Reflections

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It’s the end of October, time to reflect on my practice.

I see strength and weaknesses:

  • What causes a setback always are the breaks for a week or so. I might have reasons for focusing on something else. Not every reason is an excuse. Nevertheless it would be much better to keep practicing on a daily basis. It’s always better to have a short practice than none at all.

  • It’s important to imply what I consider as useful. It’s filming. I don’t know why I avoid it. I don’t need to publish it. It’s only for me. In addition it would be very good to hold asanas longer than only 5 breaths.

  • I often omit the last asana. It’s so important to relax at the end. Today I lied in savasana. I felt like in paradise.

There are a lot of things that are great:

  • I have established a home practice. I’m able to practice two hours, that is I have a rather concentrated practice. Practicing at home allows me to adjust the practice to my needs.

  • The time of my practice is perfect. I practice before breakfast on an empty stomach. The mornings are perfect. I’ve tested everything else as well.

  • I might take breaks, but I always return to the mat.

  • I never forget to appreciate that I’m able to practice. Every session ends with a silent yet intensive ‘THANK YOU’.

Having listed this I’ve also created a plan for November:

  • Filming and holding some asanas for a minute or longer would be fantastic.

  • I won’t omit savasana.

  • A month without a break would be perfect.

Stay healthy.

A simple life - drink still water

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A simple life reduces stress.

A simple life gives us time for the things we really want to do.

A simple life is not boring.

A simple life makes flexible.

Living a simple life and practicing yoga fits together. So often I complained about having not enough time. The simpler our lives the more time we have. We also have to make less decisions. Which means the we’ll have more energy for the more important decisions.

Every part of life can be simplified. Let’s talk about our drinks. The body needs water. Still water. Juices, smoothies, alcoholic beverages, freshly squeezed orange juice you name it are not necessary to survive. They rather damage the body. If water is the main beverage shopping is easy. It saves time. I drink a cup of coffee in the morning and we have a lot of tea here. I’m so sure that I can halve it. My favorite teas are Earl Grey and Gunpowder. The rest can go. My shelf in the cupboard will me almost empty. It will be easy to clean.

I gave a alway many many glasses. There is a cult with glasses if you drink alcohol. We still have Champagne glasses, different wine glasses (for red wine and white wine). Oh and we have beer glasses. We all keep them for guests that are not coming during Corona times. I threw out all the schnapps glasses. As one can see, there are different levels of minimalism. It could be enough to have water glasses.

With less things I have time again for yoga. I feel less stress because of my long to do list. Five times in a row I practiced. Back bending is getting better again. On Fridays I stick to primary. I’m looking forward to it.

Drink water and enjoy it. It’s the best beverage we can drink. Just water. Pure luxury.

Sirsasana

Sirsasana, Okt 2020

Sirsasana, Okt 2020

Last year I went to Sivananda yoga classes. Sirsasana is the first asana of the series they teach. It’s supposed to be held for 5 minutes. In the beginning of each class the mind and body are still fresh and full of energy. It was easier to hold this asana longer than I usually do when I practice Ashtanga yoga. In the Ashtanga yoga series headstand is an asana of the closing sequence. After an exhausting practice I only wanted to finish my practice. Five breaths and out I was of this pose……

To hold an asana for 5 or 10 breaths or 5 minutes is a difference. If one holds headstand for 5 breaths it’s doable with a bad posture. It’s possible to compensate a bad technique with strength. If headstand is held longer this becomes difficult. The more correct the headstand is performed the easier it is and the easier it also is to hold it longer.

The one main mistake I see everywhere in classes and online is that the elbows are too far away from each other. My arms are almost parallel. They don’t form a triangle. When the bandhas (pelvis floor and abdomen) are engaged balancing is easier.

The Sivananda yogis offer headstand workshops that last 30 minutes. Within this time frame the students learn headstand. I learned it that way. Thank you it saved me a lot of time and frustration. In order to learn headstand one must want it. Someone must teach the correct technique. A bit of strength is necessary, too. That’s all.

To hold this pose up to 10 minutes is something else as written already.

My goal is to hold sirsasana for 5 minutes. Only when held longer this inversion can benefit for the body.

