Much better!

April 30, 2008

Today, practice was delighfully uneventful. I wokeup feeling alert and unachey (relatively). I think that one side effect of this rigorous practice is that the muscular soreness that goes hand in hand with it makes it tougher to notice things like colds and flus coming on. I know that when I wake up feeling bad, my first thought is always to accuse myself of just trying to get out of practice. I should recognize, finally, that if I cannot bring myself to unroll a mat, then somthing must be up with me.

But I probably won’t.

Temporal bones are all better now, btw. Whew.

Kapotasana’s new interim goal: to be able to breahe in both states of the asana.


My temporal processes hurt.

April 30, 2008

Or, did. On Sunday, I felt something I have felt before, and I didn’t like it one bit. The first time I felt it, it was a sign of Chicken Pox, which can reappear years later as Shingles. The second time I felt it, there was suspicion of Lyme Disease, although I have since been told that Lyme Disease first expresses itself as a hot, painful joint. On Sunday, when went to take my hair down from a pony tail, my hand grazed the crest of the bone behind my left ear, and OUCH. It hurt to the touch. I checked the other side: same thing. Relieved that it wasn’t one-sided (symmetry is always a useful ruler-outer of the more vile, evil illnesses that I won’t go into at this juncture), I still wondered: was I about to come down with Shingles? Or was this a nasty case of Lyme Disease that the Doxycycline I took two weeks ago didn’t cure? Or was it…nothing?

Well, it couldn’t be “nothing”. Having been schooled in the Two-Week Rule by my Radiation Oncologist six summers ago, I decided to wait and see if it resolved on its own within two weeks.

It didn’t last two days. My resolve, that is.

Yesterday, after I came home from practice, I felt grumpy and exhausted. I wrote about mood swinging yesterday. The Good Doc warned me against blaming Second Series for everything. But I chose to blame Second Series anyway. At the same time, the tender temporal processes were gnawing at my fears. It didn’t occur to me that perhaps I might have a low grade virus going on. Whereas I should have made the connection between feeling like crap and having tenderness where there are clusters of lymph nodes, and come up with “low grade virus”, I decided ignored my malaise, blaming it on Second Series, and assumed that the tenderness behind my ears was either Shingles or Lyme Disease. Or cancer.

After chatting with a doctor friend of mine, who reassured me, but (responsibly) only enough so that I could calmly call my internist, I made an appointment to see Dr. A in Scarsdale. Nice guy, Dr. A., but getting to the village of Scarsdale is a royal pain. Worse than getting to the city for practice because there is no pleasurable payoff at the end. At the end of the journey, it’s just about putting on a gown, getting blood sucked out, enduring poking and prodding, and willing my blood pressure to stay its normal low despite that I am freaking out.

Woke up this morning and couldn’t even fathom practicing. I assumed I was just sore and achey.

Why do I never realize that soreness and acheyness at that level is NOT a normal byproduct of practicing yoga?

Anyway, sometime before my appointment with Dr. A, I realized that the inflammation behind my ears was all but gone. I still didn’t feel good enough to practice. But I realized that I had been sick, not just tired, and that I had “swollen glands”, not a serious illness.

Puh puh puh, Kinehura and all that.

Later on, I even did Five and Five and Bhada Padmasana.

Tomorrow is another day…


The New York Post has been reading Yoga Chickie

April 29, 2008

Ashtangi pointed this article out in a comment to my earlier post, “The Shoes Are Cool”. Seems like I’m not the only one who thinks MBT’s are all that and a bag of props.

Calm follows a storm

April 29, 2008

Practice was nice today, if eerily quiet, or at least eerily quiet until I started working on Second Series, at which point I start jabbering almost uncontrollably. I really need to put a lid on it.

I found today’s sub to be a calming presence at first, and as my practice veered into Second, the calming presence became a downright delightful presence. She’s been taught by the best, so this shouldn’t be a surprise. Plus, I hear that she has a special place in her heart for the learning of Kapotasana. Whatever it is, she is incredibly patient and has the most inspiring work ethic. Or she senses the work ethic and me and is allowing me to go with it. Put it this way, after working with her on Kapotasana, I had absolutely NO desire to go any further, which to me is a sign that I am currently maxed out on my current practice. I grudgingly did Supta Vajrasana, and kept my right toes the whole time.

