When I see photos of birds , I think of a couple who are dear friends of us. I am not a animal person so it amuses me the passion that they have for the birds. They are from army background which involves moving to lot of places all over India which includes big cities as well as small towns.
it is one of the small towns which I believe led them to their hobby. My friends got an accommodation where there were lot of trees and she could spot many birds. on her evening walks she would go out wth her camera in her hand and click pictures whenever she spotted a bird. Then she bought a book which described the bird and their names.
Over a period of time hey become so good at it that the can hear a bird in the vicinity. when we would go out for a walk she could hear a bird and stand there to spot them. or even worse she could see a bird in the thick of the tress and would direct us so that we could see it. I never could spot though
Slowly being with them and they sharing pictures and names of the birds on the whatsapp group , I have finally managed to identify few birds. the best notable example being hornbills.
I am not really a Yoga person. Reason being A) I am not flexible and B) I enjoy energy of Zumba, aerobics or a weight session more. On any given day Yoga is my last option as a workout. I do understand, yoga is immensely beneficial for our mind and it helps with mind and body connection, still I am not a fan.
One day while I was Youtube surfing a yoga video by Aparajaita Jamewal popped up. I instantly liked this lady who is fondly called AJ. She is not those “Yogini”s with hot bod and scanty clothes showcasing unachievable twisted pretzel yoga poses. She has a pleasing personality with a perfectly fit and healthy body and a humble aura around her. He cue giving skills for all poses were detailed and on point. She got me interested and after searching more on her, I came across her 13 day Yoga challenge. It was conducted three years ago but still I decided to do it. Considering my previous experiences with Yoga , I was pretty sure I wont be completing it but still decided to do it.
So on May 31st I started with the challenge
Day 1: Posture correction class: It was a 35 minute smooth and easy session. I was surprised how quickly the first class went by. I felt fresh throughout the day as it was more of a stretching class. Calories burnt 71
Day 2: Surya Namaskar: Most of us know how to do surya namaskar routine. You should do this class to know how to do it correctly. Day 2 was around 40 minutes and apart from Surya Namaskar, it focussed on abdomen also. This was a harder class than day 1. I had to stop twice in between and I sweated a lot. Calories – 118
Day 3: The last 10 minutes were hard. Overall it was a good stretching and strengthening for spine. Calories 108 .
Day 4: Back stretches – 54 calories. As good as a rest day
Day 5: Most difficult class for me till date as it was about balancing and I am really balance challenged and need to work on it. I will need to practice this class more often to work on my balance. Calories -101
Day 6: This was comparatively easy and doable . Calories 101
Day 7 : I was in mood to skip this one as it was Saturday but I knew if I skipped then I would discontinue it altogether as usual so made it a point to do it. This was about upper body. It was alright. Calories 84
Day 8 : Forward bending class. I felt my balancing has improved minutely. I realised my upper body is quite stiff and these bends were hard. Calories 109
Day 9: This was tough as it focussed on upper body and core and my upper body strength is bad. I had to stop in between. The highlight was definitely side plank. I could not do the whole plank but AJ has given few steps which if you practice, the side plank is possible. I have seen many videos explaining side plank technique but this is by far the best video to understand and master the side plank. This particular video I am definitely repeating. Calories 114
Day 10: This was yoga for weight loss session and it was exhausting. Doing this series without rest day could be the reason I was feeling tired. It was exhausting. Calories 148
Day 11: This was again a balancing session and I found the second half tough. She covered tree pose and eagle pose. I really found it hard. I really need to work on my balance. Calories : 145
Day 12: Twisting for detoxification. This was again a stretching class and it was good. Calories :127
Day 13: Dedicated to practicing the yoga poses done throughout the series. A quick and effective class and its a wrap! I managed to finish the yoga challenge ! Yay! Calories: 105
Yoga is all about technique and one should get a good yoga teacher for that. AJ is an amazing yoga trainer. The instructions that she gives put you at ease and also makes you understand about your body. The tips she gave to put your weight on your palms and feet evenly really helped me to understand my body balance , posture and what was wrong and how to correct it. It was because of AJ I managed to complete the challenge
13 days is really not a long time to see changes in your body but I definitely feel the body has opened up and relaxed. I was not able to sit on my toes and still don’t , but my stance from day 1 to day 13 is so much better. I have not felt grand like how people describe who practice yoga like “I feel so relaxed, calm and connected. May be because I am pretty centred person. I absolutely loved the stretching sessions as they really make you feel fresh and energised. In terms of weight it moved by 100 grams, but then yoga is not meant for weight loss. It is for finding out what your body is capable of. Regular practice of yoga will make your body more flexible and in short span of 13 days I have definitely felt the minute changes in the body.
So am I a yoga convert? To a certain extent! Especially those balancing and upper body strengthening classes as I badly need them. I definitely see myself doing yoga once or twice a week.
The timing of my taking on this challenge was perfect, as the International Yoga Day is celebrated this month. It was a pure coincidence though.
