Went to a led primary this morning – it is only an hour long class, but the teacher is very good. We run through primary to Triang Mukha Eka Pada Paschimottanasana then a quick Navasana then finishing. All was good until the backbends, which really sucked. My shoulders were just not open, B gave me a lift and a pull in my first backbend, which helped a bit, but my second was pretty crummy, shoulders not open and back pinching… sigh…

It was nice to go to a morning class though – I only had to get up half an hour earlier than normal, and even then I was 15 mintutes early so had a time to grab a smoothy and a pain au chocolat on the way.

This is my new beta blogger blog – I never really did manage the transfer of the old blog… but its safely archived and hidden away! The full beta blogger is pretty good, the editing facilitites are much better 🙂

02 September 2006

It was great!

I loved being back – yoga, I missed you!

Managed my first proper bunny hop into handstand today (well, not my first ever, but my first one that felt graceful and elegant and I could come out of with control!). I was pretty excited, but just got a few comments about being competitive. Well, I think I can be pleased to have done something for the first time without it being a competition. Anyway, I recon I’ll keep practicing them all night now!

My older and wiser friend says that this success is due to my body opening up after my week off.

My shoulder is still hurting though – and I am now pretty convinced that the knee pain is from vinyasa into Vatayanasana will have to be careful with that one in future.

Can’t decide whether to have a relaxing night in or meet some friends in Clapham for pizza – trouble is it’s windy and wet outside, I am hungry NOW, it’s a pain to get to and I have to be up early for TT in the morning…. I’m feeling like it’s a no now…. maybe I’ll drive?

Oooh, I found TK Maxx on the way home from yoga today…. ooops – somehow the perception of getting a bargain makes me spend money even when I don’t need to – I do have a lovely new bag and a pair of cool knee high boots though…

Back to yoga today

In one hours time I will be going back to yoga after my week off.

So, how am I feeling? I have really missed it, not only has my mind been telling me I ought to be doing some physical activity , but my body does too. I have had that horrible feeling where I feel jittery and want to move around.

Has it been good for me mentally to take this week off? Well, I would be inclined to say no! but then again, I suppose it has been a good exercise in detachment. I have talked about taking a week off pretty much all year and its taken 8 months to do it. Perhaps that has just been to do with the pain I am getting . Pain which would be much more easily explained if it had resulted from a specific incident, not just pains which arrive and don’t seem to depart again.

So, has it made my body feel any better? Honestly, at the moment I don’t think it has made the slightest difference, as well as feeling pain in my shoulder and knee, I also feel stiff from not having had my daily twist, stretch and bind! But I’ll comment on that again after I have done yoga.

Today is also a teacher training day – its just philosophy and subtle anatomy today – I will be interested to see how much my teacher believes in. I have certainly had my doubts about some of the things that Swami Satyanada Saraswati has put forward…

At each teacher training weekend we are supposed to put together a monthly yoga diary – aside this blog, this is what mine says :-

Mentally

The philosophy behind awakening Kundalini is a bit dubious, so is the subtle anatomy which accompanies these theories.

I took a week off yoga – I hated it! I feel much more flexible if I do yoga every day.

Physically

Hips are much more open, hamstrings also – prasrita padatonasana loads better.

Shoulders are opening (I think) in downward dog, finally!

Problems with pain started in the shoulder, not getting better, now I have pain in my knee – I can hardly do lotus

Practice

Loving Tree Sequence

Teaching

I have taught 3 classes – I am really enjoying it. Timing the class is the most difficult bit.

I have created some of my own sequences.

Sequences based on Ashtanga work the best for me!

Well, I had better get ready for class – Ooh, I am happy to be going back to yoga.

01 September 2006

Pimms – a substitute for yoga??

Ok, so Pimms isn’t a worthy substitute for yoga, but it occupied my evening yesterday. I met up with some friends from choir and went over to Goodness for some food and a couple of PITCHERS of Pimms. At only £8.50 for 4 pints it would have been rude not to!

Having this week off yoga has got me thinking about how I used to spend my time before yoga – the answer to the question was singing. I find it a shame that I can’t find time in my life to do both properly. At the moment I get more joy out of yoga – I actually don’t feel that I will want to go back to the LSC next year. Some of my fellow singers were trying to encourage me last night, I guess I’ll reconsider after the TT has finished.

One of my yoga friends joined us for a drink, I felt a little guilty that she was having to endure our jokes about singing the entire final movement of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony to the lyrics wiener schnitzel – well its funny if you know the music. I did apologise but she told me that she didn’t mind because mostly her friends have to endure us being yoga bores!!!

I have managed to get a little further into Kundalini Tantra by Swami Satyananda Saraswati – I am still finding it, on the whole, a little ridiculous. In the section relating to awakening your kundalini, one option is, at birth. In this context Swami Satyanada claims that “Through the practice of yoga you can transform the quality of your genes” – Funny this never came up in my Biochemistry with Molecular and Cell Biology degree course…. He also states “Those of you who choose to enter into married life should go into it keeping in mind that the purpose is not just pleasure or to produce offspring, but to create a genius. All over the world, people who marry for progeny should try for higher quality children“!!! This sounds a bit too much like Eugenics to me.. Ok, maybe not that bad, but an interesting outlook.

So, should part of my yoga practice be to become less attached to proven scientific theory? My friend thinks that believing in some of the yoga philosophy is rather like religion… you believe it without requiring proof. Hmm, I am not a religious person – maybe I just need someone to bash the cynic out of me?

31 August 2006

Day 5 Without Yoga

I haven’t done any yoga since Saturday. Someone older and wiser than me has convinced me to take a week off. No yoga, no step, no combat, no running, no gym…. nothing. I’m missing it and my life feels cold and empty….. ok, ok, its not so bad, I have done some more stuff in my flat, bought a sofa and a bed which arrive on 13th September.

Hopefully this week off will make my body stop hurting – I am more than a little sick of having pain in my left hand side. It started with the stiff hip, then the arm injury from jumping into eka pada sirsanana, which then made my wrist hurt, then my shoulder started hurting and finally my leg, around the knee started hurting. NOT GOOD.

So far the knee thing does seem to be easing up – on Sunday I really couldn’t even sit cross legged. The shoulder still hurts – thinking now that it might be the rotator cuff….. I find that http://www.exrx.net/Exercise.html is a bit addictive – hypochondria for the yogi, look at muscle map, work out what hurts, Google it….

I had planned to get lots of my reading for TT done this week whilst not practicing, but so far haven’t got that far. The whole subtle anatomy thing and kundalini etc is a bit far removed from ‘real’ science for my liking.

I taught CK on Tuesday night – I think it went OK – if you are reading this, you did say you liked it!!! Will try and teach it again to J at some point as I think we will be teaching our TT group in October.

Anyway, back to yoga on Saturday, hopefully this enforced rest will have done me good…..

23 August 2006

Not Enough Hours in the Day

I have been really busy at work today – 11 hours at the desk, then straight to yoga. I wanted to write about some stuff in my blog today, things inspired by Vanessa and Tiff – but, right now I just need to tidy up my flat and go to bed, so my thoughts will have to wait for another day (maybe tomorrow!).

Practice today was good – L was back from holiday and had devised a new sequence ‘Trees’ this is supposed to harness male energy and work with rigidity, core stability and strength. I initially thought that we would just do lots of standing balances and that it wouldn’t be challenging, but as usual she managed to put in a load of complicated standing, and arm balances, with lots of vinyasa, so it was pretty tough and I was definitely sweating at the end. It was about an hour and a half of standing postures, nothing seated at all.

As my shoulder is still hurting, L suggested really trying to pull the shoulder blades together – I tried this in Downward dog and I feel like I have got into an alignment that I haven’t found before. I need to get someone to have a look and see if I am any closer to the ideal ashtanga shoulder alignment in downward dog … fingers crossed…. it’s just so hard when you can’t see what it is that your movements are creating in your posture.

I’m teaching a colleague tomorrow night – will try and give Heroes a go, although may cop out and do an ashtanga primary – it’s just easier!

21 August 2006

How funny

As I mentioned in my last post, I decided to switch to the new beta blogger – I would hazard to say that it still has a few teething problems. I just looked at my profile to see this:-

  • Age: 249
  • Gender: Female
  • Astrological Sign: Scorpio
  • Zodiac Year: Rat
  • Industry: Law
  • Location: London : United Kingdom

LMAO. If ashtanga can keep me going to 249 years then I’ll be most surprised. I am also not year of the Rat… the Scorpio bit is right though. I’ll have to go in and change that… I am sure it never said that before?!?!!

When I have a quiet evening and am feeling brave I’ll see what Beta Blogger has to offer – although I would be absolutely gutted if I lost all of my posts – I think I should be able to back up the blog first though.

Practice today was awesome. I really enjoyed it – I started class feeling a bit manic, and thought I wouldn’t get into it, but it was really challenging and pushed me right to my boundaries… just the kind of class I like.

I do really miss doing second series though – it’s so hard to get in all the classes I want to this year as I have to clock up contact hours with L. She used to do second on a Wednesday night, but she changed back to primary (I don’t think everyone was up to second!) – but I miss it all the same – my back is so stiff that I find all the backbends actually start to open me up. And lovely kapotasana (ok, so maybe there is a sense of irony in my voice here – lol).

I’m definitely going to try and book a place on the Yin Yoga weekend with Paul Grilley at Triyoga – its going to be nothing like the yoga I am used to but I am fascinated by the science behind it – it had better be good at £145…. then I need to decide if I want to go to David Swensen’s workshop the weekend after – I had booked for his workshop at Easter, but it was cancelled….. hmmm. Unfortunately the yin yoga workshop is on the weekend of the yoga show – I might try and pop there on Friday though if I can get the afternoon off – I had an e mail offering cheap tickets….

