Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

Yoga teacher training

Sunday, November 15th, 2020 | Life

I was planning to do yoga teacher training with my local studio. Unfortunately, I held off to see what was happening with COVID as I didn’t really want to do it online, and by the time lockdown ended the course was full. So, I enrolled with the Yoga and Ayurveda Center which was online, but so affordable that I thought if it’s rubbish, I can just do the training with my local studio and I haven’t lost much.

As it happens, the course was great.

They have spent the money in the right places. The video quality isn’t perfected or edited down to a T. But there are about ten hours of contact time with tutors every week. And I would much rather interact, learn and practice teach over Zoom than have fancy transitions and perfect lighting in the video lectures.

In fact, there was so much contact time that I could often pick and choose what type of class I wanted to attend. With the lunch time ones (early morning in the US) I often had one-to-one attention with the tutor, or if I wanted a larger group to practice teach to, I could go to the evening groups.

Steph and her team have put together an excellent programme and it was wonderful to be a part of it.

Edplx review

Tuesday, September 29th, 2020 | Life

I received an unsolicited email from Edplx telling me I should sell my courses on their platform. They claim that the average instructor earns £2,000 per month. Are they legitimate? I don’t have an inside view, but my guess is not and here are my reasons.

They claim to be a reputable company. But there is no such company registered in the UK.

Next, all of their courses seem to have 600 to 1,200 students. That seems odd. I would normally expect a wider distribution with newer courses only having a few sales and some high sellers having much higher numbers. But they all seem to fall into that band.

And yet, every single course I checked had 0 reviews.

Also, it’s weird they have so many students and yet only three people like their Facebook page.

That is three more people than follow them on Twitter which, at time of writing, has zero followers. They have links to Instagram and YouTube on their website, too, but these just link to the respective homepages and I couldn’t find any evidence they have an account on these platforms.

They claim to have millions of customers every day but I ran their website through SimilarWeb and they said they have insufficient traffic to even rank them.

It’s not possible to evaluate the courses as they do not provide video previews, in either a trailer format or letting you preview any of the lessons. Are the courses on there real? I have no way to tell.


I believe that Edplx is a scam.

Introductory Human Physiology

Saturday, August 29th, 2020 | Life

I recently completed Introductory Human Physiology. It is the second physiology course I have taken and it was pretty difficult. There is so much to human physiology that the courses do not have much overlap.

For example, I have also done a bunch of courses in diet and nutrition. But we did very little on metabolism in this course. Instead, we were treated to a deep dive on how the kidneys make urine. I did nail one module, the nervous system, thanks to my biopsychology background, which I think is the only exam I achieved 100% on the first attempt. But I got through them all in the end.

Anyway, now that I have studied physiology, I guess this makes me a physician?

Kirkstall Valley Nature Reserve

Monday, August 10th, 2020 | Life

The official map of Kirkstall Valley Nature Reserve has about two paths on it and there are way more. So, I did my best to run most of them.

You can see a proper map on Strava.

I’m renaming Covidman

Thursday, July 23rd, 2020 | Life

Back in March, I announced Covidman self-supported triathlon to train for while everything else was cancelled. It took a back seat during GVRAT and would have been replaced by Dalesman if it had not been cancelled two weeks after being announced. But now it’s back on.

With one tweak, however. I’m changing the name. Covidman made sense back in March as a symbol that through all of the changes we had to make to keep people safe, we were still going to enjoy life and do what we love.

But the British government hasn’t kept people safe. Excess deaths have now reached over 60,000. It is one of the worst death rates in the world. And, in that light, the name Covidman seems too lighthearted for such a tragic situation. So, I’m renaming it Woolenman in honour of Leeds’s history.

Engineering Health

Friday, May 22nd, 2020 | Life

I recently completed Engineering Health: Introduction to Yoga and Physiology with New York University.

It is a good overview of the health benefits of yoga. Yoga does not have any magical properties, but what it does have is a bunch of stuff bundled together. Things we know that allow us to live healthier and happier, like exercise, strength, flexibility and mindfulness. All wrapped up in a single package that is easy to consume.

Nutrition, Exercise and Sports

Thursday, May 7th, 2020 | Life, Sport

As well as the courses on macronutrients and micronutrients, I’ve also been doing a course on sport nutrition with Wageningen University. I’ve finished the course and am on track for a final grade of 92%, but even though I’ve submitted everything, the grades do not get finalised until the summer.

