Search This Blog

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The "Mine is better than yours" debate

I'm watching this discussion on my neighborhood's listserv unfold these days regarding the parks in the neighborhood.
We have four parks in the Sunnyside-Woodside area that are most frequented by moms: Windmuller, Lou Lodati, Noonan, and the only private park in the Gardens.
It all happened when one naive mom admitted to having walked in the private park because there aren't always people checking membership at the gate. A flaming, ugly debate ensued with members calling the mom out for abusing the park policies. Members started singing praises and listing reasons why public parks are so horrible for the development of their children.
One phrase however, caught my attention and the debate became a thorn in my side haunting me even when I'm not reading the emails. The members' "sense of entitlement."
It's "their" park.
For me, the automatic second thought unsaid for the phrase is "it's not YOUR park." For the love of Goodness, is greenry and playground equipment customized for your DNA and therefore the paid park is better than the public park?
The other thing that started bugging me when people mentioned that Noonan Park is not enclosed and children can run out on the street. The reason being that I distinctly remember members of the park petitioning (even getting me to sign it, even though I don't even live nearby) to set up a traffic signal in front of the private park's entrance so that parents and children can cross safely.
So, it's worthwhile to spend time and energy to petition for something that benefits the few hundred members of the private park, yet not one mom ever considered petitioning to enclose the Noonan Park. Why? Because it's not YOUR park? Even my response email inquiring about petitioning for it went completely ignored.
There are just so many things that irritate my now with the private park that even though I would have joined had I lived closer before this discussion started, that I feel repulsed that members feel this "sense of entitlement" only because they're paying a fee of $395 a year. How come they don't feel a sense of entitlement to parks build from their tax dollars?
I am not planning on teaching my kids to treasure a sense of entitlement. Toddlers already have a skewed concept of ownership.

Zoom zoom Monster

Tuesday 27th, 2010: Lou Lodati Park; Monster works on her scooty skills

However, I can safely claim that I worked my spine into a hunch teaching her how to ride a scooty. When she got it down, she traded her "safe, wide" pink scooty for a zippier, more streamlined variety and took off (much to the dismay of the poor boy left holding on to hers).

Little Miss Diva

Monday 26th, 2010 at Lou Lodati Park: Accessories courtesy of Aerin and Samantha Z.

Lovebirds outside my window

Sun 25th, 2010

Monday, July 26, 2010

Monster will learn everything in the park

I literally don't have to do anything. She'll find her teachers herself, like she found this girl to teach her how to ride a tricycle.

I'm not worried

I don't mind that Wizard offered the best piece of the watermelon to his friend.
I'm prettier than him.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

On its way

My Sony DSC H10 is on its way to Laredo, TX for repairs.

In the mean time, I'll be surfing through DSLRs just for dreaming...

...Wouldn't be so miraculous if my advance point-and-shoot comes back as a DSLR?


Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Concept of Sharing in the park

When you do not share the "borrowed" toy camera,

You are not entitled to "borrowing" a "borrowed" toy stroller

In which case the stronger toddler wins the prize.
PS In the last photo, Monster is NOT crying, she's actually still taking pictures with her toy camera of the girl walking away.

Religious Significance to Yoga

I wanted to address the question "is there any religious significance to yoga."
To people who think they should do yoga just for the sake of exercise, I feel is like saying "pray namaz just because it's fard."

Unfortunately many Muslims do pray namaz just for show, or to fulfill a requirement for access to jannah. Before I confuse anyone, let me say that after learning the philosophy behind yoga, my namaz has become longer and longer and longer....because I finally realize the ultimate purpose of namaz....and yes, YOGA TAUGHT ME THAT!

First let me show you the similarities in surya namaskar and namaz (and also the medical reasons why staying in each pose is so important)

1. Tadasana--we open our heart, spine erect ready for the practice ahead.
1. Qiyyam-- we stand erect hands on our navel (an energy powerhouse btw), and with Allah u Akber, try to leave worldly thoughts behind.

