365 days of yoga

It was on the 20th June 2018 that I started doing yoga everyday.

Why?  Yoga is something that I’ve always turned to in times of need.  That sounds a bit dramatic, when I say need.. I mean, I couldn’t do any other sport.

So quickly, the three main times I’ve used it is when I was 19 and I’d had knee surgery.  I was prepped to have a couple of days on crutches but once the surgeon had got in there, it turned out I’d done loads of damage, which led to being non-weight baring for TWO MONTHS.  What the hell.  They were a dark two months.  I even turned to art to let out some emotion.  Good lord.  So after learning how to walk again, I turned to yoga to get my body moving.

Then I used yoga after having both babies, as you can’t just pop out a kid and hit the water two weeks later.  And I don’t do very well when I can’t move my body, its how I think, brainstorm, plan, let anger out, grieve.. you get the picture.  So yoga allowed me to start moving again.

I’d wanted to start doing yoga everyday for a long time, like a year, but NEVER made any effort to actually do it.  Then it was my husbands birthday (and it was a big birthday) and I had a mid life crises.  Not him.  Me.  What?  I freaked out.  Like, shit, we’re not getting any younger.  Our bodies are only going downhill from here, I don’t want that to be it, I’m going to die!…. all of that.

That evening I did yoga.

I felt calmer.

That night I said to my husband, ‘I’m going to do yoga before you and the kids get up.’  I set my alarm for 6:30 (the household comes downstairs at 7am).  The alarm went off the following morning, I got up and did a morning yoga routine on you-tube.

I felt amazing.  Number one because I’d just woken my body up with yoga, but secondly because I had actually done it!  And then I did it the next day, and the next… before I knew it, I’d done a week of yoga every morning.  My days were better, I was eating better (you know me, I’m always over-hauling my diet, I love learning about different foods and what health benefits they have), and my mood considerably improved.

Downward facing dog: June 2018
Slowly getting there: May 2019

Noticing my mood with the kids was the real eye opener.  Whether you have kids or not, sometimes you’re not in the best mood first thing in the morning. So for me, being thrown 101 questions and demands before I’d had my breakfast was a shit way to start my day.  Everyday… until the end of time. Amen.

So, now with the yoga kick starting my day, I have limbered up, I’ve oxygenated my blood, got the blood moving around my body and gone through my checklist of three things to be grateful for in my life.  (And I do between 10 – 20mins of yoga in the morning, not loads, but just enough).  When the kids come down at 7am, I’m ready for them with a smile on my face, open arms for a morning cuddle and down to make breakfast, (I’m on hot water with lemon, porridge with walnuts, almonds, raisins and coconut, with full fat cows milk, maybe I’ll switch to a nut milk one day but I like dairy for now).

I honestly don’t think there were any more than 10 days in the last 365 days where I haven’t done yoga.

What have I noticed from doing yoga nearly everyday for a year?

1. I sleep better

2. I’m happier

3. I deal with things in a much calmer way

4. I’m stronger physically

5. I recover from workouts faster than I used to (yoga is stretching everyone, shhhhh)

6. I haven’t had any injury (touch wood!)

7. I feel agile, which I bloody love!

8. I feel 25 (I am not 25).

9. I want to eat better because I’ve started the day with movement

10. I can’t think of a single negative.  Honestly.  None.  Nothing.  Nada.

Doing yoga nearly everyday for a year wasn’t an experiment for me, I wanted to make a lifestyle change, a manageable one which I feel I’ve achieved.  I wanted to be able to do the things I used to do in gymnastics, I want to push my body past what I could do as a kid, and stay active and agile for the rest of my life.  I really didn’t expect it to have the effect it did on my daily mood that it did.

And now I’ve achieved one goal… its onto the next…

What I would love to do is get up a little earlier to get a 20min run/bike/hiit session in, and then yoga.  We shall see… I’d need to get up at like 6am to fit all that in and then I’d need extra time to make a huge breakfast after that kind of activity!  Mmmm fruit and banana pancakes…

I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog, maybe it’ll inspire one person out there to start integrating yoga, movement & mindfulness into their daily routine! 🙂 Do you do yoga often?  What are your thoughts on it?  Let me know if you’d like me to send you a few links to the morning yoga you tube videos that I followed!

June 2018
May 2019
The Crow: June 2018
The Crow: May 2019

2018

As 2018 comes to a close, I am looking back at the year to see what I can take away from it to move forward into 2019.

Over last Christmas, my Nana at the ripe old age of 96, decided it was her time to go, and she sadly passed away on New Years Eve.  Not the best start.

February brought my birthday where Jon and I got head to the coast for a childfree weekend!  We stayed in a swanky hotel, had loads of good food and surfed some decent waves!  Great times!  Same again next year?  Yeah?

March/April:  I was Portugal bound for an epic family holiday!  Fun times as we all hit the beach, ate, drank, golfed and surfed.  Winter sun is ALWAYS welcome.

