Saturday, November 21, 2009

Wishing Ikuyo and Maki All The Best

Susan P.(Far Left) Ikuyo L.(Left), Meself, Maki S.(Right)

20th November at 9.30am :  Arrived at the airport to wish Ikuyo and Maki all the best for the teaching training course with Patrick Creelman in Hong Kong.  Both of them were set and ready to go.  Maki was a little 'over' her check in luggage weight, but she managed to pack some of her stuffs away into her hand carrier bag.  Maki's daughter, Hanako, was there with her dad, David to bid their farewells.  It was definitely exciting to see them leaving for the TTC but little Hanako didn't look that happy when Maki headed for the departure gates.  

21st November 9pm : Received text from the girls in HK.  Both are well and have survived their first day.  Seems like they are having fun by the way they've both typed out their text messages.  Om Namah Shivayah.

Side note.......  :O)  I am so happy for Maki and Ikuyo's decision to become yoga teachers.  A path that's challenging in so many ways, but they have both set their dreams and goals in ways I have only assisted.  It was their own initiation and their own self-determination that has given them this opportunity to do the teacher training course.  I admire their tenacity and their drives to always know more about the yoga philosophy and their maturity has grace them well into potentially 'good yoga teachers' .  

It's not been that easy for the past year for the girls.  They have family commitment , little children to attend to, and even other obstacles that would have stopped them from pursuing their dreams.  As a teacher, I only guided and morally support them the best way I know how.  But I believe it's through their family support, love and their own inspirations that they have achieve and deserve their journey in the yogic path. 

I  will keep them in my thoughts and keep wishing them the best ........

Monday, November 16, 2009

Yoga Makeover Workshop

Bringing Alignment  with Self And Universe 
HipOpener, Inner Spiral, Outer Spiral, Lead from the Heart

Keeping Focus, Breaths, Arm Strength with Shoulder Blades Drawn Down

Bringing Re-Alignment, Inner Spiral, Outer Spiral, Muscular Energy, Organic Energy
Uddiyana Bandha Shown by June (Far Left)

Titibhasana using  Uddiyana Bandha and Arm Strength.
The Yoga Makeover workshop was hopefully inspirational to the students attending it.  My hope was to give students the knowledge and the understanding with deep appreciation of the muscles that we use to 'enhance our asanas.  Based on Anusara Theme, we worked into our 'inner spiral' 'outer spiral' ' shoulder loop' and 'heart softening'.  There were a lot of transformations made in the poses by students who felt they weren't able to do so in the 'past'.  Some students who had well rounded backs and other back issues to neck issues, we used the breaths and Anusara verse of adjustment to bring the students into their highest potential.  'Transformation' was the key word, and I was more than happy to see students doing yoga in the most of their ability.

Cynthia has back issues, so going into Paschimottasana is challenging for her.  Whenever she goes into any forward bend, her back rounds off.  But with inner spiral, and creating space to her lower back and hips, she's created 'space' to her lower spine while she maintains her length through the crown of her head. She's now able to guide herself half way into Paschimottasana. Transformation.

Om Namah Shivaya

N.B  Thanks To Candy C. For Taking The Pictures.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Funny Things in La Dolce Vita

5 Days ago- At 12 midnight, in bed already, half asleep.  Pete feeling parched, leaned over me and reached out for a bottle of water.  He downed about half a bottle.  When I turned to my side, I realized he drunk something he shouldn't have.  " Pete, did you drink the white capped bottle or the blue capped bottle?"  ..." The blue capped?!! Why?"...I  smacked him on his shoulder liked 'a wife would do'.  " That's the Holy Water my sister got me, was going to bring that over to our new house to have it blessed.  You just drank Holy Water!!!!!! "

Peter looking half stunned," What!!?? What was the holy water doing at your bedside table? How would I have known it was Holy Water?!!!!"

"Because it said in a big and bright orange sticker clearly marked 'Holy Water blessed by Rev. Johnny Chin'?!!! {Sigh!}

He then mumbled under his breath," Well, I do feel a little bit holy-er now.  It's going to clean and detox my soul while I fall asleep.............!"

Whacked him on the leg ," next time, read! don't do an "Alice in Wonderland" business!!"

4 days ago-Bought Grey's Anatomy PC game............How Shaddddd!

Last night-Late at 11pm, after a late night class.  Tuned into 90.7 F.M whilst driving back home from Jalan Tutong...There was DJ Dean and Boy was my first time hearing these duos on radio.  Boy Boy sounded like the Bruneian version of Alvin the Chipmunk.  They were both reading messages sent to them for radio requests....One particular message brought my attention:-
Boy Boy -   " ...... (so and so)..requests for a .....milo music? ....(Boy Boy pauses after not being sure of the message)....m-i-l-o music?  ehhh...( he still after 20 seconds wasn't sure what he was reading on the screen)....

