Sleeping in Savasana

My yoga journey

Bikram Arrest Warrant

I’ve written about the whole Bikram case before and I still decided to attend Bikram classes. I love the practice but disagree with the man. I’ve made my peace with it.

However he’s not complied with the court ordered damages and now there’s been an warrant issued for his arrest. Given that he lives his life publicly and his teaching schedule is well known I don’t think it’ll be long before he gets arrested. How long he’ll stay in jail before he gives up his wealth is another question.

His ego is huge and I don’t quite understand how he can be so arrogant to think that this will just all go away.

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Classes you don’t like 

So this is posted quite a while after I did the class on purpose. 

I did a class that was billed as a mix of interval training and yoga. A bit different but interesting enough to try. 

I really enjoy the interval training and if I can find a half hour interval class then I’ll certainly go to one again and see if my hip holds up for it. It was a challenge but it was short enough bits that I could manage and wasn’t in too much pain. 

However the yoga I really didn’t enjoy. The teacher didn’t seem that confident in yoga poses. She gave lots of hands on adjusting but hadn’t asked for permission or about injuries before she did them. It made me a bit uncomfortable as I know how to modify most poses to not hurt my hip and she was trying to get me into a more classical alignment that doesn’t necessarily work for me. There was a lady in the class that it was her second time there and second time doing yoga ever. As such I don’t think the alignment cues were enough for someone that didn’t know what warrior two should look like. 

We ended the class by having 5 minutes to play in crow pose. I can just about do it but it’s a challenge and not one that I was that fussed about. It’s not one of my poses that I’m focusing on right now. We then just finished the class, no savasana, no relaxation, just thanks for coming, see you next week. It didn’t quite fit right with me and what I was expecting. 

She was great in the intervals and I’d go back to her classes for that but not to yoga. 

How have you dealt with classes that you’ve not enjoyed? 

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So if you follow me on Instagram you’ll have seen that I got a dehydrator for my birthday. So far I’ve dehydrated cherry tomatoes, blueberries and kale. Yes I have become one of those people who makes home made kale chips.

It’s still a bit experimental in terms of how long it takes to dehydrate things. The cherry tomatoes took 16 hours rather than the 12 it said in the manual.

I put kale in for 8 hours which seemed ok based on the online recipe of taking 6 hours.

Next I’m planning on trying courgette, beetroot and carrot crisps. The main challenge is to get them cut thin enough. Then I might try doing some raw fruit bars. There are so many recepies online that I want to try.

What’s your favourite recipe?

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Weight loss Focus 

I put this on Instagram a few days ago so I’m following it up with a post. Over the past 15 months that my hip has stopped me being as active as usual I’ve gained quite a bit of weight. Like 22lb or more, I was down at 113lb which is a bit lower than I should be.

I know 135lb doesn’t sound that much but given that I’m quite short it’s a BMI of 24.5 so 5lb away from being officially overweight. Plus my clothes are starting to not fit so well as a result. I have a lot of yoga leggings that were expensive so I can’t justify replacing them all in a bigger size.

My aim is to get back to 120lb or less by 1st September. I’m going on holiday in mid-September so I want to be back to what I consider a healthy weight and level of fitness by then.

Diet is going to be a big part of this and it’s a bit of a challenge currently as I’m getting my kitchen re-fitted currently so I’ve got a kettle, a microwave that’s also a grill and a fridge. It’s only for another two weeks or so but it’s still hard to make a start when you’ve got things in the way. I’m using FatSecret to track my calories and aiming for 1600 or less per day. If I plan and prepare meals then it’s not too difficult. My main challenge is not to snack or to drink my calories. I picked up a ice coffee on the way to work today and then looked at the side, 225 calories or 14% of my daily allowance in one drink. Yep preparation is going to be key in this.

On the other side of this I’ve joined a gym. This is mainly so that I can go swimming. It’s really dull but it isn’t causing me pain and seems to fit in with my morning routine to go twice a week and then once over the weekend too. I’m going to try some classes in a few weeks but I’m not sure how it’ll be in terms of pain levels.

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Yoga Podcasts

I’ve been trying to reduce the amount of tv that I watch and listen to more podcasts. This has the added benefit that I can listen while cooking, eating, doing laundry or generally getting things organised. 

I’ve a couple of podcasts that I really enjoy. There are quite a range of different podcasts. Some are more yoga practice focused, some yoga business focused and others anatomy/research based. 

M.B.Om which is quite business focused. It’s great in terms of making me think about how I want to grow my business and classes. Also I makes me think about what I want to be doing on a regular basis in three years time. Both link and I’m working towards a plan. 

Yoga and Beyond is a great podcast with a medical research basis. It takes a piece of research and discusses how it can be put into effect in yoga. I love reading more yoga research and learning how to put it into my teaching. There have been a couple of episodes on conditions that students have had. It’s been really good to learn more about them and how yoga may be able to help them. 

