Tuesday, June 25, 2013


From the windowsill garden. ok, it isn't much more than a symbolic addition to my meal..but it is satisfying to grow even a tiny portion of my food.

plus the hot weather means I probably won't have much more growth from the plants.

6 dropbacks today. 3 on my own. my low back can really feel it this week. I am bendier and less strong in the heat.  Then again, being able to do supta K on my own is nice. As far as dropbacks go -- all I am working on is getting more comfortable with the idea of dropping back. My breath is constantly out of sync on the way back up..and on my own, I am pretty much beached on the ground once I land. My teacher and others at the shala make it look so graceful.

Friday, June 21, 2013

pre moon day chaos

Really wondering if there is something in the air out here..

Came into work to get a passive aggressive email threatening my job if I don't "work harder" and stop coming in "late", sent not to me privately, but to the company email that my coworker can see as well...wtf? To clarify, I have worked for this firm for over 10 years, and never received anything like this ever or even a hint of some of the issues raised (other than my interminable lateness..which was ok by my boss as of 2 months ago)

Then one of my teaching test group wants to jump to another group (ok, that could be a blessing in disguise)

Good practice today, despite all the chaos I later walked into. Last night I had a major anxiety attack over my inability to have time to practice the feldenkrais enough. Didn't help that I felt really vulnerable and tired and pms-y last night going home on the train, after my friends practiced on me. So I decided to sleep in, til 6am..though I didn't even get close to 5 hours last night. My breathing, however, was steady, thanks to the feldenkrais.

I need a vacation from my life. Dreaming about jobs that I can do, that I like.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Field trip

Got to escape the office this morning, which is always a good feeling.

Practice was really good today, despite even less sleep than the night before. I guess the dropbacks from yesterday must be the reason. Today I could feel that point where it would be possible to come up, if I could  push into my legs..or something like that. Weird feeling. No energy crash after practice, which didn't surprise me as my breathing and focus were better. Interesting how the two are connected for me.

After work, I met up with some friends in my feldenkrais program, to practice a bit. Because we are a group of 3, and I am really timid about trying to work on anyone when someone else seems more sure of themselves than I am, I got to watch and to be worked on. Left feeling really good, like I might actually sleep well tonight, for the first time in 2 weeks. Then again, I have to be up before 6am, and its just past 11 now. Good thing tomorrow is friday.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

i need one of these

yes, I need a duplicator...if only it were so easy.

The mental exhaustion and the dropbacks continue. Today was one of those -I think I'll put my teacup in the refrigerator days. Couldn't remember which number surya I was on..during the A's. Always a bad sign. All my breathing/sound tics and weepy feelings were back this morning..and my focus was on vacation, except for the mid section of seated...hard NOT to focus on bhuja thru kukkatasana. At least now I sort of know that the breathing and whimpering thing..it's a sign of any sort of mental and/or emotional overload. Dropbacks were uneventful..other than there were...5! I land on my own, and then try to figure out how to walk my hands in..and move the weight forward. I'm in no rush here..can't imagine adding anything to my practice for quite some time.

Afterwards, I was shell shocked from the extra backbending..then wiped out for a couple hours. Hope I sleep tonight..don't have high hopes on catching up on sleep til friday night.

Now where did I stash a cardboard box?

Monday, June 17, 2013

tri-fecta and mental exhaustion

Today I hit the tri-fecta -- I managed bhuja through kukkutasana on my own, with all correct(ish) entrances and exits. Usually on any given day, I can manage any 2 of the three. I obviously don't yet jump into either bhuja or kurmasana..doing the jump the feet in front of my hands, and then take a few breaths and organize myself into bhuja or kurmasana lift. That I could bind supta K by myself was amazing..yeah, felden training always has this effect on me..opens my hips like crazy. The open hip thing came back to bite me when I got to drop backs..as I had been relying on my tight front hip flexors (???) to keep me from curving too much in my lower back. Still, I made it down 3 times, up is merely an idea..as is the rocking forward on the inhale.

