Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Usual Christmas activities!

Boxing Day watching the cricket
A very traditional sort of Boxing Day at my Mum's house ... Family lying around reading books and watching the Boxing Day Test (cricket) match on TV! After a very large lunch! Cooking and eating being the other traditional activities!

Sadly Tendulkar didn't get to 100 this time, but there's still the 2nd innings to come!

Even Amber the dog was (sort of!) getting into the spirit of things!
Camera Roll-60

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Calendar pictures

For the last few years I've been making a calendar each year for my Mum, using iPhoto - it produces such an amazingly professional calendar! Sometimes it's just family pictures for her, sometimes, if I've had a 'photographically interesting' year(!) I do one for me too. I made a 2011 calendar for me at the end of last year, with lots of photos from my 2010 overseas trip. Of course I forget what I've put on each month's page, so it's always nice to turn the page to see the new photos - and it was such a treat to turn to December the other day and come upon the page above! From the time I spent with one of my bestest friends, Wendi, in the Algarve, Portugal, where she lives. This page does sum up what a great time we had (and that's not even including our separate trip to Marrakesh!)

Class yesterday afternoon was great - although I was dismayed to hear they are closing for Christmas a week earlier than I had thought! I'll have to try and get a couple of classes in during the week as I can't go next Saturday ... Talking about yoga and calendars reminds me that a few years ago I found a wonderful calendar from an Ashtanga studio in the US. It was really nice in that the pictures weren't only of really advanced practitioners, but also some beginners. Never found another one - it would be lovely if someone did put one together ... (hint hint!!)

And I've been having such a good time at work lately, getting my head around Drupal, learning (or starting to learn!) about Panels and other Drupal-specific stuff! So nice to be able to spend some time on stuff that really interests me!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Singing in Handel's Messiah

Last night I sang in a performance of Handel's Messiah, at St John's Anglican Cathedral in Brisbane with the Bach Choir. It was (again) such a lovely experience ... I didn't sing in it last year as I'd only just got back from overseas, and so missed most of the rehearsals. But this year, since I'd given up on my regular choir, I'd had it in my mind as my 'choir' experience for the year. And yes, sometimes it was hard to come home for an hour, and then drive back into the city to go to rehearsals. But it was so worth it!

I know pretty much all of the music now.The only chorus I still have a bit of a problem with is the final one - the Amen chorus. But I felt that I mostly had it! And it's so wonderful to come to the end of a chorus, and stop singing, then hear the sound echoing back to us from the cathedral's vaulted ceilings ... :)

Today my friend Helen came round and we practiced to the Mark Darby DVD. For various reasons, I hadn't been able to practice for 3 days, so it was really nice to get back onto the mat. I did a few poses that I'm not doing in class yet (ones that have been 'taken away' because of my meniscus injury and haven't come back yet). Some of them were quite good - others I could see I was a long way away from being able to do them again And in fact my knee felt a bit tender afterwards ... So I won't be pushing to get some of them back again yet!!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Wildlife etc.

This is a possum with her baby on her back, up in the rafters of my back verandah! They're mostly nocturnal, so you can spot them during the day (if they're not inside your roofspace!!)

I've had quite a lot of wildlife encounters in the last couple of days! On Sunday, as well as seeing the possums, when I was hanging out the washing I heard some scrabbling over the fence in the neighbour's garden. And there appeared a large rabbit (or maybe a hare) woofling around. It got to about 3m from where I was when it finally saw me. Sat there with its ears pricked up looking at me for a couple of seconds, and then leapt into the air and rushed off!

And then on Monday morning as I was having breakfast and getting ready to go to work, I heard all this squeaking outside on the back verandah. When I looked, there was a red parrot on the railing, pretty much demanding to be fed! So I grabbed some (very expensive, and oh so yummy!) maple granola and put a handful out for it. It sat there less than 1m away and then hopped over and started in! It seemed to like the granola as much as me... :)

Such a surprise at yoga class on Saturday - I got given Garbha Pindasana back! Really, I haven't done that for a few months, since before I had the knee meniscus injury. I also got parivritti parsvakonasana back too, so now I've got all the standing poses again. Seated is a much more patchy experience, but I know it'll come back little by little. I hasten to add that my GP experience is nothing like that of Kevin (globie.wordpress.com) ! I can't do lotus, so the only way I can attempt GP is with crossed legs, and no arms through anywhere! But it's maybe easier to get round that way, even though it might take more than 9 rocks ... <grin>

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Back on track!

I'm feeling so much better now ... final course of antibiotics ends on Sunday - I don't really feel I need them but am taking them just in case! And I'm also taking Inner Health acidopholous to replace all the good bacteria killed off by said antibiotics. It really is so wonderful to be feeling healthy and with lots of energy again! You always appreciate your health so much more after a period of bad health!

And my yoga practice is all coming back too, after the extra restrictions of being ill and just unable physically to do much. I'm nearly back to my pre-Bali practice now. When I first went back to class (only last Saturday) I was put back on the restricted "post-illness or absence" practice that they make you do. But by yesterday evening I was given all my standing poses back, and just told to do the restricted practice to Navasana. Of course, even when I get all the pre-Bali practice back it will still be a practice restricted by knee meniscus issues, and I fully expect that to take up to a year to properly recover.

I just did a 35 minute lunchtime practice in the Uni pilates gym (my usual weekday practice location) and it felt really good! Still a bit wobbly in UHP (a fairly common issue for me anyway!), but I'm almost able to grab my toe in trikonasana, and my wrist in paschimottanasana. Feels very satisfying!

Some friends came over for brunch on Sunday. I'd originally invited them for lunch, but they suggested an earlier brunch. Turned out to be a really nice way to entertain friends, and still have time left after they've gone to do a few things in the garden, or wherever!!

And my only other news is I'm back singing with the Bach Choir, for their annual Handel's Messiah concert. When I gave up singing with my main choir at the beginning of the year due to lack of time (and a desire to give more of my precious time to yoga), I always said I'd try and do the 6 weeks rehearsal with the Bach choir to sing the Messiah. And I'm really enjoying it ... :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Absence of yoga practice

This post is just a whinge (Australian expression!) about how sick I've been the last few weeks, so be warned if you read further <grin>

I have been sick for weeks and weeks. In fact I started coughing badly the minute I stepped off the plane in Bali nearly 3 weeks ago. Then by the middle of the week the rest of this flu/chest infection caught up with me and I had no energy to do anything except class with Dena, and possibly a trip into Ubud to get a massage. Not interested in eating - most unusual for me! I was almost glad to be leaving at the end of the first week, as it had felt harder and harder to be involved in the class - specially with all the paroxysms of coughing ... I don't know how I got through all that pranayama!

