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{Fixing my pain x Orchard Health Clinic}

Those who read my pervious post on my experience on the Yoga Teacher Training Course
would probably know that I am experiencing in pain various parts of my body. 
The most prominent ones would be my stiff neck, 
shoulder, lower back & knee pains (which is basically like almost my entire body -.-). 
I actually get shoulder aches on a daily basis
& I know this sounds really bad. 
How I'm so young 
& yet I'm already experiencing so much pain.
Many may probably think it's cause I injured myself during workouts/
I'm probably not executing proper form. 
The thing is, 
I have been experiencing pain in my traps 
ever since my Secondary school (High School) days. 
I used to shrug it off thinking it's probably due to stress 
& bad posture from hunching over while using the com/ studying. 
it got worst over the years. 
The pain in my left shoulder & neck is so bad these days
 that I had to fight back tears at times.
I have to use Yoko Yoko on a daily basis to get rid of the pain
&it only works for half an hour before the pain comes back. 
Guess I kinda gotten used to having the pain
& is always subconsciously waiting for the pain to come. 

After I've started working out for some time, 
I started to think that all these pain is cause of my tight pecs (chest muscles)
& my knee/back pains are due to my super tight hamstrings & hip flexors. 
How it's probably cause I don't have the habit to stretch/ cool down after my workout
& it just keeps adding up over time. 
I know I may seem "fit" & it's really weird to read bout how I have so many "injuries".
I don't really like to talk/ share about these pains that I'm getting 
cause it's so depressing & I will just be ranting ... & ranting bout them.
I'm always telling my family & friends that I'm an old woman in a young girl's body. 
Recently these pains have gotten so bad that J has to massage my traps&lower back for me whenever we meet, 
my girls actually took turns to massage me during our stay-cation
& I can't even concentrate on a night out w my girls cause my pains that I'm constantly getting in my shoulder. 

I don't know if its just pure coincidence but I received an email from Orchard Health Clinic 
just month to try out their services. 
I'm not sure if you're one to believe in fate hahah 
Needless to say,
I was super thankful & really thrilled to work with them. 

Gotta say that I have been riding on an  
emotional roller coaster these 2 months.
I'm so thankful that have been given so many amazing opportunities
to work with lots of amazing people but
I have been so emotional lately that
sometimes I even get teary for no reason whatsoever ... 
Which is really strange I may say. 
Thought its probably cause of all these things that are going on in my life 
but to tear for no reason...
It just doesn't makes sense. 
It's only later when I met Martin (Founder & Director of Orchard Health Clinic, UK Registered Osteopath) 
that I found out why I have been so emotional lately :/
Martin is super nice & really professional. 
He could almost instantly point out the possible reasons 
as to why I'm experiencing all these problems. 

Before I share more bout my experience w them
& whats the crazy thing that I found out bout myself;
Here's a short description on what Orchard Health Clinic & Osteopaths:

An Osteopath provides drug-free treatments using methods like 
manual therapy, soft tissue massage, traction, 
ultrasound therapy, joint mobilization and manipulation etc. 
Some of the more frequent reasons why people visit them are due to 
aches and pain in the back/neck region, joint injury, spinal disc problems or even just for regular fixing up for good circulation maintenance.
You need be injured/ in bad health to visit them, 
most people get aches/pains due to work/hobby related activities.
Some even have sessions with them just for regular fixing up for good circulation maintenance!

Is anyone super curious as to what I have found bout myself that has been giving me so much pain?
I used to feel frustrated with myself & think that my body is super weak 
cause I get "injured" & tight so easily. 
It's thanks to Martin that I learnt that my body 
is actually tightening up willingly to protect itself.
It's my body's defence mechanism.
He used this simple example to explain how badly I have been treated my body:
"Your body is designed like a Ferrari but you treat it like a tractor."
hahah so depressing. 
I will never forget how he reacted when he found out what the root of the problem is.
That if only it was just a case of tight muscles 
but its far more than that. 
You must be thinking, "Can she just get straight to the point? What IS the problem?"
it turns out that I actually have Hypermobility Syndrome
sometimes also referred to as "loose joints"
This means that my joints can easily move beyond normal range 
& are capable of excessive motion.
I thought being able to bend my thumb to touch my forearm

