Thursday, December 30, 2010

                         Wishing everyone a blessed and prosperous 'New Year 2011'!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

In Awe of the Love


It's been an awesome three days.  I am overwhelmed with love and affections from friends and families, here and everywhere.   As I planned my birthday dinner party, I thought of the special night I could share with people I love and care in my life.  And the response was very much 'dito' back to me in unmeasured gestures and presence.  And some gifts do take your breath away.  Maki, .....thank you very much for the picture you drew of me.  When I peeled the wrapper away, I was just lost for words.  You have captured the essence of a gift from your heart and I am truly grateful for the time and effort you taken to draw the portrait.

When January 2010 came about, I wanted to tread into the year quietly.  Instead, I went through a lot of 'ups and downs', discovered some things that felt discouraging and defeating.   The things I had secretly planned and expected results didn't really come to light.  But as time went on, I understood some reasons why.  Some still not as clear.  But that's okay.  I've learnt I will understand soon enough.   It has taken some courage to approach the most challenging emotions with 'grace' and 'love'.  Some with a fight of despair and desperation of self doubt with personal growth.  But I realise there's one thing that has never failed to amaze me while I have been going through such process.  My loving God that resides in my heart and soul has always been there for me.  There are times when I know there are things in life I can always ask for and even if it doesn't happen, He has better plans for me.  And his love definitely shows in the hands of the people around me.

So, even when things have not gone as quietly and smoothly, the ride along the year has been interesting, sometimes crazy and some days ...profound joy.  But all along, I have not been alone in my travels, friends and families have shown me such true measures of support and love that's never ending.  And for that I'm truly thankful.....................


Monday, September 27, 2010

Loving Presence

(From the Daily Om)

Loving Presence


Surround Yourself with Love


Even though it might not always seem like we have much control over who we are with in our life- we do.

In our everyday life we are surrounded by a variety of people. Some of the people we deal with on a daily basis are a joy to be with, and their loving presence nurtures and encourages us. Others may have the opposite effect, draining us of our energy, making us feel tired and exhausted. Our well-being can be easily influenced by those around us, and if we can keep this in mind, we will have greater insights into the quality of our social interactions and their energetic effect on us.


Once we think more deeply about the people we interact with, it becomes easier for us to work toward filling our lives with people who help us cultivate healthy and positive relationships. Even though it might not always seem like we have much control over who we are with, we do. The power to step back from toxicity lies within us. All we have to do is take a few moments to reflect on how another person makes you feel. Assessing the people we spend the most time with allows us to see if they add something constructive to, or subtract from, our lives. Should a friend sap our strength, for example, we can simply set the intention to tell them how we feel or simply spend less time with them. We will find that the moment we are honest with ourselves about our own feelings, the more candid we can be with others about how they make us feel. While this may involve some drastic changes to our social life it can bring about a personal transformation that will truly empower us, since the decision to live our truth will infuse our lives with greater happiness.


When we surround ourselves with positive people, we clear away the negativity that exists around us and create more room to welcome nurturing energy. Doing this not only enriches our lives but also envelopes us in a supportive and healing space that fosters greater growth, understanding, and love of ourselves as well as those we care about.

(I love this message that's given out to us.  We definitely have choices in life to make, in regards to the people we see around us everyday.  I believe if we set strong intentions to have a nurturing environment, we'll achieve it at some point.  Never give up finding the 'truth' to your self purpose.  That's probably one of the greatest gift you can give yourself)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Chick Flick !!!!

                       A Night Out This Friday 1st Oct.




The film Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert is finally out on the big screens in Brunei this coming Thursday.  And I'm organising a night out for us on the 1st Oct.  We'll head down to Escapade Gadong for dinner first at around 6.30pm and then probably catch the film by 8.30pm in Gadong Mall Cinema.  So, if you're interested to join us for the night, please inform me at the latest by Thursday morning. 

But please be warned that if you're the type of person who likes watching action packed films or a movie with a lot of slap stick comic lines from the actors, this film Eat Pray Love is anything but that.  But if you love drama, a little bit of spirituality and self discovery on the side, than you might (and I stress this again,....might!) like this movie.  Cause if you don't have patience for 'love is in the air' than seriously, don't even attempt to try and watch this movie on the big screen. Wait for the dvd and watch it leisurely at your own free will.

And do take note this movie runs at 2 hours and 10 minutes. 



Here's the short summary of what the movie will be all about.

Liz Gilbert (Julia Roberts) is a modern woman on a quest to marvel at and travel the world while rediscovering and reconnecting with her true inner self in EAT PRAY LOVE.


At a crossroads after a divorce, Gilbert takes a year-long sabbatical from her job and steps uncharacteristically out of her comfort zone, risking everything to change her life. In her wondrous and exotic travels, she experiences the simple pleasure of nourishment by eating in Italy; the power of prayer in India, and, finally and unexpectedly, the inner peace and balance of love in Bali.



