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"Life imitates art far more than art imitates Life." -- Oscar Wilde . At the @dallasfarmersmarket, this awesome mural inspired us to imitate it. Michael, @yogi_mhc, is a badass yogi and acro flyer whom I have had the honor to base in lots of fun poses. He& #039 ;s always game for crazy new things and is one of the brightest rays of light in my world. The quote that always comes to mind whenever I see his face is "Yaaaasss, queen! Yaassss!" Hanging out with him always inspires me take the time to truly enjoy all the amazing things life has to offer. . I spent much of my earlier years being too hard on myself and focusing only on what I needed to improve on. I& #039 ;m totally over-simplifying this, but I& #039 ;d say that& #039 ;s just the Asian American way. It& #039 ;s the reason we tend to excel at things, but at the expense of a what I feel is a healthier outlook on the world. When I found acroyoga, I retained my drive to succeed, but I learned to stop and appreciate how far I& #039 ;d come. And I learned to care less about outcomes and to be truly free to play.
"When we give up our images of self-importance and our ideas of what should be, we can help things become what they need to be." -- Benjamin Hoff, The Te of Piglet . Last weekend, I did a lot of acroyoga. The @dallasthenics crew ran a phenomenal @imovedfw #movementjam at @CrossFitHeat on Saturday and then I ended up at @blackswanyogadallas for @maxandlizacro& #039 ;s acroyoga class, so I pretty much was doing acro from 10:30 AM to 8:00 PM. And then on Sunday, I helped run @theyogamarkets event at the Dallas Farmers Market and I did even more acroyoga there after the event ended. It was an exhausting, but rewarding weekend. . After all of that, I managed to rekindle my love of being an acroyoga base. It& #039 ;s not in me to be a show off or a narcissist. I rarely take selfies and all of my acro photos are geared towards showing off the beautiful shapes my flyers take more so than showcasing myself. . There are plenty of holes in my acro game, but what I can do, I do very well. I& #039 ;ve come to realize that my strengths are my passion for my practice and my ability to teach others. My acro practice isn& #039 ;t focused on getting cool photos for Instagram and getting likes, so I tend to enjoy the path others enjoy less, working with beginners. Helping a flyer break through their self imposed barriers of doubt and self deprecation is truly one of the most rewarding experiences to me. I love helping them realize that they& #039 ;re stronger than they thought they were and that this experience can change how they take on other new things in their life. . The moment ego gets too involved, I think the practice loses its value. I know I& #039 ;m not likely to build a giant social media following with this attitude, but regardless, I& #039 ;m going to continue posting to show the beauty of connection, trust, and collaboration. I have a special bond with @jzkuhler and @show_up_for_life and it& #039 ;s that bond that makes the people stack in this video possible. We trust and love one another. And we are stronger together. Special thanks to @thenextsamus for her great commentary.
@jzkuhler, @show_up_for_life, @thenextsamus, and I will be doing a demo and an intro to acroyoga class at the #iMoveDFW MOVEment Jam which is happening tomorrow (Nov 3, 2018) from 12pm to 5pm at @Crossfitheat. . If you’ve been to the last jams, then you know what to expect, but if you haven’t you don’t want to miss out!! There will be a calisthenics freestyle competition with cash prizes. We’ll have many movement communities under one roof, acroyoga, b-boys, calisthenics, pole fitness and more. If you’ve ever been interested in one or the other this is the place to come try it out. There will also be some really cool vendors joining us! Great place to network and talk fitness. If you’re interested in getting involved DM us or email us at [email protected] 📸 @whoisbossk @drinkbai @juicebarlakewood @origindallas @kindsnacks @seanlopez_rehab @thesweatshopdallas @onegreatvegan @soarcreativellc @janjiramuaythai @dallascityhall @imovedfw @shinefitnessstudio @stuntmanfit @entitymusclebalm @softtissuespecialistsofdallas @strengthwraps @goapeusa @goapeplano
"Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches, letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights." -- Pauline R. Kezer . I& #039 ;ve been feeling off lately and even acroyoga couldn& #039 ;t quite ground me and inspire me like it used to. Like this slideshow of photos taken in @blackswanyogadallas, it feels like the color of my surroundings is doing a lot of shifting. I& #039 ;ve been struggling to get comfortable with where I& #039 ;m at and to figure out what my next steps are. I switched projects at work to something considerably more challenging than I was doing before. And a few weeks ago, I also immersed myself in the weakest part of my acro game, standing acrobatics, during the #DivinePlay acroyoga festival. I hate to admit it, but I& #039 ;m totally getting my butt kicked right now and there& #039 ;s definitely some frustration occurring. . I started to realize how people who seemingly have everything going for them could fall into depression just as easily as someone who is perceived as obviously troubled. I have so much to be grateful for, but I don& #039 ;t feel as whole as I think I should. I& #039 ;m in decent shape. I am financially stable. I have amazing friends and hobbies that keep me on my toes. And for the first time in my life, I truly love being me. But even with all that, you can still feel like something& #039 ;s missing. Maybe I need new endeavors to light a fire underneath me to drive me forward. Maybe I& #039 ;m a little lonely and need to seek out deeper connections. . Instead of letting the emptiness consume me, I& #039 ;m choosing to embrace the new feeling as a positive opportunity to explore. It occurs to me that I have to offset the Kapha imbalance I likely have that& #039 ;s been keeping me resistant to change. In particular, I think it& #039 ;s time to take on some things that I feared starting because I didn& #039 ;t have all the answers I needed to go forward. Instead, I& #039 ;ll put my trust in the universe, believing that good things will reveal themselves as long as I take the first steps. So, if you& #039 ;re feeling the same stagnation and the emptiness I& #039 ;m talking about, I hope you& #039 ;ll join me in moving forward, trusting that the universe will help you gain the desired momentum.
"I found in my research that the biggest reason people aren’t more self-compassionate is that they are afraid they’ll become self-indulgent. They believe self-criticism is what keeps them in line. Most people have gotten it wrong because our culture says being hard on yourself is the way to be." – Kristin Neff . I& #039 ;m an Asian American. I originally built up who I was by being ridiculously hard on myself. My parents were critical of me, because they wanted me to succeed in life, but they were never as critical as I was towards myself. I even really worried my mother back then, because every time I didn’t perform to my expectations, I would throw a fit about how much I “sucked” at everything. My mother pretended to mishear “sucks” as “socks”, so every time I grew frustrated with myself, she would tell me she didn’t want to hear any more about my socks. I realized that being angry about socks is just as ridiculous as setting such high expectations and punishing myself for not meeting them. So, now when I’m way too hard on myself, I stop and remind myself I’m a badass and falling on my face is part of the journey. And I should stop being so mad about socks. Sometimes the funny things your parents say to you end up sticking with you. . The next time you fail and you lay broken in a heap on the ground. Take a deep breath, let go of the anger you have towards yourself, stand, and rise to the challenge. Because it’s a waste of time to be angry about socks. Thanks, Mom. 😉 . Photo Credit: @whoisbossk
"One of the greatest regrets in life is being what others would want you to be, rather than being yourself." -- Shannon L. Alder . Going to the Divine Play Acro Festival in Portland last week simultaneously humbled and inspired me. It beat back my ego into submission, but also left me excited and encouraged. In particular, I took myself out of my comfort zone by taking on more standing acrobatics, something I& #039 ;m much weaker at compared to my L-basing skills. . For me, my ego has never been a source of feelings of arrogance or entitlement. I& #039 ;m really not the type to show off. Instead my ego was a source of insecurity and anxiety. Despite spending a lot of my life competing, whether it was martial arts, CrossFit, or academics, I always despised it, though I wouldn& #039 ;t admit my feelings back then. I constantly feared failure and/or disappointing others and it used to eat me up inside. When your ego is in control, all your actions are based on how others perceive you, something that is actually largely out of your control and difficult to determine in the first place. . For the first time in my life, I can truly say I love myself and I& #039 ;m working on no longer being driven as much by what others think of me. Instead, I& #039 ;m making choices and taking actions that make me happy. I& #039 ;m always going to be very compassionate towards others, because my parents raised me to be that way, but now, I realize that directing that compassion towards myself is not a selfish act as I had once believed. The challenge has become determining what I want to do now. When you& #039 ;ve spent your life caving to everything and everyone external to you, it& #039 ;s simultaneously amazing and intimidating to take back the reins of your life. . For my fellow people pleasers, who forget that the compassion, love, and service they easily give to others should also just as easily be given to themselves, I encourage you to set aside your ego so you can determine and pursue what you love, so that you can find happiness in the process. . Photo Credit: The amazing @cannonmcnair Flyer: The beautiful, badass @j_rich53
"The ego is always looking to find something – the spirit can see what’s already there." -- Marianne Willamson . Maybe it was the full moon or maybe it was just the atmospheric changes brought on by fall, but this past week knocked me on my ass and I& #039 ;m still recovering from it now. It& #039 ;s also part of the fallout from the introduction of two new situations I find myself in: . 1) I& #039 ;ve taken on a new role at work that has me back at square one despite my plethora of technical experience. It was my choice to take on the challenge, but I am getting pretty frustrated because I& #039 ;m not learning at the speed that I& #039 ;m used to. . 2) @zenbitch_actual and I are about to head to Divine Play, a huge acroyoga festival in Portland. Despite being excited to go, I& #039 ;m also intimidated by the idea of trying to hang with all the high level acro talent that will be there. I can feel my confidence in my ability to learn all the new skills wavering. . I believe that you are at your strongest when you can set your ego aside and allow patience and love to take over in its place. I choose to keep that in mind as I charge forward to take on these new challenges, but I know that it will not be easy. For those of you who& #039 ;ve felt that same feeling of inadequacy and/or disappointment, I hope you& #039 ;ll join me on this path. Allow the spirit to show you the badass that& #039 ;s already within you and take the steps forward knowing that each stumble is part of the journey. Savor the bumps and bruises that make reaching the destination that much sweeter and tell that ego to shut the hell up. ;-) . Photo credit: @whoisbossk
