Week 7 Recap: Bikram Yoga Teacher Training in Thailand

Week 7 was the breaking point for me and many of my fellow yogis.  It dragged on so long as many nights and days were filed with never-ending  posture clinic sessions.  The staff was on a mission to finish posture clinic as soon as possible to leave enough time in the final weeks for Bikram (Boss) to lecture to us about becoming teachers.  This meant us yogis sacrificed sleep, meals, and every minute of free time to memorize and practice posture dialogue.  Some people presented as many as 5 postures in a single day! Talk about stressful nerve-wracking times! There was a real threat of losing our sanity; some people wanted to call it quits, pack their bags,  hop on a plane,  and leave teacher training immediately.  Thankfully they were talked off the ledge and found the willpower to continue on.

image

Memorizing the dialogue. Good ole dialogue.

Outside of week 1,  week 7 has been my hardest week. I’m so thankful it is now over and is behind me. 76 hot yoga classes completed in 7 short weeks. My limbs, joints, muscles and bones – whole body- is crying mercy!

I will say,  week 7 had its highlights.  A Communications expert from India lectured to us about the power of voice, presentation and talking style. He creatively illustrated these points to us via interactive exercises where we sang aloud as a class, watched videos of greatness such as Martin Luther King “I Have A Dream” speech and used the audience to effectively teach the class. I learned that to become a great yoga teacher,  I need to showcase confidence,  commitment and courage.  It is vital to remove fears,  inhibitions,  and self criticism as those are surefire viruses that will hinder any success. One thing I took away from his lecture is to share my voice more with people.  I am comfortable talking to only those who require my attention and otherwise can be perfectly cool minding my own business in silence.  Staying quiet can be looked at as an injustice to others who may stand to gain from me sharing my wisdom and knowledge about the things I love and enjoy including yoga, food, healthy living,  cooking,  taxes & accounting, and wellness.  Going forward I will share more and speak more to spread love & community and to inspire change and health.

“Your voice is your calling card.”

Week 7 is a wrap, now on to week 8! Then we conclude teacher training week 9…November 15 to be exact. Let the countdown begin.

Namaste.

image

Goodbye week 7

Week 5 Recap: Bikram Yoga Teacher Training in Thailand

Quote

image

Every week completed is a reason to celebrate.  Bikram Yoga Teacher Training is not for everyone.  Not too many people can withstand the mental, physical,  spiritual cleansing that occurs each moment,  each hour, each event of each and everyday.  There are days I question “why did I sign up for this? ” when things get tough and I have no control. And there are days when I struggle to keep the food in my mouth because I am laughing so hard from something a fellow yogi friend has said or done. There are bad days, there are good days.  As I tell myself day after day to just trust the process, I know that, in the end,  things will be okay.

Week 5 brought us a very special gift – the beautiful Rajashree Choudury,  wife of The Boss,  Bikram . Her aura is so beautiful,  I am convinced she can make the toughest of thugs take a break from thugging to spend a fre minutes getting in touch with their emotional well-being .  She’s unreal!

She was once a Yoga champion, discovering yoga at the young age of 4. Not only did Rajashree show us how to improve our postures by demonstrating each posture to us and answering our questions,  she also gave us lessons on love and it’s connection with yoga. 

Love is energy.  You cannot just say ‘I love you’, it’s an action. 

First you must love yourself.  Yoga helps you to improve the relationship you have with yourself.  Emotions can be all over the place but yoga can help channel your emotions therefore creating a harmony of self-love, yoga and emotional balance. 

She taught us some deep topics that I am trying to grasp and apply to my own life. I have really enjoyed the lectures of the past week!

The Boss also came back early in week 5 after going away on business for the past two weeks.  He taught a couple of grueling yoga classes that each lasted over 2 hours. Surprisingly it wasn’t too hard on my body because of the preparation of the last 5 weeks. He even complimented the class saying he was proud of our improvement and determination.  Sweet!

