Sleeping in Savasana

My yoga journey

This works: breathe in

In my giant clear out of everything currently underway I found my This Works: breathe in roller ball. I love the scent of this and it reminded me that I need to get back into aromatherapy again. I was using my oils regularly especially my pulse point ones but then life got busy, stressful and hectic. Exactly when I needed them I stopped using them. I’m now back to using them before going to sleep along with meditation. Good habits start small.

This particular rollerball is a mixture of lavender, vetivert and camomile so great for chilling out and gently heading to sleep.

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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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2017 Goals at Year End

So I’m starting writing this on the 31st December on a plane back to Edinburgh having been away for Christmas visiting family.

Do at least one yoga class per week.

I didn’t achieve this aim. I don’t know why but I just don’t seem to have a regular class that fits into my schedule at the moment. I’m working on home practice and doing videos at least weekly at home. I might speak to some other teachers about setting up a monthly teaching exchange.

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

Over the course of 2017 this evolved as I decided that my hip probably wouldn’t deal with teaching regular yang yoga classes. I have gone in the other direction and I am booked onto a restorative yoga course in March. I have also started doing an online Yoga Shred course to be able to bring a bit more of the dynamic flow to yin yang classes every month.

Make the studio cost neutral.

It’s now more than covering the costs and has started to pay me back for the investment from 2016.

Teach 3 workshops.

I taught my first aromatherapy Yin workshop but ran out of time to run others. I’m planning another few in 2018 including one aimed at yoga teachers.

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

I’ve got a diagnosis but I’m still not pain free. It’s unlikely to change but for now it’s manageable.

Already completed in Q3

Travel to two new cities.

New kitchen fitted.

Finish my 200 hour Yin Yoga Teacher Training.

New Aim added in Q3

Blog more consistently.

This didn’t really work. I’m not too worried about blogging as if I write things great, if I don’t then meh. I will at some point.

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Yoga practice while traveling

I enjoy traveling and visiting friends and family in different places. It used to be that I didn’t practice yoga as often when traveling as I do at home, however it’s now reversed.

My home practice is limited currently and i’m not going to regular classes which I miss. I’m working on improving this next year. When I’m away I prioritise practice, it gives me an opportunity to stretch out after being in a plane, train and sitting for long periods.

Also it gives me the time to thing and be away from whoever I’m staying with. Even if it’s just a 20 minute video it’s good to do.

While away currently I’ve been doing yoga with my nieces so doing Cosmic Kids yoga. It’s nice kid friendly videos that tell a story with yoga poses. My only criticism is that the poses don’t always flow, you go from sitting to standing to lying down to standing. Especially if I’m not really warmed up them my hip can object to so much up and down. I’m not sure I’d do them without my nieces but it’s good to be back in the habit of morning yoga.

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Reflecting on how to go forward

I’m away visiting family for Christmas and it’s been good to have time out away from so many distractions. One of the things I’ve been considering is how I continue with this blog. I’m not in the habit of posting as often as I was. I don’t realistically see this changing in the next few months.

My life is busy and lots going on but I’m also not attending as many yoga classes as I was which makes writing about yoga challenging. I think I’ve decided not to completely give up on this blog but to not put pressure on myself to post. Instead of aiming for once a week posting I’m aiming for twice a month. Even if it’s only one proper post and then one short catch up or link to something else.

I’m also going to keep up with my quarterly aims and will do a 2017 end of year update soon. I like being able to look back and reflect on them a year later.

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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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