Thursday, December 29, 2011

Here I am in, just halfway thru the second week of getting up at 5am, to get time to practice. I am very glad that I have made that choice, although I was physically tired this morning.I adjusted where my hand placement moving into dwei so when I move to the next posture, i am in proper position. I've been a little sore from that, but nothing compared to the first month at the beginning.

Physical changes, along with the turn towards a vegetarian diet, this morning I weighed myself and have lost a couple more pounds. i try not to focus on any time of weight loss, that can be very consuming and trap for the ego. I have another zit growing on my nose, which is a bit of a good sign. Of course if you dread acne, you wouldn't think so, but if you have a Ashtanga practice you could probably accept it.

In the last week and a half I have had some Monster energy drinks in the mornings. I'm trying to cut those out, but I can feel the energy from the practice dissipate on the drive to work. It hasn't been every day either and I hope to cut these out completely. On my day off I got a Cappacino Blast, took a couple sips, then wondered why I had gotten it. Now this is strange, because I used to love these, until recently. In a way, it is like my choice to eat certain foods and cut others out. I have no desire to drink any alcohol, partly because I know my body( due to my practice) will purge it. My hearing as gotten more acute too, as just a short note.

During time with family I had comments to conversations come up, but before I could say anything, another family member said the exact words on my tongue. They weren't close, they were exact and it happened at least three times that I can remember.

As I approach my one year mark of my Ashtanga practice, I am almost able to complete all cycles of Sury B. It's exciting, I'll say it could be a couple months before I'm there and there's no hurry.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Dimmed and refueled

It would be obvious to the casual observer, to say I haven't posted here recently. It isn't for the lack of practicing though. After my last post, around then at least, I had computer trouble. Blog went silent, even when I got it back I wasn't quite focused.

Before the disruption, one of the things I experienced, was pressure on both ears, almost as if my body was sensing the change in atmospheric pressure. Then my practice slowed to a couple days a week, until it grinded to a halt. I got distracted by Crossfit, thought I might do both--Ashtanga and Crossfit. Hmmm, seems a bit silly now, not a swipe at Crossfit if that's what you enjoy. Then I stopped any physical activity, besides walking to my car, for about a month. I wasn't eating healthy and drank more beer than I had ina while. Then I slowly began to find my back to the mat and changed the diet again.

As of this night, I have made quite a commitment to my practice. No alcohol, diet that is 99%vegetarian and a wakeup time (as of this week) that gives me enough time to work my way into Sury B.

A couple of technical things; I'm trying out a new mat from Gaiam with no thirsty towel. I'm working out how to get from downward dog to the lunge. I read a few things on online, that I'm trying to use.

As far as experiences I believe are a result of my practice, I wish I had kept notes. Did have one of my ears with the pressure change last week. Now that I'm sitting here recalling this, I remember one other thing. There was a day I had such a strong tickling sensation along the back of my neck intermittantly. It was so strong that my body would shudder in pleasure every time.
With the advent of going deeper into the practice, I have been enveloped even more into this peace. It's like I don't see a need to speak, because nothing I could possibly say matters.

So, where does this find me? A bit lost, but serene. Do I still define myself as pagan? Or maybe I should decide what flavor of pagan I am...if I need to define myself by such things anyway. I think I'll be purging more stuff to declutter. I am at a place where if I was in a shack, able to stay warm and eat, and practice six days a week, I'd be content.

I am focused, not obsessed, with no desire to try and bend the universe with my will. I can't see the lines like I used to, everything has merged. Goodness and prosperity will come to me because of how I approach life...that sums up where my head is at right now.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Just got finished with my morning practice, finished fairly strong. I have started supporting myself in Chatwari, instead of resting on my belly. It isn't a struggle either, chatwari feels strong, especially moving into upward dog.

Challenges for the week, were gettig sick Wednesday morning and dealing with coworkers. I left work yesterday so pissed off. I am looking over my options for the future, because i don't see much changing there...just me leaving. I only mention this, because i have been able to leave these distractions off the mat and focus. I don't carry anger around with me, didn't before, but now i let it go and move forward even easier.

Moon Day falls on Sunday, so i won't miss any practice days, yeah!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Last week was so odd, not just for the couple days I practiced, but for life. I was on vacation, but found little direction, piddling around and ot feeling like doing much. Went to the Zoo, the movies, drove around and sat around the house.

I have been successful on an almost entirely meatless menu for the last two weeks. Had a bowl of my favorite Lobster Bisque, not sure I can give that up. At the movies, I had a chili cheese dog, but thenn saw they have veggie burgers...shoot!.

I got my self through Sury A this morning, then tackled the drive to the new office, UGH! Hate the drive and I need to get going in the morning, might have to readjust times. Or I may have to get to bed earlier to get sleep, get up and get on the mat. It makes me think more about working closer to home or making other changes. 'd love to live and work somwhere i could bike or walk to work. Especially after today, being completely un-motivated. doing enough to be productive...even missing a few calls on purpose.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I've taken te last two days off from practice, to rest. I had not given myself time to sleep and used alot of energy up. I know I'll be back to it tomorrow, because i can feel that fire growing inside. I miss it, even on days when I know my body is tired, I think about coming home after being out and getting on the mat. Being tired, I believe is partly diet, which i have been working on...but not the sole reason.

