Sunday, June 28, 2015

On Surviving Weekends !!

My weekends are usually so busy that I desperately long for Mondays. Now that the dinner's taken care of and the house doesn't look like a cattle shed, I can type few posts in the peace of the night. Oh wait!! hubby wants to watch Friends again.

As Ross is climbing down the chimney, hanging onto Joey's legs, let me wonder where did all my time go this weekend.

So Saturday started quiet earlier than usual. 5 am to be exact!! And it was freaking 9 degrees outside. After snoozing the alarm for next 20 minutes I finally got off the bed and ready for a drive, to watch the Sunrise. Once the initial "why the hell am I even doing this" moment is over, the beauty of an early morning takes over.

I am obsessed about Sunrises (it's just waking up at an unearthly hour that seems impossible :P)

Dawn, at one of the Eastern Beaches in Sydney

Some yoga stretching would have been good but it was so windy and cold that I could barely move my numb limbs. After running up and down the walk-way to warm up my body, I was able to bear the freezing winds. Although, my hubby did manage to take few of my yoga shots with the brilliant tangerine horizon :)

For a change, instead of eating our usual Big Breakfast in a nearby cafe, I decided to prepare it at home, along with some Banana Milkshake. Delightful and Filling!!

The evening was spent among lush green hills and a silent river, in the town of Wiseman's Ferry, located about 130km from where I stay. 

We both don't like the idea of staying at home during weekends. But once Sunday arrives, realisation dawns that there's so much still to do. 

A look at the laundry leaves me pondering - how on earth did I manage to wear so many clothes. And wasn't the carpet vacuumed just two days back? Why do birds only find my balcony? Oh gosh the pump shoes need an emergency 'stinky smell' fix before the office people declare me a health hazard!! 

Even though my to-do lists looks painfully long, in between cleaning and sipping wine, I managed to survive Sunday.

C'mon Monday, give me your best shot!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

1000 posts later !!

Hello there, just sitting in my corner, revelling in the little joys of life.

2008 seems such a long time back. Since then I have written over 1000 blogposts (can't believe I could blabber that much), this includes posts from my other blogs - Poetry Wagon and Twinkle Eyed Traveller. To my immense surprise, I received over 450K views on this space and 3.5 million views on Google Profile (yeah people actually use google plus ;) ).

1000 posts later I have a published shape poetry in Lovelets, an honorable mention in International Poetry competition, felt the love of blog awards, people actually published my interviews, stories that managed to win goodies, e-zine publications and a whole bunch of like-minded blog friends.

1000 posts later, I have realized it doesn't matter if the comment count doesn't go beyond single digit. But when people - known/unknown, blogger/non-blogger, personally message you and tell you how much they enjoyed the humour or how inspired they are to indulge in crafting and yoga or when they send me pictures of their inspired work, there ... right there lies the true happiness of blogging. That somehow, in my weird way, I managed to make a difference in their lives. 

All this and more, just because the readers have never stopped showering love and enouragement. For appreciating my stumbling-bumbling-insane world. For correcting and providing critisism. In this ocean of thousands and thousands of blogs, I am grateful that you decided to spend some time in my space.

I am also extremely thankful to my lovely family and friends, who don't seem to care even if I am always band-bajaofying them in my posts :) 

1000 posts later, I am still a happy blogger, in love with life and all its idiosyncrasies.

So long, and thanks for all the fish!!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Yoga and I, #InternationalYogaDay

"Yoga is an everyday part of life," said PM Modi, adding, "Yoga is not just for contorting your body into shapes. If that were true, people working in the circus would be called yogis."

I have to say, I totally agree with the statement. But then it's also about perspective. For some Yoga is a workout routine, for others it is a way of life. If you notice, we are always in some Yoga Asana, it's just that while practicing you realise what that asana is called. You become mindful of your body, the things you eat or the thoughts you process.

Twitter is buzzing with #InternationalYogaDay and #YogaDay. It's so wonderful to see the pictures of PM and 35000 odd participants. 

I too did a quick Vinyasa Flow and somehow managed to get my husband on the mat too. Well, frankly he prefers to hit the gym and play with the machines than be in meditative state.

