Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Challenge: Parkour Generations Shock Absorber Workout

I haven't been able to post much since returning from my holiday, because as these things go, I am now sick. I think I caught some stomach virus towards the end of my holiday, and now I have everything from chest pains to this wonderful blessed gift of eating-very-little-only-to-feel-sick-anyway-and-wished-I-hadn't-eaten-anything. 

I haven't been able to workout, except to do some gentle yoga every now and then. So I haven't been able to try out the challenge below, but it reminded me so much of Ryan Higa's Daily Life of a Ninjahinja.

My favourite part of that video is the "Art of Surprize". Hilarious.

Ok, back on topic. I have so much respect for people who do parkour, especially ninjas. Check out the challenge image below, or view the challenge on Tribesports.

Click for a larger image, or go here for the full article.

You can even do that workout to that Parkour song in that Ninjahinja video. Just a suggestion :P

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Have a break, and a Kit Kat if you so wish

Right this minute, I should be lounging on a beach in Koh Samui. That's right, I even had the foresight to write this scheduled post so I could brag about it /cue evil laughter.

Jelly yet?

It's been awhile since I've had a restful holiday. It's not that I don't take any leave, it's just that, being the Type-A girl that I am, I always need to be doing something during my holidays. The last holiday I had was a snowboarding holiday. It was great, but I didn't feel rejuvenated at all.

Apparently, Australians have a collective 70 million annual leave days stockpiled. This may make you out to sound like a better worker, but research has shown that not having a break actually decreases productivity.

Even if it's just a weekend away to the Peninsula Hot Springs, or a week retreat in Gwinganna  (this is my ultimate holiday...), give yourself that you time to rejuvenate, and the sweetness of doing nothing. Can you tell that Eat, Pray, Love has rubbed off on me? No idea what I'm talking about? Read all about the art of nothing here.

So, when was your last holiday? Any good holiday suggestions?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Yoga for Neck Pain

About a week ago, I had a migraine. It was extremely unpleasant, it happened while I was watching The Hobbit (great film by the way, go see it!) and I had a lingering headache for days, and really bad nausea that lasted a week.

Coupled with all those terrible symptoms, I also began to have really bad neck pain. I've always had tight shoulders, and some neck tension, but this went beyond it. There was even a firm lump in my neck where the muscle had gone really taut.

I began to research yoga for neck pain, because ... yoga cures almost everything physical :P Isn't yoga incredible?

This is a great video by Esther Eckhart, I've been practising this a few times a day. After the first day, my neck pain had improved so much!

The other neck exercises that I've found on the internet were back strengthening exercises, such as locust.

Other poses that I thought really helped with neck pain and relieved my headaches were standing forward bends. In a standing forward bend, you can work on releasing your neck, and shoulders. Poses like wide legged forward bends, and standing forward bend.
Wide legged forward bend
Standing forward bend

I have found that threading the needle also opens up the shoulders, and relieve some neck tension as well. That's the strange thing about muscles, sometimes the muscle that's tense isn't necessarily the cause of the tension. 

Threading the needle

Next time you have a really sore neck, try some of these tension soothers before you reach for your Advil.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Challenge: The Happiness Challenge! and the British Military Fitness challenge

What an apt challenge to take on in the New Year! It's not like I've been particularly mopey or depressed, but everyone could do with a little more happiness in their lives. Plus, a quick look at the Gaiam TV's connect2happiness challenge requirements for Day 1, and it seems that this touches on a lot of self-exploration such as "What makes you happy" type questions and on how you can bring these things into your life.

Screenshot from the email I received... I'd love to be Happy every day!

I will be keeping a diary with every day's challenge questions answered and explored, and will post up my final results after 30 days. Will you be taking the challenge with me?

A happy body is a happy mind. What better way to keep your body fit and happy than this challenge by Tribesports? It's apparently created by serving or ex British armed forces personnel :O so if you fancy yourself saving some Private Ryans, then check this challenge out. (Ok, Private Ryan wasn't British... I just couldn't think of any British military TV shows... besides the last season of the Black Adder)

Click for a larger image, or visit Tribesports

You will need the space to do it though, those 10m lunges won't be easy to do in your lounge, or that 20m sprint for that matter. It's a mini-boot camp, without the price of a boot camp :)

Well, I'm taking up both of those challenges. Let me know if you'll be doing it with me.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Eating the ayurvedic way

I've developed an interest in ayurvedic diets. I have always been intrigued by ayurveda, but was always slightly skeptical of its benefits. I had previously added it to my list of pseudo-sciences, along with homeopathy, chiropractics, and colonic cleansing (eek!).

Yet, there is a lot about ayurvedic doshas that paint me accurately. I am a pitta-vata. Pitta-vatas are normally medium-light build, sensitive, productive, and prefer hot and humid weatlher (if vata) or cold climates (if pitta). More information on your dosha type can be found on the Body and Soul website. If you need to identify your dosha, try doing this quick and easy quiz on the Yoga Journal.

The three different doshas that could affect your diet.

Recently, I've been experiencing some pitta imbalance - feeling hungry, but experiencing frequent digestive problems, and vivid dreams. The foods that I need to avoid are anything sour and anything hot/spicy. Both are things that I love, so I am slightly distressed. Then again, there is no getting better if I don't take the first step. 

From a non-ayurvedic perspective, it makes sense to cut down on those foods anyway. Sour and spicy foods are generally very acidic, which can't be helpful for digestive issues! I'm also supposed to eat moderate amounts of dairy, which I am doing, one cup of yoghurt at a time.

This will be a hard diet to stick to when I'm on my trip to Asia (homeland of Spicy, oh no!). 

Has anyone else tried any ayurvedic treatments? I would love to read what you thought. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Review: Learn How to Meditate

You can access the course here 

This is a free course on Udemy. For a free course, it's really quite good.

The course consists of six 2 minute recordings showing you the basics of meditation

  • proper posture 
  • deep breathing 
  • alternate nostril breathing nadi shodhan 
  • use of mantra (in a similar vein to what transcendental meditation teaches) 
  • candle gazing 
  • empathy meditation 

All the meditation techniques above are accessible, and easy to follow. You can choose to do just one of the above, or combine methods such as use deep breathing and alternate nostril breathing to prepare you for a mantra meditation. 

As it's a free course, it's also a great way to see what Udemy is like. I have purchased a few courses on Udemy, so far I have yet to be disappointed.