Doing Things CORRECTLY

Had a *ahem* health scare throughout October & November before it finally cleared by itself.

While grateful for seeing ‘the light’ at the end of the tunnel at the end of this health scare, however the issue played havoc big-time with my body (and mind) as well.

Suffered very bad energy blockages which affected my moods/outlook a fair bit, and impacted my business/work productivity as well (October was a new low in terms of work activity). Eventually, I came to the conclusion that I was stressed out by my current office environment (TONS of negative energy / issues sprouting out left, right & centre – toxicity at work) and to a certain extent – various mis-behaviour/inconsiderate/unmindful behaviour causing this horrible ‘imbalance’.

Of course, I can count on a ‘kick-ass’ yoga class by one of my favourite teachers E to put things to right again – which was exactly what happened last Tuesday.  First things 1st, the teacher is not a ‘god’ or miracle worker for that matter, but practising with a teacher whom you can resonate with is so important in one’s yoga journey. As much as the teacher can guide, we still have to do the work – on and off the mat!

The decision to do a hip opening 101 lunchtime class (versus a more challenging Power Class the night before that I booked and later cancelled because was not feeling up to it at all in body & in mood terms) was probably one of the best self care decisions that I made myself in recent times. I generally have quite ‘open hips’ in asana terms, which brings me back to the title of this post – Doing Things CORRECTLY.

Specific to Teacher E – his/her classes have a strict emphasis on alignment and doing it ‘correctly’ as an important part to foundation and practising safely. In terms of the hip opening poses covered – it means legs spread mat width apart (and beyond mat width) in malasana (yogi squat) …… which is painful when the 3rd extension came about, and the knees started to ache BIG-TIME. The ache didn’t get better as we were required to go full stance (read: really wide legs) in Warrior 2, and in Crescent / High Lunge, and essentially in majority of the standing poses. Seriously, a hip opening class never felt THIS HARD before, as we were holding various standing poses for lengthy periods of time. The ache was real post class, and really felt it all the way after lunch and back in office.

But surprisingly, the next morning I woke up, my body never felt better …… and amazingly, the knee ache went away. This is important as I tend to have sensitive knees (e.g. knees will start to achne when I hold chair pose for beyond 10 breaths). I guess doing hip openers not only lead to emotional release (especially when you have been holding A LOT of negativity in your body system as explained above), but also the fact that the teacher requires you to do everything CORRECTLY in class makes the class much tougher, but the payoff / reward in return is tenfold and even more. Of all things, it took for a hip opening class that focuses a lot more on lower body work (as versus to a strong Vinyasa / Power yoga class) to re-set the body and mind towards a more optimal condition again. As the article states

In this way, practicing hip openers is a way to cleanse the body and welcome renewal.

To take it one step further OFF the mat (and into our daily lives), when we set our intentions correctly, and apply the correct fundamentals/foundations to the various issues we have to tackle – be it at work, in our financial planning, in inter-personal relationship management and other relevant aspects of our day-to-day living …… we will live a much more productive and satisfying life, there will be less complaints/screw-ups that we need to deal with (which is what I’m struggling with right now).

Something so simple and yet so hard to put in actual action indeed.

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Witch’s Court

Finally didn’t have to wait till end of the month or 2 months later to log in another blog entry 😛

And also for once non-yoga & food-related entry 🙂

Some time back, I was regularly watching Korean dramas, to the point that I even had a page on this blog to specifically ‘track’ the dramas that I have watched / plan to watch etc. …… until my viewing habits gradually shifted towards varieties which requires less energy and time to ‘chase’. Another reason was also that it’s not that much fun watching already-telecast dramas when spoilers are all over the internet.

Until recent stresses and frustrations here and there got me re-thinking about my evening routine again, and viola, drama watching came back into the picture again! After reading around soompi / dramabeans for what’s currently in the K-Drama scene …… decided on Witch’s Court.

Somehow or another, it is always more ‘fun’ catching up with a drama ‘live’ as opposed to watching backlogs 1 month later (see above) as there is the added excitement of knowing how the plotlines gradually pan out.  As much as it is not a hallyu wave drama with idol/top star casting, more importantly the acting is decent, and the cases interesting enough in spite of a rather vanilla villain lurking in the background.

