Yoga for Good Health & Weight Loss

I thought New Year Countdown wasn’t too long ago.

It’s already April – nearing mid-2015.

And I started doing yoga a month ago. The last 3 weeks, I have been quite regular, at least 5 days a week. It’s just so convenient. After my girls go to bed at 930pm latest, I unroll my yoga mat in my master bedroom, on my laptop and then start the yoga lesson right away. I don’t change into another set of clothes (who the hell sees anyway! as long as they are comfortable and allow me to stretch can liao loh) and I don’t need to wear any shoes (duh). I on the aircon and fan so it’s breezy and cool.

IMG_0090

 

 

Here’s how my yoga area looks like. Each session will last at least 30-40 minutes (usually using 2 videos to make up the 40 minutes) and on energetic days I will do up to an hour. But since I am doing yoga everyday from Sundays to Thursdays (and Fridays if I am at work), I try not to overexert myself – I just do enough to feel some kick and sweat 🙂

The only setback is that there is no full length mirror in my bedroom so I cannot see if I am accurate in my poses, but that is probably okay coz I go for yoga class every Friday at work during lunchtime and the yoga instructor is able to correct me in my poses if I do them wrongly.

A few pics of what I do during yoga sessions at home:

IMG_0091

 

Half the time I am holding my body weight in this position – and I realised that my arms became stronger and leaner after these 3 weeks! Weight-bearing exercises are really good and yoga works the same way, because you bear your weight (unlike in gym where you bear the weight of dumbbells). The good thing about yoga is, you follow whatever the video says and you are kept busy with all the movements, hence you don’t have time to get bored! It’s not like doing dumbbell exercises where you just keep doing reps.

By the way I have been doing Yoga with Adriene using her Youtube Videos. She has many videos to pick and choose from. I am currently doing her 30 Days of Yoga (just finished Day 16 last night) plus her other videos to supplement.

 

IMG_0093

 

And I also get to STRETCH A LOT, which is so so comfortable and soothing after a long day at my desk-bound job and a long evening with the kids. Stretching helps the body to become more flexible and fluid.

 

IMG_0092

 

I also get to do poses which are challenging for me. Like this side plank, I will need to do it this way (as shown in the picture) instead of the standard one with both legs on the side because my arms are so weak. I never knew my arms are this weak until I started doing yoga!

Because I started doing yoga, I realized that my arms and hips are weak. Horribly weak. And my pelvic area is very flexible i.e. I can do this pose where both my feet are intertwined and pointing outwards:

(taken from http://rexburgyoga.com/)

After this one month, I can feel my body getting stronger and not so achy at the end of the day. I haven been weighing myself regularly but I think I look more toned now (a friend who hasn’t seen me for weeks commented that I have lost weight last Sunday ^_^).

And I really must emphasize again, the convenience of doing yoga at home is the main reason why I have been doing it regularly for the past month! And I realise that regular weight-bearing exercise really does show on the body after some time 🙂

#findwhatfeelsgood #yaytogoodhealth

 

Advertisements

Hair-raising Encounter with the Other World (Part 1)

It was probably past midnight and I was lying on my bed, in my favorite sleeping position facing the wall. My bedroom was the room that faced the common corridor – a very common layout in 3-room HDB flats. I was staying at Ang Mo Kio Block 637 then, and I really loved that area as it’s near the food centre, wet market and Yio Chu Kang MRT.

My windows were shut as I was afraid of lizards or beetles suddenly flying/ crawling in. It wasn’t too warm though – all was good and I was drifting off to lalaland.

Suddenly, I heard a loud cough.

It came from right behind me, as though she was standing in the middle of my small bedroom.

Yes I could distinctly recognize the cough as a female cough. I could even estimate the age – it sounded like an old lady’s deep cough.

Problem was, I was the only one in my room.

I froze right there – and at the same time feeling like a slab of butter melting on a hot saucepan. It was hard to describe if time stood still, or if time flew past. The concept of time, when I heard the cough, did not exist.

She went on coughing loudly. Non-stop. It lasted for a while, and then it was silence.

Like how an animal would respond physically to being hunted (eg changing colour lol), every inch of my body became ultra-sensitive, as though to see if ‘she’ would come and touch my back or tickle my soles. My ears tried to hear if ‘she’ would start scratching my mattress.  I had a big urge to turn back but obviously I did not allow myself to. I was not sure if I would see ‘her’, anyway I was not ready to see ‘her’!  It was a classic situation of ‘wanna run but don’t dare to run, just rooted there waiting for dunno what’.

Then, I started to pray in tongues, silently. Haven’t done that for the longest time as I left church a few years ago. I just rambled away in tongues inside my head, praying for ‘her’ to go away, praying for my fear to go away, praying for immediate relief (eg just make me fall asleep right away).

And eventually, I drifted off to sleep.

And now, more than 10 years later, I could still remember that cough.

