Thursday, July 30, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
P.S I love this bendy straw!!
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
As a teacher, I try to remember the first time when I got myself into certain challenging poses like crane, firefly, scorpion or headstand. A lot of the times, when attempting arm balancing for the first time, it can be really intimidating and scary. I use to have this fear of 'flying'. Flying in aeroplanes scares the crap out of me and the thought of standing on 'looking glass floors' in tall buildings would just make my legs turn into jello. I admit I still don't like cable cars but somehow I am much better at 'take offs' in planes than before.
The first time I did crane pose, I felt 'heavy' and thought my butt was far too big for a 'take off'. I've got the smallest wrist ever, and that didn't help in my practice with arm balances... used to think I was going to break my wrists at some point.
I began sticking pictures of models doing crane on the balcony walls. I also stuck a picture of the elephant in the picture you see above too!! ( No idea if it was a real picture but I was determined). They were going to be my motivation to achieve crane.
It was a total of 50 falls ( 20 close calls on face and 10 landings on my bottom) before I took off. Even then my feet reached only 2 inches away from the floor but it was a feeling of achievement and overcoming the fear of falling when I finally got into the pose. I could have save myself 5 falls short if I shifted my weight forward a little more and lifted my head a tiny bit. But I was petrified of lifting my weight off the floor into my hands. After all, it has only been my feet carrying my weight the whole life time.
But I soon realised that my poses became lighter the more I 'breathed', engaged uddiyana bandha (abdominal lock) and released my fear of falling. I reminded myself each time 'falling' is just part of everything else I do in this lifetime. Of course, I piled some cushions around my mat just to build my confidence a wee bit. Cushions are like friends, they're soft inside, there to support and catch you when you fall....
(So p.s if you do intend to practice at home, get some nice cushy pillows around you)
(Unless you want to end up with a few front teeth missing.....)
It's been progression rather than instant miracles that helped me into the arm balancing poses. There wasn't a quick remedy or recipe to crane or firefly, just willpower and mindful practice.
Some poses do require a little more flexibility around the chest and shoulders, perhaps more arm strength too. In scorpion pose, it takes a while to feel comfortable enough to lift at the face to look in between the forearms. Being aware of your breaths is also a key point to remember in this challenging pose. I remember holding my breath when staying in scorpion pose only realising later my retention of breaths sent me straight back down to mother earth. So, remember guys, as always, bring awareness into the breaths again and find ease rather than bringing tension into the pose even when you're practising arm balancing. It doesn't take a genius to tell you that if your mind is elsewhere and you're doing pincha mayurasana, you're just gonna 'timber' yourself down to the floor.
Be in that moment, find where your 'center of gravity' is when you've your legs up in the air, let go of fear and most importantly, keep up with your practice....visualise yourself in the full pose and you will get there.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
As you can see from the picture, it's a korean horror movie about a group of ladies joining a mysterious yoga school that promises everlasting beauty.....well, we can all guess with korean movies ...they never end up alive (their yoga teacher must have really tortured them....)..The title,"Yoga School" is directed by Yun Jae-Yeon and it'll be released in Korea on the 20th August. Hmmm, it makes you wonder yoga's popularity....I haven't come across a horror movie about jogging, cycling, or tai chi....ing???
Personally, I don't like horror movies. The fact that it's a'korean make'is even worse cause their movies scares the poo-poo out of me.
So, I might give it a miss........
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
So, if you're interested, don't wait! Just book your mat with us and be there on the 9th August(Sunday) at 4.30pm! See you soon!
**Venue: Tai Chi Hall, Heng Thai Building, Gadong Roundabout- **
**Please be reminded students should at least have some experience of sun salutations. For other enquiries, please do not hesitate to contact Jac at 8930886, William 8767019, or Nora 8800010**
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Things that makes me wonder .......
The illusion yoga creates, that there's immortality attached to it....hmmmm, wonder if Stephen Hawking saw it in the stars and wrote a book about it....I have decided there's only immortality in love for all things.
Strange, people seem to think if you practice yoga, you're suppose to be in superb health....ermmm, as much as I like to say," woohoo! Eureka! We have found a cure...." I think everything when taken in moderation is the key to good health.
I do believe practicing yoga has helped me understand the physical and spiritual aspects of me a lot better. I'm so much aware of what I'm capable of and the extend of my ability. It has helped me recognise the potential I have as a human being to be kind to my body and respect the individuals around me when I'm teaching.
