Category Archives: Old and New

Yoga – for the joints

Usually for beginners and some are ideal for pregnant ladies and seniors.I like to think this is also an excellent way to  start a session it warms up the body joints.

  1. Ankle flexes – sitting on the floor  straight up ( support your back if you need to)with legs outstretched position or lying down on the back. Bend all your ankles forward then flex them backwards. Spread your toes as you flex. To slow down start to inhale as you bend and exhale as you flex. Very relaxing.                                                  20170723_123931
  2. Ankle Rotations – same position as above except legs slightly apart, rotate your ankles without moving your legs. First in one direction then the other, equal number of times. Add in breath awareness,inhaling as you circle up and exhaling as you circle down.You’ll notice over time that the circles will grow bigger!              20170723_124027
  3. Wrist flexes and rotations – sitting as above, kneeling or standing up,raise your arms in front of you, chest level or slightly lower and flex your wrists up and down equal number of times. Then form fists( fingers over thumb) and rotate your wrists( equal number each direction). Try to do this without moving your arms. Add in breath – inhale as your circle up and exhale as you circle down. Useful for office workers.
  4. Elbow rotations  – same positioning as wrist exercises, , bring the fingertips to touch corresponding shoulders and make circles with your elbows. Inhaling as you circle up and exhaling as you circle down. Great relief on shoulders, especially if you sit hunched over your laptop all day.                                                   20170723_124234                                           20170723_124335
  5. Knee flexes –  Sit up straight on the floor,legs outstretched. Bring one knee to your chest, interlace fingers behind the bent knee. Inhaling and exhaling raise bent leg up and down,keeping the knees close to chest. Do the same with the other leg, keeping the numbers between the two sides the same.      20170723_130039
  6. Knee rotations – same position as above but instead of moving the leg up and down, try making circles with the feet,movement coming from the knees. Flex and bend your ankles for added benefit.                                                   20170723_125850
  7. Hip rotations – again, same positioning as above, however, hold your knee and ankle ( of the bent leg) and make circles with your knees. Make sure not to lift the other buttock and once comfortable , try and inhale as you circle up and exhale as you circle down.Keep the numbers the same each direction and for each leg.       20170723_124428
  8. Rocking baby – same position as above to start with, but cradle your bent leg and rock it from side to side as if you were rocking a baby. Try not to lift the other buttock. Excellent for opening hips.                                                        20170723_124511

Tip- you can always bend the other knee when you do knee flexes and rotations.

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Yoga to Energize

Sharing some tricks of Yoga, from my yoga instructor course. To be honest, I am just two months into it , so only covering poses that I have learnt in class and the effects noted with(almost) daily practice over last two months.

My favorite energizing poses:

1. The Squat type 1– when in squat position make sure that spine is straight,tailbone relaxed towards the floor and knees and feet point in the same direction. Arms to rest inside the feet. Heels on or off the floor as capable. When inhaling rise up onto toes and when exhaling stretch the heels down towards (if not on) the floor, keeping spine straight. Repeat a few times.   Was quite challenging the first few days but got better with time.

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2. The Squat type 2 – squat as above,however arm is extended out in front,in fists or clasped ,chest level or slightly lower. When inhaling draw pelvic muscles in, exhale relax pelvic muscles.Repeat a few times.

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3.The Chopping Wood – is sitting in a squat  position (as above) and imitating chopping wood!Inhaling raising arms overhead,ears in between,stretching up as high as possible, looking up at hands or ahead and then  bang!!!! as you exhale bring hands down to the floor,head down. Please do not hit the floor and keep your arms slightly bent! Feel free to scream Ha!!!!as you ‘chop the wood’ . This can be done standing as well but of course you’ll  bend your knees when exhaling.

