Down Dog

I was a little late jumping on the yoga bandwagon, I decided a few years ago back in 2017 to  embark on a new yoga journey.

I made a pledge to myself to try and squeeze in one or two yoga classes per week depending on my work schedule, I downloaded the Down Dog app on my phone, I bought a nice pink elephant yoga mat and even purchased a Daily Greatness Yoga Journal to record my goals and progress.

img_9911-2

Did my 2017 New Year’s resolution last? No it did not! I mean, it lasted for a few weeks and since then I have been to yoga classes just a little more sporadically than I’d planned,  I will admit I failed to commit.

So I’ve bitten the bullet and upgraded to the paid version of Down Dog for 2020, I figured if I pay for it, I’m more likely to keep it up and so far so good.

img_8629

I set up a little yoga space in my apartment with crystals and candles (which I quickly changed to fake candles as the dog is a little to curious for comfort and I don’t want her going up in flames) and it’s the 7th January today and I’ve already practiced at home 3 times (I also plan on doing a practice tonight after I’ve finished this blog post) and  been to 2 yoga classes at the gym.

8c86ef1e-274d-4933-af97-76e583b99bfe

The app is so easy to use and with the paid version, you can choose your type of practice, do you want to do a full practice?  Hatha or Ashtanga? Would you prefer  a restorative session, some quick flow or sun salutations?

img_8628

You can choose your level from beginner through to advanced, you can add boosts depending what it is you want to achieve or stretch and you can choose how long you want your practice to be, do you want a long and full session or do you want to stretch during your lunch break?

You can choose what type of music you want to listen to during your session, personally I like the spiritual music when I practice, I love the sound of a sitar and you can even choose your instructors voice but the best bit for me is that a new workout sequence is generated each time you practice so you’re not repeating the same classes over and over.

The instruction and video is easy to follow and records your practice history too so you can keep track of when you’ve practiced.

img_8625

The app is well worth the money at $34.99 per year if you buy online (around £27), hopefully I’ll stick with it this time and be flying like a crow in no time . . .

img_8630

img_9682-1

Dolly doing her own variation of the downward dog.

New Year Fitness Goals

Some people think New Year’s Resolutions are pointless so call them what you like but I think the New Year is a great time for setting goals.

The New year is a great time to think about all the things you really want to achieve and then set yourself realistic timelines to achieve them.

P1120904web

You could set your goals in your head but I feel like by writing them down, you’re making an official contract with yourself and you don’t want to let yourself down, do you?

Not just fitness goals however, career goals, financial goals, personal development goals, relationship goals, wellbeing, you name it, you can set goals for it!

I was really good on my run up to December as was preparing for filming in Texas so was in the gym all the time and then once I was over there, I was still functioning on UK time so was up uber early every day so managed to hit the hotel gym most days whilst I was there too but then I got back and was busy and then Xmas happened so I’m back from Xmas now and am going to get straight back on it as of tomorrow morning, why wait until January?

So what fitness goals do I have?  

Weights – Minimum of 3 sessions a week

This will include short workouts dedicated to either core, arms or legs.

Different things work for different people and for me I like to do some weights just to tone, I don’t have the dedication of the inclination of turning in to a Muscle Mary, it’s just not for me, I’m more of a cardio girl as it’s proven to burn my fat quickly.

P1120945web

Running – Minimum of 5 times a week

I started running last year when I was training for Tough Mudder and have managed to keep it up. Distance running has never been easy for me but I try to do between 3-5K each time I run. 

In the Winter, it’s mainly in the gym but in the Summer I want to get out more and run in the parks, it makes for more interesting scenery and I find you actually run further than you think you have. I use Strava to track my distance. 

Yoga – Minimum of 3 hours a week. 

This should be easily achievable, there are two evening classes a week at my gym so  I can book in to those if my work schedule permits or do sessions myself using the Down Dog app which I highly recommend, it’s free to download and I find the free version is more than enough for me, it tailors a different workout each time you use it so that you’re not repeating exactly the same sequences over and over again, there are different levels available to suit all abilities and you can choose how long you want your workout to be so you can decide if you want a quick stretch in your lunch hour or a full practice.

If you do want more from the app though, you can pay a subscription to access more features like boosts.

Swim – 3 times a week 

I’ve never been a huge one for going swimming, mainly due to time management. I have a gym and pool in my apartment complex, it literally takes me less that a minute to get out of my door and in to the gym but by the time I’ve gotten up, walked the dog and spent an hour in the gym, it’s usually around 10am, if I go for a swim too then it would be rude not to use the sauna, steam room and jacuzzi being as I’m already wet, that then adds another hour and takes me to 11am so by the time I’m showered, dressed, hair and make up perfected, that’s half the day gone.

What am I going to do about it? I’m going to get up earlier! There really is no excuse It’s not like I don’t wake up early anyway, but then I’m guilty of lazing about in bed pressing snooze for far too long and then checking emails and social media.

This stops now, no more snooze, well maybe just one snooze but no more than that, I want to be in the gym by 7am latest and then the longest I’ll be there is 2hrs until 9am and I’ll be ready to rock n roll by 10am!

Swing Dance 

I’ve gone to classes sporadically before but then my local class stopped, I want to take it up properly and attend classes on a weekly basis though with a goal of being good enough to attend socials by the Summer, it just means I’ll have to actually get the tube to go to a different class, ugh, public transport. 

