When we are out there preparing for the next marathon and even one mile at goal pace feels like a race, we runners doubt ourselves. Even after a flawless training season, we doubt ourselves. Am I r…
Moving outdoors (preferably in nature) clears your mind and reawakens your body to new muscular patterns of movement. To stay young in body and mind, you need to consistently get out of your comfort zone, get outside, and keep moving!
Recently, and in the absence of a ticket to Electric Picnic, my husband and I marked our 10th anniversary ‘Kennenlearnen Tag’ with a 3 hour hike in beautiful Glendalough, Co. Wicklow.
Glendalough is well worth the visit. Founded by St. Kevin in 6AD, it features a monastic city, a round tower standing some 30m tall, and Kevin’s Bed, a cavity int he cliff beyond the settlement. The trees and lake surrounding the monastic site emit a pure, spiritual energy, evoking centuries of human meditation and prayer.
There are hiking trails to suit all levels. We followed the White Trail, a 3 hour hike covering 12k in total when you include the walk from the car-park to the start of the trail. When you’re training for a marathon it all counts right?!
Surrounded by nature, I noticed 20 minutes into the hike that my right shoulder, which had been nagging at me for months now and was ‘frozen’, felt completely free. My husband noted that his knee (operated on last year) felt strong. We passed by sheep and deer as we made our way through the miners village to the foot of the hill. It felt great to be out and able to climb all the way up the side of the waterfall running down from the top of the hill. Higher up, the mountains glowed bright purple with heather in bloom.
Crossing over the stream at the top, we continued along the board walk that runs all the way along the summit, back down towards the woods above the visitor centre. We enjoyed the views down into the valley below, overlooking first the Miner’s Village and lakes beyond. It was a bright sunny day, with trees and tourists alike enjoying the best our Indian Summer had to offer.
After finishing the hike, we sat by the river that flows down from the waterfall above and dipped our toes in the cool, invigorating water.
Though my legs were feeling the effort from the descent, my mind was calm and clear. Feeling energised yet completely at peace, I reflected with my husband that “it’d be hard to have a fight here”. He agreed! After 3 hours hiking together, in this place so tranquil yet vibrant, we felt alive, and buzzing with energy.
The trees glowed with pure health and vitality. Their leaves neon green, soaking up the sunlight and radiating life energy for us humans to freely tap into. Glendalough is a beautiful, special place. I felt very lucky to be there among the foreign tourists who’d made a greater effort to visit it. We left feeling completely at peace, with ourselves and our surroundings.
Spending 3 hours in this vast green haven, made it clear in my mind that all I need is space and freedom to move in order to feel calm, happy, and at peace. Peace, Balance, and Harmony. Take every chance to be outdoors in nature, ground yourself barefoot on cool soft grass or in an invigorating stream. Stand in a place surrounded by trees and breathe in the air they give us.
The peace and awe that one feels at Glendalough reminded me of Xavier Rudd – Follow the Sun “take a stroll to your nearest waters edge and remember your place, many moons have risen and fallen long before your came.” We are so fortunate to have Glendalough only an hours drive away.
For more thoughts on how outdoor movement helps you to stay young, see Martha Peterson’s blog post: To Clear the Mind and Reawaken The Body You’ve Got To Move. We completely agree with you Martha!
Love Sister Sadie’s cafe! Had the Sabiche Salad with a refreshing pot of Moroccan Mint Green Tea on Friday after teaching Corporate Yoga nearby, it was fab. We sat outside at first, it was lovely to be outside without ashtrays, but the weather got the better of us so moved indoors, it’s so calm and I love that they use recycled paper and are proudly advertise the fact that they do so. With it’s laid-back yet clean, professional vibe, and large windows looking onto a leafy green city street, it feels like a cafe in the heart of Vancouver. Noticed that the tea, though ok, tastes much better in Morocco!! For more Yogi friendly eats check out Kate’s blog @kateskabin.
I’ve always wanted to work in town… the after work shopping trips and drinks and the huge choice for lunch and dinner – all the stuff you don’t get when you work in an industrial estate in D12! The main part I’m envious of is the food options though… I constantly see people on social media who get to sample all the new spots on their lunch while I sit at my desk or in our canteen with my home made soup or salad, struggling to make it around all the latest hotspots over the weekend.
One such place that I’d heard lots about is Sister Sadie on Harrington Street… my only experience was reading others reviews and flying past it on the bus into town. Being close to Hatch Street, it’s got the benefit of proximity to Aviva and Deloitte and I’ve often jealously viewed the tweets from workers…
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Excellent blog from Martha Petersen on how to relieve back pain, sciatica and other functional body issues using these easy-to-follow videos of Somatic movements. Great for both complete beginner or avid practitioner:
With Somatics pain-free movement IS possible. You CAN enjoy moving your body, have fun and feel free!
Happy moving 😉
Somatic Exercise Coach Training, led by Tanya Fitzpatrick, October 2014
Easy to make, great for your skin, and helps your Liver to work well. It’s also a clever way of consuming Beetroot when you don’t like the taste (preferring to hide it in calorie-drenched home-made chocolate cake)…
Beetroot contains zinc and copper which are vital for a healthy skin. Beetroot also helps cleanse and restore the liver, which is considered a primary detoxifying organ. If you have raised liver enzymes, this is the juice for you.
Ginger contains antioxidant properties, which help protect your cells from inflammation, reducing puffiness and redness of the skin. Turmeric is great for your Liver. Read more on other herbs that positively affect your liver here: http://www.myurifemme.com/liver-health-detox
Carrots provide antioxidant beta-carotene which is great for skin. Cucumbers contain 96% water, so are very hydrating. Hydration is vital for healthy soft supple skin.
Let me know if it works for you, and definitely let me know if you have any other Liver-friendly Juice recipes that I can try out. Enjoy!
- 1/2 small red cabbage
- 1 medium beetroot
- 1 carrot
- 1 medium cucumber
- 1 large orange
- 1/2 lime
- 2 inches of ginger
- Pinch of Turmeric
1. Wash and prep the ingredients. Use organic if possible.
2. Run all the ingredients, except citrus, though the juicer. Squeeze orange and lime using a citrus juicer or with your hands.
3. Combine the juicer contents and the squeezed citrus juice in a glass.
4. Consume & Enjoy!
Lots happening that I’d like to write about!
Finished teaching an 8 week course of Chair Yoga for Cerebral Palsy this week.
The clients were a pleasure to work with. They learnt a lot about Yoga, Somatics and Pilates Movement in a short space of time and retained new information easily.
It was obvious that they really love Yoga. I was impressed by how well they listen, to the directions, as to their own inner guidance. Each week they came to the practice with an open attitude, diligently exploring new ways of moving, and trying out various Breathing Practices, Mindfulness and Meditations.
The centre where the classes were held has a Sensory room, so on Week 3, we tried Yoga Nidra in there. Being able to dim the lights completely, leant to the atmosphere for this type of Meditation. The clients rested on giant beanbags, making it more comfortable should they drift off during the practice. They also had a wall projector, background music, star-lit night sky, and LED fibres…we were totally spoilt.
Yoga gives a person space, where emotions may have room to bubble up and come to the surface. We discussed bringing the attention back to the breathe and allowing our thoughts and feelings to be as they are, not getting caught up in the inner monologue nor trying to change anything. Simply becoming aware of the thoughts, feelings and physical sensations that may be present in any given moment, allowing them to be there, and then bringing the attention back to the breath. It was also important to have a laugh and not take ourselves too seriously!
For anyone thinking of taking on an Adaptive Yoga class, I found it really worthwhile as a teacher to have this experience. It was humbling and amazing, watching the clients transform and grow, accepting their limits while taking themselves to the edges of their own comfort zones. It made me a better listener, and a more attentive teacher, as I had to learn and watch out for their communication cues. Energy-wise, it was important to remain upbeat, including some fun movement techniques from kids yoga, though the clients were in their late teens, they responded really well to having fun, who doesn’t?!
Visualisation is key to Adaptive Yoga, both inviting students to “imagine” and giving them a direction or target to travel to. “Open your arms out wide” gets an ok response, while “Open your arms out wide, reach and tickle your neighbour!” will get those arms wide open!
For the carers present, I needed to tune in to their ability and communication style as they are part of the class too. Finding a carer who knows the client well enough to verbalise for them, who can help the client to carry out the movement while staying within their pain-free zone, and who knows their left from their right or indeed has any body awareness, is a whole other aspect that you will need to consider when leading an Adaptive Yoga class! Carers are wonderful people who work hard, they spend their day caring for the needs of others, and their jobs are physically taxing. I found they really appreciated the Yoga classes, especially the Breathing and Meditation practices.
Each week you have to find the right pace for everyone, picking up the energy when needed and giving space for energy to settle when that is required too. It’s important to give space at the end of the class, to give everyone time to adjust and regroup before their next activity. The clients may be leaving the centre straight after the class, the carers may be due a lunch break etc, so it’s essential to run to schedule and finish a few minutes early if possible.
If you are thinking about teaching Adaptive Yoga, or training as a Yoga Therapist, Yoga Therapy Ireland is a great place to go for more information or even sign up for one of their courses. Their Yoga in a Chair Seminar by Elma Toland was a wonderful resource in preparing for this course, as was their 500hr teacher training.
Here is a case study on Yoga for Cerebral Palsy that families and carers for those with CP might find useful to follow as a home programme:Adaptive-Yoga-for-Individuals-CP
For more info on the author, Ryan McGraw, and for Cerebral Palsy support see http://cerebralpalsy.org/inspiration/athletes/ryan-mcgraw/
Another online resource; Somatic Movement for younger children http://movementforkidswithspecialneeds.org
Live. Love. Move!
Image from http://kalillie.blogspot.ie/2012_03_01_archive.html