Monday, December 24, 2007
I was wrong about the Moon Day - it was actually yesterday, so my day off and my Moon Day are the same day. This if fine - I would rather practise since I have time off. My Moon Day Cupcake had 'peace' on it, which I actually think is nicer than 'Happy Holidays'. Maybe I'll take to saying that instead of 'Happy Christmas.'
As usual, I'm full of news!
I spent yesterday morning at the soup kitchen, serving a very special holiday brunch to our guests. Unfortunately, it was pouring rain, so we had a smaller number of guests than usual. This is a shame, because these special meals are fantastic! They are catered by fancy chefs from a nearby hotel who donate the food and their time in preparing it. The chefs even stuck around for a while so our guests could give them a big round of applause.
After the meal was finished, we cleared some tables so the volunteers could feast on turkey (being a vegetarian, I passed on the turkey), fabulous stuffing, mashed potatoes, veggies and a dessert of fruity cake with home made maple walnut ice cream . It was such a treat to sit down my fellow volunteers and share a meal. Over time, these people have become good friends - this occasion reminded how important they all are to me.
I think this was my true celebration of the holiday. I simply couldn't have asked for a better 'Christmas supper' than this impromptu gathering of friends!
When I got home, there was a package waiting for me from my mother. She sent me a beautiful green 'prAna' extra-large yoga mat bag (if you're looking at the link, choose 'ivy' to see the colour I got) and enough money to buy myself a nice yoga mat. I've been practising on the same perwinkle Maha mat for over five years (and using a cruddy Lululemon bag that isn't nearly big enough for it). The Maha mat has holes in it. I've long wanted to replace it with a thick black Manduka mat but they're pricey.
So I phoned around and found a Manduka mat at a downtown yoga studio and picked it up in the evening. I carried it home in my beautiful new mat bag! What a treat!
As I sat there on the streetcar, holding it on my lap, I was so very, very excited! My own Manduka!! Squee!!!!!
I unrolled the Manduka for the first time this morning for my practice. As is always the case with a brand new mat, it's a bit slippery but the texture will become less so with use. It's a very solid mat, not as soft as my Maha, but it has better cushioning and support overall (I particularly noticed this in Sirsasana and Sarvangasana). I think I'll love it once I get used to it.
It a challenge for me to adjust whenever I make a major change to the environment of my practice. Today, I found that practising on the new mat was very distracting and disconcerting. I settled down a bit during the seated poses (that's when I generally put my Mysore rug over the mat), but I was still very aware that I was on a *different* surface. It reminds me a bit of how I felt when I first moved to this apartment and started practising in the new space. It took a couple of weeks for the energy to 'settle' and for everything to feel right.
I had a good practise for the most part. I had trouble warming up and my hips were tight at the beginning of practice (but opened up by the time I did the seated poses). I was able to bind to the wrist on both sides in Marichyasana C this morning (I was a bit worried that it might be a one-time thing, but no, I'm still doing it).
Jump throughs feel a bit smoother this morning, almost 'natural.' I have a feeling that one day they'll just fall into place I won't be able to imagine not being able to do them.
I'm having a great day - It's so great to be on holiday and not need to worry about rushing off to teach a class. Feeling very relaxed and rested. I'm making another batch of my Fabulous Butter Cookies this afternoon to treat various people over the next few days.
Posted by Kaivalya at 10:53 AM