I go to classes by Swing Patrol , they do classes all over London and Brighton, check the website for class timetables and they’re drop in classes so you don’t need to turn up with a partner as you swap who you’re dancing with after learning each step anyway.

They also offer a range of different level classes, depending which venue you go to, there are levels, at most venues 1 and 1.5 but some offer a level 2, it’s £10 for the first class but if you find the first class easy and want to stay for more then further classes are £5 

Getting fit and having fun at the same time, win win!

Making a timetable is a good idea to remind you of the targets you’ve set yourself.

Bring on 2020!

Mind Body Soul & OM Yoga Show

The wonderful team over at Prime Impact Events & Media were generous enough to offer me 5 pairs of weekend tickets for the Mind Body Soul Experience to give away to my readers in a competition and also invited me along to the show at Alexandra Palace.img_2604

I woke up yesterday morning  (Saturday) with an annoying cold so after a cup of echinacea tea I popped along  to the show for what I thought was going to be just a couple of hours not actually realising that the OM Yoga Show was at the same venue and the tickets allowed entrance to both so ended up sucking it up and battling through and stayed for most of the day and was in my element!

img_2587

img_2590

I have a formula when it comes to big shows, I start by doing a lap of the aisles to get a feel for what’s there and then I double back later on to do my shopping so I started the morning with a walk around the Mind Body Soul Hall and there really was so much to see, buy and do, from crystals, jewellery and vegan make up  to Tibetan singing bowls, clothes, incense, soy Reiki infused candles and art. Or if shopping wasn’t your thing, you could opt to get your fortunes told via palmistry or tarot, you could get your auras read or relax whilst indulging in a massage or heal with a spot of Reiki.

img_2586

After my initial lap I’d worked up an appetite and was spoilt for choice as there were lots of delicious vegan offerings but having heard of Vausages before, I’d been dying to try one of their hot dogs for a while so was delighted to find them there so it HAD to be done, I kept it pretty traditional with the Cumberland and I have to say, it was the BEST vegan non frankfurter style hotdog I’ve had yet.

img_2577

After lunch, it was off to make a few purchases which ended up being a selenite unicorn horn wand, for no other reason than I love unicorns, a clear quartz pendulum and some Himalayan salt for my bath.

6cd34522-0841-457b-9684-cb98fbafe148

I didn’t get involved in any of the workshops that were available, most of which were free although a few you had to book and pay for but I did walk past one of the belly dancing workshops whilst it was on and wished I had turned up at the start so I could have joined in, I’m definitely going to look at learning to belly dance in 2020!

The only bugbear for me with shows is that I can’t stand pushy sales people that pounce on you and this was certainly the case with some of the stands and I know that they’re there trying to make money but I for one am much more likely to stop and make a purchase if I’m left to peruse in peace, if I need help, I’ll ask for it. The same as when I go to any shop when as soon as I walk in the door, they’re on me asking if they can help, I mean, do I look like I don’t know how to shop?

On the flip side though, there were a few stands I was interested in where the only person manning the stand was busy doing a reading so I didn’t want to interrupt and they didn’t have visible price lists or booking sheets so the only way to find anything out I guess would have been to be lucky enough to time walking past in a gap between their clients, which I wasn’t and didn’t so unfortunately didn’t get a chance to have my fortune told although my friend Natalie read my palms for me recently so I’m good . . . 

On my way through to the OM Yoga hall, I stopped at the chill out zone complete with sound bath courtesy of Paiste Gongs, it was my first sound bath experience and although just a taster it was relaxing and something I’ll more than likely try again.

On entrance to the OM Yoga show, I instantly felt guilty about slacking off from yoga recently, I’ve never seen so many flexible people in once place before, from people hanging from hoops at the X Pole stand to people taking part in the multiple yoga classes that were taking place.

img_2588

Unfortunately as I didn’t know that the OM Yoga show was on, I wasn’t wearing yoga clothes so couldn’t join in any of the classes but I have been inspired to get back in action and have already booked myself in to 2 yoga classes next week, Namaste.

A also purchased a new bamboo based top to wear to yoga from the Nissim London stand that says David Attenborough For World Leader, I love it, not only for the statement on the front but also because it’s fully sustainable and made from certified, renewable wood sources.

e05413c4-6335-42a9-b7e8-ebe6dea6f948

New yoga/gym clothes always make me more excited about exercise so totally justifiable!

Again there was so much to buy and I could have shopped way more but I’m trying to stick to the ‘buy less’ principle and let’s be honest, how many yoga mats does a girl really need? 

A thoroughly enjoyable day out, even with my cold, not only are my chakras back in balance, I was also able to pick up the latest issues of Vegan Life, Plant Based and OM Yoga magazines for just £1 each, bonus.

Goody bags were packed packed with treats, products form Weleda, hand crafted soap from LovEve, bath bombs from Shobu, crystals from Lava Artworks, crystals, lavender and palo santo wood smudging sticks from The Mystic Wolf and lava stone bracelets from Freyas Crystals.

img_2591

img_2598

Oh and I woke up this morning (Sunday) and cold – gone! Was it zapped by yesterdays Reiki session? Who knows but it’s possible.

www.mbsevents.co.uk

Insta

@mbs_experience

@omyogashow