Gentle yoga sequences

i’ve been consistently practicing yoga every day after the 30-day challenge. i love the changes yoga does for my body. all the stretching does me wonder. no more sore shoulders and neck, straighter spine – to name a few obvious. i don’t plan to stop ever again.

yesterday i didn’t have time to do it in the morning, so i decided to do a gentle bed-time sequence. it matched with a gentle morning sequence so i did it today morning as well. usually i would like something more uplifting for the morning, but today is the first day of that monthly period (no wonder i’ve been feeling really tired) so seems like life has a way of better organizing things for me than myself. i liked both of them, maybe i will do them again for these days instead of exploring new videos for the time being.

i finished 30-day yoga challenge.

thank you, Adriene. ♥

thank you, Adriene. ♥

yes, i did it. consistently every single day. i’m proud of myself, and i’m happy for the change in my body and my mind.

that being said, it wasn’t easy. the first three days i was pretty much in pain, wondering was it possible that i did it wrong or maybe i dislocated something. some days i was tired, i didn’t even want to move let alone gather enough strength to be energetic on the mat. there were times when i did it at 9:30 in the evening. however, for each of the obstacles that came and i pushed and pushed some more to overcome them, i felt myself bits by bits getting stronger.

i remembered Adriene’s words of finding what feels good and creating space. it was pretty much following the sense of curiosity and being present that Andy (Headspace) often mentioned. keeping those thoughts in mind while practicing both yoga and meditation definitely helped. in this case with yoga, i did it with much more ease and in a gentle way. in one video, Adriene said something like “you’re on the mat now, the hardest part is over” and i smiled at how true it was. when i was tired, i did it anyway but with much closer care on how i felt. if something was too much, i skipped it and moved on to next move or relaxed for a moment without feeling guilty. i knew i could also skip a day and pick it up the next day, but i knew i would be able to do it and it would make me feel better, so on the mat i went and indeed i was satisfied. confidence begets confidence.

after a couple of days i already felt more awareness on my spine and therefore improved my posture. gradually, i felt much lighter in my whole body, as if i could just spring up and there it was music for me to dance to. not exaggerating. those were moments of realization i wouldn’t want to forget. i would love to experience more. there were poses i wasn’t able to do, but “someday i will and how great it is to have so much to look forward to” (quoting Adriene again). i hope to not lose this momentum and continue with this path.

thanks so much to Adriene for guiding us through this journey. it was enjoyable and fulfilling.

miss A’s ‘Colors’ comeback stage.

they’re all so pretty ♥
love love love their outfit, too. their coordi needs a raise, he he.

this performance gives off quite a different feel from listening solely to the audio, but not in a bad way at all. it really adds that ‘miss A’ vibe of being naturally sexy and confident into the song. happy that they decided to perform this, too. hadn’t gotten into their songs for a while and finally this comeback happened. way to go, girls!

Người Ấy – EXO

this song makes me very happy.

they sang in Vietnamese. not the best pronunciation but seriously, Vietnamese pronunciation is tough. certainly need to praise their effort for learning to sing a song of the host country.

and the rhythm is nice.

love that boy with the guitar who sang “i miss you much, i miss you much”, hi hi.

close-up version :”)

150314

finished the 6th day of 30-day yoga challenge.

washed two huge bunches of clothes.

cleaned the place (ready for more yoga tomorrow :p).

felt like i was invincible.

to be healthier.

so recently i’ve picked up yoga again since my mind is in a daze and my body feels weak. it might take me forever to go back to yoga classes so i just bought a mat and started practicing again at home. i know the basics already anyway.

the initial problem i used to have with exercising at home was that i didn’t how where to start. i was afraid yoga could cause injuries if i didn’t know for sure what i was doing, so i thought maybe i could turn to working out instead. but then too many videos made it harder to choose. even if i fixed on something, it still didn’t feel right. so i turned back to yoga, starting with yoga for beginners vids. the ones i currently like is Sun Salutations I (19:52), and i choose whatever else i feel needed, like for the neck (9:39), the wrists (4:53). they are all short, i didn’t want to put unnecessary pressure on myself.

when i read The Happiness Project, there was this saying: “when the student is ready, the teacher appears”. i didn’t quite believe it, but today i found this:

i got to know it from Career Girl Daily. it started from the beginning of the year, but every moment is anew, i can start wherever i am now. i have this problem of always wanting to have a beautiful start, e.g. it should be the beginning of the month ’cause you know, 30 days count easier that way. or something. this time, i’m going to take it easy.

i might also do the 5-minute standing ab exercises too. it’s only 5 mins per time, twice per week, so why not, right?

