Relaxed at home


This was a very calm Corona birthday. The party got cancelled a few weeks back already. Much less had to be organized. My E and I celebrated together. We got food delivered, which was delicious. We lacked nothing. I enjoyed all the friends who contacted me via fb, FaceTime, Email, WhatsApp.

I had time for yoga. Daily life is very beautiful.

It is raining. It’s good for the plants and the fields and the nature in general. As usual I’ll go to bed early. This makes it easier to get up early. Tomorrow primary is on the schedule.

Every practice is different


Every practice is different. Not always it’s possible to give 100%. I even read that it’s better to aim for 90 %. This gives any practice a certain lightness. There is room for play. The body is not a machine. Sometimes more than 100% are possible. Breakthrough happens. Yet if one expects that some practices are low of energy then one is not disappointed if it happens. Sometimes one gets also surprised by a super good performance. Also the tolerance to stand discomfort differs from practice to practice. I remember a sentence by a cyclist during the Tour de France: Today I have heavy legs. Everybody learns this: Not every day is the same.

I’m more and more relaxed about the valleys and mountains that I face in my daily practice. More than 2 years ago I had serious issues with my sacroiliac joint. When I practice today I don’t need a single relaxing asana to calm my back. I adjusted few asanas. During my practice I can almost forget about the past injuries. I learned that nothing can be forced. Injuries are setbacks. They make modest and cautious. They are also huge learning opportunities.

Exercise smarter than harder.

Hobby athlete train often more than professionals. They have no coach, they don’t get massages nor do they have a physiotherapist. The value of breaks is not known. ‘More is better’ is often the thought. True is ‘smarter is better’.

The sentence ‘Practice and all is coming’ sounds great, but true is ‘Practice correctly and all is coming’. What correct is might change. To reflect from time to time (not every day, but every 6 weeks i.e.) on the own practice is useful. My injury two years ago forced me to reflect. I think I’ve learned something:

  • I established a home practice.

  • Rules can be a guide, but one must know when to break them.

  • Self-studying is important. I read books on strength training and calisthenics. There are good books on stretching on the market. Youtube videos can be helpful. The own practice is a precious source for insights. 1% theory and 99% practice might be a bit less theory.

My practice today started slow, then it gained dynamic and then it slowed down again. All asanas of primary felt excellent. The vinyasa were weak. At the end I was so thankful that I found something so precious for me.

Know the why


If one knows the why it’s easier to do anything. An activity becomes an urgency. It can give huge energy if one can better the own life. It can be even more rewarding if the reason why we do something are other people or animals.

I know why I practice yoga. I feel better every day after my practice. Yoga gives an orientation in my life. My yoga practice will support my goal to stay as long as possible independent from support. I know many reasons why I practice yoga. To know one reason is enough. But this one reason must remembered when it gets difficult to exercise. Valleys always come for everybody no matter how experienced a yogi is. To have no issues anymore is not the promise yoga gives.

Reasons for our activities are endless. We might go to work because otherwise we get fired or we cannot survive. During Corona times I wear a mask because the grocery stores don’t let me enter. I also don’t want to be a danger for anybody. In addition I have to pay a fine. Not always the reasons for an activity are convincing. Sometimes they are not strong enough to make a person doing anything.

Today I also realized how important it is to practice early in the morning. It’s good to practice before breakfast, but it’s better to start really early, let’s say 6:30. Today I started at 8 am. The world wakes up already. In the neighborhood the craftsmen start working. This is always loud. Cars can be heard. The telephone rings. My beloved E gets up, takes a shower and soon I have the smell of coffee in my nose. Suddenly I was in a hurry. I was in the middle of my practice. I finished it gracefully. The feeling of calmness, having time, being relaxed is better than feeling in a hurry. I hope this experience of today gives me a good reason fro tomorrow morning to get up and to leave my cosy bed.

My most important task today:

I’ll write a handwritten letter to a very nice seven year old boy. Also the youngsters must learn at home. It’s difficult to learn writing by hand if you have a PC and if it’s possible to type. One day it might not even be necessary to know how to write our own name. We can use our fingerprint. Nevertheless the schedule forces this smart little boy to learn writing. Why? He might not see a good reason. Tomorrow he’ll get a letter written by me, with some questions. Yesterday I bought a nice card in addition. I’ll express my joy if I get an answer. A return letter will be in my letter as well. I don’t want to create obstacles. I hope that my letter will give him a reason to learn writing by hand. It’s so much more joyful to have a positive reason than to be forced to do something. I know that I’m rather self-confident when I think that I’m a good reason to learn writing.