I was at a wedding this weekend and wanted to relay something funny. I had told my Mom about my practice, but when i hugged her and the bride, to leave the reception, Mom squeezed my bicep, then the Bride followed. "That's the yoga." I told them. It really didn't hit me until today, at the movies. I had noticed alot of definition and increased muscles in my forearms and upper chest, etc. The shirt I had on today, ahs very short sleeves, so when I was washing my hands in the bathroom, at the theatre, I noticed my upper arms. I have to say, how easy it is to admire the definition of bicep and tricep.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The last three days of practice have been eye-opening, because I've felt stronger. Two days of completing Sury A witht eh chair pose of Sury B. Today I was up and out of bed, which gave me plenty of time to work my way into Sury B up to the lunge. I only went until I got both sides in, wobbling, trying to get the movement right. Foot placement and balance are the challenge, but I was excited to get there again.

I stopped on the way home tonight to get more apple sauve cups from the Dollar Store. The last coupld days Ive taken Corn Crackers, Hummus and Applesauce to work for lunch. Tonight i stopped at Boston Market and got the Three Sides meal, mashed potatos and gravy( chicken gravy with small pieces of chicken in it), creamed spinach and baked apples. I have to say eating like this leaves me feeling full but lighter...and alot more energy.

One more days before the Moon Day.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

My practice seems to be fluctuating, berween strong days and weak days. It doesn't help when i'm pokey, getting to the mat in the morning. Yesterda was strong, today was a little weak.

It might be diet related, diet as in correct eating habits, not what the western mind thinks of , when the word is used. I am working on, getting on the Ayurvedic path for my Dosha. It is a little funny, that in the last couple days, I've run across, and bought, two Ayurvedic cookbooks. It's funny, because up until recently they weren't anywhere locally, to be found.

Yesterday I had a Nachos Belgrande, which has meat on it, but that is the only meat of any kind I've had in the couple days. This began after a visit to a cafe i went to for the first time, that has a vegatarian menu. The relaxed atmosphere and beautiful, natural skinny bodies did have an influence on me. Just before quitting time, i felt a little tired, but found a second wind somewhere on the way home.

I was thinking about how difficult it is to be vegatarian in the United States. Our idea of such a thing is salad, salad and more salad, but it goes beyond that.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Satruday, I reluctantly got on the mat to practice and found I had more energy than i thought I would. The week , that led up to it, was so up and down, I was a little frustrated and tired. Thursday i skipped because my mind was off thinking of something I couldn't shake.

I said goobye to Borders and bought a few books, one a vegetarian cookbook and another on Ayurveda cookbook. I know I need to change my eating habits again and follow the ayurvedic rules for my Kapha Dosha. I had done so well before, then got away from it. I know I am completely out of balance in my eating habits.

I also picked up a Ashtanga book that has the Sutras in it, something I ve thought about. I have some of the other writings, but Nicki mentions the Sutras on the DVD every time I practice, so they've been on my mind.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The last two days i've been recovering from a sor ankle. i may have gone too deep, not sure, but thought it best to recover. Last night I did stay up later than i should, but the ankle feels good tonight. I'll be able to get a few days in before the Moon Day and feel the excitement for it. I feel pretty strong too and after a good nights rest, should feel even better.

Monday, July 25, 2011

I'm starting to wonder if the New Moon has something to do with the way I feel. This morning, i was sor tired and felt weak. I've had Mondays like this, but most Mondays I am rested and feel stronger. It could be the heat and just not sleeping well, too.

One thing I have noticed, is that the energy I felt laying in bed, has been missing. Of all the sensory experiences I've had lately, smell has been on the forefront. Of course, the little glimpses of extra-sensory experiences are there.

I have gotten to a good place, where I don't expect things or hope for prgress. My practice and daily life have become more of a "just let whatever feels right" occur, without disappointment.

I want to make use of the New and Full moons a bit better, put them to use. I have been lacking in this area, even if its just time to sit and meditate or light a candle and incense.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I woke on thisday of record heat and got to my mat. I was a little tired, which showed in downward facing dog. I went thru Sury A and moved into Sury B, sweaty and trying to control my breathing. It all went pretty well, until I got to Sapta.

I can say right now, that Sapta in Sury B will be a challenge. Down dog in Sury B did feel like a second wind, whith the break from standing poses. Some of the problem moving into Sury B's sapta, is foot placement. I don't know if it's a combination of shorter arms andnot having the flexibility, or just lack of knowing how to move into it yet. This morning, I tried to keep with Nicki, got my self in position (close enough at least). I almost fell over, gained a second of balance to let myself down. I warched the screen and decided it was over and time to shower.

I think I'll watch her move in and out of Sapta and try to mimic it, as close as i can.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Right foot on red

I did set my alarm for 5:30AM, so had plenty of time.
Made new strides this morning, going farther into Sury B. I followed Nicki all the way to Sapta, which is more of a reverse lunge. I didn't actually perform Sapta of Sury B, i stopped and reacted more, as if I was playing Twister and she had just called out "Right foot on red". I did move my leg, but stopped because i wasn't quite sure of the movement.

A few minutes ago, I read up on moving into Sury B's Sapta. I'll see how well I can move thru it, the next time I get to that point.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

It's been a couple weeks, since I made an entry. I have been practicing, even though I haven't blogged about it, which is good. It wold be horrible if I hadn't practiced and not blogged or blogged about some nonsense.

