Fitness

Emotional Stress

by Vashte on March 12, 2014

Lets talk emotional.

Stomach ache

Emotional stress and what it can do to a body.

Emotional Stress can be a major contributor to a vast majority of illness, directly and non directly. Illness from the common cold (how frequently do you get a simple little cold, the sniffles, or some other ‘minor’ illness that keeps you únder the weather’ – just slightly) – to more ‘serious’ illness in terms of acute or terminal illness. Yes, stress affects them all.

Every part of the human body can be impacted negatively (or positively) by ‘stress’..

Stress experienced in a negative way, and for too long contributes to:

  • depression
  • reduces the immune system
  • delays healing- emotionally and physically
  • may cause heart attack/stroke
  • impairs memory
  • can increase risk of cancer
  • increases inflammation
  • unwanted weightloss/gain
  • worsen diabetes
  • impairs sexual function
  • increases ageing
  • and more…so much more

Stress makes the body age faster at a cellular and genetic level by shortening ‘telomeres’. Telomeres are DNA at the end of chromosomes that directly affect how quickly cells age. The shorter the telomere, the shorter the life span. Research it. BUT all is not lost if you are a stress head, or are in the middle of an incredibly stressful situation!!!

Stress -Management techniques have been shown to lengthen telomeres (yay!!) So there is light at the end of the tunnel!!!

A life without Stress does not exist. You don’t see every person ageing rapidly, developing chronic illness and living a shortened life by living a life filled with stress. Some do, some don’t. Interesting. This poses the question- why is that? Why can some people handle stress in their stride; whilst others collapse the moment one thing falls out of place? Could it be that the people able to handle stress have implemented stress- management techniques giving them tools to manage stress on higher and higher levels? hmmm maybe…

I think it wise to look briefly at what stress is before we delve into that.

What is stress?

By definition ‘stress’ according to the Oxford dictionary for this purpose is:

noun 
  1. 2.
    a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances.
    “he’s obviously under a lot of stress

‘Stress’ is often viewed as “what is going on in a person’s life”. Change; good or otherwise; is stress. A change in perception, understanding, belief, circumstance, lifestyle, weight, marriage/divorce, life/death…. the list goes on and on and on…Stress can be ANY factor contributing to change.  Good change can be just as ‘stressful’ as adverse change for some people. 

The degree to which a person experiences stress is directly related to how that person reacts to that stress. It is how you, or I, as an individual person perceives the stress, which in turn dictates how much if any, stress is involved. Stress is completely subjective, non quantifiable, and entirely personal. I cannot judge judge your stress levels, and you cannot judge my stress levels. Does this make sense?

In a world where we are seeing more chronic illness, more depression, more suicide, more loneliness, more nervous breakdowns, more meltdowns, more encouragement towards being an ‘individual’ so therefore supposedly ‘stronger without the need for anyone else’s help……??!!, and more drugs than ever expected in pharmaceutical drug companies wildest dreams prescribed- with that number exponentially risingwhy are we not ALL taking a moment  to ask ourselves:

pills pills and more pills

  • WHAT exactly is going on here?
  • WHO has created and continues to create this Monster?
  • HOW do we stop it? Or at least- how do I stop it in my own world. If you stop it in your world- you will be the light for others to see and give them the strength to believe that they can do it to. I mean if i can do it, you can too right? So if you can do it- so can someone else. And so it flows.
  • Why is a “meltdown” or “nervous breakdown” so accepted today? Why is it virtually expected at some time in life for many people today???

The people of today must be experiencing obscene amounts of this ‘stress’ to lead them down the road to breakdowns. What is going on????

Perceived Stress.

stress

If you feel stress; you are stressed. It really is that simple. Your body will respond to how you are feeling; so if you ‘feel’ stress- the body will result in stress. The mind affects the body just as the body affects the mind. We cannot dissociate one from the other.

It does not matter what the stress in any given person’s life actually is. What matters  is how that person deals with or manages that stress. For example: making billion dollar investments on high risk stocks can be experienced or perceived in exactly the same magnitude as changing jobs, losing/gaining weight; having a haircut to someone else!!!!  Stress is as individual as we are, and is often compounded by a sequence of events. The straw that breaks the camel’s back is not what actual breaks the camel’s back, but it is the one thing that often gets blamed for doing so when in fact, the sequence of event that lead up to that straw is responsible. That sequence may have started years prior! 

HOW do we stop Stress? Or at least manage it? 

We don’t stop ‘stress’ in life. Without ‘stress’ we would like devolve as opposed to evolve. There would be no challenge in life. No goals to hit. No obstacles to overcome. ‘Stress’ is a necessary and healthy co-factor in our existence. I have learnt the most, the fastest, and more robust lessons through times of ‘stress’ and even tragedy. HOW I choose to face stress directly affects HOW stress affects me. Am I a victim? Or am I an achiever? Do I overcome obstacles with one mighty bound (Superman!); do I take a few mighty bounds?; or loads of mighty bounds which might not appear to the outside world as mighty, but in my world, and where I’m at for that moment- they are mighty!!! This is the mindset of a Mighty Warrior. A Princess warrior. A Compassionate Samurai. Whatever you want to call yourself to give you empowerment- do so! Never the victim. Never.

