11/29/13

quiet party thanksgiving

when i'm quiet in here it means it's been difficult to get to practice lately. we're decorating the house for Christmas and we're thinking of giving a Christmas party. it's my idea. why decorate and not have anyone enjoy it? i haven't thrown a party since 2000. there are a lot of people to thank, on this thanksgiving weekend.

11/24/13

easier comic perils


the statement, "it will get easier when you have paid your dues." does not make sense. when younger and working long hours, i was told i would work less later in life in my field, after i had paid my dues. the opposite is true. with more experience comes more responsibility and more work.

that is on my mind, as well as the comic perils one can get into with language. the other day i was trying to say in chinese, "friday is the day of our deadline." instead i said friday was doomsday, the day of our death.

this is somehow all related to the fact that i'm buying a vogmask.
picture from the manufacturer's website.

11/20/13

morning spinning birdies

this morning, first yoga practice since last week. last saturday  while dancing with my honey i mastered chinese waltz, where you revolve endlessly such that your brain is spinning and your eyes see birdies. as the number ended, i rang out repeatedly, "don't let go, don't let go" until we guided each other to our seats.


11/18/13

excuses succumbing tomorrow

lately there have been many excuses for not practicing yoga, including, but not limited to: temperature dipping down; concern for the health of a relative; news of passing away of a friend in California; news of another succumbing to respiratory disease in Shanghai; overworking causing tiredness; yada yada. it's summed up in interrupted sleep. yet we must practice. tomorrow, tomorrow.

11/14/13

contrasts fruit therapy

This is a city of contrasts . In a street of shops sometimes you have honest vendors next to vendors who will cheat a customer. Three times a week while on the way home from work I was buying vegetables from a family owned vegetable stand and fruits from another. The vegetable stand owner always gave me reasonable, low prices. Once her husband attended me, mentioned a high price, then  corrected his quote to a lower level, remembering how his wife treats me. They are both honest and kind.
 
The story is different with the fruit stand owners, two stalls down. The wife was giving me fair prices. Then her husband began working at the time I stopped by. Every time I purchased fruits, the prices were higher than those of his wife. Yesterday he outright did a swindle trick I have been subjected to before. He said the price was 24.5. The numerals 4 and 7 in Chinese sound similar to us foreigners, so we often are confused. I offered a 20 bill and a 5 bill. I looked confused not knowing if he has said 27.5. He repeated the amount. I took out a 10 with the idea of giving him 30, but I left the 5 bill among the bills. He returned 5 cents. I then realized he cheated me of 10 yuan so I asked him to return back my money so I could check it. I noticed he quickly shuffled some bills in his cash drawer then took out two 10 bills and told me I gave him two 10 bills and a 5. I told him I gave him a 20 along with the other bills; I had given him a 20, a 10 and a 5). He said all the 20s in the drawer where bundled, so it could not be so. He invited me to look into the drawer. I found a 20 nestled in with the 5 bills and told him that it was my bill, which he denied. I informed him that I had been cheated before in Shanghai and that he was cheating me and it was the last time I would buy fruits from his stand. I added that I felt comfortable with his wife, but not with him because he deceived me. 
 
Maybe I write about this as a form of therapy. In reality, the man did more damage to himself than to me. Now I will not buy from his stand. Why would a shop keeper take advantage of a customer and risk losing the future expected revenue from the customer? I think the shop keeper should want to establish a relationship with his customers and treat them fairly, like the vegetable stand owners do.
 
I like certain streets for shopping in Shanghai. On Wulumuqi Road, the shop keepers are used to foreigners buying produce and they treat us fairly. One electrical shop owner on that street once told me that he would not over charge me, because he would want me to keep coming back as his customer. That is a good business approach.

11/10/13

flowers student jersey

flowers came this morning, marking another chinese celebration i don't understand. single's day? i'm not single. the flowers are nice and look good next to the yoga painting.
these are the yoga pants we ordered at the tailor. the request for ties at the bottom was made by my student while i stepped out for a few minutes, otherwise i would not have agreed to them. they will be in the way of practicing. the material is thick jersey, good for cooler weather.

11/7/13

strong crane trips

practiced various vinyasas today. did a strong Setu Bandhasana, which requires balancing an upward bow on the head. That combined with being dropped on my head by my student (not too hard) in assisted dropback, makes me feel like my neck wants to crane upwards all morning.
i have so many pictures to post from past trips and so little time.

11/6/13

deadlines India itinerary

practice is sporadic this week due to deadlines at work. it's affecting sleep too. yesterday we found out what is needed for applying for a visa to India for a holiday next year. what i'm not clear is if one can use a tourist visa and take some yoga classes. i imagine so; when asked purpose of visit at immigrations office, one would say one is visiting as a tourist. fellow ashtangis please feel free to offer advise. the visa is quick to obtain, but i find it odd that they need to know the incoming and returning flights, and trip itinerary as part of the application. i have not been teaching my student the Primary Series, instead following vinyasa krama. i hope this is not a problem if we choose to study two weeks with Saraswati in Mysore during our trip.
 

11/3/13

busy headstand wink

it's been unusally busy lately, leading to headaches and sleeping difficulties. friday's practice focused on headstands. while demonstrating one of the seven headstands, my student was in the way of my coming down, so i fell sideways, not causing a good impression. i behaved like a stern Iyengar teacher I once had, lecturing on where to stand when adjusting someone, so as to not being in the way. i was crabby. my student called me a hooligan (with a wink) after class. saturday i remembered not be so stern when teaching.
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