One of the greatest lessons I have learned over the years of practicing yoga is that it is not what you change about yourself on the outside- the clothes you wear, the malas you sport, the food you eat- that matters, it is what you EMBRACE about yourself and are able to express without fear to the outside world that matters the most.Read More
It's National Eating Disorder Week. Here are some interesting facts about this misunderstood disease:
1. 30 Million Americans will struggle with an eating disorder at some point in their lives.
2. Anorexia is the most fatal mental health issue.
3. Disordered eating is on the rise in YOUNG Americans.
This is not a unique story. It is just an untold one. Or a misunderstood one. Or something. This topic is difficult for me to write about as I feel that it is something I more deeply struggle with than anything else
I am anorexic because... I am. I cannot blame magazines filled with beautiful, airbrushed models, because I never really read them and don't read them now. I don't feel societal pressures to be someone else (as you all very well know!) I can't blame my parents, my siblings, my peers. I can't even blame the pressures of being a young and impressionable dancer. Who do I blame? No one. Not even myself. Blame feeds anger. Anger makes it worse. Love and acceptance make it better. Blame is futile.
The first time I can remember despising my body was in the third grade. For some reason I just started to hate my arms. Then I started to hate my legs. Then it gradually crept over my whole body. I used to write in journals late at night because of some serious insomnia and every day there would be another entry written about how disgusting my body was or how stupid I was, or both. Writing helped me fall asleep, but it also fed these hateful fires towards myself.
Stereotypically, I was a dancer. I spent 6 nights a week for at least two hours per day examining myself in mirrors. Not good enough. Not good enough. Not good enough. It should be noted that I rarely compared myself to the other dancers at the studio. I compared myself to a version of myself I thought I should have been. Taller, thinner, no freckles, longer neck, more flexible (I was most flexible in my class), stronger, more dedicated... the list could go on and on. Ironically, the art made me feel both disgusted with myself AND more beautiful than I felt if I were at school or at home. The mind reels.
While I was dancing, I ate. Enough. I never was a big eater and often left quite a bit of food left on my plate. I felt (and often still do feel) like finishing my plate was some kind of failure. Like I would magically become a fat cow if I ONCE finished a plate of food, no matter how much or little was in front of me.
Then I stopped dancing. Too many serious injuries, a bout of mono that left me homebound for over three months, and a dance studio I didn't much care for anymore led me to quit. Panic rushed over me. How will I stay thin and beautiful and graceful if I stop doing the one thing that makes me feel these things?
I gradually stopped eating full meals. A bite here, a bite there. Anxiety left me feeling nauseous most of the time and so my excuse of feeling sick was truthful, and it got me out of eating my dinners. In times of desperate hunger I would angrily binge on crackers, feel disappointed that I gave into the crackers, and stop eating for some more days. I chewed gum CONSTANTLY to make my body think it was being fueled. By the time I graduated high school, I think I was barely 100 pounds. I'd look in the mirror at night and continue to hate my body. Again, never in comparison to the other girls I knew, but in comparison to someone I thought I should be. Not thin enough. Not good enough. Not smart enough. Not in control.
I had taken up yoga as a means to maintain flexibility and grace. I did it in my basement before school. In an angry and competitive fashion. Because I wanted it to replace ballet in all ways possible. I wanted to practice hard, be better, be thinner, be more beautiful, not to mention the promise of happiness yoga seemed to offer. The woman on the DVDs drove me absolutely crazy- smiles seemed fake, tone of voice seemed fake, but if that was what happiness was, perhaps I could do the same thing. So I walked around with a smile on my face and "happiness" in my voice. No one suspected a thing. In fact everyone constantly labeled me as "happy." Which then became something I felt I needed to live up to. And because I knew that I wasn't happy, but instead a suicidal, hateful little girl, it made me feel all the worse.
I saw a psychologist from time to time in order to get my cocktail of anti-depressants and anti-anxiety pills. Every time I saw him, his favorite comment would be something like "I don't understand why you think you are fat." To this day that comment is amazing to me. This doctor of the mind does not understand that this is a mental disease. It is an inability to see things as they are. A desperate need for control that cannot be met. I'm sure other psychologists have more tact. This one just seemed to lack ability to understand his patients.
James caught on quickly. When we were in school together, I would go to his house and he and his roommates would kindly force me to eat a full meal with them. His roommates never said anything, but I think they all knew. The rest of the time I lived on Venti coffees, pastries, and Chick-Fil-A binges.
