Monday, September 27, 2010

Busted Foot Practice & New Home

Yesterday, I had the most horrific practice. My foot is still busted, but I can put a little bit more pressure on it. So I figured "OK, let's try the primary series and see how far I get".

In the Surya's, I couldn't quite jump back properly. Or rather, while jumping back, I was putting more weight on the right foot. So... I really shouldn't have been jumping back at all. Turning my left foot in in B version was a little bit painful but I thought "my foot is just stiff. It hasn't moved in a while so let's just warm it up". When I got up to Trikonasana, it was OK on the right side, but on the left side, the muscles on the left foot arch were not happy. So then I decided I'd better just back off and don't be a hero.

I then went straight into the seated poses, but still had to modify quite a bit coz my left foot can't turn beyond a certain point. This led to a practice that was all about breath, bandhas, ow-my-foot, drishti, oh-I-need-a-pedicure-wait-where's-my-drishti-again, breath, bandha, oh-my-god-my-toenail's-falling-off... I was completely distracted, unfocused, and all over the shop. Only because I let my busted foot consume my thoughts rather than embracing the fact that "OK, my foot's busted. I know I have to modify so why am I whining. Get on with it."

In fact, I was so unfocused, I actually stopped mid-practice, got my camera out and took a photo of my baby toenail that was falling out. I couldn't wait until after practice coz "what if it falls off completely then I can't get the shot?"


You were warned.

(I am purposely covering the rest of my toenails coz I NEED A PEDICURE!)

And the whole practice was really short but it was so laboured it took me too long to finish... I mean I pretty much did a reverse half-primary. No standing, only seated poses... which shouldn't have taken me more than 45 minutes to 1 hour... But I finished it in 1.5 hours. Um... My usual full practice up to Laghuvajrasana takes me about that long (then another 15 minutes for closing). So... it was a super loooooooong, drawn-out, all-over-the-place practice.

Oh well. I got on the mat. HAHAHA! I kept thinking the whole time "This is when the real yoga kicks in..." Y'know... Having to do your regular practice with an injury, but still maintaining that same, steady concentration the whole time, unfazed. For me, it was... YOGIC APPROACH: FAIL!

When I was done, I checked my phone and a friend had invited me to a jazz brunch at the Hotel Americain (Yes, that's the "American Hotel" but spelt the French way. And it's in Amsterdam. HAHAHA.) It's a beautiful old Art Nouveau (or is it Art Deco?) hotel, and the architecture's just stunning.

When I got home, I was finally in the mood to take more photos, so here's the long awaited pictures of my "new" apartment. It's actually in an old Dutch gabled house... and because it's a really tiny house over 2 floors (they're usually about 4 storeys high), the entire house is MINE! I HAVE NO NEIGHBOURS!! :)

The ground floor is a parking garage that I have no access to - the landlord's daughter parks her car there.

It's so adult, but everyone has their names on their doors here.

Since the ground floor's the garage, my flat technically starts on the First floor (for my American readers, "first floor" is actually the floor up the ground floor, what you would call "second floor"). So when you open the main door, you're greeted by a flight of stairs to go up. I like that they're painted white. But this means everyone has to take their shoes off!

From the reverse angle at the top of the stairs:

So the First floor's an open plan living/ dining and kitchen area, and I've also got a small terrace by the kitchen.

I added some wall art with these flowers. And I like my little falling-man-door-stopper. Because I've got no time to look after a cat here, the next closest thing I've got is this grumpy cat timer.

Going up the white spiral staircase, there's a skylight. Important for grey & rainy Amsterdam!

The second floor is built right up into the roof, with exposed ceiling beams, and I love how everything's painted white. There's a bathroom at the top of the stairs. The loo is in its own separate room (very European!)... And there's a tiny room on one side of the house - big enough for laundry and storage, and the other room's my bedroom. On the side of the tiny room, there's another terrace that looks out into the nothingness view of neighbours' windows. From the top terrace, you can look down into the kitchen terrace. :)

I love how in the bedroom, there's another tiny skylight at the top and the landlord's put in a stained-glass picture. Thank goodness it's not The Crucifixion or anything religious. I think they're... Potato Eaters? (HAHAHAHA!)

