The Humming Bee!

Do you love nature? Do you love music? Do you like to meditate?

Yes, I do.

My new found love is this Bhramari pranayama, which calms my mind instantly and prepare me for meditation.

Bhramari means ‘the Goddess of bees’. In Bhramari pranayama the humming sound is produced during exhalation.

The father of modern science, Albert Einstein said – “Everything in life is vibration”. In fact, this pranayama has a soothing effect on the brain and calms the mind.

Practice:

Sit in a comfortable cross legged pose, with spine erect.

  • Breathe normally and relax the body.
  • Keep your eyes and mouth closed.
  • You may choose to close your ears with your hands. Another variation is you can keep your hands in chin mudra, place on your thighs and keep your ears open.
  • Concentrate at the center of your forehead.
  • Take a slow deep inhalation and fill the lungs fully.
  • Then exhale slowly, making a continuous humming sound like the bee. Feel the vibrations in your head.
  • Repeat the process 5 times and come back to normal breathing.

Benefits:

  • Calms the mind, reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Helps to reduce anger.
  • Improves concentration and prepare you for meditation

Contradictions:

  • Better do this pranayama in empty stomach.
  • Stop the practice if you feel dizzy.
  • Do not press the ear cartilage too hard.

Hum a happy tune for peace!

Devi

Is Kapalabhati beneficial for you?

If you haven’t heard about Kapalabhati before, I will tell you what I learned last week in my Yoga Teacher Training. Kapalabhati was the first learning of the entire course and I now understand why. It is a Kriya or cleaning method used by yogis to clear the forehead Nadi and the mind from any thought. It also helps improving your respiratory system, sinus, nostrils as well as increases your energy levels, improving your concentration and even your digestive system. Some people also refer to the Kapalabhati as a pranayama or breathing exercise as I could read in the B.K.S. Iyengar book: Light on Pranayama.

Kapalabhati is a Sanskrit word formed by kapala that means skull and bathi meaning light or shine. It is considered to be beneficial for multiple things, that’s why it’s recommended to be practiced first thing in the morning on a daily basis.

How to practice Kapalabhati:

  1. Sit on the floor in cross leg position keeping your back straight and your hands on the knees with the Chin Mudra
  2. Keep your mouth and eyes closed during the exercise
  3. Inhale through your nostrils
  4. Exhale vigorously and quickly contracting  the abdominal and pelvic floor muscles to push the air out of your nostrils (let the exhalation make a hissing sound)
  5. Keep your body relax, with the chest and shoulders still while doing the practice
  6. Inhale again keeping a regular rhythm for every breath  and repeat the cycle 30 times

Note: to make sure you practice Kapalabhati correctly, press your lower abdomen with your hand while exhaling and feel how it moves inward contracting your muscles. You can also start helping yourself pressing with your hand until your muscles understand the movement.

 

As everything in life this technique, even when it has lots of benefits, also has some contraindications mostly when practised in determined situations or if you have some health issues. So please be aware of them before starting to practice Kapalabhati to prevent any discomfort or injury.

Benefits of Kapalabhati:

  • Is beneficial for the respiratory system, treating any sinus problem
  • Improves digestion, and strengthen the abdominals muscles
  • Increases the focus and concentration
  • Boosters the energy so it’s recommended practising it in the morning
  • Promotes immune system function
  • Warms the body, so it’s a good practice in cold countries
  • Cleanses the toxins of the organism

Contraindications to the practice of Kapalabhati:

  • Pregnancy
  • Hypertension
  • Heart conditions
  • After any surgery
  • Abdominal pain
  • Depression or any mental illness
  • After eating or drinking (wait at least 2 hours after eating to practice this technique)

 

So, if you have never tried Kapalabhati before and you don’t have any of the contraindications, why don’t you follow these few steps and experience by yourself the benefits of this Kriya method?

You can start practising the Kapalabhati 3 rounds per day in the morning or afternoons. Remember that nothing is good in excess, so start slowly and increase the pace and strength of your exhalations enjoying all the positive benefits of Kapalabhati.

 

Adriana Esquivel

How to Hold Your Breath

This is a good skill to have if you wish to take up freediving as a hobby. Or if you run into someone trying to strangle you. 