Fast forward about six years. I do not own a full length mirror. I avoid rooms with surround mirrors and abhor trying on clothes at the store- especially when there are mirrors that kindly reveal the dreaded backside. I feel anxious at meal time. I feel anxious when I have to eat with others, but if I am eating alone I am less likely to nourish myself properly. Sometimes I can conquer my mind and make myself something good and nourishing, at which point I realize how good it feels to care for myself. But on many other days I cannot win and struggle to get something, anything at all down.
Pregnancy has been the number one, greatest therapy as someone with Anorexia. Learning to let go of control has never been so necessary. The extreme nausea that comes from not eating enough forces you to actually eat three full meals a day. If I'm being honest, before I was pregnant I was averaging around 1.5 full meals a day still. Nibbles for the rest of the meals. Now, if I skip breakfast, lunch, or dinner, I get a quick and painful reminder and I EAT. I am not able to do as much rigorous yoga as I could before, and so my arms, back, and legs are less toned. My belly gets bigger and bigger. I have no control over how my body responds to this baby. And I have to let it be. I don't look at the scale at the doctors office, I don't want to know how big my belly is all the way around, but I can find peace with myself knowing that there is a beautiful little girl growing in there. I work daily to keep the peace because I have to bring a healthy, nurtured baby into the world. And I have to be of sound mind and body in order to give her the best life she can have. And that makes me feel happier and more willing to nourish myself.
Before the pregnancy, TEACHING yoga has been a great therapy as someone with Anorexia. If you know me, you think that I am laid back. This is true toward other people. I don't care what other people do. I am a closet control freak, with the need to control and compete with myself. To be a good teacher, however, guards must be removed, fear of embarrassment or making mistakes must be abandoned, neurosis must be set aside. If you are caught up in your own junk, you cannot provide a safe, mindful environment for your students to let go of their own junk. We all just have to let it all go together. We have to be willing to be completely ourselves. What is "good" and "bad" about ourselves simply become what is. Who we are. Full, rich, vibrant human beings with complexities that make us beautiful and unique.
As you can see, this is something I still struggle with, and will continue to struggle with forever. I know that I will continue to get better, but the inner nagging never stops. If this is YOU, find something that will help you learn to speak more kindly and gently with yourself. Find activities that make you feel nourished and healthy instead of activities done with the sole intention to lose weight or be "better" in some way. Practice yoga with the intention to give and to heal, practice meditation in order to get to know yourself and to recognize that your thoughts are not who you are, and practice caring for others.
Have your husband take pregnancy photos in bare minimum clothing and post them on Facebook. Have no fear.
Be empowered by your beautiful body as it is.
Check out the rest of these outrageously fun photos here: http://www.monogramartsphoto.com/blog/2014/2/14/this-is-our-house-her-pregnancy-my-camera
Not sure I ever would have done this if I wasn't pregnant, but what a RUSH to feel confident in my own skin... in the snow!!!!!!!!!!!
We might practice yoga for many reasons- exercise, to de-stress, to become more flexible or build more strength, etc. Most people's reasoning behind STICKING with yoga is the fact that it calms the mind and much needed mental relief from our busy society.Read More
Sometimes it's nice to treat ourselves to a special gift. A shopping trip, a visit to the coffee shop for a yummy latte, a relaxing day at the spa. Have you ever considered treating yourself to a private yoga session? Here's why you should!
- There's nothing better than receiving one on one instruction. The teacher can give you all of his/her attention and every hands-on assist is just for YOU!
- Do you have a million questions about yoga poses, how to breathe properly, or are you curious about meditation? A private session is the perfect setting to get answers!
- It is rare to get a chance to refine every single asana- a private session is your chance. Learn special tidbits that might not be mentioned in a full group class!
- Practice a customized sequence made to suit YOUR needs. This is useful if you have special health concerns or need to address specific muscle groups.
How do you choose your private teacher? Request to work with teachers you feel a connection to. Ask about teachers' specialties to find out if they can help you with your personal needs. When requesting a private session be sure to indicate what you are hoping to get out of the session, whether you have any injuries or physical limitations, and provide your availability.
Treat yourself with a private yoga session this year! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to work with Buddha Cat!
I have the forbidden disease- Major Depressive Disorder. Twice, I have also been quasi-diagnosed bipolar, but at the mercy of psychologists, they left it off my record. My insurance thanks you :) Along with the constant depression, I've gone through manic states, panic attacks, hallucinations, you name it. Crazy stuff. But, I am not crazy.
