SUP Yoga in Croatia

You may remember that last October, I headed out to the island of Vis, Croatia to teach on a week long yoga retreat with the team at SummerSalt Yoga.

Well, lucky me, earlier this year, they invited me back to participate in their newly launched SUP yoga retreats, this time from the perspective of a guest.

Here’s what went down…

(July 2016)

I arrived to the island late Saturday evening to the welcoming warm ocean breeze, a slight contrast to the rainy welcome on my visit first visit back in October. I greeted Mario like an old friend and was driven up to the villa above Vis town along with some of the other guests. My friend Vicky was already tucked up in bed and so after catching up on the gossip, we soon dozed off to sleep seemingly to awaken just a couple of minutes later, ready for our first class of the week. But not before I’d glimpsed out of our bedroom window at the stunning sight below.

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Each day began at around 7:30am with a warming and gentle Vinyasa flow on the rooftop, led by our lovely teacher Vanessa Fleming. At 8:15, we’d swap our yoga wear for swim wear and the rooftop for the beach, strolling down leisurely with our paddles and fins, ready to greet Mario who would be waiting with the boards. Having tried SUP a couple of times in the Philippines, I was quietly confident about the SUP yoga but I soon realised that standing on the boards and then moving through asanas on the board were two different things entirely! It was certainly a great workout though, firing up every muscle and getting our metabolisms going ready for the epic breakfast Milda was lovingly preparing back at the villa. Class complete, we hopped in the minibus back up the hill – a necessary trip despite the proximity to town, especially after all that exercise!

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Breakfast was a nice leisurely affair as we filled our bellies and got to know the other guests. Then the plans for the day would be set, whether a trip down to the stunning Stiniva beach, a boat trip to the Blue Cave or a free day to wander around the town drinking coffee and browsing in the stores at the local delicacies. Vis is a bit different from some of the other islands in Croatia. A lot of the typical ‘Brits abroad’ (and Aussies and Kiwis) have chosen Croatia as the latest partying destination, and it’s easy to see why with all the festivals, yacht parties and the endless sunshine on offer. But Vis has still remained a little unspoilt treasure, tucked away from all the action, so although there are a few tourists wandering around, you still feel like you’re getting a real taste of island life.

Gate-crashing the party

Despite being on a yoga retreat, the vibe was definitely one of embracing all that was one offer and so when Milda mentioned that she might be able to get us on the guest list for a yacht week party in Fort George, of course we jumped at the chance!

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The setting was stunning, the music had us busting out the moves, not really caring that the rest of the party-goers were a little more refined, and with a few gin and tonics making me merry I could have happily stayed all evening dancing the night away in my own little bubble of happiness. But the others weren’t enjoying the atmosphere quite as much as me and so when the bus arrived around 1:30am, we hopped on board and headed back home to bed. I was anticipating hitting snooze on my alarm the next morning but I was still high on endorphin’s from the previous night and post-yoga, we had even more excitement to look forward to as I was finally going to get to visit the beautiful blue caves.

Our skippers helped us to carry on the party, blasting out the music as we bounced up and down with the waves and ventured out to the caves. When we arrived at the mouth of the cave, the skipper shouted ‘DUCK’ and we quickly we curled up into little balls before squeezing through the tiny gap to get into the cave. Photos just can’t do this place justice and it’s worth putting the camera down for one of those rare moments when you just want to take it all in without the distraction of a lens. After a circle of the cave, we each hopped off the back of the boat and decided to swim our way back out, trying with a little more energy than anticipated to fight the current to get back on the boat and again jet off to another stunning beach,Bisevo. Here we spent the afternoon eating and swimming off the excess of the previous night before.

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After the day’s activities, we would head to the rooftop for a gentle Yin practice, or even better, back onto the SUP boards to thoroughly relax as we bobbed along with the waves and listened to the sound of the church bells reminding us it was time to wake up from Savasana and head back home for another delicious dinner.

