Sleeping in Savasana

My yoga journey

Q3 Aims and Goals Update

This should have been written at the end of September so I’m a little late but here’s my Q3 and a bit aims update.

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

I’m really not in the habit of personal practice at the moment. I’m aiming on working on my fitness and health over the next few months. I really need to get back on track and get myself back in some form of shape.

Monthly attendance at yoga class or workshop.

I managed a class in July, two yoga classes in August and several in September. October also was a bit of a bumper month with three classes and a workshop.

Monthly blog posts

I’m not quite there with this but am working on getting back in the habit and I also have a few posts to type up and get out of my head.

Run quarterly workshops.

I held two eye pillow workshops in Q3 and are in the middle of fixing a date for another in Q4.

Completed goals

Complete restorative yoga teacher training

Complete current stage of professional exams.

Yoga Studio to continue to break even.

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Boy it’s been a while

It’s been a busy few months and I’ve just not had a chance to write things down. I’ve a lot to catch up on and I’m hoping to get back on track with a few things that have fallen behind.

Since I last wrote I’ve been to Canada, did a workshop with Candace, lost my yoga practice again and made some fairly major decisions about where to go next.

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Gym yoga vs yoga studio yoga

As I’ve written already I’m starting to use my gym membership for more than just swimming and am doing more yoga classes in the gym. There is a bit of a difference between yoga held in a gym and in a yoga studio.

In a yoga studio

  • Environment, generally yoga studios are clean, calm, quiet spaces.
  • Props, most studios provide props or have spares you can use if you forget something.
  • Teacher, generally you’ll find more experienced teachers only teaching in studios.
  • Expensive, drop in yoga classes in Edinburgh are between £8-15 depending on the studio/teacher. Even two classes a week can add up.

In a gym

  • Environment, a large air conditioned space with people playing music/doing step classes in the next room
  • Props, mats are the same ones used for many other activities including those that are done with shoes on
  • Teacher, I’ve been to some lovely gym yoga classes but in general it seems to be less experienced teachers who cover gym classes.
  • Continuity, there isn’t the same group of people each week so it’s not so easy for the teacher to progress and expand on what was covered the week before.
  • Free/included with membership, more likely to try a class as it’s not an extra cost but the value of the class isn’t appreciated.
  • People, as it’s not got a great additional value people feel fine to arrive late, leave before class is finished and generally behave in a way that wouldn’t be great in a yoga studio.

 

So gym yoga is a good stepping stone to yoga and way to try new classes or styles but in general the advantages of a yoga studio are greater and I’ll try to get back to studio classes when I can.

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Stealing your mat

A slightly odd experience in a yoga class a few weeks ago that I wanted to share,  I ‘stole’ someone’s usual space. They made it quite clear by huffing and sighing and telling the person next to me that they’d go all the way over here. It was quite uncomfortable but shouldn’t have been an issue.

I don’t really know why it was an issue and maybe I should have spoken to the person about it. I don’t really care where I sit in a class. In general I want a clear view of the teacher and not too front and centre but if that’s where there is space then that’s where I’ll sit.

My challenge to you for your next class is to go somewhere new. If you’re usually at the front move to the back, move from one side to the other. No one has a fixed spot in any yoga class that I know of so cause chaos, move around and steal someone’s space with a smile.

Would you get upset if someone stole your normal space?

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Making it to yoga class

Two of my 2018 aims are to practice more yoga and attend more in person classes. I’ve not been doing so great with that but have started to turn this around. My gym membership includes yoga, Pilates and other classes and I’m starting to take advantage of these.

I mainly use my gym membership for swimming and get good value from it, in terms of how often I go vs how much it would cost me for individual sessions. Effectively by also doing classes I’m getting more value out of my membership.

I’ve started going to Body Balance on Sunday evenings, it’s a 45 minute class and is a mix of yoga, Pilates and tai chi. It’s a really nice mix and 45 minutes is long enough that I feel that I’ve had a nice work out and stretch without it being too long.

The studio also has several hatha yoga classes. They tend to be very gentle and slower than I prefer but still it’s good to get on the mat in a group class and follow someone else’s instructions.

In general I’ve been making it to two classes a week and I should be able to make three from next week as my training on Tuesday evening is moving to the weekend.

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Push ahead or slow down

My hip is a bit meh currently. It’s ok but not great. I can do most things but know when I’ve overdone it and boy is it bad.

I’m currently having a dilemma as to if I push ahead and do Kino McGregors ashtanga weekend in Edinburgh in a few weeks time or if I be sensible and try to sell my space. I really don’t think I can do five workshops in a weekend and still function. I’d be in so much pain and need to be on drugs for a good few weeks till it calmed down.