Monday morning practice


I got up a bit after sun rise. It was still a time that I’d call ‘early in the morning’. It was calm and it seemed that I was the only one who was up. I prepared a cup of coffee for myself. It was hot, strong and black. I wrote my journal and when I felt ready I rolled out my yoga mat. As every morning I hang forward a bit. It’s so relaxing, it’s a first stretch. Soon I was ready for the more exhausting sun salutations. Flow was felt. I moved from asana to vinyasa to asana and so on. I added splits as preparation for asanas to come. This is going to be a good practice, I thought. The vinyasa were strong and courageous. I floated more or less. I breathed and didn’t think much. At 9:20 probably a bit later I’d be through primary. The plan was to do some extra back bending asanas, if I had still energy. I felt so strong. Then the phone rang. I ignored it, yet the flow was gone. Who calls me so early? Shall I check the phone? Keep practicing, I told myself. Supta kurmasana was possible and felt good. A milestone. I had just finished garbha pindasana, when the phone rang again. It could have been something important. I missed to answer, but I called back. This ended my practice. What is important to me is unimportant to others and the other way round. The fun was over. The energy got another quality. Monday morning I cursed, even though I like Monday mornings, because I like my life in general. It’s a pity. My morning practice was interrupted. It made no sense to return to the mat two hours later. The body was cold, the mood different, the flow was gone. I took a cold shower.

I understood why the former yogis went to caves to practice and meditate.

It was lunch time when I sat at the kitchen table enjoying my tiny breakfast with fresh strawberries. Then I started cleaning. It was overdue to attack all the dust clouds. Mondays are my prolific days. I usually have energy. Again and again I set the pomodoro at my multi-timer. Oh, I can see the difference now.

From today on we have to wear masks when we do grocery shopping or when we go by public transportation. Covid-19 changes our lives and our outfits. This makes it less attractive to walk around. Free breathing feels differently. Even though these masks have also advantages. One can make self-talks and nobody will realize it. To walk around would have been a joy. I like nature. Walking around would relax me.

My alarm clock is set. At 5 pm I’ll practice again, but not Ashtanga. I’ll do some pranayama exercises. My practice will be inspired by the Sivananda yogis.

I plan to spread the news that from now on I’ll never pick up the phone on Monday mornings before 10 o’clock. For today it’s too late. I desperately try to better my mood. To realize that all the dust clouds are gone is a tiny step in this direction. Energy is neutral. It can be used for anything.

It’s all fiction, baby. Be entertained. If fate means it good with me, I’ll have still many uninterrupted practices to come. Namaste and thank you.

Can a person get stronger after 50?

Can a person get stronger after 50?

This was the question I read this morning on Qura before my yoga practice. I knew the answer. Of course a person above 50 can get stronger. Also a person above 60 and 70 and 80 can get stronger, if she is willing to do the work.

The author made clear, that if someone no matter what age wants to become stronger he/she must exercise to the point that the muscles start burning. This is experienced as pain. When the muscles start burning it’s important to keep pushing. No pain, no gain, is true. These little muscle injuries that happen when someone exercises hard enough get repaired by the body. We feel that we have sore muscles the other day. But through healing the muscles get stronger. The body needs time to repair the muscles, this is why strength training experts recommend to take a day off after an intensive training. Over-training should be avoided.

The issue is that most older people are not willing to put in the work. If someone used to exercise in her/his youth it’s easier to begin again. For those people who never moved or never did any sportive activities it’s probably a challenge.

When an exercises is mastered, the body keeps the status quo. This is why body builders and fitness experts recommend to change the exercises every 6 weeks. When a push-up is done with 2 arms, one can try to use only one arm. Squats can be done with one leg stretched and so on……

A strong core is important for every sportive activity. Dancing, running, skiing, gymnastic, you name it. It’s also important for yoga. Without strong abdomen and without strong arms the vinyasa are not possible.

A couple of weeks ago I was not able to do 5 sun salutations A and 3 sun salutations B. I practiced till I couldn’t hold my body anymore in chaturanga. Now it’s possible. Next week I’ll become 61, I’m the proof that one can get stronger if one is willing to practice.

The bad news is that if you stop practicing for only 1 week, 10% of the strength is gone again.

It’s best to keep practicing. Breaks are the beginning of set backs.

For me the reward is huge: Independence.

I want to be able to open my water bottles on my own till my last breath. I want to be able to walk around without technical help for as long as possible. Being able to do the chores and cooking on my own is also not that bad. Oh, and I almost forgot, I want to be able to carry my suitcase on my own. I hope that traveling will be able again after Corona.

