Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Most miserable practice today. Even the fact that Aliya subbed did not help. My nose was stuffed, which made breathing problematic. I felt like a whale in SK, could not hold a bind. Got a cramp in right QL in UD. Felt exhausted by the end of the practice. Sarah and Rayna said that this is because of the cold weather, but I think it is the unfortunate combination of being fat, lazy and old.
Crazy thing with that watermain break! I do not envy people trapped in the cars and the rescuers in the cold water. I pray everybody is OK soon.
We have another lunch out at work today. How one is supposed to lose weight, I am asking you? Ughhhhh....
Monday, December 22, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Too many dinner parties, shopping is not done yet, projects at work needed to be done before Christmas. Boxes are still unpacked. It is so nice without that extra-stuff though. I actually considered just dumping them into the trash. But then I remembered all my yoga books and relented.
My son is visiting for a week. Feels good to have the family together again. We watched the "Dark knight" together yesterday on DVD.
Skipped practice yesterday due to the ladies holiday, but had a good practice today. Has anybody noticed that the body becomes extra-flexible during this time? I have to be careful and hold back a little to avoid an injury.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
I slipped in my decision not to indulge in electronic purchases and bought myself a netbook Aspire one. The cutest laptop I have ever owned. The reason to buy it was that remembering my bad experience on the interview at Howard (they did not have a computer available for my presentation) I decided it would be prudent to have a mobile laptop to carry around for my lectures. It does sound legitimate, right? I will go with it. :)
Need to go and work now. Have a great day!
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
I am trying to decide if my lower back pain (three weeks back) really comes from the standing up from UD or from deep assisted backbends. Two days I avoided both, just doing three UDs from the floor. Today I submitted myself to David's assistance in the backbends. He lifts my midsection very high and my hands are very close to the heels when he helps me. So far I feel nothing in the back. It seems the standing up is the culprit. Back to home-crim lagu vajrasana dips, strengthening the front of the body. Hopefully I will get my stand-ups back, without pinching in the lower back this time.
Oh, and my pasasana is back. Yay! Extra pounds are still with me, though.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
My son found a job in NYC, which is fantastic in this job market. If I come to visit him, I might be able to see all my virtual NY friends. How cool is that? He just needs to graduate first.
On the other hand, I had only two (!) days of Mysore practice this week. So far it is the record of the lowest attendance in my Ashtanga history. In spite of substantial physical activity moving heavy objects, I managed to gain 4 pounds. I am feeling very heavy and ungraceful. Pasasana is gone. Can barely bind Marichi D. Time to start a new life, me thinks.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
I feel stressed out because of the convergence of the obligations. Packing the stuff is most urgent, because the renovations will start next week. On the other hand, I can't help but to worry that my immunology classes will start in the beginning of January, and I haven't even started working on my syllabus and lectures. Not even mentioning everything that needs to be at work. At the times like that my most strong inclination is just to stop doing anything and curl into a ball under the covers. Too bad it is not quite possible.
I am trying not to watch TV. but but the news still leaks into my brain. A family on a meditation trip gets killed in Mumbai. With the scores of others. The reality is so ugly sometimes. :(
Monday, November 24, 2008
Good night, everyone!
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Second, we had a lab outing to the movies yesterday. We watched the "Twilight". Two of us liked it, two didn't. We went to see a 10 am showing, and the theater was full of moms. So funny kids are at school, and the 30 to 50 year-old moms flock to the movies to see a film their teenage daughters are raving about. I did like it - beautiful people, the "Muse" in the soundrack, steaming-hot romance, danger, and friendship - what else can I ask for?
Third, my apartment is going to be renovated in the first week of December. Long time overdue, the walls will be painted, carpet removed and floor finished. For me it means that I need to deal with my voluminous posessions. There are too many of them, and I hope this will force me to go over them with a fine brush and get rid of the majority of them. I can feel already the lightness of being that will bring it, but meanwhile I am dreading the ordeal. I have such a hard time parting with my books and electronics.
The last even of this week was not so good. I had a little heartbreak. Orson Scott Cart was one of my all time favorite authors. I decided to check on him as a person, assuming he should be at least as smart as his characters. Smart he can be, but he is also a rabid conservative, with bitter assays featuring such names as a"fraudmeister Al Gore", hypocrite Obama, and so on. He also considers President Bush to be a smart person and is extrimeley bitter about the liberal bias of the media. Everybody, of course, has a right to their opinion, but for some reason I felt really disappointed. There was nothing in his books that made me cringe, but there was very little in his essays that didn't. For a moment I had a crazy idea that his is playing Demosthenes, the way Valentine did in the "Ender's game", but it does not seem to be the case. Oh, well.