Based on an inspiring true story, EAT PRAY LOVE proves that there really is more than one way to let yourself go and see the world.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Taste of Something Different

It is nearly the end of my stay here in the States and I'm glad I got the chance to experience it's culture and the way of living here in U.S.  It's very much different from living in England and elsewhere.   I was pretty sceptical about being here in the States, practically because I wasn't sure if my journey here would have taught me anything different from what I might have already known or thought I might have known from books or tv or any form of media.  How wrong was I! So far, people in Reston, Virginia are pretty pleasant to talk to and from what I have gathered, generally Americans have a much different way of bringing up their children (much more different than what you would have seen on Ricki Lake or Jerry Springer's stereotypical shows).  I was told Americans don't usually swear (not even by the word of 'crap') and .....children here (well in VA, esp) are 'seen & heard'.  P.S  dear asian mums (esp. s.east asian mums....) if you have seen 'Full House' (American Comedy Series), children are generally treated in the same manner similar to it.  More or less.  And the result of it is ...'Shri'. I find it quite cute when they call their kids,"Hey Bud!".  On the plus side as well, the Americans just don't stare or 'look' at you in difference to who you are regardless of race or color, wherever you go, you are talked to as if you were one of them. 

The only thing I couldn't get used to still is the way they drive on the roads in Virginia.  Red means stop unless you are taking a right turn,  keeping in mind there shouldn't be any oncoming cars from your left? The driver seats on his left but drives on the right side of the road? W-h-a-t?!! Good job is not me driving! I be like Steve Martin in Planes, Trains & Automobiles where Martin was telling Hughes,"YOU'RE DRIVING ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD!!!!!!!"

Oh, and if you're going to eat in a diner or perhaps in any other restaurant, be aware the quesadillas and fajitas or even salads are enough for two.  I don't know how I'm going to kick my legs up in handstand.  Okay, if you see me back in Brunei, just be nice to me when you see the 'pounds' on me.....or it be low boat pose for 2 minutes when you step back in class!!!! (Evil laugh coming on......... just kidding!)

Pity I didn't get a chance to meet Obama but I got be at Lincoln Memorial.  It was very overwhelming to be there standing at Lincoln's feet and his Inaugural Address was 'strong' to it's own words and some parts were inspiring. I especially like this part,"Both read the same Bible, and pray to the same God; and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces; but let us judge not that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered; that of neither has been answered fully."

Besides Lincoln Memorial, I made a trip to New York and yes, went to visit Ground Zero.  It felt  surreal to be there.  There was this sad feeling knowing innocent lives were lost, not just Americans but other nationalities too.  I'm sure there's so much political reasons and 'why's' it happened but no unjustified death of innocent lives, regardless of race or country is ever worth killing for in the vanity of any war.  

In any case, I took the Gray Line bus and toured around Manhattan.  There was much to see but little time to do it.  But if you're ever in New York, and you need to stay somewhere, try the Lucerne Hotel on 79th Street, Amsterdam Ave and for a hearty meal, try the Manhattan Diner on 78th Street....plus if you're a die-hard yoga fan, there's Pure Yoga studio on the same street as the diner.  But I advise you to do yoga first then eat later.  Seriously!  Plus if you like museums, the Natural History Museum is a good one to visit especially if you have kids.  Go to the History of South Americans on the 2nd Floor.  Pretty amazing and interesting stuffs!!!!!!!! No worries about having to find restaurants to eat, plenty wherever you go in NY and there always seem to be a Starbucks nearly every 10 minutes of your walk in Manhattan.

But be weary of this when you're in NY, if you need to hail a cab, just step 3 to 4 feet away from the curb and make sure you stick your arm out where the cabbies can see you.  Also, if the middle part of the rooftop is lit, then the cab might be available.  If it isn't lit or it's completely lit, the cabbie might be off duty.  Keep in mind that you also have to tip taxi drivers in NY esp. or you might get a right told off for being a rotten passenger.  Seriously.  Nearly everywhere you go, you tip for their services.  You do feel at first it's something you're 'made' to do and it's not something you normally do if you're not happy with the services.  However, wages for service personnel are pretty low, so they do depend on tips for their livelihood.  I did feel that New Yorkers were a little wee bit rude when you converse with them, but if you ain't happy with their service, don't be a stingje, just give the tip (it's part of the norm and ways) and then on your way out, maybe just mentioned the waitor's 'event' to management. 

But how cute is this?...I love where I stayed in NY in Lucerne hotel cause it was pretty much in a residential area and you could imagine Carrie (SATC) with her mates about.  And Central Park isn't too far away from the hotel.  Talking about Central Park, I made a visit to NBC store and it was quite fun to see FRIENDS tees with Central Perk written across it.  And can you believe this, if you like HOUSE, NBC were selling scrubs as well.  :P  How weird was that?!!

All in all, I'm glad I had a chance to be here with my family.  It's given me a chance to focus back what I need to do, not just for myself but others too.  I think I'll definitely come back to the States again and maybe next time I'll be able to make a trip to California and perhaps Boston?

Monday, September 6, 2010

First Time in America

Phew! Finally...... I'm here in America.  It was definitely 'the' longest journey I have ever made from Brunei.  And let me say the stress level was ten fold when I got to the immigration check point.  For some odd reason, the men in uniform were pretty intimidating and I got a bit nervous when it was my turn to have my passport checked.  The officer checking it was quite stern and just huffed at my passport when he saw it.  And the first thing he said was," ....I don't think you can use ESTA with this passport ".  My heart just dropped immediately and I instantly thought 'damn it, I'll have to make 21 hours flight back to Brunei again!!!!???' I explained to him the passport was definitely a biometric passport.  He then said," Well, we'll find out then!" ..............You know what, my passport did checked through.   I'm not sure if this officer thought to himself,' Let's make this woman's brain go to panic mode before she lands officially on our soil'
I think I was pretty intimidated by their loud voices as well.  I felt like my voice sounded like a little mouse next to theirs.

