This Kapha Chick's Search for Balance...

Thursday, August 04, 2005

The search for the stairs in Santa Monica

I've been searching for them... the famous wooden stairs in Santa Monica. You know, the famous ones that Madonna used to run up and down every morning until her California fans found out about it and forced her to go elsewhere... Yep. Those ones.

Everyone kept trying to tell me where they were.

"Right off San Vicente... or you can find them inbetween 3rd and 4th street." Ok, whatever that means!

"You have to go to Adelaide, the oldest street in Santa Monica." I couldn't even find Adelaide!

Anyway, I found em tonight! They are on Ocean Avenue and Montana, for those of you who are wondering.

Santa Monica is gorgeous. As I parked my car and was walking towards the stairs, I began to wonder what the heck took me so long to do this! Well, according to Ayurvedic principles, Kaphas are slow to start, hard to motivate, but once they get going, they do very well with exercise. Can I use that as an excuse? Because that's me in a nutshell. Sometimes it takes a random email from a very good friend reminding me to log off the internet and go find the stairs today (Gosh, Mike! Would you stop being so right all the time!?).

I went down rickety, old wooden stairs. As I went down, I decided since I hadn't touched the ocean yet, I would just keep walking. I walked onto the bridge that crosses over the Pacific Coast Highway, and then walked quite a while through THICK sand until I got to the ocean. I was paralyzed. I stood there in absolute awe of this foreign body of water. Yes, I see it everyday driving to work, but it is still so foreign nonetheless. It stunk. And not in the same way the Great Salt Lake stinks. This is sour. But did I care? Heck no! It felt so good to take my shoes off and just let the cold waves crash around my lower legs. I stood there and just thought for maybe an hour or so. I couldn't leave. It was heaven on earth.

So I walked back through the sand (which works the calves and hamstrings sumthin' fierce!) and back over the bridge to the stairs. By this time, I was thoroughly warmed up. I started going up, and just as everyone warned me, you HAVE to stop halfway your first time. My legs were on fire!! Nevermind any prior kickboxing training, this is way different. But stopping also seems natural because you have to pause to take in the amazing scenery. I'm telling you Santa Monica is where it is AT! And I'm not just talking about the ocean or the cliff I was going up, or the Santa Monica Bluffs, but I'm also referring to the gorgeous men who were sprinting by with big white smiles looking as natural as a gazelle passing through the Sahara Desert. Wow. Magnificent!

Umm... Yes, I'll be back tomorrow.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Have you TRIED Kashi's Go Lean Crunch cereal?

I mean, seriously. Go, get yourself a box, because it's the most life-altering purchase I've ever made in my life. Breakfast has just become my favorite meal.

So my latest thoughts have been regarding my personal environment. I don't know why I contemplate my clutter, the things I keep around me, etc, but I do. The less the better, I've decided.

I also have been thinking about the people in my life and the importance of surrounding myself with those who are uplifting and loving. My friends and family are awesome. I seriously couldn't ask for a better group of people to be associated with.

I find two of my coworkers to be particularly inspirational for me, though: the owner of Tola, Laura, and a fellow massage therapist, Alicia. To describe the way they look physically, I would have to compare them both to a real-life Barbie. Yep, they are both that beautiful, but they are so much more. When I look at either one of them, I see strength, fearlessness, femininity, patience and compassion. I don't know which one I admire more, that's impossible to say. All I have to say is, right now they are far more influential on me than they realize and I totally admire them both. I want to someday join their blonde bombshell clique and be just like them.

Anyway, go get yourself some Kashi cereal. Soy milk is awesome on it. You'll thank me later.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Brentwood supermarkets... Oh! The horror!!

Ah, Brentwood. It's beautiful here, really. I went to the local Ralph's (just two blocks away from the infamous site of Nicole Simpson's tragic death) and braved the snobbish Brentwood locals and the outrageous prices.

The Kapha diet (what I purchased to eat):
No dairy, no wheat, no read meats... so what does a Kapha gal eat?? Well, Kapha is associated with heavy, wet, and cold. So, keeping in mind that I want to eat the opposite to balance those aspects, I have to choose foods that are astringent (like legumes, it's the opposite of sour), bitter, and pungent (hot/spicy), while avoiding foods that are sweet, salty, and sour.

