Going Home

Hello Friends,

It’s been a while since I last updated this blog. It’s because I am going through a transition and feel like I need to be with myself more. Be inwards.  I have been mentally preparing myself for the transition. I’m moving back to Thailand in a few weeks. It has been a long time coming, but I was also in denial about it. I didn’t start telling people that I am moving back until a few weeks ago. It’s coming close and It’s happening. The United States has been home for me for the past 9 years. The second home was in St. Louis, where I spent 4 years there, and Phoenix/Tempe has slowly become the second home in the past 4 years.

I am both anxious and excited at the same time. I am apprehensive about going back since I have assimilated so well here. But at the same time, I am also excited to go back to my root, to where I came from and reconnect with my beginning.  Even though my identity has been shaped by my experience here, I deep down believe that being back home would bring out my true self, would bring the best in me out again.

I’m ready for this transition and another wave of transformation yet to come.

 

Love and light,

Gift

Yoga Is My Beer

I’m guilty of using yoga (or meditation) as a way to numb out my pain, emotion and make myself feel good. So what’s wrong with this ? It works right? This is probably an exaggeration but if we are using yoga that way, it’s no different from using beer, or xanax, or substances to get away from your emotions or pains. We ended up repressing emotions and will never transform. Emotion needs to rise and be acknowledged before being let go.

Worse, just like any other thing, you will have to do more and more yoga, more and more meditation to feel the same effect, as your body adjusts to it. Typical yoga class no longer cuts it for me. I need a super sweaty, crazy hard stuff to feel good these days. So I ask myself, am I doing it right? I have been doubting myself this for a while. I know something is not right.  I say yes I am doing it just fine, but it could be better.

This post is inspired by this post I read.

“So why not? Using meditation or yoga (or anything) to self sooth or numb out can calm you down and keep you okay, and that’s fine. The issue is that it won’t change you. It won’t heal you. It won’t transform you.

While emotional numbing is certainly encouraged in pursuit-of-happiness America, and all meditators fall prey to dissociating (daydreaming is a mild form) now and again, if learned properly, the average practitioner will learn to connect with and experience emotion instead of repress it.”

And if you asked me, I would say, no I don’t know how to not use yoga as my beer. It’s hard. I am so good and so used to repress my emotions, for so long. I repress everything. My long chronic back pain is, as I recently learn, a symptom of repressing my anger and  anxiety. (This topic is probably more appropriate for another post, about TMS. Those who have chronic pain, this book, Healing Back Pain: The Mind-Body Connection
, is worth looking into. Don’t wait to get it like I did. )  

No matter how much yoga I do, i will still have some sort of stiffness and tensions in my shoulder or neck. It’s not from too much chaturanga, or vinyasa. It’s from the stress, from the repressed emotion of fear, sometimes anger, the not knowing and anxiety about the future.

I know this true because I have been doing this (yoga) long enough that I know, every time I am able to get rid of the tension, it always come back within a few hours. Because I quickly get stressed again. 

By no means, I am blaming yoga here. Don’t get me wrong, without yoga I will probably suffer many other diseases like hypertension, ulcer, etc, and the back and neck pain might even be debilitating, instead of just numbness and dull in the neck and upper back.

But my point is yoga and meditation is capable of much more than that. More than just masking the symptoms. It’s capable of curing the root cause. It requires grind, and hard work, and tenacity to face yourself, to reach radical freaking acceptance.

As of now, as a professional emotional represser, I don’t know and I am not sure how I can fully feel my emotion again. I am convinced that there is this part of the brain, the unconscious part, that I am unable to control, but it has deep connection with my body. So working on my body, as yoga provides us the tool to, will eventually help. But I want something more direct, to work on it at a psychological and mental level as well.

Here is some strategies I could come up with to work on un-repressing-emotion-habit.

