Archive for the “Health” Category

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… i could probably pay for a few yoga classes.

but never mind the crazy poses. you know what i REALLY can’t do?

RIDE A FREAKIN’ BICYCLE.

i tried it again, yesterday, at ECP, with the husband’s new foldable bike, with adjustable height and a saddle that practically tried to violate me down under. i kept leaning to the left and couldn’t get both feet up the pedals and my body refused to stay balanced in motion for more than 3 seconds. i also tried on the boy’s bicycle, which had slightly better padding, but the same thing thing kept happening.

yes, i am A DISGRACE! to myself! and after a frustrating half hour (or maybe it was less), sweat streaming down my scrunched up face, my perineum was blistered and bruised from the bike seats. how ridiculous is that?! no wonder the girl doesn’t like riding her own bike either, she probably has the same uncomfortable experience on her fanny as i do. maybe sensitive souths are genetic. yeah, THAT MUST BE IT.

anyway, i arghhhghghg dislike bicycles. they’re my Kryptonite. (what’s with these superhero references today?) give me a car and i can manoeuvre into any tight spots no problem (i especially find parallel parking particularly thrilling), just don’t give me anything with two wheels. (no, not even the skate scooter variety.)

so yeah, i guess i’ll just stick to crazy poses and challenging other laws of physics for now. (you know, just like Superman and Batman.)

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or just… cycle in the air? (at least my crotch will be safe from harm.)

#yogawithhana post-workshop with briohny & dice. still trying to find my #handstand, but it's damn hard for someone who has balance issues (i can't even ride a bicycle - and believe me, i've tried many times!).

but for the sake of pride and to prove that ANYTHING is possible, i’ll keep trying.

aaand since we’re talking superheroes…


(see, even Batman needs help.)

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with this whole ‘controversy‘ on yoga “selfies” on instagram, the spotlight being on a few popular individuals in the insta-yogi community, i agree with one blogger’s comments: “As the viewer of these images, though, we have the power to exert our own intention as well. Will it come from a place of intimidation or respect? Will it come from a place of envy or appreciation? Will it come from a place of judgment or growth?”

and i think this applies to pretty much everything else, not just what we see every day on social media. whatever people perceive of your actions or words, the keyword is: intention.

and it goes BOTH ways.

i never thought much about whether it’s ‘un-yogic’ or against the spirit of yoga to post asana “selfies” – i’m no purist, and honestly, i’m not interested in the spiritual aspects of the practice. i just think it’s inspiring to see a community of yoga enthusiasts, in all shapes, sizes and colours, sharing their progress and passion through social media.

i especially appreciate the beautiful way that the ordinary body can be transformed through yoga. you don’t need any fancy tools or equipment to practise it – all you need is your breath, and the weight, balance and conscious movements of your own body to gain strength and health. i mean, how amazing is that, the idea that your body is actually ideally equipped and sufficient in itself when you practise yoga?

personally, i think it’s just fun to post yoga selfies, even if they’re a bit silly. i have a good laugh at myself every time the timer goes off and i’m in the middle of tumbling down the floor or finding my limbs stuck in compromising positions and weird angles. i think i’m decent enough at it, and it’s a big part of my life at the moment, that i want to share it, the way everyone else shares photos of their kids, their food, their travels, and, well, their OOTDs.

yeah, OOTDs – yet one of the multifarious forms of selfies out there. :p

#yogawithhana in a floral dress.
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oh, and if anything, something good came out of this particular shot – it won me a pair of my favourite brand of yogapants! never mind that crazy-looking stretchy attire is probably not part of the true yogic experience, i love them all the same.

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(thanks, Touch The Toes!)

and speaking of controversies, here’s someone who’s gone under the fire before for her ‘infamous’ Equinox video. many of us aspiring yoginis still gush over Briohny Kate-Smyth in that video, and then this one with her hunk of a husband, Dice Iida-Klein:

well, while in bangkok recently, Is and i had the wonderful opportunity to attend their class and meet them in person.

major starstruck-yogi moment!

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their fit flow class was great – fun and light-hearted amidst some serious work-out and we learnt some useful techniques to prep for handstand and other poses. they were so in tandem with each other, one taking over the other seamlessly throughout the two hours. Briohny had just given birth to a baby boy two months ago, and this was her first time back in the studio, so Dice led most of the demonstrations and they each went round to correct alignments, which i always appreciate instructors doing.