As Witch’s Court subject matter primarily deals with sexual assault crimes, ironically in a case of reel mirroring the real life – the recent news has revealed impropriety of a famous Hollywood studio mogul and of Kevin Spacey as well.

The upside of it all –  I have something to look forward to on weekday evenings which includes prowling soompi forums for live recaps, catching up with the drama itself later on my tablet/laptop. Since the main female lead (Jung Ryeo Won) was in the classic ‘My Name Is Kim Sam Soon’ a good 12 years ago (year 2005) – it got me keen to re-watch this drama again as well. Will see what comes next then.

Pause

Yet again another 1 month ‘break’ of blogging before finally managing to get down to writing/blogging something yet again before October comes to a close. As I was telling C in the office the day before, that time passes really fast when you least sense it ……

Over the past 2 months, had many ideas to blog about food, yoga …… only to have this writing/bloggers block continue. Definitely a recurring theme throughout year 2017! And an area that I really need to work more on as this writing block is not just limited to this blog alone, but also in my work/business outreach and in my daily journaling as well.

Back to the theme of ‘Pause’ – had pretty grand plans to do a solo beach retreat / getaway, only to have perfectionism and procrastination get better of myself. Had originally targeted to leave last week of October, and as I’m writing now – we are IN the LAST WEEK OF OCTOBER!

Guess solo beach retreat / getaway is not going to happen anytime soon as I have opportunities to write more business for this last quarter of 2017 before banding year close. It will happen one day when all stars align again.

Beach Retreat Phuket

Be it Phuket or Koh Samui or Okinawa, no harm putting up a picture as a form of goal visualization for the future. Will also update my vision board with this picture as I intend to do a Version 2 Vision Board sometime down the road as well.

A quick note on my yoga practice – the main thing that I write about these days (if I ever get to write that is) …… slowed it down quite a bit for the past 2 to 3 months due to struggling with various strains (hip, lower back, right shoulder rotator cuff) and struggling with my energy levels. It was pretty telling when I totally stopped doing Core and Power classes since mid-July onwards, until the Deepavali holiday last Wednesday (18th October) when I finally got myself to a Core class. Struggled big time with the drills – which was precisely what I needed to get stronger once again as I go into more difficult poses/asanas.

Guess that’s all for now as versus to a long rambling entry 😛

Food Mission 2017: Fishball Story

Finally catching up to some of the interesting / exciting food that I have been checking out in year 2017 so far.

Heard much about Fishball Story of this young hawker who went into the business of selling handmade fishall noodles – which arose out of a passion for food. I did not manage to check out the stall from their initial humble beginnings at Golden Mile Food Centre, and subsequently their move to NUS UTown and their 2nd outlet at Timbre+. However, recently I read online that they have moved to a coffee shop at Geylang Lor 28, and is now open from 10 am all the way to 2am. Moreover Lor 28 is within vicinity of Yoga Inc Guillemard. Which means I had to go!

And so one rainy day after Sunday morning Yin yoga, I made my way down to Lor 28 for this ‘legendary’ fishball noodles.

The stall located right inside the Hungry Bee coffeeshop.

Very extensive menu that includes the original fishball noodle that they first started off with, and a premium fishball noodle with more ingredients (additional fried fish skin and fried beancurd in fish paste).

Since I walked all the way in the heavy rain to try this, might as well go for the Premium Fishball Noodle – which is still affordable at $6 per bowl.

Pretty decent portion-ed, 4 fishballs, fishcakes, plus the fried fish skin and fried beancurd you see inside the big plate. Didn’t not take any more videos/pictures after that as I was very hungry after all that walking in the rain.  Just like what majority of the reviews online commented, the fishballs are 100% handmade with yellow tail fish meat – which is bouncy and great on the bite without having the flour-like taste that is common for machine made fishballs.

While the fried fish skin and dumpling further enhances the entire presentation of the noodles, however the main differentiator between good and great fishball noodles would be the sambal chilli. The sambal chilli, which I believe is handmade from scratch as well, is very fragrant and gives the noodles a real punch.

This was definitely so good that they were awarded the Michelin Bib Gourmand in year 2016, although they were not in for year 2017. Not that it really matters that much to me – Michelin or No Michelin, it is still one of the best fishball noodles I have ever tasted.

