5K Run = Freedom

Just got back from a run & post run yoga workout & playtime in the park. I’m trying to get myself to run my very first 5K mid October. I have never ran anything ever before. I’m not a runner & I have never been. But I always found running feel like freedom. Every time I see a runner it symbolizes freedom & makes me want to try it.

So, 3 weeks ago I finally took the stroller, my running shoes & myself out to Kapiolani Park to get myself moving. It has been a challenge & my mind keep playing tricks on me every time! My support system against my mind is that I gave birth all naturally without anything & also healed myself on Chicken soup rather than Ibuprofen…..the support system makes me not want to give up even though everything says stop.

I’m now able to run a 2 mile run without a stop & just need a little more to get myself ready for the Susan Komen breast cancer race in October.

To get my prana going after my run I always finish it off with some sun salutations & a handstand.

To get my prana going after my run I always finish it off with some sun salutations & a handstand.

 

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Yoga Quote of the Day – Where There is Love There is Light.

I don’t remember the last time I put together a design. It was at least 8 months ago….however, I think I finally am back behind the computer screen designing away. So today I got inspired by the one & the only Mahatma Gandhi, whose quote always warm my heart.

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Purity of Life & Life Changes

I was privileged of being able to become a mother during my lifetime and just by the day I see how my little boy is growing & developing into a personality of his own. How a clean slate of human being starts to develop feelings from the survival mode of primal instincts to waking up with a glowing smile to crying for comfort & love.

However, at times I get eye openers – from living my very coveted life in my tiki hut with my beautify husband & baby boy, doing yoga, reading Dalai Lama teachings & talking walks around one of the most beautiful places on earth Diamond Head to seeing terrible events happening in the news, getting doors shut in the face at the grocery store to people cutting in front of you in line. Those eye openers makes you both sad & shocked that there is another life outside of the coveted tiki hut life of love, care & family.

And it shockss me how we from being born with a purity of life become egotistical, hurtful & selfish. What makes us change so abruptly from the purity of life to loosing ourselves in adulthood?….Being a mother makes me wonder what life changes creates selfishness, hate & non-compassion.

 

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Bikram I’m back!

2 months & 17 days in from recovering & adjusting to mommy hood I get to visit the Bikram shala with my mat! What an experience! I had a feeling of gratitude through most of the practice. However, at times I really missed my little son since I never have been away from him before. I cannot imagine mama’s who have to work & leave their little blessings at home!! I am soo blessed to be able to stay home with my little spirit!

At first it was easy going through all the breathing & initial poses but after about 30 minutes I was ready to throw in the towel. My mind started feeling sorry for myself as I was still recovering from pregnancy I thought….at around 50 minutes of heat, sweat & yoga I finally started to really enjoy the practice. My feelings of gratitude & happiness came back! And the timing of waiting for more than 2 months felt perfect! I wouldn’t have enjoyed doing Bikram anytime sooner.

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Coo-coos in Lotus Pose

Ever since my last post & the decision I made with myself & also with my husband of not listening to anyone in regards to their input of how to raise my little baby, I have connected even more with my beautiful little boy! He never cries & only wakes up once I twice during night to be feed. He smiles & coo-coos. On top of it, he slept all by himself during the day yesterday & have started to be able to play & coo-coo on his own.

And due to my little baby now being able too coo-coo & sleep by himself during the day, mama gets some lone time, which means yoga time!!

Yesterday I managed both to stand still for a few seconds in a pincha & learn how to get into a lotus pose while doing a supported headstand! Soo exciting as mama got to coo-coo all on her own in her lotus pose!

My next mission is to manage to take myself to my long-waited Bikram class but I am slowly conquering one thing at a time.

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Rusting Myself Out of Pregnancy

I am still avoiding sugar! I have now gone 2 1/2 weeks without any sugar from candy, soda, cookies or any Starbucks/Coffee Bean cups. However, I still have cravings for sugar and I kept wondering why I am walking around craving sweets soo stronly. This craving of sugar has been worse than quitting smoking. So I went to my friend Google! And Google told me that it could be because I am breastfeeding, which totally makes sense. But I am still confused of why it has created a sugar craving in my system. At times I do allow myself an apple and I do eat Luna Bars – they are soo addicting as well (they do have 12 g of sugar – but I totally ignore the 12 g’s….- I still consider myself sugar free!)

During these past few days I have practiced some yoga as well. Even tough I still haven’t gotten to a full hour & a half of ashtanga at home I still have got to do the sun salutations on a daily basis. And it is amazing how the body has a “muscle” memory. The flexibility & muscles are quickly coming back. I still do have to work a lot on my arms tough. The chaturangas are a bit tough to go through even while just doing the sun salutations…my spaghetti arms are still yet too weak.

