Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Recording Moments without living Them......

The bus is waiting for people to complete boarding. It is hot and I shift uncomfortably in my seat.  My eyes are drawn to what is going on outside.  In the square, children are riding on Greek donkeys. A father follows alongside the donkeys holding a camera.  He is recording every moment of his childrens' adventure.

I know how that goes.  You want every moment of your child's life to stay in your memory. You try get as much of it as you can on film. Then, if your memory should ever fail you, you have proof that it really happened.  People say, our children grow up so quickly and now I know it's true.  I miss my baby already and he is only four.

As the bus moves off, I glance across at the two men in my life.  They are snoozing gently, man and boy, oblivious to my gaze. I produce my camera and take a photo, then a video. An elderly woman smiles at me knowingly.

It occurs to me that, like the man with the children on the donkeys, I may well be too busy recording moments to really enjoy them. At every turn, on this Greek holiday, I am taking pictures and videos, desperate not to miss anything. But by doing this, am I really able to enjoy what is happening in the moment?

Are we so busy recording events, that we don't actually  get to enjoy living them?  Do we just live the moment over and over later, as we watch the recording back?  Is that when we actually notice things we didn't 'see' at the actual event? I find it bizarre when I really think about it and yet I am compelled to do it.

As I stare out at the passing landscapes of Greece, I resolve to relax the camera and  exercise my memory!  

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Getting Out of Your Head and Into Your Body?

When I expressed how much I had enjoyed a yoga class, one of my fellow  students said 'yes, isn't it great to get out of the head and into the body?'.  At the time I agreed with her, but later, when doing my evening stretches, it struck me that when I was in the flow, that particular evening, I had actually felt out of my body!  

This was a great feeling for me because up until that point, I had often looked at other slimmer, fitter, more experienced people in the class and felt inadequate. Old familiar feelings of negative self image had often risen as I struggled with the poses. I had connected the practice of yoga with what my body looked and felt like. I had done this when practicing at home but particularly during class.

That evening, I began to truly realise that I am not in competition with anyone else, either in yoga or in other parts of my life. I realised that my yoga practice should be less about drawing me in to stronger identification with my body, but rather help me to let go.

By practicing yoga regularly, my body is improving physically anyway and my mind is certainly more peaceful so there is no need to dwell on this.  I just 'know' that this is happening as I 'go with the flow' and do the poses in a 'mindlessly mindful' way.

Natasha Rizopoulos saysAccording to Patanjali, it’s the identification with thoughts and feelings that causes suffering not the thoughts and feelings themselves.  So if you can put a tiny bit of distance between them and your sense of who you actually are, then life can be a little bit less painful.  And your mind can be a little bit less hectic.
This is where the familiar practices of Asana and meditation come in.
When you sit, you learn not to engage with every single thought/feeling that enters the fray.  Things come up and you let them float by rather than entering into a (repetitive) dialogue.
Similarly, when you practice postures you learn to use the physical body as a way of focusing your attention in the immediate present, on what is actually happening.  You learn how to corral your attention so that your “fluctuations” are between events that are related in some way, as opposed to the wild roller coaster rides that our minds often take us on.'

Contemplation : Human thought

I agree with Dr Kristin Shepherd, a chiropractor, actor and speaker when she says:  

Here's the thing. I have to watch myself and be careful that my physical practice doesn't draw me into stronger identification with my body. I know it's happening when I don't love the way I look or feel during practice. I start to measure my inflexibility and be frustrated by it. I become a jealous observer of the woman over there whose wheel looks like a wheel instead of a broken crab. I might as well be in front of a bank of mirrors in a monster gym on these days.
The challenge for me, every day, is to begin by remembering who I am underneath it all.

Do you feel that challenge, or is it easier than all that for you?
Thanks to yoga for inviting us to look deeply. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Yoga Can Change Your Mood!

I was delighted to be able to attend my Hatha Yoga class at http://www.yoga4all.ie/ yesterday evening.

After a few hiccups in recent weeks, and a visit to Sweden, I was really missing guided practice. I get so much more from participating in a class than I do when I practice alone.  There is always something to learn from the teacher.

I have been feeling physically tired and lethargic the past few days but fighting hard against it.  The tiredness was making me snappy with my family, especially my mother and my son. I have been sleeping really deeply and waking with what feels like a hangover!  I literally dragged myself along to yoga, because, although I felt exhausted, I just knew that it would make my mood improve. And as usual, that was what happened.  I went in there feeling tired and a little down in the dumps and came out feeling elevated and alive.Okay, that feeling only lasted a few hours and I was in my bed asleep again by eleven but I was so so glad that I went.