Now it's nearly 2 weeks since I got back and only now, the 3rd type of antibiotics finally seem to be working. The cloud is lifting from around my head, and I almost feel I might have the energy to set foot on my yoga mat again - but a very short practice, and at home only!

Still feels like it'll be a while before I feel 100% again. I took some time off work last week, but didn't have much sick leave so had to come in this week. All I could do when I got home was collapse in bed with a cup of soup!

Turns out I've had some obscure flu that is very hard to get rid off. My lungs got infected, and that made the whole flu virus keep re-infecting! Lovely!

Don't think I want to write anything much about Bali at the moment - want to wait till I'm better again and can see it all through clearer eyes. It certainly was hard this time, which I had never ever expected!

Anyway - I do feel better than I felt at the beginning of this week, and people at work even say I look better so that's good! Hopefully it's all upwards and positive from here on ... :)

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Steve Jobs ... thank you

I was sitting in a cafe in Ubud in Bali when I heard the sad news. And yes, as Barack Obama said, I was one of so many who heard the news by reading it on a device that was inspired/created/refined by him (and his team). 'Devices' that have changed the way we communicate in so many ways - it's hard to get your head round how much.

This is a short bit from his famous speech to Stanford University graduates about 6 years ago ...

 "Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."

Read the whole speech here or watch it on YouTube. And a great article here by Henry Porter (one of my favourite authors) in The Guardian.

He lived those ideals ... And we are all the richer for it.

I will miss your inspiration Steve ... go gently into that good night (sorry Dylan Thomas!)

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Bali days

Camera Roll-41

Camera Roll-44

One of the things everyone seems to do in Ubud is have massages. I didn't last time I was here but yesterday I went and had a "deep tissue" massage Is that the right term? Not sure but no doubt you get the drift! The two photos above are from Body Works, the massage place (predictive text changed that to massacre!!!) When I walked into the actual massage room the music playing was the Gayatri mantra which was nice. It wasn't nearly as painful as I had been fearing and I slept really well last night. Think I'll do it again before I leave!

After you have the massage you are taken into the garden (pictured above) to sit and drink a mug of herbal tea and have some fruit ... Really lovely - can't imagine a massage place like this anywhere but Bali!

Camera Roll-45

And this picture was taken just before an afternoon workshop. The ducks seem to live in the rice paddies outside the yoga studio, and gather together in the evening to be shut into their duckhouse ... :)

Today's workshop was really good. Dena was talking about 'conscious stamistithi', and taking those principles into every pose. In a nutshell (and if I've remembered it correctly!) she says that at the beginning of every pose you should first Stretch (or lengthen), then Protect (activate uddhiyana bandha), and then move into the direction of the pose. That makes a lot of sense. Can't wait to see if I can remember/do this!

She also talked about how the practice of yoga will help people stay healthy as they (we) age. Which sounds like a wonderful idea since we can't avoid the aging bit!

Apart from the yoga, I did a bit of shopping today with my friendly driver Sujana, from last time! At a batik place I had fun buying a couple of little dresses - for Richard and Katy's daughter Margaret, and if Elizabeth has a girl this time, then one for her too! It's lovely to have young children to buy presents for!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Back in Bali!

Balcony view in BaliHere I am back in Bali - that little island of paradise. I'm sitting on my balcony looking out at the rice paddies that run all the way through the hotel on a not too hot, overcast morning. Been for the first yoga practice, been for yummy brunch with everyone in the Indus restaurant across the road ...

Going to have a relaxing day today ... May go down into Ubud later, but mostly I want to just laze around, read a book, think vaguely about what I may want to do over the week.

Class was lovely. After we each introduced ourselves and said a bit about our practice, we did some breathing practice and then did a full led primary. I did all the poses in my modified practice and all seems good! Last week Richard gave me back 3 more poses and a couple of days later my knee wasn't at all happy. Which freaked me out somewhat (though I did keep Dena's wise words to me in mind!) But a couple of days rest seems to have done the trick - though I am more aware of being extra careful about alignment.

And I've met up with the other bloggers Bibi and V! Which is really nice ... :)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, September 18, 2011



Sunday morning yoga on Helen's new deck - the dogs were so helpful ... :)


And Saturday morning breakfast on my front deck with its new roof (invisible in this photo!) and the table that was a birthday present!

Friday, September 16, 2011

How long has it been?

Seems like an age since I last posted here! Only 2-3 weeks but they have been extremely full weeks!

Full of people staying; spending precious time with Maharaji, my teacher; more time spent down in NSW helping my mother get over her fractured femur ...

And now it's only 15 days till I fly off to Bali for a week with Dena!

I only got back from Bowral (where my Mum lives) on Wednesday, just in time to go to Maharaji's public Words of Peace event in Brisbane. Then back to work for the last 2 days of the week. I went to class (yoga) last night, and will go to the Saturday afternoon one tomorrow. Then on Sunday morning I'm going to Helen's to do yoga on her back deck. I've been meaning to take some photos of that for ages - hopefully I'll remember this time!

Decided to give my knee (and strained right hamstring!) a rest today. I went to the osteopath yesterday (Thursday) and probably shouldn't have gone to yoga that evening as she worked on the hamstring. Maybe I've undone all her work - hopefully not!! But anyway, good news on that front - she told me I don't need to come again for my knee! So my knee is being released to do the final healing on its own over the next few months!

Actually, my whole attitude to the knee issue has changed following an email from Dena. I'd sent her an email 'explaining' about my knee injury and all the poses I couldn't do. When I didn't hear anything back for a few weeks, I sent another similar email (!) She replied very sweetly saying:

Stop concentrating on what you can't do,
and enjoy what you can !!

That really cut through! I've been obsessed for weeks - no months!! Seems so silly now. In fact I can't believe I actually added a whole section on one side of this blog about what poses I could and couldn't do! That is going - going - gone !!

So, thank you Dena!!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Yoga and visitors

Carpet snake down from the roof

Yesterday I was just hanging out the washing while waiting for Helen (my yoga friend) to come and do a yoga practice with me, when I caught sight of movement in a shrub next to the house. This is what/who it was!! A young-ish carpet snake, happily curled up on top of some outside lights ...  I showed it to Helen - and we agreed that (speaking generally) we don't worry about snakes with patterns on them like this. It's the ones that are all one colour - brown or black specifically - that you need to be wary of!