I hope everyone has a beautiful Saturday!
Thursday, November 20, 2008
OK, the conference is over, but all the missed work came down crashing on my head. I skipped shala today because my body was exhausted. Hopefully I will make it to practice tomorrow.
The Convention center, where the meeting was held, is an interesting place because of its location. Brand new, very modern and imposing, it is surrounded by run-down buildings:
It also has some interesting "house decorations":
All objects were real - chairs, tennis rackets, bikes. There were also guitars and kayaks. Crazy!
I am so glad tomorrow is Friday. I just need to survive it, and then I will spend Saturday in bed. Doing nothing.
Monday, November 17, 2008
So after I finished listening to the "Twilight" series (the teenage romance novel with vampires and werewolves) I found myself in need of a new brain candy. Especially because I was waking to and from the Convention Center - 11 blocks from my home - and needed something to occupy my mind. After a brief hesitation I downloaded a second book by the same author (Stephanie Meyer), "the Host", which sounded even sillier than the first one. It was about aliens who occupied the Earth by the means of parasitic attachment to the human brains. And surprise, surprise - I liked it, too! It reminded me a lot of Orson Scott Card's "Xenocide", but on a somewhat deeper psychological level. I even cried a little on a couple of occasions, but this does not say much, because I tend to do that quite often while reading books or watching movies.
Time to read a manual for a new kit for brain cell isolation. God help me.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Anyway, I am kinda back. Still way too busy, but stress has less urgent nature. PMS is raging, though. Yesterday David could not fold me into SK and I nearly cried. I know that this is nothing, the method "bind hands first, ankles second" never worked for me, but still. I just can't wait until I am able to get into the pose by myself. It is just humiliating at the moment. My dwi pada is progressing, actually. I can get my right foot behind the left, but at this moment my left leg goes flying. Not enough power in the neck to hold them without help of the arms. No matter, the day will come.
My dad is better. He is a real fighter. After losing his wife, having 2 strokes, impared right side and speech, he still has an amazing will to live. I wish I inherited the strength of character from him, not just bad temper and flat feet.
I think my interview went well. Not counting the fact that my flash drive was not recognized by their laptop and I had to explain everything on my fingers. The interesting part is that when I came home, I discovered that it had 3 newly acquired viruses on it. So that laptop refused to show my presentation, but gave me viruses! Tsk, tsk. Not very nice. Anyway, I could not answer a couple of questions from a guy, who was probably a zoologist, and wanted to know the differences between vertebrate and invertebrate immunity. I think I answered the other questions OK, they did not seem to be difficult. We'll see. It is not like I need this job to pay my rent. I will not be too upset if I do not get it.
This weeked the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience starts, and I will get to see Elaina again. :) These meetings are crazy, but lots of fun at the same time. Time to see lots of friends, classmates, former colleagues and new people, too. The best part - it is here in DC this year. I do not have any energy left to travel.
Missed you all. Need to go end see how you all were.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Speaking of educated. I have not been around lately, because I was ... studying. Not sure why I do this to myself, I thought that the days of taking the exams were so over. Anyway, I applied for a part-time job teaching immunology in one of the local universities. Good news - I got an interview! Bad news - it will consist of me giving a lecture for 20 min, followed by their questions to test my knowledge of immunology. The baddnes of this news is that I am, honestly speaking, no expert in immunology. I know something here and there, but my knowledge is so fragmented that I do not quite know what I do not know. So I am studying, and feeling stressed out. No time to read you, to time to write. Need to study, so that my public humiliation will be less humiliating. I am not asking for much. :)
On the other hand, Obama won, and I am happy!
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Two day in a row of a decent practice. Not doing dropbacks, stand-ups and assisted backbends for now, just 3 UD from the floor. A vast improvement in how my back feels. Hopefully I will completely recover by next Monday. There is only one small fear that lives in the back of my mind - what if I lost the ability to stand up altogether? Better not to think about it.
My struggle with Supta Kurmasana continues. For some reason, neither Keith nor David assist me into the pose lately. What's up with that? I did make some progress in Dwi pada - my left leg is securely behind my neck. The right one - is another matter. It is much tighter than the left one, and I just can't push it with one hand behind far enought to hook it behind the shoulder. I am so tantalisingly close, the feet are touching, but alas, it is still not there yet. Need to work on opening that right hip at home more diligently.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
On a complete autopilot I battled a nasty morning and made it to the studio. Found the door locked, scratched my head and then realized - today is a moon day! What a blockhead.
