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yoga

      As I sit here updating my website (long overdue), I suddenly realised that I haven't done a blog for flipping ages!  I'm not very good at writing things down, i'm much better at talking at people, I'd say I'm an expert at talking...  So what to write about?  My last blog - which I didn't actually write - was in March.... so maybe I should write about what has happened since then.  But March was such a long time ago, so much has happened since then, both in the studio and in my life.  So I'll start by talking about an event that happened over the last 6 months that has impacted me the most.......      Here goes.....   Possibly the greatest life changer started on the last day of February.  I decided that it was time to go sober, to give up my daily wine habit.   As a studio owner most people think that you live the yogi lifestyle, eat green things and do lots of yoga.  Some studio owners probably do, but that certainly wasn't the case for me.  I was stuck in a rut of running around like a mad woman trying to hold together my family, run a business, organise 3 children, 2 dogs, 2 cats, fit in some exercise (as teaching yoga doesn't count) and keep myself sane at the same time.  To be honest it didn't really work.  I would arrive home after various children's activities or work, then start on household stuff.  This normally involved me losing my temper and getting frustrated with anyone/thing in close range of me, and I would inevitably reach for the bottle to calm my frazzled mind.  Half a bottle of a full bodied red seemed to do the trick, but by that time I didn't want to stop.  Half a bottle turned into a bottle, then a bottle turned into a bottle and a half...... you get the picture.  Full bodied reds go really well with chocolate so that became part of the process too.  I was drinking on average 10-12 bottles of wine a week - to myself  When I read it out loud now I am amazed and shocked that I was still able to function on a daily basis.  So many people have asked me why I have stopped drinking rather than just cutting down, the problem was - I couldn't cut down, I'm an all or nothing kind of girl!  Honestly, I was a highly functioning alcoholic.  I was able to still function as a mum, I got the children organised and to school on time with the correct equipment.  I still got to the studio to teach my classes - the first down dog was an absolute killer.  Any excuse to start drinking and I would be the first one ordering the wine and nominating Greg to drive us home, it didn't matter which night of the week it was, I was always up for a bottle or 2.  What people didn't see was me fast asleep on the studio floor after finishing the morning classes, or me staring at my reflection in the studio mirror, vowing not to drink again, or the amount of times that I passed out on the sofa at home by 9pm, too drunk to get upstairs.  What people did see was the front that I put on every day, the fake Lou that I presented to the outside world.  I only let a very few people in to see the truth, as my shame and self-loathing were through the roof!  It really did have to stop, or I would lose everything.  I read a quote once...    Why keep one thing and lose everything when you can lose one thing and keep everything?    This rang so true with me and along with lots of other reasons (which I won't go into now at the risk of you never speaking to me again) I decided it was time to change  So i quit drinking..... cold turkey...... 168 days ago and according to my handy app, that is around   1022 glasses of wine  204 bottles of wine  £5100 saved - expensive taste!  127800 calories not consumed   That is shocking!  And the same as when I quit smoking (15 years ago), I now can't believe that I did it.    Why?  I still have a long way to go with my headspace and finding self-love but i am getting there and becoming the best version of myself possible is now actually looking possible!  I am starting to become comfortable in my own skin, I actually don't mind seeing myself in a mirror or a photograph.  Probably because my skin is now so clean and healthy looking and full of colour.  My eyes seem to sparkle again and I have energy - all day!  It hasn't been easy at all.  The wine witch is always close by, ready to give me a 'fuck it' ticket and pour me a glass of wine.  But I am staying strong and so far have had the strength to say no  I didn't intend on sitting down and writing this tonight.  I was just updating the staff profiles on the website.  But obviously it was the right time to share part of my story with whoever chooses to read this.  Yogabomb has been fundamental in getting me through the last 6 months.  The studio itself, the energy it has, the teachers, the people that turn up on their mats.  I wanted to create a space for normal people to practice yoga - hence the "yoga for normal people" tag line - I am a normal person, affected by normal problems.  I'm not a typical yogi or an instagram yogi.  But I am a wife, a mum, a daughter, a sister, a studio owner, a yoga teacher, a friend.  I am grieving the death of my dad last August. I also wanted to create a space where normal people would feel safe and included, where they would find compassion or quiet time,  where they could push their boundaries and step out of their comfort zone if they wanted to.  Normal people.... I'm not actually sure what that means now.  I guess my point is that I am just like the next person, and at times you have absolutely no idea what is going on in other people's lives.  So the next time you attend a yoga class, or go to the gym, or sit in a cafe, don't judge the person next to you......you have no clue what is going on for them at that moment in time.  Thanks for taking the time to read this, it means a lot. xx

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As I sit here updating my website (long overdue), I suddenly realised that I haven't done a blog for flipping ages!

