Here’s a bet: you’ve grown exponentially within the last year – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Just think about how you’ve changed for a few moments. Then, realise that you’re constantly changing. In fact, in one day, you probably experience a plethora of thoughts and emotions; not to mention, move physically in countless ways. As cliché as it sounds, change truly is the only constant and eventually, that change surmounts to self-growth.

 

Yet, personal development can be hard to track, especially when it’s intangible because what’s intangible is easy to forget. This can turn self-growth into a concept always out of reach – even if you have reached your goals. The fact that society has taught us to always crave more means you’re probably giving yourself less credit than you deserve, too.

 

It doesn’t have to be like that! Here’s how you can reclaim your power and track your own self-growth:

 

Physical

Yes, physical growth can be visually tracked but increased endurance and flexibility, for example, can’t be. The solution would be to commit to a physical practice that you can use to gauge your fitness goals – such as yoga! By dedicating yourself to a traditional sequence, like Ashtanga, you will have to return to the same postures over and over again. With time, you will be able to notice certain postures becoming easier, and your flexibility improving.

 

Emotional

When was the last time you wrote your future self a letter? Not just any letter, but a letter describing your emotional state and emotional goals. If you thought journaling was so 2000s, then think again because it actually helps regulate your emotions. By writing to your future self, you also cultivate emotional awareness because when you read your letter at a later date, you can understand easier why you were feeling that way and what’s changed emotionally. Pro tip: instead of writing to your 2022 self, write to your next week self.

For a clearer idea of how to journal, read Journaling Is Not Just Dear Diary.

 

Mental

Tracking how you’re developing mentally can be tricky, but mindfulness can help. The easiest way to familiarise yourself with mindfulness is through meditation – remember, There’s More Than One Way to Meditate. Once you develop awareness of your thoughts through meditation, you will become more mindful of your inner critic. This internal awareness will help you recognise if you’re clinging onto mental habits that you’ve outgrown and how you can be mentally kinder to yourself.

If you’ve tried meditation but weren’t satisfied with your mental space after, then read Debunking Meditation Myths.

 

Spiritual

Spiritual development is incredibly intimate and there is no ‘one size fits all’. So, find a way that works best for you and once you’ve found your ideal method, do it every day. You could even doodle a specific symbol, or place a sticker onto your calendar to mark the days you’ve connected with your Higher Self and / or Source. Alternatively, you could keep a journal and note down the times you got a gut feeling and if it was right. Slowly, you’ll be able to notice if this connection has been increasing.

 

Career

If you’re unhappy with your career, then it’s time to start creating career-oriented goals as to get clear on what will make you happy. To walk the path you desire, set minor goals as to accomplish that major goal. Most importantly, though, don’t forget to celebrate small wins (and replying all your emails in time is a small win)!

Avocado smoothie, avocado pesto, avocado cheesecake… The type of dishes that can be created with avocados seems literally endless when starters, mains, and desserts can incorporate the fruit. Yes, avocado is a fruit, for those unaware!

 

In fact, avocado is known around the world for its nutritious benefits but what exactly does that mean for your body? Wild Ginger celebrates Avocado Day this 31st of July by sharing some fun facts and scientific facts on avocados with you:

 

Let’s Hass Some Fun

 

Bravocado To the Scientists

 

All You Avo Wanted

 

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Type of Avocado: Unspecified type from Australia, America, & Mexico

Order: via Beepit

Price Range: From RM 5.50 per piece

 

 

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Type of Avocado: American Hass, Australian Hass, Australian Shepherd, Mexican Hass, Kenyan Hass, & Indonesian Butter

Order: via WhatsApp

Price Range: Varies according to type

 

 

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Type of Avocado: Australian Hass, Mexican Hass, & Philippino Hass

Order: via Instagram

Price Range: Varies according to set chosen

 

 

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Type of Avocado: Unspecified American type, Kenyan Hass, & Unspecified Indonesian type
Order:
via the official website or Grab Food
Price Range:
From RM 10.60

Most assume positive affirmations to be nothing special but in reality, positive affirmations can literally change your life. Mainly, by changing your perspective of yourself and of others. Instead of staying stuck in limiting beliefs, positive affirmations can deepen your internal self-awareness and can help with how you handle external situations.

