I Started Taking Yoga Every Day. How Did It Help Me?

featured image via : Popust Plus 

I Started Taking Yoga Every Day. How Did It Help Me?

For those of you familiar with Yoga, you may know there are many different types of Yoga you can take.  For those of you not familiar with these types of yoga, they include  but are  not limited to: Hatha ( a basic slower-moving yoga class), Vinyasa ( a dynamic practice linking breath and movement together ),  Bikram ( a heated yoga in which you typically practice the 26-pose Bikram sequence, definitely a more vigorous practice ), and Hot Yoga * my personal favorite* ( obviously a heated yoga practice which is similar to Bikram yet not restricted to the 26 Bikram sequence).

These practices are some of the most common or popularly practiced types of Yoga.  There are many more including, Kundalini, Yin Yoga, Restorative Yoga etc.  This being said they all focus on different aspects of finding peace and focusing on your breath and bettering of your body.

After researching, and learning the many positive effects yoga can have on your body, and mental health I decided it was time I finally take action, and take my first yoga class.  Luckily, I am a flexible person, with 9 years of background it martial arts training I definitely have become extremely flexible which came to my advantage in my opinion.

Here is how my first three days went.

 

Day 1 :

The first thing I noticed when I walked into that heated room with my mother was the complete silence in the room.  It was intimidating I won’t lie, individuals of all ages stretching, in child’s pose, handstands. The only things going through my mind were, I hope they don’t expect me to be able to do that.  and If it stays this hot the whole time I think I might pass out.  

After 10 minutes of stretching, the class had started and I was excited.  I was attending a hot yoga ” Flow ” class with an AMAZING instructor.  She started us off with a little meditation, then had us go through many poses including: ” Downward Facing Dog” or Adho Mukha Svanasana in Sanskrit, Chair Pose or Utkatasana, Child’s Pose or Balasana, and Crescent Moon Pose or Ashta Chandrasana to name a few.

We ended our night with some more meditation and spent around 5 minutes completely stretching or meditation on our own.  Whichever we felt we needed most.

If I was to summarize my first real yoga class, I’d say it was the best idea I’ve had to take it.  I found myself completely in the moment, at peace, and just relaxed altogether.  As hesitant as I was I am so glad that I took this class.

 

Day 2:

I went to sleep after my yoga class last night, and I felt so at peace.  I woke up feeling great and well rested, and I was looking forward to taking my second class tonight!  I think it’s appropriate I mention, my mom is a yoga fanatic.  She attends yoga class regularly and now I finally understood first hand how beneficial and calming yoga really was.  She always tells me I’m missing out, and it’s super fun and let me tell you she was 100% correct.  I can not explain how much the first class of yoga benefited me.

I took a different class today, Warrior Sculpt in a heated room again with another AMAZING instructor.  Let me be honest with you. This class kicked my butt.  Yoga itself is not a walk in the park, try doing it with weights in 100+ degree weather.  It’s like a soothing yet painful slow death.  All jokes aside, this class was definitely not easy at all but I loved it.  With different workouts and poses to work different parts of your  body, I walked out of that class sweaty, sore, but super happy.  Definitely a class I will return to.

The only thing going through my mind when I went to sleep that night was : I feel great now, I hope I can still walk tomorrow. Might I say, I am attending a 5:00 AM Yoga class tomorrow for my mom’s birthday. Wish us luck.

 

Day 3

It is currently 4:30 AM and I am half asleep filling up both my mom’s and my water bottle.  We are going to heated ” Flow ” yoga at 5:00 AM, and I am super excited and super sore!  Might I add, none of my hoping worked and I am so sore that I can’t even sit down but I don’t mind!

We arrived at the gym, and I was surprised to see class was full with over 25 people!  I never thought anyone would wake up that early on their weekend to attend a yoga class, until I attended my first class.

We started off our class with some meditation, and light music and to my surprise I had accidentally walked into a Flow core session yoga.  5 AM core workout. Not my best idea.  After my mom and I pushed through our core workout, we got into a more mellow/ cool down part of class in which we stretched, and practiced basic yoga poses.

I was extremely happy with this class.  Regardless of the fact I had no clue I was about to get a core workout at 5 AM, this class honestly was a great way to start my day.  I walked out of it refreshed, and ready to take on whatever the day had in store for me.  My mom and I had so much fun taking that class together, and I look forward to continuing yoga with her.

 

Final Thoughts

I am so so happy with my decision to attend yoga classes every day.  This week, I noticed so many different positive changes in my lifestyle and mood.  I felt completely relaxed and at peace with myself and my surroundings.  The many different classes that I took really worked my body, but in such a great way.  No matter how sore I felt, I found myself waking up eager to attend class, and eager to take on the day.

Despite being hesitant to try yoga, and be surrounded by experienced yogi’s after my first class I really understood what everyone meant when they told me yoga is solely for myself.  I did not have to compete with anyone, or try any of the things anyone around me was doing.  I did everything I wanted, and everything I wanted to do.  Just like starting any sport, it takes time to grow and advance.