Yogis (and freedivers) can hold their breaths for extended periods of time. A number of techniques in yoga practice is useful for lengthening the period in which you can hold your breath. The average lung capacity is 4 litres for women and 6 litres for men. You can directly impact your lung capacity and effectiveness with knowledge of yogic pranayama (breathing techniques), asanas (physical postures) and meditation techniques. 

Awareness of Intercostal Muscles: The intercostal muscles run between and around your ribs. With awareness of how these muscles function and operate, you can expand the area covered by your ribcage on every inhale, which increases the volume of air that you can bring into your lungs. Ideally, your ribs should be able to expand sideways, giving additional room for your lungs to fill with air. Practice with a twisted yoga pose such as Marichiyasana C or D, which requires that you engage your intercostal muscles fully in order to continue taking deep breaths in the pose. 

Breathing Techniques: The diaphragm is a dome shaped muscle when relaxed, and flattened when contracted. It extends across the bottom of the thoracic cavity which separates your heart and lungs from your abdomen. During inhalations, the diaphragm contracts flat to create space for your lungs to expand. Yogic pranayama techniques such as Kapalabathi and Ujjayi trains your diaphragm further by bringing your awareness to how it feels and works in your body when you practice a variety of breathing exercises. In Kapalapathi, you forcefully pump the air out of your lungs by engaging your abdomen muscles. In Ujjayi breath, you lengthen the period of exhale by slowing down the amount of air released from your lungs. 

Meditation: Calming your mind and reducing the amount of thoughts in your head reduces the body’s metabolic rate, which slows down the conversion of oxygen to carbon dioxide, allowing you to go longer on the air that you already have. When you start holding your breath, you begin with a mental battle with yourself to believe that your body can survive on the oxygen available to it. In meditation techniques, you are supposed to hold that thought and let it disappear from your mental horizon, thus in a sense ignoring your mind and body’s compulsion to breathe. When you are very relaxed in meditation, you will find that you have dramatically slowed down your pace of breath. 

Here is a simple exercise that you can do to start practising: 

  • Come to a comfortable seated position. Close your eyes. 
  • Inhale 6 seconds, hold breath for 6 seconds, and exhale for 12 seconds. 
  • Inhale 6 seconds, hold breath for 18 seconds, and exhale for 12 seconds.  
  • Inhale 6 seconds, hold breath for 24 seconds, and exhale for 12 seconds. 
  • Inhale 6 seconds, hold breath for 48 seconds, and exhale for 24 seconds. 

It takes time, technique, and a lot of patience. You will find that your capacity to hold your breath improves. 

In the meantime, don’t hold your breath!

 

– Vanessa Tang – 

Our Breath of Life

The first skill we learnt when we were born was to breathe. Somehow or rather, it came so easily, naturally and effortlessly since our birth that we don’t even consider breathing as a skill. We then start to pay less attention to our breath and took the most important thing in our life for granted.

When I first started practicing Yoga, I am more interested in the end result of the posture than the awareness of the subtle breath I was taking. Even with the constant reminders from the yoga instructor to keep breathing , I was still holding my breath on many occasions to try to get into the challenging yoga postures.  

And then, I was being introduced to Pranayama (practice of controlling the breath, which is the source of our prana, or vital life force) during the Yoga Teacher Training. On that faithful day, I started to pay attention to my breath, so much so, I integrated pranayama into my daily routine.

These are the different pranayama techniques I perform first thing in the morning on a daily basis:

  1. Kapalabhati (also called Skull Cleansing)
  • I do it with the purpose of clearing my head to keep my mind fresh and to kick start my day with a positive feeling)
  • 40 pumps for 3 rounds

2. Anuloma Viloma (alternate nostril breathing )

  • I do it with the purpose of  keeping my mind and body calm,composed and relaxed
  • Inhale 6, Hold 12, Exhale 12 for 10 rounds

 3.  Bastrika

  • I do it with the purpose of giving me courage and clarity and increasing my Aura
  • 20 pumps for 5 rounds

Doing these 3 pranayama will only take 15mins. Im glad to say this worthy 15mins keeps  me sane and balanced.

On the aspect of asana practice, I do make it a point to be aware of my Ujjayi breathing throughout the practice. Our trainer, Paalu, once said, when you can’t hear your breathing during your asana practice, it means that you are not doing the pose correctly. And I come to understand that without breath, there is in fact no yoga.

Now, I  appreciate my Breath so much and breathing will continue to be my lifelong learning skill.

Namaste.

 

Jeslin (March 2018 Weekend YTT)

Pranayama helps!

Inhale……exhale…………inhale…..exhale…………

Just a week before the training starts, I was having a bad allergy reaction over some “unknown allergen”. With face swelling, red and lots of frustration. I was prescribed with oral corticol steroids to ease the conditions. With much discomfort due to side effect, I almost wanted to cancel or postpone the training (glad I did not do that). I told myself to hang on and see how it goes for the 1st week.

I have been doing some Pranayama during regular Yoga class, but have never been diligent in it. Until Master Paalu taught us how to do it correctly, and instruct us to practice it daily. During the 1st week I was having a bit of struggle practicing, due to congestion in my nostril. And to make things worst I got a bad sinus infection, then again another 1 week of antibiotic (why again…frustration..). But I have not give up practicing.

Waking up 6am daily to practice Pranayama was not easy for a start. I usually woke up at 7am to prepare for work, to ‘sacrifice’ that 1hr of sleep was tough 😀 but nevertheless, I did it. It’s all in our mind, as long we set a goal in our life I believe it can be achieve.

Just after 2week, my hub say this to me “bb, I don’t hear you sneeze anymore” lolx. YES! that the best gift I have for myself isn’t it. I could breathe better.

3rd week, I suddenly turn to my hub ” are you eating some kind of sweets bun?” “Yes” He replied. Since young I have sinus problem, couldn’t smell most of the fragrance/aroma. Now I could smell and tell what others are eating by not looking at their food.  This is a kind of feeling that I have never had before, guess only people with sinus problem could understand how I feel.

4th week of training = 4 weeks of waking up at 6am, never stop and I already getting used to it and even started to enjoy waking up early. Breathing in the early fresh air and appreciating all things around me.

My daily practice schedules: 30mins Pranayama and 30mins Asanas.

  1. Bhastrika – 10 times x 3sets
  2. Kapal Bati – 30 times x 3 sets
  3. Anuloma Viloma – 10 rounds
  4. Ujjayi  – 5 rounds
  5. Uddiyana Bandha – 5 rounds
  6. Surya Namaskar (Hatha Sun Salutation) – 3rounds
  7. Paschimottanasana – 1min
  8. Bhujangasana – 1min
  9. Double legs circles – 10 round right, 10 round left
  10. Boat Pose with crunches – 10 round
  11. Crow pose – 1mins (still trying to hold on the pose)
  12. Head stand – 3mins (at this moment still trying, it will come..)

“When no one believes in you, You can believe in yourself” Anonymous.

Jess Chua

200hrs YTT wkend, March 2018

 

A Promise to Myself

Throughout the entire YTT course, we have learnt many different techniques and practices to improve our overall well-being, be it physical, mental, or emotional. 

I’m going to be realistic and start with baby steps.

Here’s my upcoming daily routine (starting tomorrow)!

 

Morning

  • Wake up and start my day with Pratirhara to be aware of my physical and mental state
  • Practice Kapalbhati Pranayama (if I’m not on my period) / Nadi Shodana (if I’m on my period)
  • Surya Namaskara A & B (2 rounds each)
  • Hold my Mula Bandha while waiting for the bus and inside the train

 

Lunch Time

  • Pratirhara
  • Simple stretching exercise open up my shoulders
  • Go for Sattvic food
  • Sheetali Pranayama (if the weather is hot) to cool down the body

 

Evening

  • Asana (the choice of asana will depend on my mood)
  • Shower with Salt Water

 

Before Going to Bed

  • Balasana & Paschimottanasana
  • Pratirhara
  • Think positive thoughts and practice gratitude

 

Weekly

  • Work on inversion poses, starting with perfecting my headstand
  • Designate 1 day to go on a vegetarian diet

 

In General

  • Let go of attachments towards the things I own and the people in my life
  • “You must have the heart (and guts) to give your most precious item/ person away.” — Quote from Master Paalu (4th November 2017)
  • Have positive intentions, speak positive words, carry positive actions

 

Namaste,

Ziyu

September 2017 Weekend Class

 

 

The 8 Limbs of Yoga

In the modern perception of a yoga practice, under the influence of social media, it is often misinterpreted that Yoga is a pose and the goal of yoga is to achieve the pose. However to practice yoga holistically is to go much deeper than the physical.

The yoga poses also known as Asana, is only one part of the 8-limbs as laid down by Patanjali. A holistic yoga practice will need to seek union between mind, body and spirit as it explores the synergy between breath, postures and drishti. Together this allows our external practice to draw inwards and foster an awareness of ourselves as individuals seeking peace and ultimately a connection to the greater whole. Through practicing the teachings of Patanjali’s eight-limbed path, the body and mind is both strengthened and softened, and prepared to go the depths into the exploration of yoga.

In brief the teachings of Patanjali’s eight-limbed path, or steps to yoga, are as follows:

The first and second limbs:  Yamas and the Niyamas, it all starts there, with how we show up in our lives (personal observances) and in the world (universal morality). The attitude we have towards external (people and things) is Yama, how we relate to ourselves inwardly is Niyama. When we incorporate Yamas and Niyamas into both our daily practice and our day-to-day lives, we become more present, cultivating awareness and gratitude in all things that we do and the people around us.

I. Yamas

The yamas are Ahimsa – Non-violence, Compassion for all living things.   Satya – Truthfulness.  Asteya – Non-stealing. Brachmacarya – Sense Control. Aparigraha – Non-hoarding.

II. Niyamas

The Niyamas are Sauca – Purity and cleanliness. Santosa – Contentment. Tapas – Disciplined use of our energy. Svadhyaya – Self awareness, self-study. Isvara pranidhana – Surrender to the higher power.

III. Asanas

Practice of physical postures combined with the fourth limb, Pranayama to foster a quiet awareness of breath, increase flexibility, physical and mental wellness.

IV. Pranayama

Breathing technique practiced together with the third limb, Asanas to balance the flows of vital life forces and energy within us, then directing them inward to the chakra system.

V. Pratyahara

Withdrawal of senses from external stimulation and bringing the focus inwards. With the senses no longer easily distracted, this is a preparatory stage for meditation.

VI. Dharana

Intense concentration, closely linked to the previous limb, pratyahara where with senses withdrawn and focus drawn inwards, we will find a focus and point of concentration. Through this one will be able to steady the mind and 100% focused on 1 thing or subject.

VII. Dhyana

Meditation absorption where one has become completely absorbed in the focus of the meditation.

VIII. Samadhi

The final stage and 8th limb, Samadhi means bliss and enlightenment. In the state of Samadhi, the practitioner merges with the object of their meditation and becomes one with it and their surroundings, to bring together, to merge.

 

So obviously everyone has a choice when it comes to yoga. Patanjali 8 limbs of the yoga sutras can sometimes feel like it will take time (a lifetime!) to cultivate. I’m still scratching the surface with putting some of them into full practice in my life, but having them as goals in my mind and heart is a start and while I’m far, far, far, far (read: not achievable in this lifetime) from enlightenment. I have had moments of what I like to call mini small enlightenment when I’ve practiced them. When I look at my life experiences and my asana practice through the context of their lessons, I often tell myself that perhaps moments of mini-enlightenment in one lifetime is better than nothing.

Louine Liew
(Weekend warrior /YTT200 – Sep 17)

Types of Pranayama

Pranayama is the fourth limb of the eight limb of yoga. It is ancient and commonly practiced breathing technique among yoga practitioners. By practicing Pranayama, it impacts the body’s cardiovascular system by regulating the heartbeat. With a long, deep and steady breaths as encouraged by pranayamas, we slow the heart rate down. Living beings with slow heart beats tend to lead a generally longer life as compared to those with faster heart rates. The term Pranayama literally means “expansion of life force (prana) and its purpose is to improve the body’s capacity to retain prana in the body”. Not all breathing exercise is classified as Pranayama.

Taking breathing exercise like Anulom Vilom (Alternate Nostril Breathing) is often confused as a Pranayama, however it is not classified as a Pranayama but rather the preparation to Pranayama Nadi Shodhana. Anulom Vilom is a breathing exercise that helps to distribute oxygen evenly to both hemisphere of the brain. This breathing exercise stimulates our parasympathetic nervous system producing a soothing and calming effect on the mind and breath.

The difference between Nadi Shodhana and Anulom Vilom – or in general between Pranayama and breathing exercises – is that Nadi Shodhana includes retention or holding the breath after exhalation and the use of Bandhas or Locks.

