November 2008

Yogamum had done this ‘meme’ on her blog, so I followed suit (it’s the 6th photo in the 6th folder). This was me in Jan 2007 in Bangkok, 1 month into my three months off…. ahhh, that was a good time!

Reclining buddha

So, I’m going to Sri Lanka on Tuesday…. I am still not in the least prepared, I have spent most of the weekend having fun, so now it’s Sunday 5.30pm, I’m in the office and still managing to faff. On that note I must continue working. Apologies to everyone whose e mails I haven’t replied to – I promise that I will be in the land of the living from Wednesday in SL. My laptop is coming too, so until I get to Ulphotha, I will be ‘around’.


I am going away in 4 days! I will need the holiday: getting all my work done is proving a struggle. Hopefully I won’t still be in the office when my plane leaves. Practice has been sporadic, 6am Mon, Tues and today, none on Tues or Weds. Feel like I should still be sleeping today. Late night (9pm!) pizza and wine leave me feeling sluggish. Anyway, will finish here; no more signal on my train soon. Happy Friday.

I am so not getting work done today. I have a conference call tomorrow and I NEED to prepare. I haven’t done it. I am not at dancing because I need to work, but I am not working…

Schedule of the day

6.30 – get up
7.30 – leave for practice
8.00 – practice
9.30 – post practice coffee
11.00 – home
11.30 – siesta
12.30 – lunch
1.30 – faff
2.30 – faff on internet
3.30 – read magazine and contemplate actually doing work
4.00 – send some e mails
4.30 – think more about working but continue to faff
5.30 – get work out of bag
6.00 – contemplate whether I can actually sleep lying on the floor – yes I can!
6.30 – telephone conversation with mother
6.45 – read Sri Lanka guidebook
7.30 – decide not to go dancing – make dinner
8.00 – more faff
8.30 – write blog……

hmm – what a constructive day I am having.

Practice was good though, and the massage seemed to have loosened things up a bit. I now have two bruises on my left hip – nice. I felt the difference in ardha baddha padmotanasana, and in the prasaritas. Then, for the first time EVER, I did my backbends and actually quite enjoyed them. L was adjusting so I explained how I had just started dropping back but couldn’t get up yet, so she gave me some gentle adjustments, and helped me work on coming back up. She told me to drop back, exhale fully then come up on the inhalation. Problem – I seem to have exhaled all of my lung capacity before I am supposed to exhale…. must remember to breathe when I do this tomorrow.

And now, the moment I have been avoiding all day…. work?

Yesterday I went to practice early, and arrived at the shala at just after 6. Being there early makes a real difference to the atmosphere. Not only is it still totally dark outside, but there is also a stillness that you only seem to get when everyone is at the beginning of their practices, rather that people crashing around, especially in the week when there are Nakrasanas and jumping out of asanas going on! As much as the stillness made for a lovely practice, I KNOW I just cannot sustain a 5am start daily. No, NEVER. I was at my desk just after 8am, which was also nice. By the afternoon I was pretty spaced though, it’s funny how the body clock has such a reaction to only getting up 1 hour earlier, even after a reasonable nights sleep.

At lunch time I had a massage with Susan’s masseur. The woman is delightful and the massage was great and informative and… well just, fab! The massage was deep tissue, and I was asked right at the start if I had any problems with pressure and to yell if I was ever in too much discomfort. We discussed the pain I get in baddha konasana and she angled the session at this specific issue. Interestingly, after putting all of her weight, via her elbow, into my left buttock, I felt no extreme sensations at all. Conclusion, the pain is not the piriformis. She gave me a really good working over, then did various twists and stretches with me to gauge the degree of motion and stretchiness of both my left and right legs and hips. I really liked the way she talked about what she was doing and why all the way through, rather than just getting on with it. The most painful part of the session for me was working on the left ITB, which was agony! She thinks the pain I have is related to compression in the lower spine trapping a nerve, probably sciatic, so trying to create more space between the lower vertebra is a must.

By the end of the session she concluded that there was some stiffness in my left side which was causing irritation in the glutes and hamstring inserts, but the real problem is tightness in the left QL. She thinks this is because my right hip is much more open and as a result I have a tendency to sit with my right hip open, stretching the right QL but compressing the left. Always lotussing with the left foot on top also exacerbates this as it tends you towards compressing the left side, but also the right foot on the left leg with the pressure of the left leg over the top applies pressure to the hip joint. This becomes a repeatative strain if you do this every day for years. She gave me some extra stretches to do, a bit like doing pigeon, but keeping the hips square and not extending the back leg.

Last night I continued with my Friday night re-tox sessions and went to the Bavarian Beer House to celebrate a colleague finishing his qualifying exams. It was good fun, but I wish I hadn’t drunk so much cider! Today I am in the office trying to get more work out of the way, but it’s all good. I am meeting Susan later on for a drink and a catch up, which will be fun!

I’m having a night in – and to celebrate moon day tomorrow I am working from home. I’m looking forward to a good nights sleep and hopefully a nice productive day at home tomorrow. I have 9 days to finish a LOAD of work off and if I can get 12 hours of work done tomorrow, it will help a lot. Well, there are weekends too, if things get desperate… but I do need to pack at some point and work out if I need to buy anything for the trip.

Oh, the trip. I haven’t sorted out anything at all. My friend is sending out dozens of e mails with information and travel tips, which I haven’t even read. The guidebook is gathering dust on the table, and I haven’t booked my pickup with the yoga centre yet…. maybe this weekend I’ll do those things?

