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.
In a similar process for my move to China, acting impulsively for positive reasons comes with many benefits. I lie on my bed for a moment and thought "I'd like to do some morning yoga today". Springing up out of bed, I tossed my mat, iPad and yoga blocks in a bag and left for the park.
There's a great spot, right beside the water. The area is beautiful, serene and its cool out. Doing yoga in the morning has many health benefits such as stretching muscles which havent moved all night, increase in blood flow, awakens the body and mind and many more. It's also important to do the session before eating. This will help deepen your practice by allowing the body to focus on the work out instead of digestion, one of the biggest consumers of blood and energy in the body. This is why you feel the food coma when eating until absolutely full, instead of eating until you're not hungry.
Out by the water, the city has not woken up yet, along with the calm sound of the waves lapsing on the stone steps nearby. I try not to get frustrated by how fast the app switches poses (the slower you go, the more intense the session), and allow my breathing rate to drop markedly. Breathing through the nose during my practice and into my stomach (not chest), really helps to collect my mind and be present. On a good day and a long session, I can get it down to four cycles (inhale and exhale)/minute.
I like the "advanced combination" session in the Yoga Studio app. Aside from being a little fast, it covers some great poses I find to be a strong benefit. Inverted poses are one of my favourite types. Not only do you gain new perspective in the literal sense, but the rich flow of blood and oxygen to the pineal gland, thyroid and heart all help in creativity, expression and natural healing. For anyone interested in anti-aging therapy, consider reviewing what yoga offers through inverted poses.
Returning home after a short Zen Ten meditation, I feel such clarity and relaxation as I ride through the city on my scooter. The crisp morning air and the warmth of the sun provides a comfortable temperature. Something I'm increasingly sensitive to.
The music I play during my sessions leaves me in the present, but absent any feelings. Here is the link to my Apple Music playlist for yoga. Today I had Om Namah Shivay on repeat to help dissolve my sense of time.
It's been almost a week since I went and purchased avocados from the store. Foolishly thinking I could consume them that day. But today, they are perfect. Spreading some coconut oil on three slices of toast (yes I use it for everything), and throwing them in the toaster oven, I cut open an avocado.
As per my training in Rishikesh, back in January, I learned the energy put into preparing fresh food, each meal, has a huge impact on how your body accepts and derives the nutrients. Learning to appreciate the preparation of my own food is the first step. The next is to make preparation therapeutic.
Picking up the avocado, I bring my attention to my hands and notice the feeling of it's skin on mine. Raising it to my face, I smell deeply. Allowing my senses to absorb all this amazing piece of fruit has to offer. Scraping off the skin with a spoon, I take some left overs from the rind, letting it sit on my tongue as the flavours seep into my taste buds.
The toast is a golden yellow as I pull it out, finishing the slicing and mashing of the avocado into a rough paste before spreading it around. I add some some strawberry yogurt. Once complete, I take a breath and transition to my next task — cleaning the dishes. Normally, I feel disdain and annoyance at having to do this. Today though, I feel nothing. Silence in my mind and heart. This task must be complete and I don't want the responsibility lingering or popping up again when I return home.
It's as if the mentality of my session is transferring into my life. Calmness, detachment, slow breathing and an almost mechanical operation of tasks. Does a robot dislike putting bolts on a car? Does it enjoy it? No. It just does it. And so do I.
This acceptance is something I am not new too, thought I haven't developed it as strongly as I would like either. As such, I will continue in my progression forward. Being still, calm and present, walking, talking and breathing slower. Appreciating my life, the people and things in it, while working to not be possessive and be wholly in the present.