Some keys I use to manage stress are as follows. They are my Stress Management Tools. If you have not got some tools in place that are used on a daily practice, perhaps you too might like to implement some, if not all, of these too. They just might save your life, as they have mine :)

Vashte’s 9 Stress Management Tools:

1. Learn HOW to turn stress OFF when it is not beneficial. 

In certain circumstances such as when I’m working, exercising, creating… stress is good! I ask myself which areas of life I thrive on stress and allow it in for a short time. This is controlled. I like it. What is life without a challenge or two? There are certain seasons when even a little stress can be too much, so learn to pull back in those times. We all have different seasons and thresholds dependent on what is happening in life, and how we deal with them. Many factors are completely out of our control- what we DO control is HOW we ‘react’ to them or manage them.

Stress in this manner can be healthy when I turn it on and turn it off. I turn it on to produce the goods, being mindful of how I am with others around me at work; then leave it at the door when I go home, or change roles. When I go home at night, I relax. My choice. My rules. Turn it on and turn it off. Just like a light switch. 

2. Pray.

Fear Not

As a Christian I turn the The Lord as often as I remember. I do forget sometimes and thats when I end up tripping over my own feet. :) I’m human; I forget. I talk to Him, I read my Bible, I use work books to help me interpret the Bible and develop my relationship with Jesus, The Holy Spirit and God. I read 21st C books written by Christian’s on how to live in this world- being relevant. I apply these principles. I ditch worldly affirmations and worldly self help books- they just don’t work like The Truth. Nothing does! If you want to know where my ‘wisdom’  comes from- as some have asked- it’s not my wisdom – it comes from God. I dont pray crying out ‘why has this happened to me??!!’ I pray using stregnth and promises from the Bible. I pray from a place of empowerment. Always. With belief that God will show the the way, the truth and light. And He does. Every time. HERE is how I pray to get results x.

3. Meditate

The Bible encourages us to meditate on God’s Word daily. So I meditate. On Him and the truth he has written about me and for me. 

I find meditating first thing in the morning and (if I’m being particularity awesome….) last thing at night. Definitely first thing in the morning. This sets my day up in gratitude, love, clarity and focus. I usually incorporate a brisk walk to help physically charge and awaken my body at the same time.  I walk without music. Just me, God and the other early risers getting ahead start on all the late starters in life! If I quiet my mind, am present in the moment, I hear the answers I seek. Effective mindfulness. Effective communication with the One True God. Effectively developing my relationship with Him. Having fun with Him.

Meditation is about focusing mental energy.

Focusing energy increases power.

Increased power is empowerment.

Empowerment allows for more concentration.

Concentration results in better function and effectiveness: in school; in business; in sports; in LIFE.

4. Exercise

walking

Ooh a life without exercise would be equivalent to a life without music! = NO Life at all!!!!

Walking is GREAT!!! Most people can walk. So do more of it. Faster. 😉 Walking with purpose and appreciating that we CAN walk will change the state of the mind. Try it. Gentle exercise is better  for the vast majority of people in today’s society regardless of fitness level. Walking is one of the BEST fat burning exercises you can dream of doing. Dancing is another. Walking is easier see?! 

I run as nothing makes me feel more alive than when I finish a run. But this is a very jarring exercise and certainly has it’s faults. I walk in the mornings :) Join me! Walk. Walk with power. First thing in the morning. Change your life. Change your stress levels. Empower yourself.

5. Stretch!

Pilates is a brilliant practice for stretching, lengthening the body and strengthening the core. It will give you an amazing posture and free any creaky or stuck bits (frozen shoulder anyone?) Instructors are usually highly trained and focus on core strength. True change comes from the inside out- from the core. Start stretching.

By working with the body, and focusing on positive change, we can manage stress far more effectively.

6. FOOD

Blood Red Sunset www.vashte.com

I finally bring this up. One of my favourite topics!! The food I eat plays a direct role in how I process information and how I handle situations. If you are any different, then… you my friend, are an alien from a planet far, far away.