Glad my sister didn't live too far away from Dulles Airport.  It was a 20 mins to 30 mins drive to Reston, Virginia.  All I can say is b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l.  Love the view of Lake Thoreau from my sister's house.  Her house sits cosy-ly at at gorgeous lake surrounded by forest.  Even though I was jet lag, I felt so awaken by the beauty of nature around her house.  Lucky her to live in such a nice place! 

In the past two days, I've already decided I like America.  They have a wide range of everything.  We went to Trader's Joe and it had one whole aisle just for a selection of bread alone.  Aiyayai!  And there were different sorts of hommus (my favourite), lovely selections of yoghurt ice cream, all sorts of dark chocolate and all sorts of whole grain cereal.  Woo hoo!!!!!! And I got to try my first black bean burrito.  D-licious!!!! And we got bargained goods (good quality) for reasonable prices.  Ohh and I finally came across Gaiam yoga products.  There's the yoga gloves to yoga socks.  I wanted to get the yoga gloves but there was only one glove left.  Never mind, I'll keep looking for other yoga stuffs.

I'm still not used to americans saying," Hi, how are you ma'm?" I mean I lived in UK for 10 years but not everybody will ask and say it to you.  But here in the States, everybody says it and they say it so loud too.  I feel as if I'm being 'questioned'.  My reply to them is only (with a very quiet voice) ," I'm fine,thanks?"

Well, we're off to Washington D.C today and we might just hello to Obama today.  Not!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Surviving yoga in the studio


 
Let's just say some parts of this article is funny and some, you'll just have to take it with a pinch of salt.  Click here to read on.

Acupuncture and Moxibustion



Needles.  Don't like needles.  And I know I used to be a nurse handling all sorts of sharps but for some odd reason, I can't bear the thought of them now. Here's the story, I was recently diagnosed with PCOS a few months ago and the meds given to me to help with the syndrome was not effective.  I didn't feel 'balanced' and the side effects were horrible.  So, I thought to myself, what would be the next best thing besides trying pharmaceutical drugs?  Did a little googling on the net and read how acupuncture could help remedy or alleviate the syndromes.  So, off I went to find me a qualified acupunturist in Brunei.  A family relative recommended me to Dr Zhu in Grace Pearl Clinic just next to Cafe De Paris in Gadong.  

I wasn't sure what to expect when I got to the clinic.  My only thoughts were, if he can help, then I don't mind trying alternative therapy.  Dr Zhu did a general assessment and felt I was lacking 'yang' (heat).  He explained how my love of drinking cold drinks and air conditioners 24/7 did not help my condition.  So, he offered acupuncture and chinese herbs to help create more 'yang'.  I took up on his offer, after all, what did I have to lose?  And besides, as a yoga teacher, I believe in holism and I know for sure that acupuncture stimulates 'Qi' (often translated as “vital energy”, qi is the common denominator of all things) and harmonize the energy flow of the body.


What I found interesting was this:-

'Acupuncture is based on ancient Chinese philosophy that sees all sicknesses in the body in terms of an imbalance in the energetic field of the body. This energetic field has been carefully mapped by the Chinese and they have discovered over 400 points that, when stimulated, can effect systemic changes in the body. These points are stimulated by the insertion of very fine, sterile and disposable needles. A combination of these points is carefully selected by the acupuncturist to help activate the body’s innate ability to heal itself and return to a state of balance.

'Scientific research into acupuncture in the last 25 years has brought a general advance in the understanding of neurophysiologic & neuropharmacologic pain relief mechanisms as they relate to acupuncture (the endorphin theory, the gate theory, and DNIC (diffuse noxious inhibitory control) theory). Evidence indicates that acupuncture stimulates the release of brain chemicals such as endorphins that function to relieve pain. Research shows that acupuncture strengthens the immune system, improves circulation, decreases muscle tightness, and increases joint flexibility.'

To be honest, if I said acupuncture doesn't hurt, I be lying to you.  Like I said, I don't like needles, but the insertion of the 'fine' needles doesn't hurt intensely, it just feels like someone pinching you.  And no, I didn't have it all over my body.  The total count of needles I had in me was about ten.  It kinda' felt relaxing after the needles went in.  


The results I would say (over the past few weeks) is pretty good.  I feel 'better'. Then again, it's a matter of time in the next few months if the pcos I have has been alleviated.

But it's definitely worth going through the treatment.  And I would say Dr Zhu is pretty good, he's quite gentle when inserting the needles.  In any case, click here if you're interested to read more on acupuncture and moxibustion.

Dance My Heart Away



The last few weeks has been one that's challenging and yet, a lot of discoveries has been made.  Things I wanted to try but never did, and now, I'm not only trying out dancing classes but am also getting poked at with needles(acupuncture)! In any case,the dance instructors at D'Music Motion(DMM) have been tempting me to dance for awhile back now and it's only through persuasion, I thought I give it a try.  And you know what......it's so cool! It's definitely very different from doing a dance aerobics class.  Learning to do the steps from a dance teacher on a 'one to one' is exciting and at the same time more intriguing.  James and Jhung, both presently dance teachers at DMM are both newly joined dance instructors along with Gilbert, Joel and Alan.  James is teaching me Latin dances while Jhung is teaching me Argentine tango.  I am super psych for the past week and a half learning all this new moves.  I think possibly flexibility from yoga does help with some of the dance movements but more so James and Jhung being excellent teachers.  


