Sleeping in Savasana

My yoga journey

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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2018 Q2 Aims

Here we go with the end of June 2018 aims and were I am with them. My starting aims were, and my Q1 update is here.

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

I’m slowly starting to do this. I’m getting more into the habit again of doing a home practice at least one evening a week. I’m also currently doing about 15 or 20 minutes at the studio before I teach on Mondays.

Monthly attendance at yoga class or workshop.

I’m not sure I’m really managing this, I only managed in April and May because of a course and then being away at Omassim. I didn’t manage a June in person class due to life being in the way but I’ve one booked for next week.

Monthly blog posts

I’ve managed to continue to write almost weekly posts. They might not be super long or insightful but it’s been helpful to keep it up.

Complete restorative yoga teacher training

All done and certificate received 🙂

Complete current stage of professional exams.

I’m being in decisive with this, I’m not sure I still want to do these and I’m behind with doing them too.

Run quarterly workshops.

I’m now holding monthly restorative ‘workshops’ and I’m also going to be holding a eye mask and yoga workshop in July.

Yoga Studio to continue to break even.

There are a couple of extra expenses this month but it is just about still broken even for the first half of this year.

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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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