  • Foods that make us sleepy and tired such as: heavy, creamy foods, pastas, breads, dairy; can slow the body and mind as energy is used in some attempt to digest this crap. Loads of energy is taken as these so called foods produce an inflamed response in many people sending the body into overdrive, causing stress internally.
  • Refined sugar, artificial sweeteners and foods with chemicals (most supermarket foods) go straight to the brain and cause neuro-toxic responses. In ‘Vashte’ words: cause brain farts, toxic ones, resulting in behavioural changes in the vast majority of people. Myself included. I used to drink a product called Defin-8. Sold as a ‘mostly natural pre-workout’ – used by  people who use the gym, or in my case for energy. Much like an energy drink. Well, there is nothing natural about this product. Beware of the label ” natural sweetener”. WHAT EXACTLY is this? It is not labeled. For your information: MSG is a NATURAL PRODUCT. I drink Defin-8 and my brain shuts down. Like flicking a switch. Boom. I’m in lala land. I get agitated and itchy. BAD. Really bad. Here is what is happening: brain cells are dying. Just by me drinking a product sold as ‘mostly natural’. Lord knows I have damaged enough brain cells without adding to the equation!
  • Stimulants like coffee and energy drinks can and often do result in dependency. They sure will stimulate the brain and therefore nervous system producing some degree of false energy, and just as surely, they will result in a crash around 1-3 hours later producing a sure fire crash. Hence reaching for another hit.

Choose real food. Real food is whole food. Whole food is made by God without man’s intervention. We stuff it up every. single. time. Wholefoods are: vegetables, good fats, proteins and a little fruit. If you don’t know where to start with healthy, whole foods I have a wide range of FREE easy recipes to get you going!  Click HERE NOW!I’m not one to hang out in the kitchen unless its a party and that’s where it’s at, but only ever then! My recipes are simple, easy and clean eating. AND DELICIOUS!!! Give them a go!!

By changing the food and drink I consume, I directly changed how I experienced and will continue to experience stress.

7. Breathe!!!!

So simple, yet so many forget about it!

Physiologically, when we are stressed it is completely natural to breath shallow, fast breaths. Why? The body is preparing itself for danger. It senses attack. It is preparing me for a fight or a flight. Blood rushes to muscles in my arms and legs leaving digestion – don’t eat when stressed! Eyes dilate. Blood rushes to my heart and increases beats per minute. I’m ready to fight or run. This is an inbuilt defense mechanism that has kept us humans alive since the dawn of time. Its awesomely clever.  God is pretty on to it! When I am stressed I can get tunnel vision- my vision becomes like a laser beam to the exclusion of everything else. Good if I’m looking for an escape, bad if there is oncoming traffic….or I’m not needing to run like a black panther to escape one. Which has never happened by the way. I’m still here. When I say I like to run.. it is not fast by any stretch of the imagination :)

If I were to experience that every time I experienced stress, I would be a train wreck. Some people live in this state day in, day out. This is chronic stress and is guaranteed to make a human body very sick. If not now, eventually. I lived in this state for two years. A human can live like this for a large part of their lives. What often results is sudden cardiac arrest. Often the first sign of cardiac arrest is death. Which is why cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in the Western World. It is too late at the first sign of cardiac arrest.

  • Breathe.
  • Notice your breath.

The breath is usually the easiest sign indicating stress. Sometimes I notice I am shallow breathing when my conscious mind has not quite connected to any perceived stress. All I need to do to regain control is stop doing whatever it is that I am doing and focus on my breath. By taking long, slow, deep breathes, I regulate my heart rate and slow my breathing and heart rate down.

Stress can be controlled by breathing correctly! So simple. Why are we not all aware of this and taught to practice this? In school would be the best place to start. It may help with bullying, exams, sports events.. life after school.

Breath is the link between the mind and the body. It both reflects and affects the body’s level of stress. The mind affects the body; the body affects the mind.  The whole is in the part and the part is n the whole. 

8. Focus.

Vashte Bawden

Determine my focus. I ask myself: what is it I am focusing on? Is it beneficial or toxic? Ditch the toxic. This revolves around forgiveness, letting go and forgetting. There is no forgiveness without forgetting. Chronic hatred and anger are among the worst forms of stress. If I remain angry with a person or situation, I empower that person or situation to lord over my life, take control of my thoughts and create a toxic, sick world for me to live in. No thanks.

Forgiving a person does not excuse the behaviour, but it does free my mind from stress, suffering and physical illness. Let it go. There are many situations in my life where I could ‘justifiably’ be angry and harbour resentment and hatred. pfff. No way. I give it all to God and He can deal with the mess. I have a life to live.

Determine your focus with a pure heart = freedom.

It takes strength and courage to forgive. Just try it. A courage you will never experience if you choose not to forgive, let go and foeget. Live an empowered life, not a life lorded over by those who have hurt you.

9. Reach Out.

Connect with the people! Find support groups, or people similar to you who are also moving forward and getting on with life. DON’T connect with people who marinate in the past and tell their story over and over and over..and over. Toxic!! Run Forrest RUN!!!

We all have sad times in life. Don’t choose to stay there! Move on. Join sports groups, reading groups, computer groups..do stuff that you find FUN!!! FUN!!! The key to life!!! Dont LOOK for happiness!!! Do the stuff that interests you and you ARE the happiness and fun in the world!!!! Just get out and start connecting with good people! Get on with LIVING!! 

