Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Day 37: So Close

I think my leg is almost healed. There were times during my practice today that I didn't even think about it. It the only posture I modified in was Mari D. I was fine in B, but D put too much stress on the injured skin when I twisted.

I'm officially addicted to my slow cooker. I've used it almost every day for going on three weeks now. Every new mother should have one. It has changed my life. Parents should get these at their baby showers. Today I made what has quickly become a Severn family favorite: Mushroom and Green Bean Stroganoff. Serious comfort food. My favorite kind of food. It's been a hobby of mine ever since becoming a vegetarian to create veggie versions of the food I grew up eating and the slow cooker version of this staple in my childhood home is the closest I've found to the real deal. I'm a happy yogini tonight.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Day 36: Squishy Yuck

I had to practice on carpet tonight. I hate practicing on carpet. I remember when my teacher moved her classes from the auditorium at a private school to a yoga chain we spent the first year or so practicing on carpet. She lost a lot of students when she moved, but gained a lot more eventually. At least my carpet doesn't smell like sweat and other people's feet.

I hate how squishy the carpet feels. I like the solid, hard wood floors in the living room, but Tom was in Mia's room trying to get her to sleep and Eevory woke up every time I tried to leave the room. I've read that babies sleep better when they hear the sound of their mother's breath. That's definitely true in my experience. We've been slowly transitioning Eevory out of our bed and into a crib next to our bed and last night she spent the whole night there. (She still woke up every two hours, but I moved her back to the crib each time) I think it helps that she can still hear my breath. The Ujjayi Pranayama did the trick. She slept through my entire practice.

Today was the first day that it didn't hurt to touch my burns. It still hurt when the skin stretched, but it meant that for the first time since I burned myself I could do Parivritta Parsvakonasana, Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana and Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana without modification, but I still modified in Marichyasana B and D.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Day 35: Itchy

I think my wounds must be improving. They're super itchy today. It still hurts to have any contact with the burned area so I modified up to Navasana today. It also hurts when the skin stretches.

I had a dream that my friend Liz was in Dwi Pada Sirsasana making funny faces, rolling her eyes and cracking me up. I love yoga dreams.

We had another rough night with the girls so I didn't get up early to practice. Eevory woke up at 2:30 a.m. and didn't fall back asleep until close to 4. I could have gotten up and practiced but that would have meant that I was starting my day at 2:30. No thank you.

Tom came home at lunch to rock Mia to sleep so that I could practice during lunch. Then he rocked Eevory to sleep while I started my practice. I wouldn't be able to practice with this much dedication without his support. Thank you, sweetie. Don't think for a second that I don't know how lucky I am.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Day 34: Getting Better

I finally figured out how to bandage my burns. That helped a lot. I made it all the way to navasana, skipping postures that put pressure on my injured thigh.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Day 33: more later

Practiced today, will write more later. So sleepy.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Day 32: Hard Day

Good thing I practiced this morning because my day has been awful.

I've been extremely accident prone for the last couple of weeks. I got my hand slammed in the car door. I cut my finger on the cheese grater (not just a scrape, it bled). The cat scratched me. I kicked the bed and almost tore off my toe nail. I poured boiling water on my hip and leg.

I think the reason why I have been so accident prone lately is because I am seriously sleep deprived. Eevory won't eat solid foods, she won't nurse for more than a few minutes at a time and nurses frequently. This means that at 8 months she still wakes up every two hours to nurse. When she slept for almost four hours straight I almost cried with relief.

Or maybe I'm cursed. Well, maybe we'll do another white sage cleansing this weekend just to be safe.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Day 31: More Painful

Blisters, scabs and hard tight skin. Not fun, but I did my bare bones practice anyway. Off to get sleep. More tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Day 30: still ouchie

I woke up with most of my blisters popped and oozing with open gaping raw flesh exposed. It was a really disgusting horror movie way.

I limited my asana practice again today to only sun salutations and fundamental asanas, but hit it harder since my fear of busting open my blisters was no longer an issue. I only had to modify in Parivritta Parsvakonasana on the injured side.

I love making baby food. It makes me feel like a better mother than I actually am. Check out the fancy schmancy leek and pumpkin purée. (Sorry about the iPhone pictures)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Day 29: Barely

I almost didn't practice today, but the thought of having to start over again at day 1 drove me to the mat. That's the way it goes in Kundalini when you're working on a 40 day meditation. If you miss a day, you start over on day 1, even if you were on day 39. So, I had a highly modified practice today as I attempted to get through as much as possible without letting anything touch my thigh. I decided that 10 sun salutations and the fundamental asanas was enough to count as a bare bones asana practice so that's all I did today. I did a longer meditation practice to make up for it.

