Saturday, February 28, 2009

Marichyasana D Progress - 26 Feb 2009

Documenting my progress in Marichyasana D. I still cannot bind on my own in Marichyasana D. But it's getting there. A lot of improvement since the Mysore trip. This is also attributed to renewed commitment to put in a more regular practice.

Just reviewing the video clip; I'm noticing my lower back collapsing at the end of my upward dog. Now wondering how I can improve on this.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Class Today

Made it to Tuesday's flow class today. First time since the Chinese New Year festival started! Started with a bit of pranayama; which is nice as it helps bring the mind to present after a day's work. Then asanas started with sivananda styled sun salutations. I think they are really good for someone like me with tight hips.

Today's focus was on backbends. I know it's good for me; but it seems so daunting. Anyway, I managed to struggle through it. There was one pose that looked so simple - it was a variation of cobra with one leg bent and one arm lifted at the same side - we're supposed to keep the elbow in line with the body but somehow mine just stayed splayed out to the side! Others can do it, some could even catch the leg that was bent behind!

I was quietly trying, but not too hard as I was trying to keep even breaths. All of a sudden, when it came to Kapotasana, my teacher singled me out to demonstrate a dropback to the posture! Maybe it was punishment for my lack of tapas, or maybe it's a demo that if this stiff man can try a drop back, then the rest can jolly well try!

For those who have seen my upward dog, ( there was no way that I could drop back successfully. But teacher has given the command, so I dutifully followed. Luckily he was kind - just when I was anticipating a drop to my head, I felt support from Manoj.

I felt great after class. It wasn't a tiring practice. It was softer and at the same time, so challenging that the mind had to stay present and focused. Of course, the focus came after the shock of having to demonstrate in class!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Thaipusam And Chap Goh Mei

Today is a holiday in Kuala Lumpur, it being Thaipusam. Thaipusam is a religious festival for Hindus to pay annual homage to Lord Muruga. Near Kuala Lumpur, there is a procession to Batu Caves that is visually quite spectacular. Close to 800,000 people throng Batu Caves for this celebration.

Today also happens to be the final day of Chinese New Year festivities. I must say I'm quite happy to see the end of the festival. So much eating! Every time one attends a house visit, one is obliged to eat what is put in front of you. It is only polite, of course. However, being Chinese, the host will usually pile on more food than one could normally eat - after all it's Chinese New Year - the more you give the more you will receive!

As a result, it plays havoc to my practice. Every vinyasa feels so heavy. So, one more dinner tonight and then back to normal portions tomorrow! For the Hokkiens, tonight is also known as Chap Goh Mei, "the 15th night of Chinese New Year". Also known as the Chinese Valentine's Day, there is a tradition in Penang that single women will throw tangerines into the sea with hope of finding husbands. It is said that if someone else spots a floating tangerine and picks it up, the thrower will find a good spouse.

This reminds me of a time when I was watching the "Sound of Music". There was a scene of the nuns praying; at which point a young girl, next to me, asked "what are they doing?" My answer was that they were praying. Without a second lost, her next question was - "praying for husbands?"