Saturday, December 06, 2014

Yoga and other stuff!

I had an amazing yoga practice this afternoon. Amazing only to someone like me of course, but who cares! I could bind on both sides in Mari B (haven't been able to bind on 1st side for about 3-4 years). Binding suddenly appeared to be a future possibility again on 1st side of Mari C, and very close on 2nd side. And I could straighten my legs in Navasana!! Totally unheard of! What is happening?!!

It was amazing because I know I've been struggling, mostly unsuccessfully, to get some kind of consistency / routine going. I'm really only managing 4-5 (short) practices a week at most, and I still haven't made it back to the Shala ... (sigh ... don't ask!!) So there doesn't seem to be any reason / justification for for this ... I guess I'll just have to take it as a gift and hope that at least some of this 'progress' is still there tomorrow!!!

Last weekend some friends from my 'old' Ipswich bookgroup came to visit for the day. It was lovely ... We did yoga on my back deck, went out for a yummy lunch (appropriately at the Yum Yum Tree Cafe just 5 minutes away!). After that we walked down to the beach, jumped around in the surf and then sat and talked for ages in the shady trees at the back of the beach. Just next to this ...


It was just such an enjoyable day ... They're planning on actually having a bookclub meeting here next February - should be great!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad Air

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Musings on Ikea!

Even though I do like their 'stuff', right now I'd like to completely expunge the word 'Ikea' from my life! A couple of times I've had to go to the Ikea store on the way into Brisbane, and it's just a nightmare!! I don't know why, but whenever I've been there for a short while I just want to turn around and escape, run straight home without passing Go, or doing whatever else it was I was supposed to be doing that day!!

And now I'm in the middle of trying to make changes to an existing (very nice!) Ikea kitchen in my new house ... It ought to be easy, but ... I need to add some extra storage (I think the kitchen was designed/installed by a guy and there is way too little cupboard space!). And I also have to move a cupboard so I can put a dishwasher next to the sink (where it has to be according to the plumber!) And OK, a bit of fiddling around by a builder/carpenter to put the extra cupboards under another completely different, higher benchtop. But it took me a while to find/get hold of a recommended person who can be trusted to do this. And then I discover the doors on my existing kitchen are no longer made by Ikea so I also have to replace those doors! And I have to hope that the existing handles have not run out of stock before I get there, as they are also threatening to discontinue them!

I've arranged to go there tomorrow and collect everything with a friend who has a ute (Australian for utility truck!), as despite what the builder said I just know this will not fit into my small Toyota!! So I'm feverishly checking and re-checking my list of what is needed according to the builder. It's well over an hour's drive away so I'd rather not have to keep going back to collect forgotten/replacement items!!

Apart from that - still loving the new place and location. Not loving my seeming inability to get myself to the yoga shala very much. The last time I went I told the teacher I was going to try and come 2-3 times a week. And that was 3-4 weeks ago and I haven't made it back!! Somewhat embarrassing!! I am practicing at home most days, but I know I'm not pushing myself hard enough ... sigh! Hopefully I will get a good routine going in the not too distant future!

Had family visiting last weekend, we went swimming, to one of the local Farmers' Markets, and out for a lovely tapas meal in Byron Bay. And there's another 2-3 lots of visitors booked in before mid-December which is great.

Monday, October 06, 2014

News from South Golden Beach

Once again it's way past time for me to post here! And now it's like, so much has happened - where to start?! Well, first of all, I'm all moved into my amazingly wonderful new home! The study is still a 'dump area' but everything else is mostly unpacked/sorted. A few things need doing, like extra kitchen cupboards, overhead fans and more powerpoints, but that'll happen over the next few weeks/ months. And I sit in my living room or on the back deck, and think - how did I get so lucky!!

A friend came down to visit from Brisbane yesterday and insisted on rearranging all the furniture in the living room! I have to say he was completely right - there is now nothing blocking the lovely view through the front glass doors/window. But I had really liked the way it looked before and need to get my head around the new layout!! He did promise to come back in a week or two and help put it back or change it if I wanted ... but I don't expect that will be necessary!

