Thursday, 6 November 2014

Sweaty Betty // Fitness Fashion Picks for Autumn and Winter

I am finally feeling like I am settling into my teaching schedule after my first month so expect to see some more blog posts coming your way soon. I am also hoping to finally get my YouTube channel off it's feet so if there is anything you would like to see on there leave me a comment :)

Now let's get down to business!

I have been pouring over a few pieces from the Sweaty Betty autumn/ winter range recently so I thought I would share my favourite pieces with you. Now their price point is not for the faint hearted but the quality is amazing. I'll be honest it's all a little beyond my means at the moment as a new yoga teacher but I'll be watching out for sales and hopefully a few Christmas presents coming my way!

I am in love with the Urdhva Reversible Yoga Leggings, the colour is cute, the panelling is flattering and the high waistband makes them a perfect pair of leggings for yoga. And who doesn't love things that are reversible? That's two leggings for the price of one effectively! As the days are getting a lot chiller now and my evenings are often spent in yoga studios the Chaines Legwarmers are very high on my priority list!

Friday, 31 October 2014

Back to Running?!

Hello lovely readers! Happy Halloween :)

Today I tied up my shoe laces and ventured outside for the first time in what seems like months. I haven't really ran since the summer. Yes I burnt myself out with my half marathon training earlier in the year but then (yep, I'm admitting it) I got lazy. Yoga became pretty much my only way I moved my body, unless you count power walking and dancing in the shower/ kitchen/ generally being crazy around the house. I love practising a dynamic vinyasa, it's the perfect way to break a sweat and I love how it centres me and calms me down but I have missed having cardio in my life.

I was a little scared, I was pretty sure it would hurt and I was right. Five minutes in my lungs were burning, I felt slow, but you know what that's okay! Gone are the days when I would push and punish my body to it's limit. I'm running because IT MAKES ME FEEL GOOD. I set the intention to run for 20 minutes, and I did it! My legs felt tight, I felt faint, I was a sweaty mess in the crazy Indian Summer we are having but after I stretched, drank some water and got a shower.... I felt good! More than good, I felt GREAT!

So I will run, I will breathe because it makes me feel great and happy. Not because I am competing or punishing myself for eating something 'naughty'. Breathe, believe.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Live the life you DREAM of...

Hello lovely readers, I am so sorry I was unable to share my last two blogging challenge posts on the days they should have gone up. I have had a couple of super busy days but in an amazing way. I have been pouring my heart and soul into teaching yoga and sharing my light with you hence why the blog took a little bit of a back seat. But not to worry I am back with post number six!

Ever heard of the phrase 'If you do a job that you love you will never work a day in your life'? I am sure you have. That's the dream right? So today I wanted to share with you a part of my life story about how I found my way and made the decision to live a life that I love.

Last year probably around this time I was working my office job day to day. A bit of an average office job which paid the bills, the people in the office were lovely (on the most part) and my job was secure. I had been in the job for around 6 years and not much had changed, but I figured, that's just life right? It was also around this time Matt said to me one day 'well you could be a yoga teacher', I of course being me just brushed that remark off. I could never do anything like that could I? As you will know I am a huge Gabby Bernstein fan and it was when I picked up 'Add more ~Ing in your life' that I really started to see a shift in my perspective. Through reading this book and making small changes in my own life I shifted my perspective from negative thought patterns of 'oh I'm not good enough' & 'I could never do that' to positivity and happiness. By being happy with where you are you create space and openness for something new. When January of this year rolled around I made a promise to myself that I could and I would make my dreams happen. Of course my ego stepped in at times making me second guess myself. I had hiccups along the way, but how I dealt with them was different. I grew in confidence, I could see my light shining and I could see that I was beginning to inspire others in their own path. Teaching yoga was what I was born to do.

What came after my teaching training was probably the most nerve racking for me. I had to put myself out there and teach! That first class was a room full of 30 people, I was excited but so so nervous and that came through my voice. I was shaky and sweating from nerves. However I knew that if I really wanted to teach yoga and connect to people I had to make myself vulnerable like that. So with a determination I never knew I had I taught that class and each one that followed has got easier. I am slowly finding my voice and my feet. Three months down the line I am so happy that I made that jump....

'What if I fall? Oh, but my darling... what if you fly?'

