June 2008


I am back home, I popped a sleeping pill on the flight and slept for 7 hours, arriving back in London at 5pm. I ended up going to bed far too late as I wasn’t tired, so then didn’t even try and set my alarm for yoga this morning. Instead I went into work for 8, thinking I would leave early, but ended up walking out at 7pm…. the joy of being back.

I’ll practice tomorrow, but not until 8 or so, give myself some time to wake up!

It’s nice being at home so that I can prepare my own food again. Eating well when travelling can be difficult. When eating every meal ‘out’ and where vegetarians are often only graced with one option, finding a healthy meal can be hard. Even when it looks healthy on the menu, it is hard to predict what you are actually going to get, and in the US particularly, it is likely that the portion served to you will be at least twice the size of the same meal had you prepared it yourself!

For the last two mornings I have practiced at the Owl shala. It’s Lovely. Of all the shala’s I have practiced in, it is the closest experience to ‘home’ at AYL. Owl’s teacher is great, and so welcoming. I love being a guest in a shala, experiencing a new energy and dynamic, working with different hands. Owl was a wonderful host, and (from what I could see when my driste faltered) soars through her practice in a most Owl like manner!

I got lots more great work on my backbending; today I dropped back into an entirely different backbend, opening much higher in the spine rather than the lumbar. It was a combination of both awe and slight physical panic at being a new place. I guess the warmer weather has helped, plus being able to take my time getting ready for backbending, rather than worrying about getting to work.

On the holiday side, I have had a lovely couple of days. Yesterday I did yoga, followed by brunch at the Urth Cafe, then we hired bikes and cycled along the beach path for miles. Today, after yoga we went to Beverley Hills to indulge my friend, then off to see the Disney concert hall to indulge me. I am now chilling by the pool in the sunshine, catching up on blogs etc. Divine.

Last night we found ourselves unexpectedly at a party in our hotel. Apparently the hotel was reviewed as one of the most hot hotels of 2008 in California by Conde Nast, so there was a bit party with free food and cocktails. All great fun.

I fly home tomorrow night, and wish I had longer to spend here. Tomorrow I hope to get to the Getty, then maybe to Malibu – who knows. I definitely want to come back though; there is so much to see!

I am blogging by the pool in the sunshine, it’s lovely. Looking around pretty much everybody by this pool has a laptop out…. really this is a bad sign, obviously none of us can actually escape from reality to take a proper holiday!! Anyway, I am staying in a hotel where our room/suite is bigger than my apartment at home and it’s gorgeous, even if I have checked my work email from here.

I practiced at Tim’s this morning, then drove back up the coast to LA, had a lovely lunch and got my nails done – cannot practice yet again with fingers and toes looking so awful.

Tim’s was fun, really busy as TT is on, but very light-hearted (I am not sure that is quite the right way to describe it, but I think you know what I mean). I got some great adjustments, and yet another take on how to do Baddha Konasana. My left hip is so stiff at the moment that BK is difficult, it’s not hurting so much now, but that may be just because I am not going into it that far due to mental blockages.

I actually managed to get some decent backbending done this mornign, but left out dropbacks as I wasn’t sure I trusted any of the people in the close vicinity (T excluded from this, he was busy doing other things). I did get some great drop backs yesterday though, so I’ll cling on to those memories. V, on your recommendation I ate at Honeys, I didn’t have pancakes, but my friend did – thanks for the recommendation 😀

Tomorrow I will practice at the OWL shala, only 2.6 miles from my hotel, or 6 minutes drive (according to Google Maps). Hooray, my hotels have worked out well, never more than 15 minutes away from a Mysore practice – HOORAY.

Right, now I am checking out for a little sun time!

I have made the title of this entry reflect how I am feeling today, rather than the feelings towards my practice yesterday, which were slightly frustrated!

I did the led primary again yesterday morning, and although generally it felt easier than last week – probably because I hadn’t just stepped off the plane from a 12 hour flight, I felt rather frustrated. Firstly, I couldn’t really roll over my toes after my sun-lounger incident, this meant that my up dog wasn’t right and my back just wasn’t open at all for back bending. It will get better, I remain optimistic!

