Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Icy morning

I so love snow days! Even though we did not get one at work, my evening lecture was canceled, and I spent leisurely evening watching all the shows I have missed recently. Boy that felt good. I think this constant time pressure dries out my soul. I needed this therapy evening.

This morning I was all ready to go to practice. I was a little late, so I jumped out of the front door and immediately fell. Got up, fell again. The sidewalks were pure ice. Made it to my car, and discovered it was completely covered in a layer of ice even thicker than on the sidewalk. Eyed the shiny driveway and decided against going to Mysore. Such a wimp! Went back home, watched TV for an hour, had a lazy-ass slow yin practice and steeled myself for going out again. The driveway was already treated, thank God! It took some time to de-ice my car, and I am at work. It seems many people had the same problem, because the garage was half-empty and there is an echo in the corridors. I like it this way. Nobody to distract me, and I can do whatever I want. Just regret missed practice, but otherwise feel really good.

Anyway, about practice. Back pain is practically gone, and I even attempted standing up from UD again. I have been practicing Lagu vajrasana dips so much that my quads are killing me now. But maybe that helped my backbending problem, who knows. I do feel the engagement of the hip flexors and quads a little more (maybe because they are sore from home practice), so The Plan might be working. Yay!

Keep warm, everyone!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Laziest person on Earth gets new boots

For a person who does not have any time anymore, I do a lot of useless things. Today, for example, I drove to my car dealer for a 5K intermediate check-up, or something like that and to check my brakes which I noticed were making noises the day before yesterday. Only to find out that I was 2K miles short for a check-up, and my brakes stopped making noises, which were probably a result of cold weather. An hour of life - wasted.

Last week was bad in terms of Mysore attendance - only 2 days, one of them - incomplete practice. I do not even have a decent excuse for that. Home practice was lazy, short and altogether unsatisfying. I am not sure what is wrong with me.

In spite of such bad behavior, I rewarded myself with new boots from Aldo (thank you, Susan!). They look strange, but they are incredibly comfortable and have thick soles. I was too cold in all my other shoes, so I guess it was a necessary purchase.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Thursday already.

Two days in a row of Mysore feel good, even though I had an abbreviated practice today.
Had an acupuncture session with Kelly from the studio; he seems to be quite amazing. He was reading my pulses for more than 5 minutes and correctly diagnosed my heart valve problem. He told me that my spinous processes of vertebrae are most likely grind against each other when I stand up from UD, that much I have guessed already. So my plan is - again work on quad/psoas/abs strength for another week before even attempting to stand up, and see if it helps. If not, I might need some technique remediation.

Work is waiting.

Happy Thursday!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Delusions of immortality

I grew up close to a cousin who was two years younger. Being older, I was an instigator of all kinds of shenanigans, for which as a rule only he got in trouble. He did not seem to mind though; invariably he would come over and play with me, pretending to be an Indian from the books of James Fenimore Cooper, a pirate searching for the treasure, or just competing in climbing the highest tree. I eventually outgrew my mischievousness and became an adult. He, on the other hand, stayed in the childhood perpetually, only pretending to be serious. On the surface, he looked a lot like Tim Russert, just yonger. My cousin died yesterday.
There is something to be said of being a child in a man's body. Children think they would live forever; they do not take care of themselves. Over the years, my cousin grew overweight and developed a bunch of ailments, including diabetes, which went undiagnosed. He learned about them only three days before his death. He had a stroke, which was undoubdetly a result of unhealthy living. People just shouldn't die in their early forties. My heart is so heavy now. I am thinking about all my other relatives and friends left back in Kazakhstan; how inadequate the health care is there; what kind of unhealthy traditional diet they are eating and how little they can do to improve their health because they are in a constant struggle for survival. So sad.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Big crunch.

I do not have any time anymore. Between preparation for the classes, grading the homework, teaching and working in the lab the only time that is left is for yoga and sleep. Thank God for the upcoming long weekend. I might be able to catch up with cleaning and reading a little. I miss my blogosphere friends! I hope things will cool down a little when I develop suitable routines; at the moment, thought, it feels like a constant rush to catch up.

Sending a big electronic hug - happy Friday!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Dream - and you will have your answer.

Second day of no Mysore because of the ladies holiday. I can really feel the absence of practice in my body, because I did not do even an abrreviated practice home. My toe hurts. :( I was wearing "nice shoes" on Monday (to get used to them) and yesterday (because of my first immunology lecture) and it really aggravated the big toe joint, which became large, red and painful. No more nice shoes - I actually threw them away when I realised they were the reason I started limping. Blah.
The last week went in a flurry of preparation for the classes, but I still did not feel quite ready to teach. Nevertheless, the lecture yesterday went nicely. Only one person said he could not understand me, everybody else seemed to be fine. I was a little nervous, but I think it will pass eventually. There were 40 people in the class! And I was promised 19 undegrads and 5 grads. Gave a homework, and somebody already e-mailed me the answers (a morning after!). I really liked the students - they were engaged, answered and asked questions, and were genuinely interested in the material. I hope this class goes well until the end.
Coming home after the lecture dampened my good mood - I could not find my keys. Had to wait for Victor and then ripped the house apart looking for them. Went to bed, thinking about where I could have lost them and then dreamed the answer! Woke up after midnight with the urge to look under a pile of magazines on my desk, and there were the keys. How cool is that? The only bad thing was that I could not fall asleep after that for more than an hour and did not wake on time today. Oh well, it is not like I was going to Mysore anyway. OK, need to do at least some stretches. Have a great day, everyone!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Feeling light and relaxed.

