The Fast and the Slow

The Fast and the Slow

Sometimes it feels like the more I try to do “quickly” “out of the way” and then I can go do my morning routine the less I get done or at least not without a great deal of struggle. Face palms away!

If I just say you know, I’m going to go do my morning routine first and then everything else I feel much better, things get done very smoothly and well indeed and I don’t find myself wondering where did all the day gone and how did nothing get done at all?

Some snippets from the past few days and this morning.

How was your morning so far?

the hubris of bending over backwards

the hubris of bending over backwards

Many years ago (many? errr it was long enough!), I accompanied some of the people I knew to a photo shoot for a book on yoga.

They needed some photos for back bends and asked me if I could do the modelling. I said sure! I thought I had a flexible back, (cue narrator voice, “she did not have that flexible a back“) no worries, what do you need. I thought I was helping. Helping who?

Can you guess how this ends?

I got into wheel pose, fresh, not very warmed up as practice was already a few hours ago. All fine, do this do that, ok we got the pictures. Man did I feel twingey that night! And I never had back problems so it was pretty alarming.

Pride comes before a fall but also before a backbend before you are properly warmed up. A little wordy but it gets the message across.

To this day, I don’t even know if the book ended up getting published and if the photos were really used.

I’ve learned since that jumping to attention and trying to people please is not the wisest move. You can pause and work up to it.

Something for me to laugh about.

yogawheel yoga stretching flexibility

Have you had this type of lesson?

Weekend Things – Yoga, Qigong, Meditation

Weekend Things – Yoga, Qigong, Meditation

I burst out laughing yesterday afternoon when I saw my phone alert. I have a meditation app as do many of us these days (an app for everything, no?!) and on the dot at 3pm it pinged me.

There are two mistakes along the way to mastery: Not starting and not going all the way.

Buddha

I wasn’t laughing at the quote, more that I had just seen another video from Shaolin Temple about discipleship, quite a funny video in which the proposed disciple was constantly evading his master (Sifu) and his upcoming haircut. I had been thinking about how when it is time to practice, just practice don’t think about excuses and I had confirmed with myself that 3pm was afternoon practice time. That was when my phone pinged me and I saw the quote which is the same one used by Sifu too. It just all seemed very … oh never mind, stop thinking just go practice.

(Do you know what I mean though?)

Here is something I am working on in my yoga practice. Trying to improve my flexibility, if you intend to try, please warm up first with sun salutations or something similar. The aim in this is to keep the upper body in the middle, and to creep the hand holding the strap down the strap to the ankle. Honestly I find manouvering my hand down in this fashion quite confusing because up is down and left is right and where am I who am I hahaha. But it’s a pretty groovy experience all the same, I kind of… enjoyed the strangeness? Give it a try!

What are you doing this weekend? Something? Nothing? Everything? Haha, here are some suggestions, let me know what you enjoyed!

Mornings for Practice, No Thinking – Qigong 气功

Mornings for Practice, No Thinking – Qigong 气功

In my last two posts (here, here) I have been writing about my recent adoption of 气功 practice and I mentioned a video which was available, and then unavailable, now it is available again. Below is the updated link for the video.

No more talking, time to practice!

Update to Qi Gong Daily Routine – A Quiet Place on the Inside 八段锦

Update to Qi Gong Daily Routine – A Quiet Place on the Inside 八段锦

I have been doing Qi Gong everyday following the videos uploaded on the channel I mentioned in the last post, by Master Shi Heng Yi. I noticed that the video I linked in my last post is not available now, hopefully not gone forever. In the meantime here is an alternative one you can use. I do this when I am very short on time many things to do, at least 20 minutes were for my practice, then I go take care of my tasks, practice some more later in the day and evening. There are many minutes in 24 hours!

Please try and let me know what you think. How wonderful if we are all practising qigong, yoga and meditation around the world.

Setting the Heart into a Quiet Place with Shaolin Arts

Setting the Heart into a Quiet Place with Shaolin Arts

The teacher appears when the student is ready. Or when the algorithm does a thingy. 

