26 Jan 2011

Shooting and Can I Have a Kiss?

Today’s practice got an extra vibe, because there was a cameraman in the Shala. Sharath has asked one guy for some reason to film the practice. He shooted last week’s led second series and this morning he was in the Shala with his video camera again. We shouldn’t care, what is going on around us during the practice, but it’s hard to avoid thinking, how my hair is and how terribly sweaty I am. I am sure he got some great grins and shaky moments…

My practice was ok. My back is hurting in Supta Kurmasana, but at the same time I think that I have made a little bit practice with that pose. Warm weather helps, because I am more flexible and also my little stretching program has maybe started to show some results. I did dropbacks with Sharath and once again he was standing in front of my mat the whole time, when I did all my Urdva Dhanurasanas. Dropbacks were stiff and uncontrolled once again. It takes really time to learn those. Otherwise I felt good and strong. My whole focus is in warming up my back properly and thinking about alignements as well as bandhas.

After practice I walked home. On the way home there is one area, which is really dark. Indian man walked against me and I noticed that he was changing the side of the road, so I was awake immediately. He passed me and then started to say: “Excuse me, excuse me.” I just continued walking and ignored him completely, because I was ten metres from my gate. Luckily he was tiny guy, so I wasn’t that much afraid of him. Finally, I turned to face him and he asked: “Can I kiss you?” I shouted as loud as I could, that “Go away, go away!” I think that he was quite surprised and he started to move nervously and looked around. I just kept shouting and he seemed to be too scared of me and he walked away. I went home with my shaking legs. Episodes like that make me so angry. At least I was glad to notice, that I can react in situation like that. And it’s also relieving that Indian men are tiny. If it’s necessary, I will hit as hard as I can. I believe in ahimsa, but I believe even more in self-defense. It seems that I have to focus more on building up my strength!

Osteopath and New Try

Ok. So I heard about this amazing Alex from Sydney. An osteopath, who was highly recommended, for me. And he really was a miracle man. Alex came to my place and we improvised a little bit, because there was no massage table or proper pillows etc. but the final result was great. I got my back back. I really didn’t believe that he could fix it so fast, but after a couple of days from the treatment I was feeling normal again. My back didn’t hurt all the time and I was able to bend forward. Alex was exactly, what I needed.

And today I did my whole practice again. I closed both sides in Marichyasana D and I did Supta Kurmasana, too. I did six Urdva Dhanurasanas before doing dropbacks with Sharath. Sharath waited next to my mat the whole time, when I was warming up my back with Urdva Dhanurasana. Sharath is just so wonderful and I am spoild by him. This living master of ashtanga yoga teaches me every morning. He holds my leg every morning, he waits next to my mat waiting me to prepare some poses, he gives his compassion for me, he doesn’t care, that I am not the most advanced, or even near that, student. He just seems to love teaching. He never pushes me, but he just supports me. He has never let me down and I trust him completely.

After my beautiful practice and my silent thanks to my teacher, I walked out and I drank my coconut. Bubba, my dearest Bubba came to me and he told me that he had a gift for me. I told him, that I don’t need any gifts, because I already got mine, because my practice was so awesome. However, he told me to stop by to his place after coconuts. I went to his place and this sweet man made me smile like sun. Bubba knew that I really wanted to buy Shala’s cotton mat with Shala’s initials. And I wanted to get the purple one, which has been sold out forever. Bubba had hunted after that mat and got one through our common friend and he handed the mat for me. I was speechless. We shouldn’t be too attached to things, but I just loved this mat and the idea, that he wanted to give it to me. Now I can think about him also every time, when I open my mat. He is pure gold that man.

So this is what Mysore really is on it’s best. It’s about true friendship, true love, true dedication, true displine, true faith, true tradition and true ashtanga yoga. It’s learning from your teacher and learning from your friends. Like it’s written in The Living Gita: “The essence of Yoga is: Be good, do good.” I have lately received so much goodness that soon it’s time to go back to real world and pass some of this goodness forward. But before that, I have to practice and learn more.


So I hurted my back again. And I didn’t hurt it in a very fashionable way doing some demanding poses. I sneezed and after that stayed on my rooftop five minutes catching my breath and feeling horrible pain in my back. I knew immediately that the disc between vertebras in my lower back was out again. Pain wasn’t as strong as it was on first time, so I think that this time I had some luck with me and the disc is maybe only partly out. This is good, because that is possible to take care of faster than if it’s completely out.

