Vinyasa + Zumba = staying healthy + finding happiness

[Photos: Robert Sturman]

Oh, I love the little escapist and inspirational photos circulating on Tumblr. Luckily, I was able to find the actual photographer of the photo above >>> Robert Sturman, an avid yogi and a professional photographer known for his work showcasing yogis behind bars and rehabilitation through the practice of yoga.

Let’s get one thing straight. I’m a big girl. Who loves yoga. And Zumba. I’m probably the only one in my yoga class that’s incapable of doing the Bakasana pose but who cares? Thanks to my Latin and island roots, I’m naturally big-boned and pack on a pound or two with a sinful dish of coconut crab cooked in coconut milk with garlic and scallions. I’m no health nut, although I cut out white rice, white bread, anything white. *** I’ve been down with the brown for a couple years now.

[Photo: Lululemon Athletica]

I’ve been doing Vinyasa yoga for about three weeks in addition to my weekly Zumba routine. Sometimes I even do both in one day. I really like it. I can incorporate stretching, toning and strength training with cardio and booty-pops in one day. It’s taken years…okay, maybe a decade and a half…for me to find an exercise routine that I enjoy. Here in Honolulu, yoga is everywhere. You can see groups of people doing yoga together at the beach, the park and in their backyard. I’m actually jumping on the trend a bit late because my fatass couldn’t feel motivated fast enough.

[Photo: Lululemon Athletica]

I must admit that one of the main reasons I have come to love yoga is simply because I like how it sculpts a body. Take a look at every woman who has practiced yoga for more than five years. Her legs and arms are toned, her back is beautifully straight and her belly isn’t so ripped. I like that natural, normal look. It kind of eliminates the need for competition to look sexier and buff. When I had a personal trainer a few years ago, I remember putting in countless hours of cardio and weight-lifting, only to realize that my body naturally builds muscle faster than it burns fat. My calves looked manly and my sleeves became tight around the arms after a while. I really just wanted to look feminine, not like a body-builder. Another motivating factor was my older cousin, Gayla, who runs and does yoga religiously. She looks like a badass 21-year-old and swears yoga has improved her back.

Lastly, yoga has also provided a new market for trendy workout apparel, it’s awesome to see cute flowy yoga tops that I can rock with jeans. To keep myself motivated, I’ve created a board on Pinterest dedicated to all the yoga cuteness I lust after. One of my favorite brands so far is Spiritual Gangster, which, lo and behold, has a couple shirts and tanks in Spanish with “Gangster Espiritual” printed on the front. I love the whole culture clash and commercialization of yoga to cater to the masses! Other brands I fancy are Lululemon Athletica (photos above), which specializes in yoga and running apparel, and Marika, which is a more affordable outlet for yoga/gym apparel and gear.

*** a reference to the ingenius “reverse-racism” diet mentioned via status update by C.S. Perez.

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