We both practiced to the Mark Darby Ashtanga DVD ... I did some poses that I'm not supposed to be doing again yet (naughty!) Like mariA and B (but the easy version of B). And then Supta konasana ... and even shoulderstand. I was careful (very careful) about not doing anything bad to my knee, but it seemed fine! Some other poses - eg. Janu Sirsasana C and Triang Mukhaikapada Paschimottanasana (which name I had to copy and paste from a website - too long to remember!!) Anyway, some poses I look at and think - it may be a whole year before my knee can cope with that again!! But still, little by little it is coming back, and I am taking the opportunity to concentrate on other areas of my practice, so it's all good.   ( I suppose !!)

This weekend Maharaji is speaking at a 2-day event at Amaroo - it's 2 years since I last saw him! I am so looking forward to it. I've got people coming to stay for it too. My Mum is coming out of hospital on the Monday and I'm going down to look after her for a week. She could have come out on Friday, but I had to ask her to put it off till the Monday so I could see Maharaji ... Luckily she understands how important it is for me ... :)

And then when I get back from my Mum's it'll only be 3 weeks till I head off to Bali for Dena's workshop!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Yoga bookshelf!

Grimmly did a blogpost about yoga bookshelves and invited everyone to send in photos of theirs! Sounds like fun! I've just sent him a couple to choose from, but this one is my favourite because it shows part of the shelf below, and you can get hints of other books that I have! Remains to be seen which one he'll pick though ... :)

Susie's yoga bookshelf 2

Thursday, August 11, 2011

My Restricted Practice Sequence

For those yoga-tragics among us who are interested in minutiae, this is a list of the poses I'm allowed to do at this point in my recovery from a knee meniscus tear.

Both Sun Salutes, although I have been instructed to use blocks in the 2nd one, getting into and out of the Virabhadrasana section.
Then Padangusthasana and Pada Hastasana
Not Parivrriti Trikonasana
Utthiti Parsvakonasana
but NOT the Parivritti one
Then Prasaritta Padottonasana (just the 1st and 4th variation)
Utthiti Hasta Padangustasana - but only holding the wall with one hand and my knee with the other (!)
Not Ardha Baddha Padma Uttanasana
though I can do that tree pose (again holding onto the wall)
Not Viradbhadasana A or B
And then to seated:
(Note: Not allowed to do any attempts at jump-backs or anything yet - so the vinyasa I am doing between poses/sides is Navasana for 4 breaths, which does keep the heart rate/heat up!)
Purvottasana (although only the 'table-top' version)
Not Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana
Not Trianga Mukaikapada Paschimottanasana
Just been given Janu Sirsasana A again - yippee!
But not Janu Sirsasana B or C
Not Marichyasana A or B
Marichyasana C
And forget Marichyasana D!
Ignore everything else to
Baddha Konasana
Upavista Konasana
Not Supta Konasana
Supta Padangustasana - somewhat modified. I have been told to keep my outstretched leg bent (right angles) when it's to the side
That's it. I usually do those seated poses twice, and then go onto Finishing, but no inversions at all at the moment, except a 'preparation for headstand - dolphin' pose.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Bali - flight booked!

It's been ages since I posted here (except for the burnt marmalade episode!) Quite a few things have happened in the past few weeks - some (one) of which will have to be its own post, when I feel up to talking about it.

But I really wanted to get back here, and ... late last week I got the wonderful news of confirmation of dates for my meditation teacher's events in Australia. Really looking forward to a wonderful weekend at Amaroo with him at the beginning of September!

Which also meant that I am now able to confirm my trip to Bali to Dena's workshop. Booked my flight on Saturday, and have emailed Dena with info about my knee issues ... :) Of course the flights were more expensive that I thought they'd be - but in a way that's something you have to expect! Partly because of having specific dates (which may coincide with some school holidays), partly because they never include all the extras/fees/charges in the online quoted price!! But anyway ... booked and paid for now!!

Apart from the yoga, and Dena, and the wonderful Ubud and Bali, I am really looking forward to finally meeting up with fellow ashtangi bloggers V (hiddenashtangi, which is really hidden at the moment!) and Bibi (pakistaniashtangi.wordpress.com/). You kind of feel you get to know people online, but it's great to have that face-to-face connection too ... :)

And, finally Masterchef Australia has finished (last night) so I won't be sucked into watching quite so much TV - every night!!! I have really enjoyed having a new focus on cooking over the past year or so and I'm sure that won't change. I used to cook a lot of Indian food ... now I'm drawn to more 'Asian' style food/ingredients - fish sauce, kecap manis (Indonesian soy sauce), 5spice, palm sugar, etc etc. I find when I go to the library these days I'm always picking up cooking magazines (Delicious, Master Chef) as well as books. And I bought that Jamie Oliver 30-Minute Meals book and have been cooking some of those (really yummy) recipes, though not attempting to do the whole meal, or in 30 minutes. It's lucky I'm a 'vegetarian who eats fish' though!

Monday, August 01, 2011

Burnt marmalade ... !

I can't believe that I spent half of Sunday making marmalade, and have ended up with a burnt-out saucepan and nothing else!

Actually, really what I can't believe is that I thought it was OK to spend all that time cutting up the specially purchased Seville oranges (with a tangelo and a lemon), going through all the laborious processes ... and then decide I could leave it boiling furiously with all the sugar in the mixture on the stove for the final 20  minutes, and wander out into the garden to do a bit of planting (green bean seedlings) and watering!

What was I thinking?!!!  <eyes rolling>

Needless to say, I came back to a house full of burnt marmalade fumes and smoke! I guess I should just be grateful I didn't leave it longer and find the saucepan on fire! I ended up emptying the blackened marmalade down the bank outside ... maybe someone will want to eat it <grin> Now the pan is soaking with a mixture of bicarb and cream of tartar - apparently a magic cure for burnt saucepans. I have to boil it up tonight ... sigh!!

Yoga, my knee and other things in my life? Maybe tomorrow ... :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Yoga class again :)

Went back to class on Saturday afternoon - after 5½ weeks without yoga. It was so nice to be back ... :) Teachers didn't want to know about the Matthew Sweeney sequence - they have their own sequence (called the Laghu Krama sequence) they like their students to follow when coming back from injury, or absence from yoga practice of more than 3 or so weeks. We tweaked it a bit to take account of my knee, but really it is very similar to the Sweeney knee sequence (although shorter). So the plan is I'll follow this for the next week, and then he'll start adding poses back in, bit by bit over the next 6-8 weeks.

R kept a very close eye on my practice, and kept coming to give suggestions/advice. Although no adjustments at all, which seems pretty right!

This week I'm going to follow this sequence in my lunchtime practices (or as much as I can get through), and probably add in the couple of strengthening 'exercises' I've been doing - triceps dips and plank, plus a tiptoe one that my osteopath recommended.