So first I was so down. Huge, dark cloud came over me. Why me? Why always, when everything starts to be so nicely with my practice, something bad happens? What I have done to piss off all gods so badly? Maybe I have been serious bitch in my past life and now I am getting so much bad karma. Well, what comes to the phycical injuries, I am strong believer of Western medicine. Eastern medicine is perfect, what comes to keeping you in shape and healthy, but when you have some acute injury, I prefer Western medicine. So I went to local pharmacy and bought good variation of painkillers. I know, why painkillers are so addictive. Those medicines give you an extremely good sleep also, so I have to be careful with that stuff.

After swimming in dark waters, I decided to fight. I went to the Shala and I did my horrible practice. I informed Sharath before my practice, that my back isn’t okey and I do, what I can. I stayed until Marichyasana B, but couldn’t really think going through any serious rotation moves. I was able to keep my breath quite stable, which was positive. After practice, I wasn’t feeling too good, but I went to work in Vivian’s, because I know, that I can get so much positive energy from the people around me.

Positive thinking is the key work of all healing. If you really want to heal and you believe that you can heal, I believe that you will be able to heal faster. Keeping the spirits up isn’t always that easy, but crying at home doesn’t remove any problems. So I went to speak with Sharath and he told be to take of Friday’s class and come back on Sunday. My idea was actually go and practice with Indian group, but because my teacher told me to stay off the mat, I obeyed.

This morning I woke up after good sleep. I did five Sun Salutations, some Pilates exercises and light stretching. What helps the most with my back is proper breathing. When you learn to move the breath inside your body in different directions, it’s an unbeatable tool. I also booked a meeting with osteopath and I hope that he can do some tricks. I am not sure if I am able to practice on Sunday’s led class, but on Monday I can do Mysore class for sure. I can go slowly and just breath.

For me, big part of ashtanga is believeing in this system. I believe in vinyasa. I believe that this whole sequence is carefully builded up and there is a strong logic behind it. The combination of breath and movement is crucial. You don’t skip poses. You stay there until your body and mind loosens enough and then you can do the next pose. Sometimes that can take years. Seriously years, but you just have to accept that. So my challenge is my back. I am not going to start Second Series before my back will be able to go through dropbacks. That will take for a long time, but it’s possible. Like many other things in life, if you really believe so.

My Best Practice So Far…

Today was my best practice so far. I started very slowly and tried to warm up my body step by step. I felt light pain on the right side of my back, so I thought that light start could be the best. I practiced again next to the door and it was a good spot. Little breeze helped me to breath.

Sharath adjusted me twice today (first in Uthita Hasta Padangustasana and then in Supta Kurmasana). I was happy to get adjustment from him in Supta Kurmasana, because usually his assistants are helping in that pose and I have been really looking forward to get a good adjustment in that difficult pose. I was able to keep that pose closed maybe a little bit longer than before. I closed today Marichyasana D alone. It’s not still smooth transfer, but at least I closed it alone. It feels so good, when it’s closed and you can actually straighten the spine. Saraswati helped me with dropbacks. Same problems continue with dropback, I still don’t get that pose at all. My Urdva Dhanurasana was good today and I almost felt no pain at all. So all in all, this was a very good practice for me. The energy in general was more focused today, too. It feels like people have found their spots and are more relaxed now.

Outside the shala some things are changing, too. I am going to start to work in Vivian’s three times per week. Vivian needed to go back home urgently, so me and some other yogis will take care of Vivian’s breakfast during the coming month. I consider this as my own little charity project here. I like to work in cafés and this is a good way to help. My shift is four hours, so I should be able to handle that without stress and I also hope that this will bring some order to my days.

It’s so wonderful that I have my own cleaning lady now, who comes every week. I am very lousy to take care of cleaning, so I prefer to pay couple of rupees to keep my place tidy. She came first time today and I noticed that I have to supervise quite much, what she is doing. For example she doesn’t use hot water, unless I tell her to do so. And she tried to wash all my clothes at the same time. Luckily I noticed that before no harm was done. I think that I will continue to do my laundry on my own in the future and she can just wash the floor. I don’t have so many clothes here and I really want to keep those clothes, which I brought with me from Finland. Here is almost impossible to find sport clothes and those clothes I need every day.

