A Thought on Modern Yoga Teachers

Disclaimer: This is by no means a “hating” post, simply an observation on modern yoga teachers from my few years of experience. I think everyone has a right to teach how they would like to and I impart no ill will to anyone.

This post was inspired by a recent experience waiting for a Yoga class at a local YMCA (not the one I work at). I walked a nice 15-minute sunny walk from home to arrive roughly ten minutes before class opened up. As I was sitting, taking my shoes off and waiting, there were two people having a conversation very close. I assumed that at least one was taking the Yoga class, too, because he had a yoga mat tucked underneath his arm. The woman he was speaking to had a Louis Vuitton bag tucked under her arm. Long story short, as we all shuffled into the Yoga room, I realized that this woman was the instructor. I was baffled. That, among other things, left me distracted the entire class.

You may think I am being judgmental. And you’re probably right. It’s just that these instances bother me as they take away from what I truly believe Yoga to be. Another yoga class I attended a few months back had me counting down the minutes as well. Although the instructor had a fun, bubbly personality, everything was for the wrong reason. She reminded us to get some “cardio” after class as Yoga was not sufficient for that. I left shaking my head, wondering What?! 

I know it’s obvious that Americanized yoga pulls toward getting a workout in nowadays. That instructors of almost every class I attend want to push you into that head or handstand even if you’re new. That yoga teachers are churned out like personal trainers (don’t get me started on that one, either). “Yoga” means balance and there is a lot to that meaning that I don’t believe instructors are teaching to. Of course they teach the physical balance, but it surpasses that by far. I took a course on Yoga in college that was very instrumental to my understanding of it. My professor didn’t have us jumping into handstands right away (much to our naive disappointment), but instead we started with the philosophy of it, to truly understand it. She is the reason I practice meditation every day. I feel like most yoga instructors have lost that foundation of Yoga or at least it isn’t translated in their classes.

My exceedingly high expectations for Yoga instructors could probably be blamed on Jasmine Lieb, who played the role of a second mother from my birth. She is a Yoga Master, studying with the teacher who basically introduced yoga to America. Just read this and this on her to get an idea of how she leads her classes. Without even realizing it, I was surrounded by true-to-the-roots yoga instruction growing up. I distinctly remember playing with my action figures on a yoga mat while Jas taught a class, looking after me.

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Jas (image source)

 

We go to the Lieb’s for almost every holiday and I will see her at least twice while I am home. At these holiday get-togethers (parties sound too trivial), I will see Jas’ yoga students of years and years who have grown into very close friends. This is because Jasmine teaches yoga as a pathway to open up. Your body, your mind, your heart. It’s not about burning those 300 calories, it’s about understanding your body in a welcoming, comfortable way. It’s about rehabilitation, realization, and balance. One time when I was home, I attended one of Jas’ class that my dad attends every Saturday, expecting a laid-back easy class for older folks (since it focuses on rehabilitation). Boy was I wrong. Even though we never got off the mat, it was one of the hardest classes I’ve ever taken. Especially because Jas knows my body well so she wanted me to realize how my hips were so very off which affected my entire alignment. I felt great afterwards, but it was extremely difficult to try to balance and align my body.

This may have turned into an “I love Jas post” but I’m not surprised. Since a young age, Jas has taught me the meaning of humility, kindness, and unconditional love. She has been a truly positive role model throughout my development. I don’t think I’ve truly realized how amazing Jas is as an instructor until now (I’ve always been lucky enough to be spoiled by her wonderful personality, though). And that comes from experiencing other instructors who I just don’t find the true yogic spirit in.  Maybe it’s because of the attendants who expect a certain thing, who knows. All I know is that Jas lives the principles of Yoga. She doesn’t just show up to teach a class and then switch off into a fashionista or a hard-ass egocentric. And I certainly don’t mean to say that there are no true-to-Yoga teachers left, in fact I recently attended a wonderful class that helped me completely focus on the inner me. It’s just that the majority of instructors nowadays don’t quite hit what I’m looking for. The true meaning of yoga–balance. 

