back to practice this morning after a moon day. thanks to B.B. for texting us to remind us of the moon day. otherwise we would have been at the shala door, absentmindedly forgetting to check the moon day schedule. practiced next to Pink Flamingo. dropbacks and coming back from dropbacks are a balance act for her. got a "close the switch" type of adjustment in marichyasana A - when you are helped to do the full expression of the asana. awesome. i did extra practice of upward bow today. no pain these days.
Amelia LaTourrette's practice inspires. thin and strong and able to turn herself into a pretzel and float into arm balances.
My upward bow practice lately is as follows:
two bridge poses, hands supporting lower back;
one bridge with alternating one leg up;
two unsupported bridge poses;
upward bow action keeping the head on the floor-five breaths, repeated 3 times;
upward bow lifting the body and holding for three breaths, repeated 3 times;
upward bow lifting high, holding for five breaths, resting on head two breaths, repeat two times;
at the wall with two bricks under each hand, upward bow for five breaths - relaxing the back;
at the mat upward bow, lifting high, holding for five breaths, resting on head, walking the hands closer to the feet when resting the head and repeating two times;
total of 20 upward bows.
i remember Radio Man from a few years back at S's studio. good to practice with him again.
today I bound on both sides on marichyasana C, and started remembering how to bind in marichyasana D. binding in that one may be a year away, or after losing 10 pounds.
while in urdvha danurasana, my back relaxed; i reached very high and my cervical spine craned backwards so that I could gaze at my hands. I sensed at some point I will see my feet!
practiced next to Ohm Hulk again. turns out Dedicated Ashtangi, from NYC, is a student of Eddie Stern.
my urdvha danurasana is getting higher, requiring less effort and more comfortable. today i bound on Marichyasana C again since my trip to India. my body is surrendering and binding poses are returning.
my mind was peaceful during and after practice. there are nice things happening in my life that i could write a novel about, but it would need to be published 90 years from now.
i signed us up for six months at the shala. we'll see how often i am away traveling. my mysore practice was not so strong yesterday. it was stronger today in led class. Ohm Hulk practiced next to me. He floats in and out of transitions despite only have started practicing two years ago. his shoulders allow him to do that. across from me was Bonsai Gardner.
R, being social, asked where one practitioner was from and how long in Shanghai. he was from NYC and had been one day in Shanghai. that left us speechless. he was still in NY time in his brain, having landed the previous evening. that's a dedicated ashtangi.
i pushed really hard with my legs in upward bow. it's easier for me to do than pushing really hard with the arms. maybe that's why my thighs are screaming now.
finding it hard to get my yoga vibe after returning from a work trip. i need to purchase memberships for R and I. my work schedule makes it difficult to fit into a plan, as i have to travel every six weeks for two weeks for the remainder of the year. for my tax holiday this year i need to be outside the mainland one month.
feeling a little exposed.
but what is being exposed is my health, as the weight starts increasing and my sleep patterns worsen if i don't have a strong daily yoga practice.
friday is the day off in the middle east. i did yin yoga. my return to SH is delayed a few days so we can make a presentation to a stakeholder in the project on sunday. it's baffling to us why, when given a schedule before the trip the stakeholders could not arrange the meetings accordingly.
stakes. sticks. speaking of which, at breakfast we were on our own, since the cook needs a day off. i ate an ice cream on a stick. the ingredients description read, "dairy vanilla ice cream bar coated with fruit concentrate." what a nice idea for a coating, instead of chocolate.
experienced a new dimension to distracted yoga practice: email! wrote three emails during practice of standing sequence this morning. two where about yoga, one about work. yesterday my mind was in the movies while practicing. today it was in the computer.
it's the beginning of summer weather in Kuwait. they put on the air conditioning. it becomes freezing. i turn on the heater on in my room. isn't that a kick in the pants?
it's been three days of distracted practices, each one and a half hour long, but the mind going all over the place. this morning during practice i thought that i might visit Stowe, Vermont in October and visit the Von Trapp Lodge, which made me revisit in my mind the entire Sound of Music movie during my practice. along the way i remembered the Sound of Music singalong in Miami, where people brought costumes to act out part of the movie as it was projected. when someone who brought a wedding veil for the marriage scene became shy and did not want to wear it, my cousin H. grabbed it, put it on his head and marched through the stage, some girls acting as the flower girls following behind. he's great at acting. all of this in my mind while practicing today. my dreams while here have been about as batty. now i must prepare for work.
before leaving the shala on Friday i told the teacher i was going to be traveling for a week. "keep practicing while away", he said. i intended to, taking my yoga gear with me. i thought i could get greedy while practicing in my room this morning, doing second series poses. but i soon remembered that practicing while on a business trip is just maintaining the practice as much as i can. sometimes all i can do is standing poses and closing poses. despite spending the usual time for practice, my mind is distracted solving work related matters. the neighboring mosque's first call for prayer this morning coincided with my wake up alarm.
pain travels. this morning it visited my right wrist. now it's visiting my left one. it's possible that doing kukkutasana (rooster pose) incorrectly exacerbated this, i think it was caused by the repetitive motion of work in the office. where will mr. pain visit tomorrow is "el misterio de la doble cruz".
i'm observing how many people come to standing from urdva danurasana in the shala. many do. it's one thing to rationalize how this happens - the legs have to press firmly on the floor, the weight should be on the middle of the foot and all four corners of the feet should be on the floor, says the teacher in comments. it's another to internalize this and do it. in 12 years of practicing, i have never grasped how to do this movement unassisted.
on a related topic, someone in the calorie restriction society said that being able to come to standing from a seated position without using the hands is indicative of a healthy spine and young body, regardless of age. so yogis are bound for healthy longevity, with all coming up to standing poses and our attention to the health of the spine.
no LBP today. while assisting in upward bow, the teacher said, "relax your shoulders, relax your lower back; push with your feet, lift the pelvis, push higher with the arms." relaxing the lower back made a lot of sense. why didn't i think of that before? in the distance, teacher assisted someone in Chakra Bandasana. i thought of Susan, who can do this bendy pose.
today the alarm clock before the alarm clock is a kick from my honey. last night i finished watching the movie snowpiercer. it's intense and full of symbolism. you have to separate art from life. it would not be rational to act like the characters in the movie in real life, or you would go crazy.
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).