As if the rooftop wasn’t an idyllic setting enough, we also had an evening practicing on the roof of Fort George one evening, the class ending just in time for us to watch the most stunning sunset over the water. A slightly different experience than the previous evening of partying at the Fort, but equally as fun!

As ever, dinner was one of my favourite times of day. We’d sit down as a group on our outdoor patio and enjoy whatever culinary delight Milda had prepared for us that day – from black bean Mexican chilli one evening to peach, brie and walnut topped bread bites for lunch, all the way through to the Indian inspired spinach curry – the food NEVER gets boring. And when you’re doing that much exercise, it’s only right to fuel your body with extra nourishing portions right?! But it was the social aspect of dinner that made it all the more pleasurable with trips to Roki’s local taverna and post-class dinner at Fort George offering a change of scenery mid-week.

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As if two visits to this wonderful island weren’t enough, I’m already on countdown until I return this September 17th-24th for the Balance Yoga retreats. I will be leading the morning classes in the Vinyasa style of yoga, alongside Vanessa Fleming who will be taking us through a restorative Yin practice in the evenings. If you fancy joining me, here’s everything you need to know.

A week long yoga retreat (in pictures)

On October 9th, I packed my bags and left my London life behind for a week teaching yoga on the beautiful island of Vis in Croatia.

The journey didn’t come without its challenges but overall it was a week of sunshine (mostly), new friends, meditation, Vinyasa yoga, Yin yoga and of course, some poolside posing.

Here’s what we got up to with the wonderful team at Croatia-retreat.com...

Saturday

The group arrived late in the evening so amidst a power outage, a heavy shower of rain and a warm welcome from the retreat hosts Mario and Milda, I took the time to calm a mix of nerves and excitement by reading a book by one of my favourite inspirational yogis, Rachel Brathen.

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Sunday

Day one of classes, we started off with a high energy Vinyasa class followed by a delicious and healthy breakfast. The sun was still hiding so after we’d eaten, Mario took us into the town of Vis to learn a little about the history as we got snap-happy with all the beautiful rustic buildings.

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We wrapped up the day with a meditation in the cosy studio, each praying for some sunshine so that we could venture outside for class the next day.

Monday

Still a little chilly in the morning, I led the class through another powerful Vinyasa sequence, building the pitta (fire) energy with a good few rounds of sun salutations to warm our bodies up from the inside out.

Thankfully the sun gods had heard our prayers the night before and by the time we’d wrapped up breakfast, the golden rays were out in force. We wasted no time at all donning our swimwear as we huddled into the minivan and on to Stiniva beach where we took a short hike down the steep mountainside to reach the pebbly beach where we were delighted with this stunning view…

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Post-swim, we played around with some Acro moves and attracted the attention of some other travelers who were soon joining in the fun.

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With the sun still shining brightly that evening, we decided to make the most of it and took our Yin yoga practice outside to the poolside, warming up first with some chanting along to Deva Premal and Mitel’s ‘Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu‘. For many of the guests, it was their first time chanting but it seemed to go down well as requests were made the next day for more of the same.

Tuesday

Despite the seemingly easy trek down the mountain the day before, some of us were feeling surprisingly achy the next morning so we used the first class of the day to focus on opening up the hips to relieve any tightness before we headed off on another adventure with our hosts, this time to the picturesque town of Komiza.

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Wednesday

As with most things in life, where there is light, there is darkness to be found too. After three days of bliss and harmony, the muggy humid weather seemed to have had a little too heated effect on one of the guests culminating in a fiery outburst “It’s too hot, no?” during our morning Vinyasa class, catching the class mid-flow and bringing us all to a grinding halt. Another student started shouting out advice and I knew I needed to take control of the situation quickly before it ruined the experience for the rest of the class. Thankfully we were able to continue, bringing the energy back up and ending on a high note but the shock was still with me and I had to take a moment to myself to let go and take in a valuable lesson from the morning.

