You know you’re an Ashtangi when…

November 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

In continuation of 10 Common Things About Ashtangis, I present to you some more of my observations…

You know you’re an Ashtangi when…

1. You insert “bandha” into every other sentence. Seriously, everything you do, you begin to think that you can do better by engaging your bandhas.

2. Waking up at 4am becomes natural and 6am is “sleeping in.” We are all crazy enough to wake up at ridiculous hours to put ourselves through 2 hours of rigourous practice. Self-induced torture? Maybe.

3. Your body “doesn’t feel right” if you go 2 days without practice. Your muscles and joints feel stiff, your abs feels “flabby” due to the lack of bandhas in your life.

4. You start eating less and less at night so that you can get that Marichyasana B and D the next morning, or to attempt to “float” through your jump throughs. Having dessert after dinner now becomes less important than getting your twists on the following morning. For me, I find Supta Kurmasana easier on an empty, empty stomach and clean bowels.

5. You can easily dress up as Darth Vader for Halloween. Hurrah for ujjayi breaths!

6. You need to bring at least 5 towels with you into the shala. To wipe your own sweat, to wipe the sweat that’s beginning to form puddles around your mat, to put over your mat to avoid slipping in jump-backs and throughs, a big one to cover your entire body in Savasana, and a small one to cover your eyes in Savasana.

7. You follow Moon Days religiously. Because you might get in deep doo-doo’s if you practice on these days.

8. You watch YouTube videos of senior Ashtanga teachers demonstrating the advanced series for eye-goggling and jaw-dropping moments, and wondering when in your next life (or next next) you will be able to accomplish all that.

9. You’ve had at least one case of injury from practicing Ashtanga. But as long as you’re not near crippled, you continue to practice regardless of any slight injuries.

10. Visiting Mysore, India is on your bucket list. Duh.

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10 Common Things About Ashtangis

November 7, 2011 § 4 Comments

1. We are self-driven. Hmm…it explains alot why we’re crazy enough to wake up between the hours of 3am-6am to practice 2-3 hours of intense non-stop yoga. Occasionally, we do have a few “slip-ups,” but most of the time we’re on top of our game. 🙂

2. We do not give up. You think we can just magically do a headstand and do those drop-backs into Urdhva Dhanurasana? We fall many times on our way to get there, but we keep trying.

3. We care about how we look. Some of us may deny it, but deep down we all know we’re proud of our sculpted muscles from all the chaturangas and downward facing dogs (a teacher told me she counted that we do about 160 chaturangas and vinyasas for the entire Primary series, which is like doing 160 push-ups!)

4. We have high pain-tolerance. The “no pain no gain” saying is kind of true for Ashtanga. Rarely will you meet a devoted Ashtangi who hasn’t gone through some sort of pain, injury, and the like. Yet, as long as we’re not near crippled, we continue our practice. We just adapt the poses into something more bearable.

5. We do not mind routine. We do the same friggin’ routine 6 days a week (moon days are exceptions). We must like routine.

6. We have an addiction to it. We practice religiously every morning, save Saturdays and Moon Days.

7. Other yoga practitioners think we’re insane. And they have right reasons to be. What normal human beings would put themselves in such pain and restrictions?

8. We live in our own bubble. We hang out with other Ashtangis. And once you get into Ashtanga, most of the time it becomes the yoga of your life.

9. We gossip. Alot. Don’t be fooled by our serious and emotionless faces during our practices. We do have senses of humor.

10. We insert “bandha” into every other sentence. Everything we do we think of our bandhas. Riding a bike? Bandhas. Really needing to pee but no bathrooms around? Bandhas. Carrying heavy stuff? Bandhas.

Om Sweet Om –> Home Sweet Home

July 30, 2010 § 24 Comments

Hello my lovely bloggettes!

I’m sure you’re glad that I made it safe and sound and in one piece to Taiwan.

The flight was actually pretty eventful–I slept a couple of times for a couple of hours each. The rest of the time was spent reading and watching some pretty darn good flicks.

Not a fan of Robert Pattinson, but this was actually not bad. The ending was pretty sad :(.

Cool effects and mythical creatures.