The amusing experience for me was during the sun salutations. The teacher from the previous days vinyasa class was practicing with us, and was almost directly in front of me. During SNB she actually came out of downdog to try and adjust my errant shoulders. All teachers try and do something with them when they first teach me, but usually give up. I maintain than it is anatomical as even after having an (at least) 5 day a week practice for the last 2.5 years they haven’t changed one bit, unlike other areas of practice. It must have been really bugging her!

Today I am leaving San Diego and heading up to Carlsbad, solely so that I can practice there. This evening there is only a beginners class, which I don’t think I will go to, but there is a led primary or a Mysore session I can go to tomorrow, then a Mysore session on Wednesday. I am really looking forward to it.

Now I must had off and pack my stuff up, joy…

Spotted at Balboa Park yesterday – is this a Shiba?

The conference is over and I am officially on holiday now, HOORRRAAAAYYYY!! Again it is beautiful sunny weather, and today I am going exploring with my friend from Uni, who is now a local in San Diego. I am really looking forward to it.

I started my day with a very, very sweaty vinyasa class, it was 81 in the room before we started, so, being unaccustomed to the temperature, I was totally drenched after about 5 minutes. It was good fun though, we focussed on hip opening but did lots of fun balances too, including pincha which I can just about do (with the wall for security). I cannot even try karanda because I am a million miles from being able to get into lotus unassisted. Annoying tight hips. Yesterday I managed to pull a sun-lounger over my big-toe and take a bit chunk of skin off it; that made jumping back and rolling over the toes rather painful. I probably looked like a total spaz, which is always great when practicing with a teacher for the first time! Never mind.

The other students at Infinite are really friendly and stopped to chat after class. That rarely happens in London. People over here are just more friendly in general, which makes for a much more fun time as a tourist.

Have a happy weekend everyone!

Conferencing leaves you with no time to do ANYTHING else!!! With sessions starting at 8.15 and running until 5.30, and people to see in any of the spare gaps, and then going to evening receptions, you just can’t do anything else. People at work are demanding my time, but I don’t have time to see to their needs. Sorry.

Not sure when I will be able to practice today, I’ll just have to play it by ear.

Lesson learned over the past few days: the most interesting interactions are carried out in the queue (line – see, I am picking up American) at Starbucks!

I am loving being here in San Diego, but I am resenting the fact that I am having to do work this evening. This week is not a holiday, so it is my own fault that I have to work now, because I spent the day shopping and doing yoga…. I’m still feeling a bit jetlagged and am tired now, even though it’s only 8.30pm. That doesn’t help.

So, I failed to practice aparigraha and bought a new handbag, which I did need, but it wasn’t exactly what I wanted. Never mind, it will get me through the conference. I bought a cardigan and a pair of jeans in Gap, just because they are comparatively cheap, what you get for £s at home you get for the same number of $s here.

The Mysore session at IY was at 4 this afternoon, and it was interesting to go and Mysore in a shala that isn’t my own. The 4pm start time made it pretty quiet so I could enjoy a nice roomy practice with arms wide open and swan diving all the way though my Suryas. Nice. I think there were probably 8 of us practicing, so I also got quite a lot of attention, and it is interesting to be adjusted by a new set of hands. T was very firm with his adjusts, which was good. It is also nice to practice in the afternoon, from a flexibility perspective, as everything just moves so much better. It is not so nice to practice only a few hours after lunch, especially as I am used to practicing before breakfast. Oh well, it’s was just a once off. T spent lots of time going through backbending with me. He watched me closely then had me do some backbends with a block between my thighs to encourage me to squeeze trough the hip flexors and lengthen the lower spine. I think it helped and by the time it came to dropping back, I think i had learned something! I hope I can practice there again before I leave here, although I won’t be able to do the morning Mysore as it starts too late (6.30) or you could say the conference starts too early (8.15). Which ever, I need to be disciplined enough to practice at the hotel tomorrow, not sure whether to try and practice in the gym or just in my room.

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