  1. Repeatedly ask myself, “what is it that I am hiding?” “what emotion that is being repressed?” “what is it that causing numbness in my upper back”. Usually you won’t hear the answer right away when you are asking. But unconscious mind, unlike our logical mind, takes a while to work, to process, and to change. So when you ask a question, you might be surprised that sometimes the answer comes to you, maybe not immediately, but it will come.
  2. When I feel emotion, I no longer divert my attention away. You can practice mindfulness of your emotion without reverting your attention away back to the breath.  It’s a form of mindfulness. Just simply meditate or be mindful of the emotion, without judging. Sometimes, after a while, the emotion get bored, or it might not like being observed or noticed, it went away. And that way, we are not repressing it. We gave it a change to rise, and be acknowledged.
  3. Coerce. Tell you brain to stop it! Stop repressing! Stop hiding! Stop direct my attention away from what needed to be heeded at the time! If nothing else, might as well try coercion, right?
  4. Establish a daily practice. Establish a consistent practice, or a thing you do everyday at the same time that will allow you to reflect, be with yourself and don’t run away. Maybe coming to the mat every day. Or  make yourself write everyday for certain amount of time. Or meditate at the same same for a certain amount of time every day. Commit to it, no matter how sucky it feels at the time. No shitty sessions go to waste. Shitty sessions are probably the most needed and that’s when we make the most progress. It’s the shitty session that allow difficult emotion to rise and process. We are our worst distractors. The reason for the prevalence of ADD is probably because we can’t even be with ourselves or difficult task for longer than 3 minutes. So make yourself stay. Stay!

So if you have any other strategies to  stop the habit of repressing your emotion, please share ! I love to hear your comments, and you know I would take every suggestions I can get. ;)

 

Birthday 27th, the come back

So I worked up to my birthday by doing juice cleanse this week. Earlier the week I was down in the abyss, so I decided to do juice cleanse . I got on my iphone searching for 3 days juice detox and found one from the top of google search from Dr. oz with joe, the guy from Sick, Fat and nearly Dead. I drove to Sprouts, farmer supermarket and got needed vegetables and fruits for about 2 dayish juice cleanse. And holy shit it was a lot of stuff. I’m glad I look up the recipe because if I had done it myself I would not have made that much juice and it wouldn’t have been enough to function on.

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Picture worth a thousand words. ;) one thing I like about this cleanse is that it allows you to EAT dinner, but only fruits and vegetables . Drinking juice all day, getting to eat was awesome. I made fruit salad Thai style, with lime juice, fish sauce, Thai chilli, and a little bit of sugar.

On the third day on cleanse, on my birthday eve, I had a breakdown. I felt the sense if hopelessness and I realize that how I have been feeling for the last , I don’t know, year? So i said to myself that I need to get it together, I need to restore faith and hope.

Next morning, I woke up, started working on my paper first thing because I know I need to start making it priority. And the day just went better and better . I made breakfast, adding eggs back into my diet. And had two productive meeting with professors, and got closures from some others. The day was blessed with clarity.

clarity and faith . I know this is my mantra for the 27th year of my life. I worked hard for the clarity. The cleanse worked. Self restraint worked. My body is clean, my
Mind is clear .

Timji also wrote a blog about this Capricorn full moon, which happens to be on my birthday this year . And the funny thing is he usually only writes one entry per week, but this week he added part ii to the blog. I read his first part and I was disappointed and crap and stopped reading half way , not because it wasn’t good, because I knew it wasn’t for me, it wasn’t what I looked for . It didn’t resonate . Then birthday eve, he wrote part two about full moon! About how this full moon is the symbol of the ultimate come back , like Rama getting his kingdom back after he lost it, or reunion with Sita after he lost her. The grand ultimate come back . AnD so I believe this is my come back year .

The productive day ended with a great ashtanga class. I decided to get a practice in before I taught. And I have such clarity and surge of energy to teach. I felt it was one of the best class I offered. Practicing before teaching is the way it’s meant to be.

Ending tonight with this post.

Look for clarity, not peace . Or something like that, said AJ.

New Year Resolutions, 2014

I wasn’t going to have new year resolutions but my friend asked me what they are this year. I said, none cause what I am doing is already great, on the right path. (The statement of contentment, ignorance or cockiness?  You decide!) But over dinner with my boyfriend, we talked about it and I decided to come up with three things we want to do next year. Before I tell you what they are, let me tell you about the principal for coming up with good new year resolutions.

