Ramadan Mubarak

The Holy month of Ramadan has arrived and we have already kept fast 1 of 30, and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. As Muslims fasting is one of the 5 Pillars of Islam and is compulsory for all Muslims as soon as they have hit adolescence, however if you are ill, pregnant or breast feeding, you are exempt and in most cases you have to make these fasts up.

I’ll be honest I wasn’t particularly looking forward to it this year, as I’ve had a break for a few years due to being pregnant and breast feeding. The days are much longer and we have to to fast from sunrise to sunset. The first few days are the hardest, but my body soon adjusts and I just get along with it.

My children aren’t old enough to fast yet, but eldest who is 8 years old has kept half fasts, which we let him do on the weekends. It was totally his own choice and think its a good thing, it will help him prepare for when he has to keep a full fast and also it shows to me that he is aware of what Ramadan is and what it stands for.

This year I decided to go the extra mile and put a few decorations and hand make my children a Ramadan advent calendar. I filled up the calendar with a little treat and something for them to do each day, this could either be a good deed, activity or something to learn. So far its been a big hit and I will definitely keep doing it every year.

 

We break our fast at Iftar with a glass of water and a date and then pray our Magrib namaz. After we eat a simple but delicious meal, for me this something which I would normally eat, occasionally I will have a treat. But during Ramadan you shouldn’t really eat more than you would normally eat, the aim isn’t to lose weight, but you certainly shouldn’t gain a lot of weight. I honestly am stuffed after my water and date and then its not long before we have to up again for Sehri (breakfast).

Ramadan for me is a time where I like to reflect on my life, spend time with my children and family, think about those who are less fortunate than me and help those I can. It’s a real test of faith and patience, and I definitely need a lot of patience, I’m also not very much fun when I’m hungry! lol

It will be a very quite month for me in terms of blogging, but please follow me on Snapchat and Instagram to see what I’m getting up this Ramadan. I would love to hear what you guys did to prepare for Ramadan, let me know!

Ramadan Kareem to you all, please remember me and family in your duas this blessed month.

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I’m addicted to Bikram Yoga!!!

I was never as active in the past as I am now, I used to go to the gym before I got married, then stopped. I guess life just got in the way. I never really started exercising again until after I had my second child, which is when I started to go to bootcamp in my local park after a  friend had recommended it. I loved bootcamp, it was just up my street, outdoors, group exercise and it was fun. This was the one thing I actually stuck to doing and I even started personal training sessions with the same instructor. I continued with bootcamp and PT through out my next two pregnancies, and I really do believe it helped with my pregnancies during and after, and generally I felt healthier and better within myself. I do recommend that you only exercise while pregnant if you have been active before and never start something new while pregnant.

Fast forward to now, I have moved so no longer go to bootcamp and have PT sessions with the same trainer, which I do really miss. But, not to worry I have found myself a new PT and also a Boxercise class which I love doing. Just as I got comfortable, a friend suggested that we try out Bikram yoga, curious I thought why not. I had done yoga in the past and not really found it challenging or enjoyable to be honest. However, Bikram Yoga is different, it is a series of 26 Hatha yoga postures (Asanas) and breathing exercises (Pranayamas). It is performed in a room approximately 40°C (105 degrees) and an average humidity of 40%. The classes suitable for all ages and ability and each class is 90 minutes long. We chose to go to Bikram Yoga Essex and what was even better about this place was that they were offering and introductory offer for new comers, where you pay £35 for 30 days unlimited yoga. This was a bargain as each class if you paid individually was £15, so even if we only went twice or three times, we had got our monies worth straight away.

So we booked up our first class, all excited and not knowing what to expect, turned up nice and early and was greeted by a lovely receptionist who talked us through how it all worked, what to expect and got us to do some paper work. armed with our yoga mats, towels and water, we made our way into the studio, laid down our mats and waited patiently for the class to start. Somehow we managed to stay in the studio for the whole 90 minutes, which is highly recommended, so that your body gets used to the heat and also its not good to expose your body to hot and cold. I also managed to do all 26 postures, well at least one set of them, I won’t lie I did burn myself out 60 minutes in as I was trying to do too much too soon. But as soon as the class was over, I was so relieved it was over but also really proud of myself for trying something new and making it through the whole 90 minutes. It’s not the most glamorous thing to do, as you come out smelly and drenched in sweat, but it is is definitely satisfying. In my first month I tried to go at least twice a week, as like the title suggests, I became addicted and felt rubbish if I didn’t go and missed a session. I have become so obsessed that I have now signed up for whole year membership, which I got a discount of 20% on, they offer this to you if you want to stay on and continue. If anyone wants to try something different and not so demanding on your body physically, I would highly recommend bikram yoga, give it a try and let me know what you think.

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