Dean (the other guy probably tried to help him out and read it too) - Oh!!!! No, Boy Boy, it's Mellow music.....not  M I L O music.....( at this point, I cracked up laughing so loud in the car really made my day).....

Boy Boy just laughed as hard as I did in his cute chipmunk voice.  At least he didn't take it to heart...That's cool!

Today - 9am till 12.30pm .....30 turnouts for my second yoga workshop....good start with a yoga makeover of sun salutation followed by Anusara inspired led class with different standing poses.   Good fun with discovering ways into arm balances and backbends.... Will forever appreciate and remember all the amazing students that made a transformation into their breaths and asanas.  In awe of the ability to fully embrace the changes they made in their poses and their outlook on yoga.  And thank you to Sheila, Ikuyo and Maki for your help during the workshop.  Deeply appreciated.

Om Namah Shivaya 

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Wishlist comes true

I'm having my birthday in a week and already it's been a great week. Been at Gadong mall lately and love Shabby Chic. So have been into Scrapbooking lately. Am playing around with the Slice gadget my dear hubby got me. Pretty cool stuff, it cuts out pretty much loads of lovely shapes.

But that wasn't the only thing keeping me away from blogging. Have been spending my free time teaching 'soon to be' yoga teachers who will be on their way to Patrick Creelman in Hong Kong this December. How exciting! Wish I was going along with them.

In any case, we had a kitchen demo this morning in my parents home. It's the Tmix Kitchen Chef gadget, it grates, mince, kneads, cooks, steams and blends!!! I invited Aunty Faridah and Diana P. since they both love cooking, and it was an instant love from first sight! But the best surprise was when my mum told me she got a Tmix for my coming birthday. I was so super excited, I gave her such a tight hug!! What a super mum.

See, I'm moving out to Telanai in probably a month or two...and my dear mum was thinking of who's going to cook..well, (and I admit, am spoilt having lived with my parents, my dad cooks all the time....he used to be achef before) mum didn't want me to 'doggy bag' all the she got me the kitchen deluxe Tmix. I'm feeling a lot of Bhakti yoga love from everyone around me.....ahhhhh, what a feeling.

I'm looking forward to Christmas, December will be an exciting month! Get to see Desiree Rumbaugh in Taiwan, maybe and possibly moving to a new house, my sister arriving with my nephews end! Just looking forward to everything!

P.S Love 'This Is It' ...MJ is an artist in true light...

Saturday, October 31, 2009

So Cute & Romantic!!!

I think the guy actually works in Disney for him to organise the whole proposal

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Heather Graham in Eka Pada Koundiyasana

A Happy Dog

Glad to say the little Terrier I found at Pantai Meragang, is now with a new owner.  Super, super happy she's got a new home now..................Kudos to the new owner!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


26th Oct, 7.30 pm ...driving home and saw a terrier dog running into a beach area.  Reversed crazily backwards to catch up with it.  Friend lured it in and we brought it home. Beautiful white blackish grey terrier, 7 to 8 years old with big dreamy eyes.  Wish I could keep it but landlady says 'no'. (Landlady= Mummy dearest).  Reasoning- we have 5 dogs, 3 terrapins, 1 chicken and uncounted fishes in a pond. 

Detective Brain says dog has been either lost or abandoned for at least a few days or more. Fur is ruffled and tangled.  Bad BO.  Poor dog starved, finished 3 bowls of rice and chicken. (Got scolded later by Vet not to feed too much to a starving dog or else will create ulcer....crap!)

27th Oct 11am...drove to Vet and asked him to assessed and health check it.  Vet says no problems with health....just loads of fleas....eww, eww, eww......(need to vacuum car)  ...Paid Vet to get her groomed, washed and de-flea-ed.  Text few or more friends to help find a home for poor terrier.  Temporary solution, leave at another friend's house.  Learned from friends Animal Shelter not fully functioning....Why oh why, would anyone abandon such a beautiful dog.  Still calling dog 'baby' only.  Baby very quiet and shy.  Also gets edgy and scared when someone walks past. 

28th Oct 6am...feeling restless and can't sleep.  Got up and changed into lousy track pants and baggy shirt, went into attic and marched my ass on the threadmill.  Speed at 5.9 (short of feet was finding problems with the speed already) inclination 0 .....20 mins later.........enough sweat to cover a face towel was good enough for off and had a nice warm shower...........

