Saturday, 28 March 2015

Getting Started - At Home Yoga Practice

As the title suggests this post is about all things Yoga. More specifically everything you need to know to get you started with home yoga practice. I've been practicing Yoga at home for well over 12 months now and thought I would save you the hours of browsing the internet that I did and pull everything together for you here in one big old blog post.

When you're just starting out with your yoga practice the thought of going along to a class maybe quite daunting, or you may not have a class nearby that you can get to. I love home practice as its just me and my mat. I don't have to worry about what other people are doing and can just focus on what feels good for me. Attending a class also has tons of benefits and its really all about finding what feels good for you.

Clothing and Equipment

The first place to start is finding a space at home where you are going to practice. This can be absolutely anywhere providing there is enough room for you to move around. Clear this space of any clutter and make it your own little place of calm and zen. I practice in my living room mainly, but I will also occasionally practice in my bedroom at the foot of my bed.

Obviously having a Yoga mat is desirable but by no means essential. In terms of equipment when you're getting started you really don't need a great deal. If you don't have a mat you can use a towel or just practise on the floor. To begin with you can just head to TK Maxx who always have a variety of affordable yoga mats for less than £10. Once you get really into your practice maybe you could look at investing in a better mat but to begin with I would recommend keeping it simple and affordable.

Keeping things like a towel or a blanket around is also useful as these can provide extra support on the mat when you're new to the practice. Yoga blocks are also fantastic and help bring the ground closer to you when you maybe can't quite reach but again these are not an essential purchase and you can use a couple of large books as an alternative.

In terms of clothing again wear whatever feels comfortable. This could be your pjs, a loose top and bottoms, or a vest and yoga pants. Primark and H&M both do really good affordable sportswear that is ideal. The only thing I find if I wear a loose top is that it will fall down over your head which can be frustrating. For that reason I would suggest wearing a vest to begin with.

My final suggestion is again by no means an essential purchase but is by far my most used bit of kit that has really enhanced my home yoga practice. A Chromecast is a fancy little gadget that you plug into your TV and it lets you stream your videos from your phone/laptop/computer/tablet straight to your TV. When I first started doing Yoga at home I used my laptop for months. This is ok but many people have said that they can find it difficult following along on a small screen and found that they were straining their head round to look at the screen in certain poses. I found this too to a certain extent but once we got a Chromecast and I could stream the videos to my TV this became a thing of the past.


For all things Yoga the best place to head is Yoga Journal. This is the ultimate resource and covers everything you could ever want to know about Yoga

YogaGlo is a paid subscription website that offers over 2500 online yoga classes. I am a member and I think it is an incredible resource for when you are ready to progress your practice to the next level.

Do Yoga With Me is much like YogaGlo but is a free website offering tons of free Yoga videos. I haven't used this site much but I have heard lots of great things about it.


Youtube is my absolute favourite way of doing Yoga at home. There are so many amazing channels and videos out there - way too many for me to cover in this post but I will share with you some of my favourites and the ones I think are a good place to start. If you have time I would recommend you watch the video through before you actually do it. This way you will have an idea about what poses are coming up and you wont be too thrown half way through the video.

Tara Stiles was the first Youtube Yogi I discovered and she completely inspired me to start doing Yoga. I developed somewhat of an obsession and would spend hours watching her videos. She moves with such ease and makes everything look completely effortless. Some of her videos are quite fast paced but her bedtime yoga routine is my absolute favourite and I do it every single evening in bed.

Erkhart Yoga is another amazing channel with 100s of free yoga videos for all abilities. I haven't done many of Esther's videos but the ones I have done were excellent.

Yoga with Adriene is without a doubt my favourite Youtube Yogi. I could write an entire blogpost about Adriene. Her style of teaching is nothing short of wonderful and the range of videos on her channel is incredible. There really is something for everyone with her Foundations of Yoga videos which take you through each pose step by step, to her 30 Days of Yoga Challenge. If you are brand new to yoga I would highly recommend you start with this channel - particularly with the 30 Days of Yoga challenge. My practice has really developed since I began practicing with Adriene, I even introduced my Mum to her videos and she loves them too!


