Sleeping in Savasana

My yoga journey

Whole 30 ish for July

My diet has been really bad for the past while. I’ve been eating too much processed food and not enough of what I should.

As a result I am starting doing a whole 30 diet. I’m doing a couple of variations on the way it’s prescribed to be done.

I’m allowing myself to drink milk, just unprocessed whole milk.

I’m allowing myself to eat all legumes. I don’t see the advantage of removing them in unprocessed from my diet. I’m not going to have soy sauce or other such derivatives.

I’m going to allow minimal portions of oats, rice and corn. Again I don’t see the advantage of completely removing them from my diet. These again are in whole form so not corn syrup but sweetcorn, corn on the cob etc are allowed.

Mainly I am removing all processed food from my diet and making everything from scratch myself.

Snacking is going to be the hardest thing for me. I’m ensuring I have lots prepped like portions of nuts, fruit, carrot sticks and a couple of dehydrated receipts that I’m going to try.

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Reframing my attitude

I listen to podcasts while driving and enjoy Yoga By Candace’s one. It’s short episodes at about 20 minutes and nicely focused on a different topic each week.

This weeks podcast was on the law of attraction. The basic premise of this is that what message you send to the universe is what will come back. Send out a message that you are in pain and that nothing will help it and that’s what will come about.

Pain is linked to mood. If you’re positive then you feel less pain. The placebo effect is a strong one and generally I have been positive about it but the last steroid injection doesn’t seem to have worked so it’s difficult.

So my current framing of it is that I have pain but I am able to walk, do yoga and enjoy my life. I will be able to find a solution to help this be sustainable and relaxing helps this.

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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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Infused Water

I’m trying to drink more water as I’ve gotten out of the habit and don’t drink nearly enough on a daily basis. To help fix this I’ve done two things, one is to buy 1 litre bottles of sparkling water instead of diet coke at lunchtime, and secondly I bought an infuser water bottle.

The sparkling water is good in that it makes me feel like I’m getting something more exciting to drink that just water and also as there is a Lidl near my work it’s only 37p rather than the £1.20 that a 500ml bottle of diet coke normally costs.

The infuser water bottle is also good for encouraging me to drink. What I’ve been doing is putting cucumber or berries in to infuse over night in the fridge and then emptying it into my chilli water bottle to take to the office. That way it stays cool all day and I can just pour it into a glass to drink and it’s still cold.

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I’m still experimenting and I’m not sure what else to put in it. What are your favourite water infused recipes?

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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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