Butterflyshapes

Seasonal Yoga with Chi & Co

A day out in Glasgow

I have talked only a little about my actual self on here so I decided to share with you guys a day out in my hometown.

It started with a good old run, cycle and swim followed by an afternoon at the football. My first ever football match! I was always so scared of these types of events but it was a good family day out.

I later went to the Merchant City festival which was buzzing and full of cute little stalls, food and some interesting people.


I was planning to get a Buddha for my home… a wooden one btw but they only had brass ones so I was drawn to this cat. I don’t know if its gorgeous or slightly creepy but I like her and think I’ll name her Astro. Sadly it started to rain pretty heavily so a trip to the local shopping center (or mall) to pick up some essentials i.e hairspray and toothpaste if you must know ūüėČ

I then came home to do my own yoga practice as we have to do at least 10 minutes four times a week and my own practice hasn’t been super this week so an easy wind down felt real good. The plan was to see Batman at the cinema but unfortunately or fortunately (I hear its three hours long… whaaa?) so we ended up going to see Seeking a friend for the end of the world which was relatively short and had a sweet/ tragic storyline. I liked it anyway.

So there you have it just a little insight to my weekend! Also I had exciting news to share… which is Olympic related! On Saturday I am heading with my mum to London town to see the Olympic Female Marathon on Sunday. Excited doesn’t even come close to what I’m feeling about going to see the race in real life! Eeeee!

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July

I can’t believe its been a whole month since I was last at teacher training- time just flies by the older you get! Remember when a week in school seemed like an eternity?! This month we continued with our Summer Seasonal Practice and started the Friday evening with¬†Julie Hanson¬†and seasonal flow class. Afterwards¬†Sue Woodd¬†rejoined us after being on her holidays to teach us about conditions of the heart. I missed Sue! She is such a wonderful energetic teacher its hard to describe what she is like but you would understand if you met her. We did a short posture workshop and was introduced to Billy who is a true hero in my eyes! He is a yogi that Julie met years ago that had been in a serious accident and the journey that he has been on to rehabilitate with the use of yoga was just amazing to hear about. We completed the evening with meditation and I came home and fell asleep pretty promptly.

Saturday morning was an early start which I wasn’t prepared for because when we started meditation that morning I could feel my body wanting to sink into the cosy cushions and blankets in the studio for the next few hours! Don’t worry I didn’t! I managed to stay awake for Sue to share with us information on blowing on the embers of the heart and breathing practice. The next part of the morning was the scary moment we had all been dreading! Teaching Astanga to our peers and teachers… To say I was nervous would be an understatement!!!! I was petrified and because of how I’d been feeling of late my nerves were not helped. We did it though! I was so proud of my whole class as they did an excellent job of taking us through practice and it really wasn’t anywhere near as dreadful as I was expecting.

 

 

Breakfast was served! It is always a wonderful array of fruits, soy yogurts, nuts, seeds and pukka tea! During breakfast we started on our studies of anatomy of the heart with Ros.

Sue then discussed the heart Cakra i.e ‘Anahata’ and techniques for¬†amplifications. I will get round to doing a post on Cakras as its pretty interesting stuff! Ros then discussed the text ‘The¬†bagavad¬†Gita’ and then there was the return of the fountain of yoga knowledge…¬†Marit¬†for ¬†a lecture on the book¬†‘The¬†Prophet’.¬†Marit had a little baby and we haven’t seen her for a few months so it was lovely to see her and meet her baba son.

 

 

Lunch was then served! It was a beautiful array of goodies provided by Marlene who I am hoping is going to join us for a guest post shortly.

 

I wasn’t feeling to awesome and had to have a nap which I will talk about more in my next post. I’m anemic again so tiredness and being hit by bus is a regular feeling in my life right now. Anyway Julie kindly get a snap shot of her lunch and said it was awfully yummy.