Feldenkrais training tends to leave me mentally wiped out. Which, oddly enough, feels a hell of a lot worse than being physically wiped out. I felt like I was getting the flu -achy and cold and couldn't keep my eyes open. Woke up like that on Sunday -tried minimal home practice to make myself at least sweat it out, though that didn't help much. Finally, after my one on one session (which did wonderful things for my entire right side- I can breathe more into that side now..), I had had enough, mentally, emotionally and physically. I have to figure out how to get more sleep before these trainings (working extra before is a bit of a nightmare) so that I can manage the whole training. Went to work today instead of the last day of training (good thing about living in nyc is that I can make up days with the next training that starts in late August), because it seemed to be the simplest thing to do. Today at least I don't feel the exhaustion -am hoping my nap on sunday did the trick. Apparently, it is pretty common to need to sleep more during and after the trainings - your nervous system can only take so much. It was a good weekend, despite that, and I am feeling much more like I can learn this stuff..given time and effort and practice.

Going to an ayurevedic practitioner today..interesting to find out what he might have to say about this..

Thursday, June 13, 2013

backbending makes me feel like this...

The windowsill garden is taking off! my cabbage, bok choi and tat soi plants are all growing at last. Hope this cooler weather continues a bit longer so I can get a real harvest for once. Not really sure how the cabbage plant will congeal into a "head" of cabbage...is it a big bud made of bitty bitty leaves that gets bigger all at once...or are the leaves going to somehow curl into a ball.

So so glad tomorrow is Friday. Dropbacks continue. I can do them on my own, but sometimes I need my teacher there for moral support (like today, when my mat looked really far away from my hands- did my legs grow taller?). Today they were rather loud because the shala was so so warm and humid, and I was tired by the end of practice.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

dropping back and playing chicken, part two

I did manage to drop back on my own on thursday, much to my surprise..my teacher came over to help me and I shooed her away, as I wanted to do a couple more hanging back attempts to warm up both my back and my courage. As I knew she didn't go far away, I realized I was going to have to get this dropping back thing over with..and I went for it. It wasn't so bad, really, maybe I was just in a bit of a shock about it. I tried to imagine my teacher giving me an assist to come back up..but that only went so far...as in hands staying on the floor still! and then, luckily, she brought me back up. Landing with straight arms is still a work in progress, but I can feel the difference it makes.

What no one mentioned before was how much of an adrenaline rush it turned out to be. Even the following day, I didn't really feel like I NEEDED coffee. It doesn't seem to happen as strongly when my teacher assists me.

Last night, after a restful day of doing feldenkrais lessons, cooking, reading and such, I saw a mouse in my apartment. Grr. I bought traps late last night, but then I didn't have the heart to set them. I guess I felt sorry for the mouse. It's a big building and I am going to see if I hear the mouse again...I did squeal like a girl. So embarrassing, but only the mouse heard me. The whole thing did throw off my sleeping, again...just the start of overwhelm mode that will only get worse as the month goes on. Today, I didn't have enough sleep and my right shoulder is sore from too much computer drafting at work, and the floor felt a lot further away, so I was back to playing chicken again. Maybe tomorrow I will feel more brave, and more flexible. I have to manage it on my own again soon or else fear may set in.

Thursday, June 6, 2013


Not sure what reminded me of this poem...other than a trip to american apparel's outlet store tonight to buy some underwear..

When I was in elementary school, my mom took a creative writing class at the local community college. Sometimes I would pore over her one textbook, an anthology of american literature. This poem was my favorite back then, probably for the humor and the subject matter--who else writes poetry about underwear?

Happy moon day.


