April 17: Morning yoga, new yoga and sounds against silence

The day is so grey it’s felt like dusk all morning. If it wasn’t for the lawnmower noise from the neighbour’s property, my brain would be saying it’s time to get ready for bed.

So to wake myself up, I did my morning routine (yesterday was the first time I’d done the 15 minutes in two weeks. Two weeks! Holidays threw me out, and then I was out of the habit – back now) and went straight into Sadie Nardini’s 30 Min Morning Wake Up Yoga Flow, which I’ve done a few times before. You can find the video here.

I do enjoy Sadie’s workouts, but lately, I’ve really noticed how much she talks. She talks and talks and sometimes that’s great, but I find it frustrating when she says “Here we’ll take five breaths while we blah blah blah blah (30 seconds worth) … Ok now for the five breaths.” I’ve done 10 already. For me, this really interrupts the whole flow of the routine. Some poses we’re in for longer while things are explained and some poses are done quickly. I need to learn it off by heart so I don’t have to rely on the video.

With the idea of finding something with a better flow, I went searching and came across Dagmar Spremberg from Soft Music & Yoga – YogaYak. From just watching parts of it quickly (didn’t have time to do another routine!) it looks like a peaceful yet energetic yoga routine with just the right amount of talking and a constant, calming flow. Being on a beach with melodic music at the start and end also makes it appealing.

It’s a little longer than Sadie’s but that’s because you lie quietly at the end listening to the music. Ok! I think I may have found my new favourite yoga workout. Can’t wait to try it. There are others in the YogaYak series as well, including Hatha and Vinyasa routines. You could start with the beginners series and move through the routines. Here is the YogaYak website where they have plenty of options. As per usual, I have no affiliation with any of the links I post, just putting them out there for us all.

While searching their site, I found 11 hours of Tibetan bowl sounds for meditation purposes. What a resource! You could paint to this, or write, or read. It’s great for people with tinnitus because we focus on the ringing in our ears when there’s silence, and before too long that becomes overwhelming. This is ‘music’ without being a distraction. I might even start writing more (long-form stuff) thanks to this. I had no idea these videos were out there. Maybe you’d prefer to listen to the ocean? Or listen to birds in a garden? (I found one bird highly repetitive and irritating, so this is not the background noise for me!)

Using two tabs on my computer, I was able to play the Tibetan bowls with the ocean sounds at the same time. That’s also a lovely combination. I could write all day with that softly in the background. Hearing all these sounds makes me realise how much time I spend in silence. Not good. So … Yahoo! What a find!

  • Physically Fit: 30 Min Morning Yoga with Sadie
  • Mentally Fit: Finding the new sound recordings and yoga routine; meeting Pastora
  • Nutritionally Fit: A non-fasting day today but I’ll be good
  • Minimalism: Finally wearing the trench coat I hauled from storage at mum’s. Will I love it?

Wishing you a wonderful day.

February 7: No kicks from kickboxing

Adding yoga to my morning routine today has really boosted my energy levels (and appetite!). I did 15 minutes of meditation this morning, upping it for the first time from the normal 10, then five minutes of stretching. Straight after that, I did the fantastic morning yoga routine from Sadie Nardini from Thursday’s workout. But instead of making this my workout for today, I’ve stuck with the plan to make it part of my morning routine, and will do it every Monday morning from now on. What a way to start the week!

I’m still looking for things to add to my morning routine, say on Wednesdays and Fridays, so if you see any other great 15-30 minute morning workouts, please let me know! And if I find any, I’ll let you know too, of course.

Figuring I was already in my exercise gear, I took a little break and then did my fitfor15in15 workout for today – a 25-minute kickboxing class I found through Net Fit using the digital box attached to our television. You can find it here on YouTube, if you’re interested in also trying it, but before you get too excited, like me, please keep reading.

Several hundred years ago, a friend Valli and I went to kickboxing classes after work once a week to bash out some frustration and feel fitter. After realising we didn’t enjoy kicking each other in the shins, we called it a day. But I’ve always liked the idea of kickboxing (with a bag) and can’t believe it’s taken me so long to think about adding it to fitfor15in15. Finding this routine made my heart flutter a bit. And then it started …

Instructor Becky gets 10 out of 10 for enthusiasm and technique, but the routine was – I feel so mean saying this – terribly boring. I really don’t want to write that, as Becky was totally into it, but the workout, the music and possibly her high-fiving enthusiasm had me smirking, groaning and rolling my eyes. This workout was not worthy of high-fives!

The urge to stop was strong, but I persevered, hoping it would get better. I hardly broke a sweat, despite doing the squats and punches as over-enthusiastically as Becky. Another bug-bear was the camera work, which occasionally missed the change of exercise while focussing on the back-up people, who, like the viewer, were also clueless as to what was going on. It all came across as very amateurish.

My search for another kickboxing workout with better music, some better exercises and a lot less cheese will continue. Everything I find/try can’t be a winner, so I shouldn’t be too disappointed, but this is the first one I’ve started without checking what happens (which I do when I watch workouts on my computer, to see if they hold my attention). Others have been vetoed and never attempted – I want to bring you the good stuff!

And on that note, I wish you a wonderful rest of the weekend (while I will probably be struck by lightning for being horrible about someone’s pride and joy).

Here are some articles, videos and images I found interesting this week:

Another article that came along at the right time, about food affecting our energy levels.

Don’t want to go to the gym? Here’s a simple article about getting fit without four walls.

Mum found this one! I like to dance, but have no style, unlike Bob Hope and James Cagney who look like they had a ball making this clip.

Something funny to watch for people who love New York, want to go to New York, have been to New York, or never want to go to New York. I love NY, accents and puppets too, so it’s a total laugh-out-loud winner.

And last but not least, I’ve been giggling for days about this picture. Thanks Shailesh!

February 5: Amazing morning yoga

Another winner found today! After jumping around so much yesterday, I searched for a 30-minute yoga routine and when I saw this video from instructor Sadie Nardini, called 30 Min Morning Wake Up Yoga Flow, I was sold. It’s morning here, and surely morning yoga would be nice … and calm … and relaxing … and … WRONG! It was a massive strength workout.

Wow, I think I may have found something to add to my morning routine. Currently I meditate for 10 minutes and stretch for five. But lately I’ve noticed I squirm and wriggle for at least the first few minutes of the meditation, and this morning, I was preoccupied with rubbing my knees so they would bend comfortably to a sitting position. Yesterday’s Banish Fat Boost Metabolism workout has left its mark – I’m not as sore as I thought I’d be, but I’m still feeling it.

When I’m settled into the meditation, and my spine is straight, my breathing calm and my wrists feel like they’re a part of my knees, I really feel like I’m in the zone …  and then the music stops and I ‘have to’ stop. So maybe tomorrow I’ll bump it up to 15 minutes of meditation and then go straight into this workout from Sadie (check out her website here).

Ooohhhh, it was tough. I am no yoga practitioner, or advocate really. But this was great. I felt my hips cramping. But then they stretch out. My shoulders, back and arms feel like I’ve been lifting weights. It was impossible to do all the exercises as well as she did, but it was totally worth the effort.

Winner, winner, chicken dinner. I’ll be doing this again – maybe tomorrow, so I can feel the benefits again. Then I’ll mix up my morning routine each day, and do this workout every, say, Friday. What do you think? It won’t be counted as part of my fitfor15in15 workouts, it will be counted as my morning routine.

Do you mix up your morning routine? Or does that defeat the purpose of it being called a routine?! What do you like doing in the morning?

Wishing you a wonderful day.