I have moved blog providers as wordpress wasn’t allowing me to upload photos or do other things i wanted to do… My blog address will hopefully eventually be the same, but the temporary new address for now until i understand technology enough to convert it is the following:
A few weeks ago thanks to my fabulous housemate Lisa Lottie a photographer called Philip Volkers (www.philipvolkers.com), plus about 10 or so performers descended on my warehouse for a photoshoot, it was just a quick shoot, i think i spent about 5-10 minutes in total having pictures snapped of me. I would have liked to do more as i really like the photos below.
I was very lucky to work with Abundant and photographer Nick Miners to be part of a photo and video shoot to promote the film The Last Exorcism 2. The results are AMAZING and i absolutely love the resulting photos and video. Part of the photoshoot was to create the whole alphabet with my body, and a fabulous thing is that you can type your own possessed messages at www.possessedmessage.com 🙂
2013 has been such an interesting year so far. Interesting work, and interesting adventures. I have very happily come back to doing a lot of yoga and the benefits i have been getting from that have been amazing. I have also been teaching and teaching lots of children the joys of going upsidedown.
So what is planned for the rest of the summer… well quite a few wonderful gigs, and a few exciting photoshoots in the next few weeks. And I must mention June because it is going to be AMAZING. My duo ‘Kurve’ are very very lucky to be travelling to Myanmar to perform with Incandescence, i am very very much looking forward to that. And then I must also mention Glastonbury, because I have two new acts I am performing there, I will update my blog at a later date with more info, but I am going to be very very very sparkling, and omg it is going to be AMAZING !!!
Yesterday I took part in the UK Yoga Asana Championships.
5 weeks ago i stood at the reception of Bikram Highbury and Islington, I was asked what optional postures i was going to put into my routine, my reply was along the lines of woah what i’m not even nearly ready to take part this year but i am super wanting to take part next year.
Anyone that knows me knows that when I first did yoga at Bikram Bristol I had this distant aim of one day when i was good enough then participating in the championships. That was back in 2009/10. Then I moved to London and due to having an intense theatre schedule where my body was always knackered and also suffering from a back injury from the theatre i was continuously backbending through… then my Bikram Yoga practice took a bit of a landslide. Fast forward to the end of February 2013, no longer working in the theatre, and a new studio opening near my house, and i excitedly returned to practice. I had bilateral knee surgery this January and at first the standing series was so so hard for me, the heat was also very hard, but it all came back and my practice was soon back to being strong. I hid behind the mirror pillar one session and after pranyama breathing Sindy told me to move to the only available spot which was on the front row. From there was a whirlwind of being encouraged to do the championships, finally entering, and then 5 weeks of solid hard dedication and hard work, combined with my performing and teaching, a big house move, and my dad in hospital.
Going into the championships i had a slightly added pressure of being someone a lot of people thought was going to do very well, but different from them my personal aim was solely to get through my routine. Particularly the first two postures, they are still very fresh to me.
Yesterday was an amazing experience and although my routine didn’t go quite as I planned it to then I took a lot from it. I was so so proud of my five compulsory postures – standing head to knee, standing bow, floor bow, rabbit, stretching pose – when i watch the video of my performance i am a bit like woah i can’t believe how good i did them! I never used to get my head anywhere near my toes in stretching pose but somehow it is now there. Sadly my penultimate posture didn’t go quite as planned, and then my last posture which i did beautifully got zero points as I was over the 3 minute time limit. I have so so much learning still to do and unlike my five week whirlwind I now have a whole year to do it in. I am so excited not only for next years championships but for having a whole year of training in which i can learn to do so many wonderful new things.
Ayesha who won the ladies section, and Michael who won the mens section were both worthy winners. Ayesha did a wonderful routine and has the most inspirational story about her journey to becoming UK champion, and Michael inspires me in every class as he has a beautiful practice. Infact everyone there yesterday was inspirational – from those that overcame their nerves to get up on that stage at all, to those that struck such beautiful postures. Everyone had their own journey and own reason for being there.
Next year I will take part again. And I will complete my routine within 3 minutes and have every posture count! I have a whole year now to kick my body and mind into mighty fine shape. One year be it next year or in the years that follow I’d like to go to LA, that would be really special for me, because it would mean my practice will be so so much better than it is today. I have so much learning to do in my yoga journey, i will be forever learning i think, I am so excited though, as this is the beginning of my journey 🙂
Special thanks to Kai for teaching me and preparing me for championships, to Sindy for plucking me from behind the pillar mirror in beginners that time in March, to Carl and Georgina who if they hadn’t opened Bikram Bristol and also Bikram H&I I wouldn’t have even discovered this path, and to everyone else that has encouraged, inspired, and taught me.