Vashte Minta jump 12

This is NO  dummy run, although it sure looks as though there are some dummies sleep walking around this world! DON’T be ONE!!!

Quit hiding out on your own. That is dangerous. Being alone is when the lies your head tells you appear real. Get out and about. Dust the cobwebs off and start Living Life OutLoud!! Watch the stress melt away, seemingly without you even trying too hard.. because you are having fun! Before long you will wonder what that old life was all about and how it was even possible in your world. 

Life is for Living. Manage the stress using techniques proven over the ages. Life involves stress. We can’t stop it but we sure can manage HOW we deal with it.

Live Your Life OutLoud.

xx Vashte xx

Vashte has a BA majoring in Psychology; is a Master Neuro-Linguistic Programmer, Master Results and Performance Coach, and holds qualifications in advanced neurological re-patterning. She has a Diploma in Christian Biblical Studies and is a Qualified Personal Trainer registered with Fitness Australia.  She has been researching nutrition for 20 years; composing wholefood food plans for 6 years, focusing on weight and fatloss via wholefood.

Vashte is a health and wellness ambassador, specialising in spirit, mind and body. 

Vashte is currently based on the Gold Coast and consults from there. Skype sessions are available for those outside this area. Please contact her via email: info@vashte.com for further information.

 

 

 

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Bridge To Brisbane Fun Run. 10km.

by Vashte on September 10, 2013

Bridge To Brisbane

It was another seemingly unsuspecting Sunday morning with a difference! Two things marked this Sunday a little different from the outset than other Sundays. The first was Fathers Day Down Under– so one might expect many Dads to be enjoying breakfast in bed made by their doting kiddy winks, and yet a crowd of over 41,000 people gathered at the foot of Brisbane’s Gateway Bridge- many of whom likely fathers! I suspect some fathers had chosen to get up well before their little ones could surprise them with such an idea this year- but why?!

On the 1st Sept 2013, 41,000 people give or take, joined together with a common goal: to run, walk, push prams, wheel themselves, or somehow transport  themselves on foot 10km over the Gateway Bridge and beyond.. for fun! I was one of those 41,000 people!!

I know that many people shudder at the thought of getting up while it is still pitch black to voluntarily throw on lycra of any description for whatever reason. Add to that  the absolutely preposterous concept of actually opting to run such a distance at their own free run. All before breakfast! But then again, it would seem many people think it something different and fun to do.. 41,000 of us!

Until you join in and try it, you cannot bag it. The buzz in energy 41,000 people creates is something else. Whilst the thought of running such a distance may make your heart flutter slightly, and send your mind into a spin telling the story you keep playing to yourself that ”you could never do that”.. giving it a go just once would enable you to know once and for all if you would make it! Most people don’t race. In fact, it is pretty hard to race unless you put yourself in the elite category, and get off first. These guys and girls are usually racing for money, time and/or somewhat professional. Thes guys and girls are the minority.

The rest of us choose a category we think we fit. If it is your first attempt at a run/walk like this.. go easy on yourself and put yourself in the group that sets off last! They give you oodles of time to finish so even if you walk the entire thing, you do it!

Everyone is very supportive! Many people dress up for the fun of it or as a team. We are all there with the knoweldge that the great majority of Australians are still sleeping in bed, warm and rugged up. We may indeed be slightly crazy but we know that after this is done.. we can all enjoy a shower, and head off for a well deserved breakfast with a metabolism burning like a fire in the knowledge we did what most people can’t be bothered even trying!

Bridge To Brisbane

Watching the sun rise on the first offiicial day of Spring whislt running along roads that are very rarely closed is something special. Promo girls are dotted along the track holding banners and calling out encouragement, as are specatators holding personal placards for their friends and family members, and then there are the dj’s!! Yes dj’s- I remember at least two officially set up, pumping out tunes to keep us going! All fun and all very cool.

The bridge itself  is a gradients of 5%. It is at the start so many people choose to walk it. I found it easier than I expected, likely as the adrenalin kicked in passing the start line :) The killer for me was the sneaky little bridge at the 8km mark.. it was a little one but I was not expecting it. Youch! Having very little running training behind me, and what running I have been doing this year is all very flat, any increment is a move up for this long distance, flat line runner! At that little bridge I almost stopped, but the mind is a great thing when also exercised well. I decided to dig in just when I wanted to stop the most and push through. No stopping allowed I had a Personal Best time to make!

I would have been so disappointed with myself had I stopped. Having run two ½ marathons this year already, this 10km should be in the bag – 1km 5% incline on the bridge aside 😉

With the crowd pumping, I nailed this run in 53 minutes and 7 secs; a personal best for me including hills! I was aiming for 50 mins, so that will be for the next 10km I run then.

Bridge To Brisbane

Challenge yourself. Do stuff that scares you. Book yourself in for events and get amongst it. Give life a go! Some people say that running is not good for the joints, and yet, neither is sitting on the couch stuffing your face with chocolate watching movies on a regular basis!! If something has to give, I would prefer that it gives through me being active as opposed to being a sloth whist giving out unsolicited advise to people who like to get amongst it!

