Monday, April 23, 2018

Celebrating tiny successes

1. In April I practiced more often than during the other months in 2018.
2. Today I did chakrasana again.
3. My lack of strength is more striking than my back pain. I'm getting stronger with each practice.
4. I enjoy my practice.
5. Yoga nidrasana was possible. I could begin with the next focus that is to relax in that pose.
6. Also the closing sequence was possible.

I'm thankful that I can practice again. What a gift.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

90 minutes

I think my back bettered again.

When I practice I experience my lack of strength more than the back pain. Less and less asanas I have to adjust. After my practice I feel rather good. I often forget my back. I'll keep practicing with attention. Pain must be avoided. Also 'easy' asanas are worth doing. I take my time.

It's almost impossible to go from deep back bending asanas to forward bending asanas. I practice modest counter poses. The leg behind head poses are impossible after the back bending asanas. Instead I practice a few soft forward bending asanas from first series.

Today I focused on back bending. I did a lot of preparation exercises. I used the wheel and the wall to support the back bending. The wheel allows passive stretching. The wall offers resistance. Both techniques are supportive.

What really bettered during the last decade of yoga practice is my concentration. I'm able to stay 90 minutes on the mat. I'm able to practice and to focus on the breath without taking breaks.

Patience is required.

Every time when I practice I see the necessity to work on strength.
Every time when I practice I see the necessity to hold the challenging asanas longer than 5 breaths only. Stretching takes time.

Tomorrow I'll practice primary. The focus are the vinyasas: flexibility, strength and technique.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

No excuses

It's also possible to practice at night. Why not. It's done and I feel excellent. Every practice counts.
Time to sleep.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

To practice is important

I was out. It was fun. I met nice people. It was an entertaining day that could go on and on.

I decided to leave the party and stepped on my mat. When I realized how weak I became I knew that it was the best decision I could do. I practiced  being attentive and not forcing anything. I practiced  being content. To stay strong and flexible means to practice. One must sweat. One can feel when the muscles get stronger, they burn. One can feel when the body gets deeper and deeper into a pose. If nothing is felt, nothing happens.

One practice further. I like the path. I like seeing results, but I also like how to get there.

Lately I read: Success teaches you nothing. So true. Mistakes, failure are opportunities to learn. For sure.

Today I struggled more with my weakness and my stiffness rather than with my back injury. This is a good sign.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Yoga on the bed is nonsense

In addition we have Saturday today and this is a day off from yoga for the Ashtanga yoga practitioners.

I need an intensive warm up. Sometimes it's fun to experiment and to play around.

The exercise on the picture is for me still one of the best to approach kapotasana. First one has to find a good distance to the wall. Then one can walk down the wall with the hands. I repeat this asana several times usually. I think now that it's worth to repeat it much more often than I do by now.
This is the plan. Doing this exercise feels good.

It's useful to have a block between the feet or knees. It helps to keep the legs engaged and this protects the lower back. It also allows to move deeper into the pose. A strong foundation is always important.

Enough yoga on my yoga free day.

Thursday, March 08, 2018


Vasisthasana is the pose of day 8 of the Instagram challenge #flylikeayogi. The last time I took a picture of this pose goes back to 2012. Also this pose won't become part of my daily practice again. I prefer working on the side splits and forward splits. This will make this pose easier, too.

After 90 minutes my alarm clock reminded me to come to an end. I practice so slowly these days and I add so many preparation asanas that I've not enough time to do all poses of second series. After the twists 90 minutes are over. That's OK because I really work on asanas.

Sometimes I also practice easier versions and enjoy them. I need time to relax, too. Also today I used a timer and set it to one minute to hold some of the difficult poses a bit longer than just 5 breaths.
How to learn is so important. It's as important as the goal.

It has been a practice that exhausted me. At least the back bending asanas felt good.

Tomorrow I'll work on forward bending asanas again.

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

The splits

I work on the splits on a daily basis. Eka pada koundinyasana (see picture) is not part of my practice. This pose was the asana of day 6 of the #flylikeayogi challenge on Instagram.

A picture never tells the truth. I couldn't hold this pose for  second. I had luck that the camera made click at the right moment.

I just realized that this asana is not part of one of the Ashtanga yoga series. There are so many asanas, it's crazy.

I work on the splits because it opens the front side of the hips. This will help me to get deeper into back bending poses.

Working on the splits is stretching.

Here are tips for stretching
1. Relax (into stretch). Smile even. Breathe deeply. Enjoy.
2. Exercise daily with a lot of care. Injuries are set backs. Consistency is the key.
3. Be patient and enjoy the ride.
5. I try to hold the splits i.e. longer and longer. Today I used a timer. 1 minute was my goal. Oh my, one minute can be very long. Without my timer I wouldn't have held this pose that long.
6. Repetitions are another tool to work effectively on any stretching.

To do the splits on the ground or in the air are different challenges. First step is to do the splits on the ground. Eka pada koundinyasana was just a pose that I wanted to explore. Is it possible, I wondered.

Today I practiced primary. Really I feel like a hero. My back complained first. I kept practicing. At the end my body felt relaxed. My mind was exhausted. I feel excellent now, AFTER the practice.

What a joy to write an A1 in my calender. It means I practiced first Ashtanga series. It's the 6th time that I practiced in March. Halleluja.

My plan for tomorrow:
I'll add the forward splits as a preparation for the back bending asanas.
I'll do 3 repetitions, holding the pose for 1 minute.

3 repetitions
5 repetitions
Urdhva dhanurasana 5 repetitions.

With this plan I feel as if I'm on an autobahn towards my goal to perform the back bending asanas mentioned above.