Our upside world is darn interesting :P Featuring Biker aka the husband.

So how did Yoga impacted me?

First things first, my friends often ask me if Yoga is really effective in reducing belly fat. Yes, it definitely tones the abdomen and makes the core strong, but slowly. It took me five months to reduce my muffin top, but I wasn't in a hurry. My ultimate goal was to incorporate Yoga into my lifestyle, and not as a one of thing. I have learnt that there is no shortcut to good health. 

I did a lot of Asanas that activated my core which included Planks (Side plank, low plank, dolphin plank, forward plank). Some of these are integral part of Surya Namaskar. Virbhadrasana III (Wariior III) and Navasana (boat pose) are equally effective in working out the core.  I would add them in my Vinyasa flow rather than do it as a standalone asana. It feels like a beautiful yoga dance - the slow movement of your limbs, in rhythm with your breath. 

Thanks to Garima, I did a guest post on her blog about different asana to strengthen the core.

I prefer doing Sirsasana and Sirsasana B towards the end as by that time my body is properly warmed up. These asanas never fail to send a spurt of energy through my body and get my heart pumping

What else, you ask? 

After working 8 hours a day, I practice yoga in the evening - 60 to 90 minutes on weekdays. I have stopped feeling tired and lethargic long ago. Yoga taught me to go with the flow, made me realise that it's ok if certain things are beyond our reach. We can try our best and not let the moral down. I have always tried to be positive, with meditation and practice, I know I can be that person.

We all need to understand ourselves first, connect with what we really want, else the pressure of the worldly problems can become a little too overwhelming. 

Learn to cool down.

Life never promised to be easy. It loves throwing curved balls. All we can do is learn to remain calm. I could feel all the stress and tension of the day seep away as I finish the practice with spinal twists and meditation. The stillness is quite powering. 

Sharing with you the cooling Yoga routine I follow after the practice:

Check out her Channel for more -  SarahBethYoga

I hope you enjoyed reading the post.

The light within me honors the light within you.


All pictures are mine - clicked on timer.

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Whimsy Yogi !!

My darling husband would soon stop going out on outings with me, mostly because I get down and dirty, to do some Yoga Poses. He would be armed with his camera equipments, immersed in the beauty of the surroundings, trying to picturize the frame that he is going to shoot and I, with a sly smile, would interlude his trance and ask him to take my pictures instead.

Why can't you be normal - he would often ask, while clicking pictures with a classic bored look.

Well what's life without being whimsy!!

Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies - Shawshank Redemption.

Last week we drove to the wine country - Hunter Valley. Even though it wasn't the right season, the views were just as gorgeous and peaceful. Sprawling fields, hopping Kangaroos, tall trees, clear blue skies and the contrasting dried out vineyards - just the right amount of freshness one needs during the weekend.

But that doesn't mean I can't stretch and relieve my spinal cord from all the stress that accumulates over the week. Listening to Ellie Goulding's Love me like you do in the hotel room, I warmed up my body with a 15 min Yoga Flow. 

A simple stretch that included lot of breathing, downward facing dog, cat, cow, planks, upward facing dog, wild thing, headstand and spinal twists.

Till a year ago, I could only admire all the Yoga travel photos I found on Google, and hoped - with all my heart - I hoped that maybe someday, I too would be strong enough to have a collection of such memories.

Indeed, Hope is a good things - it kept me on track and didn't let my dream die.

And now, I can only hope that my dear husband gets used to the idea of clicking pictures of his whimsical wife. See how slowly he is pushing me out of the frame :P

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Behind the Scenes, Eeeks!!

My husband is definitely color blind, or so I believe. And his interest lies in portrait photography. Believe me, this is a dangerous combination. Most weekends I would be standing in a desolate cobwebbed doorway or perched on a moss laden rock, in blinding attire, wearing blood red lipstick, and fervently praying for the earth to open up so that I could jump inside it, while he would be cooly flexing his muscles, adjusting the lenses and reflectors and other weaponry, trying to shoot his beloved wife. :P

I sometimes suspect if this is his tactic to revenge all the culinary experiments I did on him. Nevertheless, the number of likes on my Facebook makes up for all the weird stares I usually receive during photoshoots. Well, he kind-a sort-a makes me look good. ;) Although I have to deal with "your picture looks good only with makeup" kind of statements. Only a husband can survive such blatant display of truth ;)

So today, let me tell you what exactly happens behind the scenes.

