Ashtanga Yoga

My obsession with yoga started before I discovered Ashtanga Yoga. After the birth of my first child, my body had gained a few extra pounds and my hormones were out of balance, I was also diagnosed with hypothyroidism. My first thought to correct this was yoga because of my mum’s books on her book shelf of this beautiful lady in a full body green leotard, a yoga goddess of the seventies. Being shy but also quite a self motivated person, I purchased several yoga workout videos. I remember just throwing myself into these and feeling the benefits in my body and mind very quickly. I became known in my friends circle as the yoga video queen.

My close friend Aileen, was also following her own yoga journey by going to Ashtanga classes on a weekly basis, knowing my passion for yoga she showed me the Ashtanga Yoga Primary Series, I fell in love straight away & guess what? I bought a video, but this was no ordinary video, this was David Swenson showing me the primary series. David Swenson is one of the worlds top Ashtanga Yoga practitioners, he studied with Sri Pattabhi Jois, who brought Ashtanga to the west. I also bought the practice manual and the T shirt.

I think the main reason I love Ashtanga is the potential for self practice and quick advancement in the primary series just by being on the mat on a regular basis. The beauty of a self practice is that you can fit yoga into your day when it’s convenient for you. The practice manual by David Swenson is great, as it has suggests short forms for 15, 30 or 45 minutes if you don’t have the time for the full primary series sequence.

The Primary Series starts by practicing Sun Salutations, Surya Namaskara A and B, five times each.

I have been to many Ashtanga classes and the teachers all say if you don’t have time for anything else at least practice the Sun Salutations every day. I have tried to stick by this advice and even though I might not feel like doing anything when I’m tired or had a big day, doing this vinyasa flow of the sun salutes always makes me feel more energised, fresher, stronger, calmer and I think they have given me more stamina in everyday situations.

Sun Salutations have been practiced for thousands of years to honour the life force of the sun. They are a warm up for the body plus a full body work out and a moving meditation to prepare for the rest of your practice. The benefits are many, every part of the body is moved and strengthened, the digestive and circulatory systems are improved, you’re mind becomes calm and your intuition and focus is strengthened.

I will be uploading a video shortly to demonstrate Surya Namaskara A and B, with modifications for beginners, so keep in touch with Yoga One to One for this exciting life changing yoga practice.

Namaste

Apple cider vinegar

Lets talk about Apple Cider Vinegar, I started using ACV years ago when I read in a magazine that Fergi (Sarah Ferguson) used it to lose weight. I don’t know why this intrigued me because I am very open about not being a Royalist. My first new habit with ACV was a shot in the morning along with my coffee, so a teaspoonful of Manuka or raw honey mixed with a tablespoonful of ACV, its a knock you’re socks off time recipe. After a while of doing this, I came to realise that I was recovering quicker from colds or just not getting them at all. My husband & I stopped doing this for a while and as we struggled through winter trying to avoid the flu, we said to each other, “why don’t we try the ACV shots again?” We are feeling the benefit after a week or two and are committed to keep up the good habit.

running

I started running when I realised the mid life crisis/peri menopause had left me with a few extra pounds and feeling sluggish and pretty downright unhappy with myself, I decided to fight it. I had my own personal trainer, my new puppy Rocket, we pounded the streets every day. Using training my dog as a disguise for an unhappy person having a go and trying to run to the next road intersection short of breath, I didn’t feel too embarrassed. I soon became hooked to the feeling running gave me to the point that Rocket started to protest and wouldn’t run further than he wanted to and literally put his breaks on. Ok mate, I’ll go on my own! Five kilometre runs after time became thirteen, the runners high was something I chased and being a yogi of old, mindfulness and focusing on my environment and posture gave me an amazing experience. You know what’s coming don’t you, yes my body started protesting, a tight psoas muscle because of an old back injury led to tight hip joints and discomfort. I also had this awful feeling that my old yoga practice of 19 years will have suffered because of my running obsession.

After visiting a physiotherapist several times, doing psoas release stretches plus strengthening areas like my gluteus and on his advice running every other day, I started to mend. Yoga had to be a part of my balancing my running obsession, I quickly realised that doing both had many benefits, yoga strengthens areas in your body that running doesn’t plus the stamina I have through yoga goes across into my running. More important than anything to a person who just goes for it, being aware of what is happening in your body is crucial. I have a new and renewed love for both yoga and running and will share my journey in my blog. Why not have a go, it really works!!!!

 

yoga for dogs

My new dog Duchess is a big bundle of blow you’re head off energy, she is a three year old Australian cattle dog and my goodness you know she’s there. Cattle dogs by nature are obsessive about their owners, they are highly intelligent happy dogs as long as their humans are near by.

Whilst practicing yoga I began to subconsciously notice Duchess being there, quietly for a change, next to me. This carried on for some time without another thought, until my daughter passed by, she announced her entrance into the room by giggling and saying Duchess is doing yoga mum! I looked around and there she was trying to copy me, she followed me further into downward dog. This made me realise that she really was trying to copy what I was doing.

I started to research this further, could this be having a calming effect on my dog? There are a lot of sites out there that say yoga is really good for our canine pals. Well, when you think about it, have you noticed how worried your dog looks if you are angry or agitated about something? The same must go for if you are calm and breathing deeply right? There is also something amazingly bonding about having a furry friend beside you when you are practicing something you love, so my friends Michelle from Yoga One to One will continue to entertain you with anecdotes, the next post I think I will talk about my obsession with coconut oil and cocoa beans. Cheers for now 🙂

Namaste

 

turmeric

I’ve realised something about myself, I’m not truly happy unless I have a passion about a natural health fad, do you want a list? Here goes, yoga, running (of course), mindfulness, meditation, cocoa beans, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, turmeric & black pepper, manuka honey, coconut water, dandelion, nettle, lavender tea the list goes on and on.

My latest fad has come about because the family & I have had one of those irritating viruses that just keeps coming back, I’ve tried everything, including cleaning more, which hurts, as time is precious. You know when you subconsciously retain information and store it for later use, well I have started delving into the health benefits of turmeric, wow, this amazing yellow root is good for everything, and has been used for thousands of years for its medicinal properties. Combine ground turmeric with black pepper for better absorption, add a little manuka honey & ground ginger for taste, this paste is nice in a cup of warm milk. Bob’s your uncle, a cure for annoying viruses