Not your average kind of yoga

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Check out all the tribal paint
Last week I was lucky enough to be invited to a blogger yoga class at GymBox Stratford. The class was Buti Yoga and all I knew what that it involved latex body paint that glowed under blacklights.  The official description is 'A movement practice that fuses power yoga, tribal dance and plyometrics into a high-intensity workout that transforms the body, training the core using the Spiral Structure technique.' Sounded good to me! I arrived a few minutes before the class to find a bunch of my blogging friends (Jen, Charlie, Becs, Charlotte, Charlie, Georgina, and Bethan) already painted up and ready to go.  I love these girls because they are always up for new things.

Sara, our instructor, explained 'Buti' meant spirit and the class involved some plyometrics, flow, core work and tribal movements. She was full of energy and had us start warming up on half lotus position.  We were soon doing hip circles, swirling our torsos, and completing plank after plank. There were some deep stretches in downward dog and warrior, followed by core work and then some tribal drumming.

Getting warmed up in lotus position
The soundtrack was superb. I didn't know any of the songs but they fit perfectly to the program design. Some of the movements required a bit of rhythm or at least the boldness to try anything. It was a little strange to be bouncing in and out in a downward dog b fun nonetheless.

The brighter evening wouldn't allow us to fully appreciate the day-glow paint and disco lights until the end of the class.  However the view over the shopping area and Olympic Park was still a treat. I think in the winter time when the nights grow dark early, Buti Yoga would be a fantastic way to workout and get rid of the winter blues.  It was still enjoyable in the twilight though as you could tell by all our smiling faces and sweating bodies at the end of class.

Thanks to GymBox for the invite.  Your Startford location is super close to my new digs, so I am sure I will be back again soon.

Take time to connect with your practice

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Meet Meghan

Looking for a way to deepen your yoga practice and meet people who enjoy it as much as you?  WHy not attend the Yoga Connects Festival in the beautiful Stanford Hall Estate near Rugby, from 3-5 July.  It will feature a host of inspirational yoga instructors including Meghan Currie, Dylan Werner, YogaBeyond, Celest Pereira, Patrick Beach and international yoga artist, Robert Sturman. 

If you’re a die-hard yogi or perhaps just dipping your toe in as a beginner then this festival is for you.  I unfortunately am unable to make it, but if you do attend, I would love for you to write about your experience here on the blog.  One of my good friends is helping organize it, so I thought I would help her out by letting my readers know about this fun weekend.

What can you expect?
International yoga maverick, Meghan Currie whose awe-inspiring sequences have gone viral on Youtube joins us fresh from the beaches of Costa Rica while Californian native, Dylan Werner will be turning the world upside down with his one handed handstands.  Acro-Yoga couple, YogaBeyond will fly us to new heights over the three-day festival & floating yogi, Patrick Beach, whose global following is rising by the minute, will share his fluid power practice. Flying the flag for Britain is London’s rising star, Celest Pereira & Funk the Buddha’s Rachel Okimo to name but a few.  Renowned Yoga artist & photographer, Robert Sturman is also attending and will be recording the wonderful activity over the three days. 

Taking place around the exquisite lake-side lawns and forests of the elegant ancient Stanford Hall estate & only 48 minutes from London, this is the ultimate yoga and wellbeing experience for 2015.

On the rise globally is Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga, which festival goers will have the opportunity to try on the calm waters of the picturesque lake within the grounds of Stanford Hall.  I have tried SUP and it is a blast!  Be sure to pack a change of clothes, swim suit, towel, and sunscreen.

So what makes this festival so special?

The opportunity to be part of the biggest ever yoga chain on Saturday afternoon and feature in the Guinness Book of Records
Sunrise Wild Running
Woodfired hot tubs & saunas
Stand Up Paddle Board Toga 
Gorilla Circus Trapeze 
Inspirational talks from wellbeing experts, authors & instuctors 
Pre-bookable pampering treatments and complimentary therapies 
Delicious vegetarian & vegan food to nourish & restore 
Boys of Yoga in residence for the guys 
Entertainment including Yoga Beats, Kirtan & Acoustic Jazz sessions
Dance under the starts with DJ’s at the Yoga Rave 
Children under 12 attend for free!

Co-founder Daniela Olds says; ‘We are really excited to be collaborating with international yoga stars to create a magical playground for the UK yoga scene this summer. Our intention is to enjoy quality yoga, to create connection,  bring everyone together to chill out and most of all have fun.  Our theme is connection and our vision is collaboration and shared vibration. This weekend is about reaching to the stars & expanding the yoga community. Join us! 

Yoga Connects is founded by a trio of organisers, Sally Griffyn of Sacred Mastery Yoga, Daniela Olds aka Rockonyoga and Marc Laws ll of the Boys of Yoga.  

