Wow.

Yoga last night was pretty full on. I was having issues with poses that I didn’t have issues with before, my balance was a bit wobbly, I was totally knackered by the end of the class.

Afterwords I felt incredible. The post class buzz was amazing.
Yes, I’ve done better in other classes.
Yes, this was probably the worst practice I’ve ever had.
Yes, I probably need to push myself a bit further out of my comfort zone when I’m practicing at home, or I’ll never improve, BUT at the end of the class, despite it all, I felt great.

When you’re not having a good practice it forces you to concentrate more in the moment, so from that point of view, I’d say that even a bad practice is a good practice, but you might not realise it at the time.

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Mindfulness meditation

Recently I picked up the book Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World. and am half-way through my second week of using it.

The book comes with a cd of guided meditations, and the idea is you do meditation 1 twice a day (if possible) for a week, and then for week 2 do meditation 2 etc for 8 weeks.

I didn’t have too much trouble with the first week, as it was similar to the meditation that took place at the meditation group they used to have in my work.
This week, week 2, that’s a whole other story. I’ve nodded off a couple of times, and the chatter in my head seemed to be really frantic compared to week 1. Last night I completed it without nodding off/zoning out, which I’m taking as a positive, but it did highlight the amount of seriously random thoughts that I have rattling about in my head. At least last night I managed to notice them, acknowledge they happened, and just let them pass on their way to wherever it is they’re headed.

I do feel a lot more relaxed for doing this, and immediately after a meditation, I feel amazingly calm, so it’s doing something good.

If you’ve fancied trying mindfulness meditation this seems to be a good book/cd to have a go with. The reviews are good, and I’m finding positive results. Try it and see.

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Wibbly-wobbly yoga

Yoga class tonight. We’ve been working our way through the chakras over the last few weeks, and tonight is the last of them, sahasrara, the crown chakra.

I’ve really enjoyed the last few weeks. They’ve been challenging, but also very enjoyable, and I think that’s the key to so many things. Challenging yourself is good, and if you enjoy that challenge then that’s even better. If you’re not enjoying it, it’s hard to stay motivated.

I’ve noticed something though that’s a bit weird. At home, I can do one legged balancing postures far better than I can in the class. My balance seems to be better at home. In the house I can focus on a spot and balance better than I can in class. I’m guessing it’s other people in my peripheral vision, moving, that’s throwing me off.
(at least, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it lol)

If anyone has any tips for improving balance in postures, please comment below. Any tips and tricks you use would be greatly appreciated.

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Edinburgh pics

Just a few pics from last week’s day in Edinburgh.

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Back update

I realised that the back pain coincided with us turning the mattress. So, not to go back to the way it was, we rotated it 180, and bingo! No back pain for either of us, and a great night’s sleep. Result.

On Saturday we took a wee wander through to Edinburgh, and for the first time avoided the old town.
Karen had never been to Ocean Terminal, so we jumped a bus down there so she could have a wander round. Result was I got an early Christmas present. A Lavazza coffee maker. They were doing an offer that included two extra boxes of pods, a Lavazza travel mug, and a tote bag from London Fashion week (apparently they were sponsoring the promotion). When it came to picking a colour, the guy told us that there was an off-white one, that had £39 off because it was price matched with a competitor. So, £39 off! Bit of a no-brainer.

Back in town we went to the portrait gallery and bumped into 2 old friends we’d lost touch with when they moved to Aberdeenshire. Rose and Karen met when Karen worked as Rose’s P.A. and they kept in touch for years after. So now we’re back in touch, and they’re moving to Edinburgh so it’ll be easy to meet up.

On Sunday we used the meal voucher that we won in the pub quiz, and had an amazing lunch in Loks in Shawlands – highly recommend it – before going to the Tramway to see an exhibition of sculpture and painting by inmates of Scottish prisons, secure hospitals and secure children’s homes. This is the second year we’ve gone to this, and it’s a great exhibition. There’s a lot of very talented individuals, locked up. It’s a real shame their lives went that road. Hopefully being in the exhibition will give them another path to follow.

Anyway, I’ll get some pics up from the weekend, soon. Watch this space.

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Easing a painful back

I’ve had a bit of a sore back the last week or so. Very stiff and a dull naggin ache. I know it’s muscular, so I can do something about it.
I’ve used some deep heat to ease the ache, and I’ve been avoiding painkillers (I’ve only bitten the bullet twice and had to take them).

What I found has been good to ease it, is some gentle yoga. Child’s pose, upward facing dog, and down dog, with a couple of side twists, have eased it off to the point where it’s now just a niggle. It’s not’s away completely, but it IS getting better.

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Halloween fun

On Saturday night we had a Halloween party to go to. It was held by a couple we know who got the same pub quiz as us, so that meant we couldn’t wear the same costumes that we wore to the quiz (Freddy Kruger and Dias de los Muertos)

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So, with that in mind, we went as a zombie saloon girl, and the Joker (Heath Ledger version)

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Karen Lauri Kane - Google Chrome

Party was fantastic. We really had a great time. Need to get the thinking caps on for next year now!

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Busy few days coming up

Busy couple of days coming up. Tonight after yoga, I’ve got to rush home and get ready for the pub quiz Halloween night. I’m going as Freddy Kruger. (I love my horror movies).
Tomorrow we’ve got a leaving do for a colleague, but I’m having to slip away about 6.00pm as me and my wife are going to a spa she got a pass to, for a swim, jacuzzi, steam room session, so only a quick drink at the party.
Saturday is another Halloween party, at the home of one of the people who runs the quiz, so it’s I can’t repeat the costume. My plan is Heath Ledger’s take on the Joker, when he’s blowing up the hospital. I’ve got the nurses’ dress on order (thanks eBay) and it’s supposed to arrive tomorrow. If there’s a problem my plan B is old jeans/t-shirt, lots of fake blood and scabs, et voila, zombie.

I’ll get some pics up over the weekend hopefully.

The partner of the girl who’s having the party is coeliac, so last night I made him my famous (on my FB at least) coeliac friendly lemon drizzle cake.

Should be a good weekend.

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Some much needed “me” time

I don’t usually get much chance of “me time”.
When I’m not working, my wife and I are always doing things together. In the house I’ll have a soak in a bath to get some “me” space, but then there’s the cats, and nothing if freakier than a cat sitting staring at you when you’re trying to relax in a bath.
Yesterday I took a day off, and had some “me time”. Karen didn’t want to see the new Bladerunner movie, and I did, so up and out for the first screening of the day, and with only another 3 people in the cinema, it was bliss. I got to immerse myself in the moment with no cats trying to get my attention while I was trying to watch something. I came out of the cinema feeling happy, content, and relaxed.
Back home I played with the cats for a bit, before me and Karen went for a walk up Glennifer Braes, and had some “us” time.

All in all a pretty perfect day.

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A sense of accomplishment

Last night at yoga I (finally) managed to do Urdhva Dhanurasana (wheel pose), which even as a kid I couldn’t do. (back then we called it the crab).

I really felt as if I’d accomplished something. The class teacher, Susan, knows I’ve been trying to get this every time it comes up in class, and when I got it, she asked “How good did that feel?”
It felt great.

It’s a small thing. In the grand scheme of things it’s a nothing. It’s not world changing or anything, BUT it gave me a sense of accomplishment, and a great wee confidence boost, so it HAS changed my world in a small way, for the better.

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