 

Here’s Why Positive Affirmations Are Special

Countless of scientific studies have proven the effectiveness of positive affirmations. Here are several that may convince you to start incorporating positive affirmations into your life:

 

How to Incorporate Positive Affirmations into Your Day to Day

As mentioned, positive affirmations kickstart regions of the brain that can elevate your mood. In order to reap the benefits, though, you will need to practice positive affirmations daily (several times a day) and preferably aloud. To make it easier for you to get into the habit, here are some suggestions:

For your positive affirmation(s) to be as effective as can be, consume content along the lines of the change you want to create – internally and / or externally. If you’re telling yourself one thing but then subconsciously absorbing another, you may not experience the benefits of your positive affirmation(s).

 

Take What You Need

Struggling to think of a positive affirmation? Here are some ideas:

Yes, positive affirmations work but you still need to take some type of action. Repeating to yourself that you will manifest a fulfilling career may not work if you’re uncertain of what that career is or if you’re not working towards narrowing down your (employment) options. Set some time aside to really get clear on the positive affirmation(s) you need and remember to believe in yourself as much as we do 

Most likely, you know who Kanye West is but did you know that he practices micro-productivity? In his song ‘Spaceship’, he says that he made five beats per day for three summers – no wonder his diverse album ‘The College Dropout’ was an instant hit!

 

Although you’re probably not creating an album, micro-productivity is still relevant to you; especially if you’re prone to feeling anxious or overwhelmed by tasks (work and non-work related). Micro-productivity is actually easy to implement into your day-to-day: simply break down a complex task into less intimidating tasks.

 

By dividing a big task into smaller tasks, that big task will not only feel more approachable but it will become easier to achieve, too. The fact that dopamine (a neurotransmitter connected to feelings of pleasure) is released every time a smaller task is completed is a total bonus – instead of just one dopamine rush upon completing that big task, you’ll experience several. In turn, you will feel more motivated to keep working towards smashing your goals!

 

Who Should Consider Micro-Productivity:

 

How To Implement Micro-Productivity:

To walk you through micro-productivity, here is an example of a non-work related goal: to finally finish reading that book you started!

Remember that the micro-task should be manageable but, most importantly, the micro-task needs to be realistic. So, plan to read for 10 minutes per day.

If you feel that reading for 10 minutes after awakening will help kickstart your mind, then opt for that. Alternatively, you can read before sleeping as to unwind from your day or you can schedule reading into another part of your day.

Considering how short 10 minutes can be, particularly when reading, you may just surprise yourself. Instead of reading for only 10 minutes per day, you may start reading for 10 minutes whenever you have time to spare. That’s the upside of micro-productivity: you get into the habit of using your free time productively.

 

Apps To Consider for Micro-Productivity:

 

The Takeaway

As mentioned, micro-productivity can become addictive, so gentle reminder to always allocate enough time for daily self-care rituals. Yes, using free time to get things done is good but not when it means you’re neglecting yourself! If you haven’t established a daily self-care ritual yet, then here’s 6 Underrated Self-care Activities to Try This Weekend.

Quick question: do you start your morning intentionally? As in, do you actively choose the mood you want to maintain throughout the day? Don’t judge yourself for your (honest) answer – instead, understand that every day is different which is why cultivating a morning routine can help set the tone, regardless of external circumstances.

 

In order to feel nourished, your day-to-day habits need to be nourishing. Just think about it: bad habits will consistently reaffirm behaviour, thoughts, and emotions that may not serve you physically, mentally, emotionally, and / or spiritually. Thus, carefully curating your day-to-day habits is imperative for maintaining balance in every aspect; which in turn, keeps you happy!

 

Here are some time-based ideas to add into your morning routine, inclusive of a yogic perspective:

 

If You Have 0 to 5 Minutes

If you’re chronically stressed then know that taking deep breaths actually helps. It’s been proven to help anxiety and depression – probably because diaphragmatic breathing lowers your blood pressure and heart rate. Even if you’re not chronically stressed, connecting to your breath will help you to remain in a calm state.