I'm not very good at writing things down, i'm much better at talking at people, I'd say I'm an expert at talking...  So what to write about?

My last blog - which I didn't actually write - was in March.... so maybe I should write about what has happened since then.  But March was such a long time ago, so much has happened since then, both in the studio and in my life.

So I'll start by talking about an event that happened over the last 6 months that has impacted me the most.......      Here goes.....

Possibly the greatest life changer started on the last day of February.  I decided that it was time to go sober, to give up my daily wine habit.

As a studio owner most people think that you live the yogi lifestyle, eat green things and do lots of yoga.  Some studio owners probably do, but that certainly wasn't the case for me.  I was stuck in a rut of running around like a mad woman trying to hold together my family, run a business, organise 3 children, 2 dogs, 2 cats, fit in some exercise (as teaching yoga doesn't count) and keep myself sane at the same time.  To be honest it didn't really work.  I would arrive home after various children's activities or work, then start on household stuff.  This normally involved me losing my temper and getting frustrated with anyone/thing in close range of me, and I would inevitably reach for the bottle to calm my frazzled mind.

Half a bottle of a full bodied red seemed to do the trick, but by that time I didn't want to stop.  Half a bottle turned into a bottle, then a bottle turned into a bottle and a half...... you get the picture.  Full bodied reds go really well with chocolate so that became part of the process too.  I was drinking on average 10-12 bottles of wine a week - to myself

When I read it out loud now I am amazed and shocked that I was still able to function on a daily basis.  So many people have asked me why I have stopped drinking rather than just cutting down, the problem was - I couldn't cut down, I'm an all or nothing kind of girl!  Honestly, I was a highly functioning alcoholic.  I was able to still function as a mum, I got the children organised and to school on time with the correct equipment.  I still got to the studio to teach my classes - the first down dog was an absolute killer.  Any excuse to start drinking and I would be the first one ordering the wine and nominating Greg to drive us home, it didn't matter which night of the week it was, I was always up for a bottle or 2.

What people didn't see was me fast asleep on the studio floor after finishing the morning classes, or me staring at my reflection in the studio mirror, vowing not to drink again, or the amount of times that I passed out on the sofa at home by 9pm, too drunk to get upstairs.  What people did see was the front that I put on every day, the fake Lou that I presented to the outside world.  I only let a very few people in to see the truth, as my shame and self-loathing were through the roof!

It really did have to stop, or I would lose everything.  I read a quote once...

Why keep one thing and lose everything when you can lose one thing and keep everything?

This rang so true with me and along with lots of other reasons (which I won't go into now at the risk of you never speaking to me again) I decided it was time to change

So i quit drinking..... cold turkey...... 168 days ago and according to my handy app, that is around

  • 1022 glasses of wine
  • 204 bottles of wine
  • £5100 saved - expensive taste!
  • 127800 calories not consumed

That is shocking!  And the same as when I quit smoking (15 years ago), I now can't believe that I did it.  

Why?

I still have a long way to go with my headspace and finding self-love but i am getting there and becoming the best version of myself possible is now actually looking possible!

I am starting to become comfortable in my own skin, I actually don't mind seeing myself in a mirror or a photograph.  Probably because my skin is now so clean and healthy looking and full of colour.  My eyes seem to sparkle again and I have energy - all day!

It hasn't been easy at all.  The wine witch is always close by, ready to give me a 'fuck it' ticket and pour me a glass of wine.  But I am staying strong and so far have had the strength to say no

I didn't intend on sitting down and writing this tonight.  I was just updating the staff profiles on the website.  But obviously it was the right time to share part of my story with whoever chooses to read this.

