Posted by: Health & Lifestyle Coach Julie | 04/07/2011

“The (Yoga) Mat Less Traveled” by Julie Chiu Hong Kong’s Asia Yoga Conference June 2011

So I better write about my experiences at this years Asia Yoga Conference (9-12 June 2011) before I forget!

Before I begin, some background info on my experience with yoga…or lack thereof. A bunch of home VHS tapes in the 90’s of Rodney Yee then later moved onto Rodney Yee DVD’s in the new millennium. Primarily, I’ve been a “cardio” type of girl: swimming, dancing, aerobics, spinning, and in the past two years running. For the longest time, my mind would not comprehend the benefits of 1 hour of yoga vs. 1 hour of spinning. I can burn 700 calories spinning…that equals a whole meal! With yoga, my heart rate doesn’t even go into the “cardio range” (above 130 beats per minute for me)…that probably equals a handful of grapes if I’m lucky.

So because of this, whenever I exercised I usually chose something that was heart pounding, shin splinting, sweat pouring…you get the idea. However, when we moved to Hong Kong I noticed so many FIT and beautifully TONED people who primarily practiced yoga.  I thought to myself, “Huh? What up with dadt?!? WTF?”

So then I decided to explore yoga a bit more and low and behold…it has wonderful benefits. Don’t get me wrong.  I will never give up cardio. I love and miss “runner’s highs” and the sense of accomplishment after completing an intense cardio workout. Now, I’ll just incorporate a nice balance of both.

So long story short…I’m NOT a yogi. I don’t practice it enough to go on a soapbox and start telling everyone to start practicing it. However, having a mindfulness background I can see how yoga can increase ones mindful living practices and bring balance into one’s life. 🙂

Okay back to the Asia Yoga Conference. So after reading my previous post on how I won a free four day pass here are my personal experiences, notes & tips w/the classes attended during the four days:

Carlos Pomeda: The Joy of Meditation

The difference btwn Relaxation & Meditation- Alertness, coming from inside to out; relaxation doesn’t have a GOAL besides becoming relaxed vs. Meditation involves MIND

W/O self awareness think everything is happening TO us and not aware of self-suffering and how we play a part in it.

Need 2 things to practice meditation:

1) Stability & 2) ease/comfort

Meditation: 33% Posture, 33% Breath & 33% Technique (i.e Mantras)

Mantras- gives mind something to focus on. How to get past focusing on meaning? Answer: Focus on something meaningLESS…like mantras. 🙂 The power of sound…Ohhhhmmmmm.

20 min of Mediation everyday recommended (however 5 or 10 min is better than zero min pho shizzle!); 30 min good, if can do 45 min great, if can do 1 hr awesome….can divide half in Am and other half in PM. Not more than 1.5 hrs total per day.

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Three classes w/Sunder Singh Khalsa: 1) Locate the Self- Shuniya & Power to Shift Perspective, 2) Experience the Self & 3) Awakening from the Trances We Live

Sunder Singh Khalsa in the middle

One thing Sunder said that was interesting, “The reason why we lean FORWARD when sit upright is b/c we WANT something, seeking NEXT thing already. I have this exact tendency! I’m more mindful now…non-judgmentally, of course! 🙂

I loved his calm vibe and learned so much about Kundalini from him. Someone mentioned that he is one of the best Kundalini masters in Asia. How fortunate was I to take 3 days worth of courses instructed by him.

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Daniel Li Ox – 1) Taoist Sacred Sexual Energy Practices for Healing, Creativity & Spiritual Achievement & 2) Iron Shirt Qi Gong: The Art of Tapping into Earth Energy to Develop Unusual Power

Qi Gong Master Daniel Li Ox

Qi Gong is Bioelectromagnetic Energy Work (AKA Energy Work or Breath Work) and according to Daniel, it’s all about creating balance (I like that). Funny enough, I took my first Qi Gong class from Lawrence Tse (Hong Kong instructor) just the week prior to the Asia Yoga Conference! So when I was looking at the course descriptions and saw that Daniel was teaching Qi Gong…just had to take the opportunity to learn more about it. So glad I did!