"A genuine relationship is one that is not dominated by the ego with its image-making and self-seeking. In a genuine relationship, there is an outward flow of open, alert attention toward the other person in which there is no wanting whatsoever." ― Eckhart Tolle . It& #039 ;s been 10 months since the bottom part of my right eye socket was fractured and 9 months since they inserted a titanium plate and bolt into my face to repair it. The surgery recovery went well and I discovered that I had some amazing friends and family, because they were the ones who stepped up and took care of me. I& #039 ;m sending warm hugs especially to @jzkuhler and @zenbitch_actual for everything they did for me back then. . The nerves still haven& #039 ;t fully healed, so everyday I& #039 ;m reminded of what happened. I still can& #039 ;t feel a portion of my nose and my right upper lip. My right eye also feels strained when I look at anything to the right. . I like to use it as a reminder for me to always be mindful and openly communicative while checking my ego at the door. The accident that led to my orbital fracture occurred during a moment when I was deficient in those things. Regardless of the failings of my partner, I could have avoided the injury if I had been better in my communication and had insisted on achieving better calibration first. . I also feel like letting go of ego is a big part of the spirit of acroyoga. Acroyoga partnerships are not one-sided. Acroyoga is an act of co-creation. Both the flyer and the base communicate with each other and the successful result is an aggregation of both their efforts. There& #039 ;s no room for ego. Ego threatens the safety of all those involved and can create unnecessary drama. It leads you to push too hard to do things you or your partner might not be ready for. . It is my sincere hope that everyone, acroyogi or not, will join me in the pursuit of mindfulness and egolessness this year, so it will keep us all safe and happy as we reach for the stars. . Photo Credit: @joyripart @nyacrofest
"Ego trip: a journey to nowhere." -- Robert Half . My life used to be fraught with anxiety. I was largely ego-driven, constantly trying to maintain and improve my image. I was insecure, growing frustrated when someone disliked or thought less of me. I dissected every choice and action and obsessed over made up stories about every reaction I got from others, most of which were untrue. I was motivated primarily to make my parents proud and to improve my image. Even if I didn& #039 ;t enjoy it, I kept my mouth closed, grinned, and bore the discomfort, because I hated disappointing others. . But then it all changed. When I went through yoga teacher training, I experienced this epic catharsis that came with so many tears that I feared I& #039 ;d shrivel up afterwards. After that, when my ego tried to step in to invoke worry and doubt, I paused, reflected, acknowledged my fears, but chose to take a breath and let go. And slowly as I practiced that simple, yet powerful pause, I found that my drive to improve could coexist with my love for myself. . I feel like a different person, but this new life is not without its challenges. With my ego no longer playing such a large role in my decisions, I& #039 ;m overwhelmed by the possibilities. When you begin to have less fear of embarrassment and failure, the possibilities are endless. I am not a lot of the things I& #039 ;d like to be, but I remind myself that I am also many amazing things I wanted to be before. I became those things, not because I hated myself, but because I believed in my ability to improve. As I consider all the new possibilities, I walk this new path unashamed and after decades of life, finally loving who I am. . Synchronized #ninjastars at a shoot to promote the #imovedfw #movementjam on 11/3 (12-5pm) at @crossfitheat. Pause, let go of that ego, and come learn new ways to move with us in November! . Photo Credit: @whoisbossk
"The great victory, which appears so simple today, was the result of a series of small victories that went unnoticed." -- Paulo Coelho . It& #039 ;s tough not to get caught up thinking about everything you& #039 ;re currently unable to do and who you& #039 ;re currently unable to be. It& #039 ;s especially true when you& #039 ;ve spent a good amount of your life mostly focusing on what you need to improve on and downplaying your strengths because you& #039 ;re expected to stay humble. For me, it simultaneously fueled my ambition and decreased my love for myself. . As an adult, I finally realized the importance of a few things I neglected or avoided in the past that would& #039 ;ve facilitated maintaining a healthier amount of self love: celebrating your strengths and every little victory, giving yourself room and time to breathe in between attempts to improve, and spending a longer time in the embrace of another human being. . So, I& #039 ;m writing this post to remind everyone to take a moment out of your busy schedule of all the doing and make sure to include those three things in your life. Believe me. It& #039 ;ll be worth it.