After my power nap we discussed our own flow classes and Sue talked about the heart meridians and energy exercises which helped awaken me from my slumber! We had our final posture workshop of the weekend with demonstrations of  Vinyasa by Billy.

After a cuppa tea Julie did a lecture on the nervous system and spine and we had a discussion on the body clock. To complete the weekend Sue did a body clock yoga routine with us which finished the day perfectly.

I’m going to try and get a few posts in before the next update on training as I have some information I’d like to share and also some pretty exciting news…

Tapas

No No not the Spanish dishes guys… you foodies ūüėČ Tapas in Yoga means to discipline and to have a goal or focus in mind this doesn‚Äôt mean perfection but to have some objective in place.

As part of my homework I was to create and implement a Tapa and mine sounds really simple but the changes to come of this small goal impacted on other parts of my life. My tapa is to go to bed earlier! To start with I went to bed 10 minutes earlier and throughout the month increased this time period gradually.

Simple as it sounds but going to bed that bit earlier has changed my way of life quite substantially. It forced a change in routine from eating my evening snack a little earlier, which has always been a big struggle as I typically ate as late as 11pm. To being able to wake earlier because I was more rested from the extra bit of sleep I had gained that night.

However making this small change wasn’t as easy it sounds. I found myself almost procrastinating about my new goal and putting off achieving it by watching telly that bit longer to spending more time on the internet late at night making my goal that less obtainable. I was expecting to be able to shut off come 10pm and go to sleep but considering my usual bed time had been as late as 2am I think I was being a little unrealistic. Gradually reducing the wind down time to going to bed and preparing using small steps such as beginning with 5 minutes and slowly building up the time I can now get into bed just after 11pm and be asleep by half past. It’s not quite what I hoped for but I think my tapa will have to be a long-standing one in order to get on the right track.

I have found this goal relatively difficult but is definitely beneficial to my health and well being so really hope to continue working hard towards achieving it.

Teaching a Class

Now if you know me in real life then you know I can be relatively shy that is of course untill I get to know me.. you’ll beg me to shut up! Anyway… I don’t do talking in front of people, in fact I’ll share a really¬†embarrassing¬†story. When I was at University we had regular presentations in front of the class and I was terrified so scared that my hands were shaking! That would be okay if I didn’t have to put acetates down on the huge¬†projector¬†and my little shaky paws were a huge puppet style shadow for everyone to see. Oh dear! I’m starting to go off topic so back to what happened this weekend….

I taught my first ever Yoga Class! Well I helped out with some of the class in front of real live people! Our homework this month is to learn a part of Astanga practice and perform it this coming weekend so as a bit of prep my current Yoga teacher let me teach my Sun Salutation B for her Sunday class.

Now I’ll be honest I didn’t execute it perfectly and can’t remember my own name never mind¬†sanskrit but I gave it a go and didn’t fall in a heap on the floor. I was very red faced, hot and sweaty afterwards (tmi?) but I completed it and do you know what?! No where near as bad as I was expecting! The class were lovely and welcoming! The only thing I should keep in mind is everyone is at different levels so making sure everyone was in the correct positioning was quite the task. However it went really well and perhaps one day I will be taking my own class!

Guest Post

Just a quick post to point you in the direction of my first ever guest post over at nutrition in a peanut shell

Thanks again Katie ūüôā

Love & Hugs

A

My personal Journey

Now as some of you know I used to blog about my eating disorder struggles but found that if I wanted to vent my crazy thoughts I was better keeping it to pen & paper. Writing about my eating and exercise routines that rule my life isn’t helpful to anyone else and I was constantly worried I would trigger someone else or someone would think my lifestyle was okay. Having an eating disorder is still a constant battle and is miserable for me and those around me.

