Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sharing is Caring

This past week my practice has actually consisted not only of studying solo but practicing yoga with my friend! After coming back from dinner one night, we went back to my place to grab some books for a long night of studying. We ended up playing jump rope with a Hookah hose and stretching. She is an athlete and sometimes finds herself sore and tense so we did some poses. After our impromptu school girl moment she complained of her calfs and back giving her some trouble. Thus commenced our yoga session for the night. Restorative supine poses, poses that stretch the calf and feet (sitting on our legs and feet). She didn't like those AT ALL! We also did some backward bends. Her favorite was cobra (she WOULD NOT stop hissing). We ended with downward facing dog; a pose I showed her a few days prior. She was still having trouble keeping her legs straight but ml are miles right? After leaving my place to study, we were pretty productive that night if I do say so myself. Yoga alone is nice, very reflective and centering. Yoga with her was not as contemplative, but it was nice to see her improve, and leave feeling a little more loose than she was hours before.

Monday, September 19, 2011


II, 3 avidya asmita raga dvesa abhinivesah klesha

There are five
primal causes of suffering:
of your true Self
and the value of Spirituality;
and its self-centeredness;
to pleasure;
to pain;
and clinging to life
out of fear of death.

All life is suffering, and this sutra seems to proide support for that notion. Though I am incredibly behind on our reading in "How Yoga Works," I can see he application of this sutra in a global context. All of these Kleshas, to me, seem to be innate. In essence, the primal aim is looking out for self; (self-preservation). As Dr. Schultz stated in class, the list tends to be structured in rank order, with the most "important" of items being listed first. Ignorance of true self and value of spirituality is listed first. Yet again, an overall awareness is an occuring theme. The question is if after being made aware of how these Kleshas rear their ugly head in our lives, how do you stop their effect when they are in fact "primal," innate, a natural tendency? Pleasure is by definition appetitive, egoism, and clinging to life promotes survival and self-wellbeing. However, those things are so temporally mediated. Control, practice, discipline; are these the methods with which one circumvents the blinders of immediate gratification to a more prolonged, multifaceted well-being.

Yoga and music

Before I actually get into my pracitce blog. I would just like to say that after class on last Tuesday, I believe, my hips were crazy sore! They rotated in directions they have never seen. I started playing racquetball again as well so the combined effects led to some pain this past week. Thus the restorative poses that we ended with on Thursday were great!
I have two tests this week, so I did quite a bit of studying this weekend. Usually I study with chilled out background music. My basic routine was study for two hours break for one. During those two hours though, I would sometimes get a bit restless. So I would do some standing poses as well as more restorative ones. The argument could be made that the music could stir the fluctuations of mind, however I found that it accentuated my yoga practice. Provided a seamless transition between studying and breaks. I think this will be a routine for the rest of my studies this year.

Monday, September 12, 2011


I know this practice blog is a little late, but I did want to get this out. As we discussed in the class the supine poses in yoga that are always a welcome event to me at the end of each class have been really helpful to me at night. I've started to do some of them while in bed as Im winding down. It starts with the leg up the wall pose, then (I always forget the name of this one) I think it's Viparita Karani. Its the one where we rest our legs on the bolster with our shoulders tucked under us. I've implemented this new nightly "routine"and found that quality of my sleep has improved! I'm a light sleeper and I've always had issues with insomnia. I think my sleep vritti is coming along quite well!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Complexity within Simplicity

Someone told me once a simple message can be just as profound as the most verbose message. The truth doesn't lie in the quantity of words but in the concept conveyed. The sutras that we've covered so far are simple and concise in nature. However, the truth and meeaning behind them is far reaching. For as short as the sutras are it speaks volumes on the breadth of which Yoga permeates through the life of the individual. Yoga as a lifelong process that involves every aspect of life, seems like a trying and rather daunting task to undertake, but a worthwhile one. I think first identifying the vrittis that impede samadhi. Essentially, from these sutras and the class, I have taken that awareness is the first step towards Yoga.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Vritti and Practice.

A common idiom comes to mind in reagrds to my involvement in Yoga and our discussion of Vritti in class: The more you know, the more you know you don't know. I believe this to be case. Learning about the types of Vritti's has made me cognizant of the countless Vrittis in my life. Furthermore, although I know that 5 Vritti's exist, I still do not think I understand what each one encompasses due to it's broad nature. I guess I know that I experience each type of Vritter, but to what extent; I'm not exactly sure.

In regards to my practice. My posture is steadily increasing. I believe I have to work especially hard at maintaining my posture because I am top heavy. The amount of strain that standing erect puts on my back is something I think will lessen with practice. Since class I have also been made more aware of my balance. My ankles tend to roll outward. When I am aware of my balance, I adjust. So sometimes in public I can seem a little "spazzy."

I went home this weekend to go out with my sister for her 22nd birthday. Upon waking up this morning I was a little sore and stiff from the dancing last night. I awoke to find my little brother sitting on the couch stretching out his back. He's a football player and often times is in pain, or stiff. So I asked him if he wanted to do some yoga poses with me. We started with Tadasana, which he mastered like a champ. Then I told him we would try downward facing dog. This was a sight to see! For lack of better words, my little brother is a beast. Standing at 5'6'' (much taller than me) he is a solid 180 lbs of muscle. He was born to put on them pads! Yet, for all his strength, he is not the most flexible of guys. So watching him trying to bend, legs straight, arms extended brought about laughter to us this morning. Needless to say he gave up and said he'd try again later. Despite me trying to show him how to push his weight into his legs by using all those muscles of his, he remained on his tiptoes.

Coming home is always eventful. My family is large, very loud and very passionate. So even after just a night and a rather comical morning I need a little time to collect my thoughts. The wall pose is calling me!