The #YogaRevolution



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When I started to write this post, I decided to read over my post on last years ‘yoga camp‘. Dayuum has a lot changed in my life. I still feel so much gratitude for how yoga camp reminded me how to love myself.

But this is a different year.

A different January.

The same me, a different outlook.

A Yoga Revolution.

31 days of Yoga.  January 2017.

January is a hard month for most, but Adriene Mishler’s month long yoga programme is what it’s all about for me. This woman inspires me to no end.

My yoga practice has come a long way in the last few years. I guess my focus now is on building strength and exploring more difficult and challenging poses. But always practising and working on the simpler ones.

Yoga revolution is a 31 day free yoga programme on Yoga with Adriene’s youtube channel.  A daily email to set the tone. A calendar to see what you’ve accomplished and get excited for the next practice. A journey into yourself.

To start a revolution. To practice being present and love and trust in yourself. To allow time for yourself.

 

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The run times for this years programme are shorter than those of last years, averaging at 30 mins per day, which I think was a clever move and a bit more do-able for most. But a shorter practice does not mean less of an experience.

The quality and thought put into the programme inspired me greatly. Each day was perfect for the timeline of the programme, maintaining a balance and understanding of what your body might need, in comparison to the previous practice or what was yet to come.

A workout. But mindful and gentle at the same time.

Prana bods as Adriene puts it. I will be using this term time and time again and I’m sure the YogaRevolution community will be too. Energy flow baby.

I learned how to practice lightness in every movement, an awareness of every limb and how it feels and moves. It changed my daily life, my posture, my unconscious yogic movements throughout the day. I adjusted my car seat so my lower back felt supported. I sat up straight at my desk. I did a quick forward fold and mountain pose during my bathroom breaks in work (don’t tell anyone it might seem weird).

The daily practise has worked its way into my unconscious and connected my body to my mind more than ever before. I move with intent.

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Although last year’s program was very emotional for me as I had so many personal issues with insecurity and self-love that I had to work through, I didn’t feel that emotional during yoga revolution. Until Day 31.

Just as the video started playing, I cried.

Tears of happiness. Gratitude. Pride. I smile-cried.

I sat and looked at my calendar as I ticked off the final day. Placed on the wall above last year’s calendar for yoga camp. I read the mantra’s I completed last year. I cried again. There is no better feeling than appreciating yourself and reflecting on how far you have come.

This truly was a journey, a magnificent one. So thank you Adriene. Namaste you lovely lady.

I intend to practice daily following yoga revolution. I’m gon’ make my own calendar, to stay focussed. It has been a revolution for me. Feel empowered – Laugh – Build strength – Smile – Start your own inner revolution here with Adriene Mishler -> Yoga Revolution

Namaste. Honor the prana bod.

“Present and awake.

Love yourself.

Love your neighbour.

Move from a place of connect.

Present and awake.

May all beings be free and happy.” – Adriene Mishler.

 

Amy xx

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Getting Fitter with Lucy Wyndham-Read #LWRHIITIN4

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I first discovered Lucy’s videos through the SacconeJolys channel on youtube and was completely inspired by Anna Saccone’s body transformation.  Much like me, she didn’t want to particularly lose weight but wanted to feel stronger and fitter.  Lucy used to be in the Army and is a qualified personal trainer, among many other things, with over 20 years experience in the Health & Fitness industry.  When I was a teenager I used to run a lot …  Then I grew bigger boobs and started drinking, as you do, and just completely lost interest in it all.  When I was in boarding school I used to go for a 15 minute run … purely for my mental health.  Then college happened, more unhealthy living, and here I am a year after graduating.

As some of you may know I went through a tough breakup last October (Read about it here… ‘A Bit More Personal…’, and shortly after this I decided to try some of Lucy’s videos on top of my daily yoga routine. I really enjoyed the choice of workouts on her channel, how quick they were and how motivated she made me feel.  I did one of these every week.  In January, I followed YogaCamp with YogaWithAdriene and felt fitter physically, but most of the change was mental (Read about this here..‘How Yoga Camp with ‘Yoga With Adriene’ Changed Me).

