My Week In Yoga: Off Again…
I am sure you can already tell by the length of this post that this week wasn’t the standard career-girl-tries-to-squeeze-in-yoga-where-she-can one.
A yoga retreat to Morocco was the main culprit, but I would be lying if I said that having a 3 hour flight on which to sit quietly by myself and write all of this up wasn’t something to do with the length of this post.
So here it goes…
Quiet, short Easter weeks here at last! With Easter falling late this year, the normal wind-down at work (thank god for school holidays) has felt very late in coming. My plans to take full advantage with a couple of pop-down-to-the-work-gym sessions didn’t quite get going as planed however.
Monday lunchtime vinyasa was the first vinyasa class that I started regularly going to. I remember so clearly trying it out in the summer of 2015, roughly 6 months into my yoga journey when I was only doing one maybe two Iyengar classes a week. I went once and once I was back at my desk, swore to a colleague that I would never go back. The teacher loved drills and I was pretty much a sweaty puddle on the floor at the end of the 45min, and not in a fun way. Scroll forward a few months, when my strength, stamina, and flexibility had increased and I started tentatively to go back. And my love of vinyasa was born.
Scroll even further forward and its become an increasingly rare event for my Monday’s to be quiet enough to get off the desk to fit this in, as well as the fact that I my preference these days for self-practice tends to override the desire to go to a class. But this week I felt like I could use the extra support and direction, as well as saying hi to the lovely teacher who has seen me change immeasurably through these past 3+ years.
However, she was suddenly taken ill and the class was cancelled. Given I was already changed with mat in hand, I headed into the main gym for a self-practice session instead, promising myself I could take it as easy as I needed to.
Which is pretty much what I did: 45min, no sun sals, just lazy slow flows and comforting flexibility work (nothing stressful like hanumasana for me today).
I couldn’t be more grateful on days like this that my self-practice is there for me no matter what is going on on the outside, or on the inside.
I’ve been incredibly lucky in my pregnancy so far when it comes to nausea and sickness: I had one awful day at around 7 weeks where I was totally crippled by it, and that was basically it (as long as I never allowed myself to get hungry during my first trimester). Today was the exception that proved the rule and I woke up feeling grim. Hello week 23. A day of emails and things from bed ensued (cue two very happy cats), so no yoga today.
Still recovering. Which meant I sadly had to bail on my friend’s last hurrah of yoga teaching in London. Lucky I am blessed with such supportive people in my life and he didn’t even bat an eyelid (thanks Alec!)
Busy last day at work, plus packing meant this was another no asana day.
Travel day! I woke up horrifically early (3.45am. Ouch) to get my flight to Marrakech, Morocco for 5 days of yoga and fun with the Bodhi Academy crew. Sam Vetrano (aka @samseesworld) and Irene Pappas (aka @fitqueenirene) were teaching/hosting so I knew this was going to be a good one.
I had been on a retreat with a different mix of the Bodhi crew (Sam, Tina Bock (@tinabock) and Dana Falsetti (@nolatrees)) back in May 2016 to Italy, and had loved every second of it. These girls, as well as being amazing yogis (seriously: go check out both their practices and their words over on Instagram) are just super fun on top of being wise beyond their years. That week of yoga/sightseeing/wine/pizza/laugh-until-your-sides-hurt adventures will always been full of special memories for me.
So when I booked this one trip way before I knew I was pregnant, my vision for what it was going to be was quite different! On top of that, I was a little worried about keeping up in a world where I have practiced a lot less over these past 4-5 months and am now having to modify more than ever. But knowing that this was/is going to be the last time for a long time I can getaway and just be ME, assuaged any doubts, and before I knew it, me and my mat were on the plane.
Upon arrival we were greeted by Sam’s endless energy and Irene’s chilled intensity, and rolled out our mats for a 75min “restorative” yoga class. I say “restorative” because this was Irene style: downdogs, core work, and generally still working at a decent level. Which obviously I loved!! Me and restorative generally don’t go too well together: I am a very binary person. Either 100% on or 100% off. When I yoga, I want to YOGA. When I chill, I find it incredibly easy to sit on the sofa for 10 hours inhaling trashy TV. So yeah, even if it’s a slow flow, hit me with that rather than anything else.
The first full day of retreat meant starting with a 75min morning practice, which today was Sam leading us through a shortened version of the Ashtanga primary sequence.
I’ve dabbled in Ashtanga at various points over the past 3 years but I’ve always felt it much more natural for me to come back to the more creative and varied style that I feel vinyasa offers. However, with both Sam and Irene fresh off a month-long Mysore trip (the home of Ashtanga yoga) and their level of practice and sheer force of personality, I am always always happy to lead wherever they follow on a yoga mat. So this was an excellent way to kick off our first full day.
After some lunch and some tanning – you can’t blame this British girl for taking advantage of every opportunity she gets – I pitched up early to the late afternoon class to flow, and to film for Instagram.
It’s been a LONG TIME since I’ve done this so deliberately, as the past 1-2 years have almost entirely just involved me posting clips of my actual practice. But needs must. That is until I learnt the Wi-Fi was no where need powerful enough to upload videos. Ha! Any hint of this being an issue was quickly wiped out by 75min of chilled vinyasa with Irene though. A great end to the day.
75min morning practice today was Sam leading us through a dynamic vinyasa class. Which in and of itself would have been a great yoga day, but we then added a 90 minute liquid spine workshop and 30min of Yoga Nidra to the list.
I wont add too much to the length of this already very long post, but lets just say this: practicing inversions with Sam, backbends with Irene, and then a led meditation with the warm afternoon Moroccan sunshine on your face is definitely up there with my YTT with Dylan Werner as a top yoga experience.
- Self-Practice: 1hr
- Classes: 7hrs 15min
- TOTAL: 8hrs 15min