I like trying new things which is why last night I stepped into my very first Yoga class. A friend recently visited Thailand and told me that trying Yoga was one of the best experiences she’s had and that it was ridiculously beneficial to her mind and body.
But was yoga for me?
Walking in the leisure centre, a dubious look on my face I saw 2 girls carrying mats, and followed them, hoping to go unnoticed in to a very dark room. Lit only with the luminous light of electric heaters, I was greeted by Chris the instructor a lovely, welcoming host. After spending a few minutes filling in forms it was time to hit the mat.
Going alone to a class is daunting but luckily for me, everyone was welcoming and pleasant. An inviting lady offered me the mat next to her and we started discussing the class. She explained how she’s been attending weekly and has done for the last year but even she still needs to watch the instructor. Yoga isn’t easy. She said it’s normal to forget what you’re doing and the poses you’ve learnt, but with regular attendance, it inevitably gets easier.
Breathe Deeply, Sink Into The Mat…..
After a few minutes it was easy to see why so many people turn to yoga in times of need. The relaxation, not just for your body, but for your mind too, leaves a warm, whole feeling of peace throughout. Leaving me with a positive and uplifting auora.
At the end, Chris got us lying on our mats and encouraged us to control our breathing, for a peaceful meditation to finish the class. With every breath I took I could feel my body sinking further and further into the floor. It was one of the most relaxing 5 minutes I’ve ever had.
Yoga is still exercise
To the unaware, Yoga seems like a lot of standing/sitting around breathing. But it’s not. Yoga is an effective method of body weight training, flexibility training, and even low intensity cardio, believe me when I say it’s enough to make you sweat. Holding stretches and poses is really beneficial for your flexibility and you can feel it working deep in your muscles.
Yoga is not just for women
I’m not sure why, but it was surprising turning up to a male instructor. That may be very sexist and ignorant of me, but for some reason, I always thought of it as more of a “woman’s workout”. In reality, it’s really not. Men should definitely consider doing yoga. Most men I know can’t even touch their toes let alone stretch properly with their palms to the floor. So they’d really be benefitting from a few sessions.
Let it go..
Yoga is all about letting go, letting go of all the stress, letting go of all the muscle tension and relaxing. It’s very common when you’re beginning to grit your teeth and clench your muscles until you’re more used to the positions. I discovered after a while the less I try and clench, the easier every pose seemed to be and you shouldn’t be trying to push your body harder than what it can do. In truth, you should only try something if you feel comfortable doing it otherwise you could injure yourself.
Have you ever been to Yoga? What do you do to relax? Let me know in the comments…