I came across a video of a Shaolin master teaching qigong, 释恒義 (Shi HengYi). Hmm, I thought, always wanted to get into qigong but never really did fully. I do a bit here and there from time to time but not regularly. Then I came across a talk the Master gave. Some wheels turned and I went back to the qigong video. 

The teaching was very clear, straightforward and simple to follow. It was a big yes for me. 

I had been experiencing a great deal of anxiety and negative thought patterns but after this I felt calmer. In Chinese there is an expression “定心丸 (tranquil pill)” – it is not an actual tablet but just something that helps a person to feel settled. The words 定心 literally means to set (put into order) the heart. This practice seems to work like that for me. It has provided me so much relief.

I also felt my energy levels were replenished and my body more healthful. I don’t know that I looked any different but I felt like I should be practically glowing and shooting sparks afterwards (in a good way – I feel like I need to add this).  

Over this weekend there were live sessions and the time difference was alright. The morning session worked out to be noon for me and the afternoon session was 9pm. I slept SOOOOOOO deeply and peacefully. After the morning/noon session I was tranquil and balanced. Hopefully there will be more live sessions to join, in the meantime I will practice from what is already available (there is plenty). 

If you are worried about your fitness levels, the sessions from this weekend can even be done seated. In my experience, the energy cost was much lower than the benefit afterwards. A very fair exchange!

It is my goal to improve the atmosphere (vibe if you want to use that word) around my person so when you come near me or know me you can feel better. Obviously we are all responsible for our own selves so how much a person can benefit another in that way is ??? But I would like to try to improve myself in this manner, in the end it will only help even if it is just myself who gets the benefit.

All this is not to say oh, definitely, yes, you should or you must try this out or even try the teachings from this Master. There are other teachers who provide this teaching. I’ll just add that 释恒義 is the Headmaster of the Shaolin Temple in Europe. Just because someone is a Headmaster does not always mean they are a good teacher but in this instance, he is a great teacher. The main thing (for me) is the skill at transmitting the lesson.

In the end the aim is to take this practice and make it your own to continue. All I can say is, this is what I’m doing. I have been practising for a brief period and I will continue doing this practise as it has already been very beneficial to me. If you already practise a form of breath based movement like yoga or Pilates this may be of interest to you to include in your life. 

This is not intended to be a long thing, I just wanted to share what I have been studying, this is available to everyone, this is free and here it is. 

By the way, you will need to move the start time a bit further along until the session actually starts, around 20-30 minutes or so.

I wish you balance and harmony. Have a great day! 

EDIT:

I have been doing Qi Gong everyday following the videos uploaded on the channel I mentioned in the last post, by Master Shi Heng Yi. I noticed that the video I linked in my last post is not available now, hopefully not gone forever. In the meantime here is an alternative one you can use. I do this when I am very short on time many things to do, at least 20 minutes were for my practice, then I go take care of my tasks, practice some more later in the day and evening. There are many minutes in 24 hours!

Panic at the Supermarket and finger snapping

Panic at the Supermarket and finger snapping

Did anyone else stock up on vitamins instead of toilet paper during the early days this past year?

It took me a week to work up the mental energy to head to the supermarket to do a shop. It felt dicey to go out during the early days of lockdown. We are in Indonesia, which is a super lovely place to live, but healthcare is not the same as it is in Australia, where we are from or Singapore where I grew up. There is (or was) an entire industry called medical tourism and people fly to places such as Malaysia, Thailand or Singapore. No one flew to Indonesia for a medical holiday, they flew from Indonesia so you get the idea. So we are happy to stay where we are and stay healthy. We were very lucky we didn’t need to go anywhere. So many people had no choice, stay home and pay the bills with what money? But what could they do, police would stop you if you were out and send you back.

So this supermarket shop. It needed to be done, I couldn’t get any online deliveries because they were booked out for days and days. We could have used a few rolls of toilet paper (I’m talking about 4 rolls not 40 rolls) and some rice, some fruit, so we didn’t sit around marinading in scurvy whilst chewing on the furniture. And I wanted to get some staples for some people we knew who did not have a lot of money. Not everyone can just work from home. So I headed off with my little face mask and at the time I thought gloves were a good idea. I wasn’t even the most wrapped up person there – there were people in HAZMAT type suits. Although how do you go about disinfecting those things? Don’t you need a special chamber? We had to queue for our turn to go in and people were jittery. We looked like we were waiting in an emergency room. Once we were released inside, everyone was back to normal, chatting to each other about this apple or that durian.