Today I dared myself to try the kapotasana (king pigeon pose). I have been afraid to try it thinking that I wouldn’t be able to bend myself this much but I did it! And it wasn’t as scary as I had envisioned myself it to be. Now I just need to fine tune it – like I feel that I need to do with all my poses – but I guess that is what happens when you rust yourself out of pregnancy.

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Upside down with Fuzziness

Ok…I guess I have been a little lucky with my baby. He doesn’t cry much and is not generally fuzzy. But the past 3 days have been really challenging in the evenings where he has been overtired and not wanting to sleep. And we are now back to him being my right little hip. Won’t let me out of his sight so I had to go upside down for a bit to release myself from all the fuzziness.

I hope that tonight will be a better night since it cannot get worse right?

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Even a Fallen Angel Won’t Resist Sugar

My quit-smoking app now says that I have gone 1 year & 2 months & 1 day since I last had my cigarette. I have also gone 11 months & 1 day since my last glass of wine (or I did have a few at that time). However, my indulgence in sugar & chocolate never ended…. During my pregnancy, I have had at least one chocolate bite or candy on a daily basis…. Until a week ago – where I decided I need to cut the sugar & chocolate out from my system. And I did!

So now I have gone 1 week and 1 day without eating sugar & chocolate. However, it has been very challenging cutting out the sugar & chocolate. It is actually much tougher than to quit smoking & drinking. Sugar is in everything & you can find it everywhere. Additionally, where do you stop? Do you stop at 9 gram of sugar, 15 gram, 20 gram….there is sugar in everything. And what about drinking orange juice?…

Today I have had ice-cream on my mind….and it has gone a week…. and I see this beautiful shiny box of ice-cream in my head. I can even taste the ice-cream. And I do have that beautiful box of ice-cream in the freezer…

I did read that if you crave sugar, it might be because you are dehydrated. But the water bottle has still not yet been enough for me… instead I went & made a cup of coffee for myself & added one teaspoon (4 gram) of sugar to it…is that allowed?

It’s all in the mind. I still have 13 days until the habit/craving is supposed to be gone until then I guess I will have try to mentally free myself from the screaming box of ice-cream…and also work on not having a cup of coffee for each time I got a box of ice-cream screaming my name….cause that is also addicting….

What to do with all these addictions….when will we ever be free?

Even the fallen angel didn't help my ice-cream craving...:)

Even the fallen angel didn’t help my ice-cream craving…:)

 

A Garudasana Day.

Time is just flying by – it feels like I just woke up this morning but it is already Thursday evening. I’m not sure if the time sensitivity I have started to feel lately has to do with my pregnancy or just in general.

Anywhoo – today I had a great day I managed to add a new project on my to-do list that I have decided that I want to do before Peanut comes out. A secret project that I will reveal once it is all complete. And I got my daily pose out on Instagram for all mama-to-be’s and I had a wonderful lunch with my new friend Sylvia, who also is my Ashtanga teacher here on the island. We went and had a israeli lunch & talked about life & yoga. And she shared the concept of Mysore – which I totally want to try out once I can go back to my regular yoga practice!

Now I am off to bed as my feet are swollen like Michelin feet. I get very swollen & puffy in the evening, which I think mainly is from the heat. Tomorrow is a new day & I will be off to the beach again to do some yoga.

Below is the pose of the day for my IG yoga challenge – it is a little too tight for some mama’s in the third trimester, which I realized today. But for anyone who feel it is too tight – I would suggest to open up the legs instead of twisting them as we need to make space for our baby belly.

A Revised Seated Eagle Pose - Garudasana.

A Revised Seated Eagle Pose – Garudasana.

the Rita I am.

I am still reading the Happiness Project by author Gretchen Rubin & today it made me want to write a blog post about it. One of the author’s punch list items is to be Gretchen (herself). If you are more connected with yourself, you will have an easier time to find the happiness that you are looking for, which is the basis of the book.

Ever since I was young I always had a tendency to get inspired by others. My childhood was not the easiest, I found myself often wanting to be someone else as I didn’t know how & who I was. This has been an insecurity that has been following me throughout the years. However, just from this past year of going through my very own lifestyle change of living healthy, quitting smoking, not drinking, exercising with yoga & slowly developing a positive mind (through all of the above). I am finally starting to become more grounded & finally becoming myself, the Rita I am. A person with less materialistic needs, less worries & anxiety, living in the moment yet being responsible, loving to inspire & create.  And above all – is not afraid to see my true self in the mirror.

Thanks to the author Rubin, I got an eye opener in today’s chapter of how I have finally become myself (or finally found myself). It is as the Buddhist proverb says, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear“. Even though the Happiness Project is “just” a book, it has given me some eye openers throughout the chapters that have made me realize that this past year has been a year of self-realization & maturity of finding the Rita I am.

Finding myself.

