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.