There are a few things that are considered staples here in Indonesia: flour, oil and rice. Another one is instant noodles. They don’t spoil easily which is important in a country that can be so hot and not everyone has a fridge. People in Australia were making the news for fighting over toilet paper meanwhile over here people were pushing trolleys stacked with cartons of instant noodles. You can’t eat toilet paper in a food shortage. So I got myself a few boxes of instant noodles, flour, oil and rice to give to people we knew who might appreciate some support. I didn’t go back to the supermarket for a long time after that. But I did get stocked up on vitamins and supplements. At first I tried to buy from local pharmacies which was hit or miss. Sometimes there was no stock, or they were expiring soon, or they were superrrrrrr expensive due to import taxes or when they arrived the glass was broken. So I got myself an iherb account and that has been pretty helpful.

I appreciate the range but at the same time it’s a bit exhausting to go through especially at first. Later during the course of the year I also had some health issues so I was really glad I could get some things from iherb to help me out.

I’m not sponsored by iherb but they give every person a rewards code that apparently gives users a discount? What I would do is CHECK if they have any promotions. Every time I go on the website they have “20% off homeopathy products” or “10% off vitamin d”, etc, really random things going on, so check first if there is a discount that you need and then type in my code CEI0659 and see if you get more money off. It works for me. This is the link you can try clicking on that or just manually enter the code.

https://iherb.co/hAYDk9S

If you would like to know what I tend to get from iherb I will be happy to share with you in another post. A few of my friends asked me about my shopping experience on iherb so I just thought on the off chance you were also going to buy something from iherb you would appreciate the discount code. x

tough guy vitamins staying healthy

(Only joking I don’t get the vitamin gummies)

Motivation and Dedication; aha!

Motivation and Dedication; aha!

It has been a long time and it shows. For one thing, what is grammar how does it work punctuation what is that.

A lot has happened for many of us. Some terrible and some wonderful and some terribly beautiful happenings. If you would ever like to share your past year with me, I’d love to hear from you. For now I will just leave a note on this concept about the relationship between motivation and dedication that was a moment of revelation for me.

You don’t have to be motivated but you do have to be dedicated.

In the midst of struggling with motivation to maintain healthy practices, do you ever find yourself searching for inspiration to stay motivated? Has anything been helpful in keeping you motivated for a sustained period of time? If you asked me that, I’d do the comme ci comme ça hand (or meh) gesture and shrug. Apparently Aussies are famous for habitually saying “yeah, nah1 and I’m guessing it was probably in answer to this line of enquiry.

It makes sense that we run out of motivation but what does it matter if a person is unmotivated but remains dedicated. Committing to the doing of the thing will win out in the end. Yes, perhaps I won’t be enthusiastically throwing myself at the task at hand in the beginning but if I gave myself my word that this task would be done over time, like the way waves lap at the rocks near the edge of the water, the stone becomes polished. It may take a long time but it will be more progress than before.

The last few weeks I have made a commitment to be unrolling my yoga mat at 10am (this was the gap between online school for my 4 year old) and whilst the 4 year old pranced around me and performed rain dances or played with all my yoga props (I had to ask they please leave me my mat), I would do yoga, Pilates or some combination of both. At times because of distractions I would only end up doing 15 minutes but it was more minutes than none at all. Months before that I had been working out in a frenzy in my living room, leaping about to aerobics videos, hopping on the spot for HIIT, performing squat jumps oh the squat jumps, lunging this way and that, the burpees and the burping (sometimes).

Hand on my heart, I feel like I saw more results these last few weeks of plodding downstairs with the yoga mats (I bring one for each of us but somehow we wind up squished together on the one mat) for a bit of yoga and Pilates than I did with all the other things I was doing. I’m stronger, calmer and I’m happy. I have energy leftover for creative pursuits.

I’m no longer motivated to work on things, I’m dedicated.

Tell me, did you already know this little secret? x

  1. https://outbackdictionary.com/yeah-nah