Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Zombies eat your brains

Obviously, I've been gearing up and getting ready for my trip to Thailand, hence random Muay Thai posts...but before I leave a few things...So everyone around me has been sniffling, coughing, looking all zombie-like... and I have been taking all kinds of preventative measures because who wants to be sick on vacation? Or worse...sick on a long flight to Asia.

I've been doing the obvious: drinking tons of water, Emergen-C packets, zinc, multi-v's, coconut water, ginger, resting, sleeping and keeping distance from those already infected by the T-virus. Some other things that I SWEAR are working:

Drinking Bird's nest. Maybe it was on one of those shows in which some guy -who is not Asian, goes to different Asian countries to eat dead bugs and other weird things...but its supposed to be so good for you according to my Chinese grandmother who is no longer with us. It doesn't really have much taste to it, and it at least doesn't taste bad. Plus you can knock it back quick in small doses like a shot. I had 4 of them this week and I SO believe its helped me when I was in the "almost getting sick" mode.

Linga Mudra. Interlace the fingers with one thumb up with the thumb and forefinger tips touching of the other hand and encircling it. Said to increase the powers of resistance against colds, coughs and chest infections. It loosens mucus caught in the lungs. Not to be weird but I've used this everyday for a week and a half and I swear it works though I've also been taking ginger which could be contributing.

Shankh Mudra. Wrap the four fingers of your right hand around the thumb of the left hand, then touch the right thumb to your left middle finger. Hold the hands in front of the sternum. This is also called the "shell mudra" because it looks like your conch shell. This mudra is said to help with any type of throat problems. It can also be useful and great for people's singing voices (not mine), especially when you are singing "om" while doing it. I've been using this particular mudra at the beginning and end of classes these last few weeks when we "om" and I will tell you it has a calming effect on me as well as helps promote better posture and having a more open heart/chest which I need to improve for myself!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

"Trent Reznor w/an 8 pack"

So there is this blogger who has taken a year to do a bunch of gym trials and freebies to 1-save money and 2-decide what gym she will join after the year. My friend who is a personal trainer did a trial workout with her and here is her post.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Ushas Mudra

So I haven't been posting lately. Trying to tie up some loose ends before going on vacation! But wanted to share Ushas Mudra.

Its so easy peasy. Interlace your fingers. Important for women to have the right thumb between left index finger and left thumb, press on right thumb with left thumb. This mudra is great for waking up in the morning when you're laying in bed and still feeling sleepy. I place my hands in this mudra on my belly and do a square breathing exercise. Which is inhale for a count of 4, hold for 4, exhale on a count of 4, hold for 4 and repeat. Another variation is to put clasp hands behind the head while laying in bed. Inhale and exhale vigorously with eyes and mouth wide and pressing the elbows back into the pillow or bed.

In case you're wondering, I get my mudras mostly from this book and some online research. I only write about the ones I've tried using myself. The thing about my Yoga practice is that its always  been more asana than anything. So I am quite behind when it comes to meditation and such, though I am delving more into it nowadays.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Swinging in silk

As my journey in learning Aerial Silks I did lots of moves in a sling, which is basically like a big silk hammock. Some of the moves tend to be easier bc the silks are completely supporting me but my teacher still gave me really hard upper body strength type moves. My arms are killing me! And instead of climbing silks today I climbed a rope. OUCH for rope burn! Didn't get to practice foot wraps but to give you an idea of what that looks like...

Monday, November 8, 2010

My Firefly impression!

I guess with the cold and waking up to pitch darkness, there are less and less people showing up to 7am Yoga. I guess people are having the case of the Mondays. It IS my favorite Yoga class so I always get my butt out of bed to try to prevent coming down with the latter. Today, we went through titibhasana, firefly. OK this is not one of my beautiful poses. You know how certain poses just look beautiful and graceful when you're in them? I feel like people have those poses for themselves, the ones they can get into with ease and just look fabulous in. Titibhasana is not one of them for me. The thing about it is, I can wiggle my body into the pose, but it doesn't feel great and am quite sure it looks awkward. So, with the lack of attendance the instructor tells us to get into "titibhasana". In sanskrit it sounds even more confusing and a few people look around confused...he just points to me and what she's doing. OH great all eyes on my ugly looking firefly pose? I did my best and held it for about 5 quick seconds before getting out of it! OH the pressure. So now comes my description of how to get into Titibhasana.