I had my first visitors staying for the weekend last week, and more are booked in for next  month, including my nephew Peter and his wife Tammy. And there are people on the roof right now installing solar panels! I always said that when I moved/bought a new house I would include in my calculations the cost of solar panels, and now it's happening! Although the roof is partly shaded from some big trees, I should get enough sun on them to reduce my electricity bills to either nothing, or a very low figure! And I feel great that I'm also doing my small something to contribute to helping the environment. A win-win situation!!

Health-wise I went for a check-up with my specialist in Brisbane and everything is completely fine! In fact we spent most of the appointment talking about my new house - and he had also bought a place about 20 minutes away a few months ago that he comes to every weekend, so we were comparing notes about how much we loved the area!

The one thing that has suffered over the past few weeks is my yoga practice! There were so many interruptions, and strangely I did find this move much more exhausting than the one from my old house to my rented place! So there were days when I felt too tired to do anything - or just managed 2-3 sun salutes! It's amazing how quickly you (I) can lose strength! But things are getting better now, and I am hoping to start going to classes at Dena's shala in Byron Bay in the coming week ...

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Exciting times ... :)

Very exciting times for me at the moment! First of all, my meditation teacher, Maharaji is coming to Australia again. He's doing a 2 day event at Amaroo (near Ipswich) next weekend, and the following weekend he is speaking in Melbourne at the UN International day of Peace celebrations ... I'm going to both and I know it will be just fantastic!

And then yesterday I went to probably my last class at the Gold Coast Yoga Centre ... I'm away next weekend, and the following week I'll be moving into my new place in South Golden Beach (so excited!) so I'll be going back to Dena's Shala after that. Which will be great, but I have really enjoyed classes at GCYC and will miss the community there. But I'll probably come back occasionally to Danny's Saturday led class ...

I'm getting better at the garbha pindasana roll round now, and feel like binding in a few poses like MariC is very close now - on one side that is. I'd love to know what it is that makes things different on different sides. So that I could attempt to do something about it ... !

At home it's all a bit of a waiting game now. Yes I'll need to pack up here, but so much less packing to do this time. I mostly only unpacked the minimum of what I'd need - quite a lot of boxes here that have a few things taken out of them but the rest still packed from the Kholo move. I'm in the process of organising things like internet and phone connection, electricity, insurance (including the infamous flood insurance!) etc etc ... Removalists are booked, I've found a pet motel place to put Miss Squiggle for a couple of days over the packup / move.

Will just have to contain my excitement and anticipation for all of this ... It is coming soon!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Contracts exchanged!

Well, I've been quiet here for a couple of weeks while waiting for the process to get this far! And finally it did today! I've found a house to buy and today contracts were exchanged, so it's safe to say - I've bought a new home!! Real estate agents' photos below ...

Back verandah

Living room

Not my furniture, obviously! The top picture is the huge deep back verandah, which is going to be such a lovely outdoor space during summer ... Nice for yoga too!

I'm really happy about this. It's in a sleepy seaside area called South Golden Beach, about 25 mins drive north of Byron Bay (and Dena's shala!) And a 400m walk to the beach!! Hoping to move mid- to late-September.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Yoga and sunshine

Finally I made it to one of the Mysore classes at the Gold Coast Yoga Centre this morning. I've been going to the Saturday afternoon led Primary classes but for whatever reason it's taken a while to get to a Mysore class. And it was really great. Mark seems to be a lovely and encouraging teacher ... Every yoga centre is different - he told me he was happy for people to attempt all of primary, even if they hadn't done a pose before. (Of course in the led class this is what happens too.) So I'm just going to go with the flow and do this too. I've done/been given most (but not all) of Primary at some time. Although in the Brisbane shala, poses were taken away if you had an injury or something (as I often did!) and then it might be years before they were given back (if ever!)