Just to go back a bit, I had a week of falling back a bit. A couple mornings of crawling out of bed or getting to the mat late and only doing a little bit. To be honest, this doesn't bother me and didn't then, it was what i was capable of doing on those days.

This last week, I was back to normal, with the Moon day breaking things up a bit. The Saturday after the Moon Day, i included chair pose and went until i was exhausted. I felt good, almost too good, because i wanted to practice on Sunday. i stopped myself, after thinking about it. I took the day off, like most Sundays, as the normal rest day that it is.

Today, i got through Sury A and included chair, but no Dwei. After showering, my electricity went out, it didn't bother me, just hoped the cat would stay cool enough. I headed off to work, and didn't think too much about the opportunity this was. I know my clock is flashing, but what it means is, i can reset the alarm clock to 5:30, to give myself 15more minutes. That means i should have more time to practice and not have to rush if i have a couple things to do, besides practice.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

SOmething I noticed today, is that I am getting stronger and gaining more stamina. Downward facing Dog is where i notice it most, like today, close to the end of the week. I don't struggle as much now and don't need to drop to my knees like I did. Not to dismiss that my upper arms do shake a little close to the end of the sesson of Sury A, but i stay up and get the long breaths in.

On breath, I am getting closer to Nikki's breathing interval on the DVD, which is something I wasn't sure I needed to. I guess it just comes with practice and patience, something to take ot into the real world.

Onto something else...acne, I had a pimple on my forehead te other day. It seems to have gone away, maybe just from washing my face normally. It is another pimple in a place i haven't had acne in many years.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Yesterday I took too long getting out of bed and had to skip practicing. Today i got up in time and fit it in, but was very distracted. My sexual appetite is very strong and has gotten in the way of my practice and other events. This is the first i chose to put this down in a blog entry, I just won't go into detail.

I do want to say how good it feels to stretch in Ekam and not just rais my arms over my head. It feels like the whole ribcage expands with the movement and breath. If i can get my breath-work to match the movement(which is still inconsistant, depending the day and movement) I know it will feel incredible.

I have noticed the craziness in drivers, biekriders and walkers and see the influence of the New Moon that will be here on the 1st. It's a wonder I make it home or anywhere alive. I just try and stay alert and not get hit or hit anyone who isn't paying attention.

Friday, June 24, 2011

It's been a couple days since I made an entry, so here's a recap. Beginning on the Solstice, a day I woke and just felt so exhausted and very sinusy. It was a bit of a gloomy day here, so i turned on the radio part of my clock radio and skipped my practice. It didn't stop there, at 7am I left my boss a voicemail that i wasn't coming in. Then withot delay, turned off the radio and crawled into bed to sleep until 1pm.

The following day i came back to the mat and had an incredibly strong session, which led into Sury B. Over the last week i've done some of Sury A, to all of Sury A. Then other days I did A and did a little of B and have no refrets either way. My mindset is in line with the idea of the eight limbs, that I won't get angry if i backslide. I know I am progressing, but understand that we need rest days---we aren't machines.

Now, on to a side effect of Ashtanga...more acne. I have mentioned getting acne before, but it has found a new place to break out, that hasn't since I was a teen. Where you might wonder? The tip of my nose, yep, I haven't had a zit on my nose since I was a teen. My diest has changed and I have ruled everyting else out. I am not one to jump to conclusions, so with the little knowledge I have, hopefully those new to Ashtanga will find anything I can provide useful.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Just a end of the week recap, before i run off and enjoy my weekend outside. Looks like I'll be spending most of the day at Train Day, something the park system is putting on. I'm not sure when i'll fit Green Lantern in maybe tomorrow.

Anyways, yesterdays session was really strong and had the energy to do Chair into Dwei for Sury B. This morning I woke up very sore so just did the beginning of Sury A. The last day of the week's practice is usually a little week, but since I got back to Chair, I think that's why i'm sore.

Yesterday my sense of smell was cranked up too, there are days that this happens. It isn't always as strong, but then there are days other senses are increased. One other thing that happened at work, was a moment of...not sure if it was light-headedness. I was sitting perfectly fine and then it was like someone spun me counterclockwise super fast. I braced myself on my desk, at first I thought it was another train shaking the flor of my new seat. I really don't know what it was, because I had no other symptoms.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I woke up with a stuffy nose and stiff back, which made it difficult to practice this morning. I was reading about the eight limbs, last night and didn't feel bad when I thought it was better to stop than finish. Just didn't feel right and didn't see any reason to push it, expecially after reading the ideas of the eight limbs.

Not much else to add today, work is work and the day is over.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

This morning showed more improvement. I remained strong in Downdog and hope tomorrow and following days bring the same.

There is something esle i wanted to talk about that I was trying to figure out today. Yesterday and today I was in a very angry mood, it could just be the commute to work and the people I had to work with. Could it be blamed on the Full Moon? Or maybe it could be that my moods change more as a scrape off new layers from practicing Ashtanga. One of the "symptoms" is anger, so maybe. I suppose the more I practice, the more I feel the effect of the cycles of the moon. Isn't that the whole idea behind Moon Days?

Monday, June 13, 2011

I ended up taking Saturday off from my practice, when i woke I just wasn't feeling it. I had thought about getting to it later on in the day, but changed my mind.

