spirituality

First yoga workshop

On Saturday I went to my first yoga workshop. It was called Vira Rasa – The Essence of the Warrior, and was taught by Coral Brown who had come over from the States, and took place at Merchant City Yoga in Glasgow.

Not having been to a yoga workshop before I didn’t know what to expect, but really enjoyed it.

Over 2 1/2 hours we got the meanings of the names of the various warrior poses, and some Hindu mythology that backed up the meanings, along with lots of flow yoga through the variations of the warrior pose.

I didn’t think I’d manage a class that long, but you get totally immersed, and end up “in the moment” so that you don’t even notice the passing of time.

All too soon the time had passed and it was finally Savasana time.

I have to say that Susan – teaches the class I regularly attend – was right when she recommended this workshop to me. I really felt that I got a lot out of it, and was definitely in a different head space by the end of it.

Would I do another workshop? Totally. It was a great experience.

Would I recommend it to others? Absolutely. It’s two days since I did it, and I’m realising I got more out of it than just a good stretch. It’s definitely changed my mental state. I was pretty stressed out last week, and now I’m a lot calmer.

It was also the first time I’d done “om” at the end of a class, and the sensation when everyone started harmonising really energised the room, it was amazing.

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Ganesha

Thought I’d share this photo of a statue of Ganesha that I came across on my holiday to Bali.
Ganesha

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Really cool little film

Nobody´s trip to nowhere from Andy Feldman on Vimeo.

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Only me

Yoga class tonight before I head home.  While I’m looking forward to it, I’ve always wondered why yoga doesn’t seem to appeal to many men.
In the class I go to I’m the only regular male.  Occasionally another guy will turn up, try the class, maybe come for a couple of weeks, and then disappear, never to return.
Someone I used to work beside, started going to a yoga class a few months back, and although he was really keen to start, he actually went online to ask if it would be “weird” if I guy took up yoga.  I just don’t understand why (in the main) guys don’t do yoga.

When I first when to the class, it was with the aim of getting more flexible for karate, but now I do it for it’s own sake, and enjoy it.  The yoga, plus some meditation, help me when I feel stressed.  I’m really bad for bottling things up, and this counteracts that stress really well.

So, does anyone have similar experiences, is the lack of men doing yoga typical ?

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Yoga, karate, meditiation

Last night I was at karate for the first time since new Year.  It was good to be back.  Pat, who runs the club, had me take some white, and red belts for kata.  This was good, as it got me back into training, and I got some more experience of teaching, which I’ll have to do more of if I get my black belt this year.

Today I’m going to do the gym at lunchtime to work on my core.  Combined with the diet I’m currently on, I’ve lost 2 1/2 inches from round my stomach in 3 weeks.  When I get home tonight I’ll do some yoga as well.

I’ve picked up a book on Kundalini awakening.  I have been doing mindfulness meditation, but had heard Kundalini was a good practice, so I’m going to have a read and see how it goes.

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Back in the swing of things

On Monday, I managed to haul myself to the gym first thing to do some yoga before work.  I’ve not been to the gym since about November, so this was an attempt to get back into it.
When I was leaving, I noticed that the Thursday evening yoga class I used to go to is back on.  I don’t know when it started up again, so I’ve probably missed a fair bit.  Anyway, it’s back on, so it’s all good, and I can make up for lost time.

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50 and counting

So last week I hit a landmark.  The 29th anniversary of my 21st birthday !  I think I was waiting for the sky to fall in, my back to give out, my joints to seize up, and my hair to fall out, when in reality, I just got another day older.

My birthday coincided with winning a new skateboard.  I haven’t been on a board in years, but earlier this year I bought a longboard, and now I’ve got another new board thanks to the facebook group SCUK (Skateboard Collecting UK).  I might have to get older, but I don’t have to grow up.

