Sleeping in Savasana

My yoga journey

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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Yoga practice while traveling

I enjoy traveling and visiting friends and family in different places. It used to be that I didn’t practice yoga as often when traveling as I do at home, however it’s now reversed.

My home practice is limited currently and i’m not going to regular classes which I miss. I’m working on improving this next year. When I’m away I prioritise practice, it gives me an opportunity to stretch out after being in a plane, train and sitting for long periods.

Also it gives me the time to thing and be away from whoever I’m staying with. Even if it’s just a 20 minute video it’s good to do.

While away currently I’ve been doing yoga with my nieces so doing Cosmic Kids yoga. It’s nice kid friendly videos that tell a story with yoga poses. My only criticism is that the poses don’t always flow, you go from sitting to standing to lying down to standing. Especially if I’m not really warmed up them my hip can object to so much up and down. I’m not sure I’d do them without my nieces but it’s good to be back in the habit of morning yoga.

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Five Yoga Poses in Five Countries

Last week I went to visit my friend in Switzerland. One of the advantages of this is that it’s really close to elsewhere so adventures can be had.

He had never been to Lichtenstein because why would you but is trying to get up to having visited 50 countries before his next birthday. As a result we went on a road trip.

There were rules for it to qualify as having visited that country.

1. We must get out the car. Just driving through doesn’t count.

2. We must eat or drink something in each country. Ideally from that county.

3. A yoga pose and photo of yoga pose in each too.

So we set off from Switzerland after breakfast of croissants with local jam. My yoga pose photo was from the autumn fair the night before but it still counts.

We arrived in Lichtenstein and had a quick wander around the outside of the castle and tree pose then headed into the town centre to find some lunch. We also purchased wine and cheese to take home with us.

Another 45 minutes in the car and we were in Austria by Lake Constance. It was very pretty if a little grey. The photo was down dog by the lakeside and the food was apple strudel with coffee.

A longer drive into Germany to Singen which was cold and dark. We found German wine and did Eagle pose in the train station. We were just going to get going having eaten chocolate in the car on the drive through Germany but needed the toilet so bought a drink in the bar next to the car park.

France was the final country on the way home and we only ventured 20m over the border to take a photo of warrior pose and eat a square of chocolate.

Then at home in Switzerland we then started the second part of our travel around the region. We had wine from all five countries and enjoyed a glass of each with various cheeses and a chat by the fire.

It was a good road trip and I was glad to have seen more of Switzerland and the surrounding countries. There certainly are parts that I want to explore in more depth another time. After most of a day in the car it was good to stretch in front of the fire and drink wine but a proper class was found online and done the next morning to stretch out properly. It also means I’ve definitely completed my goal of visiting two new cities this year with three new cities and one new country in one day.

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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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Toronto Island SUP Yoga Retreat 

In September I travelled to Toronto to visit a friend from university and I discovered that there was a SUP yoga retreat happening the weekend I was due to arrive. She had to work for part of the time so it fitted perfectly.

I arrived on Toronto Island not really sure where I was going or what I was headed to. It turned out to be a small event with about a dozen of us going plus a Labrador because every retreat requires a dog.
We started by putting our bags into a boat and paddling on a min-tour around the islands to our camp site. It was on a separate island with a bridge to the mainland.

It was super chilled and relaxed and there was a timetable but it wasn’t followed exactly. We went for a sunset paddle and did Paddleboard Yoga. I loved it and found it a super relaxing way of focusing on each move and not comparing yourself to others.

We then came back to a beautiful view across Toronto and a campfire dinner. Sweetcorn cooked on the cob in a fire is super tasty along with stew and salad.

As I’d just flown in that morning by 10pm I was super tired and went to bed. I slept relatively well waking up a couple of times.

The morning had a silent start with coffee and watching the view. We then went out for a morning paddleboard yoga session followed by breakfast. It was good to get on the boards again and be more used to moving on them.

We then had a couple of hours free time before a ukulele lesson which I skipped for a nap. Then me and a couple of others braved the water for a swim. It wasn’t too bad once you’d got used to the water. The sun was warm enough that I dried off relatively quickly once on the shore.

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After lunch we packed up and those of us who had to be back early paddled with our stuff back while the others loaded the boat. It was a lovely chilled start to my holiday and I look forward to heading back to SUP Toronto on my next trip.

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Meditation practice 

As I admitted in my Q3 update I’ve not been doing much asana practice over the past few months. What I have however been practicing is mindfulness and meditation. 

While on my last trip I found three new focuses for my mediatations. 

Jellyfish or fish in general. 

Fire or even a candle 

Water in its many forms

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SUP Yoga Retreat

My holiday in September has changed considerably since I booked it. I was meant to be travelling to Panama via Toronto with a friend but she now can’t come. As a result I’m staying in Toronto and then travelling to upstate New York.

When in Toronto I’m there at the same time as a Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga retreat. I’m looking forward to it as it’s on an island with camping. There is evening paddling, a camp fire, dawn yoga class, SUP yoga and a bag making workshop.

It’s going to be a really nice start to the holiday and a lovely way of connecting to nature in what’s going to be mainly a city based week.

I can’t decide if I want to try to incorporate more SUP into my holiday as I’m going to Niagara Falls and the upstate NY lakes which both have SUP hire available.

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