The Yin/Yang Effects of Yoga

For the past few weeks I have noticed that if I am irritated or angry I get a craving to want to go and do yoga. I think yoga has become my psychologist. It has become a mental outlet for all my feelings. A very interesting aspect that I have noticed for these past two days is that my performance of yoga depends solely on how I am emotionally. You are probably thinking “duh – of course”……However, in my case what I mean is that if I am happy my yoga practice actually doesn’t come out as good as the happiness I have within. This past Sunday I went in to my yoga class feeling bursts of happiness. It was raining outside but I excitedly walked to my yoga practice enjoying the rain drops & the grey mugginess. When I started the practice everything was perfect until after around 15 minutes and everything started to become a struggle. For the remaining 75 minutes I felt like a slug. The happiness & joy that I had before walking in to the yoga room disappeared through my puddles of sweat.

However, today I went to my regular yoga practice feeling irritated & somewhat angry not noticing the beautiful sun & the fresh breeze of air coming through. I was walking with a cloud over my head with steady steps just wanting to go and do my yoga & to get the anger burst out of my chest!

The practice went excellent. I was still strong by the end of class and I felt like I could go on for forever. I walked out from the class with a smile on my face & finally noticing the sun and the fresh breeze of air!

It is amazing how there are two sides to a coin, to our feelings, to the weather & even to our yoga practice. I think I have now reached & come to understand the yin/yang effect of yoga and its power it has on us mentally & physically on both rainy & sunny days!

Feeding the Emptiness & Hunger

A few days ago I was asked by a friend to help her get back in shape. And I said yes & got very excited to get a chance to be a personal trainer/inspiration to get someone “kick-started”. Afterwards I started to think about the process of how I would get my friend back in shape. So the thoughts I have had about obesity & being overweight for the past few days is that it is an addiction. An addiction, which is the same as it is for a smoker, an alcoholic, a shopaholic etc. In this case it the addiction is to food – where we excessively indulge ourselves to feed the craving of emptiness & hunger.

The most interesting thing is that while I was walking around thinking about how I was going to approach this project that I correlated with smoking & addiction – I found an article in New York Times today that justified my philosophy of food being addictive.

I myself have to admit that my smoking addiction now has been replaced with Chai tea, chocolate & yoga. It might sound funny – but I am really struggling with avoiding the daily chocolate cravings I have – in the early phase of my quit smoking I actually had a ice-cream addiction as well – I would need 1 to 2 scoops of ice-cream every day. The ice-cream got replaced with chocolate, where I now eat 100g of milk chocolate every day. Good thing I exercise, because if I didn’t I would be adding on a lot of pounds. I am still in the midst of figuring out how to get rid of this chocolate craving that I have got & why I am having it.

It is both a mental & physical addiction. Once I figure out how to turn off these cravings I will be on the right path of helping my friend with succeeding with her get in shape challenge as well.

Keep your finger that I can find the magic formula for getting rid of my chocolate craving!

The best way for me to clear myself & my mind is to go and do some yoga.

A Week of Focus

For the past two weeks I have started creating mental strengthening challenges with myself. Last week was a week of working on my patience. This week I decided to work on my focus. I got this idea while I was going through half of my Bikram class two weeks ago. At times the mind start to wander in class, even though you don’t want it to wander. However, I believe in signs and messages. And since the idea stuck with me when I got out of class while I was driving home – I decided to implement it.

Last weeks work of patience was helpful – I didn’t get irritated in traffic, I patiently stood in line & most importantly I started to give myself patience in my yoga practice. I have been pushing myself very hard as I want to be super flexible, & yoga perfect – even though I started doing yoga in January.

This week I dedicated it to a week of focus. I tend to multi-task, juggle between tasks and get bored easily. I always walk around with a feeling that I didn’t put 150% of my energy into things – which has to do with my focus problem. If I would be able to focus on one task at a time – everything I do would be felt as it was complete. Walking around with having tasks that doesn’t feel complete can make it very heavy on the shoulders – and my massage therapist said that I need to relax my shoulders as they are very tense – and maybe the underlying reason could be that I don’t focus.

