A Year

It’s been about a year since I published this website. A year is both a very long time and a short time. Depends on how you look at it.

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This time last year, I had no idea that I’d be working at a gym, certified in CrossFit, Zumba, PT, and plant-based nutrition. I never thought that yoga would be my everyday choice of activity instead of lifting. Even though this time last year, I have been a vegetarian for four years; I never thought that I’d go vegan and be this convinced about it. I never thought that I’d meet this many amazing people and connect with a diverse group of interesting souls. I never thought that I’d have two jobs in addition to Sukkari, and thrive on this busy lifestyle. I never thought this many would read my blog.

I’ve gotten outside of my comfort zone and challenged myself many times. I’ve experienced so much during this one year. Yet, I can’t help but feel  like a failure. Ever since I remember being alive, I’ve always struggled with my high ambition. I wanted to do everything. I’ve always wanted to be good at everything. Easily inspired and easily motivated.

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Yes, most of the time I feel proud of myself, but then I feel like I could be doing more. I could be reading more books, learning more, practicing yoga more, dancing more, writing more, traveling more, drawing more, creating more, and the list keeps going on.

I always blame myself or my fear for not accomplishing as much as I plan on. Now it’s time to stop doing that and it’s time to realize that good things take time to happen. I just need to let things unfold by themselves. It’s good to set goals and have dreams; at the same time that could destroy the joy of life. Make you forget to live in the moment and not even enjoy your achievements in the future because you’ve set high expectations. Being attached to your dreams and goals to a point that you lose yourself and what really matters can lead you to waste your time chasing something that might never happen. Not in a bad way, but sometimes things don’t happen because there’s something better in store for us.

I usually don’t feel comfortable sharing something this personal, but I just wanted to share this perhaps someone else struggles with the same issue would resonate with this.

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Yoga Love

Yoga has been around for around 5,000 years and some researchers say it’s been around for 10,000 years! Yoga has been mastered and perfected over all this time. One of the most things I love about yoga is that it is very detailed. For each pose, you’re instructed on what to do with your legs, arms, core, neck and even where you should gaze. Of course with special instructions for those who have special conditions.

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The beautiful thing about yoga is that it’s not limited to the physical poses. You can carry your practice off the mat and let it change your perception on life. It teaches you how to be an observer. As this yoga teacher puts it, “be an observer of your practice, not a critic”. How to be patient and nonjudgmental. Most importantly, it has taught me how to be mindful and how to breathe. It shows you the benefits of surrendering, letting go, and being in the moment.

be an observer of your practice, not a critic

During my last vacation to North America, I tried to go to as many yoga classes as possible. Even though it was expensive, it’s a worth it. Because each yoga teacher has her or his own way of conducting a class. Each yogi will adjust your alignment a little bit until you accumulate all these adjustments from different cues that you will remember for years; when you practice, or maybe when you teach, then you’ll pass those cues on to your students.

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As much as I love practicing alone and doing my own flow, I find classes very beneficial. In classes, I’m able to really challenge myself. The teacher’s reminders help me stay present and focus on my breath. They leave me with inspiring thoughts and remind me to stay kind. Clear and loving thoughts, intentions, and communications. Yoga is a way of living mindfully.

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By practicing yoga, I’ve discovered myself. I’ve let go of competition; I no longer compare myself to the person next to me. We are all different; it’s unfair to compare ourselves to anyone. It opened my mind as I tried many different types of yoga. I participated in Kundalini yoga, where we chanted  and om’ed together. I kept an open mind during the class. It was different and strange, but I could feel the vibrations when we chanted the Sanskrit phrases together. I could feel the energy of the room, my emotions rising inside of me as we chanted, and the light feeling I had inside of me as I was leaving the class.

I discovered that I love hot yoga. A kind of yoga I used to dislike strongly. Now I think it’s beneficial when the heat is gradually increasing. It makes me more in tune with my body and breath. My mind wanders less. I’m present and I’m feeling it all.