Last night I was draining the buckwheat soba noodles to go with the black eye peas and chard that had been slow cooking all day. I don't know exactly what happened. Maybe I was pouring too quickly. All I can remember is looking down and realizing that I'd poured/splashed hot water all over the front of my pants. Now I have blisters and bright red skin running from my right hip bone to the middle of my thigh. Very painful.

I'll keep trying to practice, but the next few days are going to be, like I said, highly modified.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Day 28: Injured

Quick lunch time practice. Poured boiling water on myself while cooking dinner. Full report tomorrow.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Day 27: Best Husband

I am writing this blog post on my brand new MacBook Pro 17 inch. It's not even my birthday. Tom surprised me with it just because he's the best husband ever. Besides the POS Dell computer that I bought for law school, I haven't had my own computer since 2000. I am so excited.

OK, back to yoga. Another good practice day. I went to Supta Padagunsthasana then Mia woke up so I went on to back bending. I like when Mia wakes up while I'm still practicing even if it means that I have to cut my practice short. I think it's good for her to see me practicing. Check out this adjustment.

Drop backs were kind of hilarious. Up and down, up and down, starting to move up when I realized that I didn't know where Mia was, whipped my head around and fell on my butt. She burst into peals of giggles.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Day 26: Unassisted Drop Backs!

For some reason I thought that Saturday was a moon day so I was going to take it easy, but as I was practicing I felt so strong I decided to throw caution to the wind and go for it. Turns out the moon day was Friday so I was good anyway.

Chaturanga felt good. My vinyasas were feeling more controlled. But the exciting news came with Supta Kurmasana. I only had the tiniest finger tip clasp, but I was able to keep my legs behind my head as I pushed myself up to sitting and then pushed up into tittibasana! I was so excited that I pulled Tom out of the bedroom and did it again to show him. I didn't have the strength to vinyasa out of tittibasana, but getting into tittibasana is still progress. First time I've done it post baby.

I really wanted Tom to help me with drop backs, but Eevory woke up as I was back bending so I decided to go for it without him. He stood in the room rocking Eevory and watched. To be honest, they were pretty terrible. My feet were too far apart and were splayed out, but I got up and down all by myself. ( I feel like Mia saying that) Maybe some teachers wouldn't let me do drop backs on my own if I need to splay my feet out to get up, but it's my home practice. I'll do what I want! Ha!

Seriously, I'll probably have S watch me do them and get her opinion. B told me that when she went to Mysore (a decade or so ago) that drop backs were the determining factor of whether you could begin learning second series so people would do anything to stand up. In her class she'd let me do just about whatever I wanted when practicing drop backs. A, however, didn't want me doing drop backs on my own until I learned to use the strength in my legs to keep my feet parallel. Anyone have opinions to share on this subject?

I did another week of meal planning. In an attempt to simplify my life,  I'm not going to plan a new menu each week. I'll try to encorporate one or two new meals into the weekly rotation, rather than trying to come up with a menu of new dishes every week. I'm also trying to plan meals around what's in the garden. I went shopping at Central Market this morning and bought an entire week's worth of food. I'm feeling very pleased with myself right now. I'm also giving up canned beans this week because of BPA concerns. This week I'm experimenting with using the slow cooker to cook dried beans.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Day 25: Tranquil until 5

Nothing much to report about my practice. Wasn't great, wasn't terrible. Mia wandered in while I was in savasana, climbed on top of me and pretended to go to sleep. I laughed when she started to fake snore like Dada does when he is pretending to sleep.

I didn't use the slow cooker today, but I put together a veggie lasagna that I cooked later on in the afternoon.

When I practice in the morning, I tend to feel more centered and more tranquil throughout the day. That feeling wore off right around 5 p.m. That's when I ran out of steam. I felt exhausted and immediately less able to cope with life's little challenges. So, rather than ranting on my blog about everything that seems terrible and irreparably broken, I'm going to go to bed. I'll be a better yogini tomorrow.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Day 24: Dream Practice

Maybe it's the sleep deprivation, but lately I've been doing things unconsciously. For example, several times lately I've lost my cup of tea then found it and discovered that I'd already consumed it without any memory of having done so. I'll insist that I didn't drink my tea and Tom will say, "I saw you drink it."