The class also gave me the push I need to get back on the healthy eating track today. Suzanne led the class in a gentle, yet challenging routine and at one stage I had to face the mirror doing postures against the wall.  I was shocked as I looked at myself doing a twisting posture.  My hips looked positively humungous and thats after losing almost 17lbs!   It inspired me to get back to the mindful way I have been eating in the last while. I am not focusing on the losing weight, or focusing on any particular diet. I am focusing on being more aware of each thing I choose to eat in my day.

Yoga is about the best thing I have found to change my mood.  There really isn't anything else that can do so, so instantaneously, except maybe my little son's smile!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Yoga for Asthma And Other Ailments

Now that I am in my forties and I know the ailments that have shown up in my family,  I am going all out to prevent them.

There is heart disease, osteo arthritis and cancer.  My father had heart disease but passed away with cancer.  One disorder that has shown up a fair few times is Asthma. I have a sibling, nieces, nephews and cousins that had it and have grown out of it. But I also have relatives who have developed it again in later life.The predisposition to some conditions may be so strong that I can't avoid them,  but at the very least I hope to be able to alleviate them.

My mother  has COPD (chronic Obstructive Pulmunory disease) brought on by her asthma.  She has never smoked and the asthma itself seems to be a hereditary condition.  However, while recovering from a knee replacement operation due to osteoarthritis a few years back, she had an asthma attack.  This scarred her lungs causing her condition to deteriorate.  She uses various inhalers and tablets and a nebuliser six times a day ever since. She gets constant chest infections and is regularly on antibiotics and steroids which play havoc with her weight and mood. While trawling medical sites, I discovered that if both parents have asthma, there is a 70% chance of the offspring getting it. If only one parent has it then the chances are down to 30%.  I want to reduce that 30% if I possibly can. Yoga may be a good way to help to prevent the condition or at least the suffering that may ensue from it.

Yesterday evening, after a hectic few days, I was all set to go to my new yoga class at http://www.yoga4all.ie/  My  little boy, who is almost four, usually stays with my mother for the short while I am away.  I don't mind leaving him there as my brother or her friend are usually there too. Even if they are not, my mother wears an emergency bleeper on her arm and my little boy knows how to phone for aid. When I arrived at her house, she was struggling to breathe.  She was grey in the face and exhausted from the effort of just being. She had made an appointment with the doctor so I packed her into my car and we headed straight up there. As we thought, she had a severe chest infection and had to have a strong course of antibiotics and steroids immediately.  She was lucky that she didn't end up in the hospital as she has done many times before. We went straight to the pharmacy to get her medication and straight back to her home. There was no way I could go to my yoga class, so extremely disappointedly, I settled in for the night.

Since I started yoga, I have lost 17lbs in weight and for the first time since I hit forty, my cholesterol is normal. Before Yoga, I had been on 40mg lipitor for the condition and had to have an angiogram to check that all was okay with my heart. Yoga, and I am convinced it is yoga that has done it, has changed all that. Through becoming more aware of my body and mindful of what I eat, the weight is coming down and the bad fats with it.  Now I am determined to see what I can do to ward off any respiratory, cancerous or arthritic complaints that may await me in the future.

I am off to do a bit of research now and will ask some questions of yogis that I admire with regard to the above.  I will be posting the best postures and foods to help with the ailments that  I have mentioned today so please come back!


Friday, July 22, 2011

A Laugh Out Loud Video Clip featuring Graham Norton and Yoga!


I absolutely love the great Graham Norton.  I find him to be one of the funniest comedians around.  I was delighted to find this video clip featuring both Graham and yoga!  I just had to share and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!  It features yoga teacher Emily Collins.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Deep Breathing helps anxiety at New Class