After January I found a new drive and motivation to do things for myself, things that I enjoy. And I decided I wanted to feel stronger physically, to match some changes I had made mentally. I started doing a few targeted workouts each day, arms, abs, thighs…. My legs were my main focus, they completely lacked strength and any muscle at all really. At this point, I probably did 3 workouts a week.  THEN LWRHIITIN4 HAPPENED!

WEEK 1 LWR

So Lucy decided to upload a video every single day in April to her youtube channel consisting of a 4 minute workout.  I was pleasantly surprised that after the first day I felt I could do so much more that just the 4 minutes, which is probably attributed to using her videos in the previous few months.  They got progressively harder, each week, with one rest day per week. Getting into that daily routine helped me so much and after the first few days, I would do the hiit workout, then an arm workout, and either abs or thighs after that. I couldn’t believe how much fitter I got and how I ACTUALLY ENJOYED being worked to the limit! Something I used to hate! But as she always says ‘When it challenges us, is when it changes/tones us.’ So I felt her words going through my head every time something felt difficult. Now I crave that, I feel odd if I don’t work out for one day. I’m so happy with the outcome.  Physically, I look and feel more toned all over! Arms, abs, thighs, calves… even my chest! These days, I do her daily video workout, 2 arm workouts, 180 rep abs (my favourite – 180 Rep Ab Workout – the five best moves for a curvy waistline) and a thigh routine. I think back to the time when 1 arm workout was all I could handle for the day.  So even though you might not believe it, 4 minutes really is all it takes to get fitter. The picture above, and the 3 below are screenshots of each week of the challenge so you can get a taste of what they look like before you start!  Each exercise is only 20 seconds.

WEEK 2 LWR

WEEK 3 LWR

WEEK 4 LWR

I have a serious amount of love and respect for this woman.  She is strong, and beautiful, and so so caring towards her followers.  We can avail of a personal trainer all for free.  Also beware of some serious fitness wear envy…she always has the best outifts! She wants you to be happy and get fit and strong, and that is apparent in her videos and the amount of effort she puts in.  So much so, that she has a new challenge for May, Lucy’s 100 reps a day…. that I’ve already started! A new challenge is so good for motivation.  Her tagline ’Fall in love with fitness’ could not be a more real description for what she does for people…

I’ll leave a link to her lwrhiitin4 here –4 Minute HIIT Workout Challenge – and no matter what month you’re in, the videos will always be there and you can start from Week 1 Day 1. Also, anyone who is doing lucy’s 100 reps a day challenge tweet me so we can all encourage eachother to be the best version’s of ourselves! LUCY’S SQUAD, OUT! *mic drop*

Thanks for taking the time out of your day to read this,

Namaste,

Amy xx

How Yoga Camp with ‘Yoga With Adriene’ Changed Me

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Towards the end of last year I went through a huge change, a break-up, something I discussed in my ‘A Bit More Personal..’ post (have a read if you want to get up to date with me!).  I was struggling with self-love, and Christmas was particularly difficult for me.  New Years was even worse.  I so desperately wanted things to change.  I wanted to go into 2016 with a positive outlook, and most importantly, start doing things for myself for once.  So when I heard ‘Yoga with Adriene’s’ Adriene Mishler was starting a 30 day Yogacamp for the month of January, completely free, with a video uploaded every single day, I was sold.  I signed up, and got my first email which included the YogaCamp Calendar.  I printed it out and marvelled at all the beautiful mantras I was yet to experience.  The whole idea seemed too good to be true, and I feel the universe was helping me by bringing it to my attention.  It was exactly what I needed, and was aimed to tackle my largest problem at the time, self-love.

On January 1st, it all started.  The first video was an introduction, and then Jan 2nd the first yoga practise of the month was uploaded.  I rolled out my matt, tied my hair up, and took some deep breaths.  I cannot explain to you how, even after the first day of yogacamp, I felt a weight lifted.  I felt I was moving in the right direction.  AND GUUURL WAS I RIGHT!