Life needn’t to aggravate when we get older. If this is a wish strength training should become part of the daily or (almost daily) routine. As mentioned already it’s enough to train strength every second day. Strength training is different to stretching.

I prefer to stretch for sure. But being strong is equally important. I know the theory. I also know that it’s not easy to motivate myself to work on my strength. I try to integrate exercises in my daily yoga practice. Of course it could be good to do an extra session. 1% practice is better than 99% theory………

Out of my comfort zone


Tomorrow is an online led class with Sharath Jois. Yesterday I enrolled for this fun. Yet I realize that I must have had a courageous moment when I enrolled. I feel out of my comfort zone. My primary at home developed. It adjusted to my needs and what I thought was possible. I do variations of asanas. I leave out vinyasa. I do extra exercises before challenging asanas like supta kurmasana.

Today is Friday. All the yogini practice primary. I wanted to simulate tomorrow’s class. I wanted to practice as close as possible to the first Ashtanga Yoga series.

Alone the imagination of practicing in a group gave me double as much strength as usual. I could fake all the vinyasa. This is so much more than leaving them out after janu sirsasana A, when I start feeling weak. Tomorrow I don’t want to give the impression that I’m a couch potato. Hahaha. A group consisting of committed yogini give a lot of energy. Every single person gives and receives energy that helps to flow through the class. This fact always amazed me. This is one reason, why I miss going to a yoga class.

Within ninety minutes I was through primary. The asanas are not so much an issue, except two asanas: supta kurmasana and setu bandhasana. In most asana I can even sleep. I’m able to do supta kurmasana, but with a lot of preparation exercises before doing it. I promise myself that I won’t do this asana tomorrow. It’s too dangerous to move quickly into this crazy pose. I have a substitute asana for supta kurmasana and for setu bandhasana.

The technique will be a challenge, too. I already missed a conference on zoom, because I couldn’t dial in. I’ll be up on time tomorrow to check everything. Fingers crossed that I succeed.

With excitement I’m looking forward to a led class with Sharath tomorrow at 8 am German time.


Also today I woke up a bit later than planned. For me it’s important that I practice before breakfast. I have the time flexibility these days. I usually start my practice with hanging forward when standing in front of the mat. This is easy, this is relaxing. This pose prepares me perfectly for the exhausting practice to come. I love this pose. It stretches the back of the legs already. The message of the pose is: It will be great.

The Internet connects


The Internet connects. It’s possible to find like-minded people around the globe online.

  1. Yesterday I saw on Sharat Jois’ Instagram account that he is going to offer an other led class via zoom. This time I wanted to be part of it. For me all these online adventures are also technically a challenge. I downloaded zoom and enrolled for the class. Everything seems to be OK. I already missed a meeting a couple of weeks ago, because something went wrong and I couldn’t find out what it was. Hopefully this time it works. The class will start this Saturday at 4:30 am Indian time. In Germany this is three and a half hour later. This is perfect. I’m sure I’ll wake up on time. Ashtanga Yoga practitioners around the globe will be part of this led class. That this is possible is new. When I started with Ashtanga Yoga YouTube didn’t exist yet. Imagine.

  2. Lately I found a woman on Instagram. She named her account inversionjunkie. She created a hashtag #pincha365. When I first saw her pictures I thought: She must be flexible. This is a sentence I heard often about myself. It’s not true, as I’m a stiff person. It’s downplaying what a person is doing. I practice yoga for a very long time and I’m rather disciplined. That’s why I got flexible. I had to fight for every centimeter. I don’t know if inversionjunkie is stiff or flexible. But I know that she has a focus and she is committed. Every day she publishes an inversion, a pinch mayurasana pose (#pincha365). She is already at 300+. Sometimes she uses a wheel as support. Sometimes she publishes a video, sometimes a picture. She practices every day at the same place. She is doing her thing. Her 365 day project surely helped her to accomplish her goal. Her pincha is fantastic. This woman is so inspiring. She found a goal and focused on it. She uses tools when they are useful. She is committed. Even her name tells at once what her passion is. Without the internet I wouldn’t have heard about this lady. I would have missed her. She is so inspiring.

