Sleeping in Savasana

My yoga journey

Using Gym Membership More

I’ve been really bad recently, I’ve not been to my gym at all since before I went to Canada. That’s more than a month. It’s both a waste of money and I really should be getting back on track in terms of weight loss and regaining fitness.

My gym offers personal training sessions which I’ve never really looked at but I think for me it’d be a good option to make me more focused on a goal. I think having someone to be accountable to would be a good start. My plan is to go talk to them about options for this tomorrow and then book something in for the next few weeks.

I’ve been really bad for booking classes and then cancelling them the day before. I’m going to focus on booking less classes so I have two a week that I will attend rather than booking four with the intention of deciding which two I’ll do later and ending up cancelling all four.

I’m also aiming on swimming at least once a week. I really get benefit from it but haven’t been going as much as I’d like to. Yesterday I decided I was going but didn’t pack my bag to go, decided I’d go after I’d done something else and then decided it was too late and I was too tired. I need to get better at packing a bag and just going as soon as I’ve dropped Pico at home.

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Gym yoga vs yoga studio yoga

As I’ve written already I’m starting to use my gym membership for more than just swimming and am doing more yoga classes in the gym. There is a bit of a difference between yoga held in a gym and in a yoga studio.

In a yoga studio

  • Environment, generally yoga studios are clean, calm, quiet spaces.
  • Props, most studios provide props or have spares you can use if you forget something.
  • Teacher, generally you’ll find more experienced teachers only teaching in studios.
  • Expensive, drop in yoga classes in Edinburgh are between £8-15 depending on the studio/teacher. Even two classes a week can add up.

In a gym

  • Environment, a large air conditioned space with people playing music/doing step classes in the next room
  • Props, mats are the same ones used for many other activities including those that are done with shoes on
  • Teacher, I’ve been to some lovely gym yoga classes but in general it seems to be less experienced teachers who cover gym classes.
  • Continuity, there isn’t the same group of people each week so it’s not so easy for the teacher to progress and expand on what was covered the week before.
  • Free/included with membership, more likely to try a class as it’s not an extra cost but the value of the class isn’t appreciated.
  • People, as it’s not got a great additional value people feel fine to arrive late, leave before class is finished and generally behave in a way that wouldn’t be great in a yoga studio.

 

So gym yoga is a good stepping stone to yoga and way to try new classes or styles but in general the advantages of a yoga studio are greater and I’ll try to get back to studio classes when I can.

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Making it to yoga class

Two of my 2018 aims are to practice more yoga and attend more in person classes. I’ve not been doing so great with that but have started to turn this around. My gym membership includes yoga, Pilates and other classes and I’m starting to take advantage of these.

I mainly use my gym membership for swimming and get good value from it, in terms of how often I go vs how much it would cost me for individual sessions. Effectively by also doing classes I’m getting more value out of my membership.

I’ve started going to Body Balance on Sunday evenings, it’s a 45 minute class and is a mix of yoga, Pilates and tai chi. It’s a really nice mix and 45 minutes is long enough that I feel that I’ve had a nice work out and stretch without it being too long.

The studio also has several hatha yoga classes. They tend to be very gentle and slower than I prefer but still it’s good to get on the mat in a group class and follow someone else’s instructions.

In general I’ve been making it to two classes a week and I should be able to make three from next week as my training on Tuesday evening is moving to the weekend.

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Push ahead or slow down

My hip is a bit meh currently. It’s ok but not great. I can do most things but know when I’ve overdone it and boy is it bad.

I’m currently having a dilemma as to if I push ahead and do Kino McGregors ashtanga weekend in Edinburgh in a few weeks time or if I be sensible and try to sell my space. I really don’t think I can do five workshops in a weekend and still function. I’d be in so much pain and need to be on drugs for a good few weeks till it calmed down.

At the same time I’d really like to do it. It’d be an awesome experience and it’s been years since I did such intensive practice as that. I kind of want to see what my body can do and if I can manage it.

I’m going to a full primary series class next week and will see how I do after that.

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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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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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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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