Monday, February 25, 2008

Tonight's Yoga Class & Reading Update

YOGA PRACTICE

The focus of tonight's class is backbends. It seems I wasn't the only one who loved M's backbend class last Wednesday. M had planned to work on hip-openers tonight -- but with the positive feedbacks, she decided to go into backbends once more.

Tonight we did a series of standing backbends, progressively deeper each time. On the last backbend M encourage us to drop to a wheel pose. I thought I could, but for some reason I didn't. Later after class I thought about why I chose not to drop back into Wheel. I wondered if I was playing it too safe?

I need to learn to practice with a greater degree of detachment, I think.

BOOKS & READING

I'm about 30 pages to the end of Colin Thubron's Shadow of the Silk Road. A colleague commented this morning how she sees me with the same book ALL THE TIME. I checked my records and I have been reading Thubron for more than a month. Oh dear.

It's not that the book is bad. In fact, it is well-written and I intend to pick up other travelogues by Colin Thubron as soon as I am done with Shadow of the Silk Road. It's just that most of my reading is done on the way to work and back, and there's everything else in between -- yoga practice, chores, dinner, sleep and a social life. Oh, how I miss having a social life.

I'm also behind on my reading of War and Peace; at 1,200++ pages it's just too heavy to bring to work. (I might break my wrists holding it up on the bus!) It would also be out of place in the yoga studio -- although I have to admit, it would make a good yoga prop.

Oh, I went to the library over the weekend and came back with some good stuff:

  1. Wislawa Szymborska's Poems New and Collected
    I have checked out this collection many times over the years, but for some reason, I never bought myself a copy. She is like the favourite poet I keep dating but absolutely refuse to marry.
  2. Judith Thurman's Cleopatra Nose: 39 Varities of Desire
    I enjoyed Thurman's biography on Colette (even though it is as yet still unfinished). She is a thorough researcher who also shows interesting insights on her subjects. I like her work.
    Thurman is a regular contributer to the New Yorker magazine, and this is a collection of some 39 articles over a 20 years career as a writer.
  3. Joan Didion's We Tell Ourselves Stories In Order to Live: Collected Nonfiction
    I read The Year of Magical Thinking a while back and I was fascinated by how she examined the process of grief and loss. The Everyman's Library collected SEVEN of her non-fiction books in this thick hardcover -- one that could prove useful as a yoga prop. Let's see how far I go with this collection.

9 comments:

Sarah said...

I absolutely love Szymborska. And I've been ogling the Didion collection for a while...perhaps I should just get it from the library as well. I'm looking forward to your thoughts about it!

Andi said...

I've wanted that Didion title ever since I gulped down The Year of Magical Thinking in a day. Nice book haul!

jpderosnay said...

how far are you into "war and peace"? are you enjoying it?

Nymeth said...

That's the thing about gigantic books...I also always find myself falling behind on my reading if I can't take a book out of the house.

I'll repeat JP's question: what do you think so far?

Bybee said...

I've been a Didion fan since I first read an essay by her back in 1980. Generally, I prefer her nonfiction to her fiction, but I am a big fan of Play It As It Lays. Didn't know about the new collection, thanks.

Dorothy W. said...

I really like Szymborska too. And I'd like to read Didion -- I haven't read anything book-length of hers, which is a shame!

Dark Orpheus said...

Sarah Oh, Szymborska is fun, isn't she. I was actually surprised it's available from the library. I was like, "Does no one else want it?" Yay me.

Andi Thanks. It was a nice bounty from the library. I was skeptical of Year of Magical Thinking at first, but it was good.

JP & Nymeth I'm ashamed to admit I'm only 64 pages into the 1,200+ volume. Been busy reading other books. And doing yoga. ;p

I think it's too earlier to say how I feel about it. It's distracting, having to keep turning to the notes behind, and checking the footnotes for the French translations. And the characters -- I'm trying to keep track of who's related to whom. I feel like I need to keep notes and family trees just to keep up.

Bybee Great! You have any recommendations on where to start? I'm not going to start from the front, probably skip around the different books. (it's SEVEN books afterall)

Dorothy Have you read Year of Magical Thinking yet? After Magical Thinking I read a few of her essays online. Now I think I'm ready for the plunge.

jenclair said...

I've started taking yoga (have attended 2 classes) and both times as I walked in, I thought of you. There are two different teachers (both seem good), but the one from Hungary taught the first class I attended, and I discovered muscles I had never met before! Very strenuous.

Dark Orpheus said...

Jenclair It kind of warms my heart that you thought of me when you walk to yoga class. Thank you.

Sounds like you're having fun. Isn't it great to discover new muscles? I usually only start to notice my muscles when they ache.