Do not attempt yoga after eating spanakopita…

Do not attempt yoga after eating spanakopita…

So half way into the year I am finally ticking off one of my new years resolutions – TRY YOGA CLASSES. In an attempt to soothe my soul and de-clutter my mind, I decided that yoga, in all its celebrity glory, should be the way forward to a whole new me.

For years I was a competitive swimmer and quite honestly nothing calms me down and stretches my muscles as much as a leisurely swim (preferably in the Mediterranean Sea). However, in this era of long working hours and never having enough time to do ANYTHING, I keep finding excuses to avoid going down to my local pool: I don’t want to get wet, the weather/water’s too cold, I’ve just washed my hair, there’s too much chlorine in the pool, other swimmers get in my way, there’s always some dodgy looking old man in the hot-tub.

I’m not a gym person, all that running and weight lifting leaves me feeling aggressive, so yoga seems like a much simpler option to help me de-stress and I don’t have to don an uncomfortable swimming costume.

The health benefits of yoga seem to far outweigh many other workouts and include: greater flexibility, muscle strengthening, improvement in balance and toning, anxiety reduction, anti-aging and an overall improvement in general mental well-being. One downside to yoga classes is that they are really quite expensive. My first class set me back £14 although I was then offered an introductory price of £25 for unlimited classes over 10 consecutive days.

After researching several health companies nearby I settled on one that offered a variety of different yoga and pilates classes taught by different teachers. A bad teacher can put you off straight away so I felt that it was important to try somewhere where I could reap the benefits of different styles of teaching.

My first class was Iyengar Yoga which explores the living architecture of the body, through precise physical alignment, building inner strength and stamina, flexibility and balance, concentration and meditation.

Lots of stretching and balancing was involved as well as plenty of eye-closing. I’m not big on eye-closing unless I am totally relaxed – and the fact that the yoga instructor’s mat was perilously close to a lit candle did not fill me with ease. The other thing that put me off slightly was the lack of tranquil music. The hall itself was not completely silent, and I found the sounds of yelling and sirens from outside highly disturbing.

Nevertheless the yoga workout itself was good and although the movements were long and slow, I definitely worked up a sweat and by the end of the class felt quite calm and relaxed. I didn’t even feel hungry afterwards and opted out of the souvlakia with potatoes, humus and Greek salad for dinner and instead had a few king prawns.

The next morning I didn’t feel sore at all and was starting to think that perhaps the class wasn’t “all that” when suddenly by mid afternoon EVERYTHING began to ache. I saw this as a good sign and have decided to persevere and try a few of the other classes on offer.

Upon telling my father that I had tried yoga, he responded helpfully with the fact that Greeks have been practising yoga for years – stretching to reach the olives in the trees, balancing and dancing with glasses on their heads and meditating at church.

It seems that the Greeks did indeed invent everything.

Happy yoga-ing!

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  1. 26th July 2013 / 2:08 pm

    Thank you for sharing! Love that Yoga-Cat pics…sorry but to admit that it has grabbed hold 90% of my attention…while reading this post…(⇀‸↼‶)

    Anyway, weekend is around the corner, so have a great one ahead, always~ Cheers!! 😀

  2. 26th July 2013 / 1:34 pm

    Yay for yoga! I practice Ashtanga but my teacher is also trained in Iyengar. It is so completely different from what I know but I really appreciate the use of props and the breaking down of poses. I hope you continued to enjoy your classes and explore the different styles!
    Sophia 🙂

    • 26th July 2013 / 1:42 pm

      I have done a bit of Iyengar and Jivamukti – looking forward to trying out the others! 🙂

      • 26th July 2013 / 1:51 pm

        Very cool! I love jiva also!
        Enjoy 🙂

  3. 25th July 2013 / 5:08 pm

    I am a trained yoga teacher of many years…. but no technical expertise will ever bring peace… for Yoga is life, is breath, is a state of mind. Every action, thought and word, is Yoga, every day. Expansion, Contraction is correct and natural. If we stretch, we must contract too… so is life. Empty, then fill. One cannot fill up, without emptying, like the breath. If our life is too full, then empty, give away, clean out. If life is empty, breath in and expand out – visit, volunteer, be involved. If stagnant, stir the pool of life. If turbulent, walk away for a while. Actions fulfilled, love expressed, what is inside, must come out. This is yoga. Love, JCD.

    • 25th July 2013 / 5:15 pm

      You are a woman of many talents Jaya! 🙂

  4. 24th July 2013 / 6:29 am

    Love the yogi cat picture hahahaha!

    “Greeks have been practising yoga for years – stretching to reach the olives in the trees, balancing and dancing with glasses on their heads and meditating at church.”

    Your dad’s a classic 😉

    • 24th July 2013 / 6:31 am

      I originally had a twisty yoga pic of myself but I looked like that girl out of the film ‘The Poltergeist’ so the cat was much funnier! 🙂

  5. 22nd July 2013 / 4:26 pm

    hahaha!!…you made me chuckle! My hubby would totally agree that the Greeks invented everything (he’s Greek too!)
    I love doing yoga…I feel so long and lean and relaxed afterwards.

    • 22nd July 2013 / 4:27 pm

      I think I need to give it a proper go – 2 lessons and I’m losing motivation already!

      • 22nd July 2013 / 4:41 pm

        I hear that a lot. I guess it’s an acquired taste, so to speak! Good Luck E!

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