Today I will have a lunch with Tasia and just relax. I am trying to read through Bhagavad Gita for my TT in Yoga Thailand. I finished yesterday Sience of Breath, which was interesting book. Bhagavad Gita is full of good thoughts for the life. It’s full of ancient wisdom and careful thinking. You can’t read it very quickly and you have to concentrate on it a lot, but it’s very fruitful.

Sunday’s Practice and Conference

When we started the practice this morning, the mantra was amazingly strong. Shala is packed and you can feel, how forceful (but in a good way) that energy is with all these people. Today’s practice was good. My body really needs that practice, because after light last week, I was so waiting for the practice. I slept again only couple of hours, but felt suprisingly good this morning. When I wake up after very short sleep, I feel exhausted, but when I start to move, everything feels better. I just hope that I won’t crash at some point, because of lack of proper sleep.

I am still very spoiled in the Shala. Sharath assisted me with three asanas (and the whole room is so full that there is no empty spots on the stage or in changing rooms)… I got adjustment in Uthita Hasta Padangustasana as well as in the end of the series. Today Sharath assisted me with Sirsasana, too. I came down earlier on purpose, because I want to take it easy with my neck. I took it up again after little break and then he came to help me, so I was sort of forced to stay up until the end of counting. It went fine and I didn’t feel pain. It is actually very nice asana to get an adjustment. At least from Sharath.

Today we had a conference at 10 o’clock. It was a very good conference, because people asked interesting questions and not that much questions, on which you can find answers from yoga books. Sharath talked about knowledge, which we can get from other people for example, when they are talking about yoga sutras. He also talked a lot about, how we should focus on our own practice and not do asanas to impress other people. He said, that we should keep our eyes on our own mat. He also mentioned many times that Primary Series is enough to receive Samadhi. One man asked, when we can start pranayama and his answer was, when our guru thinks we are ready. What comes to pranayama I totally agree with Sharath. It takes time to be able to sit still in Padmasana and before that you can’t do proper pranayama. Sharath demonstrated us, how to do kumbhaka and it is very long pause indeed, when it’s done, how it should be. One girl asked about the possibility to do self-practice instead of led class because of some injury, but Sharath told us to come to the led class anyway and practice as long as it’s possible. When asked, can we prolonge the breath in asanas, if we have injuries, he said, no problem. You can stay in the pose eight or ten or even more breaths, if you have injuries. When our mind wonders to the pain or somewhere else, we should start again to focus on the breath.

Yesterday I spoke with one assistant and he said that Sharath doesn’t want the assistant to adjust us, if we are able to close to the pose on our own. That assistant prefers to adjust and take the student deeper in that pose, even when the student is able to close the pose on his own. I think that Sharath wants to leave us alone after we are able to close the poses on own, because then we can keep the vinyasa going and focus on the meditative side of the practice. I personally like to flow, if it’s possible. I have met only a handful of teachers in my life, who are so good adjusting, that I really like to them to take me deeper in the pose. Petri is absolutely the best teacher, what comes to the adjustments and taking me deeper in poses. Sharath’s touch is very light and he knows exactly, what he is doing, so that’s why I am never afraid of him. Dena took me once very deep in Supta Kurmasana, but it wasn’t painful. But I have got quite many injuries because of bad adjustments, so I like to receive less adjustments, unless the teacher really knows, what he is doing. Sharath talked today also about, how teacher should help the student so that he can do the pose in the better way.

I am looking forward to Thailand to learn more about adjusting. It’s very difficult, but I can’t wait to be able to try with so many different people and body types. I suppose nobody is born with perfect touch, but some people are more natural for sure. As we all know, the practice is often painfull enough even without bad adjustments. The flow can keep you more focused and breath will help you with pain.

