Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Losing my fighting spirit

I've been conditioned to think I have to be fighting constantly; I used to take pride in my fighting spirit. My approach in life was to work my ass off for all my goals.

Somehow, towards the end of last year I seem to have mellowed down. From the outside, people can't quite tell. I am still putting up my facade at work, colleagues still consider me aggrssive and ambitious. But deep inside, I could feel myself losing that fighting spirit. Not sure if it's still part of mourning for my aunt's death, or that age is making me more mature, or perhaps yoga has taught me to be more accepting.

I was quite scared of what I seem to have become. Then it gradually sank in that this change will stay. This is what I am transforming into. I haven't lost my fighting spirit as I am still pushing myself to improve my poses and driving myself hard on the yoga mat. I am simply balancing acceptance and my fighting spirit. On and off the yoga mat, I will give my best. Once I have tried my best, I will not beat myself up over the outcome.

I will simply let go.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Hong Kong and Shenzhen

Skyline of Hong Kong from IFC Mall

View of Shenzhen

Shenzhen used to be the poor cousin of Hong Kong.  It is catching up very fast as an up-coming cosmopolitan city.  Hong Kong is vibrant yet too crowded for my liking.  I prefer the luxury of walking without having to elbow my way around.

Breakfast in Macau

This is the delicious blueberry egg tart I had for breakfast at Starbucks Macau. What a way to start the day with creamy tart and Americano.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Zaia, Cirque Du Soleil at Ventian Macau

Cirque du Soleil is a mesmerizing performance. I was sitting at the edge of my seat for the whole performance engrossed. I suppose this is the ultimate art that we seek, one that transports us to a different realm. The music, lighting, special effects, acting all help push the performance to the pennacle. It is in itself an art.

I enjoy being totally present for the whole show, just being there. It is such a wonderful experience. I suppose we don't have to meditate to be in the present. Art can be be similar to meditation if we are totally soaked in the experience. Different people respond to diffent art forms.

I find it important to try out diffent arts to find what appeals to us. Keeping our minds open bring surprises. I wasn't sure my parents would enjoy Cirque du Soliel. To my pleasant surprise, they've enjoyed the performance. It seems to bring out the child like in them. And they were as much engrossed as I was. My parents have enjoyed it as much as my kids.

Shenzhen Travel

Starbucks in Shenzhen

Shenzhen is a bustling city. It used to be known as the place where tourists cross over from Hong Kong in a train to purchse counterfeit bags. Now this city in Guangdong province north of Hong Kong is shedding its image as Hong Kong's poor cousin. It is trying to catch up with its glittery malls. Most major bands are present. Well, may be not all; at least didn't find Chanel and Hermes. But you get the point, Zara, Manggo and every major fast food chain are present. Star bucks has found it's place here.

Had Chinese food for dinner in an upscale restaurant in town. But it was lunch at this neighborhood restaurant that amazes me. I love the concentrated chicken soup cooked with Chinese herb served in a Chinese teapot and drink from the small tea cup. Tasty.

Have to get used to the cold. Well, I've have always been a tropical person.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Dare I call myself a yogini?

The term yogi (male) or yogini (female) is used to describe someone who practices yoga. Wikipedia describes yogi as " practitioner of various forms of spiritual practice".

I am rather cautious in calling myself a yogi or yogini.  After all, I started as a woman who can't touch her toes and is now taking baby-steps towards yoga practice.  I've looked at the blogs of many yogi/yogini and have been impressed with the years of experience they have under their belts or should I say on their mats.  Many have learned under well-know gurus or at least been to Mysore, the Mecca of yoga. Two years of Bikram yoga class does not qualify me to be in the same league as some of those yogi/yogini.

Yoga can be a rather intimidating experience for beginners.  I recalled how confused I was when I first decided to check out a yoga class.  They sound like foreign language to me (even reading through the descriptions of the classes do nothing to help me in understanding the different schools of yoga).

I signed up for Bikram yoga since the studio was most convenient to where I live and ended up liking it.  It probably has to do with the fact that the first few teachers I've had impressed me.  Omar was one of the first teachers I've had and he exudes the yoga spirit.  He was working in the IT industry before he decided to teach yoga full time.  This is not a guy who is a high school drop-out who has no idea what he wants to do in life and ended up as a yoga teacher.  This is a guy who decided to put aside what he had to pursue his dream or calling.  He shares his story of being a vegan, another true reflection of his calling.  This is definitely someone who practices what he preaches.

I suppose you can call yourself yogi/yogini when you truly exudes the yoga spirit, when yoga is not a badge you flaunt on your sleeve but a way how you lead your life. A true yogi/yogini is compassionate.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Live with less

Will having the much coveted Birkin bag make you happy? I'm sure I will be ecstatic after waiting months for the most sought after bag that costs an arm and a leg.  But will the happiness last? Or will I be like a kid who throws a tantrum for a toy and loses interest once he gets to play with the toy?  

The article in NYT titled "But will it make you happy?" argues that wanting things and getting more things will not necessarily make us happy.  We can be happy with less.

I tend to agree. The challenge now is whether I can learn to live with less.  Instead of collecting things, I choose to collect memories that come with experiences like taking my kids traveling. Instead of having a bigger house where I have to spend more time maintaining, I would rather have a smaller place I get to enjoy.

The challenge in Asia is the social pressure of having the biggest house, fanciest car, latest branded bags and the other material standards we are being measured against. Can we simply learn to be a by-stander in the crazy material race? 

* click on the title of this blog to take you to the NYT article