A year of self-realization & maturity.

Left vs. Right Side Tightness in My Yoga Practice

I have noticed something I think is pretty bad. My left side is a lot more tighter & unflexible than my right side. Most of my postures are pretty good on the right side but every time I move to the left it strains, unflexes & just get stuck.

And since I love to analyze things – I am wondering why I am having this problem & the reason behind it.

There are various theories & studies out there sharing information about the difference between a left-handed person and a right-handed person. I am a left-handed person, so you would think that my left hand side would be more open but it is the opposite. However, research shows that there can be cross-over reference of the brain – left-handed people can be ruled by the right side of the brain and right-handed are the opposite.

I am wondering if that could be the reason of my right sided dominance in my yoga practice? But I really do need to start favoring the left hand side whether I want it or not – otherwise I will never be able balance myself out. And I might end up limping my way through my senior years.

Are you a left-handed or right-handed person, what side do you have more tightness on? What side do you favor the most?

Left handed but feeling strained on my right hand side throughout all my yoga poses.

Left handed but feeling strained on my right hand side throughout all my yoga poses.

Yoga Teacher Training on Freeze.

You might have noticed. I haven’t updated anything about the yoga teacher training that I mentioned I wanted to take. I didn’t sign up. But I would love to become a yoga teacher. However, after much thought I think once I am ready with my pregnancy & once I have settled in with the life of being a mother I want to look into becoming a yoga teacher again. In that case I think I will become a Ashtanga teacher & use Ashtanga as my base rather than any other form of yoga.

The teacher training is a chapter I wanted to open but closed as I didn’t feel that the style of yoga that was taught was my cup of tea & I felt that I am more comfortable with Ashtanga then any other form of yoga. {Bikram I love for the amazing detox it gives – but I don’t feel challenged with just the 26 postures – I feel that I need more than 26 postures & heat}.

I did actually get pretty far with the yoga class that I wanted to attend & I even ordered the yoga books that was required, which are books that I will be going through anyways even though I won’t get the physical teaching & practice of becoming a yoga teacher.

Books that I ordered for my yoga teacher training – got some reading to do!

Yoga Mantra of the Day: Yoga takes you into the present moment – the only place where life exists.

Today it’s yoga mantra day. I really believe in the below quote as it really resonates with how I feel when I do yoga. Something magical happens & it takes me back from any anxieties, worries or artificial feelings. Yoga grounds me to be a better person from the inside & out. And one person who will agree with me is my husband – who sees it happen on a daily basis when I get back home from my yoga practice.

Yoga takes you into the present moment. The only place where life exists.

Yoga takes you into the present moment. The only place where life exists.

Ginger & Pomegranate Mask

Today it’s raining but I still got to clean up in my little herbal garden. When my mother-in-law came to visit, she picked a ginger plant while we went hiking (I avoided picking it as I didn’t want the little Menehunes come knocking on my door but I figured I would have my mother-in-law do it as she lives in Sweden – and we only have trolls in Sweden:)) And now the ginger plant is all growing up & sprouting! I am not sure though how I am going to get pieces of it without having to pick the whole plant….something I might have to google..

Oh well, today I got to get to know my new Korean neighbor a little bit more, she even gave me a Korean face mask – which I am definitely going to try. I like it that it is pomegranate – I guess Korean beauty products are well known & popular in Asia. I am totally in need of a facial rejuvenation – the preggo hormones, sunshine & no Bikram have made my skin a little dried out.

Got my herbal garden all cleaned up & my Hawaiian ginger plant is starting to sprout!

Got my herbal garden all cleaned up & my Hawaiian ginger plant is starting to sprout!

Korean Pomegranate Facial Mask - let's see if it will do some magic.

Korean Pomegranate Facial Mask – let’s see if it will do some magic.

Time & Messages.

Do you believe in signs or messages? At times I do. A while ago I found at least one penny laying around me anywhere I went on a daily basis. My mother-in-law used to find feathers all around her. She also believes in signs/messages at times. Now lately I have had a tendency to see 11:11, 111, 1111 numbers all over but I am not sure why. Every night I go to bed I for some reason catch the watch at 11:17 without wanting to catch it.

Today I saw the message of “the days are long, but the years are short” – twice. You might think it is only twice, but for some reason I resonate with it when I see it. Maybe it is my pregnancy that makes me resonate with the message, since I am about to turn in to a parent in a few months. At times I feel that time is flying by but I am standing still.

Do you ever feel that your time is standing still even though you are juggling 10,000 things in your daily life? Do you have a tendency to see signs or find strange messages around you?

Standing Tree Pose

Standing still in the tree pose but still have the feeling that time is flying by.

The To-Do’s Against Tense Shoulders.

