Wednesday, November 16, 2011

It would be such a shame to call it quits now but im just not feeling it.
need some time to contemplate on if i want to resume this blogging journey.
almost feels like a chapter wants to close but im swimming upstream to keep it open.
my energy wants to be directed elsewhere.

I want to make decisions that are life enhancing but lately blogging doesnt feel that way. so much effort goes into my posts and lately i question if its worth it. I have lots to share but I feel stuck in this space. Am I outgrowing my blog?

Perhaps this is only an impulse. Perhaps it is not.

Either way, Im going down that rabbit hole so catch me if you can.

Toodles for now.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Transforming your body with Agni (Fire) & review on fat burners

Today we are going to talk about agni (digestive fire) which governs your metabolism and how to use it to help your body burn excess fat. A little disclaimer tho - that these are tips and tricks that work well for ME. Each body is different and complex so something that works for me might not be healthy for you. Pls listen to your body's intuition when taking any kind of advice.

What is agni? Agni is the Sanskrit word for fire & in Ayurveda it is responsible for breaking down food as well as absorbing nutrients into your body. The stronger your digestive fire, the stronger your digestive capacity. And this is always a good thing bcos when the fire is weak, you'll start to accumulate toxins and also unwanted fat. By increasing and strengthing your agni you can burn these things away and create more ojas(vigor).

Also, when energy & heat are created in your body, it will help raise your metabolism. And im sure you know what that means. lol* Metabolism is essential to weight loss.

On a deeper level, Agni creates that vital spark of life and brings energy into what you do. It goes with the words passion and enthusiasm. Can you achieve much without those qualities? Perhaps. But you wouldnt get very far.

So here are some of the things I do to create more energy and heat. Pls note tho, that if you already have a fiery constituion, some of my recommendation could cause an imbalance. It could show up as heart burn, indigestion, irritablity, remember to always check in with yourself. It would be good starting point to familiarize yourself with the doshas(vata, pitta, kapha) & figure out which type is more dominant.

Drink warm-hot ginger water first thing in the morning. I dont always drink it with ginger. But it adds a bit more to the interal heating if you need it. And having a slice ginger before meals assists with digestion.

Agni is highest during noon so it makes sense for lunch to be your biggest meal of the day -not breakfast, not dinner but at lunch. I try to add spice or chilli flakes to my lunch to give it an extra boost as well.

This might sound crazy but I drink hot water when I workout. It makes me sweat more.

I used to take energy/fat burners when I first started working out. It not a very healthy thing to do but I used it to help get me to the gym and help me keep going to the gym. On occasion I still take one if Im being a lazy & i need a kick in the butt. This is my last last resort tho. Its counter-productive since my motives have shifted to becoming more health conscious rather than solely focused on weight loss.

{Hydroxycut}: This is the first fat burner I tried. It had ephedra in it. tsk tsk. I didnt like it cos it made me feel so anxious and sketchy. For some reason if I took it consecutively each day a weird cough would start to develop. I thought it was just in my head but after a few times of testing it, my theories were correct. I have no idea why it did that but i stopped taking it right after

{abs+}: useless. i didnt keep taking these at all. no effect. na-da.

{Heat}: Im sad they stopped making this bcos this was my favorite. It really got me jumping up to go to the gym and it didnt give me the jittery feeling that Hydroxycut gave me. I had so much natural energy. I felt it in my body not in my head. If that makes sense. I felt so positive. I sweated a lot and I think I sound like I may have been addicted to it. I guess it was a good thing they stopped making it. Looking back I think I depended on it bcos when I ran out it took me a while to get back into the swing of being so insanely motivated to exercise. So the lesson is: dont depend on these things or get too attached to any of the tips Im sharing. Use them as tools to help you but remember that your health is always number one.

{Lipo 6}: The guy at the store recommended this to me after he told me they stopped making Heat. I didnt like this at first bcos it gave me a weird head buzz. But I continued anyway. I eventually started liking it halfway thru. Helped heat up my body and i sweat more while I worked out but as for energy I didnt feel any different.

{Ripped freak}: hmm. I dont know yet. I've only taken it 4 times. I think its bcos I dont have the desire to take fat burners anymore. This one gets in my head too and I dont like it.

I fell into buying this body heating lotion. Its popular in Asia and it claims to heat up your body to help you slim down, but I've only used it once so I dont know how effective it is. I didnt enjoy using it at all bcos it makes your body feel sticky and dirty. Kinda like you've been rolling around in honey. I think I'll try it again in the shower but its kinda besides the point since its only gonna wash off. it doesnt even have a nice consistency to go on smoothly and evenly.
I think I'll give this product a second try. I'll let you know how it goes. I got it in Aberdeen Mall in Richmond BC if you guys are interested. Let me tell you tho that it cost me $40 something. EDIT: dont buy it. Save your money. Tried it again and the only thing i like about it is that it smells like cinnamon.

Tea. Drink tea! Chai tea is good. It usually has cardamom in it which is good for weight and fat loss. It improves your metabolism. Green tea is always good too. It aides in the digestion of fat and I drink oolong if i have cravings. It helps surpress them. Especially if Im grabbing for that cookie before dinner.

Hot yoga! This should have been at the very top of my list. lol* But I guess I left the best for last. Where can I even begin to list the benefits of hot yoga. Asana practice has tons of benefits on its own so imagine what the bonus of doing it in a hot room would be.

Practice Pranayama. Its one of the 8 limbs of Ashtanga. Yoga is not complete without these parts. When we hear yoga, us westerners think of it as the physical poses. But the physical poses (asanas) are only one part of it. The practice of yoga covers all these aspects: Yamas, Niyamas, Asana, Pranayama, Prathayara, Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi. I'll write a post about this on a later date but right now we are going to focus on Pranayama.

Pranayama is the practice of breath control. Its a natural way to create heat inside your body. I try to do this right when I wake up in the morning. It gets my metabolism going & on cold frosty mornings it warms me up. The 2 main types of pranayama that I do most often are: Ujjayi(ocean breath) and Nadi Suddhi(alternate nostril breathing). I find right nostril breathing helps when you are feeling lethargic and lacking in energy and alternate nostril breathing helps balance the left and right sides of your body

For added effectiveness I engage Ujjayi breath while Im doing my asana(physical aspect of yoga) practice. It helps your energy flow to different parts of your body - in the dark little corners where fat hides. I've noticed my muscles are a lot more toned from doing this. If you don't know where to start, try a few Ashtanga yoga classes. You'll learn how to align your breath with each pose.
Here's a youtube video to get you started:
*David Swanson. Go to time: 00:30 This is where he starts talking about breath

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