Me vs Yoga Iyengar

My gym has added a new yoga class, I previously tried a yoga class and naively thought yoga was just yoga. A bunch of stretches and meditation. I tried it twice and enjoyed it, mainly due to not stretching enough after weight training. I didn’t realise there were different types of yoga.  So when I saw yoga Iyengar on the gym timetable I was curious!

I didn’t even sign up to the class, I just waltzed in after an intense cardio session. I wasn’t in the right zone for yoga! I was really hyper and really sweaty! eeek! The other people in the class were calm most older than me ( I thought great) and quite a number had their own mats ( I thought great!). Then in walked a clumsy slightly overweight middle aged gentleman with chewing gum stuck to his back ( I thought GREAT!!!) lol.. I wasn’t the only one that didn’t fit in.

I got myself a mat, and 2 blocks as instructed. I then placed out correctly and listened to the yoga teacher intently, it was only as we got into poses and looked in the mirror I realised how different my body is shaped from other women. That’s when I truly saw the meaning of skinny fat. I did feel out of place and quite muscular, I have read that yoga is supposed to help lengthen muscles so I’m willing to test that theory out.

Back to the yoga. It was different to the other class where there is music playing (usually birds chirping or falling rain), it was just a demonstration and then instructions for the poses. I have to give the teacher credit for going to adjust individuals into the correct angles etc. I really felt some of the positions and the blocks really helped. They were there to help steady yourself if you weren’t flexible enough to get into a pose, belts were available too.  Considering I haven’t done yoga on a regular basis I think I did really well.

I think overall I prefer the other yoga class I attended, the atmosphere was nicer. I think the music helps and the teacher is a lot more down to earth. The Iyengar teacher seemed quite cold and stuck up, I don’t think you can be that way when you’re trying to create a calming atmosphere. For the sh!ts and giggles, I’ll take some before and after pictures of me trying to attempt poses after various weeks of yoga!

Wish me luck!!

Me vs Yoga

Namaste!

I worked my legs extremely hard and felt so stiff, the DOMS were insane!! I always stretch before and after a workout and take my time doing so. The day of a leg session I try to up my protein and carbs to help recovery. I increased my squat weight to 40kg and I think that pushed me over the edge!!!

I tried a hot bath with these gorgeous smelling salts and that helped somewhat. A PT at the gym suggested using a foam roller. I don’t know about you, have you seen people use them? It’s bizarre almost like cats on a scratching pole or something. Do they actually work?

So I decided to sign up for a yoga class.

I thought yoga was just stretching and meditation.

I thought yoga was easy.

Yoga is not easy!

I really enjoyed it, some of the stretches were insanely hard and I couldn’t wait for the teacher to say “stop that side, time to switch sides”. That momental relief and then horror realising the other side would feel the same strain. The planking was a challenge to my core and arms, I thought now that I can do hanging leg raises that my core was stronger.

Wrong!

Yoga really helped the soreness, I felt thoroughly relaxed afterwards. I don’t know if it’s the music or breathing or the teachers voice but it changed me. I’m aware you probably think I’m crazy unless you’ve experienced the same feeling. I felt “at one with myself”.

I’ll certainly be going back to yoga, I think it pushes your body in a different way to the way strength training does.

Have you tried yoga? How long have you been doing it for and what difference have you noticed? I’m curious how I’ll develop through attending. Ü

Me vs My : First Goal – Abs through training

In September I made the goal of focusing on my abs, I KNOW in the past I have always neglected my core. I hated cardio and knew it was my weakness. When I researched and realised women don’t have enough testosterone to become mythical green hulk like monsters I was happy to wave bye to cardio.

Through reading threads and articles on bodybuilding forums most women stated they didn’t do cardio or did very little to focus on their abs. They all preached that abs were made in the kitchen.  So I focused on changing my diet.

I opened my cupboards and threw away sauces and spreads as those all had sugar in them, I also threw away sugar. I used to have 3 sugars in my tea and cut down to having one, I then went cold turkey and have none. I’ve never been overweight but then again I’ve never had abs so I knew I needed to change something.

I used to have a little podge under my belly button, through not having processed foods and switching to brown rice and pasta this has gone.  I have a flatter stomach but now I want abs!! Wash board, diet coke break , let me make music on those xylophone abs!!!

I’ve increased my cardio by introducing HITT training. I start off walking at 5.5 speed on the treadmill for 1 min, then increase the speed to 9.0 and jog for 2mins. I then walk at 5.5 again and then boost it up to anything between  speed 11.0 – 13.  I’ll do this for between 15 and 30mins depending on the muscle group I’m working that day and what I worked the previous day.  The day after or on a leg day? This would be a no no!!

I’m also managing to do more hanging leg raises!! These are tough to do without swinging your body, it takes A LOT of control to do these. The next goal is windscreen wipers, this is moving your legs left to right whilst hanging. I’m building up to these. I also do cable crunches to increase the strength and muscle hidden away; I also work my lower back to help stabilise my core.

I’m starting to see results through doing this on the upper part of my abs.

So the next part is cleaning up my diet.

I did it!!

So I decided to look up Galaxy Universe on Facebook, and I sent them a message to find out about their next training camp. Unfortunately the next one is full, there will be more camps to follow so I’m still excited and focused.

I had so many questions to ask and they were really helpful and supportive, I definitely want to take part in one of their events. They’ve said I could post a photo so they can help me figure out what category I’d fit under but I don’t think I have enough tone just yet for that!

This may not seem like much, but honestly this is a huge step to me. Not just talking about wanting to do something but actually putting it into action. I even started looking at potential outfits and which colours suit me the most!

This want is very real!

Miss Galaxy Universe

I came across this group of women on my search for bikini competitions in the UK, it is the first all female contest! Most federations have 3 womens categories(bikini, figure and bodybuilder) and then the majority are male categories. Well it seems that way to me, with the men listed first and then the women are waaaaaay down at the bottom.

Miss Galaxy Universe even has a category for curvy women and yummy mummies!  They have a group on Facebook that I briefly browsed and think I’ll join. I say think as Facebook seems to like telling everybody what you’re doing and I’d like to keep it private from people I went to school with. I guess there’s still some stigma against women and weights. Now Jodie Marsh has embraced her muscular physique it seems to have further divided camps. I for one find it inspirational and I’m impressed with her achievements, it takes a lot of hard work and discipline to achieve a toned look.

The Galaxy Universe has its next event mid October which I’m not even close to entering. I’ve looked at the competitors who all have flatter stomachs and generally more tone. I’d like to attend the event if anything for inspiration and focus, possibly ask questions too.

Galaxy Universe run camps where they coach people and I’d benefit from this, so I’ll join the group (hide the action from my wall) . I’d like to take part in one of the camps, hearing the opinions of my physique from a professional would really help my development. Hopefully have the opportunity to make friends. They have photographers at these camps so possibly have a few pictures taken also!

I’ll keep you updated with how this goes – wish me luck!