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Same blog, different place … http://blog.yogi.me.uk/

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I love that wherever you happen to be going, it is taken as given by the fellow ashtangi that you will practice as a guest in another shala. Whereas the non-yogis out there think that considering where to practice whilst on holiday is quite bizarre.

I also add that however potentially exciting the destination, packing is NEVER fun.

Thanks to everyone with helpful tips on Japan 🙂

Today is day three of being able to stand from drop-backs. I chanced upon the ability at the end of last week. I was next to somebody else doing their drop backs, with assistance and plenty of spoken guidance, so had longer than usual to mess around on my own and try out the tips being given to my neighbour. I had a couple of goes and on attempt 3 I came back up!! So, I tried it again on Monday and I could do it again – 3 times in succession, then again this morning, stood up on two and did an inelegant collapse on the third attempt. Hurrah.

Next week I’m in Japan, for three weeks. I need to find shalas and have only been successful in finding a convenient one in Kyoto. Drop ins seem to be phenomenally expensive though, so I may have to ration them. Problem is, I am just not so dedicated to a full practice outside a shala environment and I don’t want to take a mat with me. But I REALLY don’t want to lose the dropbacks.

It’s been ages since I have written anything in my blog! I was drawn to the blog as my yoga mat has now started to decompose. It was looking a bit patchy in the hand and foot placement areas, then when I unrolled it at the beginning of the week, a big chunk just fell off in the left foot placement area!!! So, I was curious to see how long it had lasted for and can now confirm that it was purchased on 27 December 2008! So, it has lasted just over a year and half… which I don’t think is that great.

Anyhow, I now have the dilemma of buying a new one. I don’t want to order online, I think the feel of the mat is important, so I need to go to a shop and find one… Obviously, I had a quick look online and have only managed to identify yoga clothing on sale at Asquith, so it looks like in a few minutes my bank balance will have been reduced and I will have ordered a new yoga outfit 😀

After purchasing the new mat there will be that tedious breaking in period where the mat is slippery and annoying. Joy. Maybe it’s time for a hemp one…. I have road tested one before and found it was a bit scratchy on the hands and feet. Hmmm.

So, whilst I am here, practice? It was going quite well, I was making progress with drop backs again, but now my shoulder has started hurting again. So whilst the bending of the spine part feels great right now, my shoulder seems to be trying to escape from it’s socket!! Ok, perhaps a slight exaggeration, but the biomechanics required to get a good bend in my back seem to force the shoulder joint in an unnatural way. So, this week I have been to practice once, and done a really gentle ‘stepping through – stepping back’ practice, but it’s a bit dull really! So at the end, although I had planned on not backbending, I did anyway, just to sate the cravings for bending 😉

Otherwise, I suppose practice is fine. Baddha konasana is no problem at all. I have said it already, but how could I have missed on the mula thing for so long… I suffered for ages, and it was so simple!!!!

I’m a bit out of love with early mornings at the moment, but back to the mat tomorrow…..

I had a fab holiday in Egypt; sunshine, yoga, windsurfing, food and not much else, ideal. Moonbeach is a great little find. Basically, it’s in the middle of nowhere about three hours north of Sharm-el-Sheikh on the Red Sea. Other than the hotel, chalets and windsurf centre, there is nothing there other than a long stretch of beach, in a bay and plenty of passing dolphins.

I really enjoyed having lots of time to do yoga. After the first morning session, it was clear that there was a disparity in ability between me and the rest of the group, so for the rest of the week, I got up at 6 and did my practice before the class at 7.45. The evening class was nice, gentle and stretchy, which was exactly what was needed after spending the day on the water.

The climate was perfect for both yoga and windsurfing. About 35 degrees but lovely dry heat. Just right for falling in the water, getting out again and drying off, and equally for a warm but not sweaty yoga practice. The only downside was the flies. Flies on your face and tickling your arms in savasana is no fun. Practicing with the ceiling fan on seemed to help blow them away though.