being able to bend my fingers back more than 90 degrees was the norm. 
It's also from my first visit with Martin that I realised
my arms can bend back more than 180 degrees. 
Always thought I was "lucky" whenever I accidentally miss my footing 
during my trail runs & not sprain my ankles even though 
my ankles may had twisted & rolled out into quite a weird angle. 
Its actually cause I have super loose/stretchy collagens & ligaments. 
Wouldn't deny that this came as a total shock to me.
I studied bout various body deficiencies & syndromes 
but would never have expected that I would be diagnosed with 
one of the syndromes that I had studied. 
My first visit was 3 days ago & this is still sucha shock to me.
Martin then moved on to telling me that my body is meant to be liquid & flow-y
& that I have a "dancer body."
(hey hey hey, is it too late for a career switch? JK HAHAHA)
He mentioned that there are pros & cons for this. 
I will not suffer from minor sprains but I'm more prone to getting shin splints/ tennis elbows
& if my joints were to be dislocated, 
it did be a reallyyyy but injury :/
Not sure is that more of a pro or con...

The reason why I was so emotional last week (the final week of my Yoga Teacher Course)
was cause I did a lot of back bending
& chest opening exercises during the course. 
I don't even do back bends/ stretch my chest much (even though I know they are super tight...)
& I guess my body really needed it. 
Was informed that my body is so used to "protecting" itself by tightening up 
that I naturally close-up emotionally too. 
It will also automatically reject new things that it's being introduced to 
even though it may be good for it. 
So all those chest openings & back bending really did open up my heart a lil heh 

This was my first visit to seek professional help so naturally I was super nervous
as I did not know what to expect from it. 
Been told a lot that sports massage can get quite painful 
&that I must be prepared to tear as they releases all the knots. 
It didn't hurt one bit. 
Martin was super caring & constantly checked to see if I'm ok. 
He did a series of massages
& it was kinda nice to hear the "pops" in my various joints. 
Thought it would be painful but it wasn't at all.

*Tip: Do put on make-up cause he may be massaging your face too hahah*

They ended the session by pasting some Kinesiology Tape on my shoulder
&sharing exercises that I can do at home.
The tape isn't suppose to cure my pain but it is to remind me of my posture.
I'm required to leave it on for 2-3days. 

Can't express how grateful I am to them ): 
To learn so much about myself & to finally do something about the pain that I have been walking around with for so many years. 
Can't wait to get rid of the pain. 
Will def update y'all with my progress!
It's just really crazy how I'm so fortunate to have so many people helping 
me with. 
*always thankful*
Been thinking bout what have I actually done to deserve all these kindness 
getting emotional again hahah

Here's more info bout Orchard Health Clinic:

Park Mall Shopping Centre
(Nearest MRT Station: Dhoby Ghaut)
9 Penang Road #07-22
Singapore 238459

Tel: +65 6336 9577
Email: info@Orchardhealthclinic.com 

*Quote my name to get 20% off!



{Tirisula Yoga Teacher Training Course}

It's really crazy how fast time really flew!
My Yoga Teacher Training Course w Tirisula Yoga ended last week.
These 5 weeks have been really challenging for both the mind & body. 

Here's a quick overview of what we did during these 5 weeks:

Week 1
Strength & conditioning
Taught alignment & poses for the Ashtanga Primary Series
Philosophy of Yoga & various systems in our body

Week 2 
Mastering the Ashtanga Primary Series
Arm balances 
Philosophy of Yoga & various systems in our body
*presentation for the muscular system

Week 3
Ashtanga Primary Series
Teaching Trainings 
Yoga theories 
Taught how to do lesson plans & what to look out for when teaching

Week 4
Start teaching the various lesson plans (ultra beginner, beginner, intermediate, master class)
 that we planned the day before
Yoga theories 

Week 5
More teaching
Finishing up with the last bits of the theories 
Theory & Practical exam on the second last day of the course
Celebration party on the last day

Quite a fair bit to absorb in just 5 weeks huh?