I found out yesterday:

  • My fingers hurt due to my rings.

  • To set a timer for 5 minutes without getting informed about the time is as if I were in a time vacuum.

  • Then I used a timer that indicates 5 intervals. It’s an App called multi timer that accompanies my practice these days. This interval timer is very useful.

I held sirsasana for 2 long minutes. I’m curious what is possible today.

I’m sure that holding sirsasana longer will improve this pose. It’s also a preparation for the more advanced inversions like pincha mayurasana.

The Sivananda yogis know a lot of variations, mainly the legs are in different positions.

The Ashtanga yogis know also a lot of variations, yet mainly the arms are in different positions.

Let’s keep practicing.

Eliminating obstacles

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Every morning I practice again. I miss taken pictures. This seems too distracting right now as I’m enjoying an uninterrupted practice. My legs are slightly overstretched. Nothing really bad.

The course ‘becoming minimalist’ keeps me busy. It’s so important to let go of all this excess. Several hours every day I work on having less. It’s exhausting. Yet having all the stuff was even more exhausting.

Yesterday I counted the things in a cupboard. I found 182 items after having decluttered the space.. I want to halve it. I mean in one cupboard 182 items. When I buy a cleaning product I obviously buy several just in case. I don’t want to experience a lack. Obviously. All the cooking magazines don’t make a good chef out of me. I found my own cooking style and my meals are delicious. Most of the time I prepare meals without a recipe. I could go on and on…….

I practice mainly second Ashtanga series. I do what I can. I focus on back bending. I repeat the asanas, try to stay longer and enjoy what is possible. Nothing can be forced.

Keep practicing.

Stay curious.

Don’t avoid the difficulties.

This is what I say to myself.

Recharging the batteries

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Recharging the batteries.

Finding balance.

Changing perspective.

Staying healthy.

Listening to the stillness.

Breathing, just breathing.

Focus.

Searching boundaries.

Being silent.

All this I experience when I practice yoga. Sometimes the practice is intensive, sometimes I feel weak and stiff. The practice is never boring, always inspiring.

Everybody needs something to refresh, to center again. There are many possibilities. For me it’s yoga.

Practicing alone

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Practicing alone allows me to adjust my practice to my possibilities on a given day. After a break I take it very easy. Usually very soon flexibility and strength improves. I take this time. No injuries is #1 goal.

Pashasana is a deep twist at the beginning of second series. The picture shows my alternate asana. It’s relaxing especially for the back.

It’s so rewarding to practice on a daily basis.

Health first. Especially during Corona time it’s so important to strengthen the immune system. I recommend a cold shower in the morning. Move the body and stay optimistic.

We’re gifted with a wonderful online community. I enjoy being connected with people around the globe.

Stay healthy.

Take care of yourself and others.

Simplicity

Marichyasana A

Marichyasana A

Less things mean more time.

During the last weeks I decluttered. A lot of things had to go. This project is not yet finished, yet I progressed a lot.

As a yogini I always learn to focus. Too much distraction spoils every life. Too much of anything creates stress.

Also the yoga meditation cushion had to go. I had never used it. These days we’re bombarded with ads. A thousand times we see and hear It on a daily basis. Buy, buy, buy. One might not be a daily shopper, but over time things become more and more. Time to look around and to let go of those things that are neither loved nor needed.

I was so astonished, but a lot of things belong to the last century. I had cassettes. Nobody has a cassette recorder anymore. All the dictionaries are out of date. Everybody looks up vocabulary online.

Things need attention. They have to be cleaned. Books scream: you wanted to read me. Unfinished knitting projects become a burden over time. All the kitchen tools must be cleaned. And there are the baking forms that told me every time when I saw them: Bake a cake, home-made is better. But no. I don’t want to become a baker anymore. It’s enough when I prepare simple, delicious meals. I won’t knit anymore. One cannot do everything. Bit by bit I created more time and also more space. Letting go of things, habits, unfinished projects is so relaxing. First one has go through all the stuff and this is not always easy. But after a while simplicity feels like freedom.

During breaks I don’t lose so much flexibility, but strength. I feel ready again to practice. Todays morning practice was wonderful.