Wow, my shoulders aren’t feeling as heavy & tight anymore. You might think it is from me doing yoga but no, it is not. The past few days I have cleaned up the house. I still have a long way to go, but I have started to really follow through on my to-do list. At times it takes a little while to get started but I am slowly but steadily going through the items I listed down. For each item my shoulders tense up.

For the past few weeks I have had this cloud of to-do’s that have weighed me down & instead I have ran away from them. Done all the fun stuff. The to-do’s have been anything from recycling the cans & bottles underneath the stairway to sorting the office papers that was piled up right underneath my nose.

So…..maybe that is why the massage therapist always say that I have tight shoulders! Maybe the tight shoulders are not only from working in front of the computer, but always tense up a little extra for all the little things I have set back not to do.

Day 13 out of the @GrowSoulBeautiful Instagram Yoga Challenge – the High Lunge

Hand to Big Toe Pose - One of the tougher Poses for me to do in the Ashtanga Series.

Hand to Big Toe Pose – One of the tougher Poses for me to do in the Ashtanga Series.

Yoga Mantra of the Day: The Future Depends on What We Do in the Present

Today I made a new mantra quote as I thought it was time for a yoga mantra of the day update. At times I forget that what we do today is basically sowing the seeds for tomorrow. So today I am sharing the quote of a very inspiring person whose philosophy & knowledge  I love to follow & live by – Mahatma Gandhi.

The Future Depends on What We Do in the Present - Mahatma Gandhi - Yoga Mantra Quote

The Future Depends on What We Do in the Present – Mahatma Gandhi – Yoga Mantra Quote

Day 9 through Day 12 – Ashtanga Red Bull Energy.

So I have been a little quiet with blogging for the past few days. I have been active on Instagram posting my daily yoga challenge pictures for this month, which has been a lot of fun. And I did do Ashtanga as I mentioned in my Friday post & I loved it! I even went on a Ashtanga Basic Fundamentals class this weekend, which is very interesting and helpful as the teacher Yoko shows you how to do each pose with the right form, technique & breathing. Below is an update of the poses that I missed posting for day 10 and 11. I will share the 12th day with you tomorrow together with the new daily pose for day 13.

Now I am off to go & continue my office work, paper work, preparing taxes and other fun stuff….got new energy from my Ashtanga practice & seminar this weekend – it is almost like I had a Ashtanga version of Red Bull Energy from all the practice I got this past weekend!

My pregnant version of the Supta Baddha Konasana pose. You can see Peanut peaking out a little bit.

My pregnant version of the Supta Baddha Konasana pose. You can see Peanut peaking out a little bit.

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The Utkatasana – Chair pose.

Day 8 – Ashtanga Friday.

Today it’s beautiful Aloha Friday! And I am going to go & see if I still can last through my favorite Ashtanga class with Yoko. I went to another yoga class in the beginning of this week and didn’t enjoy it at all. Being pregnant I do not enjoy spending too much time doing core moves & I don’t enjoy the belly hanging too much for some reason – in the last class my belly looked like a cone and I got the regular worry that something was wrong with my belly & Peanut {might be a common hypochondria symptom of pregnant women bearing their first child}. So when I was done with class I was done with the teacher….never looking back to that yoga class during my pregnancy. So keep your finger that I still have the energy & ability to continue with doing Ashtanga instead. Some women are able to go through the class throughout their pregnancy & some don’t. Let’s see in what category I will fall into.

Saturday update to come about my Ashtanga progress.

Loving the burn you get from the Chaturanga Dandasana!

Loving the burn you get from the Chaturanga Dandasana in your shoulders during the Sun Salutations in Ashtanga!

 

    Todays @growsoulbeautiful move is the Easy Pose {Sukhasana}.

Todays @growsoulbeautiful move is the Easy Pose {Sukhasana}.

 

Day 6 – The Forward Belly Bend

Peanut is growing! My weight & belly is growing at a faster speed than the light. Today I went out on a new found passion of mine – to photograph myself doing yoga poses. Earlier I wanted my husband to help me but he doesn’t have the photographic “eye” to get the pictures from the right angle  & he is a busy bee all the time with his work. And I need my poses taken for my @growsoulbeautiful challenge – today’s move is the standing forward bend {uttanasana} – but I decided to show you a mixed version of today’s move instead.

So I am learning photo techniques with my camera, lighting of the sun & my timer. I am actually looking forward developing my photo skills until the time when my yogi-baby comes out!!! So excited to be able to capture the beauty of my new little spirit that is developing him/herself in the belly.

A mixed version of today's Yoga move and other fun moves I did on the beach for the @growsoulbeautiful challenge.

A mixed version of today’s Yoga move and other fun moves I did on the beach for the @growsoulbeautiful challenge.

My yogi belly {baby} that is growing faster than the speed of light.

My yogi belly {baby} that is growing faster than the speed of light.