But I can't say yoga is the 'be all and end all'. It has definitely helped me realised my journey in life, shaped my decision based on compassion,kindness,determination and willpower. But what pushes me to be better as a person, are the people around me today, right here, right now. I'm even more moved and precedented by people like Mother Theresa, Gandhi, Dalai Lama, Martin Luther King, and so on ...they are the peacemakers, that 'moved' thousands not by propaganda or religion...but through simplicity, humility,kindness and compassion for all.
It doesn't take a genius to figure that a menu of less stressful lifestyle leads to true happiness. Yoga's one of the answers but not the only one. There's a brilliant quote when the Dalai Lama spoke to Heinrich Harrer....."The Buddha said 'Salvation doesn't come from the sight of me. It demands strenuous effort and practise. So work hard and seek your own salvation constantly.'..."
I have yoga at heart cause it has helped me to understand myself better, but I think my life is constantly shaped by the people I see, meet, read and love.
Constantly seeking for the truth...................
Saturday, July 18, 2009
I think the yoga faire in vrkshasana is pretty cool with her knee high boots. DENG!!!! Well, if you like to get one of this lovely yoga shirts, just click here.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Yes, I did look like the hamster in the above picture for the last two days, swollen glands and all..
Came across this and am well pleased to know a hunk like Josh Lucas is doing yoga too. Good for him!!!
Remember him? Who wouldn't? He was in Sweet Home Alabama and A Beautiful Mind. Fine actor. Apparently he does a bit of kundalini yoga right now, a switch from bikram yoga. A good reason to be a yoga teacher in hollywood right now. ........ahem.....Let's hope Pete's not reading this blog today....
Speaking of kundalini yoga, if you're interested to do a bit of it, well, you have to try out Maya Fiennes. Her yoga workout on dvd is brilliant, it's effective, a little bizarre but doable. Again you might have to order it online from amazon.
Other thoughts for the week, why do people buy expensive branded goods? From handbags that cost above $500 to macaroons at $7414(US) . ...why? why? why?
Monday, July 13, 2009
I have been asked several times about pre-natal yoga, the truth is ....and here it is guys...the ultimate truth...I don't really feel I'm ready to teach it cause I haven't had one of those munchkins yet. Believe me, I want to, just the incubator is waiting for the 'telur' to 'masak'. Yes, in english, waiting for D Egg to cook. Can I say that? Okay, in any case, I have the certification for it and yes, I have attended the course for it, but who am I to say, " Ladies, take deep breaths and feel your belly rise, feel the 'prana' flowing inwardly into your child within, ....and so in the course of your labour, you will remember me saying.......Inhale, prana....exhale, less pain...." Bet one of the pregnant mums will throw a pillow at me and say," ARE YOU SERIOUS?!!!!?"
I'm a woman yet to experience where NO MAN has stepped into yet and has no clue what the pregnant mums feel like till I have one of my own in my belly. I would just feel like a big liar if I said to you, " Come on, ladies. Just hold the tree pose for another few more breaths, just feel 'floaty' light in your belly." Bet you one of the mummies will swing her towel at my face and say," You try and carry this belly and see how long you can sway like a tree!"
Okay, I am exaggerating, the other reason why I don't conduct the classes as yet besides not experiencing it is .....I truly....truly....don't have the resources.
Yup, yup, want to experience it first then say...."Hold and extend for another 5 breaths ....and yes, I know you can cause I have done it....do, just a little longer......"......AH HA!!!! Then no mummies are going to crucify me ..........Just kidding guys...
On the bright side, if you really want to try some pre natal yoga, there are a few pre natal video I recommend...There's one with Shiva Rea or Jennifer Wolfe. (amazon.com)
Like all home workouts, do consult your doctor before attempting it. There are so many types of yoga out there and you might just want to sit through the workout before doing it. At least you have a brief idea what you'll be doing.
I'm pretty sure I have seen some pre natal pilates dvd's in video shops in Brunei too. The picture below is one of the dvd's I have seen sold here.
So....to end off on a positive side, I do intend to teach pre natal yoga in the near future, just waiting for the flower to get pollinated. Till then, good luck new mummies out there.....
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Yoga Dawg with Miles Davis
P.S If you are thinking of getting a yoga mat bag, came across this from SantoshaP.P.S If you're thinking of becoming a yoga teacher and you're not sure what yoga books you should be getting, here's a few suggestions....
This book is such a blessing and writes clearly on how each and every muscle is engage in the asanas without getting in depth. It leaves you smiling, not crying not understanding medical jargon.
Another good read up, as a yoga student or teacher, is Light on Yoga by B.K.S Iyengar. It introduces yoga and the philosophy behind it.