Ok. Maybe I am a little crazy. Fortunately, I have found tools- yoga, pranayama, and meditation- that I use as a way to navigate life in a creative, yet functional way.
What does it feel like to have Depression with a capital "D" you might ask? Isn't it just feeling sad for a few days?
I can only speak for myself, but here are some common sensations and experiences, written in a format that might resemble the downward spiral I have so often gone through:
At first you feel kind of blue. Kind of lazy. Sad. The laziness quickly turns into loss of will to do ANYTHING. Showering, changing out of pajamas, getting out of bed or off the couch- all common signals that I'm entering the downward spiral. If I let it go past this, enter the uncontrollable crying spells. Over nothing. Maybe over how pitiful the entire situation is. I don't know. But the crying does not need to be triggered by anything at all. Along with the sobbing comes negative self-talk. "You loser, why can't you get out of bed?" "You are worthless, you can't do anything." "You are not worthy of love or respect." The thoughts come at you at such a fast pace that it's hard to get out of your head. Regrets, fears, doubts, assumptions, judgements, the list goes on and on. Feelings of loneliness and social anxiety are often good friends of mine. Enter more self-talk "Why can't you just go over there and talk to that person, you loser?" "Why can't you express yourself around people, dummy?" Often the depression is cloaked with fake happiness in order to remain socially acceptable. This can only go on for so long. From there, we have two roads. Road one is depression that gets deeper and deeper into the woods. Road two is depression that leads me to anxiety, because I've left too much undone. Or life seems overwhelming. Depression to anxiety typically results in a silent ball of stress version of Tiffany. Until it all explodes, which then results in either more sobbing, or a panic attack. Panic attacks are really fun. If you've never had one, imagine the feeling that you are probably going to die at any moment. Because the entire world is imploding and making it very difficult to breathe. All of your worst nightmares are happening at once. Hopefully when you get one, you are at home. But the best thing about a panic attack is that they come to you at the worst times. Like when you are in school. Or at a store. Or at a concert. Or driving your car. Then your best hope is that you are with someone who can help you realize that you are not going to die. The world is not imploding. That you can breathe deeply. I love panic attacks. They are awesome. ;) Anyway, if the depression remains depression and progresses further, the sadness morphs into numbness. I'd much rather be sad or anxious than numb. At the numb stage it is challenging to feel like a real person. It is challenging to identify with the real world. It is also more likely that you "accidentally" nick yourself with your razer in the shower because you needed to feel something. It isn't' enough to put a funny tv show or movie on. It isn't enough to be surrounded by loved ones. Everything feels impossible. Bed or couch become your home because it is the safest place to be. You cannot be cheered up at this point until YOU can pull yourself out of it or ask for real help. This is the ugliest side of depression. The side that is difficult to admit is a part of you. It makes people uncomfortable. Sorry! Only I am not. Because this is the most important part of depression to discuss and to own up to. The numbness is not the bottom of depression. We have to go even deeper. And I have been there. Past the numbness is losing the will to live. Between 2005 and 2006 I had hit rock bottom. It was painful to be alive. Not like joint pain or a headache. But this strange and indescribable physical and mental pain that I could not stand anymore. I was seeing a counselor and a psychologist for anorexia, depression, insomnia, and psychotic episodes. By then I was taking about 6 different anti-depressions and anti-anxiety medications which from time to time made me hallucinate or unable to function in regular life. I thought to myself, these drugs are powerful. I take enough as it is on a regular basis to be loopy and strange, if I were to take every pill in every bottle, surely it would all be over. I was in college at the time, living with a roommate. I had pulled out my pill box that contained all of the bottles, and set them out as if I were about to start a project. I was about to get started on said project when my roommate walked in and said "what are you doing, Tiffany?" It was then and there that I woke up. I threw out every bottle of medication I had on me and eventually left school. I was suddenly overwhelmed with a sense of LIVING. That I needed to do something for myself and for others that meant something. At that point in time, I was practicing yoga as a means to stay flexible and thin (we'll get to that part later). Something told me that I needed to study, practice, and teach yoga. So I listened. And boy am I glad that I did. And that I am alive.
