On doing Yoga in a sauna.

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I visited this sauna place today, after reading about it on nadnut’s blog. However, half the time my phone was left in my bag in a locker, and the other half, I took really bad photos, so hey, here’s another comic:

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(I’m too lazy to scan it.)

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ok, you cannot see my rosy cheeks from this lousy front facing camera.

 

Someone later explained to us that the sauna was packed with negative ions which had very positive effects on your body. To prove this, she showed us some eggs and bread which were very well preserved albeit left out in the open. The white bread was still white and the egg was merely crystallized. Not mouldy or rotting or smelly or anything nasty.

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Apparently it helps your body with a whole lot of things, including weight loss.

Anyway, we ate this promptly after:

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Also I bought an entire pack of stickers that cost me $4, just for this gorilla because he makes me feel so happy. Plus, he’s sparkly!!

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BTW this is not a sponsored post okay, every new customer is entitled to a $20 sauna-yoga session and a free therapy session. 🙂 🙂 🙂 YAY TO FREE THINGS!

Anti-Oxidant Centre
1 Thomson Ridge
Singapore 574633
T: +65 6756 0636
info@anti-oxidantcentre.com.sg

Opening hours:
Tue-Sat: 10am – 10pm
Mon-Sun: 10am – 7pm

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Yoga at Yoga Movement

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So since I’ve tried GYROTONIC® and Pilates I decided to give Yoga a try (again) at Yoga Movement today. (Not sponsored.) It’s my 2nd Yoga class!

I’m still trying to get used to Yoga. It’s a little too abstract for me… I’m used to counting, knowing where to put what limb, what music to follow…

It takes a little more effort to think about myself being lighter, or coming back to my breath. What am I supposed to feel, pain? A stretch? Like I’m suffocating? Heat??

I wobble in a Downward Dog. I don’t really know the names of the other poses. I have trouble going from that Downward Dog to putting my feet between my hands. Or even putting my nose on my knees with my legs outstretched and my feet flexed.

Like okay, how like this?

That aside, I tried my best. I felt good at the end of the class. It was like the slowest, most sweaty thing I’ve ever done.

I dare say I’d do it again.

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What I appreciated about Yoga Movement was that the registration process was really easy – just as they’ve illustrated in the board above, 3 steps. They’re not pushy with sales. It’s fuss free.

Their place is really cosy too 🙂 take a look:

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Just 2 studios: Biggie, and Smalls.

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And they love animals!

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Clean, white-washed toilets:

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BTW that’s Jo, who brought me here. Beginner class, she said. You might fall asleep, she said.

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Note that there’s no air conditioning. No lockers. A couple of showers. 1 toilet(bowl)?

Here’s their yoga schedule.

Namaste.

Yoga Movement
31A & 33A New Bridge Road
Singapore 059394
(+65) 65344670

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Reformer Pilates at The Moving Body

reformer pilates

Jem and I went back for Reformer Pilates at The Moving Body!

I forgot to ask this question so I had to do some research and reading on my own –

What’s the difference between yoga and pilates?

The same image pops to my mind when I think yoga/pilates – a toned woman in a sports bra (ya, i know) stretching in some pose on a mat.

Yoga

  • Originated from the East
  • Focuses on energy flow
  • Goal: keep the body supple through movement and stretching

Pilates

  • Originated from the West by Joseph Pilates to rehabilitate injured soldiers after WWI
  • It’s actually more common for pilates to be done on machines, like the reformer that we used and the cadillac. These use pulleys and springs to create resistance, whereas on mat pilates (developed later), your own body is used to create resistance (in this way, it’s more like yoga).
  • Goal: physical conditioning through stretching and strengthening

Both require both brain and body, but in very different ways. For yoga, it’s more meditative, for pilates, it’s more about concentration. Both, however, do build strength and flexibility.

For the dancers out there, pilates is actually very good for us cos it’s an effective way to improve body awareness and alignment!

(Source: ivillage.com)

So these are reformers:

They basically help you work out your body while forcing you to maintain a good posture.

Before we began working on the reformer, our instructor Michelle gave us an introduction to breathing using the pilates method – breathing laterally. I know right, what does that mean? I’ve never given so much thought to breathing in my life. (aha. now you are aware of the way you are breathing.)

Here we are, worshipping Michelle and her pilates prowess.

Ok actually we are focusing on inhaling and expanding our ribs, with the help of a ball that we’re slumped over.

*Breaaaathe*.

Next, we learnt to exhale the pilates way.

That’s me, caressing my uterus.

Ok I am really learning to pull in my pelvic bones and my abs while exhaling.

Then we got onto the reformer!!

I am all pensive and focused okay.

First we did a little jumping jumping to tone our legs. What happens is that you’re lying on your back on the reformer, but jumping horizontally off a jump board that’s attached!

Here’s Michelle demonstrating how to use the reformer with a jump board to tone legs + abs. Yes. She is super toned.