2. Uttanasana-- spine is inverted, head close to knees, and in Uttanasana variation, spine is exactly parallel to floor, so the spinal fluids travel from the base to the brain.
2. Ruku-- spine is straight, parallel to floor, we stay here for 3, 9, or 11 tasbeehahs

3. Ardha sirsasana--Knees on floor, raising the tail bone, the forehead on the ground, weight pressing on the peneal gland (third eye) releasing seratonin that " affects the modulation of wake/sleep patterns and seasonal functions (wiki)". This pose is preparationg to Sirsasana, also known as King of Yoga poses.
3.Sajood--Knees on floor, raising the tail bone, forehead is laid to the ground, we stay here for 3, 7, or 11 tasbeehats.

4. Vajrasana--a sitting pose, sitting on heels, toes touching each other, knees together. Meditation is done in this pose along with utilizing several mudras (juxtaposition of fingers in hands)
4.Tassahud--sitting on heels, recite Attahayat, and at Asshaduanna Ilaha Il-Allah!" raising right fore finger.

Now on to the religious significance of yoga: According to Patanjali, yoga is a way to separate the Apparant, from the Reality. His words were further interpreted to "the world from the One Conscious Being or Supreme Being" that is Allah!

We are so immensly lucky that namaz gives us that opportunity to shut out our worldly throughts and think ONLY OF ALLAH! 5 TIMES A DAY! However, how many of us are so hung up on world to do that?

There IS a religious significance to yoga but it's not applicable only to hinduism. It applies to every.single.religion. There are so many rivayat about Prophet Muhammed (s.a.w) staying in sajood for so long that his wives would think he has passed away. He was only meditating, and in the process of meditation, often receiving wahi from Allah subhana watallah.

Did anyone ever wonder why we open our hands to face palms up when making dua? There are two extensions of the heart chakra (powerhouse) in our palms. So literally we're opening our heart to Allah, and showing Him our desires.

May Allah subhana wata-allah help us find Him in this world and in the Hereafter. Ameen.

Spontaneous Picnic

I don't know how I will live without my sister!

She the greatest, most loving most involved big sister I've ever met. She was my mother when our mom was emotionally unavailable to us during her Great Depression after our dad's passing away.

She was my friend when I was shunned by every girl in a new school.

She is my best source of advice.

Hers and my relationship is such that gets better and better as we get older. I am not looking forward to aging without her. =(

Making Memories

I'll miss so many things in New York:
The people, sometimes annoying but mostly great, nice, supportive, understanding, sharing people of New York. I've always said: For every one rude person in New York, there are at least 10 super amazing people who will share a sidelong glance with you and roll their eyes at the rude person. It always sends such a blast of warmth through my heart when I share that special moment with people.
The parks and especially the water sprinklers in the summer.
The soft ice cream trucks.
Buttercup Cafe.
The Halal Chinese on 43th street and Greenpoint Avenue.
Gantry State Park and the beautiful curving garden path, where we always stumble upon young Indian couples making out.
Macy's Fourth of July fireworks.
Six Flags Great Adventure!
Coney Island beaches and the cute fat russian grandmoms that Monster loves to chat with.
*sigh* I don't think there is an end to this list.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Yoga and Salat

When I first started taking classes in Yoga Philosophy, I felt like I was going to be dragged through mucky confusion. Instead, it opened my eyes and appreciate namaz (salat) in a way nobody else could teach me.

There are opposing views on whether yoga is healthy for Muslims to practice, just like there are conflicting views on everything else. If there is one lesson I could write in stone for my children it would be this "Not even solid science can convince someone who has already made up his/her mind one way."

But a yogini can try, can't she?

Patanjali, or the source book for yoga philosophy begins with the words "This is the beginning of instruction in yoga." One of the commentators defined the use of yoga as "an effort to separate the Reality from the Apparant."

To Muslims, this world is but a dream. Yet, we count so much on waking up every next day and running all our life as if life in this world is the end all. We as Muslims claim we believe in the life Hereafter and then worry about how much money we've accumulated in the savings deposit. What grades am I getting and O.M.G. I hope I get into Columbia! Students in Pakistan and India commit suicides over low matriculation grades. We tend to get depressed when our teams lose the cricket match. Why are we so stuck in the Apparant?

The reason we pray salat, and try so hard to not think about the world while we're praying, Is so we can separate Allah from our worldly thoughts. The second verse of Patanjali translates to "Yoga is the control of the thought waves in the mind."