BONUS PUPPY PIC

Noke could use some understanding of yogic principles when it comes to food

Noke could use some understanding of yogic principles when it comes to food

The Easiest Shave…Anywhere

As Hungry and Fit, we are always on the go (yes I include Hungry in this because he actually uses this razor as a 6 foot 210 pound man). Whether it’s to the gym, to one of our favorite dining spots, to a local trail, or to another country! We are on the move. With that movin’ and groovin’, we certainly need products that can keep up with us. Enter Venus Snap mini razor.

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The pictures can’t quite describe how mini  it is. I was shocked. It is the smallest razor I’ve ever had. And that is a good thing. It comes in this neat little container, similar to the size of a pill case. I love it because it’s so easy to transport and bring anywhere I need. I’ve been keeping it in my bag (which comes with me everywhere) because you never know when you might need it. We all know those moments when you’re the one with the prickly legs. Awkward. So without me even realizing it, it’s become my perfect handy accessory I can sneak anywhere. The other night at the gym after a good back workout, I decided to loosen up and let my mind clear with a good swim. Good thing I had put my Venus Snap in my bag! I easily took care of the problem before I jumped in the pool. So handy. I love things that are actually useful. 

Slip it out of your bag!

Slip it out of your bag!

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Gettin dat calf action at the gym!

So now you know how useful it is, let’s learn more about the actual product. It is the Venus Embrace razor, first and foremost. You may be wary about how small it is, but the grip is easy to handle. It comes with that pivoting head that Venus makes which makes it actually hard to cut yourself.  And I know I already mentioned how awesome the cute compact carrying case is, but seriously, you can take it with you anywhere! I wish I had this on our New Zealand trip because from almost sleeping in our car to finding rooms in hostels, this is something you want small and compact.

See how little!

See how little!

And voila

And voila

So next time you’re at Target, pick up one of these bad boys. I promise it’s the perfect must-have accessory to your everyday life. Gym? Yes. Beach? Duh. Hiking? Easy and done. List can go on and on. That’s why the Venus Snap is perfect for us because you know we are always active and on the go. So just do yourself a favor and join the awesome club so you’re not the porcupine of the group. Use the Venus Snap to stay hungry and fit!

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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Workout Like a Boss #teamviewsport

If you don’t enjoy this post, then you need to rethink life. Just kidding, but who doesn’t enjoy Hungry and I wearing ridiculous stuff? Yeah that’s happening. We represent ViewSPORT, which has some seriously awesome gear. And the best part is that it’s at a good price. We had a blast wearing their gear for workouts. You get plenty of compliments and it’s comfy

We recently both bought a top and a pair of leggingsYes, Chris wore a pair of women’s leggings, and looked like a BOSS. We agreed that both of our leggings were super comfy to workout in, especially important on leg day! They fit us up well and I was never checking to make sure I was all covered up because it simply felt right. Hungry said that they worked really well for him, he was surprised. Mine were just awesome. Chris got the leopard print leggings and I got the Star Wars leggings (duh)–yes they are epic.

chris leggings

Rockin dem leggings

Rockin dem leggings

These are so cool, I can't handle it

These are so cool, I can’t handle it

The tops are super awesome as well and especially unique from other companies. Unlike other sports or athletic apparel, ViewSPORT makes sweat-activated apparel. Yup, I’m serious. So sweaty messes like me can actually be proud of our drench marks that now activate the hidden words “I am a beast.” I’m not familiar with any other company that does this so I’m loving it. Definitely going to order some more gear. And I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks Hungry looks great in his new workout shirt.

Hittin dem calves

As you can see on his shirt, it says “I AM” and then it will activate words below with sweat!

Boom

Boom

It’s important to have separate workout clothes so you don’t mess up your normal clothes. And I know some people can’t afford the really expensive athletic gear. Well guess what, this apparel is reasonable. It’s completely worth the money you put down for it and it will not break the bank. Well, maybe if you order ten pairs of leggings, but I won’t judge you. 