And then some exercises that focused on arms and abs…

This one focused on the glutes and abs as well…

For these exercises you can really see how the reformer is used to keep our backs in the correct alignment. If I were to do the jumping exercises on the floor without a reformer, I can imagine not being able to maintain a good back posture and to pull up throughout. Also, the impact on your knees is much less!

The reformer can also be used to strengthen our arms and back.

Talk about LUNGES man, the reformer takes it to the next level!

and finally… cooling down.

Similar to the after effects of GYROTONIC®, I was shocked at how much more grounded to the floor I was after this reformer pilates session. Within an hour, our postures were also much better – shoulders back and out, weight equally supported by both legs and both sides of the hip.

Reformer pilates would also make a good workout – with each exercise I could really feel the muscles working, and that one machine really gave us a full body workout.

Coupled with lateral breathing, I can see how your core muscles would be strengthened, lengthened and toned in the long run.

Read Jem’s take on Reformer Pilates.

Here’s the cost breakdown for pilates at The Moving Body:

Cardio Reformer & Reformer Pilates
  • Walk in rate – $50 per class
  • 10-session package – $450
  • 20-session package – $400 (more wu hua!)
Mat Pilates
  • Walk in rate – $30
  • 10-session and 20-session packages – $250. (might as well get 20?)
Free trial classes are available too!

For more information, visit The Moving Body‘s official website.

Many thanks to Marc & Belicia for inviting us down!

GYROTONIC® at The Moving Body

Jem and I had the opportunity to try out some supersonic GYROTONIC® at The Moving Body. And yeah, must be in all caps with the registered trademark lol when I read it I also feel like i am shouting…

GYROTONIC..ER!!!!

anyway.

If you’ve never heard of GYROTONIC® before, well, I hadn’t either.

Some fast facts:

    • GYROTONIC® was invented by an ex-dancer who ruptured his Achilles tendon and damaged a spinal disc
    • The GYROTONIC® system consists of circular and fluid movements that stretch and strengthen muscles, as well as mobilize joints of the body.
    • GYROTONIC® equipment apply constant resistance; which eliminates the jarring at the start and end of a movement, where most injuries occur.
Soooo… Audrey, our instructor, first gave us a speedy introduction to GYROTONIC®, the machine that we were going to use, how to use it, then proceeded with some chest, neck and back stretching exercises, shoulder “opening” exercises and finally exercises that focus on the back and posture.
(If you look reaaaally closely you will see Marc, who was the one that kindly invited us for this session.)

What I liked about it was that it’s actually pretty relaxing, and the after effects feel like you just had a massage. The equipment we were on really helped us stretch certain muscles and utilize certain joints that we might otherwise not be able to with unaided body movement. (At one point, she asked me to feel and use my shoulder blade. I was perplexed.)

I was also pleasantly surprised that after about just 10 reps in one arm, I could feel the difference in the worked shoulder and the shoulder that I hadn’t started on yet. Of course, after working both shoulders I felt… like a load was off my shoulders!!

Another thing that GYROTONIC® is really good for is correcting posture (and thus, probably great for people with spinal problems). Audrey had us walk around the studio for a good few minutes just to be more aware of how we were walking – if our weight was more on the balls or on the heels of our feet, if we were walking chest first, or letting our legs lead, etc. Then she made us balance on each foot to see if we had any difficulty.

After getting a good sense of how we walked, we proceeded to lie with our backs on the machine, and our legs strapped into these… strappy things that were attached to light weights on the machine. We then did some exercises, like cycling, bringing our legs up and down, all done with our backs straight and plastered to the bench. And when we completed those, I could really feel a difference in how I walked – my feet felt more grounded and I felt more stable. and it was awesome. We were balancing better as well.


There definitely was a change I could feel from this short session we had with Audrey. I appreciated that nothing was too strenuous or overbearing – some days you just don’t feel like engaging in such activity, especially after a long day at work. It’s been 2 days since, and I still feel like I’m walking with better posture!

Read Jem’s take on GYROTONIC®.

For new clients, they are offering classes at $500 for any of the following bundles of classes.

  • 3 Private + 5 Equipment
  • 3 Private + 3 Equipment + 3 Mat
  • 5 Private

If you feel that it’s a little too steep, give it a try first. There are complimentary trial classes are available! You can also check out themovingbody.com.sg for more details. They do offer pilates classes, physiotherapy and massages too 🙂

Jem & I have 2 more sessions to attend, will be blogging about our experiences so watch this space.

On… living with Multiple Hereditary Exostoses

I have a condition, it’s called Multiple Hereditary Exostoses. You won’t be able to tell if you’ve just met me… in fact I don’t think many of my friends know. We don’t talk about it much.

I think, I’m blessed to be relatively okay. In severe conditions, some might have stunted growth (okay, maybe I’m stunted…), major deformities, loss of movement, or obstructions to the lungs, urinary tract, GI tract, and sometimes even the brains.