Hilarious movie, not to mention how hot Jennifer Aniston was in this film (actually, I can't think of when she ISN'T hot).

You won't stop laughing one minute in this movie. I've actually seen this in theaters already, but I couldn't help but want to have another round of chuckles on the flight.

Anyhooz, I arrived in Taiwan about 6am (local time) just this morning (Friday here). First thing I do? Go to a yoga class at my usual yoga studio. This is something I always do. While my high school friends, who come back home to Taiwan after the semester finishes, would either hit up their fave restaurants for some munchin’, I hit up the yoga studio. With style too. This is how I get through my jet lag and the time difference. I know if I spend the day at home just sitting around, I’ll be more likely to fall asleep, and that’s a BIG no-no when you’re trying to adjust Cali time to Taiwan time.

Okay, I did eat a lil somethin’ before dashing off to yoga. My appetite has been wonky since the flight, so my “breakfast” was a bowl of homemade silver fungus and lotus seed soup.

Okay I agree. The name itself is enough to make you barf a little in your mouth (sorry to those eating breakfast right now!). But you must remember, that mushrooms are a type of fungus too! Silver fungus (aka white tree ear fungus, snow fungus) contains…

much iron, vitamin C, calcium and phosphorus. The fat and gum like protein in it is especially nourishing to the body. It is considered a good supplement to the body. Stew white fungus with rock sugar lubricates the colon and stimulates peristalsis. Thus, it is a mild laxative for constipation patients. White fungus is also said to be effective in nourishing the lungs, healing dry cough and clearing heat in the lungs.” [Taken from this source]

This is a sweet soup that can be consumed warm (winter) or cold (in summer).

Lotus seeds, on the other hand…

“…in traditional Chinese medicine is said to be beneficial for the heart, tone the spleen and kidneys, prevent insomnia, and calm the nerves. Lotus seeds have astringent properties, which makes them helpful in relieving the symptoms of diarrhea and improving appetite. In Buddhist traditions, the ‘Sacred Lotus’ is a symbol of vitality and purity.” [Taken from here]

I guess enough of the fungus and seed talk here. So I dragged my jetlagged butt to yoga today, got some 90 min of sweating (boy did THAT feel good after being tied down sitting for 13 hours!), and SNAP! I was awakkkkeee! It was also nice to catch up with my yoga teacher and some of my fellow yoginis (whom I know since high school when I still lived here).

Post-yoga, my mom and I hit up the store for some veggies and bread. And this is also very typical of larger supermarkets in Taiwan. Now girls (guys), don’t freak out.

Prepackaged sushi of all sorts. AND fresh too!

For some reason my appetite’s been kind of off today, so all I had post yoga was this yummy fresh celery fruit juice I got at the food court.

Celery fruit juice that almost tipped over while I was trying to take a picture of it in the car. And no, I wasn't driving.

It was back home after our mini shopping trip. Both my mom and I were in an afternoon slump (Me because of jetlag kicking in again, her because she had to wake up early to come with my Dad to pick me up at the airport). So, we decided to whip out the present that I got her.

We do have Starbucks here in Taiwan, but I don’t believe they sold Starbucks Via here. I chanced that notion and bought one packet to bring back. She loved it! (As did I)

Guess what else we found?

Cheddar Cheese Kettle Corn. Y’all know how much I love kettle corn, and this company had all sorts of flavas! Flavas include: dark chocolate, caramel, strawberry, plain, cheddar, and seaweed. We tried all of ’em, and decided Cheddar was the one to come home with us! 😀

I hung out with my new-found love (I’m kidding, Dmitri!) with an indifferent kitty cat. What a great sport she is.

Hi, my name is Mei-mei (Little Sister in Mandarin), and I like to stick my butt towards the camera.

You know what? I think I like my new “reading blog” time. Usually I read blogs after dinner, which is when everyone (well almost) decides to post. And no matter how hard I try to keep up, new posts pop up faster than I can read. But now, because my evenings will be when all you guys are soundly asleep in your bed, I can check off reads on my Reader leisurely, without stress! Muahaha I’m down to 5 more to go :D.

Want to see the typical meal fare in our family?

Our food is usually served "family style," so this is what I grabbed on my plate.

