The Golden Week – Yoga, Painting, Reading, and Reflecting: Day 2

First practice

I started off the second day with an hour-long vinyasa practice called Energizing Vinyasa with Patrick Beach, whose powerful practice style I really love. Despite the energizing name, the power practice at 7 am may be a bit too much for me. There were points that I nearly passed

out, yet I managed to power through the entire practice.


Looking back, I was surprised by one thing – the fact that I was pretty okay not being able to do any handstand during the practice. Typically, I would feel quite disappointed especially since I have been practicing handstand quite a lot recently. I guess it was because I have survived a period that I could barely even finish a 30-minute practice. Now, I’m happy with whatever I could accomplish… or maybe it was because of the philosophy I have recently read – Wabi Sabi…


New life lesson

“Go ahead and be the best imperfect person you can be and get started on those things you want to accomplish before you die”


This is one of my favorite quotes from the book Wabi Sabi: the Wisdom of Imperfection. The book is essentially about embracing imperfection and live with the flow. It was actually a perfect timing for me because of the illness I mentioned earlier. It also really gets me to start thinking about “just do it” – admit the imperfection, not getting frustrated by hiccups along the way, and move forward.


Second practice

My second practice today was Hamstring & Twists by Josh Kramer. At first, I thought this would be a very tough practice just by looking at the name – Josh Kramer. I had experienced the class Threading the Needle yesterday, and I nearly died. However, this was a much smoother sailing, and I really enjoyed the class – especially after the “energizing” practice in the morning.


Painting practice

Today, I started my painting practice with just reading up the book on botanical painting and bookmarking different practices that I wanted to try. The funny thing was that when I read through and looked at the demonstrations in the book, everything looks very straightforward, even in my head. However, my actual attempt was disastrous. Compared to my yoga practice, where I expected a much more difficult practice when, in fact, the practice was easy, the painting experience was the opposite.



The rest of the painting today was also equally disastrous as I was trying to paint the autumn foliage in Kyoto. I ended up wasting 4 good papers in the process with the final paper being somewhat acceptable though this will not be a part of the satisfying 50 of my new year resolution for sure.




Third practice

My third practice today was Practice Letting Go, one of my most favorite class by my teacher Briohny Smyth. I am very familiar with the class and I know that this is not going to be the one that I would struggle with – at least not to the extent of the first practice of the day. However, this again went much smoother than I expected. At first, I thought that I would be struggling to get into the grasshopper arm balance. I actually ended up being able to get into the pose and to hold very easily. I also managed to do the transition from sundial pose to eight-angle pose very easily too. I think may be “letting go” of expectation actually did the trick here.


Creating my system


Atomic Habit is also another book that I am reading as a part of this trip. Today, I got into the part about “creating a system” that would shape my habit, and I’m wondering how can I put this into practice. What is needed in my environment that would allow me to paint more, exercise more, and even do yoga more? I’m wondering what would work in reality especially after I go back to the real world out there… or should I just let it flow…?


Fourth practice – the toughest one


My fourth practice, and the toughest practice of the day, is Strong and Fluid Vinyasa by Patrick Beach. This is a 1.5 hour long practice that is highly intense with a lot of powerful asanas and workout. I’m very proud of myself today because I managed to finish this practice without giving up mid-way through. I didn’t even look at the time and wondering how long I have left in the practice. Although I couldn’t hold a single handstand, as usual today, I think I did better than even my prime back when I was in Fonty last year… yay me!


Last practice


The last yoga practice of the day was Power Vinyasa 3 by Briohny. I did this right after I finished ~50 jumps to handstand. For some reasons, I thought this would be just arm balance and flowing – I was wrong. It turned out the only arm balance I did was crow. The rest were actually various jump-entries to handstand. I survived and managed to hold some (finally!). One thing I really like about this is what Bri said during the savasana rest – to learn from the struggles on the mat and prepare for many other struggles in life that are much tougher than doing handstands. I guess this is true…


My bath tub and bed are now calling me. Congratulations to myself for a good and successful day. See you soon…

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