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yoga
So are you one of these people who have to trick their bodies into exercising like I do or are you one of the lucky ones who love it? My sister and friends all laugh at how I try the newest fad in exercise but I say whatever works for you, bring it on! I thought I’d share a few types of exercise I like.

Yoga
I was lucky enough to discover yoga early on and I loved it. I tried many different types and classes and teachers until I found the one that suited me. I still remember getting the leaflet with red butterflies on it through my letterbox and thinking that this would be perfect and it was. It happened to be Hatha, the more gentle yoga [typical, huh?] focusing on strength building exercises and poses. I have been practising for ten years or so – still not as flexible as I’d like to be but I dread to think what I’d be like if I hadn’t found it.

If you’re looking to practice, I’d recommend Open Mind Yoga in Pearse Street if you’re near Dublin City Centre. In recent times, I have branched out to try some new trends in yoga such as Anti-Gravity or Aerial Yoga and Bikram Yoga. Unfortunately neither are for me – the anti-gravity yoga was far too energetic and acrobatic for me but if you like hanging around like a bat and doing backflips then it might be for you. Bikram yoga was far too hot and disciplined but if you like to sweat it all out while trying to contort your body into various shapes then it may be the one for you. Yoga really is for everyone – you just have to keep trying until you find the perfect fit for you.

Pilates
Another exercise I swear by to keep my body operating is pilates. I discovered pilates purely through necessity after having both neck and back problems, my physio recommended it to try and tone or at least locate my core! I still haven’t found it completely but thankfully my neck/back problems have lessened through regular practise. I’d recommend the Pilates Centre in Clontarf. As well as offering mat classes, they offer Reformer [using the machines] and Barre Blitz [a combination of pilates and ballet using the Barre]. I’ve also tried Arc Pilates using a step barrel to ensure proper posing. My favourite has got to be the mat classes but I would recommend trying the Arc or Reformer classes if you haven’t done pilates before to get you into the correct postures and Barre Blitz if you want something at a faster pace that is more of a challenge.

Dance
Another exercise that I love is any form of dance and I’ve tried them all from Salsa to Zumba to Bokwa! It’s like the fun way to exercise. I started off with salsa dancing classes and progressed to trying Salsa Slims with Stepping Out. I then progressed on to Zumba when the Zumba craze started. Having the attention span of a flea, I have now moved on to Bokwa, which is movements based on sign language using numbers and letters. I even dragged a friend to a workshop with the creator of Bokwa, Paul Mavi – she was convinced we were joining a cult! It is definitely lots of fun. My newest fad is Piloxing [not the nicest name, I grant you] – a combination of pilates, dance and boxing. All a great way to work out and highly recommended for the fun way to exercise – get your body moving.

Aqua Aerobics
I’m not a huge fan of the water not being a strong swimmer but aqua aerobics is another low impact exercise routine and good fun. I tried Aqua Zumba over the summer and found it great fun and great exercise.

Trampolining
Lastly, I fell in love with trampolining through Boogie Bounce. It involved bouncing around on a mini trampoline. Unfortunately our instructor, Emma, went to Canada for further fitness training so my Boogie Bouncing days were cut short. I did try Jumpzone, Ireland’s largest trampoline park located in Sandyford Industrial Estate, Rebounding classes. This was more like trampoline bootcamp and is not for the faint-hearted. I almost passed out with shock – it was definitely more cardio than I was used to!

I think once you put exercise to music and do it in a group situation, it is much more enjoyable and the hour flies by. I wonder what exercise fads 2014 will bring but whatever it is you’re sure to find me there! 🙂

zumba

The weather was fantastic for the weekend – nothing but blue skies and I definitely made the most of it spending most of enjoying the outdoors hence the farmers tan I am currently sporting.