Take that leap. whatever it is, no matter how big or small, have faith in yourself and FLY!

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Be Present

Hello beautiful people and happy Saturday to you. I hope you are all having a wonderful day. Today I wanted to share with you a quote I have been sharing in my yoga classes this week... 

'Everyday set the simple goal of being more awake and less distracted.' ~ Russell Simmons. 

Often people find it difficult to just be present. There are so many distractions in this world, social media, to do lists, thoughts racing, looking forward to the future too much or dwelling in your past too much. We are all guilty of this from time to time. Today take notice of every beautiful, little moment in your day. Your morning cup of coffee. The sound of the rain on the rooftop. The coolness of the autumn breeze. Notice every smile, be kind, be AWAKE. Live in the moment and love the life you live. 

Friday, 17 October 2014

You probably didn't know this about me...

Today I want to share with you a few things about myself that you might not know about me so YOU can get to know ME better.

I met my boyfriend in a video game. Say what?! Oh yes I did. I took online dating to a whole other level! There is a game called World of Warcraft and if you are into gaming at all you will know exactly what I mean. It's a huge online multi-player game. It was in this game as fate would have it that I met Matt, we became friends online and started to connect on a more personal level. I was going through a rough time with my long distance relationship at the time, I was hurt, I was feeling alone and I didn't know what to do about it all. Slowly I began to realise that my relationship really wasn't working and it wasn't healthy for me. So long story short, as the universe would have it Matt and I ended up together, we travelled around the USA for 6 weeks, I moved to Bristol and the rest is history! 

I am addicted to Nutella. That sugary, chocolatey goodness is an addiction. I rarely ever have it in the house just because I will clean out the whole jar. It's a problem ;)

I used to get so nervous about speaking in front of or even just on the phone to someone I didn't know. I am not a natural speaker and I never have been. I used to get cold sweats and shake when I knew I had to speak in front of a small group or call back a customer at work. But I teach yoga right? Yes I know it doesn't make sense. All I can say is that yoga has helped me face my fears, teaching yoga comes naturally to me. Yoga helped me find my shine. 

Sometimes I find meditation difficult. My mind races with everything I need to get done in my new yoga adventure, working for yourself is amazing but at the same time... you have no one to rely on but yourself. So when I find myself trying to meditate and find it difficult to let go of my day. It takes time for me to settle into my space. So don't worry if it takes you time to get into a meditation routine, being still and stilling the mind can be challenging ~ trust me, I am with you on this one! 

My favourite YouTuber is Fleur DeForce. This is a guilty pleasure of mine and the only YouTuber I feel I must watch every single video she puts up is Fleur DeForce. She has a realness about her that is humbling, I feel like I can relate and connect to her even if she is just on my computer screen. 

I have titanium plates in my right arm. When I was 15 I fell off my horse Midnight. It was bad, I had a compound fracture to my right arm, this means that one of the bones came out of the skin. I don't blame anyone for this, it was just a total freak accident. In order to repair my arm they put in two titanium plates and several screws, yep they are still in there and nope I do not beep when I go through security at the airport! 

I never knew what I wanted to do with my life when I was younger. And you know what? That's okay. I truly believe that everyone has a path to follow, it's just about reading the signs for the universe. It will come to you when you are ready. 

I am MESSY! So messy. I am sure it drives Matt nuts as he is always picking up after me. The strange thing is that I love a tidy house, so I need to contain my messiness! I just have a habit of spreading everything out, especially clothes, all over the floor. 

I used to feel disgusted with my own body. It's been a long road travelled to learn how to appreciate my body and love it for all that it is. I still have my dark days but they are becoming few and far between. I did this my implementing some positive changes into my life, how I perceive my body, the way that I eat and how I approach exercise. Letting go of all the rules and just loving life, being present and feeling FREE. 

I love to sing. In the shower, in the car, humming along while I am writing. Yep, I am THAT girl. I'm not a bad singer however I am not the best singer but you know what? I just don't care because it makes me feel GOOD!

Tell me one thing that most people probably don't know about you in the comments :)

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Yoga 101 // The Vinyasa Breakdown

Yoga teaches the body how to flow and balance, the essence of this is the Vinyasa, movements in unison with the breath. The noun Vinaysa essentially means four poses connected into one and they form the basis of our sun salutations - high plank, chaturanga, upward facing dog and downward facing dog.

