Thursday, 14 April 2016

Yogaia-tastic! Finding my Zen again!

Once upon a time I was a pretty good at yoga. I did a workout every day. I felt happy with my body and what it could do. I felt it getting more and more supple every day. Before you get too excited I wasn't twisting my legs around my head (have you seen how short my arms and legs are?) but I could get my nose on my knees and my hands in the floor and do some moderately advanced poses which for someone with shortened tendons in her ankles and wrists was a major achievement and had the stamina to get through the tough Flow Yoga class that I loved. Yoga spoke to me on a deep level. I loved the feelings that arose during my daily practice, the inner calm, the sense of achievement as I mastered a new pose. I often became lost in the flow of movement with a look of total peace on my face (or so I was often told)

I did quite well at keeping up my practice when we adopted Katie. I went back to my class whilst she was at pre-school and adjusted my home practice to fit some time in each day.  Then anaemia struck. It took over a year before it was diagnosed, initially just putting it down to "New Mummy Fatigue". I found it harder to physically do my yoga and I was often falling asleep during the day and turned to sugary snacks to keep me going. I got out of the habit of my daily practice. Managing maybe half an hour a few times a week but as I slowly became more and more tired I did less and less. Eventually when we adopted Pip I stopped completely. I was too exhausted and lost in stress and the craziness of my life to do anything other than exist day to day.  Even with iron tablets I wasn't noticing a significant rise in my energy levels.

It took nearly two years to discover I also had a severe Vitamin D deficiency (a side effect I've discovered of being coeliac) and then chronic fatigue took hold. Some days I could barely walk to school let alone do any exercise. Add to that all the dramas with the house build; the death of my father-in-law; the care needs of my mother-in-law; and all the needs and stresses of the children and I had nothing left for anything except eating way too much chocolate and putting on too much weight.  I did the odd stretch or two and continued to do some meditation and Reiki and I missed my yoga but had no energy to do more than contemplate it.  In fact eventually I got to the point when any stretching left my muscle sore for days on end. 

Three years later I'm finally really on the mend. I am having more and more good days. Days where I feel energetic and can walk for several miles and can feel my mindset changing once again, yearning to get back to where I used to be. With the limitations of having been unwell I have to remember to try and pace myself otherwise I feel really shattered again for a week or so but things are on the up and I'm raring to go and embrace feeling well.


What amazing timing then when the possibility of reviewing the yoga app Yogaia presented itself (Thanks Mumsnet!). I don't feel ready to join a class locally but Yogaia is an interactive app that allows me to not only do pre-recorded classes at home at a time of my choosing but I can also take part in live classes in the comfort of my own home or even whilst travelling using my laptop, tablet or mobile phone. In fact, I was excited to discover, there are more than 100 yoga classes available each week 24 hours a day covering every level of yoga and a huge variety of different types of yoga from Iyengar and Hatha to Yin, Pregnancy Yoga, Barre Tone, Vinyasa Flow, Meditation and Pilates. There is even an instructor (Charlie) who has classes that celebrate the curvier body (one for me!) and instructor Rishin who shares some lovely words of wisdom that flow along with the instructions for the poses. You even have the option of turning on your web camera and interacting in real time with a yoga instructor if you want to. I might wait a while before I do that though as my confidence has dissipated a little at the moment but will be really beneficial to getting instructor feedback to start perfecting poses again. There are short 15 minute classes when you want a quick stretch and longer, deeper classes for when you've got more time and you have a variety of languages to choose from.

Here's what Yogaia have to say about their service:


“Yogaia is the world’s first and only interactive online yoga studio - 
a unique way of practicing yoga anytime, anywhere.  
Our mission is to bring wellbeing to all."

So what is my verdict? 

I'm very impressed! I've dusted off my yoga mat, ordered a new bolster, and am enjoying trying out the classes. I've barely scratched the surface of what is available on this app so far and have mostly been using the pre-recorded classes. There is so much choice and availability to explore and I'm looking forward to doing just that.  I have no excuses not to be a regular visitor with so many classes available. I'm taking it slowly and gently, mindful and accepting of what my very stiff body is now capable of (touching my toes isn't as easy as it once was!). This is made easy by the instructors giving options for different levels of ability. The classes are delivered in a friendly, relaxed and encouraging manner, in fact it's just like being in a real class, not at all like the very polished DVDs you can buy and I like this. You can put your own relaxing music on or practice in silence. You don't need props for all the classes either although alternative options are given when they are used. The instructors give lots of information about your body position during each pose which is really useful for beginners and also more experienced yoga enthusiasts looking to deepen their poses. I'm feeling really positive about really getting my yoga practice back on track in a way that will fit in with my life now and feeling keen to remind my body what it feels like to loosen those tight muscles.  I might even find where I left my Zen!

The Technology Bit....

The Yogaia App is available both from Google Play and the AppStore. You'll need either Android 4.0 or above on an Android smartphone or iOS 8 on an Iphone, Ipad or IPod).

I have tried the app out on my IPad which is using iOS 9.3.1 and my laptop. Unfortunately my old IPhone 4 doesn't support iOS 8 so I can't comment on this - roll on my upgrade!. The apps worked perfectly and the sound and picture quality are fabulous.  You can filter for which level you want and what type of class you are looking for i.e. relaxing; moderate or intense).  The app very kindly tells you how many classes you've attended (which is a real incentive) and you can download classes and also add them to your favourites.

Which one do you think you might add?

An added incentive from Yogaia if you're interested to try out the app.....

Om-azing news! 

Om-azing gift from Yogaia! Now you have an opportunity to test Yogaia for 14 days for free

1) Sign up via Facebook or by e-mail on yogaia.com/signup
2) Add the gift code MUMSNET when asked
3) Your free trial will begin immediately giving you unlimited access to all live classes and recordings.

The code is valid only on the yogaia.com website for new customers until June 1st.'



I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity.

2 comments:

  1. Hi, I have loved reading this blog post. I too enjoy yoga and pilates..I find it helps me to relax and I love feeling proud of some of the poses I do (nothing too impressive though, lol). I enjoy yoga with Adriene, but I love to try out new classes too. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hiya! Really glad you enjoyed the post. I had funding the research too. The great thing about yoga is the achievement comes from your own body and being able to do new things with it. It's such a personal experience. I love that feeling of getting more into a post or stretching that little bit further too. Don't forget to try your free trial and see what you think of the app. You might even win the trip to Morocco, a,though I guess for us adopters that's appealing in our dreams more than reality lol xxx

      Delete