Utthita Trikonasana

It was my fourth day of yoga today.  The aching is kind of concentrated in three main areas – my hips, waist and shoulder blades.  When I stand still and upright the best way to describe it, is that scene in Death Becomes Her.  You know when she takes that potion that restores her youth and provides immortality.  Whilst I can’t physically see my bum and boobs lift, waist constrict and skin smooth – it certainly feels that way.  Like I’m being suctioned in from the very core.  Painful?  Not really.  Not like walking down the stairs after an 18 mile run, just suddenly very conscious of every movement.

I’m into Utthita Trikonasana now, well I say into, its more like a highly modified light-touch.  Trying to simultaneously open my pelvis,  bend and push my knee against my elbow, whilst keeping the other foot grounded at a 45 degree angle, leveling my hips, AND twisting my upper body in the opposite direction, arm pointed to the sky, eyes desperately seeking the tips of my fingers, is proving rather difficult.  In the pictures it looks so angular and sleek.  I dread to think what I look like.  Limbs flailing about, feet gripping to the mat for balance and remembering that – oh yeah – I have to breathe.  Breathe.  If you can’t breathe you’ve gone too far.  So I untangle myself, stand upright, a bit of light relief, before trying it again.  It’s not frustrating believe it or not – I actually find it quite satisfying.  Once you kind of figure out what your limitations are, it gives you something to focus on and work with.  Yoga seems to  have a way of systematically bringing all those limitations to light, and in a rather unforgiving manner.  Quite therapeutic if you ask me.  Bit like taking all those skeletons out the closet and airing them out in front of everyone, safe in the knowledge that you aren’t being judged.

the mystery of the garlic clove

I’ve been here a week now, and after frantically darting about trying to feel “settled” I’ve decided to take a couple of quiet days in.  Fretting over whether I should start something new with my creative writing, or tend to my half-written novel, I’ve so callously neglected over these past few months, I find myself tidying up lots.  Reorganising my wardrobe, making and remaking the bed, sweeping the skeletons of lizards out the front door, dusting the bed-frame, and everything else one does to avoid actually getting on with work.  In doing so, I’ve come across these random garlic cloves.   Finding one, sitting casually over the headboard was bizarre enough, but something I could have discarded without too much thought, but to find another nailed to the door frame with such intent has got me wondering about what it could possibly mean.  My theories thus far:

1)  It’s a natural deterrent to some threatening rodent or beast.  But what?  Vampires?  Are there vampires in Bali?  Is that why Eric hasn’t been in my dreams of late…

2)  Balinese tradition.  Another ritual, or belief that I’m yet to uncover?  I’ve researched on-line and all I’ve come up with is a bunch of recipes for traditional dishes.  Which are lovely by the way.  But unless, this room used to be a kitchen, I don’t see how that could be possible.

3)  Spiritual protection.  If so, are they protecting their lodger from evil spirits, or are they protecting themselves from me?  Am I a suspicious character?  A single, godless woman…a witch?

That’s all I’ve got to so far…

a day at the pool

Cultural?  Enlightening?  An important step towards spiritual awakening?  Hell no.  But let me ask you this.  If you live in the UK, how often do you get the opportunity to wear a bikini, sun-bathe, and cool yourself with a gentle swim in a tranquil, secluded, open-air pool?  With six long weeks ahead of me, I’ve decided not to feel that traveller’s guilt, over taking some time out every now and again to indulge in doing absolutely nothing.  Plus, it’s the perfect time to catch up on my reading.

In fact, that’s what I might do this afternoon.  Acrobatically lather myself up with sunscreen and head on over to the hotel down the road, where they’ve kindly let me use their pool for £1.70 a day, and make some headway with John Irving’s, A Prayer for Owen Meany.