As our lives are pretty full on, how often do you take time out to relax and do things for yourself? As the busy Christmas period is upon us you might find it even more difficult to find some time just for you.
So why not take some time out of your busy schedule and try Yoga?
We caught up with Claudia Brown who hosts yoga retreats throughout the year. She talks us through why we should give yoga a go and how it really is for everyone!
Have you ever fancied giving yoga a go but then talked yourself out of it? Here are just a few of the reasons people have given me as to why they can’t come to a yoga class….
My arms are too short for my body. I’m not flexible. I can’t chant. I don’t want to chant. I hate chanting. Men don’t do yoga. I’m not a vegetarian. I’m too fat. I can’t stand on my head. I’m not doing anything that involves me wearing tight pants. I might fart. I fart. My muscles don’t stretch. I’m too old. I can’t balance. I don’t like tofu. That music you play is terrible. Do you do that ‘breathing’ stuff? Yoga is for hippies. I can’t do the splits. Don’t you have to have a beard to do yoga?!
Not being flexible seems to be an unbelievably huge barrier for people. Some people think they have to do the splits at the end of their first class, but would you expect to run a marathon within a week if you joined a running club? Be easy on yourself!
Instead, have a think about all the reasons why you SHOULD give yoga a try.
Firstly, yoga is for EVERYONE – any age, any shape or size, man or woman, girl or boy!
The word ‘yoga’ means ‘union’ – the union of body, mind and spirit and helps us connect all three together using the breath.
Dozens of scientific trials have been published on yoga and results have shown that if you practice regularly you can expect to;
Increase strength and flexibility
Increase energy levels
Improve your quality of sleep
Improve your posture
Improve your concentration and memory
Improve sexual function
Reduce stress and anxiety
Helps to tackle depression
Relieve aches and pains in muscles and joints
Contribute to weight loss
Reduce blood pressure
So, what can you expect at a class? Well, wear comfy clothes, preferably not baggy so they don’t get in your way. Don’t feel intimidated because nobody (apart from the teacher) will be looking at you, they will be too busy doing their own thing!
You will be taught how to breathe properly! I know right – you breathe all the time! You will be introduced to ‘pranayama’ – the science of breath control, and this practice will contribute towards lowering stress levels, alleviating anxiety, lowering blood pressure and improving heart rate variability (the interval of time between heartbeats).
You will be taught how to relax. Do you know how many people don’t know how to switch off their mind and their body? You will also get a good workout – anyone who tells you that yoga is just a bit of stretching hasn’t been to a proper yoga class!
Hydration is so important when you are doing any form of exercise. I am able to supply everyone who comes along to my yoga retreats some Mahtay on ice – it’s 100% natural and is full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants as well as giving everyone a much needed energy boost after 90 minutes of yoga – and there is never a bottle left at the end of the day.
Claudia Brown is a yoga teacher based in Stafford but is a proud Cumbrian. She worked extensively with West Bromwich Albion Football Club first team and has a monthly column in the top national yoga magazine, Om Yoga. She is an Ambassador for Asquith London, an exclusive yoga clothing brand. She offers private tuition and luxury day yoga retreats where everyone enjoys their Mahtay! She works with corporate clients such as iProspect, Risual, Staffordshire Police, Aveda and Staffordshire Women’s Aid. She has trained with Anne Marie Newland at Sun Power Yoga, has a Yoga for Athletes and Sport accreditation with leading Sports Yoga teacher Sarah Ramsden, is a Total Yoga Nidra Teacher after studying with Uma Dinsmore-Tuli, has studied Yin Yoga with Norman Blair and has spent time at Oxford University studying Mindfulness. Her teaching style varies from sweaty to snail pace.
Check out here website to find out more! www.yogabyclaudia.com