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happy for warm weather

happy for warm weather

And what’s the best part? We can get you 10% off your order! When you go into order either your Men’s apparel, Women’s apparel, or leggings, just type “hungryandfit” into the “coupon code” at checkout. We can’t wait to do another order ASAP, ViewSPORT is constantly coming out with awesome gear. Get ViewSPORT apparel to stay hungry and fit!

^.^

^.^

BONUS KITTY PIC

meow

meow i’m drunk

Our Weekend in Pictures

Friday lunch at Oskar Blues...

Friday lunch at Oskar Blues…

Friday dinner at Oskar Blues....

Friday dinner at Oskar Blues….

Chris' plate

Chris’ plate

Lots of drinks!

Lots of drinks!

Huge brownie sundae

Huge brownie sundae

Morning walk

Morning walk

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Green Smoothie Breakfast

Green Smoothie Breakfast

Our favorite local donut shop (really healthy here)

Our favorite local donut shop (really healthy here)

Video games with Nymeria of course

Video games with Nymeria of course

Sunday morning banana pancakes

Sunday morning banana pancakes

Frisbee golf! beautiful day

Frisbee golf! beautiful day

happy for warm weather

happy for warm weather

cutie girl

cutie girl

Silk Helps us Stay Hungry and Fit!

Every single day we are growing. Growing into the people we want to be, growing into an ideal, or simply just growing. Sometimes people grow in an opposite direction of what they intended. And what’s relevant to me in this story is fitness. Some people grow into bodies that don’t feel like theirs. They are unhealthy, sluggish, and ultimately unhappy. This is quite the opposite of blooming into the person you want to be. It’s not always easy to bloom by yourself, so it’s nice to have tools and products that help you do so.

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People are shocked when they hear that Hungry and I can get into slumps, especially around fitness and eating. People see us as fit people. And we are…but it’s hard to stay on track 24/7. I’ve always been into athletics and fitness, but it hasn’t always been my central passion. In the first two years of college, you’re surrounded by food you usually aren’t. My family meals at home usually consisted of a protein, a carb, and lots of greens. We were always healthy. But at the college cafeteria, you could get pizza, french fries, french toast sticks, and the list goes on. So of course, (as my roommate and I cringe at this memory), we shovel all that stuff down. Now, of course, it wasn’t like that every day, and we did still eat relatively healthy and workout, but it was getting to me. Not necessarily just in weight or anything, but also the way I felt. I felt sluggish and blah and it certainly didn’t help my mood.

At the beginning of junior year in college, I decided to go vegetarian (or weird-a-tarian, I’ll only eat hunted or wild caught meat/fish) and take back my fitness. Sure, in the first two years I still did workouts and intramural sports, but I never dedicated enough time to it. It was time to take my life back to a healthy place and bloom! It’s funny because I specifically remember starting to use Silk milk in my morning cold and hot cereal. I would always go for the “blue” (as we would call it, it’s actually called Silk Vanilla Soymilk) Silk soymilk and it would leave me feeling good and refreshed. It wasn’t too thick so I didn’t feel tied down. From that point on, I have been in control of my fitness, my body, and my mind (because a healthy body is important for a healthy mind). Quite simply, Silk has helped me bloom into my role of “Fit.”

Mixing Silk Vanilla Unsweetened Almondmilk is way too delicious with cereal

Mixing Silk Vanilla Unsweetened Almondmilk is way too delicious with cereal

Continually working on my pull-ups

Continually working on my pull-ups

Nowadays, I like to stick to the Silk Unsweetened Almondmilk. I love the taste of it, the amount of calories, grams of sugar, and the silky lightness to it. I used to drink regular dairy milk, but now there is alwaysSilk Almondmilk in our fridge because that’s my go-to. Don’t tell Hungry, but sometimes I will drink it out of the carton (naughty girl! I can hear my mum saying)! It has become a staple in my recipes and in my life and I appreciate it every day I can glug down a glass or two without any guilt. Look below for some killer recipes that use Silk Unsweetened Vanilla Almondmilk.