7 Jan 2011

New Energy, New Challenges and New Home

This week included so many new things. I moved to my new place on Monday. My friend Maria used to live in this place and I like it, because on the wall is Maria’s mandala and it feels like she is here in one way still. The studio is full of books as well as other things, which the people, who have lived here before, have left behind. My start with this appartment hasn’t been the best one, because the fridge is so dirty, that I can’t really use it and I have been without shower the whole time. I have been complaining about the water problem every day, but nothing really happens. I can get some water in the kitchen, so I can warm it and then wash myself, but real, hot shower would be nice. I am quite frustrated to complain about things, so I think that I will give it a new try next week. Otherwise my place is clean as well as nice and cleaning lady comes every week, which is such a luxury of life!

I went to practice on Monday, but I couldn’t practice. I couldn’t turn my head properly and every vinyasa hurted in my neck as well as under shoulder blades. So I did four Suruyanamaskara A’s and walked out of shala. When you can’t breath properly and every vinyasa hurts, it’s obligatory to have a break. Luckily Tuesday was a Moonday, so I was able to have two days off in a row. On Tuesday I tried schiatsu first time. I met Anna from Amsterdam in Anu’s Cafe after my neck problems and she promised to help me. Schiatsu session took two hours and it was amazing. It was so relaxing and it was very interesting to notice the movements of energy in your body. I really loved Anna’s treatment!

On Wednesday I was back on mat. I ate painkillers during three different nights just to get the muscles relaxed and on Wednesday my neck was quite ok. I did really short finishing poses, but I was able to practice my whole series through. During the dropbacks, I felt that the leftside of my body was very stiff in shoulder area, but I went down with Sharath anyway. After the practice I was happy, that I was able to just practice. The energy in the Shala is very different now. Sometimes it feels even pushy and I couldn’t get my favorit spot on Wednesday, because I came maybe a couple of minutes later than usually and the room was packed already. I was practicing in a very bad corner so near a girl next to me, that there was only a couple of centimeters between our mats. I felt so sorry for her, because she was practicing Second Series… I am so glad that I am not tall, because at least I can stay on my mat quite well.

On Thursday I practiced on my regular spot again. I went to the Shala earlier and got a lift from Lucia on my way there. We have new assistants now, too. Jens is from Copenhagen and Renee from New York. I have to say, that the new assistants haven’t impressed me that much, but usually the assistants improve so much during the month, that it’s amazing. I have received Supta Kurma adjustments from both and I feel that my shoulders haven’t been properly done. But it takes a couple of days to get used to new students and learn people’s practices. Thursday’s practice was quite nice again. Saraswati adjusted me with dropbacks and this time I did a little bit better. I am struggling again with Marichyasana D, which is annoying, but no can do.

On Friday we had a led class again. Shala was packed, people were practicing on the stand, in waiting rooms as well as in changing rooms. I got a nice spot next to the main door and there was a little breeze which was this time really nice. It’s easy to see that this light week has been good for my body in a way, because I don’t feel that much pain in my back and also I felt stronger today during my practice. My neck bothers me still a little bit, so I keps Sirsasana up only ten breaths and I also cheated a lot in Utplutih. I hope that during the coming week I will be in shape again.

So many new people have arrived. Johanna, Pia, Marko and Riikka are the latest Finnish arrivals. I have also found some Americans, who are too Americans for me. When the whole dinner conversation is about cleanse and when people are not eating, but only drinking water, it sort of freaks me out. When yoga starts to be only about outer things and not at all about inner matters, it’s not my cup of tea. When the conversation is very focus on Mysore gossip and loosing weight, it’s kind of boring. Mysore gossiping can be fun, but only when shared with your closest friend and in a way that doesn’t hurt anybody. And of course life is very different in Miami, where you have to wear bikinis year around and you see so much plastic around you. But plastic energy isn’t for me, I am more into real stuff.

2 Jan 2011

New Year, Bylakuppe Monastery and New Year’s First Practice

On Thursday we had led class again, which ended the practice season for year 2010. I was tired on Thursday and I was happy to close the year 2010. After practice I thought that I will build up totally new energy for the year 2011.

On Thursday I had pizza again. I went to Pascuzzi with Mikko, Helena, Tasia and Angeliq. It was a good, long lunch with friends. My dessert was warm brownie with scoop of vanilla icecream. Not bad at all. Angeliq had just arrived from the States and she seemed to be okey after really long fligt. It is insane, how long it takes to come here from the States, so we Europeans really don’t have anything to complain, what comes to fligt durations.

