A True Story and a Giveaway :: How to Get in Shape When You Hate Exercise

The person who fist inspired to to learn yoga was my beautiful friend Sara Jane, about ten years ago. I found it so hard I nearly cried right there on my Dad's living room floor. Things are pretty different these days...

The person who fist inspired to to learn yoga was my beautiful friend Sara Jane, about ten years ago. I found it so hard I nearly cried right there on my Dad's living room floor. Things are pretty different these days...

I have a complicated relationship with exercise in that, I hate it. 

I have been meaning to get fit for, oh I don't know, years and years. I don't need to lose weight, but I'm unhealthy due to the quality of food I eat and all the activity I don't do. I may be a small size, but that doesn't mean I automatically look good in a bikini - hello cellulite (I blame the pizza). Also, I'm tired a lot, I lose concentration, I'm moody, I sleep poorly - all symptoms of someone who doesn't exercise enough. 

I've been working really hard on changing this though, for my physical welbeing but also for my mental welbeing. The trouble is, it doesn't work for most people to just suddenly be the sort of person who runs. Or the sort of person who commits to doing a workout DVD after work every day. I never stick to it and that just leaves me feeling even worse about myself! That kind of grand commitment and failure cycle is what's kept me stuck in a health rut for years. 

Now all of a sudden I'm on a countdown to our wedding and it's not so much about looking good, but feeling good on the day. Oh the pressure! I finally just told myself that it doesn't matter what I do, or when I do it, I just need to start moving!

A few months back I discovered the Kickstarter campaign for MyYogaPro. It's an online yoga platform that has tonnes of yoga classes, workshops and short videos on how to do poses from beginner level to advanced. All classes are taught by Erin Motz who just seems like a nice, normal yogi - she's easy to follow, and most importantly she doesn't make you feel like there's a lot of pressure to be perfect at it. 

I first learned about Erin from her 30 day yoga challenge which I tried and failed to commit to. I don't know what made me invest in her Kickstarter project (probably my good intentions), and when it finally launched I spent weeks meaning to suddenly become the sort of person who does yoga every day.  

A few weeks ago I had that panic moment of being on the countdown to our wedding, and that's when I decided to take the pressure off and just start moving. If I was going to dedicate hours to watching Orange is the New Black, maybe I could watch it from the floor while stretching. That I could handle.  

Then I started watching some one or two minute pose explanation videos while simultaneously watching some other rubbish tv. I would try out one pose for a bit until I got bored and wanted to switch to another. After a while I found I was trying out four to five poses during a half an hour to 45 minute tv show.

After a week or two I found that the tv was distracting me from doing the pose correctly, and I started hitting pause on Netflix more often than I hit pause on Erin trying to teach me a pose.  

After that I found myself craving yoga. I liked the novelty of being able to do some crazy pose and I wanted to see how strong I was getting by trying some more challenging poses, requiring my full concentration. Before I knew it, I had cut out the tv altogether and I wasn't just doing one or two minute pose videos, I was doing 15 to 20 minute classes! Then a week later I started doing these classes back to back. And these days I'm up to an hour of yoga a day, if not more. And it all started with me watching crap tv and trying (but failing) to touch my toes.

I've learned that yoga isn't about flexibility and fitness, although those are added benefits. It's about getting in touch with your body and inhabiting every inch of it - as opposed to just living in your stomach and only being aware of how much you crave pizza all the time.

So because I feel like I've made a massive breakthrough, and finally learned to love exercise after years of inactivity - I wanted to share the love and give one of you a membership to MyYogaPro too! Remember, you don't need a yoga mat, you don't need fancy yoga clothes, all you need to do is move a little bit to start with.

To enter the giveaway you need to...

:: Follow Nishaantishu on Bloglovin'

:: Leave a comment below with your email address so I can contact you if you win.

:: And, you don't have to, but sharing is caring, so it would be nice if you shared this with one or two people you think could benefit from a chance to win a MyYogaPro subscription. Click the share button below...

I'll pick a winner this time next week and contact them by email. Good luck!

Just a Moment :: twenty one

1 :: The weather lately has been something else, hasn't it? One minute it's so so hot, the next it's humid, and the next it's thunder and lightning. It's made for some incredible light though, and I love the way it lights up the houses across the street every evening. 

2 :: Pancakes part two! I have been perfecting my pancake making abilities and I think I'm getting better, if only a little bit. I mixed things up a little by adding some honey stewed peaches and some Greek yogurt as extra toppings.

3 :: Some flowers captured on my way home from Angel on Saturday afternoon. Flowers are everywhere in my neighborhood at the minute. 

4 :: I cheated on my no caffeine streak (not for the first time I have to admit) with an iced coffee on Sunday morning.

5/6 :: I took my friend to Hackney City Farm for the first time, and she loved it! We took a selfie with a donkey. 

7 :: Pizza in the park with some beers while it thundered above us and got ready to rain. We made it inside before it started pouring though! And Molly is being super cuddly at the moment because she's started to get sick again. My poor pup. 

8 :: Sunday's flower market haul.

Some other wonderful things not pictured:

:: I slept for 11 and a half hours on Saturday night, it was amazing! I haven't done that in years.

:: I'm currently eating porridge with peaches to celebrate the fact that it's marginally cooler today which means a hot breakfast is called for. 

