Day 5 of the 5 Day Warrior: FINAL!

IMG_7778I realize it’s been 3 weeks since I have written about The 5 Day Warrior.   Life gets in the way when you’re making other plans-:). 

Our time is precious and few. I never want to lose sight of this fact, and I am honored that you are taking time to read my writings. 

Thank you!

My husband joined me for The Woman Only 10 K (6.2 mile) Premium Woman’s Race for Pacific Health in Kapiolani Park in Oahu Honolulu.   It was their 38th year with women of all ages including the first Keiki (young girls) race as well.

 Some of the proceeds go to the Not-For-Profit hospitals to raise awareness and educate women on health and fitness with fun activities and educational stations.  They had pre-clinics on running, dynamic stretching, nutrition, all with physicians offering their expertise.

This is one of the most challenging yet, beautiful courses started in Kapiolani Park, headed to Diamond Head and back through Kahala.  Had I known that ahead of time, I’m sure I would have opted out.  However, sometimes ignorance is bliss.

The diversity of the racers was massive: from all ages and nationalities, to elite runners and novice runners, walkers and even a stroller division. The course was certified, meaning you can use your time to qualify for another race.

We showed up at 6:15 a.m., with music and dancing, already underway. 

Miss Hawaii was there along with all of the other pageant winners from each city vying to take her place as she finished her term. 

Being a non-runner except when the spirit moves me which averages about once every 2-3 months, I told myself I would just walk the course if need be.

10 minutes into the start of the race, I was ready to STOP!  My lungs and legs weren’t prepared, but I was determined to run despite the fact that I told myself I could walk if need be.

A client asked me how long it would take me to finish, which wasn’t a question I even entertained.  “As long as it takes” was my answer, but being pragmatic and goal oriented he thought  it would roughly take an hour.  The very thought of running one hour sounded preposterous to me, but I humored him.

There is not one ounce of me that likes to run.  In the old days I might run for a quick 30 in because it did the job faster and I could be done with my workout sooner.  There were a few times I can count on my hand that I got the runners high people talk about. 

I picked a woman out of the crowd that seemed to be about 4’8 with the tiniest feet who wore neon pink shoes whose stride was so short, figuring I could track her and pass her at some point.

The conversation in my head was the same the entire race, “track the pink shoes”.  Sometimes I couldn’t find them because she had gotten so far ahead of me, other times I almost caught her.  I thought I could just walk, but when I checked in with my body and adjusted my stride, my hips creaked, I kept going, listening to the small voice that said, “but you can do this and yes you can stop, no problem if and when need be”. 

A Mai Tai sounded really good about now, I thought, but at 7:30 a.m. I would end up at Kapiolani Park with the AA group, and I didn’t want that.

  I played games in my head:  keep one more layer of clothes on until the next mile, find the pink shoes, focus on the beautiful water.  Women older than me would pass me, and then younger ones in there 20’s would walk.  I wanted to adjust every runners posture and gait.  Some I thought I’d never catch and did, others surprised me that passed me with their forward head and hunched posture. 

I considered my client Jason, who figured it would take about an hour, every time I wanted to walk. I’d say,”you can but do you need too?” in my head.  His question kept me honest, as I’d asked him that question or something of such at least 100 times before. 

  Mile 6 nearing the finish line I tried to sprint but my legs were like lead in search of the little neon pink feet that were no where to be found.  Finally, I spotted them crossing the finish line way far in front of me. I was so grateful to have had her to keep my focus and give me the courage to finish the race, I ran to catch her and thanked her for being an anchor for me but she couldn’t speak English. Instead she shook her head and smiled graciously.  

I was handed a red rose for finishing, and a bag with an amazing dry fit shirt along with other surprises. 

  Line dancing with music and all sorts of goodies for breakfast were provided.  Awards were handed out and about 15 of the women that had participated for all 38 years were acknowledged.                                   

Despite the fact that I am not a runner and neither is my husband (he finished right beside me:  the only male)  it showed me that our hikes do make a difference in keeping us in shape.  It also showed me the power of listening to yourself, drawing on the power of your mind and listening to the small voice that says “I can!” while all the while the loud voice says, “Stop, are you crazy”?

