A yodel about Yoga…

I had tried yoga several times over the past few years, but never really got into it until the year before last. Then I fell pregnant and was advised not to do any exercise (very different viewpoints here in the in Middle East). At the end of last year, I joined my beautiful friend and ex colleague who now runs her own yoga classes in her studio in her villa; in the teacher accommodation and on the beach…she is just about to start a full moon session on the beach too. Am very excited to try it. Check out her website on www.fieldsofyoga.com

Speaking of full moons…my mood changes. A LOT during the full moon. If ever I have a stonking argument with my husband, once it is resolved, I have now gotten into the habit of checking the calendar and about 95% of the time, it is a full moon. Not that this knowledge helps at all…I don’t have the insight to check the calendar before the kick-offs occur, they just happen. I become moody, irritable, unbalanced, emotional, bitchy and quite a cow, if the truth is told…anyone else have this experience?

I digress…so yoga. Quite frankly, its the bomb. Yes, my attempt at ghetto-isms. My pal teaches plus-sized yoga…specifically designed for the plus sized yogi. It’s fabulous. She links it with hatha yoga so it is quite wonderful. It helps combat so much.

It’s not only my size and shape that I have been attempting to develop and change, but my internal, spiritual structure too. I was spiritually sick for the longest time and I just didn’t have the tools to cope with life. In an attempt to become less spiritually sick, I joined an anonymous programme. At the time, it was the answer to my prayers. This programme helped me to see and become accountable for my faults and, with the people around me, the life force, God, Allah, whatever you choose, I began to heal.

Eventually due to the birth of my daughter, I moved away from the programme and recently discovered exercise and yoga. Yoga has helped me so much. My balance, flexibility and energies have turned 180 degrees. I haven’t forgotten the lessons that the programme taught me at all, I have merely enhanced them with yoga. Which has led me to meditation and finding an inner strength I never knew I had. I was always fully aware that I come from a family of strong, independent women. Even the men in our family choose strong women. I didn’t realise how strong I was until I worked on my yoga. It helped me to discover physical, emotional and spiritual wellness and strength.

My balance is very good now. But not always. My pal tells me that as your weight changes so does your balance points. That is oh so true! Certain poses are excellent. Others, I am not too hot at – especially the balancing poses. I am hoping that when I get to my goal weight, my balance will become more stable.

My pal encourages us not to beat ourselves up if something is not available to us in the practice. Some poses are much easier than others on certain days.

I read that yoga is good for runners: it teachers patience and mental strength along with flexibility and physical strengths too. I believe it. I truly do. I really believe that they work hand in hand. I can’t name all the poses and sometimes I can’t even do them. But yoga helps and is a cure for everything physical and mental.  I think that it should be compulsory for everyone to do it.  You know when you see films of communist China all doing exercise together?  They’ve got it right.  I do bits of yoga as part of my warm up in my drama classes. The students love it. I focus a lot on releasing tension and stress; time management and emotional management. I could talk about my classes forever – they are just splendid this year and I am so excited about the quality of work that my students are producing.

Hence the yodelling about yoga…it rocks. If you don’t do it, do it, or at least try it. It’s cheap, peaceful, invigorating, energizing and available for all.

Namaste, y’all.



You Can with Dukan…inthedesert!

We’re back into routine.  I like routine.  It keeps me on track.  I remember things better too.  Although the blissful ease of not having routine is very much an attraction too.  I do remember when I was sans children when routine wasn’t that important.  It was quite decadent being able to do what I wanted when I pleased. I am still able to do that occasionally, thanks to some wonderful friends .

Don’t get me wrong, I would not have a life without my baby even if the choice was mine. I love being a mama.  I love having that balance in my life; coming home from work to be smothered in kisses and cuddles is absolutely wonderful.  She is an absolute angel and quite frankly, has made our marriage much stronger.  We do so much more together as a couple and as a family.  Its fab.

But now, back to me and my projects.  I have 3lbs to lose before my first weight goal and then another 12 kilos after that.  That is nothing in the great scheme of things, seeing as I have lost 32kg so far…that’s about 70lbs.

So…I completed the C25K programme.  I don’t find running 5k easy, but it is getting easier.  On Monday I begin a new training programme which will take me from 5k to 10k.  I have set myself 3 physical challenges this academic year: a 10k run in January; the Wadi Bih run in February and my top challenge will be to do the Mudders challenge with my brother in April.  I said I was going to try for 2014, but I will train as if I am going to do it this April.  Let’s see how it goes!

My new training programme begins on Monday:  I will be strengthening and stretching, running and cross training.  For the cross training I will be using the Mudder Boot Camp circuit training.

I will keep you posted!

There’s nowt as queer as boat-folk.

I didn’t have access to a computer whilst I was in the UK so it was of course difficult to blog.

The summer was uneventful, light and pretty.  My mum was seconded to London to work for the Olympics so my daughter and I hung out on her canal boat for about 6 weeks.

She had moved marina’s. Usually she resides in Scarisbrick Marina, not far from Southport but on account of engine failure (because it is of course like the Starship Enterprise) she couldn’t get back there after having taken it to Tarleton to get the bottom scraped and painted. So she drifted into Rufford Marina.

I really like Rufford Marina.  It’s ‘boaty’ – canal art everywhere, even inside the cafe.  Canal art is paintings of things like roses and watermice, painted with canal boat colours – so usually dark greens, blues, blacks, yellows…my mum’s boat is none of these – hers is pink.  And it is fab.  It reflects her creed.  She is so strong and feisty, I think that she is going to be here for ever.  At least, I hope so.

I managed to catch up with some old friends from the past during my time at home.  It was wonderful to see how we have all changed and grown.  Thanks to the awesome power of social networking it was easy to keep in touch.

I exercised a lot whilst I was there.  Walking everywhere, using public transport, and of course my Jillian Michael dvd.  But most of all, what I loved the most, was running.  I say running, what I actually do is probably more of a shuffle.  And as I am so tired as I type this now, I cannot fathom it even in thought.

Whilst I was out running, I came across different things in the environment that really would affect my running, my mind.  For example, I saw a huge, yellow digger with enormous treads and it made me realize how I was feeling – just like the digger, moving slowly and heavily through the mud, my legs feeling heavy, almost dragging on the ground…not very pleasant at all.

Then my mind has to remember: running is 80% psychology and 20% physical.  Plus the 3P’s…patience, patience, patience.

I have this tendency to start off at a really good pace, then die about half way through.  I don’t stop too much of the time.  I read an article about running which said that really you shouldn’t be afraid of walking mid run.  It doesn’t mean that you are weak at all.

So now, I am back in the sand pit awaiting more physical adventures..