With the non-stop rain, Alex being away this week and feeling the squeeze before payday I decided to spend my evenings doing yoga and gym classes.
On Monday I was suffering quite severely from post holiday blues having just spent an amazing few days in Budapest. Returning to work was a bit of shock to the system, so by Monday evening I wasn’t in the best of moods. Luckily, I knew my evening yoga class would sort me out. I always look forward to this class because it’s slow-paced, gentle and leaves me feeling like a sleepy, stretched out cat – exactly what I need at the start of the week! This week there was a substitute teacher who had a lovely, calming voice (a bit like Cybil’s from Downton Abbey..!?) so I was hooked from the start. The class was spent doing incredibly gentle postures which slowly eased out some aches and pains. Having Mumford and Sons playing in the background created a lovely atmosphere and a nice change to either silence or typical tinkly yoga music. I used to consider these classes a bit of a waste of time because they weren’t challenging me or increasing my flexibility but I’ve now come to realise that yoga isn’t just about the challenging postures. The meditation and relaxation gained from gentle classes is beneficial and can really counteract the effects of more difficult workouts and everyday stress. This is is now one of my favourite classes, especially when I’m feeling lazy and it’s pouring with rain…
Before yoga I always try and eat something light which isn’t going to make me feel bloated or heavy in the lesson. On Monday I ate courguette noodles with a minted avocado dressing and chestnut mushrooms. Seriously yummy! Have a look here for the recipe from Deliciously Ella.
Tuesday is always slightly hectic as I have to rush off to teach a private lesson once normal school has finished. To save time, I run from school and hope that I won’t arrive too hot and sweaty! Jess and I are massive fans of run-commuting as it kills two birds with one stone, saving precious time in the evening. Luckily, on Tuesdays it means I can whizz home after I’ve finished teaching and quickly get changed ready for Booty Barre. The class this week was great and I’m really enjoying feeling fitter and more agile. I definitely don’t find the class as tough as I used to, I think because of the increased strength in my leg muscles.
Wednesday always begin with slight trepidation about what is to come in the evening. I have started doing a Jivamukti yoga class which I love but which is incredibly challenging. The class lasts for 90 minutes and runs continuously through a sequence which changes each month depending on the theme. The usual teacher, Molly, is incredibly knowledgeable and I feel like I learn a lot about my practise every lesson. However, my arms ache for days afterwards because of the chataranga overload. This week Molly was away in India so we had a substitute who led an amazing lesson. It began with a Sanskrit chant:
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
This translates as:
May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.
This chant really resonated with me and got my practise off to a good start. As usual with Jivamukti, there was music playing in the background which kept the class upbeat and stopped me being lazy when wheel posture came around.
My yoga week was finished with a Power Yoga class on Thursday. I’m generally a bit achy after Jiivamukti, but this week my arms felt surprisingly okay. We worked through quite a vigorous sequence and once again tried to coax ourselves up into crow pose. Being told that the teacher’s friend had plummeted forward and broken her nose doing this rather put me off though. I think it’s one that I will be practising at home with a cushion from now on!
Finally Friday has arrived and I am feeling ready for the weekend. Jess and I are planning on cooking up a feast based on recipes from Deliciously Ella and, fingers crossed, I should be going to the vegetarian restaurant Manna with Alex.
If you would like to know about different types of yoga, have a look at the guest post I did on the Exercise Archives for my friend Lizzy, here.
Enjoy your weekend!