About

25yo
Currently residing in Beverly Hills, California
.. but my heart will always reside in the SF Bay Area <3
Future lawyer
~ WELCOME to the new EUNIVERSE, formerly known as 32-23-33!

SUPER - LONG PERSONAL POST ABOUT ME

For the last decade I have been struggling with my weight.
I have been at many highs and many lows.
Epic weightloss saga count: #109283018
Hmm. Getting fitter, more toned, and changing my perspectives on weight loss through self-growth and this wonderfully supportive fitblr/WL community.
Follow me as I try to finally get lean, fit and MAINTAIN IT FOREVER :)

PS: I don't starve, I don't restrict my diet to only healthful foods, and I fight the urge to exercise obsessively (yoga = only exception). It's no way (for me) to live, and from my past experiences, this is not how you set yourself up to maintain.

Official Start Date: 4.25.11
(Last year around this time I was 112 lb.. a weight I had maintained for about a year and was truly happy at)

Height: 5'4.5" (164 cm)
Frame: Small


HW: 165 lb (2005)
LW: 98 lb (2003) <-- ignore this, I was in high school, lol!
SW: 123 (Down 15 lb from October '10)
CW: 117 (6/22/11)
I would like to look good and fit comfortably into my clothes while also being a lean badass. OVERALL GOAL: REDUCE BODY FAT PERCENTAGE.
*new* Become very, very, very flexible.

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bunnychic:

Today in yoga class: we worked on tripod headstands. I don’t have enough ab strength to pull my hips on top of my shoulders… yet b^^d
Wheeee, one day…

bunnychic:

Today in yoga class: we worked on tripod headstands. I don’t have enough ab strength to pull my hips on top of my shoulders… yet b^^d

Wheeee, one day…


(via thebadyogi)
bunnychic:

much needed 10 minute freestyle yoga break at work ^^v

bunnychic:

much needed 10 minute freestyle yoga break at work ^^v


(via thebadyogi)

Yoga Progress (3)

Yoga Log 6.28.11

This post will likely be the beginning of many posts about yoga.. done in a studio. ^.^ (EVEN MORE YOGA POSTS!) I don’t particularly want to churn out a huge essay right now. I’ll try to keep it simple!

I pre-Yelped all the studios in the area before the move. I was so excited to try them all (still am), but I knew where I was going to head first. YogaWorks. It’s a nation-wide (haha um, just north/southern California and NYC actually) chain of studios but their home base is here, West Los Angeles (Santa Monica). Awesome. There were YogaWorks locations close to me in the Bay Area, but I never paid much attention to the multiple Groupons + occasional Facebook posts I would see floating around mentioning the studio. Not until I got hooked. Ari, the owner (and very helpful, cool soul) of http://arilumiere.tumblr.com/ AND also um… completer-of-YogaWorks-Teacher-Training piqued my attention towards the chain once again after I read her testimonial on why she wanted to become an instructor

I had multiple locations to choose from but I chose YogaWorks Westwood (RIGHT across from UCLA/Westwood Village and also 300 feet from my old apartment 3 years ago) because it was in a comfortable, familiar area. Before I went in for my first class, I did a lot of research. I scanned the reviews on Yelp and thoroughly went through the website. There were negative reviews (from very elite, “hardcore” yogis/yoginis) but I ignored them as most of the casual reviews were positive. Snobby yogi/yogini’s seem counterintuitive. I scoured the teaching schedules and input my email address for a free, unlimited week of yoga. Surprisingly, a very nice lady, “L” emailed me within a few hours and offered a phone/in-person yoga consultation. I took her up on her offer, and called her.

She was super nice (even nicer in person). She listened to me give her the Cliffnotes version of my yoga story and said some.. really flattering things. She urged me to come in the next day for any of the 1 (beginner’s) classes. I told her I would, and mentally prepared for my first class.

My past experiences with yoga classes traumatized me, LOL. Not really (only inside my own head, the actual effect of these experiences on anyone else around me was nil).