That was my practice this morning. Wow. I'm already at Mari? How did that happen? (Look at clock) Oh, well 50 minutes has passed, so I guess I did all the asanas before it. Oh, wow, I'm totally binding in Supta K. Forgot to freak out about it. Back bending now? Ok, I guess I'm about to finish.

Some other random things on my mind:

Does anyone else's sticky mat make the skin on their toes peel? That happens to me when I don't use a rug. I need to order a new rug. My last rug was lost/stolen by a roommate. Gross huh? Taking someone else's mysore rug?

I hate wearing a thong to practice, but what else can you wear to a public class if you don't want panty lines? I don't want to risk the transparency that occurs in even black pants in certain postures by going panty-less. Is there another option I'm non thinking of?

Check it out. It's not even 6:30 a.m. and I've already practiced, cooked dinner (well, dinner is in the slow cooker) and blogged! Yay for starting my practice at 4:30 a.m.!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Day 23: Ritual

I need routine. I feel more comfortable, safer when I have my routines. I think this is one of the reasons that I'm drawn to Ashtanga. It's the same sequence every time. I always know what to expect. No matter where I go, anywhere in the world, the practice will be the same. I like this.

I have a new routine in the morning. I wake up, asana practice (Ashtanga primary), meditation (Kundalini Sat Kriya), prepare dinner then throw it in the slow cooker. I love my new routine. Chopping vegetables feels like a continuation of my meditative practice. Tom says that the room feels serene after I practice. I imagine that I'm imbuing the food with that same calm essence.

(Of course, Como Agua Para Chocolate is one of my favorite movies...)

Years ago I went to a yoga retreat where the cooks would chant as they prepared the meals. Maybe I'll start doing that, too.

oṃ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ

I'm slow cooking with the enthusiasm of the newly converted. I love leaving the house for a few hours then returning to find the air filled with a delicious aroma. I fantasize about converting favorite recipes for the slow cooker. I love that instead of handing the kids off to Tom the minute he walks in the door so that I can dash into the kitchen and cook dinner, we can relax together as a family.

Nothing much to report about my practice today. I don't feel like I've made much progress in the last few days. I felt physically weaker but mentally stronger. I find that my mind is starting to accept that I'm going to practice no matter what justifications it comes up with for me to quit. As usual, I spent a good part of the practice with my mind fighting to go back to sleep, but maybe a little less adamantly.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Day 22: Let the Love Flow

Eevory had another rough night so Tom let me sleep until 7:30. I can't remember the last time I slept that late. It has been many months. He also came home for lunch to help me put Mia to bed so that I could practice while she napped.

Eevory took a late nap so she was awake for my practice. She spent most of the practice at the top of my mat, smiling and laughing at me. She would pull herself up to standing while I was in my seated postures so no jumping back today. She would occasionally wander off to find a new toy, but kept returning to the mat to play. I wasn't frustrated that I couldn't devote 100% of my attention to my practice. I was filled with joy and love for my baby girl. For navasana she sat on my lap. I stopped there today since Eevory wanted attention and I wanted to give it to her.

Earlier today, Eevory was almost hurt. I don't want to go into specifics because it scared me more than I've ever been scared in my entire life. I'm not ready to talk about it. She's fine, but I'm still shaken. So, during my practice today all I could think about was how grateful I am that she's OK. I rededicated myself to caring for her and for Mia above all else. After the accident, I didn't put her down for hours.

In a previous post I wrote that my friend Lissa had given me a slow cooker for my birthday. I've used two days in a row and I consider both recipes to be successful. I'd make them again. My favorite was the one I made yesterday - black eyed peas with Swiss chard over soba noodles. It wasn't a one pot dish, but it was still easy.

After my practice, I sautéed some shallots, garlic and carrot in a skillet. I added the mixture to the slow cooker with two cans (Eden organics, no BPA) of black eyed peas with a cup of veggie broth. After 8 hours on low, I added some swiss chard that had been boiled in salted water for 5 minutes. I served it over cooked soba noodles. A vegan dish that tasted meaty and satisfying.

My picky Midwestern husband isn't enthusiastic about trying new things so it took a bit of a sell on my part to get him interested in eating it. He typically won't eat beans so when he saw two cans going into the slow cooker, he was apprehensive. Surprisingly, he ate it with gusto. He kept saying, "This tastes much better than I thought it would."