As a result I am at work at 6:30 am. Well, I might have some work accomplished today. If I ever detach from the internet and start working, that is.
Happy Moon day!
Monday, October 27, 2008
My back is feeling better. I haven't been standing up ( and dropping down) from UD from Friday. I think I will wait until Sunday to try it again. Meanwhile I am working on strengthening abs/quads and lower back muscles, so hopefully the return to a full practice will not be a shock to my lower back. Pasasana is good now, I am consistently binding on both sides, but Supta Kurmasana is very exasperating. I will drink a full bottle of champagne all by myself the first time I get into the pose and bind without assistance. Not holding my breath, though...
Thursday, October 23, 2008
I decided to lay off standing from UD for a week or so and let the soreness in my lower back to heal. As I said before, it seems that I am lacking core strength to lift myself up without collapsing in the lower back. Meanwhile I will do some spine strengtheners (thank you, Aliya for advice) and Lagu Vajrasana dips at home to build up the core and quads.
This week is not shaping up to be the one deserving my gadget reward. Sigh. I will call it - yoga of discipline and patience. Doesn't it sound good? Much better than me being a loser.
Time to work. Hugs and kisses to everyone! One day till the weekend...
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Full day of work today. Happy Tuesday, everyone! :)
Monday, October 20, 2008
I am sick.
Spent all Sunday in bed with a mother of all headaches, oozing snot and all the other joys of cold. Did not even attempt to practice, because was feeling too icky. I will skip shala today, just to avoid spreading the germs, but have a light practice at home. Will work from home, too.
It is funny how my self-confidence was crushed. Last week I felt so invincible, walking around sneezing and coughing people and thinking "I do yoga, eat right and wash my hands often. There is no way I can get sick". Yeah, right.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Happy weekend, everyone!
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
On Saturday, in my acupuncturist’s office, I noticed some soreness in my lower back. It does not hurt in everyday life, but it was painful when she dug between my vertebrae, looking for the reference points. Then on Monday, when Tova gave me her magical massage, I felt the same – very sensitive lower back. I might have overdone it with deep assisted backbends. I do feel it in the updog and my UD, especially when I stand up from it. So today I decided to try a new tactics – to squeeze in the buttocks and the hamstrings in all the backbends. It really worked in updog and UD, but not in standing up – I kind of lost all coordination while concentrating on the squeeze. So I am not sure how to proceed. Should I give up all backbending and wait for the soreness to be gone? Or should I try more with engaging the legs? I obviously do not do the standing up right – at some point there is a collapse in the lower back. The good news is that I see the problem, the bad news – I have no idea how to deal with the problem. Any ideas?
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I actually was looking forward to work this morning. It did not last too long though... Now I am sitting again buried in paperwork and wistfully thinking about the weekend. May it is time for my meditation? Or some tea with a snack? No, I should better gather my willpower into a fist and start working, working, working! A 15 minute meditation will be my reward in an hour.
Happy Moon day!
Friday, October 10, 2008
OK, back to work. The good thing is that this is a Friday before the long weekend. So the task is to survive this day in one piece and everything will be great. Happy Friday!
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Life is crazy. Forcing myself to meditate everyday made me a little stressed out for a moment, but then actually relieved the stress a little. I am doing 5-10 minute sitting meditation these two days, and it seems to be the hardest type I tried so far. Maybe because life picked up its pace all of a sudden and it is difficult to concentrate overall, leave alone on doing nothing. I was so tired during the practice today, nearly cried. I am considering taking a day off Mysore tomorrow, but I will decide in the morning, depending on how I feel.
Need to get back to work. An important presentation tomorrow morning, to which I have not done anything to prepare. And a gazillion of other small things that needed to be done yesterday. Oi.
Happy Tuesday, everyone!
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Today I had a lot of walking done - first to Dupont circle to my accupuncturist, then to Georgetown to get haircut-manicure-peducure, and then home, to Foggy Bottom. I left home well in advance, giving myself plenty of time for the robotic walk. But the meditation went well, although only with 3-part naming of the step. It was somewhat difficult to keep the attention on the walk, because the weather was amazing and the city looked so pretty early in the morning. Nevertheless, I did get 20-30 minutes of pure meditation done, and it felt interesting. The rythm of walk and relentless repetition of the same words puts you in a some kind of trance, not altogether unpleasant. I will explore it a more!
