Another day of brilliant sunshine leaves me feeling incredibly happy because I'm pretty certain Spring has finally sprung! The Easter holidays have been ever so kind in terms of an ideal balance between beautiful weather and duller days. I say an ideal balance because as much as I'd love sunshine every day, those dull days are good for doing the dull things when staying inside is required. There is nothing worse than being stuck inside on a sunny day!
Last week saw the first full day of sunshine in a long time. Feeling overly-energised, I headed out with the intention of making the most of it.
Apart from my birthday plans, one definite plan over Easter was to go back to yoga. Having loved it in the summer, I've felt sad to be away from it for so long so hoped that Easter would provide the perfect opportunity to make my return. Having worn my trusty Matalan leggings and 'PE' t-shirt for sessions in the summer, I did feel that proper clothes were in order to really motivate me (of course shopping is always the answer!) so I ventured into Wandsworth for a spot of shopping!
Hugely distracted by H&M where I made several totally necessary purchases (NONE OF WHICH WERE BLACK), I finally made my way to Sports Direct in search of some good value leggings and sports bras. I always feel a little (ok, very) odd in sports shops, and I do feel like the assistants see me and wonder if I'm lost. As a general rule, the idea of anything remotely resembling exercise absolutely terrifies me, and I feel like people in sports shops can smell my fear.
Needless to say the sight of deoderant marks all over seemingly every item I wanted to try meant my visit was very short. Not at all familiar with the area I wasn't entirely sure how to actually leave Wandsworth, but I hoped that a bus to Putney wouldn't be too hard to come by. Pretty impressed by the ease with which I located the necessary bus stop, I was on my way!
Whenever I pass through Putney and Putney Bridge on the District line, I do conclude that if for some reason I was forced to live south of the river, Putney would be the place for me (I understand that Putney Bridge isn't actually south of the river, but it's still far down in my eyes). Though having only seen it from above, I wasn't at all sure what to expect from the highstreet. Of course it was sweet! And Sports Direct here provided me with just what I needed (a pretty horrific changing room experience though. It was literally a box!) so in no time at all I was on my merry way home.
Sun shining, Notting Hill on the line, I had to take a detour. Notting Hill is definitely one of my favourite places to stroll around on a sunny day. Houses that are already incredibly beautiful are even more so in sunlight, and when the market isn't on, it's not at all busy either so a very pleasant place to be!
I thoroughly enjoyed aimless wandering before finally finding myself in an Italian ice-cream café serving Illy coffee which I adore! I first had Illy when I was on tour with the Kings Lynn Festival Chorus in Italy; sweet memories. It's so yummy and always transports me right back. Hard to tear myself away, but my tummy told me it was time for home and I felt satisfied that I'd made the most of the day!
I first went to yoga over the summer at a fancy studio in Seven Dials; Yotopia. They had an amazing selection of teachers and classes, so while I'd signed up to the introductory offer I tried it all; from bikram to ashtanga to vinyasa to ballet sculpt & stretch (which was my favourite by far. It was like living all my childhood dreams in one class)! However with a fancy studio comes fancy prices and as I neither live nor work particularly close to Seven Dials, I decided I couldn't justify the cost.
With time since the summer flying by, I've then not found another place to go since. I was determined therefore to use Easter as the opportune moment to return. Having found a studio in a good work-home-friendly location, I bought another introductory offer so I could have some lessons over the holiday.
The studio in question, Stretch London, has two studios in ideal locations; Columbia Road and Broadway Market. I figured the Columbia Road studio is a slightly shorter walking distance from work so that's where I decided to try!
I'm still very much a beginner, so I'm not about to start writing about yoga in any amount of detail, but I do enjoy it very much so I hope this time to keep it up. I'm sure if I keep going I'll have plenty of embarrassing moments and a good dose of rave reviews to write about; so far I'm loving the studio and the teachers! Just in case I do have any time off like before, I've got a little notebook in which I've written poses so I can do some at home on the mat I bought on a New Year whim about 5 years ago (actually turns out it's a really nice mat; cheers TK Maxx)! It's probably something to do with the fact that it's the Easter holidays, but I am feeling incredibly energised at the moment, and lighter in all sorts of ways! I am also one of these people that loves a bit of muscle ache, so re-awakening some I think I'd forgotten I even had has been incredibly satisfying!
In addition to the health benefits of yoga, Columbia Road itself is one of my favourite streets in London and it's been nice to see it on quieter days when there are no hoards and I can actually see small (or actually in terms of the enormous mosaic I'd never noticed before, not at all small) details along the way. I'd love to be able to live in East London one day (and no, I am not a hipster. I appreciate the buildings and the green spaces)!
Definitely been partaking in plenty of self-indulgence this holiday.
May it continue for the final few days!