I have never hit rock bottom again. I've had panic attacks, I've gone numb, I've been depressed many times since the incident (most recently about a week ago!) I maintain my yoga practice as a means of therapy for these reasons:
- While I am a yoga philosophy enthusiast, Buddhist philosophy is my saving grace. non-belief. non-attachment. Buddha-nature. no heaven, no hell, other than what we create for ourselves on earth. no good, no bad, wrong or right. loving-kindness towards all beings, INCLUDING myself. most importantly, COMPASSION. I do not need to beat myself up for times of depression. I am currently starting to enjoy observing the process of what it feels like to go into a state of depression, the humanity of sadness and crying, then the process of returning to a more stable condition. The more I view depression as just another state of mind, the less shame I feel about it. The more comfortable I am being depressed. The bouts last for shorter periods of time.
- Provides the necessary structure I need every day. I can rely on my practice to be there.
- If I can achieve a headstand in difficult times, I can probably do the dishes too. And do my life in general. Yoga is a great teacher in facing adversity- it gets you to do things even if they are challenging.
- Moving my body just makes everything feel better. Practicing yoga helps to eliminate stagnant energy in my body and mind. It makes more space inside. Being depressed or anxious can feel very crowded.
- Any form of exercise creates endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.
- Pranayama of any kind continues to eliminate stagnant or negative energy from my body and mind. It balances my brain and keeps me centered.
- Meditation teaches that beyond the depression and anxiety, there is Nothing. Nothing is spacious, blissful, and constant. I am not depression. It is something that effects me, but it is NOT me. It is not my identity. Meditation also provides a time when I can let go of negative self-talk. Instead of holding on to it and allowing it to fester, I can let that self-talk have its time, then fizzle out. Often tears stream down my face during a meditation practice. But it's good.
- Not traditionally yoga, but drawing helps me immensely. Drawings of nothing at all help me get my thoughts out as beautiful images and patterns. Then I have something pretty to look at and my mind feels more at ease!
- People who are not actually depressed need to stop labeling their sadness or discomfort as depression. I.E. "I ripped my jeans, I am so depressed." OR "My favorite TV show has been cancelled, I'm so depressed." No. Depression is not just being sad or mopey or experiencing life's unpleasant moments. It is an actual mood disorder which can carry on for weeks, months, years, or lifetimes that needs to be taken seriously.
- There is a quote that floats around Facebook that makes me fiery hot angry every time I see it. It was clearly written or translated by someone who is not clinically depressed. "If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present." --Lao Tzu I do not believe Lau Tzu said this. He might have had something similar, but this has to have been altered to be more passive aggressive and oversimplified. Mood disorders are not that simple. If you are clinically depressed, you probably have a chemical imbalance which needs to be remedied with either medication or a strict exercise and diet regimen. Nothing makes a person with depression feel WORSE about being depressed than being told that they are simply living in the past. The future can also be depressing, if you think about it. Nothing makes a person with anxiety feel more anxious than being told that they just need to be present and their anxiety will go away. This will make someone more anxious. You can't just stop being one or the other. You need a plan. Once out of the woods, I do know the power of realistic thinking helps immensely. Staying rational and calm, giving yourself time to think things through instead of snapping right back to negative self-talk or assumptions of what people might think of you makes a huge difference. But you can't do this while you are depressed.
- "Snap out of it." Would you tell someone with heart disease to snap out of it? They can't. They are on a regiment that will hopefully lead them back to health. As I stated above, you need a plan to get to a more stable mental condition and to stay in a more stable mental condition.
My greatest lesson is that while I will always be affected by Major Depressive Disorder, Manic Depression, whatever you'd like to call it, I can do my part to stay healthy. I can move my body, I can remember to breathe and to appreciate my breath, I can do good for others. I can give myself room to be depressed if need be, and I can exercise compassion instead of anger during these times. I do not need to display happiness at all times. Most importantly, I am not ashamed.
Sensory Processing Disorder is a fairly new discovery in the medical field. Essentially the disorder results in people feeling extraordinarily uncomfortable with their surroundings on a day to day, minute to minute basis. Common symptoms include extreme tactile sensitivity to their clothing and to tags, extreme sensitivities to bright light, loud or high pitched sounds, touching dirt, glue, or paint, the experience of looking down a long flight of stairs or riding an escalator or elevator, dentist phobias, the feeling of cutting your nails, crowds, etc. This goes beyond general annoyance to a few of these normal, daily activities. These cause people with SPD extreme stress, physical discomfort, anxiety, and worst of all, feeling of isolation.Read More
Do you ever feel like yoga is not really for you because you are not already healthy or peaceful? Do you ever compare yourself to your favorite yoga teacher and wish you could be like them? Do you ever feel ashamed to be living with certain disorders which society might judge you for?
