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Virtual Yoga: Why I’m not ready to leave my lockdown bubble

Virtual Yoga: Why I’m not ready to leave my lockdown bubble As lockdown restrictions start to lift, the majority of people are looking forward to getting back to normal, but I’m afraid I’m not one of them. With the gyms able to re-open on 25th July, some are counting the days like an Advent calendar, while others can’t imagine anything worse. I’m one of the cautious ones. I have to say, I can’t help but feel that with the reported deaths from Covid-19 reaching 79 (at time of writing) we …

Product Review: Liforme Yoga Mat

Choosing a yoga mat is as personal as choosing a watch or a new pair of shoes (in my opinion). A number of factors determine which one you buy, whether that be budget, eco-friendly manufacturing procedures or grip. I look for two main things when purchasing a yoga mat. I need really good grip (I do get my sweat on), and I need it to wear well, although this isn’t as important as grip. My first ‘proper’ yoga mat was a Lululemon mat and I still recommend those mats to …

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The Dark Side of Yoga

Have you experienced any negative side effects to your yoga practice? Eh? What? A downside to yoga? Vic, what are you talking about? Hang up your mat and get out of town! Immediately. Before I lose all credibility, side note necessary. Yoga is AWESOME and is by far the best thing I chose to do with my life. From the wisdom and golden nuggets gleaned from others, to the turbulent path of postures ranging in difficulty (massively), for me the result has been one of deeper self-awareness, power and happiness. However, …

When yoga gets tough: Can’t do, Won’t do

As a yoga teacher I hear and see this all the time; ‘I can’t do that’ or ‘I’m not doing that’ or ‘My legs/torso/arms/(insert other here) are too short/long’. Or, I get the quiet ones who just tend to look at me in horror waiting for the challenge to be over and we move on to something more accessible. Unless you have an injury or a similar reason for not being able to do the posture or challenge, then I always expect my students to at least give it a …

Yoga and sickness: Flunited we stand

So, should  you still head to your regular class if you are feeling under-the-weather?  That would be a hard…no. Let me explain why. Over Christmas, I was bed-ridden with the flu. You know you have the flu if you spot a £50 note on the floor and simply don’t have the capacity to even think about picking it up. I spent most of my time in my pyjamas in bed feeling very sorry for myself. My body ached, my throat was coarse and my ears were beyond painful. Two days into …

Yoga teacher away? Get on and play…

GO YOU! You’ve finally found a yoga class that you love and a teacher you connect with and have gotten into a routine of getting that cute butt on your mat as often as possible. And then what? Your yoga teacher only goes and buggers off on holiday/yoga retreat/teacher training/insert other here. How bloody annoying! Now what are you supposed to do? Sit on the sofa, twiddle one’s thumbs and maybe see what’s new on Netflix. Well here’s another idea… Roll out that mat and develop a wonderful self-practice of …

Yoga and exams: Stuck in a study rut!

My palms are sweaty, my heart is in my throat, my brain isn’t working and I feel quite sick. I’m surrounded by the sound of hundreds of pens scribbling furiously, while I stare blankly at the paper in front of me that only has my name and the date, and I am not entirely sure I’ve written that correctly. Question 1 is an essay question and I’m pretty sure of the subject but can’t recall any facts to back up my answer despite cramming the night before on this very …

Summer Yoga: Beat the Heat

It’s getting hot in here….so take off all your clothes! While I have full respect for the naked yogis out there, I don’t really want my wobbly bits on show when I’m practising even if it is 100 degrees outside. My practise these days feels different. Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Rocket and Power yoga are not just a challenge but feel practically impossible. My mat needs a daily clean from my sweat and I’m chugging through more water than I ever thought possible….Ah, it must be Summer. I love pushing myself in …

Gym versus Studio classes

So you have joined a gym? Awesome and what a great step towards a new and improved you. The equipment is state-of-the art and the space is wonderfully air conditioned, but what really swayed it for you during your membership joining spiel was the packed class schedule – unlimited with lots of choice including yoga! Fabulous 🙂 You are now technically SAVING money as you no longer need to join the yoga studio down the street. That’s hard earned pennies back in the pocket. Or is it? Admittedly this post …

