Recent Comments

Recent Comments Widget

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Yoga MAT MADness

2 years ago, I bought a yoga mat (old post: Feb 2013 to be exact). After 2 years, I finally decided that I need to upgrade my mat. Yeah, I need a better mat. Which yoga mat to pick? Do you know that there are so many brands and so many types? And, they are super high as which one to buy?

When I first begun yoga, I started with the cheapest mat, RM30.50, which I paid 50 cents only because not only it was 15% discount during the Chinese New Year, I used my free Jusco gift vouchers. As a beginner, that would be the advise--to go with a cheap mat till you really know if you like yoga or not, and later on, you decide whether to continue to invest more into this activity.

I used this cheap mat for 2 years. It is pretty used up till it even have a 50 cents hole on it other than scrapes and lubang.

Why do I need a better yoga mat now?

Simple... the existing has too many pimples. Too embarrassing to show anyone outside. Need to bring it to classes. Okay, aside that...ini lah the real reasons, eventually....hahaha

One, I was all worked up (started around March this year) wanting to do a headstand after seeing someone being able to do that pose so easily. That would be so cool in a photo! So, I'm back in action to achieve that goal of mine 2 years back!

Two, get O2 pumped into my head by toppling myself upside down. I heard this will make you look younger. Sounds good right?

Three, you'll get nice deltoid muscles...particularly the arms and abs by doing this. Looking better, why not?

Kill 3 birds with one stone! Bagus sekali!

What yoga mat I ended up getting?

There are Manduka, Jade Harmony and Lululemon. These are the 3 top and popular good brands.

There are other brand options too such as Gaiam, Hugger Mugger and more, but those 3 mentioned above have higher recommendations.

Since I wanted a good yoga mat, I find that these 5
features are important during my evaluation:
1. Material - natural rubber or PVC / TPE material (these are all eco-friendly)
2. Thickness - 3mm or 4mm or 5mm
3. Weight - 1.2kg or 2kg or 3.2kg
4. Price - ranges from RM100 to RM310
5. Hygiene - open or close-cell (close-cell means it is waterproof and so it is more hygienic)

*I don't need to evaluate the length of the mat since I am not tall. So standard size is sufficient (71"/180cm length)

After researching, asking advises from yogi friends, googling and reading reviews, I narrowed down to these yoga mats:

1. Manduka Prolite
2. Jade Harmony Professional Mat
3. Lululemon The Mat

The champion winner I ended up wanting was Manduka Prolite. It is a lifetime warranty. Overall, eventhough it is not made of natural rubber, which means there are possibility of it being slippery if I get very sweaty, many users still vouch that it is the best mat. Light to carry, good grip and lasts a lifetime - worth it right? Natural rubber is very smelly, but it has very very good grip..then again, it will have scratches or stains after long usage and it doesn't last long, especially if it is under the sunlight more. It is heavier too but weight wasn't the main concern among these 3 mats.

BUT... one big concern...

$#@! Exchange rate USD to MYR is damn high right now. It has reached 3.91 or as high as 3.98 (via credit card). After I calculated with sales tax and using my Amazon $5 cash discount, with 3.9 exchange rate, a Manduka Prolite will costs RM287 a piece. Not that cheap even if I buy it via Amazon. Goyoga online is selling it for MYR310 a piece. Crap... my sports shoes don't even cost near 300 MYR. I was hoping to keep the mat budget at around MYR250.

NEXT!.. the trade off...

Replace it with a different material - TPE! So, next best solution costs MYR130. This would be my temporary mat to use till it makes sense to get the one I want, at reasonable price. My principle--I never condone to simply 'donate' money for item that's considered as over paying. That's just me. Some people call it stingy, but I think this is more of being a smart consumer, which goes along with being economically smart with your purchases. It's not like I cannot do yoga at all if I do not have that particular mat. Makes sense?

So, I ended up buying an eco-friendly yoga mat made of TPE from Kulimkia company that produces eco-friendly yoga mats. I've researched and compared to products and prices as well. One of the yoga centers is selling a good thick yoga mat (sort of like Manduka Pro) for MYR200 a piece, but it is like 3 -3.2kg! At the end, buying via Lazada website using its app is the cheapest option, with MYR30 discount (good timing because they want us to download and use its app). So, instead of paying MYR159.90 a piece, I paid MYR129.90. Only purple mat is available. That's A-Ok with me. Superb! I purchased it.

They shipped it much earlier than expected as I noted them I need it within 5 days since I would be traveling. Kulimkia provided excellent service meeting my request. Collected the mat from GDEX logistic company today and whalla, here it is! It looks good, feels good--grippy. I shall comment a note or two about my High Grade Yoga Mat next time after using it. Stay tuned!

The new mat is much more dense and surface is
more grippy comparing with the old mat.
It weighs 1.2kg, 6mm thick, 183cm long & not smelly!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

My Wish List--Second Half of 2015

30 minutes to midnight. This is the END of 30 June 2015, which also marks the beginning of second half, starting TOMORROW.

Time flies fast. The fact is, there's no winding back.

So .... really, what have you accomplished for the last 6 months that brings meaning to your life? Or at least, do you find them useful or beneficial to you? I know there are many people who don't think much into this kind of stuff. I know, it sounds unnecessary. But, do you know? It is life changing if you practice some self-reflection, as simple as reviewing what you have accomplished and what you would like to accomplish if you haven't done so. You will be surprised where it can lead you to.