Wednesday

No matter how others act, we can only be in control of our own reactions. Rather than fighting fire with fire, I took the choice to come at the situation with love and it paid off, as the rest of the day only brought us back into harmony, culminating in a beautiful relaxing Yin Yoga class, opening up the seven chakras (energy centres along the spine) in our evening class, paying particular attention to the heart chakra 😉

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Thursday

The rain came down again on the Thursday and thankfully the humidity went down with it. We took a slower pace in our morning Vinyasa class, choosing instead to hold the poses for longer to build heat in a different way. Post-class we enjoyed another delicious, healthy meal and that let our creative juices flow with an afternoon of art therapy with the lovely Milda.

 

I’d bought an adult colouring book earlier in the year and was loving the relaxing quality of becoming absorbed in creating beautiful images on the page, but post-class I could feel that my body wanted to get moving so I donned my new trainers and took off for a speedy walk towards the beach. As soon as I stepped out of the villa, the ideas came flooding in and I scrapped my original evening plans for class, instead opting to take the group on a Mindful walk around the garden, followed by an energy-boosting dance outside the studio, before eventually winding down with a relaxing Yin practice, focusing on digestion as we were all still getting used to our new healthier diet.

Friday

Our final day with the group and thankfully the sun came out to make it one of our best days yet. We practiced Vinyasa outside by the pool, turning our faces to the sun as we twisted our bodies in crescent lunge twist and prayer twist. We guzzled up breakfast, then switched yoga gear for swimsuits as we played by the pool, sunbathing, reading and taking photos of some of our favourite yoga poses.

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But it’s not all yoga, yoga, yoga despite what the title might suggest. We were on holiday after all and so for our final lunch together we convinced Milda and Mario to drop the aprons and join us for a lunch of freshly caught fish, Mediterranean vegetables and of course a glass or two of bubbly Prosecco at a restaurant in town.

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Another evening Yin class and it was with great sadness that we waved goodbye to the guests who were departing early Saturday morning.

Milda and Mario are currently working on plans for the 2016 yoga retreats but keep your eye on Croatia-retreat.com for updates. Hopefully I’ll be joining them again on the wonderful island of Vis.

Namaste.

A Dalmatian adventure

In just over 5 weeks I’ll be heading out to the sunny island of Vis in Croatia for a week long yoga retreat.

My love of yoga holidays began a couple of years ago in Spain and I’ve been searching for new locations to get my fix of sunshine and feel-good yoga ever since. I’ve been back to Spain a few times since to check out another yoga retreat and earlier this year I joined a two-day yoga festival on the magical island of Ibiza. This Autumn however, I wanted to try somewhere a little different…

I researched yoga and surf trips in Morocco and Italy, sailing yoga adventures in Turkey and even thought about heading back to Ibiza. But when I came across Being Urban retreats, I knew I’d found my next sanctuary.

The location is idyllic, with the beautiful stone villa nestled on a hilltop with all the amenities you could wish for including a large outdoor area, pool and yoga studio. Plus there’s three healthy vegetarian meals provided each day to keep your energy levels up.

Being UrbanBut it was the abundance of activities on offer that appealed to me most;  twice-daily yoga, art classes, meditation and island discovery adventures.

Activities

When I heard that they were looking for a yoga teacher to host the daily morning and evening classes, I decided to get in touch to see if I could offer my skills. A couple of interviews later and I was in. When Milda (who heads up the team at Dalmatia events) invited me along to teach on the retreat from 10th—17th October it felt like all my Christmases’ had come at once!

If you think it sounds like your kind of trip too, then why not join us this October? There’s still a couple of spots left if you hurry! Book now.

Flying high in Ibiza

(June 2015)

Last weekend, I packed my bags and set off after work for the sunny skies of Ibiza. Leaving work, relationship and general life stress behind, I stepped into the glorious Spanish sunshine and felt instantly uplifted. That energising feeling lasted the whole weekend as my friend Charlotte joined me and a host of other wonderful yogis for two days of yoga at the Ibiza Yoga Festival organised by Jo Youle of JoGa Beats.

