Thursday, 17 April 2014

Yoga : Going Back To The Mat

Hey Gorgeous

It has been a while since I post something on health. I have been busy with work and that, unfortunately has taken me away from my beloved yoga mat for quite some time now. I missed my yoga mat. ...err can one be missing a yoga mat?! hahaha I know I do and it is real.

Late last month, right about after my last post on Yin Yoga, I have practiced it for about 2 weeks. True to its claim that my body became more flexible and the nagging pain i have on my right shoulder has subsided. My bad wrists too have become stronger and I no longer feel pain when I do my chaturangga.

Then life became busy and I only get to practice on the mat twice this month so far :( . Having said that I noticed three prevailing things:
1. I began to feel the old anxiety again and I became restless
2. My skin is not as great as when I practiced 4-5 times a week
3. I don't sleep well at night

In a nutshell .... NOT GOOD. so yesterday I was so happy that I had time to spare and practiced for 1 1/2 hour. It felt so good and for the first time in a long time (it felt like ages) I trully feel happy and free. Funny isn't it? Especially the part of being 'free'. Free from my anxiety caused by external and internal factor. Free from my ever active mind that won't shut down even when I try to sleep. Last night I slept well and peacefully.

The picture that I post in this entry is called Malasana. Like all yoga poses it has its quality. Malasana has a grounding quality and it is a good pose to practice whenever you need to bring on calm.

I shall do it today and may it bring me calmness to me. Try this and tell me what you feel after that.

Stay free and happy


Monday, 10 March 2014

Yin Yoga : Something That I Would Like To Practise


Namaste everyone!

Before I continue I would like to explain what Namaste means. Means 'the light in me salutes the light in you'. How philosophical is that? I love the meaning behind this simple word.

Ok lately I have been experiencing some pain in my joints particularly in my right shoulder. It is of course was self inflicted because I was trying to do the conventional push ups.... bad idea! So yes I injured myself ;( I mean .. what was I thinking??

Anyway a recent event that I was invited to introduced me to Yin Yoga which will help me to work my joints and deeper tissue that might be injured when I was doing outer/surface muscle in traditional workout. 

I was further enlightened by the fact that it is most beneficial for women to do Yin Yoga due to the many changes our body goes through by just being woman ; menstrual, menopausal, anxiety, work stress, child birth etc.

Half Moon Pose

So what is Yin Yoga?
After much reading, I have concluded that Yin Yoga is an approach to practise in exercising the Yin tissue ; meaning the bone/joints and connective tissue. The targeted tissue is relatively hidden, closer to the core. Some sources even refer it to being mysterious (because it is hidden) and receptive. 

All this hidden tissue needs to be exercised and it has to be done in the Yin way. Yin Yoga adapts known yoga poses and is performed to target specific connective tissue as well as nadis ( energetic pathways of the body ) that corresponds to the vital organs of your body. 

Therefore, Yin Yoga works not only on the physical level (which are your bones, tendons, ligaments and fascia) but also the on the body energy level by stimulating the energetic pathways of your body. 

The poses in Yin Yoga are held longer and is usually between three to five minutes and sometimes up to 20 mins. It is almost meditative. 

What are the benefits of practising Yin Yoga?
Yin Yoga is often used in programmes that deal with addictions, anxiety, trauma, eating disorder and the likes. It is about learning to sit still, to really come face to face with yourself because in that stillness your mind will wander to issues that you might be avoiding. 

Practising Yin Yoga help deal with life issues
Yin Yoga teaches you how to really listen to what is going on in your mind and to be more aware of your body as you hold your poses in that three to five mins of stillness. When you hold long poses it teaches you to learn to be present and accept what is in that given moment. 

For me it teaches me to be comfortable in my own company and deal with emotions that I might have pushed away when I am busy doing 101 things. Most of all, I learn to be still and be patient with myself. I learn that I don't need to be doing everything at one go. 

In a weird way ( and for the life of me I don't know how to explain this outcome ) I also learn to appreciate and be grateful of what I have,  to love myself and my loved ones more. I learn to be more accepting in many ways of myself and others. Because of that I am much happier with my life. 

So here is to a better acceptance of ourselves as women. 



Friday, 24 January 2014

Think Low Fat or Reduced Fat food Is Better? Think Again!

Hello ladies,

Recently, I have been mindful of what I put in my body .. or stomach to be precise :D. Had a chat with my sister and she told me that processed food that claimed to be low fat or reduced fat are actually more harmful to the body than the original ones. 

That fact horrified me. To be fair, we were never properly been 'food educated'. We have no clue as to how food are processed or what stuff they put in these marvellously, conveniently packed food we find in the grocery food aisle ... right? Right!

Thanks to documentary and food channels or even YouTube, we now know a bit more. Well Jamie Oliver did say in his Food Revolution series that we have to read the labels on the food packaging. If we don't understand what is written on the labels, don't buy.

Anyways, so horrified I was that I had to see it for myself. So I went to my favourite local grocer and shop a little bit more informed then I was before being on the look out for any confirmation to the everything I have heard or seen on TV. 

This is what I found ... Low fat or reduced fat processed food has more ingredients than the original ones. Simply put, the list is longer and less understandable. The more natural the product the less ingredients they have. Not to mention that they are more expensive than the normal or low fat ones.

Here are some pictures ( I enjoyed this part of my so called research )!

Skippy Creamy Peanut Butter 
The label.
The reduced fat option for weight watchers

The label. Longer list no?

So there you have it. The truth is on the labels ladies. There is more to this. I will let the video elaborate on this as I am not the expert. I do suggest that you take some time to watch this video and watch it many times if you have to.