Have you ever watched Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez dancing in the movie 'Shall we dance?'  Or maybe Penelope Cruz and Nicholas Cage in 'Captain Corelli's Mandolin'? Or even Antonia Banderas in 'Take the lead'?  Super cool.  It just makes you want to move your feet when they're dancing in the films. 


Well, I think it's always nice to at least know some 'moves' if you're a lady on the dance floor.  It's never too late to learn.  ;)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Bellissimo!

I thought I share with you photos I took of Gabriel's birthday.  Cake Connoisseur Candy C. created the most beautiful sea turtle birthday cake one has ever seen.  My family was so impressed by her creation, they didn't have the heart to cut through the cake.  Little Gabriel kept stroking the sea turtles and the starfish.  

My dad decided to 'save' the cake from destruction by slicing the top layer off.  It was like watching 'Operation Cake Challenger'.  But Dad did a brilliant job cutting the top off and my mum saved it into a container ...it now sits 'waitingly' in the freezer.  

But love,love,love the cake.  Super artwork and design.  Taste delicious too! Thanks very much again Candy!!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A little sadness, A little happiness and A few tears

I like 'hello's' more than I do with 'goodbye's'.  I like to 'arrive' more than I do to 'depart'.  I'm good at laughing and smiling but I'm terrible when it comes to crying.  'Do's' works better for me than 'don't's'.  'Trying' is always better than ' I don't think I can'.  'Definitely's' are better than 'maybe's'.  'I forgive' is better than 'I don't, so bugger off.'.  And to know, is better than not to know, cause if you know and understand better, you move on.  And last but not least, it is less stressful to trust and love, than to suspect and hate.
                           
                        These are my days..............................
Ikuyo L. has left for Tokyo and it was quite a sad moment to see her go.  But I hope that we'll meet again someday in the near future.  It would have been good to have her join us at the new studio.  Maybe she'll pay us a visit again soon.

Kristie and I have been meeting up lately, making plans for our new yoga studio.  Carpe diem ! Life moves on.  Excited and happy.  (ps. thank you everyone for your patience and loving support on our new move :O)

The next best thing is I'm looking forward to is seeing my sister and her two boys again.  Can't wait to give them a cuddle, a kiss and a bite.

And then 5 more days to go till my holidays. Woo hoo!

You have to read this!!!


Ah Hua went for a job interview to be a secretary.



When the manager saw Ah Hua'scolorful attire and gold, white-highlighted hair, his mind is screaming, 'NOT THIS WOMAN!!!'. so chekai, Nevertheless, he still had to interview Ah Hua.



So he told Ah Hua,"If you can form a sentence using the words that I give you, then I will give you a chance! The words are GREEN,PINK,YELLOW,BLUE,WHITE , PURPLE and BLACK"


Ah Hua thought for a while and said, 'I hear the phone GREEN , GREEN , GREEN, then I go and PINK up the phone, I say YELLOW..... BLUE's that? WHITE did you say?" He continues...
"Aiyah, wrong numberlah.....Don't PURPLELY disturb people and don't call

BLACK, ok? Kum Siah."


The manager fainted....


** Ps . I don't know about you guys but I employ Ah Hua to be my jester! Kum Siah!**

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Peeling the layers


Just a word of encouragement for the beginners and also the in-betweens to advanced yogis.  Sometimes when a pose or a 'situation' gets challenging, be patient.  In the beginning it feels like 'impossiblity' but with endurance and will power to 'live', impossiblity could become a possiblity.  Peeling away the hard outer parts till you get the nice soft mushy parts is the part I find most exciting. Patience over time will reap huge benefits than a quick fix. Discover the mind and body without rushing.   

Om

A little dash of 'ahimsa' please!


Ahimsa means 'non violence' in sanskrit.  I like to look at it as an act of loving kindness not only to others but ourselves.  It's nice when you're able to display some kindness to someone else during the day.  It could possibly be something simple like," How's it going?"  and really mean it when you asked.  More often, I find as we become adults, we become engrossed in our own lives and 'busier'.  Everything around us becomes oblivious at times.  Perhaps we are generally to look out for ourselves to gain independence.  But maybe if we take time out to 'climb out of our heads' and look around us, you'll probably be able to use your own instinct sometimes to suss out somebody who might not be feeling themselves lately.  And all it takes is 'Hey , How are you?"  And I guess, if you can do that for somebody else, you could do the same for yourselves too.  Being able to nurture the inner self when you're feeling worn out, despair or lost.  This could just be a 'time out' like a break from everything around you.  Or what I like to call, my 'ahimsa' time.

Life is not fair.  Sometimes when you think you've already climbed over one hurdle, another situation comes along.  A feeling of desperation to have some breathing space.  Often enough, we have pushed through tougher times but with a thought that the ones we're having right now are probably harder that the ones before.  And if it is, perhaps a little part acceptance into the situation rather that resisting it, will probably give us a clearer understanding.  

Here's a little something from Daily Om which I find really helpful.

When we send healing light to ourselves, it is important that our intentions and our self-trust be stronger than ever to counteract doubt.