I heard from others elsewhere that week 5 is the breaking point at BYTT – it’s stressful, the body is fatigued and the mind is ready to quit.  But thankfully,  week 5 was not horrible. Rajashree was a huge reason for that.  Her compassion,  calm demeanor and motherly nature are exactly what we needed at the exactly correct time: half way thru the BYTT. 54 classes completed in 42 days! Only 4 more weeks to go.

Namaste.

How to Love Yourself

Subscribe Button

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.

I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size

But when I start to tell them,

They think I’m telling lies.

I say,

It’s in the reach of my arms,

The span of my hips,

The stride of my step,

The curl of my lips.

I’m a woman

Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

Phenomenal Woman is one of my favorite poems ever.  I can listen to the words for hours on end.  Renowned poet, Maya Angelou gives women everywhere an intoxicating lesson on the beauty, power and awesomeness in which we possess.  If you are unfamiliar then you MUST read the whole poem, it’s quite inspiring.

I walk into a room

Just as cool as you please,

And to a man,

The fellows stand or

Fall down on their knees.

We women are powerful beyond belief.  Who else has the aura, softness and amazing grace to bring a man to his knees simply by walking into a room?  Sadly, many women are unaware of the strength, beauty and charm we possess.  Instead, we stay worried about belly pudge, acne, and crooked toes.  Women obsess about small imperfections when all a man notices is the beauty of the feminine body.

Valentine’s day is around the corner which means either one of two things:

1. If you are in a relationship you may get showered with chocolate, flowers and if your man really loves you — diamonds.

2. If you are single, your mind will be on overdrive wondering how you managed to end up dateless on yet another valentines day.

But single ladies everywhere, you must must must change this self-deprecating way of thinking — the health, success and longevity of any future relationship you will have depends on it.  Being single on valentines day is not the end of the world.   I have NEVER had a valentines day date in all of my 28 years on this planet.  But I am not bitter.  When February 14 rolls around, I can enjoy it just like the drunk-in-love couples that smother the streets everywhere like a plate of home cooked chicken and collard greens — why oh why must the juice greens get all over my chicken errghhhh.  But I digress…

I-Love-Me-44118211

…this Valentines Day, you must practice self-love. What is self-love you ask?  How can self-love add to your beauty, strength and grace?  How do you truly enjoy a dateless v-day?  All these questions and more are answered in this short video I put together with my dear friend Mourhia.  Take a moment to watch.

And remember, whether you are single or in a relationship, let February 14th be a fun, cheerful day.  Afterall, it’s on a Friday.

Healthy vs. Toxic Relationships – Are you entertaining toxic people in your life?

Relationships shouldn’t hurt, drag you through an emotional roller coaster or leave you feeling like less of a person.  #toxicrelationship

Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy, motivate us, encourage us, inspire us, and enhance us.  #healthyrelationship

If you have people in your life that fits the description of a toxic relationship, do yourself a favor and LET THEM GO.

Me and Mourhia of Profound Coils shot this very important video where we sit and discuss healthy vs. toxic relationships.  Toxic relationships exist to add stress, discomfort, sadness, weight gain, agitation, and hurt into your life.  Watch the video to learn how to remove toxic relationships from your life so that you can be the healthy, confident, sexy person that you were meant to be.

Oh yea, please share the love by sharing the video with your social networks. Thank you pal!

————–

Click here to get juicy food and life notes straight from Chika to your inbox!

Chika Obih is a certified holistic nutrition consultant; blogger; and founder of Chika Obih Wellness based in Oakland, CA and offers services virtually, in-person or by phone. Chika is passionate about empowering people to take charge of their own health utilizing the power of wholesome, clean foods and fun holistic lifestyle solutions.  Contact Chika today to set up your free consultation.

Follow Chika on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

Sexiful Foods – Beauty Talk (Video post!!)

I am the ultimate believer that food can be used for way more than eating.  In fact, I use food as part of my daily beauty regimen.  Go into my bathroom and you’ll see a container of coconut oil, apple cider vinegar & baking soda concoction, olive oil bottles… Foods contain nutrients that are not only beneficial for the inside of the body but for the skin, hair and nails as well.