There are many conflicting things going on in my life over September/October with dates still to be confirmed, so I'm still unsure whether I will get to Dena's Bali workshop at the beginning of October (much as I want to). I may not know dates for the other things for another month, but by that time I should have a better idea of how my knee is progressing, which should in turn help me to decide whether I should go (if it's still a possibility). I really want to go if I can. I know I can go next year if I don't make it this year, but I am really hoping to get to meet a couple of fellow Ashtangi bloggers who are going this year. Kind of out of my hands at the moment though ...

Friday, July 08, 2011

finally - back to yoga!

My osteopath said yesterday that things were going very well, and I can now go back to yoga ... I took in my copy of Matthew Sweeney's modified knee sequence to show her. She crossed a few more poses off his list (things like virabhadrasana and baddha konasana), but it's oh so good to be able to start again.

I did a short half-hour practice at lunchtime at work today (in my boss's room as she was away!) I just wanted to feel it out - see where I might have a few wobbles. In one of the prasarita's I felt a bit of strain in the knee, so I stopped doing them. It was muscles I was feeling, so maybe they're just not used to it after 5 weeks' "holiday". I will try again in class tomorrow and see what happens. UHP she'd said I should only do with the wall - not sure why, but that's what I did anyway! Balance has never been a strong point of mine!

It will be interesting to see what my teachers say/suggest when I go back. I read a really apposite (lovely word!) post by Nobel (Yoga in the Dragon's Den) on the pain of being stuck at a certain place, which was also about having to go backwards because of injury! What I had been working so hard on has been taken away from me for the moment! But hopefully I can see it as an opportunity to work more deeply on other poses, and also on that pesky 'asana progression attachment' issue!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

More postings from the knee!

I long for the day when I won't have to be posting about my knee! When it's not an issue, or such a big issue at least!

That day has yet to come!!

I found myself googling 'Ashtanga yoga with knee injury' this morning (well, it's pretty slow at work at the moment!) Anyway I came up with a hit on Matthew Sweeney's site. After his other books, there was a downloadable 'Primary and Intermediate Knee Sequence' - "for those students who have ongoing knee issues or a knee injury. It combines both the Primary and Intermediate Series while omitting all the postures that compress or endanger the knees". So of course I downloaded it immediately (only $AU5).

Very interesting - it seems to have (almost) all of standing in, then after Purvottanasana it skips straight to Navasana, and then everything seems to be in there. (Don't know about the 2nd series poses as I'm not doing them. Doesn't start with Pasasana - Salabhasana is the first 2nd series listed.) The main surprise to me was Baddha Konasana seems to be considered OK. Don't know whether my osteopath will agree - but I'm certainly going to take this in to show her!!

Seemed like said knee went a bit backwards this week (probably caused by me overdoing things last weekend!) But when I saw the osteopath yesterday, she said it was to be expected. And then after she'd treated it she told me that it responds really really well to treatment, and she feels fairly sure that it should clear up in the next few weeks, without any medical intervention! She did however tell me, no yoga for at least another couple of weeks!  ((scream!@#!))

Friday, June 17, 2011

Update on the knee!

Well, it's about 2 weeks now since I did something (still don't know what!) that damaged my knee, giving me a small meniscus tear. This week I've found it a bit easier to walk without my knee clicking at every step. Have to make a really conscious effort to lengthen my spine - somehow the effect of this, which seems to incorporate turning on mula banda/lifting the pelvic floor, really seems to help prevent it.

I saw the osteopath again yesterday, and she is pleased with my/its progress so far! The swelling is mostly gone and the knee is quite cool, so she is believes I probably don't have a bigger tear. She said that if my knee does swell up again, that is when we'd got an MRI done, as that could indicate a worse tear than she currently thinks.

She still doesn't want me to do any yoga yet, but I'm hoping for next week (a week from today). That would obviously still be a highly modified practice, but anyway, we shall see! One lives in hope ... :)

I said that I was worrying about losing strength with being so inactive, and she showed me a highly complicated (to my small brain anyway!) isometric exercise that would work on all leg muscles. Incorporating a block between the thighs ... So I'm going to try doing that and hope that I can keep some strength that way.

And, despite all of this I feel really quite positive. I read a beautiful saying on someone's blog a few days ago (which I've already quoted on Facebook):

Buddhists say that the miracle is not walking on water, but walking here, on earth.

That really touched me (reminded me!). Life is amazing, and whatever happens I hope I can remember to enjoy the miracle of being alive, and accept whatever opportunities come. Once I get back to yoga, there will be an opportunity to work on other areas of my practice. Right now it's an opportunity to breathe and enjoy a quieter, slower pace of life.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Not good news for my knee!

Well, I'd actually forgotten the name of what it was I didn't want to have happened to my knee, but my worst fears were realised when the osteopath uttered the words "meniscus tear"!! Huge sigh!

She says she thinks it's only a small tear that would hopefully heal in about 6-8 weeks. But I can't do any yoga (except possibly 'restorative' yoga) for a couple of weeks ... More sighs! She showed me how I need to try and stand/walk with slightly bent knees, and with my pelvis slightly tilted forward - but more kind of lengthened. This helps turn on pelvic floor muscles and the quadriceps - and encourages mula bandha! All to try to stop the dratted knee from clicking with every step. It's not at all easy!

And now (after I've finished getting my immunoglobulin infusion at the hospital) I have instructions to go home and make a potato peel poultice for my knee, to reduce the swelling!!! Lordie-me! Stay posted for more semi-edible remedies!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Knee injury freak out

No idea where this has come from but ... I've got myself a potential knee injury - from where/what I have no idea! Just started noticing a 'tenderness' and then my knee started clicking when I walked! Total freak out - but on Saturday morning I did a bit of research on google (yes, I do know the dangers!) and it does sound like it's probably not too worrisome! But I'm definitely going to see my osteopath as soon as I can get in next week!

Before I looked at google (yoga + knee + clicking) yesterday morning I'd pretty much decided not to go to class in the afternoon but after that I decided I would go. Of course I told the teacher and he kept an eye on me! I did a bit of a short practice, couldn't bend my left leg too much in Janu sirsasana, couldn't do triang (etc) at all on that side. But most of my practice I could do, with care and keeping my left leg a bit bent (in the standing forward bends)!

But I'm really hanging out to see my osteopath next week - if I can get in!!

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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Bali again 2011

Well I've been trying for ages to work out whether I can go to Dena Kingsberg's Bali workshop again this year at the beginning of October ... Possible timing conflicts with an Australian visit by my teacher, Maharaji. I still have no idea - the proposed September dates for that haven't even been sent in as far as I know! And no idea of which dates in September ?!?! Whatever, I absolutely must see him this year - that is my first priority!

