Summited Cadillac Mountain

Posted: April 14th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: doing it, travel | Tags: , | Comments Off on Summited Cadillac Mountain

1st knitting project completed: Legwarmers

Posted: March 4th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: doing it, knitting | Tags: | Comments Off on 1st knitting project completed: Legwarmers

Paleo FTW!!

Posted: February 24th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: doing it, health care | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Paleo FTW!!

This past Wed marked the end of the 45 day Paleo challenge. I must say that thoroughly enjoyed this period and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.   Just like working out with others at CFH motivates you to not give up in the middle of a WOD, being part of a group diet makes it fun and easier to get through. Other saving graces were that coffee was allowed (I had one cup a day) and a small amount of 85% dark chocolate was also permitted on occasion for detox.  Maintaining the weekly log got tedious towards the end (I have yet to upload them onto this blog :P) but overall, I feel great.   I have so much more energy throughout the day, a leaner body, and better skin.  I feel younger!  I didn’t lose that much weight, but that’s probably because I ate a lot of fruit and also had sweet potatoes and potatoes from time to time.  Workouts are still dreadful but I have improved. Things that I thought were impossible (like rowing) are getting a bit easier although I still feel like dying in the middle sometimes.  Certain skin problems have cleared up which leads me to believe I might have been allergic to gluten.  And after working some dairy back into my diet after day 30, I know I need to cut that out since my stomach does not do well afterwards.

Going forward, I will be sticking to the Paleo lifestyle.  I love looking for and trying new recipes such as the Paleo turkey meatballs I made for SuperBowl Sunday and the Cowboy Breakfast Skillet which I have made a few times already. Paleo has actually made me a better shopper and cook.  It’s like a game to see what I can or cannot eat.  Eating out is more challenging but that too can be fun.  I will also try to keep my Crossfit workouts to 3 or 4 times a week…I can’t believe I’m so addicted!  As for the diet, I won’t be super strict about it because you gotta enjoy life too  😉  One day a week will be a flex day where I get to “cheat”…er, like today.   It was cold and rainy, and I just couldn’t resist going to one of my favorite cafes, La Bouche, and having their organic lentil soup and mushroom crepe.  I know I’ll pay for it later but I’m ok with that.


Oh, Lentil... why must you be a legume?

Add Knitting to Another Thing I Do!

Posted: February 18th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: doing it, knitting | Tags: , | Comments Off on Add Knitting to Another Thing I Do!

Just started to take on an interest in knitting again. I got into it a little bit about 10 years ago when it became all the rage among younger women. My mom tried to teach me but it just didn’t stick. Today, I just completed a 4-session beginner’s knitting class at Patricia’s Yarn right in Hoboken and can happily say that I can knit! At least I feel competent enough to start some beginner projects. My first project is legwarmers followed by fingerless gloves. Will post both here when I’m done.


CFH Paleo Challenge

Posted: January 9th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: doing it, health care, random | Tags: , | Comments Off on CFH Paleo Challenge

Today, I started the Crossfit Hoboken Paleo Challenge that runs for the next 45 days!  In a nutshell, that means no whole grains, dairy, peanuts, sugars, or legumes.  Everything should be natural/unprocessed foods which is great because I try to eat only organic meats, veggies, and fruits anyways.

However, being an Asian gal, I just LOVE noodles and rice…and dumplings.  So it’s going to be tough but I’m looking forward to it.  I’ll try to document my food log, progress, etc on here, although with my track record, I won’t make another blog post until Christmas. 😛

Here are some links provided by the coach so we can learn more about the Paleo lifestyle.

Meditation session #1 on January 10, 2010

Posted: January 12th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: doing it, meditation, yoga | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Meditation session #1 on January 10, 2010

We’re required to do two meditation sessions per week and make entries in our diary.   This is the very first entry for meditation.

I thought that I should probably go to some group sessions to ease into this practice.  It’s just so hard to sit still by yourself.  There’s always something to do.  Luckily, two yoga buddies from the OM Costa Rica retreat last year invited me to a talk at The Interdependence Project that would include a brief meditation session.  I’ve been curious about the ID Project and so I decided to check it out with them Monday night.