The two pictures below are me performing full wheel and standing head to knee.
Due to hideous amounts of spam messages i have disabled comments for all future blog posts. I have a Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sally-Miller-Flexible-Handbalancer/220748162035 so write any comments there or email me 🙂
I love going to Bikram Yoga, I am also taking part in a yoga championships tomorrow.
The style of yoga i choose to practice and the fact i am participating in a championships goes against a few people’s ‘views’ of yoga, and because i am getting bored of explaining to a few people then I thought i’d do a blog post instead 🙂
If people don’t agree with anything i do then that is up to them, i am not making them participate in my journey, I do not mind if they don’t fully understand it, and everyone is entitled to their opinions, all i want is for people to understand and respect that this is my wonderful journey and i am learning, achieving and enjoying it all so much along the way.
I tried several different types of yoga classes. I went to Bikram yoga because a new studio opened in my city and i was interested in trying a different type of yoga. I believe there are no wrong or right yogas, and that if someone gets a benefit from and/or enjoys whatever type of yoga then that is great 🙂 For me then I went to Bikram yoga and found it was the right yoga for me, so I stick with it. I am always still open to trying any other types of yoga alongside Bikram yoga, I don’t see any other yogas as inferior, i just get along with Bikram yoga very well. The heat helps me, and no it hasn’t caused me to overstretch and get injured, infact quite the opposite, not only is it healing my shoddy knees but it is helping me to get more flexible and is absolutely great for strengthening especially my back muscles and my leg muscles.
The championships tomorrow has judges, and scores, and medals and placings. I understand yoga isn’t about being competitive with others. And in essence although it sounds like a really competitive thing to do as there are judges and medals then actually it is the least competitive competition i think i have ever done. I have done plenty of competitions in my time in many different things, although mainly gymnastics. The yoga championships feels different. It is about showing all i have learnt and achieved, and aiming to do it all as technically correct as i can in this moment in my life. And for me i really like it because to be honest I work really hard and dedicate a lot of time to my practice, and it is like the icing to be able to demonstrate what i have learnt and achieved. I have no idea what will happen on saturday, i may get nervous and fall out of everything, or i may do like i have done in practice and do a good routine of my asanas. What i do know is that only i can control my own routine, and what everyone else does is out of my control, but i hope that everyone else also does their routine well, because i know how much time they will have put into their practice. I will be happy if i complete my routine to the best of my current ability, wherever i place i place. And next year i also want to do the competition and i want to surpass my current abilities, because i have SO much still to learn in my practice, and i am so eager to dedicate time to learning and understanding it. I have also met and made friends with so many wonderful and inspiring people along my journey to taking part in the championships, and for that i am very grateful.
I am also so incredibly inspired right now, by the people i practice alongside, the people i have had the privilege to witness their practice, and from people i have seen on the internet. I have so so much to learn, this is the beginning of my journey and i look forward to the rest of it. Namaste
I am about to move from my current house which has no space to handstand or have a good stretch, into a fabulous warehouse conversion where just outside my bedroom is this amazing training space. I will be living with other performers including handbalancers and bendy people which will also be fun. My actual room is rather small but i think i’ll fit, it’s all about getting the storage system for all my clothes and stuff right! So basically I can train without kicking lightbulbs, wardrobes, chest of drawers, ceilings, walls etc etc, how very exciting!!!!
After deciding i was too addicted to Facebook I decided to have a break from it. I used to go on it on autopilot as soon as the computer got switched on, and wasted endless hours on there. I designated March as my No Facebook month.
It is sad but i would spend hours on Facebook and then would end up comparing my life to everyones amazing news updates i read about and got depressed i wasn’t doing enough, when actually i have this amazing life where i am happy and content. Being single and babyless i also got a bit bored of all the baby pictures and updates that seem to take over 75% of my newsfeed…
I logged out on my computer and deleted the Facebook app from my phone. 10 days in and i was struggling, the temptation to log in was great, all i could think about was what i was missing out on. At the same time it was blissfully refreshing not to have my life being taken over by Facebook. I resisted temptation and didn’t log in. I am now 20 days in and I still haven’t logged in. It is amazing how i now feel like i don’t have to be on Facebook all the time, that it doesn’t matter what the Facebook world is up to because this is MY life here and now, i DO NOT NEED to log into Facebook to live my life happily. I am very grateful for my Facebook break.
I will however be logging in on the 1st April 00:01am. However, I plan to log out after each log in to reduce the autopilot Facebook visits and restrict my time on there, and i am still debating whether to reinstall the app on my phone.
