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Green+Aquamarine: July 2014

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Asana of the Week #2

Welcome to Asana of the Week. Each week, on Monday or Tuesday I will share a pose and explain how to get into the position correctly. Then, I challenge you to try the asana, and tag me on Twitter (@EleanorMayC) or Instagram (@EleanorMay_C) using the hashtag #AsanaoftheWeek Comment below if you have got involved, and have fun!
This week's yoga pose is upwards dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana) It strengthens and stretches the shoulders and abdominal muscles, and lengthens the spine, improving both flexibility and strength.You can see last week's downward dog pose here.

Lying face down, press your palms flat on the ground next to your shoulders. Curl the toes under, and push the upper body up and forwards, arching your back so that the head leans towards the toes and the arms are straight. The hips and thighs should be raised off the ground, with your feet, shins and hands only supporting your weight.

  • Cobra pose: arms are still straight, but the thighs are touching the floor
  • Sphinx pose: hips are also on the floor, and the arms are slightly bent so as to accommodate this.

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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Asana of the Week #1

Today I am starting a new blog series. Each week, on Monday or Tuesday I will share a pose and explain how to get into the position correctly. Then, I challenge you to try the asana, and tag me on Twitter (@EleanorMayC) or Instagram (@EleanorMay_C) using the hashtag #AsanaoftheWeek Comment below if you have got involved, and have fun!

This week I am starting with one of the most well known yoga poses, the Downward Facing Dog, or Adho Mukha Svanasana. Done properly, the Down Dog should create a pull around the shoulder blades. The pose strengthens and energises the body. This pose can be done with fit together or hip distance apart.

Start on your hands and knees, making sure that your shoulders are stacked directly above the wrists. Curl the toes under and push back to straighten the legs. The fingers should splay widely to form a strong base. Push your chest towards the floor and hips upwards as you squeeze the shoulder blades together. Hold for five slow breaths through the nose, and return to your hands and knees. Finish in Child's Pose if you need to rest.

 Photo from YogaPoseWeekly

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Sunday, 20 July 2014

Lately: July

I've been up to a few bits and pieces over the last couple of weeks, which I thought that I would share with you.

I live near a little market town stuffed to the brim with independent shops. Whilst waiting for the bus home on blustery, rainy Friday, I had a peak into one of the new clothing shops, which was having a half price sale. I was torn between a couple of pairs of shoes, both costing £14 (RRP £28.00) and ended up purchasing these sweet little blue deck shoes. The next day, I came home from work to find that my lovely mama had gone and bought me the other pair, and a recipe book from Rachel Khoo, so I was pretty pleased! By coincidence, dad also visited the shop and bought mum the blue deck shoes as well... we can't seem to stop matching!

The shoes are by a brand call BellField, which I believe is an ASOS brand. The shoes are really lovely in their pastel colours, and I loved lots of the tops and printed skorts too. They came in sturdy box with this little quotation on top, which is a lovely touch.

In other news, I've just got a new ear piercing! The last time my ears were pierced, I think I was nine? Long time ago. I've wanted my cartilage done for a while now, so I'm really happy. The piercer froze off my ear slightly to numb it, so I barely felt it, which was great. (That still didn't stop me from feeling faint afterwards... typical...) As a thank you for organising prom, our heads of sixth form kindly sent everyone who had been in the prom committee a Topshop voucher, which was really touching. I used it to buy a pack of earrings ready for when I can finally change my piercing in three months time!
Lastly here are a few snaps from an impromptu trip to Scarborough. Ice creams in hand, Mum and I wandered out of the touristy kiss-me-quick South Bay, round the headland to Scarborough's North Bay which is quieter and is a good surfing spot. We then climbed back over the top of the headland, through the old fort, and visited Anne Bronte's grave before having a poke around some shops. Sometimes, it is the spur of the moment days that are the most fun.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Om Yoga Magazine: Oceanic Flow

Hello! So I have some exciting news to share... I have just become an Affiliated Blogger with Om Yoga Magazine. Each issue I will write a post on an article from the magazine and share it with you. Have a look here to find about the other lovely affiliated bloggers. Om Yoga is a really fantastic magazine, full of step-by-step poses, teacher interviews, mindfulness and recipes, that caters for all age groups and genders.

