Books and films and stuff

I haven’t posted much recently (on blog anyway – am always on Twitter) but I’ve been busy taking Ashtanga yoga classes, reading books and watching a load of films ( a real love of mine). This evening I’ve finished Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin. I’d seen the film several years ago but a friend read the book recently and recommended it. It’s frankly terrifying and it’s worth reading the book even if you have seen the film – Polanski’s film is wonderful but from reading the book, you’ll see that Mia Farrow was perfect for the role. Amazing to think Ira Levin wrote three of the most fascinating studies of modern America in the mid-late 20th Century: Rosemary’s Baby, Stepford Wives and The Boys from Brazil. I have the latter on kindle which I’m now going to read – Chuck Palahnuik’s introductions are excellent too.
Also tonight I watched the film Jeff, Who Lives at Home – Jason Segel and the phenomenal Susan Sarandon – what’s not to love? I really enjoyed this film – more than just a lame stoner comedy. I’m now watching classic British horror The Night Of The Demon (1957) thanks to a ‘British Connections’ season by Digital/cable film channel Film4. Its a fabulously creepy British Cult/Satanist horror. Worth checking out.

Life. Yoga. Walking. Reading. Buddhism. Baking. Thats all.

It’s been a funny few weeks – not funny ha ha but funny in the way that the universe reminds you of the wider world and how it still continues to kick you up the arse whether you need it or not. The last couple of weeks have included: having the winning bid for a house so we are in the throes of preparing to move after two years of wanting to; attending a funeral; the death of one of my most-loved musicians (RIP MCA) who helped shaped not only my musical education but my knowledge of wider world events and philosophies; all manner of frustrating and exhausting shite at work; doing a second freelance job in the evenings; PMT through the roof with water-weight shifting up and down by up to half a stone daily and my daughter coming down with Chicken Pox.

All this is just LIFE of course and the above will seem trivial to many facing much harder times than me, but nonetheless, it all left me feeling a bit knackered and not quite myself and i felt i had to readjust things a little to try and avoid getting some horrible lurgy which would make me feel more overwhelmed and stressed and as a functioning mother, partner, employee etc it’s  total pain in the arse when i get ill and i am not a good patient!

I had been registered for the Glasgow Womens 10k but had simply not been getting out to run and when i had been out, had really not been enjoying it. This lead me to beat myself up a bit and harking back to my previous attempts at trying to consistently run (and largely failing). So, i decided to just not bother and write it off. I wasn’t running for charity so really the only person i’d be letting down was myself but as the running/not running was making me feel bad about myself i figured stopping worrying about it would make me feel better all round. And it did. (And as it happened, the day before the 10k, my daughter’s chicken pox started coming through so i wouldn’t have gone anyway).

Having felt some relief at giving up on a form of exercise which i just wasn’t enjoying, i thought more about what i did enjoy and came back, yet again, to Yoga. So i’ve made an effort to do some yoga for between 20 minutes and an hour 3 or 4 times a week (every day would be ideal but am not quite there yet!). I’m already feeling much better about exercising and in accepting that whilst yoga won’t change my body as quickly as running, the mental benefits are so much greater. I’ve also added some walking into the mix – so much more civilised than running:-) and i’m hoping to get into hill walking at some point too.

As for the crappy second freelance job, i ditched that (did i really want to write about bodybuilding supplements??) and picked up my kindle again; read some chick-lit (as a break from the Scandi-crime) and got a couple of free ebooks on Buddhism (re: MCA) to reignite something i’ve been interested in for years but never properly explored.

My favourite form of yoga is Vinyasa Flow (strengthening, aerobic, quick and importantly not the same postures every time unlike Ashtanga) which i also complement with some more gentle routines. I’ve been doing DVDs at home and once we’ve moved, i’ll look into classes again too. My current favourite dvds include:

Tara Lee: Beginners Yoga and Beyond: Elements of Yoga (grounding Hatha – for gentler days but you still feel your body working)

Eionn Finn: Power Yoga for Happiness (a number of routines here from just over half an hour to full class length – challenging routines excellent for building strength and he is a great surfer dude, so the routines are easy to follow and fun to do – you will sweat)

Claire Missingham: Yoga (excellent Vinyasa Flow for intermediate/advanced. Few bits i just can’t do on this DVD but i love that its challenging and her style is really encouraging)

Seane Corne: Vinyasa Flow Yoga 2 (lovely Vinyasa Flow simply done)

Body Shaping Intensive Yoga (does what it says in the tin – couple of shorter Vinyasa based routines 30-40 mins plus 60 mins – you will sweat)

Rodney Yee: My first Yoga dvd’s some years ago were by Rodney Yee and i still use them (including Intermediate Yoga and Power Yoga Total Body Workout) but when time is short i like AM Yoga for your day (5 20 minute routines) and his Ultimate Power Yoga (not quite ‘Power Yoga’ but 5 2-30 min routines)

I also did some baking again with TheYoungLady, which we hadn’t done for some time. The cakes were dreadful (that’ll teach me to follow a recipe off the side of the packet…) but helped me feel like i was a bit more Me again.

What do you do to help you feel a bit more like You again?