First, forget about setting goals, focus on building a system. Read this post for more elaboration.  Like what you may guess, instead of setting a goal to lose weight (oh the horror), set a system. Write out what you will do to reach that goal. And the system should be doable. Focus on moderation and consistency. Focus on building up a habit, a system. For instance, if you never work out then start from a realistic goal of working out two times a week. And set the date you will work out, like every Tuesday and Thursday.

Second, give yourself some wiggle room, a backup plan. 

So I wrote down 3 resolutions.

1) Post less food photos on social media, except on special occasions. 

I developed this habits of posting delicious food pictures on Facebook and instagram. (Yea, I’m so asian). Why do I want to stop doing this? Because I feel like it is a form of self-aggrandizing. I want people to know that I am living this lavish life eating good meals all the time. A form of boasting.  One day, a friend on fb chat said you always posts delicious food pictures on Facebook, I am so jealous. And I just thought about the time I am looking at other people’s food photo and get hungry and jealous. Then I decided that I don’t want to make anyone else feel that way from me posting food photos. Notice that I give myself some wiggle room, to post on special occasions. And the intention of posting has to be to share some other values, other than self-aggrandizing. It’s all about the intention.

Read: less self-aggrandizing

Wiggle room: special occasions, without self-aggrandizing. 

2) Clean up and de-clutter on regular basis, every Saturday, (or a backup day on Sunday)

So this is because I feel like I have accumulate things, belonging over time. Unfortunately, I think housekeeping is a kind of skill you have to develop. I like to have a clean, neat, de-cluttered house, I just don’t know how. I grew up with a mom who never throws anything away. She is a bit of a hoarder, and save everything to reuse and recycle.

Read: letting go of things that no longer serve you

Wiggle room: back-up day

3) Write Journal Everyday

There was some period in my life that I was very anxious and depressed. I read a lot of self-help books and one of the recommendations was to keep journal. I did for a few weeks, and I slowly felt better. I felt a sense of clarity. Then I stopped after I felt somewhat better. Why is it that we stop doing things that we know are good for us? I think it’s part of a defense mechanism or resistance to changes. I feel like I was doing too good or something so I sabotage myself by stopping doing what works. Or maybe it’s more like, I’m not suffering, at least not unbearably anyway, so why do it? Here 2014, I’m re-enacting keeping journal.

Read: Reflection and Clarity

Wiggle room: need not be long, can just be one sentence for what I am grateful for today. 

 

What’s your new year resolutions, or are you choosing to have no resolution this year?

 

~CW

New Year’s Eve: Transition into New Year

So I am a little bit superstition about things. I like to do things certain ways for good omens. I have no plan for new year’s eve, but I know what I don’t want to do. No partying. I am growing out of partying (wow, wow.. I think last new year party that went wrong was in Vegas.) It’s the worst thing to wake up first day of the year hang over, disheveled and having things out of order.

 

So I am writing this post to plan out what I want to do on New Year’s Eve. What else is better than writing to help refining thoughts?

I read this post on mysticmamma.com and was inspire to come up with a day aiding with letting go and paving way to rebirth.

We start of the New Year with a New Moon in Capricorn! A SuperMoon with some strong aspects at play calling us to activate and unearth that which has been lying dormant within.

“The New Moon in Capricorn’s themes are letting go and paving the way for rebirth and aligning with quality and integrity…”

New Year’s Day is going to be a super moon, new moon, a great time to sit back, reflect and allow things to realign. So my day is going to be mainly of finishing up the cleaning and declutter project, and some works and routines that I like to carry out over new year, for good omens.  The evening is largely reserved for spiritual activities: yoga, reflection, relaxation, chanting and meditation.

Routines that I like to keep throughout the year includes waking up early and yoga practice. 

6:00 am: wake up, start with cleaning routine, neti pot , tongue scraping and Sole drinking. Click here about drinking Sole (salt water) in the morning.