My life and yoga… yes, I do occasionally do things other than go to yoga classes and workshops!

20 August 2006

Ooooh – I’m cooking

I very rarely step into my kitchen, but this evening I am making soup! Pea and potato soup to be precise… its simmering whilst I type! I am also creating my lunch for tomorrow – a cous cous salad (something that I do make regularly and don’t count as cooking). It’s much cheaper than buying soup and I know that the ingredients are fresh and organic 🙂

I haven’t had practice today – I was out last night for a friends birthday bash and didn’t get home until 2.30am and drank rather a lot of champagne. So, this morning when the neighbour woke me up at 8am, I felt pretty tired and not up to yoga at all.

Yesterdays Iyengar class was good – I rarely do Iyengar because I find it a bit slow, but it was nice to spend lots of time in postures and getting a really good stretch, which you don’t get in ashtanga. About 5 minutes in swastikasana each side and forward bending – my hips were shrieking. I am not sure whether or not so much stretching is good without a proper suryanamaskar warm up though. We also worked on shoulder opening, which is always good for me, and as usual, the teacher came straight for me in downdog to try and manipulate my shoulders into a more sensible position. She also though the tricep extension was a problem and suggested stretching over a chair – I will if I have time! It was a friendly bunch at the class and we went for coffee and a chat afterwards. I have decided to try and go to that class once a month – I can’t really do it more regularly than that whilst doing the TT as Saturdays class is contact time with L. I will try and do the Saturday after the TT weekend each month.

I have changed my blog to the new beta googlemail blogger, or whatever it is – I can’t see any differences. I also don’t understand why it logs me in as x@gmail.com when the e mail it signed me up with is a x@googlemail.com account….. ever confused!

Right, better get back to the stove and see how my soup is doing!

18 August 2006

Sinful chocolate ones

I like to snack on fruit and nut mix, and yesterday I went to Sainsbury’s and did a really big shop. I found a bag of mixed nuts, with some chocolate covered brazil and hazelnuts in. They were described as ‘sinful chocolate ones’…. as I had anticipated, I opened the pack and consumed all of the chocolate ones first – oops. I don’t even really like chocolate that much. I also ate a load of blueberries and grapes and I have more blueberries and strawberries for tomorrow.

I only did an hour long practice this evening, J and I were both knackered – fortunately she lead this time, I didn’t really have the energy. I was working from home today as I had various things that I needed to do and could only be sorted out on a weekday daytime. Unfortunately, spending so much time in my mostly chaotic flat was rather depressing, particularly as I couldn’t stop work to do anything constructive. Come 5pm I was scraping the walls again, with a clear conscience.

For some reason I am feeling really stiff today – I don’t know if its because the weather has really closed in, its cold and has rained A LOT today. I felt like a pensioner on the mat, my hips were really stiff and my arms were stiff (as in lactic acid build up stiff) which I think must have been from lugging all my shopping home from Sainsbury’s!

Tomorrow morning I am going to a Local Iyengar class – my usual teacher is on holiday so it doesn’t seem worth the half an hour slog to the studio when I can do something close by. J really likes the class, but has warned me that it is slow (but intense). I am not sure that I like that kind of class, but I’ll give it a go!

17 August 2006

Finally online at home!

I am sure my fellow bloggers will empathise that it has been a tough few weeks without the internet at home. Finding time to fit in the daily dose of blog reading and forums at work when doing a full time job has been a challenge! But, now I have a 24Meg connection and a sparkling new wifi unit…. Downside is that it seems to broadcast on the same frequency as the cordless phone and I can’t quite figure out how to change the frequency of either of them.

Yoga has been good, although I can’t remember anything specific from the last few classes. That wonderful ‘wow my shoulders have opened’ in ustrasana seems to have passed and the shoulders are up around the ears again L I need to keep working on that one then. I still have pain in the left posterior deltoid too. One of my teachers suggested that the tightness in my shoulders is due to really poor extension in the long head of the triceps which was interesting because one of my step teachers said the same thing months ago. I am not sure how to stretch them, but it means that when I try and extend my arms upwards my shoulder blades wing outwards (just like the BF’s did actually) and then trying to pull the shoulder blades back into the back hurts the deltoid… joy, joy.

On Sunday morning I taught my first practice class. It went OK. Having attended so many lead classes all the spoken instructions just come out of my head automatically. My biggest setback was getting the timing right, I found myself quite behind schedule and the hour and a half was up before I knew it. I hadn’t put in all of the postures I wanted, but hopefully I can fine tune this. We did stop and discuss things a bit though, which slowed things down. I am so lucky to have a yoga teacher as a friend and neighbour – I am sure this experience will be invaluable when it comes to assessment time.

I attended my usual class on Monday where we just did a standard ashtanga primary. I am noticing these days that my hips are so much more open on pretty much all of my forward bends –I have said this before recently but it still surprises me. Come on shoulders, catch up with the hips!!!

Last night I taught J again, this time I cracked up the pace a bit – and managed to teach what felt to me like a better and more balanced class. We only had just over an hour though because she had a friend staying. I managed to lead the practice and also get a pretty good practice in too – calling for the first Surya namaskar as practice, then both of us just getting on with the rest. I wanted to put a variation into the last SN B so had to talk through that – it was quite difficult to do that and keep my breath controlled! We also practiced some adjustments for Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana and I also managed to improve my Savasana adjustments.

I am really enjoying the challenge of putting together sequences – but I also like to do them myself – not just teach other people!

I have a ‘free’ evening tonight so hope to get a quick practice in, then do some more DIY – I will finish stripping the remaining paper in the bedroom, I think!

10 August 2006

In the wrong head space

That was my practice last night – I shouldn’t have gone. Trying to practice yoga with a sore toe is just a total waste of time… see, wrong head space! My teacher said it was good to have someone with an injury in a class, because it helps us to find alternative postures and hence include them in the class. I very rarely forego my practice, even if my hip/wrist/shoulder hurts – therefore the thought of missing practice for the sake of a bit of missing toenail seems so pathetic, but it really is a painful injury where yoga practice is concerned. Fortunately it feels quite a bit better today.

Only 4 of us turned up to class last night, and as three of us are doing the TT course, and the fourth did the course last year, C decided we should to a tag team practice, i.e. we take it in turns to call the next posture. This is a great idea in theory, but in practice last night when my toe hurt and I was feeling really tired, this just didn’t work for me. I needed to be able to switch my brain off and practice, but you can’t do that if you have to teach at the same time. J started with SN A, then L continued on that theme. Then came S, who rather than start SN B, decided to take us into Cobra – what?! I like all of my sequences to be closely based on Ashtanga, so when it came to my turn, I just didn’t know where to go…. I probably should just have gone back to SN B, but instead I said ‘I can’t do it, please skip me’. This is totally unlike me, I usually rise to any challenge, but the combination of exhaustion and my sore toe really got the better of me (wallowing in self pity – most unyogic!). After that, all I could do was dwell on how useless I was giving up like that, so felt miserable for the rest of the class.

On the whole the class was a good learning experience, we practiced adjusting trikonasana and paravrita trikonasana, and also handstands, childs pose and savasana. I just wish I could have made a bit more of it…. these opportunities come up so rarely, and I really did waste it.

09 August 2006

Really tired…

Well, that’s it – I have finally 100% moved out of my old flat. It was hard to say goodbye to it – lots of good memories, but plenty of sad ones under the circumstances.

So, now my new flat is still not decorated and is also full of boxes. It isn’t as bad as it could be though, and I’ll just have to do the decorating in sections, shifting the boxes around as I go.

Practice was pretty good, Friday through Monday – The Friday class was with a stand in teacher – she taught in quite a different style to our usual teacher – I thought it was quite Anusara like, my friend though Iyengar… but it was nice and gentle anyway and ended up being a really good prep for Saturday’s class. Both Saturday and Sunday we did Heroes and also lectures on sequences and how, in my teachers opinion, to put together sequences to suit students. It was very interesting. I did make an effort not to be teachers pet, but can’t help wanting to discuss everything.

The Monday class was good, and I enjoyed practicing handstands using an interesting technique our teacher on Friday showed to us – the person spotting places one finger under the sacrum to help you find the centre of balance, then lets go. It works really well, and both J and I were able to hold our handstands for a good duration.

Flexibility on Sunday felt really good (day 3) and good on Monday (day 4) although a few twinges in the hamstrings… nothing new there then.

Didn’t manage to do a class yesterday, moving just took too long. Unfortunately I managed to injure my toe moving the sofa – the bottom of the sofa caught my big toe, tearing off half of the nail and also taking a chunk of toe and nail bed with it – OUCH….. Not sure that I will be able to do to surya namaskar very easily – not confident about jumping back or rolling over the toes – its making my eyes water just thinking about it. I’ll have to stand at the back and modify tonight, I think!

03 August 2006

I didn’t go….

After contemplating whether to attend class last night, I ended up not going. I did get a lot of things sorted out, but I was rather optimistic to think that I would get it all done and out of the way forever. I need to go back again tonight and finish up packing and cleaning.

I ended up running late because the chain on my bicycle jammed on the way over to the new flat- fortunately a kind work man unscrewed the bit of the frame which it was caught on and released the chain so that I could continue my journey – with black and oily hands….