Lets see if my shoulders are less tense by the end of this week.

Running & Savasana

Today I went running/power walking – I beat my record with a few minutes but I still have a long way to go. I have never been a runner but I always admired people who are running around the park, or at the gym. It looks so relieving but I myself never got the energy, endurance or patience to go for a run. I don’t last for very long. But I decided to break my running “bubble” and have been going for power walks/running about once a week for the past 1.5 months. I really enjoy it – and try to break the bubble each time and encourage my legs to keep on going & not to stop.

After my run I stopped by at the park and did some sun salutations from my iphone app with Mr. Michael Gannon – my favorite pose ended up being the savasana – as I got pretty tired from my power walk/running route and I almost zzzz-ed out:)

Becoming Self-Sufficient w/ a Mini-Herb Garden

I don’t have the magical hands that some people have with plants and flowers. I tend to either over-water or under-water the plants that I have had through life – and within just a few weeks they would die. However, ever since I started doing yoga – my patience, courage, focus & personality has changed. I guess I have grown up. Therefore, today I thought it was the right day to get started and see if I got those magical hands that my mother-in-law has. She is amazing with growing plants, flowers, vegetables – you name it. She even was able to grow she picked in Hawaii in her home in Sweden.

Being inspired by my mother-in-law, and wanting to become more self-sufficient and green – I went and got my own mini-herb garden to see if I got the touch. Let’s see for the next upcoming weeks if these plants are still staying green & growing!

I also researched a little about the health benefits I will get from my mini-herb garden once it starts growing and blooming:

Spearmint: Low in calories & contains zero cholesterol. Includes minerals such as potassium, calcium, manganese, iron & magnesium. Useful in healing digestive problems including nausea, flatulence and hiccups as it relaxes the stomach muscles.

Parsley: Healthy source of vitamin C and vitamin A, which helps strengthen the body’s immune system. Serves as a anti-inflammatory agent within the body. Anti-cancer properties, studies has shown that Myristicin (organic compound found in the oil of parsley) inhibits tumor formation (especially in the lungs).

Oregano: Rich source of vitamin K. Includes anti-bacterial properties. High in iron, maganese & fiber. Is thought to be the most antioxidant dense nutrient of all foods.

Thyme: Powerful antioxidant. Used in treatment of acute & chronic bronchitis, sore throats, coughs, laryngitis & asthma. Useful as mouthwash to treat throat infections, prevent gingivitis & mouth inflammation. A memory booster & can help you concentrate more.

Cilantro: Reduce feelings of nausea. Anti-inflammatory capacities. Good source of iron, magnesium. Helpful in fighting anemia. Promotes healthy liver function. Has been shown to reduce menstrual cramping.

My mini garden features some Greek oregano, parsley, spearmint, cilantro & thyme!

The Yoga Spot of Invasion

Today I went to my favorite morning class at the Bikram Studio – the teacher Brent is great! He doesn’t have you stand in the poses for a minute and a half, but he does give you pointers & make you give each pose 110%. He is a tough instructor but still yet efficient and very knowledgeable about yoga & Bikram. He share the various techniques of how to get into the postures correct and the benefits of what we are trying to accomplish every time we got to class.

The funny thing is when I went to class today – every time since I started in January – I found this special spot in the yoga studio, which has become “mine”. It is actually by the 3rd window from the left, just by the window if you look at the below picture. When I get to class – if someone would have taken the spot, I get confused, and even a little anxious at times. I feel lost. It is soo weird, it is just a spot in a studio, which is not mine but for some reason I have taken ownership of that spot.

Today a lady had almost taken my spot, there was this very tight room left close to the window. At first I put my yoga mat next to her on the other side, but quickly moved it to “my” spot….but then I realized that I had invaded on her space. And apologized, but it looked like she didn’t mind, so I stayed.

