and then again

oh, my! it has been nearly a year since my last entry.

around the time i tried to get into my practice last year, i actually had an issue with my right elbow. it was very painful and i could literally not even work through downward dog so after a few attempts i gave up ;-(. this took a whole year to heal…

my private life has been quite stressful lately and i am struggling to relax and let go. so i wanted to do practice again. the time on the mat always felt like a sanctuary. connection with my higher self.

my body is so stiff and has forgotten everything ;-( it was really sad to see that some things that were so easy were now such a challenge. i did only standing sequence as not wanting to push my body too hard and give it time to adjust…

until tonight….


and i’m back…..


after my practice abstinence for the last nearly couple of months, i do genuinely miss getting on the matt so am looking forward to some stretching this weekend.

i have just read a beautiful note written by eric jeffers on facebook. i am not sure who he is – a friend of a friend i guess but the words were simple truth.

here they are for you to read too… enjoy and happy practicing!

‘This morning I practiced. 

 It was very simple. I unrolled a mat, said a few words softly to myself, and began.

 Nobody asked me to open or expand anything. I was not instructed to take anything from one level to another. No one asked me to melt any part of my body. It was never suggested that I should embody some concept or another. I didn’t hear anyone speak their truth. No one assured me that I could manifest anything I wanted. It was never suggested that I would be happier if I bought some new product. I wasn’t told to pursue any bliss. Spirit was neither mentioned nor invoked. No one used the word energy. Nobody implied that I could be stronger, more beautiful or more free than I currently am. 

 In fact, no one spoke at all. 

 I spent two hours moving through a familiar sequence of poses. I did this practice in a warm, quiet room listening to my breath and the breath of those practicing nearby. I was assisted by a gentle and patient human being who, for the most part, left me alone to do my work. At the end of my practice, I lay on the floor completely still for a long time.

 When I was done, I quietly left. People smiled at me on my way out. I smiled at them.

 I will practice again tomorrow.’

swimathon 2012

this has nothing to do with yoga but i am very happy to be taking on a challenge for the marie curie cancer care charity and swim 10k. i am planning to do this in 4 times and just swam first 2.5 tonight. totally underestimated how hard this is!

If you would like to, you can sponsor me online by making a secure donation, using your credit or debit card. Just copy and paste my link below into your web browser. It really is that simple!

The money that I raise will help support Marie Curie Nurses who provide free nursing care to people with terminal cancer and other terminal illnesses, in the place of their choice.

Marie Curie Nurses provide practical and emotional support for terminally ill people and their families. Every £20 raised provides one hour of Marie Curie Nursing care in a patient’s home.

studio etiquette


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just came across richard freeman’s studio etiquette notes. it is always useful re-posting this. hope you are a fellow yogi that respects these 😉

‘Guidelines for etiquette at a yoga class are meant to make your experience and that of your fellow students more pleasant and focused.

Arrive for class on time, allowing enough time to sign in and set up your practice space.

Do not leave during savasana (final relaxation). This is extremely disruptive to everyone else who is being still and silent.

In a Mysore class you may leave early, but please be out the door before savasana begins. In a guided class, if you must leave early, please inform the teacher before class, then make sure you allow enough time to put your belongings away, and to be out the door before the start of the group savasana.

Please do not wear any perfume, cologne, after shave, essential oils, or scented antiperspirant, shampoos, or conditioners. Just like natural body odors, these artificial odors will be intensified by the heat of the practice. Some students who come to the studio are very sensitive to chemicals. Please help them. This includes all “natural” or “organic” scents as well.

Make sure that your body, your clothes and your mat are clean and odor free. It is traditional to bathe before and after class.

Roll out your mat in line with the others in the room, and square to the room shape. This not only looks neater, it will help you and those around you stay balanced as you practice.

If someone else is looking for space for their mat, and you have some, offer it. People are shy about asking. and if you must walk about during class, please do not step on other people’s mats.

Put all props you’ve taken off the shelves back neatly in their proper place after class.’

finding the inspiration


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we have been hosts to a friend of mine who is also an ashtanga teacher. i am quite grateful he has inspired me to work through my practice no matter the injury. so, ehm, thank you 😉

travelling, cold and all other excuses have left me in a very lazy state and devoid of practice for a last week or so. shitty knee of course, did not help.

anyway, a nice calm practice. and i even tried the headstand for the first time on my own (well, with the wall).


stay out of it


i was just reading claudia’s sunday yoga blog times and it prompted me to write a couple of lines about all of the stuff that has been written and said out there.

