Yoga Vita

Musings on Yoga, Life, and the Yoga Life


Leave a comment

Mini-Practice

If you’ve been reading this blog at all over the last few months, you can tell I’ve been struggling to keep my home yoga practice alive while being temporarily teacherless in addition to over-scheduled in other areas of my life. So recently, in the midst of feeling overwhelmed with life, skimping on my yoga practice and feeling kind of down on myself about it, I finally stopped and asked myself what advice I would give to a yoga student in a similar position. Without hesitation, my mind responded, set realistic goals for yourself. Duh. This is what I would advise for anyone else, so why do I always try to hold myself up to a different standard? So I told myself to set up a reasonable practice, go with it, and don’t get all caught up in the results you want for yourself. Abhyasa vairagyabhyam tat nirodhah. Simple as that. That’s the way to keep on keepin on.

So to be fair to myself right now, I’ve given myself permission to have 1-hour practices on 4 weekdays and one longer practice on the weekend. If I do my whole practice up to my 2nd series poses, it takes about 2 hours, so I’ve had to be a little creative in creating something that fits into an hour, is still ashtanga-ish, and allows me to get to my whole range of poses. Thus was born the mini-practice. So here’s what I’m doing these days:

Surya A (3)

Surya B

Padangusthasana

Trikonasana A

Parsvaknonasana A & B

Prasarita Padottanasana A & C

Parsvottanasana

Utthita Hasta Padangustasana series or Virabhadrasanas

Followed by a 7- to 10-pose chunk of primary or secondary- – I haven’t quite figured out a system for this.

Urdhva Dhanurasana

Sarvangasana series or Sirsasana

Yoga Mudra

Savasana

The downside of this set-up is that it is all too easy for me to leave out poses I dislike (navasana) to make time for poses I do like.   But maybe that’s okay right now and I just need to chillax.   This shortened practice is working for me right now- – epic 2-hr practices will have to wait for another day.


Leave a comment

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:

blog-pix-001

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.

blog-pix-0021

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.  ❤


2 Comments

Yoga Keeps Me Sane

Ah, yes, so that’s why I do yoga.  Daily.  It keeps me sane.  Or I suppose a better word is grounded– – more calm and connected to reality.  Less neurotic.  Unfortunately, I had to have a couple months of somewhat sporadic yogaing and increasing crazy-going to remind myself of that.  Bleh.  That’s over, thank goodness.  I’m back on the mat and feeling MUCH BETTER.

Now I just need to find a way to stop over-committing myself to things I don’t want to do and under-committing myself to things I do want to do in general.


1 Comment

My Manduka Mat Broke My Toe

I think I actually broke my toe on a yoga mat. Not a brick, not a wall, not a 2×4, but a yoga mat. It takes a real spaz to pull off something like that.

The victim: my 2nd left distal phalange.

The culprit: the Eko mat.

The good news is that a somewhat broken toe doesn’t need much by way of treatment, and I can still hobble around and generally do yoga. The bad news is that vinyasas are out, as are Sun Sal B’s- – way too much maneuvering of the foot involved. And my whole lower body is achy from avoiding walking on my bad toe.

Sigh.


5 Comments

Gold Stars, Weird Yoga Injuries, and Snoopy Squirrels

To help keep me on track with my yoga in the absence of a teacher, Mr. Z devised a gold star system to reward me for good yogi behavior.  Just like a little kid’s chore chart–you know, brush your teeth every morning and evening without putting up a fuss and you get a dinosaur sticker on Saturday,  clean your bedroom four weekends in a row and get an ice cream sundae, that kind of thing.  For me, I have to do my full practice three times a week and at least partial practice three times a week to get one gold star.  I then accumulate gold stars, which I can exchange for dinner dates, back rubs, and the like.  I think it’s a pretty good deal.  So what if it’s completely ridiculous- – I like it!  Don’t hate on the inner preschooler.

So last week, week one, I got a gold star for doing full practice three days and partial practice three days, as planned.  This week . . . too bad there’s not a silver star option.  But it’s not too late!  My week ends on Saturday, so there’s still a chance to do one more full practice and earn my gold star.  Then I’m that much closer to an on-demand back rub.

I just hope my newest Weird Yoga Injury doesn’t hold me back tomorrow.  I stubbed my second toe on my schmancy Maduka Eko mat pretty hard whilst attempting a yoga photo shoot for my other blog and now blood is welling up at the nail bed.  God, I hope my toenail doesn’t fall off.  Methinks yoga and photography might just not go together. . .

And as long as I have my camera out,  for your viewing pleasure, a charming photo  of our resident squirrelly troublemaker:

Isn’t he cute?  Here he is again:


3 Comments

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. . .