June 21, 2012 by maggie
yesterday (wednesday june 20th), was the longest day of the year (in terms of sunlight), which is also known as the summer solstice. the solstice almost always happens on june 21st, but since today was a leap year, it came a day early.
in yoga tradition, we welcome in each season with 108 sun salutations. a sun salutation, or surya namaskar, is a sequence of movements performed in a flow linking breath and movement. sun A is a simple one and sun B adds a few extra postures. different styles of yoga have different variations on the sun salutations.
in ashtanga yoga, which is what my practice is rooted in, surya namaskar A looks something like:
- begin standing, mountain pose (tadasana)
- inhale, raise arms up (urdhva hastasana)
- exhale, forward fold (uttanasana)
- inhale, raise chest
- exhale, jump back and lower through a pushup (chaturanga)
- inhale, upward facing dog (urdhva mukha svanasana)
- exhale, downward facing dog (adho mukha svanasana)
- 5 breaths in adho mukha svanasana; on empty hop forward
- inhale, raise chest
- exhale, uttanasana
- inhale, urdhva hastasana
- exhale, tadasana
and surya namaskar B is sun A but with these differences:
- replace urdhva hastasana with chair pose (utkatasana) at the beginning and end
- before taking 5 breaths in down dog:
- step right foot forward at the end of the exhale
- inhale, rise to warrior 1 (virabhadrasana 1)
- exhale, chaturanga
- inhale, urdhva mukha
- exhale, adho mukha
- do the left
- then hold down dog for 5 breaths
easy peasy, no? here is a further breakdown of sun A.
why 108? 108 is an interesting number. it is divisible by a lot of other numbers and has other fun mathy qualities.
- 108/12 = 9 (9 dozen)
- 108/9 = 12
- 108/6 = 18 (18 is a lucky number in judaism)
- etc… all of the divisors of 108 are: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 12, 18, 27, 36, 54, 108
- 108 is also an achilles number, which means it is powerful (for every prime divisor or factor p of n, p2 is also a divisor – ex: 3 is prime and both 3 and 32=9 is also a divisor) but not a perfect power (a positive integer that can be expressed as an integer power of another positive integer)
- it’s also the hyperfactorial of 3, meaning 108 = 11 x 22 x 33
in hinduism and other religions, 108 has more special meanings.
- 1, 0, and 8 represent “one thing”, “nothing” and “everything” (infinity).
- hindu deities have 108 names.
- because of the significance of 108, malas have 108 beads (malas are the hindu equivalent of a catholic rosary… sort of – and the rosary, i believe, also has 108 beads).
- the distance from the earth to the sun, divided by diameter of the sun ~= 108.
- the distance from the moon to the earth, divided by the diameter of the moon ~= 108.
- stonehenge is ~108 feet in diameter.
- there are 108 yoga sutras.
more on 108 (the number) here.
i am hoping to do 108 sun salutations this week. i wanted to do them all in one day (yesterday) but instead my practice yesterday was a class i took with bobby at pure yoga on 86th street. i will be back there again tonight for an inversions workshop. i wish i had been counting my sun salutes this week – i could have figured out how many more i needed to do to get to 108. i will try to find a way to fit them all in before june is over (can you believe it’s june 21st already?).
how did you celebrate the solstice?
Category Uncategorized | Tags: 108,math,summer solstice,sun salutations,yoga | Comments Off
June 18, 2012 by maggie
some people are just not big breakfast eaters (me). half the time i have a small snack (a hard-boiled egg, a slice of pcos bread, a piece of fruit) and the other half of the time my morning coffee is enough.
today’s breakfast was small but much more gourmet than what i am used to. i had:
- sauteed mustard greens from my csa with (organic) butter, salt, and ground black sesame
- cut up turkey breast from trader joe’s (2-3 ounces)
- coffee with (organic) whole milk and a little bit of nunaturals stevia (this is my standard morning coffee; i almost always make it at home)
a simple (paleo*) breakfast
it was delicious.
