Tag Archives: Pilates

Yoga teacher. Three years on.

Wow! Three years on after graduating from the 200 Hour Teacher training with Yoga London!

So what has changed since last year? At the beginning of this year I went into teaching yoga and Pilates full time. It was a huge step and I battled with the decision. Leaving a regular paid job to become responsible for my own cash flow, scary! Initially I wanted this to happen straight away but realised when working part-time, 4 days a week, this may take somewhere between 5-7 years after graduating that I’d be able to transition full time, but a couple of opportunities presented themselves, and it was time to go for it.

The transition from part-time teaching to full-time teaching.

  1. Know what your realistic minimum earnings need to be – have you also considered holidays, sick days & pension? With most corporate jobs all this will be included and if you’ve worked in this environment you’ll probably have a figure in mind you’d like to achieve. Maybe for the first year you don’t include this in your earnings, but make sure you add this in after year one!
  2. Consider other opportunities as well as teaching. What are your strengths. I’ve been lucky to take on a couple of admin tasks which I enjoy and it balances out the teaching a little bit. There are so many opportunities out there now, it’s just finding the right one for you!
  3. Plan to take holiday. Even if it’s just a week off at home reading a book, take time out before you burn out.

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Additional training

This year I planned on going on a retreat instead of training, however the focus shifted to becoming self-employed and I signed up to a couple of courses to help boost my skill-set.

Level 3 in Exercise considerations of independently active, older clients – I already teach independently active, older clients and I just wanted to ensure I was offering the best in this area.

Level 3 in Exercise referral – exercise is still one of the best ways to tackle overall health and wellbeing, however there are many of us who suffer from:

Cardiovascular conditions,

Metabolic conditions,

Respiratory conditions,

Musculoskeletal conditions,

Psychological/mental health conditions

I was keen to get a better understanding of how exercise can be adapted and used as a support for the above conditions.

Baby Yoga – This is a great addition to the pregnancy and post-natal Yoga I teach and it’s wonderful to see parents and babies connecting with each other.

What’s next for training? This list is still very long! For now I’ll be putting into practice what I have learnt this year and keeping an eye on current research. I’d like to review all previous training and weave knowledge bites into classes.

What have I missed this year? Last year I missed being able to attend regular classes, and I’m pleased to say that I’ve found a couple of classes that I can get to during the day time. I thought I’d miss the regular routine of an office environment, but I’ve kept myself busy and I now have a bit of a routine, other than studying.

I’ve missed cycling to work and I haven’t been able to build that into my current routine so I’m joining a gym, which I’m excited about. I like some exercise on my own, but I do like to have company to stay motivated.

What have I loved?  I’ve loved being able to concentrate more on teaching and being able to teach all age ranges! I enjoy seeing people smiling and walking out of class feeling relaxed and happy. The power of movement and breath, whether it is in Pilates or Yoga is clear to see and it is lovely to hear how regular attendance each week has helped people to manage long term issues, improve strength and provide a greater sense of wellbeing.

Tips from year three.

These 5 tips are similar to how I felt at the end of year two but with greater emphasis placed on them this year.

  1. Monthly reviews – write down your monthly goals/objectives. Understand how you’re going to achieve those goals.
  2. Review your monthly goals/objectives and understand what worked well and what didn’t. What can you change for next month.
  3. Keep learning – New material will inspire your teaching and keep your classes fresh
  4. Cross train – Whether cross training in a different exercise or cross training to learn a new skill, both will make you more supple and stronger. Seeing how a different discipline works will strengthen your existing knowledge.
  5. Understand what motivates and inspires your work. This is key and can really define your purpose. More on this to come at a later date.

 

Thank you – As always, thank you to all of those that have supported the transition, attended classes, presented opportunities. I’m looking forward to sharing more yoga and Pilates with you!

 

 

Inspiration

March this year had had two dates dedicated to women: International women’s day and Mother’s day. A great way to remember and honour inspirational women who have inspired you, whether that is someone widely recognised or whether this is someone close to home, an everyday hero.

I find inspiration from various people on a daily basis, and it might even inspire me to do something stupid, like getting up early to practise hula hooping! I can think of at least four inspirations this month. Four inspirations in two categories: exercise and rubbish.