Yogic Twist: Practice Nadi Shodhana to balance the brain hemispheres and to improve concentration.

 

If You Have 5 to 10 Minutes

The amount of research that can verify the benefits of gratitude is growing daily. In short, practicing gratitude improves not only your mental health but also your physical health. You can practice gratitude by mentally or physically listing what you’re grateful for. As to really reap the benefits, remember to feel that gratitude and not only think of it.

Yogic Twist: Chant Mantras, such as Om Asatoma Sadgamaya.

 

If You Have 10 to 15 Minutes

When was the last time you journaled? And would you believe that journaling can help your injuries heal faster? This is most likely due to how journaling can make you feel happier. If you don’t know where to start, you can reflect on your dream or even plan your schedule for the day – it’s your journal so do you!

Yogic Twist: Practice Jala Neti to improve your overall health (especially to relive sinusitis).

 

If You Have 15 to 20 Minutes

If feeling uninspired is the funk you’ve been in, then why not listen to a podcast before starting work? This way, you can establish a clear boundary between you morning routine and work. Choose from these Self-Care Picks: Podcast Edition.

Yogic Twist: Find a meditation that’s best for you then practice it for 15-20 minutes.

 

If You Have 20 to 30 Minutes

Moving your body in the morning will increase your energy levels and will help your brain health. It can help with decision making as well! For those that don’t particularly like exercising, know that moving your body can range from stretching to dancing to anything else that makes you feel good.

Yogic Twist: Practice Sun Salutations or any other yoga flow.

 

Be Patient with Yourself

Growth is not linear – just look at trees! Be kind to yourself as you foster your new morning routine and understand that if you miss a day, there’s always tomorrow. If you’d like to learn more about breathwork, chanting, and / or Jala Neti, then watch this IGTV of Raisa’s Head To Toe Yoga Flow.

When was the last time you scheduled a break in between Working From Home? Not a lunch break, but an actual break providing you with much needed time to unwind – perhaps through stretching, meditating, or even napping.

While many (unconsciously) feel undeserving of a break until everything on the agenda has been completed, research has shown that your performance actually decreases the longer you concentrate on just one specific task. In short, another myth has been busted by Wild Ginger: working non-stop is not productive. Instead, to improve productivity, you should focus on resting and sleeping better.

 

Set Goals Prioritising Rest & Sleep

How exactly can you set goals that prioritise rest and sleep? Well, it’s important to know what type of rest you need, so take a moment to read this; then, set a SMART goal – a goal that is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. This way, you know what you’re committing to and can hold yourself accountable. Remember, accountability is necessary when goal setting, but staying flexible will allow self-love through the form of kindness to permeate your being.

 

How To Rest Better

Now that you know what type of rest you need, here are ideas on how you can implement resting into your daily, weekly, and monthly schedule:

  1. Emotional Rest, Mental Rest, and Spiritual Rest (Non-Physical Rest)

Daily: While WFH, write down your to-do list to avoid feeling emotionally and / or mentally overwhelmed.

Weekly: Journal about everything and anything (try to remember if your colleague or client upset you, write about it).

Monthly: Find what helps you feel spiritually rested then do it (like listening to a sound bath, breathwork etc).

  1. Physical Rest, Sensory Rest, and Social Rest (Physical Rest)

Daily: While WFH, set an hourly or bi-hourly timer on your phone to remind yourself to readjust your posture and to close your eyes for at least a minute to avoid sensory overstimulation.

Weekly: Slow down your heart rate with a relaxing yin yoga class.

Monthly: Schedule at least one day (or maybe every Sunday) of the month for you-time.

  1. Creative Rest (Non-Physical and/ or Physical Rest)

Daily: Create a Vision Board and gaze at it, or add to it every time you feel uninspired.

Weekly: Set aside anywhere from five minutes to an hour to get creative (dancing, drawing, cooking etc).

Monthly: Explore Mother Nature to feel re-inspired by life!