I am now beginning to feel more at home in my new place – I just wish I had a bit more time for DIY! It’s not like I have even sat around and done nothing since I moved in there (ok well maybe a few minutes in the park) – there are things to do all the time. This weekend I have TT, then the next I am away for a hen weekend, so there is little time to get anything sorted out at all. Bah – being so busy isn’t always fun.

Nothing about yoga in here… this was supposed to be a yoga blog, honest!

02 August 2006

Yoga tonight – do I, or don’t I?

Life is hectic and something has to give this week… I still need to clear out C’s stuff from my old flat and get it into storage and then clean up before the new tenants arrive. I could do this tonight, but I would have to miss my yoga class.

Missing yoga would probably allow me to get the whole job out of the way forever – and reduce my stress levels, however, one of my new years resolutions was that I was going to make time for myself every day. Last year life had turned into a constant cycle of working, singing with and managing the LSC, and all the day to day life chores that had to be done. I decided that everyday I was going to take a couple of hours and do something I really enjoyed, and that is yoga. So, do I miss yoga tonight and get my life vaguely sorted, or do I go to yoga and have a massive panic for the rest of the week – probably at the expense of sleep?

Practice last night was good – a slow introduction and usual primary intro postures, then onto lots of inversions. I love to get the opportunity to practice pincha mayurasana, handstands, scorpion (total lack of knowledge of Sanskrit for these asana) etc. My shoulder is still hurting me but pincha mayurasana did actually give it a nice stretch.

Yesterday, after my step class in the studio at my gym, I indulged in the opportunity to do a few postures in front of the mirror – I never normally see my practice and I was particularly curious to see how my prasrita padatonasana had improved. I have found in the last couple of weeks that I can finally get my head to the floor. The last time I practiced in front of a mirror was in May in one of the hotel rooms whilst on holiday. I was really pleased to see that my head does reach the floor because my back has finally started to extend straight downwards and that it is not due to an extremely wide stance 😉 . I remember thinking when I was away that my spine was a good way off being straight… but now it is! Yay… now I need to try and get this kind of extension in upavita konasana! It is nice to find improvements, especially now where I feel like my practice has reached a plateau.

Another thing that is playing on my mind at the moment, is how little practice I get with L. I have paid up quite a considerable amount of money to do my apprenticeship with her, but infact I am lucky if I get one session with her per week. She isn’t teaching her class tonight, although C is teaching and that is more than fine, then we have our TT weekend this weekend, then she is away for another two weeks. She has regularly said that we should practice with a number of teachers, but have one main teacher. This is supposed to be her, but if she isn’t available for classes, then that isn’t going to happen….

Well, something has had to give in order for me to post this entry, and on this occasion it has been a case I am working on…. oops. I still haven’t got internet at the new flat, but last night I was naughty and hijacked one of the unsecured WIFI networks in range of my flat in order to very, very quickly check my e mail…. I wouldn’t use it for anything other than a few moments though…. thoughts of Yamas, particularly Asteya pass through my mind…

01 August 2006

Detox…

My detox starts today – I have already had a coffee – ooops. I blame the inflatable mattress – it isn’t uncomfortable, but I don’t sleep on it very well, the plastic it is made of makes it feel rather hot and sweaty. I was awake about an hour and a half after I went to sleep. All in all only 6.5 hours sleep…. it’s just not enough for a constructive day in the office without coffee.

I have actually been fairly non-toxic for the last few days though – no alcohol over the weekend and I ate mostly fruit yesterday.

Practice on Saturday was pretty bad, I felt stiff having only been to one practice during the previous week. I am inclined to disagree with J who really believes that a break is good for you. It didn’t seem to help with any of my aches and pains either. I went for lunch with L afterwards and we discussed the India trip at Christmas – It doesn’t seem that many of the other apprentices are going to stay for longer than the first week, but L thinks it is definitely a good idea to stay at Bhakti for the whole three weeks just to get the practice of teaching and adjusting. I was/am slightly apprehensive about spending another 3 weeks at Bhakti, especially if the other apprentices aren’t staying. I had such a good time last year that its hard to imagine I could have such a good time again!

Last nights class was better than Saturdays, but as N was teaching it was mostly legs stuff, which was good as my shoulder is really playing up at the moment. I had a chat about it with one of my gym instructors, she thinks it is the posterior deltoid and suggests I rest it – eek (unlikely to happen). I did discover whilst doing one of the postures that she chose (which I can’t remember the name of – it doesn’t fall into the primary Ashtanga series) that I can’t lunge and stand on tiptoes with both feet if my right foot is at the front – I guess this is from my historical skiing injury – its the first time in 17 years that I have found it cause me a problem.

Tonight I will try and go to class again – although I still have things to clear up in the old flat and work to do in the new one…. will probably go to the old flat after work, do a bit of cleaning, cycle bike to new flat then go to yoga, forgetting about the DIY!

28 July 2006

Augusts Intentions

I feel like July has been a pretty rubbish month for yoga.

Firstly, I was stressed about moving house and stress leads to me drinking and eating too much, and just generally feeling run down.

Since I got the keys to my flat I have had to spend a lot of time cleaning and sorting stuff out which has just lead to me having very little spare time for practice. Plus, I have no fridge in the new flat and had nowhere to store food till now, so anything I eat comes from Tesco over the road or from pubs/restaurants… not very good really. I also seem to have been having a few too many drinks when having these meals too.

So, I am moving in to the new flat properly this weekend and I hope my life will settle back down to normal.

In order to assist this return to normality I have decided that I shall detox for August (or as much of it as I can). I have slowly started eating a few crap things again, which I had totally stopped doing since January – so no more sneaky Biscotti with my coffee and no more revels, or just generally crap pub lunches and way too processed sandwiches from the likes of Pret and Eat.

Another thing that I want to stop doing is being critical about led classes. This seems to have turned into an awful habit which I engage in with both J and C, a post-class autopsy. Whether it be the speed of the class, the choice of Asana, the particular adjustments the teacher made etc etc. we must accept that every person has a different practice and it can’t suit everyone. If you want a tailor made practice, do a self practice. I shall also stop passing judgement on other peoples practice (I think I have mentioned this in my blog before… oops).

Next week J wants me to teach her a class – it will be my first, I am 2 months into the teacher training and we haven’t really covered teaching classes, just theory so far. I am actually quite apprehensive about it, probably silly really, but as she teaches already and I know we can be quite judgemental about the classes others teach, I don’t really want my first class to be torn apart. But, it’s a learning experience, and by starting now, I can only get better!

26 July 2006

Blog taking a back seat

I got the keys to my new flat last Tuesday and haven’t found a spare moment to blog since! It’s great to finally have a space I can call my own, but I have been cleaning and stripping wallpaper ever since. Its like a continuous process, I started cleaning so that I could start at a reasonable level, but every bit of work I do creates more mess and dust…. At the moment I have no internet connection in the flat, and hardly spend any time in the old place either, so just haven’t found time to write.

Practice has been fairly good, assisted by the heat. This week my practice is a bit off kilter, normally I would do a let class Mon, Weds, Fri, Sat and try and fit in self practice Tues, Sun, but this week I had things to do in the flat on Monday, so went to a led class last night, with my usual teacher, but at Triyoga. It was fine, but very busy, they were trying to fit 27 people into the room. I was lucky that L didn’t notice I was there when she was arranging the studio, S, another apprentice ended up at the front in L’s place. It’s not that I would have minded that much, but it changes the focus of the practice I think! Tonight I am meeting a friend who I haven’t seen for a long time, so will miss class again. Thursday I will try and do some self practice in the evening before I start painting my bathroom.

Last Friday I took J with me to my favourite class, she hated it…. it’s funny how different people like different things. We are both interested trying Yin Yoga, and it sounds like the kind of stuff that I want to write about for my TT thesis. Paul Grilley is doing a workshop at Triyoga in September, so I will try that. The only yin yoga class scheduled in London, that I have found so far, is on a Wednesday night at Triyoga, and Wednesday is one of my contact classes with L.

Feeling tired today, so roll on the weekend…

17 July 2006

What a lovely weekend it was!

My weekend was so nice that I still feel happy and floaty! It struck me in my combat class at lunchtime, when the teacher told us to visualise someone who had angered us, that I wasn’t angry with anyone, and I felt quite happy and joyful. Thoughts of how a combat class works in the spirit of yoga did cross my mind, but I didn’t let that upset me!

I had a totally constructive day at work and could leave without feeling guilty that I hadn’t finished a piece of work or not replied to an e mail. Tomorrow I pick up the keys to my news flat… life is good!

On Saturday I had a nice morning practice, L was away again but V was covering for her. I hadn’t done any yoga with V since India at Christmas, but I really enjoyed the class. It seemed to be loosely based on L’s quantum principals, but included arm balances and inversions, both of which I enjoy. After practice, 5 of us went to brunch and chatted about yoga and life and things. All very pleasant. I haven’t done ustrasana again since my Friday revelation, so I can’t really comment on the openness of shoulders again. Maybe C will throw it into class today.

Spent the afternoon on Saturday in the park with a friend from yoga, we seriously contemplated the second series workshop with Danny Paradise for Sunday evening, but bearing in mind that I had done exactly the same kind of workshop with Andrew Eppler last weekend, and that I am stony, stony broke, I decided to save my money to spend on paint instead!

Tonight’s class will be hot, but hopefully not too energetic….

14 July 2006

My Favourite Class

I have been to my favourite yoga class of the week this evening – the 2 hour class at the Life Centre. It is just so peaceful there, if you ignore the occasional rumble of the central line trains passing underneath the studio! The studio is a small hall, but with plenty of room, I imagine you could get 40 people in, no problems… this evening we were 5!