My last blog was on April 24. I just couldn’t bring myself to sit and blog!Not even the writing prompt that I really enjoy. I was struggling with bloggers block. I am not calling it a writers block simply because I was writing and every day. It is just that I was not writing what I could share so I am calling it a bloggers block.
I would see some readers coming in and liking my previous blogs and I was happy that I was still getting traffic, but still could not bring myself to share something.
Everyone is going through something or the other with pandemic. Being in India things are scary right now. Last month, in a matter of twelve hours I heard about six deaths. There was continuous barrage of bad news on TV , social media, Whatsapp messages . Strangely , the usually irritating Good morning messages have also disappeared. There doesn’t seem to be any good about mornings anymore. The pandemic is claiming near and dear ones and it is very depressing.
But today morning, all of a sudden everything changed and finally I wanted to sit and blog. It has been a process though. I have been consciously trying to do different things that will cheer me up and bring me back on track. Life is hard for all of us these days and there is something or the other we are keeping at the back burner because we just don’t feel like it. So what are the things that I did that helped me to feel happy and back on track ?
Not forcing myself – I did not force myself to do things which I didn’t want to do. I consciously said no to things. It made me feel in control.
Maintain a gratitude list – I wrote 10 things for which I am grateful for every day and continue to do so. It can be same things everyday or it can be different. I have thanked Big Bang Theory for being so funny! So anything that has brought you some relief and happiness , express your gratitude!
I ate : I ate a lot of healthy food and also unhealthy foods. No guilt!
I got back to reading : I have a target of reading 15 books this year and I have read 7 of them . I am probably exceeding my target this year.
Exercise – I exercised almost every day.
Gardening – I have been tending to my plants and today morning it was a beautiful site with nice and fresh blooms and thats what made me feel to sit and share. I have attached pictures.
This is probably not my best blog but its special because it got me back to the groove. Hope you enjoyed it and have a lovey day!
Currently India is going through a worst phase with pandemic. There is a lot of negativity in the air. People are scared and living in fear of COVID. There is bad news everywhere. I personally got to know about six deaths in a matter of 12 hours. It upset me no end.
There are people who are really working very hard to make the situation better. They are going out of their way to help needy and make things tolerable. And then there are people who are being very irresponsible and doing and saying things which is adding misery to people. Especially our politicians!
The second wave of COVID was emerging and still our politicians held election campaign rallies which was attended by hundred thousands of people. Every big name in the country held an election rally.
A huge religious gathering which required mammoth administrative support was carried out. The government could have put a stop to it as in no way they were not aware of it as the administrative staff is sanctioned from their end. It was when people criticised it severely, our Prime Minister “requested” the religious saints to close the gathering. This was not a situation where requests should have been made but an order should have been given. it shouldn’t have taken place in the first place. Our Prime Minister is well capable and mighty to do that but he preferred to bow down to religious sects as that is aligned with his political ideology.
Instead of coming together and fighting for people our politicians are busy fighting each other and trying to oust opponents. They are busy saving their administrations and not helping people.
This was a golden opportunity for our politicians to shine and prove and do something for our nation. Sadly, not a single politician chose to do so and the India as a nation have no choice but fight for our own survival and just say how can they stoop so low?
The first thought that came to my mind when I saw “Difference” as this week’s prompt was about the feeling of freedom that I am experiencing today compared to yesterday. Our decisions make huge difference to our life.
Like millions in the world, I decided to lose weight in the new year and joined a weight loss program. For a week or two on the plan, I was really high on motivation but it started to wither down by week three or four. It was not because of the diet but mainly because of lack of results. I started to lose patience.
The program had a week of strict program and then a 10 days of comparatively relaxed eating. I had been on this nutritionist’s program few years back and saw great results. However this time around my views regarding food have changed and that “difference” made it difficult for me to accept this plan. One thing that always kept lurking in my mind was this is all coming back once I am off the program. I would get great results in week of strict plan and then I would find a gain in relaxed plan.
The last week I was again on a stricter plan and I followed it to the T . I checked my weight and I saw a loss of 1.1 kilo of fat loss . I sent my results and diet log to my nutritionist. She wrote me back I am doing so well but you have had 15 grapes on Tuesday and that should be avoided. That moment I decided to stop and discontinue the program.
I did see the results but I wasn’t particularly happy or kicked about it as by now I know very well it is not sustainable. Grapes will never figure in my favourite foods list but if I cant have a few of them then it is not worth it. I cant keep adding new items to foods to fear as this fear stays on even if your plan gets over and you are always eating these foods feeling guilty. You should feel happy about what you eat and not guilty.
I wont be exactly going on a binge. I will continue to eat healthy but allowing myself to little treat. I have had a year where I couldn’t eat because I was too sick and then I had a lot of dietary restrictions. There is no point or restricting my food when I am in pink of health now and can eat. Life has become very unpredictable and we must respect what is available to us. You may not see tomorrow, you may not have anything to eat or food will be there but you won’t be able to eat for health reasons. So respect what you have. Treat your body with respect and take care of what goes in it.
I can feel the difference that my decision made today. I feel relaxed. I had my coffee with sugar and enjoyed without thinking oh! I am going to get a red remark for this.