You can subscribe, or buy the current issue here for much lower prices than you can in the newsagents!

Unsurprisingly, I was immediately drawn to the article called Oceanic Flow. This piece connected the fact that we are often drawn to water, to yoga and daily practices. We often cite the term "Go with the flow" to one another, and this article focuses on a style of yoga called Odaka Yoga, pioneered by Roberto Milletti. The teaching from this style encourages students to live in sync with your life. In traditional yoga text, this concept is called Bhagavad Gita.

Yogi Britta Trubridge, photographed by Dann Verhoeven in the issue
In terms of physical yoga practice, this style really appealed to me as it works well with Vinyasa yoga, known for it's flowing movements and sequences. I currently practice a form of Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga called Sun Power Yoga, so these flowing movements are familiar to me.
When everything gets a bit hectic, the concepts behind Odaka Yoga can help to keep you even more grounded and calm than other yoga practices as it encourages acceptance and flexiblily. We should be mindful of where our lives go, but not rigid in it's direction.

I also loved the interview with Kathryn Budig, a passionate and infectiously upbeat teacher -people like her make me feel more committed to practising and developing my own yoga style.

OM Yoga Magazine

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Friday, 11 July 2014

Fit Kit: Sweaty Betty Review

Today I am posting a review on the Sweaty Betty items that I have purchased over the last couple of months. In case you haven't noticed, Sweaty Betty is my favourite current fitness brand, and I've been prowling the seasonal sales and Ebay for bargains.
Also loving my new yoga sports bra from TK Maxx!
First up are the beautiful Chandrasana Yoga Leggings. I have had my eye on these (and the capri version) for ages! So when they popped up in the sale half price, I couldn't resist. I was surprised at how good the fabric felt on -buttery soft -and of course, I adore the print. Due to the high stretch nature of the fabric, the leggings cater for a wide range of leg lengths, although I do find that my 28 inch legs need a roll up at the bottom when I am practising yoga. However, the contrasting inside fabric looks great, so it isn't really an issue. From other reviews, the leggings seem to work well for taller ladies too.

Price: £60.00 (£30.00 in the current sale)

  • Completely opaque, and the high waistband keeps you covered.
  • Fabric is light, non-restrictive and beautifully patterned.
  • Really flattering fit (although the Medium is a little large on me, it isn't too noticeable)
  • If you're far off the 32 inch leg length, these won't fit perfectly, but the stretch accommodates most leg lengths.

Next is my Athlete Workout Vest. It is a really versatile top; so far I have worn it practising yoga, running, going to the gym and on long cycle rides. The racerback design is excellent for free movement without chafing and the technical polyester elastane fabric dries very quickly without ever feeling very wet. I am a size 10, and wear a size Small which is a good fit.

Price: £29.00

  • Wide range of colours
  • Good fit
  • Technical fabric is breathable and sweat wicking, keeping you comfortable
  • Fabric is very soft against the skin
  • I honestly can't think of any, so long as you are happy to spend twice that of a cheaper (eg from TK Maxx) sports top

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Tuesday, 8 July 2014

June Yoga Challenge Roundup

So last month I decided to take on the #StepByStepYogis instagram yoga challenge, which I blogged about here. I thought that I'd do a quick round up of the month's poses. I have started to do more yoga practice at home, and this challenge has definitely helped to get me into the habit of practising.
 I have featured some twenty poses here; there are a few that I haven't included and a handful of poses that I didn't post, either because I was away or the asana was simply too tricky! But I had a go at everything, and thoroughly enjoyed the month's challenge. Thank you to all the hosts for bringing us these challenges, and I look forward to doing some more.
I can't wait to continue learning and growing as a yoga student, so I will be posting photos up on instagram all summer to keep you posted. Comment below if you have tried any kind of thirty day challenge, or if you enjoy yoga yourself.

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