Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Because it's fun


On pinterest I collect pictures of Indian yogis. One of these yogis levitated. He got my full admiration. I always wondered how he did it. One day I found out how to do it. It's inhaling and UP.

The show, the fun is the same like hundreds of years ago. Only the tricks have changed a tiny bit. (wink, wink)

When I created this picture I laughed. This is why I practice yoga, it's fun, so incredible much fun, not only when levitating.

There are obstacles, yet the fun is always larger than any shadow that might darken the view.
Some of the obstacles I removed from my life, others introduced themselves. I didn't invite them. Yet here it is. It's back pain. One day it will leave me. Till then we'll get to know each other closer and closer. This pain wants to tell me something. A few things I already understood. I practice alone these days i.e.. There is more to understand than this......

So also today I practiced. In the middle of my practice, just before ustrasana the valley of pain was reached. One cramp in the back followed the next one. I switched to relaxing poses. 90 min I want to practice. The twists always feel good. So I continued with the twists. A tiniest wrong movement and I'm in the hell and back to heaven again if the movement is correct. That's how it is.

When I finish my practice I stand on my mat and whisper: Thank you.
So much is possible and I'm thankful for this.


Monday, June 26, 2017

Alone and happy on the mat


The picture shows my most relaxing posture when back pain is felt.

Today I had to relax only twice in that pose. I practiced primary this morning. I motivate myself with videos from omstar.com, Kino's TV channel. Having seen a video makes unstoppable. I have to practice.

It's amazing how flexible I am. Even supta kurmasana was possible. Many asanas also tell me that I have the weight that allows these challenging postures.

There were also asanas that I couldn't perform:
- Purvottanasana and setu bandhasana. Both asanas require that the back is engaged. After all these forward bending asanas this is impossible.
- I don't try urdhva dhanurasana. It's a torture to even try it after all the forward bending asanas. It's added later in history. It's an advanced back bending pose that comes out of nowhere. There is no preparation, nothing. Exercise smart, I think.
- Shoulder stand is impossible. To get out of the pose triggers horror. I have to fall out of the  pose. This is an uncontrolled movement, that scares me a lot. How to fall out of the pose is the question. I leave it out. One day it will return, then I'll welcome this pose again.
- The vinyasas are lost, I don't care. To get stronger again takes time. I give my best. I lift myself up again and again.

So 4 asanas were not possible, BUT all the other challenging asanas were possible. I was able to perform all the core asanas: baddha konasana, supta kurmasana, marichyasana D and garbha pindasaana. This is good.

Nevertheless, I won' t forget to add pranayama to my practice. I don't want to sit and breathe and meditate right after the asana practice. I want to shower first. It feels better. I want to sit on a blanket and not on a sticky mat.

Walking around and the pose on the picture are most relaxing for me. They have the effect of a pain killer. They probably take away the cramp in the muscle. What exact happens in my body is still a secret.

A brand new week has started. Wonderful.

By the way, I'm also on Instagram and flickr.
If you like to see me levitating, please have a look.





Sunday, June 25, 2017

An intrusive challenge


The pain doesn't go away, it doesn't go away. I took a break again last week, that I interrupted today. The beginning pf my practice was great. Then it got worse. Back bending asanas were not possible at all. To force anything is not possible. I focus on what feels good.

90 min on the mat, practicing asanas is my goal. I have to decide from one second to the other what I can do. The pain leads me through the practice.

Whatever I read, with whoever I spoke to, everybody advised not to give it up. I won't. It's hard.

I would miss the practice, I would regret if I gave it up. The focus will shift from ambitious exercising to mindful breathing. I have to practice smart. Sometimes I have to be creative. There are so many ways to move into an asana. Some way are easier than others.

It felt good to sweat. The shower after the practice relaxed the muscles.
Tomorrow I'll focus on primary.






Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Practicing asanas is a mental exercise


1. Discipline
The first asana is discipline, I often think. It starts with going to bed early. This makes it easier to get up in the morning. The discipline to practice every day in the morning gets easier the more often this muscle is used. When a behaviour becomes a  routine, a habit, less discipline is necessary.
For the time being it's very easy for me to practice. I came to the conclusion that it's better to practice yoga than not to practice. My practice is not pain free. So what.

2. Coolness
This leads to the second mental state. It helps not to be involved that much in whatever one is doing. To observe what's happening is a great start to develop a cool attitude. Today kurmasana is possible, tomorrow not. Who cares?

3. Focus
To learn to focus and to change the focus is such a great skill also off the mat. I check my posture, I check if my asana is stable. Then I focus on the breath.

4. Faith
To have faith that daily practice will improve the practice helps a lot to have a long long breath. It can take years and decades till an asana looks fantastic (own view!). For critical yoginis this can take a bit longer than for those who are happy very fast and not so critical.

Today I focused on forward bending asanas. I alter primary with second series. What a joy when I realized that I could lift my body in kurmasana.



Tomorrow back bending is on the schedule.

Monday, June 12, 2017

This makes me happy


To motivate myself I watched a video by Kino on omstar.com before my yoga practice. It was about eka pada sirsasana. I wanted to see if I was still able to do the four key asanas of primary: Marichyasana D, supta kurmasana, garbha pindasana and baddha konasana. Supta kurmasana is the most challenging one for me. The idea was to start with one leg behind the head....
I'm able to sit in lotus pose, I could bring my feet to my front, so what could stop me?
After eka pada sirsasana I tried supta kurmasana again after a very long time. I could bring my legs behind my head and I could bind. Hallelujah.

I could dance around out of joy, yet this pose doesn't allow so much movement. Not much thinking happens either when in this pose. Just being in this posture is it.

90 minutes I was on the mat. The last 10 minutes I lied on my back and relaxed. It's a good idea to alter primary with second series. One day I focus on forward bending asanas, the other day on back bending asanas.

To stand up after all these highlights of today was difficult. Oh my, my back screamed for attention. I walked up and down, up and down, like a lion in a cage and my back relaxed.

Tomorrow back bending.




Sunday, June 11, 2017

A tiny wrong movement


A tiny wrong movement and I have the hell on earth. The faster I can relieve the muscle cramp, the faster I escape from this hell called lower back pain. Yet this is sometimes a challenge. What luck that this lower back pain is not permanent.

I practiced. It started wonderful. I felt flexible, I was focused. To get from a back bending asana like ustrasana to a counter pose seems to be difficult. My back gets confused and this was it then. My timer is set. I want to be 90 minutes on the mat no matter what happens. I could continue after this sudden shock pain. Twists always feel good. They released my muscles. I could even do mayurasana. I finished my yoga practice with padmasana, left leg first to balance my body again.

I have a list now of activities that help when this sudden pain arises:
1. walking around (to get out of an asana and to stand up can be challenging)
2. twists
3. rolling on the foam roll (It's important to have it handy.)
4. baddha konasana
5. Engaging the abdomen and bandhas
6. a shower (afterward)

Here I sit in paradise again. Pain is gone.

The experience from this morning strengthens my opinion that I can stabilize this SI joint when I do strength training. My Monday morning will start with Day 1 of strength training. It's the third start.