1. Come to a Yogi squat. That is feet almost as wide as the mat. Hands in a prayer and elbows pressed against inner thighs/knees, bootie all the way down but not touching the floor. Back is very straight. Try to get your feet parallel. Hold for about 3 breathes.

2. Now place hands on the mat between the feet and raise the hips/bootie up to the ceiling in a forward bend, feet are still wide and knees are bent.

3. Here comes the weird part, which is more of a prep before the pose than anything. OK, so bend the knees a little more, bring your feet a lil wider than hip distance. Now you want to shuffle your shoulders under your thighs. I're saying...WTFORKS? OK bend the knees but keep raising the hips. Your shoulders are probably not going to actually go under the thighs but that's what we're reaching for. Mine don't! So most likely you'll get your upper arms under your thighs. Bring the hands to the bootie cheeks. Right hand on right cheek, left on left. Got it? Yeah this is uncomfy but try to stay there for 2-3 breaths.

4. Keep the shoulders/upper arms under your thighs, but start squatting down again, similar to step 1, but this time place your hands under each foot, fingers facing forward, keep your thighs on your arms, now they'll be on your triceps, if you can keep them on your shoulders...amazing! Walk your feet/toes forward in front of you, keep looking forward, pressing into the hands, use your bandhas!!! Engage your abs and slowly life one foot at a time.

5. Bend your elbows more to give your legs more of a surface to lay on. But if you're super flexible and your legs are on your shoulders...WOW, you can keep your arms straighter.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Stop chatting, stop texting!!!!

Technology is killing us! OK computer freaks and geeks (yeah I am one too), look we spend way too many hours hunched over a keyboard...and the texting has got to be making it all worse. Is your chest all concaved and back all hunch back of Notre Dame? I am constantly hearing more and more from friends and colleagues who have careers in which they are stuck in front of a computer developing serious back injuries. No, not problems, like straight up injuries. Some injuries so bad you might think they got hit by a NYC cab. Instead, its from sitting on their booties typing away as I am right now for maybe 8-14 hrs a day and not taking the time out to get up and take a walk or a quick stretch. Don't get me wrong, technology is awesome and great, but we, as healthy, conscious people must find a way to compensate for the toll its taking on our bodies.

I cannot stress the importance of staying active! Below are some great ideas for maintaining good posture and not allowing the muscles in your body to degenerate.

1. Set a timer on that trusty smartphone or blackberry that goes off every 30min-1hr reminding you to get up and walk a lap around the office or take a down dog or uttanasana.

2. Go outside for lunch and take a short walk. This will also make you a more efficient worker!

3. Do some stretches in our chair.
-Interlace the fingers, press the palms up to the ceiling, pull the shoulders down and away from the ears, relax the neck.
-Drop the head to the right side, place the right hand over the right ear and let gravity stretch the side of your neck. Switch sides.
-Neck and shoulder rolls, easy peasy!
-Chair dips
-I am sure you're capable of coming up with even more chair stretches!

4. Maintain good posture. Roll the shoulders back and down. Keep the shoulders above the hips. When standing shoulders, hips and ankles all in line. Tuck the tailbone under. Feel pressure on the lower back? Try putting something under your seat to raise up the booty an inch or two, taking away the bend in your lower back.

5. Breathing exercises. My favorite breathing exercise to practice in releasing tension is square breathing. Inhale for 4, hold for 4, exhale for 4, hold for 4. Repeat. Breathing can do amazing things for the tension you hold in your neck, shoulders and back when feeling stressed.

