Friday, January 20, 2012

Fun Fact Friday

Today's FFF is more fun than last week's. Sorry for such a glum post but I really want you to realize the severity of the situation in Africa. There are a lot of things going on!!


Today's information comes from

Education - 

"The typical school year runs from January to October. Education is free at the primary level for all children. According to UNICEF, 78 percent of students reach the fifth grade.
Rwandans view education as the only way for a hopeful future for their children, and parents are concerned about their children's education. Rwanda's educated live in towns, while the non-educated live in remote areas, often in situations of extreme poverty.
While the government has introduced free education at the primary level, most parents cannot provide the materials for children to go to school, including paper and school uniforms. "

Religion - 
"Disputes between religious groups are rare. The Rwandan Constitution provides for freedom of religion; however, while the government generally respects this right in practice, it fails to prevent local authorities from abusing or restricting religious freedoms. There is no state religion.
The law provides for small fines and imprisonment of up to six months for anyone who interferes with a religious ceremony or with a minister in the exercise of his or her professional duties. The law regulates public meetings and calls for fines or imprisonment for those who violate these regulations.
The government permits religious instruction in public schools. In some cases, students are given a choice between instruction in "religion" or "morals." In the past, missionaries established schools that were operated by the government. In those schools, religious instruction tends to reflect the denomination of the founders, either Catholic or Protestant. Muslim private schools operate as well. "

Food - 
"Rwandans eat bananas, legumes, sweet potatoes, maize, cassava and potatoes.
Sorghum Porridge
5 cups water
5 Tb. sugar
1 cup sorghum flour*
1 cup milk
Put four cups of water into a saucepan. Put the sorghum flour in a bowl mixed with one cup of cold water. Stir until the flour and water are mixed. Pour the mixture in boiled water and stir immediately so it will not become lumpy. Continue to stir until it boils again. Let boil 15 minutes. Put in sugar and milk. Serves six."

Language - 
Mwaramutse. (Good morning.)
Bite? (How are you?)
Muraho (Hello) 
Witwande? (What's your name?)
Nitwa ... (My name is ...)
Murakoze. (Thank you.)

All information for this post came from

Thursday, January 19, 2012

No Pain, No what?

I'm sure many of you have seen the recent article on the dangers of yoga. My boss made it a point to come tell me how yoga can hurt me because he knows how much I go to yoga class. We had a chance to discuss this over the weekend in Yoga Teacher Training and it got me thinking about a couple of things.

it's interesting to me that they're trying to demonstrate how yoga is dangerous by doing this pose COMPLETELY wrong. You're never supposed to turn your head in this position and any good yoga teacher will tell you that. 

But I digress - 

Back to my point. In fact, I probably need to back up fairly significantly to cover all of my thoughts. 

The Western World

Have you ever heard the phrase, "no pain, no gain"? I'm sure that you have. We watch shows like the Biggest Loser and you can see how quickly the group is ready to turn on the one person who isn't working hard enough. Runners always talk about pushing through injuries and ignoring the pain because if we recognize that pain, then we are weak. And weak means we have no value and we should be ashamed. 

No Fear
No Pain
Push Through

These are things that we have been told time and time again are the right ways to feel. 

When I first started working out, that's what I was told. Push through the pain, push through the fear, ignore yourself because you are weak and your weakness will bring you down. 

IT HAS TAKEN ME YEARS OF THERAPY to realize how unhealthy this thought process is. 

A woman ran a marathon while 9 months pregnant. That. is. absurd. 


I'm saying that we deserve to treat ourselves and our bodies with respect. When I put my hand on a stove and it starts to burn, I shouldn't go, Hey, no pain no gain, push through this pain. It's the same with my knee, my hip, my back, etc. When your knee is tweaked and you're limping around, you should not push through the pain. 

The best gift I can give myself is learning the difference between being uncomfortable while pushing myself, and my body telling me to stop because I am hurting it. What is my ultimate goal, to live a long, healthy life and how do I achieve that? My not damaging my body in a way that will affect me in my later years. Why tear up my knee so bad now that when I get old, I have to use a cane? 

The first person that ever introduced a healthy body viewpoint in my life (well, at least, that was a trainer) was Holly Di Giovine. She is very big on challenging ourselves but listening to our bodies and taking care of them. She emphasizes the importance of healthy nutrition, stretching, rolling, hydrating - doing the things that one needs to do in order to maintain a healthy mind and body. She showed me that you do not have to be a hero, ignoring yourself. 

So how does this all relate to the article? My point is this - in any physical activity, when my ego is involved, I will get hurt. In yoga, in running, in weight lifting, in swimming, in anything. When I decide that pushing myself is more important than learning correct form, I am going to get injured. 

Crossfit - 
full range of motion and form is more important than the weight you lift. If the person beside you benches 225, and you want that 225 even though you've never done more than 150, you're probably going to get hurt. If you don't, you're lucky. 

Running - 
if your knee hurts, but you know that you should be running a sub 24 5k, and you just push yourself as hard as possibly in spite of that knee pain, you're probably going to hurt yourself even more. 

Yoga - 
If you desire to get into a pose before you know how to properly do it, ahem cobra/plow/shoulder stand, you're going to get injured. 

Yoga is not about the body, but in the west, we think it is. It's about your health and doing what's best for your body, mind and spirit. Yoga means "yolk" to signify that union. 

So ultimately, the responsibility lies within yourself. If you have a teacher that tries to push you into a pose that you don't know - 
1) I would tell her/him
2) I would probably not go back to that class

The pose is never as important as the intention. You can always modify and still get the same benefit. 

I hope that we can unlearn what "healthy" means and retrain ourselves. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Yay!!! Thanks Jamie

It's time for What I'm Loving Wednesday!! Sorry I haven't been posting, I have been sick. Bleh. But I'm back at work now, and of course, where do my best posts come from, work. lol. 

Pinterest Finds this Week

I'm also continuing to love Yoga - I just had a yoga teacher training weekend again -

Have a wonderful Wednesday 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Mom and Teacher Help Please

I am not 100% sure what I'll be doing in Rwanda, but I think that I'll be responsible for watching and playing with the kids in the orphanage. I'm sure I'll be cleaning, doing laundry, those types of things, but I think I'll also be helping take care of the kids and keep them entertained.

If you are a mom, a teacher, babysitter, run a daycare, etc, can you help me out with fun games for kids? I need to be able to take things over easily, so remember, it has to be able to fly on a plane. I'm thinking about bringing some soccer balls, coloring books, crayons, etc.

What else??