It’s all about you…

Ok, it’s great to have a massage to release that stress, to iron out those muscles and I of course would advocate that. To have a regular massage especially after sorting out the initial problems can be the maintenance needed to keep those problems from recurring and of course to help your mind to relax and calm. It is great therapy and for that hour or so for some, it’s the perfect time to come back to themselves as well as having their muscles sorted out so they can go back out in to the world fresher, movier and stronger both physically, mentally and emotionally.

However, on top of your regular massage for the above, my advice is always to look after yourselves in between those sessions. Eat right, exercise right, stretch right and meditate right. Yes, I know that life is incredibly busy but I’m not suggesting you get out there and start training for the London Marathon – unless you want to of course!, but in consideration of this I thought that I would post a little help in the form of mini reviews and any snippets I might come across on an ad hoc basis for any of the above in order to give that little bit of help and encouragement that we sometimes need as we fall through the door of an evening after a long day at work, when the trains have been misbehaving etc. etc.

I’m busy, my hours are such that I work when others aren’t always and that’s the way it is and I don’t mind that – after all, I get to spend time with you great people and your horses and other animals. However, because of that I can’t commit to a regular exercise class and yes, I did slip into a world of exercise nothingness for a while but due to the nature of my work – standing, working physically and strongly (sports massage), it didn’t take long for me to seize up, get the muscle tension myself and basically to grow tired, achy muscles and joints and a general tiredness mentally – time to take my own advice!

My first thought was to give my body that stretching it was so desperately craved and build up my cardio again – to get that heart pumping!  After all, it was getting to the point that I was walking up small hills with the dog and just to put one leg in front of the other was a bit of a task, coupled with a dodgy hip from landing unceremoniously from a horse a few times a few years ago – yes, it was time I did something and pronto!

In the past I’ve regularly hiked up mountains, even done a few in a day, hiked cross country on a weekly basis throughout Britain.  I’ve tackled a half marathon (not my finest hour), run daily, gymed daily for cardio and weight lifting, thai boxed – although that didn’t last long – how can I punch and kick someone when I have guilt repercussions whilst accidentally stepping on an ant! – although loved punching the bags and the cardio training that went with it.  Loved Spin classes – enjoyed even more ‘outdoor spin classes’ especially when they involved a pub crawl (this was a few years ago by the way) and attended pole fitness classes which are great for confidence building as well as strength and just generally thinking that you rock because you managed to climb up to the top, where you couldn’t the rope of the gym apparatus at school (showing my age now!).

First, I tackled the stretching.  This is something that I recommend to the majority of my clients as the body is designed to move.  Yoga, try different yoga, find your niche – being sensible of course to your bodies needs and medically too.  If you can’t find a class that suits your hours, get a dvd – ok, it’s not as great as having a teacher to lift you and twist you to the position that your body should be in but it does help.  If you can, try and get to a class because your teacher will help you move to where you should be and then you can work on that positioning in between times if your life/work schedule makes it difficult for you to attend classes.  I love my yoga teacher, even though I haven’t seen her for ages, she helped me find my twistyness again and now I work on improving it and I am stronger and more flexible again thanks to my practice.

I digress, so on to this, my first review for exercise and wellbeing ideas here is the following:

Nadia Narain – Everyday Yoga for Stress Release.  I liked this DVD because you can do one of three 20 minute workouts, or the lot in one go plus meditation and relaxation.  Being spiritually minded myself, I liked her teaching method.  She isn’t flaky, she’s balanced and to the point.  I would recommend this DVD.  Practice 1 is calming and gently stretching your body, whereas practice 2 is more focussed on strength building and flexibility and I found this practice beneficial to my hamstrings so I do it after a run and practice 3 is gently stretching and working on the mind and breath.  On this DVD she also has done three more meditative practices which are helpful especially after a busy / stressful day in order to come back to the important things – namely you.

Look forward to seeing you next time.

Tamara