The class flowed nicely, and we worked on hip opening, not necessarily the kind of hip openers that you might expect, but box splits – no idea of the Sanskrit for that, hanumasana and also a variation with your fee pointing upwards. The stretches were assisted with blocks to keep us upright and allow correct alignment.

I had one of those ‘ah’ moments doing Ustrasana, for the first time it seemed that my chest really opened, my shoulders rotated and my arms stretched, the pose felt good! Usually I feel very conscious of my shoulders being wrapped around my ears!

We also practiced lots of handstands and pincha mayurasana, which I really enjoy.

It rather amuses me that my favourite class of the week isn’t with my ‘main’ teacher!

Body-wise, I am not hurting too much anymore, yes, the hip is stiff but other than that all is good. I may not need to radically cut out my practice as I thought earlier this week. I think I was feeling both mentally and physically drained, but now I feel much better.

13 July 2006

Is less, more?

I have been pondering over the aches and pains that I find in my body from doing yoga…. is the yoga creating them, or is the awareness of the body, through yoga, bringing them to my attention?

If I were to stop doing yoga for a few days, a week, a month, would my hip stop hurting, would my hamstrings stop nagging me, would my wrist make a full recovery? Am I addicted to yoga, is my practice an attachment that I should let go and give my body time to heal?

Since February, my left hip has got tighter and tighter, for a while I thought it might be easing up, and to some extend the original pain I felt did dissipate, but left a nagging pain which yells at me to stop whether I rotate my leg outwards in Lotus, or inwards. After Andrew Epplers mammoth workshop last weekend, I felt some stiffness in the same place in the other hip, but as with standard muscle stiffness, it has receded.

I start to question myself, why can’t I stop for a week, what am I afraid of? Maybe I will take a couple of steps back, but for the chance of a pain free practice, is it not worth it? Maybe next week I will take a week off…. but will I? All I want to do these days is practice more.

Practice yesterday was varied. L decided that we would again try to concentrate on the more difficult of the primary postures focussing on Bhuja Pindasana, Kurmasana and Gaba Pindasana.

We whizzed through the surya namaskar, and standing postures, then cut the sitting postures short, doing Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana and Janu Sirsasana A, followed by Mari B and D for those with no hip or knee problems, or A and C for the others. I found Mari D really quite tough, and it is not usually a problem posture for me. L came and adjusted me to improve my twist and bind, which helped, but I think that cutting out the postures which precede the Mari’s left my body tight and closed. L doesn’t think that all the postures in primary need to be adhered to, she thinks there are too many forward bends, but as my body seemed to response badly from cutting out postures, I think she may be wrong!

Once we reached Bhuja P etc., she stopped to do a floor show for us – something I find unnecessary really as I know the postures, and it only ends up with me cooling down and getting restless. I was discussing this with J on the way home, again being rather critical of the way others teach class. We agreed that it can be nicer to do your own practice as you can modify to suit your own body…. we resolved that we would do more of our own practices…. maybe once I move we will practice together?

I am keen to try and embrace a morning practice, at least on the days where I don’t attend an evening class – so Tues, Thurs and Sun, by concentrating on primary, I may be able to get some more extension in my hamstrings and give myself a chance with Kurmasana… Once the TT is over, next year (!), I would love to find a shala where I can do Mysore every morning… it would be nice if there were somewhere local to me that I could do it in though. Then for Christmas 2007 I hope to go over to India and do a month at AYRI…..

11 July 2006

Aches and Pains

Despite everything hurting from my hips downwards, I went to class… Fortunately it wasn’t too energetic, quite a bit of sublimation, only 5 Surya namaskar As then a couple of Bs with variations, including quite a lot of horse riding stance. Having felt that my legs and hips were going to be problematic, I was surprised to find the it was actually my shoulders which seemed to be more tired!

I think my concentration was sadly lacking, and I found the breathing really hard to control; it’s not something I usually have to think a lot about, but I kept becoming aware that it was ‘out of control’; I guess that just came hand in hand with being tired after all the yoga at the weekend.

Backbends were ok – initially it felt as though my back was really stiff, however having done a couple of Urdhva Dhanurasana with my arms belted, I felt warm enough to do drop backs 🙂

No yoga tonight, its the ITMA summer event, please note that it is and event and not a party…. not sure why that is?? There is wine and canapés though!

Get the keys to my new flat on Friday – I shall be moving in my stereo, some wine glasses, my yoga mat and a bean bag – that is all I need for now!!

10 July 2006

Secondary workshop

Ouch – my muscles are hurting, how I could do with a massage….

When I woke up yesterday morning, my hamstrings were crying out for attention, the only attention they got was some more stretching at the second of our ashtanga sessions with Andrew Eppler. Today, my hamstrings, and my calves are hurting 😦

Yesterdays sessions was billed as an intro to second series, pranayama and magic show! Having seen us all practice on Saturday, and because everyone had done second series before, he decided we would just crack on with second, and at quite a pace too! I wouldn’t say I learned as much yesterday as I did on Saturday, but I picked up a few more good adjustments, which will be useful in the future. Still having major issues with Dwi Pada Sirsasana and Yoga Nidrasana…. maybe one day my hips and hamstrings will give a little… did a good Bhekasana though, which makes a change!

After the asana practice Andrew talked through some yoga philosophy, mostly his take on the yamas and niyamas, which was interesting, but essentially the same as L’s lecture at the start of the TT. He did pose some interesting ideas about keeping your revelations and abstentions to yourself, so as not to burden others. I put to him that it was difficult to do this with vegetarianism – Andrew has also been vegetarian for 20 years. I illustrated with the circumstance where you go to a dinner party and you don’t eat the meat – if you don’t tell your host beforehand, they will be upset that they haven’t prepared anything for your. Or, where because you are vegetarian the host feels obliged to prepare you a different meal (usually I am happy to just eat whatever veg accompany the meat dish!). Surprisingly he suggested that you would be more yogic to keep quiet about being vegetarian and eat a little fish and keep your host happy!

The magic show at the end was very amusing, some of the tricks I did see, particularly ones with balls and cups, but others of them were really good. One of the girls who was sitting almost along side him said she could see what was going on most of the time, so obviously magic works better when viewed from the front!

After the yoga I ended up watching the world cup final match – most dull – 2 hours of football, then penalties… they might as well have done the penalties at the start and saved me the 2 hours of boredom beforehand ;-p

08 July 2006

Primary workshop

Its been a few days since I have had time to do any yoga – things have been hectic sorting out my flat purchase, but I am pleased to say that it has all gone through (well nearly, fingers crossed!) and I should have the keys next Friday…. a place of my very own!!!!!

I have missed yoga, I almost went on Friday morning to the led ashtanga class, but I felt absolutely exhausted when my alarm went off. I think the relief of having got the flat sorted had lifted such a huge weight from my shoulders, I just feel like collapsing now!

Today I went to a 3 1/2 hour ashtanga workshop with Andrew Eppler, it was very good. He had quite a different take on things to L, but at the same time was able to laugh about ashtanga and all its little oddities. He did some good adjustments and some interesting stretches, as well as teaching us some adjustment techniques for drop backs etc.

My wrist is definitely on the mend and I am pretty much back to doing good jump throughs – I had about 4 layers of tubigrip on it today though!

We have another 3 1/2 hours tomorrow afternoon, looking at the introduction to secondary, which will be interesting.

05 July 2006

A little less stressed….

I really needed my practice today, I have been holding onto a lot of stress and negativity these last few days and its really been getting on top of me. Even when I got onto my mat I had to spend a few moments just sitting before I could lie down and start to let go…. it may seem strange but the release was a slow process.

Practice certainly helped clear my head a bit, but thoughts of packing boxes and mortgages did drift in and didn’t drift out quite quickly enough….

Again nothing of any importance to mention about my physical practice, perhaps my mental state is rather eclipsing what is going on physically at the moment? I really couldn’t face drop backs today, it just wasn’t going to work, so I just lay in my little ball on the floor instead, quietly reflecting and trying to keep sane! In Savasana, I had a bit of a sob to myself, it certainly is turning into a time for reflection these days…

On a higher note though, when I got home my mortgage papers had arrived, so I feel a darn sight happier than I did when I got up this morning. Hopefully getting out of here and into my new place will help me redefine my life a bit….

04 July 2006

Where has all the veggie food gone?

Right – this post isn’t about yoga per se…. although vegetarianism is part of the yoga philosophy of ahimsa, non- violence.

I am finding increasingly that there is just no vegetarian food available at lunchtimes. I have been vegetarian or 20 years and have never had this much of a problem in the past, I am sure.

I will say that I am slightly more picky than I used to be as I have pretty much stopped eating sandwiches, so I am usually looking for salad. The local sandwich store to my office, Temples, has a couple of veggie salads, but they invariably run out very quickly. They have no vegetarian baguettes and no vegetarian wraps. I popped in there this morning and found nothing I could eat. This also happened to me in Boots yesterday lunchtime and Pret a Manger on Friday, although on Friday I was rather late buying my lunch and they had probably just sold out.

Anyway, in general, it is just not good enough. Leon, our lovely local organic pub/restaurant started off on the wrong foot, really only having one vegetarian option at lunch time. I e mailed them and got some positive feedback, and subsequently there are a few more choices.

Everyone else, please take note!

03 July 2006

A Magic Tubigrip

At lunchtime today, I bought a tubigrip. My wrist was still hurting during my combat class, and my teacher suggested I strap it up, so I went straight over to Boots and bought one. It definitely made a difference, after practice my wrist wasn’t nagging me. Hopefully this is a combination of supporting it, and my gradual recovery.