Case in point is garbha pindasana. I used to do this years ago but - maybe it was when I got the meniscus knee injury, it got taken away and I haven't done it since then - probably 4 years. So when I started trying to do it again at one of the led classes I was completely hopeless! And I'm not talking about getting arms through lotus as I don't do lotus! It was the rocking round - I kept having to give up and move to the next pose in the led class!! Hopefully doing it in the Mysore class setting will give me the space and time to get it back properly again ... !

And also - Mark got my fingers touching in one side of Mari D! That hasn't happened since Hamish Hendry in London got me into that pose - again about 4 years ago! I was astounded!

It's a beautiful sunny day today ... hard to believe it's still 'officially' winter, although it gets somewhat chilly after the sun goes down. The Byron Bay Writers Festival is on this weekend - I'm going tomorrow for the day. My friend Victor is on one of the panels (on memoirs), and there are some great speakers whose sessions I hope to catch ... like Jeanette Winterson - I remember loving her first book Oranges are not the Only Fruit years ago ... Should be a fun day!

Friday, July 04, 2014

Changes in the air

Will I've made a sort of biggish decision yoga-wise. (This is probably just me over-dramatising things, of course!)

Having realised that there is an Ashtanga studio just 20 minutes up the road from me, I've decided that I'm going to go and practice there while I'm still renting in Tweed Heads, and start back at Dena's shala when I actually move down that way. I know it's stupid, but I really don't like having to drive on a busy highway for over an hour to get to class. I haven't been for 2-3 weeks, and yes it's true I've been a bit sick but still, if it was closer I might have pushed myself a bit more ...

The Gold Coast Yoga Centre is mostly. Ashtanga-based from what I can make out and they have a busy schedule of different classes. There are only 2 Mysore practices that I can see - which in a way is good because I'll know I only have 2 options for a Mysore class each week, so not much room for rolling over and thinking I'll go the next day instead! There's also a led primary on Saturday afternoons which could be good!

So - starting next week that's what I'm going to try, and see how it goes! Updates to follow no doubt ...

I've actually starting feeling somewhat better that I was these past few weeks, which is great. Even though there's no place to buy in sight yet, I found myself thinking about about a kind of housewarming, and who I'd invite to it!!! That is definitely a sign I'm improving ... :)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad Air

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Sunny day in Northern NSW

Just been out for a long walk along Coolangatta beach ... It was really nice - a good time of year for it. Not heaving with people but still quite a few out walking, biking, whatever. Not too many in the water, though I did see a few surfers out amongst the waves. Too cold to contemplate getting in myself though!

I've been a bit sick for a few days, so haven't made it to class for a while. But still managing to do a (short!) practice most days ... Hoping to make it back one day next week.

There hasn't been much to look at in the way of houses to buy yet. Have driven past a few that were advertised on but they're just not what I'm looking for. Didn't 'speak' to me ... ! At the moment I'm happy to wait, keep my eyes open. Well that's just as well isn't it! Not much I can do apart from that ... I'm going to the Mullum(bimby) farmers market tomorrow with a friend, and I may drive us past one house in Brunswick Heads that I've looked at from the outside. Looks nice but apart from the price being somewhat out of my range, it's right next door to some kind of garage with trucks etc. Probably I should go and check it out anyway ... :)

Oh - and I do know there's some graphics missing from this blog design at the moment. I will be sorting that out soon !!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad Air

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Class and beautiful surroundings

Went to my second class at Dena's shala on Wednesday. I'd actually been having a bad few days coughing, and that morning I was debating with myself about whether to go or not, but I'm very glad I did! Decided not to risk shoulder stand or other inversions, but apart from a couple of coughing fits it was great. Christian gives a lovely squish in baddha konasana which I really appreciate!

Yesterday a couple of friends came to visit and we had a lovely day. Sat around talking, and then went on a beautiful drive to the Tweed Regional Art Gallery and had lunch in the cafe there. The views are just spectacular - I honestly can't think I've seen more beautiful - that I can remember anyway! John said it's really similar to the Lake District ... (have to smile - for a minute I feel like I'm channelling Mr Darcy or Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice! I can just hear that conversation after Elizabeth is 'found' by Mr Darcy visiting his country home in Derbyshire!!)

