yoga

Travel plans

So we’ve got the trip for this year booked, and I can’t wait.
We’re off to Thailand. Chiang Mai, Phuket, and Bangkok, with 3 days in Dubai to break up the flight home.
I’ve been to Bangkok before for a couple of days on the way to Bali, and I wasn’t expecting to like it, but I really loved it. It’s a fantastic city. I’m looking forward to a three weeks of superb food and of course, there’s going to be yoga by the pool, and in the case of Phuket, on the beach. Can’t wait.

In the meantime, having done a reasonable dvd cull, I’ve moved onto cd’s. The downsizing continues. We have to avoid stuffication.

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New year, new class

I got an email from the teacher who takes the vinyasa flow class that I go to every week. Starting in March she’s doing a six week introduction to Ahstanga yoga, and thought I might be interested and would benefit from it. So this morning I signed up. I’m looking forward to it. I’ve been to a workshop that she recommended at the same studio, and loved it.

I’ve got 4 days left to run on the free pass for the gym/spa that we’ve been using since the 2nd. I’ve been using the pool and doing 20 lengths every evening before chilling out in the jacuzzi and the steam room.
I don’t usually get swimming that often these days, unless I’m on holiday, so I’ve been taking advantage of the free pass to swim every day.

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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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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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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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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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Wee update thingy

The recent (relatively)painless dvd purge has got inspired to do the same thing with clothes. Specifically t-shirts, of which I have a ton. I’ve got a lot of band tour shirts (some dating back to the 80’s) which I keep but don’t wear, so really, what’s the point. Wear the damn things or stick them on ebay or the charity shop.
So that’s the next step in my plan. T-shirt cull.

Got yoga tonight straight from work. Think I need this class tonight, as I’ve not been feeling happy lately. I’m not on a downer exactly, but my mojo seems to have buggered off since it started getting dark earlier, and I’m struggling to motivate myself to do things I enjoy. Time for a mental re-boot on the mat.

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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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Biting the bullet

So, on the recommendation of my yoga teacher, I’ve booked onto a workshop that’s being held at Merchant City Yoga in Glasgow.
It’s Yoga asanas and Hindu Mythology with Coral Brown. Susan who takes the class I go to says Coral is a wonderful teacher, and I’d get a lot out of the workshops.
The first is “Jai Hanuman – the Faithful One” and is about Hanuman, and Hanumanasana (split pose). I opted NOT to go to this one, as I got the fear about the idea of the splits! Turns out it would be ok, as you’re not expected to actually do the splits, but will come out able to get lower than you could previously.

The workshop I signed up for is Vira Rasa – the Essence of the Warrior, and the description is “The archetype of the Warrior embodies the energy of devotion, focus and commitment. This energy is grounded in grace, confidence and respect. The yogic texts personify these attributes through the story of Shiva’s side kick and best friend, Virabhadra.

In this dynamic story telling flow we will highlight the many attributes and expressions of Virabhadrasana (Warrior Pose). We will observe, explore and connect with the different qualities and manifestations of our own warrior essence.”

It’s not till September, but I’m already looking forward to it. Susan reckons I’ll get a lot out of it and really enjoy it.

I’ll keep you posted.

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#fail

Wednesday was International Yoga Day, and there was a planned open air yoga session in Glasgow’s George Square, that I was adamant I was going to.
So, after work I headed to the square, and got caught in the rain. “Bugger this” I thought. While I loved the idea of an open air session in the middle of the city, I wasn’t up for getting soaked, so I headed to the station to get the train home.

As the train pulled out I noticed the rain had gone off.

Damnit!

Made up for it at last night’s class though. There were only three of us there plus Susan (the teacher), and it was an amazing session. Felt great afterwards.

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