Monday, June 21, 2010

Ups & Downs

I was in a complete funk last week. I blame the hormones. Of course.

I've got a summary of highs and lows, so here we go:

THE CRAPPY STUFF:
1. INSOMNIA
I've had a lot on my mind - grieving the relationship loss, loads of work pressure, interesting new developments at work, what I want to do next, etc. All good stuff in planning ahead, but this has resulted in more insomniac nights. As in: like clockwork, I would wake up without fail at 2.30am and not be able to sleep again until 5.30am. Practically every single night in the last week.

2. NO PRACTICE. BAD LADY.
This insomnia has resulted in a lack of yoga practice. If I've been awake for most of the night and only able to fall asleep again at 5.30am, there's NO WAY I'm able to wake up when the alarm goes off again at 6.15am for practice. And I've had late nights at work too, so... evening practices were out. I can assure you this lack of practice has also added to my black-cloud-funk.

On the other hand, some good things have also happened.

THE GOOD STUFF:
1. CUSTOMIZED BIKE
The bike I custom-ordered will be ready some time towards the end of this week. YIPPEEEE! I basically pulled together some references for the dude... and you know how I'm freaky-anal, right? I wanted to be pretty involved in the process to see what bike it was he finally found me and then figure out exactly what colours go where.

BUT... this guy is quite the artist you see... he just kept saying "See you in about a week to pick up the bike."

WHAAAAAAT?! I don't have a say how I want it customized? (HAHAHAHA!)

But then the more I thought about it, the more I figured "Feck it, I don't wanna be like the typical clients we get in advertising." You know them... clients who hire the agency for their expertise and then proceed to tell the agency to do everything as they want it - more often than not doing stuff that would really hurt their brand. It's called TRUST & LET GO. Leave it to the experts.

So, I think I'm gonna have to do the same with this dude. I like all his previous work, right? He's got references of what I'm looking for, right?

So... I guess... I could really love the outcome or really hate it. HAHAHAHAHAHA! Of course, I'll tell you all about it when I pick it up later this week.

2. WEEKEND BIKING
I rented one of the dudes old bikes this past weekend, just to ride around town. The first thought I had was: WHY DIDN'T I DO THIS SOONER?! The immense sense of freedom you get when you get your own wheels is indescribable (yeah, it applies to both four-wheels and two-wheels!)

I took photos of this crusted-up old rental bike, but I'm at work now and didn't bring the camera cable. Oops. You'll just have to wait till tomorrow for the photos.

All I can say is: I'm glad I got practice this weekend with it coz er... I fell over a couple times!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! The Dutch don't use front brakes (where you brake with your hands on the handlebars?) ...they use back brakes - where you need to back-pedal in order to slow down. It's counter-intuitive to how you would brake a bike, especially when you've grown up learning how to brake with handbrakes, not footbrakes! It's the weirdest feeling, especially going down bridges - you feel like you're gonna crash and die and your hands are gripping the handlebars for dear life thinking that could also help slow you down. Of course that doesn't happen!

The other dumb-blonde moment I had (apologies to my blonde friends, it's a figure of speech!) was for the first hour, I was riding around town thinking "Wow, for a small bike, this sure is heavy and extremely hard to pedal!"

...It wasn't until one of those riding-down-bridges-and-gripping-handlebars-for-life moments when I grip-clicked something on the handlebar and something in the pedals clicked as I was back-braking.

OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! This bike has GEARS!!!!

I finally realized how to use the gears. And yes folks, before this I was riding around town for ONE HOUR in FIRST GEAR!!! BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! By the end of Saturday, my quads were absolutely killing me. I couldn't even stand up without them hurting. (And yes, it's the same muscles that ache when I'm in Laghuvajrasana. See how much more leg power I need?) I seriously had to stretch them out with lots of Virassana and Bhekasana prep (you know, when you pull heel to bum, stretching out each thigh before going into Bhekasana). Hey, who knew yoga had its benefits for biking mishaps?

3. NEW AMSTERDAM SHALA!
YES, THAT'S RIGHT!! YOU HEARD ME!!

A lovely reader of this blog emailed to inform me that a new ashtanga shala would be opening yesterday. I checked out their link and whaddya know? They've got at least 3 morning Mysore classes during the week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) and one on Sunday mornings too.

