Yoga and fitness in October 2017

After my #yogagirlchallenge to do #yougaeverydamnday in September I’ve carried on practising yoga. Find out how I got on in October.

Once I’d completed the challenge in September I felt relief and sadness. Relief at the fact there wasn’t a pressure to practice yoga every day but also sadness because I really enjoyed it.

It really gave me space to clear my head and improve my flexibility and fitness.  I definitely felt the benefit and after a month had started to get some of my flexibility back. My body and muscles liked being opened back up again. I felt happier. I knew this had to be the changing point in my recent fitness journey.

Just over three years ago I was practising yoga every week and had got really into it. Unfortunately holding down a full time Masters course and a full time job at the same time put paid to any sport, relaxation and yoga.

On reflection, I’m gutted I stopped but, realistically I couldn’t manage everything and something had to give.

Since the course ended I’ve done bits and pieces, I’ve walked a 100k Ultra in 24 hours and a half marathon but, in the past year and a half I’ve done absolutely nothing.  I could really start to feel it too. I didn’t feel right in myself.

After getting really out of shape, both physically and mentally, I knew I had to get back on the fitness wagon. Especially when I looked at pictures of myself over the summer. I knew the only person could make a difference was me. I had to make the change to make myself feel better.

So I took on the Yoga Girl Challenge and signed myself up to the Joe Wicks 90 day work out plan. It was time to change and I knew I had to completely immerse myself into it. I needed to get my fitness routine back and it wasn’t going to be easy.

Mid July I really started to eat healthy and cut any treats and other bits out. For seven weeks until the end of August I ate really cleanly to prepare my body for the change I was about to make. Then in September I started the Joe Wicks plan.

September was hard in every way. Starting to get my fitness back from absolute zero was an obvious uphill battle and trying to do yoga every day didn’t come naturally.

But, as the weeks went on I realised I got a huge boost from stepping on the mat and giving my body and mind the space and time it needed. It soon became habit an my body was feeling lots of benefits from the new routine.

It also helped balance out all the exercise I was doing. Lots of burpees and squats everyday was taking a massive toll on my muscles. Daily yoga during this time really helped keep the aches and pains at bay by making sure I did a thorough warm and up and warm down.

Mentally it’s helped me cope better too. I’m not totally there but it’s definitely given my head some breathing time and my body some down time to cope with everything a busy and hectic life throws at you.

I didn’t want September to be the end of my yoga journey. I knew I had to keep going so I joined a new yoga class and a new gym.

I figured out from my month of daily yoga that I really enjoyed instructor taught yoga as I’m still a beginner it helps me to learn flows, new positions and how to correctly get into those positions.

When I started the new flow class I wasn’t sure about it. I left the first class feeling a bit confused, I had an ok first session but I wasn’t sure.

I find instructors can make or break a yoga class, and you need to be able to gel with their style of teaching and yoga.

I’ve been to previous classes where the instructor really hasn’t been my cup of tea and it always makes it less enjoyable. I can’t put my finger on it exactly, I’m not sure if its chanting, breathing or style that puts me off. It’s one of those things where I go, I know what I like but I can’t describe it. I’m pretty open minded too so the weird and the wonderful don’t tend to phase me.

Thankfully I decided to go back and give it a second chance as you can never tell from just one session.

I’m so glad I stuck it out as the classes since have been brilliant.

In my second class the focus was been all about chilling out, not being so uptight and taking things easier. During one of the flows she put on Bob Marley and urged us all to let go and to lighten up with the movements we were doing.

Letting go can be really difficult and in serious yoga classes there’s often an unseen tension that can form. You start comparing yourself to other people or getting frustrated that you can’t achieve a pose.

Funnily enough this Bob Marley technique really worked, everyone started laughing and the atmosphere was really light throughout the rest of the class.

Last week we focused on senses and the ability to draw them in and focus your mind away from distractions. Again, this isn’t an easy thing to do. The mind is powerful and you often find yourself thinking about what’s happened in the day, that awful thing that happened or the things you need to get done. Breathing is meant to draw your focus in but to do this is really quite difficult and it has to be taught.

Who knew a tiny piece of chocolate could help in yoga?!

So in this class the instructor taught us the flow of movements we’d be doing and then gave us a tiny piece of dark chocolate to melt in our mouths while we did the moves. It allowed our subconscious to take over and focus on the senses which meant the moves came together much more smoothly and it was easier to focus. It was a very strange thing to happen and hard to explain but it really helped. Plus who wouldn’t like eating chocolate in a yoga class? It’s a no brainer!

I’m really enjoying the classes and can feel myself getting better. After each class she also holds a meditation class. Mentally this is perfect after yoga as you can carry on those calm vibes for a bit longer and really give your head the space to mentally take five and process whatever is occupying your thoughts.

I’m really pleased to have continued yoga in October, finished my first full cycle of my Joe Wicks plan and broken the back of getting a routine for my fitness. I can feel myself getting fitter, stronger and leaner and my motivation is high.

Here’s to more fitness and yoga in November!

Namaste

Have you been doing any yoga or fitness lately? Share with me your posts, plans and progress! I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to and perhaps we can boost each other along in our journeys? 

 

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