Growing Pains – Super Junior D&E

okay so i’ve been pretty excited lately for a very unexpected reason – Growing Pains by Super Junior D&E.

i knew this sub unit from the beginning and i liked their first song Oppa Oppa, but it wasn’t like i followed them intensively in any way at all. so when i heard they were going to have a comeback, my reaction was quite so so. then the teasers came out and although i liked what i listened, i was more or less still in “whatever” mode. apparently i have trust issue with teasers. finally the MV came out and… BANG! OMG what is this ~

the song was super nice, i really like how it sounds. it impressed me right from the beginning when the guitar started off and then the piano joined in moments later, what a brilliant harmony! Donghae and Eunkyu’s voices blended in smoothly, which flowed nicely with the rhythm and in the end built up a satisfying climax. the story reminded me of ‘eternal sunshine of the spotless mind’, which was interesting.

and what i especially loved was the choreography. i think i’m bound to get crazy with nice song that has awesome choreography, last time i was so in love with Only One by BoA. this time, again, Growing Pains’ made me really want to pick up dancing again and kind of desperately wish Dean would be here to help me with it. whenever i watch the song, name it the MV or the performances, i couldn’t help but tried to follow the dance moves every single time. what caught my attention was also the back-up dancer girl with short hair, first time in the MV at around the 2:49-2:50 mark when the camera turned around. i think i did gasp for air. to me it seemed that she stood out quite a lot in performances on music shows too, but of course i wouldn’t mind. i liked the girls’ outfit as well, looked like something i personally would wear.

last day of 2015 first month.

I was certainly on happier note this month than… well, on top of my mind now is December last year. I think it had something to do with the fact that, in December I took on something that I was reluctant at first but I went ahead despite my gut instinct, and of course it turned out terrible. But then I counted it as a blessing in disguise, since it told me that things could get much worse, so better find ways to enjoy my present life. I got out of it safely at the beginning of this month, and since then I’ve found in myself lots of energy and motivation to do many other interesting things.

Most likely I will join a new team, help their crowdfunding campaign as well as write the final thesis for them. It sounded like something I would enjoy doing – helping people, freely expressing my ideas, and being appreciated. I’m pretty excited about this.

Another thing is on the way, but I’m not going to talk to people about it yet. I hope it turns out well. Elf and Doina helped and encouraged me a lot in this, so although of course I must still be the one who does the work, I really received strength from them.

As for entertainment side, I was quite pleased this month. After 2.5 years, I finally had the courage to read Hoa Tư Dẫn (华胥引 / Hua Xu Yin) by Đường Thất Công Tử (唐七公子 / Tang Qi Gong Zi) again. At the time when I first read it with Truc, it left me such deep impression that I was afraid to read it again, worried that I wouldn’t be able to regain such beautiful emotions. Time passed by and I didn’t remember the details that much, thankfully it felt like first time reading. I laughed out loud a lot, cried some thousands rivers :p. It really lifted my mood that way.

Hoa Tư Dẫn (华胥引)

Hoa Tư Dẫn (华胥引)

Later on I also read two other books from her – Tam sinh tam thế Thập lý đào hoa (三世三世十里桃花) & Tam sinh tam thế Chẩm thượng thư (三生三世·枕上书). I liked the first one more than the second, but generally both of them are very, very nice. Looking forward to reading more books from her.

Quiet is another book I finished. Sometimes it hit so close to home I cried. I wish more people read it. Introverts are all around us and they have their special gifts to the world, too, you know.

