yoga

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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M Train

I’m currently reading M Train by Patti Smith. A while back I picked up a second hand copy of Just Kids, and loved it. I loved the story of Patti and Robert Mapplethorpe, I loved the way she wrote. I loved her tales of meeting Warhol, and William Burroughs, so I really wanted to read this book too.
It isn’t disappointing. It makes New York sound like an amazing place to live. The artists, the cafe’s the music scene.
Yes, Glasgow has these too, and I know I’m romanticising NY in my head, but…..

This weekend I’m off travelling for three weeks. Thailand. Phuket, Chang Mai and Bangkok, then a stop off in Dubai on the way home. I can’t wait. There’s changes at work, and I need to switch off from them.
I’ve picked up a travel yoga mat, and I’m going to have some me time. I’m taking Lord of the Flies, and The Godfather to read. I’ve not read LotF since I was at school, so I’m looking forward to that, and I’ve never read The Godfather.

I’m planing of having a digital detox too, so I won’t be posting anything until I get back.

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meh

On Saturday we were out for a meal with a friend who runs the karate club I go to (although I’ve not been since September as it doesn’t feel “right” for me at the moment. Hopefully it will again), and a filling dropped out. Problem was, I only realised when I bit on it, and broke off a second one.
Managed to get an appointment yesterday and got them fixed, so everything is ok tooth-wise again.

Last night while lying watching tv, my throat started to feel scratchy. I tried nipping it in the bud. First with Lemsip, and then followed that up with a hot toddy (whisky, sugar and hot water, with some cloves popped in for good measure.)
Seems to have helped a bit. It’s still not right, but it isn’t as bad as last night, and there’s no discolouration in my phlegm, so that’s good.

I’m basically in a state of meh today. I booked into the lunchtime yoga class as usual, even though I’m not feeling it today. Hopefully this will snap me out of the funk I’m in. I was planning to longboard into work today. The weather is stunning and I’ve no excuse other than I don’t have any enthusiasm today. Hopefully the good weather will hold out for a bit longer.

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First Hatha class & a mental switch (unrelated)

I’ve just been to my first Hatha class, and really enjoyed it. It was as different from the Vinyasa flow class I go to, as the vinyasa flow is from the Ashtanga course I went on. Really nice lunchime pick-me-up to boost me into the afternoon. I like that.

On a different note, the last couple of days have been a bit…..odd, headspace wise. I feel calmer and happier in myself than I have for a long time. I don’t know what’s triggered this, but long may it continue.

At the weekend I picked up a travel yoga mat for taking on holiday with me. Not much in the way of cushioning, coming in at only 1.5mm, BUT it’s seriously grippy, so on grass, or something it should be excellent. I bought it at Decathalon, and if you’re interested, it’s here.

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Course finished

So the Introduction to Ashtanga course I’ve been doing for the last six weeks has finished, and I loved it. It’s given me a structured practice that I can do at home, but I did miss not going to the class last night, so I might have to find a guided class that I can go to. Despite what the teacher said, I don’t feel that I know the routine well enough to go to a Mysore class, and I don’t want to be constantly asking “Does “X” come next or is it “Y”?”, so yeah, I think a guided class is the way forward for the moment, and as luck would have it, there’s a guided class on a Tuesday evening that would fit in time-wise, with finishing work.

Yoga aside, the weather has finally got reasonable enough that I have started cycling to work again. As well as being healthier for me and the environment, it’s healthier for my wallet to the tune of £57 a month, so that’s a good reason to do it.

Next thing I’ve got to look forward to is our trip to Thailand in a little over a month. We’re away for three weeks, and are taking in Phuket, Chang Mai, and finally Bangkok, with two nights in Dubai to break up the flight home.
I’m hoping I can try surfing again in Phuket. I took some lessons in Bali last year as it’s something I’d always wanted to try (I used to skateboard, and I snowboard intermittently) and I finally got to try it and it was as amazing as I’d hoped. So I really want to do it again.

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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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Yoga course update

Last night was the 5th week of the 6 week introduction to Ashtanga course, and it was awesome.
By the time we’d finished, I felt. physically “lighter” is the only way I can describe it. It was an incredible sensation. I can still feel it this morning, but not as intensely. It’s as if my physical body has woken up. That’s the feeling.

The teacher is hoping to get a slot in the studio so she can run a beginners Mysore class, that will allow those of us who have never been to a Mysore class, and find the idea daunting, the chance to get into the practice knowing that everyone else in the room is in the same boat. It’s a good idea.

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So that’s week four of the Introduction to Ashtanga and I’m loving it. Don’t get me wrong, I still love the vinyasa flow class that I’ve been going to regularly, but this is giving me some structure that I can use when I practice on my own.

On Monday night I went to see Warrior Soul at Audio in Glasgow. I’ve seen them twice before, once waaaay back just prior to their debut album coming out, when they supported Metallica. I remember thinking back then that they blew Metallica off the stage, and Monday night just reinforced that. They were outstanding.

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Red sky at morning

Was at the second class of the introduction to Ashtanga course that I signed up for. So that’s Sun Salutations A and B covered, and breathing, and moving with the breath.
As with last week, I can really feel it in my upper arms this morning. Not sore, just tired in a “I know I did some exercise last night” kind of way.
By the end of the six weeks we’ll have covered enough to do a Half Primary Series class, and we’ve been told that going to a Mysore class would be good, and that it’s not intimidating like we’d think it is (not having been to one before).
I have to admit, at the moment I’d not be confident walking into a room where I *think* everyone but me knows exactly what they’re doing, and I’m the idiot in the room. Again, I know that’s my projection and it’s probably far from the reality, but at the moment, I don’t think going to a class that isn’t lead, would be anywhere near to inside my comfort zone. Which in itself is probably a good reason to give it a try.

Anyway, here’s a photo of the sky over Glasgow this morning when I left for work. It’s was stunning.

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Ashtanga course

So last night was the first of the Introduction to Ashtanga classes, and I really liked it.
I’m feeling it today, physically tired, so that’s a good sign that I was actually doing something and not going through the motions.
Started off with a wee talk on the history and background of Ashtanga, before going through Sun Salutation A. The rest of the time was spent going through this, and making sure alignment and postures were correct, before finishing off with Savasana.

It was tiring, but enjoyable, and I think I’m going to get a lot out of it. Roll on next week.

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