November 2007


There was really nothing wrong with practice this morning, other than slightly sore hamstrings. I got up, got on the early train, got to the shala, got a spot in the main room as soon as I arrived, did all my sun salutations, through the standing poses, onto seated, carried on through supta K bound and with ankles crossed, just about pulled off garbha pindasana, even with my sore knee, did a sort of baddha konasana and had a conversation with H about how painful it was, so he didn’t even try and squish, then finished off my poses, did the back bends, then finished off. Why can’t every morning be like this? On the down side, the shala was roasting, and I sweated like a pig, and discovered that my new grey cotton yoga trousers from Casall do not take sweat nicely. By the time I had finished I looked like I had wet myself… not a good look.

Unfortunately, my working day was not so satisfying, this started off with the discovery that the porridge I had bought was horrible golden syrup flavour. Who knew you could buy flavoured porridge?!? It was sickly sweet… surely if you want your porridge to taste of golden syrup, you would just add the stuff yourself? The rest of the day seemed to consists of having silly meetings with other staff members which really didn’t achieve anything. I left the office not having dealt with anything that I wanted to do all day.

This evening, and not for the first time this week, I feel EXHAUSTED. Not quite sure why. After I finish writing, I need to pack up a bag for three days away, two at a conference and one with a friend of mine who has left the madness of London life to live out in the countryside in Wiltshire. I was going to take my laptop so I can work on the train, but annoyingly my new 3G Modem gadget doesn’t seem to be installing, and laptop without Internet is pretty useless for me as I need to log into the office to do anything useful. Maybe I’ll just sleep on the train. It’s only an extra £17 for a first class ticket, so I think I may indulge in one… that is what expenses are for, isn’t it? And at the end of the day, it’s mostly my profit that it eats into!

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Hooray – I went to the shala today and had no sciatic pain – hooray hurrah. The week off did me good; probably the first week that I haven’t done ANY yoga in about 18 months. I am sure I shall pay for it tomorrow with sore hamstrings. They were feeling pretty tight at practice, unsurprising considering that I haven’t stretched them in a week.

Unfortunately, although the sciatic pain has gone (for now anyway), my knee still hurts. I can get through my poses, but it is a real problem in the finishing sequence. Getting into lotus for Urdhva Padmasana is really painful, I think because I don’t have the grounding of my left hip on the floor. I can just about tolerate it until matsyasana, but only just. I finished off by sitting in half lotus, trying to encourage outward rotation of my left hip and hence take the pressure off my knee. Has anyone any tips on useful stretches for increasing outward rotation of the hip?

What I haven’t missed over the last week is the freeeeeeezing cold train to the shala. I get on at Hammersmith, where the train starts, and usually the train has been standing with all of the doors open for about 20 minutes before it heads off. Most mornings the driver doesn’t turn on the heating, so after my 20 minute journey to the shala, I am also freeeeezing.

on Tuesday. I have really missed the shala. I have been stressy and not had a great few days. This may just be circumstantial, but I like to think that life just isn’t the same without my practice. I am a hyped up person anyway, and I think doing my practice calms me, and also tires me enough physically to make me sleep.

Anyway, I feel much better for having had a weekend. I am not really looking forward to working tomorrow, but things must go on. Singing was fun this weekend, enhanced by the lovely fun and sensible people I sing with. There is nothing like a calm mind of a friend to put things into perspective… well, at least if you agree with them!

Annoyingly, my washing machine has started leaking, I am about to open up the back of it and see if it’s something I can fix… if not, I would be much happier if it could wait a couple of months until I get my kitchen done, when it is going to get replaced anyway.

I have had one of the most horrid weeks I can remember for a long, long time. I have not even had my practice to calm myself. I miss the shala, and nearly went this morning, for the sake of my sanity.

Work has been unpleasant, I don’t want to go into detail, but some stuff has been going on, and I suspect I have been stitched up. Blurgh.

I’m off singing again tonight, la la la. Bring it on world.

So, I decided not to do Ashtanga until I stop hurting. This morning was horrible. I woke up at 5.40, thought I could go anyway, lay in bed worrying about it for a while, then got up and booked a place in a step class at lunchtime. I keep telling myself that struggling with an injury doesn’t make me a better Ashtangi, although at the same time I am worrying about not being there. How long will I be able to make myself stay away? When will it not hurt? If it stops hurting and I go back, will it start again? If it does start again, then I may as well not have stopped. Arghhhh. Hopefully step will not be counter-productive. For some reason I am worried if I do nothing I will turn into a fat blob overnight. Yoga, it messes with your mind.

When does the time to listen to an injury come? This morning I felt so frustrated on my mat. I can’t do my practice to my best ability because of the piriformis pain, and now knee pain, which I think is because the pain and stiffness caused by the pirifomis thing limits the outward rotation of my hip and leg, so when I try to lotus, my knee starts to give instead. Now the piriformis even hurts jumping forward from downward dog, as well as in most foward bends, and anything which involves lotus or half lotus, Mari D, baddha konasana, bhuja pidansana, supta kurmansana blah blah blah. I will probably struggle on for the next week, but am seriously thinking of dropping ashtanga in December and doing something more Yin (shock horror!) and some gym style cardio to keep up the flexility without the strain, at least until it stops hurting, then start from a clean slate again. I don’t want to do it, but think maybe it’s time.

On the up-side, the shala was very quiet this morning – H seemed to be convinced it was directly related to the “No Sleeping” notice!

This week has been a bit rehearsal heavy and will continue to be through till the end of the weekend. At the moment I am singing in two choirs, both with upcoming concerts. This weekend I am singing in two concerts with the London Symphony Chorus at Barbican. The LSC usually have 116 people on stage, when at the Barbican anyway, and I am one of 37 sopranos. The other choir I am in is a small choir of about 20 people, we have a charity concert on Sat 23rd Nov.

So, yesterday was another long day, up for yoga, then work then a three hour rehearsal at Liverpool Street, followed by an hour long trek across London to get home. This morning I struggled to get out of bed after 6 hours sleep (yes, I know it’s not that bad!) but ended up waiting for 40 minutes at the shala before a space became available. I am advised that some yogis might have been dozing in Savasana, and hence slowed up the process rather! Anyway, it felt like a good practice, what I did of it anyway; all of standing followed by seated through to Janu A, then Mari C, Navasana for good measure then sprint out of the door. Short and sweet. I have a day of leave booked for tomorrow and am undecided as to whether to go to the shala or not.

Work today is too busy and my ‘these things require thinking about‘ pile is far too large. So, on that note, I best get back to it.

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