I was one to always turn my nose up at yoga thinking that it was just stretching and relaxation. That it was never going to give me a workout. I never really entertained the idea that I should give it a go.
Then one day it was suggested that I try yoga as it might help to prevent injuries and make me a stronger runner. Still I wasn’t convinced so instead I went along to a Body Balance class at a local gym as this was sort of like yoga. I found the body balance classes okay but then one day I turned up to the class to find that the instructor was away so they had made it a yoga class. I had the choice of going home or staying and doing the class. I stayed and to my surprise I actually enjoyed it. It wasn’t as easy as I thought and the next day my muscles were telling me that the class had definitely given me a workout.
From then I started occasionally going to yoga and all of a sudden I started to love the classes. I started looking for more yoga classes at different studios and I became hooked on yoga.
At the end of last year I made the decision that I wanted to learn more about yoga and bring yoga to Libby’s Fitness. In March this year I started my Yoga Fit journey. Yoga Fit is a style of yoga called Vinyasa and it is a beautiful flowing type of yoga. It has been an amazing experience as I have learnt so much and met such an amazing group of people who are also on the same yoga journey as me. After my Fundamentals training, beginner yoga classes started at Libby’s Fitness. I am loving being able to share yoga with my clients. I am totally hooked on yoga and therefore decided to continue on enrolling in further levels of Yoga Fit. Over the last few weeks I have attended further training and next year will do my levels 4 & 5.
As I now see yoga so differently, I wanted to share with you why I love practicing and how yoga has helped me.
Yoga has given me a sense of calmness, I find that I am not nearly as stressed as I used to be and I tend to look at life differently. I love doing yoga as it leaves me feeling amazing and I tend to find that my day is just better. I feel calm and positive and nothing tends to upset me.
The other big thing I have found is that yoga has helped me to be able to move better, my balance has improved and my flexibility has increased. These are all such important factors when it comes to preventing injuries and moving pain free every day especially as we get older.
Yoga also focuses on breath and teaches you how to breath using your diaphragm which has many benefits including strengthening your core and pelvic floor, relieving anxiety and stress as it helps to balance the autonomic nervous system and helps the immune system. One of my clients says learning breathing in yoga has made exercising easier and she has only been doing yoga for a few months. I find that being more aware of my breathing allows me to focus on my breath when faced with a stressful situation and this makes a huge difference. I now am not nearly as reactive to situations that arise. I can just breathe and know that it will all be okay.
Yoga has taught me to be kinder to myself, to not judge myself or compare myself to others. Basically it’s helped me to be okay with where I am right now. In the past I was super competitive and had to always keep up with others when it came to exercise. My goals were always to run fast and lift heavy weights. I was then really hard on myself if I didn’t reach my goals. Yoga has taught me to listen to my body and to treat it with respect. I still set myself goals but they are different, for instance my goal with running is to be able to run pain free and to actually just enjoy running. My main goal is to be able to run for the years to come. When it comes to strength training it is to regularly train and do exercises that are going to make me functionally stronger rather than have big muscles.
Yoga has highlighted to me that somedays my body will feel better than others. On those days where I might be tired or just need to take things a little easier, I know that is okay. Rather than pushing myself if I am tired I will still exercise but just listen to my body and take it a bit easier. Maybe I will go for a walk rather than a run or focus more on stretching and mobility exercises over a big strength workout.
Yoga has also introduced me to meditation which I now do every day and love having that time where I can be still and quiet. It helps me to clear my mind and brings peace into my busy life as well as more clarity.
I am so grateful that I found yoga and it is the perfect partner to my regular exercise routine and I look forward to continuing to learn more so that I can share what I learn with my clients.
I would love for you to come and try yoga with me. We have classes early morning, after school drop off and of an evening. Come and try a complimentary class to see how great it makes you feel. You can book a class here https://libbysfitness.ptminder.com