Thursday, July 29, 2010

Marina Yoga @ Krabi, Thailand

Marina, the owner of Marina Yoga, has a strong accent, I didn't know which was it until she told us she's from Germany. (That explained why our day tour agent who called her on the phone helping us to book for a class started with "Sawadee Ka" but ended up speaking broken English).

Her yoga place is a hut, an airy and quiet hut surrounded by plants, 2 doors away from her house. There's a gazebo beside the hut, a whiteboard hanging in front of it noting the time of classes and names of registered students. And, her 2 pet dogs and some stray cats walking around guarding the place, in peace.

I enjoyed her Hatha class very much. It was an evening class so there weren't any vigorous steps or series. We had a smooth flow of warm-up, arm strength series, abs exercise, standing balancing, stretching, twisting, and ended with a short Yoga Nidra.

Her instructions were clear with demonstrations. Her encouragement words were strong and powerful, yet fun. Her words during Shavasana had calming effects. Our evening class was a fun, satisfying workout. She's a friendly lady and likes to chat. She told us how she came to Krabi, how she loves Krabi and how she built up her Yoga business there.

I wonder I will go back to Krabi for my future vacation, but I do hope we will meet again, maybe in another part of the world.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Stay firm

Time changes things - people, places, perspectives, life.

Regardless of the changes under your feet, stand strong and stay firm in your beliefs.

Tree pose at Ao Nang beach

PS: Wave comes and hits your leg, the sand fades away under your foot making your standing ground loose, your mind must be strong, your focus must be sharp, in order to stand firm - great balancing exercise.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Cheese Tarts



125g butter
65g castor sugar
1 egg yolk
250g plain flour
1 tbsp water
1/2 tsp vanilla essence


250g cream cheese
20g butter
60g castor sugar
1 egg


1. Cream butter, sugar and vanilla essence.
2. Add in egg yolk and water. Continue creaming.
3. Fold in flour and mix.
4. Wrap pastry in plastic bag and chill in refrigerator for 1/2 hour.
5. Roll chilled pastry to circular shape and cut with pastry cutter and line in tart molds.
6. Prick some holes on the base of the pastry using a fork. Bake at 180°C for 15 minutes or when the pastry starting to turn yellow.

Filling (while baking pastry in oven)
1. Beat cream cheese, butter and sugar together till light, add in egg and beat till well mixed.
2. Spoon mixture mixture into baked tart shells.
3. Mix 1 tbsp cocoa powder with a small amount of water (I add bit by bit until I get the correct paste texture). Mix into a paste.
4. Dip the tip of a chopstick into chocolate paste and draw circle on top of the cheese.
5. Bake at 180°C for 10 minutes or when the pastry turned light brown.

Either my tart mold is too big or I made my pastry shell too thick, I'm only getting 11 tarts with the ingredients above (15 is the number suggested in the original recipe).

PS: best eaten when chilled.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Neck stress during ab crunch

This is one thing that bugs me when I do ab crunches. Most of the time I gave up because there's too much stress on the neck. That's also one of the reason I don't enjoy Pilates class.

Last month I attended Min's Pitales class at Chayo Studio. Her class was very enjoyable, it was like a mixture of fast-pace Yoga and slow-pace aerobics. With the music playing at the background her movement was like a graceful dance. And the most important thing she had taught me - the head/neck position during ab crunches.

Previously I always did it with my chin tucked in.

Now I tried her method, keep my head and upper back neutral and neck relaxed.

I now look at the ceiling instead of my belly during ab crunches, and avoid pulling my upper body up using my hands. It helps a lot.