10,000 Vinyasas

Archive for July 23rd, 2011

Nemesis

by on Jul.23, 2011, under Yoga, Yoga practice

That's not me!

When I began practicing yoga, my deficiencies were painfully apparent: I had little or no flexibility in legs, hips, shoulders, chest and back; I had some strength, but much of it was unavailable due to the lack of flexibility, and my balance, well, let’s just say it was terrible. In subsequent years of practice, I developed much more usable strength and flexibility, but my balance remains my weakest point to this day. Certainly it is a source of some frustration in my practice, but nowhere so much as when I contemplate the first standing balance pose of Ashtanga’s Primary Series: utthita hasta padangusthasana. Without question, there is no other balance pose to which I find even remotely close in ferocious difficulty, and one which I have struggled with, mostly in vain, ever since I began practicing Primary Series. The full expression involves a great many breaths standing on one leg, bowing over the lifted leg, taking the leg out while looking in the opposite direction, and bringing the leg forward again for yet another bow, and then holding the leg out for five more breaths. I can see very slow progress in this pose when I reflect on how poorly I used to perform it (frequently hopping on the one leg before losing balance), but still,at best it has to be considered a work in progress. I have somewhat come to terms with the apparent fact that I have special challenges in balance poses in general and this one in particular, but I still would like to master it, or at least be more steady. I certainly don’t avoid it when I conduct my personal practice. I also notice that the floor surface actually makes a difference, which I find puzzling. In other words, I just about have the full expression of this pose down when I practice at home on the carpet, but on the mat, it’s a different story. I also note that there aren’t, apparently, any secrets or tips to learning this pose, other than just adopting the proper form, which is disappointing. I don’t suppose there is any solution to this, other than more practice, and being satisfied with the excrutiatingly slow pace of progress.

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A Visit To Costco

by on Jul.23, 2011, under food

I admit, I patronize Costco pretty frequently. They have a decent selection of fresh fruit (berries), vegetables (mushrooms, greens), and orange juice. Also, the store across town actually sells green coffee beans at a cheap price. Once in a while, like now, they make a mistake in gauging the local taste for unusual beer and have to unload it at a hefty discount. On these trips, I usually like to amuse myself by noting what processed foodlike substances are being offered, usually shaking my head at the lengths to which the food industry (the term is deliberate) goes to add “value” to real food, by processing, packaging, etc. Having shopped at Costco for some years now, I thought I had pretty much seen the full range of this crap, but apparently I was wrong, because the other day I found the store featuring already prepared and packaged hard boiled eggs. Okay, think about this for a moment: some marketing department genius figured that there was profit to be made in selling these, because apparently, people cannot be bothered to boil and peel an egg! I pause to reflect that this is just the culmination of the entire food section of Costco, which is devoted to the principle that anything that comes whole and unprocessed can be made better by peeling, stripping, combining, slicing, dicing, canning, storing in little plastic cups, freezing, and of course, adding all kinds of salt, sugar, additives, preservatives, fillers, stabilizers, emulsifiers, and just plain garbage. At any rate, I thought up a new slogan for the place, based on the hard boiled egg incident:

Costco: Food For Lazy People

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