OK, new week.
Let's see, last week skipped Mysore once (5)
taugt 2 classes, attended 1 workshop. Lost 2 lbs. Ate well, more or less. Walked around 6K steps a day (this area needs improvement).
Tim Feldman's workshop on jumping back and through was lovely. It was pretty much the same as Kino's, but with added value of a handsome man teaching. I think I got the technique right by now, just lack necessary strength. Lots and lots of strength. I can't do lolasana at all - my ankles and feet are just hanging there like a dead weight. Can't even figure out which muscles to contract. Oh, well, practice and..., you know.
Being a lazy bum, I looove moon days. In addition, I will have a massage with Keith tomorrow. His massage is different from Tova's - more brutal, in a bone-crunching, deep into the soul digging way. It is good to have his massage when there are no injuries. Tova, on the other hand, is a born healer, her massage is comforting and therapeutic, and she is God-sent when one is hurt. Anyway, life is good.
Happy Moon Day, everyone!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Finger curse.

It is official - I can stand up from UD only every other day. I am OK with that, beats never be able to stand any day.

There is something going on in the finger department. I started it, when in July I caught a ball awkwardly and hurt my left index finger. Still hurts a little, even after six month.s Anyway, then my boss hurt her left thumb and could not do much for a while. In December, we got a new IRTA fellow to work in the lab, Nick. Nice guy. Right after the holiday, he fell down on the slippery stairs and broke his left index finger. Not a huge break, but a piece of bone is chipped off the joint, not very pleasant. He made an appointment with an excellent hand surgeon in Baltimore for Monday, and was trying to persuade me to come with him, to check out that July injury. Today, my buddy LaShon came to work late - she broke her left middle finger! A very nasty, spiral brake of the proximal phalanx bone. Ugh! She walked her dog, which suddenly charged to pursue another dog, and her fingers got caught in a leash. She says there was a loud popping noise and then - unbelievable pain. It seems that Nick might get a companion for a road trip to Baltimore, after all.
Anyway, I think I will walk around a bit more carefully for the nearest future. What if the curse is still there and we will start another round? I need my fingers. Can't work or do yoga without them. Need to cross them for a while, so I will stop typing now. :)
Happy Friday!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Baby steps.

Yesterday's practice sucked. Not all the way, but I still could not get up from UD, and once even crash-landed trying. I had this feeling that this barely-acquired skill is gone, and probably forever. Brrrrr, scary thought! One of the explanations that Tova suggested was that I was too tired by the end of the practice. Took some measures yesterday - had a bath before bed and went to bed half an hour earlier. Big difference this morning - I felt better, and I did stand up, twice. Did not really attempt to do it in the third UD, but from dropbacks - worked. Sigh of relief. Why just two times - well, I believe in baby steps, so these are mine. I am still too afraid to hurt my back the way I did it recently, so I am being prudent. Not lazy. Oh, be silent!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

New Year's present; undeserved, but joyful.

The first Mysore practice of the year - and the miracle happened. I got krounchasana! Happy.
The miracle did not extend to the backbends, though. Could not stand up from UD for the life of me. No matter, there is always tomorrow. But I am getting a new pose in average once in 6 months, so there is a reason to celebrate! :)

Friday, January 2, 2009

New year, new life ... sigh.

It is really hard to start a new life when your nose is stuffed and your head is achy. At least to start a new yoga life, which would consist of not-skipping Mysore. I started feeling lousy on Wednesday, met New Year in a theraflu-induced gaze and was hoping that today things would be better. Alas, no such luck. By this time I am no longer contagious, but the sounds of blowing my nose every three seconds can make anybody nervous. Especially because our shala is full of pregnant women. So second day of home practice. Yin practice, I think. The thought of doing primary terrifies my achy carcass. By the way, theraflu and champagne make a very potent combination. Particularly when you avoided alcohol for a long, long time. Good thing we were celebrating at home. :D
Skipping work today, too. Need to prepare the lectures to teach, the classes start next week. On Sunday - my yoga classes start, winter session. These holidays are over way too soon, let me tell you. Would be nice to have another week or two.
The bright spot - meeting with Rayna, Sarah and Tova tomorrow for a little photosession and maybe a dinner afterward. Life does not suck too much, afterall. :)


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