So come on and join me! You don’t have to be the world’s fastest runner. You don’t have to be incredibly fit. You don’t have to have spent the last 3 months running 5 days a week to have some fun in an organised run. You CAN walk part, if not all of it! Come on down to get involved in the atmosphere, feel the sense of achievement in crossing the finish line walking or running. Come and see the plethora of people all ages, all abilities, all shapes, all sizes..all just giving life a go!

Come out from behind those four walls you call home and breathe the fresh air, watch the sun rise, and enjoy the excitement as people, just like you, line up and wonder if they can cross the finish line as well!

While you have all your facilites about you, why don’t you do something crazy like this consciously?? Heaven knows what you will do later in life! There is nothing more heart wrenching than coming to the end of your life and wishing you had given it more of a go.

We only regret the things we wanted to do, but didn’t. Not the things we ‘failed’. If you try, and I mean really try, and find things don’t work out the way you imagined- at least you found that out for yourself.

Quit giving advise on stuff you havent tried!! We all do it!! Just get out there and try it for yourself! It really is surprising what we can do. Our minds tell us we can’t. But.. there is no such thing as can’t… unless you believe it.

:)

Think you can or think you cant- either way- you will be right.

So think you can and start Living a Life OutLoud!!!

Are we there yet??

Are we there yet…????

xx Vashte xx

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Get Your Sweat On!

by Vashte on July 22, 2013

Bikram Funnies

It’s hot. Boiling hot. The humidity is more stifling than a packed Turkish bathhouse. I’m drenched in my own sweat. Yes Sweat. Not perspiration. There is no way on God’s green earth you could say this is perspiration. Not even in your wildest dreams. I’m dripping, literally drenched in my own sweat.. its running up my nose and into my eyes. And I’m not supposed to wipe it off… just let it drip onto my towel beneath me, or up my nose…. or pour. Whatever the case may be. And now I am supposed to try to get myself out of the entanglement I have put myself in.. remembering to breathe. Apparently some people forget to do that… in this situation. So I make some feeble attempt to unravel myself with decorum, remembering to breathe, oh and to relax my face..smile even!! Actually it helps to laugh :) That does initially appear a little difficult as I’m heating up from the inside out; marinating in my own rivers of sweat and have managed to twist my body into something short of an ”upside down Japanese ham sandwich”. Well – at least that’s what my yoga teacher says I am supposed to look like.. whatever that looks like- I am pretty sure I am a long way off remotely appearing that way! And here is where you just absolutely cannot take yourself too seriously. Let it go, and have a giggle. And remember to breathe 😉

I have just started Bikram Yoga. Have you ever tried it? It is that stretching yoga where it has been decided stretching was not hard enough so they heat the room up to the 40C mark or so. :) Wow alright :) I decided to get back into it after my half marathon. I figured it would help with the inflammation my body was walking through after running that distance with little training. And in all honesty, I had lost my mojo for running as well as any form of ‘usual’ training I had been engaged in for the past 12 months. This year has been a series of 2 steps forward and 3 steps back. Joy. I knew there was a high chance of  losing  my sanity completely if I allowed this present stage of non anything to continue, so I took the reigns and made the necessary changes. It is paying off..and I’m only just looking into the start of my third week!!

The penny is dropping again, results are starting and we’re off once again. phew :)

Once you get your head around the heat of Bikram yoga, the fact you do marinate in your own river of sweat; understand no one is looking at you, nor cares what you are doing unless you are just plain distracting; get that all participants in bikram are working on healing themselves, changing themselves, bettering themselves without the need for competition or comparison, it becomes  quite addictive. Well has done for me at least :) So far I have made it to one class every day for six out of seven days. I didn’t make it yesterday so I went for a run instead.. the difference in my strength and lightness on my feet was amazing- in just two weeks. I am chomping at the bit to get back to class today for my hit!bikram

Now this little graph is interesting- don’t think by the third or fourth class you are ”enlightened” and breezing through class no trouble.. ooohhhh big mistake to think this way. Each class will be different- I was chatting to one lady who had been coming for 7 months and she was agreeing with me on how hard the week had been! So it would appear it all depends on what is going on in your world at the time. Just keep coming and keep practicing. What do I consistently say about sport?…BE consistent!

