Sleeping in Savasana

My yoga journey

The problem with yoga books

I love yoga books. I have half a bookshelf of them. However sometimes I hate yoga books.


I hate how yoga books always use super flexible models to show photos of the yoga poses. They show an unrealistic ‘perfect’ pose for 95% of people and don’t show how most people will look in the pose.

I have one yin yoga book that suggests that in butterfly pose, baddha konasana, you should come forward until your forehead touches your feet. In the yin version. Where the same book has an intro that says that the aim of yin is to relax into poses and not force yourself into them. Even in a dynamic practice having done lots of hip opening and warming up fully I’d have trouble getting my forehead to my feet and holding it there without a lot of pushing forward. That to me is not yin.

It frustrates me greatly when I know that even at my fittest when I practiced yoga 4/5 times a week I still wasn’t able to do some poses as shown in books. They never show more than one adaptation and usually that’s to make the pose harder rather than easier.

I would like a yoga book that shows you the different options in poses and the ‘beginner’ or less flexible options as well as the more advanced options. I don’t know if such as book exists but if you know of one let me know and I can add it to my library.

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Become a Pilates Instructor for £12

I love Pilates and want to get back into classes as I feel that it compliments my yoga practice well. However when I see things like this it worries me. On a deal website Wowcher you can buy a Pilates Instructor Training course for £12


Perhaps unsurprising it’s an online course but it is described as enabling you to teach.

Would you like to do a class taught by a teacher who’s teacher training was entirely online and was only an investment of £12? I’m not sure I would.

I know that some teacher training courses aren’t great anyhow and some teachers are great despite it. However it worries me that with just online training and no in person requirement people can get qualified and insured to teach.

I’m not 100% convinced about requirements to sign up for Yoga Alliance or other training bodies but at the same time it gives some certainty around what training a teacher has had.

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Shoes in the studio

So I’m slightly worried that this may make me come across as crazy but still, who cares what random people on the internet think of my opinion.

Shoes in the studio. Just no. I’ve a sign on the door, one on the shelves that are right next to the door and I always ask people to removed their shoes when they come for the first time.

Why on earth would you then keep your shoes on and walk across my studio and that them off sitting on my mats. Ugh.

I want to be able to but my face on the floor knowing that it’s clean-ish and wearing shoes on it doesn’t.

Maybe I should make the sign bigger or be braver at telling people to stop until they’ve removed their shoes.

Don’t even get me started on the lady who stood on my mat wearing shoes…

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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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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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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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