Even Mia ate some, though mostly just the noodles.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Day 21: Yoke-less practice

My body felt heavy, especially compared to how I felt yesterday. Heavy, weak and exhausted. My teething baby slept little the night before my early morning practice and I wanted nothing more than to be sleeping. Eevory was also awake, but Tom was holding her so that I could practice.

Ong Namo Guro Dev Namo. I call upon you, my higher power, my Teacher, to guide me in my spiritual practice today. Sure, it's easy to work with the strong, flexible motivated student, but let's see how you handle this reluctant earth suit. Can you guide me in spite of this chattering mind?

I couldn't bind in Mari D, but I was indifferent. I approached each asana with equanimity. I emptied my mind and the infinite flowed through me. I became enlightened.

OK. Not really. But I tried. I really tried to yoke this tired old body to my higher purpose. There was too much bitching and moaning and not enough breath and bandhas. I hauled my tired butt through my asana practice anyway.

I'll be a better yogini tomorrow. After all...tomorrow is another day.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Day 20: Gaba Pindasana

That's right. Gaba Pindasana. I finally was able to bind in Supta Kurmasana. This is how it happened. Tom was in the bedroom keeping an eye on sleeping Eevory so I asked if he would come out and help me bind. I had just finished explaining how to assist me when Eevory woke up. He left to tend to her, but I was still determined to do it today. I sat up, put one leg over my shoulder and wedged my foot behind my neck, then the other. I wiggled my body through my legs as far as possible, then slowly, very slowly, lowered myself down. For the first time I was able to keep my legs back. I wrapped my arms around and touched fingertips, curled my fingers into a tiny grasp.

I figured that was good enough so I gave myself a new posture. Ha! Gaba Pindasana. Good thing I don't know any hard core traditional ashtangis or they'd probably be scandalized. Giving yourself postures. What sacrilege!

My friend Kristina came by to visit today. I haven't seen her in years so I was super excited. She's teaching at a few yoga studios in town. In addition to being an amazing person, she's one of the best yoga teachers I know. Austin is lucky to have her back. If you're looking for a good teacher, check out her classes.

After spending a couple of hours talking to Kristina, I was energized about my practice. Just being in the room with her inspires me to practice yoga and not just the asanas. She makes me want to live the full eight limbed experience.

Tom, husband and Dada extraordinaire, rocked both girls to sleep so that I could go to my class, but I was feeling so strong that I wanted to do a home practice. I've never wanted to do a home practice before. Also, I knew if I practiced at home I could get Tom to help me with my drop backs, which he did quite skillfully.

I need to buy a new practice rug. I want one of those thin ones from Mysore with the high thread count. As opposed to the last one that I had from barefoot yoga. If anyone can recommend a good source, please comment.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Day 19: Menu Planning

So...yesterday. I started my practice at 4:30 a.m. I was feeling pretty good. Moving through sun salutations, breath was strong. Then suddenly it hits me. Why am I doing this? I could be in bed. Sleeping. Curling up next to my husband. This sucks. I don't like this at all. What's the point? I'm still fat. I'm still weak. I have a baby. The baby is sleeping. I'm supposed to be sleeping when the baby sleeps. It's dark. The sun won't be up for hours. As soon as I finish this asana I'm going back to bed. OK, fine, I'll finish the fundamental asanas, then I'm going to bed. Well, I've made it this far, I might as well get to navasana, but then I'm done. Fine, I'll keep going, but after supta kurmasana I'm done. Seriously. I hate you, utpluthee. Stupid shavasana. Integrate this!

I think that pretty much covers it.

After that practice, I was not looking forward to getting started again today. I still had yesterday's bad attitude. But after a few sun salutations, I made a complete 180. I felt strong. I could hold myself up. I felt good. Why doesn't everyone do this? This is amazing! Look what I can do! I can put my feet behind my head! Woohoo!

