Thursday, May 28, 2009

Fighting friction.

Day three of practice this week was heavy. But again, I need to memorize that feeling of well being afterward, even if I felt tired during the practice.
Anyway, I found an interesting cheat this morning. I was wearing cropped pants, and a tank top with open shoulders. So I sprayed some water on my leg before attempting Dwi pada, and it really helped to slide that stiff right leg back. I still was not able to bind the legs on my own, but both of my feet touched and it felt that I was much closer to success. Keith helped me to bind the legs and I bound my hands on my own in supta kurmasana. Practically for the first time in my life.
I am so excited! :) Then I lifted up, and uncurled into tittibasana. No friction there - my legs went down with unexpected speed and crushed loudly on the floor. Something to pay attention to.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial day

It seems that I fell off the blogging wagon. On the other hand I had a very productive week. I wonder if there is a relationship between the two?
First of all I did not skip Mysore during the work week, which is lately unusual for me. Only on Sunday I made a mistake of deciding to "sleep another 20 minutes", waking up two hours later and realizing I overslept practice. It was funny, because in fact I woke up early, finished all my morning routines and had an extra 30 minutes before it was time to leave when I decided to take a nap. Well, maybe my body needed it or something.
Aliya was teaching the whole week. I am currently struggling with dwi pada transition into supta kurmasana (which is all-time bad because of my left leg injury), so I asked him what I can do at home to open up hips in this direction. He said that he bets $50 that if I come to practice 6 times a week, in 6 months I will do it without any problems. Which is a challenge I could not resist - that is why good Mysore attendance. The problem was that half way through the week he changed his mind and said that I could do it even now, just needed to overcome a psychological block. Hmmm.... The problem is that I can't throw my right leg behind my head using only my right hand, even if there is no left leg behind. But who am I to argue? Will keep trying my hardest.
At work things were going well, too. It was a slow beginning of the week, but then things picked up, and I managed to finish every single thing on my task list every day. What a nice feeling! Maybe I learned at last to make manageable lists? We also went for a short brisk walk every day after lunch, which bumped up my daily step average from 5K to 8K, with 3K of aerobic walk.
Sweet Rayna gave me a book about 80/10/10 diet, which I decided to try. It is a raw fruitarian diet, which attracted me because I loooove fruit. Before I tried to minimize fruit in my diet, because eating them made me fat in the first place, and it made me sad a little. According to 811, one is not supposed to eat more than 10% of fat, which means no fat added at all, because most of the fruit have around 10% fat in them. According to the author, Dr. Graham, this make a huge difference in the way body deals with sugars. Supposedly this diet is beneficial for diabetics, too, which is completely counter intuitive. So after a trip to Costco, I started the diet three days ago, and so far I am loving it! I remind myself a cow a little, because I am eating practically every hour, but my God this is easy! Wash and weigh the fruit, and this is all the cooking involved. I am not hungry, and feel pretty great. The greatest challenge is getting enough calories. Could not get enough iron, selenium, calcium and vitamins B12 and D, so I took supplements. Need to research more which plants will provide those. Morning glucose level is 95 average, which is better than before I started eating so much simple carbs. Even weight went down 2 lbs last week! So far I am very happy. My husband - not so much. He looks very sad, eating alone. But he ate much more fruit as a result, too, which is good for him.
And this is a Memorial day, combined with a Moon day! Time to be lazy, I think. Or not. :)
Happy Monday!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Not so happy anymore

Guruji left his body. Though I did not get a chance to get to know him personally, I feel privileged to live and practice at the time he lived. I hope he feels all the love and gratitude of so many people who's lives he changed forever.

Me happy...

I had three days of home practice before I returned to shala this morning. I was concentrating on hips and backbends, nothing drastic, just slow yin practice. For the backbends I used a big ball. It felt really good, but I was not sure if this practice achieved anything. However this morning, during the first updog I suddenly felt ache in my upper abs. Not bad pain, but the sensation that I actually stretched something there. It was a pleasant surprise - I have never managed to go into a backbend deep enough to stretch abs. Love my ball! :)

The practice today was great, everything seemed to be working my way, all the poses were nicely satisfying. Aliya was subbing, which is always a plus. He helped me into SK via dwi pada, and I did not feel much in my left leg (afterwards - s little nagging sensation, but nothing dramatic). Did it heal completely? I will try to be careful in putting it behind my head, but I should definitely push a little and work on getting into SK on my own. Back feels good, too. I might be a little too cautious these days with standing up from UD, but it beats getting hurt again and thrown back for another year.