At the same time I’d really like to do it. It’d be an awesome experience and it’s been years since I did such intensive practice as that. I kind of want to see what my body can do and if I can manage it.

I’m going to a full primary series class next week and will see how I do after that.

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Online Learning

I’m expanding my knowledge and currently I’m exploring more online learning. I’ve previously signed up to a Udemy yoga course that honestly wasn’t that great.

It essentially was a camera set up on a tripod at the back of the room. The first half hour of the online course was introductions of the 20 people in the room and why they were on the course. The rest of the course was ok but given that the lecture was followed by a class it wasn’t the best.

I’m now trying again with an online hand reflexology course. I’d previously completed a course in hand massage which I haven’t used for a while so I want a refresh. It was only £10 and apparently is certified by the Complementary Therapists Accredited Association. This slightly worries me that I can watch 3.5 hours of online videos, answer some quizzes and then be a qualified registered insured therapist to deliver it. My main aim is to bring it into my one to one teaching so it’s going to be very gentle and relaxing. I’m also considering an in person course that’s running in Edinburgh in September to add to my knowledge.

Also with my plan to expand my yoga teaching, I’m starting to think long term and online courses seem to be a good source of passive income. I do a whole pile of work to set them up and then can sell them for the next few years. Certainly something to look at for later this year.

 

 

 

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Tummee Yoga Sequence Planner

I’ve been trialling Tummee for planning yoga classes and for sequences to be able to send to people. I have been working on expanding my one to one teaching and feel that being able to give hand outs or email them after class will help with this and the person doing home work between sessions.

It’s a nice little website and is fairly simple to use. There is a directory of poses that you can narrow down by style of yoga, body part, chakra, level. It often comes up with other poses similar to the one you had in mind so is quite good for using different poses from your usual ones.

They have more than 1950 poses (I’m not sure why they don’t say 2000) so you can find most of the ones that you’d use and they have a feature of requesting poses to be added.

There are a number of shared lesson plans which doesn’t seem to include many yin classes but good for getting ideas from and maybe little parts of sequences. I’ve not explored this part fully yet but it’s nice to know that if I was teaching more dynamic classes I could use them.

The sequences that you create can be shared either by email, by pdf or be printed out. It took me a couple of attempts to get them formatted correctly and showing the information that I wanted but I think I’ve now set it correctly. I’m going to use these both in one to ones and also for homework of a yoga challenge that I’m going to be running in September.

In general it’s a nice website and worth £48 per year to allow the hand outs to be nicely formatted and add value to classes.

Full disclosure, if you sign up via the links above I get extra months membership added to my subscription.

 

 

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Seeking Direction

I’m at a bit of a cross road just now. I’m not sure where I want to head, both in my yoga teaching life and life in general.

I’m considering options for Yoga Teacher Training either later this year or in early 2019. I think I’d like to do a more dynamic style of yoga so that I can teach classes flow classes with more confidence. I occasionally teach very slow flow classes but they aren’t that great and I’d like them to be better.

I also would like to teach a retreat at the end of next year and to do this I need to teach flow as I don’t think I’d get people coming along just to do yin and restorative. I need some flow classes for the morning yoga classes.

I also want to learn more restorative and yoga therapy work. Yoga Therapy teacher training is generally two years long and a huge commitment. Also would involve travelling to either London or Amsterdam for the two courses that I am considering. The Amsterdam one does a 100 hour intro to yoga therapy which I think might be a good starting place to it rather than just signing up to the full 500 hours.

In the interim I’m doing a short chair yoga course to work on getting moving slowly and mindfully. It’s a good starting place.

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Meditation with Calm

I’ve started increasing my meditation and have been using an app called Calm. It’s got a fair amount of free content but I upgraded to the full version to get all of the meditations.

I used to fall asleep listening to podcasts but now I listen to sleep stories instead. I find the breathing exercise that they start with good for calming my mind and getting me into the right frame of mind to relax. It’s a nice way to start sleep and I tend to listen to stories narrated by Tamara Levitt as her voice is relaxing and she featured in one of the free stories that I started to listen to before I got the full version.

Another feature that I use, though not as intended is the Open-Ended Meditation. You can set it to play a bell every 1, 2, 5, 10 or more minutes. I use it in my personal yin practice setting a bell every 5 minutes to know to move poses. Then I can just relax and don’t need to think about looking at a clock or checking how long I’ve done asymmetric poses on each side.

In general it’s a great app with a lot of content and the ability to download meditation to your phone to use when offline.

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