Tag Archives: Thailand

5 Yoga Poses & Moves to Strengthen Hip Mobility + One Tribe Apparel Giveaway!

Hi friends!

Today’s post is a fun one. First up, we’re talking about moves to strengthen & lengthen our hips, then it’s time for a giveaway!

Sometimes people think of strong hip mobility as something that only yogis and gymnasts should focus on. But the truth is, every single person can benefit from having better range of motion in their hips – from runners and weight lifters that don’t own a yoga mat, to people that don’t workout at all. Everything in our bodies is connected, and poor hip mobility can often lead to pain in other places in our bodies, like the lower back.

Today I’m sharing some of my favorite yoga poses & moves that stretch & strengthen the hips. I do these moves pretty much every day – whether during a yoga practice, at the beginning of a strength or cardio workout, or even sometimes when I’m just watching TV.

1.) Figure Four Pose. Start standing, then lift one foot off of the mat, placing the ankle on top of the other thigh. Draw your weight into your standing leg, and sink into the pose, hands in prayer. You can do Figure Four sitting or standing, but I like the shown standing variation because it also challenges your balance.


2.) Pigeon Pose. This pose is done in most yoga classes because it’s great for the hip flexors. One way to get into Pigeon is by starting on all fours, bringing one knee forward and placing it on the floor just behind your hand, with your heel pointing toward the frontal hipbone of your other leg. You can sink deeper into the pose by bringing your elbows to the ground, and you kick it up another notch by rotating behind you to grab the straight leg with your hand and bringing your foot up to hand, bending the leg.

3.) Hip Swings. I do this move nearly every day because I think it feels awesome! Start by standing on both legs, then bringing one leg off the ground, keeping it straight and bringing the foot slightly diagonal in front of you. Swing the leg out to the same side, aiming to get the leg up to hip level, then bring it back down in a controlled motion. Try to do 20 of these without your foot touching the ground, then switch sides.

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One Last Recap of my Thailand Adventures

I’m back to my usual routine today… well, sort of. I fell asleep late and woke up bright eyed at 4 AM this morning. WHY HELLO JET LAG! I’ve been exhausted all day, but am hoping to be back to normal by tomorrow.

Before I get back to my typical blogging, I want to do one more post about the adventures I had with Adam in Thailand. Some of these pictures are too fun not to share with you!

Sea Cave Canoeing in Phang Nga Bay is one of the coolest experiences I’ve had to date. We got to navigate our way into these beautiful caves, a few of which we barely fit under. It was an unforgettable part of the trip:

We also visited what’s known as James Bond Island, where part of the 1974 movie “The Man with the Golden Gun” was filmed:

And then we got to see a Muslim fishing village called Koh Panyee. I found myself comparing the simplistic way of life of these people and their little community to the hustle and bustle of life everywhere I’ve lived. It made me appreciate my lifestyle and what I have so much, yet also reminded me that nonmaterial things should always be treasured the most in life:

 

We also ventured to a place called Coral Island to go snorkeling:

Wild monkeys were running around swinging on trees when we went to Suwankuha Temple aka Money Cave:

 We relaxed on Kata Beach at sunset a few days and got some pretty shots:

A few photos from our nights out on the town:

Besides the elephants, monkeys, and fish, there were some other creatures around, including a few wandering dogs who made themselves comfy on beach chairs next to us one night:

And pretty much every night we got a good laugh at an entertainer who called himself Delvis:

I even captured Adam challenging a Thai boy, who was constantly trying to sell us roses, to the game Connect Four (he may or may not have suffered an embarrassing loss!):

Yes, it’s safe to say that Thailand was a ridiculously awesome trip. In fact, Adam and I both agreed that it was the best vacation either one of us has ever had. I couldn’t have really asked for anything better!

My Top Picks of Eats & Drinks in Thailand

Hello from San Diego!

I got back home late last night and picked up Harley earlier today from the pet resort. She was a ball of energy until a few moments ago, when I sat down on my couch and put up my foot rest, her favorite napping spot. She promptly curled up on my legs and passed out.