I don't see the difference in saying Allah u Akbar and reciting Quran to silence the crash of unnecessary thoughts in our minds, to willfully, mindfully silencing the thoughts in meditation and concentrate on being mesmerized by the breath, the air, the body He blessed us with. SUBHAN ALLAH!

And Allah knows best.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Prenatal Yoga Workshop group pic is in!

I'm really interested in hearing theories as to the orb above my head.

A sneak peak into my fun yoga training

This has to be the coolest way to get into hand-stand preparation AND give your partner a lower back massage at the same time. Dylan and Cheimi volunteered for the partner balance, while I politely deferred to doing my hand stands against a wall.

Just as June came to an end

Turkish picnic at Croton Point Park.

Sad situation, Beautiful backdrop

The fish tank in JhonT (my yoga master)'s office sadly needed new water. The direct sunlight was making algae BLOOM in there. You can't even see the other two fishies in there. But it made the orchids stand out to a fault!

One rainy afternoon on Queensboro Plaza

I said I couldn't pay attention to the blog, but never that I stopped taking pictures. Even when my Sony Cybershot broke down I continued snapping with my trusty camera phone.

So, waiting for the 7 train I find myself staring at this new glass building and the interesting reflection on the panes. I was mesmerized.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The time is nearly here

For the last month I couldn't pay too much attention to anything besides my daily routine of classes classes and more classes.

It has paid off however, and I am days away from becoming a certified Yoga instructor! In the meantime, I even utilized my luck that Wizard has been working from home to enroll in a prenatal yoga course (since I was already in a training program, it was easy to get in). I am currently a certified PRENATAL yoga instructor as well!

Woah...a month ago, I had not foreseen this turn of events. Had you?

With my guru Janic Clarfield.

And that is not all! There is more news to come in a few days. Hang on to something.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Cookie test subject

It's not really a confession, everyone knows my baking is even worse than my cooking. I've been trying to make Turkish cookies for an eternity and haven't yet impressed Wizard or anyone for that matter. Something is always off.

So with great trepidation, I figured it's the quickest thing to make for a July 4th party so I went through a few internet recipes and churned these out.

The first signs of "maybe I made it this time" came in the form of repeat requests for more from Monster who was the first to taste them. She continued to steal them occasionally from the cookie basket at my uncles' home.

I am one proud cookie-baking-mommy!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Beautiful Amber

I wish I could just gird my bank and hit BUY on my cart at Inspired By Finn.

Hopefully maybe she can make it a bit easier for me through this new discount offer of hers. I have a total of like $38 on her website. What's 40% off on $38?


40% Off Children's Items. ANYONE can participate

This promotion is only for:

THE PURCHASE OF YOUTH AMBER NECKLACES size 11” TO 16”, THE BALTIC AMBER NECKLACE ALTERNATIVE, LEG WARMERS or TIGHTS. All other items (including hazelwood jewelry and adult amber are not eligible).

BEFORE YOU ARE ABLE TO USE THE DISCOUNT CODE we need your help advertising this sale! We need you to post about this sale somewhere online and post a link back to this page. You can post your link on any online board(s) where you are active. Once you have posted link(s) to help us advertise our sale, post to this thread with links to the posts you’ve created. The more places you post, the greater discount you earn!

Here is the discount code to use once you’ve done this. If you create:

ONE link online to advertise our sale, the code for you to save 20% is: onelink
TWO links online to advertise our sale, the code for you to save 30% is: 2links
THREE links online to advertise our sale, the code for you to save 40% is: 3links

This code can be entered during the checkout process.

This offer is good through July 5. Our round-bead styles are our best-stocked items.

Be our guest to share this post with friends and family who might like participate.

Our youth jewelry
Footless Tights

(photo Inspired By Finn)

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Ayurvedic explanation of my cough

I started coughing a week ago.

Mr. Oz thinks it's because I've been drinking cold water.

Mother Anchari Devdasi (yoga philosophy teacher) thinks I may be holding my words back.

I think I need to speak up about the similarities between Yoga and Islam I've been discovering.

Mr. Oz thinks I'll get killed if I do.

*cough cough cough Cough*