spirituality

Patience + practice = progress

Last night’s yoga class was a giant step forward for me. I pretty much manages a headstand.

Not an achievement if you’re a 7 year old, it’s just something you can do, but I’m knocking on 52, and last night I got a real sense of achievement.
We were supposed to be preparing for a headstand, so arms and head in position, and walking the feet forward.

We were told by Susan, that we would do the preparation over the next few weeks until we could walk up so our hips were over our shoulders.
When I walked my feet up, I got a gentle tap on my side and heard her say “Your hips are already over your shoulders. Slowly lift your feet”
I started lifting, and she gently put her hands on my hips in case I went over, and the next thing I heard “Congratulations, you’ve done it.”

I was really chuffed.

That’s two things I can do thanks to yoga that I couldn’t as a kid. The headstand, and urdhva dhanurasana (wheel pose).

The life lesson I’m taking from this is, patience and practice and you can achieve results you want. Life isn’t about instant gratification, if you persevere you can push yourself you achieve things you never thought you could do.

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Post-yoga weirdness

So last night, about half an hour after leaving my yoga class, something happened that I’ve never experienced before. I had the usual post-yoga buzz that I normally get. I feel lighter, and happier and calmer, but then for about 5 or 10 minutes I felt really really emotional.
I’ve never experienced that after a class before and don’t know if it’s connected with the class or if it was co-incidental.
It felt like there had been a wave of pent-up feelings that just flooded out. Afterwards I felt really good, like a weight I wasn’t aware I was carrying had suddenly been lifted.

Whatever the cause I feel great this morning.

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Throwback Thursday

Back to last year when we visited a Buddhist temple in Bali (and lots of Hindu ones too).

Bali temple

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Additions to the “to read” pile

Yesterday I got a little letterbox droppage with two books. The first is Siddhartha by Herman Hess, on the recommendation of my wife who read it long before we met, and thought I’d like it.

The second is the Bhagavad Gita. I did have a go at reading this before, but the copy I had had been given to me by the Hare Kirishnas, and between the passages, was the original Sanskrit, and then an explanation of the meaning of the passage, which while I appreciated being given the book, made it a bit of an effort to read – skip the Sanskrit as I can’t read it, read the passage, then read the explanation before reading the next passage.
I wanted to read a straightforward translation and see what I got out of it, not what someone else said I should get.
So with that in mind, and after reading reviews of different translations, I went for one by Eknath Easwaren.
I’m looking forward to reading these.

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First yoga workshop

On Saturday I went to my first yoga workshop. It was called Vira Rasa – The Essence of the Warrior, and was taught by Coral Brown who had come over from the States, and took place at Merchant City Yoga in Glasgow.

Not having been to a yoga workshop before I didn’t know what to expect, but really enjoyed it.

Over 2 1/2 hours we got the meanings of the names of the various warrior poses, and some Hindu mythology that backed up the meanings, along with lots of flow yoga through the variations of the warrior pose.

I didn’t think I’d manage a class that long, but you get totally immersed, and end up “in the moment” so that you don’t even notice the passing of time.

All too soon the time had passed and it was finally Savasana time.

I have to say that Susan – teaches the class I regularly attend – was right when she recommended this workshop to me. I really felt that I got a lot out of it, and was definitely in a different head space by the end of it.

Would I do another workshop? Totally. It was a great experience.

Would I recommend it to others? Absolutely. It’s two days since I did it, and I’m realising I got more out of it than just a good stretch. It’s definitely changed my mental state. I was pretty stressed out last week, and now I’m a lot calmer.

It was also the first time I’d done “om” at the end of a class, and the sensation when everyone started harmonising really energised the room, it was amazing.

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Ganesha

Thought I’d share this photo of a statue of Ganesha that I came across on my holiday to Bali.
Ganesha

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Really cool little film

Nobody´s trip to nowhere from Andy Feldman on Vimeo.

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Only me

Yoga class tonight before I head home.  While I’m looking forward to it, I’ve always wondered why yoga doesn’t seem to appeal to many men.
In the class I go to I’m the only regular male.  Occasionally another guy will turn up, try the class, maybe come for a couple of weeks, and then disappear, never to return.
Someone I used to work beside, started going to a yoga class a few months back, and although he was really keen to start, he actually went online to ask if it would be “weird” if I guy took up yoga.  I just don’t understand why (in the main) guys don’t do yoga.

When I first when to the class, it was with the aim of getting more flexible for karate, but now I do it for it’s own sake, and enjoy it.  The yoga, plus some meditation, help me when I feel stressed.  I’m really bad for bottling things up, and this counteracts that stress really well.

So, does anyone have similar experiences, is the lack of men doing yoga typical ?

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Yoga, karate, meditiation

Last night I was at karate for the first time since new Year.  It was good to be back.  Pat, who runs the club, had me take some white, and red belts for kata.  This was good, as it got me back into training, and I got some more experience of teaching, which I’ll have to do more of if I get my black belt this year.

Today I’m going to do the gym at lunchtime to work on my core.  Combined with the diet I’m currently on, I’ve lost 2 1/2 inches from round my stomach in 3 weeks.  When I get home tonight I’ll do some yoga as well.

I’ve picked up a book on Kundalini awakening.  I have been doing mindfulness meditation, but had heard Kundalini was a good practice, so I’m going to have a read and see how it goes.

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Back in the swing of things

On Monday, I managed to haul myself to the gym first thing to do some yoga before work.  I’ve not been to the gym since about November, so this was an attempt to get back into it.
When I was leaving, I noticed that the Thursday evening yoga class I used to go to is back on.  I don’t know when it started up again, so I’ve probably missed a fair bit.  Anyway, it’s back on, so it’s all good, and I can make up for lost time.

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