Friday, 18 May 2012

Take a chill

Life can get absolutely manic sometimes, so much so we don't realise we are running on empty until it catches up with us. 
Due to health problems I've been a bit up and down.  Even though 'fast tracked' through the health service, I still don't know my results so I'm without a doubt feeling like the world is laying heavy on my shoulders.  Its also tough because I cant keep going on about my health problems to people, there is only a certain amount of time someone can say "all will be okay" or "I'm here for you".  I am truly trying.  
As a child I was extremely happy until I got sent to school (I'm sure most kids were like that!) 
I was massively fashionable then!
Anyways enough of the pesimistic tone, I vow to be fine! All of this got me thinking though about how to relax.  Relaxing and taking that needed 10 minutes to unwind, is often the key to helping us enjoying the better things in life.  It's much easier when you're either student or in school, but as you get older the more responsibilites you have the harder it is to stop, sit down and unwind.  
I was browsing my calendar of all the activities I've got coming up over the next few months to see what I need to plan for.  I have a ridiculous amount happening with hen dos, weddings, trips away, work bits, etc etc.  When can I possible fit in relaxing? It feel I need to schedule in to relax...  
With this in mind I've decided I will have 10 minutes every other night to turn off the TV, shut out all other noise & read.  By reading, I don't mean just before bed - I tend to read in bed for about 2 minutes and because I'm so exhausted I'm out for the count before I've managed a few pages.
Using the hot tub at my parents house
 Reading is certainly top of my relaxing list but what else can I do? How do we chill when everything is so fast paced? We all are trying to be better with exercising. I love to exercise, as many of you have seen I really love to run and do anything high intensity.  The problem is I come away feel fired up and not particularly relaxed.  I do enjoy a bit of yoga and indulging in the long stretches, Somehow it really satisfies me. It's all well and good me saying 'do yoga' but there are so many kinds around... whats what?!
Looking good on the yoga mat
photo from Sweaty Betty
I've only listed a few below but here are some of the types of yoga out there...


Anusara - 
This form of yoga is a very pure one  Its quite a new form of yoga, with rather tricky postures but its main message is to open your heart and strive to be accepting.  After a class of Anusara, you'll feel ready for life and upbeat.

Ashtanga - 
Is a more advance form of yoga and certainly not for beginners. Its definetely physically demanding as it requires those taking part to suchronize your breathing with advance moves.  This is certainly the yoga class to aim for as it helps to improve circulation, stamina, and flexibility.... not fogetting a strong body and tranquil mind! Bliss!

Bikram
This is the 'Hot yoga' you've probably heard of.  Obviously during yoga you don't sweat like you do when you're running, this is is set to cleanse and loosen tight muscles. It tends to be in a in a 95 to 100 degree room.  Now that's hot!

Hatha - 
This type of yoga tends to incorporate many types of yoga, but at a slow, calm, speed. You often find you will sit quietly then slowly move into various poses. 

Iyengar -
This is one of the traditional types of yoga, named after founder B.K.S. Iyengar over 60 years ago.  It combines meditation, chanting &  prayer.  It also uses equipment such as blocks, incline boards, blankets & harness - all to push certain poses. 

Jivamukti 
Is a form of yoga developed by Sharon Gannon and David Life in the 80's. This sort of yoga is challenging, but incorporates the traditional, spirtual side of yoga.  This is a popular class in New York. 


Power - 
You've all probably heard of power yoga? This is a happy balance between the relaxation you get from other yogas with being active.  By this I mean, that Power yoga is class adapted from Ashtanga style yoga.  Instead of waiting after each pose you will move straight into the next making the workout out aerobic exercise, it does still include meditative breathing but cmbines strength training and stretching.

Viniyoga
This form of yoga is ideal for those recovering from injuries, or from surgery.  Often Viniyoga teachers usually work one-on-one with students.  It's very gentle, healing practice that is tailored to each person's body type and needs.  So if you do have any injuries (i.e. me with my knee) you can develop a plan of poses to help you build up the muscles around it.

I really do suggest getting out there and trying different types of yoga!  In commercial gyms its very rare to find  a variety in yoga classes, they tend to be in village halls or random places.... so keeps your eyes peeled! 



yoga1
What to wear to a yoga class?

Sweaty Betty vest
sweatybetty.com

Sweaty Betty yoga pants
£28 - sweatybetty.com

Sweaty Betty sports bra
£28 - sweatybetty.com

Manuka shoulder bag
£20 - johnlewis.com

£16 - republic.co.uk




Flawless core strength from yoga classes.
Photo from Sweaty Betty





Ready for yoga!

It is tricky deciding what to wear to your first yoga class, all I suggest is being comfortable.  Most classes are bare foot so that's fine, some people take their own mats with them.  I always take my own mat with me, some gym mats are used by everyone and have been for years - so they smell a bit!  I invested in a great mat and take that with me when I do yoga.  Invest in a good sports bras, I know its not vigorous exercise but still it's really important to get a decent sports bra.  I will be blogging about the right bra very soon so watch this space. 

What yoga classes have you tried? 

xoxo



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