However, I know that last year Dena's whole workshop got 'sold out' at some point so I've decided to go ahead and pay a non-refundable deposit for the Bali workshop, hoping that I'll be able to get to Bali too. I was quite scared to actually do that, but now that I have I'm really glad! I'm only going (or hoping to go!) for the first week, but it should be wonderful.

My practice is slowly getting back together after the short enforced layoff! Went to my friend Helen's on Sunday morning and we did our practice on her back deck amongst much tropical foliage! One of these days I'll remember to take a photo. Today I did a short lunchtime practice at the gym at Uni, and tomorrow it's back to class.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Full moon and stuff

This morning I was driving to where I catch the inter-campus bus in to work - around 6.15am, and a big, beautifully full moon was still quite high in the sky ... Such a glorious sight - didn't have my camera with me but even if I did, I know you (well, me anyway!) just can't take a photo that recreates that sort of vista! The moon always looks so much smaller in a photo than it does with real eyes ... :)

I don't usually pay too much attention to moon days (bad girl!) but anyway, having just had a minor op to remove a mole from my arm, I've been told I can do any 'strenuous exercise' for 2 weeks?!?!!! We'll see - I'm going to leave it till my arm feels OK (at least the weekend), and then very slowly and carefully feel my way back into my practice! Hopefully I can do a heavily modified practice - leaving out anything that puts any weight or strain on my left arm ...

The cooler weather is finally arriving here. Been putting a little electric heater on first thing in the morning - and this weekend I'll get some wood into the house (using one arm?!!) and get the combustion stove going, or at least ready to go!

Spent a couple of days last week on a course - learning HTML5 and CSS3. It was great - there is so much more you/we can do nowadays. Can't wait for the opportunity to put some of it into practice ...

Monday, May 02, 2011

Holidays and 'the' wedding

A pink waterlily in my pool turned pond! This is the waterlily that I got a couple of weeks before the 'great Brisbane flood', during which the garden nursery it came from went 3m under water!! I tell it I saved its life - I may have said this somewhere before on this blog, but I don't think I've uploaded a picture of the waterlily before ...

It's been a while ... had a pretty busy Easter break, with my mother visiting. Started off with a big lunch party to cook and prepare for (with her help!) and then a nice few days following spent going to galleries, the movies (Potiche), and family lunches ... Have to say I didn't manage to do much yoga, but I guess it's OK to have a few days' break occasionally.  Doesn't seem to have done me any lasting damage <grin>

This is another long weekend here in Queensland - I've been having a nice lazy one, but have managed to do a few things, including assemble and coat/stain the new outdoor wooden table I got for my birthday (thanks Mum!). It looks really nice! Later this afternoon (Monday) I'm going to my friend Helen's ... 3 of us are  going to do our various yoga practices (me Ashtanga, the other two following one of Helen's yoga DVDs), and then relax with a glass of wine. Sounds like a really nice way to wind up the long weekend.

And I'm not going to be precious - of course I did watch quite a lot of "the wedding" on Friday night ... Enjoyed all the 'bonhomie' (sp?!) of everyone in the streets, and all that pomp & ceremony. Brought back memories of Charles and Diana's wedding. My then partner and I were arriving back from a trip to Miami (to see Maharaji). I remember driving back from Gatwick on a bus through these incredibly empty streets - everyone was either in the centre of London, or watching it on TV. It was quite eerie ... :)

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Practice Spaces

It's quite surprising but somehow without me noticing it, I seem to have acquired a 5 or 6 day a week yoga practice! As opposed to a 3, occasionally 4 day practice only a few months ago. And all this under the quite difficult circumstances of my current working week - ie. being out of the house for over 11 hours a day.

Of course, this isn't 5 or 6 full practices. It's two 2-hour classes, and the rest are short half-hour lunchtime practices plus a vinyasa class I often take on Fridays (not sure if that really counts, but ...!) and frequently a Sunday morning practice with a friend ... But whatever - I am really pleased to discover this has happened without any discernible struggle or effort.

I thought about this after I read this post from kalbe on her A Breathing Practice blog. She also has to leave for work really early - too early to do a morning practice. So she rented some cheap office space in an old building near her office and turned it into her own personal practice studio ! I think she works in a small American town, as opposed to a city where this would just not be possible, but I am totally amazed at her dedication!!

Not sure that I'd be doing anything like that! I started off using empty offices at lunchtime (I've always been a mostly lunchtime practitioner). Then when I changed jobs and campuses, the best I could come up with was using my boss's office when she went to the uni gym at lunchtime. I also signed up for the gym in the hope that I might be able to use some space there to do yoga. At first it wasn't really possible (although there was the Friday lunchtime vinyasa class), but things have changed at the gym and now I can use a smaller staff gym to practice in. This means I don't have to hang around waiting to see if/when R goes to the gym, and can choose when to go etc.

Anyway, I think this has all helped my yoga practice develop ... which I'm very pleased about!

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Friday morning yoga

I had Friday off as a flex day ... so I was able to go to the only morning class at my shala. It felt so nice to be at a class in the morning - I almost always practice at lunchtime, or go to evening classes. It was a lovely change. Well, probably just the fact of having a day off work, and being 'on holiday' fed into the happy feelings ... Whatever - I had a lovely day!

Had a bit of a chat with R my yoga teacher and have now got another 'project' to concentrate on. I really need to build up strength in my arms and shoulders. I still can't hold chataranga dandasana, my arms just collapse at a certain point. And until I have that arm/shoulder strength, I also won't be able to hold dhanurasana, or headstand. Which I really want to do!! I have been trying to build up it up, and am going to do a few additional things at home to strengthen those recalcitrant arms! I need to develop those strong swimmers' arms/shoulders ... :)

On Saturday afternoon I went to a video afternoon at Amaroo and heard about how Maharaji is wanting to come to Amaroo again this September. And how we can make it happen. Very nice and inspiring ...

Today (Sunday) a friend Helen came round and we did a led Ashtanga practice with my new DVD of Mark Darby. It was the first time I'd practiced with this DVD - I really like it. He reminds you so much to be with the breath. Highly recommended ... :)

I've also enjoyed being able to do a few things in the garden, as the weather finally seems to be cooling into an Autumn. It felt very nice. I haven't looked at the veggie garden though - I mean, I have and it's a total mess! But I haven't tried to do anything with it ... just stuck to smaller easier tasks to start off with!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Great Weekend!

