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09/01 Direct Link

A light practice, on the boat dock.  After two days off – we don't practice on Saturday or on Moon Day, and yesterday was new moon – I was sortof stiff and sortof weak and sortof pussified and sortof out of gas, so I didn't push myself and I didn't do my complete practice.  But I did unroll the mat and get on it, and in the nice breeze of the sundown skies I did what I was able to, without blowing my body to shreds.

I love this Ashtanga thing.  One year tomorrow.  It's a huge piece of my life.

Bedtime.

09/02 Direct Link

One year of Ashtanga.

So many gifts from this practice.

The obvious – so much fat gone, more strength, more balance, more flexibility.  Maybe not more strength but a different type of strength; my understanding is that yoga works muscles the same way a distance athlete works their muscles.

It's changed my diet and it did so immediately, right from the start – cravings for shit food are gone.  Gone.  From day one.  That's astonishing, to me.  Whatever I was seeking in that garbage is found on the mat.

I've sweat buckets, died on that mat a hundred times, or wanted to.

09/03 Direct Link

There is nothing to say about Ashtanga today.  I didn't practice.  Blown out from other pieces in my life not fitting together well, or at all, and I just blew it off, which is rare for me, but there it is.

I didn't even unroll my mat and do any sun salutations.

Tomorrow another day.  If I've learned anything in this year it is that tomorrow is another day; each day a different body shows up on that mat, with differing abilities and different mental states.

I hope that tomorrow I'll show up perky as a squirrel chasing  a pecan.

09/04 Direct Link

A good practice.

I got this body to moving, the sweat coming on, not pouring as it does some days but it was definitely there, and I was definitely there, jamming, rockin' and rollin' on that fucking mat.

I'm about as inflexible as a steel rod.  That said, I'm more flexible than I was two weeks ago, two months ago.

Slow changes, is where it's at.  Or so it seems.

The American in me wants to “Move fast!  Make progress! Do more!”

Slow.  Down.

Enjoy the ride.  Enjoy my body.  Enjoy the time spent, the sweat pouring, my body warmed.

09/05 Direct Link

My 'missed' day.  I'm writing these words as I enter Septembers words, October 8th 2:55am.  Yet again, I've waited until the last minute, actually way past the last minute.

Thank god they (admins here at 100 words) have a lax policy about entering the months words.

And even at that, there've been many months that I've written and not posted, which I really do find annoying, makes me sortof want to choke myself.

Hang on, I'll be right back, I'm going to go choke myself.

-------------------------

Okay, I'm back.  That was swell and stuff, but probably not something I'll do often...

09/06 Direct Link

Saturday.

Thank god.

A day of rest.

And I practiced deeply yesterday, my body opening, my stepping through that opening as much as possible; knowing today is a day of rest, I let it all out yesterday.  And stumbled around here, today, aching, moaning, groaning, etc.  Moving slowly.

I know that my body has opened up so much since I began this practice.  And I know that there is no hurry, to push my body to do what it cannot is foolishness.  Time.

I get frustrated when I see others who have so much flexibility, freedom in their bodies.

Slowly...

09/07 Direct Link

A good day, overall.

Started by not being able to practice – I went to the studio but just had nothing I the tank, so I gave in after a few poses.  I then practiced later, on the dock, and ran into a neighbor, which I needed to do, as we are going to an AA meeting on Sunday.  Cool.

Met with Todd.  A good time.  Called Weaver.  A nice chat.  I've eaten fairly well, I've entered in all those dang hundreds from last month, read some, online.

That's it.  But that's enough; I'm okay with the day, and it's over.

09/08 Direct Link

I showed up at the studio – I didn't want to practice but I had such a short practice yesterday that I tried.  I unrolled the mat, did a few poses, just could not get into it, could not get going – I was stiff, sore, weak, totally pussified.

Tonight, I had energy, and I wanted to practice, even though I 'already had practiced.'  Bullshit!  I headed down to the boat dock, unrolled my mat, began creative suffering.

Scorecard:  Today, I've got no balance, I'm stiffened up, locked up, some days it seems I get tighter and tighter more than more flexible.

09/09 Direct Link

No sleep last night, head into my practice not knowing what would happen – turns out it was a really sweet practice, seems I had more ability to turn toward that part of me that allows me to loosen up some, seems I opened up a lot, without much pain, and the practice flew by.

That's one of the oddities of it all – I show up with a different body each time I unroll that mat; different strengths, different levels of flexibility, different sense of balance, sometimes none at all.  A different head, too, different attitude(s), different levels of acceptance.

09/10 Direct Link

I went to bed early so as to get plenty of rest, and awaken early and practice.  A good plan.

Poorly executed, and not my fault – I awoke at 2:30am, and no more sleep to be had, so I went with it, stayed up, got to the studio early, practiced, then home and slept again.

Not a 'good' practice today; not bad, either, but nothing to write home about.  Always, each day a different body, sometimes seems an entirely different human being, totally different mindset, totally different capabilities, totally different degree of willingness to suffer.

What matters is showing up.