6. If you already feel like your body is suffering from all this computer time, contact my friend Alex! He's really been a big help to a client of mine who has major back injuries that even Physical Therapy didn't do much for. He's so knowledgeable about the human anatomy and he has reasonable prices!

With that said, I taught a very slow paced and restorative Yoga class today which is a nice switch up from my regular rigorous Vinyasa type of style.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

5 Tibetan Rites.

Another cool thing I took away from the Thyroid Workshop...was the 5 Tibetan Rites. It's an exercise program used by Tibetan monks to stay vibrant and youthful. More about the 5 Tibetans here.

Janet Jackson loves my fav Vegan spot. Red Bamboo, W. 4th St.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Dancing monks and marathon rehab.

Some cool goings on in the city. Too bad I don't have the time to check it out.


Broadway (at 60th St)
Subway: A, C, B, D, 1 to 59th St–Columbus CircleGet directions
Lincoln Center presents the White Light Festival, which features the U.S. premiere of Sutra, a dance piece by choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui featuring 17 monks from the Shaolin Temple. British artist Antony Gormley created the set; the score, by Polish composer Szymon Brzóska, is performed live. 
Free Yoga classes at Lululemon in celebration of the NYC Marathon. Good luck to my people who are running this weekend! If you want to donate money to their causes:
American Cancer Society

Follow up on Yoga for Thyroid

So I posted about this workshop concerning balancing the Thyroid and 5th Chakra. I went to the workshop and disappointingly found it to be not as informative as I wanted it to be. I feel there is so much conflicting information out there and this further confused me! Also, because we ran out of time there was little info on diet and nutrition. So in this post I will go over my own findings and reinforce ideas that I did not find conflicting information on.

Great Yoga poses for balancing the Thyroid hormones. This applies to different thyroid conditions as it is a balancing effect. Shoulderstand, fish pose, camel pose and plow pose.

Now the rest of this is for Hyperthyroidism -that's what I have. Slower metabolism -basically. So what sucks is, I gain weight easily. I find that Yoga is great for it. I felt the most balanced during the months in which I did teacher training. That was about 4 months of practicing Yoga 5-8 times a week. Also, it created balance in my appetite. I felt it was the most manageable and also more realistic. Doing any type of weight training makes me ravenously hungry. So overall -more Yin type of exercises -anaerobic, slower paced was helpful. However my personal wants are to do more Yang type activities like Martial Arts, so its a balancing act. I just stay away from weight training. I had to give up kettlebell training a year ago.

As for diet I found all the conflicting info. So the best I can say is, stay away from processed foods. This is hard! But I try to eat lots of raw fruits and veggies. I try to go organic for certain staples like eggs and milk. Also being that I have to take thyroid medications every morning I have to be sure not to take any supplements or soy products until about 4 hours after the medication because they affect the absorption of the meds into the body.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Need to relax?

DE-STRESS - A Complimentary Hour Of Deep Relaxation

AT: Atmananda Yoga
67 Irving Place, 2nd Floor (Between 18th & 19th St)
New York, NY

Take a delightful break mid-week and enjoy an hour of Deep Relaxation.
Renew and Recharge on Wednesday evening.

Sutra Guided Relaxation is a distinct technique that helps you let go of stress and leaves you feeling rested and refreshed. Working from the inside out, it is both healing and energizing.

...This blissful experience promises to take away tension, anxiety, worry, fear, anger and all things negative – and instead, take you on a journey of restfulness & tranquility. It is simple in its essence, deeply beneficial & stabilizing.

A fusion of Hyperbolic & Breath Of Life™ exercises, Sūtra Guided Relaxation melts away the strains of your everyday regime and lightens the burdens that sometimes shadow us. Meant to suit your demanding life, it helps you unwind completely and emerge energized, composed, in-control & empowered with a transformed perspective.

Calm the mind, body and senses.

It's a Gift Of Love for New Yorkers.

If you are unable to attend on Nov 9, remain in the know of future FREE WORKSHOPS by signing up ay: