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

How to reduce your waste in everyday life

Global WAKEcup Bamboo water bottle

There are some really quick and easy things you can do to reduce your waste during your work day.  And a little will go a long way if more and more people participated. I’ve been working on cutting down our waste as a family of four, for a few years now, but the more I do, the more I want to do, and deeper I go down the rabbit hole.  I am learning about zero waste, but I’m not quite sure I’ll ever go there.  However, there are a few small things that everyone IS capable of doing in their everyday life.  And you’ll save some dollar too!

  1. Take a shopping bag everywhere, keep one in your day bag, in your car, by the front door, at work.. it doesn’t have to be fancy, any bag or old plastic bag will do, it just saves another one being used once.
  2. Water bottles.  I started doing this more so once I’d had kids.  We are always out and about, and on maternity, I found it to be adding up if we bought food and drink out nearly everyday.  So I never left the house without water bottles for each person, snacks and/or a packed lunch.  And it just pisses me off paying for water as thats what I’d get anyway.
  3. Coffee travel cup / keep cup. Whatever you want to call it, you can buy travel mugs that flat pack down to fit in your handbag.  And if you use them in coffee shops, you get a discount on your coffee.  And no waste.
  4. Packed lunch.  I used to get ripped when I used to work in the corporate world because I was earning good money but still living like a student.  I still take a packed lunch with me everywhere, mainly because I then don’t have to worry about finding food, I don’t spend money on food, and I’m also not using single use packaging and I’m not wasting last nights leftovers.
  5. Travel Cutlery.  I know bamboo cutlery is all the rage, but I have a metal camping cutlery set that all click onto each other, thats about 20years old… it works well.  Now we have four sets, one for each family member that come out and about with us.
  6. Straws.  You can buy metal straws online and use them until the end of time.  You can reuse plastic straws, which we have done, but they are harder to clean smoothie out of.

So there you go, six quick and easy top tips on how to reduce your daily waste while living your normal (best) life.  I hope this helps!  I’ll do another blog about easy swaps you can in the home to either reduce your waste, or taking that small step away from single use plastic.

My Amazon link to some of the things I’ve found useful along the way.  Water bottles, coffee cups etc.. 

Global WAKEcup Bamboo coffee cup

Player Layer: Eco Workout Leggings

Following on from again from my resolution blog… I have been given the chance to test out some eco conscious workout leggings!  I have been testing out the Eco Layer Leggings from Play Layer over the past couple of weeks.  These are made from 25 recycled water bottles which I love, and I have been putting them through their paces in my normal week.

I have worn them all day (a few times) and they are super comfortable and fit like a glove.  I got a size 10 as I went by the measurement guide on their website, I’m glad I did as I usually just go for the 8 but they might not have been as comfy.

I’ve done yoga in them a number of times and absolutely no complaints there either, stretchy and allow any movement.  I even went to body pump in them this week to put them through the sweat test.  They were excellent, very supportive, and they are super high waisted so no crack on show while squatting (always a bonus).  Yes I was hot and sweaty, but no different than if I was in any of my other workout leggings.

Overall, a very successful test!  I will be wearing these on a weekly bases from anything from the school run to travel, from yoga to the gym.  Two thumbs up in my books.  And the fact that they are made using 25 recycled water bottles.. well that, I just love.

At the moment you can use the code: JB-ECO50 and get 50% off a pair of these bad boys. CLICK HERE

Photos: well I’d like to say that the juxtaposition of the leggings next to the ocean wave as deeper and more meaningful message about single use plastic and how its flowing into our oceans and harming our marine life, yet its amazing that it can be recycled into so much more, like clothing…. but I just wanted to show off my new artwork!

(Jokes btw, I care about the fishies).