As we bless ourselves in this way, we serve as both an active channel and a passive destination. This should not change the way we interact with the valuable energy we wish to receive, however. Though we may be tempted to consciously direct or influence the manner in which light impacts our lives because we know ourselves most intimately, we should not try to control its path. When we draw the white light of protection and purity to our bodies, taking it into ourselves with each inhalation, our belief in the fact that it will naturally move toward areas of dysfunction will ensure that it flows through every muscle and organ. And when we fill our spaces with this light, our environments are cleared of all the negative energy that can sap our strength and our spirit. Surrounded inside and out with healing light, we feel safe and protected, healthy, relaxed, and content just as those who regularly receive such loving gifts from us do.

If you sincerely believe that there is a part of yourself that exists independently of upset and illness, the love and light you send yourself will help you connect with it. You will see the affirmative impact of this connection almost immediately when you include yourself in the recipients of your healing gifts, as life's frustrations become more tolerable and your bliss becomes ever more palpable.

:O)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Santosha


Santosha means 'contentment'.  They are the moments when you feel blissful, and these moments are pretty rare.  It is possible to find 'santosha' in your asanas when you practice with diligence and full awareness of your movements.  Moving with intelligence, strength, elequonce and beauty in sychronisation with your breath.  It brings a sense of calmness and focus into the present moment.  It is the energy you feel that settles and grounds you for the rest of the day. 
 
Here's a good article I thought explain it in one of the best ways possible from Yoga Journal about 'prana' and the goodness of it all

".....you can learn to tune in to prana when you're awake and to build reserves of it.When you remove obstacles to free-flowing prana, you feel more alive and present in your life. Think of how great you feel after a yoga class or a night of dancing or making love. Movement can awaken both prana and awareness. Slow-motion movement slows your mind. Just a few minutes of it before sitting is an excellent segue to a more subtle meditation practice. Try lifting your arms overhead and slowly releasing them to your sides, concentrating on the micro-movements of your hands as they flow through space. Just a minute of this helps you move into pratyahara, sense withdrawal.
Paying attention to slowing down helps you be mindful during the day. Try brushing your teeth or washing dishes more slowly and see how that brings your mind into the present. Slowing down a yoga pose also helps draw you into a dynamic flow of sensation, breath, and awareness.
A fascinating paradox emerges when you allow yourself to become absorbed in the small details of any physical action. Embracing movement, you are inexorably drawn to the stillness within." (Jonathan Foust, M.A)

 "Om" to that :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Cute Yoga Tops From Ref Station, Kiulap

I heard Ref Station had a new collection of easyoga clothes on the rack today, so yup....I went to check it out.  And I wasn't disappointed at all, lovely Angie was there to show me all the new tops and pants. You could check her yoga apparels in Kiulap, just opposite Petlink and close to Sweet Deli Bakery.  I'm glad she's able to stock the yoga apparels for us, at least it saves us the online hassles and trying on the clothes is way better than just taking a guess at your size.  Lucky for me, Angie had the 'L' size.  Yup, yup, I like mine spacey.  
I reckon most of the yoga tops Angie has are the collection from the Bertii Series, and they fit like a glove....very comfy too! So, do check it out.  It's worth a trip to see her new collection of yoga mats too.
                                                                                

Thursday, April 29, 2010

YO-GA

A Bit of Yoga Sutra, Pretty Please!

This week's ingredients is the best I can muster, for the moment (and it's within my budget...I'm all 'smiles' to that!) :-

  • Made carrot potato soup served with delicious wholemeal home made garlic bread with extra virgin olive oil.  Very yummy for the tum tum!  Chamomile tea (added with half a tea spoon of raw sugar) has been top of my list this week.  Next try will be watercress soup.
  • Honey shampoo from the Body Shop, lurve the texture it leaves in the hair after. 
  • Colonic therapy - great way to detox especially with the promotion going on right now (yup, you don't have to be a Gweneth Paltrow to afford one in Brunei.) $180 for a trial of two sessions.  Reminder: give Elaine a call later ( If you like to try it, call her at 8846848) 
  • Yoga & Joyful Living (mag: issue Oct 2008) : Iove the article Living Kindness                                                                                                                    "  I love you in this way because I don't know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close."                                    Pablo Neruda Poem                                                                                                 Meister Eckhart:"You need to love all persons as yourself, esteeming them and considering them alike.  What happens to another, whether it be a joy or a sorrow, happens to you."
  • From the Yoga Sutras : 1.14 sa tu dirgha-kala-nairantarya-satkara-adara-asevito drdha-bhumih                                                                                                        To achieve a strong foundation in our practice, we must practice over a long time, without interruption, believing in it and looking forward to it, with an attitude of service.                                                                                                                ...an advice to recognize that there is going to be some effort involved when you undertake anything new.  To consciously create the foundation you hope to build on, not just to attain a successful outcome but also to feel good in the process.    ...dirgha-kala  or ''long time''....means recognizing that what you are undertaking cannot be perfected overnight, that you have to commit over time to get lasting results that you are happy with.   Nairantarya  as "no interruption", which addresses your commitment to the process.  Your efforts must be wholehearted; an attitude of a little bit here and a little bit there is not going to help you reach your goal.  Imagine trying to lose weight while eating healthfuly only once in a while.     
  • Practice some yoga off the mat, try a few asana stretches when you get up in the morning, have a few deep breaths....if you will it, it takes place.  Yoga doesn't necessarily mean 10 chaturangas and headstands for 10 minutes.  It's about feeling 'wholesome' and living compassionately...a path to self discovery, mindful thinking, mindful decisions, mindful actions.  Asevito  ..approach each endeavor with an attitude of service......For me, I'm in service of others if I can help.  Something simple but effective.                                                                                              Adara ...look forward to what you're doing.  Whatever you set out to do, on some level, you must enjoy the job at hand.  Even if what you're doing is difficult or tiring, there can still be joy or satisfaction in the effort if you know that you are experiencing something positive from it.  Adara is important because without it, you are prone to burnout or to abandoning your commitment.         
  • And last but not least, to have an attitude of friendliness toward those who are happy, compassion toward those who are suffering, pleasure and delight at those who are doing good deeds in the world, and an attitude of nonjudgmental watchfulness toward those who do harmful deeds.    (and p.s these applies to all and everybody)                                                                                                           
  • On an ending note, love the fact that we actually burned 520 calories on the last class.  Woo hoo!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Then Again, Who's Counting?