School Examinations in Singapore – Common Sense Tips for Survival

  • Words in Bold – Tips
  • Words in Italic – Outcome

The heat is officially on. Primary 1 and 2 were easy peasy as my girl’s primary school had hardly any proper examinations – mostly were formative assessments and mini tests. The school principal is also one kind man, he initiated Wednesdays as no-homework days and there are also no homework during school holidays!

My girl is in P3 this year and with the new subject Science introduced, suddenly there were many things to study. Maths problem sums take on a totally new level in Primary 3 and even I was stumped while solving a couple of them. I don’t remember my mum having to coach me in my Maths when I was in Primary 3 so problem sums were definitely easier then in my days (nearly 2 decades ago). Sadly, the education system in Singapore is as such – it goes by merit and you have to put in a lot of hard work. I can’t say that it’s the most ideal way to educate a kid as it really takes up too much of their precious childhood playtime but at the same time I am grateful for the fact that education is compulsory in Singapore and it is made very very affordable and equal to all. I don’t expect my children to be scholars but I think that being adequately educated will make life so much more easier and convenient for them in the future.

So, Term 1 has passed and now it’s Term 2 with the mid-year exams drawing near. In fact, Oral exam starts in 2 weeks *gulps*. So being the kiasu mummy, I started to revise with my girl since maybe 2 weeks ago, starting with her timestable which she is very very weak in. I am grateful to my mum and husband who takes care of the toddler while I coach my P3 girl in her room daily.

With consistency and daily drilling, she now can rattle all the timestables off like a nursery rhyme and that makes things so much easier coz your speed and accuracy of your multiplication and division working fully depends on the timestable! And, from 2 weeks ago, I also started to sit down with her nearly every night to go through her school homework, tuition homework and revise extra material with her. (Previously I only sat down with her when she had problems doing her school homework. If there wasn’t any homework, she is free to play that night).

At first it was tough, she was resistant to so much work suddenly and she kept getting distracted and wanting to go and play instead. I had a hard time, sometimes I had to scold her a bit (she would tear a bit) and talk some sense into her so she can understand where I was coming from. In the end, I had to tell her to JUST DO WHAT I SAY.

That happened 2 weekends ago. Just last weekend, things took on a 180 degree change. She was much more compliant and ready to do her work. After 2 weeks of consistent work, she became more focused and in turn she did her work quite well. I added a rare nice snack (vanilla cream Collon biscuits which I usually will not give her) after her work to reward her and she was so happy.

She also witnessed that when she herself put in hard work, she could see how much she had improved and that really encouraged her a lot.

I also noticed that after daily sessions of doing work together with her, she has become very chatty and would tell me so many happenings when I get home from work. Yesterday once I stepped into the house after work, she immediately went “Mummy, I cannot find the worksheets you asked me to do, maybe Auntie (our weekly cleaner auntie) had thrown it away”.. “Mummy, today my classmate passed me a pinafore and then after that I realised it wasn’t mine”.. All in the midst of my toddler also asking for attention with “Mummy! Aeroplane! See!”.

I find it really nice that she became so chatty – I will always listen eagerly and respond with some more questions. When your kids withdraw from you, then that’s a problem isn’t it?

In my case, my girl has always been a laid back person who does the minimum, and I allowed it coz there weren’t any examinations in P1 and 2. So now that this is considered her first major exam, it’s like I need to start a very very cold engine. From doing nothing, to daily consistent revising and doing work. I really thank God that things are starting to fall into place nicely!

This process is still ongoing for me – I will continue to go through her work daily with her (except Fridays – to give both of us a break, and I can go for my fitness class) and I have also taken 9 afternoons off this month and next month to coach her intensively on her subjects.

I tell my girl all the time – you will have all the time to play during June holidays, it’s time to work hard now!

Thankful

Yesterday I got out of the MRT at Marina Bay and started walking out of the underground control station with the rest of the office workers and I whispered “God, thank you that I am in this rat race.”

It sounds sarcastic I know, but at that moment, I was truly thankful. Thankful that I was not in any other part of the world where it’s not as safe, not as stable, not as scary. Compared to the depressing news we read from all over the world, being stuck in the daily rat race sounds like a luxury.

My current worries consist of:

  • planning my leave and study schedule to coach my elder girl in her Mid-Year Exam next month
  • finding a June holiday program for my elder girl and wondering why are some programs so damn expensive
  • thinking of a way to bring my toddler to church using public transport as she has motion sickness and wondering if she will be able to cope with public transport even as the journey is at least an hour long
  • thinking of a way to finish up my Amore package coz I am too busy with the kids

In other parts of the world, people worry about:

  • when their next meal/ their toddler’s next meal will be
  • will they / their baby be the next one to be shot to death
  • no money to mend the hole in their roof
  • no clothes for their baby/ young children during winter

Don’t my first world problems sound so childish and trivial now? Yes of course I have to take into consideration the natural circumstances that I am being placed in – I am educated, I am in Singapore, I am in such a place where everyone is worrying about more or less the same things.

