Updated: 24 hours ago
Hello from my hometown Sai Gon! It's beetee here. Where is your hometown? I was born and raised in Sai Gon, and left at 17 for university in France. I have not lived in Vietnam since then. 20 years of moving around, having lived in 4 countries, 7 cities, and 13 apartments, sometimes I have felt a bit of a confusion as to where home is. One day, I read a book by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, in which one sentence jumped out and hugged me: Home is not Paris, New York or Tokyo. Home is in every step of the way. Because each step is where you choose to be. This empowers me a great deal. I still call Sai Gon my hometown, though, for it's where I still come back to be in the protective arms of my parents...
This week's quick dive: Yoga for Wrist Pain, Svadhyaya (Self-Study) and The Five Hobbies You Should Have.
Yoga For Wrist Pain
In yoga and life, we ask a lot of our wrists. We pick up the kids, the bags, the boxes. We hold our phone and type on our computer 18 hours a day. We perform planks and pushups throughout our Vinyasa classes. Our wrists are constantly extended. So you can guess, the main culprit to our wrist problem is nothing but a lack of preparation and constant repetition.
A little bit of prep can go a very long way. While you spend most of your daily life extending the wrists, think about reversing that position first to decompress and adding space into the wrist joint, between your carpal bones. Here are a few things you can do to prepare and support your wrists:
Thumb Release - pin your palm at the base of your thumb
Flipped Hand Cat & Cow - do your normal cat & cow movements with your palms facing up, fingers pointing towards your knees.
Pinky Pull - grab your hand on the pinky side of your palm and pull it away from your elbow to create space between the carpal bones
Long Arm Tickling - extend your arms to the side, parallel to the floor, elbows straight, and pretend to try to tickle yourself by curling the fingers and moving them fast.
Hand's Heel Support - add a lift to the base of your palms ("hand's heels") by folding up your mat or using a towel or blanket.
Core Engagement - In position such as plank, where you put weight onto the wrists, engage your abdominal muscles as much as you can to create stability and support the wrists in bearing your weight.
Notice that wrist preps are usually not taught in a normal yoga class, as we don't really have time within 60 or 75 minutes. So if you can, come on a mat 5 minutes earlier and make it a routine to warm up your wrists. I'll be happy to show you how exactly. Just reach out!
Eight Limbs of Yoga: Svadhyaya (Self-Study)
We continue our journey through the Eight Limbs of Yoga with the fourth of the Niyamas, Svadhyaya. In Sanskrit, "sva" means own, self, or the human soul, and "adhyaya" means lesson. Together, Svadhyaya means study of the self/Self. When written with a small "s", "self" refers to ourselves in this physical form, our ego, and who we consider ourselves to be on a daily basis. When you read the word ‘Self’ with a capital ‘S’, this is likely to refer to the true self, Atman, or the divine within us.
Let's illustrate this teaching with an ancient Indian tale about a time when humans were gods, but they abused their divinity. Brahma, the god of the gods, decided to take it away from them and hide it where they would never find it again.
Brahma called a council of the gods to help him decide where to hide the divinity. “Let’s bury it deep in the earth.” But Brahma said, “No, that will not do; one day they will dig deep down into the earth and find it.”
Then the gods said, “Let’s sink it in the deepest ocean.” Again Brahma replied, “No, not there, for they will learn to dive into the deepest waters, and search the ocean bed and find it.”
Then they said, “Let’s take it to the top of the highest mountain and hide it there.” But again Brahma replied, “No, for eventually humans will climb every high mountain on earth; someday they will find it again.”
The gods gave up and said, “We do not know where to hide it, for it seems there is no place on the earth, in the sea or even in space that humans will not eventually reach.”
Brahma thought for a long time and said, “Here is what we will do with humanity’s divinity. We will hide it deep down inside humans themselves. The humans will search the whole world, but they won’t think about looking for their own divinity inside their true selves.”
I'll leave you to reflect on it. How to apply Svadhyaya - study of the self - on the mat and then bring it into your daily life? Join my next class and raise the question, we'll practice it live.
Read more about other Yamas and Niyamas in the Eight Limbs of Yoga:
Ahimsa – Non-violence
Satya – Truthfulness
Asteya – Non-stealing
Brahmacharya - Moderation
Aparigraha - Non-possession
Saucha - Cleanliness
Santosha - Contentment
Tapas - Self-discipline
Anything above the Earth and below the Sun is Life. Hopefully something useful to you, or at least something that will bring a smile to your face. 😊
The Five Hobbies You Should Have
Nothing is better than self study & development with a hobby! I'll be short & sweet: listen to this podcast episode on The Five Hobbies to Change Your Life:
1. A fun way to make some pocket money. Kind of an upgraded version of selling lemonade outside your childhood home on a summer holiday. I used to be an occasional voice-over for Proctor & Gamble commercials! They called me Talent 🥰
2. A hobby that keeps you healthy and in shape. Yoga, definitely.
3. A creative outlet. I truly believe that everyone is more creative than they know. Find the thing that unleash your creativity.
4. A hobby to build your knowledge and improve your intelligence. Don't know where to start? Explore Google Trends to find the topics that might interest you.
5. A hobby to improve your mindset. Again, yoga. Call your yoga teacher beetee😜
Don't ever forget to have fun and celebrate every step of the way. 🥳
Thanks for reading! But don't leave just yet!
Ask me TWO questions or leave me TWO comments below. I'd love to hear from you.
Until then, take a deep breath and keep your worries away!
Yoga Quick Dive is a series of bimonthly newsletters that should take no more than 5 minutes of your reading time. Let's deep dive quickly into 3 topics: Body, Mind and Life.