J. Brown Yoga Talks have some awesome guests that are really interesting. The only bad thing is that they’re quite long episodes, generally 90 minutes or longer. It’s longer than my walk to work, the studio, time I spent on household tasks and generally have in one block. It’s difficult to pick up again half way through. 

It wouldn’t be a list of yoga podcasts if I didn’t mention From the heart, Rachel Brathen’s new podcast. There’s only been a few episodes and they’ve mainly been autobiographical. It’s been ok but I’m not sure where it’s going to go. 

Any other must listen to podcasts? 

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Hip Update and Progress

It’s been a while since I posted anything about my hip. I’ve got a diagnosis but it’s not that helpful. I have early stage osteoarthritis in my right hip. Essentially my hip is starting to wear out. There isn’t a lot that I can do to stop this other than minimising the impact exercise that I do and taking anti-inflammatory tablets to help reduce the swelling around the joint.

After a good discussion with my physio who is awesome and I love working with. I’ve got a new work out plan so that I can re-introduce some cardio into my regular routine.

So my plan for the next month is as follows,

Swim 300m twice a week

Walk for 5 minutes on a treadmill on as high an incline as comfortable then elliptical trainer for 5 minutes twice a week.

As a result I’m now aiming to go to the gym four days a week (as the swimming and treadmill etc should be on different days) and have taken out gym membership. One of the benefits that I get from my office is discounted gym membership. I’d never really looked into this as my main methods of working out were yoga and running outdoors. However I’ve now signed up for Nuffield Gym as there are branches both close to my house and office and it’s cheaper than the council gym with my employee discount.

It’s a nice space and the membership includes classes of which there are a few yoga ones which I’ve yet to explore. Provided I go more than twice a week it’s still good value and I’ve worked out that if I leave my house at 7am then I have time to go for a swim, shower and still make it into work for 8.30am.

It’s going to be a challenge making time for everything but it’s for my long term health, being in less pain and getting back to my health. Plus the swimming will help with being able to go in the sea more when I’m on holiday in September.

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Yogandha Oils

Yogandha are a small Irish company who produce organic oils with a focus on use for the yoga market. There are three different scents but detox is my favourite. Lemongrass and Juniper make for a refreshing combination that wakes me up and gets me ready for the day.
I first encountered there oils about 18 months ago at an event in conjunction with Lululemon in Harvey Nichols. It was a great introduction to the brand and beautiful venue.

I got given a bottle of oil for my birthday and have been using it regularly for a bit over a month. You don’t need much and it absorbs fully so I haven’t been left with greasy skin after applying it. It’s a great product and although a little expensive, it lasts ages so good value for money.

Last week I encountered great customer service from them so I wanted to share it the brand and how lovely the oils are. I may not have a very big following online but I want to use it to promote companies that I love.

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Yoga Mat Cleaner

I’m trying to avoid quite so many harsh chemicals in my studio and after some research I decided to make my own yoga mat cleaner.

It was quite easy and smells nice. My recipe was

  • Three parts cooled boiled water
  • One part vodka (disinfectant)
  • Twenty-ish drops of tea tree oil

Add it all to a spray bottle (£3 from a hairdressers supply store) and shake.

It doesn’t smell of alcohol and I’ve got lavender oil at the studio that I might add to this to make it a bit more soft.
Tea tree oil is an anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and has many other good properties for cleaning.

It’s super easy to just spray it onto the mats, wipe it down and leave to dry. I cleaned my Bikram mat with it and considering that’s a mat I wash regularly I was slightly grossed out by how much dirt came off it.

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Challenges Teaching 

So here goes, this is one of these posts that I’m not sure if I want to post or if it’ll just be written and then not go online.

I’ve found more joy in teaching again and feel that I’m past my challenge but I’m worried that it’ll come back again. There was a while last year that I really didn’t want to teach quite often. My class sizes were super small and one week I only taught three people, across three different classes, one of which no one showed up to. It was a challenge to keep motivated.

This year I’ve got big classes of people who seem to really love my classes and style of yoga. It’s great seeing them grow and get more flexible and confident. But I still worry about getting back in that rut.

I’m now expanding my teaching and planning on doing a lot more one off classes over the summer. I’ve already started one of these and the second is still being finalised. I’m also doing a lot more learning and development. I’m trying to keep my interest in new things and building on what I know.

It’d be interesting to know how other teachers deal with periods of lack of motivation for teaching.

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Diet and meal prep

Since I came back from holiday I’ve been focusing on my diet and meal prep has been a big part of that. It’s been a bit of a challenge as I’m between kitchens and don’t have that much stuff accessible currently. 

I’m eating a lot of salads, soup while I still have a hob, grilled foods and trying not to eat too much packaged food. I’m also trying to increase the number and variety of vegetables that I use. 

Another area that I’m working on increasing is fermented foods. There is a lot of evidence that they are good for gut bacteria and general wellbeing. I’m currently drinking miso soup at least three times a week and it’s a really good post work out option for replacing fluids and salts. 

I’ve got 10lb still to go and I know that I need to work on getting excersise back to the level that I want but diet is going to be a bigger part of my life as I can’t just run off my diet anymore. 

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