I like my new haircut! It is a little shorter than I had before, and a little sassier. Of course, it will look completely different tomorrow, when the effects of the blowdry are gone, but I can enjoy feeling pretty today, right?
Friday, October 3, 2008
There was an interesting effect on my sleep. I use a sleeptracker watch to wake me up, and it also keeps track of the “nearly awake times” during the sleep. My normal average time between these “nearly awake’s” is around 25-30 minutes. This night, all of a sudden it was 46 minutes. This means I slept deeper for longer stretches of time. I can’t say I feel any better. In fact, I am very, very tired today, and barely made it through the practice. So I am not sure how to interpret these data, but I find it all curious. Well, there is the whole month ahead to experiment; I hope I will have enough data points to draw conclusions.
Happy Friday! :)
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Anyway, since the plan is to meditate every day in October, I will implement the following changes:
1) do it not in bed, but on the floor
2) do it from 7-8, hoping it will help not to fall asleep
3) banish the cat from the room (somebody crawling on your body during meditation is not conducive for concentration)
I had a follow-up appointment with my dermatologist this morning at 7:15. Had to skip practice and acquired a brand-new set of burns on the neck. Not as bad as the first time, thank God. I might practice after work, but we'll see, with meditation and all if I have time.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
At least I have yoga. Even though I understand that not only it takes 1.5 hours of my time every day, it also eats part of my evening, and the time when I prepare and teach classes. But every time I skip yoga, the day seems even shorter, less organized and productive. So probably yoga in fact adds to my time, I just need to be smarter about spending it right.
Today David said "Not bad" to my pasasana. Which translated to normal human language would sound like "Very good" or even "Excellent". He does not spoil us with praise. I could not wipe a silly grin from my face until the rest of the practice. :)
Oh, I am going to meditate today - thank you, Yogamum for the initiative! I have been ignoring meditation for way too long. BTW, does Yoga Nidra count as meditation or not?
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
I bound pasasana on both sides. Keith gave me an awesome adjustment, rotating my torso towards the ceiling. Then in an assisted backbend I grabbed my heels and held the pose for nice five breaths. Aaahhh! Life is good.
My acupuncturist gave me some herbal concoction to drink twice a day as a tea. She was apologetic about the taste, claiming it was too strong. I was very surprised to find the taste not only not strong, but quite pleasant. I then remembered that it took me sometime to get used to my lapacho tea which I love now. Nothing is too strong in comparison!
Monday, September 29, 2008
Long time out of blogoshpere. Ladies holiday combined with a moon day resulted in 4 days without Mysore practice. I feel really rested now. I still did some yin yoga at home. In addition, my yesterday's vinyasa class kicked my own ass, so I do not feel like a slacker. But I am looking forward to tomorrow's practice.
Overall I feel very mellow for some reason. I have lots of things to to, but it does not bother me at all. SAMe at work? I like it!
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Yesterday my friend Jane and I went to a "Little Fountain" restaurant in Adams Morgan. It was very cozy. A single table outside, way below the sidewalk, but in a beautiful tiny garden, drowning in flowers. So lovely! And the food was too good for my own good, I ate too much. I generally do not like going out too much, because I get easily bored by waiting for the food, then eating for hours, then waiting for the check and so on. Seems like such a waste of time. But Jane is such a interesting person, with 75 years worth of fascinating stories, I never get bored with her. Her stories yesterday were sad though. She talked about her best friend Helen, who died from cancer at 41. She got the same cancer as her older sister, who is still alive today (way over 80). Helen, however, did not want to follow her sister's successful, but brutal traditional treatment and went through the alternative ways - cleansing through coffee enemas, healers, herbs and so on. When she realized they were not working, it was too late.
One of Jane's nephews who lives in Singapore told her once "DC is disgusting! Look at all those chewing gum traces" and he pointed out to the dark blotches on the sidewalks. I have never paid attention to them, but now I am very curious - are they really traces of chewing gum? It is hard to believe that there are so many of them. Not sure how to investigate it though. Any ideas (not involving picking up and tasting)? They are flat, dark and non-sticky.
Have a great day, everyone!
PS. Googled it and found this about chewing gum: Chewing Gum Graveyard. Looks very convincing...