I'll tell you:
chicken breasts
lots of vegetables
leafy greens
white potatoes
honey (no sweeteners allowed, only honey)
soy milk
whole wheat cereals like Kashi
herbal teas

Actually, to me, it sounds very appealing. I can add spices, but not salad dressings. This is going to be great. And fun. It has to be fun, right?

I also found a great Muay Thai kickboxing gym in North Hollywood. It's about a half hour drive, but well worth it. I went to practice for the first time last night, and got a decent pounding. I have a welt the size of a golf ball on my right shin from kicking my opponent's leg, but he blocked, and I got the sharpest part of his knee into my shin. Sparring with that guy wasn't too bad... it was having to spar with the owner of the gym that makes my body ache to remember it.

When I signed up, Kru Puk was thoroughly impressed that I trained with an old friend of his in Salt Lake City. Imagine a thick Thai accent from a near-toothless 90-pound old man: "Oh, you know Sakasem? His family is friends with my family. Let's see what you got."

Umm... old man, ninety pounds, I thought I could hold my own. Oh no, he pretty much spanked me and sent me home crying. And he laughed as he did it; That's the best part.

I totally feel at home at the Muay Thai Academy. Sakasem would be so proud!

Speaking of... I'm off for another beating right now... Pray for me.

Miss Thaikickboxer Posted by Picasa

What's Eye-Yurr-Veda?

Ok, let's first establish that online blogs are silly. It's like reading someone's diary. But this blog has a very specific purpose. I actually *want* people to read it, share ideas, feedback, and support.

My theme is all about healing the healer. I've been thinking a lot about how how I often give advice to my clients at work about health and wellness, when I am not even doing what I should for myself. My close friend Adam says, "Well, you certainly wouldn't see an obese dietician for weightloss advice." So that is purpose of this blog, to track my personal progress and to hopefully learn from my family, friends, and peers in the process.

I work as a massage therapist and esthetician for the most amazing spa called Tola Life Spa in Malibu, California. I'm extremely happy here. On multiple levels. At Tola, our product line is Aveda, and believe it or not, it's a lifestyle, not just a nice-smelling shampoo. (Wait, it smells AWESOME, but that's not the point.)

Aveda and their signature treatments base everything off of Ayurveda, a well-known medical practice from eastern India. The theory is that we have all five of the elements within us: infinity, air, fire, water, and earth. We typically have one that is predominant, but the levels of each can change daily. What we do at Tola is we figure out the imbalance for the person the day they come in and we completely customize everything in their treatment just for them, balancing out their elements.

For example, I am predominantly earth. Heavy, solid, smooth glowy skin, but prone to easy weight gain, emotionality, difficulty changing anything, and in extreme imbalance, depression. The good thing about being an earth type, though, is that I'm very compassionate, trustworthy, and dependable. I love my clientele fiercely and I am genuinely empathetic towards each one.

So to balance an earth person, you would do the exact opposite of earth, since like feeds like. If I eat things that are in the earth food category (anything heavy and sweet), of course that will increase the earth element thus increasing my weight. The oppposite would be to eat things light... salads are a good bet, and I need to also create lots of movement.

My first step to finding balance was to physically move. For this earth (Kapha) chick, it was hard leaving Utah, my home of the last thirteen years. Remember, earth types hate change. But, I must say, it was the best decision I ever made. I increased my fire (transformation) and air (movement) by moving to California and I feel all the more balanced already.

I'm not sure if this is making sense to the family and friends who will read this. If you need further clarification, please don't hesitate to ask.

I'm putting Ayurveda to the test. Does this stuff really work? Is it "out there" like other odd forms of medicine? I want to know for myself, therefore, I am using my own body as a guinea pig to test these theories.

My tools: Perfect Health by Deepak Chopra, M.D., and The Book of Ayurveda; A Holistic Approach to Health and Longevity by Judith H. Morrison. I've been studying Ayurveda for the good part of eight years. I picked up my first book regarding it when I was but a wee lass in massage school at the tender age of eighteen: The Seven Spiritual Laws to Success by Deepak Chopra, M.D. It changed everything for me, basically talking about things like the law of Karma, etc.

So please, whether you be family, friends, fellow people in the Aveda network, I encourage your thoughts, advice, and feedback during this process. I want to hear what everyone has to say and I hope to see amazing results.