People are drawn to yoga for many reasons; sometimes it’s because they have a physical issue – joints getting a bit creaky or neck rather tense and sometimes it’s for the mind calming side that helps to reduce stress and can lead to a really great nights’ sleep.
In my own personal practice, I like to take a balanced approach with about half my time spent on physical postures and half stationery with the focus on my breathing and clearing my mind with meditation. I try to build strength and focus on alignment so that I don’t damage my joints. My posture holds are for fairly long times – in what’s called a Yin style – but this varies as my needs do. With the breath work, I have found that my lung capacity has grown and my breath is quieter. This makes me calmer – and simply gives me a better quality of life minute by minute and day by day. It has taken quite a long time and I spend about an hour a day on my practice.
In my classes, I draw from personal experience; I think that my symptoms were due mainly to stress which effects us all. I try to offer postures that everyone can achieve and work at a pace which feels easy so that no one in the group is left feeling anxious or inadequate in any way. My classes are taught in themes over half-terms which offer all of us scope to ‘get a bit better next time’ and so over the course of about 6 weeks we can develop and really find out about the benefits of different exercises. This fits with the idea that 40 days is the time taken to break a habit or learn something new. By the end of a half-term I hope that each student has developed and explored the possibilities of a group of yoga exercises. It is my objective that everyone leaves my classes in a happy and peaceful state. Glowing with an air of wellbeing and at one with themselves and the world.