Thursday, May 31, 2007

Where'd she go?

It has been very silent on this site for the last two weeks. Sorry. I went on holiday to Crystal Springs, and there was no internet.

I lieu of a proper post, I am instead going to respond to the get-to-know-you's from Kiki and Kris:

First, Eight Great Things about me:
(well, actually they are just random)
  1. My inbox is the dead zone for chain mail of any description. These are about the first I have ever responded to.
  2. I have read an average of a book a week since I was about nine. I am almost 32. That's a lotta books.
  3. I have found a spelling or grammar error in almost everything I have ever read, and have now had to stop reading the local press because I can't bear the illiteracy. I am just some schmo who makes frequent mistakes, so you can imagine what is going on in those papers.
  4. In the pre-yoga days, I was sometimes late for work because I would compulsively check whether my front door was locked before leaving. And before going to bed. Living alone in South Africa may have had something to do with that, though.
  5. When I was 13, one of my parents' friends said I looked Rubenesque. I didn't know what that meant at the time, but now I realize it has always been my fate to be, well, Rubenesque. Pity that's not the fashion any more.
  6. By the time I was ten, I had moved house 21 times (I think, didn't fact check this with my mom) and I had lived in three countries.
  7. At 15, I defected from Catholicism in favor of the Methodist Church, but abandoned them when a girl was ostracized for appearing on the back page of the Sunday paper in her very sedate bikini.
  8. That said, immodesty offends me and I think we would all be happier if we weren't confronted by mass images of women in (basically) their underwear from every billboard and magazine cover.
4 jobs I have held:
  1. Call-centre sucker
  2. Recruitment agent
  3. Researcher
  4. Yoga Teacher
4 Movies I can watch over and over:

Not a one. I would rather read than re-watch something I have seen and remember scene for scene.

4 places I have lived:
  1. Zimbabwe
  2. Namibia
  3. South Africa
  4. UK
4 Categories of TV I enjoy:

Sorry, don't really watch TV, but if forced to choose, I choose the Discovery Channel.

4 places I have been on holiday:
I have a bad case of the travel bug, so:
  1. South America - Argentina
  2. Asia - Thailand, Hong Kong, India
  3. Africa - within SA, Comores, Mozambique, Kenya, Swaziland, Lesotho
  4. Europe - UK, France, Belgium, Holland, Spain
Sigh, so many places, so little time...

4 favorite dishes:
  1. Pasta and tomato sauce, made by Husband
  2. Oven grilled veg and vegetarian schnitzels
  3. Dhal soup
  4. Green and Blacks chocolate! Mmmmm
4 websites I visit daily:
Like Kris, I try not to go online daily, but I cycle through all the links on my sidebar just about every time I log on!

4 places I would rather be right now:
Nah, here is fine. Although it wouldn't kill me to be in India...

I am meant to tag other people to do this, but, true to my dead zone style with this type of thing, I leave it in your hands: if you want to, do it, and let me know so I can read it!

Monday, May 21, 2007

And so to the knitting

Soooo, bet you've all been wondering whether I actually did any knitting after threatening to. Well, yes, yes I did. And I kinda liked it, so I did some more. Weird thing is, although as a kid I never got the hang of it, this time round I didn't even have to wait for my mom to teach me, I just picked up the book my husband bought me - The Cool Girl's Guide to Knitting, by Nicki Trench, and jumped in. My mom has since had to help with quite a number of things, but I can, nonetheless, knit. And I taught my husband!

In the last few weeks, I have knitted a scarf for Husband, a scarf for me, a cardigan for my best friend's baby (hope she isn't reading this since I haven't given it to her yet!) and I am halfway through a bunny from Kate Gilbert's awesome pattern. Now, chances are I will never get to taking pictures of all this, so I visited Flickr and voila:

This is how my bunny currently looks:

prebunny, originally uploaded by sassydotnet.

This is more-or-less how he will look when I give him to my nephew on his birthday.
(But in variegated blue)

brown bunny, originally uploaded by pinprick.

Now why on earth can I suddenly knit? Methinks it's for the same reason I can suddenly catch a ball - the yoga. More specifically, the improved proprioception as a result of the yoga. I like to say that this means my brain and my body are finally on speaking terms!

According to Wikipedia, proprioception
is the sense of the relative position of neighbouring parts of the body. Unlike the six exteroceptive senses (sight, taste, smell, touch, hearing, and balance) by which we perceive the outside world, proprioception is an interoceptive sense that provides feedback solely on the status of the body internally. It is the sense that indicates whether the body is moving with required effort, as well as where the various parts of the body are located in relation to each other.

Improved proprioception makes you feel more 'in your body', more embodied. And it means that anything requiring co-ordination between brain and body gets easier, including driving, dancing, asana, knitting...

My knitting isn't perfect. In fact, that cardigan is a little wonky. But I made it, by hand, with love. And that gives it value. Just like my asana practice is often a little wonky, but I come to it with enthusiasm and faith. And that gives it value.

To paraphrase Arundhati Roy in her 2003 talk, Come September, doing just one thing makes your brain grow in one direction like some tumour. I think I am at risk of a yoga tumour, so now I can expand in other directions.

