Still wondering what the yoga secret is? Though it seems like yoga has been firmly ensconced as a trend amongst those in the know and yoga mats slung over shoulders are the must-have accessory of every season, the fact is that for many yoga remains a mystery.
There’s a saying that when you are ready, yoga will come to you. I know that to be true from personal experience as I didn’t make it to the end of my first yoga class. I left the room in fact, convinced that yoga was not for me. I went back to running and going to the gym and all of the high energy and impact activities that I enjoyed at the time. Then, quite a few years later, I wandered into a Bikram yoga studio and I was hooked after 90 minutes.
So what changed? Was it me? Was it the class? No doubt it was a little (or a lot) of both. In order to get the most out of yoga you need to be in the right head space first. That doesn’t mean anything more than just being open to the practice and the challenges that it might pose. Like balancing postures, standing on one leg, kicking the other one up in the air not only requires balance but also strength, focus and flexibility. Physically, many of us have tight hamstrings and hips. Yoga works these areas and can lead to discomfort to do the work to open up these areas. If you are a high energy person, then this means you might face long periods of stillness. In my experience of teaching it is often that stillness that is the most challenging to new students.
It’s Not You, It’s Me
Though being in the right frame of mind will help when starting a practice, it’s also about finding the right yoga and the right teacher for you. There are so many different types and styles of yoga from the very strong ‘yang’ yoga practices that focus on the physical to softer yin practices that are more soothing, stretching and opening. Then even within each of these practices there is scope for variety – some classes will include pranayama (breathing) exercises, some will include an element of spirituality, and though most will include a final period of relaxation in savasana (dead body pose) some will take this further to incorporate meditation or yoga nidra.
So it really could not be you, but the yoga! Don’t be afraid to explore different styles and try different teachers. Santi now offers group yoga classes on Sunday evenings that are yin inspired/restorative classes. This is a slow and gentle type of yoga that focuses on stretching and opening the body and then holding postures for 3-5 minutes to get a deep release beyond muscular to the fascia. It’s deeply relaxing and tends to leave you with a feeling of lightness in the body. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Price £10 for drop in sessions 75 mins
£95 for private classes 75 mins
Call reception on 0207 584 7000 to book.