Its really up to you what kind of music you listen to when you're practicing if you listen to any at all. At first I would suggest you just follow along with the video and listen to the guide and your breath. Once you have established your practice a little bit more then start experimenting with a little yoga playtime to your favourite tunes.

For me personally I listen to different types of music at different times of the day so for bedtime yoga my favourite tracks to unwind with are Coldplay Magic, Ed Sheeran I see Fire, The XX Angels, Massive Attack Teardrop.

During the day I love doing nothing more than a few rounds of Sun Salutations or my favourite morning routine to uplifting songs like OrtoPilot You can Call me Al, Mr Probz Waves, Ben Howard Only Love, Duke Dumont I got You, I also love anything by Haim and Florence and the Machine.

I am working on a Yoga Playlist on Spotify so once I've pulled it together I'll make sure I share the link with you.


I'm always on the look out for new sources of inspiration sometimes on Youtube, sometimes on Tumblr, but my personal favourite place to find inspiration is Instagram. Some of my favourites are Yoga Girl, French Yoga Girl, Yoga Community, Tara Stiles, Beach Yoga Girl, Kino Yoga, My Name is Jessamyn, Laura Skyora and too many more to list here.

Remember Yogi's come in all shapes and sizes, you don't have to look a certain way or act a certain way to enjoy yoga. Do what feels right for you and a little really does go a long way. I can honestly say that my life has changed for the better since I started doing yoga. I'm a lot less stressed and I'm so much more happier and balanced.

I hope this post has been useful and hopefully I've inspired you to start your own yoga practice at home.


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Saturday, 21 March 2015

Trust the timing of your life

Today marks the beginning of a big change for me. If you follow me on Twitter you may already know but if not today I am relocating and saying goodbye to our little cottage in the middle of nowhere and saying hello to our new apartment in Saltaire.

Both Craig and I began working in Leeds back in June which from where we live isn't very easily commutable. This means we face extremely long days leaving the house at 7am and not getting home until 7.15pm. We're constantly tired, with little energy to do the things we want because we're so shattered form the long day. We literally get home, have dinner then go to bed. We knew we wouldn't be able to keep this up long term so began looking for somewhere else to live.

We wanted to move somewhere with good commuter links so we would be able to either get the bus or train into Leeds or only have a short drive. After looking at lots of different locations we finally settled on Saltaire.

If you don't know much about Saltaire it's an amazing little village with a park, woods, river, canal, lots of independent shops and cafes, the famous Salts Mill and is only 12 minutes to Leeds on the train! It's also a World Heritage Site because of the way it's been preserved as an industrial mill village - there's so much on offer there.

We set about looking for a house but we just couldn't find anything that was suitable for us. Everything we looked at just wasn't quite right and involved too many compromises. This went on for months and months. I also kept getting cold feet thinking what if I regret the move and miss our house too much and started talking myself out of it. Next thing I would talk myself back into it. This went on for months and we still couldn't find anywhere.

After over 6 months of searching we almost gave up but for some reason I clicked into an apartment advertised on RightMove. We had always completely written off the idea of an apartment because we thought there wouldn't be enough room but this one seemed to have loads of space and was finished to a really high standard.
We called the agent to view it but it had already been snapped up (typical) but this opened up a whole new wealth of options.

We looked at 3 or 4 more apartments in the complex and eventually decided to go for a gorgeous duplex apartment. Although I was apprehensive at first ( hello red kitchen) as soon as we put in the application I felt so exhilarated and was totally over come with excitement.

I have talked about and thought about nothing else for the last month and I cannot believe that we finally move in tomorrow. Our quality of life is going to be so much better there and it will allow us to save the money we want towards our deposit for our own place.

It's funny how things work out. Now I see why we couldn't find a house in the village - because we weren't meant to find a house we were supposed to find this apartment which ticks all of the boxes with minimal compromises. I'm a firm believer that if its meant to be it will happen and that everything happens for a reason. Moving house even when you're renting is very expensive but it just so happens Craig and I got our bonuses this month which enabled us to be able to pay for the deposit on the new place.

Sometimes you just have to trust the timing of your life and go with it. When we got the keys on Wednesday I had to pinch myself as I couldn't believe that I was going to be living in this gorgeous place. I feel so blessed and lucky to have arrived to this point in my life. I'm beyond excited to see what's around the corner and can't wait to share it with you.

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