Day One

The line-up for the festival was incredible. We began the first day with a Kundalini Yoga practice led by Trish Whelan. I’ve been meaning to try Kundalini for a while but hadn’t got round to it due to a hectic work, social and teaching  schedule that is typical of any Londoner, and so I was pleased to find the opportunity to try out a variety of yoga styles over the two days.

The combination of meditation, pranayama, chanting mantra and yoga asanas truly awakened the Kundalini energy within and despite a distinct lack of sleep the night before I found myself brimming with energy. I may have even injured my ankle at one point as I got a little carried away with the jumping around, taking me right back to my favourite part of my own yoga teacher training where we would jump around to upbeat music to get our energy pumping.

Once awakened, we decided to depart the yoga deck and check out the rest of the quirky venue that is Ibiza Rocks House at Pike’s hotel. An Ibiza institution, the hotel is the perfect combination of glamour and down-right weird. Think poolside lounge beds with beautiful cocktail waitresses serving (very pricey) drinks and delicious food, combined with unique décor and a clientele that ranges from young buff men posing for the girls, to rich clientele looking to splash the cash on any young girl that catches their eye. The overall atmosphere lends itself to making you feel instantly at home and despite the high price tag for the hotel rooms, there isn’t a pretentious poser in site, exactly my kind of place.

Next on the line-up was Kids Yoga, followed by Kirsty Gallagher Yoga and Arun for Prajna Yoga. Despite wanting to join in on every single class over the two days, my injury-riddled body was calling for some relaxation and so, for once, I decided to listen and instead soak up the sunshine with Charlotte and our new amigos Ellie and Mel.

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But, when it came to late afternoon, we couldn’t resist heading back over to the yoga deck to join Jo for her Joga Beats class and we were certainly glad we did. Jo has been teaching for around 8 years and recently did some additional training with Linda D’Antal which resulted in an amazing dance-like yoga class set to the sounds of an uplifting playlist which included my personal favourite, a Montmartre remix of the Bob Marley classic ‘Is this Love’.

Once we came around from Savasana, we had a good half hour to recoup and fill up on some divine Positivitea courtesy of Ellie before it was playtime on the mat with an Acro yoga class led by Yamuna Devi of Ashiyana Yoga. Now I’ve dabbled with a bit of acro yoga before, but this was on another level. Yam is what I would call the epitome of a yoga teacher; warm-hearted, open and strong, the perfect lead for anyone who’s about to bend you backwards, spin you around and turn you upside down. As with most styles of yoga, Acro isn’t necessarily about flexibility but rather surrendering to the asana and working with your partner to achieve balance in the posture. And balance we did…

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It’s safe to say we all felt high as a kite when we left the workshop and I soon started looking up how I could train in the art of acro.

Day two

The next day we woke early but rather than joining the others for the morning session, Charlotte, Ellie and I snuck off to mosey around the local Sunday market in San Joan de Labritja, close to where we were staying. We picked up a coffee and wandered from stall to stall, marvelling at the beautiful trinkets on each one; custom-made feather and leather handbags from India, uniquely designed jewellery made from silver and precious stones and paintings from local artists and travellers. If I’d had the money I would have bought it all (especially that leather/feather bag that I’m still day dreaming about, sigh).

But alas, with eyes bigger than the crystals we were coveting, it was time to depart to make it back to Pike’s in time for the second class of the day, Body Art with Nicole Gibbard. As I’d suspected the day before when I met Nicole and saw her perfectly toned body, this class was going to be no walk in the park and sure enough, she didn’t disappoint. A combination of cardio and yoga in the unique ‘body art’ style, the class served to work every muscle of the body, focusing on alignment to perfectly sculpt the muscles into sinewy perfection. Well, it may take more than one class to do that but given the amount my cheeks were burning afterwards I’ve no doubt I’d been perfectly worked out.