I am weary of many traditional beauty products found on shelves because of the harsh ingredients, chemicals, and dyes that are prevalent.  The skin is the largest organ on the body so any of these chemicals you put on it gets absorbed and has potential to trigger issues such as hormonal imbalance, weight gain, skin issues, etc.

Check out this fun video I put together with my friend Mouriha of Profound Coils.  We sip on wine and dish girl talk about foods that enhance your sexiness and beauty.  You’ll learn new things so take notes and prepare to be entertained!

Remember: you are what you eat AND what you put on your body!

————–

Click here to get juicy food and life notes straight from Chika to your inbox!

Chika Obih is a certified holistic nutrition consultant; blogger; and founder of Chika Obih Wellness based in Oakland, CA and offers services virtually, in-person or by phone. Chika is passionate about empowering people to take charge of their own health utilizing the power of wholesome, clean foods and fun holistic lifestyle solutions.  Contact Chika today to set up your free consultation.

Follow Chika on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

Easy Shrimp Cocktail (With Cooking Video!)

Easy Shrimp Cocktail_wp

Want an easy, quick, protein packed snack that will leave you feeling energized and satisfied without cravings for sugar after? Well this easy shrimp cocktail recipe is just what you need. With only 3 ingredients needed, you’ll be taking this snack with you to work and eating in style. Shrimp cocktail: mmm mmm good!

Stick to an organic ketchup that does not contain high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) which can disrupt metabolism, trigger weight gain and leave you craving sweets.  For more dangers on HFCS, check out this blog post I wrote a while back.  

EASY SHRIMP COCKTAIL

Ingredients

– 8 ounces shrimp, chilled (cooked, peeled, deveined, with tail-on)

– 1/4 cup organic ketchup

– 2 tsp horseradish

Instructions

1.  In small bowl, mix ketchup with horseradish.

2.  Plate the shrimp and serve it with the cocktail sauce.

Enjoy!

Got a kick out of the recipe and video? Comment below and share with your social networks! Subscribe to my You Tube channel for more healthy, delicious recipes and clean eating tips.

————————–

Click here to get juicy food and life notes straight from Chika to your inbox!

Chika Obih is a certified holistic nutrition consultant; blogger; and founder of Soul-Wholesome Nutrition based in Oakland, CA and offers services virtually, in-person or by phone.  Chika is passionate about empowering people to take charge of their own health utilizing the power of wholesome, clean foods and fun holistic lifestyle solutions.  Contact Chika today to set up your free consultation.

Follow Chika on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

Tuna Avocado Lettuce Wraps (with a Cooking Video!)

Tuna Avocado Lettuce Wraps

Eating clean is a vital component of looking good, feeling amazing, and having limitless energy.  The best way to eat clean is to prepare meals at home.  But let’s be real, sometimes we just don’t feel like getting in the kitchen and preparing an extravagant meal.  Heck, there are time I don’t even feel like turning on the stove burner.  I’d rather pull out something in the refrigerator, mix up a few things quickly, then eat it with perfect satisfaction.  Nothing fancy, but it hits the spot beautifully.

I have just the recipe for you:  Tuna Avocado Lettuce Wraps.  This easy, tasty protein & healthy fat packed recipe will leave you satisfied without even having to heat anything up.  Just mix the ingredients, pile onto lettuce, and chow down.

Check out the cooking video where I prepare Tuna Avocado Lettuce Wraps while providing you awesome health and beauty tips.  Enjoy!

TUNA AVOCADO LETTUCE WRAPS

(serves 2-4)

Ingredients

– 2 cans tuna

– 2 teaspoons mustard

– 2 scallions, chopped

– 1 medium avocado

– 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

– 1/2 cup shredded carrots

– 2 teaspoons fresh chopped dill

– salt & pepper, to taste

– Romaine lettuce hearts

.