This is one of my favourite pictures. My friend even commented something as poetic as "In the beauty of sadness". Yeah, those forlorn eyes, the mood, the lights - I totally loved it.

But, in reality I was staring into a window , that too at night, and praying hard that the owner won't catch me peeping into his room and chase me with the vacuum cleaner. 

I find this one so fairy-tale'ish. A sad fairy tale maybe. The contrasting Khandar type background and my patent expressionless expression!

It's a window frame of an old warehouse where once convicts were made to work. The window was at a height higher than the top of my head. Wearing heels and my beautiful dress, I was playing "rock-climbing" on this century old structure while two other photographer friends pushed me from behind. 
And you thought that photoshoots were fun! Gah!

I have always wanted a picture like this!!

If you think hair can't hurt, well then you have never been hit, in the eye, with a bunch of full blown hay-like hair. I was half blind and twisting my head left and right!

Although I hate to admit in front of him, I cannot deny the perks of having my own personal photographer ;)

** Photography credits to my Husband - Do check out his page Vivid Lights Studio 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Blue Dress

Let's just say that I tend to go a little overboard with my passion and hobbies. My dear hubby, on the other hand, firmly believes I am a total cuckoo. Somewhere, down the line, he has just given up and resigned to his fate. Janam Janam ka safar hai aakhir ;)

When it comes to shopping, I am that starry eyed girl with candy floss, stupidly grinning, yes literally I would be smiling at the screen, imagining the feel of the material, the smell of cotton, the fall of hem, and how the color would make my pale skin look more human.

I am a die hard fan of Asian Stores, I find them extremely stylish and classy. But.. and it's a big but... the wait is killing. The wait for the goods to arrive!! 15-20 days!! Oh the horror!. 

If the shipment doesn't arrive in 20 days I would start hyperventilating, and nightmares about lost/damaged packages would haunt my nights. The anticipation almost drives me up the wall. So, now you know why I am always trying to crawl up the doorframe doing handstands :P 

No wonder my pet name have always been animalistic. You see, we don't believe in lovey dovey names, my mom lovingly calls me Jantu (Animal), her sister calls me Bhekuli (Frog), Dad - Makadi (Spider) and hubby- Murgi (Hen). Wow, makes me feel like we all need treatment :P

Imagine the surprise when all four of the packages that I had ordered, arrived on the same day... that too on my birthday. Ahh the universe, you make me so emotional!! I could actually see my hubby sigh in relief, as now he didn't have to sweat to make the day special.

The dress I am wearing is a light blue chiffon/cotton mix bought online from AliExpress - Link here . 

I paired it with Cropped Blazer from a Korean store - YoungMi, Bag (on sale) from Kardashian Kollection.

The Blue Dress - couldn't figure out where to place the name so I put it across my forehead.

And this is how we roll in shire.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Floral Zentangle

Abs, planks, stretch, core - one after the other we train different parts of our body, but what about the little brain, sitting upright, frowning at all the negligence. 

Zentangle is also called Yoga for the mind, an artistic meditation exercise for the brain. It is said to increase concentration, creativity and improves ability to solve problems. Well, what else can one ask for ;) You can learn more here

There are days when my Macbook lies in the corner, my phone in some random part of the house, while I am lost, inking the designs floating in my head. I tend to move into a whole new zone while I am with my paper and pen. So it's advisable that you start Zentangling after all the cooking business is taken care of, else the hungry hubby might keep pulling you out of your zen mode ;)

I find Zentangles an extremely non-fussy way to unwind the mind. My knowledge of patterns is limited, so every time I try to  practice a new design. The repetition of patterns engages the mind. 

I even have a Zentangle playlist, songs to be played while drawing. Yeah total tangle Nerd!!

So what are you going to draw today :)

Monday, May 25, 2015

Of Crows and Inversions

Hello there!! the crazy yoga girl is back :D I have been practicing a lot of inversions last few weeks and praying hard for the doorframe to not to break. 

