Student Led Sports Injury and Massage Clinic.

student sports clinic

Despite most of my time being taken up recently with university work and dissertations, I have been spending a lot of time at the Sports Injury and Massage Clinic (it’s basically becoming my second home!) Last June I developed shin splints (the inflammation of the muscles surrounding the shin bone – owch!) and tried to just put up with it but I heard from a friend that sports therapy students provide this service at a discounted price for students so thought I’d give it a go.

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It’s carried out in the Sports Hall balcony at the St John’s Sports Centre with student sports therapists carrying out the sessions, observed and assisted by their lecturers, giving them a chance to practice their skills and provide students with an efficient and affordable service.

 

Clinic Hours:

Monday: 4-6pm (Injury Clinic)

Tuesday: 11-1pm (Massage Clinic)

Tuesday: 4-6pm (Injury Clinic)

Thursday: 2-4pm (Massage Clinic)

Thursday: 4.30-6.30pm (Injury Clinic)

To book an appointment you call 01905 852333, email SportsTherapyClinic1@worc.ac.uk or speak to the reception staff at the Sports Hall.

As I previously said prices are VERY affordable (and I love a bargain!). You pay for a membership for the whole year with students paying £10, staff paying £30 and external people paying £40. Since I’ve joined I’ve been about 7-8 times and need to continue going every week until the end of the year so the price per session is going down and down!!

I’ve been going every week for about 7-8 weeks for sports massage and k-tape, and it’s be so worthwhile. It’s a slow process but I’m very slowly getting back to normal. It’s not a normal massage (so don’t go thinking you’ll drift off into a relaxing trance) it can be a bit painful! But it’s worth it and they know what they’re doing – no pain no gain!

Becoming a Bear: The First (Official) Day of my Internship at Warwickshire CCC

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Although I make jokes about it being the most oddly specific degree course the world has ever seen, I have to be honest:

I love being a Cricket Coaching & Management student.

Not only do I firmly believe that, pound for pound, we are the most successful degree course going in terms of work placements and personal achievements, but being a student on this pathway means that each one of us is one of only 25 (I believe) cricket specific sports students in the country.

This means, in short, that when it comes to cricket clubs looking for students to work for them, we are in high demand. We have a distinct advantage over any other degree course at any other University, because our program is specifically tailored towards getting a job in a cricket-based workplace.

This has come in incredibly handy for me, and, as you may have guessed from the title, on Wednesday I began one of the best experiences of my University career so far.

Thanks to a successful application and interview process set up by Kelvinho, I am spending the entirety of my Summer this year as a Performance Analysis Intern at Warwickshire County Cricket Club.

What does this mean, I hear you ask?

It essentially means that for a number of Warwickshire’s home matches I will get to sit in the best seat in the house at Edgbaston with all the players and coaches, coding what happens every delivery out on the pitch below, and showing the players what has been going on in more detail than they may be able to pick up with the naked eye.

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This includes where each delivery from the bowlers pitches, what shot the batsman played, where the ball went in the field, how many runs they got from it, and any other key events, such as if the ball swung or spun.

Now, I don’t know how many of you reading this will be familiar with performance analysis, or will even like cricket, but let me tell you this: it is a seriously good gig! And watching cricket for 6 hours and noting down on the laptop what happens each delivery as all the dressing room banter flies around certainly beats stacking shelves or sitting on a till all Summer!

And on Wednesday I had my first experience of coding a live day’s cricket…. Well,15 overs of live cricket at least, before Birmingham remembered it was Birmingham and starting tipping it down with rain!

I helped set up the cameras before the day’s play, got all the equipment hooked up in the viewing area, coded the guys’ fifty partnership before the rain set in, and got to know a few of the players and coaches during the 4  hours of rain before the game was called off.

It was a solid first live experience for me, not only because I got to work alongside and get to know high-level International cricketers such as Jonathan Trott and Will Porterfield, but because it set the tone a little bit for my coding for the rest of the Summer….. starting with the first home match against Sussex on the 13th April!

I can’t emphasise enough to current and future students how important it is they take advantage of these opportunities, and I’m sure you’ll all be hearing plenty more about my first season as an Intern with the Bears as the Summer goes on!

