Monday, December 24, 2007

Day 143

Peace Cupcake!

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!!!!!

Christmas pressie!

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.



Michelle said...

And Peace to you as well.

Anonymous said...

Peace and Merry Christmas! And yes, you will LOVE your Manduka once you get used to it.

bindifry said...

yes, shanti.
lovely bag
and manduka black is the only mat.
you will never have to get another one