There is much to be said about calming the mind. The majority of my coaching in personal training and life coaching revolves around this very topic. When we become aware of the thoughts and the words we speak over ourselves, as well as how often the chitter chatter is blathering on in the background; it can at first be quite a shock at a. how often we chat and b. the amount of disempowerment we tell ourselves..on a daily basis! So that being said- when you opt to place yourself in a room, with a little yoga mat and towel (designed to soak up the sweat but lets not kid ourselves.. we need at least 3 ..on top of each other to absorb the vast quantities of human sweat about to be unleashed) – … you are either incredibly insane.. or making some attempt to preventing this from taking hold 😉 I’m working on the later, please don’t contradict me on this and allow me my fantasy of being somewhat sane :)

So in this 40C room, in this situation, wearing next to nothing (what is the point- you would only want to rip excess clothing off within 5 minutes WITHOUT caring what anyone else thought…) in this heat, attempting to balance on one leg, and twist your rigid body into strange peculiar positions then “hold it, hold it, hold it”.. whilst you drip, drip, drip… you very quickly learn to still your mind and focus on the task at hand: which is surviving!- Yes, remember to breath!!! ..Slowing your heartrate down… Or just breathing in to the space in your body that you didn’t actually know existed, but … through finding them you may ache, yet in that ache and in that place you find some welcome relief AT finding those places. Because somehow, someway you do know these places are all parts of your body and they DO need stretching, gently. 

Beginner Bikram Yoga is a practice, one form of exercise I connect with so far through the challenge, through the slight pain, through the discipline, and through the mind control. I see quite a number of athletes from other sports enjoying this form of yoga. Perhaps it is the challenge, perhaps it is the discipline. It is certainly different to other more gentle forms of yoga out there. There is a time and place for any sport. We are all unique so that is why we all like different things. I like the intensity of Bikram yoga.  I like the fact I come out of class like a new person- a drowned rat. Devoid of any pretence or pompous attitude.

I like that Bikram Yoga does not have a lot of traditional meditation. I don’t subscribe to the belief of yoga and its origins as a religion.  I am very obviously Christian; through Bikram Yoga I can enjoy the medical, mental and physical benefits of this sport without it encroaching on my beliefs, nor I encroach on its. Every human being needs stretching and we in the modern day world, just don’t do much as a rule! Well not in my definition of modern day life  that is for sure! I participate to enjoy the benefits I have not been able to get lately from my other favourite forms of sports. I have lost the buzz, the thrill, my mojo and ….any quantifiable results! Bikram Yoga is allowing me to challenge myself without the physical stress, nor the emotional stress, and is helping me to overcome the inertia I was walking though coming out of illness.

I love the way the teachers are not all ”into” themselves. Previously my personal experience of yoga lead me to students and teachers who own attitudes I associate with carrots in places the sun rarely sees.. gross generalisation yes, and my own observation only, but definitely my observation. (There is enough of that on the Gold Coast without me going off and looking for it :) ) However, at Bikram Yoga Southport there is a tonne of laughter, the teachers encourage us not to take life too seriously, let alone the practice; and entice you to relax and have fun with it. They welcome new people and explain clearly the postures. They slow you down as a newby as we tend to be eager to get into pose (but can’t off the bat) and let you know it is no race, it is not competition. Just BE. All the things I teach and speak on every day. Lighten up! Its friendly. Its fun. Its a challenge.

Every time this drowned rat emerges from another sweltering hot Bikram Yoga class, I feel lighter physically and emotionally. Detoxing from the inside out and definitely helping me in my flexibility which has never been my forte given my choice of training to date!

I highly recommend giving Bikram Yoga a go if you are looking to recharge your mojo, if you like a challenge, and want to try something completely out of the current box you live in! Each day is different at Bikram Yoga.. in my two weeks so far, it hasn’t become easy, and it hasn’t become hard. What HAS happened is a dramatic increase in my flexibility, my mind, my thoughts, and more physical change than I have seen all year.. and that is only after two weeks. Touch base with me in three months on this topic! That’s when we can gauge what change have occurred. I love it! You may too?! One word of warning though – don’t just try Bikram Yoga for one class. You need to give it at least a week to figure out if you can handle it, how it affects you, and whether or not you enjoy it.  Lets get real- you are in a room set at 40C, you sweat,and then some; you are trying to get your body into unusual positions, in this heat- (well I had never voluntarily just sat in front of the TV and tried it at home personally)… so you will feel strange, you ought to be wearing less than you would normally choose to wear! It will seem weird. It won’t be easy. But isn’t anything you do for the first time this way? You need to give new situations, leanings, experiences a chance. A chance for you to understand them, and your body to get with the programme before passing judgement.

Bikram Yoga is changing my life at this moment in time. I love it. You could too. Try it on for size :) I dare you! HERE is the link for Bikram Southport. Google for your closest studio and get your sweat on!

xx Vashte xx

 

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Want to Run With Me?

by Vashte on July 15, 2013

 

Half Marathon 5 July13

What do you do for exercise?! What is your chosen form of training to keep you fit? What gives you that happy high feeling when you finished? What gives you that sense of achievement, knowing that, although you may not have ‘felt’ like it today; maybe it was cold; or you were incredibly busy all day…but you made that decision and commitment to just get out and ‘do it’. What was it? What is it that keeps you feeling alive? Grounded? High?