Worcester Arena- Home of Disability Sport

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Hello again all!

You may remember in my previous blog about the launch of the arena I talked about a fantastic sport called Inclusive Zone Basketball!

IZB 2Now, this sport is an innovative mix of wheelchair basketball and able-bodied basketball, with the overall goal of being able to get everyone involved, regardless of ability, mobility, agility…. I’ve run out of ility’s, and I’m not sure agility really fits on the end, but you get the picture! It gives everyone a chance to play together, and all involved have a great time!

Well, since I last wrote about this sport, Worcester has once again outdone itself, hosting the Regional Finals of the Inclusive Zone Basketball tournament on the 25th  March!

Having done my IZB/Wheelchair Basketball Officiating Leaders Award the Sunday beforehand, I was lucky enough to be able to volunteer on the day, and it was an absolute peach of a day at that!

Thirteen teams from the local area took part in a round-robin/knockout style competition (one after the other, I IZB 5promise it does make sense!!), and there were some brilliant basketballing performances on display (did anyone spot I made up a word there? pretty cool right?!)! From the start of the day to the very end all schools and teams involved put in a huge amount of effort and really seemed to enjoy themselves, proving that IZB is a real winner of an inclusive sport!

The pictures below illustrate some of the brilliant action that took place at the Regional Finals, and hopefully from this you will be able to see how all involved showed great commitment and passion during the course of the day!

It was an incredibly fun day, yet again showing the University Arena and University of Worcester‘s passion and knack for hosting inclusive sporting events, and I personally cannot wait for the National Finals to take place, once more at our beaaaautiful Arena, on the 7th May!

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P.S. Trainee teachers, coaches, PE Teachers, etc… have a look at the link to IZB up above on the British Wheelchair Basketball website….. it’s a great sport to make sure everyone can get involved if you have access to chairs! :-)

Heading up North with a Mission: the BBL Trophy Final

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Since the University of Worcester Arena opened its doors, I have had the pleasure to be part of the social media team which covers some very exciting sports events there, including the Continental Clash, the Netball Superleague Grand Final, all home games of the Worcester Wolves, amongst many others.

Last Sunday, we had to take our social media work to another level – live coverage of the BBL Trophy Final! We had the mission to deliver excellent real-time coverage and the Wolves had the mission to get that Trophy and bring it to Worcester.

 

Glasgow, here we come!

Glasgow, here we come!

 

Bright and early at 6.30am, the Wolves and University Arena social media team (my lovely colleagues Carly, Corina and myself) and the two coaches of ‘the best fans in the league’, we all headed up north to Glasgow, where our very own Wolves were going to challenge Glasgow Rocks for the BBL Trophy.

Our social media work started minutes after we left Worcester, thinking about how we can spice up Twitter and Facebook before the game. Among us were some of the University’s Wheelchair Basketball players, who went very creative in their preparation for the day – fantastic t-shirts, banners and Wolves masks.

"I'd rather be a wolf than a rock!", said the University of Worcester Wheelchair Basketball team!

“I’d rather be a wolf than a rock!”, said the University of Worcester Wheelchair Basketball team!

After 6 hours of travelling, we were finally at the Emirates Arena, ready to make some noise and see the Wolves get the reward they deserve.

While the fans were making their way to their seats, we headed up to the Press Centre where we picked up our press packs and we set up all laptops and tablets.

Twitter was getting on fire with all the lovely messages from the Wolves’ fans, wishing the team lots of luck and hoping to see them with the Trophy in their hands.

The Emirates Arena was huge and full of people – nearly 6000 basketball fans came to see the clash between the two teams. Despite that the wolfpack was a lot less in numbers, nearly 250 fans, compared to 5000+ Rocks’ supporters, they were ready to shout, jump, support and show their love to the team.

Meet the wolfpack!

Meet the wolfpack!

After a quick slam dunk competition, it was 3pm – time for the court to decide who is going to win. There was only one thing that was clear: both teams came to win – that game was going to be a nail-biter.

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Wolves and Rocks on court

The players were showcasing their great skills, the crowd went crazy and all of us, the photographers, we were going around the courts, trying to get the shots that we wanted to have.