On Friday we headed to Bylakuppe. Anriikka had organised us a nice tour in monastery. Our group included Anriikka, Ian, Helena and Mikko and our guide Tulkku, who is a Tibetan monk, who escaped from Tibet about ten years ago and lives now in Bylakuppe with thousands of other monks. Our impression was that he was quite high in monastery’s hierarchy, because he teaches internationally and had been near Dalai Lama during his visit in Bylakuppe.

Bylakuppe was sort of unreal place for me. It is so weird, how in the middle of India can be so big Tibetan monastery. For me, the place seemed to be mixture of India and Tibet. Monks were running around wearing their red-orange costumes, but it was possible to find Indian food easily. Also some paintings inside the temples were like half Indian and half Tibetan. Tibetan Buddhism seems to be more colourful than Zen Buddhism. In this monastery it was possible to see also paintings about demons and dark side in general.

I wasn’t aware either that female Buddhas exist. I always thougth that Buddha is a male, but in that monastery had one whole temple with female Buddha paintings. In Bylakuppe’s area lives also Buddhist nuns and we heard that there is one Canadien woman, who will be soon promoted as teacher. Monks are very focused on their studies and we had a change to visit the school for little monks. They were so cute and quite shy. The youngest monk in the class room, where we visited, was five years old and he was already studying English.

In the monastery area the energy was so calm. It was very relaxing to walk around without being obliged to watch over your shoulder all the time. Trafic is naturally quite easy-going in that area, but monks are living in modern time too, because they were going around with their mobiles and I also saw a sign of interned café. They have even special home for old monks!

After our long day outside under the sun, we all were totally exhausted. The Tibetan food in the monastery was quite bad (only carbs) and we all ate just to be polite for our guide. When we arrived to Gokulam, Helena, Mikko and I decided to go for a dinner directly, because it was dark already and we were starving. In 6th Main Helena was almoust unable to talk and when Mikko and I stood up from the car, we both had difficulties to walk properly. Hah. One day in sun and yogis are totally smashed!

During the dinner we talked about New Year’s Resolutions. Helena promised to do one act of goodness everyday. My promise was no promises… I thought that we yogis don’t have to do those normal resolutions like eat healty, not to smoke or exercise everyday, because that is actually our lifestyle. The meaning of my resolution is to live as free as possible and live on the moment. It’s good to be without plans and enjoy the moment as much as possible. Life is very full and sweet in Mysore and hopefully my whole travel will be full of this peace and happiness.

After dinner I went home and decided to stay in the New Year’s Eve. I have to say, that Christmas and New Year’s Eve are not so cool parties here. We had fun with yogis during Christmas time, but locals don’t seem to party almoust at all. Once I would like to spend a New Year in New York, but I think that the ideal situation for me would be to live abroad and spend Christmas time and summer in Finland. I can stand cold for a while, but one month is quite maximum. Christmas time in Finland is full of traditions and Christmas spirit is everywhere. Finnish summer is very beautiful and then in Finland you can enjoy light all night long. Christmas in France and Vatican was also full of Christmas spirit, but in Bangkok it was only weird. I am going to spend next Christmas in Australia and I heard that they go to the beach and have a barbeque…

Today was my first practice (N:o 64 n total) of the year 2011. We had a led class and it is obvious that new people have arrived. Normally we all wait outside the gate calmly before practice, but this time people were jumping up and behaving nervously. Energy was almoust aggressive and at least pushy. I was happy to practice next to Michael, because he has a very calm breath. I was stiff today and felt easily those two days off in my body. My body doesn’t like that much days off. I know that those days are very important for recovery, but my body is always very heavy and stiff after day off. I am more stronger, but quite clumsy. I think that during this week I have to eat lightly and sleep as much as I can. My sleep has been so bad lately, that it seems to eat my practice. Time is going so fast, that I have to start to focus on my studies for YT now, too.

Today's conference will be interesting, because we are hosting a guest, who used to be student of Krinamacharya... I am giving my report about that later. And it's time to pay my shala fee for the fouth month. How fast time can go?

Happy New Year 2011!

