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Abu Dhabi doo!

What can I say about Abu Dhabi? It’s fantastic.

Dubai gets all the attention, but it’s really Abu Dhabi that the place to go. It’s a real city. There’s a downtown you can walk round that has actual shops, restaurants, cafes, and it’s not just a huge sprawl that you need to use a metro, taxi or shuttle bus to get from hotel to mall.
Yes there are malls, but it’s easy to get round, taxi’s are cheap and plentiful, there is a bus network – you can pick up a travel card at the airport, and top it up again at the bus stops if you need to – and you can actually walk, unlike Dubai.
There’s also a bike hire system in place if you fancy cycling round.

We stayed in the Sheraton Resort, which is on the edge of the downtown area, and 100 yards from the Corniche, so it’s in an ideal position.

If you’ve been to Dubai, but are put of by how artificial it is (and let’s face it, much as I like it, it isn’t like any other city) then you should seriously consider looking at Abu Dhabi.

(pics to follow)

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Life of late and travel plans

So, after last week’s yoga/pilates binge, this week has been a total drought class-wise.
No Tuesday lunchtime, went Tuesday night, Wednesday lunchtime was cancelled, and I’ve got my usual class to go to tonight.
I’ve got a half-day at work tomorrow, so I might manage the pilates class, but there’s things to do before I head off on holiday for a week, so I’m playing it by ear at the moment.

Saturday morning we’re up and out the house at stupid-o’clock to get to Edinburgh airport, then it’s Abu Dhabi for a week. Got the travel mat sorted, so yoga will not be abandoned.
Before that though, I’ve still got to pack, and get the cats over to my mum’s house.

Urgh, stress!!!

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Pushing myself

I’ve found more classes at the gym that I can go to. So far this week the scores are.

Monday – Pilates
Tuesday – yoga (lunchtime) and yoga (evening)

Today will be lunchtime yoga.

Thursday will be evening yoga

And finally Friday will be lunchtime pilates.

Saturday I might not be able to leave the house 😀

I still don’t actually “enjoy” pilates, but I feel great afterwards, so I’ll stick with it.
We’re off for a weeks holiday on the 8th, so I’ll be taking a mat with me and at least doing some yoga while I’m away.

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Well that was…. odd.

Last night’s yoga class was a toughie. It was good though, and I really felt that I was pushing myself.
Did a headstand for the first time. Wasn’t really committing to it, but Susan – the teacher – came over, stood behind me and said “I’ve got you, you’ve got this. Just extend your legs now.” I did, and it was awesome. I’m 52 and that’s my first ever headstand !

The odd bit came about half an hour later as I was waiting for the train home. I suddenly got all emotional and don’t know why. I got a wave of, I don’t know, euphoria I guess, sweeping over me, and then felt like welling up.

That’s never happened before.

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Not going as planned

For the past 3 weeks, there’s been no lunchtime yoga class, as they’ve been looking for a replacement teacher, so, I’ve been going to a pilates class so I’m doing something.
Personally I’ve felt that pilates leaves me feeling like I’ve been hit by a truck. While it’s good in it’s own way, I much prefer yoga.
Today was meant to be the return of the yoga class, with a new teacher. About 10 of us were all sitting expectantly on our mats, when someone from the front desk came in to say the teacher hadn’t turned up, and her phone was switched off, so they couldn’t get a hold of her, and were going to have to cancel the class. The offer of pilates was there, but as I’m still recovering from a class yesterday, there was no way I was doing another today.

There’s a yoga class at 5.00pm tonight, so I’ve booked into that instead. Means I won’t be home till 7,00pm tonight, but at least I’ll have got my yoga fix.

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As Sheryl Crow sang, “If it makes you happy…”

More and more I’m going with “do what makes you happy”. I’ve just turned 52, and still (occasionally) skateboard, although more cruising on a longboard than regular skateboard – but I do have both.
I’ve currently got blue dip-dyed hair, and it’s recently been shades of green or purple, prior to settling on blue. I like it, and I don’t actually care if others don’t (although, I’ve only had positive feedback so it’s a bit of a moot point).

So get out there. Ride that (metaphoric) skateboard even if people think you’re too old. If it makes YOU happy, then you go for it.

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Pirate-es

So, the Tuesday yoga class doesn’t currently have anyone to take it. The teacher who had been running it finished up last week, and a replacement hasn’t yet been found.
So, the alternative class at lunchtime, was pilates, or as I’ve christened it pirate-es, because once the abs start to burn you can hear me go “aaaaarh!”

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Does it still count as a bucket list entry if…

….you’ve been there before?

When we were in Thailand recently, we spent a few days in Chiang Mai. Basically we arrived, had a day to ourselves, the second day we did a trip, the third day was a half-day trip and half day to ourselves, and the fourth day we left at lunchtime to fly to Bangkok.
We had absolutely no idea how much we would love Chiang Mai, so, now we know we want to spend longer there, is this – “Knowing what I now know about Chiang Mai, can if legitimately go on my bucket list, since, I’ve already been. Can you count a repeat trip as a bucket list entry?

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Well that was different

Today I headed along to the gym in my work, for the Tuesday lunchtime yoga class, only to find it had been cancelled last minute. They didn’t manage to get a hold of another yoga teacher in time, but they did get a pilates teacher to take a class and fill the slot.

I’ve never done pilates, and my wife constantly tells me that it compliments yoga, and not only that, but she reckons I would love it. So, with that in mind and some “Go on, give it a try.” from the staff on the reception, I did my first pilates class.

I can honestly say that I know my stomach muscles are going to be complaining later 🙂 and that I did (much to my surprise) like it. I’m not going to swap my yoga classes for pilates, but if I can find a class that fits in with my schedule, I’m up for doing pilates once a week as an additional class.

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Patience + practice = progress

Last night’s yoga class was a giant step forward for me. I pretty much manages a headstand.

Not an achievement if you’re a 7 year old, it’s just something you can do, but I’m knocking on 52, and last night I got a real sense of achievement.
We were supposed to be preparing for a headstand, so arms and head in position, and walking the feet forward.

We were told by Susan, that we would do the preparation over the next few weeks until we could walk up so our hips were over our shoulders.
When I walked my feet up, I got a gentle tap on my side and heard her say “Your hips are already over your shoulders. Slowly lift your feet”
I started lifting, and she gently put her hands on my hips in case I went over, and the next thing I heard “Congratulations, you’ve done it.”

I was really chuffed.

That’s two things I can do thanks to yoga that I couldn’t as a kid. The headstand, and urdhva dhanurasana (wheel pose).

The life lesson I’m taking from this is, patience and practice and you can achieve results you want. Life isn’t about instant gratification, if you persevere you can push yourself you achieve things you never thought you could do.

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