  3. Yogis create challenges on Instagram. Under a hashtag one can publish the pictures or videos that are supposed to be done on a given day (or a bit later, if you’re always a bit late). Due to the Corona virus we’re all asked to stay at home. It’s a pandemic, so people on all continents face the same issue. The challenge that I came across yesterday is called #namasteinside. It starts the 25th of April and ends the 30th of April. The challenge lasts 6 days and every day a picture of a yoga pose shall be published. The pose is the choice of the yogi, not the room. Every day the asana shall be done in another room: bathroom, kitchen, bedroom,……. This is fun around the globe. Ciel70 and some more hosts have created this challenge. Are you in, too? I’m in.

Here is my Instagram account called photoyogablog.

Of course meeting someone in person or going to a yoga class is different. Yet there is no reason at all to be bored at home. Life can be great within the own four walls.

Elbows in


Yesterday I saw a very interesting Youtube video on urdhva dhanurasana. It’s possible to stretch different body parts isolated. The yogi even recommended to stretch for 5 minutes. Stretching takes time. To move in a pose and to leave it after 5 breaths is not enough to stretch effectively

There are two parts of the body that one can stretch as a preparation for urdhva dhanurasana. It’s the front of the hips and the upper body. I usually stretch the front of the hips with split poses. There are a lot of stretching exercises for the upper body. On the picture is one of them.

The most interesting tips came at the end of the video.

  • The elbows shall move inwards. They tend to move outwards. I checked my video and realized that this is the case when I lift up into urdhva dhanurasana.

  • The next tip is to move forward when lifting, not upwards. This avoids that the body moves back and forth till the end position is reached.

I tried to implement these tips today. It felt good, not only because it’s demanding. It also seems to be the correct movement.

Learning never stops. The worldwide yoga community has so much knowledge. Sometimes it’s difficult to find the good voices, but it’s possible.

Highlight of my practice today:

More and more asana are easy to perform when I practice primary. The body has a good memory. I have the feeling that I could take a nap while performing many asanas. This is of course not possible, as each and every asana needs attention. Some muscles are active, some relax. The bandhas are engaged and the eyes are open. Feeling good is the goal, it’s as if one has reached the top of a mountain. It allows to look back to the stony journey. Joy arises.

Each practice gives me ideas for the next practice. Tomorrow I’d like to use a strap around my arms to keep the elbows in. The body should be able to have the strength and flexibility to do this alone. The strap can only help to give the feeling. Despite the strap the elbows should move inward not outwards. If the strap is sliding it’s a good sign that the body has understood the movement. All tools should only be used temporarily.

Marichyasana A and B


Marichyasana A and B are the first asanas that have the leg behind the back even though the asanas are not called so. It can be seen in all pictures that the knee is higher than the back. It’s more or less behind the back. So not the entire leg is behind the head, but the knee. It’s a beginning.

On days when leg behind head asanas, the true ones (supta kurmasana, eka pada sirsasana, dwi pada sirsasana etc…) are not possible I practice marichyasana A and B instead. These asana serve sometimes as a warm up, sometimes it’s enough to practice them instead of the more challenging eka pada sirsasana for instance.

These two asana can give hope that these crazy LBH-poses might become possible one day.

Believing that something is possible is often the first step. All the teacher that I had helped me here a lot. They saw a potential in my practice, that I haven’t seen. I thought I was too old (15 years ago) to drop back from urdhva dhanurasana. One day it happened. I got encouraged.I fell on my head, next time my arms could prevent this. My last teacher was convinced that I can reach my calves when bending backwards. I trust now that this will be possible one day. I never doubted that LBH-poses wouldn’t be possible. I always knew one day one leg or two legs would be behind my neck or back.

Marichyasana A and B are no asanas with fear factor. In order to perform them one needs patience, not so much courage. It’s not even a balancing asana. Stretching can be demanding enough. It takes time.

When I practice marichyasana A and B I feel good. No discomfort is felt. I can try to get deeper into the asana. This feels good, too. In marichyasana A this means to move the chin further forward. In marichyasana B it means to bring the chin to the floor and not the top of the head. Bandhas are always engaged and support the movements.

A few days back I flipped through Mr Swenson’s bible. He doesn’t move so much forward in Marichyasana A. He still can gaze at the big toe. There are obviously variations that used to be accepted in the community.

On Tuesdays I focus on back bending. Today was such a day where forward bending asanas were difficult after all these back bending asanas. I exercised marichyasana A instead of eka pada sirsasana.

Flexibility can mean a lot.

Janu sirsasana A, B and C

There are three versions of Janu sirsasana. Janu means knee and sirsasana means head. We move the head to the stretched knee. The position of the bent leg differs in each position.

