Showing posts with label Yoga. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Yoga. Show all posts

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

2014, Year On a (Running) Shoestring

It's been a whole month since I've blogged anything at all, which is very naughty indeed. December was busy as ever with Christmas parties, meals and get-togethers.  And cake. Lots of cake.
My Beloved came back from Sheffield to join me for the Christmas break, and it was so amazing to be with him for a prolonged period. Since he's been studying back in the North, we've only had 3 nights together at a time for the whole semester, which puts a lot of pressure on you to have fun all the time, and makes those deep and meaningful conversations all the more urgent, but having him here with me in London for 2 1/2 weeks meant we could relax a bit and enjoy each other's company without always having one eye on the clock. I know lots of people are in long-distance relationships and I am not the only one going through this, but after 6 years of living together it can be incredibly difficult to adjust to a different life.
Me and Him.
Anyway, happy new year! This year, big things are happening.In June, he graduates, we get married, we go on honeymoon (to the US we hope), he starts his dream job and we set up home together once more! All this means that money needs to be saved, and after Christmas I am finding myself hyperventilating over the paltry sums in my current and savings accounts. Things are supertight in Funfashionable Towers, which means achieving my resolution to make the most of every day is going to be trickier, without masses of cash to throw at the situation.

Whilst everyone is frantically joining gyms and detoxing away, I made the decision today to cancel my gym membership. Like everyone else, I've gained a couple too many pounds after a month of over-indulgence, but if I want to get myself back on track financially, I need to cut back wherever I can and as my membership is £47.50 a month I'm finding it very hard to justify.

I visited earlier with every intention of cancelling but was told about the additional option to freeze my membership, for £10 a month for up to 3 months. This will save me £112.50 over 3 months, and means that if I manage to get myself into a good routine of exercising outside, I can go ahead and cancel anyway, but if I decide I miss my yoga and pilates classes too much and am in a better financial position, I can resume my membership without having to pay a joining fee again.

So here's the plan, fitness wise:

  • I freeze my membership for the three months - I probably get to keep using it until a certain point in the month
  • I start walking from Waterloo rather than Charing Cross to get to work, and Forest Hill rather than Sydenham to get home. That's an extra 1.1 mile a day.
  • I pick up Run, Fat Bitch Run again, and actually read it (I received it last Christmas but never finished it, probably in fear that if I carried on reading, I'd have to actually start running). 
  • I actually run.
  • I find some decent yoga videos online and crack out the 30 Day Shred DVD once more.
  • I drink far more water than I do now.
If you know of any great online workouts I'd love to hear about them, I'm looking to keep things interesting!

I mentioned making the most of every day. What I mean it, I don't want to feel like I spent this whole academic year away from the Boy yearning for him and sitting around waiting to see him, these are my last few months as an unmarried woman! I want to enjoy myself, I want to get out there, see my friends, meet new people, enjoy all London has to offer, and generally feel like I'm getting the most out of every opportunity that comes my way. This can be tricky on a shoe string, but there are plenty of free events and interesting things to do that don't cost the earth, so I am on the look out for every chance to spend a little, but live a lot!

My resolutions:
1. Have fun. All the time.
2. Stay off the cigs (I've had a very on off, on off year in my ongoing battle against nicotine, but I'm 2 1/2 weeks into my latest, and what I hope will be my final quit attempt)
3. Get fit. Get to the goal weight I just touched on before Christmas festivities took over, and stay there.
4. Make the most of my new camera. Get better at using it, be creative and confident with it, this is something we are hoping to do together once he's finished uni and is back for good, but it can't hurt to get a good start.
5. Be better at staying in touch with friends.
6. Be creative, sew more, procrastinate less. 
7. Read a book a week, and try and get some classics in there too.

Happy 2014!

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

willPower and Grace®

I mentioned before how I was on a bit of a yoga drive, and that's still true, I bloody love it. But today, I tried something new. Realising that I've been eating like a dirty, dirty dawg recently (seriously, the Friday night before last I went to both MeatMarket and MeatMission) I thought I'd better up my game and throw some cardio in the mix in order to combat the badness.