Had such a great long weekend down in Ocean Shores/Byron Bay region. My friend Vic and I walked on the beach, went swimming in the surf (all with a dog!), cooked dinner one night, and then went out to dinner with friends in Byron another night. We lazed around talking, reading the weekend newspapers, and generally having a great relaxing time.

And then on Sunday morning I got up early and drove to Byron to go to Dena's Sunday morning class. When I saw her I thanked her again for letting me come, and she said (smiling), you may regret it! The class that morning was led Primary, with full vinyasa, coming to samistithi between each of the seated poses. It was certainly full-on, and I came to really appreciate the one breath (or was it just an exhale?!) standing in samistithi before moving into sun salute and the next pose ...! As Dena was practicing along with us she wasn't giving 'individual' attention, but as well as counting she was constantly talking us through different aspects of each pose, which was great. Now if only I can remember more than a bit of that!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Yoga Perceptions

It's funny ... this week has been a really bad one for yoga practice. Since my Saturday class I haven't managed to do any of my normal lunch-time practices, as the room I've been using wasn't 'available' (ie. the owner of the room had stopped going out at lunch!) So when I went to class last night (Wednesday) it was my first practice for 4 days, and I was expecting that my stamina at least, would be affected.

Somehow in these circumstances I kind of imagine a big sign hanging over me, saying 'she has obviously not been practicing properly'!! Ridiculous I know ... and let's not even get into why I should imagine that the teacher(s) are micro-managing me to the extent that this small 'lapse' would be obvious to them! (I'm not going to deny that, rightly or wrongly I do care what my teachers think about my practice in general!!)

And then out of the blue, I was just moving into Parsvottanasana when R came up to me and said "your poses have really been improving, and and in this one you should have a wider stance to bring it up to the same level as the others ... !"

I was floored! Not that I'm repeating this coz I think my practice is great or anything - god I still don't seem to be able to bind in MariC let alone D! But it just goes to show that what goes on in my head is not necessarily the 'true' picture, or what is actually happening ... !

Today I went to the uni gym and did a standing sequence practice there (followed by a few of the seated poses I really need to work on, specially before Sunday). I went with a workfriend, and she ended up wanting to do yoga too, and follow me! So I had to talk her through it a bit which is a bit strange - takes you away from the rhythm of following the breath. But it was good to do some semblance of daily practice again, and good to find a place where I can definitely practice - as long as I don't mind practicing in a room full of machines and people using them!!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Brisbane floods retrospective

For those who haven't read much about it, here is my friend Angela's account of her experience in the January Brisbane floods, published in the London Review of Books blog.

Now it's nearly a couple of months ago and it's hard to quite believe it really happened - that I was marooned, unable to drive more than about 2-300m from my house, with no electricity for 5 days! Quite surreal ... I guess if my house had been flooded badly, like many people's were, it would still be an ongoing issue and I wouldn't have any problem. Things to remember to be thankful for ... :)

Monday, March 07, 2011

Last weekend busy - next weekend Byron Bay and Dena!

Ooh I'm so pleased! I'm going to Byron Bay (well, nearby Ocean Shores) for a long weekend this coming weekend, which in itself is something to be very pleased about! And then I thought - why don't I see if I can go to a Sunday morning class at Dena's shala. I didn't really think I could - she is running a (fully booked) month-long intensive there at the moment. There is no other Sunday class, so effectively I would be asking if I could crash her intensive class for one day! But I thought if I don't ask, I definitely won't be able to ... So I did, and I got an email from her today saying I could come!! YAY!!

Very busy weekend last weekend. Saturday was taken up with car issues (flat battery, ending up needing to be replaced), doing heaps of edits on a website I look after, then off to the sourdough bakery to get some bread for the freezer, getting eyes tested for a new pair of glasses (having lost my previous pair somewhere!), going to the library, and finally yoga class.

I don't know how I'm going on my attempts to speed up (or not be so slow!) my yoga practice. I think I managed 1 hour 50 minutes, but I did miss a couple of poses out, so ... I guess it'll just have to be a work in progress. When the teacher gives you attention and goes through poses, makes you do them again, it is always going to take longer, and it's not as though I'm going to say 'oh no, I need to keep the speed up so I can't try out what you're saying'!! I did discover that I appear to have always been doing something extra in supta padangustasana, which is apparently not part of the series, but kind of an extra stretch. Very strange (that I never knew this wasn't right). I must have been told to do it when I was first given it. I guess I never discovered this wasn't 'correct' as I never go that far when I'm practicing with people like Dena or Hamish ... :)

Anyway, yesterday I collapsed for a while ... did the final website edits, and then went out for dinner and the movies with a friend. Went to see The Girl who Kicked the Hornets Nest. Loved it - I had loved the book too of course. Ross, my friend, hadn't read any of the Stieg Larrsen Millenium series books, so I had to give him a bit of the back-story over dinner as I knew it wouldn't be explained! But he surprised himself and loved it, subtitles and all!!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Ashtanga high speed!

This has been posted on lots of yoga blogs now, but for those who haven't seen it yet - enjoy a 90 minute ashtanga yoga practice compressed into 3 minutes!! And watch the animals move around - especially the savasana cat ! :)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Yoga in the heat

It's been very hot here off and on over the past few days. Last weekend (ie a week ago) I feel like I may have got some sort of heat exhaustion after doing a couple of very strong ashtanga practices in less than 24 hours (Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning). I ended up feeling nauseous and exhausted all the rest of Sunday and taking the Monday off. Seemed so weird, but I do feel fine now! And yesterday's regular Saturday afternoon practice was fine - not as hot. However, I decided not to join in the Sunday morning practice with some local friends today, just to be safe! I really do not like being sick!!

Lately I've also been considering how long it takes me to get through my (not yet complete) First Series practice. Too long is the answer - at least 2 hours. And that only includes 5 mins savasana. I'm trying to rein it in, being aware of time wasted between poses, making my breathing a bit faster, etc. Focussing on the breath much more. (that connection is so nice for premies!) Also, at my class virtually no one does vinyasas between sides of seated poses, just between poses. I have been doing this since I went to Bali and London, and really don't want to stop. Apart from anything else, I'm sure it's helping me build stamina - definitely a good thing. So I'm not changing that. At least on Sunday I managed to finish and be rolling up my mat in 1 hour 55 minutes - I guess that's progress!

Apart from this, it's the usual pre-semester rush at work, with everyone realising at the last minute that they need a course Blackboard site set up, etc etc. I've arranged to go and visit a friend for a long weekend near Byron Bay in a couple of weeks' time, which should be nice. Might even get to swim in the sea!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Pussycat photos

Sleepy Jedda pussycat - iPhone photo using Hipstamatic app

And same pose, using the 'regular' iPhone camera

Sweet photos, I really like the effects the Hipstamatic app gives! Still have a long way to go before I really get to grips with it though!!