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
I am at work now, and even though I slept nearly 9 hours, I feel sluggish and sleepy. As much as I would like to practice today, I do not think it will be possible. Lots of work, and in the evening I am taking my dear friend Jane out for her birthday. She is one of the most interesting people I met in my life and I am looking forward to seeing her and listening to her stories.
OK, time to wash my face with cold water to wake up and start working. I hope you have a beautiful Wednesday!
Monday, September 22, 2008
Sunday, September 21, 2008
I was working on the opening of the hips for better supta kurmasana. After a while I noticed that this pose (do not know the name and too lazy to look it up) became easy to do. Decided to document in the common corridor. The downside of the arrangement is that it is hard during the 10 seconds of the self-timer to get both into the pose and into the frame completely. My cat had much better luck in this regard. And neighbors walked to and from the elevator every 2 seconds for some reason. I will never be able to look them into eyes from now on.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Here is one of the roses I took pictures the other day. Why do I like dark pictures so much - no idea.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
I was so sore and so tired today. Still glad I made it to practice, though now I am wondering how to make it to the rest of the day in one piece. It seems that many people felt the same way in the shala today. Just very low energy in the air, in addition to not too many people there to begin with. On the other hand, I felt really flexible. It seemed that there was no energy even to resist the stretch. Backbends were flaccid, too - like there was not much of a backbone to bend. I wonder if I am going to pay for it later? Hopefully Saturday rest will help.
Happy Friday, everyone!
Incredibly busy the last two days. Did make to the shala, though. Good practice. Aliya was teaching today,which is always a treat. In MariC, he twisted me so much, I thought I would be able to see him from the opposite side if he turned me a little more. In supta kurmasana Aliya folded me somehow differently today. I could not hold it all that well, but he claimed it was rather deep. All in all - very satisfying Mysore. If only I did not have to work after it, it would be so lovely. But alas, no such luck, need to work, work and work some more.
My beautiful friend Genevieve just sent me this:
Subject: I'm confused .....
I'm a little confused. Let me see if I have this straight.....
* If you grow up in Hawaii , raised by your grandparents, you're 'exotic, different.'
* Grow up in Alaska eating mooseburgers: a quintessential American story.
* If your name is Barack you're a radical, unpatriotic Muslim.
* Name your kids Willow , Trig, and Track: you're a maverick.
* Graduate from Harvard law School and you are unstable.
* Attend 5 different small colleges before graduating: you're well grounded.
* If you spend 3 years as a brilliant community organizer, become the first black President of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter registration drive that registers 150,000 new voters, spend 12 years as a Constitutional Law professor, spend 8 years as a State Senator representing a district with over 750,000 people, become chairman of
the state Senate's Health and Human Services committee, spend 4 years in the United States Senate representing a state of 13 million people while sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veteran's Affairs committees, you don't have any real leadership experience.
* If your total resume is: local weather girl (sports caster), 4 years on the city council and 6 years as the mayor of a town with fewer than 7,000 people, 20 months as the governor of a state with 650,000 people, then you're qualified to become the country's second highest ranking executive.
* If you have been married to the same woman for 19 years while raising 2 beautiful daughters, all within Protestant churches, you're not a real Christian.
* If you cheated on your first wife with a rich heiress, and left your disfigured wife and married the heiress the next month, you're a Christian.
* If you teach responsible, age appropriate sex education, including the proper use of birth control, you are eroding the fiber of society.
* If , while governor, you staunchly advocate abstinence only, with no other option in sex education in your state's school system while your unwed teen daughter ends up pregnant , you're very responsible.
* If your wife is a Harvard graduate lawyer who gave up a position in a prestigious law firm to work for the betterment of her inner city community, then gave that up to raise a family, your family's values don't represent America 's.
* If you're husband is nicknamed 'First Dude', with at least one DUI conviction and no college education, who didn't register to vote until age 25 and once was a member of a group that advocated the secession of Alaska from the USA, your family is extremely admirable.
OK, much clearer now.
Monday, September 15, 2008
Nairam tagged me for a meme:
1) Seeing a really good movie. I love movies, all kinds - chick flicks, adventure, sci-fi, fantasy, comedy. Not horror, though.
2) Talking to my son
3) Spending time with my husband
1) Growing old, feeble minded and physically incapacitated
2) Something bad happening to my loved ones
3) Some global catastrophe with no possibility of escape
1) books (own too many already, no time to read, but must have them…)
3) electronic gadgets
3 surprising facts:.
