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More Auckland Tales

stories of Sun Salutations and the meaning of accountability...

rain 14 °C


It crept up on me slowly and subtly. Yes without realizing it I had stepped back into the land of very little sleep. But getting 4 to 5 hours a night compared to how I used to be still feels like a fair amount. This weekend was a long holiday weekend in New Zealand for the Queens Birthday. I was laughing about it yesterday because a) Queen Elizabeth is a Taurus, born on the 21st of April, thus sharing a birthday with Robert Smith of The Cure, and b) no-one in the UK really gives a toss about her birthday.
However, 4 days off was lovely. I stayed with Robyn from my course all weekend and the first night there, curled up next to an open fire I slept for eleven hours! Eleven! Robyn said to me "I can't get over how different you look". Seems I've been walking around looking like death warmed up for a while now. And I couldn't get over how DRY it felt. And then I realized that it wasn't abnormally dry, just that where I've been staying has got damper and damper as its become colder, until it sort of feels like a wet tent at Glastonbury Festival, and even a Northerner like me, wearing leggings and a t shirt and socks AND a tracksuit with two blankets on the bed was consistently freezing. And my menopausal flatmate informed me it wasn't that its cold. Its just that I'm not that young anymore(!). Charming. One of those women who's developed an 'Ask not for whom the Bell tolls attitude' to ageing and the menopause, not a bad person, a good person actually, but I can't be doing with it. Am I the only one that thinks those kind of remarks are totally rude? I wouldn't dream of saying that to anyone, its like making personal remarks about someone's looks. I know I'm 35, so are millions of other people on the planet, what of it? Getting upset about your age is futile, and if anything a reason to look after yourself better, not wear granny pants and try and bring everyone else down. I'd be depressed too, if I wore granny pants. In fact I don't even think my maternal grandmother wore granny pants. Anyway, I digress. And have added only ever wearing beautiful underwear and keeping my issues as my own problems (not parcelling them up and handing them out like free samples to whoever I speak to) to my list of non negotiable standards of living. Isn't there enough pain in the world already? Being positive and kind to the people around you really isn't that hard.

There was a charity event at the Yoga Academy two Sundays ago hosted by Martina Gotz, a local teacher here who's going out to Mysore in July to do teacher training with Sharath. It was awesome- 108 Sun Salutations. It took 90 minutes and it was amazing. I didn't think I'd do it but I managed it. It was to commemorate the passing of Pattabhi Jois and it was as if the energy in the room carried us all through. On a physical postural level I saw what I've been doing wrong- locking out the knees too much for the past few years, I thought I was maintaining the tiniest bend there but no. When you get to about number 60, if theres anything you are doing wrong in a Sun Salutation your body lets you know. I felt it for a couple of days afterwards but was absolutely buzzing, and soaked by the end.

I also had some very exciting news- I got the job I wanted!! So I have to be back in the UK for early September to train and am working like anything to get all my coursework in on time and so far I'm winning. I had all the course textbooks printed out and am living and breathing personal training, anatomy, physiology etc etc. I've been loving the anatomy study, the body is such a perfect and amazing thing. And its kind of touching when you read about all the little things your body does for you every day to keep you from pain, stop you lifting things that are too heavy, replenishing your energy stores, regulating your mood, in interesting and varied ways depending on what you've been up to. It does its best to keep you warm, keep you cool, keep you watered, stops you falling over and if something really really bad happens it shuts out the pain and then feeds it to you in little bits it thinks you can deal with. Pretty amazing. I remember when I did care work years ago getting that sense of how lucky I was to have a functioning body which changed my hyper critical attitude to how it looked so much. The study of anatomy makes you see where all those religious theories of God as the ultimate designer came from. Theres still so much we don't know about the body and its intelligence.

I've been going out quite a bit and discovered the most amazing restaurant in Auckland too, called Cafe Midnight Express near the Sky Tower. Its a Turkish restaurant, a lot like Zeugma on London Road in Sheffield. I went there with Emily the other week and it was divine. We had all this gorgeous food and drink, they do incredible things with spinach, so thats my number one food recommendation in Auckland (see, this is a travel blog, see?!). And there are some beautiful walks around here. The beaches at Takapuna and Mission Bay are so lovely. The sky is so beautiful here and its rains nearly all the time at the moment but there are nearly constant rainbows. And the people here are still lovely. The bus drivers are lovely- and they wear their shorts no matter how cold it is.

I've been having a lot of dreams too. I dream t I was aboard the cruise ship I'll be working on later this year and that my manager was Jane Fonda, wearing her blue sparkly leotard from her 'Low Impact Aerobics' video from the '80's. That was slightly odd, And the staff quarters were full of young angry looking bald eastern Bloc type men smoking roll ups. Don't know WHAT that means. And I dreamt too of my teacher of seven years in Brighton. And he told me I was on the right track but needed to rest more, it was nice to see him again, albeit in a dream. And I wonder who my next teacher will be? We also discussed accountability. Which is an underrated thing- as they say on the course I'm doing too, and this is so important- YOU are accountable for your life, no-one else. If you hand responsibility for your happiness to anyone or anything outside of you then it can be taken away.

I leave New Zealand four weeks tomorrow. I fly to Delhi and then hang around in India for seven hours, after which I'll get a plane to Manchester going via Finland- Finland!!! I've never been there so I get to see Helsinki through a plane window. Little things like that make me happy. As is going to the Druid Camp in the UK in July. And heading West before I start my training in London (cheap flight hunting as we speak). As for todays, its a Monday Bank Holiday so I'm going to the Les Mills gym to have a workout and meet up with Lesley, my friend from Brighton who I'm having personal training sessions with (you have to practice what you preach) and I'll be lifting some heavy weights to keep my metabolism ticking over and activate the fast twitch muscle fibres. Then home made soup. Then bed. I'll also be moving house in 3 days... And have a pile of coursework nearly as tall as me to work through, 20 personal training sessions to do, an exam to pass and 15 books to read. Just as well I like reading.

Life's still sweet.

Posted by victoria8 16:55 Archived in New Zealand

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