Anyone who’s following my blog will know that I just love exercise. Pretty much any form of exercise goes in my book. Apart from running. I bloody hate running. Don’t see the point of it at all and it hurts my knees plus it makes your face all gaunt which isn’t a good look in your 40’s. Apologies to all you lovely ladies who run. I’m sure you still look and feel fabulous, it’s just not for me.
In a bid to stay flexible, and because I was also keen to do something that made me focus on my breath, steadying and quietening my mind for the odd hour or two, I recently took up yoga again.
I dabbled with it when I lived in London.
I tried Ashtanga for a while and also Bikram too (aka hot yoga with a 100 other people, mostly scantily clad, their dripping sweaty bodies way too close to your face for comfort. Nothing about that practice quietens and steadies your mind. I spent most of it worried that the guy in front’s ball was going to pop out of his teeny tiny shorts or that I’d get a wink from his winky! Very distracting from your asana practice, especially in the downward dog!)
So on the recommendation of my fabulous PT and friend Anita Albrecht (another total FFF who I refer to regularly in my blogs) I started a Sunday yoga session. It’s like my religion! This just so happens to be with the equally wonderful Laina Lovegrove (even her name is FRICKING AMAZING) of Karma Fitness. Check out her Instagram and follow her now. You’ll definitely be inspired to take up yoga that much I promise!
My hour with Laina is fast becoming my absolute favourite hour of the week. I love it. So challenging, so inspiring, so much fun listening to the wonderful Martyn (Anita’s totally fantastic hubby, but a bit like the Tin Man of yoga) groaning and gritting his teeth trying not to topple over. Overall I'd describe him as super human fit but flexibility clearly isn’t his strong point, nor is sitting on the floor with his legs crossed! (sorry Martyn) Still we love and applaud his effort and I’m sure having the matt strategically behind his missus helps keep him motivated throughout his own form of Sunday worship!
If you need to ever be reminded of what true love is all about, then you need look no further than these two. They’re both pretty inspiring people. Check out Anita's insta not only for fitness and nutrition tips but also to witness unadulterated and genuine love and zest for life. These two crack me up and bring joy to everyone who crosses the threshold of APT.
Karma Fitness involves us doing none stop flowing sequential movements, turning, twisting, bending and stretching into various positions and holds. Loads of downward dog which seems quite simple on the face of it but which is actually really challenging and helping me to develop some lovely shoulder and back definition. (that's Laina showing us all how it's really done, with a Cat looking on admiringly!!! The irony of the image isn't lost on me.)
Laina is my new girl crush. Along with Anita of coruse who just seems to naturally be able to do all the poses first time out! I want to do what Laina can do and have her banging body too! (I just made that rhyme up for you Laina)
With permission, here she is doing what she does best! Like, HELLO!!!! Does she have 4 legs?
And here is Anita in all her fabulous glory looking 20 something and not 40 something showing us all how to really rock and totally OWN your assets. Scorchio! Better with age which is exactly what fabfitforty is all about. A definite role model for all us women of a certain age if ever there was one.
When I’m a successful blogger I’ll be doing back to back yoga with Laina, PT with Anita, then hoppity skippety over to Contour Pilates for my wonderful classes there on a daily basis. Always a nod to Contour Pilates, my second home.
Oh what a joy that would be. Exercising all morning and writing and researching all afternoon. #goals.
Back to the newly found love of yoga where we've recently been practicing asanas like the Crow, the Baby Crown and the 8 Limbed pose. Personally I only have 4 limbs. That might be why I couldn’t do it!
Laina makes it all look so effortless and graceful. I give it all a jolly good go but I just can’t get my arse high enough in the air or my knees into my arm pits!! I have the bruises to show for my efforts. They are definitely getting higher and closer to my armpits every week though which is a definite sign of progression. I’ve face planted a few times but that’s all part and parcel of the practice.
Where I’m going here is that you can and should always be looking to challenge yourself.
What is life if you don’t have goals and aspirations, if you’re not moving forwards, experimenting and experiencing new things?
That needn’t necessarily be in the form of exercise or physical challenges either. For you it might be learning a different language, going on a cookery course, ticking off and visiting your bucket list of far flung places. The thing is to give it a go and to enjoy yourself in the process.
Don’t ever be afraid to face plant people! Just doing something and getting started is all part of the journey. If you fall over, just get back up! As we say here are fabfitforty:
Live life, love life and be always and forever always.