Sleeping in Savasana

My yoga journey

Yoga Eye Pillows

Following my restorative yoga teacher training I’ve invested in more props. The ones that seem to be most popular and that I now use in every class are eye pillows. They are super easy to us, just put across your eyes and relax.

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So many of my students were a bit sceptical at first but now they love them. There is something about the weight across the eyes, the darkness that they cause and also the lavender that is in them that just helps you completely relax and switch off.

I love that I managed to get a rainbow of colours of eye pillows and the sari fabric is so pretty. They had the slight unfortunate thing of releasing glitter onto people but this seems to have stopped now they’ve been used for a bit.

I’m also not sure how long these will be ok to use in a class setting as they don’t have removable covers to allow them to be washed. Now that I’ve seen how popular they are I’ll probably replace them later this year or potentially get covers for these ones made so that they can be washed.

 

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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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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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Frustration with Teaching

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Not all questions can be answered by google and sometimes you need yoga.

However, when you host free classes and 60% of those signed up don’t show how do you answer that?

It was a beautiful day and everyone wanted to go be outside rather than in a yoga class but still it was frustrating. The majority didn’t cancel on the booking system, email or message me to let me know that they weren’t coming.

When I used to give the option of paying at the first class I had a higher no-show rate that I do now that I don’t reserve places (except for regulars) without receiving payment. Maybe the answer is to charge a little for taster classes, that way even if half don’t show then I still get paid and don’t feel that I’m wasting my time being there for two people when I should have six.

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Outdoor Yoga

It’s finally got to being warm and not snowing so last week I took my yoga class to practice outside. It wasn’t quite as warm as I would have liked and it was a little too cold for us to stay in savasana long but I just love outdoor yoga practice.

In general I love to be able to not wear shoes and to have sandals, flip flops when possible. I always take off my shoes when arriving indoors even at other people’s houses who do wear shoes inside.

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We’re quite lucky in that there is a beautiful park less than five minutes walk away from the studio and it’s big enough that we can be away from other people. It’s a good change to be able to get the sun on your face, hear the birds in the trees and generally the challenge of having an un-even surface under your feet when trying to do poses.

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The other fun thing about the park is that I’ve discovered that there is a Military Fitness Class that happens at the same time as my yoga class. They were far enough away that it didn’t matter. It was slightly amusing when they ran to near to us and then had to do press ups and then sprint off. We had just done gentle side bends and then moved into childs pose. I know which group I’d rather have been in.

I’m really hopeful that I’ll be able to teach more classes outside later this year as it’s so nice and always makes me and the people in class smile.

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Trendy Yoga

So do we need more Trendy yoga in the world? I found an article on Do You Yoga about why trendy yoga isn’t a bad thing.

I kind of agree and I love trying new styles and types of classes. Goat yoga, yep I’m not so sure but I’d probably give it a go once. Yoga and alcohol, yep count me in.

In a world that needs more yoga, trying fads or trendy yoga to encourage more people to try yoga then it’s a good thing. Who knows, goat yoga might be the first class of many and if it makes it accessible then why not?

If it doesn’t suit you then don’t do it. I used to do a lot more dynamic classes but now I find that they don’t suit my body and my mood so I don’t do them any more.

 

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How much do I spend on Yoga?

The Guardian has a series called ‘How I spend it’ which one of had a person who spent £3000 a year on yoga. She has to live frugally and works two part time jobs on top of her freelance media job to do this.

It made me think about how much I spend on yoga. I’m quite fortunate in that I have a full time job that pays me quite well and I also teach two evenings a week, which doesn’t pay so well but more than covers the costs of the studio and occasional courses.

So my spending on yoga this year is likely to be,

Monthly classes – £10-15 per class – £150 per year

Quarterly workshops – £50 per workshop – £200 per year

Kino McGregor Workshop – £225

Restorative Yoga Teacher Training – £400 + travel and accommodation £350

Other teacher training or weekend workshop – still to be booked – £300

Yoga Week in Portugal including flights – £600

Annual Total £2,225

When my dog is a bit more comfortable being at home alone for an evening I’m hoping to go to at least three yoga classes a month, so that’d up it to around £2500.

For me it’s worth it for my physical and mental well being and it’s also a way that I’m working towards long terms.

 

 

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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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Restorative Yoga Teacher Training

In March I travelled to Milton Keynes and to the beautiful White Space Yoga studio to do a restorative yoga teacher training course.

It was four days and fairly intensive but at the same time a lot of the course was about reducing stress and ensuring that you are in a place to be able to give your energy to others. I really enjoyed taking time to fully appreciate the poses.

I have started putting some of the poses into practice in my normal yin classes and the feedback has been good. It certainly helps people relax and I’m going to start doing one to one classes soon.

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