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That leads me to the best yoga class I have ever attended. It left me inspired and filled with love. The teacher gave us verbal instructions and only demonstrated the poses when needed. She corrected our postures as she quietly walked around us. We were encouraged to listen to our bodies and always had the option to go to a more advanced pose or to go to child’s pose when needed.

The teacher was fully present for the students. Attending to anyone who needed her help. No air conditioning. No music. The speed of the class was just right. I didn’t feel at any moment that I was rushing through my asanas.


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Now my favorite way to practice is in my room in a warm temperature. Sometimes I like to move in silence or with instrumental music. Always listening to my body and my breath. It made me notice where I hold tension in my body, usually in my knees or shoulders. Some people hold tension in their jaw, hips, or forehead. So I invite you to relax, straighten your back, listen to your breath, then start to notice what parts of your body are tense. Tell yourself to relax those parts and keep noticing your breath.

This practice has helped me be more compassionate, in touch with my feelings, and to practice non-greed. It reminds me to be thankful and to be present. It taught me to let go of the things I cannot control. To have trust in my path. To understand we should not concern ourselves with desires; because that creates suffering.

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It taught me to be in the present moment. Everything is alright in the present. Stop worrying about the future and stop regretting the past. Right now everything’s good.

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Before yoga, I struggled with anger issues and stress that gave me patches of gray hair and digestive issues. Give yoga a chance. Try many different types of yoga. Don’t give up after the first class. It takes some time to calm your mind before you can enjoy yoga. Hopefully, soon I’ll post a yoga guide on how to start a yoga practice.

Namaste

 

Simple Traveling

I crave simplicity. I don’t want to be distracted with materials, worries, and meaningless attractions.

I’m sitting in a cafe and I can barely stay put due to all the excitement that’s within me; it’s overwhelming. But now it’s time to get out of this ‘vacation mode’ and get back to being a productive human being. I’ve got so much inspiration from this trip and now is the time to turn that inspiration into action. This is the challenging part. The part where most people fail.

Influential people, yoga classes, wandering walks, aesthetic cafés, cozy beds (or couches), and nature.

Many people don’t travel as much as they’d like to because of many reasons. No time, no money, or not finding someone to travel with. All these obstacles are just excuses we use to avoid getting out of our comfort zone. Traveling doesn’t have to be expensive, it doesn’t have to be a “vacation” and you definitely don’t have to travel with anyone. You can be your best companion. Travel alone. You’ll get to discover yourself as well as a new place.

Home is where I lay my head ♫

I’m not a nomad (not yet) nor am I an expert on traveling. However, I just wanted to share my experience with you. Hopefully, you’ll find a few useful tips.

When I arrived DC I spent some time with the family then gave them my suitcase and said goodbye. I was left with only a small backpack. I only took a few items I really needed. And guess what? I ended up overpacking.

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White tank top, black t-shirt, sweatshirt, sarong, tank top, purple dress/skirt, two yoga pants, shorts, bikini/lingerie from lively, two sports bras, socks, a mini bag for toiletries, a book, a journal, a sketchbook, a camera, and a tote bag. All in a small backpack.

Take only what you really need. Even if you forget something, things get figured out.

*Take a reusable bag with you for when you buy food or end up with extra stuff

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The first night I slept at my brother’s place. The next day we camped in a tiny cabin. The minute we opened the door we looked at each other and both thought “Oh shit how are we gonna sleep here”  But once we arranged our stuff and made the beds, it felt so cozy I didn’t want to leave.

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Waterfalls. Snakes. Bears. Connecting with nature. No phone connection. Camp food. Hiking. Yoga. Fresh air. Living simply. That’s what I craved.

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It felt good to put an effort for every simple task we needed to be done. Being outside all day. Staring at the fire then talking about our thoughts on life.