  1. In janu sirsasana A the bent leg moves to the side. The hip opens. It’s perhaps even a good preparation for lotus pose if someone has a very stiff hip joint. For me Janu sirsasana A is always possible. I felt never so stiff that I couldn’t do this position. It always feels good as well.

  2. In janu sirsasana B one sits on the heel of the bent leg. The heel touches the perineum. It gets stretched and can remain flexible.

  3. In janu sirsasna C the ball of the foot of the bent leg is on the floor, the heel shows upwards. Even the little toe gets stretched. As the heel points upwards it can give a massage of the lower abdomen.

When I practice these three positions of primary Ashtanga Yoga I always think how holistic yoga is. Not the tiniest body part is forgotten. There is a stretch for every muscle. The inner organs are considered, yet even the little toe. I don’t know another activity that gives so much attention to each and every body part.

This is one reason why I love yoga so much. It balances the body, if practiced correctly.

The corona times can serve as a pointer to establish a home practice. Being able to practice alone is part of the yoga concept. Yoga is something that we learn for ourselves. Not much is needed. A calm place, a yoga mat and time. Ashtanga Yoga and some other styles as well have a fixed order of asanas. Nobody meeds to be a choreograph. Just following the breath and the fixed order of asanas is enough. With experience one becomes able to adjust the practice to the own needs.

For me the corona times are a pointer to the breath. Those who passed away because they got the virus often got a pneumonia. Not being able to breathe anymore because the lungs are infected, is a horrible imagination. Usually we breathe automatically, unconsciously. To establish a calm and deep breath around the clock can calm and intensify every life. To train the lungs is surely also useful. To hold the breath, to exhale longer as usual, to exhale as fast and intensive as possible and to pull in the abdomen are pranayama techniques that help us to become familiar with our so important breath. Breathing deeply can be pure joy. Yoga can teach us that not much is possible to have joy in life. Our body can be the source of great joy and satisfaction.

Keep breathing deeply and evenly, a balanced life will follow…….

Back bending


Yesterday was a day off from yoga. The body needs this day. I slept a lot and was lazy. After only one day the body is already a tiny bit less flexible. Yet I felt strong. I was yearning for my practice. The body felt fresh and relaxed. I was motivated.

Again I realized how important it is to focus on one topic. Today it was back bending. The one and only goal for this week is to hold urdhva dhanurasana (UD) for 1 minute and 20 sec. I need these 20 sec to switch on the timer and to get into the pose. Today I could hold UD already a few sec longer than last week. I’ll aim for 25 breaths. Then the alarm should tell me that it’s done. My breaths is faster than in relaxing positions. The average number of breaths within a minute is 15. Yet if a position is exhausting the body meeds more oxygen that is more breaths.

When I practice I don’t take pictures these days, because I want to focus on the practice. Taking pictures is motivating, but also distracting. The above picture is taken after my yoga practice. I experimented. Imagine: Some yogini can reach the head with their feet. No joke. I don’t think that this position will support my back bending goals in general. Nice to have tried it out.

The wheel an be a useful prop. Not every position over this wheel makes sense.

The yoga week has started. I’m looking forward to the coming week.

We move


We move from……

  • stiff to flexible

  • weak to strong

  • lazy to disciplined

  • ordering pizza to cooking our own meals

  • fat to slim

  • high heels to flat shoes

  • distracted to focused

  • nervous to calm

  • superficial breathing to deep breathing

  • going to bed late to early riser

  • greedy to content

  • pushy to friendly

  • ill to healthy

  • Champagne to water

  • eating everything to becoming vegan

  • drama to balance

…when we practice yoga long enough.

At least the direction is clear. Every tiny step in this direction means an improvement for life.

Remember: We’re loved for many reason. It’s mainly not because we’re a perfect human being. Does this exist? It’s the journey, the process that is so interesting. To explore the possibilities is exciting.


Yepeeeee, the last Ashtanga Yoga practice for this week is done. I was even able to do the most difficult asana at the end. I rested. I lied on my back and relaxed my body. Then I focused on deep breathing. Friday couldn’t start better.

Sthiram sukham aasana


Slowly I get used again to a daily practice. I have no excuses anymore. There is no inner discussion if I shall practice or postpone it. The yoga practice is part of my early morning routine. I start when it’s time, that is before breakfast. Today I was a bit later as usual on my mat. It’s easier in the long run to have a fixed time for sure. Yet this bit of flexibility is OK for me. More important than to start every morning at let’s say 6:30 am is to practice after having emptied the bowels and before breakfast. The body feels light then.

Sthiram sukham aasana is what we’re striving for during our asana practice. A positions shall be comfortable and steady.

