Throughout your practice you’ll begin making observations. Days when you are strong or distracted. Days you’re fit and flexible or stiff and sore. In classes with a consistent routine, this will be particularly noticeable. “How come today I can’t touch my toes?” Or, “My lower back is sore in this pose today when it wasn’t before.” are common among new students.
Self-awareness grows alongside continued practice. Relax, associated environmental factors will become more obvious with time. This is when many students begin altering their habits to better improve their practice. When it becomes a lifestyle. Take a moment to reflect on how you feel at the end of each class. You’ve probably had a good sweat, feel light, calm and energized — all at the same time. Allow me to assure you, it continues to get better. Preserving this state as long as possible and removing everything which reduces it, becomes a focus over time. This is getting in touch with your self.
In Exploring Yoga-Dance, Pt. 2/3 I was on a particularly high note and felt an insane urge to dance, express my energy and flow. I’ve never done anything that before, let alone record and share it. However, it was incredible liberating to see where my practice has taken me. You’ll find the same thing happens to you as well.
Anyways, on this wonderful journey, I’ve observed a few actions which elevate my practice. They’re easy to adopt and make an instant impact on your experience. Tap “Read More” and see what they are.
Extended Side Angle pose (Utthita Parsvakonasana II) • Nha Trang, Vietnam Dec 2017
Part 1: The Practice
This four part blog series will include a list of four actions to take as you immerse yourself into yoga.
At the most fundamental level, you only need two things to do yoga: a body and willingness.
While in theory this is true, in reality, it’ll take a little more. Before getting started, make a list of 3-5 reasons why you want to practice yoga. Here are a few reasons why yoga is important to me:
Integrate with a like-minded community
Change the habits in my life
Feel absolutely wonderful in, and connected with, my body
It’s worth noting, what you initially write down, and what you get out of a class, may be completely different. That’s ok! This is a great first step in learning acceptance. See it as a part of the discovery process. As a teacher and a student, I ask you to go against the setting of goals for your practice such as reaching poses by dates. Simply be happy you have opened yourself up to yoga. Flow with where this newfound experience takes you. I promise, it’ll be in a direction you never thought would have so many far-reaching effects.
Didn’t get a chance to read STJ52 — A Good Thing Going? It has tips on what to look for in a snorkel set, how to properly use it and reviews of a Mexican and whole-food restaurant/shop. Tap to read it!
Do you have any requirements about visiting yoga studios? Have you ever done a Kundalini meditation? Let me know your experiences in the comments!
Have you read Solo Trip Report 50 — Living Life A Little? It includes restaurants to visit in Phuket, everyday uses for natural health products and the feedback from the Solo Trip Report name change survey (which is now Solo Trip Journal). If not, click here.
Solo Trip Journal (STJ) 51 — A Pivot Point, highlights my trip to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and includes:
3 helpful airport tips
4 facts about Palm Oil plantations
Reviews of IO Hotel (PODS) and Malindo Airlines
A beggar teaching me a lesson before buying an Apple Watch
In part 2/3 we covered aspects in my life which have developed. These include personal awareness, yogic philosophy and building strength. Read the full list and see the dance here.
Getting involved in the yoga world can be overwhelming. There’s terminology, posture alignment, the different styles of yoga (Hatha, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Power etc.) and most challenging of all — competition. Whether it’s with ourselves, where we think we should be, or, comparing ourselves to others. The truth is, to win, you must not compete. How can someone be in a pose with “ease and steadiness” if their mind is comparing the body?
Pose: Side Plank with Extended Hand to Toe. Sanskrit: Eka Pada Vasisthasana
There are many parts to yoga. Everyone who practices has their own reasons, areas of focus and components they appreciate. I enjoy how a challenging pose requires working towards it. Learning the muscle groups, warm up asanas (poses) and those first times you almost get it! It’s a chase. As I continue the cycle, eventually I’ll get the desired pose and then... surprise, there’s another! At which point, it starts again.
While this cycle happens on a pose-by-pose basis, it reveales a bigger picture. Each revolution adds a layer of evolution, changing the dynamic in the subsequent round. I continually appreciate modifying what I’ve learned and applying it as my practice develops. Now, I’m discovering movement and flow, but other changes include:
nutrition and diet;
While the path is never fully revealed, I have the courage, confidence and faith it will reveal itself at the appropriate time — it always does.
Two weeks ago, I released the first of three freestyle yoga-dance videos. It’s an opportunity explore my body, asana knowledge and evolution in my practice — becoming absorbed in the flow of the rhythm. See the first video here (skip the first 30 seconds).
