Getting Rid of Yoga Misconceptions

My yoga fascination started in my college days. You know, the pre-internet era where the source of information was limited only to magazines, encyclopedias, libraries and, on rare occasions, access to experts.

Aside from the financial limitations, I simply didn’t know where to learn more about yoga. Anyway, like any kind of out-of-reach-dreams, I shrugged off my fascination and continued with my life. It was even shove to the furthest chamber, almost buried into oblivion, in my mind as I succumbed to unhealthy living and stressful work life for decades.

My fascination was again rekindled last year when my journey towards healthy lifestyle began.

Why I prefer yoga as form of exercise?

My sister, the sporty-type-person, abhors yoga. It’s a boring physical activity for her. Unlike me, the slow-mo (slow-motion) type of person (lol!), I think it’s the best form of exercise. I can do it anywhere, anytime.

There’s no need of special equipment or location. Well, of course, yoga mat is preferable.

Last year during my vacation back home in Philippines, I intended to keep the morning walking exercise routine. As I live in the province, it is quite common for households to have dogs. Not only to keep the dogs as pets but also to guard the house at nighttime and on days when no one is at home. So the first few days of morning exercise didn’t end up well. The dogs kept barking, fiercely barking, like we’re thieves. Sometimes street dogs chased us too. 

It was not really a good idea to walk around (at least in my neighborhood) but I found a great place for exercise. You can read more about it here.

At least with yoga, you can do your workout at home, in the hotel room, in the garden or beach. Wherever you can find solace, yoga is possible.

This was my main motivation to learn yoga.

But this all changed when I attended last month the Happiness Program of Art of Living. I wrote about it here

The program included breathing exercise, yoga and meditation. I got hooked with it. The following week, I enrolled in Sri Sri Yoga Level 1 which was just 5 days class for two hours each day. 

The new addiction

Do you like body massage? I found yoga similar to body massage except that the massage is done directly to your muscles.

The stretches, even it was difficult, were so soothing that I felt rejuvenated after every class. Unfortunately, the class is only for five days and there’s no available schedule until end of March. Well, I found one and it is the same program (Sri Sri Yoga Class Level 1) which will take place in end of February. Yehey!!

The real challenge actually is not the yoga but the time. Those five days of yoga class meant that I didn’t have quality time with my son after office work. But still, I want to learn under the instructor’s supervision because I am not so good at following instructions through YouTube. I know, there’s tons of  available yoga instructional videos in YouTube but they cannot see what I am doing, right? They cannot correct if I am stretching my back in the right manner.

That’s why, though it will cost me money, I still want to learn from a certified instructor. I am hoping to find like 2-3 times a week of yoga class so at least I don’t feel so guilty spending a lot of ‘me’ time.

Realizations

It is funny how Facebook and Instagram deceive us, right? For years I thought that yoga was only for slender chicks. You know, those women who have been blessed with skinny genes.

I always had this notion that yoga was not feasible for chubby person like me. How could I possibly do all those bending, twisting and like-somersaulting poses. It is impressive when you see someone who does it gracefully.  Unfortunately, I can hardly even reach my toes when bending.

So imagine my surprise on the first day of Happiness Program. The persons who taught us yoga were not slim but they could bend gracefully or stretch their arms and touch their toes. I was even more amazed with my yoga instructor for the 5 days class. No way she’s slim but she did all the Asanas pose with grace, control and effortless. While my legs and arms were trembling as we did the ‘superman’ pose, the instructor lifted her legs and arms high (way higher than mine) with ease.

Of course, how can you an instructor if you cannot perform all these yoga poses, right? But, it also gives me hope that you know, one doesn’t need to be slim or slender to do yoga.

Another thing I realized is the clothing. When you watch all these yogis in Youtube or read them in magazine, they are all geared up in tight pants and tank top. It is showing off your flesh and all your body contours, right?

Well, all the yoga instructors I met so far didn’t wore all these outfit. They wore loose, kind-of-light-weight cotton, comfy pants and tops.

And it makes sense too to wear this type of yoga clothes. Maybe I am conservative but it helps the students to focus on the yoga lessons. It is very comfy and it hides your private parts when doing all these yoga poses.

The yoga, which was taught to us, was holistic. It didn’t emphasize yoga as form of exercise only (though I admit that this was my main intention earlier).  There’s the breathing, meditation, its philosophy, mental, health and so on.

And I like this kind of yoga actually.

Last week my friend and I attended another yoga class from a freelance yoga instructor.  It was tough and very rigid despite of informing the instructor that we are beginners. He calls it as ‘physical yoga’. 

Indeed it was. 

We did one session only then we cancelled. It was not the kind of yoga we’re looking for. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Letting go, for now…

August 29, 20194 in the afternoonThe Baxter ResidenceI was anxious yesterday. At the office, I had been thinking what could I eat; how to prepare my food. It felt like I was breaking up with an old affair, letting go of someone or something that holds dearly in my heart.

I had been delaying it for days but eventually I need to give it up.

My Black&Decker, which is responsible for most of my meals and snacks, has not been working properly. It is kind of combo kitchen tool which comes with blender, food processor, mincer and grinder.

This was my first ever purchase of food processor. So I really didn’t have anything in mind when I shopped around except for the price point. But as I began using more heavily the machine, its weaknesses started to unfold.

First, the blender. It cracked when I tried to make a soup. This was my fault though because I poured a hot food in there. Now I can no longer use it. The liquid spills and it is not covered with the warranty.

Second, the food processor. It seems I always have a fight when using this equipment. It has to be fitted properly so it operates. Anyway, I somehow found the trick along the way. But I would say, it is not the most convenient one to use.

Recently, the machine – it’s based, the engine  where you attached the blender pitcher – can be used only on pulse setting. You cannot switch it to other functions, like 1 and 2.

Now I understand why they (those who have been on raw and plant based lifestyle vloggers) oftentimes advocate for heavy duty blender. It is making sense now to me.

For me, this is my main kitchen tool for smoothies, for baking, for soups, for grinding my coffee beans, for making oatmeal flour, pasta sauces and so on. This machine helps me whiz up new recipes or spiced up a boring dish.

So sending this machine back to where it was purchased for repair makes me emotional. The repair will take time. Maybe two weeks or a month and I don’t have a spare unit. Unfortunately buying a new one is not an option at the moment.  

By the way, this machine was recently bought, around 5-6 months back. If it will be fixed, still I am not optimistic that it will last long considering its quality.

Perhaps it is about time that I save up for a good heavy duty kitchen tool, right? I know, it can really be expensive but at some point, I think I have to buy one if I wish to continue with my current lifestyle. I considered it as a need.

Do you have any recommendations for durable kitchen tool? Let me know.