Sleeping in Savasana

My yoga journey

Handstanding Yogi

After a weekend of doing acroyoga earlier this year I was recommended to get this book to help work on my handstands. I’ve not had time to read it properly yet but it’s got some really good exercises and techniques so I’ll be starting on them over the next few weeks.

Handstands are back on my agenda and things to work on. I’m certainly aiming to get more in balance over the next few months along with building up my home practice.

 

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The problem with yoga books

I love yoga books. I have half a bookshelf of them. However sometimes I hate yoga books.

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I hate how yoga books always use super flexible models to show photos of the yoga poses. They show an unrealistic ‘perfect’ pose for 95% of people and don’t show how most people will look in the pose.

I have one yin yoga book that suggests that in butterfly pose, baddha konasana, you should come forward until your forehead touches your feet. In the yin version. Where the same book has an intro that says that the aim of yin is to relax into poses and not force yourself into them. Even in a dynamic practice having done lots of hip opening and warming up fully I’d have trouble getting my forehead to my feet and holding it there without a lot of pushing forward. That to me is not yin.

It frustrates me greatly when I know that even at my fittest when I practiced yoga 4/5 times a week I still wasn’t able to do some poses as shown in books. They never show more than one adaptation and usually that’s to make the pose harder rather than easier.

I would like a yoga book that shows you the different options in poses and the ‘beginner’ or less flexible options as well as the more advanced options. I don’t know if such as book exists but if you know of one let me know and I can add it to my library.

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Yogi tea wisdom

I love yogi tea and the little mantras added to the tea bag labels. Sometimes they are really random but other times they are spot on.

This was last weeks advice,

I like the idea of sharing happiness. I do notice that if I’m surrounded by happy people then it’s easier to be cheerful and to build myself up.

What do you do to help with your happiness?

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Become a Pilates Instructor for £12

I love Pilates and want to get back into classes as I feel that it compliments my yoga practice well. However when I see things like this it worries me. On a deal website Wowcher you can buy a Pilates Instructor Training course for £12

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Perhaps unsurprising it’s an online course but it is described as enabling you to teach.

Would you like to do a class taught by a teacher who’s teacher training was entirely online and was only an investment of £12? I’m not sure I would.

I know that some teacher training courses aren’t great anyhow and some teachers are great despite it. However it worries me that with just online training and no in person requirement people can get qualified and insured to teach.

I’m not 100% convinced about requirements to sign up for Yoga Alliance or other training bodies but at the same time it gives some certainty around what training a teacher has had.

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Kino MacGregor Ashtanga Weekend

Ekk! So I’m going to have to change my personal yoga practice from predominantly yin to returning to Ashtanga. I’ve booked into a weekend immersion with Kino MacGregor in September.

I’ve not done any ashtanga for over a year but I loved my morning mysore practice even if I did get injured during it. I’m not entirely sure that I’ll be able to manage all 11 hours of yoga over the weekend but as long as I stick to my theory of not doing everything and that it’s ok to skip poses that hurt my hip then I think I’ll be fine.

It’s mainly that I want to meet Kino and get my book signed that I’m pushing myself to do it. Plus it’s not for 8 months so that gives me time to get back into dynamic yoga practice.

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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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Yoga by Candace Handstand Workshop

Following on from Saturday’s workshop and one to one with Yoga by Candace on Sunday morning it was time to go to a Handstand Workshop.

I arrived relatively early as I’d popped for breakfast nearby. I ended up chatting to another girl who had also been along on Saturday and then sat next to her. That was fine except she was in the front row. Yep I was brave and sat in the middle of the front row of a handstand workshop. That’s me in the back top in the photo below.

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The workshop started slowly and with some breathing then a gentle flow. We then moved onto handstand preparation and then onto handstands. There wasn’t anything too new to me but I could do forearm stands much better than the last time I did them.

It was a smaller class so good to be able to have more attention and adjustments when trying the different variations.

After the partner exercises we did a slow flow and then went into relaxation. It was a hard class but I enjoyed it. It was also super sweaty.

After class I grabbed food, a shower and then went to the train station to head home. A good weekend but a tiring one. I hope that Candace makes coming to London at least an annual event if not more frequent.

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Meeting Candace 

I can’t believe that I hadn’t written this up before now. During the summer I travelled down to London to spend the weekend doing yoga with Yoga by Candace.

I’ve been following her and doing her YouTube videos since I started this blog and decided to get more into yoga. She introduced me to yin and her posts encouraged me to take the leap to teach. So when she announced that she was teaching a two hour workshop in London I decided to go. Then it sold out and she announced a second one that same weekend. Then one to ones were available too.

I turned what was going to be a weekend catching up with friends and doing some yoga into a mini-retreat.

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Saturday’s workshop was was super busy and full. We started with a blindfolded section which was really nice. It meant that if you weren’t sure what you were meant to be doing then you just had to do what you thought and couldn’t look to others to check that you were doing it right.

Then we moved onto a more dynamic flow, hand balances. Some of them were very difficult and the side crow just didn’t work for me at all. For the last half hour of the class we came back to a long relaxation and yoga nidra.

After class Candace signed books and took photos. It was a super nice atmosphere and a really friendly bunch of yogis.

 

It was a super sweaty class with no air conditioning on a warm day so I was glad to head back to the hotel for a shower and to eat all of the carbs. I then had a one to one class that afternoon with Candace.

It was super nice to get to sit down and chat to Candace and ask her questions. I covered staying motivated to teach and how to come up with innovative ideas on how to plan classes. We also tried some poses to try to find the best way for me to stretch without overextending my hip. She suggested that I try bone broth or collagen. I tried collagen for a month and don’t think it made a huge difference so have stopped but it was worth trying.

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Growing Social Media – Hashtags

Part three of my Social Media growth (sorry it’s been a few weeks but life has been a bit hectic).

The third thing that I’ve done is to use lots hashtags. Instagram will recognise up to 30 hashtags either in the post or in the first comment. I’ve found putting them in the first comment is a bit neater. Instagram also doesn’t really like if you use exactly the same tags in the same order for each post so I manually add them and put slightly different one for each post based on which I remember or which are most relevant for that post.

I like lots of posts with relevant hashtags. This can be either manually done or you can use a ‘bot’. Various bots break Instagram’s terms and conditions so I use one that only posts from your browser when you’re online from that computer. It’s called Everliker and is free for up to 700 likes per day. I personally find that that’s enough to keep my engagement high and my posts with about 100 likes.

I also do quite a bit on manual likes especially just after posting something to help raise the profile of it. I read that if you want to get into the ‘top posts’ section of a hashtag they take into account the number of like in the first hour so I mainly post when I have 10 minutes to then spend liking, commenting and generally engaging with others on Instagram.

 

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Meditation Practice

I feel that so many of my posts recently have been that I’m working on improving things. I’ve had at least a month of not doing self-care and it’s starting to show.

I’m back doing more short yoga practices on a regular basis and now I’m working on incorporating mediation back into my daily routine. I’ve been suffering with an increased stress level and not been sleeping that well or relaxing easily. Work has been on my mind even when it shouldn’t be.

I’m trying to set aside 5 minutes a day to mediate and I’ve managed for the past five days. It’s had when you have 101 other things going on and things that you feel should be more important.

One of the things that I’ve started using again is BreatheSync. It’s a handy little app that tracks your pulse and breathing for 2 minutes at a time. It keeps track of how you’re doing and gives you a score. 

The aim is to have a score of 90 or above. Last Friday I got a 35. Self care has to take priority to improve this. 

 

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