Sep 092016
 

hathapradip

_Hatha Yoga Pradipika_ by Swami Muktibodhananda

Another one of our required reading texts for my yoga teacher training course was this rather thick text. Most of my yogi-mates have avoided reading these more historical/ancient books, but the nerdy literature academic in me loves these readings the most. πŸ˜› As per my usual routine of breaking down the reading of books, I decided I would finish this book in a month over the summer and so read about 20 pages a day, which was just enough.

This text discusses the root of hatha yoga and how the breath (pranayama) should be done in practice. Hatha yoga is a “type” of yoga that people can do in studio classes. It mostly means there is more focus on breath as opposed to a Vinyasa yoga class, which focuses on the flow of poses or Bikram yoga, which is just really about sweating as much as possible. πŸ˜‰ Hatha yoga may be generally be considered as an older style like Iyengar.

I really enjoyed reading this despite its length as I gained a better understanding of how to do some of our breathing exercises and sitting positions for meditation. Plus, classical pieces of literature just work for me. I do not think I would recommend it for just anyone to pick up for a quick read; however, if you have an interest in philosophy and learning more about the foundations of yoga, then read away! πŸ˜€

~T πŸ˜€

Sep 032016
 


_Light on Yoga: Yoga Dipika_ by B. K. S. Iyengar

Beware that the next few book write ups will be yoga related. We had quite a few that have been required for my yoga teacher training and even though not all have been assigned specifically, being a reader makes me want to get through them all. πŸ˜›

Also, I had quite a bit of time this summer…. So, with my handy organizing skills, I broke down how many pages per day were required to complete a book in a set number of days. 

This book is quite popular amongst yogis as Iyengar explains very succinctly but thoroughly how each pose should be performed as well as the benefits. He further levels the poses so that beginners can understand how to modify or know that perhaps it is not yet a pose for them. πŸ˜‰

It was very interesting to read and I still refer back to certain poses frequently to see how it should look (pics help!) and also to explain their benefits for clients. Or, if my stomach or something is not feeling quite right I can index it to see which poses will help alleviate discomfort. Usually, I feel better shortly after doing a set of relevant poses. 

Thus, anyone who is serious about yoga must have this book. There really is no way around it unless you have a teacher who can just recite the information in the book freely… πŸ˜›

~T πŸ˜€

Aug 242016
 

power

_The Power of Your Subconscious Mind_ by Joseph Murphy

This summer really required some reading to get a handle on my mind and my reactions to situations that were beyond my control. Rather than focus on what I could not control, I decided to look into the areas that I can.

Our subconscious minds are very powerful and attract what we spend most of our time thinking about. Therefore, learning to focus on not only positive thoughts but also results rather than NOTs took some work. For example, repeating to yourself “I will not eat bread” generally causes one to eat bread, because the mind is attracting the salient part of this sentence – eat bread. πŸ˜› So, it took some restructuring of what my mind says.Β However, over time I found that creating thought patterns like this were effective and not only brought about a sense of calm within myself, but also to those around me.

Dr Murphy walks through the various areas of life that we generally worry – finances, relationships, business, etc. – and offers alternatives to thought patterns that do not serve us. He also discusses taking out “I” in mantras where it may be difficult for us to visualize a reality such as “I am wealthy.” There are lots of variations to wealth and for each person there would be a debate on how much is required to fulfil this. Instead, he recommends simply saying “wealth” to attract it in limitless amounts.

I found that using a series of mantras was effective whilst swimming as it can sometimes be a bit tedious to do laps, but with mantras being repeated so as to create the new positive thought patterns, the laps went by quickly. πŸ™‚

Since I was doing this for most of the two months of the summer that we were staying at our friends’ place, it has now become a bit of habit to think in this way that I no longer focus on ‘mantras’ per se, but remind myself to calm my mind.

If you have interest in the mind, brain and patterns this is a very interesting read. Some might find it dry, but it is actually written in a way that it is quite easy to flip the pages. πŸ˜‰

~T πŸ˜€

 

Aug 012016
 

When Phase I of our big move and change was completed, I was hopeful and excited about our new adventure and home. When our one month wait got delayed another month, I went through a number of different emotions. Through it all, I have learned patience and the role of controlling the thoughts I have as I become aware of whether or not they are serving me or hindering me/us.

So, although Phase II is not complete, we are finally in Phase II!

Yesterday, our stuff (rather mostly MY stuff) arrived to our new apartment. Despite the hours ahead needed to reorganize and put away things as I like, it feels amazing to be in our own space again. πŸ˜€ Unpacking is definitely much harder than packing, especially with the moving company. The movers just decided to put stuff away in random places, I will take pictures of the kitchen cabinets before I try to put some sense of order to it. πŸ˜›

In any case, I am taking one room a day to make sure it is organized and put together. Some rooms may take a couple of days, but last night I made sure the bathroom was in order and our bed made. This morning, I completed the master bedroom closets and arranging the room a bit, so now our room is just about good to go.

