The other day, I attended the 4-year anniversary pooja of this yoga studio I practiced at. Coincidently, it’s also my 4thyear practicing yoga. Over the years, I came to realized that I strongly cherish my yoga community. My yoga teachings are mainly based on my daily practices, and I receive tremendous support from this yoga community of mine.
That One Friend
It all started with my one friend who pulled me into practicing yoga in the morning before work. The moment I met this friend at a beer garden in Roppongi, I knew she and I had something in common. I wasn’t a morning person and it was extremely difficult for me to get into the habit of going to my morning yoga practice, but this friend always kept me on my toes. We would practice yoga in the morning before work. After work, we would reunite again to go to our favorite Thai restaurant. On the weekends, we would practice yoga together, followed by our favorite smoothie stand visits. It was a constant repetition of this, but this repetition was a very memorable and valuable time.
From Routine and Beyond
As our individual practice continued, our community also grew deeper and stronger. We would always meet at the same time, at the same place, with the same people. That atmosphere was extremely peaceful and helped us concentrate. I practiced my inversions over and over and over again with the encouragement of my peers and teachers. I was having the time of my life!
As I expanded my studies abroad, I felt like a child exploring the real world. The more I had exposure outside, the more gratitude I had for my teachers and community back home. NYC, Singapore, and India have all been inspirational. I wouldn’t have been there growing my understandings if I hadn’t had my experience back home, with my teachers, with my go-to place, and with my peers.
At Nami Yoga Studio
It’s been two years since I’ve joined the Nami yoga studio community, and I love it!
I was speaking to one of our students the other day. This student has been coming to our studio for 1.5 years now. He said he likes our atmosphere and the people. I couldn’t be happier to hear that. “See you next week at 8:30,” he said to his yoga buddy as he left the studio. The sense of community is definitely growing here!
Many of our fellow students are persistently practicing yoga while balancing their work and family life. That attitude and energy is remarkably inspiring.
My role as a teacher is to help everyone have a good relationship with yoga. I enjoy every moment, including out chai sessions at the end of class and our little chats we have.
The other day, I conducted a four-day juice cleanse. The purpose of the cleanse was not to lose weight, but to rest my digestive system. I tried out one of my favorite juice bar, Trueberry’s cold pressed juice.
We replace our meals with 5 bottles of cold pressed juice a day. (We can drink water, warm water and herb tea throughout this cleanse.)
I felt drowsy throughout the 4 days. Depending on the person, some may experience headaches, lightheadedness and dizziness, but for me it was sleepiness. Nevertheless, my body felt extremely light and didn’t have any trouble with my yoga practice.
During the cleanse, I didn’t have to worry about what to eat next, my groceries, cooking time, eating time or cleaning time. I felt that I had a lot of time on hand. Generally, we spend a lot of our day thinking about our meals and activities around it.
From day 5, I started my recovery meal.
We have to keep in mind that recovery meal period should last as long as your cleanse days.
We slowly start off with porridge or plain miso soup. I had the most difficult time during this stage. At the end of my recovery meal phase, I found myself being very picky about my food. I was being sensitive about the things I consumed.
Things I want to keep in mind about my future cleanse!
1. It’s important to set up your schedule before and after your cleanse.
As mentioned above, recovery meal is part of your cleanse so it’s important to keep in mind the recovery days as well. Before you start your cleanse, it’ll be better to reduce the volume of your meals. In my case, I avoided eating out and had a vegetarian based diet.
2. Keep your options open.
Since it was my first time, I added in Almond Milk (not necessarily juice) as one of my juice choice. Almond Milk gives a sense of fullness, which was a good choice on the first day.
3. Allow some leeway in your schedule.
It’s possible to conduct the cleanse whether it be your days off or not. However, we have to keep in mind that every movement becomes very slow throughout this time. For example, I would get on the escalator at the train stations instead of walking up the stairs, or my walking pace would be very slow. It’ll be better to schedule your appointments with plenty of time before and after.
Everything written here are my own thoughts through my personal experiences.
We are made up of what we eat.
“Eat not for your tongue, but for your mind and body.”
Notice what makes up your body, how your body consumes energy, and how we spend our time eating.
Just like we choose our clothes, we also have the choice of food we consume.
With this in mind, I wish for your lovely dietary habit.
I’m going to share tips on maintaining high motivation and concentration throughout your yoga practice.
During practice, it’s not unusual for your mind to wonder off thinking of what you were doing, or what you’ll be doing.
“What should I do after class?”
“I’ll go to that cafe and read a book.”
“I need to go grocery shopping.”
“What was in my fridge?”
A bunch of daily distractions pop up in your mind.
If you made a choice to come to the yoga practice that day, might as well make the most out of it. In my case, I try to focus on three simple points.
Remind yourself why you came to class today. Asanas are physical practice. Even if other thoughts cross your mind, it’s important to reiterate that you’re here to practice yoga today. It sounds very simple, but this repetition is the key.
By counting your breath at your own pace, it helps to quiet the mind. Count “1, 2, 3, 4…” for every inhale and every exhale.
Even if we intend not to see, if that item comes into our vision, we have a tendency to start thinking about it. For example, if I have a watch on I keep looking at it even though time is not a matter of concern. Then, it bothers me for the rest of practice.
What you need in class is very simple. Let’s keep it minimal. By doing this, it’ll free you from outside distractions and allow you to concentrate.
“It’s very important to set goals in the correct place.”
These were the first words written in my yoga teacher training textbook. The level of practice differs amongst everyone so a goal setting for yourself is necessary. We need to set a long-term goal and the steps of reaching there. Most importantly, what will keep your motivation high as you aim to achieve that goal?
The other day at Lululemon, we had a goal setting workshop. At the workshop, they introduced a 7-step process which is as follows:
The Goal Cycle
The above is just one example. I hope it works as a motivation to continue your practice.
I’ve simplified the steps above, but if you want to discuss it more in detail, please come speak to me (Yumi).
I hope that your peaceful and meaningful practice “on the mat” leads to a peaceful and happy “off the mat” life.
If there’s anything you want to discuss or questions or requests for class, please don’t hesitate to share with me. I hope to see you all on the mat soon!