Utthan Pristhasana & Veggie Paella

Christmas hasn’t so much snuck up on me this year, so much as the year has steam rolled in so quickly I blinked and suddenly it was December. Despite this, I’m more or less on track with gifts, decorations go up tonight and I’ve finished up in the office for the year.

Those of you who know me will know I get very excited about Christmas, presents, family, games, wine and lots of food – what’s not to love? But actually this year I’m more excited about 2017. I’m putting plans in place to be more organised than ever (which will look like verging on slightly), new routines and just really looking forward to the year. I love my job, I love my flat, I got a car… it’s all looking good for 2017. I’m going to really put some effort into the writing, and to gently ease myself into it I decided I would interview one of my favourite people in the whole world…. Victoria Cunningham-Downey.

I’ve talked about Victoria here before, but if you don’t know she’s my teacher :). She was the first teacher that got me ‘into’ yoga, she’s inadvertently helped me through some pretty rough times and of course she taught me to be a teacher. So we met up for an interview, which I won’t post here because it was for Bad Yogi (but I’ll let you know when it goes up), and some dinner at Tinto Tapas.imag0237

We had a massive veggie paella between the two of us and it was SO GOOD! Tinto have excellent allergen info so it’s nice not having to worry about eating there. I had some Patatas Canarias with red mojo sauce as a snack/starter, and of course paella… did I mention it was so good? It’s so nice to see great, really tasty veggie options even in the relatively uncosmopolitan southside.

The worst part of this time of year is the stress! The weather’s bad, everywhere is busy, you don’t know what to buy Granda… so naturally my classes have been focusing on grounding, restoring and relaxing… and headstands! Why not? Yoga isn’t so serious we can’t play about with headstands before we get down to a restorative practise!

With introspective poses I love to include strong core work as it brings you into your body and holds you steady. Focusing on keeping your body together as a whole, whilst staring at your toes, grounding into the mat and holding a challenging pose is oddly relaxing, and a nice way to practise quieting the mind with the breath.

So this week’s pose is Utthan Pristhasana – Lizard Pose, one of my faves! Let’s get started in down dog…utthan-pristhasana

  • Step your right foot to the top of the mat and drop your left knee to the ground.
  • Bring your right hand inside your right foot, and heel-toe your right foot out one step. If you feel you need a little more room here turn your toes out to the right.
  • Engage your bandhas and press through your left heel, lifting the knee from the mat.
  • Press your elbows towards the back of the room, if it’s available to you today come down on to your forearms.
  • Be mindful of your breath, keep your bandhas enagaged, keep pressing through both heels and hugging your right knee into your right shoulder.
  • Hold until the dog stops barking, kids stop running around, mother-in-law stops nagging….. just kidding! 16 rounds of breath if you can. Then repeat on the left side.

Happy Christmas yogis!

Namaste 🙂

Nicky x

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