i enjoyed my quiet VK practice today, centered around halasana (plow pose) to paschimatanasana and ubaiya padangustasana. i'm in the middle of a storm of activity. my mind is concocting some kind of escape like Grimmly's in Wales, to do yoga in a peaceful setting. i'll settle for my own apartment this weekend. the following one i plan to visit the city of Nanjing and meet Daisy there. can you imagine the doorstep of your house being a bridge over a river?
i practiced yin yoga this morning. i have to work all weekend; "all" as in whatever time is not dedicated to doing groceries, cooking, preparing for my mandarin lessons, going to my lessons, yoga, dancing and doing laundry. in other words, a weekend with time that is difficult to maneuver, all the while feeling guilty because i'm not there helping my work mates. i think next weekend i'll go visit Nanjing to rest. those are my news. over to you Sally.
this morning i meditated. the same thing hapenned last Friday. maybe i'll catch up with yoga tomorrow. yesterday i drew the west elevation of an east bridge, while sitting facing north west. later, in my Chinese lessons, we reviewed directional words, such as in front of, across, to the left of, below, on top of. regardless of direction, everything in my life seems to be related. sleep makes sure it somehow is.
another maintenance of yoga morning. after warmup poses i did a series of Virabadrasana related poses, with a pose called Godhasana. God, that's a funny name for a pose. it's a prequel to Hanumanasana. in Hanumanasana, the leg that gives me trouble with bending in lotus poses, the left leg, was specially flexible. i was expecting the right leg to be more cooperative.
my friend with whom i like going to photograph old places.
phonus-interruptus today. practice was short. it seems as if the weekend is my main time to practice and the week is only for maintenance of some poses.
for two days i was experiencing twitching on my legs, of the type called restless leg syndrome. part of me would say it would go away, that it was fatigue from dancing. another part of me remembered that i was probably deficient in magnesium, calcium and iron in my diet. i took two multivitamins and the symptoms went away. the label on the vitamins said it was for seniors, haha. seniors apparently need everything, so everything was covered in a pill.
i did vasishtasana variations after sun salutations this morning. they are on a boat. it's not Amsterdam. it is crowded. like my thoughts.
during the summer, men here are allowed to use fans to fan themselves. not like in machismo places where fans are relegated to mantilla-wearing matrons. when dancing this past weekend, i fanned myself. the fan broke. it's that hot.
i had good overall yoga practices over the weekend. today i meditated. dancing last night with Miss Piggy, Citta and Bangbang, although only for an hour, wiped me out of energy and i needed to sleep later. Bangbang gave me instructions for the correct way to do waltz, but i could not decipher whether she said i had to go faster or slower. she works in a profession, but don't ask me which one. it's not in my vocabulary yet. those are the frustrations with the language. i may have studied a word three times in one week and still not recognize it upon hearing it, or not be able to summon it when needing to use it. for example, part of my lesson yesterday was to learn the parts of an automobile and how to say inflate the tire. on the way to my lesson, i requested that the bike repairman inflate the tires of my bicycle. i forgot the words. i resorted to pointing and miming. i remembered how to ask for oiling the gears. how long will this state of transition to a new language last?
thanks to invites from friends in yoga and calorie restriction now i've joined GooglePlus. let's see how that service grows. in FB i don't mind being asked to be someones friend. even family members have sent me invitations. it's a good way to expand one's network. what i feel funny about is the same requests in LinkedIn, which seems to be more about business than social networking. there it seems to me that you should know someone or feel a strong work, professional or interests-related connections to accept an invitation. i occasionally get invites at LinkedIn with the tag line that the person has indicated i am their friend. that just feels strange when it's the first time i read their name. there is a difference between getting an invitation from someone who says they want to be your friend, as in FB, than from someone who has never corresponded with you claiming they are your friend already, as in LinkedIn. So in LinkedIn I tend to not click away mindlessly. I wonder how all this will be different in GooglePlus. What is your experience with these services?
on personal matters, this week has been very difficult for yoga. we have been working late on a deadline, which concluded last night. this morning i can have the morning off, but i've woken up late in a daze, having to choose between eating a breakfast late or practicing yoga with a listless mind. the stomach of this calorie restricter won.
good architecture. this is reblogged from three places, yogadudes, yoganywhere, etc. the original is from SF yoga teacher, writer Mark Morford. i'm trying to remember where in the bay area there is a concrete building with light wells. Berkeley? oh, i forget, it's a yoga picture. blabbing about this was my practice today. have personal and work hot irons to deal with...
i continued with the lotus sequence of VK this morning. it's a long sequence. my practice was short but energetic. there was a talk between the psychological parts of my being and my physical one during asana practice. the body asked, fearfully, "can i do this?" when faced with a difficult pose. the body did it energetically and the mind acted surprised, with an attitude, of "why where you afraid in the first place?", or "wow, i did it."