By the end of the week I was managing to do drop backs again, although my right shoulder was quite seriously achy after. I had a wonderful hot stone massage through working deeply on my shoulder and naggy hamstring.

Windsurfing is great fun, although I fell off a lot. When it wasn’t too windy and the water was flat it was great, but throw in some waves and staying balanced is quite challenging, great for core strength though. Hoisting the sail up every time I fell off was also great exercise. An afternoon session in a kayak trying to pursue dolphins was great exercise for my lats, too.

On the way home we spent a day in Cairo and saw the pyramids and Sphinx and had lunch on a felluca boat on the Nile. Unfortunately, something I ate at the end of the holiday severely disrupted my stomach and left me unable to practice all week. For some reason mornings seems to be particularly bad for stomach cramps 😦

I went to the gym yoga class this morning, which was a nice gentle introduction back to practice. Hopefully I’ll be back at the shala this coming week. Maybe doing all of primary again too 😀

Wow, it’s been a hectic couple of weeks. highlights include cancelled holiday flights, far too much work to do, a learner crashing into the side of our car, going to a wedding and the occasional yoga practice.

Despite the other stresses in my life, practice has been good, even if not regular enough. The best part is that baddha konasana with lots of mula bandha works well and isn’t causing any pain at all!!! So after 3 years of pain, all is good. Before I was relaxing my hips to try and facilitate the forward bend, but it turns out that engaging everything helps much better! I am very pleased about this, and now feel happy about doing full primary again.

Tonight I finally leave for my holidays, my first yoga holiday in 18 months so this is very exciting. I should be there already but striking BA cancelled my flight to Cairo yesterday and the best alternative is a flight to Sharm el Sheikh late tonight. It cuts a day and a half off my trip, but it’s better than nothing at all. I have no idea if my flight home will be running as the next batch of cancellations won’t be confirmed until Tuesday. I am sure I will get back somehow.

So for now, I head off into the sunshine with the prospect of lots of nice slow practices sunshine and the beach ahead of me 😀

I had a really, really hectic day yesterday, running around from one place to another from 6am until 10pm, although I did go to yoga, go to work, go to Barbican for rehearsal, back to work again, back to Barbican for a concert then home, which involved a lot of walking!

I then woke up an hour before my alarm this morning, despite having felt that I needed about 10 hours sleep when I went to bed and didn’t go back to sleep… by the time it was time to get up for practice, I felt stiff and unmotivated.

I should know by now that feeling stiff and unmotivated often results in the best practices, so I am very glad I made the effort to get on the mat. It’s funny how I felt like I would be stiff an sore, but actually I wasn’t at all. Must be that state of mind rather than state of body thing!

I’ve continued with Garbha P and baddha K this week and have discussed the baddha K issues with H again. This morning I did a sort of twisted janu A (almost parigasana?) to try and stretch my left QL before starting, then had H give me a very gentle adjustment. We then discussed how it doesn’t really hurt to go down, just to come up. Whilst practising some adjustments to see what helps, I surprised myself by how easily I can get my torso down without it actually hurting. I suspect the anticipation of it hurting makes me tense up, which makes it hurt. Anyway, today, pressure on the sacrum and really engaging the bandas seemed to work. Perhaps the stretch at the beginning helped too. Its something I can work with, which makes me happy and optimistic.

Putting on the extra postures has helped with backbends too. I have never really found it comfortable to go directly from Supta K into backbends, it’s just too much stress on my lower back. So, this week I have been forcing myself to do two long backbends (previously I would wuss out after one). A little like Baddha K, the backbending doesn’t feel too bad whilst I am doing it, but once I come out of the first, the muscles in my lower back seem to spasm. Anyway, forcing myself to do a second back bend doesn’t seem to make it anyway worse, so I’m going to keep at it.

I’ve also had a couple of very productive days at work, getting some nasty bits sorted out, which, along with the sunshine on my desk, feels good. Now we just need warmth to go with the sunshine….

Oh and moonday tomorrow 😀

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