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I stayed at an Airbnb and a hostel. Discovered the cities and enjoyed their vegan restaurants. I met new people and hung out with my hosts and got a real sense of the cities. Minimal planning. The only thing I planned was a yoga class I’d take in the morning before I start my day. After the class, I would connect with the teacher or the students. Then see where the day takes me.

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I walked everywhere and occasionally would stop at a cafe to journal and have some ‘me time’ . Sometimes a conversation would strike with a stranger and sometimes I’d just observe. I love meeting new faces. Every time I meet someone I discover a new part of myself. It opens my mind up to things I’ve never thought about.

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Indulge in direct experiences. Go with the flow and wander. Do what you feel like doing at the moment. Let go of seeing everything. There’s no point in rushing through your tripThings never go the way you picture them. You gotta let go.

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Doesn’t get more hipster than this.

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I have so many ideas and I feel so motivated to bring a lot of new exciting things to Sukkari. My only problem is that sometimes I get lost in my ideas and not know where to start. Sometimes I feel challenged to stay organized when I’m this inspired. To-do lists help a lot, but I need something more. Maybe I need a step by step plan or a weekly agenda. I’m not sure because I’m more creative when I just go with the flow.

How do you stay organized and productive? Please share with me your methods in the comments below xx

Yoga Everywhere & Anywhere

When I used to lift weights, traveling caused me stress because I worried about my workouts. Exercise should never cause you stress. I knew that I would be fine if I went a few days or weeks without working out, but my body itches when I don’t move it for a while. And I knew that it would affect my happiness if I didn’t find a gym. In other words, I needed my endorphins.

That was my struggle until I fell in love with yoga. cheesy, I know. Moving freely is a blessing. That’s yoga for me. You can practice it anywhere. You don’t need anything. Not a mat or even clothes. Sure, both will provide comfort, but they’re not necessary. Everything you need is within you.

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Sometimes when I travel I leave my yoga mat behind to create a challenge for myself. To get out of my comfort zone. I’ve practiced on the beach, where sand would stay in my hair for days to follow. On grass that left marks on my hands when I do arm balances. In child pose, some carpets smelled funky and some smelled nice. My toes found it difficult to roll from upward dog to down dog when I practiced on concrete. Benches had me balance in my splits; something I needed to work on. Airplanes with their tight spaces limited me and forced me to be creative. Sand created a safe place to practice my handstands.

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Some places were loud and distracting. Some were calming with relaxing sounds and a nice view. Sometimes strangers would ask to join me. Afterward, we become friends. Kids would stare shyly at me wanting to learn how to move the way I do. The best part, I learned to let go of my fear of judgment. Fear that people would judge my imperfect poses or others thinking that I’m showing off when I do advanced poses. Fear of closing my eyes in savasana and not knowing what’s happening around me.

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If you’ve ever been to RUH you know that it’s one of the worst airports out there. Anyways, before my flight in Riyadh, I had a few hours to spare and since it’s counterproductive to sit before a long flight, I decided to do some yoga. Most people would consider this crazy because Riyadh is a very conservative city. But I have a thing with crazy.

I found a corner and practiced for an hour or so. The whole time I thought someone is gonna come to kick me out. But that didn’t happen. I only got some stares and when I looked up I saw some people staring at me from the upper floor which cracked me up. But it was worth it. That yoga session helped a lot with my flight. I slept for most of the time and when I got to Frankfurt I was very energized that I did yoga again before my second flight.  However, there it was a different experience. I didn’t feel like anyone was staring at me. For the exception of a few little kids.

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As I get older, I find my confidence to grow with me. Recently I started doing yoga in public places when I feel like I need to move. People will most likely stare. But it doesn’t matter. It’s a beautiful feeling  when you stop worrying about meaningless fears. It’s freeing. You can practice yoga anywhere. You can practice without even moving your body, but I’m going to leave that for another topic.

 

But Where Do You Get Your Protein From?


This way of eating changed my life to the better on every level. That’s why I want to share it with you. So please keep an open mind and see for yourself.

