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It’s dangerous to care what others think

I have known from an early age that I always cared what others think of me. I try to be a person that I would think a good person looks like. I share things and give away things because I think a great person would be sharing and caring. I tried to think of others’ feelings before I say or do things, I try not to hurt other people’s feelings. At work, I try to plan my experiments really full on my schedule, so that I will be a hard working employee. And at home, I try to do my best of sharing my responsibility of cooking and chores.

But I find this is repressing the true nature of me. Sometimes I base my decision on how other people would feel and think, rather than whether I really want to do something or not. After starting to teach group fitness classes, I always find myself in the tug of war of whether to go to a class or not, coz sometimes I don’t really want to go, but I feel like I had to go to support and show respect for other instructors. I feel like this can be really energy-draining sometimes, when my intensions are not pure.

And the other day at the meeting for fitness instructors, the head of the department was saying praises to one of a fellow instructor, saying that she is really awesome in that she helps cover a lot of classes when others are caught up in other responsibilities. And I remembered thinking to myself, oh I should start to cover classes for others too! That way I would get praises like that too. But immediately I realized my thinking pattern, and tell myself, no you should not cover classes just because that would make the head happy. I shouldn’t do anything just to make the head think highly of me.

So many times, when I am faced with decision of what to do, I immediately came to the frame of “what would a good person do” instead of “what do I want to do”. It has become a habbit and I had to really be careful of it to not to fall into the old patterns.

My husband on the other hand, doesn’t seem to care so much about what others think. He has his own opinions, not afraid to share his true thoughts and mostly just a really happy person that lives by his own values rather than others’ values.

 

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Food reviews

I will never believe food reviews again….. When someone says oh my god this tastes so so good! Best XXX ever! I think to myself, oh I got to try that too!

This happened when I first tried the Quest bar. I heard people rave about it so much online, and when I tried it, I was like WTF, what is this? How is this good?!!

Then it happened when I saw a vegan youtuber review a vegan yogurt, and it happens to be on sale in a local market here, and I bought it, and when I tried it I was like, OK, so this is what awesome taste to you, it doesn’t even taste like yogurt.

People have different opinions on things, and food is one of them. Some people may love avocado and durian, and others will despise those. It is just the way it is and it just goes to show how easily I am influenced by other people’s opinions.

Also, some are getting paid to say good things about products, so I got to watch out!

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Taking control of my stress

It is not until recently that I realized how stressed I was for the first half of 2017.

I was under stress mainly because of the group fitness classes that I started to teach. I was a newly certified group fitness instructor, there has been a lot of stress about teaching new class format and getting new ideas for what to teach in a class. The stress I was going through was kind of ridiculous when I think about it now. During Christmas time, I was so stressed that I would not be able to teach a perfect class that I was having nightmares.

And just recently I was watching a TED talk, some thing with a title like the things that will happen when you stop giving a fuck. The gist of it was kind simple and many might have heard of this in one way or another. Basically, it is telling us that we have only so much time, energy and money, and we have to spend them on things that we give a fuck about, the things that we really care. And when we are making a decision whether to go to a party that we are not really interested in going, it comes into place. If hanging out with the party people is not your priority, then you should not give your fuck bucks to them. We only have this much fuck bucks in our reserve, so save it for things that you really enjoy. And so another big thing that I learn is that I can gracefully say: sorry, I can’t make it. And that won’t be the end of the world. I will be a worse person if I agreed to go, but then trying to think of ways or excuses to get out of it.

So I made a little list of things that I want to happen this year. For work, I would want to go to a really prestigious meeting, and maybe publish a paper that would be even greater. For relationship, we are TTC, so that would be it. For myself, I want to relax. Just trying to reduce some stress that I have been experiencing lately.