10 am ......have decided I have road rage today.  Yoga can't cure me today, not this morning anyways. Bizarre that I'm encountering drivers cutting closely enough to cause an accident! Hormones must be up.  Wish Patanjali had a pose for anti-road rage. We could call it Rodasana.  It could be a modified version of chair pose with arms bent, at 90 degrees....

12pm .....lunch with hubby, told him it's my turn to feel 'Bruce Almighty' .  His answer was ' Meet in Le Taj, eat and relax.......

1.30pm ....Chicken Kashmiri and Spinach Rice worked the irritation and annoyance away.
Life is good again..............

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Always Amah To Me (1918-2007)

Yesterday was my grandma's second anniversary in remembrance since her passing on October 24th 2007.  She was always a special nan to me and still is, purely because she had this amazing love for all her grandchildren and we were all treated equally in her eyes.  I love the hugs she gave me (when I was little) whenever I went over to see her, she would just cuddle me up and give me kisses on my cheeks.  Something about her is so 'Shri' in my life.  She's all the goodness and love that never ceases even when she's not around with us.  Her essence of  love is still here like the soft wind that blows softly on your skin, just like embraces from a loved one.

I called her 'Amah' and believe it or not, I think, because Grandma was always happy and she had this abundance of love and energy in her, her home cooked food were amazing! I loved her stir fried chicken in sweet plum soya sauce and the lovely 'Ang Gu Kueh' or nickname 'Tortoise Soft Dumpling' Cake.  There was always so much food on the table whenever we visited Amah at her house.

But really, Grandma gave me the best present ever.  My dad.  And to think I have the best of both worlds, my mum's side of  Anglican Christianity and on my dad's side, of Buddhist taoist faith.  Even then, I embrace both religions even though I was brought up as a Christian.  Purely because looking at my dad's side of the family, they are just so kind, soft spoken and light hearted.  They hardly speak ill of anyone and believe that all faiths are good.  Anyhow, what's even better is I get to celebrate the Buddhist culture as well as the Christian traditions all year round.

So, last night at my Aunt Sa Chim's house, we gathered together as a family again to pay our respect and in remembrance of Amah.  It wasn't a sad occasion, we all know Grandma had a wonderful peaceful life when she was alive, instead it was more of joyous occasion that we could all still love each other as cousins, uncles and aunties. And with Aunt Sa Chim's cooking, it just reminded us very much of Amah being with us in spirit.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

        Yoga   Makeover  Workshop

Just as the title describes, this workshop will give your yoga practice a whole new makeover.  Starting from our foundation of sun salutation poses following into backbends, arm balances and inversions we will discover ways of easing into the pose with our breaths, how to deepen into each pose using our core muscles and better backbends using our heart centers to lead us through in any vinyasa.

Join us on 15th  November at 9 am till 12 pm! It is a definitely an ‘out of class’ experience!

For more information, contact Jac at 8930886

Venue : D'Music Motion Studio, 1st Floor, Kiarong 
Fees per person $20
Experiences in Sun Salutations necessary

Monday, October 19, 2009

Freedom in Inversions & Backbends

Getting into inversions is scary for first timers.  I remembered being in awe of people who were able to do headstands and how they were able to hold the pose with ease and steadiness.  It was super scary to lift the legs off the floor the first time round in Sirsasana but in time, with practice and 300 falls, I was able to master the headstand a little better.  It was more of a triumph to practice without the wall.  But it's like you feel you can do more poses like Feathered Peacock or Scorpion.  And getting into these poses for the first time is again like getting into Sirsasana for the first time. Scary!!  It took countless falls and bruised nails to finally ease into the pose without feeling a somersault was on its way there.

But just like any poses, everything takes plenty of practice unless you were born with super elasticity in your body. I admire those who work there way through the asanas.  That shows a lot of determination and self-will.


Yesterday, a student went into headstand, and from Sirsasana, she went into half splits in headstand, followed by dropping her feet to the back of the mat into Urdhva Danurasana, while she remained on her forearms.  The transition was smooth and the back bend was amazing.  I thought to myself, it's been a while too since I haven't practice the headstand-wheel.  So, this morning, after a little jog, I decided to practice a little inversion.  Somehow attempting the transition from Sirsasasana, you can't help but be excited but scared at the same time.  But I kept calm, breathed and went into my headstand half split.....then without gripping into my pose, I released my footing to the back of my mat....YES! It felt exhilarating! The drop was little heavy but I figured in time, I probably land a little softly next time round.

I think in time, without feeling too fixed into the pose, if we release our innermost fear about falling, and with a lot of practice, we can bring more ease into our balancing poses.