With the advantage of being on their home court, the Rocks took early lead and opened up a 10 point difference in their favour. The Wolves were determined to change this and reduced the difference to six points at half time.

Hungry to win, the third quarter saw Paul James‘ team taking the lead.Will Creekmore and Jamal Williams in action

Will Creekmore and Jamal Williams in action

 

The crowd was getting louder and louder, the atmosphere was buzzing as there was one final quarter that was going to decide who get the Trophy – enough time for a change in the score.

That last quarter saw the Rocks’ fouls mounting. The pressure on the court was more than obvious. More and more fouls, more and more thrive from both teams to get that win.

 

Captain Alex Owumi

Captain Alex Owumi

The game stayed open until the very last seconds. When the final buzzer sounded, the score board was showing 83 points for Worcester Wolves and 76 for Glasgow Rocks.

The wolfpack lifted the roof with happy ‘howls’, Coach James and Assistant Coach Alex Radu couldn’t hide their euphoria and Captain Alex Owumi couldn’t hold his tears. Jamal Williams proved to be the man of the game, getting the award for Most Valuable Player with his 26 points.

Jamal getting his MVP award

Jamal getting his MVP award

The Wolves made history – winning their first silverware since joining the BBL in 2006. The Trophy does the justice to the hard work of the whole team.

Paul James and Alex Radu

Paul James and Alex Radu

The team went to meet and share the happiness with all those dedicated supporters, who were the proudest in the world at that moment. Hugs, kisses, smiles and love was all around in the air.

Celebrations on court

Celebrations on court

The game was over, but our job was at its peak – Wolves and Arena Twitter accounts went absolutely crazy, I don’t think we have ever done so much tweeting, retweeting and favouriting in one day.

As we went on the coach and headed back to Worcester, I opened my laptop and started selecting and editing the first images. Our game was still on and we were up against all other media to release the images and try to recreate what happened minutes ago in the Emirates Arena through pictures.

Now, when you see someone at a service station rushing to go to a spare plug socket to charge their laptop, phone or tablet, it is highly likely that this person is not crazy, but works in social media. That was us – all three crazy ladies, as Carly said, making a beeline to charge our gadgets for the rest of the journey, getting all the strange looks we possibly could get.

Despite that the laptop’s battery died, our phones kept vibrating and the tweets kept coming though until we reached Worcester, about 12.30am.

At the end of that day, there was one thing we could say: both missions successfully accomplished!

Make the most of a long student summer!

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So, it is finally on its way! Creased pairs of shorts making their way out of the backs of wardrobes and giant whole-face-covering sunglasses reappearing can only mean one thing… Summer is on its way!

Now, although we have pretty much the entirety of Spring to go yet, which is not a season without its merits, I have taken it upon myself to think positively in advance, and dedicate a blog to the best ways to spend one of our beautiful three month long (unless you’re teachers or nurses… sorry about that, guys) student summers!

Now, once more speaking as a completely unbiased, purely objective Cricket Coaching and Management student, I can honestly tell you that one of the best ways, if not the best way, to spend a warm Summers day is down at your local cricket ground, enjoying some 6′s raining down in T20′s, some good solid forward defences in 4-Day Cricket, or perhaps even a few of Worester’s own, attempting to break a cricket-based world record

…like I said, completely unbiased!

However, if the greatest sport ever played is not your thing, there are plenty of other (probably more productive) ways to spend your 3 lecture free months. Here’s just a few of them!

Travel to a Far-Away Land Doing Something You Love to Do

If you’re a loyal follower of this blog, which I like to assume you are, but won’t hold against you if you’re not, then you will have already heard some amazing tales from fellow bloggers about work they’ve done at Camp America and in Madagascar.

And if you enjoyed reading about these, or think this sort of thing may take your fancy, then I can assure you there are PLENTY of opportunities to do volunteer or paid work abroad in the subject you love!

In cricket coaching alone opportunities have come up to coach in New Zealand, India, Ghana, South Africa, and Argentina, so why not make the most of your months off and take a look at what is available in terms of volunteering abroad in your subject category?