P.P.P.S If you are looking for workshops to go to, here's one with Simon Park
14-16 August, Singapore - Ngee Ann City
Simon Park is an effervescent student of Vinyasa Yoga and Thai Massage. Drawing inspiration from many yogic styles and master teachers, he has developed a truly unique and energetic practice. Simon has taught Yoga and Thai Massage workshops nationwide and assisted extensively with his first teacher Shiva Rea. He has been featured in The New York Times and Yoga Journal for his whimsically wayward twist on ancient practices. Nomadic by nature, he travels the world to celebrate the pulse of the global yoga community.
P.P.P.P.S Have you ever notice if you return an angry face with a smile, the person is either stunned, or is a little less angrier with you?
Friday, July 10, 2009
Who is this Swami "Baba" Ramdev? I didn't even know who this supposedly 'swami' is, untill he made headlines about homosexuality being a congenital defect. I find his comments on 'yoga cure' obnoxious and egoistical. He apparently has millions of followers and preaches about yoga being a cure to all fatal diseases. It's a very strong and bold statement to make. It does make me wonder if yoga truly cures all things, then why are people still dying? Won't his claims be proven if it did happen and if it did happen, won't doctors all over the world get patients, even the terminally ill, on yoga programmes worldwide diligently?
I have friends from different backgrounds, different religions, different races and different characters. They are all amazing human beings to me, regardless of their sexuality. Why would any one individual be condemned just because of 'who' he is? Who are we to judge? That's the problem with the world today, we judge and we blame, the word 'kindness' is taken for granted and forgotten. I have always believed that a man's faith and goodness is not based on how loud he shouts out about his love for God but how quietly and humbly he stands before the poor and misfortunate, gives them all his worldly possessions and that of himself.
In 2006, the following comment from Swami Ramdev drew the wrath of media and some political activists:
"I am a follower of penance, sacrifice, non-violence and truth. But I am also a follower of revolutionaries. I live a simple life. I don't do what everyone else does. But I believe that the freedom of our country is because of the sacrifice of martyrs. If somebody says that the country achieved independence without arms, without bloodshed, I believe that is an insult to the country's martyrs."—Swami Ramdev, 2006 (His comments on Mahatma Gandhi)
...What has violence resulted over the years? 'Niente!' Repeated bloodshed and lost of lives are the only achievements from wars. Really if he is a true 'swami', he would have known the 8 limbs of yoga well enough not to make such comments.
I think yoga can be a help to people's lifestyle, I don't dispute it, but I don't believe it's the only answer, if it is, the path to higher realm is definitely an easier path to take.
Even as a teacher, I look for answers in all religions and races, and each of them provide me with abundance of spiritual attainment. If you took our skin away, won't we all look the same underneath?
All I know right now, at this very moment, is the power of kindness is the key to plenty of things, if used with wisdom and without judgement.
Like the Dalai Lama's philosophy, his motto,"My religion is kindness"
Monday, July 6, 2009
Why Yoga Works ( By Alisa Bauman, Yoga Journal)
Exactly how does yoga build fitness? The answer you get depends on whom you ask. Robert Holly, Ph.D., a senior lecturer in the Department of Exercise Biology at U. C. Davis and one of the researchers on the U. C. Davis study, says that muscles respond to stretching by becoming larger and capable of extracting and using more oxygen more quickly. In other words, side benefits of flexibility include increased muscle strength and endurance.
"My own belief is that the small but significant increase in maximal oxygen capacity was due to an increase in muscle endurance, which allowed the subjects to exercise longer, extract more oxygen, and reach an increased maximal oxygen uptake," says Holly.
Then there's the pranayama theory. Birkel suspects that yoga poses help increase lung capacity by improving the flexibility of the rib area, shoulders, and back, allowing the lungs to expand more fully. Breathwork further boosts lung capacity—and possibly also VO2max—by conditioning the diaphragm and helping to more fully oxygenate the blood.
Birkel, Dina Amsterdam, and others are also quick to point out that Suryanamaskar (Sun Salutations) and other continuously linked poses increase the heart rate, making yoga aerobically challenging. And many yoga poses—particularly standing poses, balancing poses, and inversions—build quite a bit of strength because they require sustained isometric contractions of many large and small muscles. Of course, holding the poses longer increases this training effect.
Late nights, watching M.J's Dangerous, mum and Peter joined in, such a brilliant album. Stores in Brunei selling M.J's latest album only, none of his earlier days. M.J-definitely a talented artist by nature.
J.R.R Tolkien-LOTR gifted writer.