" A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" Confucious

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Jodi Picoult, My Sister's Keeper

I enjoyed reading Jodi Picoult's My Sister's Keeper, but having watched the movie starring Cameron Diaz, Abigail Breslin, Sofia Vassilieva and Jason Patric, I wasn't too happy with how they've made the movie out of the novel.  I guess because I have read the book, I felt the film lack the deeper emotional issues each character had in the novel.  The film had a different ending to the book.  It leaves the film with no essense to remember it by.  I just had dinner with a close friend last night, and told her I have a short term memory at the moment.  So, thinking the ending in the film can't have been right, I re-read the book's ending.  Both endings were different.  I don't know, I guess I preferred if they had stuck to the story line instead of making such a drastic change to the original ending.  Well, I would give the film a 6/10.  The book is definitely better.

Time Heals & Strengthens

Life is transforming and for me, it's time along with patience and full awareness I have been able to see the physical spiritual and emotional changes taking place.  Maybe not each day, but once in a while, I learn to realise, if I face my fear, I deal with the challenges a lot better rather than avoiding the issues.  That's the beauty of yoga, it takes years of practice to come into any pose without compromising any particular part of the body.

As a teacher, I'm still refining my asanas, finding which part of the muscles I can actively engage to maximise my full potential in each pose.  But there's a fine moment where I need to ask myself this,"Am I pushing my body beyond it's limit? To which part of my pose do I put a stop so I don't hurt myself? Do I find this  pose therapeutic for my mind and body? Who am I proving myself to? Is my ego hurting me?"

But it's amazing to see each time when I practice, my poses feels better and stronger, not because I'm pushing myself to 'get there' but rather I'm working with my breaths and the 'lines of energy' that exudes our of my body axis.  Imagination and visualisation is powerful.

I even have to admit, even after years of practice, there are times when I get aches in places where it frustrates and annoys me as a yoga teacher.  But I'm honest with myself, I try to find a 'way' to 'free' the part I find stuck.  All of us have unique bodies, different make.  I find a map to 'freedom' in my pose when I practice.  And even if I don't find the answer, I let time do the work and be my healer.  Like in life, even when someone or something else hurts me, I give myself time to calm my anger.  And when I've turned calm, I reason my hurt with love and grace.  I find my importance to find peace not only in myself but in the people around me, cause if I can't peace in others, how are we ever going to create a better world to live in, right?

Easyoga apparels in Brunei

Finally, 'easyoga' brands are now selling in Brunei at Ref Station Sports shop in Kiulap.  Look for the sports station at block A, shophouse number 9, ground floor.  I queried with whom I assume is the owner Angie Chan, and she's hoping to get next stock of yoga mats by the end of the month.  But do check her place out, she just shipped in a box of yoga apparels.  Good thing we don't have to lug the premium mats back from overseas anymore! 

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A break from blogging......just for a while......

I haven't been filling the blog for a few weeks, and the truth is I feel like I'm having a mental block with blogging.  I guess my blogger 'time out' has also given 'me' time to do other things like reading books that I should have read months ago, cleaning out my oversized wardrobe, writing emails to distant friends, watching my favourite movies, e.t.c

My latest yoga news was doing Vincent Tam's workshop.
It was intense.  The flow sequences he creates in each workshop is enough to make one lose weight in just less than two days.  It was interesting to see arm balancing poses he did, it was done with poise and steadiness.  Honest truth, I ached as much as the students when the workshops were over. His inversions are not for the 'light hearted'.

Guiding Wan Ching into Handstand.

Besides sweating out in yogasanas, it was really nice to get all dressed up in an evening dress (which I haven't done do in a long, long, long time) to Pete's company annual dinner at the Empire theatre.  The table settings were nice and I was pretty impressed with the stage show performed by local talents.  Had this 6 or 7 year old kid playing the violin accompanied by Lily Chiam from Expression Music.  This kid was super talented, she was the mini version of Vanessa Mae.  In any case, I was busy stuffing my face with cakes from the buffet table.  Yup, after 6 hours of Vincent's hard core yoga, I needed sweets to boost my energy level.

P.S Grey's Anatomy is all tears, tears, tears for Season 6.  You really need a box of tissues for the first 3 episodes at least.  ..........sigh..........George O unfair.....