Breathe Expo
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On Saturday, I attended Breathe Expo, the yoga and green living expo – a day full of yoga, lectures and healthy food. It was €15 for the day and most of the classes and lectures were complimentary. I started the day with the Vinyasa Flow class given by Deirdre Hughes, a flowing energizing sequence designed to wake you up, get your body moving and ready to take on your day. It was the perfect start. The expo was held in Wesley House in Leeson Park beside the Methodist Church. The sun was shining and everyone was in a good mood. Some of the workshops were held outside. After my yoga, I attended the Mindfulness lecture, ‘Arriving in Now – The Way to Mindfulness’ with Mari Kennedy. Mari told us about her own experiences and how Mindfulness helped her deal with her own personal crisis. We also practised some mindfulness techniques. It was an interesting lecture and gave an insight into mindfulness. I had booked into one of the master workshops scheduled at 2pm with Kanta Barrios called ‘Learn to love Backbends’. I was looking forward to it because it was outdoors and I have always found backbends the most challenging aspect of my practice. In the meantime I browsed the stalls and had some lunch from the Happy Pear sitting outside soaking up the sunshine. Unfortunately the workshop was cancelled due to lack of attendance – only three people booked in so I got a refund. I was a little disappointed but decided to round the day off with Hatha Yoga given by Sylvia Ferguson. It was the perfect end to a perfect day and I’ll definitely be back next year.

Bark in the Park
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The first bark in the park was held in St. Anne’s Park on Sunday. Bark in the Park is a series of sponsored dog walks that take place in parks around Dublin over the Summer. It is 4km so nice and easy. I was a little nervous as Baxter has certain issues with other dogs and people and loud noises but he was as good as gold and I was a proud mummy. As well as the actual walk, each event will include a raffle, music, goody bags (sponsored by Maxi Zoo) and prizes for the dog with the Best Bark, Shiniest Coat, Happiest Smile and Waggiest Tail. All funds raised go towards the work of The Irish Blue Cross animal welfare charity so it’s also a good cause. We were blessed with the weather and the park was jammed with dogs of all shapes and sizes. The walk was short enough and we stayed around enjoying the sunshine for the raffle and prize-giving. Check out the website to see if there is a walk near you. It’s all for a good cause.

baxter

If you love your yoga, this is the day for you…
introducing Breathe 2013: Yoga and Green Living Expo on Saturday 25th May in Wesley Hall, Leeson St, Dublin 6.


◦ Take classes with the best of Irish yoga teachers.
◦ Go to lectures by experts in the field of yoga, green and sustainable living.
◦ Browse yoga clothes, mats, superfoods, raw food, green gadgets, bikes, skincare.
◦ Eat delicious healthy organic food from The Happy Pear.
◦ Get a massage or treatment.
◦ Meet friends, old and new. Network with like-minded yoga-loving folk!
◦ Learn how to better look after yourself and the planet.
◦ Stretch, chillout, have fun!

Check out how to register and more details on http://breatheexpo.ie/
Namaste!

Things to make you smile…

Never, Ever Give Up

This is an amazing, inspirational story of Arthur Boorman, a disabled veteran of the Gulf War who was told he would never be able to walk on his own, ever again. Through doing yoga daily with the support of Diamond Dallas, he lost weight and gained tremendous balance and flexibility and against all odds he did the impossible.
Anything is Possible!

Say it with photos
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Outdoor Yoga is offering yoga classes in the great outdoors in parks all over Dublin.

Classes are taking place in:
St. Stephen’s Green
Herbert Park
Phoenix Park
The Point Village Market (starting May 29th)

Check out their website for more details.


I’m so glad I discovered yoga. It gives me a sense of calm amidst a stressful world. For those that yoga, they will know what I mean and for those that don’t you don’t know what you’re missing but whatever brings you peace I wish you lots of it. For all those yogis out there, nameste and Happy Friday!

“Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.” [B.K.S. Iyengar]

“Sun salutations can energize and warm you, even on the darkest, coldest winter day.” [Carol Krucoff]

“The last time I opened my chakra so I could feel my peace, I got thrown right out of the pub.” [The Quote Garden]

“Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.” [Anon]

“Yoga is the practice of quieting the mind.” [Patanjali, translated from Sanskrit]

“Yoga is invigoration in relaxation. Freedom in routine. Confidence through self control. Energy within and energy without.” [Ymber Delecto]

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