I also went grocery shopping today. I love to cook, but I hate menu planning, list making and grocery shopping. But today, with help from Tom, I planned a menu for the week, made a list and bought everything I'll need to cook dinner from Sunday until Thursday night. Here's what the Severn family will be eating for dinner this week:

Sunday: Cheese Lasagna
Monday: Black Eyed Peas and Chard with Soba Noodles
Tuesday: Green Bean and Mushroom Stroganoff
Wednesday: Farmhouse Fricassee (made with seitan)
Thursday: Stir-Fried Tofu and Vegetables with Orange-Sesame Sauce

And Friday will be either taco, burger or pizza night to reward myself for making it through the week.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Day 18: so tired

4:30 practice. Up since 4. Long day. So tired. Will write about it tomorrow.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Day 17: Chaturanga not Terrible

I set the alarm for 4:45 a.m. Unfortunately, it woke Eevory up, too, and I wasn't able to get her back to sleep. Tomorrow I'll put my iPhone on vibrate and put it in my pillow as my alarm.

Tom came home for lunch to help me with Mia. After we ate he rocked her to sleep while I rocked Eevory to sleep and I was able to practice. I don't think I would have been able to practice if he hadn't come home.

My chaturanga is improving. I'm slowly building some strength in my upper body. Flexibility seems to have leveled of. I'm still only binding with fingertips in Mari D. Hamstrings have been bothering me a bit lately, too. Stamina seems to be slowly improving as well.

My tastes are starting to change again. I find this happens when I get more serious about my practice. I cooked Tom some bacon tonight and the smell drove me out of the house. Even handling meat grosses me out.

And speaking of food, it seems like whenever I practice, I'm ravenous an hour later. I need to start planning what I'm going to eat in advance so that I'm not tearing through the kitchen like a mad woman post-practice. My friend Lissa gave me a fancy slow cooker for my birthday. I have a fantasy of preparing some tasty breakfast the night before in the slow cooker so that it's hot and ready after my morning practice.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Day 16: 5 a.m. practice!

Eevory woke up needing a snack at 4:30 a.m. I nursed her back to sleep and saw that it was almost 5 o'clock. As good a time as any, I mused, and quietly slipped out of bed. I lit some incense, fiddled with the lights, turned off the AC, arranged my mat, and when I'd run out of reasons to stall, began my practice.

The last time I had a regular early morning practice was when I was in my Kundalini teacher training. Donya, Melanie and I were the core group, but occasionally other teacher training students would participate. We wanted to practice teaching so we led a free Sadhana every weekday at 6 a.m. open to the public. Not many people showed up and many days it was just the three of us, taking turns teaching each other. Towards the end, though, we had a few regular students showing up every day.

It was as I remembered it. Everything is a little stiffer in the morning. Aches and pains seem a little more bothersome. My left hamstring was bothering me, not to the point that I felt I needed to modify, just as a reminder that my sleepy body wasn't fully awake yet.

I didn't grab my wrist in Mari C, and couldn't bind at all in D on my left side. I got my legs behind my head in supta kurmasana but couldn't keep them there, so I stopped.

And after finishing I did one of my favorite Kundalini meditations. After savasana, I quietly slipped back into the bedroom and found Eevory sitting up and smiling in bed next to a snoring Dada. What a beautiful way to start the day.

The rest of the day seemed calmer. I felt happier and more patient with the kids. I wasn't nearly as frustrated with Mia when I couldn't get her to take a nap. Instead rushing off and leaving her alone for quiet time so that I could do my practice, I rocked her, sang her songs and read her books. She never fell asleep, but I was able to keep her lying down for awhile. She isn't sleeping in this picture, but she's quietly listening as I'm telling her a story.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Day 15: Anger

That damn tree in the neighbor's yard. Three times now huge sections of it have come crashing down after a heavy rain. The first time our entire drive way was blocked. The second time the entire street was blocked. The third time our neighbor's yard was hit.

Tree 3

Well, our neighbor finally decided it was time to take down the part of the tree still standing. This meant that our driveway was completely blocked by tree remains so I was trapped at home all day. I couldn't even push a stroller from our front door to the street. To make matters worse, from 8 in the morning until almost 5 at night we had to listen to the near constant sound of chain saws. I was angry about the constant noise, but more than anything I was angry that the neighbor didn't ask if she could use our entire front yard for her tree removal project. Yes, I was grateful that the tree hazard was getting hauled away, but my anger was beyond reason.

So, I fumed through most of my practice as I listened to the chain saws. Even Mia stood at the window and told them to "stop screaming."

I stopped early, because it was my lady's holiday and because I was loosing my breath to anger. I'd like to write more but Tom is taking the computer so that he can raid (WoW). More tomorrow.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Day 14: Mia's Sun Salutation

Kids watch everything. Mia said, "Doing yoga!" lifted her arms in the air then threw herself on the ground. I'm pretty sure that she was emulating Mama doing surya namaskara A. I grabbed the iphone and asked her to do some more yoga. This is what she did:

Can you see the downward dogs in there too? I think it's so cute that after watching Mama practice, Mia's interpretation of yoga involves jumping around then throwing herself down on her belly.