My time? 1 hour 7 minutes 27 seconds.  Nothing earth shattering but again that wasn’t my goal.

As I watched the 84-year-old woman who was the only one in her age group stand up to collect her 1rst place award, I understood how people get running fever.

Sitting on the beach that night with my Mai Tai in hand, I considered the next race. Maybe, I could beat my time for next year; which made me, chuckle. 

Since I’ve been home I’ve been running twice a week for about 4 miles each time.  I still don’t love it but it’s gotten a bit easier SOME DAYS!

No promises but with the help of the ocean, music, wonderful woman, my husband and a Mai Tai at the end It’s sounding pretty good at the moment. 

It’s March 15th.  Want to join me:-)?

Aloha and Mahalo Hawaii,

Cindy

Day 4 of 5 day Warrior

Day 4 of The 5 Day Warrior

· May 9-16 ·  7-day spirited yoga retreat hosted by Erica Jago and Mari Sierra  At the exclusive eco-resort, Haramara, Sayulita, Mexico
· May 9-16 ·
7-day spirited yoga retreat hosted by Erica Jago and Mari Sierra
At the exclusive eco-resort, Haramara, Sayulita, Mexico

Erica Jago is a skilled beautiful Yogini, Graphic Designer, and author who teaches and leads workshops in finding your voice and calling.

The workshop I took from her was called The Creative Pause which focused on finding your inner writer.

Erica has a soft grounded presence which is both ethereal and magical.

She is strikingly beautiful and soft-spoken.  At first you might think that she might blow away when you see her but she connects so deeply to Mother Earth, she is solid as a rock and very insightful.

Her story is compelling and reminds us all to trust our path and journey always listening to our internal messages.

She is also an engineer and was working in the field a few years ago.  She suffered from an eating disorder for 18 years and as a way of finding refuge she started taking yoga classes.  She was invited to take the teacher training program, probably because in looking at her she has the body and grace of a ballerina.  As she began putting sequences together she started drawing stick figures to remember what she would teach in classes.  While doing so she had a vision that this would be useful to other practicing students and teachers and the idea of a book was born.  When she got laid off she delved in head first and Co Authored the book “The Art of Attention: Book One and Healing Cards”, and started teaching and leading workshops full-time.  Her book and yoga became her teacher for internal healing from her eating disorder and she is so grateful and blessed to be walking this path of freedom and eager to share her gifts.

Barbara Gong Master Cole, hit the gongs in the background as we did Kapalabhati breathing (also known as Shinning Skull or Fierce Breathing ) for over 7 minutes.  I expected movement, but we sat in meditation and did breath work for the entire class.

Between the meditation, breathing, and gongs, my entire body vibrated; creating bliss, clarity, and calmness, opening my senses and chakras. There were no words; but quiet and peace, as I connected to my Sahasrara crown chakra opening to the heavens towards the white light.

OM, OM, OM

When the class was over there was a feeling of transformation that echoed in the tent with the smell of the ocean breeze.

We were then instructed to let our inner writer out.

Here is my unedited version that spoke to me.

WISDOM FROM THE EARTH

A blade of grass touching my toes like a tree rooted in the ground reaching to find light.

Fragile with jagged edges yet strong making its way to be known.  It will be cut and go back to the Earth from which it came, but its seeds will fly creating, more grasses to sprout and bloom just like our ancestors that came before us.  No longer do we need to know who they are or their genetic code, because they live in us and we in them.

We are the carriers of this message of truth.

Fear not:  We carry the torch and light the path and when our job is done we will join that blade of grass without hesitation, concern or worry; but rather happy and fulfilled blessed by the perfection of this miraculous design.

Smiles,
Cindy

The Day 4 of the 5 Day Warrior

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Day 4 of The 5 Day Warrior

Erica Jago is a skilled beautiful Yogini, Graphic Designer, and author who teaches and leads workshops in finding your voice and calling.

The workshop I took from her was called The Creative Pause which focused on finding your inner writer.

Erica has a soft grounded presence which is both ethereal and magical.

She is strikingly beautiful and soft spoken and at first you might think that she might blow away when you see her but she connects so deeply to Mother Earth she is solid as a rock and very insightful.