Ok ok ..  I know that's an hour long video so if you prefer an abridged version, here it is. I find this very useful to understand. Glucose? Fructose? I do need to stress here that when he says fructose, he is not referring to the ones naturally found in fruits. When we consume fruits yes we take in fructose but we are also taking in natural fibre and vitamins along with it, so that is totally different than the artificially made fructose or isolated fructose. Just keep that in mind. Don't go cutting off eating bananas or apples and all ya. 

As for my peanut butter .. I decided to buy the natural one. It cost me more but I like the list on the label better and it comforts me to know that I have taken steps to be responsible towards my own body. It is still processed food but to me, at least it is better than the reduced fat one. 

The natural version of Skippy peanut butter spread.

And I love that I can count the ingredients used with one hand :D

The choice is yours. Do your own research and choose. Stay healthy beautiful. Let me know what you find out!

Daily nuggets:

  • When I opened my natural peanut butter, there is a layer of oil that covers the butter. I think it acts as a natural preservative just like how salt is sprinkled on top of ground chili paste in Malaysia
  • I have been doing yoga for the past 2 weeks and I felt 'lighter' (for lack of better word). I actually felt better and more connected with myself. Perhaps i will talk about this in length in a separate post :D
  • I find it sad that people don't send out physical cards anymore. There is something special about receiving something in the mailbox instead of the daily over flooding mails in our inbox.

Yoga : The Perfect Practice for All

Taken from health

Namaste everyone and I hope life has been wonderful to you. 

Late last year I was diagnosed with a condition that could potentially cause a chain of other sickness if I don't address it. The acupuncturist suggested that I take up Yoga so that I would be more connected with myself. I wouldn't have thought of taking up yoga if I was not alarmed at the amount of pain I had to endure when she put the needle to the area where she said is my 'scar'. 

I was sceptical at first but my concerns propelled me to just dive into yoga. Now, 2 weeks into yoga (and yes I do it daily), I never felt better since I crossed 30. I now feel 15 years younger .. no joke hehe.

Words that I can associate to Yoga are Relaxing, Sculpting, Strengthening, Stabilizing and Streamlining. Yoga is a series of moves designed to unlock energy flow, pumping circulation and stimulating our vital organs while building strength, toning the body and increasing flexibility.

It also calms me down. Really! For those who know me 'calm' is never one of my better traits. Years of working in KL in stressful work environment made me impatient, always do things with a sense of urgency and I am always rushing to do 101 things at one time ( like a woman in Super Woman suit , get what I mean? Hahaha )  However, I finally understand what calm means after going through my practice.

Why I love Yoga?
  1. It is gentle. The movement from one pose to another is so fluid that is it forces me to be patient  and to take my time at doing it.
  2. It calms my nerves. Yoga focuses on breathing therefore it calms my mind which in turn creates a relax state or well being. It feels weird at first that I have to lie down flat on the mat at the end of each session and just ...  breathe. Quite different from the modern workout where we are not encourage to sit after a workout session right? Right!
  3. My constant and irritating back ache is almost gone. Yoga places importance in the flexibility of the spine. A flexible spine is a flexible mind. When our mind is flexible then our body is more open for good things to happen to us. Apparently when we move our spine and stretch it, we are also rejuvenating our nervous system, which I found out, is vital at ensuring healthy functionality of muscles and organs. How's that ladies? Sold? Not yet? Read on....
  4. There are routines to address different problems such as stress, bloatness, PMS, weight lose and insomnia. I am in awe. It is like the answer to all our woman issues!
  5. I feel 'light' after every practice. That makes me feel great and at peace with myself. I have been working out consistently everyday before I started on Yoga. However,  almost after each session I feel sore and I had to suffer that for days. At times I can't even walk properly because I ache all over. I have not experienced that with Yoga despite feeling like I-would-surely-die-when-this-ends. Sounds good? Hell yeah!
  6. Yoga is forgiving. Everybody works at their own pace. Their philosophy is you have to start somewhere and if you fall from a pose, it is perfectly ok but you get up and do it again. Come to think of it, that is how life is. You fall but you get back up again and never stop trying. One more thing, they always say when you feel like giving up, that is when you have to keep on doing it. How many times in life have we missed out on things because we give up just when we are about to reach the big break? Think about it...
  7. Yoga teaches perseverance and not to compete with anyone but yourself. You don't have to worry about how beautiful you are doing the poses especially if you are a beginner. It is a practice not a performance they say. So it is ok if your poses are not perfect when you first start. 
  8. Listen to your body. Yoga makes you more aware of your body. They always stress on being aware of where your body aches at certain poses or what does your mind gravitate towards when you are stressed etc.. I love that part of Yoga most of all.
  9. Be patient. Yoga teaches me to be patient with myself and to trust that I will feel the difference in time. It doesn't provide you with fast results. True enough, I have not lost weight (but that's not why I started Yoga anyway) after consistently doing my practice for 2 weeks but the past two days I noticed that my core is getting stronger and I can almost forget that I have back pain ( in fact I dont feel it at all ).
  10. It is the perfect workout for ladies. Low impact, addresses your woman issues, calms you, teaches you to be kind to yourselves and most of all Yoga can makes you feel good about yourself.
  11. I don't have to be flexible like a pretzel to start Yoga. Flexibility will come in time and I look forward to that, something that I have to work on. I am already getting better at stretching ;D
I am so glad I started practicing Yoga. I am so motivated to do it because of how I feel after each session. 

Having experienced that for myself, I want you to experience it too. I am closing this post with a Yoga for beginners for those of you who might not know where to start or simply curious. Let me know what you feel after doing the practice. I would love to hear your sharing.

Enjoy the video and stay beautiful everyone!