The first week was ultra tough
&no doubt,
a test for our determination to just suck it up
& complete the course.
It felt like we were at a yoga boot camp.
I'm not even kidding here.
The teachers were constantly pushing our bodies to the limit
& doing their best to improve our strength
& alignments for poses.
We found out on graduation day that we were the first batch that they are so strict
& hard on!
This is cause they really want us to be disciplined & good teachers.
I was unlucky enough to be down with stomach flu on the second week
but managed to push through
& I'm proud to say that I didn't even miss a single day of class heh
I hate to miss out things in school >:
& guess it's cause I'm pretty stubborn too.
Teacher Paalu actually asked me to sit out for one lesson cause he knew that I was in pain
even though I was smiling hahah
These were his exact words!
I remember it cause funnily (or eerily) enough,
my dad actually said the exact same thing to me before :o
& this isn't the only sentence that both of them had said to me
with the same words used.
hahah so weird.

Having this bitter-sweet feeling & I'm typing this post as I have learnt so much 
& met so many amazing & inspiring people in this course.
Really didn't expect to be learning so much when I agreed to attend the course.
As the weeks pass by,
I can actually feel & see myself grow.
Gaining more & more flexibility,
getting reminded of my values & purpose,
improving in isometric strength & becoming an even more determined person to achieve my goals.
Thrilled to show that I actually started the course not being able to even touch my toes
&now I can do these:

Seated Forward Bend

Still can't get my forehead to touch my legs 
&this still hurts quite a fair bit :/ hahah

Janu Sirsasana A

Bird of Paradise 

not in perfect form yet though.
Will never forget the pain I went through before getting to this stage hahah
Really gotta thank the teachers for helping me out along the way,
pushing me into a deeper stretch
&going deeper into the pose.
It's amazing how much you can actually change in over just a course of 5 weeks if you're consistent with your practices.
Plus the feeling of being able to do what you couldn't at first is ...
Those who are worried bout trying out yoga as you may be tight/inflexible,
don't be kayy!
My hip flexors & hamstrings used to be so tight that I used to get occasional lower back aches D:
I also have super tight pecs & traps
which gave me shoulder & neck pains on a daily basis.
(Horrible right? what iz diz)
This is only happening cause I have not been diligent in my stretches
& I have been doing concentric contractions which makes my muscles tighten up even faster when I don't stretch them out after workouts.
Happy to share that I have no more lower back pains even though my lower body is still pretty tight.
(Still having shoulder & neck pain but I think this will be an even longer process
as I have been experiencing this even before I started working out.)

Besides gaining more flexibility,
I've also managed to do some arm balances!
I did fall a few times
&even bruised my knees but its only from these falls that I learnt to fall properly
&find the balance for the poses.
Looking forward to perfecting them when I gain more flexibility :>

Crow Pose


Mentioned that we also had to go through a series of teaching trainings for this course.
It's my first time teaching/ leading a group.
To top it off,
it's a yoga class that I will be leading.
I have never attended any yoga classes/
know anything bout yoga before this.
Was super worried bout not doing it correctly/
not doing the adjustments properly/
being more of a fitness instructor than a yoga teacher/
giving the cues etc.
Needless to say,
there were tons of things going through my mind :/
I'm more of the observer at the party rather than being the life of the party
so I was practically shaking when I had to go up & teach a lesson plan that I came up with.

The first time I actually taught didn't go as badly as I thought it would be.
Guess I was saved by the fact that I smile even more when I'm nervous
My classmates actually enjoyed my class!
*wipes sweat off forehead*

Still not as good as I would like to be
but I'm glad that I received constructive feedbacks from my teachers
so I'll def keep those points in mind :}

Here's a pic of me teaching a class
& helping my friend go into the pose deeper at the same:

An example of how we can help our students get into a deeper stretch:

I especially enjoy the theory classes in the course cause 
I'm being taught so many things that I didn't know bout!
Really like how Master Teacher Paalu always link the topic that he is gonna teach 
with a story.
My fav topic is no doubt the topic on Chakras.
It's so interesting 
& amazing how we can relate our character & various attributes with the energy vortices in our body. 

Guess it's a good thing that I'm taking a Degree in Sports Science 
& taking this course cause the various systems in our body is not that challenging for me heh
Lesser things for me to worry bout! 

