Both of us a bit embarrassed about the birdwatching, kind of said under our breath, Birdwatching? really?, Don't tell anyone says M. (Of course not honey, who would I tell). Neither of us have expressed an interest before but hey, we like looking at the little buggers in the garden so why not. As it happens we are dreadful Birders, Birders it seems wear a LOT of camouflage, M. and I were in bright red and yellow. Birders say things like,
"Ahh an Avocet, small for this time of year",
M: "Whats that one"?
Me: "I don't know, some kind of duck".
As it happens we loved the first day of it, our yurt was just down the road from the RSPB Titchwell bird reserve where you can rent serious binoculars (a revelation), had a great day.
|RSPB Titchwell map|
|Norfolk Nature reserve at Cley|
So what of the Yurt.
|Our Yurt, Looks cosy doesn't it. however...|
|This is the picture in their advertisement, look at that huge stove, I know worst looking Yurt ever but was the only one near where we wanted to be.|
"Bit chilly for a tent this time of year"? I was asked before I went. Au contrair, a yurt is NOT a tent, it's a highly sophisticated and damned cosy sleeping abode, they use them on the Mongolian steppes for heaven sake, Norfolk will be fine. Ok, it's a KIND of Tent...OK OK it's a tent, we stayed in a tent in Norfolk in march, but Yurt's are Cosy dammnit, my friend Maya lives and blogs in one all year round, brings up kids, raises novels.
Well they are cosy if the campsite coughs up and pays to include the"essential" insulation ( a felt inner layer that keeps said Yurt cool in summer and ...well cosy in winter. Also a decent size wood stove as well as a nice winter duvet and plenty of extra blankets (just in case).
The site of our Yurt, DeepDale Camping (basically a campsite on a farm) didn't bother with the "essential" felt layer of insulation, the stove was half the size of the one in the picture, the duvet was a summer one and nope, no extra blankets.
Perhaps they shouldn't have been renting their Yurts out in March...at least not without the "essential felt layer of insulation, the decent size stove, winter duvet and extra blankets.,,,because we froze...and then we froze some more.
I spent five years travelling and sleeping rough in my twenties but I have to say, our two nights at DeepDale Camping were probably the two most miserable of my life and I've been caught sleeping rough hitching across the French Alps ( having to fill my little tent with pine branches to stay alive), I've also dug myself out of a snow drift in the morning while sleeping in nothing but a Swiss army sleeping bag....did I mention it was more miserable than both those times at DeepDale Camping.
I wonder what it's like in Summer, the "essential felt insulation" being wool it keeps the Yurt cool in summer, as well as warm in winter, lot of surface area to a Yurt, I imagine it's baking mid summer without it.
To be fair to DeepDale Camping the Yurt was spotlessly clean as were the facilities and they even asked us how we enjoyed our stay. When I mentioned that it had been much too cold and that I thought the stove was too small they mentioned that they had had a lot of trouble about that ( clearly others had complained about the cold) and that they had checked and the stove fitted the specification of the yurt. They're no doubt correct...assuming they'd included the "essential felt insulation". I mentioned too the duvet being a summer one but they just said it was brand new...they didn't say anything about the lack of extra blankets, think she was getting fed up by then, perhaps it was a rhetorical "How was your stay".
|Our Yurt....it snowed|
I did manage to practice however, once.
Sunday morning I woke up, stoked the little stove, crammed if full of wood, put my Santorini Maduka lite as close to the stove as I dared and did Primary, heavy on the Ujjayi wearing layers upon layers, stripping them off as I went through the practice and then putting them back on again one by one through finishing.
M. woke up and snapped a couple of shots, even a little pranayama video before jumping back under the summer duvet and chair throws.
|Practicing in thermals, looks like an old 70's yoga leotard|
Practice was good, straight primary, hard and fast to keep the heat up and get a little sweat on but how do you do Garbha Pindasana in tights? What is Kino talking about, my shorts are much easier, in the Supta Kurmasana exit too.
Ashtanga is seems is back on the menu, nothing busts rajas like Primary, great for immediate post bereavement, the freezing cold and, I don't know, primary, it's home from home.
Why Primary series?
Here's something I wrote on Small Blue Pearls blog last week that sums it up nicely for me how I feel about Primary currently, seems it comes out of my head better in a comment somewhere else than when I try to encapsulate it here on my own blog
"I guess I'm spoiled practicing at home in that I can do what I want or what feels right, but I look at Primary now and I kind of see it in bold with these shadowy images behind and around it. If I focus on the shadows I see the vinyasa kramas around each posture, preparation postures, extensions, options lots of options. Focus in another way and I'm seeing breath focus options in each posture, longer slower, fuller breaths, longer stays, breath retentions and in yet another shift of focus drishti options, chakras, marma points, internal gazing, one drishti point throughout, bandhas...it's like all these ghostly images, echoes, surrounding the series, quite beautiful actually. And it's all Krishnamacharya, all ashtanga, all there at the time he was teaching Pattabhi Jois. For 2nd series I tend to practice Ramaswami's Bow followed by parts of his Meditative sequence which is pretty much the first half of standard 2nd series anyway but with a few extra prep postures.
Wish I'd read Matthew's article (Matthew Sweeney Evolution of Ashtanga) three four years ago when I was first having these questions, being slammed somewhat for it (no doubt I was clumsy in my presentation) and barely having the confidence to trust my intuition, it was nice watching/listening to some of the panel discussions I posted recently on what's REALLY important in the practice. Mostly I think it's that you just turn up everyday and practice, with honesty and commitment... and remember to breathe. Time for practice"