today’s heyuan gym flow

Decided to log my flow from my “home” (Doubletree Heyuan) practice just now. 50 minutes total. Could have probably taken things a bit slower but the music/noises in the gym were too distracting. Not particularly sorry about my mixed sanskrit/English pose names…

In hindsight, the flow probably could have used some more seated stretches after navasana, along with some pigeon/lizard/quad stretches.

begin in seated meditation, breathe and set intention
cat cow x 5 ish
active child’s pose
child’s pose side bends
spinal balance, with elbow to knee x 5
“spinal balance half moon”
thread the needle

standing side bends
half sun salutations x 2
sun salutation classical, knee to nose/outside/inside x 2 before hold in ajaneyasana, with side bend
sun salutation B, twists in first chair

warrior 2
side angle/reverse warrior 2 flow x 3
side angle
“vinyasa” to other side and to next sequence

three legged dog to starfish, with two breath hold with hovering leg
crescent twist
“vinyasa” to other side and to next sequence

goddess, with shoulder stretches
prasarita padottanasana
prasarita twists
tripod headstand, with attempted leg twists (…not really)
center, then into crow
jump back into chaturanga and return to down dog

jump into malasana
with twist, with full bind on both sides
gorilla pose

to warrior 3
to standing splits
to standing half pigeon
half pigeon arm balance
back to tadasana for other side

“vinyasa” to reset to down dog
jump through to navasana
straight legs, fingers to toes
bridge x2
happy baby
garudasana twists


18 days in heyuan

I’ve been in China for so long that I’ve had to cut my toenails twice.
I literally spent less on meals in China than I did at my 3-Michelin-star restaurant lunch in Hong Kong.
…which also cost about as much as my 18 days of laundry at the hotel. ($100.)
The most disgusting thing is coming back to my hotel room, taking a shower, scratching my face and finding that underneath my nails is all black from the air that my body has been interacting with.
I can’t wait to go to California and breath fresh air.

I’m scheduled to come back on Dec 1. I’m going to ask for a raise.

For the past year or so I’ve been tooting the idea of a dreamy five-year plan; a new career path of physical therapist by day, yoga instructor by night. Sounds amazing – I’d get to participate in continual learning and further education in a field that seems so helpful and practical, especially as we all get older. Plus I’d benefit from my training as a PT to be a better yogi and yoga instructor. BUT ALAS I looked up DPT programs yesterday and tuition is so many dollars, and it seems backwards to essentially throw away the investment of my current engineering degree for a new one. It’s a net negative, because the time I could be spending working and making money, I’d instead be spending it on tuition ($75k!)… for a degree that I don’t really need. It feels spoiled and excessive to double-up on two irrelevant post-graduate degrees. So. I think I’m dropping this dream in lieu of bigger picture goals. Like you know, a house, a garden, furniture. If I hated my job/industry/field, it’d be more valid. But I am perfectly happy being an engineer. No major complaints. So there’s no real reason to change career paths after all.

In yoga news, I few weeks ago I did my first forearm stand! And last week I did my first scorpion! At this rate I’ll definitely be able to do handstand in a year and can validly get my RYT (registered yoga teacher) training done next fall. :) Yayyyyyyy!!!!!!

delayed gratification is hard

But totally worth it. I just checked my 401k balance a few days ago and was surprised with a pretty serious chunk of change! This makes me feel way better about the fact that the amount of dollars in my primary savings account has not increased significantly in the last year (well, I got my end of the year bonus last year but promptly spent it on flights to Korea).

I think it’s a very grown-up satisfaction to be happy about this instead of being happy about attending a concert or buying designer clothes. Not that I wouldn’t be happy with a few more pairs of shoes…

into to fluids

I’ve been at MiaSolé for four months now, and it feels simultaneously like I’ve been here for years and weeks at the same time. I’m not complaining; I finally know exactly what everyone means when they talk about the differences between working in industry and being in school. I’m learning so, so much on the job, and (this is a weird simile but) I feel like I’m standing out in the rain and the raindrops are the things people are telling me and only the water that stays on my person is the knowledge that I’m retaining. It’s a little (a lot) overwhelming but I’m definitely “getting exposed” – now it’s just a matter of being able to use this knowledge in practice.

