Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Yoga Experiment: 30 Day Challenge

Today is the 31st of October, tomorrow on the 1st of November I start the 30 day yoga challenge - 30 days of doing one 90-minute Bikram class per day. I'm feeling quite trepidatious, a bit nervous and a bit like: can I really do this? Well, I'm going to give it my best shot.

I've done some incredibly challenging [and sometimes incredibly stupid!] things in my life that at the time seemed just too hard, or felt like I'd bit off more than I could chew [eg. going on the Everest Base Camp trek completely unfit & unprepared, or, getting a job at the Comm Games that entailed 6am starts and sometimes 12 hour days] BUT with all of these challenges, even though at the time I questioned my wisdom, at the end of the journey it was SO worth it because I'd challenged myself to do what I thought I couldn't do, and I did it. And this is the way that we as human beings really grow - we need to challenge ourselves.

I don't want to project too much into the future into predicting how I will go, I just want to explore the potential of not only my body & my health, but my whole being. I'm sure there will be lots of physical, emotional and mental challenges - not to mention the need to go to work 9-to-5, Monday-to-Friday at the same time! But I am ready for this adventure of discovery and exploration of my potential.

Go go yogini power!!

Love Stormi xxx

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Disapproving Rabbits!

Rabbits .. disapproving!!

From: http://www.birdchick.com/adventures/rabbit/

It is my premonition that the rabbit meme will eventually take over the world, remember the saying: the meek shall inherit the earth? That was all about the RABBITS! They are like the meekest thing I can imagine... get with the winning team while there is still time!! ;-)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Yoga freakin' at 6am

So today I did something I've never done before... I got up at 4.45am & hopped on my bike & rode to a 6am yoga class which went for 90mins and then I rode my bike to work. Was a bit of a weird, slightly surreal experience, but it felt good to get up before dawn just when the birds started singing. And being summer, the sky is lightening right at this time... The world at this time of day is totally different, the air smells like far away places, like India, like travel.

My body felt so different doing morning yoga, really floppy and lacking edges, like I wasn't fully in it yet. At the end of the class I fell asleep on the floor - and woke with a start thinking I gotta get to work now! This could be a lifestyle change. Getting in tune with one's body is an amazing experience - and my brain is working better also.

Time for bed.

Stormi over & out, xx

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Eat the White Rabbit

My 9-y.o. niece introduced me to these...
.. available at Chinese grocery stores everywhere.

My Yoga Experiment

Last November I started practising Bikram Yoga - most commonly known as 'hot yoga' - which is a form of yoga that is done in a room heated to about 37c degrees (99F) - the same temp as India on a hot day. Each class goes for 90 minutes and in the first 15 minutes you start to sweat and by the end of the class the towel under you is soaked as are all the clothes you have on. I've been going to Bikram averaging about twice a week for the last year and lately I've amped it up to three times a week and I am FEELING FABULOUS!! (above pic is of my favorite pose: the Rabbit pose - yes, it would have to be the rabbit, the sacred rabbit!)

I've been practising various forms of yoga for the last 12 years or so. I've tried nearly all of them with various results. This form of yoga is so incredibly effective & healing that I'm becoming a serious devotee. There's a lot of controversy around Bikram due to various reasons that I won't go into here - I kind of ignored all that and wanted to see for myself what effect the technique would have on me - and what an effect! In the 12 months of practising Bikram:
  • I've lost nearly 7 kilos (15 pounds).
  • Gained flexibility in my lower back which has been tight for years.
  • Am starting to see my ab's!! Yes, I have ab's!! Visible ab's!!
  • Haven't been sick (except for a short bout of hayfever that lasted 2 days) or seen a doctor.
  • Increased my lung capacity by double.
  • The tendonitis in my right wrist has disappeared.
  • The mild arthritis from an old broken bone in my left wrist has also disappeared.
  • I'm healthier & fitter than I've ever been in my whole life - seriously!
  • Achieved alot of very tangible detoxing: emotional, mental & physical.
  • I'm calmer, deal with stress better & am generally a happier puppy than I've been in a long time.
  • Have been jumping up & punching the sky with greater frequency.
Now I know I sound like an advert for Bikram, but today I came home from yoga just feeling so fucken fabulous I had to tell someone. This is the schizzer of yogas... It's not an easy fix though, its bloody hard work and sometimes a real killer but the results have been so worth it. My first class was the hardest, I spent 40% of the time just lying on the floor trying to breathe in the heat.

In November I'm gearing up for 30 days straight of yoga for the whole month. Its going to be interesting to see if I can do it, will keep you posted. Maybe I could do a blog entry a day and keep track of my progress - hmmm...