i practiced zen meditation today, not yoga. a smoochy, huggy message from Daisy left me too distracted to practice asana. haha. it seems that my flatmate has found love too. i walked into the bathroom at 6:00am and Guerlain cologne wafted the air. so cute. as i was arriving home from dancing last night, i saw the largest teddy bear evah. it was as tall as the couple holding it. image from this source. Chinese are full of love.
yesterday's graphic was a way to disguise that i was not able to practice. i was concerned with matters related to... being a foreigner is tricky because if you are not informed and don't act in time, you make errors and then need a professional to get out of a pickle. it costs a lot to get you out of misnakes, (misspelling intended). anyhow, i act with integrity. on another subject, tomorrow i turn 55. wow.
worked a little bit more on the lotus sequence of VK. i like this photo from yogadudes. i practice this daily. there were a lot of kapotasana pictures there recently. i should start waking up 15 minutes earlier rather than 15 minutes later, so i can do more yoga. Joyeux Bastille. my ancestors on my dad's side were French.
a day off practice made me appreciate being on the mat again this morning. i need to find my way to a stronger practice, meaning, more time for practice. i'm going to bed later and waking up later. today i worked on the lotus sequence of VK but only got one of the poses in after warm up poses. a post by Nobel about yoga and blogging makes me feel self concious about what i'm writing. this is not supposed to be perfect - it's a journal about my life, which is complicated with a lot of facets. i am a yogi even if there is not a lot of asana in my life.
today i started on the lotus sequence of VK. i left the AC on, not to cool, but to remove humidity. in blogging, i disguise people's names to protect their identity. people know who i am talking about. when i talk to friends here i'm surprised about how transparent i am. very little is private. yesterday in a friend's home, the internet was 7 times as fast as in my apartment. apparently if i would subscribe to it through the telephone, it would be much faster than the service i get through the TV. watching things livestream would be a possibility. in my next apartment, i think i will order this different way of getting the internet. it's three times more expensive, though.
after dancing, as i was coming out of the metro at my station of the Shanghai Library, a car hit a small dog that crossed the street. it was suffering a lot, yelping. poor thing. another car hit it again, which probably put it out of its pain. there were guards nearby and people calling out. within one minute a policeman whisked the ailing animal away in a car. poor little soul. the quickness and kindness the city people responded was impressive.
i went to buy some groceries in the neighborhood store. i noticed they started selling moon cakes. since now i can speak some Chinese, i asked the owner of the store if we were going to have these from now until the mooncake festival. apparently so. that is about four months of cake supplied. i savored a fresh bean moon cake. as i ate i was sad for the dog and reflected that life is sometimes weird. you can lose a loved one, a pet, and yet you eat, savor the life you still have and go on. perhaps that is stoic. but it feels true.
since Daisy is not moving to Shanghai for a few months she doesn't want me to go to the dance place where we met. she's afraid i'll go to someone else. i told her i'm not unfaithful but if i don't practice dancing i will forget how to do it. i hope that settles that. hehe. dating. at my age. so i asked her if it's safe to go to dance in the big city park where husbands and wives go to dance. people seem to leave their spouses home or bring them along, then everyone dances with everyone. i think she responded with something about how we both did character cultivation. what does that mean?
bought the new iPad 2 at the Xintiandi store; they are in stock. thanks Steve. obtained a digital pen that Grimmly recommended. plan to use it to practice writing Chinese characters. now need to add applications and subscribe to news for the iPad...
i remember setting up the alarm last night for my usual early wake up. when outlook beeped on the phone announcing time for yoga, i realized i had overslept. someone called in the middle of the night and while sleeping, i thought the alarm went off and i turned it off. that's what i think hapenned. being late, i did yin yoga this morning.
last night in my Chinese homework i needed to use the word "hard" in a sentence, so i wrote "ashtanga yoga is hard" in Chinese. not knowing if i had written ashtanga correctly in Chinese, i thought i would check out my local teacher Stanley's website to see if he had the characters in it. as you can see from the link, the message is that ashtangayogachina will cease to exist and Stanley is teaching at Y-Plus yoga. i understand why he would be there. the organization is big and can help obtaining all the permits to be teaching here. that now makes two AYRI authorized teachers that teach there. the other one is Margaret.