So can I say that it really depends on where you are born in?  So it sucks, if you are born in the wrong part of the globe? I have no answer to this. I feel sad for the babies who are born in war-torn countries. I feel angry for the adults who still insist to practise unprotected sex and give birth out of no choice in war torn countries. But they are probably not educated – can I be angry at them?

There are many problems which I cannot solve. Many moral questions which I have no answer to. But out of these thoughts, I have decided to stop at 2 children and never have a 3rd one. I will rather give my resources to bless others out there who needs it more.

And, I can only be really thankful for the life I am given.

I think I need more clothes again.

After my Bangkok trip in late December last year (that was just 3 months ago) and buying so many clothes, I made a vow to not buy any more clothes in 2015.

10847871_10205253246229736_1978065064540373408_n

Taken at Platinum mall on our 1st day in Shopping Paradise.

1531545_10205261090865847_3457310517518147769_n

One of the $10 dresses I bought at Pratunam market.

I came back with my loot and slowly tried on the dresses as the days passed by – some are a bit tight, some looked a bit weird, some jus felt plain uncomfortable. And some, I wondered why I bought them in the first place…. LOL.

Most of them are not plain colours also – and now that I am mainly carrying my brown MCM tote as I am bringing my laptop home everyday, I cannot wear printed/ floral tops or dresses. Printed/ checkered/ floral bags cannot match printed/ checkered/ floral tops. This is basic okay.

Another reason is, I have been wearing casual to work everyday coz my new workplace allows that – so I don’t really wear office attire already – I need more tees and cool-looking blouses to match my jeans!

SO… I think I need more clothes lor. And jeans. I have been surviving on that ONE pair of Esprit jeans coz it just fits me so well. My colleagues probably think I don’t wash my clothes.

It’s time to hit the shopping websites again hehehhee. I usually buy from the usual sites eg Dressabelle, The Blush Inc, ChicKissLove and Zalora but since I just need nice basic tops, I shall just get them from Zalora – they have many varieties of basic tops in different nice colours 🙂 And the good thing about Zalora is, they frequently have promotions and sales! Hmm, let’s see – they have the Mastercard Promotions now leh! And it’s on every Thursday until end of 2015 – very smart of them to realise that we ladies get burnt out on Thursdays and need some shopping eh?

Okay, this means I will need to wait a few more days till Thursday!

Socially Responsible Ettiquette when You or Your Child is Sick

I was feeling quite unwell since yesterday as the toddler passed her bug to me these few days.

And how did the toddler get her bug? Coz some parents brought their sick toddlers to music class last Saturday. And as that’s the only ‘outside influence’ the toddler is exposed to, I had to assume that the bug came from there.

I am actually okay with the toddler getting the bug – it’s nothing super serious (thankfully. Maybe if it’s serious, I will not be okay…) and it helps to build her immunity system (as doctors will always say) BUT I had to sacrifice 3-4 days of sleep monitoring her temperature every 1.5 hours through the night. THAT, is quite a lot of inconvenience to me, to my work and to my immunity system.

I have left feedback to the music school and the principal said she would make sure the teacher reminds all parents this Saturday in class.

Sure, the music classes aren’t cheap and no one wants to miss any class. When the parents came last week with severely congested-sounding children, some coughing and some sneezing, I just kept quiet and prayed that my toddler would be strong enough to not catch any of the bacteria. But come on lah –

  1. If your kid is the healthy one,
  2. I bring my sick child to class,
  3. Your kid gets the bug and you spend $100 at the clinic plus 2 days childcare leave
  4. –> you will be happy about it meh?

It’s simple manners – do unto others what you want others to do unto you. If you do not understand this simple principle, then don’t kaopei if I confront you and ask “I’m sorry, is your child feeling okay?”.

Tsk tsk.

It’s the same for childcare – I know that there are parents who will bring their sick children to childcare, claim that they are already recovering i.e. no more fever but still sneezing and coughing away aka bacteria and viruses still spreading through saliva and mucus. I can totally understand that the parent had taken childcare leave to tend to the children in the initial beginning when there was fever and now the parents have to go back to work – it’s a no-choice situation sometimes. Can’t blame anyone really.

That is why I will never send my kids to childcare.

~

Adults who are sick and still go to work are also socially being very irresponsible. I see SO MANY adults coughing and sneezing on the train. You know what I will do? I will immediately cover my nose with my hand. And I do it right in their face.

If you are sick and you are coughing or sneezing uncontrollably and HAVE TO GO TO WORK BECAUSE OTHER PEOPLES’ LIVES OR YOUR OWN LIFE IS AT STAKE IF YOU DON’T GO WORK, put on a mask lah.

Put on a mask – WILL DIE MEH?

The best action will be, please do everyone a favor, see a doctor, get a medical certificate and stay home rest. If you have no more medical leave to take, please take unpaid leave.

IF you have no more medical leave to take, it really means that you are not being responsible to yourself and all the more it serves you right to take unpaid leave to rest, repent and think about what you should do to become more healthy.

No one appreciates getting a bug, especially mothers with young children. I don’t mind getting sick myself, but I mind very much if my kids fall sick.

Just need to get it off my chest.