Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Day 151

I got an early start this morning, stepping onto my mat at 6:15 a.m. Once again, my back wasn't open at all and I felt stiff and rigid in many poses. I've been mulling this over, trying to figure out if there is something easy I could do (go for a short walk, perhaps?) that would warm up my body and bring more openness into my poses in the morning. I could easily take the dog for a brief walk for about 20 minutes or so (although this morning, I would have frozen my tail off if I had tried - the wind chill is -25C).

My practice is very good and steady right now on so many levels: flow, breath, driste. I'm not making any great leaps of progress, but just the daily work of it feels like progress to me. I'm continuing with the little 'push-ups' to plank after every Chaturanga Dandasana. I've come to a point where this is hard work, but it's not exhausting work. I believe I am becoming stronger.

My Maris are mostly the same, though I've lost the wrist bind on the left side of Marichyasana C. I think that morning stiffness has a lot to do with this. I've also lost the very brief spell of binding in Supta Kurmasana. For now, I'm working on 'holding on' to my lower back in hopes that eventually, my fingers will come closer together, but I'm not pushing it.

Garba Pindasana entertains me on a daily basis. I always get my arms through and I always manage Kukkutasana, but I'm not bringing my hands anywhere near my face or head and I'm not trying to. The pose just confounds me.

Janu Sirsasana C is really coming along. I'm being patient with the left side, which is the holdout. I stretch the left foot every day and approximate the posture as best I can. I'm convinced that if I keep doing this, there will be an opening and I'll be able to do it.

I think that's one of the gifts that the Ashtanga practice has bestowed to me: the notion that if you work hard, consistently, everything will unfold as it should. And, for me at least, the value is in this journey - the daily journey to the mat, the work, the focus.

KarmaPod Update:
In the wee hours of the New Year, I found an iPod in the snow (see the full story on Day 150). I phoned Apple on New Year's Day, but they were not open on the holiday. I tried again today and totally got the run-around. Apple Customer Support does nothing to make it easy for a person to be honest. They literally have no procedure in place for facilitating the return of a lost iPod. Apparently, it just doesn't happen, which is a sad thing, in my opinion.

I hate being on the phone, but that's how I spent my morning. First, I was put on hold for nearly a half-hour, only to be transferred to another number, where I was put on hold for over an hour. I gave up and called another number, where I encountered a nasty 'customer service' associate who told me I should have just kept waiting at that first number and then she told me snarkily: “Why don't you just keep the iPod?!” And *then* she HUNG UP on me.

I finally called an Apple Sales number I found on the Apple web site. I lucked out: a truly wonderful Apple Employee listened to my story and then went above and beyond the call of duty to help me. She called in her three managers and then used the iPod serial number to locate its owner. She found the contact information and after some discussion, the posse of managers directed me to leave the iPod at a main police station. I gave them the address of the station and told them I would drop the iPod there within the hour. They, in turn, phoned and emailed the iPod's owner to alert him/her where it could be recovered.

I thanked the lovely customer service associate profusely for her help, but she in turned thanked me and said: “God will bless you for your honesty” which I found rather sweet.

I rode the subway to 52 Division where a dour-faced officer took the iPod and had me fill out a property claim form for it. I explained the situation (that someone would likely come in looking for it) and he logged it. He told me to come back in three months with my receipt. If the iPod has not been claimed, I can keep it.

I left contact information with the iPod. I'm hoping that I may hear from the owner of the KarmaPod, so I'll know that it found its way home.


Anonymous said...

I normally do some pilates type exercises for 10-15 mins. as warmup before practice. I used to do the pushups too ; they do help with upper body strength. But i found it hard to maintain a steady breath so of late i have dropped them. Surya B becomes quite challenging if done with pushups..

Tiff said...

"think that's one of the gifts that the Ashtanga practice has bestowed to me: the notion that if you work hard, consistently, everything will unfold as it should."

You have no's amazing...the things we can do over time. I'm constantly amazed. I love this practice.

rand(om) bites said...

The whole thing with the iPod is amazing and so are you. I would have given up after waiting on hold for so long but not you. The owner sure is one lucky dude!

Sofia said...

Your yoga journey is truly wonderful to read. I'm finding it very inspiring. (I'm a pretty reluctant yogi myself and daily primary series still seems very scary!)
Funny how apple make it so hard to do the right thing, but well done for not giving up! It'll make that ipod owner very happy.

Kaivalya said...

Tiff: One only needs to look at your profile photo on NaYoPracMo to see an example of that! You're seriously bendy, girl!! ;-)

rand(om)bites: So far, haven't heard back from the KarmaPodster so I don't know if it was a happy ending, but I tried...

Sofia: Thanks! Before I was a 'Reluctant Ashtangi', I practiced various forms of yoga (mostly plain old Hatha) for 12 years. For me, the right path was classical Hatha and some Iyengar yoga, then Anusara and now my current exploration of Ashtanga. The lesson I've learned is this: Do what you can. Yoga is so transformative - you'll benefit from the practice no matter what type of yoga you choose.