One of the things I did do is by a pair of Vibram KSO's and i have to say I'm in love with them. I've considered it for almost a year and went to a local store, tried them on and bought them on the spot. Sunday, I ventured out in them, a little nervous abot what might happen, actually a little shakey. I thought everyone would look at me like I'm stranger than I am. Nothing, i found people really don't pay too much attention to peoples feet. It wasn't until a stop at a store, that the lady in front of me asked med about them. Then at work, I figured everyone would notice, nope. I had one person notice in the lunchroom, only because i sat a little in front of her with my feet out. I pointed it out to another guy as I was leaving for the day and told him how confortable they are.

Back to my morning practice, this morning, the two days off did me some good. THrough out the entire session, I didn't need to put my knees down to rest one bit. I was a little pokey getting out of bed and getting going, so no Sury B parts. Tomorrow is a moon day, so I may consider my wakeup time and change it for Wednesday.

I love the direction things continue to go, challenging myself in different ways is a great way to keep growing.

Friday, June 10, 2011

One more day of my six days of practice, where I normally take Sunday off to rest. Today I was a bit tired, had time to go into Sury B, but chose not to. I worked my way thru Sury A, did pretty well, but knew I wold stop without moving beyond it.

I do't have alot to write tonight, just a few things. It has been a week of adjustments, with changing work days and hours, getting up earlier to practice hasn't been a huge challenge. Ashtanga is my early morning shot of cappacino, it makes me feel so alive. Even after making every effort to perform each asana properly with the right breath, I get in the shower with shaky legs and blood pumping in my tired arms.

My calf was a little sore today, but no biggie, just worked it real good.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Last night I had a couple beers and a meatball sub, not a normal thing for me. I had the need to just chill out and forget the day of work and the extreme heat. Because of the beer, i wa pokey crawling out of bed, so cut my session short. I went through SuryA but stopped before getting into the part of B that i have recently added.

Despite the lack of Sury B, I had a really good practice. Breathing was good, along withstaying up in downdog every time, which a huge advance for. I realized that using the DVD is a bit like training wheels. I can't move in perfect unison, so if I do my best and get my quality breaths in I have done well.

My appetite was ravenous today, like I couldn't get enough food. I've been here before, it seems something that comes with my practice. I eat the same amount as always, but it doesn't seem enough

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

No stiness/soreness this morning, but man was it warm in the house, just a precursor for the upper 90 temps we had or have. Chair was easier, I think my body is getting a little used to. I got my arms higher and bit straighter.

I have been trying to gain more strength in Chatwari, so even if I'm barely off the floor, I still keep the muscle tension. Chatwari and downward dog have been the biggest strength challenges for me.

This week has been a challenge for many things, breath is on that list. Today I think I regained control and kept in check and got away from some of the quick short breathing of the last few days.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I woke up early by 15minutes and that seemed to work to get my practice in. I didn't feel rushed, but there was some stiffness and a bit of soreness in my lower left back. I don't know if it will go away, like it has before. It might not, with the venture into Sury B, it could be Chair pose that is adding the soreness/stiffness. Wth the earlier hours, I do start to get the glisten of sweat, because the air conditioning is set so it isn't coming on--it works nicely that way.

Something I noticed yesterday at work, was something I had almost not even noticed. Normally at work I'm fully engaged, multi-tasking like a fiend. In the slow moment I hear my current cubicle partner mumble to me or call me for one reason or another. Yesterday, I had slipped into this buffer zone, because when he got in, he was giving such a hecic energy. It was too much and in my past energy experience of energy work, I have done well grounding myself. THis was a little different, I turned my back and remained engaged if someone really needed my attention. I had wrapped this layer around me, that blocked him out to the point that he has to say my name a couple times, before i decide that I have time for him. he usually wants to show me something on Facebook or something unrelated to work. It isn't the same as zoning out, more like a curtain i draw, it's something new that I haven't had before.

This new control over concentration must be from my Ashtanga practice. I could focus before, but this is deeper that what I have ever had before. I kind of settle into this point and block unnecessary distractions. I have had mornings where my mind tried to keep from the mat or pull me off once I'm there. I think of Martin Lawrence in Bad Boys 2 walking around saying "Woosah". I find myself wanting to remind people to breathe, when they get wrapped in such a useless state of frustration. Breathe and concentrate on getting thru whatever challenege is standing in the way at that time. It makes such a difference on how everthing after that goes. If you, attack something with frustration, it will win and spawn into someting so ferocious the stress will kill you.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

My Friday felt like Saturday, but it didn't stop me from waking up to get on my mat. My shift has officially changed, which has left me adjusting my life. I'm up for the challenge, it fits in with where these lessons have brought me. I did time it right, but down the road I can see waking up earlier if I need the time for my practice.

I am pushing myself to improve in Sury A, while I will probably continue to stay at the beginning of Sury B, for now, until it feels right to move on. Chair pose is the reason for the new soreness in my back and Lat area, something I wasn't sure of but now believe. I like moving from chair to dwei, difficult as it is, I love the heat it creates.

I have felt very calm over my first non-vacation weekend, that I've had off, in over three years. Working unusual hours has left me disconnected ftom the world, as if I were just a ghost flitting from place to place. It makes me wonder if joining Facebook is an option, then I come to my senses. I would rather be among a commuity connected on a more personal level, that isn't meant to discount the friendships that can be formed online. Communities that meet physically, can accomplish so much more for the world around us, rather than sitting behind a computer tapping away on the keyboard.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

I think about the progress i've made and sit down to blog about it and go blank. How do I sum up it up? I'm not always sure, but here we go again.