These thoughts have crossed my mind more than once or twice.Read More
“Yoga isn’t just about the body, it’s also about the mind, and it’s a technique that has really helped me,” James said. “You do have to focus because there’s some positions that can really hurt you at times if you aren’t focused and breathing right.” -LeBron James, Miami Heat
More and more professional athletes are reaping the benefits of a regular yoga practice. It is no surprise that the ancient practice is emerging as a popular form of physical therapy and restorative training in CrossFit facilities!Read More
I've never been one to make New Year's Resolutions. When I have in the past, typically I have "failed" to keep them by day 3 of the new year, feel that obligatory new year's remorse, and then carry on as usual. As I posted on Facebook this morning: "New Years Resolution (first one in years!!!): to be more outgoing in social situations.Read More
Often we come to our mats seeking a combination of spiritual fulfillment and physical exercise that will leave us smiling, sweaty, bendy, and strong. I LOVE Vinyasa Yoga and I love to challenge myself, but over the past year I have grown to appreciate the yoga of rest- Restorative Yoga.
I attended Shannon Paige's 3 day Anjali Restorative Yoga training back in 2009. Although these were the most glorious and restful three days I had ever experienced, I just couldn't see myself teaching such a slow paced and quiet practice. Fast forward a few years, I have been struggling with some chronic pain issues due to a combination of old and unresolved injuries, illness, and chronic fatigue syndrome (or something like it.) I still love Vinyasa Yoga, but sometimes the strong physical practice is impossible for me. Enter Restorative Yoga.
Restorative Yoga is the perfect practice for those of us who do not think we need to slow down. It is perfect for those of us who have a slight competitive streak, whether it is internal or external. It is perfect for those of us who MUST learn how to stop and bring stillness and rest to our exhausted and overworked bodies. It is essential for all of us to learn how to rest.
The practice is sweet and simple. Gather a collection of blankets, bolsters, pillows, and any other soft things that might be used as props. You build supports for the body so that you can place it in various positions to bring therapeutic effects to the internal organs, nervous system, muscles, and joints while inviting the whole body to rest. Invite the body to feel completely supported by the props. The practice often results in the best nap you've ever had, but the intention is to observe the body at rest. The more frequently the mind observes the body at rest, the more likely it is that the body will remember how to relax on its own. We must teach our bodies to release the stress and tension it accumulates on a day to day basis.
Check out the photo below, shot during a workshop I taught last Sunday. This is a supported cross-legged forward fold. To practice, sit cross-legged and stack folded blankets in a neat pile in front of you. Make sure that your belly, chest, and head will be supported by the blankets. Build to a height that makes sense for your body and your level of flexibility. If your knees are far from the floor, you might tuck blocks or more blankets underneath. As you fold forward, you want to experience rest rather than an intense stretch. Rest your arms where it makes sense- maybe on the pile of blankets, maybe beside the pile. You might turn to one cheek, then the other. Observe your body and gradually invite it to release- let go of tension in hands, arms, shoulders, face, belly, hips, etc. Breathe deeply in through the nose and out through the nose. Remain here for 5-10 minutes. Be sure to switch legs, crossing the ankle which was behind in front.
Take your time returning to the real world after practicing this pose. Savor the slowness. Enjoy the connection you have created between mind and body.
Buddha Cat is thrilled to announce our second and fabulous new ambassador, Vanita Shere Sharma!
Hello hello!! My name is Vanita and I love my Buddha Cat pieces. Every time I put on one of my shirts it brings a huge smile to my face. I love the creativity and the fact that each piece is hand-painted.
Yoga and Meditation have impacted my life in a profound way, allowing me to focus and flow through life with happiness and connection. I feel that Yoga is a way of life.
I was exposed to the ancient Yoga Philosophy and traditions as a child but became more active in the practices of Asana, Pranayama and Meditation as an adult. After years of cycling and running, I was left looking for a deeper experience and found this through marrying the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of yoga. I decided to move forward along my yoga journey and get my 200 hr Teacher Certification!
I enjoy taking my class through a journey, honoring one’s self, and establishing a connection of mind, body and spirit. My classes provide an opportunity that allows each individual to explore and find their own inner space and balance within their practice. In many classes I share stories of Yoga Philosophy, allowing students to experience the benefits of their asana practice via various creative sequences, while gaining an understanding of this ancient practice. I enjoy and appreciate using Sanskrit names but I always translate the words and use the English names as well, so students know what they are hearing and the reason behind the names and that power and vibration.
