Monday, 30 January 2017

30 Days yoga challenge

23 hours 7 minutes and 22 seconds, that's how much yoga I did during the last 30 days thanks to the 30-Day Yoga Challenge from doyogawith me. What a great experience.

I started using this yoga site because of my friend Silvia, way back in November 2011. Then my back started to act up and I wasn't really strong enough for most excercises and neither did I have any idea what I was doing. I visited the site on and off, then I had to do intense physio training to get better over more than a year and I mostly forgot about yoga. I occasionally came back and I followed other yoga sites but not very regularly.

I really came back to yoga when I signed up for my first yoga retreat in Portugal. By the time I came back I was seriously hooked and I think I've done some yoga most of the days and very often I used Do Yoga With me. I also started to go to a local yoga class once a week on Wednesday (I did so in January as well, so sometimes I actually did yoga twice a day). But having this amazing site has been so helpful because they offer so many good yoga classes.

When I saw that there was going to be a 30days challenge starting in January, I knew I'd join. At first I wasn't sure whether to go with the beginner or the intermediate level. After a lot of thinking I decided to go with the slower version and I am glad I did. In the beginning it was a good challenge to keep still, to appreciate what I have and to learn more about relaxing. At the same time I did improve, I got more flexible and probably also a little stronger. Furthermore I can build up on what I have now,

I will try to continue now with the 14day intermediate challenge, but do the classes over more than just two weeks, alternating with grounding hatha classes.

It was sometimes intense to make room for these lessons every day. Some of them are only short but a few are more than an hour and I don't have a lot of time each day. I was lucky to start during my holidays, but once school started I had to be creative. I did all my Friday yoga classes in my actual classroom, by moving away my desk and setting up the projector. The first time this felt a bit weird but now I think I might keep doing it because it was really great to wind down like this before teaching again in the afternoon.

So this got into quite a long text which probably shows you how much this meant to me ;-)

Because I liked this blog entry about doing monthly mini resolutions over a whole year,  for my February mini challenge I'll try to work on my photos, first of all I want to do my next photo book which should have been done about a year ago and then if there is time left, I'll continue to tidy up and tag the photos that aren't done yet in my iPhoto.

And just in case Do Yoga With Me decide to delete the challenge I wrote down all the classes here...

Day 1 Hatha Yoga for Grounding (49:03)
Day 2 Yoga for Stress Relief (29:12)
Day 3 Hatha for Self Care II (50:34)
Day 4 A Deep Release for the Shoulders and Neck (49:43)
Day 5 Settling into Relaxation (26:50)
Day 6 Yin/Yang Yoga for the Shoulders and Upper Back (42:00)
Day 7 Spinal Care for Beginners (61:53)
Day 8 Release the Neck (16:08)
Day 9 Flow Yoga to Energize (47:14)
Day 10 Hatha Yoga for the Heart Chakra (20:00)
Day 11 Deep Release for the Hips, Hamstrings and Lower Back (47:32)
Day 12 Bend and Stretch (34:50)
Day 13 Yoga for Inner Strength (42:13)
Day 14 Align, Stabilize and Stretch (53:32)
Day 15 Love Yourself (32:42)
Day 16 Bedtime Yin Yoga (42:03)
Day 17 Yoga for the Feet (26:25)
Day 18 Breath, Balance and Twists (57:01)
Day 19 Yin Yoga for the Lower Back (36:30)
Day 20 Deepening Relaxation (48:57)
Day 21 Core Strength and Stretch (54:50)
Day 22 Yin Yoga for the Shoulders (34:09)
Day 23 Yoga for Sciata Relief (41:50)
Day 24 Morning Slow Hatha Yoga Flow (17:39)
Day 25 Kundalini for Beginners (78:39)
Day 26 A Yin Practice (28:27)
Day 27 Challenging Beginner Hatha Yoga (33:13)
Day 28 Kundalini Yoga for the Root Chakra (29:41)
Day 29 Yoga for Inner Acceptance (34:38)
Day 30 Hatha Yoga for Better Sleep (39:54)

Friday, 20 January 2017

Finished Objects: Tschiertschen and Monkey Jacobus

Pattern: Peanut by Tin Can Knits
Yarn: YOTH Yarns Big Sister
Colour: Thyme, Hazelnut
Needles: 3.75mm and 4.5mm Round Needles
Start of project: January 5th, 2016
End of project: January 8th, 2017

On Ravelry

I knit this little vest for a baby that I will see for the first time in February. I hope he won't be too big by the time we get there, I wasn't sure how much yarn I had, so I went with size 6 to 12 months. 

I combined a few pattern for this project. The basic vest pattern is Peanut, the fair isle pattern is Anders. Because I needed a number dividable by 12 I had to add 4 stitches, but that wasn't very complicated. When I got to the end and the only thing left was the cast off I remembered the beautiful finish of the button band of my Silversmith Hoodie so I added an iCord in the contrast colour. I am really happy with how that turned out, it looks so very tidy now.

In the end there was still a bit of the yarn left over so I cast on for another project for the same baby:

Pattern: Monkey Jacobus by Annita Wilschut
Yarn: YOTH Yarns Big Sister and a bit of Tanis Fiber Arts Yellow Label
Colour: Thyme, Hazelnut and Poppy
Needles: 3.5mm Round Needles
Start of project: January 8th, 2016
End of project: January 15th, 2017

On Ravelry

I love knitting toy and this is going to stay another favourite of mine. It was so interesting to knit this monkey, I can't believe how clever all the construction was.