On the left is a type of Chinese veggie which literally translates to "Dragon whiskers." Yep see those curly thing? Dragon whiskers! On the right is just sauteed Chinese cabbage.

HOME-MADE SUSHI ROLLS! a la ma mere 🙂

Another weird one but definitel one of my FAVORITE MUSHROOMS! Yes, literally translated, these are called "Monkey heads" mushrooms. They're a little fuzzy, and very chewy. A-to-the-FRIKKIN-mazing!

You’re probably wondering what those stuff in the homemade sushi rolls are. Well, they’re actually “Taiwanese” sushi rolls. In America, we eat “Americanized” sushi rolls. Nowhere in Japan will you find California roll, Dragon rolls, Hawaiian rolls, Some-other-crazy-named-rolls…Nope. The most popular roll in Japan is probably the “Maki Sushi” roll. They’re usually stuffed HUGE (about 2 times the diameter of your regular Cali roll) with steamed egg, some pickled cucumbers and veggies, and some sort of cooked fish. In Taiwan, we like to make our sushi with cucumbers, steamed eggs, pickled veggies, and dried pork floss (or rousong). My mom made cucumber avocado rolls, both with vegan dried pork floss rolls.

And voila. That concludes my first day back home. I’m sure most of you are still waking up to a beautiful Friday at this point, while I’m concluding my Friday. I almost feel like I time-traveled! :mrgreen:

Packages, packages, packages

May 18, 2010 § 4 Comments

I love gettin’ packages, even though most of the time they’re stuff that I ordered online through Amazon :-D. But it’s always a nice surprise to come home to find a package sitting at your doorstep, or that yellow slip in your college mailbox notifying you that you have a package that needs to be picked up.

Today was one of those days! I came home with a brown, padded manila envelope at the door. I knew immediately what it was!

Eat, drink and be vegan!

I’ve seen alot of bloggers referring to this recipe book, and all the dishes look so delicious! Being a vegetarian myself, I thought I could give vegan recipes a try. I haven’t read through it thoroughly yet, but just by skimming through some pages I can already tell I’m going to love this book! It includes nice pictures, easy to read recipes, detailed instructions, tips & advices on the side columns, and constructive blurbs about each dish. It also has descriptions of ingredients (e.g., olive oil, butter, vinegar, etc) and what effects they have on the outcome of the food. Hopefully I will be able to use alot of these recipes throughout the summer! Some of the recipes include alot of ingredients and some hard to find though…hmm.

Remember how my blender broke the other day while I was moving? I ordered a Black & Decker blender. Hopefully it’ll make awesome smoothies! I don’t know whether I should also get a food processor?I guess I’ll see how the blender works when it arrives, hopefully tomorrow!

Another thing that’ll be arriving soon is my PB2 & Chocolate PB2 Combo pack! I ordered these back in March, but Bell Plantation has been having backordering issues. So today, I finally got a notification from UPS telling me they’ve shipped my orders! Hopefully I’ll get them next week!

Now, on to food!

This morning I had an amazing bowl of oats for breakfast! Since I scheduled a 2-hr Ashtanga yoga in for this morning, I wouldn’t really have time to make breakfast. So I made overnight oats and heated it up in the microwave this morning. Breakfast in 2 min!

All mixed up:

  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup vanilla soymilk
  • 2/3 cup H20 (aka water, hehe)
  • 1 tsp flaxseed
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened applsauce
  • 1 tsp sweetener (sugar, stevia, whatever you like)
  • 1 scoop BioChem Chocolate Fudge Whey Protein powder

On the top, I added 3 sliced, thawed frozen strawberries.

Not the most aesthetic picture, but I already dug in before I remembered to take a picture. Anyways, holy yum! This was one FREAKINLICIOUS bowl of oatmeal! I actually just made another bowl of overnight oats when I was prepping for dinner. Can’t wait to devour it again tomorrow morning! 😀

Gonna go catch up on Chuck now. Pretty tired now since I’ve been standing/walking around in lab all day today. Night!

+What are your view on food processors vs. blenders?

+Have you ever tried overnight oats (whether plain cold, or warmed in microwave)?

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