 

How To Sleep Better

Besides your mental health being affected by poor sleep, your physical health is affected, too. Totally shocking: a study has shown how one night of poor sleep has similar affects as a poor diet over the course of six months. Before that fact keeps you awake at night, here’s how you can sleep better:

  1. Avoid Stimulants

Which of these three can be stimulating to the digestive system: chocolate, spices, and / or sugar? If you guessed all of the aforementioned, then you’re absolutely correct and should remember to avoid poor pre-sleep snacks. You can still indulge, of course, but until a certain time only – for example, cut back or omit the aforementioned after lunch. According to experts, preferred pre-sleep snacks would be complex carbohydrates: fruit, nuts, popcorn, wheat bread, and more.

  1. Limit Your Use of Electronics

There’s a reason why iPhones stop emitting blue light past a certain time, daily: blue light is not good for your circadian rhythm. If you have a tendency to scroll through social media or to just use your phone in general before sleeping, then know that that habit could be impacting the quality of your sleep. To improve your sleep, simply limit your use of (or don’t even use) electronics before sleep and set your phone / tablet to airplane mode.

  1. Set The Vibe

How you set the vibe is entirely dependent on what type of person you are and where you live, but here are some suggestions: a diffuser and lavender essential oil for those feeling stressed, high quality bedding for those with sensitive skin, ear plugs for those living near roads, blackout shades for those living near bright lights, and the list goes on…

  1. Familiarise Yourself with Several Strategies

What do you do normally do when you can’t sleep? If you do nothing but lie in bed, then it’s time to research sleeping strategies! Although getting out of bed when you’re attempting to stay in bed may seem counterintuitive, it may help you feel more sleepy – especially if you’re trying a guided meditation, deep breathing, muscle relaxation through body scanning, and other tactics that will help you feel calm.

  1. Regular Timing

The best is always saved for last (according to some, at least) so here’s the cherry on top of your new and improved sleep cycle: regular timing. By sleeping around the same time daily, your body will basically condition itself to feel sleepy during those times. In the long run, this means struggling to doze off will be but a distant memory – yay!

What is an alternative latte and why would any latte be labelled as a superfood? In a nutshell: an alternative latte is caffeine free, dairy free, and filled with much needed nutrients. The fact that superfood lattes are served in various shades of the colour wheel is a definite bonus for consumers demanding functional ingredients that can boost energy and the immune system – and according to Grand View Research, it’s a growing demand.

If you’re obsessed with caffeine and frowning at the idea of anything other than an actual latte then here’s:

Why You Should Consider Reducing Your Caffeine Intake and / or Ditching Caffeine Altogether
  1.    If You Want More Sustained Energy Throughout the Day

For those unaware: caffeine is a stimulant and like any other stimulant, the effect is temporary. The reason you feel that distinctive caffeine buzz is due to adrenaline and cortisol being released – hormones that kickstart your fight-or-flight response.

  1. If You Want to Feel Less Anxious

Unfortunately, that fight or flight response can cause anxiety, heart palpitations, nervousness, and even panic attacks. For adolescents, a high intake of caffeine has shockingly been linked to increased chances of depression.

  1. If You Want to Efficiently Absorb Nutrients

Without getting too complicated, caffeine contains tannins and tannins can potentially inhibit the absorption of calcium, iron, and vitamin B. By lowering your caffeine intake or refraining from caffeine, this side effect is then reversed.

  1. If You Want to Balance Your Hormones

Research has found that caffeine can change the way estrogen is metabolised – especially in younger women. Ironically, for women experiencing menopause, caffeine may increase estrogen which can result in increased symptoms (such as hot flashes).

  1. If You Want Better & Deeper Sleep

Unsurprisingly, caffeine has been proven to alter sleep cycles which results in restless sleep. If you switch to superfood lattes over traditional lattes, you may find that falling asleep becomes easier, too.

The Various Benefits of Superfood Lattes
  1. Hojicha Latte

 

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As Hojicha comprises of L-Theanine, it’s the perfect superfood latte to start with if you want better sleep. L-Theanine has a calming effect and can actually help to lower your heart rate. Considering how the Covid-19 is still rampant, boosting your immune system remains more important than ever. Guess what? L-Theanine does exactly that as it helps your immune system function better (but of course, stay safe)!

