Sleeping in Savasana

My yoga journey

Yoga Wake Up

After admitting last week that I’d lost my practice for a while, I did something about it. I decided that if I was going to do it sustainably then I had to build it up. No point in deciding that I was going to suddenly start doing hour long home practice every day. It wouldn’t work.

So with a bit of luck when writing an app review I saw Yoga Wake up in the suggested apps. It was free so I downloaded it.

It works as an alarm but instead of beeping it plays music and then different teachers guide you through a short yoga practice. I’m currently doing ones that I can do directly in bed. It’s very gentle stretching and slowly moving the body.

Some of the wake ups are better than others and it’s a case of finding what suits you. I’m currently trying a new one each day and as it’s only a short 10 minutes and I’d usually spend that time on my phone catching up with what’s been posted on Facebook it seems a nice way to start the day. The only minor issue that I have with it is that if the app isn’t running in the foreground then it won’t play correctly. I’ve kept a 7am alarm set just in case it doesn’t run but hopefully this won’t be needed often.

Next week I’m aiming on trying one of the workouts that you’ve got to get out of bed for. I can fit my yoga mat in the space next to my bed so I think it can work.

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Losing my practice

So here goes. Confession time. I am a yoga teacher who other than demonstrating poses and taking photos for Instagram has done about 5 minutes of yoga in the last month. Yes that includes meditation practice.

As a result I’m stressed, run down and now ill. It’s also not helped by that I’m eating badly currently.

I know that I just need to get on the mat and start again but it’s hard. Having a dog also adds complications in terms of it being difficult to go straight from work to yoga or leave her for too long.

Videos I know will be the way forward but again starting is hard. My aim for tomorrow is 15 minutes of yoga. Not a long video but long enough to get started. 15 minutes 3 times a week should be achievable but at the moment it seems so far away.

Practice not perfection as always.

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Five Yoga Poses in Five Countries

Last week I went to visit my friend in Switzerland. One of the advantages of this is that it’s really close to elsewhere so adventures can be had.

He had never been to Lichtenstein because why would you but is trying to get up to having visited 50 countries before his next birthday. As a result we went on a road trip.

There were rules for it to qualify as having visited that country.

1. We must get out the car. Just driving through doesn’t count.

2. We must eat or drink something in each country. Ideally from that county.

3. A yoga pose and photo of yoga pose in each too.

So we set off from Switzerland after breakfast of croissants with local jam. My yoga pose photo was from the autumn fair the night before but it still counts.

We arrived in Lichtenstein and had a quick wander around the outside of the castle and tree pose then headed into the town centre to find some lunch. We also purchased wine and cheese to take home with us.

Another 45 minutes in the car and we were in Austria by Lake Constance. It was very pretty if a little grey. The photo was down dog by the lakeside and the food was apple strudel with coffee.

A longer drive into Germany to Singen which was cold and dark. We found German wine and did Eagle pose in the train station. We were just going to get going having eaten chocolate in the car on the drive through Germany but needed the toilet so bought a drink in the bar next to the car park.

France was the final country on the way home and we only ventured 20m over the border to take a photo of warrior pose and eat a square of chocolate.

Then at home in Switzerland we then started the second part of our travel around the region. We had wine from all five countries and enjoyed a glass of each with various cheeses and a chat by the fire.

It was a good road trip and I was glad to have seen more of Switzerland and the surrounding countries. There certainly are parts that I want to explore in more depth another time. After most of a day in the car it was good to stretch in front of the fire and drink wine but a proper class was found online and done the next morning to stretch out properly. It also means I’ve definitely completed my goal of visiting two new cities this year with three new cities and one new country in one day.

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Hip Update

So it’s been quite a while since I wrote an update on my hip.

Since then I have made quite a few changed. I tried swimming for a while and that did help. I then adopted a gorgeous chihuahua and this made my pre-work swims a bit of an issue. I have however upped my walking as a result of having her. It seems to have helped and it’s making me more mobile and generally getting out an active.