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(what are we doing, taking photos in the middle of instructions?! ha ha.)

more demo from Dice.

man, this guy is a beast. a nice one. seriously, he is SO NICE.

almost at the end of the class, a baby’s cries were heard outside, so they took turns to check on him, and when the session ended, while the mommy was busy signing their newly-launched DVDs and taking pictures with fans, the daddy was outside the studio, gently cuddling and rocking the tiny bundled-up baby to sleep…. everybody now, AWWWW. :)

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they’ll be here in August for a series of workshops, and i can’t wait to get on the mat with them again.

and you can be sure there’ll be lots more yoga selfies coming up.

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having tried acroyoga, i’ve been craving for other similar experiences. well, yogafly has the elements of yoga and aerial acrobatics, so i obviously HAD to try it too.

had a bit of trouble locating the studio initially, but finally found it, tucked away within horse city at turf club, with a lovely rustic view surrounding it.

upside motionupside motion

we started out with simple stretches and core work before going on the silky soft hammock to go upside down…

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tumble around…

Import 1Import 2

and FLY!

upside motion

such an exhilarating experience, and really easier than it looks. although, all the swinging around did leave us a little light-headed by the end of the session.

the studio offers xtend barre which combines ballet dance with weights and cardio workout (i hear it’s torture!), which sounds kinda appealing because, well, you know, i’ve always wanted to learn ballet (plus i do have those masochistic tendencies).

or maybe i should really take up pole-dancing instead… hey that’s major core work, ok!

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figured this out at today's #ashtanga class - the #roosterpose. or #cockeralpose. or #cockpose. or #kukkutasana. (i swear that's what it's called.)

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we all have some kind of bucket list – a list of things to do before we, well, ‘kick the bucket’. things may get thrown in and out along the way as circumstances and interests change and evolve over time.

i guess my list is a pretty fluid one, and i’m not so ambitious. somewhere in my shallow little bucket (at this point in time) are things like: go on a yoga retreat; do a certification course; travel solo (e.g. stay in a hostel in paris and do a refresher french course)… but, well, there is the question of timing, money, and of course, the obvious one: “what about the children?”.

so, meanwhile, small things, then. achievable ones.

i’ve been saying for some time now that i really want to try rock or wall climbing, but never got around to actually doing it. well then, here you go – consider that struck off the list.

i was sweating buckets (hah!) within minutes of climbing, it was awesome! (yes i have developed a fetish for healthy expelling of sweat lately.)

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ok, admittedly these walls are really meant for beginners. like, for as young as four. :p

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the littler one could reach halfway up the blue wall before she started shrieking. the bigger one tended to rush his way up and forget his footing. the biggest one, well, i think he’s just too heavy! (his excuse was that he was hungry and tired from the morning run.) i did a morning hot yoga class and hadn’t eaten either, but i reached the peak of the hardest wall okaaaay. haha ok fine, whatever, beginner’s luck.

i want to have a go at it again!

am trying out something new this weekend, so i’ll get to strike off another thing from my bucket list then.

oh, and i also better friggin’ do something about learning to ride a bicycle, huh?

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splits

hamstrings, like most things, take lots of time and patience to open up….

worked on stretching those hammies this morning... #yoga #fireflypose #titibasana #armbalance #yogawithhana #whaddafeeling!today's hammie #stretch: seated half-bound lotus pose. (or, if you prefer, kiss-your-knee-passionately pose.) #yoga #yogawithhana #lotus #forwardbend #thingsthatdistractyoufromreading #kissthatknee!

and when they’re nice and open, ohh the things you can do with your body…!

now, let's see, how many more doors do i have left in here... #yoga #handstand #inversion #heart #doorseries #maytheforcebewithyogis #yogawithhana #okbyepost-power class this morning. why hello, specks of dust on floor. it's ok, i'm feeling too zen to vacuum you away right now. but you just wait.

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this yogimummy has the cutest baby bump.

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one of the most satisfying things i’ve ever achieved – finding balance.

peacock pose

... so i got distracted from my book...

two favourite things rolled into one. #yoga #reading #yoganerd #multitaskingasana #yogawithhana #seriously? #justafewmorepagestogo!

how to get into a #tripodheadstand... and transition to #crowpose. (this is different from the one with the hands clasped behind the head - and more stable too. go on, try it! :D) #yoga #fun #yogapants #blackmilk #balance #howto #nowhereelsetotakepictures

and i’m so happy i made more than a few friends get on the mat and start stretching and doing things with their bodies they never thought possible too! going on the journey together with them makes practising more meaningful and waaaay more fun for me. thank you, you guys. :)

partner work

and to the rest of you still hesitating – why?!