I believe in honoring the teachings by honoring the teachers of present and past and all the rishis and others who have been here and assisted us in our journey. I love honoring the Yoga Sutras and the Foundation of Yoga while still knowing and honoring the changes of society. I believe in sharing the information but knowing every student/every being has their own journey and no one can tell or teach anyone something they do not want to be a part of… it is about sharing space and allowing individuals to come to their own place. I love this journey of yoga because it is for everyone, and by sharing this ancient practice so many people around the world can open up to their true nature, and this nature is of peace, compassion and love!
I love spending time reading and studying ancient yoga texts and attending seminars and workshops with master yogis of Eastern and Western culture. I have a great love for traveling the world and finding all the beauty in nature!
My joy is in being able to learn and share the knowledge of yoga and bringing an east meets west approach to classes. I believe in sharing space with all students, allowing them to practice from a place of courage, and encouraging a connection of breath and body while having fun in their practice! To me, Yoga is Union, union of mind, body and spirit. On the gross level that we live on, the connection is through the breath- and this is where our practice comes into play. But yoga is everything. Like the Bhagavad Gita says “yoga is the giver of untold happiness.” I also really believe in Patajali’s definition of Yoga as Citta Vritti Nirodhah- or restraint of the Mind stuff modification- that is yoga- and then the seer rests in their true nature. (tada drastuh svarupe vasthanam.) I love sharing this love of yoga and yoga philosophy with everyone, whether during class, while traveling the world, with my work friends, or simply hanging out with family! There is a great joy of finding that divine within- and when you see and find that- you realize the ultimate truth. My journey has led me to that place- that truth within me. And I continue to learn through Yoga.
Vanita currently teaches Vinyasa Yoga at 6 and 7:30 at East Meets West Yoga Center in Vienna, VA and Shakti Flow (Shakti in Sanskrit represents the creative energy in all beings, and in this class we discover that unique dynamic power within. This vinyasa style class maintains awareness and focus on the breath while flowing through various creative sequences. Yoga philosophy will be woven into each themed class to deepen the exploration of your own practice) at 9AM at The Source Yoga Studio in McLean, VA. Check her out if you are in the neighborhood!
"You must be a lotus, unfolding its petals when the sun rises in the sky, unaffected by the slush where it is born or even the water which sustains it!" - Sai Baba
The lotus flower is a popular symbol in Eastern Philosophy, representing the spiritual potential and purity in all of us. The lotus roots in muddy water and grows up and out, emerging perfectly clean, pure, and beautiful. We live in the world. The world is not perfect, and neither are we! We can live our lives inspired by this amazing flower. Whether it is keeping our cool in the midst of terrible traffic or providing a kind word or deed to everyone we meet, we can all learn to live like the lotus- connected to the world, yet unattached to its actions.
Buddha Cat is so excited to be featured on the DC Fitness Files blog! Writers Chesti and Fudge are fitness nuts in the DC area looking for cost effective, down-to-earth gyms and studios to get their sweat on. Check out their honest and humorous blog at
http://dcfitnessfiles.blogspot.com! Thanks DC Fitness Files!
Last weekend our ambassador, Newsha, participated in the Culpeper International Triathlon at Mountain Run Lake Park. Here are a couple of photos from the day! Check out that Buddha Cat Tri Top! Ommeow!! We are so proud of you, Newsha!!
We all have a little piece (hopefully a lot) of Ganesha inside of us. Who is he? What does he represent?
Lord Ganesha is the Hindu elephant-god of new beginnings. He is the remover of obstacles. He is the god of the arts and sciences, traditionally invoked before ceremonies and artful endeavors.
I view Lord Ganesha as a symbol of my own power to recognize and remove obstacles in my life. Often getting around a roadblock opens the door to refreshed creativity or an open mind ready to learn something new.
Associated Mantra: Om Gum Ganapatayei Namaha
Associated Chakra: Root (Muladhara)
The personalities and faces behind the name "Buddha Cat"
- Named after my beloved childhood cat Milton Sr.
- Has no idea whether he is a cat and we are cats or if he is a human and we are humans. He knows he is the same as we are.
- Does not know how to meow. "Yap!"
- Favorite way to play? Fetch with crumpled receipts.
