Hi there! It's beetee here. Autumn is drawing to an end in Tokyo. Some trees are already completely bare; some others are still wearing their fragile yellow, orange and red outfits. It feels as though a wind blow could strip them off within seconds. Autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go. I wish you were here with me to witness it.
This week's quick dive: Chaturanga Pose, The Visualisation Meditation and My Favourite Quick Breakfast Recipe.
Yoga Pose of The Week: Chaturanga Dandasana
Another power pose! One that you'll have a fair share of in a Vinyasa class. One that will definitely tone your arms and shoulders, more specifically biceps, triceps and pectoralis.
Most important thing to pay attention to in chaturanga? Remember we talked about Plank pose last week? For me, Chaturanga is more like a transition from that Plank pose to whatever is next (and we'll talk about this next week!!). From plank, remember to shift your weight forward, so that you come to the very tippy toes, before you bend the elbows to lower the whole body down (in one straight line, chest and hips altogether). This way, you form a 90-degree angle in the elbows, which is a much stronger and more stable position. The elbows are hugged into the rib cage. How intense the pose gets is entirely up to you: you can always lower the knees down to the floor to take it easy. Trust me, nobody is watching or judging (except me! I'm your teacher).
Fun fact. Chaturanga is also the name of an old Indian two-player board game that was invented at least 1,500 years ago and is believed to be the earliest predecessor of the game of chess. Instead of the bishops, the board presents four Ganeshas, the elephant-head Hindi god. If you're a fan of chess and Ganesha like me, have a look here. I find it soooo cute!
Meditation: The Visualisation Technique
Do you find meditation challenging in certain ways? Either your thoughts keep wandering around, traveling places, you can't clear your head, or you just can't sit still. You start making mental to-do lists. You start thinking about things in the past, or things you think might happen in the future. Don't worry. You're not alone. I have been meditating for years, and some days I still find myself facing the same issues.
My first-ever meditation experience was cruel. I was dragged into it by a good friend. Such a rookie, I just came with a big smile, no cushion, no mat to sit on, nothing to support. The teacher came into the room when all of us have settled down to sit. Then he announced: "We're going to meditate. Focus on your own issues. I'm setting the clock for 1 hour and 20 minutes." Terror crossed my face and turned it pale. The next 80 minutes were just complete darkness (all lights off, curtains drawn in) and silence. I suffered a great time.
But you don't have to. Because unlike that teacher's tough love, I'm bringing to you a meditation technique that gently guides you through your thoughts, mental and emotional fluctuations. Instead of trying not to think, we will try to think in a productive way, using our imagination to support us. In this visualisation technique, you will imagine yourself sitting by a gentle water stream on a beautiful day. You will be given a magic wand, with which you'll have the power to take your thoughts out of your mind, physically, one by one, and place them on each leave that moves gently downstream. Got 8 minutes to calm your mind? Meditate with me here.
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. 😊
Now that you have toned your arms and shoulders and calmed your monkey mind with that meditation, I think we deserve something yummy for the stomach! In the Life section this week I'd like to share with you my favourite quick breakfast recipe. Do you, like me, sometimes skip breakfast because you don't have time to prepare? Well, this recipe will take just 5 minutes of your time, yet provide you with all the energy you have for your busy mornings and still keep your shape desirable.
Avo Blast Smoothie
I'm a fan of avocado and I always have them in the fridge. Here's what else you'd need:
Almond or cashew milk: 75ml (or normal cow milk if you prefer)
Yoghurt: 2 tablespoon
Protein powder, preferably vanilla or plain flavour: 1 tablespoon
Almond butter (or alternatively, peanut butter): 1 tablespoon
Ground flaxseed or chia seeds: 1 tablespoon
Wholegrain rolled oats (here's my favourite type): 1 tablespoon
1 handful spinach
1 handful ice
And of course, half an avocado (about 45g) peeled and pitted
Mega simple. Just combine and blend!
This recipe is inspired by Joe Wicks' The Body Coach programme (which I have been following for about 9 months now), but tweaked according to my taste, experience, needs and availability of the day, and always with love xx
How about you? What's your favourite quick, easy & nutritious breakfasts? Share with me!
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 weekly 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.