I didn’t get much sleep last night
thinking about underwear
Have you ever stopped to consider   
underwear in the abstract   
When you really dig into it
some shocking problems are raised   
Underwear is something   
we all have to deal with   
Everyone wears
some kind of underwear
The Pope wears underwear I hope
The Governor of Louisiana   
wears underwear
I saw him on TV
He must have had tight underwear
He squirmed a lot
Underwear can really get you in a bind
You have seen the underwear ads
for men and women
so alike but so different
Women’s underwear holds things up
Men’s underwear holds things down   
Underwear is one thing   
men and women have in common   
Underwear is all we have between us
You have seen the three-color pictures
with crotches encircled
to show the areas of extra strength
and three-way stretch
promising full freedom of action
Don’t be deceived
It’s all based on the two-party system
which doesn’t allow much freedom of choice   
the way things are set up   
America in its Underwear
struggles thru the night
Underwear controls everything in the end   
Take foundation garments for instance   
They are really fascist forms
of underground government
making people believe
something but the truth
telling you what you can or can’t do   
Did you ever try to get around a girdle   
Perhaps Non-Violent Action
is the only answer
Did Gandhi wear a girdle?
Did Lady Macbeth wear a girdle?
Was that why Macbeth murdered sleep?   
And that spot she was always rubbing—
Was it really in her underwear?
Modern anglosaxon ladies
must have huge guilt complexes
always washing and washing and washing   
Out damned spot
Underwear with spots very suspicious   
Underwear with bulges very shocking   
Underwear on clothesline a great flag of freedom   
Someone has escaped his Underwear   
May be naked somewhere
But don’t worry
Everybody’s still hung up in it
There won’t be no real revolution
And poetry still the underwear of the soul   
And underwear still covering
a multitude of faults
in the geological sense—
strange sedimentary stones, inscrutable cracks!   
If I were you I’d keep aside
an oversize pair of winter underwear   
Do not go naked into that good night   
And in the meantime
keep calm and warm and dry
No use stirring ourselves up prematurely   
‘over Nothing’
Move forward with dignity
hand in vest
Don’t get emotional
And death shall have no dominion   
There’s plenty of time my darling
Are we not still young and easy
Don’t shout

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

playing chicken

I am at the point where I will soon be dropping back on my own. Today I tried to go back as far as I could, while waiting for my teacher..and I just could not make myself take that final little leap of faith down to the mat. Turned out she was waiting to see if I would manage on my own. I'm a big chicken about that stuff...though I almost managed by myself when she was standing there; she only made my landings a bit lighter after I "plunged" (ha!) back to the floor.

Moral of the story..I can drop back, but it is fear that stops me. (like that is a new thing to read about backbending...)

What else have I been afraid of lately...oh, it's quite a list.

-Driving a car (ok, I have a licence and I have driven ages ago..but not gonna tackle this one in nyc)
-Inviting new friends out to do things
-Asking questions in my feldenkrais training (ie. speaking in those big 70 person discussion/q and a sessions)
-Trying to find people outside my training program to practice teaching feldenkrais atms to..as my few friends      here are not receptive to this.
-Asking for time off at work, because we are so busy and I have had such an up and down (mostly down)     time of it at work this year
-Looking for a more suitable job
-going to india, though i would love to go to mysore at the end of this year-not so much the trip itself, as just the planning involved and the changes it might mean to my living and work situations

hmm...I know there is more..

I did tackle one of the list items today..got a discussion started with my boss about me taking a week off in July (though I will have to work some fridays to make the time up beforehand, unfortunately). Hope it works out, as I need the week for my feldenkrais training. I had been nervous about this for the past few weeks, actually, trying to find a time to ask when I would not get snapped at, etc.

I guess there is always tomorrow to try again with the backbending, and maybe another item on the list.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

how to beat the heat at home

What to do when it is almost 90 outside and who knows how much hotter inside my apartment?

Today I made my first ever green smoothie. My apartment can get way too hot in the summer - one of the downsides of getting natural light and being on the top floor. Plus, it just doesn't cool down that much in the city at night. I didn't feel like cooking and further heating up the apartment, so I thought I would try out the handy 1 portion blender that a friend of mine lent me.

It's pretty basic - 2 handfuls of spinach (including stems), 1/2 gala apple, 1/4 avocado and 1/2 cup cold water. It's sort of chewy..but I like that. I never really was a big fan of juicing..or anything pureed..I like my food to have texture. Yeah, it DOES taste like spinach, but I like spinach and I usually cook other types of greens. I looked at a lot of recipes online, and so many seem overly sweet. I don't see this as a daily thing for me, but a good snack/light meal on a really hot day. Next time I will think about adding hemp seeds or maybe walnuts to turn it into more of a meal.

I am sipping (and chewing) my smoothie as I write this..feeling cooler already.

And this is cheering me up, since my other cooling off strategy  - taking an oil bath- somehow led me to quite randomly (so it seemed) pull? a muscle in my side/mid back in the shower. Grrr. It is sort of in the area that I injured a while back. I think I am cycling through all the muscle groups there. So once again, I will postpone lugging my laundry to the laundromat.