Tag Archives: mindfulness

Bikram 30 Day Challenge

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After a hiatus from Bikram as I went on my “Eat, Pray, Love” trip to Nepal and India in December for a whole month, I rebooted my regime by committing to the 30 Day Challenge at BYCH (Bikram Yoga City Hall).  I have just completed my 16th consecutive day and I feel really good. BYCH is a very nice studio with very friendly instructors and staff – feels like a second home the moment I step in daily.

What I like about the practice is that every session feels different even though the poses are the same. One day I could feel extremely powerful, yet another day I can feel like I have the weakest limbs ever. I have learnt not to expect anything, but just accept the way it is and just be. Very similar to my Buddhist meditation training where my teacher would always instruct me to “watch the mind, rest the mind, observe without any fabrications and simply be present and watch”. Of course, it is not easy. Concentration in ‘watching the mind’ is a challenge but when practiced often, the mind can rest more easily. From a few seconds, to probably a few minutes. And it is this ‘restful’ state which brings much bliss to the meditator.

Applying the same concept to my Bikram practice, I simply concentrate on the teacher’s instructions, and move into the poses with 101% effort and concentration. 101% is an aspiration, but most of the time I swing between 70 – 99% depending on the internal dialogue like “oh it is too hot today/ the instructor is annoying me today/ the person beside me is breathing so hard/ my legs need a rest/ i think the sweat is infecting my acne…..” and it goes on and on. There comes the benefits from mind training – the moment I lose concentration, I am able to bring the mind back to the present, and just flow into the pose with mindfulness.

I like Bikram yoga because it is an active form of physical meditation in complementing my journey in mind training. It is very hard to describe or put it to words because it is experiential. No matter how much I tell you how tasty the food tastes, you will never understand unless you taste it for yourself. The joy comes from that very few seconds of clarity when you are in the pose itself – and this joy simply follows you throughout the day.

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I’m lovin’ it

Almost a month into my mindful diet, I have never felt more energetic and lighter than before. My face is less oily, and I am steadily shaving off the pounds. I have given up on caffeine and switched to non-caffeinated teas like green tea, oolong and camomile. I also don’t use sugar anymore, replacing it with artificial sweeteners (using very small amount) instead.

I eat 3 balanced meals a day and I don’t feel hungry. What I do is to eat very very little carbs. I snack with fruits/low fat crackers in between meals if I feel like having something to munch. I guess I will slowly eat more carbs when I reach my goal weight. I also try to exercise daily.

Colleagues asked me how could I resist all the good food. My reply to them was that it’s all a matter of perception, or rewiring the mind. Say I used to love char kway teow, and there’s no doubt that it tastes heavenly. But if one looks at the char kway teow and reflects on the ingredients that made it so tasty, he/she will probably be a bit disgusted with the seasoning used: high volumes of cooking oil, lard, dark sauce, salt and so forth. I will definitely continue to eat char kway teow one day, but so far I don’t have any craving or appetite to consume it.

As I now eat only home-cooked meals prepared by yours truly, many of you are curious about my recipes.  I get inspiration from the internet and cooking programmes mostly,  while majority is through experimentation and one will need a lot of creativity and courage (to eat one’s creation) for that. Trust me, it’s so simple and easy to prepare, and I would say my recipes are perfect for any bachelor! Look out for my subsequent posts of my soeasyrecipes! 🙂

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