Sleeping in Savasana

My yoga journey

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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2017 Aims Q2 Update 

This year seems to be flying by. It doesn’t seem that long that I gave my end of March update.

Do at least one yoga class per week.

I’m still not there with this. I’m trying to be better but life is super busy and it’s being a challenge. I’m getting better at doing short practices in the morning even if it’s just 5 minutes.

 

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

Nothing yet booked but a few options that I’m looking at. I’m hoping to have something booked by September.

 

Make the studio cost neutral.

It’s still making money and I’m happy with how things are going. I’m still working on class timings for after the summer but I think I’m going to go back to three classes a week but with different timings.

 

Teach 3 workshops.

I’m still working on planning for this. I’m confident in teaching hour classes and have started expanding these to longer 90 minute classes but I think of workshops as being at least two hours long. I’m hoping that within the next quarter I’ll try one but I’m certainly growing towards this.
Find out cause of Hip pain and path to solve it.

I’ve got the cause of the pain formally diagnosed. I’m still working on how to minimise it for as long as I can. I have been swimming lots more and it’s not causing me too much more pain. I’m also taking a lot of different supplements which seem to be helping.

 

Travel to two new cities.

I’ve not been anywhere new this year yet but I’m headed to Toronto and Niagara Falls in September.

 

New kitchen fitted.

That’s the kitchen done and it’s beautiful. I’m enjoying having everything back in it’s proper place and bring able to cook.

 

Already completed. 

Finish my 200 hour Yin Yoga Teacher Training.

New Aims

I’m not 100% sure on what to add, I feel that I need to focus on adding yoga into my life on a more regular basis. I miss it and I know that I feel better when I do more classes. I need to find a way of making time for classes or get better at home practice.

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Summer classes

This week I made the decision to cancel one of my classes over the summer. I’ve only got two people signed up and one is away for two weeks. I’ve managed to fit both into the earlier class so it’s not a loss in revenue overall. 

Still it feels a bit like I’ve failed. 

I teach two classes a week that are full, that have no spaces on a regular basis. I’m making money from my studio, it’s profitable. Or a more accurate description is, it’s starting to repay me the investment that I had to put into the studio to get things going. 

Maybe the time of that class is wrong? Maybe it’s not a good fit. I don’t know. I’ve got 6 weeks to think about it and decide if I want to keep the class going to try for a different slot. 

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Reusi Dat Ton Workshop

Reusi Dat Ton is also known as Thai Yoga. It’s not that well known and certainly a lots less known than most yoga styles.

Two weeks ago I went to a workshop run by Clara Pelica at Neal Yard in Edinburgh. It was really great and I can’t wait for the next one. Clara ran through the origins of Reusi Dat Ton, which was created for the Thai monks and hermits for when they’d been meditating for days at a time. The moves are mainly small and focus on various trigger points across the body.

We covered 15 different moves in the workshop and got given a workbook with them all in. Some are quite similar to yoga poses or adaptations of poses that I’ve done in classes before. The breath however is very different. You move on a inhale, reach final position, hold your breath then come out on an exhale. It takes a while to get used to it but I quite like it.

I’ve only managed to do a few of the exercises since the workshop as the kitchen is finally being finished and as a result my kitchen is currently all in my livingroom. I’ll report back once I’ve done more self practice but this is certainly something that I can see me doing more of.

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