Practice was nice, it was very hot again, but the class was sedate enough that I didn’t sweat too much. We didn’t do anything particularly unusual, but did a few twists which went quite well. My left shoulder felt a lot more open than my right, and my Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana was much better than usual over the right leg. Nothing else strange or startling to report!

Found out that the brake lights on my car aren’t working – will have to try and get it to the garage on Wednesday…..

Happy New Week

It’s Monday and it’s HOT…..

I’ve had a few days off yoga, well, I say that but in fact I was doing yoga related activities all weekend. Thursday was my rest day, and on Friday I was feeling rough so abandoned my practice for an evening in the park/pub with a fellow yogi… oops… I am sure discussing Asana almost counts!

This weekend was a TT weekend. The class Saturday morning was virtually empty, just 3 of us, which is surprising considering it was a TT weekend. One of the other apprentices had intended to come to class but had been caught out by non-functioning tubes. It was a nice practice with lots of inversions, although my pincha mayurasana was a bit flakey… even managed to topple straight over once…. I am not sure what the person who was supposed to be spotting was doing!?! Her pincha M was way better than mine, she has enviably open shoulders and beautiful extension through her shoulders/triceps and hence manages to balance in a beautiful straight posture – one that I can achieve in headstand but just not in pincha M. Although I can’t see myself, I image that to compensate for my tight shoulders, my backbend is too defined… I guess I’ll have to keep practicing the shoulder opening exercises on the chair… also good for kapotasana….

On Saturday afternoon we had a session of learning Sanskrit – it was quite interesting but not very relevant. We learned how the text works and how to write our names and read some basis words… however, we didn’t cover asana names and I certainly can’t see myself tucked up in the evening reading the yoga sutras of Patanjali!!!

On Sunday we had a full day session on anatomy, again very interesting, but I didn’t really find out anything I didn’t know already. It was very amusing because the guy who was lecturing us introduced himself and said that from time to time he will have a biochemistry PhD in his group who will know more than him. Straight after that he asked us to introduce ourselves, which I did first, and to the amusement of the entire group I announced that I have a biochemistry degree…. rather ironic for him I suppose!

One good part of the weekend was that we had a lunch break and all sat down to get to know each other a little better. This hadn’t happened so far as none of them seem to come to the Saturday class and hence miss our yoga brunch. They are a nice crowd and I look forward to spending more time with them.

29 June 2006

Primary!

Well, I did my 6 days practice in a row, and today is my rest day (well from yoga anyway, I’ll be at Step class this lunchtime!).

Despite my housing stresses, and an afternoon spent packing boxes, I had quite a nice practice last night. L decided last week that we should move back to practicing primary, particularly because people in the class are less familiar with postures after Navasana. We therefore included Bhuja Pindasana, Kurmasana and Supta Kurmasana, and Gaba Pindasana. It was then decided that we wouldn’t finish the series, but to move on to the finishing sequence from there. I would have preferred to do my Baddha and Supta Konasanas because my hips are so tight, but it was not to be….

My wrist was finally starting to feel a bit better yesterday, I decided to jump through, really just to see if I still could, it wasn’t a problem, in fact I think that I did a pretty good jump actually, but it did make my wrist hurt again, so I’m going to stay off those for a little while longer.

L is still treating my like teachers pet and when I made a mistake coming in to Mari B, she even pointed it out to the class in amusement…. that is not the kind of treatment I need if I am not to be seen as the class swot…. My observation in the class is that I am the only person who can bind Mari D….. since I first bound it, it has been easy… its funny how it seems so hard to start with!

28 June 2006

Tired

I feel really, really tired today. I am trying to pack up my flat and I discover that boxes fill up very quickly, and that they are heavy once filled. I am already loosing the will to pack, and I have only really been going for an hour… so much for getting it ALL done today. I think I will have to do it in small bursts over the next couple of weeks.

I had a nice practice last night. L had changed the class time by half an hour and it only ended up being two of us taking the class. J decided to make us practice the sun salutations really, really slowly. Its much harder work than you might imagine, and by the end of the B’s I was sweating and having quite a lot of trouble keeping my breath synchronised with my motion. I guess in a ‘normal’ practice that you speed up a bit as you become more aerobically challenged and can keep your breath and motion in synch.

After class J and I went for a curry so I didn’t get home until around 12 – I woke early too, and feel exhausted. Hopefully sleep patterns will improve, when/if I ever move….

27 June 2006

On a yoga roll

I went to a class last night as usual, my 4th day running. I fully intend to go again tonight and tomorrow, taking Thursday as my rest day. My wrist is still playing up, I resorted to stepping forward and back in the sun salutations and didn’t even bother to jump through into the seated postures. That way, I am hoping, I can avoid doing any of the painful parts of practice and allow the wrist to get better. I can now pinpoint exactly where the pain is and it responds to gentle finger pressure. This was definitely not part of the jump through to eka pada injury, which was much further up my arm, but I guess I must have started to distribute my weight a bit differently as a result of the discomfort that was causing, and have now irritated my wrist. Anyway, seems pointless to abandon practice altogether when a lot of it doesn’t involve any wrist pain anyway, and I can modify to reduce the pressure where it does.

There was nothing really remarkable about the class last night, or any particular achievements physically. I was feeling quite emotional, the stress of getting my mortgage sorted on time and getting moved out of my flat has troubled me, and I was manifesting the ideas that I am alone with no-one to help me. C had upset me too by commenting on his homelessness, but at the end of the day its not my problem anymore, and if he wants to continue to rent out the current flat, he is more than welcome to. As a result of my self pity I found myself in Savasana, not quite managing to let those thoughts past through and out again, they seemed to be lodging themselves in my conscious…. Today I am being more positive, I have many friends and family willing to help me move, and of course I am not alone in the world, it just sometimes feels that way…..

26 June 2006

I love weekends!

But it’s Monday morning, it’s raining and I am in the office bright and early to get on with my work, yet find myself here writing my blog….

However, it was a very nice weekend, and I start this week feeling calm and motivated.

On Friday I went back to the 2 hour Dynamic class at The Life Centre. It was an enjoyable practice, again because it is quiet and the standard is high. There is never a need for the class to stop and discuss the mechanics behind a pose, and I find this suits me on a Friday night when my mind is racing from a week at work. The continuous flow is very meditative. It’s a different style to L’s classes, which I also enjoy, and was a matter she spoke of last night. Yes, she encourages people to go to different teachers, as long as you have your main teacher, who will guide you through parts of the practice where you have difficulties. L’s classes are much more verbal and we often stop in the sequence to discuss how we can make a pose work better for us, or to help others who are having difficulties. This certainly brings a more intimate feel to the practice, and is probably on of the reasons that I like studying with L (provided we don’t stop too much!). I equally like the anonymity that the Life Centre class brings too.

At the Friday class we spent a fair amount of time working on Pincha Mayurasana, which I can definitely say is getting easier for me. Provided I can kick up to a wall, so that I don’t topple straight over, I can happily hold the balance for as long as I wish… so my next step is to get that kick up sorted so that I don’t need the wall!

On Saturday, I went to the usual morning class, almost full again, as seems to be common at the moment. We did the Beauty sequence, which I really enjoyed, not so much because of the asana that we worked on, but because the sequence seems to invite interaction with your neighbour, albeit if only because you keep hitting them, and we all left the class feeling in good spirits and invigorated. L devised Beauty for a pregnant student, therefore the alignment of postures revolves around having an open stance and the sun salutations warm you up through motion rather than exertion. The sequence also incorporates many postures from the end of primary, i.e. those ones which I am not very good at and involve having a good forward bend and nice open hips… I must confess to pretty much giving up when we got to Kurmasana… which I can just about do on a good day, but when the studio is crowded and stretching your arms and legs out involves a certain amount of ‘space management’ I don’t really feel it is worth the effort…. not a good attitude….

On Sunday, I did a morning practice with J who has recently qualified as a teacher and is about to start teaching a regular class. She wanted a practice session before her first proper class next week. I started the class feeling quite stiff, as is usual in my morning practice, especially when taught at home. This is probably because I really haven’t had to move my body at all, other than to get out of bed and potter around the flat. J’s classes always involve balances which really wear out my shoulders. A lot of her variations stem from downward dog, which, for my tight and stiff shoulders, really tires me out. Its all good, and long may she continue doing them – I hope that one day I will be able to look back at this blog in years to come and say ‘yes, I had really tight shoulders, but through my dedication to my practice, that has been overcome’…. We also spent some more time practicing pincha mayurasana and scorpion. I am not sure that I would have been able to balance scorpion unaided, but will work towards it!

I find it funny to think back to December and my proper return to yoga in India. I had never done any forearm balances before, and I was terrified to try pincha mayurasana. I am not one to let my fear stop me from trying a pose, and was pleasantly surprised at how much easier it is than it looks. It was another posture which was hard for my with my shoulders, but it shows me how far I have come in just these past six months through a proper dedication to my practice.

After our Sunday practice J, N and I went sunbathing – a fairly regular occurrence after our weekend practice! I enjoy it because we can, and do, share our yoga experiences together. One comment that was made, was that I need to develop my yogic attitude…. :-S I know I am rather quick to criticise those who are less dedicated than I am – I should try and verbalise that a bit less and appreciate that other people can take different things from their practice and because they practice less than I do, I should not judge them.