6:30 am : Ashtanga yoga practice. I’m going to experiment with full vinyasa, because I have read about how guruji taught in this way in the 70s and really want to try.

Then two hours of writing. I have difficulty with finishing writing my thesis and figure out a way to build a system of writing routine, instead of setting goal to finish the paper.

Then additional research for the paper. I separate writing time from research time, otherwise I would never write and keep doing more and more research without a clear direction of where it is going.

The work will be sandwiched with good wholesome homemade food, and cleaning project.

Then, no matter what, I will stop working before sunset. Once sunset I will start the spiritual evening, with a whole lot of sense withdrawal, self-inquiry, introspections. It involves spiritual activities like yoga, chanting, sitting to build conditions for stillness and clarity.

That sounds like one perfect day for me. What’s your New Year’s Eve plan?

Syncronicity

“When I began practicing yoga 36 years ago I started to notice an ebb and flow of energy on a daily basis—the same practice done on different days was a very different experience. Sometimes the energy felt Sattvic (harmonious), other times Rajasic (stirred up), and other times Tamasic (dull). This waxing and waning of energy didn’t seem to necessarily have anything to do with the amount of sleep I got, the purity of my diet, or the general state of my relationships—it seemed to have its own agenda. In an attempt to try to understand this phenomenon I began to look into astrology. I believe that we live in an intelligent universe where there are many dynamic, yet invisible forces acting upon us at all times. ” -Timji

another wise man to not take credit or discredit for a practice. sometimes when i have a really good practice, i feel like energy from an outside source flows through me. and when its not good i just feel heavy which probably mean energy block. humbling. http://timmiller.typepad.com/blog/2013/11/tuesday-november-19thsynchronicity.html

Today I have a freaky day in terms of energy. Freaky as in like unprecedented.  I have some freaky energy unleashed. Did the whole primary and second series in the morning and didn’t feel tired. Usually by the time I am done with just second series itself, I’m beat. This morning no. So I added tic-tac in the backbends just to get some of the jittery energy out. Then at noon, I went to another power class and felt some work in lower body more than normal but still not tired.

 

So I definitely didn’t think it was anything I do in particular. Except I semi-fast the day before. That might start it. But I think its more than that. So I look some stuff up. Timji said earlier in the week that Mercury and Mars are dominant. So I asked my astrology-adept friend, and she said it might be Mars for me. And I look at some horoscope and sure there is something.

Things are taking a new turn for me. So I know last time I wrote about quitting. And I really really was quitting. But somehow, I got another curve ball. Apparently I am back in the game, but changing teammates (i.e. ppl who I will be working with) .

I feel a little bit like a phoenix rising from ashes. I was absolutely devastated just last week. This week I am given another opportunity but also think this time I have what it takes to do this. Like I am finally mentally and emotionally ready for it. And also the people involved are going to be the right one.  I say this because there are events that lead me here. Syncronicity, we may say. Things are just happening to support me this time. And i’m not resisting it.

 

I am also catching myself being paranoid, like in the old habit. But this time, somehow I am able to just tell myself to stop listening to the narrater and tell myself that I have time. It’s always about time. In the past few years, I constantly felt  like I have no time to do anything. No time to sit down and breathe. This also affects my performance in a big way, because when I feel like i don’t have time I can never think properly. This time, I can tell myself to stop being neurotic and that I have time.

 

Things happened for a reason. I felt like the world was collapsing, that I have reached the end of the chapter. In turn, now I feel like if I lose, so what–I have nothing to lose? I did lose it and now it’s not even worth paranoid about because I have already been in that scenario. This kind of thinking is very powerful.  nothing to lose-mentality. its basically stripping your ego of things its attached to.

 

 

 

Taurus Full Moon: the end and the new beginning

 

The Taurus Full Moon is about finding the Gold in You.
  • What is true for you?
  • What are your core values?
  • What gives you passion?
  • What gives your life meaning?
  • What would you do with ten million dollars?  