i won’t provide the links but if you are into yoga and read blogs etc i am sure you will know what i am talking about. i can’t help myself but think that these kind of titles and behaviour in regards to yoga world (anusara, ashtanga…) happening at the moment are just a result of our western mind. our society has made majority of us lose the moral balance either exploiting the trust of those who look up to you, turning everything into a commercial enterprise, being envious, sniping, competing. not sure western world can handle the idea of yoga or anything spiritual as the only way we can make it close to and accepted by the majority is if it’s commercial. the language of money has made our world move for way too long.

yoga is meant to be a tool to accomplish the ‘union’ between the mind and the body so we would be able to reach within us and let go of our ego so we would not have any negative feelings. from what is being said, and with the risk of sounding very contradictory, i can only conclude that majority of the yoga world has still not grasped the idea behind it.

better stay out of it…

hanging in there


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so… trying to work through my crisis. the decision is not to give up. work through it, work with it.

after being annoyed with my aching knee for the last couple of months, and therefore consequently ruining my practice, i am trying to apply what we have so many times heard and read – as above – work with it.

i had a nice practice today up to paschimottanasanas. there was a new found excitement and vigour and a nice flow. working through it i did have a particular thought that kept popping up in my mind – the love and care for your near ones and the worry when you find out they are not well. i think this was what prompted my re-awakening,  it kind of shakes you and puts your life and our problems in perspective – you have nothing if you don’t have health! this was a mantra that my father repeated all my life – and it is oh so true.

so, in conclusion, i decided to stick with my practice but remembering what david said – do it to your abilities and using adjustments. not all people will be able to do all asanas and there is no reason for us not to be able to practice.

look after your health!

mysore class no. 25 and first crisis


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back to my weekly mysore classes…

i think i am feeling the first crisis in my dedication to ashtanga practice. my body is currently not reacting all too well. not too sure if it’s the winter cold or winter blues. last year i had a real bad pain in my lower back but i discarded that as a reaction to taking up – not ashtanga as such – but a physical practice in general. anyway, i went through it and enjoyed the rest of the year. well, until december -then it has hit again, specially during holidays when i decided to take a break. getting back into it in january was not that easy, i struggled with the dodgy knee and painful neck. neck recovered after couple of weeks but my left knee is still not happy. this means that half-lotus is a no-go area. i am not sure what has caused this. i am not the one too push too far.

my knee has thrown my practice a bit. i struggle to concentrate and, even if i do not want to admit it, the knee thing irritates me. my body does not feel mine – it feels disconnected. my breathing is all over the place and i just struggle.

i know that i should just take it easy and breath into painful body parts but i guess my practice is not that much ‘on the inside’ as i thought. ah! moving around the house with grunts of an old person with stiff joints is not a very desirable trait.

so i started thinking the other night would it not be better to get back to swimming and give ashtanga up? it just makes me tired in my head – i can’t shake the tiredness off. maybe it’s that human (well, mine) characteristic of taking this as a defeat and giving in too soon.

today i want to keep going. maybe i should have a private word with ganesh 😉

practice and all is coming


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how many times have we not read and heard that!

i did my practice last five days and it feels absolutely wonderful. i know – i forgot about the moon day 😉 most of the muscle aches are gone and it feels good. headaches are gone too. it’s nice to have a clear head. there is still a bit of tightness in my left knee but i won’t push it.

back to shala next week. can’t wait…


astanga yoga by john scott


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i got myself a new dvd last week. yippiiieee! ashtanga yoga by john scott.

i needed something that i could practice along and use as my ‘friday led’ class. i read, of course, about john scott. so many ashtangis find him so inspiring and always list him as one of the best teachers out there.

dvd includes introduction about ashtanga – all the basics about it: breath (ujjaji), asana, vinyasa, bandha, drishti.

practice is split in 5 levels – complete beginners, beginners 1 and 2 and then half and full practice.

i believe his dvd is not the best for total beginners. even though the practice is split in few levels you still have to have basic knowledge from the class to participate. otherwise you will find it too fast to work with it. or have a great amount of time rewinding it in order to work out the asana. even the cover says – it is meant to be a tool for your home practice to complement your practice with the certified teacher. so, if you are just starting out, you might be better off taking a course. if this is not possible, as a beginner, i would suggest going for another dvd that brakes it down asana-by-asana like the one by nicki doane.

i am, however, enjoying this dvd. now that my practice has been built up to nearly half way, i like the slow count and the reminders that give me the feel of a led class. so, if you need it for this purpose than i wholeheartedly recommend it.

good news for all of us in uk is that john and his wife lucy have recently moved to cornwall, uk, so i am hoping i get to do a workshop with them at some point.