Recipes using Silk Unsweetened Almondmilk

Those recipes are delicious and with using that Silk Unsweetened Vanilla Almondmilk, they are nutritious too. Phew, I love not having to worry about that. Using Silk products like this really helps me bloom into the person I am today. I can still eat and drink what I want while keeping a Spartan-like physique (just kidding, but that’s my eventual goal). I am thankful Silk has played a positive role in my life. Now it’s YOUR turn.

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Sign-up for Silk’s newsletter and you can get a $0.75 coupon on your next Silk half-gallon product. On registering, you have monthly chances of winning a year’s supply of Silk milk, Silk sweepstakes and promotions, and more. Just sign up here. Share your thoughts below! And share your Silk story with us! Use Silk to help you bloom into a hungry and fit beast!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Silk. The opinions and text are all mine. Comments submitted may be displayed on other websites owned by the sponsoring brand.

Giveaway: Gold-Plated Bassbuds

If you want some bling that’s actually useful, look no further. Yes, we are giving away 24-carot gold Bassbuds. If you want to be styling with some earbuds in, this is your giveaway! These are a limited edition that have not been released yet. Hungry and I are always searching for more pairs of headphones that suit our mobility but provide quality sound.

BassbudsGoldPlatedEdition

If those characteristics are important to you, you’re in luck! Bassbuds has provided you all with a giveaway for these simply awesome earbuds. If these don’t make you a boss, I’m not sure what will. All you have to do is enter in the raffle below and you could win these 24-carot gold Bassbud earbuds! This giveaways is running for the next 31 days, so don’t miss out! The winner will be chosen at random through rafflecopter.

And as always…stay hungry and fit!

HabitRPG: A Quest for Productivity

This is for you gamers out there or people who are looking for a new way to encourage productivity. I happen to be both. This is not necessarily just an app, it is so much more! Similar to CARROTit makes productivity more into a game, which is brilliant (for me, at least). You level up in CARROT, but HabitRPG takes it to a whole different level.

It originated as just a website, but it seems more like a program or an online gameYou make an account with HabitRPG and make your “avatar” aka your character or “you.” We’re talking about old-school pixelated graphics. It has the old-time feel to it, I like it. After all, this is a free service (there’s a subscribe option to support the developers), and these people are putting their own time into it. Once you are all set up with your Level 1 character, you are guided through a little tutorial. This just explains the basic functions and whatnot for you to be able to “play.”

How do you level up? Well, by being productive, of course! Let’s move on to the most important aspect of the program: the tasks. This where the productivity and efficiency come in, alongside the fun and questing. In order to gain levels, to gain gold, or cool items, you have to get stuff done! There are three types of productivity: habits, dailies, and to-dos.

habitrpg tasks

I’m the character on the left, my brother, who is in my party is shown on the right

Habits are every day things, as you would expect habits to be. These are things you can tick off multiple times a day. You might have “drink water” or “eat junk food” (which would drain your hitpoints). Dailies are a once-a-day tick-off like “exercise” or “take vitamins.” And finally, to-dos is obviously a to-do list. Each can have different difficulties which gains you more or less experience, gold, and items.

Those of you familiar with MMORPGs know about dailies. In this program, if you don’t complete all your “dailies” (things you should be doing every day OR every certain day that you set), then you lose hitpoints in your character. Nobody likes losing health! It really motivates me and drives me to do all those daily tasks and set the bar higher and higher. I love it! And as you level up, more and more becomes available to you like pets, mounts, and other items like equipment to give you buffs. Just like a real RPG!

Equipment

Equipment

There’s also a big “Social” aspect to the game. You can join several guilds (some that I am in include “Health Nuts,” “Mastering Buddha,” and “Pet Owners”), create challenges (that other people can join and get the tasks and dailies specific to that challenge such as learning languages, meditating, and so forth), and start your own party (aka a group). Right now I’m in a party with my brother, who is the one who introduced me to this awesome program.

