On Sunday, I had my first ever yoga session, thanks to Holly at Yoga Hero and my friend Louise from Independent Leeds who organised the event. It was all really exciting, and as I haven’t ever tried yoga, I couldn’t wait to learn more about it and just embrace whatever was coming my way.The session was all about the uplifting Ashtanga yoga, which is the flow from one pose to another and essentially led by your breathing. It’s said to be very good for enhancing your strength and flexibility.
Holly explained that Ashtanga literally translated into ‘eight limbs’ and stood for the eight key elements that led to fulfilment, and by practicing the poses regularly as well as challenging yourself, you were on a journey to unlocking your fullest potential on the levels of human consciousness – physical, psychological and spiritual.
Another thing Holly reinforced was the fact that being challenged kept you humble, and I really liked that thought. The first sun salutations that we had learnt, Surya Namaskara B, are all extremely good poses for stress-relief, and follow a set sequence based on when you inhale and exhale. The warrior poses, Virabhadrasana, were definitely a lot more challenging that I had expected. My favourite though was the hip opener known as the child pose or Balasana which is perfect to release the tension in the hips that we get from sitting down all day.In the session, we also had an extremely relaxed five minutes where we led down with a blanket and a bean bag over our eyes, and just switched off. Holly came around and helped us relax further by pointing out to us individually which parts of the body weren’t fully relaxed. Mine for example was the shoulders, and with a soft push, I noticed just how tense they were before.
We also used the yoga strap, something I had never heard of, and is a method of flushing out the build up of toxins from your feet, and in doing so, helps you feel more energised and revitalised. It was very simple and just a case of lying down, lifting your feet into the air with the strap around them, pulling it tight, and keeping the feet up for a minute or so.
The whole session was so interesting, and really made me think more about the way I position by body and how I can help myself relax better and thanks to Holly, I’ve definitely found a new interest in yoga and actively spending time to de-stress the body at home.
Do you practice any particular yoga poses or felt inspired to get active in yoga?
Feel free to leave a comment below.