1) Hearing terminology I didn’t understand.

2) Attempting to furiously shift my body into something like what everybody else was doing.

3) Constantly being confused. Never not-confused. (I like double negatives #lsat)

4) Pretending to laugh it off and take my mistakes/falls cooly. Talking to my friend a little -_-; (I was 20 that time.. back then I expressed my nervous-awkwardness with overeager animated douchiness.. and I didn’t smoke as much weed)

5) Getting (many) verbal/physical adjustments in a strange new situation I was already uncomfortable in.

6) Being self-conscious. All three times I went, I was looking out at everybody else instead of focusing on myself.

7) Dying (trying Bikram for the first time as an unhealthy, skinny-fat person, June 2010)

———————-

Oh, lol. This is already an essay. Wrapping it up!

Vinyasa Flow 2/3 - WAY OUTSIDE MY LEVEL. I for some reason had thought it was a 1/2… there IS NO VINYASA FLOW 1/2, AND FOR GOOD REASON. It is difficult. Still a little too difficult for me (hence all my strength-oriented practices at home). I think I need to write a separate post on exactly what happened during the 2 VF classes I took… quite a few embarrassing moments… -_-; I am humbled and inspired at the same time.

Iyengar 1 - Really enjoyable. I loved using the straps and blocks to perfect my form. Once you get used to how a pose is “supposed” to feel and how to align your body… yoga becomes more fun! ^^ If I started my entire yoga journey with this class, I don’t know if I would have the patience to do it. I feel like I loved it because I was willing to learn it.. I knew what the class was supposed to do and how it was going to help me <3 (Also: a slow introduction to the proper names for all the poses… very helpful since I started with Tara’s non-yoga-jargon)

Yogaworks 1/2 - I hear this class (all classes really) varies with the instructor. BUT I LOVED MINE! My instructor (we will call him Mr. Bananas, because he kept making references to various body parts curving like “a banana”) IT WAS AWESOME OH MY LORDY! The guy teaches like Tara does… he was very beginner-friendly, helped describe poses/transitions in layman’s terms, and was not TOO hands-on (… I WILL write that post on one of my VF classes… the touching was borderline inappropriate because I just SUCKED that badly). His style of teaching was more athletic and fluid and his taste in music was AWESOME ( heard some light electro mixed in with the typical new-age stuff). 

All in all - I love studio classes, but I am most comfortable at home. It has helped me realize what I need to focus on before I attempt vinyasa flow again (which I am determined to conquer) and finally broken my irrational fear of ever entering a yoga class again. I no longer focus much attention on my fellow practicers next to me (there are some incredible superstars in VF 2/3) or how they are so much better/fitter than me… my practice at studios feels so focused and… personal now, despite the public setting. And thank goodness I did some preliminary practice at home! That little bit of knowledge/practice did me some good… even in the VF classes I managed to hold modified poses while the rest of the class was off doing crazy things on their arms ^^;

This post is too long already.. but here’s a few specific things I’m working on!

Modified Crow’s pose. Getting used to building strength while maintaining the 90 degree angle of my arms (haha, not pictured) and positioning my legs in the proper place behind my upper arms. This modification is awesome- you’re on the very tips of your toes so you can figure out exactly how much weight your arms can handle and how much your core can support your back form. I’m a long way from being able to do it.. but every day I get closer :)

My modified dolphins are… um… well for now, I can at least keep my arms on the floor and create a 45 90 degree bend… I inch my feet up a little more, a little flatter every day… the strain in my arms isn’t too bad anymore either. I’m getting used to doing more stuff on my forearms thanks to all the planking I’ve been doing.

Dancer’s pose… mine isn’t too impressive yet but I am happy to report that I can smoothly move through a sequence of Warrior 3 -> Tree -> Dancer’s pose!! ^^

Yoga Progress (2.5)

(I’m going to post about the yoga studio classes I’ve taken this week next time! This post sums up my practice at home!)