“…With the Full Moon in Taurus, issues around finances, money, and material stuff may arise or trigger emotional reactions. Rather than focus on quick fix techniques to ‘manifest’ which is a quick fix for ego level desires… why not go deeper? Investigate underneath the what motivates the desires, fears of lack and limitation. Heal the issue or areas where there has been suffering or feelings of no self-worth.

“The central message of this full moon is one of endurance. It alerts us to the need to endure in order to transform; that change does not come out of the blue in the blink of an eye, but step by step as we face our apparent demons to find them dissolving before our steady and unflinching gaze.

“Within a 10 day period, three planets have turned direct, Mercury (11/10), Neptune (11/13), Chiron (11/19) so the energies are quite concentrated and there’s the feeling of being buffeted and on shaky ground. We’re being blindfolded and spun around three times to give a whole new orientation.

Excerpt from lovely Mystic Mamma on Taurus full moon. Thank you for providing insights into this powerful full moon.

Something dramatic happens to me on Taurus full moon. The ongoing issues with my endeavor to get a PhD while there are so much resistances and obstacles along the way. My body starts to tell me this is not where I should be at the time and not in line with my core values in the forms of panic attacks, anxiety, irritability, depression, lump in the throat, etc you name it. But I chose to ignore it. Instead I keep listening to my ego, ” but what about the PhD. The prestige.”

Yesterday on Taurus full moon was the mark that I am definitely not pursuing PhD, at least at this time in my life, anymore. This is not shortcoming by any means. There are signs that this would happen for about one year ago. I have already checked out of the program, putting in effort minimally just to get by, invested more and more in other things outside of the program. I firmly decided that I would quit the program three times before this. Each time I feel exhilarated, relieved, and joyous. But somehow about two weeks after making the decisions to quit, every time I convince myself to “commit” to continue the program.

The first time I decided to quit was because I realize that there was no one in the department that I would end up working with at the time. Then new opportunities presented itself in the department with new faculty recruits and a great teaching opportunity. The glimpse of hope showed up.

After everything was going so well, I somehow managed to sabotage my success in this path, without knowing I was doing it. In retrospect, I realize that I sabotage my success by fucking up things that were given to me. It was probably a manifestation of the misalignment of where I was with my core values. I deep down inside no longer believe in the academia, in the PhD program, in what I was doing. After the major fuck up happens, I decided to quit the second time. Now, it was the fear of changes that holds me back. I mistake “keep trying” as endurance from strength but it was rather a resistance from fear of changes and uncertainties. I remember the second time I decided to quit, a few days after at a social gathering someone asked me what I studied, and I said oh I am a PhD student in Economics. After I said that I realize that if i quit I can no longer say that.  I got cold feet. I realize that I was attached to the identity of a PhD student or a future Dr.  So, instead of quitting, I decided I will just keep “trying.”

The third time around was different. This time when I decided to quit and I started telling people  that I will quit.  In the course of a few days, people who are influential to me told me to commit and endure. So again, this time I said, I will give it a try. I will endure and commit.  I would say I did endure it but did not fully commit. I did finish what I said I would finish, but I wasn’t giving it my best. (In fact I did give it my best that I could, but it wasn’t my best because it didn’t come from within, if you know what I mean.) And obviously they can sniff it out. Despite having something to hand in at the end, it wasn’t enough.  I feel like they were probably insulted on so many levels from me not being fully committed and perhaps “wasting their time.”

 

Although in the end I ended up quitting, I have learned many lessons from trying to stick it out the third time. Maybe the third time is really a charm?  Things happened this way for a reason.  It was nothing noble but I had learned about fulfilling my responsibility, dedication and consistency. I needed to try the third time to grow up spiritually from the lessons in this phase of my life.

The third time that I stick to the program was also right around the same time I started to establish a consistent ashtanga practice. Waking up at the same time every day to do the same thing provides such a powerful reflection of the state of being I am in each day.  When I have a breakthrough emotionally or spiritually, it shows in the practice. There is a parallel breakthrough in the practice. Sometimes not always observable to the eyes from outside. And when I run into emotional blockages, resistance or obstacles, these also present themselves in the practice. Having a consistent practice allows me to be more in tune with what’s going on within.  I am so grateful for the lineage, for all my teachers and fellow practitioners in the mysore room that inspire me to wake up and show up and do this ancient practice every day.