It has been nice to get back and see the small steps each day brings. I have these moments, where I learn something new about living. I keep imagining it like this: I stand in front of a tailor, instead of dressing me, he and his helpers strip a new layer from me. What is left is a new awareness to something of life. For my newest epiphany, I learned how selfish I had become towards family and online friends during the month of sickness. It wasn't until I got back to my practice that I saw what a fool I had been. Dealing with my ego can be ugly.

In the last few days, I dipped my toes into Sury B. I really like the way Nicki set up the DVD, it works for a progressive style of home practice. Monday I began following her into Sury B, chair to Dwei to finish my morning practice. Chair pose is such an awkward posture for me and it makes me even more aware of the connection the back and spine have to the rest of the body. This isn't all together new for me, with the lower back problems that intially got me involved in yoga. My arms in chair pose are almost like a pauper pleading for a morsel to eat. In time i hope they will move higher and straighter. There is alot of heat this brings me, I don't know if this is how everyone experiences the beginning of Sury B or not. I was sore the next day.

Tuesday was an impromptu hike just didn't feel like a Ashtanga day. Wednesday...a mooon day i almost missed, I was tired and sore, then I looked at the calender. Do we tune into moon days the more we practice Ashtanga? I don't know, but this time around i felt a bit warn out.

Today, I woke up, but didn't practice right away. I have tested myself with this. i thought I had to get to the mat first thing after crawling from my bed, or I would never get there. I have been able to get away from that. I can wake up, do something else, then get to the mat and enjoy the practice. I am wondering if i will be sore in the morning.

I am also doing the math for my shift change at work, the idea of waking to an alram clock five days a week is bitter sweet. I will have to play with my morning and waking time to fit my practice in, now and as I progress. Right now it takes about 30minutes, including the first part of SuryB, following the DVD.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Back to the mat

Just finished my morning session, but had to cut the end of Sury A short. I was in downdog and felt naucous, so I let the DVD continue while i let my body figure out what it was doing. I had some ginger tea with honey when i first got up, because i woke with a sore troat. Our Ohio weather has been so rainy and cold, so hope that is the reason for symptoms.

In a way i have put off my practice, until I felt "ready", like I was waiting for some catalyst. I have had some challenges, but nothing related to my practice. Well, the weather has affected my knees and made me feel tired. Other than that, it felt good to get back. I just have to get used to this new keyboard, I'm stuck using with the new computer...improving my tping skills might help too.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I'm kind of bummed out, more time away from my practice. I woke Monday morning to a very sore ankle. I didn't notice it on Sunday, after practicing on Saturday. i had hoped to be better today(Tuesday) but there was still some tenderness.

Monday, I nap in the tub, which helped the ankle a little. When i woke I did some breath work, something I normally do. This time I changed it a bit, because i wondered about my timing during my practice. When i follow the DVD, Nicki has the follower do five deep, long breaths during down dog.

Now on Ekam, my breaths are long and match the movement, but I seem to lose that later. While i was in the tub I practiced breathing in fully, paused, then exhaled completely. i did this over and over again and gained some insight. Now, when i managed to get on the mat, I will pay more attention to what I learned.

On a whole another topic, i have thought more about how apathetic I have become with society. I don't hate them, it isn't like that. I just have narrowed my view of what is needed to live a happy life. I was at a store, and found myself watching Ironman on a TV, it was beautiful. i admire the progress technology has made. Admiration is all there is, they are selling things i don't feel I have a use for in my life.

I spent time today watching videos about the monastic and eremetic life...there is something attractive about living such a life. If you would ask a select few people, they might tell you i am already a hermit. There is this negative connotation to the word "hermit",but looking back at the way we have persecuted those who live on the borders of society, I am not surprised. Hermits and witches...hmmm...the frail crone who lives on the edge of a village. We seem to single out the odd, then when they go off on their own, we feel the need to track them down and attack them.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

It was a but touch and go this morning, it seems easy to be distracted away from my morning practice. Normally I get going early, first thing after crawling from my bed. I dealt with the distraction this morning then found my way onto my mat.

There was a little soreness in my hanstrings, but not pain, just the soreness from being away. I was pumped all day too, I'd forgotten how energized my Ashtanga practice can make me. Right now i feel a bit tired, but I'm sure a good nights sleep will fix that.

Back on the Mat

It seems like forever, since i unrolled my mat, to the point of wondering how well i would do. yesterday morning, I did just that, got back to my practice. i thought I might be weaker and stiff, but my body retained the strength and flexibility. There was that nagging doubt in my head, about how far i would go, that disappeared. My legs did shake a little in downward facing dog and my arms felt like giving out( so I still struggle to hold myself up all the way through). I feel like I overcame this sickness and fought my mind back to the mat.
It feels like a love/hate relationship with my practice, because it is hard to get to the mat, but love it afterward. I always feel like i was changed by the time i spend on the mat, paying so much attention to my body and breath.
With that, I will end and get ready for doing just that.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I've been sick for over a week now and haven't been able to or willing to practice. I have purposely stayed away from posting a blog, because I am mean when i get sick. I don't want to get on here and rant about how the world and the people who occupy have turned against me or some nonsense. Hopefully tomorrow i will get back to my Ashtanaga practice...still dealing with a bit of mucus but i miss practicing.