Inspiration 1 – Plastic

Plastic is so embedded in our culture. Stop for a moment and just look down at where you are and notice what items are plastic…

I’m at my desk at home and I can see a biro, lipsalve, notebook, phone cover and storage, all of which have an element of plastic.

I am aware of plastic and its impact on the environment, but that is not enough, I need to make some permanent changes to make an impact. Make-up has been one area I struggle with, to be fair, a lot of the stuff I buy last’s for ages, but that doesn’t make up for the zillions of years it takes for plastic to be broken down!

Looking at www.trashplastic.com has provided me with some ideas and brands that I can try out. Check out Sophie’s website, she has done all the research so you only have to stop at her website for ideas and inspiration. I’m looking forward to trying some of the recommendations, and I’ll regularly check in for inspiration and reminders.

You might not have the time or inclination to make a huge change, but even if it’s one tiny change, every little helps.

N.B. If you are going to make a big change please, please don’t throw everything out to start afresh, make use of everything you have and make those small changes, that way the effect will become a habit and it will likely be a lifetime change. So many people start afresh, but that also becomes part of the problem.

Thank you Sophie for your inspiration!

 

Inspiration 2 – Rubbish

Speaking of throwing things out. Not everything ends up in a bin, sometimes it ends up in your garden or in the park where you take your kids and dogs for walks. Some people are completely oblivious to bins and seem to think this planet is big enough to hide all of our sins. Rubbish seems to be caught up everywhere, it floats around and is often visible out of the corner of your eye. Inspiration number two comes from seeing a local resident start her own litter pick one day and sharing how much she had collected in a short time. Just in time for Keep Britain tidy which runs from 22nd March to 23rd April this year. I’m joining a group on Saturday, it will be good to be part of a team effort, and hopefully make a bigger impact. Look out for community events, what a better time to be part of a spring clean. The cleaner our green spaces are, the more likely it will stay tidy.

Thank you Vici for your inspiration!

 

Inspiration 3 – Hula Hooping

I’ve always loved the idea of hula hooping but I’ve been particularly rubbish at it. One summer I combined a mini morning workout of skipping and hula, I spent more time picking up the hula hoop! Inspiration came from an older client who is brilliant at hula and we had a little practice before class one day. It inspired me to start up my outdoor skipping and hula morning workout again, better now the mornings are warmer and lighter.

Thank you Christine for your inspiration!

 

Inspiration 4 – Cycling

And finally…back in 2012 I felt inspired to cycle to Box Hill, I never made it, but I was cycling to work on a regular basis, so it was a start. After having a conversation with another regular class member about cycling outdoors I mentioned my target of Box Hill and committed to achieving this target by September!

Never commit to things publicly unless you’re serious!

I took my bike for a service at Cycle Power in Worcester park who did a great job. My bike always rides beautifully after it’s been in.  In fact they turned it around in time for a nice little warm up ride on Sunday, the first proper ride of the year. The Box Hill route is a 22 mile round trip, which doesn’t sound much, but there are quite a few steep hills along the way. I managed just 16 miles on Sunday which I thought was ok for a first ride out. Looking forward the view on Box Hill soon.

Thank you Janice for your inspiration!

 

I love chatting to people and hearing their stories, and I love that my job means I meet such a variety of people. Thank you to all the women who have inspired me this month and every day! Who has been your inspiration of the day, week, month or year?

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Love thyself…

February the month of love! It’s nice to recognise the one you love on Valentine’s day, and any other day of the year, but how often do you recognise yourself?

What treats do you give yourself on a daily, weekly, monthly basis?

Weekly I like to check in to a regular yoga and Pilates class. It feels so good to be part of a class and enjoy someone else’s instruction. I try and tune in to some online classes every now and then too, but it really doesn’t beat being held in a space and getting instant feedback.

Monthly I would love to have a massage. I’ve got one booked in this month, but it might be a while before the next one!

I love the benefits of massage:

  • It’s relaxing, in the right environment and with the right masseuse.
  • Relieves mental tension
  • Aids natural detoxification
  • Promotes sleep
  • Reduces muscle tension and can improve performance

These are just some of the benefits I’ve experienced during a massage. A good yoga session can also feel just as good as a massage, it definitely contains the same benefits. Both also help me to float out of the door at the end of the session and some days I’ll walk out with a spring in my step.

So why treat yourself…why not?

