Wednesday, 1 May 2013

We love yoga

One of the things I find most helpful when feeling a bit funky is movement. Physical movement.

The extent and type of the funk will dictate the extent and type of movement...however generally speaking I prefer gentler forms of movement, rather than full on "exercise". I am not and am quite unlikely to ever become a gym junkie, it's just not my thing.

...for a start the word "exercise" for me conjures up all things associated with pain, which can be off putting, so I lately I've been trying to think of it as increasing movement.

So let's go with my list.

Walking. Is. So. Good.
Riding my bike. And usually at a casual pace with my head in the clouds (and apparently I sing aloud when I ride...I'll get to that).

That's my basic list. The forms and frequency of these ebb and flow with time. Walking is probably my most consistent activity.

...and I would walk 500 miles...
For years I didn't own a car and so I would walk (or ride my bike) everywhere. To the tram stop to get to work. To the train stop to visit my parents. To the grocery store with my little red hand trolley. To the laundromat when I didn't have a washing machine. To Ikea (and home again, yes with furniture) on one memorable occasion.

I have a car now, but I leave it home (a lot, 5 days out of 7 in fact) because I:
a) am a bit of an enviro head; and
b) I just prefer moving on my way to work - as I live quite close it just seems a waste to drive when I could be using my body and a bit of PT to get there (have I ever mentioned my love affair with public transport?).

I walk to the tram stop in the morning, jump on a lovely old green and yellow tram, chug along for 20 minutes while I read my book, ahhh the bliss. Often after work I will just walk home. Wave at me if you see me dawdling down Chapel Street with my nose stuck in a book! )Yes, reading and walking simultaneously is very possible - your peripheral vision picks up much more than you'd think. Although I don't encourage jogging and reading.)

Often I end up catching my morning tram with the same passengers every day. There is a lady who gets on with her little girl most mornings (same time as me). Her little girl would be around 3 years old. She has the cutest, loveliest little voice. Sometimes she sings to herself. Sometimes her and her mum have little secret conversations. It's all very sweet. Hearing her little singing voice never fails to make me smile.

Apparently I sing when I ride my bike
I used to live around the corner (literally one corner) from someone I worked with. At the time I was riding my bike to work every day. Now when I say I ride my bike, it's at quite a leisurely pace. You see, I enjoy riding, a lot. And so I try not to waste it by going all hard. I just enjoy pushing the peddles round and round, and letting my thoughts go wherever they want. Usually when I ride, other cyclists (real cyclists, haha) whizz past me like missiles.

Anyway back to my workmate. Turns out he was riding his bike too, only I didn't realise it until one day he came up to me at lunch and said, "You ride to work yeh? I ride past you in the mornings, I know it's you coz of your pink bike and how you sing to yourself."

Well. That was news to me. I never even realised I was singing aloud. *blushes*

...shoulder stands are without a doubt my favourite yoga poses...
I have been an on again off again yoga devotee for many years. I started attending yoga classes when I was 19, in Townsville (of all places, when I lived there for a few years) - as I lived next door to the most amazing yoga studio ever (I've never found anywhere quite the same), The Yoga Space. I don't even know if it's still there, but it was right next door to me, so I used to go every week.

Then I got my own mat and a DVD and started "doing it at home". Sort of.

More recently I've been doing yoga with my friend C in Melbourne. There are some great yoga studios around, but we stopped doing it for some reason around 8ish months ago (ish...maybe closer to a year). It might have had something to do with some issues I was having at the time with my ability-level (I am possibly the least flexible person in the universe) and my body image (this is improving). Actually there's no might about it. I pushed myself too hard for a while, and was very hard on myself for not being able to do some of those crazy poses, so I think I gave up. I'm not strong enough for the advanced classes but I'm not a beginner either, and finding the right intermediate class has proved a bit tricky.

I'll get there.

Lately, I've been receiving some inspiration, thanks to one of my mates who just started a blog called Yoga Pop. Check it out here. Reading through her blog has reignited my passion for yoga. And, although C and I have been pledging to go back to yoga for what seems like months now, I feel like it's time to start studio-hunting again.

In the meantime, I might go home and dust off my mat and that ol' DVD...

Just get moving

There's something so defunkifying (and if you've no funk to defy, you can expect to feel even more energetic) about movement. Getting the blood flowing, and really let's face it - it does not matter how, is good for our bodies and our brains. And if you're like me and hate the thought of a treadmill or weights session, there's nothing wrong with keeping it gentle. The last thing you want to do is dive headlong into something you end up hating, and as a result it puts you off all movement.

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