Sleeping in Savasana

My yoga journey

Finding my breath

Last week wasn’t such a great week for me. I came down with a cold that then spread into my chest. I ended up with a chest infection and not really able to breathe properly for almost a week.

In yoga classes so often the instruction is find your natural breath or move with your breath. Well what about when your breath isn’t working?

It was such a challenge to do anything, even going to the kitchen to make tea left me out of breath and tired. I had my humidifier which helped but also caused me to cough.

I’m so glad that I don’t suffer from long term lung issues as I can’t imagine feeling like that for more than a few days. Take a couple of deep breathes and appreciate that you can.

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Kino MacGregor Ashtanga Weekend

Ekk! So I’m going to have to change my personal yoga practice from predominantly yin to returning to Ashtanga. I’ve booked into a weekend immersion with Kino MacGregor in September.

I’ve not done any ashtanga for over a year but I loved my morning mysore practice even if I did get injured during it. I’m not entirely sure that I’ll be able to manage all 11 hours of yoga over the weekend but as long as I stick to my theory of not doing everything and that it’s ok to skip poses that hurt my hip then I think I’ll be fine.

It’s mainly that I want to meet Kino and get my book signed that I’m pushing myself to do it. Plus it’s not for 8 months so that gives me time to get back into dynamic yoga practice.

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Restorative Yoga

Ahead of my course in March I have to attend some restorative yoga classes and write reflectively on them. It’s a bit odd but I understand why it’s part of the course.

I went to my first restorative yoga class as part of this at the end of January. It was run by Kat of Karma Yoga. It was at Om Therapies in the same room that I did my YTT in. I’d forgotten how cool the room could be and hadn’t worn enough layers so ended up wrapped in my wrap for most of the class. There were blankets so I would have been ok without it but next time long layers are needed.

It was a really lovely class with lots of moves that I hadn’t tried before. I especially like a move that was essentially a supported one leg locust pose. I hate the dynamic version of this but with a bolster on a block under the leg this was a lovely opening across the front of the hip and one that I’ll be doing again.

Kat also gave lots of hands on adjustments and used eye pillows as mini weights on the back of your neck to help to release into the pose. I’ll certainly be back as it was a lovely relaxing way to spend Sunday evening and I really enjoyed being a student again.

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Teaching Poses I dislike

At the end of last year I realised that there are certain poses that I dislike, both in terms of personal practice and teaching. So I haven’t taught them often. One of my teaching aims in 2018 has been to teach at least one of them each week.

So far I’ve taught four poses that I dislike,

Square pose – I just don’t get it. I don’t get that great a stretch in it and I don’t think that I’m ever going to get my knee to my ankle.

Cat Pulling it’s Tail – I like this pose but I don’t like teaching it. Someone always gets the wrong foot, rolls off there mat, can’t reach there foot or just generally hates it.

Melting Heart Pose – Yep my heart doesn’t love this. It just isn’t that great a chest opening for me.

Mermaid – It’s not that I don’t love this pose personally it’s just some people look so awkward in it and start to squirm after 30 seconds and I feel that I need to try to make them have a better alternative.

 

It’s great to expand the poses that I’m teaching and it’s certainly something that I’m going to continue to do over the next couple of months.

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Capsule Wardrobe

So I’m almost 4 weeks into my capsule wardrobe and wearing just 36 items of clothes. It’s mainly been not too bad.

I’m struggling a bit this week as I’ve not got a couple of ‘safe/easy’ outfits to wear. I’m also still working out what works together and different options. It’s kind of good in that I know I have outfits that I can wear but also I’m still having a few meh I don’t want to wear any of these outfits days.

I also have to get better at laundry, ironing and putting clothes away. Where as before if I didn’t do laundry or a wool wash for over a week it wasn’t too much of an issue. Now I start to run out of jumpers or cardigan options and often am picking combinations that aren’t too great towards after 5 or 6 days. I guess I just need to wash them more often or maybe accept that I can wear a sweater for multiple days without washing it. Humm.

In general it’s been good and I’m looking forward to seeing how the next two months go.

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This works: breathe in

In my giant clear out of everything currently underway I found my This Works: breathe in roller ball. I love the scent of this and it reminded me that I need to get back into aromatherapy again. I was using my oils regularly especially my pulse point ones but then life got busy, stressful and hectic. Exactly when I needed them I stopped using them. I’m now back to using them before going to sleep along with meditation. Good habits start small.

This particular rollerball is a mixture of lavender, vetivert and camomile so great for chilling out and gently heading to sleep.

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J Brown in London

Annoyingly I’ve just found out that J Brown is teaching in London this weekend. I love his podcast and it’s titled ‘gentle is the new advanced’. It sounds a perfect way to spend the weekend but unfortunately I’m spending mine in Edinburgh doing an exam. The class details are here if you’re closer.

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Minimalism

While on holiday I watched Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things. If you’ve not seen it then I’d recommend it. It’s not that long and really interesting.

It lead me to do some more reading about minimalism and made me think about how to bring parts of it into my life. I’m never going to be a person who’s entire belongings fit in two bags but I know that I don’t need more than 20 pairs of leggings and 3 weeks worth of office outfits.

I’m working towards trying the 333 project with January being spent organising my stuff. I have a lot to sort out from when I got my kitchen done, stuff that’s in the box room and that’s before I’ve got to clothes.

I know that I am guilty of buying things I don’t need, don’t use and then don’t get rid of them. I’m planning on doing it slowly a section at a time and then recycling, reusing and regifting things.

I also realised that I do wear a few clothes regularly. The swimming costume that I took on holiday with me is one I bought 7 years ago. I’ve got others but that’s the one that I feel good in. I’m going to replace it as it’s starting to wear out but I’m going to look carefully and buy one that I love and get rid of the others that I don’t wear.

I’ve quite a few clothes that don’t quite fit that I keep on meaning to get adjusted but haven’t done so. I have a dress that I’ve now moved house twice and I’ve been in my current house for over two years. I’m going to see what I’ve got at the end of my clear out and then either get them adjusted or sell them.

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2018 Aims

So now that I’ve reflected on what I achieved in 2017 it’s time to set my 2018 aims. I don’t do New Years resolutions instead I set myself half a dozen or so aims or goals to achieve and then review them quarterly to see if I’ve achieved them or if I need to amend them.

My starting aims are

40 minutes of home practice per week. Either in one session or two 20 minutes videos.

Monthly attendance at yoga class or workshop.

Monthly blog posts. If more frequent great but not to stress if not.

Complete restorative yoga teacher training.

Complete current stage of professional exams.

Run quarterly workshops.

Yoga Studio to continue to break even.

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2017 Goals at Year End

So I’m starting writing this on the 31st December on a plane back to Edinburgh having been away for Christmas visiting family.

Do at least one yoga class per week.

I didn’t achieve this aim. I don’t know why but I just don’t seem to have a regular class that fits into my schedule at the moment. I’m working on home practice and doing videos at least weekly at home. I might speak to some other teachers about setting up a monthly teaching exchange.

Look into and book Yang Yoga Teacher Training – probably not starting until 2018 but at least sourcing a course that I want to do.

Over the course of 2017 this evolved as I decided that my hip probably wouldn’t deal with teaching regular yang yoga classes. I have gone in the other direction and I am booked onto a restorative yoga course in March. I have also started doing an online Yoga Shred course to be able to bring a bit more of the dynamic flow to yin yang classes every month.

Make the studio cost neutral.

It’s now more than covering the costs and has started to pay me back for the investment from 2016.

Teach 3 workshops.

I taught my first aromatherapy Yin workshop but ran out of time to run others. I’m planning another few in 2018 including one aimed at yoga teachers.

Find out cause of Hip pain and path to solve it.

I’ve got a diagnosis but I’m still not pain free. It’s unlikely to change but for now it’s manageable.

Already completed in Q3

Travel to two new cities.

New kitchen fitted.

Finish my 200 hour Yin Yoga Teacher Training.

New Aim added in Q3

Blog more consistently.

This didn’t really work. I’m not too worried about blogging as if I write things great, if I don’t then meh. I will at some point.

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