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4. Camel Rises – Kneeling,toes tucked under or top of feet stretched on mat. Keeping the knees slightly apart push hips forward, lean slightly back and take fingerstips to grab hold of ankles or touch the heels. Arch the back letting the head roll backwards and try tighten your buttocks further as you stretch the front of the body. Expand your chest pulling shoulder blades together.Focus on the stretch. You can make easier by tucking your toes under or make it challenging by placing fingertips on the tip of the toes.

To come out of this pose,lower buttocks,roll head back up, relax hands and lift one hand off then the other. Repeat the move and have fun! P.S not good for the weak hearted. No really!

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5.Salutation Pose – this has proved challenging but the energizing effects become obvious quickly. Squatting, knees and feet in same direction. Place elbows inside knees and as inhaling bring palms together in namaste pose, looking up if possible. I usually use this opportunity to push the knees out a bit, stretching the inner thighs. As you exhale,  bring arms to touch floor with fingertips, head bowing down.

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Warning: Squats are not ideal for hernia or prolapsed uterus.

 

 

William Rackette’s Sanctuary

Set appropriately in the lush and beautiful Dandenong ranges, on the outskirts of arty Melbourne!

The sculptures, embedded into the rocks and trees are a legacy of William Racket’s friendship with the aboriginal people back in the day, his love of nature and his applaud able artistic talents. Walking through the place gives a great sense of wonder and you can’t help but imagine what a passionate, full life Racketter’s would’ve lived!  Coolest legacy Australia!

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Eye – Opening Reads/Watches 2016

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1.Movie – Dukes of Burgundy   – Got me thinking for weeks on weird sexual fetishes – certainly does require a very open mind and putting judgement aside to understand the trust and respect in the relationship of the two ladies.’Human toilet” might require some extra deep understanding though.

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2.Documentary  – World War 2 (in color on Netflix)  –  If you are a typical chic like me ( who didn’t grow up playing with guns and toy armies/tanks) you probably avoid war stories like the plague. I can totally not relate but after being  audience,for as what seems like a long time,to someone housing an astonishing amount of politics and history knowledge even I got a little intrigued and dived into this! Not bad at all – the visuals on maps, documentaries from libraries and the easy story telling kept me going.Great watch on the most harrowing deed in the world!

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3. Documentary – The 5th Eye NZIFF – I was hooked! Interesting documentary covering all the haps around the GCSB act  involving our cyber privacy   in NZ-  all painted in very kiwi colors. This  opened up a huge can of intensely interesting topics for me to explore such as “Big Data”, ‘Smart Auckland” , “Internet of things”,” Industry 4.0″  and such.

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4.Book – A Short History of the World by Geoffrey Blainey- I am not one for history but I felt like I was missing the whole picture at times, which my yellow brain needs so much! The world’s pretty old and come a long way and kudos to the writer for covering it in 472 pages only and  for putting it in layman’s terms. Quite absorbing at times and a great education!

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5.Modern Romance – Azi’s take on dating & romance ( well more on dating less on romance because times can’t get any less romantic than these days!)Can there be no limit to hallway time? Must we all head into such mediocre doors in the end? Hilarious and very relatable if you’ve swiped faces on your phone, or about to ;-).

Sweet Villa of Highwic

Fell upon this place on a life drawing venture. You wouldn’t imagine you’d find an old heritage place in urban Newmarket but there it is, right beside the motorway on Gillies.Wandered around for a while,imagining life without showers and getting creeped out by so many old things and  doors suddenly banging shut behind me!

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The ball room, life drawing setting for that day.

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The drawing room, where ladies would withdraws and knit and sew and have tea.

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What girls bedrooms looked like back in the day ( I was bit creeped out by the dolls recalling horror-filled Chucky!)

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The maid’s room ( Mr. Buckland’s second wife was their former maid apparently).

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The boys room, bit less private than the girls.

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The bath.The water pipes have been added over time.

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And this would be my favorite place in any era!

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A Cup of Suva

Last week on my unplanned visit back home, it rained endlessly. The place was wet and humid as always bringing back horrifying memories of my battle with  frizzy hair !

