It was about 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahreheit) this morning indoors (no heater at home). First time doing yoga practice in such a cold environment. I did the full primary series practice in long sleeves, and barely broke a sweat. At my yoga studio I usually start sweating in samastitihi, right when we are about to start chanting. Practice certainly isn't easy in this kind of environment, but it's "safer" for me since I can't collapse into poses and over-stretch when it's so cold.
I watched what I could in David Garrigues' video about breath and receptivity (reviewed in Nobel's blog). Couldn't watch the whole thing because I'm "borrowing" neighbor's wi-fi with my iPad and the connection is not so great. Took me 10 minutes to watch 3 minutes of the video. David mentioned that there should be a balance between effort and receptivity. He also said that the breath will do its own thing depending on the body condition and environment. Well, my breathing in sun salutations were done in slow motion today (I am known to rush through the whole series in 60 minutes). I guess in the cold the body's too stiff to rush through the motions. My mind wasn't awake enough to dominate my natural breathing pattern, and it wanted to take its time to heat up the inner body. Cold practice sucks for the ego, but is good for my body and breath.
It's bizarre to be practicing yoga in an environment where everyone else barely cares about their bodies (or they try to eat their way to health - diet supplements sell really well here). My sister has a haunch back so severe, I've only seen such a curved spine among really old people. She refuses to do much about it. I don't understand how she holds herself up. Last year when I saw her, her back got much better since she had a massage therapist friend who manually adjusted her and really improved her spine, but now it's back to an old lady spine. Her son and daughter also both have haunches, non-severe ones but nobody says or does anything about it. One cousin tells me she has lower back pains and unknown foot problem such that she can't walk for more than an hour at a time. As far as I know, no one's conditions are completely hopeless, but everyone seems to choose to let the body worsen rather than doing something to improve it. I guess in a culture where watching TV and eating are the biggest national hobbies, as long as the mouth and eyes still function, the rest of the body parts don't really matter.