“allow yourself to be a beginner. no one starts off being an expert.”

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best with an actual child on top of you.

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yeah. it’s a core obsession.

hollowback handstand
(repeat)

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i loved this so much i had to post it here (well seeing as i don’t have a facebook to share these things and all…)

i think we should do a malay mother version, doncha think? off the top of my head, it could include, oh i don’t know, maybe…

- The ‘Tumis Sambal Belacan Samba’
- The ‘Tumbuk Batu Lesung Rock ‘n’ Roll’
- The ‘Jemputan Kawin Swag’
- The ‘Moves Like M Daud Kilau’
- The ‘Hari-hari Aku Shuffle, Hari-hari Aku Shuffle, Penat Tau!’ Hustle
- The ‘Cekak Pinggang, Pergi Panggil Bapak Engkau!’ (this is apparently a universal move)
- The Hougang Shake (ala The Harlem Shake)
- The ‘Baju Butterfly Bump ‘n’ Grind’
- The ‘Gossip Kak Girl (Geylang Style)’
- The ‘Sidai Kain Bend-and-Snap’
- The Dangdut (ol’ school, yo.)

it’s adorable how the First Lady gets right in on the action and walks the talk (or rather dances it), and i’m sorry singapore but our Great Singapore Workout JUST DON’T CUT IT.

because seriously, i’m wondering whether our mothers (and us mothers ourselves) are “moving” enough to stay healthy. my mum walks around the neighbourhood every morning with her friends (i’m her go-to person whenever she needs to buy new sports shoes) and is conscious of what/how much she eats, so i think she’s doing ok enough. i don’t know about other older women, but i know many of my peers are already forming communities of runners and cyclists and rock-climbers and zumba dancers and, well, yogis. so yes, i think we’re moving! (just… you know… cut back on those cupcakes just a teeeny bit, maybe?)

actually, we’ve recently been joking about how we’re reaching (have reached?) the ‘makcik age’ now and whether we look/act/feel the part. i just watched This Is 40 (which is hilarious) and although i have less than five years before hitting that number, i’m already relating to some of the issues in the movie, like the lifestyle-changing and bodily-related ones. shallow and superficial, you say? yeah, perhaps. i guess i’m still in a sort of arrested development in some ways, ie. spiritual-wise. but as someone said to me, keeping ourselves healthy is a kind of ‘spiritual duty’…

meanwhile, i’ll leave you to imagine the makcik dance moves above or come up with a more comprehensive list.

AND if any of you decide to get down and move it and do an actual video on youtube… please, share it with me!!

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if you think i spend a lot of time these days mucking around in tights and unnecessarily twisting my body into what looks like anguished, torturous, abnormal formations – you could be right. :p

scorpion

fallen angel

but i love it. all that inversions and balances – they keep me grounded.

even when i have little monsters jump up from behind me every once in a while.

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(yeah, i have to be literally on my toes with them around.)

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always a good way to watch the telly…

inverted eagle

… well ok actually the girl’s doing a much better job of it.

feathered peacock

the girl and i were actually both down over the week; fever, chills, coughs, blah appetite, lethargy. we basically slothed around the house catching up on the entire season 4 of glee (which was overall quite bad), and then i discovered….

Benedict Cumberbatch OMG.

(no, it is not the name of a deadly disease, though his supreme brit hotness could possibly prove fatal eventually.)

ok so he’s all this intense and brilliant “high-functioning sociopath” in the awesomeness that is Sherlock, the tv show that has all of 3 episodes per season. gush!

i love british productions, can?! (have i mentioned Downton Abbey, anyone?)

ahem, so yeah, that’s my source of escapism for now.

because it is otherwise, my friends, a very cruel and harsh reality that we live in. and i’m talking about the recent tragedy that happened just a few metres away from where we live, along a road where we pass by on a daily basis. i cannot think or watch or read about the two boys crushed to death there without immediately tearing up, it’s just so… sad. the fact that one of them is the same age as my kid, and the proximity of the accident being literally too close for comfort, it freaks me out, truthfully. and to lose not one but both your young kids at once, so immediately, so suddenly, so randomly – how does a parent live with that? it’s just… unimaginable.

we’ve pressed the point with the kids since, repeatedly, to never EVER cross the road without an adult, and to never EVER take their bikes on any roads with traffic. but you know, any number of mishaps can still happen, even under the safest of circumstances, so we parents continue to live under a perpetual shadow of worry every day, taking any bits of escapism we can get just so we can forget for a while of the possible dangers that lurk everywhere and not go crazy insane…

so our thoughts go out to the parents in this immensely difficult time, and our prayers for our own children’s safety, because we can only do so much.