The countryside round here is really beautiful ... So green and hilly after Ipswich! Fields of sugarcane in places and green rolling hills ... I'm very happy I've made this move!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad Air

Thursday, May 29, 2014

1st yoga practice at Dena's shala

I went to a class at Dena's shala yesterday for the first time ( except for one time I dropped in on one of her intensive years ago). She isn't teaching there at the moment, and even when she does, it's month-long intensives that I probably wouldn't be doing. But she told me I should go to the 9.30 class, sometimes run by Jack, and that she practices in sometimes. And that she would 'oversee' my practice.

Neither of them were there, which was probably a good thing as it might have distracted me!! And - this is the first time I've started as a student at a new shala. And my mind was full of worries about 'exposing' my pathetic practice! I was wondering if I should be listing all the poses I used to do until I got a meniscus injury 3 years ago, a lot of which have still not been given back to me ... On and on and on ... my mind is what's pathetic!! Of course I know that's not what's important, but it's hard to just accept and not listen! Christian, the teacher there told me to just do my practice as I'd been doing it at the old shala and we'd take it from there. I did put a couple of poses back in but mostly it's as it has been.

And it just felt so good to have got over that mental hurdle! Now he knows my balance is crap, and my strength is lacking, etc and I don't have to feel embarrassed any more ... I know, I know, I never did have to, but these are the mental burdens that some of us are burdened with!

So, all in all it was a lovely day! Plus I had my first visitor in the afternoon ... :)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The big move is done!

Can't. believe it - just managed to delete a whole post I'd written ... Sigh!! My MacBook Pro has pretty much given up the ghost so I've been doing this from the IPad, and there are a few drawbacks with the keyboard. Why isn't there a key to move up or down the text you've written? Sometimes the cursor just won't move to a new location where you're tapping the screen ... another sigh!! Hopefully it's better using the Blogpress app!

Oh well, here we go again!

So, yes the big move has happened! After a few very stressful and exhausting days of packing and moving, I am now sitting in my new place looking out at a wonderful view over green hills to the sea at Kirra Beach in the distance (only about 10 mins drive away). Photos below ...

God I've just done it again - at least I've only lost a paragraph or two this time!

So, for the 3rd time ... ( !)

My plan is to have a quiet week, just relaxing and exploring the local area. For those who haven't been following the saga on Facebook, it proved to be virtually impossible to rent a place in the area I'm going to buy in, that would allow pets. But then fortune smiled and out of the blue I found a flat in Tweed Heads in a lovely house owned by a friend. And Miss Squiggle is welcome! So here we are ... It's about 30 minutes drive north of where I'm going to buy (and probably a 60 minute drive to Dena's shala, but I can manage that once a week or so until I find a place to buy ...

My yoga mat is down in the living room, and I'm hoping to make it to the Shala one day this week ... I shall report back later. But I think I really must stop now before I end up losing all this post again ...

- Posted using BlogPress from my new iPad Air

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

It's been a long time between posts but ...

Here is (part of) the reason! I have been involved in getting my house sold in preparation for the big move! And as of last week, the sale was finally 'unconditional' - meaning no going back for any party!!

I have handed in my notice at work, booked the removalists for the 22nd May. And the following day I am supposed to move into an as yet un-found rental house in the Ocean Shores/Brunswick Heads region! I'm going down to start the look on Friday. Hopefully it won't be too difficult to find a reasonable place that will allow pets (e.g. 1 pussycat!). That seems to be a bit of a stumbling block at the moment, but really, loads of renters have dogs, so I can't see that it can be that difficult. (Fingers very crossed!!)

The plan is to rent for a few months to get a feel for the area, make sure I'm not making a big mistake (which I really don't think is the case)! And then look for somewhere to buy ...

It all feels a bit surreal actually! I'm leaving work at the end of next week and then have a couple of weeks to sort things out/start packing. Since Christmas I have been sorting through cupboards and taking heaps of stuff to the charity bins / chucking away etc etc. Which is really good now as I think if I hadn't then a lot more stuff would just have gone in the bin due to lack of time! I'm giving some furniture away to friends. Last Sunday Ross came over and helped me take heaps of stuff to the yearly Council Clearup at the bottom of the drive (great timing that!) Of course, as he said he went away with more stuff in his van than ended up on the roadside!

