December Yoga

This year started with a daily yoga practice in January, vowing to reconnect mind and body. Although at times a thought to get on the mat, I never regretted the time I spent there, always feeling good for the practice I engaged in whether it be Ali’s taught class at Run 4 It, or a home practice with Adriene. (https://yogawithadriene.com/calendar/)

Somehow life once again changed the course of time and I lapsed in my daily practice as February turned into March. Before long the racing season was upon us and alongside work and marathon training I did less and less, finally stopping my practice altogether.

I intended to restart last month (November) but that never did quite happen, despite downloading the calendar from Find What Feels Good Yoga (https://www.fwfgkula.com)

So, today my practice begins again. The journey has started and I have newly spent 37 minutes on my mat (time flew!), surprised by the tightness I felt in my muscles and the renewed feeling of sitting more upright and feeling a little straighter by the end.

I can’t promise to commit daily, and ultimately it makes no odds to you if I do or don’t, but I’m going to try. Find that headspace and look after my body.

What (if any) is your practice? Do you have a go-to app or channel?

Listen to your body!

They say the body is very intuitive; I’ve been told by the physiotherapist in the past that I have good body awareness. Thus, if it’s talking to me by expressing soreness or a niggle, I have no qualms about taking an extra rest day.

I frequently find myself reminding others that rest is your friend. In order to perform well and avoid breaking down you do need to allow your muscles to recover, especially after a hard workout or run.

Touch wood, this self-care surely must be part of the reason why I’m rarely injured (possibly alongside the monthly massage I’ve enjoyed since 2008)! I may at times be too in touch with my body. It often suggests taking a break to enjoy a glass of wine on the sofa, or stopping off for coffee and cake on the way home rather than enduring a soaking on a miserable winter’s night.

And so, through listening intuitively the yoga ‘streak’ ended on Thursday. I have managed 31 consecutive days of yoga (in addition to weekly Pilates and some running), but found myself increasingly tired this week, probably due to the germs that are being readily shared at work, and by the time I reached home last night my body was ready to rest.

A poor excuse for a Friday night, I slobbed on the sofa watching catch up TV before getting an early night. No parkrun today as I’m feeling a little under the weather still. Instead, I have spent some time on the yoga mat – the practice will continue – and I am going to nourish both body and mind by lunching out with friends.

Hopefully a day of rest will see me fit for the trails tomorrow but time will tell.

Has your body spoken to you recently? What did it say?

Yoga: Nourishing the body and mind

I have a love / hate relationship with yoga. It’s something I’d like to do more of – to become more flexible, to stretch my weary muscles, to take time out of life just to breathe and be in the moment.

When I’m on the mat (even if it’s just when I’m in Savasana) I do love my practice. However, I find it difficult fitting it into an already busy schedule and this is the part that I hate – what gives in order to fit yet another thing in! Hence the reason why I’ve decided to commit this January to True Yoga, a free 30 day online programme (Yoga with Adriene), the intention being that at some point each evening, even if it’s just before bed, I will find time for me and time for my practice.

Today was Day 3: Stretch, and it felt amazing, exactly what my body needed and definitely a practice I’ll return to again (regardless of whether or not I make it through the 30 day journey).

Yoga supports my goal of developing strength in both body and mind. With the help of online sessions such as Yoga with Adriene, and ‘real’ classes (Ali Mathers has great runners specific classes in Run 4 It and Warehouse Gym), I truly do hope that this year I will be able to find and value the space to commit to my practice regularly.

Namaste

Happy New Year!

D1458971-384C-40EF-ABA1-11B9E5CC6E332018, a new year and some new resolutions. Like most people, last year I made the usual resolutions to ‘improve’ myself. This year is all about self-acceptance and remembering that I am enough.

My resolutions therefore have a different slant:

1. Be strong – looking to be physically strong through a daily yoga practise (at least for the next 30 days – Yoga with Adriene, True, free online 30 day course), and mentally by taking time for me and nourishing myself as well as others.

2. Reclaim my life – focus on the things that are important to me, ditch the stuff that isn’t (and stopping feeling guilty and beating myself up if I can’t do everything all of the time!)

In light of this, I took it as a sign when I received an e-mail from the organisers of the Lumphanan Detox 10k offering an exchange of places, offloading my place to a clubmate. I do love this race but haven’t trained as much as I’d like during December due to a combination of feeling a little under the weather / dark nights / icy pavements, and decided there was no point in racing and then beating myself up for doing ‘badly’.

Cue an ideal opportunity to head for the hills. A perfect forecast window for Lochnagar on 1st January made it a complete no brainer. So, husband and I headed out and had the most amazing day! The day was truly spectacular. Hard packed paths from the car park …

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Had it not been for the awesome spectacular presented on the approach to Ballater you’d have had no idea what fun lay ahead!

Our Kahtoola Microspikes came in handy as we progressed up and out of the tree line and I thanked my lucky stars for having a husband with foresight who gifts me these things (along with the ice axe and crampons for Christmas which thankfully remain as ‘cool’ accessories on my rucksack)!

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There were a surprising number of people out on the hill and, as always, it was lovely to pass the time of day with them as we walked.

Onwards and upwards, we thoroughly enjoyed the views and were delighted to see the view open up temporarily for us as we approached the summit. Temperatures dropped and I resorted to adding another pair of gloves (taking the total to three pairs) and my down jacket to keep truly cosy!

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Coming off the summit we enjoyed our lunch – tomato soup never tastes quite as good as when it’s out of a flask on a cold winter’s day!

Then the long descent back down to the car park via the beautiful frozen waterfall.

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Finally, on arrival back at the landrover track we hot footed it back towards the car park aware of the sun setting behind us and the moon rising ahead.

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We chased the light for as long as we could before succumbing to the darkness and digging out the head torches, if for no other reason than to ensure we didn’t slip on one of the small icy patches on the path. We met a number of people at this point headed for the bothy, recently refurbished (but not quite with en-suite facilities sadly), two of whom were pulling a trolley!

A brilliant day out and hopefully the first of many great days in the hills.