As I’m in a food coma from all the eating and drinking I did this vacation, I thought it’d be fun to highlight my favorites:

Food

Fresh fruit – I ate a ton of fruit in Thailand. Half the time I wasn’t even sure what exotic fruit it was that I was eating. The pineapple and watermelon were especially delish and refreshing in the 95 degree, super humid weather! Street vendors and the Thais at the food huts on the beach will cut up and slice the fruit for you so you can enjoy it right then and there.

Vegetable Pad Thai – Holy yum, need I say more?

Crepes – As I’ve talked about in previous posts, I adore crepes. Street vendors in Phuket make em delicious (and greasy)!

Sticky Rice – I finally got to try this on my last day in Thailand, and wasn’t really sure what to expect. Sweet rice for dessert? Hmmm. Well, let me tell you, when paired with ripe mango, ice cream, and chocolate syrup, it is to die for!

Vegetable Spring Rolls – I love these in the U.S. and jumped at the chance to try them while in Asia. We liked them so much, we wound up ordering them at the same restaurant 2 days in a row.

Fettuccine PomodoroFresh tomato sauce is one of my favorite things to eat, ever. Probably because it’s a touristy area, Phuket wasn’t all about just Thai food. It was also ripe with tasty food from around the world, and this pasta dish is a good example:

Drinks

I usually tend to stay away from sugar laden drinks, but this vacation, they were plentiful. The thought of drinking my usual alcoholic choices of wine or vodka & diet soda in that heat and humidity was so unappealing. Frozen fruity drinks instead? Yes please!

Strawberry Daquiri – I had many $2 frozen daquiris at what became our favorite little restaurant during our vacay. Classic and refreshing!

Fresh Fruit Shakes – The smoothies I had last week are something I’ll definitely be attempting to recreate at home. They tasted like just fresh fruit combined with ice and little else. My favorite was watermelon, but the pineapple one was pretty good as well.

Expresso Dessert Drink – I’d be lying if I said I knew exactly what was in this (Ha, this was after a few Whiskey Sours!), but Adam and I shared one of these for dessert one night. It had expresso, Kahlua coffee liquer, a scoop of ice cream, and I think some kind of vodka:

Mai Tai in a Pineapple – I had to try this for the sheer fact that it was in a pineapple. I’m surprised I didn’t turn into a pineapple on this trip! I know I know, way to go hydrating at the beach with rum!

Strawberry Mojito – Muddled strawberries and mint leaves, sugar, lime, rum, & club soda  = one refreshing summery drink.

There you have it, those are my picks!

I’ll be spending the rest of my day recuperating from my travels, as I’m feeling pretty tired today. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

Elephant Trekking in the Rainforest

Check out who I got to hang out with:

Adam and I journeyed to see one of the oldest rainforests in the world, called Khok Sok. I knew that I wanted to ride an elephant in Thailand, but I had also heard about the mistreatment of them out here in the name of tourism. Because I didn’t want to support that, I did my research beforehand and found a company with a great reputation called Siam Safari.

The rainforest was way off the beaten path of the popular Phuket area. As soon as we got there, I was in awe of how beautiful it is there:

In the area we visited, the mahouts, aka elephant trainers, are part of a tribal group that lives in the mountains.  First we got to ride an elephant through the jungle:

Then we got to feed our elephant some fruit…

Clearly from this picture, you can see that both the elephant and I are having a good time:

We also got to see a baby elephant playing with his mahout. She was only a month old and kept chasing her trainer around, not letting him get more than a few feet away. So cute!

Next we enjoyed some authentic Thai food for lunch. On my plate was steamed rice, a pile of veggies, egg noodles and watermelon:

Lastly, we got to canoe down the Sok River, where we had a nice view of enormous limestone formations.

The day was such a great experience, and now I can check riding an elephant off of my bucket list.

Only a few days left of my vacation – this week has been amazing!

We’re off to a Fabulous Start

Guess who arrived as scheduled late last night?! 🙂

Adam enjoying fresh pineapple

We both made it through flights with short layovers and multiple other modes of transportation without any serious delays or complications. Awesomeness, and also proof that sometimes things actually do work out according to plan!