I was feeling pretty low energy today so I moved slowly through the practice. At least it felt slow. I told myself that I was going to skip half the vinyasas, but I kept forgetting to skip them so did almost all of them anyway. I feel like I should be stopping at supta kurmasana until I can bind but I don't really know. I don't feel like I'm far from binding, so I think I'll keep stopping there.

After practice I was insanely hungry. Insanely as in it drove me to eat two veggie burgers.

After dinner we white saged the house. Mia was so excited that she ran around the house squealing and asking to shake the incense, too.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Day 13: Heavy

Everything is more challenging without core strength. I feel like everything between my bra band and my pubic bone is jelly. No. What's heavier than jelly? Wet sand. My core is made of wet sand. In any case, all that dead weight is making previously straightforward postures like purvattanasana a struggle.

Tom was tending to the kids so I didn't get help with Mari C and D today, but I was still able to grab my wrist. I guess I just needed to be reminded on how to do it. I slammed my forehead into the floor in bhuja pindasana. Ouch. I got my legs behind my head for supta kurmasana, but once I was down, I had to plant my palms on the floor and use my elbows to keep them from sliding off so there was no binding. I considered my little arm shelf cheat to be a fail so I stopped at that posture.

I'm not in a hurry to add more postures. Those asanas aren't going anywhere. I'll get to them when I get to them. I don't intend to even think about second for a long, long time. So, the way I see it, I have plenty of time to make friends with primary again.

Tom helped me again with drop backs. He's a full foot taller and about 100 pounds heavier than I am so helping me is no big deal for him. The first time he tried to help me he accidentally lifted me off the floor. It's nice knowing that no matter how much help I need, he's not going to drop me. I'm a long way from doing them on my own.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Day 12: Supta Kurmasana and (assisted) Drop Backs!

Great practice today. Both girls slept and Tom was on call to rock Eevory when she woke up. The exciting news to report is that I've shown Tom a few adjustments and he's great at it. He helped me in Marichiasana D and I was able to grab my wrists on both sides. He helped me keep my feet behind my head in Supta Kurmasana. Lately they've been slipping off. Trying to push myself up to vinyasa out of the posture was pretty comical. Luckily Tom didn't know what I was trying to do so he didn't laugh at me.

But I'm most excited about getting help with drop backs! Mia had woken up by the time I got to back bending, so she was watching this part. She was especially entertained my Mama's attempts at utpluthee. She giggled the whole time. When I was finished she said, "Good job! Mama get's gummy candy!"

We give Mia Annie's fruit snacks (we call them gummy candy) to reward her for using the potty. Today is the first time she's suggested that I reward myself for something non-potty related. So, of course, I celebrated with gummy candy!

After practice my back felt great. I spent the rest of the day feeling open and expansive. This is why I practice Ashtanga! I was singing love songs to the practice all afternoon.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Day 11: drained

Nothing much to report today. Tom was still home from work so he made Mia take a nap. I rocked Eevory to sleep then jumped onto the mat. I didn't feel as strong as yesterday, but I know that's normal. Two steps forward, one step back is to be expected for awhile. I'm starting to feel a little run down. Not really sick, just exhausted and my throat feels a little scratchy. I've been continuing with the echinacea, vitamin C and I've started gargling with Hydrogen Peroxide.

Both girls have been wanting to nurse all day today. I feel literally and figuratively drained. Breastfeeding. It's a beautiful thing but it can take a lot out of you. So much so that I didn't feel like there was much to bring to the mat today.

I found myself thinking about a yoga course I took through UT informal classes my freshman year in college. On the first day the instructor singled me out and said, "See, this is the problem with flexible people. She looks like she's doing the posture because she has her hands in the right place, but her body is completely wrong. She thinks she's doing it, but she's really cheating." I was mortified. I was 18 years old, totally self conscious, not my first yoga class but still a beginner. I just wanted to be invisible. I dreaded coming to class each week since she liked to single me out to demonstrate how not to do postures.

I thought of that because now that I'm practicing at home, there's no pressure to look like I'm doing the full version of the posture. I can work on a posture without fear of being called out by a teacher or judged by other students. I still just want to be invisible when I'm in class. I just want to blend in.

