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I thought I would start this week’s blog post about something that all went down – a few weeks back – at my place of business: The story starts in the bathroom – I swear this is not where you might think it’s going – where my friend and I were leaving. This particular bathroom has two doors when you exit: the first door leads out to a garbage can, on the side of the little walkway area. As my friend and I were laughing about something, I ended up sneezing and took a napkin to blow my nose. As I was bent over – throwing the napkin out – the second door opened up abruptly. I had no time to react when the door slammed right into the top part of my head. The person – that ended up hitting me by accident – was a fellow co-worker of mine. He was highly apologetic – about the whole situation – but I told him not to worry about it whatsoever. I made a little joke about how I get hit harder in my Kung-Fu classes so it was nothing to worry about.
Initially – right after the boom heard around the world took place – I didn’t feel too much pain in my head region. That all changed – a few hours later – when I felt a throbbing sensation on the top part of my head. I told my friend – that witnessed the whole thing – that my head was starting to kill me. He followed up by reassuring me that I was hit particularly hard, so it came as no surprise to him that it was hurting. Luckily, the headache only lasted the rest of that day and that was it – for the time being.
So, fast forward a few weeks later and all of the sudden – the headaches were back in full force; the pain lasted for three days straight. It became so unbearable that I couldn’t do several of my daily activities: my martial arts training, write/blog, sleep or function properly, and I couldn’t even practice my musical instruments. I started to get a little worried that I ended up taking some headache medicine. I’m not a big fan of taking pills – and I can usually get rid of these issues in a more natural way – but the pain was so intense that I had no other option but to take the pill. The pain subsided a little bit but I wanted the pain to go away completely.
After the third day, I had enough and went right back to my tai chi/qigong/meditation training. I envisioned all this healing energy working through my whole head area: after about twenty minutes, the constant pain had totally dissipated. That is what is so amazing about this kind of training: it has helped me heal different ailments in my body on more than one occasion. Even if you aren’t involved in this form of training, you can still “focus” on certain areas to eventually try and heal them. I know mainstream medicine doesn’t push these kinds of techniques but next time you have some type of blockage, try focusing on the specific area and see what happens. It doesn’t cost anything and you’re not putting any harmful chemicals in your body – like many drugs and pills unfortunately have in them.
Driving around most major towns, you will come across a wide array of signs, buildings and advertisements. There was one place that stuck out in my mind; this place is called “HOT”BIKRAM YOGA. Over the years, I must have passed by this building a million times without even batting an eye. I’m starting to think the reason I became more aware of this particular yoga spot was because of my martial arts training. I’m also starting to think that because I already had the tai chi, kung-fu, qigong, meditation; there really wasn’t any valid reason for me to pay any extra money if I didn’t have to. Not only would it have been an added expense, to sign up for classes, but I wouldn’t have the time to dedicate myself to it either.
I was getting the complete package, so to speak, with my martial arts training already. I had somewhat of an idea of the basic premise of what yoga was all about…stretching. I already stretch, before any kind of workout, to get the muscles all warmed up. My thinking was why would I go there to stretch even more than I already do? When I thought about that question, I remembered something very valuable that my martial arts instructors told me; my techniques are getting better but I’m still lacking in the overall flexibility department. To be successful in any martial art training, you need to be flexible and limber and I needed that added boost.
So, I got to thinking and I decided to take my first “hot” yoga class, at the place I passed by for the past ten years or so. I went on a Saturday morning and I luckily had a friend that was willing to try it out with me. When we got inside of the place, we were told that one class was ten dollars; which included a mat, water and a towel. We took our shoes off and walked right into the “HOT” room, where the class was going to take place. I do not lie when I tell you that the room felt like going right from Antarctica, the outside, to the Sahara Desert, the inside, within a matter of seconds. I’ve been to Florida in August, at its hottest level, and never felt anything quite like the heat that was developing in the room.