Find something in the form of exercise that you enjoy. If you don’t enjoy it, you wont keep it up and it will be a fad. If you don’t think you enjoy any exercise, find something that you think you may enjoy one day, once you understand it, and get fitter. Do it for the sake of your own body. If’ that doesn’t motivate you, perhaps getting fit for the sake of your children is a good start. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to play with them without falling in a heap 5 minutes into it? Wouldn’t it be great to improve your chances of living to see and enjoy their 21st birthday? 30th? 40th?

I love to run. I have always run. I have trained my body so that it is designed to run. I trained at a very high level throughout school for track and field, and competed for the North Island of NZ in the 100 +200 meters sprint, triple and long jump. The again it seems I have always been gifted in the sporting arena. I competitively swam and trained 2-3 hours every day for both these events throughout high school, as well as played state netball from the age of 13 years. (Interesting that when I hit high school the netball coach for 13years choose not to like me so placed me in the Ç’ team. I found this intriguing and after speaking with the right people, and having the watch me play, I was taken from the C team for 13years, and placed in the Senior A team, remaining there until the end of high school whilst being selected to represent the state. My point being- just because ONE person puts you down, or says you cant- doesn’t mean it is true. PROVE THEM WRONG not in words, but in ACTION. You can’t beat that revenge ‘- and the only form of ”getting even” I condone 😉

Question: Are a person gifted or are you lead in a specific direction? Probably a bit of both; but being encouraged and lead in a specific direction helps and often has a profound impact in the life of a child. “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 Whether you study psychology, NLP, or any mind set strategy you will understand this to be true.  We more often than not to go back to unconscious behaviours naturally and easily if we do not make a conscious effort to change them. And even then it can be concerted effort and determination to break those habits learnt from childhood. So it is wise to be prudent in how and what you teach your children. I know I will be if that ever happens.

I have lived all over the world; a large part was spent in semi rural New Zealand- to run around the block meant just an 8km run.. probably more than the average city slicker :) My step father bred short-hair-German-pointer dogs -which are bird dogs – tall, lean, sleek, intelligent dogs that needed to run otherwise they would jump the fence and chase the horses and cows- so I would run with one. They kept the pace up, and deterred predators!  This is interesting as I was a sprinter, but could run the longer distances, with training.  I have both short twitch and long twitch fibred  muscles meaning I can do both if I want comfortably. Some people are designed for sprints and high impact exercise and dread the thought of endurance, and vice versa. This generally means they have what is called short twitch muscles – they usually choose fast acting, explosive, impact style, for short distance and short term. Things like Sprints, Body Building, Boom Boom Boom stuff. Long twitch muscular people are your marathon runners- anything for long distance-  the lean, beanpoles generally speaking.  Then there are people like me who have both- the danger here is to be good at many things and not great at anything! It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t matter to you. All that matters is you do something that you get your kicks from, that you can fall in love with and that you can maintain.

!!!!Find SOMETHING!!!!

GC Marathon July 13

I recently did something scary for me, yet easy for some… I entered the Gold Coast Half Marathon at the beginning of July! A couple of years back I was running distances of 10-20kms 5 days a week. Loving it. And couldn’t get enough of it. I was as surprised as the next person when I was doing this, as I absolutely, never in my wildest dreams, would have thought I could run like that before it happened! The thing is, I was driven by something else. An emotional event that caused me to ramp my life up and enable me to push like I had never before. This I OK short term, but it went on for …too long. So at the beginning of this year I finally crumbled.. in a heap… I couldn’t run, I couldn’t even walk.. getting out of bed was a huge effort. Yes, I crashed and burned baby. I wasn’t sure I could ever run again!

But the thing about us humans is, with the right nurturing; the right nutrition; the right rest and understanding of self and events- we come back! And if managed correctly, we can come back stronger, with more learning and more understanding and much more wisdom. Without beating yourself up, or wishing we could do things differently or hating on ourselves.. just get up, put one step in front of the other and breathe. Take it easy and know that you are walking the road designed by you and for you. Learn, comprehend and come back strong. Don’t expect life to be roses every single day. Deal with the thorns, and know they will keep coming along the way. Prepare and arm yourself for them so they don’t dig in so much.

You can do it!

I can do it- so you can to. There is no difference between you and I- we are all human, we all make mistakes, we all soar like eagles- the choice is yours as to how you tackle and reign in this life!

So- I hadn’t run a distance like this in hmmm probably one year.. maybe a year and a half. One week out I was seriously doubting I could do it, but I had entered, and I had it on my goal board, so my decision was final. My goals can change but it would mean I would have to run it at a later date. Why not get it over and done with now?! I felt in my heart that if I faced this fear head on, I would break some chains I felt heavy laden over me in this first 6 months of 2013. I don’t recommend you run that distance without training; I could as although I am not as fit as I usually keep myself, I am a Personal Trainer, and I do exercise twice daily- once if I’m in a poop. And only this year did I go days without anything- which almost killed me as a person. I generally I come in fitter and many.