Yesterday evening I started a new Hatha Yoga class at the new Yoga4all studio http://www.yoga4all.ie/ .
Anxious not to be late and not sure of the exact location, I eventually arrive twenty minutes early.  There is parking right outside the building which I am immediately happy about.  As usual, this summer, it isn’t a very nice evening and I am glad to park the car nearby.
At first, I am a little unsure if I am actually in the right place.  The only sign I can see is one for ‘Church of the Word’. I assume this is a religious organisation so I anxiously push open the door, visions of being preached at crowding my mind.  I use my yogic breathing to bring myself to my senses and clutching my yoga mat, I venture up the stairs.
The building is silent and echoey and feels a little creepy.  I feel as if I have walked on to the set of Scooby Doo.   I hope nothing scary will happen! Then I see the studio.  I am in the right place after all.
There is nobody around so I tentatively push open the studio door. Still no sign of life.  It’s 5.45pm and the class is due to start at 6pm. I wonder if I got the timing right since the class time had originally been 6.30pm. The studio is large and airy and I like it immediately.  It looks like there will be plenty of space to stretch out and the anti gravity equipment looks interesting.  That will be for a future post!
There are two comfy seats outside the room, so I take one of these and send a few texts. I start to read my book and just before six, I hear signs of life. Three people arrive together and we have a nice chat about the class.  One girl has just started the week before, another has also taken the anti gravity yoga classes and another is a complete beginner.  I feel myself relaxing and enjoy the chat.  More people come and we wonder why we are crowded outside in a small space when the studio is open.  It seems that everyone saw me there and just followed suit!
We all go in together and the teacher arrives.  She is young and agile looking. My insecurity about my age and weight begin but I push them away with a few deep breaths. She asks us to lay out our mats and relax and then the class begins.

I enjoy the class and I am pleasantly surprised at how I manage the postures.  The only ones I have a problem with are the balancing ones.  I am surprised as I had managed tree pose with no wobbles that very morning. The teacher, Tara, is very gentle and smiley and keeps a good eye on us all to ensure we  are doing the Asanas correctly.  I have a little trouble hearing what she is saying at times, but it could be just down to my hearing. I don’t believe there are any poses to help with that! In saying that, with yoga, nothing would surprise me!
I leave the class very happy and vowing I will return to complete my eight classes. For those who are interested the class was at http://www.yoga4all.ie/

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A New Class

Well, since my Tuesday morning Hatha yoga class ended a few weeks ago, I have been attending a class taught by the same teacher on Monday nights. As usual, I am not disappointed with the quality of her classes and have been busy spreading the word.

As a result, I persuaded my friend and her sister to come along to class.  They have done yoga classes elsewhere so were eager to see what this teacher is like.  I am always singing her praises, chiefly because she is fantastic and also because as a woman in her seventies, she is inspirational. You can't blame them being extra curious for this reason!

The evening classes are longer than the morning classes and so, we are learning at a faster pace.  I also find that the evening classes are more challenging for me which is something I am really enjoying.  I am sad to say though, that even though I have been doing yoga for quite a while now, I am still unable for the shoulder stand.  I expressed this sentiment to my teacher at end of class and of course she gave similar wise advice as I received from the wonderful Esther Eckhart over at http://www.yogatic.com/  'Don't be in a rush.  It will come in time. Yoga is about the being and doing not the getting there'

Since these evening classes come to an end for summer next Monday night, I am starting a new class this evening which should take me through the next eight weeks until my normal class resumes again.  If I like it, or it likes me, I intend to do both classes in conjunction  with each other in the future.

I actually got a great deal through the website  http://www.dublinbynumbers.com/ which gathers all daily deals in one place.  I purchased 8 classes for the great price of 39 euros instead of 80 euros and I start this evening. Since it is a new studio,  I was delighted to be able to get a deal to try out their Hatha yoga classes.  The website is at http://www.yoga4all.ie for those who might be interested.

Of course, I am nervous starting a new class with new people in a place I am not familiar with.  I also worry that as a fortysomething first time yogini, I will be the most inflexible in class and will make a show of myself!  However, I have been assured this will not be the case, that there are others signed up who are in the same position and it is a quiet class.

In my saner, yogic moments, I realise that it's better to continue my journey of making changes in mind and body than to be worrying what others think.  As I journey on and try to turn around the years of negativity, drinking and eating too much and general self sabotage that I have done to myself, I hope to keep discovering new and affirming things in life.  And Yoga is definitely top of my list so far!

I look foward to sharing my experiences of my new class this evening so don't forget to check back!

If You Can...................................

Yoga Cat

I came across this recently and loved it.  I think we all strive to be like this especially if we are trying to practice yoga.  I added cat to the last line as I happen to think they are just as enlightened as dogs! Tee Hee!