Christmas in Mysore, Back to the Shala, New Certified Teachers, Day Off and Back on Track…

Yesterday I decided to take an extra day off. I was tired. My sleep has been lost for a while, so I was just exhausted and needed a break. It is always so hard to stay away from the Shala, but I just forced myself to sleep. I went for a massage to Aimee’s and felt much better afterwards. It feels that my body is little bit overexhausted and then I should do only a light practice, but that is so hard for me inside the Shala, so I took just one day off to calm my body. Today’s practice was stiff and dropback was a fiasco, but I got a very good sleep last night, which was my whole purpose.

Christmas in Mysore was easy-going. We had a led class and after that I had Christmas breakfast in Santosha, where we song some Christmas carrols together and opera singer Bo Chang from New York was performing for us. I feel always very relaxed in Santosha and I just love Ann’s and Magnus’s company. After that I went to see Helena and Mikko. They prepared real glögg and rice porridge for me, which was so great. Finnish group here is growing and Mikko’s and Helena’s neighbours Kaisa and Saku came over too. I had late lunch in Paschuzzi, which is an Italian restaurant in Mysore. Pizza is ok according to Indian stantards. During the whole Christmas period, we had quite much electricity breaks, so our lunch in Paschuzzi was partly eaten in darkness. It’s quite fun to eat in a restaurant in darkness…

After pizza I crashed a party again. Italian Elena gave me a lift and we went to Benji’s and his daddy’s party to Alex’s house. Upstairs was full of yogis singing together and after that some yogis showed us some proper dance moves. I love to watch people dancing and most of the people on the dance floor were professionals, so it was even more fun. Aimee, Tasha and I left quite early, because we weren’t really on the dance mood and went to Aimee’s place for some chocolate and drinks. Aimee had a Christmas tree with the lights, which was quite funny.

On Christmas Day I slept long and went to Barista with Tasia and Alyson. It was nice start for the day, just chill out and chat. Aimee had invited us for the Christmas lunch to her place and about ten persons gathered around the Christmas table. We ate mashed potatoes, green beans, tofy and gravy. It doesn’t sound that delicious, but it was actually so good. Aimee’s gravy was the best, which I have ever had. I never eat gravy, but that one was so yummy. Desert was great variation of different kinds of chocolate and cookies + brownies. After long lunch we started to watch Christmas Story, which is typical American tradition during Christmas Day.

On Sunday it was time to get back to the routine. We had our normal led class and after that I watched second group’s practice. During a couple of days, it has been quite empty in the Shala, because many people left back home for Christmas and new people haven’t arrived yet. People, who have arrived now, have been in Mysore many times before. The new people in Second group are quite advanced and the practice of (Swedish)-American Laruga is really worth to see. She is a light girl with a flying practice. Quite much handstands and other tricks, but so enjoyable to watch.

Sunday’s conference was very exciting, because Sharath announced two new certified teachers after four years’ break. The other teacher wasn’t present, but Australian Mark Robberts went over the stand to get his certificate. I was glad to see that Sharath decided to certify Australian surfer, who has been here a lot and who travels as well as teaches internationally. Mark seems to be a relaxed bloke with a strong practice without tricks. He will teach next in Tokyo and Southern America, but maybe he will come someday to Europe. Otherwise conference was quite basic stuff about vegetarian diet and pampara again.

Monday’s practice was quite stiff again and wasn’t full of energy. I didn’t go down in dropbacks, because my back wasn’t feeling too good and Saraswati was ok with my decision. On Monday, we went for a lunch to a new place for me called Paradise Hotel. I had thali, but I have noticed, that it isn’t really my favorit dish. It’s always sort of disapointment, because I don’t like something, which is included, or something is too spicy. Quite often thali seems to be cold also, so you end up easily getting stomack problems. My lassi in Paradise Hotel was good however.

Anriikka and Ian came here on Sunday after Mooji’s silent retreat. It was nice to see them and hear some yoga news from Finland. It is very interesting to see, how meditation and silent retreats affect people. For example, Ian doesn’t practice asana anymore at all and Anriikka has done only home practice after Mooji’s retreat in Stockholm this summer. For me personally, it’s very hard to imagine practice without strong asana practice. Asana is for me also the only way to keep my body in shape, build up strength around my spine and also relax. I feel that asana is very good way to empty your mind, get better sleep and calm down in your everyday life. Ian said, that he has noticed changes very quickly in his body after he stopped asana practice, but on the other hand he seems to be very happy with his new practice. He wants to let the asana practice go. I think that it’s not good to be too attached to your asana practice, so that you will get injuries or you don’t listen to your body, but because I am not into that spiritual side, asana is in the middle of my practice. If my physical body feels bad, also I will feel mentally lousy. Asana practice also forces me to watch out more, what I eat and when I sleep. My body is more sensitive in many ways because of ashtanga. But we all have our own ways to find our balance. The way how Sharath is teaching ashtanga seems to work for me.