Stormweava signing off - a happy little yogini is she!!


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Film: Prairie Home Companion

PLOT: A look at what goes on backstage during the last broadcast of America's most celebrated radio show, where singing cowboys Dusty and Lefty, a country music siren (Streep), and a host of others hold court.

I'm balancing up my movie diet now after all the dark & weird shit I've been watching lately... time for some light-hearted feel-good fluff.. This movie was fun without being cheesy which for a Hollywood film is a serious achievement. I will see anything with Meryl Streep in it, she's a true legend - and directed by Robert Altman who is a bit of a ledg also. Has some great stuff about realising your own mortality and angels etc. My favorite part is the bit where the angel is discussing a joke with one of the main characters, she's saying that she laughed when she heard it, but that it's not really funny, it goes like this:
There were two penguins standing on a iceflow. One penguin says to the other:

"You know, it looks like you're wearing a tuxedo."

The other penguin says:

"How do you know I'm not?"
[That's it.]

I told it to my sister-in-law and she laughed alot. Very Zen it is, almost like a koan, a riddle.

See this movie if you want a nice break from weird intense films. xxx

PS... they really shouldn't have put Lindsay Lohan in this film though, SHE SUCKS BIGTIME. She stuck out like a sore thumb as the only person who couldn't act, can someone give her more diet pills please so she has a heart-attack and leaves this plane of existance & moves onto another???

Film: Crash (Cronenberg version, 1996)

Plot: After getting into a serious car accident, a TV director discovers an underground sub-culture of scarred car crash fetish victims and tries to use that to rejuvenate his sex life with his wife.

What a freaky film. Made in 1996 this is def worth getting out on DVD, it would spoil it if I reviewed it too much other than to say this: sex & car crashes & sometimes both at the same time. Who'd ever have thought that car crashes & resulting wounds & scars could be a turn-on for some people? Freaky shit. A bit like Cronenberg trying to be David Lynch and almost making it, actually would've probably been better if Lynch made it but its still worth a rental. Worth seeing for Rosanna Arquette hobble around in her kinky black leg caliper thingies (see image above).

Stormi gives it ***1/2 stars for originality & superb weirdness. PS... I actually tried to read the book by Ballard, but couldn't actually stomach the detailed descriptions of car crashes etc.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Site: Library Thing

Dear Bookish types...

LibraryThing is so addictive.. it lets you catalogue your books and then see who has similar books to you... and a great place to list all the great books that you may never be able to possibly read, or buy for that matter, but that you can keep a list of anyway just in case when you are out'n'about and you can refer to this list and buy all the fucking books in the whole wide world and eat them all up YUM YUM YUM.

Very satisfying.

LibraryThing, check it out. My identity on this site is Stormweava, yeah, that is me, the weaver-of-storms... you have been warned.


Film: Zero Day

Lately I've been fascinated by the whole 'let's go & shoot up our school' film genre. I know its a bit dark, but some part of me wants to understand this phenomenon and why they actually do it.

Elephant by Gus Van Sant is a great film about this subject, but recently I rented Zero Day and it blew me away, I give it 5/5. This film was a first film made on a small budget and it's a great example of intelligent film making for little money.

It's all done home-movie style and this makes it even more intimate.
These kids are such 'nice' kids, and their motivations for their actions are absolutely fascinating; they have such a simple, nihilistic vision and yet on one level they actually believe that their actions will end up making the world a better place. And that's the thing that gets me, on some level people who take such violent actions actually believe that they're going to improve their world. There is no anger in their actions, its more like a school project that they've undertaken. The film comes across as a 'how to' guide, especially the scene where they outline how to make pipe bombs - extremely ordinary and chilling at the same time. And its amazing how easily they obtain guns - and this is the most important aspect of this film - in the US kids can get guns really easily and if they didn't have access to them they wouldn't be able to do it.

They are almost like suicide bombers, but not really because there is no religious motivation, the whole thing for them is like the biggest adventure of their lives. They embody something so suicidal & destructive en masse in our culture, particularly amongst young men - and they see this as a solution to the blandness of the culture that they are raised in.

This movie had a profound effect on me, I'm not sure I can actually articulate it fully. In the end there is no hope but the viewer is so affected because you have bonded with these guys and on some level you empathise with them, you understand how their lives have brought them to this solution. A serious trip.

I had to watch the 'making of' on this one to convince myself that it wasn't real. I've been watching some intense DVDs lately, tonight I'm watching Crash - based on the Ballard book of the same name. I couldn't get through the book as it was too gross (lots of long-winded highly-descriptive passages on bodily fluids etc.).

I think after this spate of the sick & perverse I might need a light romantic comedy ;-)