If you can start the day without caffeine,
If you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains,
If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles,
If you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it,
If you can understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time,
If you can take criticism and blame without resentment,
If you can conquer tension without medical help,
If you can relax without alcohol,
If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,
Then you probably are,
The family Dog or CAT!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

How Yoga helped me on a Family Holiday!

Since my last entry I have been on a family holiday to France.  I had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed the good weather and being able to swim twice a day, every day.  We rented a house that was literally a stone's throw from the beach. It was also situated quite close to the beautiful town centre of Collioure.

The convenience was paramount, especially with elderly in-laws and a three year old in tow!  I say elderly, but my mother in law is actually a very fit 73 year old human dynamo!  And that's without the benefits of daily yoga practice!

We had the upper floor which was like a huge loft studio with shiny wooden floors and white walls. It overlooked the sea and gave a truly beautiful birds eye view of the medieval castle.  It was a lovely space to practice my yoga in.  I didn't get to practice every single day, but I was delighted to manage five out of the ten days we were away.  After my husband and son would go down to start breakfast, I would lay out on the floor to begin.  

The poses and breathing exercises really helped to start my day off positively. As most people who go on family holidays will know, things can get very stressful at times.  It's hard to please all of the people all of the time and it's sometimes harder when there are family members involved.  The yogic breathing really came in handy at times! Along with a nice glass of French wine of course! I found it especially helped with my Father-In-Law issues.  My husband could have done with some yoga help at times but as he is not ready to embrace the idea of yoga at all, I didn't mention it!

We ended our holiday with a day and a night in Barcelona.  Oh, what a wonderful experience compared to last year!  Last year we had a stalking incident. (see http://www.thewmparentingconnection.com/2010/06/by-claire-hegarty-b.html)   We were also too late to go on either the bus tour or the cable car ride over the city.  This year, it was a far better experience all round.

We experienced the cable car views of the city,visited the beautiful cathedral, almost had free hugs in the square (that's another story!) had a delicious outdoor evening meal and rounded off the night with drinks in an Irish Bar! I know, I know, going to an Irish Bar in Barcelona seems silly but we were curious about the Guinness and it proved to be delish! I felt much more alive and interested in all that was around me this year too.  Another benefit of the mindfulness and awareness aspect of yogic breathing and practice, I am sure!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I want to Feel The OM everyday!

I was quite sad to attend my last yoga class of the season yesterday.  I don't know how I will survive without my weekly fix until September.

I  practice a little at home but I find the discipline of the class to be more beneficial for me. Some days, the most I manage at home is my fifteen minute stretches before I get out of bed and fifteen minutes later in the day.  I know it's not enough but I am taking the advice of people who know better than me and just 'doing' it how and when I can. 

Candle Light With LoveYesterday, we did our full routine of warm up,various asanas/postures and relaxation.  It was a little different this week as we also chanted the various sounds that go along with each pose.  I hadn't had that experience before and it felt really good.  As we made the sounds, drawing each one out, I could feel the response in various parts of my body.

I also want to do the candle meditation regularly.  I loved when our teacher taught us how to do that. It's just the most amazing feeling, staring at the candle, then the flame, and closing the eyes until the red dot can be seen.  If we are also chanting the OM sound, I can feel the vibrations tingling through my body.

I used to laugh at the idea of people sitting around, meditating and chanting OM but now I get it!  I was positively tingling with life afterwards and felt like a new woman!

I want to feel the OM everyday now!


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Yoga Gives Motivation And Energy - I am living Proof!

I go to a beginner's Hatha Yoga class each Tuesday, thanks to the recommendation of a friend.

As mentioned before in this blog, I find the yoga teacher to be inspirational.  Indeed,  from talking to the other students, some have attended her classes for ten years. Even after that length of time, they say they come away learning something new from her.

I can understand this because every week I too come away with something  that I can use in my everyday life.  It may be an affirmation, a snippet of anatomy and physiology information, a spiritual idea or just plain motivation! I have found that since I have been attending yoga classes and doing a little practice at home, my motivation and energy levels have risen.  I am writing my blog more regularly and brimming with creative ideas.  It is certainly stimulating both my mind and my body. Both of these have become more open and more flexible.  I have less pain in my body and in my mind.  That can only be a good thing!  I am also slowly losing weight and eating more healthily.  I am more aware of the internal workings of my body and the hard work it sometimes has to do when I feed it badly.

