Wednesday, November 23, 2011

aging could be doing me good!

Yoga is like my new religion, it's my way of life... Except that I'm still not sold as a bean and root eating being. Although I've been eating much more fruit and vegies on a daily basis, I still love my meat. Especially a good piece of steak, a steamy bowl of Bak Kut Teh, or serve of crunchy KFC (Korean Fried Chicken). Man... How could I resist?

End of last year, couple of months before I hit 30, I could see a significant change in myself. It's not something my mind called upon. My taste buds for one had changed. I've picked up a lot of "new" foods to my diet. Never had I enjoyed having salad for lunch two weeks in a row, enjoyed being the operative word here. I used to take salad for the sake of loading up my greens, but I couldn't do it more than two days in a row because I found it unappetizing. But these days, I take salad to work by choice, because I enjoy having it. That is freaky for one who ruled out 98% vegies in her first 26 years of life! And I've started exercising on a regular basis - running, walking and Yoga without the intention of losing weight. All I wanted was to be fit, have big healthy lungs and eat as much as I want without piling up the kilos. I started out with near-death panting after 200m but today, my biggest achievement was doing two rounds of the Tan (equivalent to 7.6km)!

Two years ago, my shopping trolley would consist of 50% junk food 30% frozen meal and 20% fresh meat. Today my shopping trolley is filled with 40% fruit and vegies 20% healthy snack like nuts and oats 30% fresh meat and 10% junk food. Look into my basket, sometimes I freak out, sometimes I give myself gratitude and sometimes I wonder... Is this what aging does to you? Your hormone turns you into this person who's attempting to be healthier, who likes eating whatever you never used to like and turns down social event for yoga classes?

Yes, yoga. I've been practising Bikram yoga on-and-off in the last 5-6 years, mainly pre-skiing season to prep myself for the alpine challenge. So I wasn't exactly committed to it. I liked it but not enough for me to go on a regular basis. Mainly because its class times are inconvenient for me. Also, the class can get rather boring - you step into the 39c heated room, repeating the same routine for 90 minutes. I do enjoy Bikram yoga and its benefit, just not enough. Recently I've started practising Power Vinyasa Yoga and I am hooked! The instructor is awesome - interactive and inspirational, creative with her classes so we don't repeat the same routine every class, she changes our practice so you don't know what you're gonna get each time you step into the room. I booked myself in for two classes a week and I would say no to social events if it happens to be my class day. I've never been so committed to something since my Ballet days. This yoga trains a lot more of my upper body strength, which I had none. Until today, 5 weeks and 9 classes down the road, my shoulders are still sore and I'm the mofo who had trouble doing my bra buckle!

Most importantly, I've learnt to meditate using my own breathing. When I'm stressed, I practised the Ujjayi breathing. When I felt like raising my voice at someone, Ujjayi breathing. When I was nervous, Ujjayi breathing. Now the bet is on - how long am I embracing this new way of life?

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