Purchase a Hojicha Latte from Oh Cha Matcha

  1. Turmeric Latte

 

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You probably drool over curry, but have you tried consuming only it’s main ingredient (turmeric)? Most likely, your answer is ‘no’ although if you were to ask any health freak, they’d reverently nod ‘yes’. Reason being that turmeric contains a compound known as curcumin which is anti-viral, contains anti-inflammatory properties, and has anti-parasitic qualities.

Traditionally, it was yogis who combined turmeric with black pepper, cinnamon, ginger, and dairy-free milk. Nowadays, this concoction, known as Golden Milk, can be tried by anybody in the world who has access to superfood lattes!

Purchase Golden Milk from Damai Café

  1. Beetroot Latte

 

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Totally surprising: recent studies have shown that beetroot can improve athletic performance. As beetroot is rich in nitrate, it can improve blood flow, too, which leads to notable health benefits. A major reason why city-dwellers especially should try a Beetroot Latte is because beetroots are a source of betalains which supports liver detoxification.

Purchase a Beetroot Latte from Urbean Café

  1. Charcoal Latte

 

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Almost every Asian is aware of how important it is to have charcoal pills on standby, so it makes sense to include activated charcoal into a superfood latte. If you’re unaware of why charcoal pills should be an essential item in your household, then know that activated charcoal helps gastrointestinal issues – such as bloating, indigestion, and irritable bowel syndrome. It helps by reducing tension and discomfort by binding to toxins which in turn, eliminates said toxins.

Purchase a Charcoal Latte from Fittie Sense 

  1. Rooibos Latte

 

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Yes, Rooibos is a tea but it can also double as a superfood latte when non-dairy milk is added! Due to its antioxidant properties, it’s known for boosting overall heart health and lowering cholesterol levels. Like most antioxidants, Rooibos has the potential to reduce the risk of cancer – a definite win/ win situation (yummy and healthy).

Purchase a Rooibos Latte from RGB Café

Start Your Superfood Latte Journey

Note that every café and / or restaurant chosen was specifically picked due to being able to provide alternative milk options. If you’re ready to taste the rainbow, then place your superfood latte order ASAP and tag @wildgingermy to let us know your thoughts!

Have you ever experienced shavasana during a yoga practice? If yes, then you’d know how relaxing shavasana can be while simultaneously providing you with more energy, and clarity, after. If no, then here’s another method to feel the same: napping!

 

Why You Should Nap More

When thinking of ways to boost your productivity while working from home (WFH), napping is most certainly not the first idea to come to mind. In fact, most people view napping as an activity strictly reserved for children and / or seniors. To some, napping is even considered a waste of time – an interference to minutes spent productively. 

 

Yet, science has proven again and again how napping, regardless of age, is beneficial:

 

What Type Of Nap You Should Take

Considering the aforementioned benefits, it makes total sense to incorporate napping into your WFH schedule. However, napping will also be of benefit to you in these scenarios:

 

What To Keep In Mind 

As to really reap the benefits of a nap, timing is everything. For those unaware, while you’re asleep you move through various stages of sleep, depending on the brain waves you’re accessing and its effects on your eye movement. Without getting too science-y, here’s what you need to know:

 

With that in mind, the ideal length for an in-between work nap would be anywhere from 10-20 minutes. Napping within this timeframe is commonly referred to as a ‘power nap’ as it provides recovery benefits without any of the grogginess post nap. As for what time to nap, aim for the halfway point between when you awoke and when you plan to sleep. Reason being that if you nap too late in the afternoon or in the early evening then you may struggle to sleep – which you definitely don’t want!

 

Wild Ginger wishes you happy napping ahead 🙂

So another MCO is upon us, meaning the option to ‘balik kampung’ is unfortunately unavailable to us. Similarly, visiting family and friends to ‘makan’ together in celebration of Hari Raya may not be possible for everyone due to inter-district travel being banned!

But guess what?