Finally there are Rewards (which you see on the “Tasks” page) which are basically things you “purchase” with the gold that you have earned. Rewards can range from whatever you want. There are some pre-set ones like equipment you can buy and such like shield, sword, etc. Then there are also ones you create. So on mine, you can see “1 hr video games,” “buy something for yourself,” “take a bath” and so forth. Make the price sensible so that it makes sense with the reward you are receiving. So if I really want to play those video games, I better get some stuff done!

I would love for more of you to join us! It’s also a great support network if not a fun and motivating way of being productive. My user is “hungryandfit” and I encourage you to join HabitRPG! I give it a huge thumbs up so far, it’s made me floss every day and we know that’s a win! And as always…stay hungry and fit!

Puppies: Advocates for a Meditative Lifestyle

They might not know it, but puppies are definitely advocates for a meditative and mindful lifestyle! I’m being reminded of this more and more as we raise Noke. I never would’ve thought of it at first, but she’s slowly having an effect on me! Don’t believe me? Read on to see how puppies are such strong advocates of a mindful lifestyle:

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1. They help you to be more understanding. To raise a good puppy, you need to be able to get in its head and understand why it does the things it does. It isn’t ripping up your shoes because it wants to be evil. You have to step off your pedestal and kneel down to their level of understanding. They’re just a baby and they need all the love and understanding you can give.

2. Their main emotion is love. Wouldn’t it be nice if humans were like this? Dogs and puppies love love love. We are their entire life. That positive energy is contagious. It opens up your mind and your life. Let it in!

3. They get you up and at ’em. Instead of pressing snooze five times and then racing to get ready for work, you are up early with the puppy. I’ve enjoyed many a golden sunset since having Noke and I enjoy that peace walking around a quiet neighborhood. Although I already was a proponent of morning walks, I wouldn’t always make it. But now, I am out with the sunrise every morning, enjoying the quiet side of life.

4. They discourage technology. I’m not sure of any puppy who encourages you to use your cell phone. Their cute faces and insatiable desire for attention discourages your constant use of electronics. When you were spending an hour on the computer, you are now playing ball with your pup or teaching her how to lie down. And especially during walks, I find it important to keep your phone in your pocket (even if you’re tracking the walk), and to be alert. This just allows you to disconnect and breathe.

5. They encourage you to be with nature. This connects to #4. Even if you live in an urban environment, that walk can really help with a mindful lifestyle. Instead of plugged into a million things at once, you are simply walking in your environment and taking it all in. It’s a wonderful way to reflect and just be with your surroundings. It’s a beautiful feeling.

6. They lead you to reflect upon yourself. Do you curse yourself the moment after you’ve lost your temper with your puppy? And those sad puppy eyes don’t help either. Their eyes, drawn with a curiosity and wonder, can really help open up your reflection. Maybe you realize you didn’t have that steller patience you thought you did. Or perhaps you don’t have that strict hold on your temper. It could even lead to reflections about what you really want in life. These puppies are powerful, I’m telling you! And they don’t even try.

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Do you believe me now?! Getting a puppy is a great introduction to a mindful and meditative lifestyle if you haven’t already begun that path. Although Noke is a handful, she makes me appreciative each day. Get a puppy to stay hungry and fit!

BONUS KITTY PIC

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Our Weekend in Pictures

Dressed up for once to go out to Dagabi Cucina!

Dressed up for once to go out to Dagabi Cucina!

Pharrell's "Happy" is what goes on in my head

Pharrell’s “Happy” is what goes on in my head

Oh so good. We were STUFFED

Oh so good. We were STUFFED

Nymeria passed out

Nymeria passed out

Video game Saturday

Video game Saturday

Getting Noke some new stuff

Getting Noke some new stuff

Korea House Saturday night...

Korea House Saturday night…

Happy girl

Happy girl

And of course…the Oscars where Ellen ROCKED IT (Source)

Just because it’s fun to share. Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and are rocking the March Madness for Health! Enjoy your weekends to stay hungry and fit!

