Forgive me. I know I’ve been shockingly lax about blogging but hopefully you’ll forgive me and I’ll get back into the swing of things.
Anyway it was recently brought to my attention that Saturday is National Iyengar Yoga Day and any excuse to talk about yoga is a good one.
I’ve dabbled with yoga on and off for a good few years now. I’ve been taking it more seriously since I developed knee issues. I need to strengthen the muscles around my knees without doing high-impact exercise. Perfect. The only problem I have with yoga is that I can’t do it enough. I long to be the person who leaps out of bed and performs sun saluations before stepping into the shower. I can’t think of a better way to start my day but I love my bed too much.
I could wax lyrical for hours about why yoga is so good for everyone but I’ve decided to boil it down to five points.
1. My own, personal reasons.
I spend most of my working day (and plenty of time at home) hunched over a desk staring into a computer screen so anything that creates movement and flexibility in my spine has to be a good thing. Also it’s an hour where I categorically am NOT staring at some kind of screen. During a yoga class I somehow block out all other noise and distractions.
2. Everyone can do yoga.
Able bodied people, those with physical disabilities, the elderly, the pregnant and so on. If there’s something you can’t do any yoga teacher worth their salt will be able to give you an alternative pose. Everyone is different and has different abilities. My 5″10, athletic, size 10 friend can’t touch her toes while I can get my hands flat on the floor. At the same time there are other poses I can’t complete because my legs aren’t long enough. We’re all different but there’s no competition.
3.It’s so good for you.
Honestly, there is a reason it’s been practised for thousands of years. There are the obvious benefits of strenthening and lengthening your muscles but yoga does so much more than that. It builds bone density to help ward off fractures and osteoperosis, helps lower blood pressure and provides digestive relief. Even the regulated breathing can help those with asthma.
4. Get what you want out of it
There are plenty of different types of yoga to choose from so you sound easily find something to suit you. I love both Hatha Yoga – gentle, flowing yoga that helps to loosen you up – and Iyengar Yoga which focuses on the posture and getting it right. If you want something a bit more active then try Ashtanga or power yoga which requires constant movement and is quite demanding. To work up a real sweat Bikram yoga is practised in a very heated room.
5. Me time
Although yoga is no longer associated with the brown rice-eating, sandal wearing crowd it is good for the mind body and soul. In variable I come out of a yoga classes feeling an inch taller and that a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders.
Give It A Try
As anyone can tell you there are yoga classes available just about everywhere these days – a quick Google will show you that. If you fancy a taster session then to celebrate National Iyengar Yoga Day there are free classes all over the place.
Check out the website here for classes around Northern Ireland
If you want to start looking into yoga classes proper the below are two excellent places to go. These are proper yoga teachers who have been practising for years, not just someone who’s done a class online.