Sunday Yoga Day 7: Total Body

I’m so sore from Day 6 six pack abs. I woke up and I felt that in my belly. Since I decided to do my sessions consecutively, I can definitely feel the soreness, stretches, and everything in between. I think getting through the first week was the hardest because I haven’t really practiced yoga ever. I should up to a few classes in school but that was about it, I tried doing it awhile back ago but I didn’t stick to it. I think this time, I’m working on making sure I do stick to it. I hope it works out because it’s doing wonders for my back.

Before my session:

Yikes. I can definitely feel yesterdays (Day 6) ab focused yoga. I hope that this focuses on stretching that out and working on other parts of my body that need toning up.

During my session:

Okay, I think I suck at the vinyasa pose but probably not as much as how bad I think my downward dog looks. I’m actually not sure if I look like I’m doing it right. Everyone looks so pro and I think I look all schlumpy ( I know that’s not a word). I think I need to focus more on my poses because I don’t think I do some of them right. I also got super sweaty. I don’t know if that’s normal but I sure got sweaty. I also liked how we also focused on stretching out the sides of our body. I love side stretches!!

After my session:

Ready for tomorrow. I’m also going to add to my relaxation by maybe having a hot shower and putting on a face mask. I’m super stretched and feeling really good right now. OH, I also listened to music today. I listened to a Songza playlist–Relaxing Film Scores.

 

 

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Sunday Yoga Day 6: Six Pack Abs

Day 6 already. I absolutely looked forward to this one because who doesn’t want to work on their core? I don’t necessarily want abs but I do want a stronger core. Adrienne was talking about how its important for the practice of yoga. I just love anything that focus on the core because I think it really helps with my back.

So here’s the video:

And here’s how I felt,

Before my session:

Excited. I woke up ready to take on the poses. I really enjoy doing these. I want to continue doing these everyday.

During my session:

Although most of these poses were less yoga and more core workouts. I really enjoyed that her main focus was to take it slow and focus on breathing and proper formation.

After my session:

Happy. I think yoga is definitely going to be a major part of my life now. I know it’ll take awhile before I can get extremely good but it’s helping me with breathing which helps my anxiety and the recent panic attacks. I know that it’ll also help me with my transition into the world of Veganism. I’m trying to work on being happier with myself, finding peace and my center. I think these baby steps will help.

If anyone else has joined in on this journey, let me know how it’s going for you!

Martha’s Holiday Gift Guide

Okay, so I figured I’d try my hand at this whole notion of telling people what they should buy. Of course, you don’t have to listen to me or even continue reading this because I’m pretty sure we are all being bombarded with these on every social media platform. But since I really love Christmas, I thought I’d give it a shot.

As someone who wishes I could buy my family and friends everything, I have also learned that it’s not how much a gift costs but what it means to you and the person receiving it. I love giving heartfelt gifts, whether the cost is $5.00 (or less) or $100.00 (and more).

Sometimes you can’t buy gifts and that’s okay too. I’ve opted for making cookies and sending out cards because I love writing things for people and making cookies for people.

But anyway here are some ideas:

For the friend(s) you haven’t seen in forever:

Give them your time. We’re all busy. We’re all trying to make rent, bring home the dough, pay off loans, pay off all sorts of debt that we forget or put seeing friends off for awhile. Sometimes the best gift you can give is your time. Go out for a coffee, a drink, and catch up. There are tons of things you can do during the holidays in your hometowns and I’m sure your friend(s) would appreciate seeing you after some time. You might say, well that’s being stingy. But sometimes, your friend doesn’t want you mail them a gift, they want you, your conversation, your presence.

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For the tea lover:

Since I’m a major tea drinker, I had to look at things that I would like and my fellow tea drinkers would too. So I figured I’d pick two stores to shop from, to places to go for tea and online places to buy lovely things for tea.

You can’t go wrong with places like Davids Tea and Teavana which offer various assortments of regular daily tea to the delicious holiday spirit in a cup. Not only do they offer tea but various things for tea lovers such as mugs, cups, tea sets, sugars, containers, I could go on forever! You could always pick one for them, buy a tea set which has samples of various teas, or you can always buy them a gift card so that they can pick their favourite!

You can also always go out for tea. There are tons of places for high tea, low tea (haha I don’t know what I’m doing), afternoon tea, evening tea. You can even plan a tea luncheon at home for that special tea lover in your life. I mentioned some of my favourites in a previous post https://beingmaarthaa.com/2015/11/07/raincity/ ,but you can always do a quick google search and surprise your tea lover to a cute, quaint little tea shop or always gift them a gift certificate for whenever they want.

Or you could always shop for online vintage cup sets for that tea lover in your life. I would like to say that Etsy–Vintage Teacups & Tea Pots has quite the variety of amazing tea cups, sets, etc for all tea lovers. I would also look at places like Urban Outfitters and ModCloth.