2) I wanted to be a journalist and used to write well. OK, you can stop laughing now. First of all, it was a looong time ago, second – I am much more eloquent in Russian!
3) I think I am not afraid to die. At least not too much. Once my friends and I crossed a small river to find a secluded spot for nude sunbathing (we were so stupid then!). It was a nice morning, and the river was more like a little creek. In the afternoon, when we decide to return home, we discovered that this little trickle of water became a wild brown stream, carrying branches and even little trees along. Apparently, this river was fed by the glaciers in the mountains, and after a very hot day and small rain it became impassable. In addition to the increased width and depth, it was so noisy; nobody could hear us from the road. As I mentioned, we were young and stupid, and decided to cross it anyway, using a fallen tree that was half submerged under the moving water. All my friends passed it safely (not without screaming) and I was the last one to go. As I was moving along the tree, the something hit my legs (it might have been a stone rolling on the bottom, I am not sure) and I lost balance completely. I was able to catch a thin branch of the tree and was flailing like a rug in the water. I looked up and could see that the branch I was holding was slowly detaching from the trunk under my weight. At this moment I kind of decided that I was going to die. And did not get upset, or scared or anything like that. I just accepted the death as a reality and was absolutely at peace. Then I grieved for a moment for my parents, but that passed very fast, too. Any way, the tree turned around because I was pulling at it and a brand new branch became available for me to grab. I am still alive, but I remember that peace and calm at the moment of mortal danger. I hope I will feel the same when the time comes!
In other news – I love yoga! This Saturday I had a migraine attack, slept poorly and woke up on Sunday not only with a mother of all headaches, but also a crick in my neck, which extended to the shoulder blade. Briefly considered not going to shala. But since we agreed to go to have breakfast with Anna and Tova before, so I decided to go anyway. Sun Salutations were horrible – I felt like barfing every time my head was down, but that passed soon. All things considered, it was a decent practice, though I could not do my backbends because of the pain in the shoulder. We had a very lovely breakfast with the girls afterward, and I felt much better. By the time of the class I was supposed to teach, I was fresh and pain-free, like a newborn. Yoga rules!
Saturday, September 13, 2008
The Intention Experiment is embarking on a series of scientific studies to determine whether "group mind" has the power to increase peace and cooperation in war-torn areas around the world experiencing high levels of conflict and violence.
Lynne McTaggart, architect of the experiments and author of the best-selling book The Intention Experiment, has enlisted a team of internationally recognized scientists from University of California, Princeton University and University of Arizona and elsewhere, to help design these studies.
Although many meditation groups and other peace initiatives are being formed and studied, the Peace Intention Experiment represents the first scientific study of whether collective targeted intention can restore peace.
The TM research
This project was sparked by the numerous Transcendental Meditation studies showing that when a critical mass of meditators regularly meditate in an area, the crime rate goes down.
The TM organization has also targeted global conflict. In 1983 a special TM assembly met in Israel to attempt to use meditation to resolve the Palestinian conflict. During their sessions, they made daily comparisons between the number of meditators working on the project and the state of Arab-Israeli relations. On days with a high number of meditators, fatalities in Lebanon fell by 76 per cent. Ordinary violence - local crime, traffic accidents and fires - also all decreased.
But the TM studies mostly concern group attention. In many instances, the meditators are not people who maintain a focused intention to change something else. The Peace Intention Experiment will take their work one step further by examining what happens when a large group sends a highly specific intention to make a change.
The first study will begin on September 14, 2008, to tie in with the Unity Church's Eleven days of Unity, and run for 10-minute intervals each day at the same time for one week.
Friday, September 12, 2008
I am teaching two classes today (which makes it 4 hours of yoga), and there is also lots of work in the lab. I was in utpluthi today and thought - Hmm, this pose is like my Friday - one last big effort and then blissful rest. Which makes Saturday my Savasana. Sunday would be sun salutations, lots of energy after the rest. Monday - Warrior 1, determination to work and accomplish. Tuesday - Janu A, determination dwindling down. Wednesday - Supta Kurmasana, not a happy day. Thursday - exhaustive UD drop backs, no energy left for work or life. Here we go - a week in a form of the Primary series.
I have been obsessing over Sade's "Flow" lately for some reason. Matches my melancholic mood. I think I will use it in my class today:
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Here what I came up with. Composition-wise could have been better, but I think the technique is interesting - I was using a small key-chain laser to get the "shining from within" effect. What do you think?
