Here our resident counsellor and yoga fan Jayne Earl shares her thoughts on some of the misconceptions around this popular past time
“By now the majority of us will have heard of the many benefits of yoga in terms of mind health, general relaxation and stress reduction. There is still however I think a misconception amongst those non-practicers that it is an easy form of exercise or barely exercise at all. This I want to address in this blog post as I can assure you it is far from a few easy stretches and a lie down!
There are certain poses such as The Triangle and Warrior 1 and balances such as Eagle pose and Dancer that while don’t look lie too much hard work and are for some not too difficult to get into but having to hold them for a certain length of time is a different matter altogether. This is when I feel my muscles shaking and in turn strengthening. It also gets my heart rate up and while that is not the intention in yoga as we are focusing on controlling the breath it is certainly another indicator that yoga as some sceptics may put it is not an easy exercise class.
In reality, as with all exercise it really does depend on how much effort you put in yourself in each class. One of the aims in a yoga class is to remove the need for competition with your fellow classmates and listen and work with your own body, so if you wanted to, you could reduce the recommended time of poses held or simply take a break and rest in child’s pose. Ultimately, it is about listening to your bodies needs but for those who like to get a physical work out from it then I can assure you this is there for the taking. Yoga can not only make you more flexible and reduce stress but it can make your body fit and strong.
After yoga, not only do I feel calmer and more aware of my own body and myself but It feels like I have had a work out. Its as if someone has set the re set button.I come out feeling repaired, centered and strong. If you have not tried it or think, it may not be enough of a work out for you tries it. I think you will find as I have that it is a physical work out and so much more”