Ashtanga Vinyasa

I rediscovered yoga a year ago, and I love it.

Years ago, when I first started getting fit, I gave yoga a try. I thought it would be a pleasant and relaxing change from the cardio workouts. It wasn’t. It was bloody hard work and I was too large and too unfit to enjoy it.

So I guess I developed a ‘can’t do that, too hard’ attitude towards it. A year ago, I hurt my back and finally made the decision that I should stop running. Instead, I started doing Body Balance at Les Mills.

Strictly speaking, Body Balance isn’t yoga. It starts with Tai Chi, then does four tracks (about 15 mins) of yoga, including Ashtanga Vinyasa style yoga focused on strength, stretching and balance. Then we do abs and back work, more stretching, and 5-10 mins of relaxation. It’s so good. I’d even go so far as saying it has been transformative for me.

You’re probably assuming I mean that it’s made me calmer, more centred, yadda yadda. Maybe, but that’s not what I mean. People often say to me, ‘oh yoga, that sounds so relaxing!’. It really, really isn’t.

Doing yoga has made me stronger, and it has vastly improved my balance and fitness. Which seems weird to me, because from the outside yoga looks like a bunch of people standing around in funny poses. But it’s incredibly intense. I sweat as much doing 55 minutes of yoga as I do skating or playing hockey. It helps that yoga is done in a very warm room (makes us extra stretchy).

I revel in my new discovery. If I could, I would do yoga every day, but I’m not sure my legs would let me! It’s a goal I’m working towards. As it is, I do 4-5 sessions a week as often as I can. When I can’t get to the class, I have an app on my iPad that takes me through the moves at home.

So there you go, I’m turning into a yoga junkie.

PS if you have never tried yoga and doubt my assessment of its difficulty, try this: stand in the poses in the picture below. Now hold each position for a full minute without moving, but slowly sinking lower into your legs until they burn. Repeat on each side. For 10 minutes.

Voila, yoga!

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Hallo 2014

In 2013 my main goals were to pass roller derby freshmeat and skate with Dead End Derby, and to travel with Stephen. Achievement unlocked.

The themes for 2014 will be skating, hockey and travel.  This year I want to:

– pass my yearly roller derby skills test, including completing 27 laps in 5 minutes

– be good enough to be selected for the Living Dead Rollers roller derby travel team

– improve my ice hockey skills: run with the puck more, work on passing and shooting at goal. A goal would be a lovely bonus

– finish the roller rink and have a launch party

– travel: to the West Coast and Sydney/Vanuatu in March, Tekapo in June/July, Kaikoura in November at the very least

And less specifically, I will schedule my time less so I have more downtime. I will not take on any new big projects this year – I have plenty of project ideas bubbling away, but I won’t move them forward this year.

This means I will need to say ‘no’ more often. I struggle with saying no, and I’ve been contemplating why this is. I feel like I missed out on a lot of things in my younger years. Having children in my teens closed a lot of doors for me. Now my children have grown up, there are all these doors that I can peak through and I don’t want to leave any of them unopened!

So this year, I intend to do lots of interesting things, but my attention will be more targeted on a few things that I really enjoy – skating, hockey and travel. These are things that I can do with my family and friends, they keep me fit, make me happy, and keep my brain engaged.

I’m picking that 2014 will be a good one.

Skating
Skating
Ice hockey
Ice hockey
Travel
Travel
And RELAXATION!
And RELAXATION!