Before we know it, 
it's the last week of our course with TirisulaYoga
Exams couldn't come any sooner. 
the theory paper is open book (100 questions to be completed in 1hr)
& I have super nice classmates who are always so kind to help me in my Asana.
For the Asana (practical) exam, 
we are required to know the Sanskrit names for ALL the poses in the primary series 
& those that are included in our handbook. 
Poses will be called out by our examiners in Sanskrit 
& we will need to execute the poses. 
The duration for the practical exam is 1 - 1 and a half hr. 

Guess what?
Managed to pass all my exams;
theory, practical & teaching. 
What a relief that is heh 
Gotta say this is one of the most unforgettable experiences in my life. 
To come in not knowing anything bout yoga
& to leave the course remembering the poses in primary series (in Sanskrit some more!), 
being more confident not just as a teacher but also a person
& to an even more grounded person
is really something that I'm so thankful for. 
If anyone were to ask me to describe what the course w TirisulaYoga is like, 
I would say its life changing without hesitation hahah
I have never seen such genuine & dedicated teachers 
who really enjoy what they're doing in a long time.
They really are the main reason who I can improve so much in sucha short time heh

Graduation day was the last day of the course
&we had a mini potluck at the yoga studio. 
(Of course there was tons of photo taking.)

Our certs were given to us by our three teachers:

(Master Paalu, Me, Erica, Hui Yan)
Cause Erica said: "This one we need to flex!" when it was my turn to collect my cert.
First time seeing our teachers being so happy & carefree!

Super thankful to have this opportunity presented to me.
Once again, 
I would like to thank my classmates, teachers & Tirisula Yoga for these amazing 5 weeks.



{Yoga Teacher Training Course x Tirisula}

It’s currently my 2nd week of Yoga Teacher Training course
with Tirisula (3 more weeks to go!).
These 2 weeks have been such an eye opener for me.
I used to think that yoga involves very relaxing movements
But boy, was I wrong.
It’s an amazing combination of strength, endurance and flexibility.
It is extra challenging for me as I’m really lacking in the flexibility department.
Gotta admit that I have not been diligent in doing my stretches after workouts.
The first 2 weeks really tested my determination & perseverance on continuing with the course as each pose hurt like crazyyy.
My muscles are really wayyyyyy too tight for comfort. 

We were also taught on how to do handstands, forearm stands & headstands
in the first week
& needa aim to be able to do headstands in 4 days’ time!

Besides learning the various sequences, Sanskrit, poses & alignments for Ashtanga Yoga,
We were also taught the philosophy behind yoga itself.
This is something that I really enjoy  
As it really is a huge enlightenment;
Being reminded of my intention/purpose and
Learning the 8 limbs of Yoga.
This may be a common misconception but Yoga really doesn’t have anything to do with any religion. 
Yoga philosophy aside,
We had to learn the various systems of the human body (skeletal, muscular, cardiovascular etc.)
This wasn’t too much of a problem for me as
I’m studying Exercise and Sports Science.
Think learning the Sanskrit is much tougher
But I’m managing fine … for now.

We proceeded to learning the various inversions & arm balance poses in week 2.
I’m constantly wondering how all these poses came about.
I mean,
It’s insane (in a good way)!
Each pose is so beautiful & I’m def looking forward to the day where I can perform the various poses (firefly, crane, jump through & jump back etc.).

Will be sharing more on my progress with regards to my flexibility
& Hopefully,
performing various poses that I can’t do at the start
(like headstands, handstands, arm balances etc.)
at the end of my course!
Wish me luck!

Here's how our classroom looks like (Grabbed the pic from Tirisula) :

Love how they didn't include a single mirror in the room as they want us to focus on ourselves 
(instead of competing with others)
& mind-muscle connection 
(instead of relying on the reflection to check our alignments).

For those who are interested,
Here’s some information bout the course that I’m taking (sponsored by Tirisula):

Course Duration: 200hr (5 weeks)

Course Timetable (varies):
Monday-Friday; 7:30am-2pm
7:30am-10:30am – Practical
11:30am-2pm - Theroy

Location: 80 Arab St (199777)

1 Practical Exam
1 Theory Exam
*we will also be assessed on our teaching skills

1 Group Project Presentation
2 Videos Assignment (Group)
6 Written Articles

I really like how the way they assess us is very balanced out hahah
Will share another post bout my experience & progress
at the end of my Yoga Teacher Training.