After a few minutes of getting used to the transition in temperature, my friend and I started to stretch on our mats before the class officially began. I have to say that I was a little intimidated, initially, because the other students were putting their legs around their head and just lounging. I was lucky if I touched my toes and held it for a second or two. I kept telling myself that this person probably didn’t start out wrapping their legs around their head at first; they were probably in the same boat as my friend and I were when they started out. Like Bill Murray said in, “What About Bob?”, it’s all about taking baby steps!!!
At this point, the class had just begun and the teacher walked in the room. Before I got started in the various poses, I was a little distracted on what the instructor was wearing; he had on beach flip flops and a classic, B.U.M. Equipment tank top. As you can plainly see, it was hard for my friend and I to stay focused while the teacher’s wardrobe choice was actually taking place in real life. After about ten minutes or so, I finally started to focus on what I was there for in the first place. It wasn’t too bad for me, at least initially, because I’m used to hardcore, rigorous training at my martial arts school anyway. The more the class went on, my friend and I looked at each other like we were about to pass out, right on the floor. We kept stopping for sips of water and to get rid of the river of sweat coming down our faces.
After an hour and a half class, it was finally over. The teacher really put on a great class and kept us motivated throughout. No joke, it took about ten minutes for my friend and me to finally get up off the floor from pure exhaustion. I got back home and took a shower and felt very, very, I repeat, very relaxed afterwards. I will now do Hot Yoga from time to time, to get a great workout and most importantly, a quality stretch. It has also helped with my Martials arts training as well and I actually see how flexible I’m becoming, little by little. I definitely suggest anyone and everyone to get out there and checkout your local Yoga spots. You never know, you’re teacher might be wearing similar clothing as my instructor was. That is all the more reason to get out there and do some yoga.
I never thought that I would be devoting a weekly blog post to pay homage to a cereal brand, but here I am. Who would have thought? There are many reasons why I can’t get enough of this particular cereal brand; the taste is amazing, it’s filling, and it’s clutch for any time of the day. The brand, that I can’t keep my hands away from, is Kashi’s new line of organic cereal.
Sure, there are a number of cereals that have the organic label on them but this one is a little different. I found out the hard way, when I nearly scratched my face and neck off, that just because it says organic on it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s allergy-free. What makes it different is for the fact that this line of Kashi is made in a totally separate factory that “doesn’t” operate with tree nuts, peanuts, walnuts, and any other nut for that matter. After I read the back of the label, I just wanted to be on the safe side so I gave the company a ring on the phone to clarify.
The representative there had verified for me that the organic line operates in a totally separate facility. They went on to tell me that they have two factories; one that is allergy-free and the other not so much. After I hung up the phone, I was so ecstatic that I attempted to do a back flip right there in my kitchen. I’m glad that I thought this one through and I decided to just jump up and down in joyous bliss. This was definitely a safer alternative, not only for me but also for everything that was in the kitchen.
Going down the cereal aisle in the supermarket had become somewhat of a dread for me. I would see all these nutritious, tasty looking cereals and I couldn’t wait to get back home and go to town on them. The only obstacle in my way now is what the dreaded “label” has to say on the side of the box. Once I find a cereal that I like, I almost have to cross my fingers and hope for the best. Nine out of ten times, I will see the worse group of words for people with severe allergies could possibly come across…”made in a factory that handles all kinds of nuts.”
If you have food allergies, like I do, it becomes a hardship when you have to go shopping for cereal, and food all around. That has changed for the better now and we have the option to munch on something without breaking out into an itching spell. Another reason to attempt some backflips, or jump for joy, is that the Kashi Organics line has finally arrived in all major supermarkets. You no longer have to shop online and have your cereal delivered to your front door several days later. You can go right down the road now, whenever you want.
Another added bonus is that the line of Kashi Organics has so many different choices to choose from; Island Vanilla (All-time favorite of mine), Autumn Harvest, Cinnamon Harvest and Strawberry Fields to just name a few. If you suffer from severe allergies, give it a whirl if you’re looking for a change of pace and a top notch taste:))
Enjoy your time this weekend with your family and friends!!! Until next week,