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

Resolutions

Over the past few years, I’ve seemed to think about my New Years Resolutions around October time.  I’m not sure why, however, I feel it has something to do with coming off the back of summers filled with wakeboarding, surfing and other outdoor activities and being inside more.  I get restless and need movement and change.

I tend to go through my entire house and see what I can get rid of (either sell, recycle or donate to give it a second life).  I try to change a few things in each room with some basic Feng Shui methods.  I look at what my family and I are eating and how it can be improved.  I look at my body/activity and see what can be tweaked there.  So I put my loose resolutions into place well before the New Year.  I didn’t start this on purpose but it seems to have stuck, and it means that the resolutions have stuck as they are in place well before Christmas each year.

Last year I was focussed on cutting down on our waste in general, which also included cutting down on plastic, especially single use plastic, and also buying less, mainly clothes/toys/and just stuff.

So things we have been doing for the past year (or longer) to cut down on waste:

  1. Swapped liquid soap out for bars of soap
  2. Bought washing powder in a box rather than liquid in a plastic bottle
  3. Switched our coffee machine that took plastic non-recylable pods to one that takes ground coffee
  4. Became religious in taking water bottles EVERYWHERE for the whole family
  5. Same with a travel coffee mug (I even take this abroad for my coffee shop stops)
  6. Obviously buying loose fruit and veg where I can
  7. Reusing carrier bags.. thats a given.
  8. Food waste goes in the garden bin.
  9. No more plastic straws, we have paper and metal straws now.
  10. Buying items in glass instead of plastic where possible.
  11. Buying less stuff, and thinking is it needed, before buying.  Also buying better quality items that will last longer than most of the fast fashion garments.
  12. Looking at the packaging properly to see if its recyclable or not.  I used to be pretty happy with our one black bin bag week and a few recycling sacks, but now I’m paying 100% attention as to what can actually go in them, the ratio has sadly swung the other way which has been a wake up call to how much we are throwing away.

So thats all been going on in 2018.  And I feel I wanted to add to it coming into 2019:

  1. I have started the daunting task of looking at the packaging of what I’m buying in supermarkets to see if I can recycle it.
  2. I am also testing out different supermarkets for prices and recyclable packaging.  This is a painful process and will probably take me all year to come up with an effective and efficient weekly food shopping system (I do not like the weekly food shop or cooking for a family of four e-v-e-r-y-day, if I could have one thing in life it would be a chef).
  3. As well as making more of an effort to source local foods
  4. I’m whittling down the bottled shampoo and conditioners with the aim to replace them with bars.  (This is a goal, I will have to report back on what I test out).
  5. Paper straws.  We have them (bought a big pack for a party) and we use them, but every time they still get thrown away… Once they are done, I’ll be sticking to the metal straw.
  6. Just generally being more conscious on what we throw away as a family and always thinking about how to reduce/avoid it.

Other tweaks:

  1. Diet: I feel my diet is pretty varied but I’m always looking for improvements.  So less processed and more food that had a life.  I have days where I eat meat, and also veggie days.  I like vegan meals and am looking more and more at them, especially to get more veggies into the kids, but I’m not sure I can see myself saying no to full fat cows milk and also my body weight in cheese.  I love cheese.  Fact.
  2. Blog more 🙂 I always say this!
  3. I bought an alarm clock back in November/December, its amazing, I love it.  I leave my phone downstairs at nighttime now so no playing on my phone in bed.

Any more tips?  I am always excited to hear what people do to cut down their waste!  I’d love to hear all about your hacks! xx

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