Furthermore, I find it really inspiring that Douglas Ng as a young hawker rose to the challenge and has made a success story out of himself, and at the same time, contributed to continuing the legacy of Singapore’s unique hawker culture – check out this fantastic Vulcan Post write-up. Food outlets like Fishball Story deserve our support definitely!

Details:

Fishball Story

Hungry Bee Coffeeshop, Lor 28 Geylang                                                                                                    Opening Hours: 1000 Hrs to 0200 Hrs (next morning)

Timbre+ #01-14                                                                                                                                           Opening Hours: 0800 Hrs to 1800 Hrs, Monday To Friday

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/fishballstory/

This Is Why I Do Yin Yoga

Have been struggling not only with stress, but also poor energy levels, disrupted sleep. It got really bad last week as I got drained out by various stuff at work and with certain people.

Thus I decided its time for a Sunday morning Yin Yoga that my body really needed – as versus to the Core class I was intending to do (or any asana based class for that matter).

While Yin is not a sweaty type of yoga class (as versus to a more intense asana based class or Hot Yoga), after 5 weeks away since my last Yin class during the Hari Raya Puasa long weekend – even holding supported pigeon pose (with bolster right under the hips) for 3 min becomes challenging ….. let alone the straddle splits that the class was in for a total of 10 min! That’s why we say it is more difficult to do the basic things correctly and consistently …… as versus to aspiring to nail that fancy looking inversion / arm balance.

Am thankful that I listened to my inner voice and opted for what my body really needed – nourishment …… as versus to building strength (Core Class). Felt that I started the day right with an early start, body immediately felt better post Yin, enjoyed yummy fishball noodles for lunch, came home and got in a much-needed nap guilt free …… and had quality sleep to end off the weekend proper.

And to end off this blog post, a very insightful article courtesy of Yoga Journal on why we should make time for Yin Yoga

10 Reasons to Make Time for Yin Yoga When You’re Too Busy

Some points / extracts from the article that really resonated with me. These are more of the ‘intangibles’ in addition to physical benefits such as restoring the range of motion, and lengthening the muscles and fascia via holding poses.

…… Yin is an introspective practice that offers a chance to turn inward and nurture the calm, quiet center that is innate in all of us. It is a practice in stillness, patience, and non-reactivity. Through yin yoga we become adept at self-care. We become better listeners with practice tuning in; we become wiser as we get to know ourselves from the inside out; and we become more curious about the world through the exploration of our own inner worlds.

This is why I LOVE travelling to Guillemard studio for Sunday morning Yin. It feels really calming and soothing for the body and mind to ‘Yin’ to the rustic surroundings of the studio, and a great way to wind down the week.

…… The yin practice forces us to slow down . Yin poses’ long holds offer a chance to marinate in stillness. When you allow yourself to stay present and experience the near-imperceptible shifts that occur while holding a yin posture, time opens up. Deadlines, commitments, pressing matters, and to-do lists fade to the background, leaving tremendous space for rest and renewal.

…… Yin yoga cultivates balance. Your own health and wellbeing is a balancing act. If you look at the yin/yang symbol you will see that the white and black forms are in perfect balance. Many of us live very active (yang) lifestyles and leave little or no time to foster the quiet, introspective side. Over time this can be physically, mentally, and emotionally draining. Through the yin practice we can restore equilibrium and feel whole.

YES to this. Our daily lives already involve a lot of rushing, timelines and deadlines. And to a certain extent, this can even extend to the physical asana practice when some people constantly preach to you that going faster and sweatier is the way to go. There has to be a time where our practice also needs to take a step back and slow down …… And the same applies to life too.

And the bits on self-compassion and sitting in with our emotions is also very true.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Collage

Catching up on my blog after a very long week!

Meant to do another photo collage but as Wednesday had past, this was slightly overdue 😛

Decided to do a tiled gallery theme for this entry – as versus to my usual combining of photos into a Photo Collage app such as Instamag, PhotoGrid.

The theme here is – Colours of Arab Street.  Snapped this on a random Sunday afternoon walk after lunch. Despite having gone to Arab Street before, this is actually my 1st time spotting these beautiful wall murals that give Arab Street a more colourful feel.

The original challenge entry:

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/collage/

 

Two-Thirds Of The Long Weekend So Far ……

Another long weekend beckons ……

And a much needed one as well after running pretty much at full steam end May / June. Of course some pretty unpleasant stuff / minor setbacks occurred over the past week – putting a brake to the ‘momentum’ I have been building up, to my discontentment.