I knew it was going to be very tight with the left over yarn. In the end, I didn't have enough of the Thyme for the last arm. After a bit of playing around I settled on a stripe of neon yellow and a slightly wider one in red which I think looks super funky and retro. The Hazelnut was just enough, there was probably about 10 inches left in the end. I used the red yarn for the mouth and the tail as well.

Now there is only one problem - Antonia and I are seriously in love with this monkey and we both can't imagine to let it go. So I might have to find some other yarn and knit a second version, this one just stole into our heart and seems to want to live on our sofa ;-)

ETA: Because we were so attached to this monkey I started a second one. I used up the small left overs from my bounce blanket. Somehow the second monkey looks more feminin which is why we call her Lotta. They both stay on the sofa for the moment but I think we are ready now to let the first one go and just keep the second one ;-)

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Finished Object: Fiddlehead Mittens

Pattern: Fiddlehead Mittens by Adrian Bizilia
Yarn: Malabrigo Arroyo and Purl Soho Line Weight
Colour: English Rose, Natural, Cardamon Green
Needles: 3.25mm Round Needles
Start of project: December 10th, 2016
End of project: January 4th, 2017

On Ravelry

My first project of 2017 is finished. These mittens were in the pipeline for a long time. I wanted to knit them for my godmother (my aunt) ever since she lost her husband last June. I am not very good at writing something appropriate or soothing and I don't really get the putting flower on a grave thing. Acutally I kind of do, but it didn't feel right at the moment. Instead I wanted to knit her something that would keep her hands warm.

Sommer went by and fall arrived and I had found a pattern and the perfect yarn and colours for it. Somehow I missed the deadline I had set for myself, the end of November (my uncle's birthday). I finally cast them on at the beginning of December and then my grandmother's health started to deteriorate and she had to go to hospital. So I had the mittens in my bag whenever I went to visit her, which somehow connected them to her. This will be the last project she was part of, even though she didn't actually get to see them.

My grandmother passed away and christmas arrived and I didn't really feel like knitting at all. But then once the festivities and the funeral was over I picked up these mittens again and finally I made some progress.

I really love the pattern and I think the pink and the natural go together very well. I added lining mittens in my favourite colour and now they are done. They are rather on the small side so I hope my guess that my aunt's hands are shorter than mine is correct, because I want her to be able to wear them in these cold temperatures. I think I'll try to meet her soon for a coffee, definitely before it's her birthday at the end of January...

Monday, 2 January 2017

Looking back: 2nd of January

Some of you might remember that I did a Looking Back Series (this was the first entry I wrote) when I started this blog in 2014. I did 12 posts for 12 months and then I stopped. Now I feel like starting again and because it's the 2nd of January, all the following photos were taken on the same day over the years:

In 2004 Antonia and Yannick were small enough to be carried together and there was snow ;-)

In 2007 we had United Colours of Luxemburgerli

In 2008 I had the flu (that's not the reason for the colours but I think I was too sick to take a better selfie)

In 2009 I wasn't totally convinced of the new year yet...

In 2010 I went on a really icy walk with Tobi at the Albis.

In 2011 I drank this and survived. I think it must have been a flickr meetup or something...

 In 2012 there was a beautiful sunrise and we made M&M muffins. 

In 2013 I took a selfie on the sofa and then I went on another new year's walk with Tobi.

In 2014 we went to see Evelyne in Affoltern am Albis.

In 2015 I had finished the first one of my Tintagel Mittens. 

Last year in 2016 I was knitting my Ravine and Annette joined me on the sofa. 

And today in 2017 I walked through Puls 5 and then I had coffee with Silvia at Sphères.

It seems that the second day of the year is an excellent day to take photos and that I often do pretty much the same on that day ;-)

Sunday, 1 January 2017

First sunshine of the year

After a few days of intense fog, sunshine and blue sky is always extra special. I went for a traditional first of January walk with Tobi and Alex on the Üetliberg today and even though there were lots of people up there it was so worth going. The view was stunning, the sunshine so very welcome and the icy temperatures helped to drive away all the bad left overs of 2016. I am very grateful for friendship and for living in such a nice place and I had a lot of fun taking these photos (sorry for the overkill of f.22, I just couldn't resist ... ;-)

Happy New Year

I just woke up on this very first day of 2017. It's still all dark and foggy outside but my washing maschine (the real one) is running and somehow my mind is turning just as fast.

First of all, let me all wish us a happy and healthy new year. I got the meme below from Facebook and I think it looks like a great motto.

Somehow I've been awake for longer than I wanted. I never sleep really well after drinking too much alcohol and we had a bottle of lovely wine and champagne last night. Then Yannick was walking around trying to unblock his nose all the time and I am not used to his vibes yet after having shared a flat with Antonia for more than 8 months.

But I am also aware that this unrest I feel comes from the really not very important decision I need to take now: Which 30 day Yoga Challenge should I start - the Beginner or the Intermediate one.

I know I am somewhere in between and I know that I want to deepen my yoga practice, but even though I am very tempted to try the more intense one after having done a few intermediate classesin the last few days, my neck muscles tell me (because of these intermediate classes that I enjoyed but which were still rather challenging) not to be stupid and start with the slower classes and do the intermediate later in the year. There is my answer, all I have to do is accept it and stop fretting about it. Sorry for the rambling.

Happy New Year and I wish for clarity and calmness ;-)

ETA: During the first practice I realised that the beginner's challenge is indeed better for me, because it needs patience and stillness and acceptance and that seems almost more difficult than just more strength and flexibility. So that's that 🤓