Have been living breathing eating 'yoga' in and out this past two weeks and maybe just a little much to take in all at once.  But it's all good! Peter got me Maya Fiennes CD and (woo hoo!) at last ...I can just chill out to the soothing sounds of  'Ra Ma Da Sa'.   Candy C.got me to check out Yoga Anonymous, and Brock Cahill has crazy moves in his 'Flight' vinyasa. I reckon they would have burned at least 1000 plus calories or more in one hour alone.  Talking about calories, I had a close friend joining my classs yesterday afternoon, and she had a calorie counter watch on, (just out of curiosity )....guess what....at the end of the class, we actually burned 450 calories.  Awesome! I never knew it was that much, figured we could have done 200 plus but 450?!!!! (woo hoo!)  (pps...this was an intermediate/advanced session )



By the by, have you seen this video of Yogi Cameron from Ellen DeGeneres TV show?  Pretty interesting on how this yogi can tell what your imbalances on your body are just by looking at the tongue.  Plus, you can visit his website and take the Ayurveda test just to find out what hormonal imbalances are based on doshas and gunas.  It's embarassing when I took my test,  and nopeedoo, ain't telling you what was my dosha/gunas.....aiyaiyai!  More detox Jac, detox!!!!!! 


'Quote from Ellen DeGeneres on right versus left body non-symmetry “One side could be Cirque du Soliel and the other side could be a 52 year old woman.” Sister, don’t we know it! '

By the by, this is taken from Yogi Cameron website on Ayurveda- Science of Life

Ayurveda is the oldest medicine in use today. It is over 5000 years old.

It says:
All disease has a cause root where it starts out from. Disease first starts as a mental thought. Disease will continue to become physical if thought pattern is not changed. Any disease can be cured as long as the cause root is treated.
  • There is no name for any disease as disease is ever evolving into other forms.
  • Most diseases are first psychologically created then move to spread in the body.
  • An ayurvedic doctor examines with his eyes and touch.
  • All our inner life is written on our outer canvas.
Elements in balance = health
One element more dominate = imbalance, start of illness
Ayurveda treats people as individuals.
Firey energetic people have too much pitta.
Earthy people are heavy and lazy in mind and body.
Airy people move about a lot and find it hard to stay in one place.
As our mood changes so do the elements.
Elements move up or down depending on our lifestyle.
Our environment, job, family life, thoughts, etc. determines which
elements dominate us more.

The 5 elements
Water . space . earth  . Air . fire
Doshas  . Body
pitta . fire
Kapha . earth
Vata . air
Gunas . Mind
Sattva . balance
Rajas . over stimulated
Tamas . lazy



By the by again guys, if you would like to take a test on what the Ayurveda Element Quiz, pay a visit to Ayurveda Test

Good Luck Amigos and Amigas!

Believe And Step Forward

"Step forward. Believe. Fall down. Laugh. Learn. Try again. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Let your hair down and just enjoy the amazing ride."

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Imagine (John Lennon)

Imagine there's no Heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

Without Judgment

Mother Teresa said, “If you judge people, you don’t have time to love them.....If we have no peace in the world, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other." 

...ran into a conversation on how yoga is denounced in christianity in some churches.  Some pastors believe you cannot be a christian whilst practicing yoga, they claim it'll disrupt the person's own christian beliefs.  Some christians believe that it'll alter subtle changes within themselves and have profound dramatic spiritual consequences that will not be for the better.  How funny that because yoga is from the East, some even claim that travelling to the East (i.e. East of Eden) is idolatry.  

Yoga can be affiliated to hinduism.......if that's the direction you want to head into.  If you send your kid to a chinese learning school, would you be worried the child might convert into buddhism one day?  Everything in life is related to one thing to the other.  But the linkage to 'whatever not's ' is to your own discretion.  Everything in moderation.  Not too much and not too little.  
I've practice yoga for well over 5 years....still a strong believer in my faith and I don't have deities set up in my home and  even though I meditate, I don't levitate and I don't go into trance.  And this is all because I don't seek to do it and it's not where my practice is heading.  Yoga means (to me) the balance of the body and the mind .....it's not magic.  When you jog or when you dance or when you watch a movie, do you not forget the one thing that was troubling you before you started your run or waltz? The only difference is yoga teaches you to observe the parts of your physicality that needs strengthening and toning.  It teaches you to listen to the breath.  It's not rocket science ! When you're in the hospital and you're recovering from heart surgeries, the nurses teaches deep breathing.  Same thing, yoga teaches you to focus on the breath, one of the many things that helps relaxes a busy day work.  

