Day 63 – New start

Since I had a heavy fall from my mountain bike I had to stop my regular exercise routine. Mainly because I was in too much pain. Very nearly broke my leg. Was on crutches for a month. Have finally healed. This whole blog was  a result of that injury, as I got deeply into yoga, mainly pranayama, concentration, meditation and contemplation.

I have found pranayama to be very strengthening, internally, but because I have not been exercising my muscular system and cardio I felt I got to a point of saturation with it. Now I feel it’s time to start working on the muscular and cardiovascular.

The new revised plan is to intersperse running (cardiovascular) with resistance training and specific abs workouts.

So my new routine will run like this:

day 1: Resistance training

day2: Yoga postures

day3: Abs

day 4: Yoga postures

day 5: Running

day 6: Yoga

day 7: Rest

I have decided to chill with the pranayama until I get my general fitness back up to par.

2 months recovering has left me out of shape, just a little.

As soon as I feel my fitness returned I shall restart the prananyama.

Posted this blog to my facebook today. A big welcome to new readers.

Day 50 – Lotus posture.

No physical yoga today, slept late and explored interesting dreams.

Very good pranayama session though.

Am getting used to sitting in lotus. I can see why it is renown as the king of meditation poses. One feels so stable.

Something clicked in meditation today. very subtle. Could really feel apana and prana currents, rise with inhalation and descend with exhalation; the opposite movement to the breath.

Something opened, or, let go.

Have been feeling very positive and energized. Am spinning a new animation, have some great reading material and just feel settled and content.

It has gotten very cold here. Winter has definitely arrived.

Day 48 – Return of the yogi.

 

Enjoyed two weeks of rest from yoga. The ayahuasca session took a lot out of me and I felt I needed some assimilation time. I also developed some duodenal stomach ulcer pain which needed rest and glutamine to heal. Ayahuasca is very acidic it seems. Only got ulcer pain late at night when in bed.

This morning began with some gentle yoga warm-ups to get me back into mode. Then some pranayama, taking it easy. Nicey nicey.

Have been reading about Zen. Will write up some good stuff soon.

Heavy new moon cleaning session yesterday, Yes folks! I actually pulled out the cooker and cleaned behind there! You do not want to know what was living in there.

Hexagram 17 – Following.

The trigram Tui, the Joyous, whose attribute is gladness, is above; Chên, the Arousing, which has the attribute of movement, is below. Joy in movement induces following. The Joyous is the youngest daughter, while the Arousing is the eldest son. An older man defers to a young girl and shows her consideration. By this he moves her to follow him.
THE JUDGMENT
FOLLOWING has supreme success.
Perseverance furthers. No blame.

In order to obtain a following one must first know how to adapt oneself. If a man would rule he must first learn to serve, for only in this way does he secure from those below him the joyous assent that is necessary if they are to follow him. If he has to obtain a following by force or cunning, by conspiracy or by creating faction, he invariably arouses resistance, which obstructs willing adherence. But even joyous movement can lead to evil consequences, hence the added stipulation, ‘Perseverance furthers’ –that is, consistency in doing right– together with ‘No blame.’ Just as we should not ask others to follow us unless this condition is fulfilled, so it is only under this condition that we can in turn follow others without coming to harm.
The thought of obtaining a following through adaptation to the demands of the time is a great and significant idea; this is why the appended judgment is so favorable.
THE IMAGE
Thunder in the middle of the lake:
The image of FOLLOWING.
Thus the superior man at nightfall
Goes indoors for rest and recuperation.

In the autumn electricity withdraws into the earth again and rests. Here it is the thunder in the middle of the lake that serves as the image–thunder in its winter rest, not thunder in motion. The idea of following in the sense of adaptation to the demands of the time grows out of this image.
Thunder in the middle of the lake indicates times of darkness and rest. Similarly, a superior man, after being tirelessly active all day, allows himself rest and recuperation at night. No situation can become favorable until one is able to adapt to it and does not wear himself out with mistaken resistance.
THE LINES
Nine at the beginning means:
The standard is changing.
Perseverance brings good fortune.
To go out of the door in company produces deeds.