J. Lo Adiós
Hoy he venido a despedirme
A hablar de tantas cosas
que nunca quisiste oírme.
Y ya no quiero mas excusas,
Tu nunca tienes tiempo,
Se te escapo la musa.
Adiós, adiós… Me voy, adiós, Y no me dejas ni tan solo la esperanza, Adiós amor, adiós…
…..Y no me dejas ni tan solo la esperanza,
Adiós amor, adiós…
Si hay una lágrima en mis ojos
Es que voy recogiendo
de mi vida los trozos
Si hemos jugado a una aventura
Nos hemos embriagado
Con tragos de locura
Sunday, July 5, 2009
The Dalai Lama's message on Human Approach to World Peace
When we take into account a longer perspective, the fact that all wish to gain happiness and avoid suffering, and keep in mind our relative unimportance in relation to countless others, we can conclude that it is worthwhile to share our possessions with others. When you train in this sort of outlook, a true sense of compassion - a true sense of love and respect for others - becomes possible. Individual happiness ceases to be a conscious self-seeking effort; it becomes an automatic and far superior by-product of the whole process of loving and serving others.
Another result of spiritual development, most useful in day-to-day life, is that it gives a calmness and presence of mind. Our lives are in constant flux, bringing many difficulties. When faced with a calm and clear mind, problems can be successfully resolved. When, instead, we lose control over our minds through hatred, selfishness, jealousy, and anger, we lose our sense of judgement. Our minds are blinded and at those wild moments anything can happen, including war. Thus, the practice of compassion and wisdom is useful to all, especially to those responsible for running national affairs, in whose hands lie the power and opportunity to create the structure of world peace.
Too many times I feel I have to stop myself every once in a while, think hard if I have actually give thanks to God and the universe for the blessings I have received in a day or a week. And I wonder if I have shared my blessings with the world around me. It's so easy to take gifts and receive things, thinking we deserved it because it's in our own right to take. Perhaps, the worse we can do with the day's blessing, in any form it comes in, is to keep or hoard it to oneself.
I can be very much like that, sometimes, thinking I still don't have enough, I need more. It could be anything, from food to clothes shopping, money, e.t.c. A lot of the insecurity or inadequacy and 'not having enough' stems from the way we've been brought up to think.
Question is, do I have enough? Looking at it carefully, yes, I have plenty. I look at it 'all' and see abundance in everything, from the clean and fresh air I breathe, to being 'alive'. The bare necessities are always there, it's free and it keeps me going. The universe doesn't hold back her beauty, even the smallest seed in the ground shares its beauty when it blossoms. So what I do have as a person, experience, love, knowledge, country, money, food, time, possessions are expandable and can be shared. What I do in this life time does matter. What I do today does matter, maybe not to me, but to someone else, maybe not to somebody else but to God. So as the saying goes, live for today and not just tomorrow.
The abundance is right in front of all of us all the time, grab it, embrace it, smile at it, share it and give thanks.
Here's some inspiration from Daily Om
The Wisdom of Sharing
There are many variations on the story of stone soup, but they all involve a traveler coming into a town beset by famine. The inhabitants try to discourage the traveler from staying, fearing he wants them to give him food. They tell him in no uncertain terms that there’s no food anywhere to be found. The traveler explains that he doesn’t need any food and that, in fact, he was planning to make a soup to share with all of them. The villagers watch suspiciously as he builds a fire and fills a cauldron with water. With great ceremony, he pulls a stone from a bag, dropping the stone into the pot of water. He sniffs the brew extravagantly and exclaims how delicious stone soup is. As the villagers begin to show interest, he mentions how good the soup would be with just a little cabbage in it. A villager brings out a cabbage to share. This episode repeats itself until the soup has cabbage, carrots, onions, and beets—indeed, a substantial soup that feeds everyone in the village.
This story addresses the human tendency to hoard in times of deprivation. When resources are scarce, we pull back and put all of our energy into self-preservation. We isolate ourselves and shut out others. As the story of stone soup reveals, in doing so, we often deprive ourselves and everyone else of a feast. This metaphor plays out beyond the realm of food. We hoard ideas, love, and energy, thinking we will be richer if we keep to them to ourselves, when in truth we make the world, and ourselves, poorer whenever we greedily stockpile our reserves. The traveler was able to see that the villagers were holding back, and he had the genius to draw them out and inspire them to give, thus creating a spread that none of them could have created alone.
Are you like one of the villagers, holding back? If you come forward and share your gifts, you will inspire others to do the same. The reward is a banquet that can nourish many.