Student Summer Travel Abroad

 

 

Find A Group of Friends Who Want to be Bored as Little as You and Go on Holiday

Yes, this isn’t Uni related. Yes, this is something you have to pay for and not get paid for. No, this will not help you obtain a further qualification or level of experience for your degree. But yes, it will be ridiculously fun, well worth the money, and a great way to blow off steam post-exams and after a tough academic year!

Seriously, students, you’ve earned the break. Take it! I certainly am, and I, for one, can not wait for my Lake District trip with my best friends after we have all handed in our final assignments of our Second Year!

Further tip: If you can’t afford to go on holiday together, why not each go and stay at each other’s houses in the various places in the country you will undoubtedly be from? Will save money, you’ll get to see each other more, and it will be a great way to experience new places for each of you without having to go somewhere far away!

Student Summer Holiday

Find an Internship or Work Placement in the Industry You Want to Go Into

I have probably harped on about this enough, but I can not explain how useful all of this will be. So once you’ve topped up on your tans and taught English to a group of underprivileged children in an amazing environment, why not look a little closer to home, and see if there are any companies in your area offering placement opportunities that sound intriguing to you, or similar to what you may want to do when you leave Uni?

And if there aren’t any advertised, then why not ask them? It just may be the difference between you getting the job of your dreams after Uni and it going to Barnaby from Cambridge because he spent his Summer wisely!

Student Summer Scholarship

and last but not least…. Try Something New!

This can fall into any of the above categories. See what events are on this Summer near you, and get involved! From helping out backstage at a theatre, to pulling pints at a local festival, to dressing up as the mascot for your local sports team, why not throw yourself head first into something you’ve never done before and see how it goes? Chances are, you will probably like it!*

Student Summer Try Something New: Work Experience

 

* If you don’t, please don’t blame me!! I accept absolutely no responsibility for any bad decisions being made of this nature!

So that sums up my guide to how to take advantage of an incredibly long break from University this Summer! Hopefully one or more of those things will have taken your fancy, and you will start preparing for this Summer well in advance!

 

But if not, no worries! Enjoy the start of the Sun everyone! :-)

 

Ps, here is a really high quality, exclusive behind the scenes picture of my high-tech photo-shoot for this blog!

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University of Worcester Arena hosts THE FIRST EVER British Wheelchair Basketball University Championships!!

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One thing that is always talked about on Open Days and Interview Days for sports students coming to Worcesteter is the amazing facilities we have here at the University.

The University Arena is perhaps the pinnacle of these facilities, as has been highlighted in earlier blogs! It not only provides us with an international standard sporting facility at the University itself, but has allowed for more of a focus on disability sport, becoming the home of the Great Britain Women’s Wheelchair Basketball team, and opening the door for our Sports Coaching Science with Disability Sport degree pathway.

So when this fantastic Arena was first being talked about amongst all us students and members of staff, there was a real excitement about the possibilities it could bring to us as a University, and all the events we could hold in this dazzling new place! (And I mean literally dazzling…have you tried looking at it in the sunlight?!?!)

Well, I am pleased to report to you, ladies and gentlemen, that the Arena has not disappointed… and has already made history, by hosting..

University of Worcester team

University of Worcester team

THE FIRST EVER British Wheelchair Basketball University Championships!!

Now, for those of you who weren’t there, I will do my best to briefly describe to you the events that took place, as I was lucky enough to work as Sheffield Hallam’s team liaison for the majority of the day, and be the announcer for the final!

The inaugural tournament was made up of five universities, with teams from the Universities of: Northampton, Durham, Nottingham Trent, Sheffield Hallam, and… no points for guessing this one… Worcester!

The tournament itself started with a league-based round robin structure, meaning everyone played everyone before the final standings were decided. Then the two bottom placed teams, fourth and fifth, would play each other for a chance to play the first placed team in one semi-final, with the teams that finished second and third facing up in semi-final number two, with these two matches deciding the finalists.

All reaaaally straightforward, right? ;-) Or perhaps I didn’t explain it too well… it made sense on the day, I promise you!!

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Anyway, the first round of the tournament itself was played in a great spirit, with all teams battling hard for that top placed spot that would see them straight through to the first semi-final.

There was a huge range of experiences and abilities on display, from the heroic Sheffield Hallam team who had never played together before this tournament and still ended up finishing third after a disappointing first match, to the Worcester team housing a handful of internationals, including GB women Sophie Carrigill, Jordana Bartlett and Ella Beaumont.

