I used to listen to EDM in the morning to get myself pumped for the gym. Lately, not so much. Perhaps I’ve grown out of it? …or maybe it’s because I’ve been doing more yoga. And less clubbing. Ahh, that explains it.
Every week or so, I’d scour the internet in search of new music for my yoga and/or gym playlist. A few of my favorite sites to look are YouTube, SoundCloud, 8tracks or IndieShuffle. I stumbled upon this great yoga mix which I have been listening to a lot lately – whether it’s at the gym, yoga studio or simply while working at my desk.
The mix is designed to fit the flow of a yoga practice, and works well for both personal practice, as well as for teachers looking for background music for their classes.The vibe is dreamy and haunting with a gentle intensity midway to support the core of the hour long practice.
It ends with SOLON’s recent release “Datta” – a track specifically written for savasana. The mix captures the current sound of the Future Sound of Yoga events and the artists featured include: James Blake, Caribou, Bonobo, Four Tet, Aphex Twin, Trentemoller and Massive Attack.
There are no sitars, tablas or wind chime sounds! The mix is made up of electronica from the likes of Caribou, James Blake, Aphex Twin, Trentemoller, Bonobo, and Massive Attack… It has already had been streamed over 6,500 times since its launch in Australia. DOWNLOAD NOW
After a month of living out of a suitcase and almost two without internet (sorry for the long hiatus!), I’ve officially relocated again. Charles and I have made MANILA our new home…
The adventure begins!
Moving to a new city can come with as many obstacles as getting into shape. For instance, I didn’t expect it would take us months to find an apartment we both love and fits our budget. We even began apartment-hunting last November! After several delays with visa application and a ton of other paperwork, we finally found ourselves a cozy apartment overlooking the beautiful Manila Golf Course and Makati skyline. WIN!
In fitness terms, I would say; Don’t expect immediate results and keep sweating to figure out what works best for your body. You can’t rush something you want to last a long time, right?
Welcome new challenges.
One of the things I secretly love to do in the kitchen is pretending I’m a famous chef. Living out of a suitcase made it hard to fix a home-cooked meal so I was compelled to eat out. Everyday. For about a month. My not-so healthy eating habits affected my well-being to some extent. And I’ll be completely honest; for a while, I lost the motivation to hit the gym. I missed being a chef…
A photo posted by Fay Hokulani ⭐ (@fayhokulani) on
Keep calm and plan ahead.
For a while, I was caught up in a limbo during the transition period between moving from Singapore to Manila. Being in a completely new surrounding, away from friends and family brings new uncertainties.
I’ve had moments of excitement, happiness, stress, depression and more.
Not all of those feelings are fun, let me tell you.
Spending time looking inward, either while meditating or working out, I’ve been able to identify the root of those feelings, which have led me to understand what I was afraid of so that I could then reframe that perception into opportunity.
I’ve learned that when you’re in the unknown, you don’t know what might come … and so you have to flow with this change. One way to get the courage to begin, from which everything else flows, is to plan and prepare thoroughly in advance. Getting caught up in the things I can’t control in my life only takes away my energy to capitalize on all of the moments I can control.
When I’m working out in the gym, I’m constantly trying to keep up with myself. I listen to loud, fast-paced music to tune out from the world and get my head in the zone. My heart is racing and I’m not thinking about anything else other than counting down the repetitions. (Unless of course, when I’m on the treadmill there’s no stopping the endless train of thoughts that run in my head. No pun intended. “What shall I have for lunch? How did my favorite sock get lost in the dryer? Is that thing alive? Goddamn it, I hate running. RUNNNN!”
On the yoga mat, working out is a completely different experience.
Like many people, I was introduced to yoga as a way to stay in shape and improve my flexibility. Along the way, I realized that yoga is not just a form of exercise. Yoga works on so many levels – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. The first and perhaps most vital thing that yoga teaches is body awareness.
As I became more mindful of my feelings and reactions in my yoga practice during the teacher training, I began to notice that where I was in my practice was a reflection of where I was with myself at the moment.