Which means its time to take a step back, take stock for a bit and do some necessary ‘re-charge’ to get back to a more ‘optimal’ state of mind again.

Long weekend started early for me as Friday was my usual-out-of-office day. However couldn’t shake off my restless state of mind (must been the angst I have been carrying out throughout the week). Meditation …… heart opening yoga sequence (only to end up struggling on the balancing poses) did not help much. Guess I need more time to get over this ‘bump’ ……

Yesterday (Saturday) – went back to office as planned to do my monthly scanning/clearing/decluttering/archiving. Somehow, at the half-way point of the year, I feel that my progress on the scanning/clearing/decluttering/archiving front has been rather slow. I’m still working on older stuff (pre-2013 materials) before even getting to the newer records (year 2013 onwards) that I will need to start extracting from the common data folder provided by company. Not sure if just 1 Sat afternoon per month (which I started only in April proper) is sufficient to finish up by end of this year …… but just like yoga/life, have to keep going …… and going! Perhaps for the next round in July, I shall try to reach office earlier (around 11) to give myself a better headstart.

Of course, the highlight of going back to work on a Saturday is always filling myself up with a nice lunch. Initially planned to have pasta at Everton Park, only to realise said restaurant is closed on Saturdays. So walked to Amoy Street Food Centre …… saw that not many stalls were open.  Ended up walking further down right to the end of Amoy Street, and settled for Korean lunch @ Wang Dae Bak – one of my ‘more regular’ favourites that serve tasty and value for money Korean set lunches.

Had a seafood soup + seafood pancake …… and together with side dishes, it made for a pretty appetizing and filling lunch. Moreover, I had a pretty light breakfast and was kinda hungry as well 😛

Packed up and left office a little after 6 …… and came home just in time for dinner. Decided to take a break / day off from yoga practice / stretching (have learnt not to guilt trip myself for taking breaks) …… and sat down to finally think about and start jotting down some ideas/things to do/destinations for my next holiday!

Nothing firmed yet. The only thing I know right now is it will be 90% a solo trip as I desire to have some space & quiet this time round. I hope I can make it happen, at the time period that I’m looking at (Q4 2017). Being in the last lap of the banding year, there are also work considerations to think about. It will also mean $$$ spent (versus saving it) …… but let’s think abundance 🙂

Rather than wasting away my Sunday, got up nice and early to go for my once-a-month YIN yoga class @ Yoga Inc Gulliemard – as a ‘treat’ to myself for the long weekend. Probably my ‘longest’ break from YIN class – 6 weeks to be exact as my focus was on rebuilding strength and flexibility post Bali and post food poisoning (a.k.a Bali Belly). As one would describe YIN class, it is about feeling 1% uncomfortable (in the form of holding poses for longer periods – up to 5 mins) to be 99% comfortable (i.e. to allow the muscles to relax). And the tightness in my hips is apparent …… and it does feel slightly uncomfortable and getting used to be holding poses for long periods again after all the ‘yang’ workouts that I have been doing.

The bonus was the rain, and it was really chill and calming to have the cool air coming into the studio. Just like the saying from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow goes – The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain. 

And enjoy the moment!

The theme of ‘courage’ floated in my thoughts throughout the 1 hr 15 min class – it will be something I will think about/reflect/meditate upon in the next couple of days.

Preferred to have local food for lunch post class, and so braved the rain (with umbrella in hand) and walked over to Lor 28 Geylang to check out Fishball Story as originally planned. The noodles did not disappoint and I am very happy with my lunch. Realised there are many coffeeshops within Geylang itself and wondered why didn’t I venture out earlier (the default choice is always to walk to Old Airport Road FC after class for a meal). Gonna google some food bloggers’ Geylang recommended eats as I type now 😛

Took a bus down to Bugis after lunch – specifically to Sephora at Bugis+ to get a new shampoo to try. Starting to feel the YIN in my legs, and so headed back home, lazed a bit and writing this blog entry.

Probably gonna play catch-up on some work and my journalling (super back-log dating back April *gasp*) after dinner. Was deliberating between doing 9am class @ Yoga Lab CBD for another early start tomorrow versus a longer self practice …… but since the 9am class is waitlisted (it was still book-able during lunch), it seems like self practice will be the plan for the last part of my long weekend!