Her story is compelling and reminds us all to trust our path and journey always listening to our internal messages.

She is also an engineer and was working in the field a few years ago.  She suffered from an eating disorder for 18 years and as a way of finding refuge she started taking yoga classes.  She was invited to take the teacher training program probably because in looking at her she has the body and grace of a ballerina.  As she began putting sequences together she started drawing stick figures to remember what she would teach in classes.  While doing so she had a vision that this would be useful to other practicing students and teachers and the idea of a book was born.  When she got laid off she delved in head first and Co Authored the book “The Art of Attention: Book One and Healing Cards”, and started teaching and leading workshops full time.  Her book and yoga became her teacher for internal healing from her eating disorder and she is so grateful and blessed to be walking this path of freedom and eager to share her gifts.

Barbara Gong Master Cole, hit the gongs in the background as we did Kapalabhati breathing (also known as Shinning Skull or Fierce Breathing ) for over 7 minutes.  I expected movement, but we sat in meditation and did breath work for the entire class.

Between the meditation, breathing, and gongs, my entire body vibrated; creating bliss, clarity, and calmness, openness of my senses and chakras. There were no words; but quiet and peace, as I connected to my Sahasrara crown chakra opening to the heavens towards the white light.

OM, OM, OM

When the class was over there was a feeling of transformation that echoed in tent with the smell of the ocean breeze.

We were then instructed to let our inner writer out.

Here is my unedited version that spoke to me.

A blade of grass touching my toes like a tree rooted in the ground reaching to find light.

Fragile with jagged edges yet strong making it’s way to be known.  It will be cut and go back to the Earth from which it came, but its seeds will fly creating, more grasses to sprout and bloom just like our ancestors that came before us.  No longer do we need to know who they are or their genetic code, because they live in us and we in them.

We are the carriers of this message of truth.

Fear not:  We carry the torch and light the path and when our job is done we will join that blade of grass without hesitation, concern or worry; but rather happy and fulfilled blessed by the perfection of this miraculous design.


Tantra Partner Yoga with Murti Hower and Larina Hawkins

FullSizeRender (5) Larina Hawkins- Hower and Murti Hower, the Tantric Couple

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Day 3B
 For the record, this is not me and my husband although I’d take that body in a minute.  Also, we did do this move in class BUT FULLY CLOTHED I MIGHT ADD!
Tantra yoga is a practice that can be used to expand the connection and awareness between a couple, creating a deeper bond spiritually with each other.  As yoga not only deepens our connections, but it also recharges our energy and peaceful feelings throughout the day and expands our awareness with each other and the universe.
The class was held in the quiet place and was defiantly a hike to get to.  We trudged through the sand at the edge of the ocean ad finally found an outdoor tent.  The class was held in the quiet place and was defiantly a hike to get to.  We trudged through the sand at the edge of the ocean ad finally found an outdoor tent overlooking the golf course. I had to twist my husbands arm in the first place to get him to agree to come as he’s a guys guy.  You know the kind;  ball in one hand, beer in the other.  I wasn’t sure how my husband would be able to keep his focus with the course competing for his attention. Golf or Yoga? Ha Ha! Perhaps it was the promise of connection leading to the bedroom later that night when we were alone that kept his interest. Murti and Larina a howlie and a local Hawaiian made us comfortable right away.  
 
They had already started when we came in swaying to the music working with the energies of Shiva and Shakti.
 
 
SHIVA symbolises consciousness, the masculine principle.

SHAKTI symbolises the feminine principle, the activating power and energy.

The men were on one side while strutting their stuff like peacocks while we “Shakti’s”  stood to hold their energy.
The woman then were instructed to move with our eyes closed to the music while the men took our beauty in.
We did many balancing yoga postures together using each other as counter balance building trust and support.  We went into a double tree pose, and even chandrasana with our hands reaching to the ground and our leg up in the air connecting us deeper while breathing.  We played with our differences in balance and weight so we could adjust in height and our differences in bone length and body mass.
We got a great stretch and strength workout going through the yoga postures, leaning on each other and sometimes even falling down unable to maintain composure.
Being the second to oldest couple in the room we often broke into laughter just trying to sit cross legged and hold hands in our stiff bodies.
We had a great time with and shared some hugs, a kiss and laughter.
We ended sitting face to face gazing in each others eyes and then ending with a strawberry to feed our partner.
I stayed getting ready for my next class of creative meditation and writing while he bailed on his group hike and played 18 holes of golf.
 It  unlocked a key deepening our connection and we now have a mini routine we can follow at the end of the day.
Staying flexible in relationship is one of the key ingredients for growing together rather than apart and challenging yourself to stay open to new experiences has long lasting results.
In the words of Helen Kellar Life is either a daring adventure or it is nothing at all.
Thank you Murti and Larina! (mahafusion.com)
Namaste,
Cindy