I also go referred to a private specialist in pain management. She was super understanding and great about working on a solution. She was also happy to go ahead with my researched suggestion of steroid injections. There is minimal risk of them causing more pain or infection and a middle probability of it working. It took a while for it to calm down and get back to where it was but overall it seems to have helped.

I’m now on a lower dose of painkillers and manage a few pill free days a week without too much issue. It’s been a long journey and one that I wasn’t sure I was going to get somewhere without a lot of pain but I’m in a better place for now.

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Yoga by Candace Handstand Workshop

Following on from Saturday’s workshop and one to one with Yoga by Candace on Sunday morning it was time to go to a Handstand Workshop.

I arrived relatively early as I’d popped for breakfast nearby. I ended up chatting to another girl who had also been along on Saturday and then sat next to her. That was fine except she was in the front row. Yep I was brave and sat in the middle of the front row of a handstand workshop. That’s me in the back top in the photo below.

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The workshop started slowly and with some breathing then a gentle flow. We then moved onto handstand preparation and then onto handstands. There wasn’t anything too new to me but I could do forearm stands much better than the last time I did them.

It was a smaller class so good to be able to have more attention and adjustments when trying the different variations.

After the partner exercises we did a slow flow and then went into relaxation. It was a hard class but I enjoyed it. It was also super sweaty.

After class I grabbed food, a shower and then went to the train station to head home. A good weekend but a tiring one. I hope that Candace makes coming to London at least an annual event if not more frequent.

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Meeting Candace 

I can’t believe that I hadn’t written this up before now. During the summer I travelled down to London to spend the weekend doing yoga with Yoga by Candace.

I’ve been following her and doing her YouTube videos since I started this blog and decided to get more into yoga. She introduced me to yin and her posts encouraged me to take the leap to teach. So when she announced that she was teaching a two hour workshop in London I decided to go. Then it sold out and she announced a second one that same weekend. Then one to ones were available too.

I turned what was going to be a weekend catching up with friends and doing some yoga into a mini-retreat.

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Saturday’s workshop was was super busy and full. We started with a blindfolded section which was really nice. It meant that if you weren’t sure what you were meant to be doing then you just had to do what you thought and couldn’t look to others to check that you were doing it right.

Then we moved onto a more dynamic flow, hand balances. Some of them were very difficult and the side crow just didn’t work for me at all. For the last half hour of the class we came back to a long relaxation and yoga nidra.

After class Candace signed books and took photos. It was a super nice atmosphere and a really friendly bunch of yogis.

 

It was a super sweaty class with no air conditioning on a warm day so I was glad to head back to the hotel for a shower and to eat all of the carbs. I then had a one to one class that afternoon with Candace.

It was super nice to get to sit down and chat to Candace and ask her questions. I covered staying motivated to teach and how to come up with innovative ideas on how to plan classes. We also tried some poses to try to find the best way for me to stretch without overextending my hip. She suggested that I try bone broth or collagen. I tried collagen for a month and don’t think it made a huge difference so have stopped but it was worth trying.

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Toronto Island SUP Yoga Retreat 

In September I travelled to Toronto to visit a friend from university and I discovered that there was a SUP yoga retreat happening the weekend I was due to arrive. She had to work for part of the time so it fitted perfectly.

I arrived on Toronto Island not really sure where I was going or what I was headed to. It turned out to be a small event with about a dozen of us going plus a Labrador because every retreat requires a dog.
We started by putting our bags into a boat and paddling on a min-tour around the islands to our camp site. It was on a separate island with a bridge to the mainland.

It was super chilled and relaxed and there was a timetable but it wasn’t followed exactly. We went for a sunset paddle and did Paddleboard Yoga. I loved it and found it a super relaxing way of focusing on each move and not comparing yourself to others.

We then came back to a beautiful view across Toronto and a campfire dinner. Sweetcorn cooked on the cob in a fire is super tasty along with stew and salad.

