In the Land of Wombats

July 31st, 2012

July 2, 2012 (written by H because I was beside myself)

WOMBATS! Trundling in the wild! Munching on the grass! Rubbing against the trees! Shake-shake-shaking! Squee!!!

Short legged juggernauts of cuteness! Tiny little tail, huge burrows! Squarish poo… Everywhere!!!

A little smelly. Wombat hygiene is questionable. But so many redeeming characteristics! I followed one around through the grass and around trees and up the hill side. I didn’t pet him, but I think I could have — he walked very close by on his way to the hill. Eeeeeeeeeeee!!!


Manly: frogs at sunset

July 31st, 2012

June 29, 2012

As usual, the sun was setting as we were out for a hike. A few boobies were hunting, dive bombing for dinner near the cliffs We continued, quickening our pace through the chapparal-like scrubland. Yellow flycatchers darted for bugs from their perches. A shallow pond had formed in a sandstone clearing to the left of the path. It’s dusk now, and as we walk into the clearing we are surrounded by a frog chorus. The chorus is stereophonic but recedes as you approach. The sound comes to you. No grasping. Indeed, for all for the choristers, we didn’t see a single one. Continuing our darkening walk on a boardwalk through close eucalypts and unfamiliar bird songs, we skirted Little Penguin beach and the old coal works and made our way back to the ferry.

Heading to Wombat Country

July 31st, 2012

June 20, 2012 (backlog of posts from iPad app trouble)

In a week, this wombat heads to wombat country for some adventure and a conference. Right now, preparing for the conference is putting a damper on preparing for the adventure. A big, heavy, wet damper.

Nonetheless, I hope to post photos of real wombats here soon.

Test post

June 19th, 2012

Boring old test post

Busted Peacock

April 8th, 2012

A little excitement in the yoga room today. My second-to-last pose in second is Mayurasana. I usually hop back to legs-straight and elbows in belly and then try (unsuccessfully) to straighten/strengthen my legs until my toes lift off the ground – today they felt pretty light.  I tried the pose a second time and entered with legs frog-like and off the ground.  Then I tried to extend them.  I think they were close to straight when….


right on my chinny chin chin on the wood floor in front of my mat.

Having done this once before, I expected a bruise. What I didn’t expect was blood.  Gah!  I think it was less  traumatic for me than for everyone else to have me bleeding all over — at least I couldn’t *see* my busted open chin. My teacher asked one of the other practitioners who is an MD to take a look, and she confirmed his initial judgement — I would need a few stitches.   So, with much kindness, they bandaged me up (it stopped bleeding pretty quickly), and I headed over to the ER.  Happily, 8:30 Easter Sunday morning is a slow time in the ER:  I got my four stitches, amused the ER staff with the story, and was home by 10:30.

I guess William Broad is right — yoga sent me to the ER!  Ha!  Although, right now, my tetanus-booster-shot arm is more sore than my chin.

I think I’ll let my chin heal before fanning my tail feathers again.  Might have to skip Kurmasana for a while, too…

Sunday with Wombat

February 26th, 2012

Working this weekend. I need the uninterrupted space of a weekend to immerse myself in an unfamiliar programming language and messy, unplanned data.  My progress on this project has been so slow that I have to be especially kind to myself.

Still there are a few Sunday chores – a quick trip to the granola store adjacent the studio, laundry to hang on the lanai.  I bought myself some sunflowers this morning in celebration of Sunday.

Practice this morning was nice. Although I’ve clung to primary through Janu A for a while, CL says it’s time to make a clean break for second. It’s good to have more energy for karandavasana and handstands. I’ve made this break before, but stuck some primary back in after the travel and inconsistent practice of late summer and early fall. My practice feels more solidly in second now. There little fear left in kapo, and I’m finding more strength in the legs.  This week’s small revelation: gluing the legs together with the inner thighs.  It’s pretty amazing energetically — the legs feel like magnets sticking together, like one energetic unit — until I start shaking so much that it falls apart.  I found it in headstand but need to look for it in shalabhasana and mayurasana.



