Monday, December 22, 2014

Yoga Doesn't Care...

Being a newbie in yoga has made me curious about any-yoga-thing. Among those browse and surfing, I like IG-yoga because there are interactions between yogis/yoginis. I realize some are just a passing by through, but I know I can always find ones who really care and see how we all make progression.

I can see the difference between how yogis or yoga teachers from India and west express themselves. The first are more calm and slow, while the others are more expressive and fun. Both are interesting to me, that's why I follow them in parallel.

A question has come to my mind, why doing yoga has to be in certain wears define as yoga-wear. Then yoga related to what so called healthy diet and certain accessories. I can understand the yoga mat. But why there should be yoga legging, yoga pants, yoga bra, etc? I, myself, feel comfortable doing yoga in any sport wear, mostly fitness wear. I can even do it in any daily shorts and shirts. And I found wearing accessories during practicing yoga is an inconvenience...

I enjoy participating in any challenges on IG. I understand how challenges has become an advertising tools. Daily give-aways have made it more interesting. But that is not my main goal. I only like it because it motivates me to do more daily practice and learn new asanas. It's like being in a yoga class and grow together with the various students from around the world. For a while I was distracted, focused on likes I received in every post. Then an IG-yogi posted a picture with caption that she decided to quit doing challenges for feeling so. She chose to just be present and interact with 'real people' in class.

I wouldn't say ig-yogis aren't real people. You can find robots but let's just ignore those ones. I respect the decision to stop yogaing on Instagram. This has reminded me to my real goal learning yoga. I can still have fun, but not to forget that I'm doing it for health, fitness, and peace of mind. I forgive myself for having fun by doing challenges or just any #stopdropandyoga. I like to have many likes and thank anyone who double click my post. And I will gladly double click any post I like. But I won't do random double click around hashtags just to get double click back...

One of my favorite yogi is Abdul Khanan Khan from India. He is soooo humble and always shares meaningful posts. What he does is way a lot more than showing his capability. He wouldn't keep his account private if he does, would he? 

Today he is posting some quotes I really-really love about yoga. Yoga is to free your self, and never feel tied to any unimportant things. Because, as my teacher says, nothing's absolute.

This is what he said: 
Yoga doesn’t care what your hair looks like.
Yoga doesn’t care if you wear Lululemon or Spiritual Gangster.
Yoga doesn’t care if you are vegetarian, if you eat meat or know what Kombucha is.
Yoga doesn’t care when the last time you practiced was—yesterday, six months ago, never.
Yoga doesn’t care what kind of mat you have, brand new or eating away at itself.
Yoga doesn’t care what color your skin is or what gender you choose to love.
Yoga doesn’t care if you wear mala beads.
Yoga doesn’t care how much money you have or what car you drive.
Yoga doesn’t care if you fart during practice.
Yoga doesn’t care if you drink super food smoothies or coconut water.
Yoga doesn’t care if you can put your leg behind your head, or lick your own ass.
Yoga doesn’t care if you know what Ujjayi breath is.
Yoga doesn’t care if you have a man bun.
Yoga doesn’t care if you juice or cleanse.
Yoga doesn’t care if you complete a 30 day challenge.
Yoga doesn’t care if you shop at whole foods.
Yoga doesn’t care if you remember to shave your armpits.
#Yoga is just #happy you show up.
So I wouldn't care about my hair, my wear, my mat, my bracellet, my diet... I will just be happy practicing...

Friday, December 5, 2014

Paper Snowflake Tutorial

I am always amazed with snow. May be because until now I can only see it thru pictures. Snowflakes are visualized so beautiful. Many artworks and craft based on this microscopic look of frozen water molecules, and they are all amazing.

I've tried to make a simple paper snow flake, that can be used as a decoration or as accessories in greeting cards. You just need to customize the size.

So this is how we do it. First, take a square paper.

Then fold it in two.

Then fold it back and forward in three, with the help of an arch to define 60 degrees.

Cut the edge.

Then draw a pattern.

Cut carefully. You might need to fold the middle part, depends on your pattern.

Open carefully, and taaadaaaa...!
We have a paper snow flake.

I've made a smaller size, that would be nice to be applied in cards. Try make yours and share how you do!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Motivation, Persistence, Achievement.

My father has raised me as a sport lover. He taught me badminton, pingpong. He brought me to a habit of ‘no day without working out’. He played tennis three times a week. We had jump rope and dumbbells. Simple useful things.
As I grew up, moved to other city and built a family, I started to do aerobic exercises as a routine. It is fun and full of benefits, for my cardio, for my fitness. Now as I am aging, I need to lower the intensity of jumping. So I turned to yoga.
Being a yoga beginner, I don’t only come to classes. I open my eyes wider through internet. I search webs. And one interesting thing I found is the yoga community on Instagram.
There I found, and then follow, many yoga experts and beginners. There are so many things to share and learn.
One interesting thing I noticed is that most of the ig-yogis/yoginis post their best pictures in best pose. Including me (though I know my best is still not good enough). I think that is normal. We always want people to see good sides of us, and tend to hide the bad parts. Sometimes we just don’t realize that we don’t only learn from good things, but bad things as well.
I see that in yoga teachers instagram accounts, they post best pose, acrobatic, and often beyond my imagination. How could they have such strength and flexibility? They always come with motivating words. One said it took years before she came to her ability now, to do incredible folds and handstands and twists and more. But I only see the best part where they do things perfectly. They share tips but even tips look too complex to do.
Then I found Doodi @sister_yoga, a yoga teacher from Abu Dhabi, who continuously shares her daily practice. She is different. When other experts choose to appear elegant and classy, she comes in a casual and often naughty way. I believe some people will think she is also bitchy. But it is fine with me. She is beautiful, she is funny, she is crazy. And with her craziness she made doing yoga really fun and less depressing. Even when she says it is depressing.

She doesn't only show perfect beautiful poses. She sometimes breaks the silence with humorous costumes and captions. And the best part is, she also shares her failures in her daily practices.
Some people may think it is a shame. Or at least funny. Yes, at first I also laughed and thought, ‘this woman is crazy.’ But seriously I think it is more encouraging and motivating than only seeing perfect poses with written tips below. Beginners like me need to see the falls and ups during exercises. I see how Doodi never gives up on the way to succeed doing new difficult asanas, showing persistence, and results don’t come in an abrakadabra. For real. I’m not saying other yogi/yoginis didn't do so. I just couldn't see it. It is easier for me to absorb what I see, than if I have to take time to imagine the hard work they do. Motivations don’t come only in words but also in actions.

Showing people your failures isn't a shame. It is a brave thing to do. This is one of her falls and ups on the way to a jump handstand. I couldn't save the video to post it here so please just check out on her site.
So will I give up and say, ‘This is difficult. I will never be able to do this’ when I have to learn a new higher level asana? No way. Everyone has their own limits. I know I have mine. My biggest struggle  is to keep my spine lengthen and straight (as it is a little rounded). And off course my poor flexibility. Still I have to learn a lot. That yoga is more than body exercises; it is also for soul and mine.
As my teacher said, to always be positive, we are warriors who struggle fighting our own ego. To remind ourselves that yoga isn't a competition with people around us. It is about building our own strength and abilities. It is for own health. For our own goodness.

I am still far behind, I still have a lot more to learn. And I will try to have that motivation and persistence to get to achievements.