In this one week, I noticed my levels of anxiety significantly decreasing.  I learned to focus on my breathing and to live in the moment rather than stressing about what is to come.  Aside from this I also noticed I began to become less and less stressed about the little things that always seem to get me tense and stressed out.  Taking 1-2 hours of yoga a day significantly improved my days and feelings this week.

In conclusion, I can honestly  say I will continue to take 1-2 yoga classes every day with my mom, and strongly advise you guys to take yoga at least once or twice a week.  The effects it has on you overall are so rewarding, and you will be so content with the results.

Until next time,

Namaste.

Alternative Nostalgia

3A651474-015C-48D6-BE3A-4A046A25A9CC.jpgLife. We can’t explain it. But we know we’re living in it.

Life. We meet people, we learn. We create memories in it.

Life goes on. We miss the good times, the times where we felt alive. The times where we had no regrets. Where all we were thinking about was how we were feeling in that very moment. The moment was ours, and it was precious.

We miss those moments. Nostalgia. I can say that I have experienced this feeling countless times. I miss people who have come into my life for a reason. But we can’t get those moments back, and can’t be with those we wish to see. But we can remeber, and that’s it. We only have the memory, and the feeling.

This is what photography does for me. I take photos to remember. I want to feel again. I take photos to regain the emotions I have felt from those moments. Every second of everyday there is a new moment to capture. Moments that I can never get back. I can shape the moment into what I want, just by looking into my 18-135mm lens and pressing the photo button with my right index finger, and hearing the camera shutter and click. There. Moment captured. No undoing it.

On Thursday August 3rd, I embarked on another journey to Mexico. I visited Mexico City, Guadalajara, Tequila (to the east of Guadalajara),and Mazatlan.

On the way back from visiting Tequila, I threw on some headphones and reviewed some photos on my camera that I had taken that day on the trip so far.

While listening to Ana Sun by Walk the Moon, I look at the reflection on my camera screen and notice an ambre of oranges, reds, and pinks. I look behind me to see something unexpected and miraculous. I look to find an epiphany of a sunset, and the rays are penetrating through the windows and caressing the faces of the other people in the car with me.

I begin to film and photograph this marvel, and as the beat in the song gets lounder and stronger, a rush of emotion came over me. It’s one of those unexplainable emotions that we as human beings cannot express, or that we cannot understand, a mystery of the universe. But it was good. I felt at ease, and nothing could ruin that moment for me.

Ultimately, what I felt at this moment was an eye opening. I felt grateful for all the blessings I have in my life, and grateful for all the memories I have made and cherished, and all the people that have come into my life, whether of not they were impactful or not. Life is all about learning and growing, and certain people can teach us this.

I am thankful for the bad times, when I have been let down; those experiences have shaped me into a better person and I have learned from them. This is how I express myself through photgraphy. If I can capture something and it sets off a rush of emotion and feeling within someone, that is all the satisfaction an artist needs.

Thank you, and I hope to share more soon 🙂

Check out my work on Instagram: @briana.gif

What You’re Worth

I’m not good with math
Or numbers or change
but here’s an equation
I’ll try to explain
if I start with a positive
and lose any cents
My account becomes negative
make any sense?
I know you don’t get it
Just hear me out
I’ve run out of worth
causing debt and doubt
I don’t take loans
grants or gifts
in the form of cheap thrill
Or fake relationships
so try and keep quiet
don’t fuss or holler
Bc what’s your two cents
Compared to my dollar
You still don’t get it
so let me just say it
I am changing for me
And no opinion can delay it
So in Dollars, cents
pennies or quarters
know your self worth
And stop taking orders
So better yourself
and don’t be ashamed
add up your value
Bc everyone needs change

Al Gore’s New Film Brings “Truth to Power”

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power

Image result for an inconvenient sequel truth to power
Al Gore at Sundance Film Festival. (Photo Courtesy of Getty Images)

A decade after Al Gore’s empowering and eye-opening film and book, An Inconvenient Truth, Former Vice President Gore has brought a new inspiring movie that reminds us of our responsibility to the climate movement. The sequel reviews the changes in both policy and climate, that have shaped the world.

The film exposes the rapid changes that are occurring in the Arctic with a spotlight on the glacial melt in Greenland. Footage shows Gore exploring the quickly melting glacial ice and the colossal chunks of glacier crashing into the ocean. He suggests that due to unusually high temperatures in Greenland, the glaciers are responding. Following the drastic chain of effects that follow sea level rise, the film focuses on flooding events that have ruined cities. After giving the viewer a background on the effects of climate change, Gore calls for the response that is essential to stopping this crisis.

Highlighting Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Training, the film calls for more activism and involvement to drive the climate movement. In the Leadership Corps program, Al Gore personally trains the potential leaders to encourage change in local community and  to bring the “Truth to Power”. With the program, people can apply to become apart of the Leadership Corps and commit to overcoming the climate crisis.

