Instagram users share yoga stories

This writing was published on a local printed newspaper Borneo Post in 2014. And it was also the very first time I had my byline on a paper. I am putting it in this blog just to remind me that I can do good in writing and hoping to improve from time to time. I hope you all dear readers enjoy this piece.

By, Kenny Thomas

“Sharing my yoga progress and gets feedback from others who share my passion empowers me to learn and dig more,” says Instagram’s avid user, Caroline Charles who was first used to be so cynical about yoga.

Carol starts yoga with home-practice by learning via the internet in July 2013 after seeing it trending among blogger friends on Instagram.

Four months later, she decided to join a yoga class because of the urge to have a certified yoga instructor to guide her physically and expected to learn the techniques, alignments in a healthy way.

“This way, I can practice at home safely!” stressed Carol, an Unduk Ngadau winner for Keningau district level in 1997 and also a teacher at a primary school.

Little did everyone knows that it is a whole load of possibilities to get the daily mojo to boost your self confidence from whatever photos share on Instagram.

Instagram, according to the Wikipedia, is “an online mobile photo sharing, video sharing and social networking service that enables its users to take pictures and videos, and share them on a variety of social networking platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr.”

Like Carol, she has been using Instagram with her handle @chegucarol before starting yoga and the amount of time she spends on Instagram is more than that she is on Facebook pr any other social platforms.

“I post more on Instagram. While the other way around, it’s also easier to find yoga inspiration and motivation from the photos shared by the people I followed. Likes on my photos? Who doesn’t fancy getting many thumbs up on the photos?” said Carol when commenting on why she hooked on to Instagram.

“I am proud to say that I have more good feedbacks than bad. That of course makes me happy. It’s like you have given something back in return.

“I know this because I see a lot of my friends who have inquired about yoga from me turned up in yoga class that I recommended. Or some who started by doing home-practice. All the same, I feel wonderful that I have played my part albeit a tiny one,” she added.

The same things happens to Sheen Apin, a homemaker of two who is a gym fitness junkie and also a yoga self-learnt practitioner.

Using her handle @avanus and her own hashtag #nunutyoga on Instagram, Sheena has been very active to share her yoga progress photos.

She gets so much satisfaction by sharing her yoga progress photos which allows her to get direct feedback from her followers on practicing techniques.

“I hope to inspire others with my passion,” she said and she did it.

“My followers on Instagram are motivated to start practising yoga and the connection via the mobile app helps to maintain the motivation to keep going,” she added.

Another yoga lover, Stella O Kunjan (@stellaclaire_r on Instagram) who just returned from the UK, shared her yoga-Instagram stories.

It all started in June 2013 when she had learned some yoga postures from her online friends on Instagram.

“I love to join the yoga daily challenge on Instagram hosted by yogis around the world.

“The yoga communities on Instagram are very supportive. It’s very exciting that I am meeting (virtually) yogis around the world through the social networking service,” said Stella, a former civil engineer who quit her job to be a superb mom to her son.

Why taking it to Instagram is very simple for Stella.

“It’s amazing to see my progress photos on Instagram. It makes me happy. So in that sense, happiness must be shared,” she added.

There are thousand of ways to inspire and be inspired.

For Carol, she still finds herself peeking at other people yoga photos and wonders if she can do as good as that person. Thus, learning to honour thy self is what matters the most.

“In life, it is not about us competing with others. You are your own competition,” Sheena said.

Learning : a way of self-improvement

IMG_9062I’m continuously looking for ways to self improve.
I always want to do things that I thought I’ll be good at.
And, I know if I want to be good at things I must learn.

Once you stop learning, you start dying – Albert Einstein

I wouldn’t want to take Einstein’s advice for granted.
I want to write a book, that’s my mission and I must master the art of it.
A lot to be done but being persistent shall get me there, one day.

Now, let me share you one thing I’ve learned. It’s about writing a Haiku. I learned about Haiku few days ago through some of the blogs I followed. And, I googled “How To Write Haiku”. No shame, it’s a learning process. I know I won’t get anything if I don’t learn. Google have been my favourite tool to look for  -How To- stuffs.

So normally, Haiku is a way of expression about nature, moment of beauty or poignant experience. (Source: Wikihow)

The Haiku I wrote is about passion to write.
Here it is.

Writing does not stop
Ideas never cease to flow
And so does passion

In order to be good in writing, I knew I needed to get this Haiku checked. So, I texted my blogger friend, Angelina Albinus. Angel is not only good in writing, she is also a talented makeup artist, and she is also a teacher. And, she is definitely on my #pesonabutiza list as well. (I’ll write more about this soon)

Angel was the first one to see the Haiku, and to check for grammar error. I would say she is my peer editor besides Mr. Ramesh (Oh, I certainly have so much to write about this man, later).

What did I learn from Angel and writing this Haiku?

  • The verb ‘writing’ is Gerund. Gerund is verbs (verb+ing) that are used as nouns. Gerund is always singular. We say “writing is fun”, never “writing are fun”.
  • Why did this gerund come into our discussion? I wrote “Writing don’t get old”, Angel corrected it as “Writing doesn’t get old”.
  • So, did you get my mistake? I’ve got it.

Thank you Angel, you’ve been helping me a lot.
And there’s one thing Angel told me after the short discussion.
She told me this, “It’s good that you still love to write. To be honest Kenny, I’m inspired from your writings now. Keep on inspiring Ken.”

Look, who inspire who now? I would say, we inspire each other.
I hope you would find your own journey of learning as a way of self-improvement.
Let me give you cheers for that.
Cheers to your journey!


fullsizeoutput_43777 days passed without an update.
I had conversations during those days.
Different kind of conversations.

An angry conversation.
It was overwhelmed by the desire to fix but ended up with war of words. It was the kind of talk no one would ever put their interest into it. And me, I preferred silence than a hoo-ha when that conversation happened. I did get the picture for getting into the sullen muteness but I just had to until I was ready to confront. The outcome didn’t really matter when I had the chance to say my piece of mind. After all, what more important is to find the calmness within myself.

A candid conversation.
I met this person only once in my lifetime, it was more than five years ago. I found courage to ask because my instinct said, this person can be trusted and willing to listen. It was not a face to face conversation, I texted. And, I felt so much relieved. I didn’t expect to be understood when I had the chance to let things out. We shared quite the same personal matter, how can I not be feeling grateful to it? I felt even much better when I’ve got this reply, “Feel free to talk, at least I know I still have friends that still care and say Hello to me.” I couldn’t be thankful enough for the tête-à-tête knowing that I am not alone anymore. Thank you babe, you know who you are.

A oneway conversation.
This was a conversation with myself. There was a lot of “What if”, “I wish”, “I want”, “Why” during this self-talk. The talk was occupied with thoughts, hopes and dismay. It was all running through my mind. Mixed feelings were everywhere and at the peak point of the conversation where I couldn’t handle the hot and cold of it, I decided to just stop. It was tiring but worth the time for a self-reflection. And, if I like it or not, this is the kind of conversation that will occurs over and over again.

And now, I’m hoping for a promising conversation.
One that that will keep me in a buoyant state of mind all the time.
One that will stay as my favourite conversation.

What’s your favourite conversation?