Last night I went out for a few drinks – great for a Tuesday night – and ended up going back to the Buddha Bar. It is still very cool, and I devoured 4, yes FOUR, lovely cocktails. I didn’t even have a hangover this morning!

Practice today was good, despite only 6 hours sleep. Not having done a full practice since Friday left me feeling quite limber, although hamstring and hip seem to have gone into panic mode subsequently. At the end of practice when I stood for dropbacks, I told H that I had done four dropbacks on my own on Monday. He didn’t believe it and asked me (in jest, I hope) if I had landed on my head! He barely spotted me for two, then stood beside me for a third and was there ‘ just in case’. He seemed pretty amazed, to be honest! Nice 😉 My last dropback felt even better than the ones I did at home on Monday as I really managed to keep the weight in the legs and drop my arms back before I let my weight transfer onto my hands. Standing up IS coming… I know it!

Holiday in 13 days!

I’m half way between wanting to write a really long complex post, and not writing at all. I suppose this post is a compromise.

It has been a stressy day for me, and I don’t feel like I have achieved much at all. Work is too busy for my liking. I am not good at being productive when I have lots of things outstanding. The lack of control puts me on edge and I can’t get started. Not a problem individual to me, but, whatever.

I got home to an e mail that made me feel a bit confrontational, so I decided to back away from it all, and get onto my mat. It’s ladies holiday for me, so I haven’t practiced today. I did a few Surya Namaskar and some forward bends, then worked on backbending. I took some photos, which I may post when I get a minute. I did a birthday backbending post last year and have intended for the last week to do a 1 year later comparison. Anyway, I decided I ought to be able to drop back, so I did, and I did it 4 times, so I am sure that I can. I don’t know if I dare do it in the shala with my morning back and tired arms though. I can almost stand up if I do lots of vigorous rocking. More time and more practice required. Piriformis seems unimproved, even only during my short practice.

Not sure I’ll go to the shala tomorrow, I have too much work to do. 😦

I want to have enough time to do EVERYTHING.

I am long overdue a blog post, but just haven’t had the time to create one. Things have been non-stop since my birthday. First there was the birthday party which somehow managed to carry on until dawn and long after and resulted in me finally making it to my bed at 10am for 4 hours of interrupted sleep. Saturday afternoon I did a few chores then went off to a dancing night in South London. I was really too tired to enjoy it and didn’t stay out long. I have begun to find that if I dance at venues where I don’t know the crowd then I get fewer dances. I suppose people prefer to dance with people they know than strangers.

On Sunday I had a manic day, getting up at 6 and going to practice. I had a lusciously easy and relaxed practice that I enjoyed immensely, this was followed by coffee with some of the yogis then V and I went off to watch Quantum of Solace. I really enjoyed the film. As long as you don’t expect a story and are satisfied with a fair bit of action, special effects and a bit of Daniel Craig, then it’s great. I read somewhere that the bond character has been changed into a Matthew Bourne – I am inclined to agree! After the film I did a quick race around Covent Garden to try and buy a top from Reiss with some vouchers I received for my birthday. They didn’t have it in my size, so I settled with a new pair of trousers for one of my work suits. Slightly boring, but still useful. My quest for the top is ongoing and they don’t even have it in my size on their website 😦

After shopping I jumped on the bus to Olympia to have a look at the Yoga Show. I was supposed to do this on Saturday with a friend, but the need for some sleep prevented me going. All in all, I wasn’t that impressed and didn’t take any classes, I just wondered around the stalls. At the end of the day I am not inclined to be converted away from Ashtanga at this point in time, so there wasn’t much there for me. Then I dashed home for a short siesta and then went out again for more dancing. It seemed that the Grand Prix was a stronger draw for men than dancing so we had about 3 women to every man, and of the 8 or so men there, only two had any experience at all, so it wasn’t as much fun as it could have been.

Mondays practice was horrible, heavy, stiff and painful and so was Tuesdays. My practice was feeling more like a losing battle. My flat also seems have turned into a time warp and I managed not to get to the shala until nearly 7.45. I don’t understand how it is possible that I get up at the same time but can arrive half an hour later than usual? By Wednesday my piriformis/hip/hamstring pain was so bad that I had to do a short practice, finishing at navasana. To be honest, at the moment the whole practice is just an exercise of pain management. I try not to push myself into anything that hurts, but that means pretty much not pushing into anything at all. My hip feels like it has been bound up by a huge rubber band, there is a tiny bit of give in it if I push it hard enough, but I don’t have the strength to work through it. Yesterday I couldn’t gather the energy to go to the shala at all and had a lie in instead. I do feel a bit like I am loosing my faith at the moment, and my emotions are certainly mixed. I see people who have been practicing for a few months progress where I seem to be going nowhere. I saw a lovely, sweet, girl who I like a lot stand from her backbend for the first time, and it just made me angry. I have been struggling with this for so long. I know it’s not about anyone else’s practice or how quickly I progress in mine, but it still grates me. Bad yogi.

However, despite only getting 6 hours of sleep last night I woke up and felt compelled to get back to the mat. The heaviness and sluggishness of the beginning of the week were gone, but the ongoing pain in pretty much every pose makes the whole thing a bit challenging. I have booked myself in for a session of deep tissue massage with Susan’s masseur next Friday so hopefully this will help. When I get to Sri Lanka I should be able to have a massage treatment every day, which will be bliss.

Generally I feel like I really need this holiday. I love being busy and active, but I feel a bit burned out. I have been out every night this week, and have lots of work to do too. I basically need to get all my work which is due before Christmas sorted out in the next two weeks before I go away. Tomorrow will have to be a day in the office, when what I really need is a day in bed!