Review: 5 Weeks of Gentle Yoga
Having been a competitive dancer before I started my degree I had always disregarded the idea of starting regular Yoga classes because I'd managed to retain my flexiblility and core strength. At the end of the day- that's what Yoga was all about anyway right? - wrong!A few weeks ago I came to realise my perception of Yoga, what it was and who it's for, came mostly from what I see on Instagram and glossy magazines- young, supple athletes contorting themselves into strange positions in a variety of picturesque settings.
What I also came to realise was that for whatever reason I was going through a period of stress which was starting to give me physical pain. A few friends, the Internet and a good new-joiner offer on my local studio pointed me in the direction of taking up 5 weeks of Gentle Yoga.
My studio specifically offers a 'Gentle’class which is for everybody including beginners and experts. I chose this class because it focuses on the power of Breath, meditation and continuous flowing movements, rather than pushing your body to its limits. When you come out of this class you should feel relaxed and rejuvenated.
I must also add that because of my Brain Tumour I have found that I get quite severe postural hypertension (that feeling of lightheadedness when you stand too quickly) so I do get up much slower than others an often have to bend over again! My balance also is not what it used to be, but any good Yoga instructor will be able to offer you a variety of options to take when it comes to holding a pose. I can also promise that nobody will think anything of you taking a tumble- we're all there for the same purpose!
I can now say that after 5 weeks of doing this class I am feeling less stressed, less physical pain especially in my back and more Well. Yoga teaches you to be more perceptive to the way your body is feeling, physically and mentally and then to channel that through breath and movement. For example if you've come into the class feeling stressed, you spend a bit of time recognising it's physical impact as you lay still on the floor. As you start the session and focus on connecting the body and the mind with breath, relaxation takes over and you instantly notice the change in the way your body feels.
I would best describe Yoga as one big, deep inhale and exhale for the soul. The more you do it the deeper you will relax and this has the brilliant side effect of enhancing physical flexibility. Of course, as always there's the option to lay still on the floor for the whole session. If there's anything that is uncomfortable you can simply assume child’s pose.
If you'd like to learn more about Yoga then visit the NHS page here.
By 2020 I am aiming to have raised £5000 for The Brain Tumour Charity to help #FindACureSooner and ensure continued support and readily available resources for patients and families of those who have Brain Tumours. Please click on the link and donate, if all of my readers donated £1 I would have met my target already! https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/moneyforbrains