I quote from the book ‘Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha’ by Swami Satyananda Saraswati, page 9: In this context, asanas are practiced to develop the ability to sit comfortably in one position for an extended period of time, an ability necessary for meditation.

I’m glad that I experienced already that even the most crazy asanas can feel good. I could relax in supta kurmasana. Leg behind head poses were doable without too much or any discomfort.

With every practice I get a bit closer to the feeling that the asanas feel good. The discomfort is fading away. I can stay longer in asanas. This makes it easier to observe the breath.

In yoga classes it’s not possible, but at home it’s possible. When I need a rest pose, I rest. After urdhva dhanurasana it’s more comfortable to counter this pose with the baby pose (see picture). Then I go to paschimottanasana, which is much more intensive. I allow myself to rest, when I think it’s necessary. It’s an art to understand the language of the body.

Ninety minutes were enough today. These ninety minutes were fulfilling.

I’ll have enough stamina for another practice tomorrow. The day off on Saturday is needed.

Using a chair

In Ashtanga Yoga it’s a tabu to use props. Support is given by a teacher.

I think it can be useful to use props. Most yogini practice at home these days. This gives the freedom to be creative. Lately I read a comment. Someone asked how to improve paschimottanasana. A similar form is hasta padangushtasana. When using a chair one can pull the upper body downwards. It’s much easier than holden the big toes. Practicing hasta padangustiasana on a chair will also improve paschimottanasana.

Sometimes a teacher is indeed the best solution. My paschimottanasana improved fast because a teacher lied on my folded body and pushed my body forward. I relaxed my hip joints. I could feel the progress.

There are always alternatives. The above pose with the chair is an alternative. it allows to pull the body downwards. The movement is downwards and not curving the back to reach the legs with the head.

Today I had the feeling that I wanted to practice. The body felt the need. I didn’t think anymore that it would be good to practice. I was not hungry. I didn’t think of my delicious breakfast. I was greedy to step on my mat. This is what routines do. What is done everyday becomes a need. It’s useful to form healthy routines.

My weakest point today were the vinyasa. I was so scared.

When practicing Ashtanga Yoga one gets used to a bit of discomfort. It’s bearable. When on the mat I focus on the breath and I try to relax when I feel the stretching discomfort i.e..

This morning when I was ready for breakfast I put a chair on the balcony. It was rather fresh. I like to be outside. To talk about fresh air when living in a city is perhaps an exaggeration. But I liked to be outside despite the freshness or was it cold already. I was rather happy that this bit of freshness, this bit of discomfort didn’t bother me. It was rather a joy to feel it. The body could adjust, I could relax and enjoy it

Have a good day.

Issues that I like


Knowing what the #1 priority is in one’s life helps a lot to get rather elegantly through the days. My #1 priority is my yoga practice. There is always something that gets on my nerves. There is always something that I like. It alters. It distracts. Many things are annoying, many things bring joy. So it goes all the time. It’s easy to be busy. So many things need to be done. Really?

I want to chose my issues, my focus. Today I fought to hold urdhva dhanurasana for 1 minute and 20 sec. I set the timer to one minute and twenty second because I need time to get into the pose. I want to make sure that I’m for a full 1 minute in that asana. It was hard. Finally I heard the peep of my multi timer. Done. Wow. It was doable. I felt exhausted. Tomorrow it will be easier, because I know it’s doable.

Early in the morning I practiced second series. My mind was concentrated on the activities I want to do - practicing asanas. I cut out all the chattiness of others and my own, too. If this is possible, if this happens, deep contentment arises.

After every intensive practice I feel ready again for all the entertainment called life. What annoyed me a day ago, is seen as entertainment. Everything is as it has to be.

My yoga practice guides me through my daily life. I cannot have a better guide.

What motivates to practice at home?


The practice this morning was so good, I cannot remember anymore of such a strong, focused and flexible practice. It’ worth to put in the daily effort. I felt so strong today. I did much more vinyasa than planned, because it was possible. Even urdhva dhanurasana was possible after all these forward bending asanas.

Nothing motivates more than a great practice.

Kino MacGregor wrote a blog post on home practice and what helped her to practice alone for more than 2 decades.

I’d like to add a few points that help me:

  1. Setting a timer. With the timer I take away the pressure of accomplishing anything. To be on the mat for 90 minutes is enough is the intention. I never was in baby pose for 90 minutes, even though this would have been OK.

  2. Taking pictures interrupts my practice, but it also motivates me. It’s something visible that I create. I see a result of my effort. I create a proof for myself, that work has been done.