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For the Booklover:

Okay, if you know what kind of books they’re into, you’re in luck cause it means you know what they’ve read, what they haven’t and you can get them that new book that they need in their life. Or you can always get them to try new things and expand their world of books. So this one is usually tricky because you might know a bibliophile–which is someone who loves books and collects them and has no room for anything else but books! (I actually have a few of these friends, you know who you are!).

So here are some ideas that you could totally do for these book lovers. Buy them a reading throw, reading socks, a mug for their drink while they read from places such as Chapters, you can always also get candles from Chapters or Urban Outfitters or even Winners which has so many varieties of candles. I usually like to gift books I get from a local charity book drive because they always have little notes inside or they’re dedicated to someone and you can add your dedication and it creates a new story and a new life for the book. I think it’s cute and dorky. If your reader uses an iPad or E-reader, you can always get them accessories for those to keep them looking stylish. You also can do what I plan to do with my friends at some point, we plan to go to all the cute old book stores and go on a book adventure and pile your baskets with books to fill your heart with lots of joy.

Again, Etsy-For Book Lovers has tons of things that are not necessarily books but book-related articles such as scarves with quotes from Jane Austen or pendants with lines from The Great Gatsby, mugs, bookmarks, bookends, etc! There’s so much online and you can also find stuff like this in stores in your area~

For the Music Lover:

Okay, so I live in a house where everyone listens and loves music. I usually go to HMV since they have a pretty good collection of albums and vinyl. I also like going to Urban Outfitters who have a larger selection and they also have Crosley Vinyl players to choose from. There are also tons of  Vinyl Record Stores in Vancouver, B.C (here’s a list of them). You can also buy them instruments, sheet music, guitar picks, accessories for their equipment, editing software, you can make them a mixtape and share music that they might not know about. Honestly, I think we should bring back making CD’s for our loved ones or mix tapes or a playlist even means something too right? You can them cute headphones, wireless speakers, books on music, books about their favourite band. You can even get them a framed album cover. Be creative!

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For the Adventurer:

A Compass from MEC! A First Aid Kit from Adventure Medical Kits! A Travellers Journal from The Journal Shop or any journal form any store works also! There’s honestly so much you can get that adventurer in your life from a GoPro, to simple gear such as gloves, clothing, camping gear to postcards for when they go places! Vintage Maps that they can hang on their walls and place pins. Guys, you can give them books on places they plan on going to! The options are endless.

For the Writer:

Okay, so there’s so much you can give a writer! I could make a whole post on this. Like the adventurer, you can buy them journals for them to document their daily activities, to their stories, to their thoughts. As someone who writes in journals constantly and who owns about 10 journals ( I had a lot more from when I was younger, but I lost tons while moving), I know the best places for journals, from Chapters, Black Bond books, to your local winners and even your school bookstore. Of course, there are places that sell pricier journals such as Sugar PaperMoleskinePaper BlanksHeartwood Gifts (Vancouver-Based Online store), Brick and Mortar Living (which is based out of New Westminster and also has a variety of other amazing things that could be gifts such as jewellery, tea cups, tea, stationary and so forth). You can even go beyond buying one and actually make one like  this one on http://hubpages.com/art/book-binding-how-to-make-a-leather-bound-moleskine-journal-craft-tutorial (wow, crazy long link). I mean, it might take forever to make it because it looks super complicated, but it would be so cool!

For the Photography Lover:

Film, Polaroids, Camera cases, frames, books on photography. There is some pretty awesome stuff on The Photojojo Store such as gadgets for phones to pocket spotlights. Etsy also has some awesome handmade gifts for photographers such as straps, accessories, clothing and jewellery that focus on the love of photography. I also know some good books that have amazing photos such as Humans of New York because I love the stories and how their photo captures that essence. I’ve heard that The Art of Photography is pretty good and there are a lot more like them. Again, Urban Outfitters caters to this also. They have some pretty cool gadgets for the photography lover in your life.

Okay, so I know I didn’t cover every type of person out there. I mean, where’s the fashionista, the social media lover, the wine lover, the car fanatic, the superhero/comic book collector, the make-up junkie, the knitter, the athlete/sports lover, the coffee drinker, and so on. There’s so much to cover and I’m pretty sure that we’d be here for days reading. These are just some things I could think of. The prices vary on all of them and that’s what I like about them.

Anyway, I hope holiday shopping is easy on all of you, remember to spread kindness and laughter. I know this wasn’t much of a guide but more of links and random photos of my Christmas decorations but hey, I’ve never really done this.