As for why Phase II is not complete, well, there are two more parts: Β 1)electricity and Internet; 2)M’s stuff in storage. Part one means, no lights, no hot water, no Internet/TV and no AC.

Fortunately, the apartment keeps itself from being boiling due to the centralized AC system in the building. When we are in the apartment, we can leave the front door open (there are only two apartments on the floor) and let in the cool air from the elevator lobby without much disturbance to or from anyone else. Therefore, this is not really a problem.Β Besides, there are plenty of places for us to go in the complex to get AC if we need to cool down.

As for lights, there is plenty of daylight shining through during the day. Thankfully, we were able to use the poles from the other apartment to hang up curtains in the bedroom to limit the afternoon sun that heats up the room. However, generally speaking there is plenty of light until the sun goes down. At night,Β we are doing a form of ‘glamping’ with candles to light our way. Β It’s romantic, isn’t it?

Our main struggle is charging our electronic devices and lack of Internet. Although we do not really watch normal TV much, we do use the Internet to stream and so that will be a bit of a challenge for us in the evenings. We can go to The Lounge downstairs to charge up and use WiFi for the most part, but it will require some thought to ensure we are charged up through the night. They also have large screen TVs, but we will be limited to whatever they have showing – or we can stream on our iPads with some background noise. First-worldΒ troubles, really. πŸ˜‰ Luckily for us we both go to bed quite early so it is not like there are many hours of dark to get through. πŸ˜›

This morning’s cold shower was a bit of a shocker, but when it is so warm outside, it is okay. Also, we can always use the health club showers if the cold ones at home become too much. Thus, overall, I cannot complain. In fact, I am so happy to be in our new home together at last. There is still some limbo, but at least this feels like a step forward rather than treading water. πŸ™‚

And, the best part is, that after a long day withΒ the move-in, we got to go to the jacuzzi and soak my tired feet. Not too shabby, eh? πŸ˜‰

~T πŸ˜€

Jul 292016
 


_Outlander_ by Diana Gabaldon

For the past week or so I have been consumed by this 850-page novel. I came across it on the bookshelf where residents at PR leave unwanted books for others to take freely. Although I already have a long list of books I want to read, including ones I am still reading, I took a few more from the shelf. 

Most of the summer I have been needing a piece of work that would take me to another world and engage me fully. It helps release some stress temporarily and also gives me writing examples. While I have read almost a dozen books already since the end of May, I was still searching for a story to suck me in. 

Since my eldest step-daughter had been reading this last summer and the tv series has been popular, I thought I would move it up on my reading list. After all, there was obviously some reason I found it on the free bookshelf, right? πŸ˜›

Well from the first page to the last I was absolutely engrossed. Even when I started to doubt the main character a bit, my doubts were quickly resolved a few pages later. While I still have questions about some parts, these do not affect the story or, in fact, enhances it because I am still thinking about it!

When I did a search for how many others there are in the series I was quite surprised to find there are quite a few. Given the length of this one I am impressed that the series goes beyond a trilogy. πŸ˜‰ 

In any case, I will definitely put the tv series on the top of my “next watch” list and after I finish up some of my other already-started books, I just might not let too much time pass before delving into the next one.

~T πŸ˜€ 

Jul 192016
 

honeymoon

_Second Honeymoon_ by James Patterson

In light of yesterday’s adventure, I took along a ‘holiday’ reading for the plane ride. Also, it seems that lately I have been preferring to read paper books for some reason. Since I had bought this one in the last week of work for a discount, I thought it was appropriate as I had planned to read it whilst on holiday and we were jokingly saying that we were going on our “honeymoon”. πŸ˜›

It was a one-day start to finish read.

When I first started it, I thought I had read it before, but nothing from my LibraryThing or previous posts or GoodReads was showing up as me having read this book before. So, I continued on anyway realizing that this is a second of a ‘newish’ series for Patterson (duh from the title) and figured I must have read the first one before.

In any case, the intertwining of two serial killer cases and two major characters was a bit new. It was predictable that things would overlap eventually, but otherwise, it was a very easy and entertaining read. There was just enough suspense to keep me going and since the reader was not left to guess who did it I could just engage myself in the characters, which was fairly easy to do.

So, a very nice holiday read overall. πŸ˜€

——

Day 24:  What challenge are you grateful for?

