Everybody's away this weekend, except me. I got tired of getting my butt kicked playing internet poker so I figured it was a good time for a blog entry. It was that or watch the "Super" Bowl. Even if I cared about the game, I would have had to figure out what was messed up with the TV to be able to watch, so screw that. This is the lesser evil. Blogging, it's a semi-annual kinda thing. Something like those holiday letters that your relatives send you each year, updating everyone on how all those nieces and nephews you don't remember are doing in school, sports, choir, their on-line gaming guilds, etc.
Family first. The wife is cured of her cancer and fully recovered from her treatment. The hair is a tad bit curlier, but that kind of thing is lost on me. Besides, it's supposed to become less curly over time. She's back to a full practice and is teaching again, even more than she had been before she was diagnosed. The kids are beginning to change their interests. The two girls are now swimmers. Soccer is dead to them. Well, not completely. My oldest still plays on her school team but its a rec level of play. She gets a lot more positive strokes out of it because she's skilled enough to control the ball and score. Plus, there's less griping and negativity at this level. She was starting to leave her competitive team practices in tears. She decided it wasn't fun enough to keep going and quit just before the season ended. Once the decision was made, she seemed to be quite content with it. I tried to get her to continue through the end of the season so as not to leave her teammates in the lurch but she shut me down cold. "They'll get over it." she said. I guess she takes after me more than I knew. She really likes swimming though, as does my youngest. When I was a kid, a couple of my friends were on a swim team and when we'd be at a pool in the summer, I'd be the only one who could just do the basic stuff. They'd be racing each other, doing medleys, and blowing my doors off whenever I tried to race with them. So, I really love to watch the girls do their different strokes, especially the fly, something I've always wished I could do but have never come close to being able to do. The boy has started to diversify. He's still on his old soccer team. That's where every one else is this weekend. They have their year ending State Cup tourney up in Orange county, about and hour or so away. They won this weekend (unfortunately) so they move on to the next level of tourney play which is waaaaay up in Lancaster, about 2 1/2 hours away and just this side of hell. It's in the middle of the desert, where it's freezing in the morning, hot in the day and with forty knot winds starting in the early afternoon. He hasn't decided if this is going to be his last year playing competitive soccer or not. He's talked about playing football next year, but he can't do that and do soccer too. He just finished his lacrosse season. He's pretty sure he's God's gift to lacrosse, but that's done for a while. I'd love to get him going on the swim team with the girls now that all of his ear surgery stuff is done. It might be one thing too many though. He's doing the worst of the three in his math homework and in school in general. Rather than giving him even more to do, he'd probably be better off with less than he has now. My mom had a couple more health things go on. She went into a potentially lethal heart rhythm in December that led to her having to have a pacemaker/defibrillator thing be placed. She also had her first of two carpal tunnel surgeries. This one was on her dominant hand, so she was pretty disabled for a week or so. There's nothing quite so fun as having to learn how to use you left hand for things that you have never thought you would need to use it for. I'll leave the more sordid details to your imagination. She is back to full speed now however. She has no where near the discomfort she had before the surgery, so I think she's happy she did it.
Yoga community second: We're now in our third temporary studio. They have actually signed a lease on the new permanent place and are in the process of building it out. For now, we in an essentially abandoned grey steel warehouse type building that will soon be razed to be developed into foo-foo shops and apartments. The owner is letting Tim use it as a temp space. It has just the right amount of Encinitas funk. The practice room has uneven, red painted plywood floors. It's right in the middle of old Encinitas, just a block from the old studio. It has plenty of parking. It doesn't have heat however. We're starting to get used to that however. The other temp space didn't have any central heat either. We use a couple of space heaters that really do little more than make a humming noise. It's weird practicing with no sweat. As tough as it is to practice in the morning when it's in the thirties, back in the day, when ashtanga first came to Encinitas, back when Tim was just a tyro, they practiced in an old abandoned church that had no heat of any kind. I don't think it had functioning bathrooms either. So, I shouldn't snivel too much. At least this place has bathrooms, and they have showers too! We've been told the new place, located above a Border's Books in a strip mall in Leucadia, should be ready in March. Given the wandering studio saga of the last year or so, nobody is holding their breath on that happening. On an up note, they plan on having expanded hours when the new place opens up, so I should be able to practice more. It will be even harder for me to make it to evening classes on time because the new place is about ten to fifteen minutes further from work than where we are now.
My bending: Same, same. I'm at Nakrasana. Tim gave me Mayurasana this summer, while we were at the Shasta retreat of all things. Then nothing until, I don't know, November maybe, when he gave me Mayurasana, again. I sat up, gave him a hurt look and said, "You already gave me that. Last summer." He paused and replied, "Well, then do the counter pose. Nakrasana." So, when and if I get Vatayanasana, I'm going to ask him what the counterpose is, just out of curiosity. In terms of capabilities/incapabilities, I'd say nothing much has changed. I may be a tad bit better, on average, at back bending, but it's a transitory thing. I'm worse at Karandavasana. I usually land on the floor instead of my arms. I need to stop with trying to go all the way down and work instead on flexing my hips and getting my knees close to my chest before doing any lowering, like Olaf does in the video link. But, I was saying the same thing last summer. I've made an infinitesimal progression in trying to jump back. I can sometimes now lift up, draw my feet thru and hover for a second in Lolasana. Still can't get my upper body to move forward to allow me to shoot my legs back but...., it's progress. I haven't been able to come back over again in Viparita Chakrasana. I came really close last week. I have no idea what I did that was better or different, but I ended up straight over my hands. Unfortunately, I was a millimeter or two shy of what I needed to be able to rotate thru and my weight started my legs back down to the floor. As soon as I realized that I was almost there but not going to make it, I let out this involuntary moan or something, kind of like the noise you'd make upon realizing that you were about to be hit by an oncoming car. Not words, just an surprised but disappointed utterance. I got a few laughs from the room out of that one, so I guess it was a loud whimper. I keep telling myself that once I can start practicing more frequently, some of these things will come. I'm gullible.
Year to come: Once again, we didn't get to go to the Tulum retreat because of conflicts with the year ending soccer tournament. Kiran has planned a trip back to Hawaii to make up for it. We're all looking forward to it, but she is the most as she hasn't been back home in many years. We'll probably go to Shasta again this summer. She was also considering trip up north in a while but I think that's still tentative. Mysore? Not likely to happen. Kiran isn't real keen on it so...