I have a box of old diaries, 20 or more of them, which I’ve wanted to share in some way for a long time. But what to do – scan them? read them out? type them? I am settling on typing them, and doing them as posts on the blog. The first is from the non-stop tour of Europe in 1990. There were many more from this era but were destroyed in a jealous wife incident in the early nineties.
Week 7 is taking two weeks. It’s a little too much, with around 25 asanas per day. This week is headstands and inversions, so it is incorporating more complete practices, course additions pretty much finished. So I am practising every other day, or every three days, with a few days off last week. I think after this I will settle down to a 5 day per week, 1 hour per day of yoga.
Restorative backbends supported by a bolster and blankets. Gentle forward bends performed at four in the morning. This week is totally different again. The course is full of welcome surprises, feeling that very little typical yoga was done this week, and yet it being way more ‘yogic’. This gentle yoga coinciding with a more stressful week at work and sudden wakings in the night hence the three, four o’clock practices. Moving into the last quarter of the course, the essential thing is to breathe and relax with the poses, not just strike ’em.
Yesterday’s walk from Netley, through the haunted grounds of Royal Victoria Park, along the coast and across the common to Hamble, across to the east bank and up to Lower Swanwick and Bursledon.
I wanted to see the old asylum which still remains in the park but is surrounded by a long high wall and is now used for police training. Later I found myself trying to work out where the boatyard was from Howard’s Way from the 80s. The series was made in the Hamble valley.
My first video with my Canon FS11!
Oh, an old body moving in strange ways early in the morning. Sometimes it seems easier not to bother at all, especially a couple of mornings after ice skating, my legs all heavy and needing to be clunked into position or lifted. Today I feel like an old creaky man. Week five is shoulder stands and handstands. I guess because it’s a home practice book he is replacing headstand with handstand so people don’t do wrong things with their necks. It’s a good week; I enjoy being upside down, and it’s also hard work, in as gentle a way as possible.
I like Russell Brand. I think the fuss over the answerphone messages is exaggerated and manipulated. Here’s a nice quite from him in the Guardian:
‘The thing is, Miranda [Sawyer], that through circumstance or design, I have aligned my success with some quite powerful feelings. And that is now the focus of my life. The material world is a transitory illusion, and if it is, why organise your life around the systems that it imposes? Particularly if those systems have negative consequences for huge numbers of people, and the planet itself. I wonder if there are ways that that can change; I wonder if there are elements in the way that the world is organised that are arbitrary and not absolute and could be altered? And I don’t mean normal things like, let’s wear a ribbon – I mean the entire economic structure of the planet or the way we look at religion.
‘And I’m more than aware that the chap off of Big Brother’s Big Mouth is unlikely to single-handedly augment an entirely new global culture. I am quite aware that this is not something I can legislate while I am appearing in the wonderful comedies of Judd Apatow. But when you say: “What do you want?”, that is what I want.’
After week 3’s backbends with accompanying energy raising, week 4 was altogether more calming, steadying and relaxing. The focus was on twists, learning reclined twists, kneeling, crossed-legged, open body and cross-body. I like twists. You stop, you breath, subtle changes happen, relaxing muscles not sensed in daily life or in other poses. Called Allowing Receptivity, I am not sure how much receptivity was allowed but I very much enjoyed the week. The hour in the early morning is fast becoming my favourite time of the day. Next week is upside downers: Facing the Unknown. So, half way through, and then I move on to the Kripalu book so I can make an informed application to their teacher training course next year.
A bright autumn day; so many leaves fell in two days. Blankets of warm colours, ready to become soil. Seeing both my two brothers this afternoon (with girlfriends), which will be the first time in three years for us all to be together.
I’m wide awake, it’s (very early) morning. Woke at a time before it seemed, dreams over and mind clear. Hours and hours of the night, with music, clarity coming, lost, let go and returning; a strange rhythm not of my doing, its own cycle. Thoughts not formulated, generated, sparked in a mystery. Nothing to think about and no place for doing so. The night is a terrible and wonderful time, perspective shot.
iPod: Bukowski comes on, a boil on his ass. He, too, awake, some other time, place. And The Streets ‘everything else is just borrowed’ looping its way toward dawn and yoga and work. The hollow feeling grows and grows and grows and you want to call your mother but you can’t because you seem to have left an important part of your brain in a field in Hampshire. All right. Any important parts of my brain are being returned, coming home, and feeling good in a world that’s looking decidedly not.
Outside, a pheasant is started startled in the still, black, still black, trees.