Yoga Goals 2013

slowly going into the full posture…


I promised I wouldn’t do this, as it always frustrated me in the past when I didn’t achieve any of my yoga goals. Last year I really wanted to go into a full headstand and got really frustrated when I didn’t. I’m still learning to not focus so much on the end result as it is the journey to get there.

As I move to a new city, I have been scouting for places to start a Mysore practice or even a led practice every once in a while. I am not surprised that going to a yoga class in China is so expensive, sometimes almost double the price of  a class in USA.  Still, having the leisure time will always be a status symbol in China, so I guess people might as well prove how rich they are by being able to afford a $30-$40 (USD) yoga class.

Alright, here are my goals. If anyone has any suggestions on classes in Shenzhen or even Hong Kong (Do I have readers from there?) I’d totally welcome it!

  • Find a yoga teacher, or a class to go to at least once a week
  • Try Mysore style classes
  • Complete all standing postures and work on full postures on ones I already practice
  • Memorize opening and closing mantras
  • start a meditation practice
  • Make a list of yoga philosophy books to read and read them!
  • Go into a full headstand!
  • Go for 30 seconds on tolsana.

Never Say Never

Life points us in a direction we don’t always envision for ourselves. It’s definitely been very true for me for the past 8 months.

In short, I thought I was meant to settle down in the states with the hubby. But as fate would have it, China kept calling us and pulling on our sleeves until we finally caved in.

So as of next week, I am moving back to Shenzhen, China. I’m excited and nervous about it all. I feel like I’m re-reading a favorite novel and looking at it with new eyes.

I’m quite excited as that means I get to continue to photograph places I wanted to before I left. It means I get to collaborate with the cool people I’ve formed friendships with but didn’t have the time. It also means that I’ll pursue more yoga in Asia, and try to learn more Chinese in order to learn more from the teachers that are awesome and talented.

See you soon on the other side of the world!

Falling is My Best Friend

Let me just say that I am scared of headstands.

I’ve seen youtube videos and can visualize it in my head. I’ve read my Ashtanga book a gazillion times and know what I have to do to enter that pose. I’ve annoyed my husband to the point where I should just shut up and do it.

I even tried the pose on the left and I still couldn’t do it!

But I don’t. I tried twice and got so giddy that my legs were actually off the floor I probably forgot to engage my core.  Then I fall. The last time I fell I actually crashed into my wardrobe and ripped my yoga manual. argh. I was so mad I rushed through the finishing postures and fumed all throughout savasana.

I question myself whether or not I am good at this asana stuff.  I mean, I’ve been practicing Ashtanga regularly for almost a year now and still can do this! For goodness sake, I’m able to do tolasana and I think that’s harder!

But then again,doing a headstand forces you to change perspective. Being turned upside down is scary. So maybe I’m scared of being upside down?

I know I keep harping on this, but this is yet another sign that I need to find a yoga teacher. I can’t put it off any longer. If I do, I might as well give up on this whole yoga journey.

Reflections After One Month of a 6-Day Ashtanga Yoga Practice

sarah li cain -mumbled jumbles -reflections

I don’t know what made me do it, but a voice inside my head one day literally told that that this was a good idea.  To be honest, I had no excuses why I couldn’t. I know I had the time to spare.

I’ve wanted to further my Ashtanga yoga practice for a while now. Heck, I read enough blogs that talk about it! I remember looking all the Sanskrit names of random poses or theories and wanted to learn more. Maybe it was one of those things where if I wanted to talk the talk, I should learn how to walk the walk. So every morning, except for Saturdays and moon days, I dutifully rolled out my mat and practiced.

I started off by doing a shorter version of the primary series using David Swenson’s awesome DVD for about two weeks. After practicing with this DVD on and off for almost a year now, I had the nagging feeling that I was moving beyond the DVD.  I don’t want to say that the routine was too easy. Rather, I wanted to explore more poses and didn’t want to get too comfortable with someone doing the breath count for me. I found myself getting easily distracted because in the back of my mind, if I lose count, the DVD was there to do it for me.

I’m loving the self guided practice so far. I’ve been religiously looking over David’s Swenson’s practice manual on the poses and pouring over youtube videos. I think I am doing well so far despite the fact that I do not have a teacher helping me. I’m not saying it has been easy. In fact, quite the opposite. There have been days where I absolutely refused to get on the mat, but I did. There were a few times where I’ve lost count, or forget how to do a pose that I’m familiar with, or  what I had to do next. Those are the days I struggle and have to compose myself until I get to the end of my asana practice.

A month isn’t a long time, but I find that I’m getting more courageous by the day. I either try to go deeper into a pose or want to add another one. I get up earlier. I even do more off the mat. I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching this past month and have finally pushed myself to do something I’ve been hesitant to do. And that’s a very exciting prospect. If I feel this way after a month, I wonder what other things will start to unfold a few weeks, months, or years from now?

I know the next step for me is to find a teacher. Maybe even a mentor, on and off the mat. I know at some point I will stall or hold myself back. I have a feeling I’ll need someone to push me towards something bigger and greater. I want to grow. I want to improve. One step at a time, I guess. One step at a time.