Yoga Is For Lovers

Monday, April 15, 2013

One of my 2013 healthy intentions is to practice yoga once a month.  It might not seem like very much, but I don't think I have done yoga more than a dozen times in my life.  I am usually drawn to high cardio/high impact classes.  That must be my way of releasing nervous energy.  However, every time I try yoga or Pilates, I leave feeling calm, centered, and a little taller.

I visited Frame Shoreditch for Vinyasa Flow yoga last week.  I have attended one of teacher Naomi's classes before (Yin Yang) and really enjoyed both of her classes.  Most of the members in Vinyasa were younger than me and seemed to be experienced yogis.  I gathered this as they knew what the poses are as she said them (she was very pregnant and not able to demonstrate every move) and these ladies were flexible! (Which reminds me of a Frame poster advert- 'Take yoga. He'll love you for it.')  Me? I am not so flexible even though I try to stretch out for 5 minutes after each workout.  I have crap knees (patellar maltracking) that grind.  So I keep yoga blocks handy in case my body doesn't go where I want it to.

Having become more serious with running and committing to many races this year, I feel yoga will be a good complementary practice.  Good Vibes Covent Garden offers a Yoga For Runners and Cyclists class each month.  Clare Dobson leads these classes and offers practical movements for those used to being on the road rather than the mat.  She should know what is best to loosen the bits that tighten up (such as hip flexors) as she is also a triathlete.

Some people "don't do yoga." I tell people new to indoor cycling to try it 5 times before you decide if you love it or hate it.  People should do the same with yoga.  There are so many different types and styles of yoga, it might take a few tries to find the one you enjoy.  As I have found, with each class you will pick up on new terms and be able to reach farther or hold a pose longer.  Practicing regularly might also help you relax or feel a little calmer.  Surely there must be a reason why yoga teachers tend to be chilled out, smiley and full of love.  Who wouldn't want to be relaxed and smile a little more?

Most studios offer a free class to new comers, or amazing introductory packages.  Local community areas might offer affordable classes too.  Be sure to bring a towel and water to class.  Wear a top that is a little fitted so it will stay in place if you bend over.  You will probably be barefoot, so get a pedi in prep for a new experience.

Let me know how you get on with yoga by leaving a comment below.

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