Friday, April 8, 2011

First i want to talk about last night, as I lay down for the night. It has been over two weeks, since i have felt the energy along my spine. Last night it was back, rushing through my body, comforting me as i fell asleep. This morning , i woke sinuses causing me to sniffle. I unrolled my mat and made such a great attempt. I suffered every time I moved into Dwi or beyond where my head was slightly inverted, the mucus was playing havoc with me. I have fought my way through similar mornings and won, vicotry wasn't mine. I suffered, trying to breathe, concentration was hard to find. When Nicki said"last one, Ekim," I was done. When part of the morning practice is to concentrate on breath, not being able to, throws a wrench in the whole thing. Tomorrow is the last day of my practice until Monday rolls around, here's hoping to be able to breathe.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

When Spring finally grabs hold of Ohio i will be ready, my sinuses will be thankful. I struggle some mornings, not to roll out the mat, but to stay on the mat. This morning was no different, I had the doubter creep into my head, just passed the beginnig. "You can stop," I could feel my body consider, then I took a breath and moved into Ekam. I am making it a point of using the Sanskrit names of the poses this time, so i can learn the spelling. Knowing the sound is one thing, but I want to learn more. Stretch a little deeper, that is how i want to approach my practice and the task of learning the Cedic writings, as well as Sanskrit. Ekam doesn't look like how I pictured it being spelled...Dwi is the same for that matter. It is a bit like having someone tell you about someone or talking to them on the phone, without ever seeing their face. We form images and opinions on what we believe they look like. Then we go deeper and learn so much more...about ourselves.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What day is it?

I seems like it has been longer since i did an update, but it wasn't that long ago. There are a couple things that were exciting, more experiential, than related to practice. It was Friday mornings invocation that I had one of the first experiences. To date, most times i am yaqning halfway through, or saying the words in kind of a sleepy groan. Firday was different because, at the opeing and closing Om, the tone was even. I could literally feel the Om resonate through my entire body, it was really quite something. Right around Saturday...maybe Sunday, this comfort came over me. It was as though my journey off my "pagan path", learning about Quakers had released something new. Almost like I was ready to come home to the Goddess. I have never been one to walk around talking about the Goddess or using merry meet and blessed be. It is odd, almost like she was waiting for me, by whatever name I choose to call her. On to something else...yes this entry is going to be a bit long-winded. I have become very comfortable with my body, accepting the way i was born etc. Tere are always challenges brought on by ego. Ego causes us to wonder if we could change our body, add or subtract a part of us to be more attractive. i can say I have fallen under the spell of wanting such things. I'm sure i will continue to struggle with this, but am up for the battle. It has been a year since i took on ego and vanity and cut my hair off. Whenever it gets long enough to comb, I struggle with my self image and think of my thinning areas. I feel more humble with it short and empowered too (cutting it myself adds to the self empowerment). When i was younger i struggled with my height and that effected my self esteem or rather, i let it effect me. Here i am again, struggling with this, looking at ways to augment my body. naturally or not, I wonder if it can be done. maybe i'm just fooling myself into thinking it is something that would make me more attractive to a partner. Now for the last few years i have used a Chinese herbal shampoo, that has actually given me a healthy scalp and even grown hair. It is a natural formula and has not side effects on my health. Now I am committed to do only healthy things to help my body, if it can't be changed with natural herbs i won't do it. If it is something that nature changes about a humans body, then can cause damage if it is chemically altered, then i won't do it. Ego has grabbed me by the ankles as much as it has smothered society. I think Ashtanga has made me realize the possibilities of this physical shell. Understanding diet and the old herbal medicines, i believe definitely hold alot of answers, that we keep ignoring. Today was my first day back to the mat and had forgotten the moon day was Monday. I keep chuggin away at Sury A, the rainy cold weather hasn't helped, but down dog does help clear up the sinuses nicely.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