There are exceptional conditions in which the relation between leader and followers changes. It is implicit in the idea of following and adaptation that if one wants to lead others, one must remain accessible and responsive to the views of those under him. At the same time, however, he must have firm principles, so that he does not vacillate where there is only a question of current opinion.
Once we are ready to listen to the opinions of others, we must not associate exclusively with people who share our views or with members of our own party; instead, we must go out and mingle freely with all sorts of people, friends or foes. That is the only way to achieve something.
Six in the second place means:
If one clings to the little boy
one loses the strong man.

In friendships and close relationships an individual must make a careful choice. He surrounds himself either with good or with bad company; he cannot have both at once. If he throws himself away on unworthy friends he loses connection with people of intellectual power who could further him in the good.
Six in the third place means:
If one clings to the strong man one loses the little boy.
Through following one finds what one seeks.
It furthers one to remain persevering.

When the right connection with distinguished people has been found, a certain loss naturally ensues. A man must part company with the inferior and superficial. But in his heart he will feel satisfied, because he seeks and needs for the development of his personality. The important thing is to remain firm. He must know what he wants and not be led astray by momentary inclinations.
Nine in the fourth place means:
Following creates success.
Perseverance brings misfortune.
To go one’s way with sincerity brings clarity.
How could there be blame in this?

It often happens, when a man exerts a certain amount of influence, that he obtains a following by condescension toward inferiors. But the people who attach themselves to him are not honest in their intentions. They seek personal advantage and try to make themselves indispensable through flattery and subservience. If one becomes accustomed to such satellites and cannot do without them, it brings misfortune.
Only when a man is completely free from his ego, and intent, by conviction, upon what is right and essential, does he acquire the clarity that enables him to see through such people, and become free of blame.
Nine in the fifth place means:
Sincere in the good. Good fortune.

Every man must have something he follows–something that serves him as a lodestar. He who follows with conviction the beautiful and the good may feel himself strengthened by this saying.
Six at the top means:
He meets with firm allegiance and is still further bound.
The king introduces him to the Western Mountain.

This refers to a man, an exalted sage, who has already put the turmoil of the world behind him. But a follower appears who understands him and is not to be put off. So the sage comes back into the world and aids the other in his work. Thus there develops an eternal tie between the two.
The allegory is chosen from the annals of the Chou dynasty. The rulers of this dynasty honored men who had served them well by awarding them a place in the royal family’s temple of ancestors on the Western Mountain. In this way they were regarded as sharing in the destiny of the ruling family.

 

Day 14 – Base camp

After 2 weeks of 4x daily pranayama sessions I feel I am settling into the routine. My body is able to sit still for longer with less fidgeting and with my back straight.

I have been reading about apana and prana and steadily building my knowledge base.

I realise I should not run before I can walk and so am continuing working through the initial pranayamas, building up my skills.

By the time I get to spinal breathing I should be well versed in the theory. The articles I have been reading about apana and prana seem to be a bit unnecessarily complicated. I am hoping for to find a more straight forward guide.

Day 13 – Onwards and upwards.

Not much to report really..

Changed pranayama practice from four phase motion breath to alternate breathing and sun piercing breath to OM with exhalation.

Upwards and onwards!

Started to reread Autobiography of a yogi by Paramahamsa Yogananda. Should help to keep me going on the path. I love his use of language. If you haven’t read this amazing book, you should rush out to your nearest book seller and demand a copy instantly! It is a life changing work. A must for anyone interested in Yoga, spirituality or religion. In one stunning chapter Yogananda’s Guru – Sri Yukteswar appears in a vision from beyond the grave and  explains in detail what happens to us after we die. His description of the after life realms is extremely convincing and enough to change even the worse sinners into saints. I believe this book should be studied in all high schools.

I remember when I first started to read this autobiography, I suspected it was exaggerated or even made up in parts, but having completed it I was convinced of its truth.