Thankfully the next class was a much-needed counter-balance as we were taken through a guided mindfulness meditation with Ross Stephenson. Sitting cross legged on our mats, feeling the breeze cooling our too warm faces and the sun gently creeping in through the canopied roof, you could almost be forgiven for drifting off to the beach, but the purpose was to stay present and the booming sound track coming from the poolside at Pike’s certainly made sure that we did.

By the time the meditation was over, we headed in our blissed out state over to the sun loungers by the pool, sadly missing Anusara’s Yogi and Yuni class, Warrior Women with Larah Davis and Leanna Buchannen’s Yoga Mojo Flow. I’ve been assured that they were all excellent though, of which I have no doubt, but the sunshine and sol’s were calling, it was a holiday after all.

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By the time 6:30 came around, I was ready to call it a day with the yoga and tuck into the sol’s but when Ola arrived to teach the acro yoga class, curiosity (and the inability to sit still for more than five minutes) got the better of me and I soon found myself wandering over to check out the workshop. I think we all fell a little in love with Ola that day, a true beauty, she just seemed to glow with radiance and feminine energy, we were half in awe, half in love and when she, like Yam the day before, flipped us all around into all manners of acrobatic positions we were left feeling as elated as we had the day before. I dare you to try a class and not feel like you’re walking on air afterwards!

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Post-fest, we played in the pool and all thoughts of the final ‘secret session’ were forgotten as it was clearly time to wind down and get the party started. Whilst we’d been having some wholesome fun on the yoga deck, it seemed that the rest of Pike’s had been up to their own brand of debauchery and we soon found ourselves part of a wedding party (the ‘happy couple’ had met just hours earlier in the pool of all places). Not ones to miss out on a party we got caught up in the merriment and when it came time to leave, I for one felt like Alice stumbling out of the rabbit hole…

Until next time!

Yogi Beach Haven by the river

As with all dreams, they can sometimes take a while to really get off the ground but once you start taking baby steps even the most seemingly unobtainable vision can become a reality.

My BIG goal is to one day own my own yoga studio / home by the beach somewhere sunny but as a hard-up events manager / writer / yoga teacher saving the money to make those dreams a reality is going to take some time.

Rather than getting disillusioned though, I’m a firm believer in manifesting the life you really want with a mixture of positive thinking and a whole load of hard work!

So after months of teacher training, building up some experience by teaching friends, volunteering at my local studio and building up a small following at my local bootcamp, I’m finally ready to launch my first ever studio class for Yogi Beach Haven.

YBH studio

Ok, so it’s not quite the beach but personally I think that St Mary’s Church by the river in Putney is as close to a chilled out ‘beachy’ venue as I’m going to find in London. Just look at the sunlight streaming in through those big windows, who wouldn’t want to escape the mayhem down below for an hour of mindful, flowing practice on the mat?

Every Thursday from 7:30-8:30pm, I’ll be taking my students through a 60-minute Vinyasa sequence that aims to work every part of the body whilst synchronizing the movement to the breath. The purpose of this is to bring some mindfulness to our practice, taking us out of our constantly busy over-thinking minds, to find some peace in the middle of the mayhem.

Whether you’re a beginner or have been practicing for years, you’ll leave feeling uplifted and glowing, much like after a day at the beach!

Head to the class schedule for more info on booking your spot and to hear about the intro offer.

I can’t wait to see your smiling faces on the mat!

Lauren x

Choose a job you love & you’ll never work a day in your life…

I always used to think the old Conficus saying “Choose a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life” was a bit of a cliche, that was until I discovered my passion for teaching yoga…

Since passing my 200hr teacher training with Hot Power Yoga just a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been using every opportunity possible to share my passion for yoga with everyone who is willing. I’ve taught private sessions at home with my friend Charlotte, who is loving the one-on-one attention and assists.

One-on-one assists
One-on-one assists

Community classes at Hot Power Yoga where I’ve had some lovely feedback from some of the regular students – “You really give the class great energy” – Greg Hickman.