Yesterday I overheard my boss-boss asking my cube-neighbor if he had time to do a quick fluids calculation. Paul (cube-neighbor) said he was a little rusty so I perked up and offered to do it. I mean, I did spend 3+ years studying the stuff, so I was pretty confident. I was given the details of the (pipe flow/pressure drop) problem, and was able to bang it from start to finish in less than two hours, most of it spent looking for an equation I didn’t know the name of. I validated my answers and walked through my analysis with a coworker, and happily sent it off to my boss-boss. Before the end of the day it was sent around to the relevant folks and I got a figurative pat on the back. The kicker – it felt amazing to be doing a fluids problem again. I definitely missed that kind of analytical thinking.

But serious question: all I had to do is remember a bit of fluids jargon to do “web research” for the equations and constants I needed. The rest was setting up the problem and spitting out numbers. It didn’t take a fluids Master (pun intended), so did I really have an advantage over anybody else? Would Paul have done it just as quickly?

WELP, doesn’t really matter anyway, since I did indeed get my degree in fluid mechanics, and loved it, and I am happy to see that I am not rusty at all in solving fluids problems :)

(I just remembered how one of my professors in undergrad always talked about how being an engineer was just being aware of all your resources. He said that essentially we’re learning things to put in our toolbox, and the rest of it was just knowing which tool you need in what situations. True facts, more than ever.)

gluteus, gluten, gluttony

I’ve been really consistent with exercising since moving to Norcal, which I’m really glad about. There’s that fear of starting “the daily grind” and having to sit on one’s ass the entire day, then being too pooped when the work day ends to do anything but sit on one’s ass some more. I signed up for a six-month membership of eight yoga classes a month, which means at a minimum I’ll be doing that almost twice a week. I finally understand the appeal of gym memberships; gotta get my $$$ worth and not skip. Eight times a month is definitely doable, and it may be a good thing that I get some rest days.

Even if I’m not cycling to work yet, I’m still glad to have that option for cardio. I ran for 20 minutes on the treadmill today and felt my knees starting to give out, so I guess that’s still not a viable option. But I really missed running – maybe I’ll try inserting a few miles a month into my routine :)

BUT ANYWAY I went to the gym today because of yesterday and today’s carb loading. Yesterday was my first day of gluten in eight months, and ate more than half a loaf of sourdough. It was freaking delicious and I couldn’t stop. Today, my manager brought donuts and bagels to work… so I had a few of those too. And then my coworker Ben gave me his Monopoly McFlurry coupon so I treated myself to that too. And then I felt sad about the impending loss of my almost-abs (I can almost, almost see subtle side shadows in the mornings!) so I had some motivation to do some cardio. Not bad, right? Everything in moderation?

Re: losing my gluten free and vegan dietary restrictions and turning vegetarian –
I’m happy that I don’t have to consciously omit things from my daily eats, but I think I’ll still try to keep relatively low levels of empty gluten and carbs in my diet. Going to make a conscious effort to maintain meals consisting of more vegetables than grains… after my party next week. I mean, a girl’s gotta live a little right? Heh. I’m going to commit to a vegetarian diet for either 6 or 9 months. Since I’m a “diet non-responder,” i.e. my RA didn’t go away on the most restrictive diet, it’s unlikely that it’ll get any better on less restrictions (only no meat). But seeing as I’m used to a vegan diet right now and I’m still enjoying the resurrection of my relationship with bread, I might as well stay on the healthy side and avoid meats for as long as I can manage. Unless I see/feel iron or B12 deficiencies, I see myself staying vegetarian for awhile. (Pescetarian is highly likely though – I miss fish.)

People need to stop giving me dietary advice that they don’t follow themselves. You can spew as much information as you want at me but I’m only going to accept the ones that you have actually made a priority in your life – the ones that you honestly believe are good for you, not the ones you read about online or saw on TV.

Also I am as busy as ever now that I’m working full time!!! Not a bad thing, but I’m excited to get into a more regular routine after July 4th weekend.

leaving LA

Backtracking a bit in the timeline of my life to get my blog caught up…

I accepted the offer from MiaSolé (Alt-0233 to get e avec accent aigu é) at the end of April. It was a bit of a rush, since I had also gotten an internship offer from Baxter for which I needed to respond ASAP, while still waiting on MiaSolé to go through second and third round interviews, and decisions. To save time, we conducted Skype and phone interviews so I didn’t have to fly up to norcal for a day. It all worked out, and I heard back in time to not be stuck between a rock and a hard place. Happy! Everything worked out pretty much perfectly, and I set my start date for 5/29.