And I put in more wall-art: silver dragonflies in the bedroom!

That's all... I'm really liking how I'm going more girly with this house. I guess after living with a boy for many years, my previous apartments were all kinda gender-neutral or bordering on the masculine (coz somehow masculine home decor seems more gender-neutral than putting up flowers and dragonflies on your wall! HAHAHA!)

I'm really liking the light and airy feeling of this new place. Feels like home. :)


  1. I love your new place!! It's so cozy and awesome. Thanks for the photo tour.

    The toenail photo is hilarious. Are you going to paint the skin to look like a toenail? ha!

  2. Thanks ELP! You're welcome to come crash on my couch whenever you're in my part of the world. It's a pull-out futon sofa bed. Nice and firm.

    The toenail. OY!! Don't make fun of it! There's a tiny baby nail growing under there. I had to cut it off coz having it just hanging there made me feel funny. So it's looking UGLY at the moment.

  3. Love your place!! It looks so big for one person!
    We are moving into a new apartment here (extending our trip for 6 more months) - we found a furnished apartment with air conditioning ( a MUST for my hubby) in Woolloomooloo on Cowper Wharf. The apartments attached to the hotel there.
    Will probably start to practice with EH once I move and my month pass is up at KPJ - she is now going to be closer to me, and I think I can take 1 bus to her from Woolloomooloo!! I love typing that! hahahahaa
    I'm in need of a pedicure too. I forgot to go and get one today when I was at Bondi Junction...oh well, there is always tomorrow!

  4. Your foot will take time, I had to modify for months when I stress fractured mine.

    LOL the toenail photo, that's one skill yoga has given me, the ability to be able to bite my own toenails!

    Looks much nicer than the beige place.

  5. Dear Jaime
    That is really light and airy. It's really beautiful. I wished they achieved that level of elegance and simplicity here. One tends to pay a lot for things here and they don't measure up to the simple elegance you're enjoying. Hope your foot feels better. I have problems with my left foot but they seem to be improving.

  6. Lilli! Listen to you, like a Sydney local already! Hanging out at the Junction. HAHAHA! I think we stayed at the same exact serviced apartment you're at. There's only one in that area I think... it leads out to the main road by the wharf (Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman allegedly own apartments at the end of that wharf). There's also a famous pie stand next to the Blue Hotel, Harry's. I don't see what the big deal is, completely overrated... but I guess you've gotta try it since it's an institution.

    Kevin - thanks! Beige Heaven was tolerable only coz I knew it would be a transient place. I like this new place much better! I went to the physio yesterday who said I shouldn't be doing any yoga and putting more pressure on the foot for another week. But she says it's looking good and should be all OK in 1 week. YAY! :) (I've been rebelling and practicing what I can though... hehe).

    Arturo - maybe some of the newer developments by the Singapore developers like Capitaland or Keppel might be nicer? Mind you, they're probably huge developments with lots of people. But... maybe the interiors would have better quality finishings? I dunno... this is all hearsay from my friends back home. Too many Singaporeans have invaded Shanghai!

  7. You're right, the apartment is behind the Blue Hotel. It's attached but there is a security door that separates the hotel from the apartments. We walked to the end of the wharf last weekend and looked up at the apartments at the end and joked that it was Russell's apartment...hahahaha Someone said they saw him jogging at the park last week - I was going to try and stalk him! haha - We saw that pie stand, but haven't tried it yet. I haven't figured out what the deal is with all these pies they have over here, but, I guess, once I move there on Friday, I will have to try it, right?

  8. Hey Lilli! My bad. Our serviced apartment was across the street from the hotel. So it's not the same one you're at now. Be careful with all those pies! You don't want to be the girl who ate all the pies! HAHAHA! ;p xxx

  9. Ok so I'm reinventing the wheel here, but I *heart* your apartment! Both inside and out - so cute, simple, yet full of character and natural light!! Especially those hardwood floors that are just calling to be practised on. And thanks for sharing your toenail shot btw, yoga always reminds me that it's time to get a new drishti? :p


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