Sleeping in Savasana

My yoga journey

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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Yoga Eye Pillows

Following my restorative yoga teacher training I’ve invested in more props. The ones that seem to be most popular and that I now use in every class are eye pillows. They are super easy to us, just put across your eyes and relax.

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So many of my students were a bit sceptical at first but now they love them. There is something about the weight across the eyes, the darkness that they cause and also the lavender that is in them that just helps you completely relax and switch off.

I love that I managed to get a rainbow of colours of eye pillows and the sari fabric is so pretty. They had the slight unfortunate thing of releasing glitter onto people but this seems to have stopped now they’ve been used for a bit.

I’m also not sure how long these will be ok to use in a class setting as they don’t have removable covers to allow them to be washed. Now that I’ve seen how popular they are I’ll probably replace them later this year or potentially get covers for these ones made so that they can be washed.

 

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Gone Surfing…

When in Ericeira for this trip I decided on the second day that I was going to go surfing again. I don’t know why I thought I wouldn’t go more than once before I got there.

 

Even after three lessons over the week I amn’t that good a standing up. I love playing in the ways and riding them even without getting up. I’m sure that I will slowly get better but I need to get in the water more than once a year for that to happen. Now I’m back in Edinburgh, I’m not going to take up surfing here, mainly as my car isn’t big enough for a surf board. I am however going to go and try a body boarding lesson. This is much smaller to transport and can be done in smaller waves. I’m looking forward to trying it and wish I’d thought of it earlier and found body boarding lessons in Portugal.

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Yoga Retreat as a Yoga Teacher

This time in Omassim I wan’t a yoga practitioner, a going to start YTT or a just qualified YTT like I had been before. I was a yoga teacher with her regular classes, additional training and a fair bit of experience teaching.

It was a bit different from going as a non-teacher. Although I have always made adjustments to suggested poses but I no longer got questioned about my adjustments. I made the same adjustments pre-teaching as I know my body and my injuries and know that full deep squats held for more than one breath are not for me.

I know that one of the teachers was a little nervous at having me in classes, she didn’t have that much experience of teaching yin and it’s my specialism. It was fine, her classes weren’t pure yin and there are things I would have changed but it still was a nice stretch and gave me ideas for some different transitions that I hadn’t tried before.

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Omassim 2018 Trip

Last week I went back to Omassim for a week of yoga, vegan food and surfing. It’s a beautiful space and now my fourth trip here. I’ve written about my previous trips in this post, this one, and this one.

It’s a easy trip for me and hence why I’ve been so many times. It’s changed a little over the last year and half since I was last here but not majorly. The days are easy, yoga at 8 or 10.30 (or both) and breakfast either before or after. The depending on the tide timings then surf was either in the morning or after lunch. The other time you could go for walks, to the beach, sit by the pool, book a massage or go on a trip. I was intending on going on a couple of trips to explore the area but in the end I needed a more relaxed week.

The evening started with a meditation session and then a yin or slow flow yoga class. Dinner and then usually a workshop or extra meditation session.

The days were relaxing and a good mix between busy and chilled. I had a wonderful week getting fully relaxed and rested. I know I’ll be back again next year to recharge.  I’ll write more about my trip next time as I’m still very much catching up from a week away.

 

 

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Acupuncture

I am incredibly fortunate in that my full time job includes private health cover which includes physiotherapy and acupuncture. As I’m almost at the end of the claim year and I still have allowance I decided to book an extra session with BodyWorks.

I’m not always 100% convinced that acupuncture works with the needles and that it isn’t the manipulation and massage that goes with them that helps me more. Still the overall treatment seems to help me so I still go for sessions every few months.

It was a therapist that I hadn’t used before but she was great. She asked me about what I needed, mainly to release tension in my shoulders and try to relax more.

It was only a half hour session that I’d booked and it was ok but I definitely need an hour next time. I actually was in a lot of pain later that day but the next day everything had eased off and was starting to feel better.

I’d certainly recommend that you go and acupuncture if you’ve not.

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Frustration with Teaching

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Not all questions can be answered by google and sometimes you need yoga.

However, when you host free classes and 60% of those signed up don’t show how do you answer that?

It was a beautiful day and everyone wanted to go be outside rather than in a yoga class but still it was frustrating. The majority didn’t cancel on the booking system, email or message me to let me know that they weren’t coming.

When I used to give the option of paying at the first class I had a higher no-show rate that I do now that I don’t reserve places (except for regulars) without receiving payment. Maybe the answer is to charge a little for taster classes, that way even if half don’t show then I still get paid and don’t feel that I’m wasting my time being there for two people when I should have six.

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Outdoor Yoga

It’s finally got to being warm and not snowing so last week I took my yoga class to practice outside. It wasn’t quite as warm as I would have liked and it was a little too cold for us to stay in savasana long but I just love outdoor yoga practice.

In general I love to be able to not wear shoes and to have sandals, flip flops when possible. I always take off my shoes when arriving indoors even at other people’s houses who do wear shoes inside.

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We’re quite lucky in that there is a beautiful park less than five minutes walk away from the studio and it’s big enough that we can be away from other people. It’s a good change to be able to get the sun on your face, hear the birds in the trees and generally the challenge of having an un-even surface under your feet when trying to do poses.

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The other fun thing about the park is that I’ve discovered that there is a Military Fitness Class that happens at the same time as my yoga class. They were far enough away that it didn’t matter. It was slightly amusing when they ran to near to us and then had to do press ups and then sprint off. We had just done gentle side bends and then moved into childs pose. I know which group I’d rather have been in.

I’m really hopeful that I’ll be able to teach more classes outside later this year as it’s so nice and always makes me and the people in class smile.

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