Though this difference in experience was apparent on occasion, it only added to the spirit and feel of the whole tournament, highlighting one of the main features that makes University Wheelchair Basketball so great: the inclusive nature allowing both able-bodied and disability players to take part.1653698_758590110840383_247216968_n

The entire day was full of not only extraordinary amounts of athleticism and skill on display, but great sportsmanship, team work and determination as well, with more than one instance of competitive banter on the court being hugged out post-match.

It was a great advert not only for the University Arena, proving itself more than capable of hosting such a big event, but for British Wheelchair Basketball on the whole, displaying some of the sport’s finest athletes and qualities in a fiercely-fought tournament.

Once 4 o’clock came round and all the round-robin matches had been played, and the semi-finals contested, there were only two matches left to decide who got their hands on the first ever University Championship medals:

The third place play-off between Durham and Sheffield Hallam, and the grand final, between Worcester and Nottingham Trent.

1781907_758595517506509_1261582798_nWith both matches being played simultaneously on parallel courts, there was a phenomenal amount of talent and great viewing on display for the spectators, and after four quarters of sheer grit, the medalists were decided!

Third place went to the inexperienced but determined Sheffield Hallam, with commiserations to Durham and Northampton, who both narrowly missed out on their third place medals and were fantastic all day.

Second place went to Nottingham Trent, who had a brilliant tournament, beating all teams but Worcester, and showing an incredible amount of skill in some close matches earlier on in the day.

Which means… First place went to…. The University of Worcester!! Who had demonstrated a huge amount of team spirit and heart all day, with five different scorers in the final alone!1653926_758589190840475_1843915291_n

Once all of these places had been decided and the dust had settled, the medals ceremony took place, and some final pictures were taken not only of the award-winning teams, but all participants who had made history by taking part in the inaugural University Championships.

It marked a great end to an even better day, showcasing not only what Wheelchair Basketball and our University Arena are all about, but exactly why BUCS need to take this event on in years to come as well!…. hint hint!

*Photos courtesy of Paul Beard

6 Unexpectedly Entertaining Things to do as a Worcester University Student

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The average Worcester University student, teachers and nurses aside (see Becki’s blogs about all her lectures and placements!), spends between 8 and 16 hours in lectures a week.

This leaves A LOT of free time.

Now, if you are on the more sensible end of the student spectrum, which I like to think most of you are, you will certainly fill some of this time with a bit of extra reading or assignment work…. and not just on the weeks before the assignments are in! ;-)

You may also use this time to get a part time job. Very beneficial, very handy to bring some money in, and you may even make some intriguing observations as you work!

However, even with all these important, guilt-removing activities being taken into consideration, you will still find yourself wondering what on earth to do with yourself from time to time.

So, as a cricketer used to counting in 6′s, here is a list of  six of my favourite things to do as a Worcester uni student that you may not already be aware of, or have done yourself yet! :-)

1. Pear Tree Karaoke – Friday Nights

Oh yeah. I went there. Karaoke. But this is not Karaoke as you know it from your holidays to Majorca with the family back in the day.

This is a bunch of incredibly entertaining, usually completely diabolical students, gathering in the pear tree, having a few drinks with their friends, and delivering heartwarmingly atrocious renditions of everything from Spice Girls, to Five, to Frank Sinatra.

Cheap evening/night out with your friends, and a really good laugh.

Oh, and here’s a video of me, my housemate Tipa, and fellow blogger C-Lo murdering a Bob Dylan classic!

2. Riley’s

Riley’s Bar and Snooker Club, just a few minutes walk away from Shrub Hill Station and ASDA, is brilliant for a few cheap games of pool with a friend, or group of friends!

You can become a student member and pay the reduced rate of £4.00 an hour, or £8.00 for two hours (occasionally with a third free), for any pool table there. On top of this, they also show live sports, and have snooker tables as well. It’s pretty good fun!

3. Bowling!

bIt’s been a children’s birthday party stalwart since we were all little, and it is certainly going strong in Worcester still!

