friday cyber shalla chat, please join us!

I noticed today that it felt good to get into padmasana.  I mean, I got to the end of finishing, those last three lotuses, and it was Ahhhhhh.  Not just for finishing, but for actually bending my legs into that ridiculous, upside down, shape.   You know, that good feeling like stretching first thing in the morning, like you’ve been waiting to do it, and you finally have, and it’s lovely.  That feeling.

“Really?” I asked myself.  “Seriously?”

Yes.  Seriously.  Instead of padmasana aching my hips, or being barely tolerable by my knees, or hurting the top of my left foot (it did that for years), it felt…good.

Just another of those minor asana miracles that happen if you stick with it.  Impossible body positions become old friends.   It’s freaking weird.

Please drop by and leave a comment about your practice this week.  Plus, if you’re new, you might want to look at some of the old Friday Open Thread chats, they’ve been great, lots of discussion of yoga after 40, sticking with it (or not), showing up (or not).  I’m delighted to keep hosting as long as there is interest!

9 thoughts on “friday cyber shalla chat, please join us!

  1. maya Post author

    Two full primaries and two half primaries this week. I’m always annoyed to call them “half” –you know, where you do surys, standing, then seated to navasana, then finishing–when they are only a dozen asana shorter, amiright? They’re more like 75% primary! I deserve more credit than half implies! (oh brother)

  2. grimmly

    Damn right Maya. Last Friday I practiced at the shala in Osaka and only practiced up to navasana before moving on to finishing, took two hours and the teacher asked if I always took that long for ‘half’ primary, I told her “No, I rushed it a little”. That was my last day at the shala actually, decided I preferred to practice at home with more of a Krishnamacharya flavour to my Ashtanga (kumbhaka’s). Nice practices all week, mostly alternating the first and second halves of intermediate series but with some extra prep postures from primary for the first half of 2nd and from Vinyasa Krama for the second half. Much happier at home but getting chilly here now, one bar on the fire and closing all the shoji help to warm it up a bit. Been meaning to jump in on this friday cyber shala chat for weeks.
    PS. Excited the new book is on the way

    1. maya Post author

      Grim, old friend! So glad to have you stop by. “Rushed it a little” haha. Two hours of anything would kill me dead, I have no attention span. I love your flexible practice, bit of this, little of that. I have to admit I felt this twinge of gladness to have you back in your home practice in your lovely Osaka home–as if there is a “home practitioners team” or something and we almost lost you [rolls eyes at self]. Silly me. Yes, it’s getting chilly here in the yurt, too. Soon I’ll be back to practicing in my cashmere sweaters and hats. Thanks for being excited about the book! Myself, I’m so nervous I could vomit. It’s always like that. 🙂 Need more yoga.

  3. Pamela

    Only one practice this week. Urgh. A busy week and I’ve been shuffling priorities and at the moment practice is suffering. It seems like there’s always something that gets left behind – either the house is falling to ruin, or we’re only eating things that can be unwrapped and heated up, or I can’t fit in a decent practice. The coming week should be a bit better.

    Love Maya’s hack of listening to audio to get through practice if needed. Clever.

  4. louise

    This week I’ve been, as usual, mainly doing a standing practice which is what I would call a half practice, Maya! You are definitely doing 75%, maybe 80%?
    I’ve had a wonderful friend as a house guest in the last week who is an authorised teacher and I’ve had the benefit of what felt like a private lesson which has been most beneficial. I’ve gained hugely from a couple of adjustments, conversations and demonstrations that make me realise I can’t keep doing it, always on my own, in my half hearted lacksidasical shirking fashion. After one Downward Dog I was transformed. I even ached in new places. A nice ache. An awareness ache.
    It’s got me thinking and whilst I like my fall out of bed onto the mat situation I think it’s getting around to me spending a couple of months going out to practice with an authorised teacher. I’m investigating it now, whether I can afford it, spare the travelling time, face up to my fears of falling over in Utthita Hasta Padangustasana. Just to freshen my asana, reinforce my yoga love muscle and ahem…possibly…talk to people 😉
    Had a big learning curve this week and a bit of a wake up.
    Hello to Maya, Grimmly and Pamela. I think Grimmly’s blog is how I happened across Maya’s blog but I confess I haven’t read it for ages. Good to see you here. Pass the biscuits.

    1. maya Post author

      Wow, that sounds like a big deal! A couple of months of practicing with a teacher, go, go, pass on what you learn :). Re: talking to people. I KNOW. I hate chatting sometimes. Maybe you can pretend to be on silent retreat. You can have little cards made to hand out to people that say “I’m in silent retreat today.” And they’ll think you’re all super spiritual and give you space. Or maybe people are nice, I dunno.

  5. henry

    I missed one day this week, managed two half primaries, and did sun salutations plus standing poses for the rest. Somedays, I really like to take my time on sun salutations; I can take as much as 25 minutes for my As and Bs!

    This is normally a stressful time of the year for me at work. I would like to start meditating, but for the time being I am willing to shorten my practice in order to stay longer in savasana.

    Deciding where to allocate more time is difficult (extra sleep vs. savasana vs. seated mediation) and I don’t have it figured out yet.

    1. maya Post author

      I am such a gadget whore, I know this, but I can’t help but be ridiculously intrigued by the Muse, a portable, sexy EEG reader, basically, that purports to biofeedback your brain into a meditative state. I want to try one BAD, but they are $300 so that’s prob not going to happen. I’ve wanted to meditate for years but it’s so BORING. I need some gameification to get me going…. 🙂

      Have you had a meditation practice before?

  6. Rebecca

    Here my slightly delayed practice report, combined with a thought about meditation and yoga, re what Henry says above:

    Last week I had to go to Berlin for work — fun but, considering the three-day stay and overnight flying, also not totally fun — and wasn’t able to practice too much, though I optimistically carried my yoga mat from Boston to Berlin and back. I did practice one full primary while there, on Saturday morning, which felt ridiculously good, after sitting in chairs of all kinds for so many hours.

    However, I wanted to mention this on the question of meditation/yoga asana/sleep, I do always practice 2x daily sitting meditation, even if this means meditating on planes, boats, in hotel rooms, hospital beds, on the floor next to a hospital bed, in a field, etc, which it has over the years. Now it’s been almost 14 years of a daily practice (minus 4 days, 3 of which were the time I was giving birth to my daughter) and for me the meditation is the thing that just always happens–not that I couldn’t live without it but that I get to choose not to. [I learned to meditate at a 10day vipassana course, and I try to do at least one 10-day course a year since the first one.] On this past trip, I sat/meditated on the plane (no one really notices since they turn the lights out on an overnight flight) for two hours, in time to land on European time. Basically, you have to adjust also for time zones, is my point, but I’ve found that you can almost always find some way to do it.

    Over the years I’ve found that with at least 2 sometimes 3 hours of meditation a day, my sleep needs are less. They went from a requirement of at least 8 hours a day to about 6 and a half. This varies a bit, but is basically the case. When I got back from Berlin I did sleep about 7 and a half hours.

    Along with Angela Jamison (sp?) on Inside Owl, I’m a big believer in the double importance of asana and sitting meditation. As I get older, it seems that the asanas help with the prospect of continuing to be able to sit (on the floor) into the future. Lots of long-time meditators damage their knees from sitting long hours and then there’s the general wear and tear of having a body. For several years, I thought that the ashtanga was the disposable part, and in fact it is the thing that I sometimes skip, but I’m appreciating more and more how they work together.

    Bottom line: meditation really helps! (not sure if a gadget such as Muse would — or perhaps it does, but in a different way)


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