December 2007


I can’t believe 2007 is almost over. I remember how optimistically I saw it it. There was something so uplifting about being on the beach at sunrise. I remember writing in the sand and feeling that it was going to be a great year. I don’t seem to be able to nurture the same emotions in cold and dull South London!

Like all years, 2007 has had both elements of good and bad. The first two months were spent travelling, which can only be described as fantastic. I saw so many places and made plenty of amazing new friends. I will always be thankful of that time and of my employers for letting me take that break. Upon my return, although it seemed like a huge culture shock to be back in London, I enjoyed seeing all of my old friends and getting back to the office. I joined the partnership at work in April, which seemed to be a great opportunity. I also seized the online dating scene, for better or for worse….

At the beginning of April I started practicing at AYL, which was definitely a positive step for me. It has helped me focus my practice and make it my own.

The summer is a bit of a blur, perhaps because it wasn’t really a summer to speak of in the UK, I can think of a couple of afternoons spent chilling in the park with friends, but by no way as many as in previous years.

Moving into the Autumn, things became a little less certain. Work certainly hasn’t proved to be the opportunity I expected it to be; the people I work with all have good intentions, but the personality clashes are too much for me. I also started singing again, which has both proved to be incredibly enjoyable but exhausting when combined with an early morning practice and a full working day.

The winter has left me sluggish and in need of hibernation. Not having my sunshine fix has really made a difference. Ending a relationship has made me realise that I need to implement change in my life, rather than cautiously sticking with what I know. Although I resent that I spent 8 months hanging on to a relationship which needed work, but neglecting to do anything about it, I have learned that a relationship can be something constructive, rather than destructive, which was a problem I had encountered in the past.

Over the last couple of weeks, I have done less yoga than I have ever done in a two week period in the last two years. I have had a short session on the mat this morning, and my practice is still feeling fresh and easy. I want to get back to the shala to really enjoy my practice, as I still find that I can’t do that at home. My piriformis isn’t really hurting at all, and even BK today was passable. I find the regime of a daily practice an enjoyable one, but do notice at times like these that giving your body a break can also be advantageous.

Anyway, I suspect I have done enough reflecting for today, and this year, and shall go and prepare myself for an evening of fun and frivolity. I expect tomorrow will start with a hang over… obviously a great way to launch into WOYOPRACMO!

So, It has been a week since D day. I am coming thorough it now, although I do feel a bit gloomy getting up in the morning.

Anyway, this wasn’t supposed to be a doom and gloom blog, and fortunately this morning I have actually done some yoga so can write, if briefly, about that.

It was lovely to be on the mat and have a nice easy practice, it always feels good when I have had time off… until tomorrow anyway! Piriformis pain is pretty much gone for now, which is great. No doubt it will re-appear when I start being adjusted in BK again. Left knee is still a bit tender, so I am wondering if that will ever be back to normal.

I am really missing the shala though, practicing on your own at home is never as good. I like the warmth, and the people in the shala, and obviously the lovely adjustments.

I was going to say something else, but got distracted, and now have no recollection what it was!

The yoga journal email in my inbox wishes me “Tidings of Detachment and Joy”. This got me thinking about what detachment actually is?

The sutras recite:

1. Abhyasa/Practice: Abhyasa means having an attitude of persistent effort to attain and maintain a state of stable tranquility (1.13). To become well established, this needs to be done for a long time, without a break (1.14). From this stance the deeper practice continues to unfold, going ever deeper towards the direct experience of the eternal core of our being.
2. Vairagya/Non-attachment: The essential companion is non-attachment (1.15), learning to let go of the many attachments, aversions, fears, and false identities that are clouding the true Self.

One of the biggest attachments I have in my life at the moment is my attachment to my yoga practice. Is this attachment always a good one? Of course, practice and all is coming, but what about those mornings when you feel so tired that you can hardly get out of bed, but drag yourself to practice, is this a good attachment? What about where your attachment to yoga is so strong that it intimidates other people?

Obviously, the message behind the sutras is to avoid attaching to negative thoughts. This got me thinking about the very positive attachments, for example, the attachments we make to our friends and family.

Ending a relationship is never easy, it is about breaking an attachment. Looking back at the last 8 months, I can honestly say that I have tried to keep at arms length from emotional attachment. I don’t really like to admit it, but my past circumstances have left me very cautious. So, looking at things retrospectively, I think I probably tried to minimise my attachment to MrH, on the basis that by not breaking down the barriers, I was in some way protecting myself from being hurt. But maybe if I had let down those barriers a little, and allowed myself to be more open, our lines of communication wouldn’t have broken down and things would be different today. Anyway, I don’t think I have protected myself from any hurt at all. It is no easier to break up with someone and still have a load of unspoken issues on your chest.