However, I shall be judgemental just this one more time and say why I feel like this, because it is important in my mind. When I signed up for the TT, I really wanted, and am still wanting, to improve my practice and learn more deeply about the philosophy of yoga. Yet, my fellow apprentices just seem to lack this commitment to yoga. I rarely see them at class more than once a week, their practice doesn’t seem very strong – most of them cannot do a free floating headstand, or even bakasana, yet they feel that they are in a place where they can train to teach others…. but they still have so much to learn themselves? I just don’t really understand their motivations to teach. But, as J pointed out to me, I should take from the course what I need, and not let their attitude bother me… at the end of the day, if they don’t improve, they will not pass the course, and they will not become teachers.

I went to a party at L’s last night, it was great fun, but she did have a habit of introducing me as her star student…. she also said that I was intimidating the other students, and that we needed to have a tutorial about that, although this was followed by her telling me that I should not be embarrassed to know what I am talking about. I am a little apprehensive now, I couldn’t tell whether she really thinks I need to change my attitude, or whether she doesn’t mind. I will try and be more accommodating next session.

Last night I also found myself in the rather peculiar situation of meeting someone whose blog I had come across. It provided an interesting social situation – do you, when you meet such a person say, oh yes, I have read your blog, I already know what you do and something about the way you think, or do you keep that information to yourself and let them introduce themselves and paint a new picture. I chose the latter, conversation could have been quite boring had I had said, don’t bother to tell me about yourself, I have already read your bio and know what you do with your life!!.

Well, I seem to have spent too much of my working day not working already, so better dash…. yoga again tonight… I hope I make it in time!

21 June 2006

Happy Wednesdays

Well, I might start on something which isn’t yoga today…. it’s the news that my offer on the flat has gone through, we exchange next Friday and complete 11th July!!! Exciting news. This had me very preoccupied for most of the day…. hopefully tomorrow my mind will be more on the job.

It was a nice class this evening, only 6 of us there so we didn’t feel too crammed in. Although the practice was a little slower than my usual pace, it suited me today. My arm is still really hurting, and if it gets worse I might have to have it looked at :-S

My left hip is still feeling very tight, but I am pressing on. The backbends are still good, I think I have opened up a bit in the chest and shoulders, allowing my arms to release at a much straighter angle. I managed three good wheels again today, so hopefully this is an improvement which is here to stay.

My other weak point at the moment is the stiffness in my outer hamstring, which stops me from doing pigeon, eka pada Sirsasana and a few other things…. well practice and all is coming… so they say!

20 June 2006

Tuesday and no Football for me!

Again I am late in catching up – this is a blog for Saturday and today!

Saturday was the usual class with L – we practiced leaping salmon again. The studio was crammed full, yet again, so we didn’t have much room for all of the stretching out that the sequence requires. I’m actually having quite a lot of trouble remembering the class at all – note to self, do not wait 4 days to write about it – lol. One thing that does stick in my mind is that we were practicing doing handstands from a standing splits forward bend (no idea what the Sanskrit for that might be!). This is something that I find particularly tricky, especially trying a left leg lead. If I come into forward bend and have my hands close to my feet, I feel like any transfer of weight upwards is going to make me topple over forwards, as though my shoulders are not strong enough, or at the right angle…. My partner, another girl doing the TT, didn’t seem to be able to get the spotting quite right – I felt like she was really pushing my leg down, when it should be floating upwards. I had done this technique in an Anusara class before, and it works beautifully if done correctly. L then supported me and it went fine – although she says that my shoulders are wonky – one more open than the other… hopefully this is the road to improvement, one by one, rather than a decline.

When it came to swapping roles, and me spotting, I also found it quite hard to get my partner up into handstand. I watched L spot another person in the class, and hope that I can have another practice, perhaps with J, who is both lighter and more proficient at handstand than Saturdays partner! On Sunday my shoulders and hamstrings were quite tight, so I must have done some of the stretching right!

Normally, I would have done practice last night. Having had my Shepherds Bush traffic nightmare last week, I decided to stay late at work and take the train to class. BAD MOVE. The Hammersmith and Shitty line was totally messed up, and I was only at Baker Street when class started. I arrived at OS3 about 10 mins late, and as I wasn’t even changed, decided not to disturb the class. I was fuming, so decided to take a calming walk to Shepherds Bush and get a bus home…. rather ironically, I discovered on my walk, that the roadworks I was trying to avoid had been completed the previous day… ho hummmm.

This evening I went to a class I hadn’t been to before, although I didn’t find the class bad, it was quite slow and didn’t flow as well as others that I have been to. It was very quiet though, England v Sweden tonight, which was nice! My hip is still a little uncomfortable, but I think slightly better for the break of a few days. My left arm, which I whacked jumping into prep for eka pada Sirsasana last week is still hurting…. looks like I am going to have a list of injuries soon – lol.

One thing that I did note today was that my backbends were much stronger than before, I really felt like my arms were straightening and holding my weight well, even without a belt. I don’t know if this is some improvement in strength and flexibility or if it was just because the class was quite slow paced and my arms less tired…. I guess I will be able to track progress over the next few sessions.

Off to the second series class again tomorrow, then hope to go to my nice 2 hour class on Friday.

This turned into quite a long entry in the end!

Namaste!

15 June 2006

Just Awful

that is how my practice was last night…

I started off being late to class – only by 5 minutes, and I still wasn’t the last person to arrive. There are roadworks at the Shepherds Bush roundabout, and that seems to slow my journey considerably… before it was taking 20 mins, now it is taking 40… all on one little stretch of road.

So, I arrived in the wrong mind set – I could tell I was stressed because my pranayama was crap, I could hardly hold antaya kubaka at all, my lungs were just bursting 😦

Then to top things off, Bonnie was using my mat – after pranayama I did politely extract it from her… I don’t think I would have bothered if it were anyone else, but she grates me a bit, so I decided I would.

And then, on top of all of that it was REALLY busy, and hot and crowded.

Then, L taught the class really, really slowly, leaving me feeling even more frustrated. And, my hip has been really playing up too. Then I hurt my arm trying to jump though into eka pada Sirsasana prep.

So really, this post is just a whinge….

I also still feel like I am not giving enough time to yoga, maybe that is because I am feeling frustrated with it… but if I am frustrated with my progress, I must do more practice.

Oh well, I am sure everyone goes through this. I am going to try and get my private session with L sooner rather than later, perhaps that way I can get an established self practice, and work a bit more on the things that trouble me…

12 June 2006

Yes more delay

Right – so now it’s Monday and I am posting for Saturday and today.

Saturday practice was nice, taught by N, so very leggy. The class was quite quiet, which was nice so we had plenty of space to stretch out. I can’t remember all that much about the class actually :-S although we did go and get a nice lunch afterwards then spent the afternoon basking in the sunshine in Kensington Gardens, which was lovely!

Today it has been about 30 degrees so C decided to keep the class fairly slow, so we didn’t all dissolve in our own sweat!! It was nice to feel flexible! We did some handstand practice, which I enjoyed and also did some forward bends, which strangely haven’t featured in any of my classes recently.

Still feeling that my left hip is tight, in fact, yesterday I had a massive spasm in it when walking back from the park, it continued to hurt a lot when I climbed up the stairs to my flat, but has now returned to its normal, abnormal self!! Forward bending in Janu Sirsasana is still much easier over the left leg than the right… don’t know what that’s about, when it is my left hip that is stiff?!

Well, I think that is all for now. I might do some self practice tomorrow as it may be my only free night. Nothing planned for Thursday yet, but I might try a taught class with F as I haven’t been to that one yet….. it starts at 7 though, so is a bit less convenient to get to.

09 June 2006

Another delayed post!

I was right, I didn’t get around to posting on Wednesday night…. its now Friday.

Wednesday practice was good! The weather has been exceptionally warm this week so although I was sweating profusely, I did feel very flexible. We did second series up to bakasana, then skipped eka pada sirsanana to go on to pinchamayarasana. It was nice to practice pincha again, but I feel out of practice. Although I have managed 3 practices a week since getting back from holiday, I feel as though I am not getting enough, however, the other classes I could do (which are included in my TT course) are not very advanced, so although good for general practice, won’t cover the stuff I need to go over!

I decided not to go to the 2 hour class tonight purely for financial reasons, I’ll be broke if and when I finally buy my flat, so I am not feeling very frivolous…

Oh well, I should be more disciplined with the self practice really, its free and covers anything I want.

Right, off now, hopefully I’ll have the motivation to post after class tomorrow!

Next week I will be more disciplined.

07 June 2006

Manic Monday

Again I am late in posting my yoga journal entry – its now Wednesday and I am posting for Monday….

I went to class despite having a splitting headache, managed some of it, but found that anything where I had to look anywhere but straight ahead was pretty uncomfortable. By the time we got to finishing sequence I had totally wussed out. My teacher was so kind though and helped me with some twists instead, then gave me an amazing head and neck massage afterwards.

The headache is still with me, and will remain until I de-stress my life, I suspect.

Off to the second series class tonight – hopefully my head will hold up.

So, what is the likelihood that I will blog after class tonight…. slim to none?

04 June 2006

Return to discipline?

I’ve been slack with my blog since the end of my holiday.

Since my last post, whilst still on holiday, I did two more yoga classes. The first was at a yoga centre on Koh Tao – on 25th May. It was a flow 2, evening class, and it turned out that I was the only person in the class. The teacher was a lovely Aussie girl who had taken over the studio three months previously. It was a nice class, quite different to classes I have done in London. Although it was dynamic, it didn’t need to be to the same extent as a London class because the heat is so much greater. We interwove vinyasa with the standing poses, included some backbends from downward dog, which I hadn’t done before. For the seated postures we did some interesting postures which started with krounchasana or similar, progressing thorough a ‘free leg’ Krounchasana. (not quite sure how to describe) then into forward bend.

