November 2015 :Give Thanks and Get Twisty to Detox!

Begin and End each day with an Attitude of Gratitude.
— Amanda Ling

If you have been following my posts and/or attend my classes, you would have realised that I love giving themes to classes according to seasons, moon cycles and occasions. I resonate, and value the cyclical nature of life that happens all around us each day/night whether or not we notice it. I really enjoy planning my classes through researching and experimenting to bring a certain flavour to what I want to share each time. 

Following from my previous Halloween month post about identifying and overcoming fears from within, out from that dark side we come out of into a more light hearted November, a month filled with the spirit of Thanksgiving and sharing.

Although Thanksgiving is not as widely celebrated here in Singapore, it is a good time to reflect on all the experiences and lessons learnt this year thus far. Perhaps you have been caught up with work and life that you have little or no time to have a quiet moment on your own.

Now is a good time to show gratitude to ourselves, people around us and even our experiences before the year comes to a close.
Treat yourself to a nice meal, massage, holiday, cookout with friends/family, read an inspiring book, take up a new hobby( learning to make DIY skincare using essential oils is my new hobby. Pottery class might be next!)


I’d like to take this time to extend a cyber- Thank YOU! to All who are reading this, whom I taught/teaching/learned from, came across and even to those whom I haven’t met-but-could-be-future-collaborators/students/clients/teachers etc..hehe

Thank your for being part of this journey with me, I have learnt just as much from each and every of you the same as you would have learnt something I offered and hopefully be value of.
I am also deeply humbled that my mom made effort in attending some of my classes despite the aches and pains she's having. But that's why yoga is essential and therapeutic right!  I am grateful she is such a sport. It is a very special feeling to be able to be in a position of empowerment as a teacher to guide and assist a parent and family members towards better health and wellbeing! 

I have learnt a simple gratitude practice from my yoga and meditation teacher, Yvette Tee during her meditation workshop I attended some years ago. It is so simple to do but yet a challenging practice to keep up with as it requires the commitment to DO IT ON A DAILY BASIS.

It takes about 21-30 days to form a habit and stick with it. If you can get past a month, chances are, the practice becomes easier and more natural as time goes by.

We as humans tend to overload our minds with To-do lists,worries and issues from the time we wake up till we go to bed. Do you ever wonder what would be the ratio of positive vs negative thoughts we choose to input into our minds and the effects they have on us? Why not flood it with gratitude thoughts and give thanks to what we already Have rather than what we lack or not have enough of? 

What is this simple practice? *Drum roll*......... 3.........2...........1..........

COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS!

When: Every morning when you wake up or before going to bed

How: List 3 things you are grateful for( could be what happened in the day, someone, situation etc...)
You could start by manually writing it down on a piece of paper or journal.
Feel free to list up to 10 or more if you want, the more the blessings, the better! You could also recite them in your mind.

Why: The practice of gratitude is known to help release dopamine in the brain, a hormone that makes us Happy! :)  :) :) 
Being grateful cultivates meaningfulness to our lives, which then contributes to Happiness!

If you want to take this practice further, getting a crystal bracelet of any stone of your choice can be a tool for this practice. Use the bracelet as you would with a Mala. Recite each Gratitude thought when your thumb runs through each stone bead, focus on the thought and feeling before moving on to the next one. You can apply it to the list or just repeat the 3 things till you have come full circle. Wear the bracelet throughout the day as a reminder and to keep those gratitude thoughts close to the heart.:)

Start your gratitude list now and keep it growing throughout life! Have fun with it and don't beat yourself up too much if you can't keep up initially. Keep going back to just 3 a day and start to feel the shifts within yourself.

Let’s Get Twisty!

Festivities, parties, holidays and food and drinks indulgence might be packed through to the end year, means foodies are going to indulge more than usual.(me included)

Moderation is the key paired with healthy nutrition and yoga poses to help with digestion in this season.

Here are 3 Twisty Juicy yoga poses you can incorporate into your practice or on its own.

What they can do:

  • Physiologically- to help with digestion, detox and maintenance in the abdominal muscles and internal organs.
  • Mentally/emotionally-  Twist out and let go of all the situations, emotions and things that do not serve you any longer
  • Spiritually- Allow the process to invite more Love and Joy through cultivating Gratitude to the Divine, Self, People around you, even your pets and environment! ( Don't we just appreciate clean air more these days?)

Revolved Chair Pose :
1. Stand Tall in Tadasana ( Mountain pose) and bend into chair pose
2.Palms together in front of chest , Extend the spine and twist to the right, 
left elbow touching the outsides of the right knee. 
3. Draw knees back to even out hips and put more weight towards the heels.
4. Keep abs engaged and take deep breaths. Focusing on twisting more with each exhale
5. Gentle release back to chair and switch sides.

Half Prayer Twist in Crescent Lunge
1. Start from simple crescent lunge with knees on the floor
2. Inhale, lengthen spine, palms to the chest and exhale twist to the right, left elbow outside of right knee.
3. Take 5-10 breaths
4. Release back to centre and switch sides.

Half Spinal Twist ( Ray of light pose)
1. Start in seated Dandasana, Staff pose with both legs forward.
2. Right foot cross to the outsides of the left knee
3. Right palms rest on the ground and lengthen few inches from the back
4. Cross Left elbow towards outside of right knee, fingers towards ceiling
5. Inhale to lenghten, exhale to twist to the right keeping gaze towards the back.
6. Take 5-10 breaths and switch sides

HOLIDAY FUN IDEA: Gather friends/family to play a game of Twister and incorporate these twisting poses as part of your move! Your game stamina might improve through practicing these twists. Game on?

**Did You know?**

Energetically, twisting poses move energy around the abdominal/hips which aligns and balance the Sacral Chakra (2nd chakra).

It relates to our creative energy,emotions, vitality, desires and dreams.
When we feel lack of energy, feeling unmotivated and down, working on this chakra through twisting poses can help uplift and inspire us, whereas if you are feeling too much energy in the head with frustrations and headaches, these will help to ground you in a balanced way.

Nutrition

The simplest, most effective detox drink:

Warm water with a slice of lemon each morning or throughout the day!

Optional: You want more oomph? Boil a thumbsize ginger water and squeeze some lemon juice and drink up:) Option to add honey if you like .

Drink up after a heavy meal and your stomach will thank you:)
Till next time, Happy November!

Love and Light,

Amanda