Then the drama that totally captured my heart was Bên Nhau Trọn Đời (My Sunshine / 何以笙箫默). I fell head over heels with it and couldn’t make it more obvious on facebook :”). I was a bit sad to know that many people didn’t like Tiffany Tang / Tang Yan ‘s acting in this, since honestly, she stood out the most to me and the character she portrayed was really my most beloved in this drama. I became quite protective of her when some Wallace Chung’s fans and some other people’s fans took the chance to bash her. Although I also liked Wallace Chung a lot in this and believed he contributed a big part to the success of the drama, it wouldn’t be the same without Tang Yan. I was a bit surprised with my reaction, since usually when some people said bad things about IU, I just brushed it off and continued on. This time with Tang Yan, I kind of took it to heart and side-eyed those who made hurtful comments about her. Maybe it was because I knew the general public in Korea adores IU immensely, she seems to be contented with life and there’s no need to be protective for her. On the other hand, Tang Yan was on the weak side and I couldn’t help but love her even more. Well, I suppose I should trust her words then, that her character is different in different people’s hearts, and she portrayed what she believed was right. She was also in deep discussions with Gu Man – the writer of the book as well as co-writer for this drama, they had similarities in understanding the character. And the important thing was that, I was crazy about the drama because of the chemistry between the two main characters, far before all these tiring comparisons started, so I should stick with those beautiful feelings instead of over-analyzing things.

a fluttering moment...

a fluttering moment…

One funny thing was that when I was having a hard time controlling my feelings for My Sunshine, Elf also couldn’t help but constructed her life to get more of Healer. We both thought that we wouldn’t be able to get such strong emotions over these dramas again (they’ve become rather bland recently), only to find ourselves being totally miserable because of them (in a good way :D). We agreed that Misaeng must be the gateway for us to open our hearts again (lol), since we both have this overwhelming love after watching it. “Misaeng is love, Misaeng is life” ~ :3

The album I liked the most this month is, My Sunshine OST (surprised? :))).

The first song I paid attention to was Long Time No See by Tang Yan – a nice song that fitted really well to her character’s situation in the drama. Then gradually, My Sunshine by Zhang Jie grew on me and I would say I like it the most at this point. I’m not tired of listening to it. The part “You are my pretty sunshine. The world without you, whether good or bad is simply tasteless and empty” sounded especially warm and gentle…

A separate song I liked was Two Women’s Room by Davichi. It wasn’t a title song and of course wasn’t made into a MV, but I felt it was better that way. What a soft and ear-pleasing song…

Hm, I think that’s pretty much it? I would really like to learn more, do more, read more, listen more next month!

2014

2014, aka the year everything hurt but somehow i didn’t die (x)

To be honest, I don’t like this year very much. The positiveness I tried to generate for myself feels like nothing compared with the burden and pressure I had on my shoulder. Overall, I would describe this year as a heavy grey cloud day. I knew it could be worse, I was thankful for everything I had. Just that, the suffocation was incredibly hard to bear sometimes.

One thing that made an impact on me was the trip to France in summer. I looked at motherhood in a whole new light. No words were enough to describe my admiration to my mom, my sister, and all the moms in this world. I was reminded a bit of the unpleasant feelings from childhood, but I got to spend time and talk more to my sister, which was something I definitely needed. And I had chance to meet my nephews, they were so demanding at times but super duper cute nonetheless. I must be biased, but to me, they were certainly the most adorable kids I ever knew of, and felt closest to.

Talking about my nephew, I managed to claim first place for Kites Beauty Contest, one of the prizes was a coupon of 3 million VND to spend on an online shopping site. I gave it to my family, and they decided to buy a red tricycle for Samuel Thang Long as birthday gift. I was happy.

I deliberately listened to more music this year, not just title tracks but the whole albums/mini-albums, not just from familiar artists but from new ones as well. It was one of the rare things I was satisfied with.