     

      

May: saw the first of the Wake Daze events and it was so so hot, we could not have wished for more epic weather!  And it was the same day as the Royal Wedding so of course we had to stop to see ‘the dress’.  The warm weather was just epic for wakeboarding… all summer long in skins!  Literally the best summer riding!

June: We held a big party at our house for my husbands birthday.  This was pretty nerve racking as there were a lot of people to hold!  We got a hog roast which was the highlight and went down like a dream.  And we cannot possibly continue without mentioning the epic weather again can we?  Hands down, the best summer that I can remember.  We had the paddling pool out everyday, garden, park, forests, outdoor pools, wakeboarding, camping, surfing…. you name it we were into it.  This is also when I decided that I would start doing yoga every day.  I literally just decided one night that I would get up 30mins before the kids and do yoga, and I just carried on.  I’m still doing between 10-25mins of yoga everyday and I can’t believe I didn’t put this habit into place sooner.  But thats for another blog.

July: I chopped 13inches of hair off for Cancer Research UK and donated the hair to The Little Princess Trust.

August: Portugal bound for more surf!  Although we had never been at that time of year before but we are now locked into the doom of the school holidays. Our local holiday spot was crowded to the max, 1000’s of people on the beaches that we are usually the only people on.  The waves were pretty shitty as well apart from a couple of days. Gotta love them summer waves.

Photo Credit: Janni @ Club Wake Park
Credit: Nik Green

September: saw the last Wake Daze event (four in total). And they were all amazing!  So many new faces, some familiar faces and a whole lotta good times!  And did I mention it was a summer full of wakeboarding?!

October: I loved hanging out with Watersports World for the dealer days and even more so that I got my 2019 ride (Hyperlite Scandal & Defacto Bindings)! And half term also took us down to Newquay for a week of surf, beach and family time.

And as the cold creeps in and the nights get darker, is the time when I work away getting ready for the exciting year to come.  As my year comes to an end, I’m happy with everything that has happened, the people I’ve met, the friends I’ve spent my time with, the fun family times I’ve had and generally a bloody brilliant year! Christmas was warm and cozy spent with my family.

What I feel I can take away from this year…. I have had friends who have had their worlds turned upside down.  If theres any way to appreciate what you have, put yourself in their shoes.  Don’t become stagnant – never stop improving on yourself through diet, exercise, work, learning, questioning and exploring.  People will question what you’re doing. Let their questions drive you forward.

And I’ve just ended the year surfing!

Happy New Year everyone, I hope you all have a good one and enjoy your time with the people you love. xx

How to wakeboard through the winter in England

 

Lets be honest, we’ve had the most epic summer that I can remember, and so far, winter has not really been that bad yet.  Can you believe that we’d had a foot of snow this time last year?

I know its colder now, but think of all the good things about the lakes this time of year…

You are with like minded people.  I know technically you you could say this is the case all year round because you are all there to wakeboard.  But for those of you who ride through the winter (and actually ride in England), you will know what I mean.  No bad vibes, no attitudes, no queues… its all good!  There is a different kind of breed down on the dock between the months of October through to April.  A friendly bunch of water folk that just want to ride because they love it.  And you will see the same faces over the winter months, and you will be surrounded by people who will strive to have just 20mins of freezing water time, to make their week. 

If you hadn’t guessed, I actually quite like riding this time of year.

So here are my top tips on how to get on the water this winter! 

  1. Stating the obvious but its not always available to everyone.  Go abroad.  Get on a plane and go ride somewhere hotter than here, preferably for the season and you’ll come back all tanned and smug because you’ve got a whole new bag of tricks.
  2. If you’re going to ride in the UK, get a decent wetsuit.  Invest.  It’ll be worth it.  Honest.  I’m in the new Mystic Diva 5.3mm and its toastie warm.
  3. If you’re rocking the open toe bindings, grab some neoprene socks. Otherwise get your hands on some Walk-In bindings because you’re basically walking around in a snug bootie – toastie tootsies! I’m in the Hyperlite Defactos
  4. I know the glove look isn’t the best.. but I wouldn’t be able to ride through the freezing days without my wetsuit gloves.  So I’m wearing the gloves.
  5.  If you’re landing new tricks in the winter in the UK – give yourself a huge pat on the back.  Otherwise, just maintain what you can already do, maybe add on some smaller tricks, so that you come into the next season ready to go.
  6. Keep active.  You cannot sit around doing nothing all winter and then expect to be able to shred your nuts off come April.  Keep those muscles active and work out in other ways, whether it be gym work, cycling, running, yoga… just keep moving.
  7. Take your mates.  Its much more fun riding with someone.
  8.  Invest in a flask and fill it to the brim with hot tea / coffee / hot choc… you’ll be grateful post ride.
  9. Leave time for a shower afterwards, or to sit in the hot tub– to warm up obvs.
  10. If theres no shower, take a sleeping bag and drive home wearing it.  Jokes.  Take thermals, sweats, mountain attire; anything to keep you warm until you get home.
  11. Have fun.  Be grateful you’re able to get out there and ride.  Good vibes only.