Adriene is from Texas so each upload was at 6am her time, which was 12pm for me in Ireland.  I made a habit of waking up, cleaning, tending to the animals, eating breakfast, and doing a few odd jobs before the video came in.  I felt for the first time in months I was excited to get out of bed, and would become so elated knowing that 12pm was coming soon.  It truly revived a part of me that had been lost for many years, the drive…the excitement…the gratitude..the accomplishment…the self-love.  It got to a point where I was laughing at myself thinking ‘oh my friends want to go out this weekend, buuuuut what about my yogacamp?!’.  That’s another thing that was so important after the breakup, to keep friends close, and to get out the house and enjoy myself.  I couldn’t believe I wanted to stay home alone, not to eat ice cream and feel sorry for myself…but just so I could make sure I got my yogacamp fix!

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I got so used to doing it everyday, and concentrating on each day’s mantra, that I felt I was subconsciously letting myself feel everything I was trying to avoid months before.  That sounds bad, but beforehand I was constantly trying to force myself to be happy and confident, which after I while I realised was the thing holding me back and that was stopping me from moving forward.  Focussing on positive mantras, and only that, until the next day rolled around, kept things small, easier to handle, and approachable.  It wasn’t scary anymore.

On top of all that, I felt part of a community that was separate from the people I know in my life, who didn’t have opinions on what I was going through.  I found that so refreshing, part of a family that had no judgement.  Reading other people’s experiences of the very same videos I was watching, was grounding in itself.

The gratitude I feel for this woman is immense.  She came out of the blue and helped me with deep personal issues I’ve had for years.  And she gave it all out for free.  You can just tell the amount of effort that went into the mantras, the thoughtful poses for each day, the awareness of different levels people may be at, the delicacy with which she handled the intense and overwhelming idea of ‘making self-love cool again’.. all the while making you laugh with her hilarious jokes.  I’ve been doing yoga for years and have never felt so affected by a practise in my life.

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When it all came to an end there is a sadness attached, however I decided to restart it all over again.  I was hopeful that the change in self-love could only double after doing it all again for the next month.  I was right.  I feel the happiest and most at peace I’ve ever felt, I feel strong, beautiful, and capable of tackling anything that comes my way in the future.  Some of those things I never thought I’d say.  It is always a constant journey, but respect it and be patient.  So after all that, I want to say, Thank you Adriene Mishler.  You’ll probably never read this, but I’m sending love and light to you!  I am aware I’m a bit late to post this, a few months after… but I feel it was important to express this and better late than never.

If you are struggling with self-love, or are curious about sticking to yoga practise for 30 days, I cannot recommend this enough.  If that’s not your cup of tea, she has a vast amount of other videos on her channel which I’ll link below.  HAPPY YOGA-ING AND REMEMBER TO LOVE YOURSELF!

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Thanks for taking the time out of your day to read this,

Namaste,

Amy xx

Accept Yourself..

 

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This seems like such a simple issue, one that doesn’t take much thought.  I believe it’s much larger than that.  It’s intense and overwhelming and difficult and time consuming.

In the last year I have felt that I am sure of who I am, what kind of person I want to be.  Going through a large change recently has kind of flipped this idea upside down and left me wondering and thinking about who I am.  I am starting to understand and recognise myself.  In a way I am confident and feel relaxed in myself and my personality.  I haven’t always let my ‘full-self’ out in social situations, and in the past I have tried to force myself into coming out of my shell, which in fact have proved to be the entirely wrong way of doing so.  But hey, we can only learn from our mistakes!

I’m now at peace.. when I am sad, happy, relaxed, uncomfortable, excited, etc.  I have learned to accept all of myself, in all of the emotions (I am a very emotional person!). Although I say that, I am aware it is a journey and I can never fully reach that ‘enlightenment’ within myself. But all that said, I know myself. I am happy with how I act towards people, I (for the most part) don’t care what people’s opinions of me are, because I know me….I know I wouldn’t ever deliberately hurt anyone or cause harm or be unjust. I am my own worst critic, and that’s ok, because it’s how I grow as a person.

WHERE IS THIS GOING! Finding it so hard to express these thoughts in words as it’s not a physical thing that you can put a title on, like anger or sadness or happiness. It’s something that isn’t really tangible. So I’m trying my best!