If you look after yourself, then looking after others becomes much easier. Many of us work so hard that if we don’t give a little time to ourselves, we can get lost! Lost in work, lost in day to day monotony.

A treat could even be having the time to sit down and watch your favourite programme for half an hour without any distractions. Treats don’t have to be expensive, as long as it feels like a treat, then you’re treating yourself. I often treat myself to a bit of chocolate! Probably too much, but it is a treat and a delicious one at that!

 

“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”
– Lucille Ball

 

Often loving yourself can also mean taking the time to exercise and eat healthily. It is so important to keep moving and fuel yourself in the right way. What you do exercise wise and in terms of eating will impact how your body is in later life. Perhaps if you were a smoker in your twenties, and have since stopped, you may have improved your lung capacity, whereas if you stop smoking in your forties, your body may not make a full recovery, but your health will dramatically be improved by making the change.

The same goes for exercise you may have been able to take part in lots of high energy activities when you’re younger, but as you get older you may need to be kinder to your joints. Some of us can take up running in our forties and some of us may focus more on Pilates and yoga. I fall into the latter camp. I love high energy activities, but I need to be mindful which ones they are. Running is a big no, no. I tried to get into a couple of times but have been advised to avoid it to lengthen the life of my joints. If you have a very symmetrical body then you’re one of the lucky ones, many people have asymmetrical bone structure. High impact sports will increase wear and tear on one side of the body, and when these imbalances start to increase pressure on one particular side of the body it can impact joints and muscles contributing to an even more unbalanced body.

So be kind to yourself when it comes to exercise. It’s good to build up a sweat and increase heart rate but be kind to your joints too. We need them to last as long as our heart does.

Choose an exercise that is right for your body and make it something you enjoy going too!

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January Resolutions

January…

…the month that many of us like to reinvent ourselves as better, brighter, fitter, healthier and generally remove any ounce of fun to make up for all the over indulgence we may have enjoyed in December. Why do we do this to ourselves during the month when there is probably more of a natural tendency to hibernate and give ourselves a little hygge*. Listen to your body and nurture it. There is nothing wrong with starting a new routine to make yourself healthier and fitter, but do this mindfully. Once you have a new routine established you can amend your goals.

So, tell me how your January goals are looking so far? Have you missed it by a mile, or have you smashed it? If you’ve smashed it, well done! If you’ve missed it, no problem.

Revisit your goals

As we’re nearing the end of January then you may want to revisit the goals set and adjust them for February.

  • What worked well?
  • What do you need to amend?
  • What distractions did you encounter?
  • What did you enjoy most?

Once you’ve had a think about these questions then setting new goals or adjusting the current one for February may seem a little easier. Remember to take into account anything outside of your normal routine, such as holidays or exams and factor it in to your plan.

How did my January goals go?

Normally my January goals are set three – six months before hand. This January was different due to a complete change in work/life balance. As well as teaching Yoga & Pilates I worked thirty hours in an office. This ended on 4th January, which means I technically have an extra thirty hours + a week to play with. Establishing a new routine whilst managing a bit of building work can really eat into those extra hours!! Rather than set goals I started to write down how I wanted a typical working month and week to look like. What goals would I like to achieve over the next few months and what long term goals would I like to explore.

I don’t imagine these goals will stay the same, goals can be organic, they grow and adapt as you do. Don’t stick to them if they don’t feel right. Trust your judgement and allow yourself to dream, adapt and go with the flow.

Help your plans come alive!

Write and talk. Write down your plans and split them out into categories.

Must do tasks such as:

  • Pay invoices
  • Update accounts
  • Answer emails
  • Planning

Creative or nice to do tasks/goals:

  • Blog posts
  • Podcasting
  • Workshops
  • Attend classes
  • Courses
  • Research

Think about what makes your business tick over on a day to day basis and incorporate that into the lists.

Write these plans in a note book, use an app or Office applications. Use what comes naturally to start with. You can then start to add how often you’d like to do these activities or how often they need to be looked at. Personally I love a good note book from paper chase to start planning.

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Fancy notebook

Talk about your tasks/goals. You may not necessarily want to talk about the must do tasks, but it might be useful to see how other people achieve their tasks such as accounting. Do you do your own or would you like someone else to pick up this task?

