Sleeping in Savasana

My yoga journey

Online Learning

I’m expanding my knowledge and currently I’m exploring more online learning. I’ve previously signed up to a Udemy yoga course that honestly wasn’t that great.

It essentially was a camera set up on a tripod at the back of the room. The first half hour of the online course was introductions of the 20 people in the room and why they were on the course. The rest of the course was ok but given that the lecture was followed by a class it wasn’t the best.

I’m now trying again with an online hand reflexology course. I’d previously completed a course in hand massage which I haven’t used for a while so I want a refresh. It was only £10 and apparently is certified by the Complementary Therapists Accredited Association. This slightly worries me that I can watch 3.5 hours of online videos, answer some quizzes and then be a qualified registered insured therapist to deliver it. My main aim is to bring it into my one to one teaching so it’s going to be very gentle and relaxing. I’m also considering an in person course that’s running in Edinburgh in September to add to my knowledge.

Also with my plan to expand my yoga teaching, I’m starting to think long term and online courses seem to be a good source of passive income. I do a whole pile of work to set them up and then can sell them for the next few years. Certainly something to look at for later this year.

 

 

 

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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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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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Home Practice

As part of my restorative yoga teacher training I have to do 60 minutes of restorative every week. It doesn’t sound much but I’m finding it a challenge.

I’m doing two 20 minute sessions in the studio before I teach and it seems ridiculous to say I’m struggling to find 20 minutes in the other 5 days. I guess I hadn’t been making it a priority.

The last two weeks I have left my mat on the living room floor and I think it’s helped. When I come back from taking the dog out to pee and fed her instead of going back to bed and reading Facebook or the news at least two mornings a week I go straight to my mat.

I’ve also been doing slightly more dynamic practice if I’ve done my 60 minutes of restorative yoga. I’m remembering why I loved doing YouTube yoga with Yoga by Candace and it’s been good for me to get back to moving this.

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Meditation in the office

As part of a recent staff meeting we did a whole company mindfulness meditation session. It was lead by someone who I’d not done anything with before and I’m not sure I enjoyed it.

Firstly my head space wasn’t right for meditation. I was in office mode and has 200 things to do and could have done without a half day meeting that this was part of. I also had my dog in the office and meditating with a group, with a dog who occasionally barks at unexpected noises is anything but relaxing.

The person who lead the meditation practice, spoke super slowly. He also took his shoes off to lead the session which was a bit odd in an office environment. He gave a good introduction to mindfulness but the last meditation was 10 minutes and the dog wasn’t settling during this so I was standing to one side holding the dog. Most people stayed still and in the moment.

Also there was upset a couple of days later as a photo of people meditating was posted on the company Instagram without having asked people or told them that photos would be taken during the meditation.

In general I’m glad that my office is trying to introduce people to mindfulness and meditation but I’m not sure that this was the best way for me.

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Mindfulness in Nature

One thing that I have worked on improving since I got my dog is mindfulness. It’s a lot easier to go for walks in nature and be mindful about it when I’m walking with her.

You can’t help but be in the moment when walking with a dog. Especially when it’s a dog that is nervous around other dogs. I have to be aware of other people and dogs and how she will react to them. I have to be aware of roads, bikes, runners and the surroundings. If I don’t notice something and she starts to bark at them then I’ve failed. It’s difficult to be present and mindful. There are times where I want to just sit on a bus and get to my destination and not have to walk in nature and be aware of others but that’s not what she needs.

I have to put her before me at times and it’s hard.

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J Brown in London

Annoyingly I’ve just found out that J Brown is teaching in London this weekend. I love his podcast and it’s titled ‘gentle is the new advanced’. It sounds a perfect way to spend the weekend but unfortunately I’m spending mine in Edinburgh doing an exam. The class details are here if you’re closer.

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Yoga Wake Up

After admitting last week that I’d lost my practice for a while, I did something about it. I decided that if I was going to do it sustainably then I had to build it up. No point in deciding that I was going to suddenly start doing hour long home practice every day. It wouldn’t work.

So with a bit of luck when writing an app review I saw Yoga Wake up in the suggested apps. It was free so I downloaded it.

It works as an alarm but instead of beeping it plays music and then different teachers guide you through a short yoga practice. I’m currently doing ones that I can do directly in bed. It’s very gentle stretching and slowly moving the body.

Some of the wake ups are better than others and it’s a case of finding what suits you. I’m currently trying a new one each day and as it’s only a short 10 minutes and I’d usually spend that time on my phone catching up with what’s been posted on Facebook it seems a nice way to start the day. The only minor issue that I have with it is that if the app isn’t running in the foreground then it won’t play correctly. I’ve kept a 7am alarm set just in case it doesn’t run but hopefully this won’t be needed often.

Next week I’m aiming on trying one of the workouts that you’ve got to get out of bed for. I can fit my yoga mat in the space next to my bed so I think it can work.

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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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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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