"Those who are wise won& #039 ;t be busy, and those who are too busy can& #039 ;t be wise." -- Lin Yutang . Sometimes it feels like we& #039 ;re never still for long. We& #039 ;re always running off to do the next thing. I juggle a lot of things, but not as much as some I know. I recently started wondering if I wasn& #039 ;t being ambitious enough, but I also realized that right now I& #039 ;ve been the happiest I& #039 ;ve been in my life so far. Right here in the present moment. I admire the high output, super creative performers that seem to be super busy all the time, but that& #039 ;s not how I want to live my life. I certainly don& #039 ;t avoid new challenges, but I& #039 ;ve seen what stress and anxiety do to myself and others. No amount of money or praise is worth the damage taken. Others might disagree with me, but to me, loss of sleep is not a proper badge of honor. . I feel like a lot of the desire to be super busy comes from chasing the expectations others levy on you. All my fellow people pleasers know that feeling well. I& #039 ;d like to encourage everyone to shed the burden of meeting other& #039 ;s expectations and find how much drive is appropriate to keep you passionate about life but not burnt out. You should also make more time to spend with your loved ones. For me, the skills and achievements you acquire aren& #039 ;t nearly as impressive as the deep connections and relationships you forge with other people. . In the end, it& #039 ;s all about achieving balance. It& #039 ;s not about stress avoidance, so much as it& #039 ;s about stress management. Don& #039 ;t let fear or laziness keep you from being bold, but also don& #039 ;t let expectations from others or yourself drive you to become an anxiety ball that can& #039 ;t calm down. . Photo Credit: @hazel00eyes00
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind." -– Dr. Seuss . I had a first generation Asian American upbringing. The meshing of the two cultures definitely made for some confusing value judgments and I know I& #039 ;m not alone in feeling that way. I am proud of my heritage, but my years on this earth have taught me that you have to take what you& #039 ;re taught and distinguish between the parts that serve you and those that do not. It& #039 ;s not an easy task, but it& #039 ;s worth the effort. . I love that I was taught to value hard work, loyalty, and humility. As a result, I& #039 ;ve been successful in my career and I& #039 ;m the furthest thing from an arrogant douchebag personality wise. I& #039 ;m loyal to my friends and family to a fault and I& #039 ;m no stranger to compassion and sacrifice. . Watching Crazy Rich Asians recently reinforced the decision I had made to let go of one particular cultural influence in my life. It comes down to two words, "saving face". Saving face is a concept rooted in being concerned about always appearing favorably to others and doing what& #039 ;s expected of you. It can lead you to force yourself to buy an expensive house or accept a prestigious job not because it will make you happy, but because it& #039 ;s what others expect from you. I spent so much of my life afraid of coming off as selfish or not humble that I often didn& #039 ;t know what I really wanted for myself, because my every action was driven by the influences of everyone else around me. I blame no one, not even my culture, for that though. Perhaps I didn& #039 ;t know better then, but I was the one who chose to place myself at the bottom of the priority list. . A few years ago, I made the choice to live a non-self-deprecating life where I retained the values that made me a badass Asian, but embraced the love I& #039 ;d found via my practice of yoga and acroyoga, which always reminds me that I am amazing and I deserve all the awesomeness the universe has to offer me. I continue to do my best to freely give and receive love and to remind myself that this face... never needs saving. . Photo Credit: @joyripart @nyacrofest