Yoga Vita

Musings on Yoga, Life, and the Yoga Life


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Meet me at Two Wheels N Tofu!  Nanoblogging on yoga, cycling, nursing, food, Seattle, well-being and good living.


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Radiator Salutations

First, an apology to anyone who cares but mostly to myself: sorry for disappearing from the blogosphere for months without comment nor explanation! I have a tendency to occasionally disappear from people or things in real life too- – a real immature habit, but that’s a whole ‘nother book.  The main issue this time was that I was feeling terribly overwhelmed with grad school applications (on top of work, classes, volunteering at the hospital, community organizing, holiday-making, and trying to maintain a home yoga practice), and something had to go.  I was up to my ears in internal self-reflection, so I just couldn’t bring myself to blog on top of it all.  Alas.  I miss it.

Anyway, my radiator:


Oh, glorious radiator, my neopagan yuletide bonfire harkening the distant sun!  (I’m feeling . . . Shakespearian today.)  Seriously though, this radiator more than perhaps anything else has enabled my home practice to be reasonably successful, or at least extant.  I set the timer to have it on from 5 am to 7 am, so when I wake up and stumble into my yoga room (usually after making/drinking a cup of coffee), the room is at least over 60 F, unlike the rest of the house.  Then I turn on a lamp and light 5 candles (decadent, I know) to brighten the room in lieu of a rising sun, and yoga begins.  I keep the radiator ON, and by the time I get to floor poses, the temperature is pretty good.  I love you, programmable radiator.

I guess having a yoga room is pretty handy, too.  Our appartment just happened to have an extra room, and we didn’t need an office, we didn’t need a guest room, thus I established a yoga room.  Of course the living room would have worked fine, but there’s something really wonderful about having a dedicated space.


It’s obscured in this photo, but I have my ‘graduation gift’ from the Yoga Thailand teacher training up in the window- – a red and yellow silk scarf imprinted with a large unbroken OM and the Gayatri mantra.  ❤


Yoga on CD: Help or Hinderence?

Sharath\'s Primary Series CD

I’m thinking about buying the above led primary CD to help keep myself “on track” when I’m practicing at home.  I’m not sure whether this will be useful for my practice or if it will just be another “thing,” another object of attachment.  I don’t know.  I’ve never practiced with a CD or DVD- – once, I bought Shiva Rea’s Yoga Matrix, but I just ended up sitting there and watching it. . .

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Thanks, Mr. Iyengar

In Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, BKS Iyengar posits in his explanation of the sutras on pranayama that “the implication here is clear [clear as mud] that the sadhaka who had to struggle initially to cultivate a yogic way of life by self-discipline and study, now [after the practice of pranayama] finds his efforts transformed into a natural zeal to proceed in his sadhana.” So there’s hope for those of us who are dunces at self-discipline. I came across that juicy tidbit last night. (I got about half way through the second pada last summer when I set the book down, not to be touched again for a year. . . I’m all out of novels at the moment.) So this morning I did my full pranayama practice (which really only takes about 15 minutes) before asana, and it was fantastic. I felt motivated, I felt – – could it be? – – zeal! Thank you, Mr. Iyengar. I’ll be doing my pranayama regularly from now on.


Transition and Discovery

Mysore practice a few days a week combined with home practice a few days a week is one thing. All home practice all the time is going to be quite another. I’m going to have to muster up an uncharacteristic amount of will power or figure out a good system or something. Because the yoga’s not just going to do itself (except for on those rare days of amazing, magical flow. . . aaah). I need a plan.

AYS being closed and gone forever, I’ve weighed my options and decided to go the all self practice route, at least for the time being. On the mysore ashtanga front here in Seattle, the other option is to practice with Mr. Troy at Velocity dance studio, which sounds like a fabulous option indeed, but- – it’s weird- – I feel like I’m not ready for a new teacher. I guess I’m kind of greiving the loss of the teachers I’ve depended on for just over a year now- – in fact, it feels kind of like getting out of a strange breakup. I need to break free and go it alone for a while. (I had no idea I was so emotionally involved.) The idea of having some space to turn inward and really observe myself and my practice sounds very attractive right now. In fact, I’m craving it.

But that doesn’t mean it will be easy. However, I am lucky enough to have a fantastically supportive partner who cares about my yoga practice because I care about it so much, and he’s volunteered to be my project supervisor of sorts. I’m supposed to do my full practice with the twosies three times a week and at least an honest effort at something the other three days and report back to him. Presumably he will give me a scolding if I don’t meet my goal or something. At any rate, it’s helpful for me to be even slightly accountable to someone besides myself.

This might also be a good time to re-integrate pranayama into my daily practice. The lead teacher of my yoga teacher training, Paul Dallaghan (look at him–isn’t he cute?), is a longtime student of O.P. Tiwari, and as such prescribes individualized pranayama practices for each of his students at the end of training.

Paul and SKPJ
Paul and SKPJ

Which of course means I never took it very seriously. I was travelling in SE Asia for four and a half months after training! By bicycle! I didn’t have time for extra practices (I told myself). But now feels like a good time to pick it up. Really and truly, I have this feeling in my bones that the next few months are going to be a great time of discovery. . .