Still going yoga on my own at least 3 times a week.  I try to do it every weekday and give myself the weekend off, but I listen to my body, and if it doesn’t feel right that morning, then I give it a miss and don’t beat myself up about it.  Sometimes I miss out because one of the cats wants to play and I end up getting a later train to work and don’t have time for a yoga session.

I just finished reading the Russell Brand book Revolution.  I know he’s a bit marmite, and you either love or hate him – I like him – but regardless, the message is important, and it’s too important a message to get tied up in knots about whether you like the messenger or not.  Political change for the benefit of all, and he’s looking at it from a spiritual pov.  It’s definitely worth checking out.  Unfortunately I don’t think either of us will live long enough to see anything close to the kind of change he advocates.

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Keeping up the good work

I’m managing to keep up the cycling to work followed by a half hour of yoga before starting, and I’m feeling all the better for it.
Last night there should have been karate too, but I’ve done something to my foot, and it’s a bit painful to walk on, so karate was out.  Made up for it by watching 3 episodes of the X Files back to back.

I’ve finished reading the Bhagavad Gita, and I’m currently reading Revolution by Russell Brand.  I know he’s a bit marmite, but personally I like him, and I’m enjoying the book.  I’ve got a book on Kundulini meditation that’s next up on the “to read” list.  Slowly getting through the book pile.

I’ve decided that clear-out wise, the Tolkien special edition hardbacks of The Silmarillion/The Hobbit/LoTR should be the ones to go, as they take up way more shelf space than the paperbacks, and lets be honest, I’ll never read them, they were bought as collectables, to look nice on the bookshelf.  I’ve got them all in paperback, and LoTR on the kindle as well.  Also, the paperbacks of LoTR are slipcased, and I’ve had them since I was a kid, so they have sentimental value, a bit like the original three books in Asimov’s Foundation series that I’ve also got in a slipcase.  Had them since I was about 13, and even though I cleared out all my other Asimov books a couple of years back, I couldn’t part with this set.

The t-shirt collection is also due a major purge as well.  It’s just stupidly big at the moment.

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Back in the saddle

This morning I decided enough was enough, and got back on the bike to cycle to work (about 5 miles, so a 10 mile round trip).  I need to get in training as well as I’m doing the Glasgow – Edinburgh ride in September, and don’t want to knacker myself like I did last year.  50 miles with pretty much no training may be fun, but it’s also exhausting.

Once I’d arrived at work, I locked the bike outside the gym, and went in and did a half hour of yoga.
The class I’ve been going to has stopped for the summer, so I’ve decided to up the ante and try to do at least 1/2 an hour every morning before work. Yesterday should have been day 1, but yesterday I was running late so decided today was the start of a lifestyle and attitude change.

(I did do some manta meditation yesterday, so I’m claiming that as a worthwhile addition to the day)

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What I’ve been up to of late

Not posted in a bit.  Life’s been getting in the way.

So, I’ve done a load of gardening, and it’s starting to look a bit more civilised.  Just need to keep on top of it.
The yoga class is on hold unless they can get another instructor, as the Iyengar teacher has decided there’s not enough of us attending to keep it going over the summer (it takes place in the gym in my work, and most people are currently on holiday).  This is a bit odd, as she gets paid by the uni, so the numbers in the class won’t affect her money.
In the meantime, I plan to go in and do some yoga on my own in the mornings.  I cycle in 4 days a week, so I’m in early anyway, and can get a session done before I shower and change for work.

I’ve also been trying mantra meditation again, to try and chill out a bit.  I think I’m stressed as when I get up in the mornings, I’ve been feeling like I’m been clenching my jaw at night, so I probably do need to relax and not stress the little things.

I’m still trying to downsize and clear things out that I don’t need, but sometimes it’s hard.  I need to try to be a bit more ruthless and just get rid.  DVD to the 2nd hand shop, books to the 2nd hand book shop and/or the charity shop, and stop buying shit I don’t need.

 

aaaaannnnnnnd relax.

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