My most favorite albums:

  • Play – Akdong Musicians (it’s so fresh and innocent, it brings me all sort of good feelings)
  • A Flower Bookmark – IU (except for song number 2 – Flower, I’m still not able to get into it)
  • 1989 – Taylor Swift (my jams used to be Enchanted and Sparks Fly from Speak Now, and they still are, just that now there’s a whole new album to listen to. most fav: Out of the Woods, All You Had to Do Was Stay, Wildest Dreams, This Love, Bad Blood, Blank Space, Wonderland, I Wish You Would. least fav: I Know Places)

Other notable ones:

  • Can’t Stop – CNBlue
  • Ghost Stories – Coldplay
  • Happiness – Hurts
  • Red Light – f(x) (most fav: Butterfly, Red Light, Dracula, All Night)
  • Crush – 2NE1 (most fav: Gotta Be You)
  • 2014 S/S – Winner
  • King O’ Irie – Skull
  • Shoebox – Epik High (most fav: We Fight Ourselves – ft. Younha)

My most favorite songs:

  • Let’s Run Away – MC Mong (ft. Lyn)
  • Stay With Me – Taeyang (ft. G-Dragon)
  • Overdose – EXO
  • Mamma Mia – KARA
  • Evanesce – Super Junior
  • Error – VIXX
  • Your Scent – Jung In ft. Gary (I would choose this song as best collaboration of the year, but well, it’s just me)
  • The Happiest Time of My Life – MC Mong (ft. Huh Gak)
  • E.R. – MC Mong (ft. The Channels)
  • Piano – Toy (Yoo Hee Yeol)
  • Pianissimo – Toy (Yoo Hee Yeol) (ft. Lim Kim)
  • When Would It Be – Yoon Hyun Sang ft. IU
  • Don’t Look At Me Like That – Song Jieun
  • U – John Park
  • Sogyeokdong – IU
  • Mr Mr – Girls’ Generation

My most favorite OSTs:

  • Sleepless Night – Crush ft. Punch (It’s Okay, That’s Love OST)
  • I Love You – Yoon Mi Rae (It’s Okay, That’s Love OST)
  • It’s Okay, It’s Love – Davichi (It’s Okay, That’s Love OST)
  • I Want to Love You – Alex (My Lovely Girl OST)
  • Only You – Kim Tae Woo (My Lovely Girl OST)

My most favorite playlists:

As for dramas, Misaeng totally stole my heart. It hit so close to home. It was so amazing, so exceptional, I was impressed. I think the last time I was this into a drama must be when I watched Nice Guy in late 2012. Misaeng focused on the working life in a trade company, it was known for not forcing romantic relationships into the story line. But it was, “at its barest, all about relationships and the affection, these characters have for each other” (x). Actually, I wouldn’t mind dramas about love. The thing is, for a long while, I didn’t really absorb into the emotions they portrayed. I would think, “Hmm, they acted so well”. But with Misaeng for example, I didn’t think about their acting at all. Only at some point, I read some comment saying “it was fictional” about something else, only then I realized yeah it was true, Misaeng was a scripted drama on screen. But it felt real. It felt so close to reality that people were inevitably drawn to it, relate to it, sympathized with the characters. During the time when I watched and when it finished, I just knew it would definitely make it to my list of one-of-a-kind dramas. And indeed, it was my most favorite drama of the year. I was so thankful to everyone who involved in making this project coming to life.

Other dramas I liked were It’s Okay That’s Love, You Who Came from the Stars, and My Lovely Girl. I liked It’s Okay That’s Love for its message about mental illness. You Who Came from the Stars shined thanks to the cast, especially Jun Ji Hyun. My Lovely Girl was not everyone’s cup of tea, it had potential that in the end didn’t manage to reach, but I liked its soft feeling.

I think I didn’t watch many movies… Among the ones I did, on top of my mind now are About Time, Roman Holiday, and Funny Face. I liked all of them.

I finished a couple of books, mostly fiction. The ones I remember having good time reading and still have positive feeling after are One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern and The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. Not too deep or profound, but good to lift up the mood.

Discoveries of the year:

Reminiscence

  • Card Captor Sakura

Not sure if I forget anything. Anyway, so yeah, that’s it for 2014. I’m now ready to move on. :)

141130

last day of November.

read my old notes on facebook. busy, energetic, full of light. warm, and an inspiration for others.

remember yourself, Chi, don’t forget it.

“aurinko”.