I have found Yoga is helping me get in tune with mind and body and although I am by no means ‘well’ and Yoga hasn’t cured me it has honestly been the most helpful thing in my life thus far. Through my many years of treatment,¬†hospitalisations¬†and therapy my Yoga practice in these past few months have been far more beneficial to my mental health and¬†physically¬†doesn’t hurt me¬†the way some of the aerobics classes I was forced to quit because of my injuries. I am really finding my way with the course and enjoying learning about yoga as a history, anatomy and nutrition in a non obsessional way is really helpful and enlightening.

Mmm anyway! Thats just a little bit behind blog and why I am sharing my journey with you all ūüôā

Much Love and Hugs

A

June

I can’t believe I am half way through to completing my Yoga Diploma at Chi and Co! This Summer month was one of my favourite teaching months so far and I really enjoyed our training weekend.

It began on the Friday with our Seasonal Practice with Julie Hanson and information on the Season of Summer. We then looked at Meridian points and energy exercises followed by a posture workshop using props (i.e yoga blocks and therabands)

On the Saturday we mediated with Ros and then participated in our Ashtanga class led by Cathy Moran and further Pranayama Practice with Ros. We also learnt about the effects of blood pressure during exercise, The nervous system during our monthly anatomy lecture and received a fantastic nutrition presentation from Karen Scobie. We had another posture workshop and did lots of exercises for the wrists and arms. Lastly as a group we created a Yoga Flow Sequence which worked really well and helped prepare us for next months homework to make our very own Flow class.

Talking of homework I should probably get on that and get this sequence underway!

Purity

Each month we are given homework and have a fairly extensive list of books to read and whole array of topics to study. In the Spring months we were to study¬†Niyama of saucha: Purity… all these fancy yoga names can be a itty bit confusing to let me explain…

There are five levels of purity in the Niyamas of Saucha these are

1. External Physical Purity (body, dirt)
2. Internal Physical Purity (mucas and disease)
3. Pranic Purity (Toxins, low energy and little flow)
4. Emotional Purity (negative emotions)
5. Mental Purity (confusion and insomnia)

One level affects the other and its difficult to have a clear mind when filling your body with toxins. Impurity makes life harder and is therefore extremely important to a yoga practitioner to rid impurities be able to excel in their practice and enjoy life more.

Purity begins with cleanliness and tidying when embracing purity the whole body, emotionally, physically and your surrounding environment will become clearer.

There are many ways to start purifying your life some of which focus on diet and fasting, purifying relationships and letting go of energy drainers in your life making room for something more pure, the air you breath could be toxic so cleansing by ridding impure substances that make life harder or it could simply be impure thoughts and by challenging the mind to replace negative emotions with more positive thoughts and actions.

As a relatively clean eater and leading an active lifestyle I decided the one impure¬†thing in my life that I needed to rid was… the cigarettes! I am actually really¬†embarrassed¬†about smoking and kept it quite the secret!

Its not very yogic to smoke but also my body was damaged daily by the amount of toxins inhaled from tobacco. I decided I would go on a 10-day fast and eliminate smoking from my life. It has not been easy in fact it’s been downright hard but after the first week I noticed how much clearer things in my life have become. I feel cleaner, nicer and stronger minus the initial agitation purifying my body in this way was the best thing I could do right now.

It‚Äôs been over the 10-day mark and I‚Äôm still purifying my body by taking a big step¬†back from smoking. I am dare I say became a ‚Äėnon smoker‚Äô in fact weirdly can‚Äôt¬†actually stand to be round smoking, which has liberated me in so many ways. It has been a total of 3 whole months and I haven’t touched a cigarette at all! So now you know a little bit about me I used to be a smoker but not anymore and if I can do it then anyone can.

Have you got rid of anything in your life lately? What would you like to do? What is preventing you? Would be lovely to hear from you all.

Love and Hugs

A

April & May

Hello Summer? Hmm we’ll see! The weather has been so¬†changeable¬†that I don’t actually know what Season we are in! ¬†Since I’m so behind on sharing my experience and have lots of other stuff to share I thought I would combine April & May and give you a brief (ish) run down of what went on at Chi & Co.

