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You may have the wrong idea about yoga ……….
August 06th, 2020
When I talk about yoga I often hear these comments:
I’m not flexible enough for yoga!
Oh yoga isn’t for me – I have difficulty with my balance
I’d find it impossible to get into those funny positions with my bad back
I bet there’s nothing it can do to help with my menopause symptoms!
Would it help me to sleep better?
My breathing isn’t very good – I’d get exhausted
I just can’t concentrate, so Yoga would be no good for me
I’m Izzy Ixer and I’ve been teaching yoga for over 40 years and practising it myself for longer than that! And it is true that Yoga is not the answer to all of life’s physical and mental problems – if it was that simple we would all be practising yoga!
So what is it that draws us to yoga in the first place and, more importantly, keeps us returning to it time and again? Well, it’s about achieving a sense of deep calm, a feeling of being in control of our body and breath and knowing how to capture our attention and quieten our thoughts.
Let’s take a closer look:
Body – Hatha Yoga, which is the most popular and accessible form of yoga, is about using movement and co-ordination to develop and strengthen the deep muscles of the body. If you’ve ever wondered why yogis move in a smooth and fluid way this is the answer. We don’t generally have big, bulky muscles – it’s all under the surface! And we start with simple movements which gently lead into simple versions of the classic yoga postures. And if you are returning to yoga, you’ll be surprised by how much you remember and how quickly it all comes back to you!
Breath – the practice of being aware of your breath is at the core of a good yoga practice. Learning how to read your breath enables you to start to slow it down – listen to your breath now – how fast are you breathing? The yogis believe that a longer, slower breath helps us to live longer!
Mind – trouble with concentrating and keeping focus is a problem which many people experience today. There are so many things to distract us! Your yoga practice will include techniques for quietening, controlling and simply being aware of the activity of the mind. These form the building blocks of meditation.
So what can yoga do for you?
Flexibility is important and in our yoga we look to achieve a balance between strength and flexibility, so if you are not flexible, don’t worry – most people aren’t when they start yoga!
Difficulty with balance – this is about strength and awareness in the feet, legs and core and it’s also about confidence. So practising simple balance movements in a safe place will build your confidence.
A bad back – most of us experience back problems at some point in our lives and yoga can help you to understand what triggers your discomfort and what to do about it.
Menopause – this is a huge issue for many women at work, at home and in family life. Yoga is unlikely to make the symptoms go away completely but it will help you to control and cope with them. At this stage in your life there are huge changes taking place in your body and it’s happening at one of the most demanding times for you as an adult with responsibilities. It’s a great time to turn to yoga and work with these changes to re-invent yourself!
Sleep – a yoga practice includes techniques which may help you to get a better night’s sleep.
Breathing is improved by practising yoga postures, easing tension around the rib cage through gentle stretches and also by learning some of the traditional yoga breathing exercises.
Concentration – the first thing we do in a yoga session is to bring the whole of you into the practice, which includes your mind. You will quickly learn how to disconnect from distractions and worries and these are techniques you can take away and use in your daily life too
Here’s what my clients tell me:
“Yoga has made me a better human”
“Yoga lifts me up! Physically and emotionally.”
“A calming hour of ME time!”
“It is a fantastic tool, helping with relaxing, flexibility and so much more …”
“Even at 70+ I suddenly have an awareness of my body and myself that I didn’t have before”
“My yoga sessions help me to reconnect with my ageing body and remain supple”
If you want to feel you are taking control of your body, breath and mind, maybe it’s time to begin your gentle journey into yoga?
These is more information about yoga on the NHS website https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/guide-to-yoga/
How do I get started?
Izzy would love to have a chat with you at the Woodbridge Complementary Health Centre or by phone so that she can find out more about you and understand how yoga can help you. Or you can email Izzy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All you need to get started is comfortable, loose or stretchy clothing (leggings or joggers and a T-shirt) and a yoga mat.
Yoga with Izzy is available as one to one sessions or in a group.
One to one yoga sessions are 1 hour and are just for you, planned to meet your individual needs:
Face to face at the Woodbridge Complementary Health Centre
Online via Zoom
Group sessions are one and a half hours – and are starting again in September in Woodbridge and in Martlesham Heath, so please email Izzy at email@example.com if you are interested.
To find out more contact the Woodbridge Complementary Health Centre on 01394 388234 or online at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to Izzy’s website which is www.izzyyoga.co.uk for more information.
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