Instructions

1.  In a bowl, combine tuna, carrots, dill, scallions, mustard.  Mix.

2.  In a separate bowl, mash the avocado with the lime juice, garlic powder, and salt & pepper until it is smooth guacamole consistency.

3.  Pour the guacamole mix into the tuna bowl then mix well until everything is combined.

4.  On a plate, lay the lettuce down and spoon the tuna avocado mix onto the lettuce.

Enjoy!

Tuna Avocado Lettuce Wraps

——————————-

Click here to get juicy food and life notes straight from Chika to your inbox!

Chika Obih is a certified holistic nutrition consultant; blogger; and founder of Soul-Wholesome Nutrition based in Oakland, CA and offers services virtually, in-person or by phone.  Chika is passionate about empowering people to take charge of their own health utilizing the power of wholesome, clean foods and fun holistic lifestyle solutions.  Contact Chika today to set up your free consultation.

Follow Chika on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

Nourishing Beauty: YouTube Series Where I Am Cooking Good Food in my Kitchen (videos included)

I am thrilled to introduce to you Nourishing Beauty August You Tube Video Series.

nourishingbeautyIntro_Image

What is Nourishing Beauty?

My friend Mourhia Wright of Profound Coils thought of the amazing idea of coupling healthy eating and beauty — forget spending crazy money on beauty products and skin treatments: eating clean, wholesome food is the best way to achieve beautiful healthy hair, skin and nails and not to mention a banging, sexy body.  So we collaborated  to form Nourishing Beauty where we bring you fun, entertaining videos showing us prepare yummy, flavorful, good-for-you food right in my kitchen.

New videos will post to my You Tube channel Tuesdays and Thursdays during the month of August so subscribe so you can be the first to know when they are up. Be prepared for mouth-watering recipes that look good and taste even better.

I am super juiced to share the first two videos in our August series:

1.  Nourishing Beauty: Beauty from the Inside Out (Episode I)
2.  Recipe:  Tuna Avocado Lettuce Wraps (Episode II)

You will make me the happiest person ever if you do the following 3 things:

1.  Check out the videos

2.  Subscribe to my You Tube channel http://youtube.com/chikaobih

3.  Share with your social networks.

Thank you, luv you, k bye!!!

————————-

Click here to get juicy food and life notes straight from Chika to your inbox!

Chika Obih is a certified holistic nutrition consultant; blogger; and founder of Soul-Wholesome Nutrition based in Oakland, CA and offers services virtually, in-person or by phone.  Chika is passionate about empowering people to take charge of their own health utilizing the power of wholesome, clean foods and fun holistic lifestyle solutions.  Contact Chika today to set up your free consultation.

Follow Chika on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

——————————–

Soul-Wholesome Interviewed: The Link Between Food & Healthy Hair

Recently I was featured in a healthy living piece on Profound Coils — a blog owned & operated by the lovely Mourhia D.  Profound Coils mission is to provide tips & knowledge about Natural Black Hair whether it be political, health, social, etc.

In the interview, I discuss the connection between food choice & beautiful hair, skin and nails, the unhealthy eating choices prevalent within the Black community, and how to implement lifestlye changes once and for all.

Profound Coils inspired me to offer a 10% discount on any Nutrition Consulting package purchased by  midnight PST January 1, 2013. Just contact me and mention the PC interview to get the discount.  

Catch the Interview Here —————————->

5 Foods for Beautiful Skin

“You’ve got that glow, girl!” Aww thanks, I reply with humility.