On 29th I did some self practice in the hotel, but wasn’t really in the mood….

I got back on 30th and managed to go to L’s class on Wednesday evening, despite being quite tired due to jet lag, the class went well, although it did feel a bit odd to be back, in the same studio, but with a totally different set of other people – now that the last set of apprentices have finished, I suppose the classes will be filled with us new apprentices instead.

Yesterday my TT course began, we started with morning yoga, the leaping salmon sequence again, although we didn’t get that far through it as now that the old apprentices have left, the standard has dropped a bit and progress was rather slow! A fairly gentle practice was what I needed as I had had a rather late night! In the afternoon we covered the basics of the yoga alliance course then went over the 8 limbs of yoga. I felt a bit like the class swat, having read up everything on holiday and being able to answer the questions…. its been a long time since I have had that role lol!

Today, we did a yoga session in the morning, Heroes, I felt my practice was quite good, it was a nice temperature and I even managed to do all five backbend press-ups – an achievement definitely worth a mention! Again, because all but one other person hadn’t done the heroes sequence before, it was a little slow. Hopefully that will improve as the other apprentices get a little better at yoga :-S

Well, I suppose that is all I have to add on the yoga front. In terms of healthy living, I haven’t been doing very well, but I think I shall try and start another detox tomorrow, and improve on what I am eating. I haven’t been that bad, but have succumbed to the odd cake and pack of crisps – something that I hadn’t done at all this year until now…. Ooops, that is what a holiday with C does to you.

24 May 2006

Just quickly

Managed a full primary yesterday, not had time yet today but found an open yoga centre here today so will try and go there tomorrow!

21 May 2006

Koh Tao

After not doing yoga for a couple of days in Singapore, I have arrived in Koh Tao. I haven’t managed to find a yoga place yet, but did do a full primary this afternoon. Sun salutations, pah, rain salutations more like – by the time I was at the standing balances, it started to pour…. I had to finish off in the kitchen of my villa! Did some handstand practice on the beach too!

Ah well, it could be worse! Also seem to have acquired patchy sunburn today – I blame C, he can’t rub in the damn cream properly.

Right, off to a bar for more re-tox…. 😦

18 May 2006

Travelling blog!

I feel rather impressed with myself as I sit here typing this on a bus from Malacca, Malaysia to Singapore! The ride is a bit bouncy making typing slightly less accurate than usual, particularly as my typing on a lap top is pretty rubbish anyway – I don’t like the way the keyboard is flat. Anyhow, my typing is at least legible, which I expect my handwriting wouldn’t be under these circumstances.

I did my own practice on Monday afternoon – regular Surya namaskar A, followed by my adaptation of the sun salutation, consisting of downward dog to pigeon for 5 breaths, as well as a downward dog, this three times, then regular surya namaskar B twice. I quite like to add a pigeon variation in near the start, while I warm up, as my hips are so damn tight – well, actually I think the stiffness in pigeon comes from the outside hamstring muscle ( must check what this one actually is on the muscle map!). It’s the same muscles that I think I overstretched just after I got back from India in January, whilst doing the splits after a combat class Although it doesn’t hurt any more, it feels tight and gives a rather peculiar sensation during the stretch. It’s the same muscles that seem to restrict my leg in Eka pada Sirsasana. Anyway, due to these factors, I am sure it is good to try and incorporate this stretch in on a regular basis, because, aside Eka pada Sirsasana, I am not aware of any other postures in my regular practice that stretch these muscles… I continued into a normal ashtanga standing sequence, then followed that with a slightly adapted second series, crunchasana, shalabasana, ushtrasana, something a bit like kapotasana, but not quite – C wouldn’t help me, just amused himself watching. As usual, my back bends were much better doing a second series type practice, but perhaps not as open as they would have been had I have done a led class.

Yesterday, Wednesday, I did a quick warm up jog for 10 mins in the gym before starting yoga. I didn’t really feel like engaging brain, so just did regular primary series up to navasana. I think I was right that my brain wasn’t ready for much, because I found myself on the floor ready for the seated postures and suddenly realised in dandasana, that I hadn’t actually done the standing balances, so up again, for those, then back to the floor. The practice was actually pretty good, felt nicely warm and reasonably open in the twists. I bound Mari D on both sides, which is now becoming my indication of a good practice. Backbends were pretty pants though…. Not sure what I should be doing about this – just working at it, I expect. Another stiff point that I finding is worsening currently is binding my left foot in half lotus when doing a standing forward bend – my hip seems really unobliging. I am trying to get over this by doing lotus the ‘wrong way around’ now, just to try and open up the left hip more…I’ll see how it goes!

There are so many things I need to work at – I could just practise yoga all day….. and this blog doesn’t even begin to talk about my shoulder difficulties!

Anyhow, I suppose that details my thoughts on yoga for the last couple of days. Will try and fit another practice in when I get to Singapore – so more later…..

14 May 2006

Yoga makes your arms crunchy……. What??

Well, I was in Thailand this morning and managed to do some yoga on my ‘travel mat’. It was quite good for sun salutations, better than the carpeted floor of my hotel room anyway, but was a bit crap for standing sequence, and even worse seated, couldn’t do jump throughs at all without brining the mat, stuck to my feet, with me!

C was surprisingly obliging and went off to the gym whilst I did my practice, and didn’t even complain when he got back and I was still going and listening to Swaha – he just called in Hari Krishna music!!

My practice was pretty rubbish actually, my left hip was really stiff and unobliging, as were my twists, couldn’t bind Mari D on the left at all, and barely on the right… oh well, I’ll blame 12 hours on a plane and 4 hours sleep… hopefully things will pick up a bit tomorrow.

We are now in KL, finally arrived here at about 9.30 pm, so managed to get some food and ended up back in the hotel; Sunday nights are a bit quiet here apparently, so probably no loss there.

Well, off to bed now considering it is 1.30 am, and I want to get up and do some yoga in the morning!

11 May 2006

An after thought

This just sprung to mind, and I thought I would write it down…..

I never usually have problems with breathing, and I think all the singing helps with that, lots of breath control etc. However, any time that I do kapotasana – or try to at least – I find that I am holding my breath! I must practice more!

I am hoping that on holiday I will be able to coerce C into assisting me, maybe he would like to try some acrobatics… LOL, I doubt it somehow!

10 May 2006

Motivated enough to blog after class

Just as I had intended to when I started the blog – although I would rather be getting into bed this moment in time!

I am motivated today because the introductory material for my teacher training arrived today, and one aspect of it was a reminder to keep a yoga diary. Well, this is going to be kind of my yoga diary, at least in terms of getting my practice logged and also some idea of what kind of practice it was.

Tonight’s class was the usual Ashtanga second series, only 4 of us in class, which was nice, particularly compared to the 12 of us crammed in there for Saturdays class. We had a newcomer in the class, so it was a bit more gentle than it has been in the past, but was still good. Perhaps, I am getting fitter?

I was feeling very backbendy today, which I am increasingly noticing with second series, the more I do it. Still just about getting into Kapotasana, but being let down by my shoulders 😦 I will try and work on them lots on holiday.

The class finished quite abruptly, probably because we started a bit late due to problems on the tube. This did mean that we had to cut down on the finishing sequence, just doing headstand, matsiasana and then savasana.

Anyway, that was my last class before holiday – I will try and get in a few minutes self practice tomorrow night – although will need to be disciplined in order to fit it in around packing my rucksack and talking to my mother – I will also have to avoid eating too much when I get home, which is my propensity if I come home hungry, and that in turn, pretty much rules out practice.

So there you have it, that was today!

09 May 2006

I’ve been slacking again!

I can’t believe that I have been caught out and lost a post on here today (and on the SW site too ARGHHH)

Saturday:

I had written lots about this 😦 not sure I can be bothered to write it all again. In summary – new sequence, Leaping Salmon, parallels to Kundalini rising and the gunas (don’t get the gunas thing so must research further)

Lots of shoulder work, balancing and hip opening. good for me, but not so enjoyable due to limited space. Similar balances to Friday class!

Monday:

Was very tired, nice class – plenty of sublimation and chanting before we did anything. Mostly leggy practice.

Last class before hols is on Wednesday – going out for drinks after 🙂

There…. its in writing again, just not very embellished!

05 May 2006

Savasana Ruined

I can’t believe it – at the end of my class this evening, as we were doing Savasana, (the teacher went out to get changed – she also did this in the last class, to give us a good 5 minutes rest, then came back) people started to get up and leave!! It was so disturbing! When she realised what was going on she rushed back in really angry and turned on the lights and started hurling abuse – me still lying there on the floor! It really ruined the whole experience for me, firstly that the class felt they could just get up and go, and secondly that she reacted to extremely, when there were at least two of us still lying on the floor! I almost cried when I got up – it was a most strange sensation!

The practice was nice – I wasn’t as hot as last week, despite the hotter weather – I had strategically placed myself under one of the ceiling fans though. One thing that I am really beginning to notice is that my back bends are crap when I have been doing a primary series based practice – when I get to Urdvha Dhanurasana, my back feels so stiff. After second, it is so different!

Not much else to say about tonight really – hopefully I will have lots of energy for class tomorrow morning – I’m off to bed now, so I can get a good nights rest, at least!