Going deep and keeping alignment! Pose: One Legged King Pigeon with Backbend. Sanskrit: Eka Pada Rajakapotasana
Over the past seven weeks, the depth of my yoga improved dramatically. Consistent practice leads to increased flexibility, of course, but more importantly, it allows for better understanding of my intuition. There are days when my body is more opened up, others, less so.
Since going vegetarian, my body continues to change before my eyes. Now, it’s increasingly sensitive to what I eat. Here are five factors which determine my bodily openness, strength and lack of muscle stiffness — beyond diet.
Thanks to my sister, I’ve started a journalling challenge. Sometimes, I write it out on the beach.
“This isn’t my first time meeting friends abroad.”
If you haven’t read STR47 — Steering In The Right Direction, tap here! It covers photographs of local paintings, a preview of the yoga styles I’m trying, a lesson in self-care and, of course, details about where I go for the best brunch ever! Read it now!
What’s included in STR48 — Establishing Connections? All kinds of stuff, including:
Meeting up with a former classmate from college
I learn a cool method to help homeless people
Some new friends invite me to their rooftop pool
A friend from yoga teacher training moves to China
I share my 5 tips to feel comfortable doing handstands
In part 3/5 we’ll review four types of exercises you can take up, particularly if you live near nature :D Let’s see how hiking, swimming, walking and yoga contribute to better health. If you haven’t read the first part it covers laughing, meditation, breathing exercises and listening to meditative/vibrational music.
Two weeks ago, in part 2 of this series, we discussed the benefits of maintaining and talking with plants, developing healthy friendships, a period of silence and journaling.
So, let’s get to the goodness — click “read more” to continue! ⬇️
Solo Trip Report is a travelogue providing global living inspiration. It’s written as a series and catered to those wanting an insiders look at travelling and working abroad. Join the other subscribes from over 10 countries in four continents, who receive the free updates. Subscribe now!
Notice how the mountains have bald/light green patches in the foliage? That’s because the mountain was on fire a few weeks back... yes, all the patches, at the same time! It’s been wonderful watching the vegetation grow back so rapidly.
“Sometimes, you have to make a leap of faith.”
In this report I cover:
Renewing my visa in Cambodia at the last minute
What it’s like to start teaching adults English
My efforts to reprioritize health and well-being
A few financial and travel realizations I learned the hard way
Clarifying my next goals now that I’m debt free and live in a beautiful location
The decision to double-down and make it work here!
To learn more about my transition from being high on freedom, travel and adventure to discovering what’s next in my life, read more!
Solo Trip Abroad is a travelogue providing global living inspiration. It’s written as a series for those wanting an insiders look at travel and working abroad. Join the other subscribers from over ten countries in four continents, who receive free updates, subscribe now!
There are a whole bunch of reasons to do yoga. Aside from the long list of physical, health and spiritual benefits or the community of those who practice regularly, there is a somewhat less mentioned benefit: amazing sex!
Allow me, as a yoga teacher to share the benefits of how a strong yoga practice directly impacts my sex life. Firstly, I'd like to point out I will be using a baseline to establish what I mean by strong yoga practice. Such a baseline is, at minimum, having completed a Yoga Teacher Training 200 hour program (YTT200). Any higher credentials simply increase the following benefits. Obviously there are those who have an equal or stronger practice without being a certified instructor but for the sake of ease of understanding, we'll use the YTT200/RYT200 standard.
Here are nine sex perks are enjoyed as a result of a diligent practice and training (in no particular order):
It’s been a week since I started doing the morning yoga. I’ve only missed one day because the weather forecast predicted rain. The best part has been the lady who randomly joined me the first day. Since she continued asking if I will come the following day, I saw no reason why I shouldn’t, and now, its just a thing we do.
There are many great aspects that make Tianjin a comfortable and prosperous place to live. As someone who appreciates early rising, I find it a particular enjoyment to wake up with the sun. During summer, sunrise here is around 4:45am, I get up roughly an hour afterward. This is when the sun is fully past the horizon and brightly shining.
Often the first little while of waking up is spent lying in bed, thinking or reading on my phone (this needs to change to breathing and stretching). As I mentally shift to becoming more health conscious and expanding further on this lifestyle in Viêt Nam, I thought it prudent to head out and do some yoga. The only way I'm going to improve is gradual steps over time.
The past month has been a bundle of new experiences. From learning how to breathe properly, being vegatarian, realizing mistakes, leading my first meditation, discovering, receiving and giving unconditional love to making new international friends for future travel!
Listen to my latest audio post to get insight on all I experienced!