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(better to have him and his friends playing at home under my nose than roaming around the estate for most parts of the afternoons, i suppose.)

now excuse me, i need me a bit of handsome anglo hunk to cheer me up.

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rehash of some instagrams but whatever, i’m just gonna post them here anyway. super simplified visual how-to’s of two fun poses – an arm balance, and an inversion.

just... you know... hangin' out... #yoga #sidecrow #teeki #yogapants #yogagram

... is what you sometimes need. #yoga #headstand #inversion #yogagram #teeki

oh look, i’m running out of rooms to tumble around in at home.

ok, since i’m clearly out of blog ideas these days, are there any particular (yoga) poses you want to see me look ridiculous trying? i might just, you know, agree.

and maybe i’ll do a visual how-to in the kitchen or the bathroom… or somewhere.

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we’ve been awed by this video before, and never would have thought we’d get to try it out some day, or, well, at least the beginners’ version of it – acroyoga, that is.

call it a gimmicky trend or a passing fad, it’s certainly a new twist, combining acrobatics, yoga and thai massage. purists and sceptics may pooh-pooh the idea of ‘bastardising’ a deeply-rooted tradition, but hey, i’m not particularly bothered with keeping to a tradition that’s not mine to begin with anyway. hot yoga too is considered a ‘fad’, i guess, and i like it just fine!

the four-hour workshop started off, not so much with warming up the body to get into the poses, but getting into a circle to meet a room of strangers and eventually learning to create a community. which means opening up yourself to trust others, to connect and to receive as much as you give. sounds a little corporate team-building-ish? perhaps. except, more hippie than yuppie, ukulele included (yes, the Brazilian instructor indeed whipped out one during a circle ‘singalong’ chant, lol).

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ok so the fun part began with learning a basic set-up – a plank pose stacked over a staff pose. there’s one person who’s the base; one person who’s the flyer; and another person, the spotter, whose important job is to make sure we get ourselves aligned and safe. falling is part and parcel of the experience, and you might think it scary but it’s also half the fun! many times after tumbling down on the mat, we’re laughing ourselves silly. and you learn to relax and not tense up while attempting the poses, because that only adds on to your weight when you have to feel light as a feather while flying!

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i quite liked being the base, it made me feel grounded and strong! (operative word being ‘feel’.) but unfortunately, i was the second shortest/smallest in the class (we were made to line ourselves up by height for the last formation, to match bigger/heavier bases with smaller/lighter flyers, that’s how i know), so i didn’t have much chance to be the base, lest i get squashed into a pulp.

(by the way, i have to say my awesome yoga partner looks positively smokin’ in her lulu yoga pants…)

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the next formation has the base in a bridge pose, and the flyer lifting up to a pike straddle in inversion. “say what?”

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the demo and our actual attempts looked quite different, i assure you. because my partner ended up with the crown of her head up to my, erm, lady bits, so it was quite a sight to behold, giving birth to a grown woman in full yoga attire, lol. so yeah, no pictures of us here, partly because it’s too graphic as it is, and partly because we were too caught up in the hilarity to actually take what would have been potentially pornographic pictures.

there was one more formation which we didn’t get to practise much, before we launched into this final one – the star pose.

LOOKS SO EASY RIGHT?! :p

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so this one being a little more complicated, we had extra spotters. being used to launching into inversions is also helpful if you’re a flyer. my splits still suck so my pike straddle wasn’t so good, but it’s all right, it was fun pretending to be all gymnast-like for a while when my supporter let go of me up there.

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we closed with giving a partner a thai massage during shavatsana and then receiving one in exchange, which was quite a pleasant change from the usual.

and you know, the fun didn’t stop there….

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the kids were delighted with the night’s ‘family time’ because mummy had some cool moves to share. even daddy got in on the action.

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and that’s the other part of acroyoga, i suppose – to rediscover the playfulness in you, and discover that of others.

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acro yoga…

… tomorrow!

(i promise to be clothed.)

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