I spent the majority of May in LA packing up my apartment, having lunches and dinners with some LA peeps (Phyllis, Frances, Daniel, Layla, Dorothy. Neel…) and finishing up some research things. I had started my vegan + gf diet May first, but I was wary about buying a bunch of groceries right before moving out, so the first couple weeks of my new eating regime pretty much sucked. Now that more than a month has passed though, things are a lot better. But not to get distracted, back to my last month in LA.

One of my weekends was spent hitting up my LA bucket list spots with Stanley (Beverly Hills sign and farmer’s market, Culver City Steps). The BHFM was pretty big; some things seemed a bit overpriced but not unexpectedly so for BH. We picked up some cherries and fresh squeezed OJ (yummm) and I don’t remember what else, and headed to Century City to watch the matinee (11:30ish!) Iron Man 3. During the movie I ate like two pounds of cherries and didn’t get allergic, which was amazing and I loved it. But then my stomach was full of cherries…

Culver city steps was pretty awesome, much more intense than I had expected. Instead of parking on the bottom and actually perusing the steps like normal people, we drove to the top and just took a look at the view. We went a few flights of stairs down and up, and I was surprisingly tired after just a few steps! I think because the delta elevation is really high with the taller-than-normal steps, I was out of breath in just a few seconds. Seriously would have been a great workout had Stanley and I been prepared. Oh well, next time!

During the last LA weekend, I went hiking with the MAE boys (Lucas, Cristhian, Raymond, Grant + Grant’s brother)) to the Hollywood sign. The trail we chose (starting at Canyon drive) was probably around 6 miles round trip with all our extra excursions.

It took us about four and a half hours from start to finish, hilariously long, because we lunched at the top and took a million breaks in between. Grant’s brother also has juvenile arthritis so he was hurting; we waiting for him and rested a lot. (But he seemed to be in a much worse condition than I was, I wonder what made him think hiking was a good idea?) We went to the peak to see the back of the sign, and then to the front for a more scenic view.

(You can see DTLA and Griffith Observatory in the background of the above picture!) I’m glad I finally did this trail, but probably wouldn’t do it ever again. Recommended as a one-time adventure.

The next day was spent in Arcadia – I hung out with Stan, Wes and Yao getting boba and other misc things. We stumbled upon a batting range + miniature arcade which was fantastic! Since it was a super small arcade (which still had the essentials) the machines were really cheap and we spent a little more than an hour there. We played air hockey, pacman, DDR (I missed it, I used to play daily during my summer in RISD) wrestling, and skeeball. Pretty much all my favorites. And all for less than five bucks! Skeeball was only 25c! What a deal, seriously.

The last weekend of May, Stanley and I road tripped up the 101 and 1 from LA to Sunnyvale, stopping at SB, Solvang, SLO and SC on our way up. Still editing pictures so that post will be next :)

new chapter

There have been all sorts of happenings in my life lately. I’m currently in limbo in between LA and Cupertino, started my job last week (feels like I’ve been there for months already, in a good way) and have been having lots of fun times with my bffs in my (surprisingly not scarce) down time. I’ve been putting off all the things that would put me into the “settled” category, IE bike purchasing, yoga studio joining, furniture buying… Because I haven’t quite moved into my next residence yet. But I really don’t mind how things have been for the last week and a half; so far I’m adjusting well and having a great time at work :)

I can’t find my card reader so I can’t edit pictures from Stan and my great trip up via PCH, but that post will probably come in a short summary version and then I’ll be busy busy settling into the next chapter of my life. All sorts of yay!

tales of the still unemployed

Started my second free week of hot yoga. I think I’ll committedly do it for five of the seven days (not weekend) to simultaneously take advantage of the free and fill my days with something to do. I forgot to bring a towel today so I sweated and slipped all over the place on my mat and it sucked. But alas, no purchasing of a better mat or yoga towel until I have $$.

In other news, my wrists have been hurting for almost two weeks now. NSAIDs still have no effect (in reasonable dosages). I came across this paper (of which only the abstract is available) documenting a study of gluten free and vegan and vegetarian diets for RA patients. Since being gluten free has had no noticeable effect on my joint pain, I’ve decided to try to repeat the results of that study! 3.5 months of vegan + gf (then evaluate), followed by 9 months of vegetarian (if the vegan + gf seems to have a positive effect). I’m starting on May 1st, after I get back from a trip to Seattle for our semi-annual immediate family reunion. How exciting. Still debating whether to cease my current medications when I start the new regime… leaning towards no.

In a few minutes I’m going to drop off some stuff to be tailored (i.e. interview pants I ripped a hole in the crotch of in Houston) and get a library card for LAPL. Maybe I’ll get some books?