To try to sum it all up, you are who you are. You don’t need your personality or feelings to be validated by anyone else. At the end of the day, you are with yourself for the rest of your life, so, in my opinion, it’s better to spend time getting to know yourself before you can understand anyone else.  Be your own best friend.  Enjoy spending time with yourself. Accept who you are.  Although I am only at the start of this journey, it has already changed my perspective of not only myself, but the people around me. When you start to sort out your internal problems the external ones start to become easier to handle.  We have a lifetime to figure this out, but taking the first step is a crucial part of the process.

Namaste,

Amy xx

How I Inspire Myself

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I think the word Inspire can mean many different things to all kinds of people.  It’s something that can fuel so much in your life.  The people you meet, the stories you hear, the places you visit.  Even that inspirational feeling can be manifested from your own mind.  For me, inspiration can come from any experience I have. Believing in yourself is difficult, but I feel it’s something that has given me the drive to push myself forward.

Even this post was inspired by a recent achievement in my life.  Two days ago I was awarded a B.Sc. Environmental Science, and being only 21, having done a 4 year course in something I am so passionate about was a very overwhelming feeling.  I pushed myself so hard, but at the same time I had a lot of patience in myself during that time.  When I was 17, just starting university, I definitely didn’t have much of an insight into what this venture would actually mean to me. Who does at 17 right? Nevertheless, the amount I have learned about myself, life, and other people amazes me.  It makes me excited for the future.  However, reminding me to cherish the present. During school all I wanted was to be out of school, when I started University all I wanted was to be finished my degree, and here I am.  Unemployed and wishing I had a job. The grass isn’t greener on the other side.  It’s a huge lesson i’m only just coming to terms with.  Don’t wish your life away.  Right now, this is when you are living.  Life takes us on many journeys, down different paths, and it all shapes who we are as people.

It is so important to inspire yourself.  Find what your passion is, be it many different things such as myself, or one thing that is special to you, and enjoy it with all your heart. Be patient with yourself to find what you love, and go for it. Inspire yourself, discover what you enjoy, and push yourself to do it. Try to not be scared of the next chapter in life. It is okay to fail, something I have really struggled with, but through these failures we can learn so much.  Embrace your mistakes.  Cherish your insecurities.  Live in the power of now.  Spread positivity, and love with every part of your being.

If you are finding it difficult, looking to others can really help with inspiration.  There are so many people in this world, and I think that everyone comes across someone who really makes an impact.  However small it may be.  Take this and apply it to your own life.  It doesn’t have to be something grand or amazing or huge, as long as it makes you happy and you feel proud of yourself, it’s worth it.

I know this post contains a lot of rambling, and may not excite those who read it, but I feel this needed to be here. For myself, and also for anyone who needs inspiration. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this,

Love and Light always,

Namaste,

Amy xx

Review : Zenzation Athletics Premium Yoga Mat

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I’ve had this mat for over a year now so I’ve had a serious amount of time to test it out! Received from my lovely boyfriend as a birthday present, at the time I was desperately in need of one… The carpet just wasn’t doing the trick for my daily practice anymore!

First things first, I am in love with the colour. It’s warm, inviting and uplifting. This is important to me because it brings my eye straight to the mat in my room, making me think of yoga, and thus making me practice more! The rounded edges means it stays flat during practice, something that I love, it can be so annoying when something like that disturbs your flow.

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It has an anti-slip/sticky sort-of surface so it doesn’t move around a lot, which can be so annoying when in poses such as downward facing dog or warrior pose. It’s 6.5mm thick, which is incredibly comfortable. I have found that, while using someone else’s mat or using one provided at a class, they are usually quite thin. Sometimes when I put pressure on my knees in a particular pose I can have some discomfort and pain, and this mat helps so much with that.

One added bonus is that it’s made out of easy-to-clean material, if I’m outside and some mud gets on it, a quick wipe does the trick. I don’t find that anything gets stuck in between the threads of the mat.

I would recommend this mat to any yogi! It’s so comfortable, clean, and looks eye-catching…adding some extra joy into my everyday practice 🙂

Love and light always,

Namaste,

Amy xx

Link to buy this mat!

