Thursday, 9 December 2010

The Vinyasa Krama toolkit does it again, plus The Pandava, once a day,diet update

I tweaked my back sometime last week, when was that, one of the days we had snow. I was pushing my bike, slipped, managed to stop myself falling on my padasana, but then the bike slipped and while managing to stop the handlebars twisting out and both myself and bike toppling over I twisted/tweaked something in my back. Didn't seem like much, figured I'd stretch it out in the morning.

I don't know, perhaps I made it worse. I avoided 2nd series and the backbends and stuck with Primary, skipping UD and dropbacks, for a couple of days. Curiously, the tentative back stretches in the VK tadasana sequence I do at the beginning of my practice seemed OK, it was just the forward bends bothering me. Forward bends didn't seem to be helping so I switched from Primary to VK to cut back on them on a little. Still the gentle back stretches seemed OK, I tried urdhava danurasana after my shoulderstand and it was fine. Yesterday I decided to do second series and again no problem with the back bends, come the first LBH, eka pada sirsasana, and I felt the need to back off. I tried dropping back instead, no problems, it's a weird one. It seems to hurt most while coming back up from a forward bends. Oh and having one of those japanese heat pads stuck on my shirt seems to help.

So whats in the Vinyasa Krama toolbox? Inversions! For some reason inverted 'forward bends' are fine. Up in headstand bringing one leg into half lotus and lowering the straight leg so that the toe touches the floor is OK as is folding down the lotus. Anything like that, whether in shoulderstand or headstand. Legs towards the chest good, chest to the thighs bad.

But that's OK, lots to play with in the VK inversion and or Supine sequence until it settles back down again.

Actually it's not once a day yet, working up to that( this week and next will be more interesting). I started exploring this last Thursday so it's been a week today. This first week I dropped to two meals a day, Breakfast and Dinner and cut out any snacking in between. For some reason recently I'd been eating a lot of biscuits ( McVities Caramels) and the odd bar of chocolate, anything not tied down actually. Think I must have had a sugar rush when I had the tooth out and lived on trifle and ice cream for a couple of days and have been craving sugar ever since.

Anyway, the discipline of deciding to eat just twice a day seems to have cured that. I've been having a big bowl of porridge or Alpen with fruit on and that's set me up, pasta, risotto, Japanese curry etc in the evening. Was tempted a couple of times, several packs of biscuits open in the workshop and our customers keep binging us boxes of chocolate but so far I haven't caved. Felt a little hungry a couple of times but just enough to make me feel noble.

Today I moved into the next stage of the experiment, eating less in those two meals. The idea is to explore this from Krishnamacharya's Yoga Makaranda

'... fill the stomach until it is half full. After this leave a quarter of the stomach for water and the rest empty to allow movement of air'. then he (K ) writes something interesting, ' For example, one who normally has the capacity to eat 1/4 measure of food should eat 1/8'.

This morning I had half as much for breakfast as usual and got through the day well enough. Perhaps I feel a little hungrier but I'll probably get used to eating less over the next couple of days. Next week I'll drop to eating once a day, I'm thinking Lunch.

The irritating thing is that because of the back issue above I haven't been able to keep my practice regular so can't really tell if I'm eating enough to sustain the practice. It's seemed OK, but then I haven't been doing full primary or 2nd. A preview then, will need to explore this more thoroughly after Christmas/new Year is out of the way.

I know some of my readers are uncomfortable with this, my mistake was perhaps to refer to it as a diet. But I meant that, not in the sense of a fad but rather as a style of eating. I'm not looking to lose weight, I've been the same weight for a couple of years and feel comfortable at this weight (77, give or take a kilo).

Weight hasn't changed that much this week

Wednesday 78.4 (I'm usually around 76/77 , as I said too much Junk recently).

Thursday 77.7
Friday 76.8
Saturday 76.6
Sunday 76.6
Monday 76.9
Tuesday 76.5
Thursday 76.8

So pretty much my usual fluctuation

It's all inspired by two comments ' Eat enough to sustain your practice' and '...the Pandava's, like the Yogi's, ate once a day'. How much IS enough to sustain my practice? If the Yogi's of old ate once a day, is that enough to sustain my practice today? What's it like eating once a day? Obviously the meal I do eat will need to be as nutritious as I can make it and going by the Makaranda above, it can't be binging out. One small, nutritious meal a day, is that enough?

Just curious.

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