And last night, I joined my local fitness bootcamp, Think Urban Fitness for a boxing session followed by yoga on the common with little ol’ me! We’re hoping to introduce more yoga sessions to TUF over the next few months and so if you’re interested in signing up, check out their website and come along for a free trial!

Here’s a sneak peak at what you can expect to see:

Stretching out the abs with some upward facing dog
Stretching out the abs with some upward facing dog
Strengthening the core (and getting some killer abs) with side plank
Strengthening the core (and getting some killer abs) with side plank
Working the glutes, switching on the leg muscles and creating space in the lower spine with Warrior 1
Working the glutes, switching on the leg muscles and creating space in the lower spine with Warrior 1
Attempting Eagle pose with trainers = tricky!
Attempting Eagle pose with trainers = tricky!

Hope to see you at a session soon!

Love,
Lauren ♥

The Ibiza Yoga Festival

Yoga, sunshine, music and dancing. These are a few of my favourite things!

So, when I heard about the Ibiza Yoga Festival taking place on 21st & 22nd June this year, I knew that there was no place I’d rather be.

Bringing two days of Kundalini, Vinyasa Flow Yoga, Ashtanga, Anusara, JoGa Beats and Meditation, the festival is the perfect place to fire you up ready for an incredible summer.

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Check out http://www.ibizayogafestival.net/ for more info.

More info coming soon…

Why you should give yoga a try (especially if you’re not flexible)

Whenever I invite non-yogi friends to join me for a class, their usual response is ‘Oh but I’m not flexible enough’. It seems that many people believe that they already need to be flexible/slim/spiritual before they can even try yoga, but being ‘perfect’ at yoga is entirely the opposite of what yoga is all about. Even some of the best teachers still fall out of poses in their own practice.

Which is why I want to clear up some of the misconceptions about what yoga is and isn’t…

YOGA IS FOR GIRLS – wrong! Yoga was traditionally a male practice. Bikram Choudhury, B.K.S Iyengar and K. Pattabhi Jois are all male, and are all founders of three of the most commonly practiced forms of yoga in the West: Bikram, Iyengar and (my personal favourite), Ashtanga Vinyasa. So whilst when we think of a ‘yogi’ we might conjure up images of athletic young women in funky yoga shorts and cropped tops, the practice is a fantastic workout for both men and women.

If Wolverine can do yoga... Source: www.justjared.com
If Wolverine can do yoga…
Source: www.justjared.com


YOGA IS JUST STRETCHING AND BREATHING
 – Wrong! Whilst it’s true that ‘the breath’ is one of the most important aspects of the practice and stretching out those tired limbs is great for increasing your flexibility and cooling down effectively, yoga is a tough workout!

Where do you think all these yogis get toned arms and flat abs from? It isn’t from flexing down at the gym. No, yogis build their muscles slowly, transitioning from high plank to low plank to upward facing dog, working every core muscle as they flow. Add to that a 30-40 degree heated studio and you’ve got yourself quite a workout.

Source: www.yogatrail.com
Source: www.yogatrail.com


YOGA IS FOR SLIM, FLEXIBLE PEOPLE WITH DANCER-LIKE BODIES
 – Wrong again! Yoga is for men, women, tall people, short people, curvy bodies, slim bodies and everything in between. Whilst the physical benefits of yoga will no doubt help to slim you down and tone you up, it’s the psychological benefits that will really have an impact on your day to day life. As I mentioned in ‘my yoga journey’ post, it was yoga that helped me to change my attitude and turn me into a more positive and grateful person.

Source: www.zmescience.com
Source: www.zmescience.com


YOGA IS ALL ABOUT HEADSTANDS AND HOW FAR YOU CAN BEND
 – nope.