February 9th, 2012

I seem to be emerging for my hole. After several weeks of company (H was here for a few weeks, and then my folks for a week), I was sad to return to my little burrow by myself, so I dug myself a hole. Sometimes I don’t have enough insight to see the hole as I dig it; instead, I focus on the dirt under my nails. I can dig myself into a hole quickly, as wombats have powerful front legs, which are very effective for burrowing.

I have a few practice notes that are mostly for my future reference. My shoulders have been tweaky since I came back from the holidays. As far as I can tell, it’s not really shoulder injury, but a slight nerve pinch in the spine that causes weakness in the arms (this has happened before…). However, in addition to bed hanging, few things are helping: (i) focusing on rooting the thumb and first finger; (ii) making sure that my hands are far enough apart (the wombat forgets that she has broad shoulders), and (iii) realizing that if I make my legs stronger in chaturanga, it relieves alot of the stress from my upper body.

Somehow, it’s always the same revelation in a slightly different format — my foundation is weak and i keep trying to manhandle the world with my (powerful, burrowing) arms.

I recently started working on mayurasana. This morning, I fell forward and now I have a yoga booboo on my chin. Silly Wombat. I’ll make sure my chin is over my mat until I get the hang of this pose…


January 24th, 2012

Sometimes the Wombat burrows herself into a hole of her own making.
Silly Wombat.

Back bending

October 31st, 2011

Morning Mysore practice this week is led by Govinda Kai. The theme, as least for asana, seems to be back bending. It’s easy for me to feel like my back bending is “good enough” — I reach toes in Kapo on my own, I drop back and stand up without much fuss, I’ve got the nutation of the sacrum figured out. Occasionally my head gets a little dramatic, but good enough, right? So, I often don’t push myself, and CL is pretty gentle with us in back bending. I occasionally get adjusted to heels in Kapotasana. After backbends, I attempt a few handstands and call it good.

So the first two practices this week have been intense. Heels in Kapo A and strong legs in Kapo B. After 3 urdhva danurasa and three drop backs on my own, he assists three tic tocs (a first for me), toes to head in handstand, then three arms-crossed drop backs and a fourth with hands in close to heels and strong legs. I absolutely lose the breath between tic tocs and arms-crossed drop backs. My heart is just racing too fast, and I have to catch my breath. Even as backbends have gotten easier, my breathing is still shallow and the effort strong, so it doesn’t take long for the oxygen supply and demand to get out of whack.

This back bending sequence is pretty standard in some studios (like the first place I practiced Mysore in LA). But here, there are, perhaps, not enough assistants to drop everyone back every day, so CL saves herself for the students who are still learning to drop back on their own. I get a little lazy and self-congratulatory by the end of practice, and I do what is “required” but no more.

Today in practice, I got a bit overheated. By the time I got through Kapo, my face felt like it had a heat aura that wouldn’t dissipate. Perhaps too much effort, perhaps too much dim sum yesterday — I woke up sweating last night, too. (It’s not that unusual for me and it’s a running joke with H– my surface temperature by infrared thermometer is 3-5 degrees hottest than his. Whatever dross there is to burn, I’m burning it.)

Last practice thought– Karandavasana. I can get legs pretty well into lotus and bend a little at the waist. My Pincha isn’t as stable as it should be and my hands tend to come together. In the last couple weeks, Glen and now Govinda has taken me all the way down to the duck and back up a couple times. But it’s all wrong– I know the idea is to get the feel for the whole asana, but the poor teacher is just heaving me back up. I am thinking that I need to find the hollow belly lift that I sometimes find in Utthana Padasana (I had to look that one up, I’m not sure I ever knew its name), and then the last curl at the bottom is the same lift and rounded upper back that I imagine (but dont achieve) in Bakasana. Anyway, we’ll see how this develops. Karandavasana got back-burnered while I was traveling so much.

Dull & Awkward

October 30th, 2011

I supress the churning just below the surface. But the self-absorption makes me dull and awkward. Shake it off, little wombat, you must proceed, head high. It’s too late to turn back now.