I reasoned that they give you 3 hours to complete the course, so even if I walked it I would get it done as I can walk 7km an hour- average pace. So if I ran some and walked some, Id be safe.

What a buzz. The energy with so many people gathered together for a sports event is electric. I recommend you participate on some funruns this year!!! There are fun walks too if running is not your thing, but get involved. Click HERE for the Link to see what is coming up in QLD. All you need is VERY good shoes, and ladies- get a hard core sports bra to protect those things!!! Your shoes are best bought from overseas- they are far too expensive in Australia- averaging 3 x the price of the USA even with the weaker dollar. HERE is your link for shoes. :)

The pump of all the people, having fun; all nervous and most wondering if they can do it rocks!!!  There are groups of businesses; people running ‘for’ someone they love but perhaps can’t; the costumes; some raising money;  the markets and stalls; the organisation- its all brilliant! It is actually even easy to get out of bed at 4am to make the start time, because of the nervous energy you create for yourself! Really I woke before my alarm! I hadn’t done that in ….6 months!!! I didn’t want anyone coming down to watch me run- I didn’t tell too many people about it and conveniently organised my man to have a boys night watching the rugby the night before :) )I didn’t know how I would finish and this girl has some pride 😉 But not so much that I can’t post my sweaty post -run pictures for you all to see. ppfff Life isn’t photoshoped with perfect makeup every day, in fact VERY RARELY and certainly NOT if you TRAIN HARD!!!

As it turned out, I ran well. Surprisingly well and smoked it,!!! Coming in with a time of 2 hours flat (started 6 minutes after 6). I felt great! High on life! Looked a mess as you can see, but running is no glamour sport. Well, not for me. I get hot. I get sweaty. I get read in the face. if you don’t like it, look away!! I did it!! I finished strong!!

Vashte Half Marathon July 13

I broke those invisible chains I felt hanging over me by committing and completing this goal. The time or how fast I ran is irrelevant in the big picture. The fact I did it is the relevant aspect. And now, I’m thinking about the BNE half marathon next month and some fun runs at night with glow sticks!! I love to run. It may not be ‘the best’ form of exercise to ‘lose weight, which I want. It may not be good for the body long term. But you know what- you can find fault in anything in life. If you do more of what you love and less of what you think you are ‘supposed to’, you may find the dreams you have come to fruition as you empower yourself to a stronger, better you, whilst doing the things you love. The things that make you tick. The things that excite you to the core- from the inside out. The things that give you joy- that are good for you.

Nothing- nothing gives me the same buzz as running. I don’t know why, and I don’t care. I know walking is better for ‘fat burning’; so is HIIT. But I dig running so I will run forever! My hardcore, mixed with drum and base, mixed with classical music in my ears; the freedom; the alone time; the beating my lazy body time; the conquering aspect of just doing it. I love it. I don’t run to race. I run for me- so I let go of my head issues, and I am a much nicer person to be around!!

I recommend you find an exercise form that you can start to enjoy. Start with one thing. Something you can do, master it- then find something else. I mix my training up as yes, I do get ‘bored’ doing the same thing day in day out. So add a few new things to training to keep the momentum up.  I started with this mammoth run so I have decided to stay up.  It can be hard to pick yourself up once you fall! I know!!! From personal experience. I’m still picking myself up- want to join me? We are all human, we all fall- what matters is how many times you pick yourelf up –

-so come on and join me and start over again!! –

Such is life!!!

Everyone does it, time and time again.

Suck it up Princess 😉 –

xx Vashte xx

 

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How Badly Do You Want It?

by Vashte on January 16, 2012

Set your alarm for 5am. Don’t groan when it goes off and pull the covers over your head. GET UP and start your day.

Put on a baggy top and running shorts. Go downstairs and pour yourself a nice big glass of ice water. Cut up some fruit and mix it in with yogurt.

 Now go outside.

Stretch for 10 minutes. Skip for 5 minutes. Jog for 10 minutes. Run for 10 minutes. Walk back. Lay out a towel on the ground and lie down on it. Do 50 crunches. Yes, they hurt, but they are 100% worth it.

When you’re done, get in the shower. Use a nice smelling shampoo and matching conditioner. Shave your legs and wash your body. Exfoliate your face. Get out of the shower and let your hair air dry.

Look in the mirror. DO YOU LIKE WHAT YOU SEE? If you do….good for you.

Do this every day and you will continue to love yourself. If you don’t like what you see, do this EVERY DAY and pretty soon you WILL.

Being lazy might feel good at the time, but being active feels better in the long run.

HOW BADLY DO YOU WANT IT?

LIFE – Without your health you have NOTHING. Having all the money in the world but not having your health – is worthless. This life of ours is a blessing. Make each day count and kick start you’re EVERY DAY with movement! You just watch your energy sour like an eagle, and that body of yours change and respond to you taking control! One step at a time!

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