  3. Feeling part of a community is supportive. Sometimes I go through my Instagram account before practicing. It inspires me to see all these committed yogini.

  4. I instruct my subconsciousness. When I go to bed I tell myself what I’ll do tomorrow morning. No thinking is necessary anymore the next morning. I have a fixed routine.

  5. Lately I found out that the mantra ‘I can’ helps me a lot. Sometimes a practice seems so undoable, so exhausting. When I tell myself that ‘I can’, I usually can do it.

What’s your trick to practice at home?

Home practice


Yogis who practice at home usually need a certain amount of discipline to practice every day. Otherwise no practice would happen.

In addition it’s useful to have tools at hand that help to adjust oneself in order to avoid mistakes that might finally cause injuries. A correct execution of an asana has the best effect on the body. To take pictures and videos help a lot. Nothing improved my asanas more than seeing myself in a posture. No teacher can tell a student everything repeatedly. One must learn to correct oneself.

One can learn a lot from different yoga styles here. The Iyengar students take care of correct alignment. They use props that help. A couple of years ago I bought a yoga chair and a book on chair yoga that is used by Iyengar students. Today I experimented a bit. For some asanas the chair might be too high for me. Perhaps I need blocks in addition. I realized already that a chair can be very useful. I’ll go through the exercises one at a time.

This morning my yoga week started with second series. Focus was back bending. It was a struggle. I still lack a lot of strength.

No matter how difficult my practice seems to be, I’m able to concentrate on my practice for 90 minutes. I practice one asana after the other. I scarcely need breaks. When I take a short break I rest in baby pose, but I stay on the mat and I focus on the breath. This was not always so.

Students went to a yoga teacher in India in order to learn how to concentrate. They realized that they needed to concentrate when they wanted to pass exams. Concentration is a skill that one can learn via yoga.

My home practice has a clear beginning and a clear end. Within a given time frame I focus on my yoga practice. The practice starts when my timer keeps running. It’s finished when the mat stands in the corner and when I’m showered. This shower belongs to the practice. Then I’m ready for the day. I let go of judging what was. The joy that I had practice is dominating the discomfort that I might have felt during a stiff practice. I’m looking forward to the next practice with curiosity very soon.

Yesterday I bought a couple of magazines. One is called ‘Women’s health’. I read that if someone isn’t working on strength for one week she will lose 10% of her strength. For older people this might be even worse. The tip: Keep practicing.

Active relaxing


Today I slept a bit longer, I guess it was a bit before 7 am when I left the cosy bed. I had to get some vegetables. So I tried to be rather early at the grocery store in order not to meet too many people. More and more people wear masks here due to the corona virus even though it shall not be effective. It has rather psychological reason, I guess. It reminds everybody to keep distance to other people.

I’m not alone, but for me it’s easy to be alone at home. We shall still live in quarantine. Those who love books don’t feel so alone so quickly. Everybody has Internet connection these days. Yoga is time-consuming. I cook every day. The restaurants are still closed everywhere. Many deliver food. I take the opportunity and cook for lunch. Being a good chef is a great skill. Today we had CousCous. My meals are often culinary trips to different countries, even those I’ve not yet seen. Yesterday I cooked something Chinese inspired with eggplants and tofu. Today our meal was inspired by Arabic countries. For tomorrow I planned a Thai curry.

The above picture I took for the April challenge on Instagram curated by Carmen. I loved this imperfect picture better than the pose itself. It looks as if I fall out of the asana. The blurriness of the arm shows movement, dynamic.

It’s more likely that I get up before sunrise, when I get to bed early. Not every day one must see a movie on TV. My yoga mats are next to my desk, where I practice these days. My yoga practice is important, I want to be well-rested.

Lately someone of a Facebook group for Ashtanga home practitioners asked how we manage it to practice every day. This is sometimes easy and sometimes difficult. There are general tips, like practicing every day at the same time i.e.. What motivates someone is also rather personal. One must get to know oneself. I know that I like to take pictures. They motivate me to practice. It’s also inspiring to see all the yoginis on Instagram. Others can practice daily, so it seems to be doable for me, too. I know that I feel so much better after every yoga practice. I also know that often only the beginning is difficult.

Life needn’t aggravate when getting older, but one must do something for this. Muscles need training. In order to stay flexible one must stretch. It’s good to train the mind as well. Then one might have a chance to enjoy life for a very long time, because one is able to be active and independent from the support of others. My yoga practice helps me to achieve this. This is my conviction. I’m ready and I’m looking forward to tomorrow morning, when I’ll stand in front of the mat, ready for the first sun salutation.