As we 'move through our Vinyasa' we feel a connection between the body and the breath, the flow of the movements in our yoga practice. These four poses keep the heat in the body and the flow of life (the prana) high throughout the body and the practice. The Vinyasa can be challenging at first, just remember that yoga has a lot to do with muscle memory so the first time you come into a yoga pose the body may not like it. As you move your body over time, the new muscles you are working will begin to remember the way you moved. You will gain strength and flexibility.

So lets break it down...

High Plank

Bring your weight into the L shape of your hands, fingers spread wide. Heels of the hand underneath the shoulders, the body in one long line from the base of the neck to the heels of your feet. Core engaged and the ribcage knitting together. 


On an exhale lower down slowly keeping the elbows into your sides.

Upward Facing Dog

Inhale placing the tops of the feet into the mat. Weight into your hands and feeling the backbend up through the spine, gaze forward. 

Downward Facing Dog

On an exhale engage the core, lifting the hips up and back. Hands are as wide as your shoulders, shoulders relaxed and neck nice and long. Feet are about hip width apart heels sinking energetically towards the earth. 

And just for you I have made a video putting it all together. Be sure to SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube channel for more yoga videos and how you can find your shine!

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Follow your passion.....

Where would I be if I hadn't taken a leap of faith, following my heart, my passion down along the path of yoga teaching? More than likely I would be in the same old office job, daydreaming the days away waiting for the clock to tick to 5pm. But how did I start along this path I hear you ask?

Everybody has a story. What I have learnt over the years is that you need to embrace your story, own it, you cannot change your past but you can look forward to the future while living in the present moment. It is up to us to OWN our story, to embrace it as part of yourself. So here is my story...

When I was a teenager I loved sports, I was good at running and playing hockey and netball. It made me feel like one of the popular girls. But I wasn't. Like so many teenagers I felt uncomfortable in my own skin. At 5'2" I felt short and fat, I felt that I wasn't pretty enough, boys didn't like me and I felt that people thought I was strange. So I began a love/ hate relationship with food and started to obsessively weigh myself. If I look back at my diaries from the age of 15 through to 18 you can see at the top of every page is my weight. Eight stone twelve pounds one day, nine stone two pounds another day. I had a distorted image of myself, what I saw in the mirror was not the reality.

I had an amazing childhood with parents who were so supportive, I attended a great school, I had my own horses, my parents would drive me miles every weekends for competitions. For that I am so so grateful. But I wasn't happy in myself. I would dream of being a sun-kissed California girl never happy living in the present moment. Fast forward a few years and a few pounds added and I was living with my soulmate Matt in Bristol, happy in my relationship, my family and home life but still lacking confidence in myself. It didn't matter what anyone else told me I never felt pretty enough. I was never over weight, I understand this now. My issue was the distorted view I had of myself.

One day while looking online at health and workout videos something just clicked for me. I made a choice to live life with no regrets and beginning with my own fitness I took the plunge towards living a healthier lifestyle. I educated myself on nutrition and I started to take care of myself from the inside out. I took responsibility for my health and my life. I began to workout and run again... and then I found yoga. I had always dipped in and out of yoga throughout my life but for some reason at this point it my life I was truly drawn to it. I remember walking into my first class at my local leisure centre and being so so afraid. I faced the fear and I have not looked back.

Yoga to me is so much more than the physical practice. It is about leading your life from your heart centre. Letting go of what no longer serves you, making space for the new. Living your life with no regrets! Diving into an adventure without a second thought. Just think, what is the one beautiful thing that you want your life to be? Take hold of that thought and every single day take a baby step towards that goal. Yoga has allowed me to let go of the body image demons that I haunted me for years. Enjoy food again without the fear of the number on the scale.

This year I DREAMED BIG! I left my home for three weeks to Devon where I took my yoga teacher training. It was the most blessed, beautiful, sunny three weeks and along with way I was lucky to meet some wonderful souls who I know will forever be my friends for life. I hit the ground running when I got back home, teaching my very first yoga class to Matt (of course!). I was so excited to be able to spread the light, my knowledge and my passion to everyone. I wish to share my passion with you, and maybe inspire you along your own path... because who knows what is right around the corner? Have faith and dream big!

Love & light,

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