Sunday, July 4, 2010


And another yoga week begins! I always place The Duke right next to my front door on Sundays, to make sure I don’t arrive at the Shala mat-less (I bring my mat home every Friday to give it a deep cleaning in the bathtub).

It occurred to me recently that I’ve been practising on this black Manduka for just over two years. It’s still in great shape - no holes or discernible wear, though you can definitely see the spot where I ‘jumpback’. R was telling me that the mats have a lifetime guarantee.

I was skeptical, “Even if I wear holes in it?” and she nodded.

That’s good to know!


Today was the monthly led Primary and it was a particularly good one! I had a great practice! The temperature of the room was perfect today, and though the room was full, it wasn’t *too* crowded.

I’m finding that I’m MUCH stronger in my practice these days which makes the led class so much easier. The endless Navasanas don’t seem as difficult. And the vinaysas flow more smoothly. I’m really feeling strong in lift-ups. In one instance, P asked us to lift up, then got distracted. I counted at least five breaths before he realised we were in limbo and gave us the Chatvari-jump-back. I just stayed in my lift-up for the duration, waiting. I wouldn’t have been able to do this a month ago!

Today, I made an effort to follow the vinyasa counts very precisely and I noticed some transitions that had previously eluded me. For example, there’s no pause between Marichyasana C and the lift-up to jump back - it happens very quickly. Same with Mari D. In the finishing poses, I was able to ‘keep up’ with the count for the very first time, right through to Sirsasana - I inhaled my legs up and stayed there for the count, then halfbend, then down. I know it sounds like a small thing, but I think this is the first time I’ve *ever* been able to do that.

Since half my practice has been blown to smithereens by this hamstring injury, I’m taking the small victories where I can find them!

My hamstring was very tight today. I continue to shy away from any sensation, per R’s direction. The hammie didn’t really bother me until the very last, post-backbend Pachimottanasana. I bent my knees a little and tried to stay in the forward fold, but I just couldn’t bear it. So I pulled my knees up to my chest and hugged my legs. R saw me doing this and said something about ’crying’ but I wasn’t having a meltdown at all. Though I’m pretty sure THAT pose isn’t in the Primary Series!!! ;-)

During the halfbend in Sirsasana, I actually had to bend my left leg a bit because it was too uncomfortable for my hamstring. I’m sure it looked pretty weird, but at least I held the halfbend! Again, not really a pose, but I’m doing what I can.

I brought muffins to share during the discussion afterward and everyone loved them! It’s really cool how yummy food can create a festive atmosphere!

The discussion was really interesting! I love asking questions about the evolution of the practice and Guruji’s approach as a teacher. I just finished re-reading Yoga Mala, so I asked about some of the omissions/additions to the Primary Series. The response was interesting, and led to other questions about the Yoga Karunta, the origins of Iyengar style and how Astanga has changed over the years. Since I’m re-reading Mark Singleton’s book ‘Yoga Body’, I was very interested in hearing my teachers’ take on some of this stuff.


It’s been a while since I documented some of the interesting searches from my access statistics. Here’s a run down of the best ones - they’ve been amusing lately!

arnica hamstring: For some reason, it tickles my funny bone that I’m the poster child for arnica and hamstrings.

astanga ribs: Ragdoll! Someone is looking for you!

astanga difficult / astanga too hard / astangi having difficulty / astanga makes me cry / I hate astanga: This is but a small sampling of the whiny searches I’ve been getting lately. I don’t complain THAT much, do I?

astanga makes me sleepy: I’m jealous. Astanga keeps *me* awake!

chaturanga toe: Is this related to Blackberry Thumb?

lost ability to stand up from backbend: NOOOOOOO! Please don’t tell me that after all of the work I’m doing to learn this stupid thing, it could just evaporate on me! I was hoping that it’s like ‘riding a bicycle’, a skill for life.

And here are two bonus, non-Astanga searches:

anusara without the crap: *snort* Now THAT would be something!

bindu wiles and trickery: That sneaky Bindu Wiles! What’s she up to now...?


daydreamingmel said...

Loving the access stats, too funny! Some recent favourites from mine:

-Can suryanamaskar be practised at the age of 45 (err - try 105)
- picture of a lady which is laying on the mat in pain (sic) (WTF??)

and lots about supta kurmasana, but my personal favourites for pure randomness are:
- working at café Nero (I think I mentioned coffee...)
- and Unisex communal showers (haha!! Keep searching!)

Kaivalya said...

I don't seem to get any 'naughty' searches at all on mine. I guess my blog is too 'G rated' to attract the really weird stuff.

It's interesting to see how people arrive at my blog and how long they stay. Stats are fun! :-)

daydreamingmel said...

I <3 stats! Really!! But as we established a while ago (i think it was arturo who said it) you are a rock star blogger with trillions of readers in comparison to the few who stumble across me (mostly when trying to find out about unisex pervy showers by the sounds of it!!!). Still,like practising yoga I (we!) don't write for external ends...

Kaivalya said...

Oh, I'm not a 'rockstar' anymore. My numbers have gone WAY down lately and I'm fine with that. I'm settling back into comfortable obscurity! ;-)

Ragdoll said...

I hope the 'ashtanga ribs' searcher found the answer - if so, and they're lurking, I'd love to read it!