It has been a few days since my last blog, days of being tired. One morning of sleeping until I had no choice but climb from my bed and shower. Today was the first day back on my mat, feeling tired still, I believe the few days off did some good. i felt stronger, even in with thetired feeling holding on. You'd think i would wonder when i would get beyond Sury A and get into Sury B, but there is no hurry to extend the session yet. it isn't that I don't desire to, it is that I understand that there is no hurry to race from one point to the next, just to say that i have done such a thing. Since my last post, I continued to read more on Quakers/Society of Friends. Tonight was no different, it was tonight that I realized that with great respect, I could not be part of them. It wasn't the Testimonies (even with the way they change), but some of what is expected of a member that I know I personally could not agree with. It is my fiercely independent spirit that came out and I realized I was done with the study of them. My pagan heart, as open as it is, decided that it has been educational, but it is time to move on. I am much more of a Universalist Pagan though and definitely will try and incorporate what I have learned into my life. I am also a budding student of the Vedic writings and Sanskrit. How I see the world is very pagan even with little excursions off the path. It has made me wonder about the bible and would like to sit down and read it. Ten years ago, the mention of the bible would get a different response, but it isn't and wasn't the book that brought the reaction. it was the person wielding it, that brought the reaction of hissing kitties. I have a coworker, nice guy, but he also uses the words of the bible as law. There is something off balance with him and others I have met. Just saying the passages won't get you anywhere, unless you are talking to someone of like mind. It takes more than reciting words to make me believe you are what you portend to be. Action goes much farther than speaking words. That goes for anything. This one individual seems to judge people without even knowing them or where their heart is. I don't walk around and tell everyone I am pagan, that doesn't get me anywhere. Now if I walk around, treating everyone with respect, no matter who they are...even going so far as loving them who for who they are(in the spirit of a Quaker). I don't expect someone who represents himself as a Christian to ask me a series of questions, like he is asking me if I am living by the words he spews from his mouth(boy that sounds a little angry, hmm...more irritated). You see, these are the questions he just "happened" to ask me when he entered the lunch room. "How old are?" "Are you married?" "Are you dating?" "You better hurry if you're going to do anything." It seems it is against some un-written law to grow old without a spouse...hmm. Maybe that is how I'm supposed to live this life. I told him i'm not worried about it, When it is over I will be dust and my spirit will be freeand whatever Goddess and God i hold in my heart will greet me.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Let me try and go backwards in time and catch up a bit. Friday mornings session went better, with just a little stiffness but more energy. Whatever I was fighting seemed to be slipping away. Saturday morning was really good too, it was a nice way to finish my week or practice. I really made it a point to reach more in down dog and push with my legs on the out breath. Forward bends i got a little deeper, it was nice getting a bit farther after a few days of backstepping. I did my best to support myself on every attempt of down dog, which is the biggest struggle thru Sury A for me. Today, I had gotten up and had every intention of getting my practice in. I had gotten online checking some threads, watching some Quaker videos and doing some reading. I thought I would have time to get the session in, shower, go get soup and head off to watch Sucker Punch. i had sat too long, but didn't realize it until I rolled my mat out. I looked at the clock, there was no time to get it in...shoot! Then there was a small amount of time from the movie getting out to the 5 o'clock hour when i had to meet one of my set of parents for dinner. I'm going to go back in time a bit here, just for a minute. I have to say that my practice has made me more an observer than a communicator. I watched a confrontation between three coworkers argue over who was covering what. It was a battle of ego, one of the three is a proponent of a "team" concept at work. If we can't communicate in the work situation we are in currently, what makes him think we can pull off a team concept? I could, I try to remain humble and work with just about anyone. Dinner with the do you explain the changes you are going through to people who can't begin to understand? I tried, but it seemed more like I was speaking in Sanskrit. I knew my mother's tone, when she asked me "what changes?" I did my best to explain the inside and outside changes, but i don't think I did the subject justice. It's the same reason I didn't bing up the study of just isn't the crowd for such talks. My wonderful dysfunctional family, who would do what they could if I got in a jam...but they look at me odd if i break out of what they see as the "norm". I'm the weird one, the outsider and have gotten used to that and made peace with that.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Another mornig of stiffness and lack of energy, to the point I stopped Sury A before the end. I think some of it is the weather, everyone I work with is coughing and sniffling or sinusy. I do feel better, little more energized and feel excited about tomorrow mornings session.

My mat is my shala, because i am in a state with no certified teachers. If there are teachers who aren't certified, they may be good people, just not on my radar for what i want in a teacher.

I got the clippters out and cut my hair just before sitting down here to blog. I started cutting my own hair almost a year ago, for a couple of reasons. First it was a challenge, since my barber retired and i wondered if i could do it and not butcher it. Another reason was, vanity had me by the ankle and i knew my hair was gettig thin. it was time to accept and become humble, so I keep my hair very short, to the point of being just a thin layer...any shorter and i would be shaving it clean. I won over vanity and it has no power over me. If i am carrying extra weight on my body, I want to get rid of it because it makes me feel healthy, not because i am worried about what someone thinks.

I have learned how imperfect i am over the last year. I will make mistakes, but also learn from them. I think some of this comes from having a yoga practice has been a factor in learning this. The phrase,"that's why it is called a practice" rings so true, that i could say, I am practicing to be a better being in this life...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It was so difficult to get out of bed this morning, with the cold dampness in the air. I unrolled my mat and began, my body was so stiff on the forward bend. A littel farther into Sury A, the stiffness went away. It was a morning of feeling weak, which is a bit off, since I have progressed. I guess you'll have that and just chalk it up to the body and the weather.

On another note, I have thought of my eating habits. I've wondered if I could completely give up meat or even fish. I understand alot of Ashtangi's make the choice, but I have been a carnivore most of my life. Will this change in the future? Maybe. I would feel better if i was the one raising and butchering my own meat. It might make me feel could even be the deciding factor on what i eat, if I had to kill my own meat or fish. Fish will be closer in my future, with my hunter gatherer leanings.

I share my house with a cat and have thought of raising rabbits for food. I think it would be a difficult task to kill a rabbit...even if I had to to survive. I was at the mall and stopped into pet store. I tried to pet the rabbits from above and thought how cute they are. That's along way from killing and eating. This could be where vegitarians and vegans find them selves, because they understand they could never kill an animal and eat it.