The meditation session was 7 minutes and included a combination of body scanning and contemplation.  I also did some Shamatha meditation.  For the contemplation portion, we were asked to think about our names.  My mind went first to the fact that Cindy is not my “official” name and how I think my real name sounds too masculine and oh! how I wished my parents gave me an easy to pronounce/easy to spell name.  And then, how my name means something like continuous happiness or joy.  I looked up ‘Cindy’ once and I think it means moonchild.   Next, I contemplated how the middle character in my Chinese name looked like a fish skeleton with wings.  All the while, the right side of my body was feeling achy.

OM TT Day 4 – Jan 9 (10am-5pm)

Posted: January 10th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: doing it, yoga | Tags: , , | Comments Off on OM TT Day 4 – Jan 9 (10am-5pm)

I made it through the first weekend of OM Yoga teacher training.  Woot!  It felt somewhat easier today for some reason.  And there was more a feeling of camaraderie, or sisterhood.  It’s my favorite day of the weekend so far.  But I’m not attached to it or anything.

Today we learned the ingredients of a good teacher: Clarity, Confidence, and Compassion. And maybe Charisma?   All I know is that all of my lovely teachers at OM have oodles of charisma.  Compassion is probably the hardest but Ahimsa (non-harming) and Maitri (loving-kindness) are building blocks towards that.  So are generosity, patience, discipline, exertion, meditation, and prashna. Cyndi says the Sanskrit word “prashna” means something like wisdom or discriminating awareness. Wikipedia says it means question. Chinese equivalent might be 智慧. Also, we learned the term “idiot compassion” which is when you give to make yourself feel better.  Someone in class referenced the movie “Please Give” which I also watched recently and it’s the perfect example for what idiot compassion is.

I took it easy today and didn’t take a class during lunch break. Instead, I walked to Panya bakery to get some eats. I really enjoyed it when some of us practiced together after lunch. It didn’t matter if you felt ready or not, the environment was just so warm and nurturing. I lead Ardha Surya Namaskar for the first time and got more confident as I repeated it again and again. It’s rote learning but I try to remind myself that each time, it’s different. I am more and more in awe of my teachers. It really is a three ring circus. Knowing how/when to adjust and just keeping up with the class is tough but to have to say things at the same time…oy.  But I can tell that some of my fellow classmates will be amazing teachers.  They can already lead with a clear voice, confidently walk around the room, and adjust with compassion.

There was some discussion about the idea of feminine/masculine energies in the body as some folks don’t believe in that and want to explore it more before they use it in their own teachings.  I thought that was interesting because Thai yoga massage also has similar traditions.  You would massage on the left side first if the person is female, and the right if the person is male.  The concepts of yin/yang energies, the five elements, etc are also very prevalent in traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture which has been around for thousands of years but I could understand why there might be skeptics.  While Cyndi spoke thoughout the day, I found other similarities to Thai yoga massage.  (Perhaps that’s why I love both!)  First, it was when she says to look at the students (body)…”they will tell you everything”….in the same way that a body would tell you what it needs during massage.  Second, when you adjust someone (which is almost like a mini-massage imho), it’s like a dance.  Cyndi does it so fluidly.  I do it like a crazy moth fluttering from one person to another :P.  So naturally, with all of these comparisons in my head, I thought of Ananda and flipped through her book again.  I can’t believe I never even read her bio until now!  Hope she’s having a good meditation experience in India.

When I returned home, V surprised me by taking me out to a fancy dinner at Amanda’s Restaurant 🙂  It’s was just so sweet since he says it was to celebrate my yoga teacher training endeavor and for keeping up this blog.  a tear….  :*)

Quote of the day:

Only a spontaneous feeling of empathy with others can really inspire us to act on their behalf.  Nevertheless, compassion does not arise mechanically.  Such a sincere feeling must grow gradually, cultivated within each individual, based on their own conviction of its worth.  Adopting a kind attitude thus becomes a personal matter.  How each of us behaves in daily life is, after all, the real test of compassion.