Yogabomb has been fundamental in getting me through the last 6 months.  The studio itself, the energy it has, the teachers, the people that turn up on their mats.  I wanted to create a space for normal people to practice yoga - hence the "yoga for normal people" tag line - I am a normal person, affected by normal problems.  I'm not a typical yogi or an instagram yogi.  But I am a wife, a mum, a daughter, a sister, a studio owner, a yoga teacher, a friend.  I am grieving the death of my dad last August. I also wanted to create a space where normal people would feel safe and included, where they would find compassion or quiet time,  where they could push their boundaries and step out of their comfort zone if they wanted to.  Normal people.... I'm not actually sure what that means now.  I guess my point is that I am just like the next person, and at times you have absolutely no idea what is going on in other people's lives.  So the next time you attend a yoga class, or go to the gym, or sit in a cafe, don't judge the person next to you......you have no clue what is going on for them at that moment in time.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, it means a lot. xx

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Tracy talks science..... and yoga!

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Tracy talks science..... and yoga!

For those who visit Yogabomb regularly, you may assume that all I do with my day is teach yoga and attend yoga classes. This is partly true; however, the rest of the day is dedicated to science, research, and education. My PhD involves examining the relationship between perfectionism, overthinking and emotions. I also teach at York St John University where I try to instil a passion for research, psychology and physical activity in students. Therefore, I am fascinated in the science behind helping people feel good about themselves and gaining more fulfilment.  For me, yoga is the answer. In the spirit of International Day of Women and Girls in Science, I will aim to give you a snap shot of the scientific evidence supporting the suggestion that yoga is the answer to a better life. 

In examining the scientific evidence relevant to my argument that yoga is the answer to a better life, it is quite clear that research in the area is rather weak (e.g. a number of poorly designed studies) and I question some of the validity of the findings. Many studies have small sample sizes, do not have a control group, or do not compare yoga to other forms of physical activity.  However, the evidence does seem to suggest that yoga has many physical and emotional benefits. Yoga can help alleviate lower back pain, improve strength, flexibility and balance, and reduce inflammation in the body. Furthermore, research shows that yoga reduces cortisol, cholesterol and blood pressure, compared to active control (Pascoe et al, 2017). Hot yoga, in particular, was found to improve lower back and hamstring flexibility. Compared to non-heated yoga, heart rate and sweat rate is increasingly higher for those taking part in hot yoga (Campbell, 2015). Yoga also increases creativity, improves mood, and decreases anxiety. Yoga assists relaxation and promotes quality of sleep.

It has even been suggested the physical and psychological benefits of yoga can complement cancer treatment/therapy. Research also shows that yoga can help to reduce in anxiety in infertility patients. In 2000, Domar found that 55 percent of infertility patients became pregnant (and had a baby) within one year of participating in her 10-session yoga, meditation and acupuncture program. In a control group, just 20 percent had babies. According to Domar; "Yoga is really good for patients who are highly anxious, and fertility patients tend to be anxious. A lot of these patients are angry with their bodies for not doing what they want. Yoga gets them back in touch with their bodies."Domar suggests lighter forms of yoga to help with problems conceiving. At Yogabomb, we offer “yin chill” which is a gentler and mindful form of yoga.

Taking away the science, our woman in the studio, Rebecca Grant, ‘Yogi of the Month’, said: “I have to say the welcome and kindness from the community in Yogabomb along with the benefits of learning yoga and starting to form a practice have helped me greatly and I’m so grateful for finding my mat and meeting so many wonderful individuals – I am looking forward to this continued journey which I hope is for life.”

Another 'Yogi of the Month', Carole, said: “Coming to Yogabomb has been a lovely, relaxing experience. I have already, after 4 sessions, seen an improvement in my flexibility and balance and feel that yoga is right for my body now and in the future.”

Benefits of yoga also extend to those teaching it. In 2007, research showed that the brains of yoga practitioners exhibited higher rates of neurotransmitter that acts like an antidepressant. I can vouch for that. As a “Woman in Science”, I do not need a journal article to confirm that teaching yoga makes me extremely happy. 

In a nutshell, yoga is the answer to a better life.

Keywords: Yogabomb, York, hot yoga, women in science, yoga, science

Tracy Donachie, MSc, BS (Hons), FHEA
Believe. Positive Psychology.
http://believepositivepsychology.weebly.com
Follow me on Twitter: @tdona005
Tel: 07734854387

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