The purpose of using locks is to control the flow of energy or prana. There are 3 types of locks:

  • Mulabandha (Root Lock): contracting the muscles between the pubic bone and the pelvic bone
  • Uddiyana Bandha (Abdominal Lock): after a complete exhalation, expand the rib cage as if you were to inhale but don’t actually inhale. Suck the abdominal muscles and viscera in and up, hollowing the belly
  • Jalandhara Bandha (Chin Lock): dropping the chin to the neck so the throat is closed

The mulabandha lock is in my opinion, the hardest to master as it wakens the muscle that is hardly used in our daily lives. 

Pranayama

Benefits

Precautions

Mudras/Bandhas

Anulom Vilom/ Nadi Shodhana

Improves blood circulation & concentration

Prevent heart, arteries, lungs neurological, gastric and depression problems.

Provide relaxation to body and mind. Strengthens and tones your nervous system.

Pregnant women should avoid over straining.

Practiced on an empty stomach or 4-5hr after food.

It should be done in the morning or evening or both.

Chin Mudra

Vishnu Mudra or Nasagra Mudra

Mula Bandha

Jalandhara Bandha

Uddiyana Bandha

Bhastrika Pranayama

It improves blood circulation.

Prevents heart, lungs, obesity, arthritis, throat, asthma, gastric, head, neurological problems.

Provide relaxation to body and mind.

Improves your concentration and appetite

Perform slowly for those suffering from lungs and heart problems and high blood pressure.

Inhale and exhale with a hissing sound

Kapalbhati Pranayama

It improves the function of the lungs, respiratory system, reproductive system, pancreas, kidneys, constipation.

It removes toxins from the body and helps to clean the internal system.

Calms the mind and bring stability in mind.

Cures breast cancer.

Helpful in reducing weight (Belly fat).

Keeps depression away and brings positive thoughts.

Perform slowly for those suffering from lungs and heart problems and high blood pressure.

Pregnant women avoid this Pranayama

Air from lungs is forcefully exhaled. But inhalation is made involuntarily.

Bahya pranayama

Solves constipation, Acidity, Gastric problem, Hernia, Prostate problems, Diabetes

People with heart, blood pressure or cervical problems should avoid.

Women during moon cycle should avoid.

Pranayama should be done on empty stomach or 5hrs after meal.

Mula Bandha

Jalandhara Bandha

Uddiyana Bandha

Bhramari Pranayama (Humming Bee)

It relieve tension, anger and anxiety. Prevents hypertension and cures sinus, nervous system and blood pressure problems.

Brings calmness and stability to the mind.

During pregnancy it is very helpful for pregnant women for easy and trouble free childbirth.

People having heart problems should not hold their breath for long time.

Pranayama should be done on empty stomach or 5hr after meal

Stop practice when feeling dizzy.

Press your tragus with your thumb.

Place your index fingers on the forehead and with the remaining fingers close your eyes.

Udgeeth pranayama (Omkari Japa)

Brings calmness and stability to the mind. Relieves tension, anger and anxiety.

Relieves problems related to hypertension, insomnia, nightmares, high blood pressure, nervous system and stomach acidity.

Improves memory.

Everyone can practice this pranayama.

Pranayama should be done on empty stomach or 5hrs after meal and any time whenever you feel stress.

Try to lengthen the inhale and exhale duration.

Pranav Pranayama

Relieves mental stress and strengthen the mind.

Increases concentration.

Helps in spiritual development

Pranayama should be practiced early in the morning on an empty stomach.

 

Hope these would be useful! 

Cheers,

Lynn 

200hrytt/weekend

In-hale…. Ex-hale….

During the first day of the Yoga Teacher Training, when starting a few rounds of Sun Salutations, it became obvious that I was struggling to keep up with the flow. I initially thought the lack of strength in my arms made it hard to hold positions like Plank or Downward Facing Dog. After a few days of training at home I understood that the answer was the breath and the key was to synchronize the postures with the breath. I would like to share with you some tips to find better breathing in Sun Salutations and Flow workout.