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Charity Work: Spread The Love

The first 10 minutes of every morning is usually the same, unless of course I am frantically rushing around to catch sunrise for a photography workshop and then its a case of finding pants rather than looking at my phone. I wake up and after a few curses to the alarm clock I check my emails and catch up with the national news. My standard precursor to ensure I get at least another few moments in my cosy bed.  I often question why I even bother to read the news. It only …

An American Road Trip

One of the great things about working with my best friend and the fact that he is a photographer means we get to visit some incredible places. Most of our time is photograph-focused but if I get the chance I love to check out some of the local yoga studios during our travels. Last November took us to Chicago Illinois, Jackson Wyoming, Las Vegas Nevada and Pismo Beach California where I was lucky enough to squeeze in some stretchy time in some seriously wonderful studios. Classes I was very grateful …

Emotions in Yoga: Feel it to Heal it

Yoga can be really intimidating for some people, then add in the fact that you might burst into tears during a class and it’s not surprising many people are put off.  I am talking about emotions and yoga. This takes me back to a workshop I attended a few years ago when I was living in Shanghai. During the class I remember a Pranayama (breathing) exercise and I could hear someone in the class sniffling. My first thought was the poor girl was probably struggling with a nasty cold and blocked up nose, but it …

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Yoga Preparation: Start as you mean to go on

I recently got asked by a good friend of mine in America what he should wear to a yoga class and what to buy to take with him. After a good hour of chatting online, I realised this would actually be a useful blog post for anyone starting their yoga journey. For some people, their first yoga class can be incredibly daunting. The fear that everyone there will be far more advanced, balancing on every part of their body except their feet. It’s also common to feel intimidated by all the poses and wishing you …

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Alignment: It’s all about the connection rather than correction

As a ballet dancer, I always thought when it came to alignment in yoga I would nail it, no question. I’d spent years practicing my ‘good toes, naughty toes’ and perfecting my posture in class so figured I had it down.  It wasn’t until I took my first alignment class in Shanghai did I realise that it was so much more than having decent posture and looking pretty. I felt I was taking yoga to another level once I started to understand my body a bit more and could then …

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First aid: Better to be handy helper than passive bystander

I had been meaning to do a first aid course for a while now in part because I have always thought that I would like to be a useful person in a crisis or an accident rather than a bystander observing at the scene before me. However, it was out of necessity I started looking for an appropriate course. My partner is a photographer and we work together running workshops throughout the year, as well as finding some seriously remote locations to shoot for his ever expanding portfolio. Paul, like many …

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Happy Chinese New Year 新年快乐!

Today marks the first day of the Chinese New Year celebrations. A day I never used to pay any real attention to, until I spent three years living in Shanghai (then it’s practically impossible to avoid it). This year is the year of the monkey, one of twelve animals that make up the Chinese zodiac. The year in which you were born determines what animal you are. Each animal has a number of personality traits that can be associated with a person’s character, much like the Western zodiac we are …

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Youthful Yoga in Beautiful Bali

Although my trip to Bali was all the way back in October last year, I wanted to make it my first post as it was such an awesome experience from both yoga and cultural perspectives.  I had always been itching to go to Bali. I’d heard so many fantastic things about the place, from the food to the people and of course the wide variety of yoga options on offer. I am lucky enough to travel a lot with my partner for photography but we are always so focused on working …

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Hello World…

I will try to keep my first post short and sweet but first and foremost, welcome to my blog! This is a place where I can share with you my passion for yoga and hopefully inspire and motivate you to join me on the mat. I know many people who are intimidated by yoga’s image and put off that they might not be fit enough or ‘bendy’ enough. Then they hear their first Sanskrit word and that’s it – ‘Savasa… what now?’. Well don’t be intimidated, yoga is awesome and …