Even if you can’t ‘balik kampung’ or attend any open houses, you can still enjoy traditional Malay dishes through food delivery services such as GrabFood, Foodpanda and Beepit. Although many perceive Malay food to be unfriendly for vegetarians and / or vegans, mouth-watering options do exist so here’s a comprehensive list of traditional and typical Malay food you can enjoy:

 

 

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BMS Organics Cafe was founded in 2007 and, since the start, has focused on providing customers with food free from artificial colouring, chemical preservatives, GMOs and MSG. If you avoid microwaves, then know that BMS Organics Cafe does not cook its food in microwaves at all!

If you’re craving: Curry Laksa

Location: Find a BMS Organics Cafe outlet near you (and double check that it’s the cafe)

Opening Hours: Varies depending on outlet

Order via GrabFood during MCO

 

 

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HalaVeg was founded by a local woman who decided to leave her high-paying job to start a vegan restaurant. Why? After 10 years of being vegan, she realised that more options for vegans were needed, which is why the slogan for HalaVeg is: everything you love made vegan.

If you’re craving: Nasi Tomato with Ayam Masak Merah (Ramadhan Special)

Location: LG07, Empire Damansara, 47820 Petaling Jaya

Opening Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Order via GrabFood during MCO

 

 

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The Hungry Tapir (THT) opened during the first MCO in Malaysia and, despite the challenges, has only gained in popularity due to its diverse menu that offers a fusion of flavours. If you want to know more about THT, then read our interview with the foundHer here!

If you’re craving: Satay

Location: Lot 135, Jalan Petaling, 50000 Kuala Lumpur

Opening Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (closed on Mondays)

Order via GrabFood during MCO

 

 

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Lauk Pauk is basically a warung that’s been urbanised. Literally nestled in the heart of the city, Lauk Pauk caters to meat eaters and non-eaters, so note that choices for vegetarians and / or vegans is limited compared to other options in this list. 

If you’re craving: Pajeri Nenas

Location: RexKL, Jalan Sultan, 50000 Kuala Lumpur

Opening Hours: Varies depending on the day 

Order via Grabfood during the MCO

 

MediFood is run by a team of dietitians, nutritionists, and pharmacists with more than a decade of experience combined. While you can’t physically visit a branch right now, know that you can get professional advice on your dietary needs for free once the restaurant / store reopens.

If you’re craving: Mee Rebus

Location: Bangsar South, Damansara Kim, or Subang Jaya 

Opening Hours: Varies depending on outlet

Order via GrabFood during MCO

 

 

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Sala is known for its Tex-Mex cuisine but as the owner is local, he included Malaysian favourites in the menu. On Fridays, Bakso is available but normally sells out fast so if that’s something you’ve been craving, know that Sala is currently the only vegan restaurant providing Bakso. 

If you’re craving: Nasi Lemak with Rendang 

Location: Find a Sala outlet near you 

Opening Hours: Varies depending on outlet

Order via GrabFood during MCO

 

 

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Simple Life was founded in Malacca, 1992. Originally, it was a shop selling organic products and organic food. Following its success, Simple Life slowly started expanding and there are now 12 outlets across the Klang Valley, so check which outlet is closest to you by clicking the link below!

If you’re craving: Assam Pedas (labelled as Assam Seaweed Beancurd)

Location: Find a Simple Life outlet near you

Opening Hours: Varies depending on outlet

Order via GrabFood during MCO

 

 

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Tze Erne was founded in 2015 based on the chap fan concept – essentially, a Chinese version of a warung. The menu is incredibly affordable and consists of mainly Chinese food but classic Malay items make an appearance, too. If you love salted egg yolk chicken, then the vegetarian version by Tze Ern is another recommendation! 

If you’re craving: Butter Chicken

Location: D3-G4-09, Publika, 50480 Kuala Lumpur

Opening Hours: Varies depending on the day 

Order via GrabFood during the MCO

 

Bonus: Even though Hijau is currently not available for dine-ins, keep it in mind for when the MCO is lifted as the pop-up buffet serves delectable vegan food. For now, a few dishes from the weekly buffet can be ordered via Thursdvys

 

 

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What is your definition of rest?