And I think once I got a little list like this, I have some more perspective. For the myself part. I have been journaling everyday before bed. I think it is a great little practice for me. Earlier this year, I was having issues sleeping, when I start thinking about what to do in class, my head just starts racing and I just can’t fall asleep after that. Ever since I started this journaling, I tried not to take my phone into the bedroom, so once I finished my journal, I go to bed. And for the journaling, I would just write down what I did, and whatever that is, let it be. Another thing I learned from talking with a professor is that, try not to judge everything you do, especially meditation. We don’t judge whether our teeth brushing is a good one or not, we just do it. We should take the same attitude towards meditation. Don’t think to yourself “oh I was thinking too much”, the most important thing is that you are doing it. On the same end, I got back to my yoga practice after a few months without doing it. I know that I am getting out of balance and I need some ritual to ground me. Ashtanga yoga started off as a really rigorous regime for me to exercise my body, but after I stopped doing it I started to realize that I need it back in my life. Now I am doing yoga everyday, sometimes following yoga with Adriene’s video, sometimes just simply child’s pose, sometimes some vigorous sun salutations. I just let the practice be, whatever I want to do that day, I will. And I am doing this for myself, so every morning, I think to myself, there is no need to hurry today, so let’s do 20min of yoga, just for me. And after yoga, I just set the timer for 5min, for some meditation.

I think for my stress control I have to stay on top of it. For example, I get a little anxious even 2 days before my class, I then just tell myself, today is not the time to worry about it yet, let’s worry about it later. And I think those self talk really helps to calm me.

Being a group exercise instructor has been a challenge for me, I was thinking of stop doing it after one semester, my husband was cheering me on. And just a few days ago, my supervisor was observing my class, which I felt pretty good about, but then she was criticizing it into pieces. I was like I didn’t ask for this, why you were so mean to me. And again, I was thinking of giving up, just leave all the stress for all. Again, I somehow get back into the groove. This second semester of teaching is getting better than the first one, but still new input, new insight, new motivation. And I will keep going strong.

 

 

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How I should really exercise & thoughts on youtube addiction

I always feel like I should feel the soreness on my muscles to really say that I had a great workout. Sometimes when I go to cycling classes I feel that I should push so hard that i am so out of breath to say that I have done my best.

My mom reminded me that I should take it easy, it is the best if I can recover just hours after a workout, if after a good night’s sleep there is still fatigue, that might be too much. I am a little guilty of going too hard lately, many times it is hard for me to find a good balance. When I go to the gym, I go really hard, I want an awesome workout.

But I think it is time for a little change in my mindset. If my workout is giving me so much fatigue that it starts to negatively affect my work and life, I should lower the intensity.

 

I am a little addicted to Youtube. when I have time or after work I want to relax, I go to youtube, and watch videos that are recommended to me. I can go on and on for hours, sometimes I can find things inspiring, other times it is just a way of entertainment.

Sometimes after watching a video, I would think to myself, oh I could do that too, I should be able to get several k of subscribers right? And I see this girl is a athletic brand athlete, then I was thinking to myself, I want to be their athlete too! that way I have all their clothing for free! Then if I see someone showing their clothing haul, I would think to myself, how do they have that much money to buy so many expensive clothes? I mean the amount that they show in the video is probably the amount I might buy in several years. Then I might see some people’s vlog when they are having vacation in Hawaii, in Japan, in Italy, then think to myself, oh I wish I can go to these places too, just chill and have fun.

unconsciously, I was telling myself, that the people with millions of subcribers are better than me. That all the things that I see is the way life should be. That the way I am living is not as divine as theirs. But it is not true, I am just tricked into thinking that they are better.

It is the same way with body image, I remembered when I was a high school student in a small town, I had no idea that big butt is a good thing for a girl, and nowadays it is almost like the best thing that a girl can be is to be thin and fit and big butt, big boobs and abs. It is problematic to think that we have to be like that to be liked by others. And it is not reasonable that everyone should look like that.

YOU DO YOU.

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Thanksgiving thoughts

As long as I can remember, I always got some anxiety around holiday seasons, especially around Thanksgiving and Christmas.

On the one hand, I want to take the time and travel somewhere, but on the other, I don’t really know where I should go. It is almost like I was pressured into going out on a trip. Like everybody else is going somewhere!

I feel like I probably should buy something during this crazy discount time, but at the same time I think I should be content with what I already have.