Yesterday the teacher reminded us that the time that our mind tells us we are too tired and can't bother to practice, is the time we need to do it.  If we can just override the part of the mind that is lazy and just do it, we will instantly feel better.So too with blogging and most other  things in life!

This morning I actually came up against this, took the teachers advice and so far have had a busy but fun filled and productive day.  I will be doing a short practice at home each day but I really look forward to my Tuesday class.

Sadly, the last class before summer vacation is next week so I will have to rely on myself and my own yoga practice to keep me all fired up!


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Inspirational Yogis and Yoginis Over The Age of Seventy

The first Yogini I want to mention here is my own Yoga Teacher. She is seventy three years old and has been teaching Yoga for the past thirty years.

She is my main inspiration as she started yoga at around the same age as me.  When I look at her and compare her to some other women I know of her age, I know which I aspire to be like.  I am aware that I should not compare people and it's something that I don't like to do as we all have things to offer. I don't even compare myself to anyone else in the way that I used to, which is a huge achievement for me.

However, if it's a choice between having an inflexible, sickly mind and body, or be in the mental and physical condition that she is in, my choice is already made!

While researching older Yogis and Yoginis, I came across quite a few inspirational people.  Most are still practicing and even teaching right up into their nineties. Imagine not having to depend on others or be considered useless and practically dead. To have few health problems, all our faculties and be flexible in our later years should be something we all aspire to.

On that note, the first Yogini that I came across is Bette Calman who was 83 in this video made around 2009.  As far as I am aware, she is still practicing.  Watch this video and be inspired!

The next Yogini is Tao Porchon Lynch who was 87 when this interview was conducted in 2006.  She not only teaches yoga but is a dancer too. Fantastic.
This latest video shows her at 92 in 2011, still doing yoga and dancing! There are no words to describe my admiration for this lady!

Now we have Barbara Lyon who was 89 when this film was uploaded in 2009

And here is an article about Bernice Bates who is 91! There are no excuses when you look at this phenomenal woman

Monday, May 23, 2011

Loved this Blog Post by Marina Calado

How Yoga Might Endanger My Laziness Issues

By Marina Calado (posted here with permission of Marina Calado)
The other day I was talking to two friends of mine about yoga. They thought yoga classes were something like boot camp. You get that leg straight. Straight means straight. Needless to say, they are guys. They looked very shocked when I said it was nothing like that; a yoga teacher does not make you do anything you don't feel comfortable with or that your body is not prepared for. You are always welcome to rest on your yoga mat. At this, one of them asked me "Why go then?"

For me that question has an easy answer: I love the practice. I love what yoga teaches me about myself and the tools it provides me with to better handle the world around me. But it also raises an issue: what happens when I don't feel like practicing? When do I know when it's time to rest and when it's time to push myself anyway? I do not know the answers to these questions, but one thing I learned after practicing yoga, even though I wasn't up for it in the first place, is this: I never understand why I choose not to practice, because after the practice my body is always filled with light and softness. Still I choose not to practice sometimes. It usually goes like this: in the morning I think that I would love a nice night practice, but come the night and I feel tired and sleepy. I opt to read or relax and eventually go to bed and sleep like a rock. The truth is I am very lazy.

And the dualism laziness vs. respect (in a way I believe it is ahimsa) is something I usually struggle with. I know that yoga teaches about our limits, through a regular practice we learn when enough is enough and when we can go just a tiny bit further. I also know that sometimes not to practice is my most gentle act towards myself. So the question is: what about when I'm being just plain lazy (human?) and I decide to practice "sleepasana"?

For this one I have an answer. It took me a while to get there, to understand how this process works - at least the theoretical part. And I have nailed it down to two main aspects.

1. Sometimes I really do need to rest. Some weeks I work a lot, I barely have decent meals because there's so much to do and my body does need its rest. My body feels sore, I get grumpy and only ask for two things: my bed and silence. And that's OK. Sometimes it really is OK for me to respect what I believe is best for me. This is also where ahimsa comes into play. Ahimsa is usually translated as non-harming, not causing pain. And this is what happens when I respect my body.

2. I give it a try anyway. I don't feel like practicing but I still unroll my mat and see what happens. If my body really isn't up for it, I'll know and I'll also know when it's time for me to stop and to congratulate myself for at least trying. But I might be surprised. I might actually do a complete class. Maybe I won't have great balance or strength, but I might push myself to the point of transformation and be able to go beyond the obstacles my mind has created. For me, it means I have reached that phase where I can move out of my well-known and cosy comfort zone and exceed my expectations. My ego does not wish me to follow the path of transformation because it means I'll pay less attention to it, so it plays powerful mind games with me. But I shall persevere. And it will happen as I start paying attention to the signs my body gives me. It happens if I am mindful.

