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.