 

For most, rest is synonymous with sleep but here’s a fun fact: there are actually seven types of rest needed for the body, mind, and soul to feel truly rejuvenated. If you’ve been wondering why you still feel fatigued after sufficient sleep, then now you know!

 

But which type of rest have you been neglecting? Read on to find out what type of rest you need:

 

What Is It: A creative rest is when you stop chronically brainstorming idea after idea. Instead of pressuring yourself to think of solutions, you’re allowing solutions to naturally arise. A creative rest provides you with time and space to widen your perspective. 

Indicators: Feeling uninspired, creative blocks, and / or struggling to switch perspectives.

Solution: Surround yourself with inspiring images (yes, even at your work-desk), visit art galleries, and / or venture into nature.

 

What Is It: An emotional rest is when you stop avoiding your emotions. By understanding why you felt certain emotions, you can learn more about yourself and your triggers. After discovering your triggers, you can handle your emotions without feeling overwhelmed. 

Indicators: Easily triggered, prone to crying, and / or struggling to contain emotions.

Solution: Notice your triggers (caffeine, specific situations, specific comments etc.), embark on shadow work, and / or schedule time to emotionally express yourself to a friend or therapist.

 

What Is It: A mental rest is when you stop forcing your brain to work overtime. Instead of continuously overloading yourself with information, a mental rest creates time and space for your brain to actually process and store all the information you have been exposed to. 

Indicators: Forgetful, trouble concentrating, and / or struggling to sleep.

Solution: Incorporate a meditation practice into your day-to-day (even just for five minutes), schedule short breaks in between work, and / or jot down what you’ve learned / need to do / nagging thoughts etc. 

 

What Is It: Physical rest can be categorised into active and passive. An active physical rest focuses on improving blood circulation by stretching or massaging the body. A passive physical rest means literally resting by napping or sleeping. 

Indicators: Lack of energy, constant yawning, and / or struggling to stay awake.

Solution: If you feel physically sore or stiff then practice yin yoga or even Qi Gong, book a lymphatic drainage massage, an d/ or take cat-naps with an eye-mask (ideally up to 15 minutes).

 

What Is It: A sensory rest is when you intentionally deprive your senses of stimulation. Just like you can become mentally overloaded, you can become sensorially overloaded, too. Some examples of what can cause sensory overload: electronic devices, background noise, bright lights, flashing lights, multiple conversations at once,  etc. 

Indicators: Eye strain, headaches, and / or struggling to focus. 

Solution: Set a timer to remind yourself to close your eyes in between work, lower the brightness of your electronic devices, and / or limit your time with electronic devices (on Instagram especially!).

 

What Is It: A social rest is when you dedicate time to connect with yourself. Maybe for you, connecting with yourself is equivalent to spending time alone; or maybe it’s through meeting a friend who understands you and can guide you towards clarity. Just ensure that the person you’re meeting makes you feel revived instead of exhausted. 

Indicators: Feeling like you need a break from certain friends but not knowing why, feeling drained after socialising, and / or struggling with social anxiety.

Solution: Do something for just yourself, catch up with an old friend, and / or surround yourself with positive people.

 

What Is It: A spiritual rest is when you allow yourself time and space to feel connected to those around you and the world around you. By experiencing the power of unity, you will be able to uncover what life means to you and what you should do more of in order to feel fulfilled. If a spiritual rest includes religious elements is entirely up to you. 

Indicators: Feeling unhappy about your life, feeling disconnected from the world around you, and / or struggling to empathise with others.

Solution: Find a mantra (like: I am connected to my Higher Self) and repeat it daily, volunteer at a local NGO, and / or find your purpose through trial and error.

 

So which type of rest do you need more of? Whichever you need, remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day, so keep coming back to this article if you need guidance 🙂

You’re probably reading this because you haven’t watched Seaspiracy, so full disclaimer: this article contains spoilers. If you’re not planning to watch the documentary, then keep reading!