Sunday, February 06, 2011

hot hot hot ...

It's been so hot here the past few days. Not so much temperature-wise - early to mid 30s, but extremely humid. That's OK when you're at work, or even at home in the air-conditioning, but yesterday afternoon's yoga class was something else! I said to the teacher as I came in - this is not going to be pleasant! And I was right ... ! Couldn't get the balance (?!) right between using my yogitoes towel or not. It was like my mat was getting slippery, but the yogitoes didn't have enough sweat (nice!) in it yet to give me traction. In one of the surya B downward dogs, the teacher was giving me some kind of adjustment and I ended up falling flat on my face as my feet slid out from under me!! Kind of dramatic, though didn't hurt at all!!

Anyway, I decided it was kind of like Bali heat, but without the advantages of being in Bali!!

Today I had arranged to go and do yoga with my friend Helen. I actually rang her last night when I got home to say I wasn't sure I could cope with it, but she said she'd put the aircon on, so I said I'd come. Then this morning I was really tired and wiped out, and so close to ringing again and pulling out. But I didn't, and of course I'm very glad I went!! Glad I remember that ... sometimes all you feel up to is 'showing up', and then it takes over ... :)

2010 Overseas Trip Photobook
I also showed her the lovely photobook (see cover above) I'd made using iPhoto of photos from my overseas trip last year. I'm so proud of it, and really glad I did it. No longer will all my photos languish somewhere on my laptop, never to be seen!

Have also been having fun reading some 'iPhoneography' websites - iPhone Photography and Life in LoFi. I've never taken photos with my mobile before. Well, until I got the iPhone last year, I didn't have a mobile which had a camera - it was pretty ancient!! Looks fun - have downloaded some interesting photography apps and will see what I can do!

Apart from that, I'm having a pretty quiet weekend. Went to Bunnings (hardware store) and priced some roofing for the front deck that Ross is going to help me put on in the next couple of months. I will get onto doing some more work on the foame poetry website, which is due to go live with the 2011 issue next month. Was supposed to go to the movies this evening but I really don't think I'm going to make that this time ... maybe next weekend!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Back to yoga posting

Finally got back to class last Saturday. I was actually quite tired, lacking in energy, but of course I was glad I made the effort to go. Practice was good, and near the end ... well, one of my unspoken 'wishes' is to be able to do urdva dhanurasana. Currently I do a version of setu  bandhasana (bridge). I can't seem to lift myself up into the full urdva dhanurasana, although if assisted I can do it.

Anyway, on Saturday night one of the teachers asked me how long I was holding setu bandhasana. 5 breaths I said. Then she told me that Iain, the original teacher at the shala, had told her a long time ago that when students could hold it for 8 long breaths (3 times), then they'd be ready to attempt urdva dhanurasana! So ... this is another challenge that I am very willingly accepting!! (She does know how to motivate me!!)

Didn't manage to practice again until Wednesday (shock, horror!) when I went back to class. So, I was quite bendy, but of course strength wasn't exactly flowing. But hopefully as things settle down again here (work and home) after the floods, more opportunities for practice will be there again. I managed a short practice (sun salutes and seated poses) yesterday in my boss's room at lunchtime. She came back just as I'd finished which was good! I'm still doing the 'forbidden' Janu Sirsasana C and Marichyasana B poses in self-practice ... :) Hopefully I'll get MariB back 'officially' in the not so distant future.

I do have to acknowledge that the 'threading the needle' pose that I've been told to do in place of Mari B and D has actually focussed my attention on rolling my pelvis back in quite a few poses, especially forward bend ones. (Note: I find it hard to know whether the correct description is rolling it back or forward! Depends where you start from ... but what i mean is in effect, increasing the natural curve of the spine and kind of sticking my backside out!!)

Anyway, since I've been focussing on this I definitely feel like I'm doing something right. Seems like my back is straighter and longer in forward bends, hamstrings lengthening etc. So I'm pleased about that!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Flooded in ... the big adventure!

View of the flooded Brisbane river, just 100m up from my house
All photos taken by my neighbour Phil Roth
I've been away having an intimate experience with the Queensland floods! Not actually flooded - my house is up on a ridge and even if the dam upstream broke I don't think the water would reach me. But from last Tuesday there was no access out of this area at all - all roads heavily flooded, all bridges under meters of water. I'd gone into work on Tuesday morning, but after a couple of hours, decided I needed to get home while I still could. It was a very hair-raising drive back through sheeting rain, with water running over the road, and rising up under bridges, but I made it!

This is about 600m back from where previous photos of the Kholo bridge on
this blog were taken! This is how far the river has risen since then!!
It was nearly 1k wide when this was taken.
The electricity went out on Tuesday afternoon.  I kind of assumed that it was a 'normal' blackout and would be back on in a few hours' time ... Wrong! The next morning I discovered the phone had gone too. And, infuriating - the battery on my mobile was flat! The only contact I had with the outside world (apart from neighbours) was my iPad, which luckily was charged. So I was able to send emails to let people know I was OK, though I had to limit use of it to make the battery last. But thank god for the iPad - I'm so glad I got one, and so glad I got the slightly more expensive one with 3G capability!

Another problem for people living semi-rurally like me is that when the electricity goes down that usually means no water! All my water is tank/rainwater, and needs an electric pump to get it into the house! Plus there isn't a tap on the water tank (why, oh why?!!), so it's fairly inaccessible! Luckily on Tuesday afternoon when the electricity went, and it was raining really heavily, I managed to collect a lot of buckets of rainwater (they filled up so quickly!!). Had to resort to Indian-style bucket showers using the slightly green water from the pond (swimming pool turned into a pond a couple of years ago!) - but hey, better than nothing!

This is a few of a street (Skyline Drive) just 4 houses away. The river is normally
not visible but right next to the hills in the distance. The water you can see is the
river level spreading up the valley!
So, I did things around the house, did yoga on my back verandah, and read a lot of books. Luckily there are lots of books here - and this experience has definitely convinced me that no way am I converting 100% to eBooks!!! Did a bit of gardening - but was attacked by a lot of ants, so retreated inside again! The fridge and freezer obviously defrosted. Luckily I have quite a lot in the pantry cupboard, including milk powder (for bread-making) so food was never a problem. And at night I'd sit there reading with a book in one hand, candle in the other!!

