Showing posts from July, 2011

Mau (yoga)

“Yoga is not a recipe to follow but a set of tools for one's own inquiry and individual conclusions” Mauricio Pena
I really don't know enough about yoga to start critiquing teachers (and yet I know enough about yoga to resist critiquing teachers) but I just wanted to make a post about Mau before his classes fade a little from my memory.  Mau was a guest teacher at Elements through the month of July while Adrian and Shane went off and did cool things in foreign lands.  He had a slightly different style from many of the regular Elements teachers, some new ideas (often involving straps) and he led his classes with a warm, self-effacing manner that seemed quite precious as if it flowed from an abundant heart chakra.

I only had about three classes with him and he had dinner with Dom and I twice. Socially he was just the same, thoughtful and a bit shy, quick to laugh.  The least ego-centric yoga person I have met so far I think.  I also liked him because he was pleased to see me an…


Today my Ayurvedic doctor, Sangeeta Sirinthipaporn, dusted my oily feet with something resembling allspice and declared me healed.

Well not exactly 'healed' per se, but completely relaxed (solar plexus and adrenals) unblocked (bladder meridian) and cleared in a energy flow sense and able to conduct the remaining physical healing on my own.  I felt a bit wobbly and emotional as I said goodbye and wanted to give her a hug but clung stoically to my English stiff upper whatsit.  Which is ironically what got me into trouble in the first place, the tendency to go "no really I am fine" and swallow whatever anguish, anxiety or other unpleasant emotion beginning with A that I deem inappropriate for public consumption.

So I said 'thank you and maybe see you again', and she said 'no probably not because you are fixed you see', and I said 'well I might pop back anyway, cos you know... it's kinda nice having someone put fragrant oil in your hair' and …

On having a day off (yoga)

I had a day off yoga today, which kind of blew my intention to do a full week (ish Thursday thru Tuesday anyway)  but I learned some things anyway so it is all good.

First I learned that I worry over much about what Dom will think of me.  From the moment I decided not to go to my class (after the third trip to the toilet) to the moment I saw Dom (about two hours later) I worried that he would be disappointed that I had decided not to go to class. I spent that two hours continuously rolling his potential disappointment around in my head and making half-hearted attempts to counteract it from telling myself we would get to spend more time together and that would make him happy, to thinking how I could go shopping on my own to give him that hour and a half of 'alone time' that my skiving out of yoga class would deprive him off if it didn't (make him happy for those of you who can't follow a long sentence).

In the end? He walked out of his class and smiled and said "D…


Ha this is what happens when I open this blog to the public eye (i.e. tell my husband about it) I stop posting.  Just kidding, I think I needed some time to do yoga instead of talk about it and as a result of a wonderful week off and daily classes I think I am well on my way to beating the "left leg thing".  I can't say exactly how it happened.  I started seeing an Ayurvedic therapist who oiled my hair and my back and did repeated (often painful) reflexology sessions on my feet.  She also gave me some delicious smelling oil for my head (although I slather it everywhere) and suggested I give up my morning cereal and banish cold from my life.

I also had a proper Thai massage and allowed Dee (who usually does my feet every week) to thoroughly work my leg trying to get all the knots out on my thigh and calf even though it was terribly painful.

And then one morning I simply sat on the floor tried to straighten my leg.  When that wasn't happening I listened to my body an…

Paradise Regained

Rather than thinking how good I would be now if we hadn't quit yoga in 2007 I try and focus on what gifts I have received by losing and regaining paradise a second time. Not only did I find and lose yoga and the flexibility and centeredness that comes with it, but I found and lost most of the more obvious aspects of being in control. I regained all of the weight I had spent the whole of 2004/5 shedding (at least 35lbs, until I find the courage to get back on the scales I won't know for sure). I stopped smoking only to start again in Chiangmai (ok so I quit again Jan 1st 2011) but still it is a long way to go about finding grace.

So what have I gained aside from age, inches and wisdom? Well wisdom is not to be sniffed at when it is the kind steeped in patience and humility.  Gaining control the first time around made me cocky. Having found all the answers I felt entitled to lecture people on how to "improve" themselves. What nonsense when my hold was obviously (in…

The left leg thing

One thing that prevented me coming back to yoga earlier was chronic pain in my left leg. I think of it as 'the left leg thing' but as people seem to prefer big sounding reasons (colleagues need reasons for my limp, yoga teachers need reasons for an inability to straighten my leg during forward bends, for example) out-loud I call it sciatica.  In truth I have no idea what it is or what caused it.

Dom (the creator of beginnings remember) says this particular incidence started in April this year as we were walking through the farm. The first time I remember it happening in my leg was coming home after my dad's funeral (April 2009) but prior to that I have had lower back problems and I see it as connected. Anyway it is affecting my ability to embrace yoga this time and so I am investing lots of time energy and money trying to fix it.

In my head there are several myths that have become attached to the left leg thing over time and in the interests of openness I will list th…

Back on the mat

I must have started doing yoga at the end of 2006. Oddly enough I don't remember how or why I started or why, out of all the yoga studios in Bangkok, I chose Yoga Elements. I remember my first class though, it was with a young western guy whose name is lost in time (it wasn't Adrian, I didn't get to study with him until my yogic renaissance). All I remember of that first class was he asked how the breathing technique he had just taught us (which I now know is kapalabhati pranayama) made us feel. I shyly raised my hand and said it made me feel sparkly up my spine. He beamed at me as if I had said something wonderful and told us that this technique was in fact also known as 'shining breath' and thus began my suspicion that I am fact a reincarnated yoginni genius trapped in the body of a thirty-something overweight English woman.

I attended several classes and after a week or two persuaded Dom to join. This is officially where my yoga journey started because Dom…