Both Tired and Lazy

I never wrote about Wednesday – due to general tiredness and a bit of laziness!! I have been feeling totally shattered for the last 3 days now – I am not getting much less sleep, but dragging myself out of bed and not going to sleep in the evening after work have been really tough – hopefully it will pass soon.

Practice on Wednesday was good, despite feeling tired. The weather has perked up here and it was really warm in OS3 so I was pretty flexible, always required for second series! My achievement for the session was getting my right leg into Eka Pada Sirsasana – woo hoo!! No chance on Dwi pada as my left leg is so not there! I did feel totally worn out after though and probably sweated a litre of fluids.

I’m going to go to the two hour class again tonight – I imagine it will be stiflingly hot again – considering it was pretty clammy in there last week and it is considerably hotter today. Hopefully it won’t leave me worn out for tomorrows practice.

Anyway, must get back to work – then off for lunch in the sunshine to enjoy the great weather…. apparently it will revert to usual May temperature tomorrow.

1 week till holiday though! Yippee!! And nearly 2 weeks of detox now!

01 May 2006

How is it Monday already?

I wonder where the long weekend went… well, quite a lot of it was spent singing! I didn’t find time for any yoga on Saturday as we had a rehearsal in the morning and a concert in the evening. On Sunday I had a free morning so got up bright and early, went for a 35 minute run, then did 35 minutes of yoga, essentially standing poses from Ashtanga primary, followed by some seated hip openers stretches like parigasana. It was back to the stage in the afternoon and evening, so not much time for an intense practice.

I spent this morning doing all of my household chores, including dousing the bathroom in insect repellent to try and stave off the ant infestation which seems to be coming back now that the weather is a bit warmer.

This afternoon I hung out with a friend from yoga, before going to an evening yoga class. The class was taught in a circle but three teachers and was good fun, because there were only 5 of us in total.

I have decided that I actually have 5 yoga classes I want to attend each week – now I need to work out if I can afford it both in terms of time and money…. food for though!

Listening to: Jai Uttal – again!

28 April 2006

2 Hours of Yoga on Friday Night!

My first thought about tonight’s class was, who does yoga on a Friday night?? Probably only real yoga enthusiasts…. well the answer was, not very many people, maybe 12, I didn’t count! The class was entitled Dynamic level 2-3, so seemed to be suitably advanced.

It was actually a really nice class, and flowed well, I particularly liked the way the trikonasana poses were grafted together with balances and forward bends. I would like to go to the class again, but I fear that a 2 hour class 16 hours before my Saturday morning class might be a bit much… and of course I have to pay for this one, although £12 for 2 hours seems quite good value. It is the only 2 hour class that is on the timetable, even the other dynamic level 2-3 classes with Khati Gopal are only 1 1/2 hours.

I felt my practice was reasonably good, my standing balances were a bit poor, particularly in the twists, but the length of the class and heat of the room meant my backbends were pretty good, and that is usually an indication of a good class for me!

Don’t think I’ll make it to yoga tomorrow – rehearsal is 12 – 1, then we need to check back in at 18.45 for the concert… will probably do a bit of shopping then spend some time in the office. I need a new bikini for holiday!

Booked internal flights for holiday today, and e mailed about reserving accommodation… in two weeks time, I will be on my way! Hooray!!!

26 April 2006

Morning Practice

I did it – I got up at 6am and did an hour of yoga! I learned the following:-

  1. I can get out of bed for yoga
  2. I am much less flexible in the morning
  3. An hour goes really quickly
  4. I felt really tired afterwards!

I truly admire people who can get out of bed at the crack of dawn to do Mysore style self practice; my practice this morning was pretty poor really, even after an hour of yoga – basically an ashtanga primary 45 minute short form with some of my favourites thrown in there too, my backbends in the finishing sequence were really uncomfortable.

I still really need to work on my hips – I am just so stiff. There are also a couple of books that I want to buy – one on postures in general – handbag sized, so I can read it on the train, and then a book about anatomy – I know which one I want and it is a bit of a hefty tome! But I have just been paid, so its probably best to get it now, before I spend all of my cash on something else!

I don’t think I’ll practice tomorrow morning, but will try and do a level 2-3 dynamic class on Friday night.

p.s. I am feeling sung out already – and I have only had two rehearsals… both Saturday and Sundays concerts are sold out though.

What I am listening to:- Cher, Believe. Online streaming is a great thing!

24 April 2006

What a weekend

I never want to drink again…. who would have thought that a night out with the yogis would have that effect…. It was a good night, yes, but what a hangover – I have never felt so rough for so long before in my life – especially after drinking comparatively little. Spiked drinks, or just a lightweight?

Saturday practice was a bit crap for me, my back felt really stiff, both in forward and back bends – fortunately got a bit of a stretch in Paschimottanasana A which helped a bit, but otherwise felt a little frustrated. It was certainly my weakest practice all week, I am wondering if it was because I had taken a day off… but rest isn’t really supposed to do that to you.

Unfortunately, the time I had set aside for my self-practice on Sunday was eaten up by my terrible hangover so no yoga happened at all… I crawled out of bed at 6.30pm (yes, you read correctly) and managed very little else for the rest of the day.

Today’s class was a vinyasa flow class taken by a friend of mine – she had decided to make it leg intensive, and I did feel that my legs got a good workout – could possibly have done with sweating out a few more of those toxins though…. I did do a body combat class at lunch time, so that had loosened me up a bit!

I’m singing every night for the rest of the week so won’t make class – there is a led primary series at my gym tomorrow morning, but that is in 10 hours time, so I don’t think I’ll make it, sadly. Next practice will hopefully fit in on Wednesday morning, followed by Thursday morning, and hopefully a class somewhere on Friday night.

Say a few words of encouragement for me… I am not good at morning practice!

21 April 2006

Friday is Rest day

Today is my day off yoga, I went to the pub at lunchtime and have chilled out at home this evening. In fact for the past half hour I have been trying to learn some basic HTML so I can edit this page, I am put to shame by the other blogs online!

Well, I didn’t post yesterday – class was good, but we ended up at the pub afterwards, which was lots of fun, but by the time I got home it was after midnight, so there was not time for blogging!

Back to yoga again tomorrow morning, followed by brunch, which is a weekly affair for those attending the Saturday morning class. Its always nice to chat and catch up, particularly as most of the people who go, I met in India.

In the evening I may have to make excuses to pull out of a not very exciting social engagement. The fact is that the people who invited me probably only did so to be polite, and I only accepted to be polite. I had a nagging feeling that if I said yes, something much more fun might come up… which it looks like it has. Option number one is drinking with some of my yoga buddies – provided they don’t cop out, then alternatively, the lads who I have known for years are going out for a birthday do – which will be a laugh. Anyway, I am thinking that I will have a ‘migraine’ after yoga and not be well enough to attend the first mentioned social engagement…. I feel quite bad about it really, especially as I have requested vegetarian food… ahh well, they probably won’t miss me.

19 April 2006

Travel Mat!

Well, the exciting news for today is that my yoga travel mat has arrived! And a new longer belt too. I’m off to Thailand in a few weeks time, and have find carrying a mat around with me a bit of a hassle, this travel mat is like a really thin sheet of sticky mat and can be folded up really small and just shoved into a suitcase, so is just the ticket! It doesn’t really offer any padding, so not too many headstands, but it will be great for the beach, or even just to place on top of a school mat!

I did a second series ashtanga class tonight – I really enjoyed it. There were only two of us in the class this evening, so we worked through to Kapotasana Mysore style, then got some help from the teacher. I much prefer second series to primary now, primarily because my shoulders and back have been so still in the past, that it makes a welcome change to work them, rather than just forward bend all of the time! I got some tips on how to improve my Pincha-Mayurasana too which was much appreciated!

Tomorrow night is a vinyasa flow class, so hopefully I will have plenty of energy – I am doing a step class at lunch time though! I used to be a 5 times a week gym girl, but since I have upped the yoga to 5 practices a week, I have had to drop some of the cardio – I am trying to keep up 2 or 3 cardio classes a week though. As an aside, I have noticed that I have lost weight doing yoga, most of it came off in the first 3 weeks, whilst I was in India, and has stayed off – I wasn’t trying to lose any anyway, but whatever people say, I think yoga really does make a difference. I was more tired out after the standing sequence of a primary ashtanga class this week than after 30 mins on the treadmill and cross trainer!

So, I shall leave the sceptical to ponder over the fat burning potential of yoga….bed time for me!

18 April 2006

First Tuesday

I have contemplated blogging for a while, but have decided to give it a shot. I think my blog is going to be to track my yoga – as this seems to be the most prolific activity in my life just now.

I first started practicing yoga back in 2002, doing an Ashtanga class with a friend, although I enjoyed it, I didn’t get hooked. Come summer 2003, I went on a retreat and came back feeling refreshed and full of enthusiasm. Having been advised that practicing 3 times a week was required to keep any of the flexibility that I had begun to achieve, I decided to take up the challenge, and practiced regularly, probably for about a year. Then, unfortunately, one of my teachers stopped teaching in the area and my enthusiasm waned, and yoga pretty much stopped.

On my 31st birthday, last November, I was on a bit of a downer, DP had left the country again and I decided to book myself on a yoga retreat to India, to keep myself amused over Christmas. This was the best decision of my life! 3 weeks of yoga later and I felt like a new person – totally liberated, with a whole load of new friends. Since I returned, I have become totally addicted to yoga, and feel great for it.

So to go back to where this chain of thought started, this blog will be to primarily follow my progress in yoga, and other aspects of my life too, I guess, working, singing, shopping!!!

Right, that was somewhere to start anyway, so, this blog now is to be continued…

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