 

The reason Seaspiracy is all the rage right now is because of the shocking facts it unveiled to the public. Released by Netflix and produced by Kip Anderson, Seaspiracy revolves around raising awareness on environmental pollution – specifically, as you may have guessed, ocean pollution. 

Over the course of 89 minutes, numerous factors contributing to ocean pollution are discussed and dissected, so let’s dive into the details:

 

Eliminating Plastic Straws Is Not The Answer

 

Eliminating Fishing Gear Is The Answer

 

Sustainable Fishing Is Not Actually Sustainable 

 

The Major and Main Issue: Bycatch 

 

Oh And Human Slavery Still Exists

 

How You Can Help

Feeling shook? That’s more than understandable, but here’s some good news: you can help. Seriously. By boycotting the commercial fishing industry, you basically vote with your dollar as the saying goes!

Of course, don’t stop, drop, and immediately roll into vegetarianism or veganism – take baby steps. You can start by incorporating ‘Fishless Fridays’ into your week then gradually add more ‘fishless’ days into your calendar. Alternatively, you can choose to purchase only from local fishermen that you know are not adding to the problem. Simply raising awareness on the data provided by Seaspiracy will help as well – even more so if you sign petitions or create your own. 

Start where you can and take it from there. 

You got this!

Before reading any further, I want you to notice your posture. 

If you’re thinking ‘really?’ then yes, really. 

I’ll help: Are you hunching? Are your shoulders close to your ears? Are you tilting forward more than necessary? Maybe tilting backwards? 

To return to a correct posture, plant your feet onto the floor with your weight evenly distributed and roll your shoulders back while simultaneously lowering your shoulders away from your ears. If needed, lean backwards or forward so that your upper body is directly above your hips – don’t arch your spine or tilt sideways either, just keep the spine and body neutral. 

Congratulations!

You’ve now improved your posture. Although it seems like a snooze worthy topic, it’s actually shocking how important posture is. A brief run-through: 

 

The Side Effects of Bad Posture

 

Yoga Poses To Improve Your Posture

As a Yoga Alliance certified teacher, I will always highlight returning to a correct posture during my classes. Why? Physically, to reverse the side effects listed above. Metaphysically, because yogic text states that the spine is the spiritual centre of the body and that kundalini activation starts at the base of the spine. 

So, here are five of my favourite yoga poses to perform to maintain a healthy spine:

 

At The Desk

Ardha Chandrasana (Standing Crescent Moon Pose): The reason I recommend this posture is because below your rib and above your pelvis is a muscle known as the Q.L muscle. When weak, it contributes to bad posture and thus, back pain. By stretching and strengthening the Q.L through Standing Crescent Moon Pose, you can alleviate back pain. Note that I’m referring to the Bikram version of Ardha Chandrasana. 

How To:

 

On The Mat

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Dog): Personally, Downward Dog cracks my cervical spine every time I need a relief. While this may not happen to you, benefits include: opening the hamstring, back, chest, & shoulder, strengthening the nerves and muscles in the limbs and back, and stimulating circulation. 

How To:

 

Vyaghrasana (Tiger Pose): Everyone is familiar with Cat-Cow Pose but there’s a less popular pose that’s even more effective. Tiger Pose requires bending alternately in both directions which loosen the legs, hips, and back while simultaneously toning the spinal nerves. It’s ideal for anyone with sciatica as it relaxes the sciatic nerves as well.

How To: 

 

In Bed

Sarpasana (Snake Pose): In the textbook provided to me by the school I went to, it literally states that Snake Pose helps to correct the posture. In particular, it can rectify rounded shoulders. By performing this posture 2-3 a week, the back muscles will really strengthen, too. 

How To: 

 

Balasana (Child’s Pose): When you wake up in the morning or before you attempt to sleep, perform Child’s Pose. There’s a reason why it’s a go-to resting pose and that reason is because it regulates the functioning of the adrenal glands. In terms of posture, it releases pressure along the vertebral column as it can separate the individual vertebrae from each other. 

How To: 

 

You can join me at Hot Yo Studio in Desa Sri Hartamas or Nadi Tenang in Shah Alam for classes structured around realigning your body, mind, and soul through correct cues and breathwork!