So, glad I didn’t stop before my time. But there was no need to add Bakasana, the next one, Ardha Matsyandrasana and even Eka Pada as had originally been planned. No need at all. I think perhaps if the Good Doc were there, I might feel differently because of his different approach to assisting with Kapotasana. Afterwards, I would feel a mixture of excitement and dispiritment (if that is a word). I was happy to get further than I could ever have imagined, but I was laid low by the sheer drama of it all. The next few poses, being easy for me, would have brought me back into an even keel.

With today’s sub, I worked MYSELF to my max, with her gentle assistance, as opposed to her putting me into the pose. And I was already at an even keel by the time I was finished. Supta Vajrasana was just like putting the cork in the bottle.

Or something like that.

There is no denying for me that since I have been practicing Second Series, or my chunk of it, I am a bit whacked out. Not sure how to describe it other than that. I have abundant energy. And then I have none at all, like right now. I am exhausted, but I wake up several times in the night. I am happy. Then I’m grumpy. I’m so f-ing hungry. And I want CARBS. I don’t want to gain weight. I wonder how much more work I am doing – how much more energy I am burning these days.

Truthfully, I would like to weigh even a few pounds less than I do, but only because I would like to be able to lift up higher in my vinyasas and in between Navasanas. That is so lame, I know. I’m small enough already, I know. But it can be so tempting to think that certain strength moves would be easier with just a little bit less junk in the trunk.

No worries. I have no willpower beyond that which I have already incorporated into my life, which is pretty substantial. I just don’t think I can raise the bar any higher.


The shoes are cool.

April 28, 2008

Look how happy and cool and totally CITY these kids are.

I want to be them. I want to wear the cool MBT’s like they do, maybe even with striped knee socks (I bet I can get a pair at American Apparel, which is where these cool kids look like they buy their duds), and be as cool and carefree and happy and able to do Pasasana as they are!

And here is Ashtanga Barbie. She wears her MBT’s because she knows that if she doesn’t, she won’t be able to hold it together in Pasasana and will flail around trying to bind while futilely trying to balance on the balls of her feet. Ashtanga Barbie wears MBT’s and makes them look HAWT.

And for the record, I practiced today up to Eka Pada. That is where the Good Doctor was going teach me up to starting tomorrow, and my friend S, who is GD’s very close friend, says that she is going to go through the vinyasas of Bakasana A and B, the next two poses and Eka Pada, because that is what he wanted. Wants. He just won’t be there. YS is such an interesting place, in a good way.


The next step in the uglification of my feet

April 26, 2008

For some reason, I feel that these are cute. And I’ve always wanted white sandals. They remind me of the sandals I wore when I was about three years old. And they have a two-inch sole, which means that I get to stand a little taller than barefoot.

They were on sale for $139 on Walker’s Warehouse dot com.

I am doing this for Pasasana.

I must be really crazy.


Buh Bye Barbie Feet

April 26, 2008

Until Tuesday, it did not occur to me that perhaps the problem with Pasasana has been my preference for high-heeled shoes.

Then the Good Doctor suggested to me that perhaps the problem was my “Barbie Feet”, or, in other words, feet whose heels don’t touch the ground. Ever.


Against my better fashion judgement, I hauled out from the back of my Shoe Museum (aka, my closet), my pair of MBT Sneakers that I bought about a year ago, that I wore once or twice and then never again. Just too ugly, I thought. There was, simply, no way around the ugly.

Or so I thought. Until I realized that my Pasasana was suffering…

Since wearing heels is not an option in Pasasana (unless you’re practicing Posh-asana, as demonstrated by my rendering of Victoria over here to the left), it was a toss-up:

Worship at the altar of fashion?


Worship at the altar of asana?

I wore my MBT’s into the city on Wednesday, inauspicious day that it was. A close friend who saw me wearing the hideous, spongey monstrosities asked me, “What’s the deal with the clodhoppers?” I explained, with the utmost in patience: “Pasasana requires that I put aside my high heeled shoes for now.” It goes without saying that my explanation fell upon deaf ears and was met with a scathing glance at the aesthetics-offending footwear.


Since Wednesday, I have made a point of either being barefoot, or wearing my MBT’s. And for my effort, I have been rewarded. Today I bound rather easily on both sides in Pasasana, without benefit of wall or rolled up mat. In celebration, I wore some really stylin’ high heeled sandals to dinner tonight in Greenwich.

That transgression aside, I shall continue to limit my time in high heels in the hope that I can eventually put my Barbie heels back down on the ground where they belong.

Twould be nice.