Yoga Log 6.24.11

I didn’t post Progress/Routine stuff on Monday for multiple reasons. Mostly laziness, but also lack of material ^^; As I’ve encountered more challenging poses, I’ve also slowed my pace of progression. The more difficult poses take longer to feel comfortable doing- more patience, more time, more strength. For me, and the way I do my practice, yoga isn’t just about getting through whatever routine I’m following… I want to be good at it. Of course initially, I pat myself on the back and swell with pride if I can even manage a variation of a difficult pose… but as I improve, I expect my ability with that particular pose to grow even more finely-tuned, second-nature, or even “effortless.” It took over a week for me to transition into and hold tree pose calmly for 30 seconds.. it took 3 more weeks for that 30 seconds to grow into 5 minutes. I had read somewhere (research is somewhat hard as there are so many variations with yoga) that “ease” was a key part in the physicality of yoga.. hence why I’ve been focusing on just improving the things I’ve learned so far.

Long story short, for that reason, I’ve been sweating buckets during recent practices (outside of doing routines) involving very little active movement.. just a lot of pose-holding. Simple pose holding. It sounds easy but a 2-minute plank on my forearms kills me! Most of the stuff I’ve been working on independently is directly from this video that I featured in my last published set of chained Tara Stiles routines. This might sound sad to accomplished practicers, but that video was pretty difficult for me. Most of what I’ve been doing lately has been to increase my range of movement and strength so this video, like this once-was-a-killer-beginning-video, eventually becomes a piece of cake.

So lots of long minutes holding these planks:

I noticed that a lot of advanced poses, such as handstands, require forearms on the floor. I thought it wasn’t a bad idea to start building strength this way (REALLY hard for me at first.. my forearms weren’t used to being in this kind of position at all)

Lifting one leg for a couple of seconds makes me feel something awesome-funky in my abs and also gives me something to shake me out of a literally arm-shaking moment.

And a lot of these:

A mere 5 reps of these = leg burn. At least for me ^^; Trying to get that number up to 10.

Also trying to get into half-moon pose for more than 10-seconds without falling over (I wasn’t quite in it when this picture was snapped ^^;;). I actually really enjoy one-legged standing poses!

I also should note that I have not gotten a new (Manduka) mat yet. :) :( I want one oh-so-badly but at this point… I really love my cheapo $27 synthetic mat.. huge potholes and all. I said I wouldn’t get a new mat until I NEEDED one (probably very soon), and despite the occasional self-consciousness I feel laying down my mat in a room full of Jades/Mandukas… this is the mat on which my love for yoga began :) My 2nd YogaWorks instructor even commented on the state of my good ol’ Pinkie after I told him that I was a beginner. He said “you’ve obviously been practicing at home, which is awesome!” ^^v 

That being said, I expect to get a new mat in the next 10 days. =X ^_______^ (But I’m still keeping this one forevers!)

On a last, random note, I just wanted to say that I have never, ever had any more definition in my back than the little canal my spine resides in. My friend took a picture of my back while I was crouching in chair pose and she told me that new lines were appearing!!

Muhahaha! I used to be the girl who had jiggly back fat no matter what weight she was at… >=) #millionsofreasonswhyyogaisthebestfitnessthingthateverhappenedtome

Yoga Progress Monday! (2)

This week I think I took my practice to another level. On all planes (who knew I would spend 20 minutes sitting and concentrating on breathing?). Well, maybe more like I went from an absolute beginner to a… slightly-more seasoned beginner :) This is a “fitblr”, so I’m going to summarize a few thoughts I’ve been having lately on the physical-activity aspect of yoga :)

I am stronger this week. I KNOW this because I FEEL it. Arms that glide into a side plank (and HOLD it) smoothly, ankles that bend fluidly from upward-facing-dog to downward-facing dog. Yoga is an incredible practice.. I think it provides me with a lot of literal self-reflection time. No deep “what is the meaning of my life” thoughts during poses (YET, who knows, I have yet to take a deeply meditative class) but most of the time I find myself staring at parts of my body while concentrating on breathing deeply and retaining the proper form. YOU SPEND A LOT OF TIME LOOKING AT YOURSELF (and I do not use a mirror). You have to, at least initially. You spend a lot of time looking at your thighs, your shins, your arms, your stomach, etc, especially while you are learning basic placement/form and finding your niche.