For the first couple weeks from today, they'll only have evening classes, so I'll try and see if I can make it if work allows. But otherwise, guess who's back to a regular shala in the mornings come July? :) :) :)

Yesterday, I went to the shala opening - they held a Puja blessing for the space in the form of 108 sun salutations. There were about 24 of us there, and the room could hold 2 mats facing each other. So everyone took turns calling out the next number as we did our individual 108 sun salutations, and the sun salutes were Surya Namaskar A version. I'd never done 108 sun salutes in a row before. It is AMAZING!!! Started out thinking "I'm never gonna be able to finish it, so it's OK to rest in child's pose if I feel like it". By the time we got to 88, I remember thinking "Woah, I could do with child's pose now... BUT... there's only 20 more to go!!"

So I pushed on and... yeah! I did it! Full jumpback each time, no wussy stepping back and stepping forward at all. Interestingly, when you do so many in succession, you start to get the hang of it. In some of the jumpbacks, I even felt a mini pause in mid-air before swinging the legs back. I never do this in regular practice (too lazy?)

You get into a super-meditative zone with it, and by the end of the 108, 2 hours had gone by. SERIOUSLY?!?!? I did 2 hours worth of sun salutations? That sounds like a truckload, but when you're in the midst of doing them, it doesn't feel long AT ALL. (Heh heh, I feel like the Incredible Hulk now).

I really, really like this new space. It's simply decorated, and feels warm, cozy and inviting. Had a cuppa tea afterwards and got chatting to fellow yogis and also finally met the reader who gave me the heads-up on this place. Apparently there's a group of them who had been practicing together in someone's living room when their old teacher left for Italy about a year ago. Bless! Wish I'd known about them!

So... all in all... it was a really crappy week last week, but it was topped off with a great weekend!

Apologies for the longwinded post. And with NO PICTURES! Gasp! This is what happens when I'm in a funk and don't feel like writing... everything gets squeezed into one super loooooooooooong post when I finally feel normal again! Have a great week ahead!

3 comments:

  1. dear Skippetty

    hope you get out of the funk; it's understandable. how frustrating to have insomnia.

    a colleague has been "training" for doing the 108 sun salutations. i don't think she practices as often as ashtangis so your dedication must have helped in acomplishing the feat.

    your pics are great. i'm sorry i haven't posted in my blog any pictures in a long while. and i'm very visual, in a similar creative field as you, so i look at pictures all day long.

    and speaking of similarities in fields, clients in architecture do that sometimes as well, hire experts and then tell them what to do. but it's sometimes that the clients themselves are architects or have architects on staff.

    hugs
    Arturo

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  2. Hey Arturo! Wow! TRAINING for 108 sun salutes? (What does that entail? Doing 54 sun salutes, like how people run half-marathons in prep for the real marathon? HAHAHA!) She has dedication indeed! I wouldn't have thought to train at all (call me lazy)... I say: just go balls-out blazing through them and see how far she gets. She doesn't have to do every single one of them! (funny enough, I think having that mentality allowed me to not think about finishing it... and without that added stress, I was able to finish it.) The mind works in mysterious ways. :)

    I just dropped off the rental bike today and spoke to the bike-dude (I call him dude coz he's got those HUGE hole earrings, the ones that stretch out your earlobes so you can see through them, and his workshop stinks of pot. He's a DUDE.) He says he found a really cool frame for me - one that a tall or short person can ride with no problem, but he was about to call me to tell me they don't have the black tyres with white outline anymore for the size of the bike. That's no biggie for me... But... he still wouldn't let me go to the back of the workshop to check it out. So... this is getting even more intriguing! He says Wednesday or Thursday. YIPPEE!!

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  3. sorry to hear you were in a funk- it sounds like you're allowing yourself some Grace though, which is essential. :)

    Also- FOOT BRAKES?? no way. weird.

    I would be the same about the custom bike, but you're right- letting go is all about your personal Journey (at least it would be perfect for mine! Type A Yoginis Unite!

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