And it all kind of dies down when it really comes. Today, Thanksgiving, we are going for a walk in the woods.

Recently there are many things happening, I am getting my group fitness trainer certification, I will start teaching next semester. My father’s temper problems is starting to bother me.

But at the same time, when I think I have JB, he is always there for me, always mellow, and chill, always making jokes that I don’t like. And when I think about he is only ever like this when he is with me, I am the most privileged one in the world! And home is where I am with him, and all this is putting a big big smile on my face.

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Benefits of Ashtanga yoga

I am going to share the differences that I have noticed since I started practicing Ashtanga yoga.

  1. Digestion is better. I noticed a big difference when I started, going to the bathroom never is so easy in the morning, sometimes I didn’t even finish my morning 1L water before I go the the bathroom.
  2. Skin is better. I was reading guruji’s yoga mala, he suggested that any sweat should not be wiped away by towel but be rubbed into the skin, it will make the practitioner stronger. I followed this and felt that my facial skin becomes just gorgeous. Many times after practice when I went to wash my face it is so clean that I almost don’t feel the need to wash. And I don’t use any cleansing product, just some water and that’s it.
  3. Purifying force working inside me. I was having some period issues when I started, and has some dark red discharge for a while, then I started practicing, that discharge is gone and my period is back on track. Also I noticed that I sometimes feel a metallic kind of odor coming from the lung when I am breathing. Not sure what that is, maybe also related to the purifying force and although I don’t understand the asanas enough to say how they are doing the magic, I know that they are designed to cleanse and purify the body. And I can feel that.
  4. Better posture. Before when i was doing heavy lifting in the gym, other times I was just so tired. I don’t even want to hold my body straight. But I always always feel so good after yoga, and I started to have a much better posture, walking with my head high and chest open.
  5. More confidence and acceptance. I don’ t know how this is happening. But I care less what everyone else is doing. I just care about what I am doing and I don’t care that much what others think of me. I learned that what they think of me doesn’t matter but what I think of myself matters the most. And it is their problem what they are thinking of me. I feel like I have better confidence in life generally. I know that I have the ability to do things well, and whichever path I chose I will be fine. And I am even thinking of chasing my dream to work as a fitness trainer. Also, I don’t find weight bothering me much. I just know that I am strong and I am getting fit, and I don’t need a number to identify with. And I will keep getting stronger.

I know that every morning when I am going on the mat, that I will feel so good the rest of the day. And that’s see what this journey of yoga keeps bringing me good stuff.

 

 

 

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journey in yoga

Yesterday I was looking at some intro video to Ashtanga yoga, the instructor in the video was saying for almost all the asanas, “it doesn’t matter if you can reach your toes, if you can’t,┬ájust feel the length in your spine, and elongate.” And it struck me that whether you can get into the deepest possible pose is not the point, the point is you are progressing, and you are practicing.

Recently I has just started the seated sequence of primary series, and I got a little frustrated with the jump back and jump throughs.I know that these are advanced, and people practice years to be able to do that. But still, when you are just stuck in the middle of the pose and couldn’t get your legs back in between your arms, there can be a little frustration in my heart.

I remembered when I first started practicing in August, I was so looking forward to the morning yoga practice, coz I know I will be paying full attention to my body and let all my energy develop and flow in my body which feels great, and I always get a sweat on after the practice. But these past couple of weeks, I didn’t really feel the passion in me even though I still practice every day. It is just lacking the spark I thought.

And I know one of the reasons is that I start to get to new postures and some of them I can’t even modify to do it. But I remember the excitement when I can get a posture about right when at the beginning it was really hard.

Watching advanced practitioners practice let me know what each posture should look like, but yesterday after watching the intro level video, I start to realize some problems in my practice. I was struggling in some postures that my breath are shallow. But I think I should not struggle in the asanas. I should relax into the asanas, not pull or push into it. “Use asanas to get into your body, don’t use your body to get into asanas.” And I realize that the postures should be peaceful and graceful and relaxed. It should not be tense or struggle or short of breath.

“Practice, and all is coming.” As Pattabhi Jois said. I shall trust the process and my body will open to the postures as I go.