-HIS HOLINESS THE DALAI LAMA (taken from Thai Massage Sacred Bodyword by Ananda Apfelbaum)

Or as V would say, “BE NICE!” 🙂

OM TT Day 3 – Jan 8 (9-6pm)

Posted: January 9th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: doing it, meditation, yoga | Tags: , , | Comments Off on OM TT Day 3 – Jan 8 (9-6pm)

It’s only Day 3 but it actually feels like I’ve been at teacher training for a while now.  I started the day at 6:30am and left my apt at 7:15am after having my usual oatmeal and coffee.  I didn’t want to be late and tried to arrive at OM Yoga earlier to continue reading.  But it only took me 45 min door to door.  As I was walking towards the PATH, there was no one else on the streets except for a man who was disheveled and walking a bit oddly.  My yogi sense led me to cross the street since I knew that when I passed him, I would feel really uncomfortable having him behind me.  At the same time, I just couldn’t help feeling bad that he must have known I crossed the street to avoid him.  How do you balance having no adversion in your heart but still performing an action that is the very meaning of the word simply because you care about your physical well-being?  :\  As I approached the Hudson, the cold winter morning’s colorful hues greeted me.

I was the first to arrive at the yoga center but the front door was locked.  So I went to Grey Dog’s to get some coffee.  First lesson of the day: Don’t drink that much coffee right before class.  I needed to use the restroom when class was about to start but there wasn’t time to go.  About 30 min into class, I had to pee like a racehorse but waited and held it in.  When we were about to move into the opening OM and warm-up vinyasa, I couldn’t hold anymore and quickly told Cyndi.  She simply said, “Please go.”  And so I went.  Apparently, most of the other students had to too!  Which made me realize that if you’re thinking or feeling something, chances are that at least 50% of the other people in the room think or feel the same way.  Everyone is nervous or scared or have to use the little ladies’ (or boy’s) room.

We began with some mindfulness (Shamatha) meditation (also known as loving-kindness or metta).    Now I understand what Dad was saying when he was teaching us Vipassana meditation!  I used to think Vipassana = Shamatha …that the method was the same.  It’s similar but different.  We practice yoga in order to gain strength, stability, and clarity and meditation is a critical part of that.  So that’s why we are required to sit for 30 min every week and write in our journals about the experience. The parts of meditation are Ground, Path, and Fruition.

“We are not meditating to get somewhere…”

One of the reasons I love learning from Cyndi is because she often pulls personal snippets or anecdotes to frame a lesson.  While she was teaching us meditation, she mentioned something about how there are household meditators and monastic meditators, which she will become “later in life” …I thought that was very interesting.  We sit, not to shut down our thoughts, but to slow down in order to become aware of those thoughts.  Whenever a thought arises, label it “thinking.”  As Cyndi says, our mind is like a James Joyce novel (full on stream of consciousness) or like Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound.  Some people didn’t know who/what that was so one of our homework assignments was to Google him.  There you go.  Something I learned today (or perhaps I’ve learned it but just forgot) is “dot” meditation.  The idea that something would focus you and bring you to the present.

Today we focused on plank pose, chaturanga dandasana, and upward facing dog.  We covered the Step Back Surya Namaskar as well as Surya Namaskar A.  Whew.  Now I have to practice saying the instructions until it becomes part of my DNA.  😛  But in all seriousness, I feel so fortunate to be learning all this.  Even if I don’t become a yoga teacher as a profession, it’s helping me so much in my personal practice.   During the lunch break, I took Frank’s intermediate class.  We received 45 asana classes with the tuition and are required to make a journal entry for each session.  I’m going to do all my journaling on this blog.

After lunch, my body was sore and I can feel my energy ebb.  Fortunately, instead of more asana practices, we did an exercise in our study groups (btw, my group is called New Jershree) where we came up with 5 verbs for each letter of the alphabet to use in future yoga instructions.  I was so amazed by what people came up with and at the same time, excited by all the creative possiblities.   This training really pulls the creativity out of you!  🙂  After more lessons and taking turns being the person adjusting and being the person getting adjustments, the room grew hotter and hotter and it was becoming hard to retain what I was learning.  Pretty soon, the class came to an end…one hour later than planned!  It went by so fast.  At least we get to sleep in a bit now.

Quote of the day:

I always try to do an adjustment that teaches opposition

-Cyndi Lee