09/11 Direct Link

I didn't practice today.  And it's late, I'm not going to practice today.  I missed, today.

And that's okay.

I do with that the studio had an afternoon and/or evening Ashtanga practice; it's good for me to be supported, I can and do practice here, mostly on the boat dock, and that's beautiful, but the availability of an instructor and also being lifted upon the wings of other peoples practice is important to me.

I'm not a morning person, usually, unless I'm still up.

An afternoon practice, say, four pm – that would be ideal for me.

So.  I missed.

09/12 Direct Link

I practiced on the boat dock tonight, late, the wind had just started kicking up, a fine thing when I'm practicing outdoors.

A beautiful night.

No new flexibilities, maybe noticing my lower back opening up a bit more.  Those muscles and ligaments and tendons have been locked down for decades, locked down and held tight, they're learning to open again.

Sweet.

Almost no balance – that was annoying.

A process, not an event.

This is taking some time.

I've got time to give it.

It's worthwhile.

A gift I'm giving myself, by showing up, daily, on that mat.

I recommend this.

09/13 Direct Link

No practice today.  Saturday.  A day of rest, a day I surely do look to with great anticipation.

When I've told people about my yoga practice, so many  exclaim “Oh gosh, how relaxing that is!” and I'm thinking “Jesus fucking christ, what planet are these people on?”  They are not talking about Ashtanga yoga, for sure.

I smile and say something like “Well, no, not relaxing, exactly.”  Most of the time I don't go much further than that, leave them to their delusions.

Ashtanga is not relaxing.  Okay, so it is relaxing.  But not in the way they are talking.

09/14 Direct Link

I love practicing in the gloaming, on the boat dock, and tonight the moon damn near full, on the rise, shining on those waters, a perfectly sweet cool breeze, the first shade of cool of the coming autumn.

A joy to practice tonight.

As sweet as it gets.

No balance.  Some flexibility.  Good breath work though not the best, not the deepest concentration, but that's okay, there's bigger problems in life.

I wish you were with me on that dock tonight, instead of having to settle for these words, I've done what I can here but it's just not enough.

09/15 Direct Link

Moon Day.

Thank god.

A break in the action.  This Ashtanga thing, it can be a bitch, there's just a whole lot to it.

When Moon Day occurs on a Saturday, I wear a black armband, in mourning, suffering in solidarity with others around the world, Ashtanga practitioners; perhaps this will start a trend, it would be a way that we could identify one another.

An easier identification, already existent:  The crazed glaze in our eyes, that neurotic gleam, mixed with willfulness,  intention, desire, persistence, entwined by discipline.

I admire anyone who practices daily, it tells volumes, no words needed.

09/16 Direct Link

I got to the studio late, greeted Juan, laughs, relaxed, unrolled the mat, prepared with opening prayer, trying to – successfully, I might add – to turn this into a meditative experience.

More slow opening.

Painfully slow, or so it seems to me.

Though I suppose if looking closely at a rose unfolding, watching the second hand, tapping my foot impatiently, that rose would seem forever in opening.

A matter of time.

Allowing it to happen.

Stop forcing it.

Be with the experience, let my body unfold as it will, be along for the ride, rather than trying to push the river.

09/17 Direct Link

Nothing to say and one hundred words to say it.  No yoga today; no sleep last night and no yoga today, I missed, and I missed out.  I'm hoping to get there tomorrow morning, early, though we'll have to see; I intended to get there early this morning, also.  So – nothing to report.  Other than maybe this practice isn't as important as I sometimes hope, though the fact is that's bullshit, I had an off day, the kind of guilt I would lay on myself to buy into that whole 'this isn't important' thing is, hopefully, long in my past.

09/18 Direct Link

I was sore as hell, from flying off my bike yesterday, my body jangled all over the place, stiff and sore.  But I showed up, warmed up ever so slowly, lots of moanings, achings, some bitching, not much though, as I was determined to stay interior, make my practice meditative rather than just something I was doing to spend the time of day.

I warmed up maybe fifteen minutes in, perhaps twenty, and while I still moved slow I did move.

I'm surely glad I showed up on the mat.  That's the most important thing; I'm sorry I missed yesterday.

09/19 Direct Link

I did show up.  Not much more than that but I did unroll my mat, down on the boat dock, after a horrific day, and even with bug juice on the bugs started biting me, I did my sun salutations, I sat for 25 breaths, considered rest but goddamned if I'm going to lay out there and get eaten alive.

A shitty practice.

Nonetheless, I did show up, which is more than I did on Wednesday, and on Wednesday I had more juice than I had today, and maybe could have completed my practice, had I showed up.

Bed time.

09/20 Direct Link

Saturday.  We don't practice on Saturday.  A day of rest.  A day off.  A day without practice and without guilt and/or shame about it; I've committed so deeply to this, I'm merciless upon myself when I don't keep to that commitment.  Which is of course stupidity, gains me nothing, causes me grief, but it is what I do, most of the time.

I like that my body has changed so.  I of course see myself as a fat fuck but that's just more lunacy on my part – “OBJECTS IN MIRROR ARE THINNER THAN THEY APPEAR” – my vision is skewed.  