Now I myself have been known to be a little competitive, but I like to think this is in a positive sense. For example, along with my yoga practice, I attend a fitness bootcamp on Clapham Common. Initially, when I first joined the camp, I was one of the fastest runners, especially amongst the girls. So, in order to push myself I would often race with one of the boys. Now, the camp is fuller and many of my friends are faster and stronger than me. But rather than seeing this as a negative thing, I think it’s a brilliant opportunity to push myself to train harder and run faster. Sometimes my friends win the race, sometimes I do, but it doesn’t matter because we all get fitter in the process.

Source: @YogaVibes Twitter page

And it’s the same with yoga. I often practice with my friend Charlotte. She is super tall with legs up to her armpits whilst I’m a petite 5”3. So when it comes to our practice, what we can do is vastly different. Whilst she can get into a trikanasana (triangle)no problem, my short legs coupled with an ongoing lower back injury make it one of the most difficult postures for me. But, it’s much easier for me to walk my little legs up into a head stand whilst her long legs can sometimes get in the way. That’s the beauty of yoga though. It doesn’t matter what shape or size you are, how bendy or non-flexible you are, the practice is all about YOU. Improve yourself and let others work on themselves.

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So, whether you’ve never thought of practising yoga before or have secretly always wanted to give it a try, go for it! I promise you won’t regret it.

My yoga journey…

A new city, a new hobby

When I moved to London in 2010, I hardly knew a soul other than my then-boyfriend Rich. So, when a friend from college invited me to try a Bikram yoga class with her, I jumped at the chance, if only for the inevitable natter we’d have pre and post class.

I’d been warned that the studio would be hot (40 degrees in fact), but for a beach lover like me I wasn’t too fazed. 90 minutes later, 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises complete, I was red-faced, dripping in sweat and dying for some fresh air. What had everyone so hooked?

Then, after showering and cooling down, suddenly it hit me…the ‘yoga high’. Endorphins were flowing, toxins had been released and I felt leaner and taller than I had in a long time. I wanted more!

I bought my first 30 day pass, completed the month and then proceeded to dot around the various different studios in London taking advantage of their offers. You see, I love yoga, but it can sometimes be a little pricey.

Then in 2013, a new studio (BYCJ) opened up around the corner from my house. Before they’d even opened the doors to welcome in their first customer, I’d already contacted the owner to see if I could help out in the studio in exchange for free classes. Thankfully he agreed and my somewhat sporadic practice was suddenly a weekly routine.

It was after about 6 months that I started to notice a difference in myself. Not necessarily physically (I’ve always been active) but mentally. I was happier, less stressed and more positive than I had been in the 4 years since I’d moved to London. Give me more…

Deepening my practice

That summer, I decided that I needed a weekend away and as it was going to be a solo trip, I thought a yoga retreat would be ideal. It was there that I discovered a different style of yoga and vowed to learn more.

Source: Yogaholidayspain.com
Source: Yogaholidayspain.com

When I got back to London, I took my time dabbling in different styles and studios. Yoga Haven, Lindsay Jay Fitness and YogaLondon to name but a few, but it wasn’t until I stumbled across HPY (Hot Power Yoga), that I really found my niche.

Manifesting Dreams…

Fast forward a year and the summer of 2014 was fast approaching. Life was going well until all of a sudden I was made redundant from my job as an events manager. I didn’t want to dwell in a puddle of self pity so instead I filled my days with job hunting, sunbathing and regular trips to HPY. It was here that my dream of one day opening up my own studio really started to cement itself. I spent my holiday in Greece talking and thinking about it more, even drawing pictures of how I’d want the studio to look and what it would called.

Then I set my dreams into motion.

I saved hard for a year or so, giving up luxuries like new clothes and shoes, so I could save faster. Then in November 2014 I was finally ready to book onto the yoga teacher training course. I attended two open days, one at YogaLondon in Bermondsey and one at HPY in Clapham. Whilst they both offered similar programmes and methods of teaching, I felt more of a connection to HPY and so signed up on the dotted line that day.

There’s now less than 4 weeks to go until I begin my yoga teacher training journey. Wish me luck!