“Imbalances come from lifestyles…you can heal yourself (I totally believe this). To be ‘holistic’ have to look at all three: 1) physical, 2) mental & 3) emotional. Health is not complicated need to bring back: 1) oxygen, 2) chi, 3) breath to the body.”

What kind of info/vibes is your mind sending to the body? Instead of, ‘Damn knee! How come you’re always in pain when I go up the stairs?’ rather saying, “I love you knee. Here’s some love so you can get better.”

2 overlapping themes in everything in life: 1) unconditional ACCEPTANCE and 2) unconditional LOVE

Then he went into sexual energies and how to unlock them! How cool is this?! I’m sure hubby benefited from this. We did several Qi Gong exercises to unlock our sexual energies (one of which was to massage our groin muscles/pelvic floor). It was quite interesting seeing all the men and women in the room going through the motions of what looked like masturbation (w/o orgasm…massaging in order to increase circulation to pelvic floor or 1st chakra). Surprisingly, no one cracked a giggle.

Notes from the Iron Shirt Class: When you let go (whatever you resist persists) that’s when you heal. Whenever you block earth energy that’s when body starts getting into problems. Very important to have ROOTs grounded for healing.

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Mark Laham – Live Your Dharma

This was the last class of the first day and I was exhausted. My mind and body were fried by that point and could not absorb any more info. Mark seemed like a very well read teacher…I can respect that. He recommended three books: 1) “The Bhagavad Gita”, 2) “Power vs. Force” by David Hokins and 3) “The Prophet” by Kahill Gibran. There were other books he recommended but my brain shut off by then.

One great question he asked all of us to answer was: “If you had all the money and time in the world…what would you do?

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Anodea Judith – Grounding and Manifesting

Anodea Judith

Loved Anodea’s spirit & vibes. She’s a wonderful role model. Loved her poise in the way she presented and her books! I’m impressed w/her writing. I even bought her book, “Eastern Body Western Mind” and had it autographed.

10 Rules/Steps to Manifestation: 1) Begin in emptiness, 2) Never let your reality DEFINE your reality (what could be)…so true!, 3) Be first, 4) “Imagination is more important than knowledge” – Einstein, 5) Talk is cheap…so do LOTS of it! The more you talk about it the easier you’ll manifest [I’m going to write a popular mindful eating workbook! I’m going to write a popular mindful eating workbook!], 6) didn’t write it down fast enough! , 7) if you don’t plan it, it wont get done, 8) Ask for what you want…make it fun, 9) Complete until it’s done, 10) Celebrate! 🙂

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Patrick Oancia – Igniting the Flame: Unlocking Our Intuitive Potential 

It was free form. No powerpoint, no whiteboard, etc. Just conversation.

Most humans only use 5% of our pre-frontal cortex (front part of the brain behind forehead). Albert Einstein used approx 10-12% of his frontal lobe. Imagine the vast potential we have if we can find a way to tap into our brain!

To do this…abdominal or diaphragmatic breathing & align your 7 Chakras.

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Victor Ching – Yin Yoga Meridian Series – Improving Digestion & Metabolism

Stomach meridian is “Beauty Line” – so pimples on side of face is coming from stomach meridian…therefore need digestion to work to heal pimples

Dragon Time (Increasing Yang energy) 7a-9am…need to eat something

Rat Time 11pm-1am…yang energy starts to manifest and accumulate in body; therefore, strong potential

Snake Time 9a-11am earth bound/spleen, if eat during this time will transform into blood, chi & mental energy/ if don’t eat during this time will have blood disorders and blood related issues (esp. important for woman).

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Marla Apt- Yoga For Women

Marla’s a very knowledgeable yoga instructor. A lot of yoga instructors attended this packed room. Certain yoga poses are more beneficial compared to others during certain stages of a woman’s menstrual cycle.

Inversions are great for pregnancy support and especially during first trimester (can do everyday!)