Oh yes, who is grateful for challenges? The good thing is that I have accepted that challenges and challenging times are opportunities for growth and expanding of who I am as a person. While I do not like the challenges at the time they are happening, I do reflect back on them to see what I can learn. In truth, I am actually always grateful for the challenges that require me to build my patience level. Current period included. I am not the most patient person in the world. Some people might not believe it, but in general I have a short temper when it comes to trying my patience. It is fully connected to my ego and a sense of deservedness (is that a word?). However, every time a challenge occurs that questions my patience or requires more of my patience I am aware that I am lengthening my limits. Patience is definitely a virtue and the key to controlling situations, responses, emotions and life. When we take the time to see other perspectives or to absorb rather than react, the results often change. So, rather than increasing rage or strife, I want to be an agent for peace and calm, which only comes from patience. Thus, I am grateful for the challenge of being more and more patient! πŸ™‚

~T πŸ˜€

Jul 092016
 

robber

_The Robber Bride_ by Margaret Atwood

My foray into Margaret Atwood is spotty. It seems that I come across her books quite by accident. The first one I ever read by Atwood was _The Blind Assassin_, which I picked up at a thrift shop somewhere when I was visiting my parents. I devoured that finding it very interesting. Then, a friend of mine from graduate school recommended _The Handmaiden’s Tale_, which I picked up one day and was hooked. I, then, got into her _Oryx and Crake_ trilogy (the last of which I will write about soon). So, when I came across this title in the discounted books on campus, I had to give it a go.

Since my summer plans have been altered somewhat, I can still maintain my poolside reading even if it is in ‘staycation’ mode. πŸ˜› Also, as most of my days are not always easy to fill up completely, having a good book to read helps. So, I started this and took just about a week to complete (it is not a thin book).

While I think I had a bit of a hard time believing the main thread about Zenia, I thoroughly enjoyed the craft of weaving three (four) women’s stories connected by the one thread. I cannot say that I truly ever got what the message was for the book as I can generally get from her other novels. However, I still enjoyed the read. I would say, though, it is not her strongest novel.

By the way, I have returned to paper books lately…. I am not sure why, though I did read the Patterson book from yesterday on my Kindle app. Just an interesting (or not so much) observation for the moment. πŸ˜€

——

Day 14:  What sight are you grateful for today?

I am guessing that this means like a scenery or view rather than the ability to see….Another difficult one to answer when I consider all of the sights I have seen in my travels. From the heights of Machu Picchu to the god-like structures of Egypt or the natural beauties of mountain and sea, how does one choose? However, in this question, the key for me is ‘today’. Therefore, today, I am grateful for the sight of my husband when I woke up this morning. He’s my sunshine each day and when I hear his voice, I smile. πŸ˜€ Yep, of all the wonders I have seen, today I am most grateful to see my sweet husband!

~T πŸ˜€

Jul 082016
 

murder

_The Murder House_ by James Patterson

In my quest to keep distracting myself and still enjoy the long Eid weekend, I decided to give myself a little reprieve from my four other books I am reading and have some ‘holiday’ pleasure.

This title popped up on my Goodreads recommended list and I put it on m wishlist to save for later. I think it came up again for a discounted rate, so I went ahead and bought it. Boy, am I glad that I did.

Despite Patterson’s tendencies to write formulaic stories, I must say this one kept me going straight to the very end. I was left guessing and changing my mind page to page on who was the killer. The story worked well and I ploughed through it in just over a 24-hr period. Not bad! πŸ˜€ Of course, it helps that I keep waking up most nights and cannot go back to sleep… πŸ˜›

Definitely recommend this one and am glad to be entertained again by a Patterson quick read.

——-

Day 13:  What abilities are you grateful for?

Hm…I think I am most grateful for the ability to love. I can come across as fairly harsh with my black & white way of thinking. I tend to have a harsh manner and may be perceived as rough around the edges at times. However, once this tough exterior is penetrated, I do love deeply, fiercely and for forever. I am grateful that I do not love at whim, but that I am given the freedom to be a bit picky about my loving and then am able to let love flow! Yes, I am grateful for the ability to love. I think we need much more of this in the world especially in our current times. 😐

~T πŸ˜€

Jun 252016
 

tma

_The Thoughts of Marcus Aurelius_ by Marcus Aurelius

Over three years ago I referred to my having read _Meditations_ by Marcus Aurelius many years back. When I came across this book a few years ago, I thought I would give it a read since I enjoyed his first philosophies so much. However, it really took me more than a year to complete this one.

I am not sure why it took me so long as his Stoic philosophies were not much different and his wisdoms are still wise. Probably, it is a reflection on my state of mind more than anything else. When I read Meditations, I needed to anchor myself into a way of thinking to stay sane. Now that I have found the art of meditation and yoga, I am less absorbent of these wise words. I should not be so, but I think perhaps this is why it took me so long to complete it.

When I did sit down to push through the last few chapters, I wondered why I had not been reading it…. So, yes, state of mind is important to consider when taking on classical philosophies. He was indeed an amazing man and he might go on my list of people I would like to meet someday in the after life. πŸ™‚

~T πŸ˜€

Jun 162016
 

nypd2

_NYPD Red 2_ by James Patterson

I am not sure if I have written about the first NYPD Red book in the series, but I have now read the second one in the series. πŸ˜›

This new series is entertaining enough, though not meant to be overly enthralling I am sure. It was a good way to pass the time and I got through the pages quickly. So, that is really all one can ask for in a ‘holiday’ reading book, right?

Do I recommend it? Sure, why not? Patterson writes well in this one and so I will likely look forward to reading number 3. πŸ˜€

~T πŸ˜€