So, on the night of full moon, an uneventful email arrives in my mailbox, telling me something I already knew is coming up and I finally come to a realization that this is definitely it. The change of path. The end of this chapter in my life, and the new beginning is coming soon. I felt a strong sensation in my solar plexus. I started sobbing uncontrollably. Then I felt like someone punched me in my diaphragm, the solar plexus, which is the bodily connection to ego. Then I started puking. And puking. Until my stomach was empty. After the episode, the lump in my throat was gone, the load was lifted off my chest.  And the morning-after practice, I feel my heart opening more than ever in all the backbends. I got over my fear and for the first time and did tic-tacs by myself without assistance.

But the transformation does not happen in just a blink of eyes. My lump is not completely gone, it comes back to visit periodically but it got much better. I feel more at peace than ever. But I have gone through the feeling of transformation like this before to know that this is the honeymoon period. More hard works are coming up in order to undergo the whole process of transformation. And I have to stick to it and keep working it and do not give up, or else I will fall back into the same pattern again.

Off to clean out closets and my apartment today and this week.

Clean the closet. Make space for new things to unfold. Find the gold within you.  

Ayurvedic Fall Cleanse

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Where do I start? I did this ayurevedic fall cleanse that you only eat ghee and kichari (apparently the ultimate yogic food, consists of rice, mung beans and spices) for 4-5 days, then you purge with castor oil on the last day. Oh dear. Castor oil? Purging? Well I admit that I love purging. Love being clean and have nothing left in there. It’s just an awesome feeling of being really clean. So once I heard about the cleanse I jump in it right away. I live for purging. (well not really but yea I talk about my poop all the time.) I was apprehensive with drinking castor oil, because I do oil baht with it and that shit is sticky and potent. But I decide to go with it.

Monotone diet

So the idea behind the cleanse to eat kichari every day is to minimize the type of food you are consuming. Only rice for carbo, mung beans for some protein. Then a shot of ghee before breakfast for fat. This is to give the body rest it needs to do whatever internal work it needs to do while still being nourished but not having to work too hard to digest.

And dear, I have done so many cleanse but this is the worst cleanse for me, in term of difficulty. Why? Cos after the third meal of kichari I can’t even look at it anymore. It’s a mush of rice and mung beans with no flavors and some spices.

But subjecting myself to this ordeal, I realize how much I indulge in food. Even though I am a healthy eater, and I do love eating for the good flavor and what not.

Second, I realize that I snack! I have worked on this paper in front of my computer for the past few weeks. And every time I start writing I start eating. It’s like a stress response and eating just relieve the stress.

 

4 days of kichari experience

In this cleanse journey, on the first day I did okay. On the second day, I was getting antsy and super cranky. It happens to be the day that I had a lot to do, running around all day and things become very intolerable. I started squeeze lemon juice into kichari for more flavor. For dinner, I gave in and had one date with kichari, because I couldn’t stand the blandness of it. One fucking date. thank god.

Third day, I was coming up with a creative way to make kichari more tolerable. So I cook it with less water so it would be less mushy and more like normal rice. Yea that didn’t work. It’s even harder to eat. I can only eat 3 spoons of it. Then I had to go to school, so I decided to skip lunch and chew sugar-free gum and drink water for lunch instead. So I had an exam that day. Come home. Make the dry kichari the way it should be, and eat it. With two dates. Oh and I might have a few more before bed. Although with all the struggling with kichari, I surprising feel relaxed and calm. I realize that the cleanse is working.

Day four, I stick to the diet. Decide it’s the last day I might as well go through with it. I was feeling really good after all. Really calm and no anxiety as usual.

And I forgot to mention that ghee shots in the morning increases in the amount. By the last day you are taking 8 tsp of ghee. I dig it. I love fat. I love ghee.