Exostoses are the bumps you draw at the end of each bone, assuming you draw a bone like a normal person would –

Till today (aged 24) (crap, am I already 24?) I haven’t had a bone scan done. It scares me a little not knowing where my exostoses are, my family doesn’t find it necessary. It scares me also, because these tumors have a chance of becoming cancerous, and I have no way of tracking their growth. From “feeling” (and masseuses…), I know I have one on my left wrist and shoulder, one on my right fibula (I think), one on my left tibial (also guessing), and one on my rib which I can’t seem to feel anymore. Some feel like they have shrank.

Limitations in movement? Sitting on my butt hurts after a while, I can’t sit cross legged or kneel down, my legs feel fatigued really quickly. In rare cases where I have to put my body in weird angles, exostoses can cause sharp pains to tendons or result in locked joints… and when that happens, thankfully only once or twice in my life, I have to keep moving around in pain to try to “unlock” them. It might surprise you that I dance so much – I learn to bear with the pain, and avoid positions I know will cause problems.

The only treatments available are surgery, pain management and therapy. My brother chose to go through multiple surgeries because his exostoses were causing him pain and impaired movement. What happens is that they make an incision and saw the extra bits of your bones off. This left him with unsightly scars and permanent nerve damage. Needles scare me and I’ve never even been admitted to a hospital, so surgery’s out of the question for me. My condition’s bearable, so I don’t see a need for surgery either. Mum’s the one we inherited the condition from. Within her family, the men seem to get it worse.

Writing this because I haven’t seen much support for or awareness about MHE in Asia… if you’re someone with this condition looking for answers, feel free to reach me. You’re not alone!

I will lose weight.

So yeah. I think I will start jogging and paying more attention to my diet because more than one person has been telling me I look “round”. The nice ones say it’s alright, ‘cos I look cute.

But seriously.

This is gonna be hard for me because I just love eating. Cut down on carbs, they say. I also hate math, so if I have to count my carbs, I will be depressed. I guess, keep off the sugars and the starches, eat more veg, fruits and grilled meat. The problem? It’s a major inconvenience to find healthy food in Singapore, and when you do, it’ll cost you. Also, I’d rather spend the time in the morning sleeping than losing sleep to prepare healthy take-aways.

I also hate jogging. I never know what to think about, so I’ll start thinking about my breathing, and pacing, and then because I have an attention span of a housefly, I start getting really really bored after like, 5m…

Gym memberships? Bloody costly.

Writing this down so I’m more likely to commit to it. I WILL WORK SOMETHING OUT. and buy a weighing scale tomorrow.

ganbatte to me.

{edit: next day update: bought a weighing scale. i actually lost weight from the last time i weighed myself. went on a diet anyway – didn’t eat carbs today, but had really bad hunger pangs :<}

“I have been coughing for weeks”

Dear friends who have been suffering this unfortunate plight,

I would like to share my experience and knowledge of this terrible many-month-cough, which I have been diagnosed with 3 times already.

  • Have you been coughing for a really long time?
  • Do you feel lethargic all the time?
  • When you cough, do you cough non-stop until you have to gasp for air?
  • Does it keep you up at night?

If you answered yes to all the above questions, you might just have mycoplasma pneumoniae. which can cause pneumonia, though it’s possible to be infected with Mycoplasma pneumoniae without necessarily developing pneumonia.

(source)

Common symptoms include the following:

  • Chest pain
  • Chills
  • Cough, usually dry and not bloody
  • Excessive sweating
  • Fever (may be high)
  • Headache
  • Sore throat

Less common symptoms include:

  • Ear pain
  • Eye pain or soreness
  • Muscle aches and joint stiffness
  • Neck lump
  • Rapid breathing
  • Skin lesions or rash

(source)

Mycoplasma pneumoniae is also known as walking pneumonia because you can still go about your daily activities while you have it. And usually you’re not feeling so bad, till you feel like you have to take MC, so you go around doing your normal thang, with your normal routine. AND THIS IS VERY IRRESPONGSIBER OF YEW, because mycoplasma pneumoniae is rather infectious, especially if you’re coughing and spewing your secretions everywhere.

So go forth and tell your loctor, pls check if I have mycoplasma. (ps it’s a bacteria and not a virus) He/she will run an xray of your lungs or a blood test to determine this, and once done and tested positive, he/she will diagnose Klacid or Azithromycin which are antibiotics. Azithromycin will cost a little more, but please choose that over Klacid because Klacid gave me an awful reflux and you taste bitter shit in your mouth every day. :< not cool not cool.

Also please take more Vitamin C and lots of water and have lots of rest and stay away from fried stuff and cover your mouth when you cough.

It is also possible that you recover from mycoplasma without medication, but this will take you a month or two, of which, you will probably lead a miserable existence.

That is all I have to say. Jiayou, all you coughers and wheezers. May you rid yourself of mycoplasma pneumoniae soon.