Weekend Warrior 3A

Day 3 A

Wanderlust Yoga Event at Turtle Bay

Oahu has to be the best 5 days for a weekend warrior since all of these events lined up as if by magic.

Driving from Waikiki towards Turtle Bay is beautiful passing the Kualo Ranch with jagged green lush mountains.  The contrasts between the two sides of the island are night and day, like most of the other Islands of Hawaii.  

My first class was a Shanti Flow Yoga Class, Kundalini based with D.J. Perez playing music and Noelani Love leading us through her creation.  

I met Noelani 5 years ago when I bought a pair of her wire wrap pearl turquoise earrings.  She was about 25, had the most radiant smile, and also played ukulele at the fair with a warm innocence that radiated to everyone she met.  I have since ordered her jewelry online and have collected 6 of her pieces.  She emailed letting me know that she had gotten her yoga certification last year and was now teaching yoga and that she would be at Wanderlust which is a BIG deal for a beginning teacher.  She had also gotten married and had a baby.  I immediately booked my flight when I heard this so I could go and support her.  Mind you I met her once but there was something I saw in her right away and I LOVE watching young people grow and expand into who they are and follow their passion.  

I could have opted to take all of the big names in yoga, Shiva Rea or Sean Corne, etc who have been pioneers in the yoga world bringing it to the west which I am extremely grateful for but witnessing someone have clear purpose at such a young age is something I applaud.  I either like to study from very old or very young instructors as I  am always in awe of their innate wisdom. We did traditional Vinyasa Yoga with not so traditional hula hip moving and “jiggle butt” as she called it to free our rigidity and inhibitions which turned into full on free dancing. She ended with the chant:

“Aum Srim Maha Lakshmyai Namaha ,May The Longtime Sun Shine Upon You”

 playing her ukulele.

Start practicing for the next moves, in class 😉

Aloha,

Cindy

5 Day Warrior

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Day 2

After yesterdays 27,000 plus steps, not to mention a vinyasa flow yoga class before, a slow stroll into town for coffee on the path leading to Waikiki beach was the extent of my walking on my day 2 of the 5 day warrior.

The beach called and we sat at the ocean edge where fun in the sun with a good book won out. I finally hit the gym late in the afternoon and did a few sets of reps for my major muscle groups with 10 quick minutes on the rowing machine. I would personally opt for outdoors any day of the week instead of an indoor gym but strength training has far-reaching benefits as well which is why cross training is crucial.

Mixing up your workout routine adds variety, helps prevent injuries by reducing repetitive movement where injuries are born. Stability, core, balance, flexibility, strength, and endurance are all part of being functionally fit; simply meaning moving with ease and function in your daily activities so you can perform the tasks in your everyday life. Variety is the spice of life.

First and foremost form is crucial to create a strong solid base minimizing injuries. Think shoulders, hips, knees and ankles in one straight line with feet hip width apart for a perfect gait in all of your activities. This keeps your posture in optimal position and your pelvic and shoulder girdle in proper alignment with your core muscles intact minimizing stress on your joints, tendons and ligaments.

We only have so much cartilage in our bodies and at some point we become aware of this so make sure you take precautions with shoes that are supportive with good cushion and stability, mix workouts up, stretch, and rest. Think cardio 3-4 days a week, strength training 2 which can be a combo of yoga, Pilates and weights with daily balance and stretch and you have an optimal workout plan.

I ended the day doing Qui Gong, Tai Chi and a few yoga postures sitting on the deck overlooking the ocean and city while fireworks lite up the sky in a rainbow of colors.

Aloha,

Cindy