We spent our first day in Thailand soaking up the sun at the beach, swimming in the ocean and just relaxing. We were pleasantly surprised at how close the beach is from our hotel. We knew it was walking distance, but Kata Beach is literally right across the street! Not to mention that it was really interesting people watching today. Let’s just say we saw (way too) many Speedo-clad men and topless women, and there were so many languages being spoken around us. I just love observing people, especially those from other cultures. A couple of scenery shots:

I’m looking forward to our first night out on the town here, and also our first dinner date of 2012! Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

Greetings from Abroad

I’ve traveled about 9,000 miles within a 24 hour timeframe and here I am, posting from Phuket, Thailand!

All in all my travels went smoothly, but I was beyond happy when I got into my hotel room. My calves and back were feeling so tight from being in the same sitting position for so many hours. I did some stretching and yoga, which remedied my soreness and felt amazing.  I don’t know about you, but traveling makes me feel so icky. I couldn’t wait to wash off all of the travel stink and get a bit organized (translation: hang up the closet’s worth of clothes I brought!). Now all I need is my hubby to get here! If all goes as planned, he’s supposed to be getting in about 12 hours after I did late tonight.

I haven’t seen too much of it just yet, but I really am liking my hotel thus far. It’s called Sugar Palm Resort & Spa. Here are a few room shots:

I just checked out the room service food options and thought this was funny:

I suppose it’s a bit comical that if I saw a dessert called “death by chocolate” I wouldn’t think twice, but seeing “dead by chocolate” strikes my fancy. What a weird term that is anyhow.

Speaking of language, the peak of my day was my taxi ride from the airport to my hotel. The driver didn’t speak English very fluently, which is a hell of a lot better than my non-existent Thai skills. We just kept trying to talk for 45 minutes, pretending like we knew what the other was saying. I would ask a question and he would completely not answer it and just start laughing. Gotta love language barriers! But the best part of the ride was the cab music..

For some reason I have distinct memories of music being played by people when I’m traveling. I remember in Mexico one time my cab driver was blasting Ricky Martin about 8 years after the singer’s pop career had fizzled. Usher’s “Yeah” reminds me of my time in Italy because my girlfriends and I made friends with locals who, despite the fact that they spoke not a word of English, knew every lyric to that song and loved blasting it in their car (again, years after the song’s release). Today, I listened to Celine Dion music circa the Titanic days. Oh the memories it brought back! I used to love playing her songs on my boom box (yes people, a boom box, because the CD I’m thinking of came out in 1997!) while trying to fall asleep at night. Now those songs will always remind me of Thailand thanks to my taxi cab friend, especially this one:

Now that I’m nice and rejuvenated, I’m off to go out and do some exploring, have my first meal in Thailand, and anticipate Adam’s arrival!

Thailand Here I Come!

You know when you’re about to leave your house for awhile and start to run out of the right combos of food?

Case in point: my breakfast today was Kashi cereal, a sliced guava, and soy milk… chocolate soy milk! I ran out of my usual almond milk, but it actually wasn’t too weird with chocolate.

Harley apparently thinks the foreign currency I got is a treat for her:

I dropped her off at the pet resort earlier, and she didn’t even look back when I left (as usual). At least I don’t have to worry about Harley getting depressed when I leave her there, considering she probably doesn’t even realize I’m gone until I come back to pick her up. Ha.

Anyways, my bags are packed and I’m ready to go on vacay!

Dresses? Check. Bathing suits? Check. Shoes? Check. Underwear? Check. SPF? Check. Toiletries? Check. Snacks? Why of course!

I’m not a fan of paying for overpriced (a lot of the time unhealthy) food when I travel. So, I bring lots of snacks with me. I just made a homemade trail mix of sorts and divided everything into 3 baggies. That way I know how much is in each one, making it harder for me to mindlessly nosh during my 17 hour flight to my layover in Hong Kong (yes, SEVENTEEN hours!).

Each bag contains:

1/2 cup Kashi Go Lean! cereal

1/2 serving of almonds

A kid-sized granola bar (Cascadian Farms PB chocolate chip)

A mini box of raisins (Sun Maid)

1 chopped up Calimyrna fig

 

 

 

I also packed a bag of Pop Chips and a variety of granola and power bars. Pop Chips are also great to travel with, because even if you eat the whole bag, that’s only 3 servings worth and will put you back 360 calories.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I need to get my butt in gear and head to the airport. Many fun Thailand pics to come!!