Now.. I know what it feels like to dislike/hate your body… but I find this to be a very, very positive thing about yoga. All this time spent looking at your body (while in some of the most unflattering of positions that pull your fat/muscles into all sorts of shapes) is good for you. Why? Because at the time you are looking, no matter how much you hate the jiggle, cellulite, fat, crease, whatever, YOU CAN’T FOCUS ON IT. Sure, you can note it, but the majority of your brain is likely going “push! push! hold it… aghh the burn.. fml” etc. Your attention is then turned to your lack of strength. The blame goes less to bodily imperfections, more to strength. You wish you could have held that pose till the end, perfectly, without modifications. Before you can think about how your body looked again, you have to do yet something else that requires your complete, utter attention. You think about the pose afterward, wondering how you could have perfected it- NOT how your body parts looked. Before you know it, your jiggly legs/arms/stomach cease being your enemy and become your pride- a baby you are raising to become strong enough to BEAST through those damn poses.. which you weirdly grow to enjoy mastering. It’s awesome. The therapeutic qualities linger after a practice session and make you crave the feeling when it’s gone.

Yoga is like crack.

Gist: As yoga is (slowly) changing my body, it is also (slowly) changing my mind. Yoga is reforming my eyesight and transforming my thoughts. My legs are no longer lumps of imperfection, they are marble pillars of potential strength and ability. I am learning to see more in my PHYSICAL self that is unrelated to traditional definitions of beautiful. I’m learning to see, feel, and appreciate my own strength.

Yoga Log 6.13.11

My left leg has opened up!! I figured out what the problem was… I was opening my hips AS I lifted my leg- hence why my left hamstring wasn’t working to keep my leg up and open. I focused on isolating my Warrior IIIs - holding the pose in both legs for a minute at a time sporadically during the day. I always have to remember to push strength out of the back of my extended leg and keep my toe pointed towards the ground (form!) but with that, the balancing aspect of the pose is coming along nicely. I began lifting my arms away from my shin/torso and extending them forward but it created new problems with my form that I have hopefully adjusted/fixed since then.

I’ve been experimenting with different poses (picked up a book full of them!) that haven’t appeared in any of the routines I’ve done thus far. Some poses are currently WAYY outside of my skill level but some were surprisingly doable (but need improvement). Big ups go to Tara for her awesome routines, which have inadvertently allowed me to do a number of things that would have resulted in a broken back if they were attempted 3 weeks ago.

Plowin’

Bridgin’ (I lifted my toes to see how far I could go.. surprised that I could do this while lifting my head off the ground… this is a big accomplishment for me!) … Louis likes to circle around and judge me while I am practicing. Showoff.

I&#8217;ve gotten about 6 friends into yoga since I started. One of my friends tweeted me &#8220;I have no idea how you are supposed to balance during a warrior 3.&#8221; ._. Apparently neither do I, LOL.
Mistakes I need to fix: Form. All form. Standing leg will eventually move closer to straight, extended leg needs to be firmly drawn back and form a straight line with my back, parallel to the ground. I think I open my hips too much as well. Arms.. I&#8217;m just happy you managed to get your way all the way up off the floor.. but you guys need to straighten out too.

I’ve gotten about 6 friends into yoga since I started. One of my friends tweeted me “I have no idea how you are supposed to balance during a warrior 3.” ._. Apparently neither do I, LOL.