The blatant truth is, don't lead the same daily life. Too busy to think about it? Just doing stuffs as and when it comes? or just doing your usual stuffs? Nothing better is going to fall onto your lap if you don't review and do something about it. What I mean by nothing means what you really want to achieve in life, the point of getting from point A to B. It is either you get there or you would be moving by 0.1cm scale, depending on how much you act on it.

Ok, so why I'm bringing this up? It's this simple question -- What gives life meaning?

Ponder about it. It will serve you massively good.

Alright, done with the review chatting.

My first half was very much on traveling, seeing the world while exploring new activities expanding my fitness capabilities. Secondly, I spent some good times with my family, colleagues who are worth my time, chit chat and hang outs with good old friends and reconnecting with those whom I have not met for many years.

What's for the next 6 months? Here's my wish list on top of my head right now....
1. Participate in drives that helps those in need
2. Support Alexis's full marathon charity drive
3. Increase speed and stamina in swimming
4. Be able to perform yoga headstand or handstand
5. Learn more-- the skills and art of:
    - attracting while remaining as a high value woman (with standard yet not too intimidating!)
    - communicating better about what I want yet subtly (touch the emotional level!)
6. Change some bad habits/ characteristic improvements:
    - don't ask too many questions at the same time
    - remember to share upfront (people who don't know me well enough)-- to tap on my shoulder if I ever get into annoying or irritating stage where I zone out into the blurry zone, or asking too many questions
7. Start practicing meditation again
8. Sleep early! By 11pm if possible. Get 7 hours of zzzsss
9. Keep working on passive income sources to achieve financial freedom, just in case I don't have an employment job one day...
10. Optional... but I guess I should try harder...finish reading 2 books

That's it for now. Time to catch my beauty sleep and start dreaming first.

See, it's a good thing I capture it here. Now I know I won't forget, and I have no excuses for not trying to achieve them.

"Do something today that will get your closer to where you want to be tomorrow."

That's my life, defining my own purpose. As the saying goes, you are the writer of your life. As I keep on doing this as a regular practice, I learn so much more about life and loving myself more too.

What's yours?


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

From Fit to Fitter

I was never a fit person to begin with. Exercise? What? Running? I just wanted to beat the traffic, go home, have dinner and get some sleep. Excellent routine...makes the 'un' words so popular in the big city...unhealthy and unfit!

I decided to make a turn in my life. I moved to Penang from Kuala Lumpur in 2005. I got fitter from then onward by making time to exercise.

Why I did it? I just want to live a healthier life. It was that simple goal. And you can do it too by planting a seed of thought, and just do it (take action), little by little. Eventually, you will be happy with the harvest and you will feel AWESOME!

Once I've gotten the hang of the exercise habit (it took about 2 continuous years as the foundation to start, warm and work the engine into a habit), basically, I feel more positive, determined and stronger. Okay, the muscles are still 'tikus', but what I really mean is, gaining better immune system. The next thing is, what's next?

So after 2 years spending in the gym, in the next 5 years, I did a couple more exercises ranging from belly dancing to Zumba, gym, yoga and running. The motto was, learn to do more if it is not new.

On the 8th year, I trained for Asia's first biggest obstacle challenge, Viper Challenge--run 21k with 20 obstacles in between. I felt sweat and chills all over me, regret for signing up. The thing I learnt is, once you throw yourself into a challenge, it forces you to do it. So, kind of good thing. Just sign up, but by knowing you have ample time for some training. Slap yourself if you buta-buta sign up for some killer challenge without proper training. That would be like sending yourself to the hospital. Okay, don't!

This challenge got me more serious into running (I hate running in the first place because I hate the jiggling! You know what I mean). I participated more marathons thereafter, internationally and locally. The ulterior motivator? There has to be something you love about to get you going - I've got to love the brand, the cool design dry-fit shirt giveaway, free goodies, and/or the company of great friends (or, just meet new friends who have the same passion!)

After 2 years being actively running, hmm... what else to kick my adrenalin and challenge my body to stay fit? The time I need to get out of my comfort zone seems to punch in faster than before!

Last year, I started doing HIIT, High Intensity Interval Training...P90X and Insanity. Yup, insane! Sweat like shit!

This year is my 10th year now--regular exercise is important and it makes a big difference to my daily life (it is especially true as your age increases). Not a freak, but just trying to keep it different and fun. Running 42k is not something I yearn to complete yet because I don't feel there is a need to compromise my sleep when I should be sleeping at 12am.

This year, I hesitated about registering for an event at first, but I did it--Penang Urban Thriathlon 2015. Wooo ... the word TRIATHLON attracted me. It's tough but super cool to be associated with that.

If you can't be a full triathlete, go for a mini one. So, I signed up for an Aquathlon category. What the heck is that?

Swim 800m and then run 5k. It is for people like me who do not own a bicycle. Gawd, I haven't swim in ... many years! I think 8-9 years or so.

First swimming training. My friend said I have muscles? 
I suppose that's my deltoid muscles from planking, weights and yoga.
A compliment that I would never get 10 years back.

That's the thing about signing up for a challenge. Training! It keeps me motivated and I persevere for it. It doesn't matter if you beat the world's record or not (me...obviously not). It is the challenge that keeps me goal oriented, focused and when I finished the line, I feel super duper good because I did it. And that is all that matters, "I did it". Another milestone recorded in our history timeline and when we look back, indeed these are valuable good memories. Heck, we should be doing this and hey, do it as much and as long when we can! Everyone can! Ganbateh (in Japanese) and Hoi Thi (in Korean)!

800m-swim training record from the first training on April 2, 2015. 
Still have lots of improvements to do before May 10, 2015!