The coined term “Truth to Power” is now a forceful push in action that stands for change and revolution. Gore proves that through defiance, persistence and charged persuasion, the goals needed to make a difference are achievable. Though faced by many challenges, the climate movement has fought against every opposition and stood strong after every downfall. He brings hope and is determined that we can continue to lead our efforts into the future; despite Trump’s radical agenda. Gore connects the Climate Movement to the many influential movements that have shaped our world such as the Civil Rights Movement, Gay Rights Movement, Women’s Suffrage Movement, and Anti-Apartheid Movement. Each of these oppressed movements were confronted by many threats but continued to develop and achieve ambitious progress.

After a long and burdensome road to ratifying the Paris Agreement, President Trump announced on June 1, 2017 that the United States would be withdrawing from the Paris Agreement. A huge setback to the goals ratified, the withdrawal would ruin the dynamic formed in the agreement and would override the changes endured in other countries. While addressing this announcement, Gore remains hopeful that the strength of the movement is more powerful than the actions of the President.

Closing with the motivating message, “Fight like your world depends on it”, the film leaves viewers with an intense desire to make the changes laid out in the film. Overall the sequel was a perfect combination of recalling the growth of our past while reminding viewers of the obstacles that still lay ahead. The film should be used as proof of the glorious outcomes of unity, determination, and grit.

To join the Climate Reality Project proceed to the project website to bring “Truth to Power”.

Watch the trailer to this inspiring sequel here.

 

Shadow of Courage

At this time, I came with two pictures.

Firstly; I took it at my old high school which is also a primary school too. I immediately went to the courtyard where I could find the pure joy of youth. I didn’t have to take so many steps when I found this little boy, who was so excited, scared, happy and nervous. He was playing hide-and-seek. 
I captured him alone, alone with his feelings and his atmosphere. He was hidden and I didn’t want to take it from him. 
We can also see a tree shadow, an opened and a closed space. Hiding from the other playing kids and from the time (clock shadow) until he has to be a normal student again. When we were in his shoes, we always looked that clock. “How much time we have, feeling this freedom?” The magical freedom without being stressed, controlled, scared, nervous. 
But the boy felt both sides of feelings while he was playing.

And secondly; I finally was in France, Paris. The people immediately caught my attention, there were so many glad kids. I was always looking for a chance to perpetuate this kind of feeling that I want to be a child again. A better child (I’m not talking about my behavior). We didn’t use to play in a public area or went to a park. My mother was working, my brother and I played in our big garden. It was our playground, but I had a private place where can I ‘share’ my childhood. It was difficult for me to play wildly with other strange kiddywinks.
This BRAVE girl with her glasses and trendy roller shows me the opposite of me. The better me.

Failure

It pins you down

Captures you in its grasp and won’t let you go.

You can try as hard as you would like

But nothing you do will help

The voice in your head

Constantly reminding you that you failed

You did not succeed

You’re a failure and a disappointment

Don’t try again

It’s not worth it

Waste of time, space and energy

Give up.

chapter one: the broken girl in the coffee shop

chapter one: the broken girl in the coffee shop

she was not the type of girl to wait around after school just to watch you walk to your locker.

she would not wait around at the coffee shop after your practice just to watch you order your large strawberry flavoured water and yoghurt parfait cup.

she would not give you the answers to yesterday’s homework no matter how important that game or practice was, ” or was it a party this time?” she’d ask in an almost sarcastic tone.

she was a tough one, there was a certain stubbornness to her that you admired.

her light brown eyes had seen some of the darkest days you are yet to experience, but you loved it, you loved how she managed to get through it all.

she was not dying to get to know you, but god knows you would do anything to get to know her better.

the quiet girl who just transferred from california, was that her name? her name!  you don’t even know her name.

you started to stay after school to get a glance of her on her way to her car, backpack half open, hair a mess.  it was cute.  you thought it was cute.

after your practice at the coffee shop you would glance around hoping some day she would be sitting alone reading her favourite book, then you’d approach her right then and there and get her name.

weeks go by, she seems to have disappeared.  you see her occasionally when walking from class to class.

apparently, she has been seeing someone. someone who you know is not any good for her, but as long as she is happy right?

one night in the coffee shop you glance over at the brunette girl with light brown eyes sitting next to someone.

you hear the pain in her words as she opens her mouth, voice trembling, ” we were doing so well”

minutes go by and there she is alone.  wiping the tears off of her rosy cheeks.

you grew angry with yourself, why didn’t you comfort her? why didn’t you go and sit by her? ask her if she was okay?

these thoughts attacked your panicked mind until you got up and walked over.

there you were sitting next to the broken girl in the coffee shop.

no words were exchanged, as she placed her head in the warmth of your embrace.

she doesn’t have her car, so you’ll drive her home.

you won’t ever forget that rainy night or the dark pink and purple sky.

she lives close but you don’t mind taking her.  you hope she feels better, and not alone.

you got up and out of your chair, let her feel her emotions without having to hide them behind her grey tear stained sweatshirt.  drove her home so she’d be safe.  you offered to stay in case she didn’t want to be alone.

little do you know she’ll remember this night forever

mt