Purgation

So after 4-5 days of kichari on the last day, the cleanse manual suggest that you skip ghee in the morning, eat kichari for breakfast, and skip dinner and purge. But I could take kichari no longer. So I modify the cleanse plan. I make stew pear and apple , and soupy rice instead to eat for the day. And surprisingly, the stew was really filling, with just 1 apple 1 pear (or you can just do 2 apples.)

Recipe: Stewed apple or pear, for breakfast

1 apple , cut in chunks, cored, and peeled if not organic

1 pear, same as apple.

4-5 dates

2 cups of water

cinnamon, clove, (cardamom, etc)

1 tbs raw honey

Boil every thing, except honey, on medium high heat and let simmer for 5 mins. Take about 1/3 of the content to blend and mix back into the chunk. Add honey and enjoy.

This simple stewed apple and pear is such a good breakfast, surprising filling. I couldn’t eat the whole thing in one meal. so I kept the rest for lunch. And drink the rice soup (boil 1 cup or rice with 10 cups of water) throughout the day. By the end of the day, I went a little crazy because I was shopping. So cautionary tale, don’t go out during cleanse. because you will see food and you will wanna eat. So I bought marzipan chocolate and pumpkin and vegetable chips and I snack on them. guilty.

But oh well, I did my best. :) and here is the highlight. Castor oil. I took 2 tbs of castor oil, make fresh OJ from a big naval orange, shake them together and drink it. I felt it churn it my stomach a little bit. And I had some reaction in my mouth, like itchiness and numbness. But I don’t think most people have this. I am just sensitive to weird oil, latex or whatever you would call in plants sometimes. Like I get itch and have reaction from avocado and papaya sometimes. whatever.

Then next morning around 4am, I purge. I was clean inside as one can be.

Thoughts after the cleanse

1 less anxiety during cleanse.

I was amazingly calm during the third day. And after I started to snack again I can feel the anxiety is back. So this may have to do with snacking. or maybe eating no meat, less salt. who knows. It will have to take me a few self-experiments to figure this out.

2. lithe body, empty stomach and superhuman yoga practice

By the fourth day of the cleanse, my yoga practice deepens so much. I feel like there is nothing in there in my stomach and I can do forward fold so deep and uddhiyana banhda so sucked in. it was magical. after the purge I went to a sunday led class, and I was able to get into Marichi D on both sides without assistant. This is only the second time this happens for me.

So does the cleanse work? absolutely. Was it worth it? yes probably. Yes!, on the second thought. Would I do it again? Yes, once a year probably. Does it suck? oh yea it sucks so bad. I can’t even think of kichari anymore. I would rather eat salad, soup, juice fast, whatever than this.

But needless to say, it was a powerful cleanse. It left me a lot to think about. And yes now I witness that Ayurvedic is really the sister science of yoga, because my yoga practice just deepens magically. yes, magical, but magic is not painless. :).

Alignment, Home Practice

Tilted Pelvis

Finally I dragged my butt to see a chiropractor. In twist postures, especially Marichi D for me, if asymmetry on both side can be noticed, it’s a sign that there might be scoliosis. ****DISCLAIMER: THIS POST DOES NOT CONSTITUTE MEDICAL DIAGNOSIS OR ADVICE. Pelvic ubiquity has been there for a while for me. Marichi D on the left side is just a few inches further for me. Then in shoulderstand, my belly button and the torso just don’t look straight. And this small voice in my head has been saying for a while, “GO SEE A CHIROPRACTOR.” Then I can hear tons of excuses afterwards. The most often one is, “no I am fine.” and “I don’t have time.” And really I’m fine. for now at least. Although I have this nagging feeling that if I don’t get it straightened out the asymmetry might be exaggerated over time. Pelvic ubiquity is caused by no other reason than that I like to lean on one side when I sit. Ever since I was a kid, my mom’s friend would call me “no vertebra” for doing that, just lying around. lol There is also a thai saying “lazy long spine” meaning your spine is so lengthy you are always lying around instead of sitting up right. Well, I would say that the saying is right on.

