yes, i don't want it so short." i have a normal haircut today. i'll cheer along with the arhat.

on another subject - i normally get about 100 readers daily. when i post my pictures of travels, the readership increases to about 150 readers daily. when i wrote about when to eat in relationship to yoga practice, the hits went to over 240. the topic must resonate with many.

4/12/11

warm series breakfast

it's warm now in the yoga tent, so without the many layers of clothes i wore during the cold months, i could observe the udhyana banda while doing the "wake up the bandas" routine during warmups. i learned them from David Williams. it involves expanding and contracting the bandas like a basketball, after an exhale. today i worked on the inversions asanas of VK, doing half of the poses in the series because there are many. Ramaswami writes that experts spend a half hour to up to an hour in headstands. heh. well, seeing that the sequence took an hour, i spent that long upside down. it felt like a lot of physical effort, although it's not that difficult.

breakfast report: thanks all for your suggestions; i will proceed to answer your comments. i only had some tea, half a cup of warm soy milk and four berries when i work up at 5:00. practice started at 6:00 and it was comfortable and focused. i had breakfast afterwards. picture of arhats at an ebony museum, like a council of sages, much like the cybershala.

eating breakfast in relationship to practice

question to the cybershala on eating breakfast in relationship to practice. my experience in 9 years of practice has been to wake up three hours before practice, eat breakfast then practice. that gave the body enough time to empty out the stomach. lately because of my busy schedule i wake up at 5:00, eat breakfast, then practice at 7:00. my stomach has not been happy and my bowels irritated. so i am considering following the tradition usually advised to practice at first with an empty stomach. my concern is that in the past i passed out from lack of energy and low blood sugar if i didn't put something in the stomach before practice. what is the cybershala's experience? do you eat some fruit before? some yogurt? drink coffee? i might give a try to having a little bit of fruit but otherwise be on an empty stomach and start practicing earlier, leaving time to have breakfast before going to work. my stomach has been feeling like Milos' with my current eating before practice.

4/11/11

continued squatting book

i continued with the standing leg asanas of VK today. the squatting ones with extended legs are very difficult. i had to modify the entry. to do them requires lightness of body, strength and some understanding of balance. i like following the VK book. it brings out the nerdy engineer in me.

4/10/11

one yoga foot


today i did the "on one leg yoga asanas" of VK. here is the foot of the Buddha at Leshan, with a person in the lower right, for scale.

4/9/11

chinese smiling flowers

how to say. it was a hyper social weekend. i accompanied my flatmates to the dance place where i twirled Miss Piggy, as well as "Daisy" and "Nancy". my flatmates where my chaperones. they observed i was having a lot of fun; i didn't stop dancing. i'm amazed i was able to do the Chinese Waltz. as the hall was emptying out early, one of my flatmates said, "we heard Daisy say she lives nearby and is inviting you up to her place." "really?", i asked. "do you want me to translate for you?", he asked. i caught up with Daisy on the street. then i noticed my flatmates hurried to cross the street and jump in a cab. haha. they must have heard me say i had not dated in a long time. walking with Daisy, i summoned my Chinese comprehension and speaking skills. she didn't speak a word of English. there were minutes of delay, but my brain eventually processed. this morning i'm smiling too much. not sure if i will date her; there are complications not able to mention. i should probably go out with Nancy, who speaks English, but she is young. i think i have only dated twice after living two years here. that was a lengthy explanation of why i did not practice yoga this morning. but i meditated.

here is a picture of the flowers that bloom this time of the year in Wuyuan, canola or rape seed flowers.

4/8/11

celebration experienced newlyweds


on a trip in 2009 to go hiking in Mount Hua, in Xian, i met C. and R., a French couple. we became friends. she's a fashion designer; he's an engineer who consults in sustainability. i sometimes practice zen meditation with them. R. is a musician also. he texted last week that there would be a celebration of their wedding at a restaurant today. the invitation never arrived, which i thought occurred because i have not yet learned to explain my address correctly in Chinese. i found out that the invitations did not arrive for anyone. however, i knew the location of the restaurant. i thought it was just a dinner related to one of the events surrounding the wedding. it was the dinner celebrating their civil union at the French consulate earlier in the day. i didn't know if i was under-dressed, just wearing a red sweater, black shirt and black pants, with an overcoat. but i noticed eventually, that there were people in jeans and sneakers, as well as people in coats and tie.

actually the mix in the group was unlike what i've ever experienced. we were regaled to unusual music - music played on ancient Chinese instruments; music from a handheld air-blown organ; assorted drums; guitar, digeroo, Indian instruments from Bengal; a pianola that worked like an accordion, with air being constantly placed in by opening and closing valves; thymbals; castanets, an electric sitar. an Iranian lady sang an Iranian folk son in honor of her father, then sang a Yiddish wedding song. the French sang "in the Champs d'Elysees". a Philadelphian played an Indian flute, accompanied by a group of Hare Krishnas on drums and sitar. the group sang a song to Jesus, followed by a cry, "God Bless America." and we are in China.

the venue was in a Thai Restaurant. throughout the night, the barriers of communications disappeared. i was seated in the vegetarian table, with a Pakistani couple. among us the faiths of Muslims, Christians, Jews, Buddhists and Hare Krishnas where represented. i didn't make that up. the menu started with sparkling wine and cranberry juice; white wine; soup, spring rolls, steamed asparagus, vegetables green curry, pad thai, coconut pudding. the food came out of the display kitchen, where the chef - job captain ordered about his colleagues, who scurried to prepare and serve the dishes. the coconut pudding was supposed to be divided among three people each bowl, but the chirpy sitarist said it was one for each and suggested i eat the whole bowl. he might have been hungry, but ow, my stomach. the cake was unusual - moist chocolate, fruits inside and outside of it, whipped cream frosting topped by dulce the leche. did i mention i need to maintain my calorie restriction? tomorrow. champagne to toast the newlyweds was distributed. the Hare Krishnas didn't partake in the alcohol; the music dedicated to God and the newlyweds intoxicated them.

among us where business analysts, engineers, architect, musicians, fashion design teachers, and a group of 11 French people who came for the celebrations. people from many continents and backgrounds among a small group of 40 people. i could attempt to be more literary in writing this, but it's how it's coming out. i'm writing this, i guess, mainly for my mom, since a celebration like the one i attended makes one celebrate one's parents. this ranks among the most unusual, interesting and life celebrating events i've ever experienced.
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