January 2008

I went back to the shala this morning. Sometimes when I have taken a couple of days off, my body feels supple and I enjoy my practice; this morning was not one of those days. Although my cold symptoms have subsided enough to allow me to breathe through my nose, I still feel a little tired and have a sore throat. The breathing did seem to help clear my airways, however, once I had finished, my dry and sore throat felt worse. Mentally it was nice to do the practice though.

My old indicator of whether my practice was good or bad was Supta K, but since I seem to be able to bind and cross ankles (with assistance) every day now, I don’t really have a specific ‘evaluation’ pose. I know that ashtanga shouldn’t be about evaluating each practice and labelling it good or bad, but it is still nice to have a pose which presents a bit of a challenge. It’s nice to be able to congratulate yourself sometimes and say, wow, that was a good xxxx asana!
I must confess to not doing drop backs today though, I had had a few head rushes during practice and didn’t really want to finish off with another… yes, a cop out, I know!

I feel like my attendance at the shala has been a bit poor this month. The shala didn’t re-open until 9th Jan, then there was ladies holiday, a few late nights, a ski trip and now a cold. For reasons that I can’t be bothered to discuss here, I will probably only pay to go to the shala three time a week in Feb, it will be a good test of my self-motivation to practice at home. In March I can re-assess and hopefully go back to my current routine.


I didn’t go to the shala today, having decided to keep my germs to myself. Besides, ujaii isn’t very easy when you can’t breathe through your nose! I hope I will feel up to it tomorrow.

I had a good day at work though!

Today I have had a much more constructive day than yesterday, that said, I haven’t done any yoga. Irritatingly I have got a bit of a cold, and although I feel fine, my nose has been running annoyingly all day.

I did end up going to the office this morning and worked from 11 – 5. I got much more done in that six hour period than I do in a normal 10 hour working day! I had decided to reward myself for my hard work by going to the cinema. As I don’t have a TV at home I rarely just sit and watch something. I was also looking forward to some enforced relaxation, even if watch a DVD at home on my laptop, I tend to get distracted whilst watching. Anyway, it wasn’t to be… I had decided to see the 5.30 screening of Atonement, but it was sold out. I did have an enjoyable walk through the city though, which is fun on a Sunday when all of the work rats aren’t running around! Once you get towards Covent Garden things get busy with tourists. I like the feeling of being totally anonymous in the city, just one of 7.5 million people, getting on with their day. The last time I can remember randomly meeting someone in London was about 5 years ago when I met an old school friend in the toilets at John Lewis on Oxford Street!

So, as an alternative to going to the cinema, I bought a guidebook to China and In Style magazine, and will enjoy some reading. I have been really inspired by the idea of going to China, and hope to go mid to end of March. I haven’t felt inspired to go somewhere for a while, so I am looking forward to it already. I may be able to expense the flight if I go and do a foreign attorney visit too!

I suppose I shall most probably go to the shala tomorrow, despite my cold. My old step teacher sent me a message telling me she was teaching a combat class at my gym tomorrow night too, so I shall try to go to that too, so I can catch up with her. I am then out every night for the rest of the week…. oh, how I look forward to the exhaustion already!!!

I have lots to do today, but have been procrastinating too much. I got up at 8 so had plenty of time to start doing things, like paper work, doing my laundry, generally being tidy, doing some reading, storing away my ski gear etc etc. I have a pretty free weekend, and have kept it that way so that I have time to do all of this important stuff. But, when I was pottering around this morning, I started feeling a bit down about having no plans and not seeing anyone, so I went to yoga, then had a little jaunt to the shops on my way home. It’s now 4pm and I have achieved very little, well other than yoga, making some lunch – stir fried veg and quinoa – which represents quite a cooking achievement for me. So now I have about 7 hours until bed time and lots to do… and I may well go to work tomorrow so I really do have to do everything in this 7 hours 😦

I have decided that for my next holiday I want to go to China. The terracotta warriors have whet my appetite for all things Chinese, so I want to I want to go and see them in context and see
the Great Wall and all sorts of other interesting Chinese things. Now I just need to find out when the best time of year to visit is, and see if I can interest anyone in coming with me; not that that is an essential, but would probably be more fun!

Now I must wrench myself away from the computer and do something useful!

I have far too much work to do – IT’S NOT FAIR!

I didn’t go to the shala this morning as my little jaunt to see the Terracotta Warriors meant I didn’t leave the British Museum until after 11pm so I wasn’t in bed until 12.30. The warriors themselves are really quite spectacular, although there are only a few actually at the exhibition. The underground site is supposed to cover 56 square KM, which is pretty amazing. The chambers uncovered thus far have revealed figures of warriors, entertainers, horses and carriages, even some birds. However, there was a total lack of any women figures, which my friend and I found a bit odd. There was no reference at the exhibition of this lack either. I am curious to know whether it was just that there were no women figures at the exhibition or if there are none at all? I now want to go to China and investigate further!

Anyway, I must crack on with work and not be distracted by the web world…. I’m going to a vinyasa flow class tonight to make up for this mornings lie in!

My practice today felt horrible. Even before I had finished the standing poses I was telling myself that I could finish at Navasana. All of my muscles felt stiff and heavy, but somehow I struggled through, yawning, to the end of my practice. My mind has been working overtime though, and the yoga didn’t calm any of those fluctuations. I wonder if feeling rubbish during practice distracts the mind from that comfortable relaxed state which should arise?

Other than feeling rubbish, I don’t think there was anything obviously wrong with the practice. It would be interesting to watch myself on a good day and a bad day and see if there is any noticeable difference.

I arrived at the shala a bit later today and it was still quiet enough to get straight onto my mat. I was late home last night so hadn’t had time to prepare my bag for the morning – I might have to start doing the whole weeks worth on a Sunday! Tonight I have more singing then am going to the British Museum to see the Terracotta Warriors, so it will be a very late night for me… Why do I occupy myself to the point of exhaustion?!

Now I am back. Skiing was very fun, snow on the first night, then sunshine all of the way until I left Italy! Unfortunately, last week also saw my failure at WoYoPracMo, the intentions were there, and I did practice on the three days I was skiing, but on the day I travelled out and the day I travelled home I just had no time to practice, unless you count an improvised krounchasana type pose on the plane… It amused me that I could stick my leg straight up so that it could be seen over the top of the seat and I wondered what people behind me might think I was doing!

It was back to the shala as usual this morning. I was expecting my practice to be fairly awful, but other than very tight Achilles, everything was fine. I got pretzelled into supta K without difficulty, and even withstood my first adjustment of the year in baddha konasana without experiencing any pain.

I am feeling rather like I have bitten off more than I can chew with my singing. I have 3 concerts looming with one choir, then a further concert with another. Tonight and tomorrow I won’t be home before 10pm, so the early starts for yoga will not be easy.

Here is me on a mountain, I didn’t manage any poses with skis on, so if you want themed yoga/activity photos, please see Laksmi’s blog (where I am a lurker!).


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