Most of us may enjoy talking about the nice to haves. I’ve found over the last few years that by talking about my goals with friends and work colleagues that in some ways they have enabled my goals to come alive. This has been through a combination of morale support, idea sharing, leads and opportunities. This is the same for networking groups too. I haven’t yet had the opportunity to join one, but there are so many great groups out there with genuine support from people wanting to see others do well.

Now is the time to plan for spring/summer

Look at where you want to be in summer and start making changes to achieve that now.

Do you want to increase you overall health and fitness? Maybe it is just making one change to your diet this week, perhaps adding fruit to your breakfast, five minutes of meditation or a ten minute walk at lunchtime. Start with baby steps and over time it will feel much easier to make additional changes. You wouldn’t run a marathon without building up first!

If your goal is to run a marathon then you break that goal down over a number of weeks/months into smaller manageable chunks. Perhaps your first task will be to walk/jog one mile, breaking it down into intervals or one minute walking and thirty seconds running. The following week you may increase the distance and switch to one minute running and thirty seconds walking.

It’s all about SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound

Good luck with your goals and don’t forget spring is just round the corner!

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More fancy planning tools!

Yoga teacher – Two years on

When I completed my 200-hour yoga teacher training with Yoga London in July 2016 I knew I had only just scratched the surface of my yoga journey…

So what has changed since last year? I’ve continued with the part time office job and along the way, opportunities to teach have kindly presented themselves. My teaching voice has developed, but I feel there is still room for improvement. I hope that people leave my classes feeling light and relaxed whilst having had a work out that strengthens and conditions the body.

Additional training

At the beginning of the year I attended Yoga Bananas Kids Teacher training course which was great fun. I’ve not had the capacity to utilise this training much; however, I’m hoping to create some opportunities soon. Get in touch if you’re interested in Yoga for children between 3 – 11 that incorporates original rhyming and sequencing.

I completed my Pilates teacher training and was very lucky to take on a regular class at the start of the year. It felt like starting to teach yoga all over again, particularly as this was an established class with an established teacher. Big shoes to fill. I learnt a lot in the first few weeks of that class.

I’ve also completed the Pilates pre and post-natal qualification and have been able to teach a couple of pre and post-natal classes. There will be a new and regular pre-natal Pilates class starting in September.

What’s on the training list menu? There are still so many wonderful courses to choose from and I haven’t quite decided which one I would like to take next. The list is still very long! If anything, I would like to attend more Pilates and Yoga classes to develop my own practice as this is just as beneficial as attending any additional courses and perhaps I maybe be able to treat myself to a Yoga and Pilates retreat soon!

What have I missed in the last year? As the teaching opportunities have increased, I’ve really missed attending regular classes with local teachers. I managed to attend a couple of classes, but they are few and far between at the moment. As time moves on, you start to realise it can be quite lonely as a self-employed teacher, so it is important to create opportunities to meet with like-minded people. I’m still working on this, and once I create more space in my diary, this will become easier!

What have I loved?  I’ve really valued seeing people enjoying themselves and leaving my classes feeling relaxed and happy in their bodies. The positive power of movement and breath, whether it is in Pilates or Yoga, is clear to see. It has also been lovely to hear how attending my classes each week has helped people to manage long term health issues. As we get older, Pilates and Yoga is much kinder to the body than other forms of exercise, and I love seeing the great age ranges that both these classes attract. The biggest age range so far is 84 years!

My teaching voice seems to have been my nemesis and a selling point! I have quite a soft voice which doesn’t always travel well but over time I’ve become much better at projecting my voice. Even with greater vocal projection I’ve still been able to maintain a calm and relaxing voice, something I didn’t think would achievable!

Tips from year two.

These 5 tips are similar to those from the end of year one and I’m sure they’ll work for anyone at any stage in their career.

  1. If you have a soft, quiet voice, practice projecting your voice or even singing! I started to sing in the car on the way to one of my classes to warm up my voice.
  2. Create your own opportunities – Write ideas down and chat to people who may be able to help or bring the ideas to life
  3. Keep learning – New material will inspire your teaching and keep your classes fresh
  4. Cross train – Whether cross training in a different exercise or cross training to learn a new skill, both will make you more supple and stronger. Seeing how a different discipline works will strengthen your existing knowledge.
  5. If you don’t enjoy it, stop! Simple. But…pause and understand what it is you don’t like.

If you have attended one of my classes I would just like to say thank you for your support. It’s a pleasure to have you in my class.

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