My Practice N:o 59 / Indian Odd Weather

The weather here is now very strange. Nights are cold and mornings are so chilly, that we are drinking our coconuts after the practice as fast as possible and running home after that. I am wearing every morning long sleeves, wool hat and long trousers. I normally sweat a lot during practice, but now I can feel the breeze, when I start and I am not sweating that much. Tomorrow I think that I have to start my practice so that I am wearing long sleeves. During the day weather changes a lot and it’s almoust opposite for the night. It’s hot and sunny. Now we have had quite much electricity breaks, so I have been sweating in my room without fan working properly. This whole weather thing affects my practice too, so sometimes I am stiff because of the weather and sometimes I am almoust over-flexible. This is actually a very good place for learning, how much the weather (and eating) affects the practice. I have noticed that for me it works the best, when I am without food at least 10 hours before my practice. Otherwise I feel very heavy and I can’t cage my banddhas properly.

Today I had a very good practice. It felt that Aimee relased some blocks yesterday from my back and this morning I felt good. I also got a little bit more sleep, which always helps my practice. I received adjustments in Uthita Hasta Padangustasana, Supta Kurmasana and dropbacks. Today only dropback was fiasco, otherwise my practice was going well. I waited quite long before dropbacks, so I think that it was one of the reasons, why it wasn’t going well. I also noticed that I am mentally resisting that pose quite much (even when Sharath is assisting the pose). It would be so much easier, if I relaxed on right time. One of the best things, which I have learned here is the importance of everyday’s practice. Even when I have crazy pain, I go to the Shala. I do what I can and usually the practice opens up when I just breath and go slowly forward. Warming up my back is the main thing and now I do three small Urdva Dhanurasanas, three normal Urhva Dhanurasanas and three small dropbacks and one dropback down. My back feels much better this way and I am making sure at the same time, that my back is warm enough for the dropbacks. With my pitta mind it is so easy to speed up and forgot to do the poses calmly, keeping my breath stable and even.

One of the pleasures here is buying fresh flowers after the practice. For some reason, fresh flowers are bringing me very much joy. Tomorrow I will buy violet flowers to celebrate Christmas a little bit.

Working Girl in Santosha and Practice N:o 58

I slept only couple of hours last night, but my sleep was good, because Aimee gave me some medicines for my back. I was tired, when I woke up and I thought twice before I went to the Shala.

My practice was way better than I thought that it would be. My back wasn’t hurting too much and my concentration got better during the practice. I got adjustments in Uthita Hasta Padangustasana, Supta Kurmasana and dropbacks, so I had nothing to complain. I thought that I won’t do dropbacks today, but Sharath was waiting in front of my mat, when I did Urdva Dhanurasana and I felt sort of obliged to do the dropbacks. Timing was better this time, but still no progress what comes to the coming up part. Huoh. Sharath is just laughing at me, but I am frustrated. I could protect my back so much better, if I knew, how to come up. I know, one day, one day.

What comes to Christmas, I have to say, that I have only one wish. I wish that I am able to practice during the rest of my life. My back is giving so serious warnings now, that I am trying to keep my fingers crossed all the time, so that it won’t collapse. Stress is bad for your back, too and I am getting stressed because of this matter. It so much reminds me about my last Christmas too, which was an official catastrophe…

But all in all, today’s practice was positive suprise.

After my practice I felt energetic and I didn’t have my nap. I went to Santosha around nine and we had lot of fun with Linda-Maria serving the customers. I really liked my comeback as waitress. Santosha is so easy-going place and I know almoust all the people by name. It would be fun to work there some other time, too.

I am so happy that Aimee is back. Aimee will receive her authorization certificate tomorrow. And Bubba got permission to stay a couple of days longer, so this day was great! It’s good to be surrounded by the people, who you really love. I am getting so much good energy from them.