All in all - my body is happy, and so am I. Happy new week, everyone!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The benefits of chemical modifications of the body.

I went to practice yesterday after taking Theraflu a night before. Practice was good, though I felt a little shaky from weakness. Yesterday I did not take any meds and woke up incredibly stuffed up. Now, how do people practice if they can't breathe through the nose? I had a light home practice and my sinuses cleared up after all sun salutations, but I had to blow my nose after every single one of them. Disgusting. Now I am wondering, should I take anything tonight to be able to practice at the shala tomorrow, or I will recover sufficiently to go drug-free? Hmmm...

The weather is amazing - a little cool, but in a nice, crisp and sunny sort of way. I hope I will be able to go for a short walk after lunch today. I am trying a walking meditation again, and it goes so well when it is beautiful outside.

Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Cold dropbacks for DZM

I decided to contribute to the team USA with an icy-cold dropback (did 2):

Pictures from New York

Just wanted to cover up my whiny post. Here are some pictures:

Just a girl on Park avenue. I like how she was catching the sun nonchalantly among crazy traffic.

People waiting for the start of the practice in Chinatown YMCA.

Me, grinning stupidly next to Sharath after the practice. He was very nice, though he firmly refused to allow me to take pictures during the practice.
The next pictures are from the Central Park zoo, which was 3 blocks from my son's apartment. I always wanted to live close to the zoo!

Polar bears are now forever associated in my mind with the "Lost". Need to cut down on TV time!

In the spirit of Mother's day. This baby monkey was a riot! He tried to ride his mom and some others without any succes, was jumping around like, well, a monkey, but always returned to his mom to get a hut and just to sit a little, tightly squeezed to her.

This bird was not only very pretty, but also very fearless. It walked around under everyone's foot, practically tripping over unsuspecting visitors. I wish I knew it's name!


As soon a got back from NY, I found myself in a zombie-like sleepwalking state, where nothing mattered much, everything was a bother and just one thing was important - sleep. I was sleeping at night, napping during the day whenever I could find an opportunity and then noded in all meetings, lectures and other public events I had to attend. My value as a worker was very close to zero, and yoga just did not bring any satisfaction. It was very annoying. Then on Friday it dawned - I am sick! All those allergy meds I was gulping up did not help, because it were never allergies. Aches were not from the ladies holiday. Headache was not from the low atmospheric pressure. Yikes. I hope this is not flu, because I probably shared it with everyone I got in contact with. Anyway, I stayed home on Friday, slept probably 18 hours in total, then slept 15 hours on Saturday and now am contemplating whether to go and nap a little at 8:30 in the morning on Sunday. I wonder if I got bitten by a fly with sleeping sickness trypanosome. Wait, they live in Africa, not New York City. Definitely time for a nap. Then I will do Iyengar's sequence for cold and flu and see if it helps any.
I hope your Sunday is better than mine! :)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Home, sweet home.

The week in New York was a quite intense and wonderful. It was great spend some time with my son, to catch up with Tova, Anna, Sonya, and Karen, and to meet new wonderful people. I practiced, and walked, took some pictures and generally enjoyed myself immensely. The trip back was a breathe - slept through the most of it. When I came back, however, the craziness started immediately. Right from the bus I needed to have my picture taken for the visa renewal, because we forgot that it was supposed to be done digitally these days. I had only 20 minutes to get from the bus station to the Photo store, so I jumped into the first car that was on the taxi stand. It turned out to be a very old car, which barely made it through DC traffic, coughing and sneezing all the way. In the end, we submitted the papers, 2 or 3 minutes before the closing of the office.

At home I found my older cat in a state of protest over my absence. She pooped and peed all over the apartment; my husband cleaned it as much as he could, but there was still a strong smell in the air. At least she did not get sick this time, thank God. But I was in for a substantial cleaning time over the weekend.

Then on Monday at work all the tasks that I missed last week crashed on me like a ton of bricks. Every single one of them interesting, but there are too many of them and they were supposed to be done yesterday. How ever do people take vacations?

But practice was good yesterday. Again, this is that rare time in my life when nothing really hurts (unless I try to force my left leg behind my head that is). Today I opted out for a lighter home practice, anticipating a long day ahead. I am looking forward to Mysore tomorrow, though. It feels that home practice was somehow not quite satisfactory.


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