Welcome to Turkey : How getting away can clear your mind!

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So I have arrived in Turkey! After the stress of finishing college and doing exams, going on a holiday has never come at such a perfect time. De-stressing and evaulating the frame of mind I am in are my main goals for this trip. Lying in the sun, swimming, and continuing my yoga practice along with the odd meditation session are the activities I plan to incorporate into most of my days here. The second I stepped off that plane and landed on turkish soil I felt a weight lifted. For me, nothing clears my head more than experiencing a different environment from that which I’ve been living in, for what seems like forever. It forces you to take a step back and view how your life has been going recently and thus, have a critical view of your state of happiness. I have been here for 3 days now and not much has happened, which I consider a good thing seeing how we all feel like life has to be constantly busy in order to achieve and progress. I’ve been lying in the sun getting a tan and swimming, without venturing outside the hotel for too long. I did a short and sweet yoga class this morning and it was so beautiful in the morning sun, something I feel I’ll be doing every day! Being content in doing nothing has been a hard thing for me to accept after being so busy for the last 4 years of college. Living in the now, taking in every present moment has been and is still a large lesson for me to learn. Right now I am drinking a cold beer and listening to the mosque calls to prayer, thoroughly enjoying the different experiences and reflecting on my life so far. I am overwhelmed by the beauty of this country, it’s people and the relaxed way of life, reminiscing back to a time when I first visited about 10 years ago when I was too young to understand the history and to appreciate it’s unique culture.

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Using this time to post as much as possible was a big goal of mine before I left Ireland, however looking back now I crave the relaxation associated with no deadlines and pressures. Saying that, this blog is just a breath of fresh air for me because the pressure I have is only there because I decide it is. We can all strive to be better, but we also have to be patient.

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On another note, I’ve been reading a fantastic book that I’d like to share with everyone! It’s called ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff….and it’s all small stuff’ by Richard Carlson and for someone who suffers every single day with anxiety, it’s benefitted me more than I could have imagined. Everyone can learn something from this so I’d advise you pick up a copy 😉 Thanks for taking the time out of your day to read this post.

Love and light always,

Namaste,

Amy xx

My Favourite Breakfast Smoothie Recipe

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For about a year now I’ve been completely converted to being a smoothie drinker every morning, cutting out the sugar filled cereals and smashing in those fruits and veggies instead has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Not only is it so quick, but playing around with different flavours can be so fun and easy to change. One of the reasons it’s super quick, is that I have invested in an appliance that’s like the cheaper version of the ‘Nutri-Bullet’ everyone raves about. It was about €30 and I actually prefer it, as the bottle sizes are about 900 ml, (much more than the Nutri-Bullet), and the typical the portion I would have every morning. So without more babbling, here’s the recipe I’ve been using most recently..

2 Apples

1 Banana

3 tbsp Frozen Mixed Berries

3 handfuls Frozen Spinach

2 tbsp Almonds

3 tbsp Oats

2 tbsp Natural Yoghurt

200 ml Orange Juice

100 ml Almond Milk

50 ml Soya Milk

It sounds like a lot to put in but usually I would have chopped the apples and bananas the night before, and put them in a Ziploc bag in the freezer. The reason I use frozen ingredients a lot is not only to keep the smoothie cold but also the keep the fruit from going off, it works really well and means everything lasts much longer while locking in essential nutrients, and I can stock up! I put the oats in because you can’t taste them, but they just add a lot more energy to the smoothie that’s slow-releasing so will keep you going for longer. The almonds are there for no particular reason other than taste, and I usually make my own almond milk so the whole almond nuts are to hand. I tend to mix up the liquids in the smoothie (almond & soya milk, orange juice) a lot depending on what I feel that week, even water is great! I also never measure the liquids, the above is just an approximation, it’s usually just all just sloshed in together and rarely planned!

I hope some of you try this recipe out, it’s healthy and filling, and the amount of each ingredient can be altered to fill whatever size smoothie you want, and best of all, it tastes delicious! If you do happen to give it a go, be sure to tweet or instagram me the results!

Love and Light,

Namaste,

Amy xx