Yoga class is suffering a bit at the moment - it's been weeks since I've been able to get to a class, and I won't be able to go this weekend either. But I'm managing to mostly do my lunchtime short practices - although today I am blogging instead of practising!!

And in the midst of all these excitements I have been to 2 weddings! My nephew Peter got married to Tammy in Sydney just before Easter ... a truly gorgeous wedding in the Botanic Gardens, followed by an incredible reception at the famous Quay restaurant in the Overseas Passenger Terminal on Circular Quay. My camera photos were crap, but it was just magical! The Sydney Opera House out of one window, the Harbour Bridge out of the other, Luna Park sparkling across the harbour, and a constant stream of lit-up ferries going in and out of Circular Quay ... I will never forget that!

And then just last weekend my cousin's daughter Krystyna got married in Brisbane. Another lovely ceremony / reception with all the Brisbane family ...

Monday, February 10, 2014

Exertions in charuranga!

Since the last Bali workshop (last October) when Dena shone a big spotlight on my fairly pathetic sun salutes, I have been giving them a lot of attention. Partly the up-dog part, but lately I've really been concentrating on lowering into chaturanga. I've never been able to do that, and for many years just accepted that as the 'status quo' and didn't make any real attempt. However, this lack of strength in my arms has effects across my practice. For example, it also means I can't lift up into urdva dhanurasana, and can only do the more basic setu bandhasana with my shoulders on the mat. And that's the way it's going to stay until I put the effort in and build up that strength!!

So I'm now making a concerted effort in the chaturanga part of sun salutes, going down as slowly as possible, and it's definitely getting better, even though I still collapse to the ground with a moan <grin> - I don't know how long it's going to take, but I really hope I do keep this effort up this time!!


My friend Helen who I used to have a Sunday morning yoga practice with until she had to go interstate for a year's training placement, was back home for a few days last week. And we managed to get together on Friday (my day off) to do yoga together. Miss Squiggle, my pussycat loves this and of course was in there 'helping' to unroll her yoga mats. Well, that's what she said she was doing!! It was really nice to spend some time together, even though I don't know if/when we'll be able to do this again. Depends on whether my house has sold before she comes back for good. But we will get together sometimes, just not as regularly!

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Hello new year, new beginnings

The beginning of a year always (? - well, maybe mostly!?!) seems to be a special time. A whole new blank canvas ahead, with who knows what adventures to come.

Looking back, 2013 was a very mixed bag for me. A lot of time spent dealing with my mother's estate, and the sale of her house. Then packing up/dealing with the contents of that house, which was (unsurprisingly) quite an emotional experience. And all through that I was dealing with various health issues - some of which were no doubt related in some way to the emotional stress of losing one's mother. And all of which meant I wasn't able to practice yoga for many many months. Finally I decided it was time to take control, to just get back to the mat no matter how much I was coughing! I made a decision to go to Dena Kingsburg's Bali retreat again, and had such a great time, I haven't looked back!

And behind all of those events I have been working through my own 2 or 3 year plan, to move down to northern NSW. I spent a lot of time fixing up things in my house, and finally when I got back from Bali it was time to get the real estate agents in. The house has been on the market for a couple of months now, and there have been at least two potential buyers who were very interested in it. Although in the end these fell through, I'm still very heartened. I always knew it would take a while to sell, as it's in the country, and needs a particular type of person who likes that sort of life. But I do feel confident that things will move in the not too distant future. And then it'll be time for me to move!

So, 2014 and New Year's Resolutions ...

There is much to look forward to, and one thing I really would like is, (as a friend on Facebook said) 'more yoga'! But I also really want to remember / be aware, that this all isn't a dress rehearsal. This is my life and I want to be living it now, not waiting for things that I want to happen in the future. To stay connected inside to reality and to just enjoy the ride!

I wish that for everyone ... :)


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