MFA Bowl just off of Bromyard Road in St John’s charges a ridiculously cheap £2.00 a game for student bowling, and although cheesy and old school, it is still a very entertaining way of spending some social time with your friends!

4. Worcester Wolves Games

I’ve mentioned them before, and I have absolutely no shame in mentioning them again! When the Wolves are in town on a Friday night, there is no better place to be in the city!

Live professional sports for only £5.00 per student ticket, and a guaranteed couple of hours of adrenaline rushing entertainment. What’s not to love?

5. Picnics and Fun at Cripplegate Park!

When it isn’t completely underwater, and more suited to rowing than tennis or other summer sports, Cripplegate Park is a lovely place to just hang out with your friends in the sun.c

Last Summer my flatmates and I made a habit of going to Cripplegate Park and having picnics, playing a bit of cricket, and just generally enjoying a bit of warm weather, and it certainly passed the time well, without costing us much at all!

6. Productions at Malvern Theatre

I was lucky enough to be bought tickets to see Blood Brothers at Malvern Theatre (good effort Becki!), and it was absolutely fantastic.

If you, or any of your friends or flatmates have a car, be sure to check out all the different productions that are put on at Malvern Theatre, as it is a lovely way to spend an evening taking your mind off of work in a completely different environment!

So there we have it! A list of 6 entertaining but cheap things I hope you all use wisely to fill your free time at University! Enjoy!

How Yoga can help your student life!

Mermaid pose : )

I never thought I would write this, but here I am – I love yoga and even having just 2 months of practice I can see some positive changes already happening, especially when I talk about studying.

Before I had the wrong idea of it in my head, after watching a weird TV programme, which now I know had nothing to do with the reality.

Now that I am practicing it, I know that it is not about touching your toes (something you eventually achieve after regular practice), it is about working on yourself, controlling your body and learning how to concentrate and making sure that you are focusing on what is important at that particular moment.

I went to my first yoga class after one of my friends visited and she said it was amazing and I would love it. First I was a bit skeptical, but once the session started, it was something like ‘love at the first sight’.

After a while, I actually realised it helps me do well in my studies too, so I want to share “my revelation” with you guys. Here are my  discoveries – how yoga can help you in your studies:

Stress Relief

My ‘university days’ include some of the best moments in my life, but being a student can be stressful at times. Juggling full-time studying, working on assessment and preparing for exams, alongside with part-time work and a tiny bit of social life (recently job hunting joined the list too) can easily make one stressed, tired, even anxious.

Practicing yoga helped me to cope with these feelings, as the breathing techniques and the precision and focus needed for certain yoga poses allow me to enjoy some time away from everything that happens outside the yoga studio. 

That was a bit of a challenge: Inverted Lotus

That was a bit of a challenge: Inverted Lotus

Get this body moving

Studying late, spending half-day at lectures and half-day at work, as well as reading time in the library have significantly reduced the time that I can spend on exercising.

At the end of last month I said that this semester, no matter what, I will find more time for yoga, other classes in the gym and work hard towards completing my personal training programme. #

Yoga is something that I can do at home easily and when I take breaks from studying I try to do some poses to get the blood and oxygen in my body circulate better. As a result, I have improved my flexibility, body balance and I am still working on my strength and endurance.

My little guide to yoga, when I can't attend the classes.

My little guide to yoga when I can’t attend the classes.

Focus

Some of the challenging poses in yoga require 100% concentration. If I don’t breathe properly and I’m not focused, I will most probably fall down.  I learnt how to focus quickly and block any other thoughts, which really helps me with assignments and exams. 

When I was sitting in the Sports Hall for my PR exam a couple of weeks ago, literally minutes before its start, everything that I knew just disappeared from my head. Without panicking I remained calm, focused, took a couple of deep breaths which we do in the classes, and within a seconds it all came back. The exam result – A!

I need 2 more A-s and hello First Class degree!!!! : ) 

It would not have been interesting if I could do everything.. nearly managed to do King Pigeon pose

It would not have been interesting if I could do everything.. nearly managed to do King Pigeon pose

Last but not least, I want to give credit to the amazing yoga teacher that I have the pleasure to learn from, Veronique, who has always been very supportive, excellent in explaining and advising her students. Great teachers are born to be such and she is one of them!