Yoga endangers my laziness issues because it allows me not to practice, given that I choose from a place of kindness and self-respect. So why do I go to yoga classes if I can just lay down and rest? Because I practice yoga for its many benefits, I choose to be healthy, both in my body and mind. I choose to have a strong and pain-free body and a mind that I like to think is getting rid of old patterns and moving forward. I choose to practice yoga not because it makes me a better person but simply because it helps to uncover who I truly am.Published 05.23.11 at 10:45 AM
About Marina Calado
When Marina discovered Yoga in 2003, she knew she was home. Nowadays, she works as a translator, and since such profession is very stressful and time-consuming, devouring books, listening to music and practicing Yoga are the activities that she chooses to occupy her time with. She has tried different Yoga styles and finally met Anusara Yoga in 2010. It was love at first practice. Anusara Yoga has been helping her discover her potential and how she can express it in this life. It?s no wonder Marina wishes one day to teach Yoga so she can spread the joys of Yoga.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


I just love this video involving two of my favourite things, Yoga and cats!  I love following the Yogatic DVDs of the teacher in the video, Esther Ekhart.  She gives some terrific tips on getting the postures right. I recently purchased her beginners and improvers DVDs and I am making good progress. I'll post the link here for anyone who is interested and no... I am NOT on commission.  I just want to share with you anything I find helpful on my new yoga journey!  http://www.yogatic.com/yogatic-double-dvd-set/

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I like it!

Sport Clip Art Image

I discovered yoga properly last summer and, after my very first class my first thought was 'I like it!'

I had dabbled with yoga many moons before but it just didn't have the same impact on me.  The teacher had a lot to do with it and the old saying that 'when the student is ready, the teacher will appear' really rang true here.

I had decided that since I was in my forties, with a three-year-old son to run after, and newly acquired back problems that I needed to do something.  I knew that the stretching would help my back and the breathing would help my stress.  I also knew that yoga could help with the spiritual questions that inevitably  become stronger in midlife. However,  I was worried about finding the right class. Then, in a moment of synchronicity, my  friend mentioned to me a beginners hatha yoga class that she attended whenever she could. I went along with her and was immediately hooked!

As I mentioned before, the teacher had a lot to do with it and still has.  She is an inspirational woman in her seventies who simply oozes with compassion and serenity. I could not believe and still cannot, that she could possibly be in her seventies, as she looks ten years younger than that. Her mother is still alive and is ninety-nine! She told me that she only started yoga when she was forty-three and when I asked if her body had ever been as inflexible as mine, she said it had been worse!  That statement certainly gave me hope, since there I was beginning yoga at the age of forty-four.

Believe it or not, I had such bad sciatica that I did my first few classes on a chair. Students thirty years older than me were not in that position and there was even an eighty one year old man in the class. But I didn't feel embarrassed; such was the atmosphere there. The teacher showed me some remedial yoga exercises that would help with my pain. We also learned some breathing and meditative techniques to help with any anxiety arising from that pain.

Now 9 months later, although I am still pretty stiff compared to others in my class, much of my back pain has simply gone. It twinges every now and then but nothing like the excruciating regular bouts I had before, when I couldn't even put my foot to the ground without crying.

I have also lost around 16lbs in weight just practicing a little yoga every other day and incorporating poses into everyday life. I find that because yoga also works on the internal organs and the teacher explains about the anatomy and physiology of the body and how the Asanas (postures/poses) work that I am less inclined to binge on junk foods. I still do that now and again but it tends to be on healthier foods. Where I would have scoffed whole packets of biscuits before, I now might have a tray of flavoured frozen ice cubes! A lot less calories and hydration into the bargain.  The yoga poses have made me think more about the work my body has to do internally to digest the types of food that I consume.

People tell me I am a little different since I became a newbie Yogini.  My husband is impressed with my sticking at something and with my weight loss.  My mother says I don't lose my patience as easily and my three-year-old son is thrilled that I can actually bend down to him again.

I hope to share here some of my journey as a forty something first time Yogini, along with interesting snippets of news, videos, articles and discoveries I make along the way!


Claire xx