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Some brave souls are looking very closely at their Yamas and Nyamas observances. While I still prefer to live an unexamined life, one thing is clear: I totally suck at Aparigraha. Apple unveiled it’s new Ipods yesterday, and the minute they updated their on-line store, I got myself a new ipod touch. Feeling really guilty now. Well, not really. :) Can’t wait for it to come! I am also eying a sewing machine at Costco, but I might be able to keep myself from buying it for a while. It is bulky, and I decided that first I need to get rid of something that is twice the volume of the machine. This way I will actually decrease the number and bulk of my possessions, not increase them. Sly, huh?
Have a great day, everyone!
Monday, September 8, 2008
So I had an excellent practice on Sunday. Damien is subbing, he is quite amazing and it is also good to have someone new with a fresh perspective. Then in the evening I taught a very vigorous class. For some reason I got lots of beginners in my vinyasa class, so I cranked the intensity up a notch so that they would decide if they really wanted to stay in this class. This class in nearly full and I do not want to disappoint my regular students with slowing down for the yoga beginners. I teach an easier class on Friday (which has an attendance problem), so hopefully some of the beginners will migrate there. Anyway, it was intense even for me, though I did not do everything. So this morning I was sore to begin with for Mysore. I decided to hide in the corner of the room, the one that gets least of the teachers attention. Boy, did I pay for it! Damien was either very busy, or he did not notice me for a while, but I spent in Kurmasana 50 breaths before he helped me into Supta Kurmasana. Which was fine for a while, but in an hour or so after practice I noticed an increasing soreness on my butt and the outsides of my thighs. I was sitting and working on my paper all day long and that did not help the matters at all. Getting up from the chair became excruciating, and my walking now is reminiscent of that of a pregnant woman. Or a duck. Esthetically speaking, it does not matter since I still look like a typhoid patient with the spots all over my neck. Practically speaking - highly inconvenient. Tried to sit on a tennis ball and roll it around - too painful. Now I am writing this, and dreaming of getting home, taking Advil and Epsom salt bath. So want to be back to being spotless and graceful!
Friday, September 5, 2008
I hope I can climb out of it by myself this time, before I reached the game-playing stage. I realised that I am getting there, right? The first step. Could these be the symptoms of depression, I wonder?
Hello, my name is Alfia, and I am a zombie.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
But practice was very good, though I felt incredibly self-conscious. Jump-throughs are better, not as noisy and a little lighter. I was practicing lolasana at home with the blocks, but so far I do not see any progress with my jump backs (granted, I only practiced it twice at home, no reason to expect big changes). I felt good afterwards, and I think this is the most important part - my Yoga practice makes me feel strong and young.
1) stretch those hip flexors to remove the lower back strain in backbends;
2) strengthen those hip flexors with lolasana on the blocks - 10X
3) open hip for supta kurmasana with a chair.
4) Linda's push-ups 45X
Should keep me busy tonight. :)
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Anyway, the next was a visit to a dermatologist. She removed three suspicious moles and then she started burning skin tags on my neck. Apparently, I have a high pain threshold, so she got all excited and burned every single imperfection she could see, including broken vessels and whatnot. As a result, I looked like a leper yesterday, and today I look like a leopard. I had no idea there were so many imperfections! These burns do not bother me too much, but one of the removed moles hurt all night long, and I did not get enough sleep. Skipped shala today, had a slow yin home practice. But my yearly program of cancer prevention is practically fullfilled, only left a gynecologist visit for a pap smear, and I am done!
Time to go to work and scare the anesthesia patients with my spotted neck. Happy Wednesday, everyone!
Monday, September 1, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Anyway, practice is still strong. Naked+Anutra+Green vibrance+MSM for breakfast turned out to be a golden combination for me. David grunted approvingly while hlelping me in supta kurmasana, which made me happy (we are so not spoiled by praise!), and spent some time in helping me to hold a "high and proud" kukkutasana. It seems that what I needed at the moment the most - just a sign that I am not forgotten, and I am back to a contented self.
In other news - Rayna is back! She was so radiant and beautiful with Hawaiian flowers in her hair. Aliya will be back in shala by Sunday, too. Things are getting back to normal. Even better than normal, because we have Tova here, too. So wonderful!
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
It is sad that we do not have much choices in DC in terms of Ashtanga. The only other studio does not have a very early Mysore, so it would not work for me. Sigh. I am being silly, of course. I love David and Keith, and me being mad just reflects more my own shortcomings, and less theirs. Sigh again. OK, I think I am done with the tantrum. Sorry, everyone!