:: Today marks the start of a thirteen week fitness countdown. Adam and I have thirteen weeks to get fit and healthy for this wedding, so it's time to start. Cue confused face because I am not one to exercise beyond the occasional yoga and horseback riding. If anyone has any fitness and diet tips, please do share!

Travels in Japan :: the Bamboo Forest

Oh how I miss Japan. Isn't it funny how you can miss somewhere even when you spent such a small amount of time there? Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I'm reading Geisha of Gion: The True Story of Japan's Foremost Geisha by Mineko Iwasaki. It takes me back to all the streets we wandered in Kyoto, and all the fun we had at bars and restaurants in the evening - it's such a magical story.

The Bamboo Grove in Arashiyama is just beautiful. It's so peaceful and calming. I mean, if you can ignore the countless tourists and chaos all around you - which isn't really all that difficult after a while. When we visited the temperature in Kyoto was reaching nearly 35 degrees, and the shade of the bamboo was very welcoming. Adam spent some time looking at hand-painted postcards while Sara Jane and I had an impromptu photo shoot in a small bamboo grove we discovered - until we started attracting attention and had to stop because we were embarrassed.

It doesn't take long to walk through the bamboo grove so we decided to hop over to the Kinkakuji, or Golden Pavilion - just to have a look. The number of tourists there was overwhelming. We spent some time admiring at the very picturesque zen temple, had a walk around the grounds and sat under a tree in the shade for a bit before heading back to the city. 

That evening we had a hilarious conversation with a taxi driver who was keen to practice his English - he seemed particularly proud of the term "world heritage site" and repeated it constantly. It was one of those surreal travel moments that seem insignificant at the time but they stick with you forever. 

One Day :: I Want to Travel the World, Meeting People and Sharing My Story, by Ruthie Lindsey

Today I am absolutely delighted to share with you the sweet Ruthie Lindsey. I don’t know how I first came across Ruthie, but when I stumbled on her Instagram account I just couldn’t stop reading, looking at her beautiful photos and taking in all this girl has to say. She really has the most beautiful and positive outlook on life and she really inspires me to see life the same way. The thing is, it’s not just because she’s a happy person, although that has a lot to do with it. It’s more that she’s been through some serious hardship and come out the other side – she’s taken the hole created in her life by some awful experiences and she fills it up with all the love and all the beauty she comes across every day. She's used her experiences to open her eyes to the good and the bad, and lives each day with a very real appreciation.

Life has been tough these past few years, it’s sent some awful things my way and I have never known such pain and heart break, and when I came across Ruthie’s talk for Creative Mornings I just couldn't tear myself away. Rarely has anything resonated with me so clearly, and I can’t tell you the comfort that comes from knowing that others have felt so much pain and come through to live not just a happy life, but an even happier life than they ever thought possible.

Anyway, I’ll stop chatting away and leave you with Ruthie to share her story and her dream with you, maybe some of you will have needed to hear it as much as I did the first time I saw it: 

I really feel like the thing I want to do most is to travel the world meeting people and speaking, sharing my story and the message that you can live a really beautiful life despite your circumstances. Beauty spills out of brokenness and the broken and painful parts of life don't have to determine our joy. In fact, I live by the quote

The deeper sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
— Kahlil Gibran - The Prophet

I truly believe that to the core of my being.

So I would love to have the opportunity to share that as much as possible. My creative mornings talk was the fist time I have ever done anything like that and it lit a fire in me and made me want to do it so much more!!!

To read Ruthie's story, click here and head on over to her website. Also, don't forget to follow her on instagram to see more of her adventures in Nashville, curating wonderful occasions in collaboration with some amazing people including Local Milk, Free People and Kinfolk. Oh and she has such amazing taste in interior design that Taylor Swift shot her album artwork at Ruthie's house!!!

Thanks for contributing to One Day, Ruthie! Keep on keeping on as you do, you're already reaching people across the world.

Phot credits :: Sionnie Lafollette, top two. Tyler Sharpe, bottom one.

Just a Moment :: twenty

Just a few moments to remember from this past week. 

1 :: Adam needs glasses - this is his "I wear glasses now so I have to be serious" face. I'm just a little bit jealous because I think I would look really good in glasses! But I don't actually need them so for now he'll have to be the "serious" one in this relationship. Ha!

2 :: This little boy spotted in the park - his parents tried to take the beer cans away from him but he wouldn't hear of it! He got so upset that they had to give them back. 

3 :: We had brunch at Market Cafe on Sunday, which is located at the end of Broadway Market. I've always wanted to go and we finally made it! I had eggs benedict and they were so delicious, the best I've had in a long time. Definitely check them out if you're ever in the neighbourhood, they look like they do good brunch cocktails too. 

4 :: On Saturday we went to have our wedding bands fitted, to see what they look like in wax first before they're cast. That lovely lady who is making them for us also happens to own the sweetest little dog.

5 :: You are never too old for sleepovers!! On Friday I went to an epic sleepover and BBQ hosted by my wonderful friend Emily. We stayed up too late, had a bit too much gin, and dressed up in our onesies. These girls keep me laughing non-stop!

6 :: Adam took me for a recovery smoothie on the morning after the epic sleepover. My favourite smoothie of all time is from Health Stuff on Dalston Lane and it's called the blueberry breakfast. It's made up of: blueberries, a handful of oats, honey, banana and milk. It's delicious and fills you up when you're feeling a little too rough for food, while re-hydrating you. The hungover breakfast of champions! Or, you know, girls who can't drink.