Let the Magic Happen…



Research* says Brits are twice as likely to exercise than go to pub

Friday, June 19, 2015

On the first of every month, I remind my Twitter followers to do a breast self-exam.  In the USA, every time you go to your gynecologist, they do a breast exam for you while here in the UK, I have yet to experience this.  Of course, it is important to check your own boobs too (Not sure what to do? Click here).  On all the other days of the month, I tweet info and tips on how to stay healthy and happy.  It seems only fitting then that I am taking part in the Breast Cancer Care Pink Ribbon Walk on 4th July in London.

There are 5, 10 and 20 mile distances and London is an evening event.  One of my favorite things to do in London is run along the Thames at night as the buildings twinkle in the darkness.  There is a certain calmness too as all the hustle and bustle has gone away, leaving you with the simple joy of this great city.

As I am marathon training, I think I will use the 10 mile route as a training session.  I have no idea how crowded it will be or how long it will take me, but I am sure the sightseeing will be fantastic.  Plus, it is a very worthy cause!

More details of the 10 mile route:

The 10 mile route has the same start and finish as the 5 mile, except where the 5 mile walkers head over Millennium Bridge, the 10 mile walkers remain on the south side of the Thames passing HMS Belfast and City Hall. We’ll cross the river at Tower Bridge and take a tour of the historic and contemporary highlights of the City of London – from the Tower of London, to The Gherkin, and on to the majestic St Paul’s Cathedral. We merge briefly with the 5 mile walkers along the Embankment before breaking away to make our way to Buckingham Palace via Nelson’s Column and The Mall. At Buckingham Palace we merge with the 20 mile walkers and take in Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament before crossing Westminster Bridge and returning to our event village by the Imperial War Museum.

With walking being the most popular forms of exercise in the UK, won't you join me on 4th July in London. If 10 miles doesn't sound right, sign up for the 5 or 20 miles.  Gran your mates and register today so you don't miss out!  Hope to see you there.  Don’t forget to tweet me @PTMollie and @BCCare and use the hashtag #Ribbonwalk to join in with the online conversation.

*The research, which was conducted by ICM Unlimited to mark the launch of Breast Cancer Care’s London at Night Pink Ribbonwalk, surveyed 2,005 British adults and found that two-thirds (65%) of Brits are now exercising on a weekly basis, compared to just a third (34%) who head to the pub.

Simple morning stretches with The Guardian

Monday, June 15, 2015

Photo courtesy of Guardian
I am thrilled to say my fitness knowledge was shared in the Guardian's Do Something magazine over the weekend and is now available online.

Go on and have a read of Simple morning stretches for tight muscles.


Morning dip before work in the center of London

Friday, June 12, 2015

My new office will be in central London.  A few times a month, I have to go in for meetings to make sure plans are correct and we have ordered the correct equipment.  My friend Elle posted about a new pop up swim pond near Kings Cross and I thought I would give it a go.  So Tuesday morning before heading to work, I braved the cool London air for a 20 minute outdoor swim session.

Photo from kingcross.co.uk
Kings Cross Pond Club is run by Fusion. Only 160 people are allowed to swim each day because of the natural filtration of the pond (yes, there are plants growing and a dirt bottom on the shallow end and no, there isn't any chlorine). Each slot lasts 2 hours and depending on the time of day, the price will vary (mine was £3.50).  The website says there are showers and changing rooms but no hair straighteners. You also need to bring a lock or you can buy one for £5.

It was a bit of a trek to get to the pond. There is a huge arrow outside Kings Cross station saying 'pond this way', but that is it. It isn't listed on any of the local attraction maps and the construction meant I had to walk around a park rather than cut through it. There weren't any big signs to the entrance but the viewing platform you couldn't miss. I got there about 7.30am and the staff were really nice. A bunch of swimmers were just leaving which made me feel like I wasn't the only crazy one. I had my swimsuit on under my clothes which worked out well as there are about 8 changing rooms (like you would find at a shop) and the lockers were outside.  I had too much stuff for 1 locker but I was allowed to bring a bag to the pond at my own risk.  

Before entering the pond, you have to shower. And the water isn't warm. I wouldn't say it was ice cold but I wasn't warmed up at all by it.  The pond was no warmer. It took me a few minutes to build up the courage to get in all the way. I think I just waited until my feet lost feeling and then jumped in. The next two people to come in were women in wet suits.  They moaned about the cold too as it slowly seeped in.

There aren't any lanes at the pond and it is a kidney shape.  It is about 25m long but I had trouble going in a relatively straight line. In the end, I tried to stay near the wall as a guide. It is really good open water practice as you need to be aware of who is around you and the shallow end doesn't have a high wall to push off of.  
Natural filtration from www.domusweb.it

A few more ladies turned up.  Some were chatting with each other and others were enjoying a leisurely swim. This early morning time slot was peaceful as there were only 5 people there when I was.  I am sure the cool weather helped this too.