You could love baking or cooking and maybe that relaxes you.  Some people need poses that stretches and tones, so yoga could be something that makes the day better for them.
I don't hail yoga as the be end and end all.  But maybe if people stop judging, cause judgments seldom leave room for alternate possibilities. 

As we seldom know what roads people have traveled before a shared encounter or why they have come into our lives, we should always give those we meet the gift of an open heart. Doing so allows us to replace fear-based criticism with appreciation because we can then focus wholeheartedly on the spark of good that burns in all human souls. (Daily Om)

It's sad when society claims by self on what's right or wrong to do in every religion.  You'll either be damned if you do and damned if you don't.  Yoga teaches the ego is destructive,  so, is it not egoistical to claim knowing your spiritual way is the only gateway to heaven?

I think above all lessons I have learned till this day is love.  Love is simple and kind.  It's not hateful in any way.  It doesn't judge, it doesn't cause separation and it's not set on certain conditions. It just is.  Simple.  Love tolerates and it forgives.  It doesn't berate grudges for a life time neither does it claim rightfulness above anything or anybody.  It's infinite.  Love is acceptance and understanding of the human race.  Love is trust, faith and hope.

Maybe if one doesn't have all the above, it's time for a little humility, less ego and more enthuasiasm to live in a more balanced world.  Maybe we might not be able to live together in harmony altogether yet, but we can at least start to live in tolerance and compassion.

Like Gandhi once said,"My religion is kindness"

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Roll Out Your Yoga Mat

Yoga...it's not a sport or exercise that competes or compares.  And if it is, it should be with the best of intentions.  It attracts people of different ages to try this ancient system of body toning and mind balancing.  And does it work?  It could have worked for some individuals or perhaps not for all.  It even depends on what yoga means to you or me.  Some would see it as a new fashion 'fad' to exercise or wear 'cool' yoga clothes.  Some would do it to lose weight, and just that only.  Or perhaps it gives them a thrilling or heighten sense of acheivement when performing some of the utmost challenging asanas.  Others may seek it for relaxation and to regain a sense of peacefulness ...away from their busy schdules or daily stresses.  Perhaps it's also another way of meeting new friends, perhaps the yoga teacher is truly a hunky stud Brad Pitt lookalike (hell, I be in the class too! .........) or for some, it's a way of life. 

Losing weight....hmmm, I would imagine you would have to practice a dynamic form of yoga (frequently in a week) especially if you're a big eater to lose weight.  And the way we eat in Brunei, means a marathon run on alternate days would suffice to help us maintain our size 8 or 12 body shape.  Let's face it, we can jog, cycle, swim and dance to maintain our physique.  But there's only a far in a few of us that can keep up with the strenous exercise till we age in our sixties.  And perhaps yoga doesn't slim us the way we 'want' it to.  We can't always have 'everything'.  But the beauty of yoga is it heightens our awareness to the things that consumes our thoughts that's unnecessary.  Not to say we shouldn't exercise, by all means do, but everything in moderation.  Our physique shouldn't be something that haunt us on a daily basis, to feel that our need to look 'good' is priortised above everything else.

And really, if you're a regular practitioner, you will soon realise it's the breath and the silence that brings calmness and serenity to the pose.  If you're practicing yoga, don't do it with high expectations, but be inspired to do it so it helps you find your 'dharma'.

The physical side of yoga asanas takes years to practice, it's not an exercise that's easy to master.  Not unless you practice on a daily basis.  It's like an art form ...like a song or a dance.  The time taken to practice may be quite a 'put off ' for some, ...and I don't blame some for seeing it that way.  We all have different views.  I personally don't have much patience for baking cakes made with beautiful decors ....icings and all.  But I love yoga and it's part of me.  Just like someone who loves cooking, baking.....looking after children....You either love it or not, ......cause if you don't like something, it usually taste yucky at the final touch. 

But if you build a love affair with yoga for a lifetime, somehow the results are rewarding and fruitful.  Just like a relationship can either wither or grow, to build the latter, you feed it with continual practice of love, patience, respect and dedication.......even if it's every so often.  

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Thoughts For Today

GLEE....If you had a teacher like Will, you take up music any day even if you couldn't sing.  But it would be a real killer to have a P.E teacher like Sue....Tough, tough, tough.  

Earth hour last night, ...........thought hubby was kidding when he said we had to switched off everything for an hour........couldn't see what 'mackeroos' I had on my dinner plate.....hubby then reminded me of my 'non-environmental friendly' four range drive Toyota I have.  Not something a yoga teacher (who cares about the world) will drive, he says.  My reply..," If there was a flood, my car would probably save 6 to 8 people while I drive us to the safest destination.  That's why I'm keeping it."  He says," But if there's a BIG flood, you probably won't save anyone let alone you."  I don't argue, never argue with Peter... kept quiet and placed my cutleries aside to use my hands .....spaghetti are hard to scoop up.......Earth hour should happen when we are sleeping ...........