- I always had a dream of naming all of my future children after flowers so that I could have flower children. I do not have kids, but cats are the next best thing!
- Knows she is the embodiment of all that is beautiful in the whole entire world. Don't try to tell her otherwise. She won't have it.
- Sports dreadlocks from time to time and totally pulls it off.
- Favorite way to play? Feathers and bells.
How long have you been interested in participating in Triathlons?
Triathlon has always been a dream for me. However, living in Iran was making it very hard for me to train or participate in any kind of Triathlon race. I was hiking while living in Iran. After I moved here 6 years ago, I started looking in to training for an Ironman, but was always scared. Until February of 2013 that I joined Team Z. That was probably one of the best decisions I have ever made. Team Z has made the dream come true.
What gave you the push to start the intensive training?
It was around April of 2012, when I started having trouble eating food. I had to cut out a ton of things from my diet. This way of eating didn’t leave me with much energy, so yoga was my only way to relax and release the stress. One of my friends asked me to sign up for the Tri for Love Sprint in September. I was sure I would feel better by then, but I got even worse. I only trained for two weeks and managed to race that day. At the award ceremony, I heard them calling my name. I got the award for 3rd place in my age group. That incident moved me. I decided that I was going to feel better and I was going to make the dream happen. I promised myself I would go back this year and every year to Tri for Love to pay respect. InSight Law has been amazing, sponsoring me for most of my races including Tri for Love. And now we are looking forward to this year’s race in September.
What kind of lifestyle changes did you have to make to accomplish your goals?
Training for triathlon needs huge amount of time. I gave up watching TV on the couch after work. Instead I bring all my workout clothes and gears to office and go to the Team Z practices after work. I only wish my lovely husband would join me so I could see him more. He has been my support and inspiration. I couldn’t do it without him.
How did you feel after completing your first Triathlon?
Technically, my first race was Tri for Love and I did feel amazing after I received the medal. My first true race was Kinetic Sprint. I did really well at the race, however I wasn’t proud of myself since I did consider quitting during the swim.
Do you plan on participating in more Triathlons to come? Ever considered Ironman?
I have 6 more races lined up for this year and one of them is Half Ironman in October. And yes, I am thinking about Cozumel Ironman in December 2014.
What advice would you give some one like me who would never dream of attempting a Triathlon, let alone putting on some sneakers and hitting the pavement for a jog?
I would only say, follow your dreams. I know it is cliché, but having set goals will keep you going during the hardest parts. Take that first step, give it all you have and make it happen.
Do you have anything else you’d like to add?
I would like to thank Bobby for being the best husband and the most patient man in the world. He cheers for me and pushes me every day and that just makes everything else much easier. I also would like to thank Inner Power Yoga and CycleLuv, they kept me inline and shape all along so that my dream can come true.
Last but not least, what is your favorite way to wear Buddha Cat?
I love Buddha Cat and I always find a way to wear it. I use my new Buddha Cat purse every day. I LOVE to wear my Buddha cat hoodie and long sleeves after my workout. The softness of the fabric gives me comfort while the colors and paintings take my breath away. Thank you Buddha Cat for this opportunity
Buddha Cat would like to thank James Martin for the beautiful photos. We couldn't do it without you!
Many of us dream of leading glamorous lives - traveling the world or living in the big city - some of us make it there (in my case for a total of 1.5 years) but most of us are now here in the suburbs of USA. At first glance, perhaps the suburbs are not as exciting as the big cities around the world, but at second glance, they give us the chance to create our own excitement out of nearly nothing. Kids get to play with sidewalk chalk, go to the playground and invent games, and ride bikes around cul-de-sacs; grown ups get to host BBQs and sprawling picnics thanks to the luxury of having backyards and decks.
Amelia Earhart said, "Adventure is worthwhile." Buddha Cat is an adventure. It is an adventure of thinking outside of the box and encouraging others to do the same! Buddha Cat is here to stand out. Buddha Cat exists to make you smile and to open your mind to new possibilities!
How can an article of clothing induce creativity? Buddha Cat is inspired by brands that take risks in fashion and dare to be different because it stirs the creative juices in its consumers. We care about the small details and the personal touches that make customers smile and feel something beyond the urge to purchase something new when they try on the product. Buddha Cat cares about inspiring customers to decide what they like rather than telling them what to like.
Buddha Cat encourages you to harness your own creative power in order to live a more colorful, adventurous life!