About mariavlong

I'll tell you about what today is like for me. It will include Yoga, chasing after some pretty or yummy thing, trying to be nicer & less of a big baby.

Mysore Room Bonanza

There are now four places (that I know of) in CT where you can attend Mysore practice using the Ashtanga yoga method as taught by Sri K Pattabhi Jois. I write this as I did an abbreviated practice in my own room since the evidence of my kapha dosha is running like a faucet thanks to April and I’d rather it be my floor than V’s or a mate’s mat during a movement. So anyway, for many years it was just my teacher’s Mysore room, first in her own home and then in a rented studio space, in all of CT. Then came Jois Yoga in Greenwich. Then they left, and Authorized Level 2 Megan Riley founded Ashtanga Yoga CT in Greenwich. Now recently Authorized Level 2 teacher and Co-owner of Kaia Yoga, Stan Woodman is opening Mysore rooms in two of his three studio locations. A morning program in Greenwich and an afternoon program in Darien. So now CT gets to choose where and who to practice with. As you all know I am a person who enjoys yoga travel and yoga tourism. However, I follow good advice and have settled on a teacher who patiently has learned my body’s capabilities and my mind’s anxieties. Will other teachers have the same gifts or even better ones? No doubt, and I suggest you visit, evaluate and then decide. My suggestion is not only for the health of your practice but also for the health of  the studios that are investing and starting Mysore programs. These programs thrive and become stable when they become a community of regulars. Am I saying that you cannot visit? I absolutely plan to visit. My dear pal N teaches at Ashtanga yoga CT and my other dear pal P teaches at Kaia Darien,  and I want to stop by and support them. But I do see Eddie Stern’s point when he discourages jumping around shalas all over NYC and accepts guests and visitors from farther distances than across town or uptown. It is a grace note as well as a good business practice. SO here is to wishing that Mysore practice in CT thrives, and that everybody’s room is full of students who will honor their teachers who rise to do their own practice while we are still negotiating with our pillows.

Mind Blown

I found this on the annoying side bar of Facebook, then went ahead and watched it and when I went back to Facebook to see who shared/referenced or posted, I could not find it. So out of memory I will say Angela Jamison said something about it and when she says something I always click and  listen. This is epic. Way above my yoga education level, but obviously youtube is fixing that. “Not even your imagination can override you” . Time to read the Gita again.

It Happens

Just don’t quit when it does. Last Monday was a very revealing day for me and I do not say that with any type of gladness. Ignorance is indeed bliss. Harmful bliss if there is such a thing, but reality does sting a hard, particularly when it arrives. During a series of “research”poses with guidance, I came to realize that most of my preliminaries are unbalanced and unstable in one way or another. I was so overwhelmed by figuring out that I had been reinforcing incorrect placement or rotation or whatever it is that allows me to grab my toe, keep balance or twist, for all these years, that I took yesterday off to mope. I am still mopey, so instead of practicing in community I practiced alone outside in the sun. I coaxed myself by agreeing to do one side my way and the other side the impossible (for now) way. Less benefit probably, but less harmful than quitting. This is how I know Ashtanga is not a workout. I have no need for an exercise high, or to look in shape or thin or radiant, or healthy, or whatever code word is being used for hot. I’m rebelliously quite fine with the way I am as long as the clothes I love still fit. What Ashtanga has done for me, is that it dramatically improved my ability to accept and allow and receive. I am so much more than the body that is fretting because her leg is no longer as high up in UHP. There is so much going on that has absolutely nothing to do with the meat draped on my bones and covered in skin, that I am flabbergasted when I realize I went through half my life without noticing the non physical.

Consult/Forum

Mild anxiety attacks starting while transitioning from  the second side of Virabhadarasana A to B, and full on during the whole B? Anybody? teachers, students, fellow sufferers, please feel free to chip in. It has never been a favorite pose but I can usually handle it alternating the mantras of this too shall pass and nothing lasts forever.

Also, Prasarita C: I can touch the floor with my head in A and D with straight legs. B and C not so much so I bend my legs per the advise of a senior teacher over at AYC. Yesterday I received a gentle adjustment in C encouraging me to straighten my knee and I felt a tweak but not an ouch. today practice ruined bending my knee for no problem  ever Ardha Baddha P. From then on I could not find a comfortable place to put it. not bent not straight  only when I rolled my sweatshirt under the knee to support it did I feel relief (Savasana at that point) Any TLC recommendations to make it happy again? Oh and no more bent knee in the prasaritas who GAF if my head does not touch the floor.

Observations

Over the last two months I have gotten food poisoning 3 times.  At 3 different restaurants, in three different states. All involving meat. I think the term unsustainable is finally sinking in.

Even as interested and gung-ho as I am about all things Ashtanga, I can no longer keep up with all the podcasts, interviews, teacher letters, facebook posts, and groups. Reminds me of the time that I realized I would never be able to be all caught up with my email and began deleting in large swaths.

A dip in the ocean is the most healing and beneficial thing you can do for your skin, nails, and brain.

The smell of sun tan oil combined with the smell of fried foods, and souvenir candles and soaps is evidence that we cannot handle prosperity. Key West I have to say is, a terrifying main drag surrounded by the most beautiful ocean you can ever imagine.

Seagulls, pelicans and other birds I cannot identify are very interested in watching primary from an uncomfortably close distance until they realize you did not bring any food.

Nice to be home and find amazing gifts in the accumulated mail form amazing friends.

Spring Arrived Today

How do I know? I spent the entire morning curled up in a dark closet floor trying to think straight during the strongest sinus pressure induced migrane I have ever experienced. I kept hoping I would stop returning the bites of apple I was trying to keep in my stomach so I could pop the 3 Advil pills I so desperately needed. I know I am not the toughest mother, but this one scared me. So grateful for the absence of pain and nausea right now, I could kiss anyone’s feet. Aftera tough   winter for asana, I was excited about practice this morning. It seems that I am in one of those golden periods where there are breakthroughs and progress very much thanks to teacher’s insights and tool sharing. Maybe I can still do something later this afternoon. In other news, Robert Moses from Namarupa has begun his Yatra correspondence with updates and info for travelers. At one point there will be 155 of us together.

Imagery

I will always believe that play, storytelling and pretend are the best early childhood learning tools. I am not ashamed to still be using those tools as a learner since I no longer teach. Imagery in asana, starts with the naming of each pose. For those of us who grew up just visiting nature occasionally and sporadically it is sometimes a challenge to relate. Some yogis might even consider imagery as training wheels to be set aside like toys as your practice matures. Well this disobedient bad lady never learned to ride a bike, but she remembers how to handle a horse. When teacher asked us on Monday to think about the front and back muscles that hold our shoulders as a saddle, My mind grasped it. I finally understood how to prevent my upper back from sinking in Chaturanga. If you have ever put a saddle on a horse, used your knees to stabilize your stride, or pressed down on the stirrups to initiate a trot, you will understand  the movement, how to proceed, and where to apply strength and pressure.  Today before Utpluthi she asked us to think of our shoulders and arms extending and penetrating the ground and forming an endless loop of energy that sustains our form in the center, and dork here right away thought of that contraption in Jodie Foster’s Contact. It worked for me.