*since the fall of 2010 i have been an off and on paleo person. i really like it. my version of paleo aligns most closely with mark sisson’s (who calls it primal). do check his blog out if you are interested in caveman nutrition. the premise for the paleo diet is that we should eat the way our paleolithic ancestors ate – lots of meats, fish, and veggies; minimal to moderate fruit (mostly berries); no grains, beans, sugar.
the other half of my “breakfast” was 5 sun salutation A’s. a great way to start your day is to do some yoga sun sals or meditate for 5 minutes before heading off to work. it will keep you calm and prepare you for the challenges of the day.
Category Uncategorized | Tags: breakfast,meditation,organic,paleo,primal,yoga | 1 Comment
May 10, 2012 by maggie
I’ve been an absolutely horrible blogger lately. I just, well, haven’t been blogging at all.
A few wonderful things have happened to me in the last week or so:
- My hubby and I finally closed on our new home and moved in (5/5/2012).
- I went to another Ragunath workshop (post about my first flight school here) that same day (5/5) at a beautiful studio on the UES. The studio was called House of Jai. Unfortunately the prices are a bit steep for me but I hope to attend workshops there when I can.
- Work is going extremely well. I really like my boss, and it is pretty awesome to have a woman as a mentor in my line of work (web development & software engineering).
- I got a stand-up desk ::happy dance::.
- The day after the Ragu workshop (5/6), I went to free yoga at Lululemon (10am on Sunday mornings @ lulu on 66th and 3rd) and the teacher was the guy who assisted Ragunath the day before. Funny coincidence.
I also figured out what has been causing most of my stomach issues. I’m not sure if I have mentioned them here before, but I have lived with bloating and IBS-C for about 6-7 years now, and I couldn’t even remember what it was like to feel normal. Turns out I’m sensitive/allergic to a bunch of random things (I believe my condition is called fructose malabsorption), including some of my favorite foods like apples, onions, and garlic.
I was eating a diet rich in veggies and fruits, but that diet has been the main cause of the problems I’ve been suffering through. Now that I know it, I have cut down on those foods (wah) and my stomach is practically cured. It’s shocking – I just wish I had known it sooner. It’s weird to be eating so few veggies but if it’s what my body needs…
My meals mainly consist now of things like rice, maybe bread, eggs, potatoes (sweet and white), meats, and the few veggies that don’t bother my stomach (small amounts of salad – no onions, raw are the worst!; squash is ok in small amounts; tomatoes; peppers; carrots; etc…). The key is to only eat a little bit of veggies. It seems so wrong to not eat so many… but it is working out very well. Sigh. I am thrilled that my stomach feels better but it is strange mentally to not eat so much salad and veg.
B and I were cleaning all weekend and this week too, and I think I got too much dust in my nose because I have congestion today and I’m staying home from work (will probably work from home, later) to try to get better. On that note, I am going to go get some stuff done. I’m sitting with a cup of fresh coffee by my south-facing window in my new home and it feels very luxurious. Maybe pictures to come soon of the new place.
Category Uncategorized | Tags: fructose malabsorption,new home,stand-up desk,work,yoga | 8 Comments
April 22, 2012 by maggie
i have just finished a full week of yoga every day. after a nearly 2-week break (laziness) following a 1-week break before that (sick – i’m better now, thank you for the well wishes!), it was wonderful. here were the classes i did:
- monday – restorative with laura @ pure west (via urban girl squad)
- tuesday – 7am class with cat @ yoga vida (love this woman – a new favorite)
- wednesday – 7am class with tara @ yoga vida (also lovely)
- thursday – 7am class with hilaria @ yoga vida (hilaria is fun; she has a different style than the other teachers and she does ab work, which i like on occasion)
- friday – 6:30pm class with jessie @ yoga vida (jessie has been a favorite since i started going to yv)
- saturday – 2pm class with tanya @ yoga vida (gah, another favorite! this week was so good. bobby took class with me.)
- sunday (today) – 12pm class with sassi @ yoga vida (i was expecting a pretty chilled out class but it was hard – in a great way)
ahhh. i am bhaved* out. i’m hoping to do a fair amount this week too.
*bhav(a) = a sanskrit word that is usually used when you’re describing your relationship with god. in teacher training last fall we would use the term “bhaved out” to describe the serenity and calm we felt after a particularly hard or effective practice.
Category Uncategorized | Tags: pure yoga,yoga,yoga vida | 2 Comments