Last week I performed at an event called the Incubator Ball for Ickle Pickles. I performed my handbalance contortion act followed by walkabout handbalance and contortion. (www.icklepickles.org)
Ickle Pickles are a charity that raise money to buy equipment for neonatal baby units, such as incubators. It was a pleasure to perform at their event, and absolutely fantastic news to hear they had raised a massive £18,100!!!
Below are some pictures by photographer Charlie Turner (www.charlieroundturner.com) and some feedback I received from my performances 🙂
“Sally was fantastic.” “We had some brilliant feedback about her performance.” Rachel from Ickle Pickles
I need a new place to live! If anyone knows of anywhere in North London, zone 1/2/3, with a big room for rent then do let me know. I have to move by when my contract runs out, so before the 27th March. x
Back when I lived in Bristol i used to do a lot of Bikram Yoga, i loved it, had unlimited membership and went several times a week. Then i moved to London and due to working on a show for a year then i found it really hard to fit yoga in, and after that then i guess i just never really picked it all up again. Since March 2010 i must have been about 8 times…
A new studio opened earlier this month in Highbury and Islington which is a stones throw away from my house, and it is run by Carl and Georgina who own the Bristol studio. So i purchased the special offer of 30 days for £30, i had to wait a bit before i began to use it because of my knee arthroscopies i had in January, but this week i began practicing Bikram Yoga again 🙂 It will take me a while before i am back to where i want to be, i’m not as good as i used to be at some of the balances yet, i’m used to balancing on my hands not my feet lol. But hopefully with a bit of dedication and focus my practice and form will improve.
For me personally then the benefits i get from Bikram are mainly enjoyment, strength and focus. The standing series is great for my quads, especially right now. The lying series is great for my back strength, very important especially right now where i am on a stretching/contortion intensive training mission and balancing the flexibility with strength is vital. The focus, well i have zilch concentration and so it’s great for making it better 🙂
My main focus’s are the above, and the practice is for my own journey, but maybe i will be also be good enough to enter the Yoga Asana Championship in 2014 🙂
In Bikram then they always seem to say that if you can make it through Bikram Yoga you can cope with anything in life. For me i see it as the other way round, because my life hasn’t been an easy one, and i know that if i have managed to cope with what has happened to me in my life i can get through a Bikram class easy.
This week has been busy.I performed my handbalance contortion act at some wonderful corporate events including for a pharmaceutical company’s annual conference, and for a cirque themed ball.
I took my yr3/4 school gymnasts to our borough school’s gymnastics competition. They had only had one week’s practice at doing and learning the competition routines (as that is the amount of notice given to me), the other schools had had months. My gymnasts all did super, and although they won no medals this time then they did themselves proud with a 7th and 8th place team finish, and one gymnast achieved the top score of the day on the vault. I am very positive that next year these same gymnasts will be winning medals at the same competition. 🙂
Next was the Tekne Annual Festival of Gymnastics. All of the Tekne school groups produced a display routine and all came together to perform their individual displays. There were some wonderful displays 🙂 I was on the microphone presenting the festival, much fun!
And lastly was the London Gymnastics BG Club Conference. A coaching conference that sadly only happens once a year because it was really really excellent. I learnt a lot of new things and it was very useful.
And tomorrow it starts all again with manic monday where unless I have a gig I teach gymnastics all day to some wonderful recreational gymnasts, and in the evening my squad competition groups. Exciting when you have lots of new ideas from the weekend you wish to include, plus the gym where i teach has just invested in some really amazing and exciting new training aids 🙂
Picture of me in the gym doing a ring jump (yes jump not leap…)
Me and Lisa love to train new and exciting moves, we are in the process of creating a brand new fabulous act to compliment our existing fabulous act, partly because we have so many amazing moves not already in our first act, and secondly because we love to get creative.
Here are a few pictures of some of our moves we may include from a training session yesterday 🙂 One of the things we love to do is play make any random shape and i will handstand on it, it creates unique and interesting shapes, away from the generic stuff, the first picture came from doing that and we LOVE it 🙂
(click to enlarge the pictures)
Last year I went to the Vitality Show, and I had such an amazing time I am going to go this year as well.
It is a show at Earls Court all to do with beauty, health, wellbeing etc etc. There is lots to see and do, and last year i picked up lots and lots of freebies as well as purchasing a few discounted things from the stands. I also entered lots of competitions and i didn’t win a car but i did win an awesome bag 🙂
This year I am a Vitality Show 2013 Ambassador. Which means I have an awesome little code that you can enter when booking tickets and get big discounts.
The show runs from 21st-24th March at Earls Court, London. Visit www.vitalityshow.co.uk for more information.
Enter the code AM13 to get £8 tickets weekday, and £10 tickets weekend. Tickets are usually £20.