Friday, May 18, 2007


Thank you all for your comments and emails in response to my last post: they were scary, and I have spent most of this week in an existential fug, convinced that the end of the world is nigh. I am still convinced of that, or at least that some awful environmental disaster is looming unless we change our ways, but I just read a quote on Elizabeth Gilbert's site that made me feel much better - I adored Eat Pray Love, and I love what she says here:

The first question you can begin to ask yourself, though, is: “Where can I find a small corner of stillness?” Because that’s where it all begins and ends. God resides in these pockets of silence. So where in your day, where in your home, where in your mind, is there some opportunity for a moment of silence? Or maybe even a few moments, during which you can start asking the questions you need to ask in order to find what you need to learn. Can you find the time to get out of your own way and try to step into your own light? As a dear friend of mine put it: “To change your life, the important thing is not necessarily to travel; the important thing is to SHIFT.”

All we can do is shift our awareness to the people, creatures and plants who are affected by our actions, and those whose actions affect us. Connect to them, even just in our imaginations, and if we all pull together we will probably be OK, even if a disaster happens. Perhaps we will find a way to retain our humanity and not sink into wars over resources, which is what my over-active imagination tells me would happen.

And what really cheered me up was Elizabeth's link to Where the Hell is Matt? and his crazy dancing the world over! Making people laugh across the globe, that's gotta be a spiritual practice.

PS: If you have been wondering about my knitting, there is a post about that coming soon! It's all yoga, you know, just not the asana sort.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Hot hot heat

It is just over a month until the southern hemisphere's Winter Solstice, and I sit typing in a short sleeved t-shirt, no shoes. It is too hot for this time of year, way too hot. If I ever needed reminding that global warming is real, this 'autumn' weather should do it.

I think it may be happening faster than even Al Gore tells us, and that freaks me out. We are literally manufacturing, shopping, driving and eating ourselves out of the only home we have. I am starting to think all those apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic films are not so very far-fetched after all, especially The Day After Tomorrow. That could actually happen. In fact, scary stuff a bit like it (but on a small scale) does keep happening.

Do you all find the weather weird? Have you noticed the changes since you were kids? Am I going crazy?

Monday, May 07, 2007

Nadine's Series of Fortunate Events

gratitude, originally uploaded by freeflo.

We shall start with just two from today:

Today, I came home for my very brief lunch break between seeing private clients and discovered that my wonderful Husband had prepared lunch for me, and left it laid out along with all my vitamins. I have the best husband.

Today, I also found out that I have a confirmed place on the Yoga for Women advanced course at KYM in August.

For these blessings and so many others, I am grateful.

Sunday, May 06, 2007


I have had flu, and have just spent the last few days careening wildly between raga (craving, unreasonable desire - as in I wish I was well, when will I be well, I wish I was well) and dvesa (aversion, unreasonable dislike - as in I hate being sick, why did I have to get sick, what a pain, I hate being sick).

If it wasn't so silly, it would be amusing. Well, actually it is quite amusing. I make a terrible patient - I don't get ill often enough to have developed any equanimity in this department. And so I fall prey to the usual obstacles to clear sight (klesas) as discussed by Patanjali in his Sutra's; in this case, craving to be well, and aversion to being sick. Objective situation: I was only really ill for three days. Length of suffering: extra 3 days before, dreading getting sick because my husband had flu, actual illness: 3 days, lingering listlessness: still counting.

The only plus about being ill is that I find it sometimes pulls me right into the present, since my mind isn't up to as much dallying as usual. In between the moments of craving and desire are a few sweet moments of pure presence. Almost worth it.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Plus ca change, plus c'est meme

I know, the French punctuation is missing from the title, but I am sure you get the drift! The more things change, the more they stay the same.

I have recently undergone a giant metamorphosis in my practice, and am still in the throes of change, as many of you already know. The original impetus for this was the pain and exhaustion my practice was causing, and the change crystallised during my trip to India last September (I hope to return to KYM this August, woo hoo!) Funny thing is, although my practice feels very different, it looks much the same. In fact, it looks like I have copped out of half the 'difficult' and 'challenging' poses I used to do.

I have the zeal of the newly converted. Confession: until last September, I was really just working on the physical level in my yoga practice. Not so now, and it is more than a little scary. Now I catch myself thinking that everyone should come along on this ride with me, whether they want to or not. Probably because I will be less scared if I have company! I bet anything that once I start to feel a little more settled in the new patterns, my conversionary zeal will fade somewhat. I have just finished reading Yoga and the Quest for the True Self by Stephen Cope.* It would have meant almost nothing to me a few years ago, but now I found myself nodding vigorously through almost the entire book - it is so comforting to find that someone else has mapped the territory I am only now discovering. A Western someone, who comes from the same cultural mores as me.

And yet, it is still just my yoga practice. Same ole me, basically.

* This was a gift from a student, to whom I say: Thank you! As always you are as much teacher as student. May you, like the Velveteen Rabbit, be loved well and truly, until you become real.