My New Love Affair…With Yoga

The past six months have been hideous. I’ve been in constant state of survival and stress and it’s only now, when I’m starting to come out the other side that I realise the toll it has taken on me both physically and mentally.

I have been through many a turbulent time but this bout really took the biscuit! It was like the universe was having a game of top trumps with me.

“Oh, you handled that one nicely Anna….have THAT….and THAT……ohhh I’m not finished yet…..ha I trumped ya!”

This was not a fun game. I clung to past coping mechanisms and strategies. I clung to people who I had clung on to before but to no avail. I was different, this was different so I needed something different.

As the ‘day at a time’ focus and survival instinct started to subside I started craving something healing, something meaningful and something that was to help heal me both mentally, physically and spiritually.

I started up my personal meditation practice again, endeavouring to do 10 minutes a day. I dusted off my affirmation cards and promised myself not to sneer in disbelief when I pulled a self-compassion one.

I then remembered a Yoga Studio which was just round the corner from me and booked into a Yin Yoga Class.

Now this in itself is odd for me as I am of the personality where I used to crave the buzz of ridiculous endurance, muscle shakes and 12 classes per week at Barre!

Yin was perfect for me; it is, in essence ‘restorative’ and that was exactly what I needed. My soul was suitably impressed with my choice too!

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I will continue with this practice whilst I heal xoxo


There are many different styles of Yoga, which I will outline below to help you choose which one is right for you if you’re thinking of giving it a go;

Restorative & Yin Yoga

Peace and relaxation are what you get from a Yin Yoga class. Sessions involve holding postures from three to five minutes which increases circulation in the joints and improves flexibility.

This style of yoga is suited to those who want to enjoy the emotional aspect of yoga without exerting themselves too much.

Hatha Yoga

Hatha is a generic term that encompasses any type of yoga involving physical postures. The majority of Yoga taught in the western world  is Hatha and classes usually comprise of a gentle flow of postures (asanas) aimed at promoting relaxation and loosening the body.

This is suited to those who are just starting out and are easing themselves into yogic fitness.

Vinyasa Yoga

This style involves mastering smooth transitions from posture to posture and is of a similar intensity to Ashtanga Yoga (see below). One of the main differences between them is that Vinyasa doesn’t follow a strict series of poses and it’s very likely that no two classes will ever be the same, giving it some variety.

This is suited to those who want to challenge their bodies, are prone to boredom and want to keep things interesting.

Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga is challenging. It teaches you to link every movement to a breath. In this kind of class you will always do the same poses in the same sequence and you will definitely break a sweat!

If you want to tone your body and also give your mind a workout then look no further than Ashtanga!

Hot/Warm Yoga

This is similar to Bikram Yoga (see below) but the postures are not the same. The room will be heated accordingly and you will be sweltering as you work through the class.

This type of yoga would be suited to those who want a slightly more relaxed environment than that of Bikram.

Bikram Yoga

I spent a lot of time doing Bikram Yoga a few years ago whilst I was working in Norwich. Take a look at my blog post here.

Bikram involves a series of 26 poses in a room heated up to 40 degrees and is not for the faint of heart!

This is suited to more advanced yogis but beginners are always welcome to try it out. If you want to improve your flexibility whilst sweating your toxins out, then this is for you!

 

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