April

Spring was still the focus of our seasonal flow class at the beginning of our training. We then participated in a posture workshop and was introduced to Trataka (candle gazing) which I really enjoyed and made meditation a lot easier. I suggest giving it a go if you have trouble switching off it also helps if you can’t sleep which my mum was struggling with at the time and found she benefited a lot from it.

After a morning meditation we had an active Ashtanga class with Cathy Moran followed by Shitali and Sitkari pranayama with¬†Marit Griffith. Our lectures for the day included further information on Yamas and non wasting of energy, Svadhistanna (Sacral Cakra),¬†Anatomy, Liver Meridian points and Yoga Energy Flows. We had a posture workshop with squats and deep lunges which I thought was great but I may be the only person that loves these exercises! Is anyone else with me? Didn’t think so! Anyway I digress… we completed April working on Drishti (focus) and Eye yoga cleansing.

May

The weekend began with our seasonal flow class taken by Julie Hanson which led us into Early Summer. This time of year had us preparing for the Summer months ahead and lots of focus Surya Namaskara (Sun Salutations) and generating heat in the body.

The following morning we had our usual Ashtanga Yoga led by¬†Cathy Moran. Afterwards we¬†participated¬†in¬†Pranayama class with Sue Woodd¬†and study of¬†Manipura (Navel Cakra). We then had a discussion with Julie about Tapas (goal setting) which I’ll share more about soon and a posture workshop. We learnt more about anatomy and discovered the peracardium meridian points and learnt some great energy exercises for the Early Summer. Our weekend finished with energy reading and some release exercises with my new best friend… the¬†chi ball.

Think I’ve probably went on enough this evening but I hope you enjoyed reading about my yoga weekends for the Spring/ Early Summer months.

Love and Hugs

A

March

Please forgive my timing for update on my study with Chi & Co but with the launch only coming around late May I am a little back logged with updates about the course & my homework. Rewinding… To March!

I had a lot of homework to catch up on after missing the first month and only joining my fellow yogis at Lendrick Lodge instead of January. The reading list we were given is fairly extensive and fairly daunting considering I hadn’t picked up a book in quite some time! However my first task was reading ‘Mula Bandha – The master key’ which was a really great read and grasped my attention quite the thing. Good thing too! As my homework related to bandhas (energetic keys) and the meaning of each one and what benefits you receive and how they work. A book I will also be referring to throughout my course is¬†Energy in Season¬†which is a colourful, beautifully interesting book and I always enjoy referencing to it throughout my studies. The training weekend for March began on a Friday with our Seasonal Yoga practice on focus on Spring. This Season is about starting a fresh and clearing out with the old to begin preparing from the new. A lot of the poses during our Spring session contained a lot of side stretches and had particular focus on the meridian points. We had a posture workshop followed by a lecture from Sue Woodd¬†on the gall bladder meridian points and energy exercises followed by a meditation led by Julie Hanson. An early start with our very own¬†fountain¬†of yoga knowledge¬†Marit Griffith¬†followed by pranayama (breathing) practice, introductions to our yoga topics Cakras, Mula Bandha and Ashwini Mudra. Afterwards we participated in a fairly energetic Ashtanga class taught by Cathy Moran¬†which was just so refreshing and enjoyable. I am used to Hatha yoga which is much more laid back and relaxed compared to Ashtanga. Luckily this class woke me up quite the thing for our lectures ahead of us… Intro to Yamas from Marit, Skeletal system and the spine with Dr Ros Jamieson, A great presentation of the¬†anatomy¬†of joints with Sue and a posture workshop.

Our training weekend was exhausting but very interesting and introduced me to new things in yoga which I am still getting to grasps with. The thing I have struggled with with regards to the course is learning to say the Sanskrit names correctly but hopefully come the Winter season I will be a pro at reciting them… heres hoping anyway!

I have a fair amount of homework to do with regards to yamas (i.e goals) which I will share with you all very soon.

Love and Hugs

A

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