July 31, 2016No Comments

Competitive yoga – #StretchSundays

I-will-win

This is one I struggle with a lot - trying not to compare to other people practicing yoga and trying not to be competitive and pushing myself to match what other people do.

I have to constantly go against my own grain with this one. The reason I like going to classes is because I’m aware of what others do around me and I push myself to learn more, I challenge myself to be as good or better than those around me. It does mean I progress my yoga, and everything, quite quickly as it means I try and do better than those around me.

What it does mean is it takes a toll on my body faster than expected and sometimes I can compromise my posture or alignment so I can go as low or as high or as deep a stretch as those around me.

Most recently I have used it to try and adapt my practice to match those around me with good posture or alignment. I use my competitive nature but instead of stretching deeper, reaching higher or folding more, I use it to adjust my back, get my legs straighter. Often that means I’m taking my legs closer or moving back a level so I’m at an easier level but working on perfecting my alignment. It’s a hard balance but it works quite nicely as I can still convince myself it’s competitive without pushing myself beyond my body’s limits.

Each of us has our limitations and our aspects that we’d like to work on. This is just one of mine that I deal with by adapting my existing issue into something that can be used productively and to better myself.

Remember, yoga is not meant to be about being competitive, it's about bettering yourself and focusing on your own practice in that moment.

Next time you're in a class, try and focus on yourself, look at how others are working their alignment, ask your teacher to adjust you into the right posture but try not to be the one pulling the deepest stretch or folding the most…unless you naturally are more flexible of course!

Ciao for now x

July 12, 2016No Comments

Boys can’t dance – #TalkToMeTuesdays

Billy Elliott

Most people know the story of Billy Elliot, the boy who wanted to dance. So why is it there is still so much stigma attached to boys that want to dance?

The biggest issue I have with people wanting to join my dance fitness class is they say they don’t know how to dance. It slightly baffles me, why would you need to know how to dance? All you have to be able to do is follow what I tell you to do and try to do it to the same timing as I do. But worse case scenario you won’t and you’ll still be moving and you’ll still be sweating and still be working out as you wanted….and hopefully still having fun while doing it? So why would you care really.

When it comes to boys, my mind boggles even more so. A lot of them look at you, when you suggest they come to a dance class, as if you’ve just told them their an alien that was adopted from the planet Jupiter on the day they hatched from an egg. ‘Men don’t do dance classes’.

When drilling into that statement further, they say it’s more for women. Why? Well, I think actually that’s their way of saying they’re scared and intimidated to come.

The few guys who have come along to my class have loved it. I mean, regardless of your sexual orientation, you get to dance in a room full of women with everyone having fun, no stress or awkwardness that there is in a club and you don’t even have to think about your dance moves. All you have to do is be able to follow instruction and over the weeks you will easily pick up the moves, no matter how bad you think you are at dancing.

I’ve seen people in my class who can’t keep to the beat of a song. Yes, I show them the move, I move to the beat and they can be going a completely different direction. That might be what happens on week 1 but by about week 3 or 4 those same people are moving to the beat and almost knowing what moves are coming next. They learn to keep to the beat. Dancing is a skill that anyone can learn, to differing degrees but everyone has the potential to keep to a beat!

I think the biggest shock that the guys in my class have had was how tough the class is. They thought there would be lots of hip twirling and grinding, some body pumps and that’s it, not much sweating. HA! Proven wrong every time, working their butts off and hurting more in that one hour with me than they would pumping weights.

So to everyone out there, boy or girl, old or young, try out our class. We are an amazingly welcoming group who just love music and enjoy the idea of smiling the whole way through our workout. Yes, some of us (myself included) treat it like our very own concert, belting out tunes while ‘squatting like it’s hot’ but who cares. No one in our room judges each other, we’re all there for the same reason.

Look forward to seeing you all soon

Ciao for now x

  
ShakeUp are a group of individuals who want to change lives with smiles.

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