Read the full article on KOOT’s page here or in the link right below 👇🏾

http://blog.kooot.com/what-about-protein/

Please feel free to comment or contact me if you have other views or if you have any questions.
🌱🌱🌱

Non-Attachment

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It seems like within each generation we consume more and more and in an unsustainable matter. Life has become very convenient for the consumer that we have forgotten that convenience comes with a price. One simple example that bothers the shit out of me is plastic water bottles. Side note: it takes at least 450 years for plastic to degrade so just use a fucking reusable bottle.

I think because of how much we have been mindlessly consuming, the term minimalism has risen recently. We have been seeing the concept of living a minimalist life all over the internet. Guides on how to get rid of the clutter in your life, encouraging you to donate most of the stuff you have that no longer inspire you or serve a purpose in your life. If you have never tried to clear things in your life, from clothes, furniture, even people in your life, then I highly encourage you to do so. Sometimes even the simple act of deleting pictures and songs from your phone can show you how much we are attached to superficial items that will not affect our lives.

We see millions of people wasting their lives doing jobs they hate, stuck in some office a third of their day just so they can afford to have ‘nicer’ things then they keep going in this cycle because they’re never satisfied and they always want more and better stuff.

“Have a mind that is open to everything, and attached to nothing”

Being a minimalist has its benefits, but that’s not exactly the same as non-attachment. I would say that those two concepts are related, but when it comes to non-attachment, you live a ‘normal’ life, you don’t have to donate half of your stuff or live out of a backpack.

Non-attachment is a state of mind where you just have to let go of everything in your life. That does not mean you no longer care about these things, quite the opposite actually. You appreciate them more, realize that at a certain time they will be gone, and you are okay with that because you know that life moves on and that nothing lasts forever, therefore, you take it all in the way it is without any expectations, just appreciation.

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Accepting your life in all its ways no matter how things are going and realizing that you can live without anything.  We often hear others and ourselves say things like, I can never live without my phone, a person in their lives, or as a vegan, I hear “cheese” a lot.

“Letting go gives us freedom and freedom is the only condition for happiness.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

You know you are attached when you notice that your happiness is depending on that thing or person. Another sign is to see whether it brings you real joy or if it’s something you keep wanting more of it without being satisfied. It’s a freeing feeling to think of all the objects in your life and believing that you can happily live without any of them. Having this mindset allows you to adapt easily to any situation and be happy from within, not by external objects.

 

In Another Life

If you could start over, what would you choose to be?

This is my favorite question to ask people. Probably because I have a million answer to it. I guess we like to ask the questions we want to answer.

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It’s a little past midnight. I hear thunder, something I rarely hear here in the desert. The sound is comforting for some reason; it makes no sense. I’m in bed with the laptop on my left thigh, angled awkwardly. It’s a perfect position though (that’s what she said, I know). I’m usually asleep by this time, but let’s just say that today was not a typical day and now I’m filled with a lot of words. I know that if I close this laptop and turn off the light, I’d pass out right away. I’ve gotten pretty good at making myself go to sleep, but I want to write this before I go. Mainly because I won’t feel the same way when I wake up. Heck, I might not feel the same in a few minutes and then these thoughts might leave my mind.

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I’m in a position where I can’t predict my future whatsoever. I’ve been in this stage for a while now. As a result, I think about the future often. I must say that I also got pretty good at being in the moment and letting go. I’m still the planner I’ve always been, but now I know that things will fall into place when the time is right. I’ll do my best then accept the results knowing it’s the best outcome.

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It depresses me to think this way, but I find myself wondering what I would be if I had the choice because I’m frequently wishing I got into a different career. Something more creative and less well, boring. I’m proud that I got a degree in Finance, except that it’s so fucking lifeless. So in another life, I would be

A dancer.

A drummer.

A painter. 

A writer.

A yogi.

An athlete.

A backpacker.

A surfer.

A trip leader. (yes this exists)

A vegan activist 

Maybe it’s not too late.