As I’d just flown in that morning by 10pm I was super tired and went to bed. I slept relatively well waking up a couple of times.

The morning had a silent start with coffee and watching the view. We then went out for a morning paddleboard yoga session followed by breakfast. It was good to get on the boards again and be more used to moving on them.

We then had a couple of hours free time before a ukulele lesson which I skipped for a nap. Then me and a couple of others braved the water for a swim. It wasn’t too bad once you’d got used to the water. The sun was warm enough that I dried off relatively quickly once on the shore.

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After lunch we packed up and those of us who had to be back early paddled with our stuff back while the others loaded the boat. It was a lovely chilled start to my holiday and I look forward to heading back to SUP Toronto on my next trip.

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Q3 Aims Update 

A lot has happened in the past three months and I know that I still have a long way to go. Here’s this quarters update following from my end of my end of June one

Do at least one yoga class per week.

 I’m still not on top of this one. I’m working on a way that it fits into my timetable and getting more home practice in but I’m not there yet. 

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

I’m not sure if this is still right for me. I’m considering more learning and development but I’m not sure if I want to teach dynamic yoga long term.  

Make the studio cost neutral.

It’s now making money with almost a month of extra running costs in the bank. I’m really happy with how it’s going and hope it’ll continue. 

Teach 3 workshops.

I taught my first aromatherapy Yin workshop last month and it went down well. I’m planning another one for December so I’m not going to make 3 this year but I have a plan for more regular ones in 2018. 

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

I need to do a full post on updating this but I seem to have found a treatment and supplements that have helped reduce this to manageable levels.  

Already completed. 


Travel to two new cities.

Toronto and Niagara Falls visited already and a trip to Lichtenstein planned for November so that’s a whole new country. 

New kitchen fitted.

Finish my 200 hour Yin Yoga Teacher Training.
New Aims

Blog more constistantly. 

I love being able to come back and read what I wrote a year ago. I’m aiming for one post a week for the rest of the year. It shouldn’t be that hard given that I already have about 6 posts in my head that I just need to write out. 

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Growing Social Media – Social Media Bolster

The final way that I have been working on growing my social media has been being part of a Social Media Bolster.

This is where you find a group of users who have similar accounts to you and you all comment or like or follow each others. I found a group on Facebook that I’m part of and it’s worked quite well. There are daily challenges both on Instagram and Facebook but I’ve mainly focused on Instagram.

The idea is that if 10 people take part then you comment on 9 posts and then get 9 comments back on your post. It works at boosting your engagements and also I’ve found that once you have a couple of comments then other people comment too.

It’s worked really well and also quite a few of the people who are part of the group now tend to comment and like posts even if it’s not part of the challenge and I do the same. It’s a great way to feel more engaged with people on Instagram and also to have a group of others to discuss options for increasing engagement with.

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Growing Social Media – Hashtags

Part three of my Social Media growth (sorry it’s been a few weeks but life has been a bit hectic).

The third thing that I’ve done is to use lots hashtags. Instagram will recognise up to 30 hashtags either in the post or in the first comment. I’ve found putting them in the first comment is a bit neater. Instagram also doesn’t really like if you use exactly the same tags in the same order for each post so I manually add them and put slightly different one for each post based on which I remember or which are most relevant for that post.

I like lots of posts with relevant hashtags. This can be either manually done or you can use a ‘bot’. Various bots break Instagram’s terms and conditions so I use one that only posts from your browser when you’re online from that computer. It’s called Everliker and is free for up to 700 likes per day. I personally find that that’s enough to keep my engagement high and my posts with about 100 likes.

I also do quite a bit on manual likes especially just after posting something to help raise the profile of it. I read that if you want to get into the ‘top posts’ section of a hashtag they take into account the number of like in the first hour so I mainly post when I have 10 minutes to then spend liking, commenting and generally engaging with others on Instagram.

 

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