My Personal Yoga Challenge: Step One, Side Crow

By | March 11th, 2014

I was born in South Africa in the 80’s and am a proud Londoner of twelve years.  For as long as I can remember, I have been figuring out what I am really supposed to be doing with my life. Running a marathon, climbing the highest mountain in Africa and attempting numerous cross-country cycle rides confirmed that “it” isn’t going to happen in an office, but somewhere that fitness and food co-exist! So I studied to become a personal trainer and spent a year working for a cutting edge indoor cycling studio.  The time spent there was the foundation from where I gained the confidence to pack up and head off on an adventure.  Here is the beginning of my journey…

“Now press your elbows into your thigh and hip joints, lean forward and lift both feet off the ground…” says Elina, our lovely yoga teacher. She’s calmly talking us through side Crow pose, while balanced on two hands. As a new yogi, the mere idea of this strikes fear into my heart and I find myself sweating a little more profusely than I was a minute ago!

Today is the first day of a personal challenge I’ve set to simply practice yoga for 21 consecutive days.  The goal? Exploration of Self – body and mind. It also won’t hurt if I lose some unwanted weight, but that’s not the main thing!

Elina encourages us to honour the practice, to free ourselves of judgement and try not to respond to the constant flow of thoughts running through our minds. And to explore the idea of trying something new even if today, completing that new thing hadn’t happened. It didn’t mean that the next time, or the time after that it wasn’t possible.

With these soothing words in mind, I unsteadily press my weight into my hands. Breathe. Hop. Breathe. While It’s time to move again, all I’ve managed is a hop! Frustration hovers, but I breathe space into my mind, remind myself to honour today’s practice and end up having a lovely, inspiring, side Crowless class.

Today I’ve allowed myself to hope… Also explore, relax, smile and be open to new possibilities. I’m looking forward to more of this over the coming weeks and with a bit of patience, hopefully a side Crow too!

Happy travels. x

Author Bio

Michelle Bolton

WHO: Born in South Africa in the 80's and a proud Londoner of twelve years. Figuring out what I am REALLY supposed to be doing in life has been an all consuming pursuit since my earliest years. Running a marathon, climbing the highest mountain in Africa and attempting numerous cross-country cycle rides confirmed it isn't going to happen in an office, but somewhere that fitness and food co-exist! So I studied to become a personal trainer and spent a year working for a cutting edge indoor cycling studio. The time spent there was the foundation from where I gained the confidence to pack up and head off on an adventure. I practice yoga, run and am happiest outdoors. I find great joy in being playful with my fitness, and whilst my wellbeing is a priority, I don't take myself too seriously and believe that balance is key!

MY FITNESS PERSONALITY: Frequent Flyer. Yogi. Nutrition Nut.

MY BURNTHIS INSPIRATION: Mindfully setting an intention for a new fitness or yoga goal and the rewards gained from successfully getting into that new posture, or completing a PB by simply putting an uncomplicated thought or desire out into the world - what a kick!

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