here are some of my observations. i don't know if i will go practice there. the yoga shala is accessed by membership only. one can register online an expression of interest and get a free pass for one class. it has the value of about $50. this might mean that a drop in class is that amount. the last time i looked into a shala that was by membership only, Karma Yoga in Pudong, drop in was about $50 and once you visited, the staff encouraged you to become a member. membership started at yearly blocks of time. you had to pay the entire year ahead of time. i don't remember the exact amount, but it was something in the neighborhood of $2,000 paid up front for the year. if you take a lot of classes, that may make sense, but for four classes per month it would be about the drop in rate per class. at KY i said i could not afford it so they offered a reduced time period of six months. after further protestation they offered a three month period membership. that was two years ago. i can investigate at this new shala, but i think it will be a similar story. it's not close to where i work and i have to go to work early, so i would only be able to go on Saturdays or Sundays. the social ramifications about this, about how yoga in Asia is for the well heeled elite, are better handled by Nobel and others.
continued with inversions of VK today, doing the seven headstands. i'm still debating whether to get the 32g or the 64g iPad. i'm not a gamer and hardly have time for movies, so might not need the extra space...
i'm working on inversions in VK. image reblogged from yogadudes.
i thought of using the chair and cushions as a landing pad for viparita dandasana. i didn't need it since the legs did not reach that far down. while updside down i was distracted by a roach that needed to be told this was not the place for it. roaches visit during the summer, after the mosquitoes show up in spring.
namaste. i mentioned i will post pictures of Wuyuan, right? that's a reminder to myself i need to start editing them. ha! tonight i might get the 64g iPad.
i could not practice this morning, needing to resolve a personal financial matter that if i didn't address i would be responsible for paying needless penalties. i went dancing last night. at an older age i have to learn how to fend off advances from a girl who knows i'm dating another. dating is work. my grandfather called it pleasant work. i find it tricky.
with the intention of practicing Primary this morning i managed the first essential standing asanas and closing asanas. my practice is so simple these days that i've become a fan of other's practices. light reflecting on the floor of the practice space this morning.
just wanted to mention that i concluded posting the pictures of my trip to Sichuan last February. my next set of pictures will be on Wuyuan county in spring. given it took me 4 months to post the last set, it will take me equally long to post the next set. cheers.
After the visit to the summit of Mt. Emei, we journeyed back towards Emei town. We stopped at a highway restaurant that was flooded with other large groups of buses. The food was insufficient and not well prepared. The staff seemed too hurried by the number of people and as a result did not prepare food properly. The previous day the place we were taken to lunch was simple, but the food that was prepared was super delicious and varied. I had to go to the restroom to remove one of the pant layers off; it had been cold in the summit and now the temperature was mild. I made a journal entry that the bathroom was a disaster.
We then walked to the beginning point of a cable car to take us to Wannian Temple.
We swung in the misty air over farmhouses and bamboo forests.
Soon we had to climb a steep staircase with over a hundred steps to reach the temple door.
This kid played around with a bamboo pole while waiting in line to go in.
I could not tell if this was a residence for monks or a place that offered rooms for travelers. I did not see more than two monks so I figured it was the latter. I later read in a guide book that you could rent a room to stay in the compound and that newlyweds sometimes did that.
The setting of the whole place was magical - beautiful buildings set against the mountains in the background, deep forests of bamboo and pines, misty clouds and fog all around.
Wannian Temple has the oldest surviving building on Mt. Emei, dating to 1611.
The temple houses a famous golden statue of Puxian, one of the botthisatvas that brought Buddhism to China from India.
The vases placed on the exterior where impressive because of their design and size.
The building housing the statue of the botthisatvha was Indian in style and architecture.
A ping pong table but no players.
I saw historical pictures of celebrations of great Buddhist festivals, with many monks lining this path. Architecturally, this path is perfect, with a building of fine detail seen in profile at the distance, and the path lined with sculptures of elephants.
There was a museum on site displaying some of the treasures of Mt. Emei's temples.
A tea house in the complex
We walked back to our point of origin instead of taking the cable car. The walk was downhill through misty forests with views of farmer's homes. There were some inns set among the homes. We passed by a temple that was not open to the public. It was reminiscent of scenes from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. I thought I had read that some scenes of the movie were filmed in one of these temples in Mt. Emei, but my research into it does not confirm that.
My new friend's mother, in her late 70s, had the energy to walk along all these paths with us, although she walked slower than the rest of the group.
We reached our bus and headed back to Chengdu, a drive of 2 hours. We didn't stop for a bathroom break and we did not have dinner. The bus dropped us at the center of the city rather than taking us to our respective hotels. I found all of these last details very odd, sort of as if the tour organizers had made an effort to accommodate us at the beginning and where in a hurry to get us back home. I now understood why the other travelers had bought snacks and were buying things offered to them along the way, such as corn on the cob, noodles with soup, roasted sweet potatoes, etc. I didn't eat much, not wanting to have to go to the bathroom. The constant change of clothes- changes in temperature, from Arctic weather in the summit to cool mist in the bamboo forest made me sneezy.
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).