I can't stand working out on the machines in the gym itself, and I could throw up at the thought of spinning. When I saw willPower & grace®  on the menu at my gym, Virgin Active, with the blurb, "Go barefoot and plug into some positive energy for the mind and body from the ground up. It’s a whole new kind of class that frees your mind, improves your flexibility and boosts your cardio system. It’s truly awesome!" I was a little unsure, and in truth it's taken me weeks to psych myself up to go, not sure what I was expecting.

The class is very cool (figuratively, it's actually very hot). The feet are the focus, and if you think about it, why not give them some love? We walk around on them all day, and yet we never give them any attention. Most of the bones in your body are in your feet, yet we rarely work on their strength and flexibility. The class is "designed to strengthen feet while progressively correcting imbalances in the ankles, knees and hips." (source). If you're curious, you can see a snippet of a class here.

The class is quite intense, with fast-paced music, and lots of squatting and jumping, but the instructor (Lourdes) was friendly and encouraging without singling out the newbies - I think I was the only one, but I was easily able to keep up with everybody else, some of whom spoke like they;ve been going for a while and clearly love it - I'm converted! My class was this lunchtime, and I had a bit of a sweat on afterwards, but the facilities at Virgin meant I could have a quick shower and head back to work, fuss-free. I'm a little achy already, but that just means it's working! It's a class I'll definitely go back to, while still continuing to practice yoga - this is going to be good for not only my fitness levels but also my ability to get away with eating all those burgers.

You can find a class here or see a list of instructors here - it's pretty big Stateside. Unfortunately for northerners, most seem to be south based with a handful in Scotland and Northern Ireland. But I am sure this movement is only set to grow and hopefully they'll be one in every town and city in the UK soon.

Wednesday, 31 July 2013


 I have a new obsession and that obsession is yoga. I've recently joined Virgin Active via Pru Health (50% off so £46 a month as opposed to a wince-making £92) and while one of the gym instructors has given me a good circuit to work through in the gym, I hate the gym,so I'm favouring the classes instead, opting for pilates and yoga. All of the instructors are brilliant, I really rate them and I find I'm thinking about yoga all the time, I want to get better at it, I want to be able to stand on my head. I want to be able to do the stuff the gorgeous girl in this video can do.

However, yoga is about discipline, patience and control. I am going to keep going so I can reach these advanced poses in my own time, not try and rush forward to be the best (yoga isn't about competition), injuring myself in the process. Once I've moved house this weekend, I am simply going to try and fit more classes in.

One act of discipline might be actually managing to make it to the morning classes (and I am googling my new train route right this minute to see if it's doable). I can even go to later classes than I do currently. I like 6pm classes as it's straight after work, but I could wait for a 6:30pm one. My beloved is moving back to Sheffield to finish university and while I have a good social life, I'll miss him terribly so this will be a very nice, wholesome distraction.

Yoga is so good for the mind, I've been super stressed recently, with the move, wedding planning and everything seems to be just going every so slightly wrong,  but yoga seems calm me right down, and does wonders for the body, beyond improved flexibility and potential weight loss, like your heart function, brain function, lymphatic drainage, immune system, digestion...the list goes on...

My workout gear is a pair of yoga pants I picked up in TK Maxx, so very comfortably, and any old top I can find, but I've recently been ogling the ranges at Sweaty Betty and No Balls. Perhaps one day when I have some cash again I can splash out.

No Balls Tank Top at
I got a book for Christmas which was quite an amusing read, Yoga Bitch by Suzanne Morisson about a city woman who goes on a yoga retreat in Bali, I'd recommend it as a far more light-hearted, self-deprecating, and far less self-indulgent read than Eat, Pray, Love!

I'm doing the exercise, wearing the clothes, reading the books, I'm well on my way to being a full-on yogini!