March Madness for Health

Lately with Trader Joe’s opening and all, I have been pounding down delicious but not-so-healthy stuff. I’ve still been doing my workouts and eating mostly well, but I haven’t been focused. It’s time to get back into the groove. So it’s time to put aside the multiple slices of banana cake, overdose of “Gone Bananas,” and gorging of licorice. It’s time for moderation. I’m not saying I’m doing away with all sweets or junk (after all I’m not in contest prep), we still have to have our Hangry & Fat (obvious alter egos) moments, but it will be limited. Roughly a 90/10 type of deal. I’m going to lay it out nice and clean for myself and for you if you should join me.

The dangerous stuff...

The dangerous stuff…

Operation Be Healthy, Feel Great

Overview: To make you feel great, you need to treat your body well. This means focusing on proper nutrition first. Following a rough 90/10 ratio of healthy to indulgence, moderation through limiting treats and “cheat” meals. Follow a workout split and try to follow as closely as possible. Rest days should be few, but workouts will be varied. Clean eating is the main focus

Rule #1: 3 cheat meals per week. Whether that be a piece of cake, a pizza dinner, or going crazy with nachos. Count each one, but it can be WHATEVER you want. :)

Rule #2: Follow a workout split and stick to it. Make workouts a priority. Schedule them and plan them for the entire week. 1 rest day per week allowed. 

Workout Split (not including cardio):

  • Legs (to support my 2014 goal of squatting 200lbs)
  • Back (to support my 2014 goal of 8 pull-ups in a row)
  • Arms + Shoulders
  • Core
  • Circuit (always fun to try new circuits out there and switch it up)
  • Yoga (because damn, my hamstrings are tight)
  • Chest (to support my 2014 goal of benching 100lbs)
I am happy with my shoulder progress though

I am happy with my shoulder progress though

Rule #3: Each strength workout should be matched with a cardio workout at least 5 times per week. Not including multiple walks with the pup

Rule #4: Meal plan at least the night before. I know Chris and I well enough that I’m not going to commit myself to Sunday meal planning (though I should). We are too spontaneous for that. Instead, I will write down a lunch and dinner plan each night so we don’t end up ordering pizza when I’ve spent all my cheat meals. Meals should look like a lot of veggies, clean carbs, and protein (including tuna, tofu, and protein drinks).

Rule #5: You are allowed dark chocolate, but girl, take it easy. For myself, I will allow myself a square of dark chocolate after one meal per day. That should satisfy my sweet-craving and allow some willpower to stop myself from eating 12 Gone Bananas at once.

Chris and I split a pint of Glacier ice cream a few nights ago

Chris and I split a pint of Glacier ice cream a few nights ago

Rule #6: Get rid of the crap now. This means that today I am bringing in the stuff I know that will tempt me (again, I am not restricting myself completely, just want to stop any binge or gorging on stuff) to work! That Trader Joe’s strawberry licorice or the banana cake I baked will be out of the apartment and into some grateful mouths. Sounds like a nice switch.

Rule #7: Meditate every day. Because meditating makes me a happier, healthier person. Simply that.

Pharrell's "Happy" is what goes on in my head

Pharrell’s “Happy” is what goes on in my head

Rule #8Record everything. I personally use MyFitnessPal (add me: nanathetiger), but I’m open to any kind of recording. Recording what you eat and exercise really helps you see what you’re doing with your body and also gives motivation. Record even the bad stuff!

I think that’s good for now. This will last for the entirety of March and I will see how I feel at that point. It may be eight “rules” but really they are just guidelines on paper to help me remember my goals and how I want to accomplish feeling great every day. It’s not about the way I see myself in the mirror, it’s how I feel sitting in this chair, writing this post. I feel blah, so I want to clean up my habits. Pure and simple. It’s not that we are super unhealthy–we are close to the opposite. But I want to step it up a notch.  I’m ready to sweat hard with clean nutrients in my body.  Who’s with me? Join me for #marchmadnessforhealth. Yes I just made that hash tag up. Let’s do it up!

  • Question of the Day: What makes you want to get healthier?

PS- We recently learned that we got accepted as a FitFluential Ambassador. We are THRILLED about the news. More information coming your way.

FitFluential Is Fitness Found

 

BONUS KITTY PIC

Sleepy Sajah

Sleepy Sajah