Sunday, 14 February 2016

Leaving it on the mat.

These last few months have been a whirlwind of travelling, socializing, wearing really uncomfortable panty hose and yoga.

I never thought I would say this....but I'm learning to really love the time I have on my 72" X 24" dimension mat. It's the only thing that's been pretty consistent over the last two months. I've also learned to value how little or how much time I have on my mat. Some days, it's only been 20 minutes, but that's been enough time to make me feel like I've made time for myself and I've moved around loosening up some tightness. Moving with purpose and focusing on my breathe and body. That time is about me, all ABOUT ME. And no one else.

I went to my first yoga class about 15 years ago - I continued to practice mostly because I LOVED the dripping of sweat on my mat. It would sound like an intense tropical rainfall in Costa Rica....I LOVED IT. I loved the feeling of sweat starting at my forehead and making it's way to the tip of my nose and then....DRIP onto my mat. I won't lie - I still love the feeling of the reverse shower I get at hot yoga, but now actually taking the time to practice at home in my own neutral-temperature apartment is not something I ever thought I would do. Yoga was alway something I would do to mix up my workouts, but now it's becoming THE workout. The consistent thing in my life.

Do I miss the DEEP BASS and heavy hand clapping of aerobics? ABSOLUTELY. Do I want to break out in high kick and dance while we are doing sun salutations?- YES, why can't I make my own sun salutations up with high kicks? Do I find it hard not to talk to my neighbour in class and socialize while we are supposed to be focusing on our breathe - SOOOO HARD NOT TO TALK TO THEM! LET ME WHISPER PLEASE....I can say, in this moment in my life, with so much uncertainty and chaos when I'm on my mat I feel like I can focus on me and I know it will probably be okay...and even if I am not okay, I know how to do some really cool inversions now. That's right - upside down, right side up - I can do it.
If you are looking for some yoga to do at home, this is a free site that has something for every level:

(I had problems streaming some of the videos from the site so I searched the ones I wanted on Youtube and I was good to go).

People change, our workout preferences change, life changes and it can be scary/anxiety provoking/exciting. Do what makes you feel safe, happy and focused to get through it all.

This video includes EXCELLENT rain noises (10 hours of it!) to inspire you to drip out the sweat on the mat.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

The INNER Sweat

Happy New Year! I hope you all had some wonderful holidays that involved time with friends, family and hydration after those holiday workouts! The holidays means time at home for me - which allows me to do many of my fave Body Attack, Daily Method and Spin workouts. The best part - it's ALWAYS with a friend/my mom.

This year I decided I would take some time during the holidays and try a different kind of "workout." A more intrinsic one involving a lot of focus on the breath, awareness of the body and thoughts.

WAIT A MINUTE...this doesn't sound too sweaty? Okay you GOT me - you're right, but I was surprised to find it the perfect addition to the rest of the sweaty fun I partake in. I've been going to gentle yin and meditation classes over the last couple of weeks. It's quite new for me, and I find the entire 60-90 minutes a struggle to shut off the madness in my mind. It's definitely as challenging and even more so then many of the other more physical workouts I have done.

These classes to me represent self-care. The teacher acts as a guide that leads you through suggested movements and reminds you to focus on your breath throughout the class. The lights are perfectly dim, with a few candles flickering in the front, and the guide speaks with such a gentle voice which is so easy to get lost in. I wish I could say that for those 60-90 minutes my mind shuts off and I completely focus on the breathing - but this would be an outrageous lie. I think what I've learned more than anything is my mind is polluted with all sorts of noise. It's impossible for me to focus on th breath after 6 or seven breaths. The first step is self-awareness...right?

I will definitely continue to attend these types of classes because I'm realizing as important as it is for me to have a physical workout, it's also nice to have the time for self-care and attempts to decrease that noise even just a little bit.