Thursday, 8 July 2010

A little hiatus

Just to say that despite the newness of this blog I'm having to take a little break from it :-( Doing loads of yoga, blogging elsewhere and life in general are leaving me little time to focus on my new baby - the yoga diaries. So, until things calm down a bit I'll be posting here less than usual. I will however continue to post over on Beyond Madrid, because I'm basically additcted to writing there :-) And I'll pop in here as and when I can. xx

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

The age of aquarius


I've now done 5 classes of Vinyasa yoga, and truth be told I'm loving it! My stamina is improving - I'm managing not to feel faint - which means I can concentrate more on my form and flexibility. Sometimes I get so frustrated at not being more flexible, it's not that I'm totally inflexible, I probably have the most flexible arms I have ever seen! It's just that I'm not flexible where it matters - my hamstrings for example are tighter than a rugby players, and despite 4 months of yoga at least twice a week I can touch the floor with my fingers but no way can I get my palms down there. Patience, I tell myself. One slightly worrying aspect of my practice is the amount of Aquarius I'm drinking - this 'official bevarage of the Olympic games' is loaded with minerals and stuff that is meant to help your work out, but I can't help but worry that it's full of sugar and perhaps not that healthy. The thing is I find it really helps keep me going. Any thoughts?!

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

And I was right... second Vinyasa yoga class did almost make me faint! Partly my own fault, I hadn't drunk any water that day so I got super-dehydrated plus I'd only had a few hours and I felt pretty rough at some points during the 1.5 hour dynamic class. When we were finished I told the teacher this, and he said I should drink a litre or so of water a couple of hours before to make up for the water I was going to lose, and that if I felt faint at any time I should stop (I knew this already, but I was too proud to stop). Mid-stretch, dripping with sweat enclosed in a smallish studio with 8 other people in the midst of a Madrid summer with no AC as the instructor told us to push it a little further I was telling myself - 'never again' - I just can't do this. But after the class, I have to admit I did feel energised and like I'd had a good work out. I had a chat with the teacher and my classmates who were all very friendly and reassured me that it does get better with time. Also, I couldn't believe the teacher and his girlfriend were actually getting on for 40 - it seems like their hours of dedication to yoga practice and a good deal of sweating have left them with with the nubile bodies of twenty-somethings. Kind of makes me wish I didn't spend most of my day sat in an office, lucky that I am that said office job pays for yoga classes and the like...

P.s. Just wanted to mention also that the little Nike shorts I bought for the classes were really comfortable and definitely much less restricting than the cottony ones I wore last time.

Monday, 28 June 2010

So do I really want to go barefoot?

Of course I do, but as I want this blog to be about all things yog I want to investigae this further. As a beginner, and from what I've seen so far I guess the norm is to do yoga barefoot? Personally I like to take a pair of socks in with me in case the teacher asks us to do stretches in pairs - I don't think it's fair to put your feet on someone if you've come straight from the office without showering. And what about the things you could catch from the gym floor?! Anyway, one of my teachers doesn't mind socks, while the other makes you take them off, which is no big deal. The obvious reason for this is that socks are slippy so you're less stable in the poses, though there may well be other benefits to going sockless that I'm unaware of (other than having nice free toes!). And of course, whenever there's even the slightest need for something, someone goes and invents a product - yoga shoes - with nonslip soles. I've never actually seen anyone in Spain wear these, and I'd feel a bit silly if I were the only one in class, but secretly I think they seem like quite a good idea.

Here are some options that caught my fancy:
The Vibram 5 fingers shoe, around 80 dollars - love the whole Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles thing! (You can see Tim Ferrisse's review here, though he's not talking about the yoga ones).

And Nike's Kalma which is not as cool (in my humble opinion):

Anticipation or dread?

This evening I have my second Vinyasa yoga class, and truth be told I’m a bit scared. You see, before the first class a week or so ago I had no idea what I was in for. On arrival at El Horno I innocently asked why my super-toned classmates all had towels with them. I soon found out; to mop up the buckets of sweat that you will produce when you do an hour and a half of highly dynamic yoga in a heated room! As we warmed up the teacher told me that if I felt faint I could stop for a while until I felt ready to start again. Of course my pride forced me to stick to the rhythm of the class, even if I couldn’t do half the moves properly! However, as this time I know what’s in for me I’m actually feeling a bit apprehensive, what if I can’t keep up?! Well at least I’m a bit better prepared this time, I have my towel, and I realised that you can’t do Vinyasa in those cottony yoga pants as they just stick to the sweat and get all uncomfortable – so the other day I went to the Corte Ingl├ęs sports department and bought myself some of those tiny Lycra shorts I swore I’d never be seen dead in. They are however a necessity, at least for ‘glowing’ old me – these Nikes promise to wick away perspiration and keep you feeling fresh and cool. And they’re actually super comfy, I even ended up wearing them to clean my house on Saturday. Anyway, I’ll let you know how I get on this evening :-)

Friday, 25 June 2010

Post 1 - my new baby

Deciding to make a little sister for my main blog Beyond Madrid hasn't been a lighthearted decision. Like any good parent-to-be I asked myself - Can I take the responsibility of caring for 2? Do I want to? What if I don't like how it turns out? Can I send it back? (ok, maybe parents don't ask themselves those last 2 questions).

Anyway yoga has become a big enough part of my life over the past 3.5 months to warrant me giving it a little more credit. 'A little more credit?' I imagine some friends are saying, 'you never shut up about it!' So I figure this is a place where I can go into a little more depth about this new interest. I don't know exactly where I want to take all this, but I do know that more often than not I come out of my classes feeling more exhilirated, calm and together than when I went in and I guess that's something worth writing about :-)