All movements should be initiated by breath, making the practice fluid. Over time this will become more natural. Some movements are done on the inhale and others on the exhale. In general:

1. Lengthening the spine and back bending are initiated by inhales, and like wise deep inhaling will aid in opening the spine and front body. Inhalation is generally done automatically by the diaphragm but you can direct the frequency and depth of each inhalation by contracting certain muscles of breathing (draw the shoulder blades towards the midline, draw the shoulders back and down to open the chest forward, fix the shoulders blades in place and expand the chest upwards and outward).

2. Forward bends and twisting are initiated by exhales. Exhaling deeply will also deepen the forward fold or twist. The exhale has a deep effect to the workings of the core and is therefore used when the abdominals are most engaged. Make the exhalation a more active process by gently engaging the abdominal and intercoastal muscles by slightly squeezing the chest, to aid remove more of the carbon dioxide that is produced during metabolism.

Suryanamaskar sequence: This sequence of 10 postures is traditionally performed in the morning to greet the new day, for warming up the body and connecting to the breath. They are often performed in sets of 5, but if you are new to the practice, begin with 2 or 3 rounds, start slowly and steadily, it may take a while for the breath connection to feel natural. Each time you flow through this sequence, focus on synchronizing your breath with the movements of your body. In this sequence, odd numbered moves are done while inhaling. Think of the inhales as the “working phase” of the breath. Even numbered moves are done while exhaling. Think of exhales as the “relaxing phase” of the breath.

Instructions:

Start in Tadasana (Mountain Pose), feet either together or hip width distance, arms alongside the body.

1. Inhale, Ardha Chakrasana (Half Wheel Pose), raise both arms up, elongate the spine, contract the gluteal muscles as you bend backwards. Gaze in between eyebrows.

2. Exhale, Uttansana (Intense forward bend), lengthen the spine, fold forward from the hips with belly in. Place palms down next to respective feet. Try to bring the abdomen in contact with the thighs, face in contact with the shins.

3. Inhale, lift your head and chest to come to half way lift. Extend through the crown of your head as your press either your fingertips again the ground or your shins.

4. Exhale, release back into Uttanasana, place the hands on the floor and then jump back into Chaturanga Dandasana. Elbows hug your ribs as you lower to the floor.

5. Inhale, Bhujangasana (Cobra pose), slide the upper body forward and up, rolling the shoulders back. Keep the pelvis, legs and feet on the ground, engage the gluteal muscles slightly and stretch the sternum forward. Gaze in between the eyebrows.

6. Exhale, Adho Mukha Swanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose), ground the palms, lift chest and hips off the floor, bend at the hip and point sit bones to the ceiling. Straighten knees and elbows, forming an inverted V shape. Legs are separated hip-width apart. Keep the spine and legs straight. Fingers are extended, arms and legs are active. Contract the quadriceps to draw the knee caps up. If possible, press the heels to the ground. Gaze towards the navel.

7. Inhale, walk or jump your the feet to the front of the mat raising into half way lift.

8. Exhale, release to Uttansana (Intense forward bend), alignment as per Step 2.

9. Inhale, Ardha Chakrasana (Half Wheel Pose), lengthen the spine, raise both arms up, come up to standing with a flat back.

10. Exhale, Tadasana (Mountain Pose), arms alongside the body or Samasthiti (Standing prayer), place the palms together at the heart centre. Gaze forward.

Observe your breath. To help focus on the breath, practice Ujjayi breathing, also referred to as the “ocean breath”. It is characterized by an audibly hollow, deep, soft sound coming from a gentle contraction in your throat. This breath enables to maintain a rhythm to the practice, take in enough oxygen, and helps build energy, while clearing toxins. Ideally you should maintain smooth, even ujjayi breathing throughout the entire practice.

During the practice, if you start experiencing difficulties breathing, it means you need to adjust the posture to allow for breath. When you become agitated, use the breath to calm the mind as well as open and steady the body. Stress and tension cause the breath rate to increase, peace and calm slow the breath rate. The opposite is also true, slowing the breath rate will bring peace and calm to the mind. As the mind calms, the body will follow, tight muscles will soften and supporting muscles will become more steady.

I have been practicing these techniques every morning for almost 2 months now, and my breathing has become a lot lighter and easier. Going through 10 consecutive rounds of sun salutations feels less challenging. I have also started to experience benefits in my daily life, to calm my mind and body when i become agitated or nervous.

Marie, YTT200 (Sep’17-Weekend)