I'll try to write more tomorrow, but for now, I'm off to bed.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Day 10: Janu Sirsasana C, #$%*!

Tom was home sick from work today so he took a nap with Mia. Every time she would sit up he would tell her to lie back down. Eventually, after much protest and tears, she fell asleep. I rocked Eevory to sleep while sipping a cup of green tea.

After setting her down and putting out my mat I was so excited to be practicing with both girls asleep that I flew through sun salutations and fundamental asanas. I felt stronger and more energetic. My breath was strong. I was going to make it to Supta Kurmasana. That was my goal. It was within reach.

Janu Sirsasana A, Eevory woke up. I rocked her back to sleep and jumped back in. After Janu Sirsasana C she woke up again and attempts to rock her to sleep for a third time failed. I gave up. Didn't even do finishing.

On the upside, I'm gaining some strength in my shoulders. I can support enough weight in my arms and shoulders so that I don't have to touch my knees and thighs to the floor as I transition through my vinyasas. My Uddiyana Bandha is so weak. Much weaker than my Mulabandha (I think doing all the kegels while I was pregnant helped). When I jump back into Chaturanga it's like I'm throwing a sack of potatoes around. No core strength to control the movement. I land with a resounding thud. I imagine my teacher chastising me and in my mind I say, "I know. I know. I'm trying."

Have I mentioned how much I love practicing yoga in my underwear? That's a big advantage of practicing at home. And since I'm not doing any arm balancing, it doesn't matter how sweaty my bare legs get! Being a beginner has it's advantages...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Day 9: Good Job, Mama!

My husband, Tom, has strep throat. Consequently, I spent most of the day wondering if I was on the verge of getting sick. All the more reason to practice while I can! I popped plenty of echinacea, if for no other reason than the placebo effect.

After rocking Eevory to sleep, and putting Mia in her room for quiet time, I set up the mat in the hallway to keep an eye on Eevory. Mia knew that I was in the hall, so she kept opening the door to see what I was doing. I balanced my iPhone against a door frame to take these videos.

It was nice having my own cheerleader, but she quickly became bored.

Eevory soon woke up, so she joined Mia behind the baby gate.

Eevory is playing with stuff in a box. I put toys in a box, she takes them out one by one and examines them. Babies love taking things out of boxes. Any toy is infinitely more interesting if it is in a box. Mia still like this activity. She will ask to, "look at stuff." My mother has a box of ornaments from my grandmother's type case that she will let Mia look at. She will put each object out one and a time and oooh and ahhh over it.

I thought I'd have to cut my practice short, but the girls entertained each other. I only had to jump the gate a few times to pry Mia's hair out of Eevory's fists or return a toy snatched from Eevory.

I kept warm enough to bind in Mari D, despite the interruptions, and joined the girls for finishing.  I stopped at Navasana just because I felt like I should. My Navasana is still super shaky and Lolasana just isn't happening.  No progress to report, but it was a fun practice today.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Day 8: A Practice in Three Parts

I spent almost an hour talking to my good friend Liz, yogini extraordinaire, so I was psyched about my practice. Eevory was sleeping, Mia was having quiet time in her room and I was full of energy (also thanks to some late morning green tea). I was on my fifth Surya Namaskara B when Eevory woke up. I rocked her back to sleep.

Back on the mat I did two more of Surya Namaskara B to warm up again then continued with the series. After Parivritta Parsvakonasana I heard a lot of shuffling around in Mia's room. I opened the door to find Mia naked from the waist down and a huge poop on her bedroom floor. As I began to clean up the mess, Eevory woke up screaming.

At that point I wanted to say, fuck this. Did the Yoga Korunta speak to maintaining a daily practice while caring for a toddler and an infant? Is it even possible?

Then my mother called and offered to take Mia to the store to buy her some new shoes. Ah! A miracle!

After Nana and Papa picked Mia up, I rocked Eevory back to sleep. I pulled out the mat for the third time. I'd already done 12 sun salutations so I just jumped back into where I left off. I couldn't bind in Mari D since I wasn't warm enough. Stopped after Navasana. Took a long, long shavasana. Ok, I fell asleep.

I am starting to get a little strength back while moving through my vinyasas. It is so slight that no one would be able to see a difference, but I can feel the subtle changes in my body starting to happen.

I celebrated with more Late July cookies.

Mia came home with two pairs of super cute shoes. Don't you think so?