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Such a gifted kid

This kid has gone from Mayurasana to Urdhva Dhanurasana to all sorts of arm balances.........Very gifted!!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Nurses Can Be Heroes Too

I have finally found another set of hospital drama series, except that this time, it's about nurses.  Finally!!! Name:- Hawthorne.  It's real, interesting and just as good as another tv series.  It starts Jada Pinkett Smith (Will Smith's wife) and my other favourite actor Michael Vartan.  I love the fact Hawthorne view patients care from nurses point of view from hospital bedside crisis, to how nurses are generally treated by patients and doctors, the good and the bad, the pressure of following hospital protocols even when it may not apply equally to every patient, the decisions made by nurses to whether doctors decision may sometimes be questionable and do you say it out loud or just keep it under the raps? When is it the 'right' time or situation to judge or decide if you can over ride a doctor's decision, and to do so, do we approach another doctor and ask their point of view? Would that undermine the first doctor's ability, accountability and his reputation?.....It also shows nurses from a fallible situation when they are caught in under pressure during emergency situations, but who does the responsibility fall to, the doctor, nurses, management.....? The show addresses when nurses face issues of feeling 'adequate' as just caregivers and not to feel 'inadequate' if they are less of a medical professional in a day's work.

I think the only thing I would say about nursing chief officer is I wish and hope clinical nursing officers (directors and chief) would be as compassionate as Hawthorne.  She's passionate and skillful.  In my previous nursing career, I have met only one that was like the ' Hawthorne'.  She didn't hide behind paperworks, desk meetings and coffee breaks....she got her hands 'dirty' and was out there in the trenches with the rest of the clinical nurses......she didn't let the documentation and meetings bog her down and away from clinical work. it........The nurses version of Grey's Anatomy

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Slow Sunday " A Simple Solution To Global Warming"

Have been sitting out in the garden reading Guardian online, came across this article, written by Satish Kumar, about how we could cut our carbon emissions by literally taking a Sunday off spending time with family and engage ourselves in home leisures by doing some writing, painting, walking, gardening, e.t.c.  He suggested closing supermarkets, department stores and petrol stations for the chosen day of the week, in doing so, we reduce our mobility to bare essentials.  If you think about it, there will be no great hardship in cutting down non essential and non urgent use of fossil fuels for one day.

I  guess if  you do need to travel, we could rethink about the 'necessity' part of it.  And if there are errands to do, could we possibly leave it for the Monday and make a habit out of it? And if there's a dire need to perform the errand, could we ask ourselves why?  Of course there must be certain things that can't be help like taking a sick child to the clinic or having to drive over to a family for a visit.  But could we dedicate a Sunday every week and treat it as a day of rest and renewal.  I think it's a great idea and it can be done if we put our minds and deepest of intentions to help the world.  A small movement in every individual is a collaboration to make this a better place to live in.

 A part of the article from The Guardian....................

"The 10:10 movement supported by the Guardian is a wonderful way to empower ordinary people to participate in the great movement of mitigating global warming. We cannot wait until governments are enlightened enough to legislate and cap the carbon emissions. Matters are urgent. We have to act now, without any delay. The power of public opinion and citizen action will have a strong impact on the climate conference taking place in Copenhagen.

One thing we can easily do to achieve this goal: we can declare Sunday to be a fossil fuel-free day or a low-carbon day or at least an energy-saving day. We can start this week, this month or in 2010. We can start individually and collectively. The long journey to cut carbon dioxide emissions can start in the here and now.

Global warming or climate change is only a symptom of our deep-seated desire to consume, consume and consume. The external problem of carbon emissions is connected with the internal problem of desire. If we stay in the rat-race 24 hours, seven days a week, we are bound to pollute our inner space as well as the outer space. Speed is the curse of modern civilisation. The solution to global warming is simple: slow down. Slow is beautiful. Even if we cannot slow down every day, at least slow down on Sunday. If you are a Christian then Slow Sunday should be natural to you, if you are a Muslim make Friday your low-carbon day, if you are Jewish then Saturday can be your day to save energy, if you follow a secular way of life then choose your own carbon-free day. At least on Sunday we can be citizens rather than consumers."

Guinness World Record 2010

Lee Redmond & Melvin Boothe from US
         Longest Fingernails (8 to 9 meters) (...Ewwwww :p)

Veronica Torr, New Zealand, Fastest Hurdle With Swim Fins (Cool!)
100 meters in 19.278 seconds

Most Pierced Woman, Elaine Davidson, 4225 Piercings..(Ouch!)

Shortest Mobile Living Adult is He Ping Ping from China (74.61cm)  ...(He looks soooooo small!)

Oldest Guy at 115 years old revered monk, Luang Phu Supha, Thailand
World's Largest Pie Fight, in front of ABC Studio, New York ( What a waste of food! :p)
Tallest Man, Sultan Kosen from Turkey at 8ft 1in ( Aiyayayai!!!)