Micronutrients and Malnutrition

Wednesday, May 6th, 2020 | Life

Earlier in the year, I completed a course on Micronutrients and Malnutrition with Wageningen University. I made it through the exams pretty quickly, but the coursework has to go through a long marking process, so I’ve been waiting for my grade for quite a while.

Thankfully, it has finally arrived, and my overall mark is 92%. which is a pass, obviously.

Completing this also unlocks my combo bonus. This and Macronutrients & Overnutrition course form part of the Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health qualification, which I have also now completed.

Stanford Introduction to Food & Health

Tuesday, May 5th, 2020 | Life

I’m officially a Stanford University graduate. I even have a certificate saying so. Sort of. It says “this is not the same as being a real student on campus!” at the bottom, but otherwise is pretty much says that.

I started the Introduction to Food & Health course last year. It was interesting, but not very science-heavy, hence I moved onto other qualifications such as the ones from Wageningen. For people looking to eat healthier and more interesting in improving their diet than understanding metabolic processes, this is a great course.

Coronavirus: A review so far

Sunday, March 22nd, 2020 | Life

Let’s review where we are so far. 2020 is a write-off, so I am going to attempt to summarise what has gone wrong.

First, a bunch of people are dead. Sure, so far, many more people are dying of regular flu, cancer, heart disease, the effects of global warming, and capitalism. But those are everyday deaths that we’re used to. This is something new.

Also, a lot of people are ill and having a bad time. Many of the rest of us are torturing ourselves with anxiety because we are unable to switch off the news.

There is no toilet paper or paracetamol. In fact, many supermarket shelves are empty. There is no rice, pasta, bread, tinned food or a wide range of other items. God help you if you don’t have a stockpile of hand wash, and even if you have some ibuprofen, nobody knows if it is safe to take it anymore.

The government says get your groceries delivered, but here is the availability when I checked:

  • Sainsbury’s: no delivery slots at all
  • Morrisons: no delivery slots for 3 weeks
  • Ocado: no delivery slots for 3 weeks
  • Waitrose: no delivery slots for 2 weeks

We’re not allowed to see our friends. Social gatherings are discouraged. Social activities and hobbies are cancelled. We’re deprived of human contact. We all have to work from home, and every company is finding out their VPN can’t handle the load after all.

Nobody is buying anything and so businesses are going bankrupt. That means people are losing jobs. Other companies are terminating people before it comes to bankruptcy.

All the schools and nurseries are closing, meaning that most people cannot go to work and are either having to take unpaid leave (possibly for up to six months!) or losing their job. Nurseries cannot afford to lose fees, so they’re charging parents for childcare they’re not providing.

All holidays are cancelled as borders close. Some people are stuck elsewhere.

All participatory sport is cancelled. Pools and gyms are closing. Running club, triathlon club, cycling club have all suspended activities indefinitely. All of our races are getting cancelled as far as June. Almost nobody is talking about a refund. Which is a big deal when Ironman are charging £400 per head.

All professional sport is cancelled. The Giro is “postponed”, but where else are you going to fit a three-week cycling race? Football is cancelled, even though Leeds are at the top of the league. F1, triathlon, marathons, ice hockey, everything is cancelled or postponed. Everything we look forward to relaxing with is gone.

Even the misery of being stuck at home is being made more miserable by the EU demanding Netflix reduce streaming quality to “help the internet cope”. And no Eurovision!

On the bright side

So far, it’s been pretty rubbish. But there are good things, too.

People are following social distancing advice and going out less. The roads are quiet. Fit, young people who have little to lose personally are still mostly staying at home to protect vulnerable people.

People have been getting together on video chats for pub nights and virtual group rides on Zwift.

Supermarkets are creating thousands of jobs as they try to keep up with demand.

It turns out we can work from home and that those meetings were not necessary. It’s too late to put the genie back in the box.

The Conservative government have turned out to be raving socialists.

There has been a significant reduction in pollution as planes stop flying and cars stop driving. Dolphins have returned to the canals of Venice.

Corona beer is available for large discounts.

Summary so far

Not the 2020 we all wanted. But we can get through this together. I mean, together as long as we maintain at least two-metres distance. And it may change society for the better.

Of course, in the UK, we’re really just at the start of things. I may be writing another blog post in eight weeks saying “why did I try to put a brave face on things; everything is burning!” Or, I may write nothing, because I am dead.

But until then, stay strong and see you soon.