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Sunday Yoga Day 5: Feel Alive

This session couldn’t come at a better time. So I decided that I wanted to try these sessions consecutively and see how I felt a few days after but this will be up on a Sunday since I like that schedule and I’m trying to come up with more ideas for posts. So for the past few nights, I’ve actually been having terrible sleep. On Monday, I was sleeping and while I was dreaming that I was in water, I woke up gasping and choking. I couldn’t breathe and I was really freaked out. I thought I was going to die. I talked to my sister later and told me that I probably had a panic attack while sleeping. On Tuesday, I also had disruptive sleep. I woke up because my phone randomly started playing music and I had a hard time falling asleep after that. I’m going to keep track go my sleeping pattern for the next few weeks because I woke up around 2am both nights. If anyone knows more about it, let me know or share your experiences that you might have had that could help me understand more. I don’t want to go to a doctor just yet because I’m not sure if it’s a pattern.

The video for day 5 is on feeling alive. What kind of coincidence is that? The one day I’m super tired, the theme is feeling alive. I chuckled at this because it was a good session for me before I went off to volunteering.

Before my session:

I was feeling groggy, grumpy, bloated and really tired. I also woke up with tightness in the trapezius area because I also keep coughing a lot at night which adds to the disruption of proper sleep. I always have this problem when I cough or sneeze, I usually end up pulling a muscle so I’m hoping to relieve that tension.

During my session:

For someone who was super tired, I felt in-sync with every movement and breath, I was super focused on just being in that moment.

After my session:

I was left wanting more. I wanted to do another 20 minutes of it but I had to get ready to go. I think if I get time tomorrow before my christmas dinner, I want to squeeze a session and feel nice, tall and relaxed.

 

(Sorry for the lack of pictures in this post!) ❤

Dinner with 4

Have you ever wanted to invite people you didn’t know at all for dinner? If you could pick anyone, who would you invite? I asked myself, if I were hosting a dinner, who would I pick to come over and enjoy a delicious meal and a glass of wine? I also asked myself why I would want to.

So I thought about it for a few days, I asked myself why I would want them over and the questions I would ask them. So I hope you find this interesting or entertaining and don’t forget to share some of your opinions on my dinner!

The Guest List:

  1. Jane Austen: I would invite Jane over because I would love to get her two cents in on gender issues of 2015. Jane who writes amazing stories with strong characters both men and women. Not only does she write about love, determination, personal struggles but some of the things she writes about resonate with me in certain ways. Sense & Sensibility is actually one of my favourites because I am a combination of the Dashwood sisters. I see myself in both of those characters. I would also ask her our of all her books which one was her favourite, I would like to get to know which character she related to the most and why? I also would ask her about being a writer and submitting her work anonymously and the struggle that she had to endure in her field. I like that she was a non-conformist to the idea of that era and that her characters reflected that in most cases. 9880428_orig
  2. F. Scott Fitzgerald: One of my favourite authors ever. He wrote my favourite book ever (No, not the Great Gatsby) butThis Side of Paradise. Why? Well, because it’s a reflection of his own experiences and life. I would ask him how he embraced that and put it into words.  Since I like to write in my journals and attempting short stories, I would ask him questions about how to get the juices flowing from my experiences. I have ideas but sometimes I can’t seem to remember how to write a coherent sentence. I would ask him how he captured his essence and trapped it in his pen to share with us.f-scott-fitzgerald
  3. Carlos Ruiz Zafon: Well, because he’s a spanish novelist. He also wrote one of my favourite books. The Shadow of the Wind was life changing. A book about a secret place filled with secret books isn’t that magical? I love his work. I would ask him about where he gets his mystery, crime, gothic inspiration from. I want to know how he was able to capture Spain in all it’s 19th century glory and gore, from photographs? Stories he’s read or heard? I would like to know how he managed to captivate my mind and allow it to walk the streets and feel the rush of adrenaline while running away from the mysterious figure. tumblr_lz8o45cpzf1qfm7mwo1_500
  4. Margaret Atwood: Okay, who wouldn’t want her at dinner? I would ask her about how she feels where Canada is going now on climate change? Politics? Cause I know she obviously has all the answers to life. I’d ask her where her favourite place is in Quebec. I’d talk to her about Oryx and Crake, MaddAddam, and the Year of the Flood because how could you not? These books defined how I see the world. I know half of these things do not exist yet but are we not far off? Are we not destroying our planet? Our bees disappearing? Creating and mixing DNA and trying to “fix” ourselves? Oh gosh, I think that this would turn into an interesting conversation. tumblr_m6dayvg9xh1rriw3so1_500

Okay, so as you can see I would invite authors to my dinner. I think having a diverse group and people from different era’s would bring great perspective and knowledge. These authors are all great thinkers and amazing writers who captivate audiences every day. I don’t know if I could contribute much to the discussion because I’d be in awe but I know that I would be fascinated with the conversation that would be happening under my roof with a glass of wine.