Stay tuned!



{How to stay motivated}

I know it’s really not easy to stay motivated
& there will always be those days where you’re coming up with every possible excuse to skip the workout.
Whenever I feel like that,
I will usually take it as a sign that my body needs extra rest
& promise myself to come back stronger the next day.
What happens when you’re just procrastinating your workouts
For like forever?

It’s not so much about being/staying motivated for me.
It has always been more of a habit.
You will need to turn that motivation into a habit.
You can’t rely on motivation forever.
That being said,
I understand that it’s really tough to even continue the drive to workout regularly in the first place.

Here are some tips that may be helpful for some!

1.    Get a gym membership
Not sure if this works but the money you spend on your gym membership may provide you with monetary motivation heh
Who would wanna let their money go to waste huh?
I'm pretty sure this will not be enough to push you workout on a regular basis though :p 

2.   Having gym buddies/ workout partner
Working out alone can get boring for some.
Having someone with the same ideals may help in motivating & pushing you on those lazy days and during workouts.
Besides that,
You can also try out buddy workouts, which are super fun
&def kills the boredom.
It’s also important to have a gym buddy for safety purposes (esp when you are planning on lifting heavier than usual).

3.    Start your day with a positive/motivational thought
Remove all negative thoughts of yourself!
Remind yourself why you started this journey
&how far you have come.
Its not about perfection,
It’s about progress & determination to make a change for the better.
Remind yourself that you’re doing this for you,
To create a fitter, healthier & happier you,
&not for anyone else.
Start your day right :}
(I sound like some kinda health promotion commercial hahahah)

4.    Equip yourself with knowledge
It’s always good to know the basic exercises for various body parts & plan your workout before you reach the gym
So as to prevent you from wasting time figuring out what to do when you get there.
Not only that,
Knowing your workouts/ what to do at the gym will also prevent you from feeling disheartened when you see pros/ experienced people at the gym.
It is esp important to know the basic form to prevent you from getting injured.
Time to do a bit of research!

5.    Change up your routine once in a while
People usually lose motivation when they get bored with their workout
or don’t see any progress/ change in their body.
Changing up your routine &
Adding new exercises into your workout
Can aid in killing the boredom.
Your body will also learn to adapt to the workout if you continuously do the same routine/exercises over and over again.
It is good to get outta your comfort zone
& try out different kinda exercises.
When was the last time you tried out something new/
Added variations to your workout?
Time to challenge & shock your body a lil ehh?

6.    Watch inspirational videos
There are quite a few inspirational fitness youtubers who share videos that can really motivate you to get your ass off the couch to do some work.
One that I know of is Greg Plitt.
He was (and still is) such an amazing motivator 
&it is really sad to know that he has left us. 

7.    Have someone who motivates you
I guess having a person, whom you look up you,
Can really help in keeping you motivated.
Someone who you feel you can relate to,
Has that certain amount of drive to work even harder during each workout
& has your “dream bod”
can really help to create the impact in you to want to do the same.

8.    Have a goal in mind
Set realistic goals for yourself throughout your fitness journey.
It's not just about changes you can see physically
but mentally too.
Don't just set goals like "I need to get my body ready in 4 weeks for summer",
focus on how you can make a change permanently.
It's easy to feel disheartened or lose motivation to workout when you don't attain that goal in 4weeks.
Set goals like being able to hit more reps (using the same amount of weights you used 3 weeks ago),
being able to run a longer distance than the month before,
feeling mentally strong & gaining more self-confidence & self-worth,
cutting down the in-take of junk food/soft drinks.
I feel that short-term goals are as important as long-term goals!

Hope these tips helped some of y'all!
Today's my last day of term break
&on top of that, 
I'm taking up a yoga instructor course (sponsored by Tirisula Yoga)!
Really excited & nervous at the same time as I'm super new to yoga 
& I'm farrrrrrr from being flexible. 
March is gonna be crazy interesting & hectic for me as 
I'm basically attaining classes from Monday-Sunday from 7;30am -10pm D: 
Guess it's gonna be a huge challenge for me to juggle my school, the yoga course & my part-time PT. 
*Fingers crossed!*

P.S. Will be updating my blog with my experience with the yoga course 
so do stay tuned!