An introduction to yoga
Posted on January 23 2020,
Hello! If you're reading this, you have either shown interest in coming to my classes or have some interest in yoga or exercise. Regardless, welcome to my yoga blog! These will be coming to you on a monthly basis.
My name is Abi and I am a Physiotherapist by background. I realised the benefits of yoga practice many years ago when life got very busy and I needed something to help me de-stress and feel more equipped to deal with the drama that is life. Since then, I have dedicated thousands of hours to the practice and trained as a yoga teacher. The effects have been quite profound; I have become more calm and collected and noticed positive changes in my physical body.
Please read on if you'd like to find out how yoga can guide you to better health and well-being and what you can expect from my online yoga classes.
So what IS yoga exactly?
Yoga as most people know it today is a form of movement and exercise that can be used to enhance health through physical poses, purposeful breathing and mental focus. It is mostly known to improve one’s flexibility... I have patients asking me all the time, “Shall I do Yoga to help with my stiff muscles?” Don’t get me wrong, yoga will help you improve your flexibility, but this is just a side effect, not the main intention!! In my opinion, yoga is one of the best ways to help you to move well, through larger ranges of motion and different planes of motion. But it is so much more than that and I must do it justice!
So, without getting too philosophical, let me just explain…
According to ancient Yogic texts such as The Yoga Sutras written by Patanjali at some point between 100BCE and 100CE, yoga is defined as Citta Vrtti Nirohdhah (Sanskrit language). Citta means Mindstuff, Vrtti means Thoughts and Nirohdhah means Restraint. Essentially, yoga is about channelling the fluctuations of the mind. Just imagine your brain as a lake and your plethora of thoughts as algae underneath the water's surface. This algae distorts and obstructs your view of what is really below the surface. You can’t see clearly. Through the discipline and instruction of yoga, one can clear the messy algae and see more clearly through the depths of the lake.
If these ideas seem a bit far fetched, don’t worry, I will not preach any longer. But just remember, yoga is the practice of bringing the body and mind to stillness in order to see things clearly.
Could you do with some of this in your busy, hectic life?
How can yoga help YOU?
I teach a down-to-earth, light hearted yoga class, which has a particular focus on traditional alignment (I am a Physio after all). I can therefore assure you that you will be led through a sequence that is safe, but challenging at the same time. I will teach you to think about movement in an intelligent way, focussing on mobility, stability and strength. I teach a type of yoga called Vinyasa Flow - meaning that it is quite dynamic . We won’t spend more than 10-20 seconds in any pose, apart from relaxation at the end (yay). For any of you experienced yoga students, do not worry, I’ve got lots of tricks up my sleeve to keep you feeling challenged! I incorporate themes to my classes to ensure there is a clear focus. Over time and with some commitment and effort, you will develop a better understanding of the different elements of yoga practice. Most importantly, you will become more balanced, mobile and adaptable in your life (physically and mentally!)
If you would like help to clear the algae and chaos, don't hesitate to get in touch.