Now when I think about it afterwards, I should probably start to get used to the studio a bit more and try different spots and just work on my “comfort” zone a bit…which will be my new Bikram Yoga project.

Do you have a favorite spot in your studio? Do you feel that someone invaded on your space, if your spot has been taken?

Feeling Delighted from my Sunday Yoga Class! Such a emotional & physical detox!

My "spot" is by the 3rd window from the left side....

A Little Quietness

So I have been a little quiet from my blog for a week – I got thrown off of the photo challenge with Lululemon – it was a bit challenging to match the chosen words they had for their challenge with finding something that would resemble or fit the daily word. But other than that I have spent most of my time working. I still have found the time to do yoga. I even purchased a $3 app to my iphone, which is great!

The app is actually really good – Michael Gannon who is the voice for the workout gives you a few pointers that I didn’t hear before….what I do is that I put my speaker phones on, dig my phone into my running hip bag and play my app. I went to my favorite place Lanikai today and before I enjoyed the day at the beach I followed Mr. Michael Gannon halfway through the Ashtanga series. Didn’t do the full “class” today – I am still sore from my Ashtanga class I did yesterday.

Anyone else who have tried the Ashtanga Yoga app? I strongly recommend it – in case you don’t go to any Ashtanga class & if you have an iphone – it is definitely worth the $3. The only downfall is that you don’t have anyone correcting you.

Favorite Beach in the Whole Wide World – Lanikai

Favorite Yoga App in the Whole Wide World – Yoga

Mantra of the Day – Fit is Not a Destination, it’s a Way of Life

I created a inspirational quote for the company I am a partner in/work with. I like the quote & what it means, which is why I wanted to share it with you. Even though it doesn’t include any yoga in the actual quote I still feel it fits me for who I am as a person, for what I am trying to achieve with my yoga & my lifestyle. To stay fit & to live with training/yoga/workout as a part of my everyday with no real end goal other than making & keeping it as my lifestyle.

I hope that you will enjoy today’s mantra.

A Better Day than Yesterday. Set the Bar.

Even though yesterday was a “me” day – I felt a little “down” & lonely. My hubby man had to go to Maui for a tennis tournament, and initially I thought I was going to enjoy the weekend myself but I ended up not enjoying it. Yesterday was a beautiful day but I didn’t feel it being beautiful. My friend gave me a advice a while back that if you feel down or lonely – don’t try to get rid of the feeling. Live in it and recognize the feeling. A interesting philosophy that she shared, so yesterday I tried my best to live in the feeling of being lonely and down. And it looks like I woke up on the right side today and I feel much better. I even went and got my favorite take-out and worked out at the gym for a bit mixing a functional training workout with some yoga moves.

Now I am off to the couch to watch some Sunday TV – even though I kind of stopped watching TV – at times I like to watch & see what happens in the world & get a reality check.

Today’s WTF Photo Challenge was to Set the Bar(re) – so I set my bar at the gym with a way off  “standing-head-to-knee” pose – I had to hold the camera at the same time:) Tomorrow it is reflection time.

#wtf photo challenge day 2 – set the bar(re)…

 

My backward bend

(WTF)September Photo Challenge – Day 1 – The Centre

Today was a day just about me. A focus on myself. It is Saturday & this morning I woke up early & went to my Bikram class. Today’s class was better then yesterday. However, my body “tenses” up soo quickly – and it takes a little bit time for me to warm up.

After the Bikram class I went home and ate my favorite breakfast – lox bagel w/ creme cheese & capers:). Once breakfast was complete – I went into my Post-Yoga-CRASH-syndrome again and had a wonderful nap with lots of dreams.

By the end of the day I took a drive around the island to get my photo challenge picture of the day – it doesn’t really show the “centre” but it is a image of the beauty & calming feeling of a “centre” – the sunset. Once you sit and enjoy a sunset & it will take your mind and breath away!

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