Culture Update and Workshop

Update on my fermentation experiments: (i) the first batch of kombucha was a success! It didn’t suffer from a couple weeks in the fridge. When I got home last Tuesday, I split it into bottles and added some chia seeds. It’s a little too sweet for me, so I decreased the sugar in my current batch. I was worried when the scoby fell to the bottom when I added the tea, but it is back today and fermenting away. (ii) the kefir did not do as well with a couple weeks in the fridge. I blended it with some fruit to make it palatable, but it had some cheesy overtones that I don’t prefer. However, the two batches I have done on the counter since my return taste great. Again, I blended it up with some fruit and have been consuming an awful lot of kefir. This could definitely be a problem — I get a quart of kefir every couple days. It is great for breakfast, but… urp. That’s a lot of kefir. (iii) Need to check on the vinegar again, soon.

This weekend was the David Swenson workshop hosted by the studio where I practice. David and Shelley were very personable and humanized the practice with their own experiences. I liked David’s self-effacing humor, his accommodating attitude toward the practice, and his admonition to give 85-90% in each pose, not 100%, which leaves you exhausted and prone to injury (that sounds familiar). Specific content wise, I found a few good tidbits that I will apply to my practice and was adjusted a few times on a rotate-shoulders-outward theme, that will renew my focus to that aspect of my asana practice. Maybe I have been to too many workshops (or read too many blogs) over the years, but I’m not sure I need more workshops as much as I need a more consistent practice of my own. Nonetheless, it was fun to join with the local yoga community for the weekend (more than 150 people attended some part of the workshop) and to hang out with some of the folks from the shala who I otherwise don’t get a chance to talk to.

My most interesting experience was during the workshop on pranayama. I have learned a little bit of pranayama from past workshops with Nancy Gilgoff and Tim Miller, but I haven’t really incorporated it into my practice consistently. After some discussion of pranayama, we did a short sit with breath retentions after inhale, after exhale, and after both. He was easy on us, and the breath retentions were not too long. Then he had us sit and breath for another, perhaps, 3-5 minutes. While my mind was relatively focused during the actual breathing exercises, I was just a bundle of anxiety and nervous energy during the last 3-5 minutes. Ugh. It was very unpleasant. Now that I think of it, it reminds me of when I was a little fourth-grade Wombat, and my handwriting was terrible, and I received Cs in handwriting. My concerned parents discussed this with me, and I told them that when I tried to concentrate to make my handwriting neater, this little Wombat got a tummy ache. Actually, this little Wombat had the same tense and anxious feeling in her belly trying to make her handwriting neat as she did trying to sit quietly after pranayama.

One Response to “Culture Update and Workshop”

  1. Siimbaah Says:

    yes. VERY easy. just made my first batch. went to put milk in my tea this morning after we’d been away for the weekned. bummer. sour milk. wait! i remember marie posting about making cheese from sour milk! two thumbs up from us. i went out to the garden and clipped some chive, oregano, thyme and lemon balm, added some garlic, sea salt and pepper too. yummy.