Monday, August 25, 2008
Having realized that, I decided not to make any drastic decisions and ask any more damaging questions. Let things be, my life outlook might be back to normal by the next week. Let me tell you, though, PMS sucks!
Saturday, August 23, 2008
And here some highlights from Beijing:
Friday, August 22, 2008
Again, two days in a row of very strong practices. I do not remember having a week like that before. It seems that combination of MSM + Naked Machine works wonders for my stamina. Even after working hard on all my jump-throughs, I had more than enough energy for UD stand-ups.
Me happy. :)
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
I got back on my CRON vagon. Following Arturo's advice, I prepare the food for breakfast and lunch an evening before, weigh everything and enter the data into Cron-o-meter. In the evening, I look for whatever component is missing from my diet, and make a dinner accordingly. Lacking the necessary ingredients, I take supplements. So far, this week's diet was stellar (a little high on carbs, but within the calorie limit). Can't wait till Sunday to see what the scale tells me. Not that it ever tells me anything good.
Too much work at work for some reason. I was hoping for a slow season after the summer insanity, but no such luck. When is that Labor day?
Monday, August 18, 2008
Happy Monday! :)
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Today's practice was usual Thursday sucky self, no surprise here. No energy left be the end of practice, could barely stand up from UD, handstand was shaky from pure exhaustion. Since I know now that this is a normal situation for Thursday, I am not even upset. It is also possible that my 103 Cal breakfast is just not sufficient, need to up it a little. Oh, and there is no MSM in the house! I can feel its absence in my muscles very clearly. MSM dependency.
OK, time to work. Happy Thursday! I hope your weather is as amazing as it is here, in DC.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Sunday, August 10, 2008
This was one of the laziest Sundays I had in a long time. I did make it to Mysore, and the practice was good. I also taught my vinyasa class (tortured them with ab work). Otherwise, we spent the rest of the day literally in bed, watching the Olympics and eating, eating, eating. No guilt, though, just pure hedonistic pleasure. We need those days once in a while.
Oops, the American gymnastic team is not doing so well in qualifying. I need to concentrate on cheering. Good night, everyone!
Saturday, August 9, 2008
So I am back in the game! Looking forward to practicing full primary tomorrow at the shala.
How beautiful the opening ceremony in Beijin was! I was never a sports fan, but there is something about the Olympics that makes watching sports interesting. Things changed so much since we watched the Games last time. Women lifting weigths! Not even women, but tiny girls lifting 114 kg. Amazing!
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
I just need to survive this week, and all will be well. This is the last week for out summer students. I will need to sub a class on Thursday, and teach my regular classes on Friday and Sunday. Also, it is my husband's birthday this Saturday, so something needs to be done there. My son will come from NYC for that weekend to celebrate with us. Need to plan meals. Clean the apartment. Write a paper. Finish the paperwork at work (which would allowed me to get paid and get health insurance). Several other things needed to be done, but I do not remember which ones, only remember they were important. OK, I am hyperventilating now. Taking a deep breath ....
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Tova practiced in the shala, too. Her dropbacks are stunning, just stunning. After the practice, Tova and I went to Whole Foods for breakfast and had a lovely chat with Rayna, Matt, David and two people I haven't met before - Leo and Mike. Leo turned out to be a Russian from St.Petersburg.
I came home afterwards and had a long nice nap. Aaah! If not for a class I need to teach tonight, I would say the life is perfect. After a frenzy of the previous week rest felt precious.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
Have to work. Happy Monday to everyone!
Friday, July 25, 2008
Very decent practice today. Keith gave me an awesome adjustment in Marichi D, I was able to bind my wrists and hold it for what is seemed forever. He also observed me doing my drop-backs/stand-ups from UD, so I guess there is a hope for me to get a new pose sometime soon.
I was teaching a class yesterday that I share with another teacher for the summer. I used one of the tricks I learned in Adrienne Reed's training (thank you, Miriam!). To distract people from the effort of holding garudasana for a long time, I made them turn their faces to each other and do the "lion face" - a loud exhalation with the tongue out and eyes crossed. Then they turned to the other side and did the same. It was a lot of fun, we laughed like crazy, but held the pose for much longer than usual. The students liked it a lot.
Lots of things to be done at work. There is not enough time in the day.I used to stay up late to finish things, but it is out of the question these days. I am not sacrificing the quality of my practice for work. I have my priorities straight.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Have a great day!