09/21 Direct Link

A great practice, on the boat docks, just before sundown, and mostly before the son of a bitching mosquitoes hit, but even though I had bug juice on me...

I'm totally fading out.  I'm just going to double what I've written here and that's my dang hundred.  Rinse and repeat.



A great practice, on the boat docks, just before sundown, and mostly before the son of a bitching mosquitoes hit, but even though I had bug juice on me...

I'm totally fading out.  I'm just going to double what I've written here and that's my dang hundred.  Rinse and repeat.

09/22 Direct Link

A great practice, in the gloaming, down on the boat dock.

Really sweet.

Such a slow process, I cannot see it as my body opens up, a bit more all the time.  Maybe not every time I practice, but the general trend is toward opening up.

I love it.

In order to see it as it happens, I'd have to set a camera upon myself, as is done with flowers; with the camera sped way up, we can watch roses open, as if by magic.

I love Ashtanga yoga, a perfect fit for my blue-collar work ethic.  Redneck yoga.

09/23 Direct Link

Just another spectacular practice, on the boat dock, the beautiful light of sundown reflecting upon the waters, the gloaming, the blue hour.

Why would I write of it's beauty?  I've covered this before,  I'm just getting sick of this whole 'have a wonderful Ashtanga practice in the prettiest part of the day in one of the nicest spots in the city to do this sort of thing.  Maybe tomorrow I'll go out and practice next to the freeway, or maybe right on the shoulder, bits of glass and broken plastic, cars and trucks whizzing by, choking me with their fumes.

09/24 Direct Link

Walk to the dock, barefoot, unroll the mat and rug, sprinkle a bit of water onto the rug for better grip, traction for my hands and feet.

That first pose, five repetitions, easy, slow but controlled breath, considered breath.  The next pose, five reps, beginning to warm my body, stretch out some, the fun starts.  The third pose and fourth, eh, not much fun.

The fun comes back in the fifth through eighth poses, continues in the ninth through twelfth.  I'm warmed, breathing deeply, sweating freely; I'm in the game now.

We're now about thirty minutes in.  To be continued...

09/25 Direct Link

I practiced tonight on that boat dock, later than I have in many months; after nine pm before I began to stretch this old ragged bag, move these knotted muscles and twisted bones around, trying to bring breath and life deeply into my body, trying to bring balance and strength and flexibility, maybe (gasp!) even some grace.

Having stumbled so much has given me the ability to recover, to keep my feet under me regardless the staggering around.  I love that piece of myself; I fall well, due to much experience.  Perhaps continued experience of these movements will bring grace.

09/26 Direct Link

I got a brand new mat, the best there is, extra long, as I'm extra tall – I don't need the length yet but I will in due time, and if I don't I can cut it off.  Cost me ninety bucks, worth every nickel, it'll last a lifetime.

I had an extra short practice on that extra long mat – I just didn't have any jam tonight, didn't practice til eleven o'clock, did my sun salutations and thought 'Nah' and sat for twenty-five breaths, then short rest.

If I unroll the mat, and do the sun salutations, I've shown up.

09/27 Direct Link

No practice on Saturdays.

A day of rest.

None too soon.  It's never any too soon – this Ashtanga thing is one hell of a grind, an ongoing test of my will.  An ongoing test of my physical strength also.  An ongoing test of my ability to recover, and to move in the face of pain which I guess leads directly back to that test of will, up there earlier in the paragraph.

I'll practice tomorrow on that new mat and enjoy that bit of it; I ought to have purchased this months ago.  I guess I wanted to make sure.

09/28 Direct Link

I practiced late, and thoroughly, and well, and lo, it was good.  No sun left in the sky at all, a cool evening, almost a bit of crisp in the air.  The new mat is so goddamn nice, regardless sweatiness or whatever my hands and feet stay stuck where I laid them down – nice.  And that helps with balance, one less variable for me to deal with, my feet are not going anyplace, not sliding about.

Probably because of being fresh – no practice yesterday, a light practice on Friday – I had lots of jam, lots of willingness, lots of fun.

09/29 Direct Link

Um, a nice night to practice, I unroll that mat, set into it, and, amazingly, once I'm past the sun salutations, I've got lots of jam, I've got energy and strength and (some) balance (more than last night) and I'm thinking “Hey, this will work” and I commence to rocking, I'm having so much fun.

And then it happens, ¾ the way through, maybe more – I start to fall apart, I've no strength left, I'm out of gas, my movements through the poses are awkward and slow and stupid.

I hung in there but was tired and worn after.

Bed time.

09/30 Direct Link

I went on down to that dock earlier than I've been going, practiced before the gloaming.  Stiff and sore and tired and worn, really pounded down from doing too much these past two days.  Ashtanga can be a fucker.  Is, if you're me, and don't have a limiting switch.

Then, later tonight, I found out that yesterday was Moon Day.  New moon.  First time I've practiced on Moon Day since I started this.  I needed the rest, too.

Maybe I'll take a day off later this week, maybe tomorrow.

Maybe not.

We'll see.

I hope to tell you about it.