Stay healthy. Breathe deeply. Enjoy what is. It’s much.

Prasarita padottanasana C

Lately I saw a video on Instagram. David Robson, an Ashtanga Yoga teacher pointed at a mistake many yogis do. In this video a student showed the wrong and correct hand and arm position in prasarita padottanasana C. I checked If I do the same mistake as well. Yep.

In 98 % I practice the version on the right side of the picture. That is I don’t turn around the palms.

When I practiced the version of the left side, it felt awkward. This is why I scarcely tried it. Now I know why. I turned my arms in the wrong direction. The correct version feels so much better.

Matthew Sweeney shows the version that is on the right side on the picture, but his palms touch each other and the hands touch the floor.

Kino MacGregor and Gregor Mahle show both versions in their books on the second Ashtanga Yoga series.

The shoulders experience a deep stretch but it feels as if I can work with the body and not against it.

If you don’t know if you turn around the arms in the right directions, check your elbows. They are totally straight when the pose is performed correctly. The elbows are slightly bend when the arms are not turned around correctly

Learning never stops.

Practice report:

This morning I practiced primary as close to the original series as possible. No extra asanas were planned. It was exhausting enough. Soon I omitted the vinyasa. I know that I need a break on Saturdays. A day off gives fresh motivation. The body and mind are relaxed. Every day is so different. Every practice is better than no practice. Only this one more practice this week, I tried to convince myself. The practice makes modest. One can never be sure what happens next on the mat. Sometimes it’s a fight, sometimes a piece of cake.

To get enough sleep is important. During these Corona times there is no night life either. Having a night life is overrated. In other words. These days I prefer the mornings, the calmness, being one of the first who gets up.

My multi timer:

Multi Timer

Multi Timer

This is a screen shot of my multi timer that I recommended a few days ago. It allows to run different timer at the same time. There are alarms available that switch off automatically. So, when I’m in headstand there is no need to get out to switch off the alarm. Sometimes it’s possible to hold am asana longer. Why stop oneself. It’s possible to create different register with an own clock and different timers for different activities. I have a file for Yoga, one for photography and another one for chores. This multi timer is what I needed.

Now I’ll lean back, I’ll close my eyes. Sometimes doing nothing is the best I can do. Oh, there is this interesting book on the table on Robert Frank………’American witness’.

You cannot climb the same river twice.


Heraklit: You cannot climb the same river twice.

Every practice is a new adventure. Not one single practice equals another one. Every day is new. So many factors have an impact on the body and the mind. How well did I sleep? What have I eaten the last day? How were my dreams? Sometimes the body is flexible and the mind is focused, the other day it’s the opposite. What will be possible today, is a good question when starting with the sun salutations. The limits of the body move. Every practice has highlights and disappointments. They alter. Sometimes the mind likes to judge, sometimes the critical mind is sleeping. Sometimes I’m ambitious, sometimes I want to bring the practice behind me. Sometimes I’d like to stick to the original series, on other days I’m creative.

I’m most of the time enthusiastic when I manage to practice (before breakfast). Ninety minutes of yoga practice make a difference.

Many yoginis practice at home these days due to Corona virus. It’s totally different than going to classes. It’s possible to adjust the practice. On the other hand the energy of the other yoginis does not exist.

I like to use my timer to stay longer in asanas. This is not possible in classes. I love to do extra exercises to work effectively on certain asanas. Also this is not possible in classes

Decades ago I attended my first yoga class. The one thing the teacher recommended was to exercise also at home. The class with this teacher was offered once a week, which is not often. A home practice can always accompany yoga classes. A mixture of both seems to be very good. In the beginning one might have the wish to go more often to yoga classes. After years of practice the home practices might be more fulfilling.

We yoginis know how to make the best out of these times where we’re advised to stay at home. If not yet used to a home practice, we can start cultivating it any time.

No single yoga practice bored me. It’s an exciting journey.

It’s Eastern: We stay at home. Too many people are careless, some even insolent. I regretted that I haven’t done all my grocery shoppings yesterday. Today the shops are crowded. A woman pushed me away from the fridge. She showed a combination of aggression and carelessness. As said, a day before Easter is not the best day to go shopping. At home I washed my hands at once. Stay alert, take care.

A friend on Facebook described how the Corona virus knocked him down. He recovered, yet a full recovery can last 3 weeks. I hope that I can avoid getting ill.

Greetings from home to home……..