Marla Apt explaining different inversion poses and how they're great for pregnancy

Also, if periods last more then 7 days do inversions…it will make them shorter.

When pregnant…want to always support tummy and thighs so it doesn’t pull on stomach.

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Colleen Saidman & Rodney Yee: Guided by Breath

I came full circle in my yoga practice (at least this is the first of several more circles to come) when I got to meet the person I started practicing Yoga with back in the 90’s w/VHS tapes! How exciting! Rodney even came around and touched my back to help me correct a pose. How cool was that?!?

I really enjoyed their class b/c it really incorporated correct breathing technique and when to start the inhale or exhale in relation to each sun salutation pose.

Colleen & Rodney

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Frank Jude Boccio – Mindfulness Yoga, The Feeling Buddha: Working w/Emotions

A fellow New Yorker like myself!  I heard my accent turn into a New Yawwker one while talking to Frank! It’s interesting how our voices change when we meet someone from the neighborhood, right? When I found out he was into “Mindfulness” yoga…I had to take his class.

This was a WONDERFUL lecture. Quick summary:

4 foundations of mindfulness: 1) body, 2) feelings, 3) mind, 4) Dharmas

Working w/difficult emotions: 1) recognition, 2) acceptance (there’s that word AGAIN!), 3) embracing (w/kindness & non-criticism), 4) investigation, & 5) Insight

4 Nobel Truths: 1) Duhka- truth of suffering (it exists), 2) Samudaya- cause of suffering is in the way we perceive/interpret it, 3) Nirodha – cessation of suffering (we have the ability to end self-inflicted suffering), 4) Marga – can end suffering by embracing it rather than be controlled by it.

Nobel Eightfold Path: Right 1) View (understanding), 2) thinking (intention), 3) action, 4) speech, 5) livelihood, 6) effort, 7) mindfulness, 8) concentration

Threefold training: 1) wisdom, 2) Shila, 3) meditation

The practice of loving-kindness (exercise).

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Wow! Alright-y then! That was a lot to absorb. Take your time w/it. It was overwhelming for me too. Blogging about all this really helped remind me of everything that happened during these 4 days.

Again, I am so grateful for winning the “Yoga In My Life” essay contest (click here to read the winning essay) which gave me the wonderful opportunity to meet and learn from so many great teachers. I am blessed. Thanks again, Namaskar magazine, Pure-International & 2011 Asia Yoga conference!  Oh! Also have to thank Law of Attraction (LOA) too! I definitely used LOA to manifest this wonderful experience. 🙂

Okay! Just letting you know I’m taking the summer off from blogging so I can work on my mindful eating “adventure” book. Here’s to  manifesting a workbook that will help people understand and change their self-sabotaging eating habits in order to regain a healthier and more peaceful relationship with food, mind & body! 🙂

***Leave a comment today about which Asia Yoga Conference instructor/class/lecture resonated w/you or how Yoga has affected your life. I personally find self-growth when sharing experiences with others, don’t you? Sharing the love and helping others feels great doesn’t it?  Admit it! It does. 🙂 ***

Julie Chiu, RN, MS(Hons), CHC, IC® is a certified health coach, pioneer of mindfulness-based coaching in the Asia-Pacific region, and in the process of becoming a best selling author! Briiing it!  She is Hong Kong’s only Certified Health Coach (National Society of Health Coaches), Intrinsic Coach®, Certified Intuitive Eating Pro® Counselor and Mindful Living Behavioral Specialist. She also serves on the professional advisory board of the National Society of Health Coaches and is a contributing author to “Evidence-based Health Coaching for Healthcare Providers: Program Manual”, 2nd Edition.

 Julie is known as the “How To” Lady and helps clients gain more clarity on their passions, overcome obstacles, break free from unhealthy lifestyle habits, and reach their goals through individual coaching, corporate seminars, and group workshops. In addition to coaching clients, she writes for online and print media and conducts lectures and workshops on mindful eating, weight management, stress reduction, changing limiting thought patterns, law of attraction, and evidence-based health coaching.

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