I finished my 1.5 miles and headed out of the pond to shower. The sun was peeking out a bit now but it was by no means as warm as it had been he last few days. I washed my hair outside in my swimsuit, completely aware of all the construction workers and flat windows that could see me.  I then headed into a changing room.  They almost locked me in but I made it out just in time with my wet hair in the end.  My toes were still frozen so I found a bus to take me to work.  It was nice not to have a lingering smell of chlorine on my for the day.

Overall, I really enjoyed my swim. Next time, I think I would choose a warmer day.  It would be a great place for a refreshing dip after work on a warm day.  If you are able to stay for the full 2 hours, it would be worth the higher tariff too.

As an Aquarius, I find being in the water extremely relaxing. I can't wait to make the pond a part of my monthly routine.

Where do you swim? Do you prefer a pool or open water?

Next VTG starts 1 June. Sign up today!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The 12th session of the 'Back on Track' Virtual Training Group (VTG) kicks off next week.  We would love for you to join us.  If you are familiar with the VTG, head over to my store and make your payment.  If you would like to know more about it, read on.....

How does it work?
For 8 weeks, a group of people motivate and support each other over email.  At the start, each person sets 3 SMART goals. During the weekly check in, we let people know if we achieved our goals the week prior.

When will it run?
We start Week 0 on Monday 1st June, 2015.  Our last email check-in will be on Monday 3rd August.

How much does it cost?
It is only £10/person (via PayPal or bank transfer) for the 8+ weeks of coaching.  This is about $15 (depending on exchange rates).

What do I get?
You get individual coaching from me over email as we determine your SMART goals during Week 0.  Then I send out weekly updates that include recipes, health article links, and motivating quotes. Every week, 1-2 people will also share recipes and quotes to keep the group engaged.  We also have a VTG Facebook group, to which you will be lifetime member.  You also get the cool badge (see above image) to display on your social media outlets.

I don't know what I want to work on for these 8 weeks.
That isn't a problem.  This session, I will be working on eating paleo (focusing on meat, fruit, and
veg) and marathon training.  Maybe you would like to try these too? Other ideas are: drinking more water, unplugging for an hour a day, going to bed earlier, calling your best friend more often, or trying new foods.  The possibilities are endless!  As the 'Happiness Personal Trainer' I will encourage you to work on things that will make you happy (regardless of whether they are fitness or food related).

How many people can take part?
The group is limited to 12 people to make sure you receive ample individualized attention.

Does it matter where I live?
Absolutely not!  The beauty of the VTG is that anyone in the world who has an email account can take part.  Alumni of the program are men and women from many countries and ages ranging from mid-20s to 60+. You simply need to want to make positive changes in your life to achieve health and happiness.

How do I sign up?  Or can I ask you more questions?
Send me an email (mollie@ptmollie.com) to reserve your place today!  I am also happy to answer any questions that I may have missed here.

Head-to-toe packing list for your next race

Friday, May 1, 2015

Life is a little crazy for all of us at times (especially during race season), so I thought I would share with you a handy checklist to help you pack for your next race.  'x2' is meant to help you remember to bring a spare outfit to change into after the race.  Personally, I get the chills when standing around in sweaty clothes.

As the Girl Scouts say, 'Be prepared', which means the list includes items for many different scenarios. This does not mean you need to have everything on the list or that I am recommending you use each thing.  Please use common sense when packing and running.

If you think I have forgotten anything, please let me know.

Head:  
Hat/visor
Headband
Hair tie
Sunglasses
Contact lenses
Sunscreen
Ear buds
Neck gator
Medical necklace if necessary

Torso:
Running shirt x2
Light jacket/old sweatshirt to throw away/bin bag
Sports bra x2
Heart rate monitor
Race bib (with back filled out)
Safety pins/Triathlon belt
Bum bag/Zippered pocket

Arms:                                                                                         Hips and legs:
Arm sleeves                                                                                Shorts/Long pants x2
Watch/Activity monitor                                                              Underwear x2
Gloves                                                                                         Compression socks/calf sleeves
ID bracelet                                                                                    

Feet:                                                                                           Fuel:
Running socks x2                                                                       Water bottle/Sport drinks
Running shoes                                                                            Gels/Snacks/Haribos
Timed chip                                                                                  Pre-race fuel
Flip flops for post race                                                                Post-race fuel

First Aid:                                                                                   Other:
Athletic tape and scissors                                                           Bin bags for wet clothes
Inhaler                                                                                         Portable phone charger
Diabetes medication                                                                   Something to keep jewelry in
Anti-histamines                                                                          Race information magazine
Anti-diarrhea                                                                              Keys
Anti-inflammatory/pain medicine                                              Tagged bag to check
Plasters                                                                                       Small amount of cash for emergencies
Body Glide/Vaseline                                                                  Public transport pass
Baby wipes                                                                                 Camera with charged battery
Anti-bacterial hand gel                                                               Phone with charged battery
Toilet paper                                                                                 MP3 player with charged battery
Kleenex


Don't forget to arrange a meeting spot before the race as sometimes mobile networks are clogged and it will be hard to get in touch with friends and family.

Best of luck!