Monday, February 15, 2010

New Beginners Class

That's right! We'll have new beginners class starting 2nd March 2010 taught by Kristie Ying, Ikuyo Lampel and Maki Sakanoue.  If you are brand new to yoga and have decided to return back to yoga after a long break from it, joining the beginners class will help you ease your way back into the practice.  Here's a brief introduction to the teachers' profile.


Kristie first discovered yoga in 2007 while she was a Business student in Brunei. The following year, she pursued her education abroad and completed her management degree in London. To cope with the sudden lifestyle changes and adversities, she continued her yoga practices regularly with Bikram yoga where classes are conducted in a heated room of 41 degree to promote flexibility and aid in detoxification. Gradually, she developed a growing passion towards yoga and made the decision to embark a journey to India for an intensive teacher training yoga course in Himalayan Yoga Valley, Goa. She had successfully completed the 200 hours training and is now a qualified yoga instructor on Hatha and Vinyasa practice. Other than the fitness and health aspect of yoga, her decision to pursue in this path was also due to its abundance in inner peace and calmness. 

Maki's years of diligent and dedicated practice to Hatha yoga helped inspired and transformed her lifestyle into one's that's peaceful and calm.  Along with another yoga devotee, Ikuyo Lampel, both teachers have recently qualified as certified hatha yoga teachers, having taught by Patrick Creelman in Hong Kong.  Maki approaches her practice with sensitivity and great understanding, her patience to teach will be of great benefit to those students new in yoga. 

Together Kristie, Ikuyo and Maki will lead the classes this coming March, so don't wait, join us and find out more how yoga can help relieve stress.

Class Schedules as follows
Every Tuesday ,Thursday and Saturday at 8.15a.m
Every Monday and Wednesday at 7.15p.m                

Class Fees : Walk In $10 / 8 Lessons for $60.

Please call Kristie at 8873838 or Maki at 8603313,Ikuyo at 7171583

N.B The new beginners classes as stated above are lead by the teachers Kristie,Maki and Ikuyo.  **Jac Fang will continue with her normal schedule as previous **

Monday, January 25, 2010

Flow through life

The last two months has been pretty hectic for me, and stressful too.  Eversince I got back from Taipei, I have only been packing boxes, ordering furnitures, organising moves and house arranging.  I wonder why you were never taught in school, amongst sciences, history and geography, on the 'art of marriage', 'moving houses' and 'life'.  In school we learn to count numbers in silly algebras that I have never once used in my daily chores, and learning countless numbers of 'what year is it' in histories that I cannot for the #$%!@! remember when the Boston Tea Party took place.  Schools never teach you about death and life, never told you about the art of reality and fantasies.  

And when things happen to you without a clear explanation, you feel like screaming," ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!????" Yup, that's me, shouting in my own head at God and the Universe saying, "HA! HA! Jokes over! Quit it, will ya!?? I have enough!"  

Why didn't any schools prepare you to deal with life as it is? With thanks to a little sanity left in my right side of my leftover brain, I came to my senses and let bygones be bygones.  I understand when things are out of my control, I just learn to flow with life without changing the course of my path.  I learn to understand that my life has a bigger plan for me if I waited patiently without trying to intervene always.  I learn there's a solution if I find hard enough what the answers are.  I learn to forgive my own past even if others are too proud to do so.  I learn to live with a smile and a positive thought for everyone even when I cannot see the reason why.  .........and surprisingly through the toughest times, somehow, I'll pull through.  I'm not alone in my need to know 'why it happens'.  Instead, I take comfort, there are others just like me, different, but definitely in the same Universe with a different fate.

Schools shapes the lifes of their students, in more ways they can imagine.  We probably spent more than half our lifes in schools always learning the logical, but why didn't my teachers teach me the unexplained and tell me it's okay to doubt?! That not everything written in 'black and white' goes according to plan but if we think with positive intentions we might just pull through.

I believe life doesn't wait, it lives through our decisions and experiences to learn and understand human nature in it's fullest potential.


Here's something to read from the Daily Om...........................


As We Ebb and Flow Through Life
Changing Roles

As we bob and weave with the ebb and flow of life our roles change, but our true self remains constant. As spiritual beings having a human experience, we go through many aspects of humanity in one lifetime. Living in the material world of opposites, labels, and classifications, we often identify ourselves by the roles we play, forgetting that these aspects shift and change throughout our lives. But when we anchor ourselves in the truth of our being, that core of spirit within us, we can choose to embrace the new roles as they come, knowing that they give us fresh perspective on life and a greater understanding of the lives of others.

As children, we anticipated role changes eagerly in our rush to grow up. Though fairy tales led us to believe that “happily ever after” was a final destination, the truth is that life is a series of destinations, mere stops on a long journey filled with differing terrain. We may need to move through a feeling of resistance as we shift from spouse to parent, leader to subordinate, caregiver to receiver, or even local to newcomer. It can be helpful to bid a fond farewell to the role that we are leaving before we welcome the new. This is the purpose of ceremonies in cultures throughout the world and across time. We can choose from any in existence or create our own to help us celebrate our life shifts and embrace our new adventures.

Like actors on the stage of the world, our different roles are just costumes that we inhabit and then shed. Each role we play gives us another perspective through which to understand ourselves and the nature of the universe. When we take a moment to see that each change can be an adventure, a celebration, and a chance to play a new part, we may even be able to recapture the joyful anticipation of our youth as we transition from one role to the next. 

...............For Amani A.