When people talk about visiting Fiji they usually mean the west or the north of the island as that’s where the beautiful beaches and islands are but good to visit this place for a couple of days to get a dose of the “real” Fiji, as we say.

Suva,countries capital is  a melting pot of cultures, housing and infrastructure.It’s not uncommon to see yet another shopping center sprouting somewhere or land being cleared for housing plots and squatters next to fancy houses, given that the place is becoming denser by the day.Population is  330 000 – mostly Fijian or Indian with rising number of Asians and Europeans . The retail shops are usually owned by Indians, restaurants by the Chinese.

Maniac driving  and jaywalking ( strolling)continues on roads riddled with potholes and unbelievable traffic at times!

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Closely Knit society with pretty much everyone in a circle intersecting with a hundred other circles and therefore hard not to be known.I find the place brings out a restless, hell-raiser vibe in me, which is always lost the moment I am on the plane back to Auckland .

If visiting a great place to stay is the Grand Pacific Hotel – recently brought back from the dead..

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Check out the University of the South Pacific  – you can always book a lodge at their marine campus for a smaller budget. The university hosts a number of events on during the year such as the poetry slam and theater. I would suggest to watch anything performed by the Oceania Dance Theater, my favorite from those days.

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University community is usually found at this shopping center which includes a cinema and appropriately a few bars).I got a lovely Shellac manicure for $25,  a steal!!!!

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Visit the Government House .

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Stroll in town, the waterfront and the harbor.20160810_15174820160810_15174020160810_161013

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Watching rugby and soccer is a common pass-time and so something is on all the time at the National Stadium next to University and opposite that in an indoor gymnasium next to which are two big public pools, hosting quite a few events as well.

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Check out the Museum situated at a well maintained Thurston Garden and take a clay pottery making lesson.

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Visit the handicraft market which are popular for beautifully carved woods and ornaments made of shells. Be sure to get your customs stickers.

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Check out the local market! El Cheapo and mostly organic.

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Try some local cuisine!Featured below is Kokoda (raw fish in coconut milk with boiled tapioca on the side). Most local food-courts will have an authentic Fijian place.

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Fiji Indian cuisine is very very different from Indian cuisine! The spices are of much lesser variety and the same for meats or veggies with water or sometimes coconut milk as base. Try Singh’s Curry House but featured below is my mum’s kitchen 😉

Chinese is popular and again very localized. Great places to try is the Golden Palace and the Shanghai or Joji’s and Daikoku for Japanese.

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A little further out of town are other activities that can be done such as a 3 day hike up Mount Korobaba( including lodgings & meals at Fijian villages), zip lining and white water rafting.

And if you are driving up to Nadi a great stopover would be the Warwick Hotel, proudly in front of a little marine reserve where schools of beautiful fishes are all too visible  if you sit in the morning on the floating deck on the lagoon.Another beautiful stopover further up is the Outrigger Hotel. Coral coast has quite a few options though.

The Outrigger.

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So I chanced the rapids!

Back in my wild and reckless days, I was talked into going white water rafting, of which the hardest part turned out to be making it to the designated pickup place at 6 am!

The adventure is organised by Rivers Fiji and takes you down the serene, phenomenally beautiful terrains of the upper Navua gorge in inflatable rafts. Scenic, with many waterfalls and rocks and  rapids and quite a long stretch of narrow & high black volcanic walls to glide through. Not the usual tourist destination in Fiji and a pleasant surprise even to me, as a local. The adventure ends with lunch which is provided and a leisurely swim but beware the blue eels!Afterwards,your transport will await you after a steep hill climb or ( as my friend discovered) you can charm the friendly local village boys to give you a piggy back ride up ;-).

Marked as one of the days I felt the most alive! Probably because I fell into the cold rapids, bumped from rock to rock and finally managed to drag my bum up a floating log, blood roaring in ears,I almost howled and pounded my chest king – kong style! I loved it!

Here are some Kodak moments 😉

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