Throughout the last few years I have received countless compliments on my skin, mostly from other women who love the bright radiance characteristic of healthy skin.  Until recently, I never thought much about it, just thought I was lucky.  But as I ponder on it, it makes perfect sense:  after all, he foods you eat affects the health of your skin.  I generally eat meals containing grass-fed, pastured meats, healthy fats, and colorful vegetables.  My beverage of choice is water, herbal and green tea with the occasional glass of red wine thrown in when I’m in the festive mood.  If someone asked me “What are the top 5 foods to eat for amazingly pretty skin?” this is what I’d suggest:

1.  Salmon

Everyone who tolerates fish should make salmon and other fatty fish such as sardines, canned mackeral and tuna a part of their weekly meal menu.  Fish is a rich source of Omega-3 essential fatty acids which is a potent anti-inflammatory.  Wild-Caught Salmon FiletsIt is vital to get omega-3s in your diet because the body cannot manufacture it in the body: it obtains the omega-3s externally through the food you eat.  Get rid of scaly skin and dryness by increasing your intake of fish. Omega-3s keeps the body hydrated and keeps the skin from flaking and drying out.   Start with 2-3 servings a week.  For those of you who do not eat fish, supplement with high quality fish oil to achieve similar benefits.

For non-fishy sources of omega-3s try pastured raised grass-fed beef (the commercial variety is full of inflammatory omega-6s), omega-3 enriched eggs and walnuts.

2.  Lemon

This image shows a whole and a cut lemon.

Lemon, limes, oranges, grapefruit are chock-full of vitamin C – a powerful antioxidant that fights inflammation and slows the action of free radicals in the body which can contribute to wrinkles, dryness and fine lines.  You may feel sour at the thought of biting into a lemon, but this fruit is amazing for bringing out the flavor in foods.  Squeeze into sauteed greens to reduce bitterness, add in marinades to improve the tenderness of meats.  Also, lemon takes away that metallic taste often characteristic of tap water.  So the next time you are at a restaurant, ask your waiter for a few wedges of lemon to go with your water.

Other rich sources of vitamin C include broccoli, tomatoes, bell pepper and peaches.

3.  Avocado

Avocados are truly amazing, alligator skin and all.

“In this single delectable fruit are combined the protein of meat, the fat of butter, the vitamins and minerals of green vegetables, the flavor of nuts, a six course dinner.”

AvocadoWith such raving reviews, it is no wonder avocados are wonderful for skin health. The fruit has even been patented for treatment for dermatitis and arthritis — not surprising since it is full of fat soluble vitamins A, D, and E to help promote healthy skin. The cosmetic industry has capitalized on the value of avocado with the influx of products such as avocado oils, creams, and facial masks.  Save your money by simply eating the fruit.  You can even make your own nourishing avocado facial mask to soften and soothe skin.

4.  Pumpkin Seeds 

Pumpkin seeds are a good source of zinc:  a mineral that plays a role in over 200 metabolic processes in the body!

English: Pepitas - roasted and salted

Pepitas – aka Pumkin Seeds

Zinc is touted as being a solution to acne and other skin disorders such as rashes and wounds.  Supplementation of zinc has been shown to reverse defects in immune function related to aging; a key nutrient for the elderly.  Pumpkin seeds act as a wonderful topping on salads, soups, and

yogurt. You can even add ground pumpkin seeds into the ground beef mix the next time you make hamburgers.  The kids won’t even know its in there!

Other foods rich in zinc include fresh oysters, ginger, pecans, Brazil nuts, and eggs.

5.  Sweet Potatoes

The softer, orange-fleshed variety of sweet po...

Who doesn’t love a sweet potato roasted in the oven?  I swear they taste like candy when you make them this way — without any added sugar.  Sweet potatoes –or yams — are rich in vitamin A which is important for skin repair and maintenance.  Deficiencies can result in dry, flaky skin. It is always best to get your vitamin A through foods as opposed to supplementation so try various foods including liver (one serving of liver per week is all you need!), collard greens, chili peppers, dandelion,  kale, spinach and cantaloupe.

You can eat as much of these foods above without seeing much improvement in your skin health if you do not drink enough water.  For young looking, healthy skin, drink water so that your body can clear out impurities, rejuvenate skin cells, and absorb nutrients.  Many doctors recommend 8 cups of water daily.  You may need to drink more (or less) depending on various factors.

Cheers to beautiful, healthy skin! What foods do you eat to keep your skin healthy.  Share in the comments.