The pelvis is tilted on one side, about 1.25cm lower and also rotated forward more on one side than another. As a result, the spine also kind of snake up if you look from the front. Cure? get it align by the chiro and eradicate the habit of leaning on one side when sitting, or sitting with one leg up all the time!!! This is gonna take some mindfulness on my side.

Excessive lumbar curve

Another thing they found was excessive curve in lumbar spine, and as a result thoracic curve doesn’t have the curve as much as it should. The cervical spine also doesn’t have the appropriate curve, probably a result of sitting in front of a computer all day. Okay that sounds like a lot, but it all comes down to low back stuff. And funny thing is I have no low back pain whatsoever. I even doubt that the excessive lumbar curve is genetic, coz I see it in my dad. And the natural excessive curve may contribute to my crazy bendy backbend. Although the excessive lumbar curve suggests more uddiyana bandha and mula bandha ALL THE TIME.

The chiro seems more concern about my conditions than I am for whatever reason.. lol. But whatever , I mean my neck does hurts, so that’s more of my concern, and creating the curve in thoracic, I think focusing on extreme forward fold in rounding the back more, like in Supta Kurmasana and Baddha Konasana B will help restore the curve in the upper back more. Also, for the neck, I think shoulderstand is a great place to create the curve back, by focusing on pressing shoulder and head in to the mat and that will create the curve in the neck naturally. Anyone else has other thoughts please share!

Home practice

After a workshop with Tim Feldman up in Flagstaff at Northern Arizona Yoga Center, I was inspired to really start home practice. I have been avoiding doing Ashtanga primary series at home forever. Why? Coz I tried and every time I stopped half way. It’s just that much harder to generate heat, Tapas to practice at home. That’s why I go to mysore, to exchange energy with other people in the room to help with my practice. But at the workshop on the last day, we were talking about home practice and Tim looked at me and said you maybe it’s time for home practice,.. well maybe together with mysore.  And I know he is right. I want home practice. It’s just hard. But it’s the right thing at the right time for me at this point in my life. Home practice is akin to 4th year PhD student life too. Time to work on stuff on your own. Then alternate with mysore, so if you have questions, or get a hiccup in the practice, the teachers are there, fellow practitioners are there for moral support and advice.

So I did this morning. home practice. it was not yummy. not at all. Rose called it in her blog how to get your sleepy butt out to practice yoga in the morning.

#1 Don’t expect a yummy physical practice . . .

 

 

Yes, when there is no external tapas sharing from your fellow practitioners and teacher and no heat exchange, the practice is much more stiff. I was stiff this morning. And by the time I finish Marichi D, I was like, yawn I wanna go to savasana. Well I didn’t. I stick to the sequence. It was arduous, and not yummy. But I feel like that’s what I needed. In the parallel universe of my ‘real life’ with work at grad school, this is what I have to do. I have to cultivate that discipline to anchor down, and grind the work out until it’s done. I have such short attention span. I believe making myself keep doing the practice when I want to quit an no one else is around to cheering me on is exactly what I needed at this point in my life. So I did.  Then long yummy savasana. ZZzzzz. That was hard to get up second time in the morning.

 

 

1 year clothing fast

I have been frustrated with my out-of-control closet. I have so much clothes that I think aside underwear I could probably go on without washing for 6 months and wear different things every day. (Well of course except yoga clothes which I wear and sweat in every day). And I wanted to clear out the closet forever but every time I go through them I felt like no I’m gonna keep this. I cannot let go of the idea that ‘one day’ I will wear them.

I’m also addicted to buying new clothes. A LOT of unnecessary new clothes. So here comes my new resolution. I’m so excited to find this post Clothing Fast: Becoming a minimalist.

So here it is, as of today and 1 year from now I’m going on a clothing fast. No more buying new clothes. Unless I really really needed to. But honestly I don’t remember last time I needed to. Usually it’s ‘I want’.

Two things I wanna say about this
One: time to stop identifying and find a quick fix to ‘change’ myself with new clothes.
Two: time to ponder on what I have and start to let go of what i no longer need but I accumulated over time.

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