The first thing to remember while doing yoga is not to push too hard. It's not a competition. While doing cardio or planks, I don't mind pushing few seconds more but I feel Yoga requires a completely different mindset. As soon as the body says enough, just stop, else you may end up with sore wrists and elbow pains. I do tend to go overboard with crow pose, trying to perfect it, which is ridiculous because it's never about perfection. It's about being comfortable. 

Anyway, I am happy to see my arm balances getting a tad bit better :) This crow is getting stronger and higher.

What hurts you, blesses you. Darkness is your candle - Rumi

All these days I have been using my boring grey yoga pants while practicing, but last week I received this colourful pair, purchased at an amazing price from Aliexpress. Soft, good fit, comfortable, with designs and everything.

Midst of a transition - Wheel Pose or Urdhva Dhanurasana

As the winter is setting in, I miss going out early in the morning. Need to find courage to kick off the blanket in 8 degrees. Brrrrr !!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Gulp, Cough, Sink - The Swimming Class

Yours truly is hell bent on changing her lifestyle -be it food, clothing or health. I guess when you are about to hit 30s, an epiphany is bound to happen.

So last month I had enrolled myself to Adult Beginners Swimming Lessons. About time huh!! As the fate maybe, on the day of my first session, a storm was ravaging Sydney coasts and residents were asked to return home early. 

Luckily, as a part of swimming-prep, the previous night, I had already practiced "bachaooo bachaooo" in my bechari naari voice. After finishing my work, braving strong winds and rain, I walked towards the center. The buzz of activities inside the underground aquatic pool, further proved how incredibly crazy Aussies are about their fitness. They are, believe me! 

Now even though it's a beginner class, teachers tend to assume that you have done some sort of swimming before. Living in a coastal region they find it extremely difficult to acknowledge that you know no swimming at all. Zilch. None. It's just a cultural thing.

My good soul instructor, gave me a floating board and asked me to dive in and glide. Yeah, just like that. So that's what I did, only to splash tonnes of water and sink right in. Ahh such faith he had in my abilities. The look on his face was so amusing that I ended up laughing and coughing, at the same time. He must have realized what a long evening it was going to be. 

That's when the realisation dawned that I might belong to some strange species, because for some weird reason the laws of buoyancy simply don't work on me. :P

He taught us other moves, free style and tips on floating. Hassled, tassled, rattled - one by one I did all of it, or so I thought, until I saw others.

The other beginner girls didn't swat their hands like a duck, they didn't swallow gallons of pool water, they didn't pull their instructor's shirt or face or hair. In that half an hour, I did a lot of kicking, and for sure, it wasn't just the water I  kicked.

By the time the class was over, I was already bloated with the massive drinking I did. 10 more classes to go! Oh dear oh dear. The poor instructor!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Effing Emotions !!

There are days and there are Days... the crazy god forsaken Godzilla days when the hormones makes a King Kong out of a normal life-loving girl. One moment you would be smiling, relishing on fish and chips, the other you turn into a Texas chainsaw massacre monster, hunting for chocolates, while the poor husband sits in a corner, waiting for the tornado to pass over.

I blame all my mood swings on Hormones... those bhloody things for no apparent reason presents an illusion of utter sorrow and depression. Makes me cower inside a blanket, and munch on a single bite of chocolate for hours, which I buy because they look nice. And I don't even like chocolates.

On such dramatic days, before I drive myself and the poor baffled husband to madness, I end up calling the helpline number, which is always my Sister. Last time when she picked up the call, her mouth was stuffed with chicken momos, because she was high... on the mood swing. But yesterday it seems she was cheering another sad soul - her roommate, who had rendered the whole building deaf by playing continuous renditions of Opera songs - day and night. Ahh it spreads you see, Zombies aren't far away.

On such imbalanced days I embark on a journey to find the answer to life, universe and everything. With sad and tragical philosophies, I fantasize about death, because it is the sole truth that ever existed. 

The husband has learnt that these are not the best time to ask for Egg-Burji or Tea or anything in general. 

Yeah, the hormones are getting on my head. I better stop writing.

Do you have such erratic unreasonable days?

Images - linked to source

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