Mistakes I need to fix: Form. All form. Standing leg will eventually move closer to straight, extended leg needs to be firmly drawn back and form a straight line with my back, parallel to the ground. I think I open my hips too much as well. Arms.. I’m just happy you managed to get your way all the way up off the floor.. but you guys need to straighten out too.

Yoga Progress Monday!

NOW that I am free of LSAT-prepping/studying/stressing, I have more time to work on this blog ^.^ v Which may or may not be a good thing, but whatever. I’m on a raging blogging spree (post-test delirium) at the moment, please forgive me!  

My blog is sorely lacking gimmicky things to keep me motivated (yes, getting motivated by other fitblrs is not enough). I tried the “30 Day Weight Loss Challenge” (which I am planning on finishing!) but it wasn’t a challenge, more like a list of topics that gave me something to post about every day.. but I find it kind of boring, LOL.

I do WIW (weigh-in Wednesdays) but I think over time (possibly very soon) I will phase that out as well. Numbers can really mess with your mind during the last 5-10 lbs, particularly because you’re dealing with fat loss/toning at this point. Vanity pounds. I am actually surprised with myself because the last time I got down to just under 120 lb I was a lot wider and more jiggly.. I didn’t know it was possible for my body to be toned at this stage. Even my friends said I never looked smaller (at the waist, unfortunately not EVERYWHERE), and he’s seen me at 108 (skinnyfat) pounds. Interesting. I always thought the whole “muscle weighs more than fat blah blah weight doesn’t matter” stuff was true, but didn’t apply to me, HAHAHA! I wanted a little tone but I cared about being smaller, thinner first, lol. 

This journey is making me evolve as a person as well as change my own fairly-grounded perception of weight loss/body-image. Really, my legs did NOT look the way they do now the last time I tried running/weight-training my fat off. Even as my legs got skinnier I was fairly dissatisfied with the way they looked, but this time yoga is sculpting my legs closer to the approximate proportional SHAPE I liked.. not a crazy-skinny thigh-gap shape, but one that conforms to my natural body shape (pear hips & -formerly- sausage thighs). Maybe after a few months I will even grow to love my thighs (who knows?!) =) Positive thoughts!

I digress. The point of this is that now that I have more time (not really) to record my fitness-related progress through this blog, I’m going to do a weekly rundown on my current yoga progress/problems/goals and post whatever routine was done that day :) (*monotone* “how exciting Euni, that’s great.”). I really don’t think the majority of people I talk to about yoga (daily basis) CARE, lol, factual statement actually. But I think for me, and maybe for a few of you, yoga is something I love because there’s always visible work to be done- a pose, flexibility, whatever. And while I should maybe just make this private because nobody cares, hehe, I DON’T CARE it’s my blog and I’ll talk about yoga if I want to. ^^ So!

Yoga Log 6.6.11 

My current yoga goal for the week is to increase flexibility in my left leg. My right is clearly dominant when it comes to range of motion, but my left is almost equal in strength. There’s a limit to how far I can move my left leg into “Downward-Facing Dog Split” (3-legged dog) and it’s a bit perplexing as to why it’s not going as far back as my right. It’s not a crazy pose, or a measurable increase in strength, but I am REALLY looking forward to being able to do it!!! Baby steps :) 

I think my friends have been overestimating my skills… I talk about yoga a lot so they think I’m doing handstands… which is so pathetically far from the truth I have to keep telling them how basic my practice is and how I’m improving very slowly. Simple poses like the plank and DFD can be difficult when held longer but over time they make you stronger, more flexible, and more self-aware. You develop intuition to place your body in the proper form.

My overall goal so far has been this, and so far, I have become more fluid  and less jerky/shaky/awkward between and during poses. Sometimes I set up my camera so I can record and critique my form *embarrassed.* It’s more tedious than having mirrors and an instructor correcting you but it’s cheaper and less embarrassing ^^; I wish my perfect future instructor would apparate in front of me for 15 minutes and teach me now, so she doesn’t have to correct me later. ^^v

Posting my routine for today in a sec!! :) #blogginspree