One thing he said to me was that he didn’t understand my yoga. I may be wrong about this, but I think he didn’t understand what drove me to get up so early in the morning, every single day and do it. I wonder if he felt that I was shutting him out from something I did, preferring to spend nights at home in my own flat so that I could get up at the crack of dawn and practice. He did say that he felt he should have tried to understand the yoga more. So, is this a negative example of the consequences of a strong attachment to my yoga practice? I wonder how I would have reacted if he had suggested that I stop doing my yoga? Probably not very well. I myself wonder what it is that drives me into striving to do my practice every day, so I am not sure I could have found an answer for him, had he asked me why?

Generally, I feel so much better today. It’s all thanks to my wonderful friends, real and virtual, for making me realise that there are loads of people who care for me, regardless of the walls I put up to protect myself, and the yoga I do in the morning, etc etc. People who made me smile and make me realise really at the end of the day, being cared for by your friends and family is all that really counts.

So far, I haven’t really enjoyed celebrating much this year. I remember happily spending Christmas on the beach in India over the last couple of years, and how fun it was. No worrying about which family members need to see and who to buy presents for. I suppose I am pleased that I haven’t gone away this year as I suspect my holiday would have been ruined by the current circumstances.

As I have had plenty of time to sit and wallow in self-pity over the last couple of days, I keep wondering whether he really underestimated me, did he expect my Christmas not to be miserable? I admit to having a hard exterior, but only to protect the inner softie in me. I had so been looking forward to having a week off in which to just chill out and enjoy myself, which hasn’t really happened. I think if the table were turned, I would at least have waited until after Christmas to break my news. I am currently see-sawing between wanting him to change his mind, and never wanting to see him again, combined with feelings of anger and upset at how badly I have reacted to it all.

Last night was brightened up by there being karaoke at the local pub. Not only did I enjoy singing, but I could embarrass my brother too – hehe. I don’t think he minded really, and he even sent me a text to say he had sung Wonderwall, after I had gone home. I think it was a group effort, he had threatened to kill me earlier in the evening if I had put his name in for a song!

It’s been a week since I did any yoga, with ladies holidays and full moons and such like, so I will be pleased to get back to my flat tomorrow and have space to move around. All the rooms here at mum’s are too small to put a mat down. I did bring some kit though, just in case, although I am not sure where I thought I would wear it. I am not sure whether just to practice at home until the shala re-opens on 9th Jan, or whether to give one of the other London yoga centres a go for a couple of weeks. I am not that great at motivating myself to practice alone.

Anyway, wherever you are and whatever you are celebrating, I hope you have a lovely day!

I was feeling so miserable yesterday it seemed like a good idea to escape London and come to Suffolk for Christmas. I have been here for 5 hours now and want to go back. I have never been particuarly keen to come for Christmas here before, I have no friends in the town and on top of that, I have to sleep on the floor in the living room as there is no bed or bedroom for me.

I have reallised today that when I feel down I do not want to be fussed over, I would just rather have some space of my own. However, space of my own is unavailable, it’s either the living room with my mum giving me sympathetic glances every ten seconds, or the dining room with my brother who is being ridiculously hyperactive, for no apparent reason. (He’s 30, just in case you are wondering).

So, since I arrived I have been to the local retail park to get my mothers Christmas present, then walked around the entire town centre (5 minute exercise). There is nothing, I repeat NOTHING else to do. I may go to Cambridge tomorrow to amuse myself, then in the evening I have been invited out for Christmas eve drinks with my brother and his friends – the sympathy vote – great. I hope I will be in a happier mood by Tuesday, otherwise I could go insane. Back to London early Wednesday… or maybe Tuesday???

And, it’s bloomin’ cold here too.

So, I got dumped over lunch, the last working Friday before Christmas. Ar$e. As a scientist and a lawyer, I have spent an hour rationalising. My current emotional state aside being upset is irritation that he couldn’t have waited until after work, as I now can’t get my head round the case that I need to get finished this afternoon.

A colleague has just brought me some alcohol to get me through the afternoon.

If this sounds harsh, perhaps it is because I am not in touch with my emotional side. Maybe sharing this with cyberspace is a good starting place to find it?

He said he should have perhaps tried to understand my yoga more! Apparently it’s something that makes me sparkle.

Send hugs please.

I felt that my practice was spoiled by bad energy today. I know it probably sounds stupid, but I felt as though I was surrounded by too many men. Sorry any guys who are reading this, I do not believe that you should be excluded from the shala!

It seemed to me as though the guys in question were taking things rather too seriously. They both arrived at about the same time, got on their mats and re-arranged their micro-sized shorts (read, had a good grope) before starting. It felt rather as thought they were in competition with each other and that I was the unfortunate filling of their ashtanga sandwich. Which could jump back the most enthusiastically, ujjai the loudest, sweat the most? Today I found it really disturbing, maybe on any other day I wouldn’t even have noticed. I suppose we women respond to the actions/scent of an aggressive male in different ways throughout the month, but today my conscious was being repelled. Ugh.

At work things are busy, which is most unfair. I am sure the run up to Christmas is supposed to involve hanging around the office eating mince pies and listening to Christmas carols. Instead I feel stressy and am eating too many Quality Street. They do not merit their name, there is so much better chocolate out there…

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