Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Yogi's Best Friends

Best Friend #1 - the chiropractor. Lower back pain, crick in the neck, tight shoulders - a trip to the chiropractor is a good way to relieve pain

Best Friend #2 - the girl who does your pedicure. Clean toenails are a must

Best Friend #3 - the manang who gives you a deep tissue massage. A nice soothing massage is a great way to relax after all the hard work

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ashtanga Yoga Lounge

On a whim, a bought a music CD from the recently concluded yoga conference. I normally don't buy "world music" but I thought, what the heck. I had already bought a ton of stuff at the conference and was probably over my luggage weight limit. One CD wouldn't hurt.

Stuck the CD in, turned up the volume and waited for the kitschy sitar music to start. Instead, some pretty chill lounge music started coming out.  Tracks like "Govinda Jaya Jaya" and " "He Ma Durga" were not folksy at all. (If you can call Sanskrit chanting folksy)

I highly recommend this CD to anyone who wants to spice up their practice with some cool sounds. It's also a great dinner party accompaniment :) 

The set is composed of 2 discs, with 12 songs each. Artists such as Donna de Lory, Oman Chali and Jami Seiber comprise the list.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Samadhi... aka Eating in Hong Kong

After yoga, what else is there to do in Hong Kong but eat? 

First stop, dinner at Peking Garden in Pacific Place. Great food, fast service, child friendly. You just need to book your table in advance as the restaurant gets filled up rather quickly.

Scallops with Broccoli

Baked Crab with Cheese

Peking Duck, specialty of the house

Steamed Cod Steak with Red Pepper

Spring Roll

Next, brunch in Cafe Gray at The Upper House. Located at the top floor of a swanky boutique hotel. Great view, attentive service, delicately flavored dishes.

Parma and Gruyere Quiche

Poached Eggs Florentine

Tagine Lamb Stew, Apricots and Pine Nuts

Onion and Truffle Tarte Flambee

Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate and Candied Orange

Lastly, merienda at Crystal Jade in Harbour City. Chinese fast food at its best.

Xiao Long Bao

Tofu Skin with Mushroom

Shanghai-style Pancake

Thanks Hong Kong for the yummy treats! The next Asia Yoga Conference is on June 7-10, 2012 but hopefully I won't need to wait till then to go back :)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Day 3 and 4: Asia Yoga Conference

Goodie bag for every conference participant

My haul: Anatomy books, a book by AG Mohan and an Ashtanga Lounge CD

Full house on Day 3. I counted about 100 participants

Ran into teacher Clayton Horton

Sharath talking about bandhas, and how engaging them will make lifts, jump backs and jump throughs "easy"

Getting my shirt autographed. Sharath was such a sport about it!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Day 1 and 2: Asia Yoga Conference

Banner up at 6 AM, Day 1

Getting ready: Toe tape, water spray, towels and Kleenex for early morning sniffles
(pardon the yucky foot)

Early birds filing in. Hi Roland! Hi Monique! Hi Matty!

Manila contingent. Represent! Thanks Matty for taking this picture

My claim to fame: Sharath placed his arm around me. Haha!
(It's not obvious in the picture, but he did!)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sharath in Hong Kong, 9-12 June 2011

Waaahhh!!! This week is the start of the Asia Yoga Conference in Hong Kong. I've signed up for 4 days of Led classes with Sharath. This is the closest I am ever going to get to Mysore. It's hard to describe what I feel. Anticipation. Dread. Nausea. Gah!

Will try to keep track of all the interesting things I see and hear. 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Finding Your Guru

Just spent a wonderful month of daily (oops, with a couple of days off!) practice with Damien and Andrea. They are a wonderful couple and great teachers. This week was the first without them and their absence is keenly felt. 

I have been blessed to have had the guidance of many awesome teachers. Each brings with him or her a special brand of teaching. Probably how each home smells different, depending on what food is cooked or what kind of detergent is used on the clothes. (Note: I do not mean to imply that any of my teachers smell :P)

Authorized, certified or not, a good teacher is not the easiest thing to come by. For one thing, yoga teachers always seem to be travelling. Or surfing. Or backpacking. And not all of us can get to Mysore, India. It's important to find someone who can help you grow your practice. Who will challenge your edge. On the flip side, there is also the need to step back from or avoid teachers who (unintentionally) hurt us, who do not or cannot listen to us, or who just simply have no connection with us. 

Guru is a special connection. We may follow this person for an entire lifetime or we may outgrow him or her. But we all at one point need a light to follow.  We all need a strong tree to cling to during a storm. How lucky for us to find a our guru. Have you met yours?

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Office Chair for a Yogi

Considering the amount of time I spend in front of the computer, this crazy chair could be a worthwhile investment.

What sets this chair apart from any old office chair are the knee supports. You can adjust these lifts so that your knees come to a comfortable and appropriate height. The chair also  features an adjustable pelvic tilt. Good  news for those with lumbar issues. 

But with a hefty Canadian $1600 price tag, maybe I should just hack into an old computer chair and try to back-engineer this little sucker.

Sukhasana. Sit consciously

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