On the same note, aren't plants alive...sentient beings? They don't have faces we can relate to, but are connected to the earth below our feet. Some believe we should thank the plant and leave an offering when we take a part of it, to honor it. Would honoring the animal we kill in the same way, make it easier to take it's life? It would be the respectful thing to do, instead of raising them in mass, with little regard for their life. It isn't like a bear would thank me for providing it food with my body, but in their world it is eat or be eaten.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


I would love to blame everything that got in the way of my practice. Quite simply, I can't blame some inanimate object or activity for stopping me from practicing, it has no hands or persuasive speech to inhibit me.

I have noticed that the days following a moon day are the most difficult to get back on the mat. This week was the worst, moon day fell on a Saturday, Sunday is my rest day. Normally, Monday and Tuesday are easy days, I don't work on either, but I found it difficult to get to my practice. Monday morning I woke early and could feel the energy race thru my body, then i fell back to sleep. Got up and raced to get soup and hit the movies. Today (Tuesday) just put it off, until it was time to go eat, telling myself i'd come back "later" and do it. I eneded up watching some Youtube stuff on Mennonites and Quakers.

In a way it was nice, because the time was spent listening, when i don't feel a need to speak. Funny how i feel this lack of a need to speak when i have one of my parents calling me. This speech thing is the most difficult, when people want to call and talk. i don't have alot to say, the calmness has taken over and life is uncluttered. I don't feel bombarded by thought.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

What this is all about

I'm creating this blog to record my life as a "new" or "young" (young as in young in practice) Ashtangi. I started practicing in Jan. 2011, so I'm very new, but could find very little on the changes i would have happen to me. it goes beyond just the physical changes, like the first month and a half of soreness from taking on a six day a week practice. There was this inner change, this calm, this lack of need to talk. I wondered what was going on, but it wasn't something that would make me stop. I'm hooked, i just wanted to understand and have an idea of what was happening.

Let me jump back a bit, to before i began in Jan. December, i don't think too much about birthdays, but i had turned 45. Up to December, I had been practicing more of a hatha yoga style in the mornings, then the evening I would lift weights three times a week. I had bought NickI Doane's Introduction to Ashtanga Yoga, some time before then. I was really attracted to the flowing nature of the practice, even before I knew the name of it. Right around the holidays i got the flu, so i stopped the yoga and weights. That was the last time i also had alcohol.

Then it began, i came home from work and watched Nicki's DVD to get an idea of what i would be doing. it was a Saturday night and my shift is a bit wacky, i dozed off to the DVD. Come Monday, I unrolled my mat and followed far as i could. A challenge, that's what has been and remains...and that's a compliment to the practice.

Where i'm at now, is Sury A...I can get through the whole thing...close to the end i still have to drop to my knees in Downward Facing Dog. It won't be long before i can see myself not having to do that.

Back to the inner change...I had gotten used to "feeling" my environment from chakra work, then all of a sudden, the calmness, felt like it muffled those senses. Instead I felt calm, with this weird new awkwardness in public places. it remnded me of the feeling, the rawness that came from fasting. Then there's the strange dreams and acne, which i guess from reading, is all part of the 'detoxification" of the Primary series. Hmm...45 and now i have acne like i was a teenager again.

Then the blanker was lifted, ever so slowly I knew "things" before they would happen, more often that the occassionalwonderful "clair" moment. The first was at work, when I was asked to carry some pizzas over to the file cabinets. Something said,"she's going to ask you to grab the table".I walked in, started to break down the table and the woman responded with a "how did you know i was going to ask you to do that?" I just shrugged.

The next one, was at a Burger King, I was in a bit a time crunch to get food and get to work. There was a woman who walked in front of me heading inside to order food. i worried she would set my time behind more, but had an image of her going to the bathroom door and me ordering. Inside we went and she turned and went to the women's bathroom.

These two examples were so clear too, but it felt normal, like i should be used to such things.

Last week was something new...I felt sad, like weeping sad, like being awake was enough to make me crawl into bed and cry the day away...odd enough, but more odd for a guy. Cry for no reason at all? Weird!

The latest thing, is heightened eyesight and hearing. Lights seem too bright...expecially headlights of oncoming cars. The hearing is a weird one though, that I hadn't noticed until the other night. I was watching Avatar for the hundredth time, but besides the normal music to announce the scene, i kept hearing this ambient music. The first time i heard it, i wondered where it was coming from. here i was watching a scene i had watched so many times, but i had never heard the ambient music just barely in the whitenoise. It's amazing, because almost every scene has this ambient music in it and it was always there. It make me thing of everything else that i've probably never heard or seen, but will.

Let me mention this on eating. About a week before feeling like crying, i had gotten some Ale, first time since December. Half of a bottle and I had a headache, it made me want to pour the half of bottle and the other five down the drain. Did i? No, but i have no desire to drink alcohol anymore, whether I enjoy the taste of not. The weird thing is the whole next week, i had a leafy green colored bowel movement. My body knew it had changed enough, but my mind was the last to know.

My appetite has changed, I was ravenous in the beginning. Then I went through a poit of not really being hungry. Now it is really strange, to where I'm not hungry at say 12:00pm, Then it's like a switch was thrown at 12:05pm I'm hungry. Today i even noticed that hunger, came in pulses, almost like a heart beat.

My sleep cycle has changed too, there are nights i only sleep a couple hours and i'm fully rested.

I can't wait until tomorrow to unroll my mat, one more time. Ashtanga has replaced the excercise and my weights and bench are gathering dust.

I didn't take notes, so anything I experienced, that I forgot i'll add later. Hopefully my sharing my experience, will help others.