By about Thursday I discovered my neighbour Phil (who took these photos) had a generator and he charged my iPhone and iPad for me which was great! Back in phone communication with the rest of the world! We had been so cut-off  I told my mother in NSW that she knew more about what was going on that I did!!

Heaps of helicopters flying around - this was probably a medevac one, landing in a paddock just a few meters away, lots of others to check how the river flooding was going. In case I hadn't mentioned this - there is a big dam a few ks upstream of me. This was built partly to prevent Brisbane flooding again (huge floods in 1974, with wooden houses floating down the river!) and partly for Brisbane water supply. But the dam had been allowed to get too full and so they had to keep releasing water from it via the floodgates. This was why the bridges etc were flooded - but apparently at the flood peak, the dam water level was only 90 centimeters below something that would have triggered huge floods and possibly the dam wall breaking!!

Anyway, finally on Friday evening I heard that the Kholo Creek bridge on the back road was finally passable again. Note: this is not the 'Kholo Bridge' - which has featured in many recent photos on this blog, including one in this post further up. That one goes over the Brisbane river which is the main flood-affected one. On the back way out to Brisbane there is another bridge over 'Kholo Creek', which has water coming into it from the D'Aguillar range and goes into the Brisbane river. And that had been about 4m under from the amount of water coming down plus the Brisbane river flood! I don't actually think the Kholo Bridge, which is/was my normal way out, will be usable again for weeks! It's still so far under that they can't measure it!!

So the next morning I went 'out' into the western edges of Brisbane. Had a shower at my aunt's place (hoorraayy!),  put some washing on there and charged my phone and iPad again. Did some supermarket shopping and managed (at the 3rd petrol station I went to) to join a queue to get some petrol. Came home, still to no electricity (but the phone had come back on Friday) but much better prepared.

And yesterday I went out to join in the clean-up. Ended up in the Brookfield Garden Centre - which had been completely submerged. You could see from the colouring/marks on the bamboo in the carpark that the water must have been at least 4m high there! And then when I got home - fantastic, the electricity was back on!! Such a relief!

Uni is closed till Thursday so I don't have to go back to work till then. I know my building didn't get flooded (luckily as it's the IT centre and we already went through a data centre fire a few months ago and all the disruption that caused!!) I know the yoga shala is opening again today, but with the roads and all, I think I'll leave it till Saturday before I go back to class. There's always my verandah here to do yoga, or inside if it gets too hot. (32degC forecast for today so I think it'll be inside possibly with the aircon on!) And maybe I can get back to the garden at cooler times of the day! We'll see - with electricity so much more seems possible 〈grin〉

Monday, January 10, 2011

I spoke too soon!

Really shouldn't have said anything about the Kholo bridge being passable again! My neighbour saw my previous blog entry (linked on Facebook) and told me that 'they' were going to open the flood gates at the Wivenhoe dam that evening. And now, 3 days later, the water is 5m over the bridge!! That sort of height is almost incomprehensible! About 3 me's one on top of the other, on top of the bridge!! (Update: it's now 6.15m!!) And this morning when I drove out to go to work the back way, there was water over the only road out. I probably could have gone through, but I didn't trust that I'd be able to get home again, so ended up coming home and here I am today!  I'll have to see what it's like tomorrow ... There have continued to be spells of really heavy rain every half an hour or so.

Had a nice day yesterday - despite the rain! Ross came over for lunch and we managed to put a 2nd old table into the pond in breaks in the rain, and then moved some of the pond plants around.  The water lily is now in a new place, where it can hopefully spread across the surface of the pond.

Had fun cooking too - made a spinach tart, and also this amazing starter that my Mum does (from a recipe book called Easy to Entertain by Patricia Lousada) - grilled stuffed avocado. Sounds mad, but you mix some mayonnaise, curry powder, ginger, chopped up mint and some prawns, stuff the avocado halves and then put under the grill for 3-5 minutes, or until it starts to brown. It is is just delicious!!

Yoga on Saturday afternoon was really lovely. I felt focussed and strong (at least until near the end!) And then at the end the teacher came over and started talking to me. Said that my practice was really improving! I couldn't believe it! The previous class I'd felt like he was ignoring me, even disapproving of me (ever the paranoid one!!) Anyway, I know these sorts of things aren't supposed to matter, but I was really happy when he said that!

Friday, January 07, 2011

2011 stuff

No more bridge pictures! The water is now under the bridge, but as far as I know the road is still too broken up around it for the bridge to be (normally) usable. I'll drive down and take a look on the weekend - this week I have just been driving straight into work via the back road.

I'm kind of contemplating whether I should get into big New Year's resolutions again this year. I know last year I said I wanted

  1. to be able to jump back. Well, failed but I tried, and I can sort of/partly jump forward now at least, so I guess that's something! and
  2. to be more sociable and have people over for weekend lunches. That's pretty much a complete fail! I think the only thing I can put that down to is complete laziness!!
So -  I think I'll have to carry No. 2 forward again for this year, and the other? Well, I think I'll just aim to be able to bind in Marichyasana C - preferably on both sides. (I fool myself by putting the word 'reliably' in front of 'bind', but to be honest in the past couple of years it's been rare that I can bind even one side!) And of course there's a whole long yoga wish list in my head, but I think I'll just leave it at this and see what transpires in 2011!

I'm really hoping I'll be able to get to Dena's Bali workshop again this year. She's doing a two-week workshop this time but I could only go for one week. However, I'll just need to wait and see how other eventualities pan out, because if there's a conflict then this would probably lose out this time.

And gardening - I really want to do some more work in the garden this year! (We're off resolutions now, just plans!) At the moment I'm concentrating a bit on the pond (which used to be a swimming pool!). It had got really overgrown with pond weed, but now I've got rid of most of that, I am able to add some more plants again. Got a really nice water lily last weekend - 'raspberry red'! Sounds nice! It flowers from October to May, so hopefully I'll see some raspberry red water lilies on the pond this year! And this weekend a friend is coming round for lunch (see, I'm starting on the resolutions!!) and I'm hoping he'll help me put an old table together (that he found for me just before I went overseas) and put it into the pond. That's what I've been using to sit the water plant pots onto in the pool. I'm just worried that someone (me really as it's my pond!) will have to actually get into the almost black water to place the table!! Oh well ...

Back to yoga. Over the holidays I did practice quite a bit - mostly alternating standing and seated practices. Went to my first class back at the shala on Wednesday, and my lack of intensity over the holidays was really shown up! I was exhausted (and soaking) by the end! Did short lunchtime practices today and yesterday ... yesterday I only managed some sun salutes, and felt pretty grumpy  <grin> But today was better - I did all my 'forbidden' poses!


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