Ashtanga Yoga at Mu Ryang Sa Temple in Palolo Valley

Don’t you just love the new year? It is an opportunity for all of us to wipe the slate clean and start fresh once again. I love the idea that we can leave the old year behind and challenge ourselves to new resolutions. Some of them may be the same resolutions as the year prior, but that’s okay too. I noticed that there are many articles, advertisements and commercials at the beginning of the year about diets, fitness and breaking old habits like smoking. I probably listed the Top Three New Year Resolutions that we all think about.

Let’s talk about fitness today. The bottom line is that you have to exercise and eat healthy. And that may be a chore for many of us. I think that with regards to exercise each of us needs to find something that suits our lifestyle and personality. Easier said than done but if you really want to stay fit, you’ve got to find something that suits you, some form of exercise that you can commit to. My son likes going to 24 Hour Fitness and he’s been pretty good about it. My daughter has tried many things including the treadmill ,aerobic DVDs, yoga and stand up paddling. She has stuck to the paddling. Her latest initiative is Wii Fit Plus. For some reason I truly believe that she has found that perfect something that suits her lifestyle. With two jobs and studies, Wii Fit Plus might be the solution. My husband believes in the treadmill. He is very diligent about it and walks 1.5 hours every day working up a sweat. My dog Mulan also gets on the treadmill with a little coaxing and walks about 12 minutes every time my husband walks.

So what is my thing? I have found Ashtanga Yoga. Although I only go once a week I have been doing it for two years now and I can truly feel and see the difference. There are many yoga schools. I am not an expert on any of them so I suggest you do your own research. I found Ashtanga Yoga through my sister-in-law. She invited me to join her two years ago. We were invited to a class held in the beautiful Mu Ryang Sa Temple in Palolo Valley (pictures of the temple are posted below). The instructor is Dae Kim and her program is called Temple Yoga. To tell you the truth, it was quite exhausting at first since I did not have any previous yoga experience and had not done anything physical in years. After an hour and thirty minutes of following the instructor and her other students, Dae ended the program with Savasana. That is where she turns the lights off and we lie on our backs and rest. That was probably the best part of my first session! I think that the reason why I kept on going the first time was will power and determination to keep up with the others. I was amazed at the intensity of the work out and how much I had sweat. According to Dae, good sweat. I knew that Ashtanga Yoga was something that I must challenge myself to and that it would be good for me because I was so weak and so stiff. I couldn’t even touch my toes or even do a decent push up!

Ashtanga Yoga is definitely a serious workout. It is a fast-paced series of sequential poses. We move from one posture to another in a continual flow, linking movements to breath. Introduced to the modern world by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois (1915-2009) this process produces intense internal heat in our bodies allowing purifying sweat to detoxify our muscles and organs. This type of yoga improves circulation, builds strength, flexibility, stamina and produces a calm mind. For more information please look up http://www.kpjayi.org/ and study “Method.”

Dae explains that “our body is a manifestation of our mind, which is a manifestation of our spirit. Yoga heals our body and mind.” I have so much to learn but I must admit, I am doing yoga poses now that I thought I would never be able to two years ago. I feel stronger and healthier. I feel good about myself. Granted, Ashtanga Yoga is not for everyone. Perhaps that is why I like it. Come and join us at Temple Yoga! Classes are held daily except Friday. They range from those for beginners to those who are advanced.

Instructor Dae Kim

Lotus poses

Our studio is spacious and very calming.

Bodhi looking out into the mountains.

Mu Ryang Sa Temple in Palolo Valley...who would have every thought that such a serene and majestic temple like this exists in Honolulu!

10th Avenue enroute to Temple, beautiful mountains of Palolo Valley

Wonderful gardens

Honolulu Festival

Temple Yoga