On good days when I felt mostly positive, finding focus and balance came as easily as bringing my palms together in namaste. I would pull off any yoga asana (posture) with ease. I’d feel powerful and strong while especially in a Warrior 2 pose. These are the days when I’d walk out of class feeling like I could conquer the world.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, any negative thoughts, doubts or judgment would create resistance and tension in my body. When something weighs me down mentally, I felt the weight physically too. Yoga takes me to those places deep inside myself where my true emotions are hidden.
For me, the process of accepting my body was the perfect lesson in learning to deal with my ego in my practice. Finding my strengths and embracing my weaknesses is at the core of my ahimsa (non-violence) practice towards myself.
When I first learned how to do a headstand, I practiced a lot at home in front of the wall. Eventually, I challenged myself to move away from the safety of my ‘crutch’. For a brief moment I had no idea how to stop myself from falling — so I did. I let myself fall and landed on my back, but good thing I remembered a simple safety trick: tuck the chin in to chest to make sure the neck and spine are always protected.
As soon as I picked myself up, I was ready to do it all over again. I didn’t think I’d overcome my fear of falling that quickly because I was dependent on the wall for months! I was excited about reaching my goal to finally pull off a perfect headstand with confidence, but I was also aware and respectful of my body’s physical limitations.
I took the pressure off by setting a rule to treat my body gently. I learned not to let my ego dictate how deep I would go into a pose or how far I’d push my body. I’m not counting weights or repetitions; I’m not competing; I’m listening to my body.
Open your heart
I do enjoy taking the time to practice by myself at home as it allows me to move at my own pace and understand my body better. Sometimes I think I can get a little too comfortable in my alone-time that I forget how enjoyable it is to practice yoga with friends!
On the first day of teacher training, we were asked to make a short introduction about ourselves and how our hearts found their way to yoga. I sensed that a few of us were quite shy and reserved; I felt the same way about myself in front a big group of strangers. I guess I was a little nervous about meeting so many new people. Little did I know over the next few months how much I would come to appreciate them and how quickly I would learn to let go of my own self-judgment and fears.
A few weeks into the training, our class of 30 students was split into smaller groups so we could take turns to teach and learn directly from each other. Sharing enormous passion for yoga created very strong bonds in my yoga circle.
The sense of community created strong friendships that have been rare in my life; I shall always treasure that time spent bonding with my classmates.
I think the point where we really got to be ourselves and got to know each other more personally happened outside the classroom. Arun and Prakash organized a day out for the class to practice Karma Yoga. No yoga mats required, all we needed was team effort!
Karma Yoga is the path of selfless service which involves supporting and giving back to others without expecting anything in return. The way I understand it, Karma Yoga it is about giving love and loving unconditionally. Caring for the environment is one way we can give love to our planet.
I wish to express my gratitude for the practice of yoga that I have been taught by my extraordinary teachers, Arun and Prakash at Pure Yoga Singapore.
I learned so much from the 200-hour Hatha Yoga teacher training: a deeper understanding of yoga, body and mind awareness and kindness to all living things. I feel inspired to share this knowledge and insight and will make it my mission to pass the benefits of Yoga on to others.
I have some very exciting news that I’m going to be able to announce in the coming months. In that time I’ll be working with some incredible experts around fitness, nutrition and health and putting together what will hopefully be an awesome offering for you all. So watch this space!
In the meantime it would be great to get your input on the kinds of questions you most want answered about fitness, nutrition and health. What are the problems and frustrations you face in these areas? How can we help you on your journey? Just click on this link and please take 1-2 minutes to help me help you 🙂
If 20 people complete the survey, I’ll share a healthy dessert recipe.
If 50 people complete the survey, I’ll do 50 squats.
If 100 people complete the survey, oh heck I’ll do 100 burpees!
It feels pretty cool to stand on your hands. Almost like flying! I want to be able to do this anytime, anywhere.
I’ve been practicing handstands for over a year and never managed to keep both feet together up in the air. I couldn’t find my balance without the help of the wall. Today I found the courage to move away from my comfort zone and found that sweet spot. Body straight as an arrow, from the fingertips right up to the toes.
Stoked to finally know what it feels like after endless hours of practice!