Is Yoga for You? 5 Surprising Fact for Yoga for Beginners

Thinking about starting yoga but not sure it’s for you? Read our Teacher, Gemma Witcomb’s advice.

SNHS-funnyyoga-crop

There are loads of misconceptions about yoga that stop people giving it a go and they are all just that, MISCONCEPTIONS!

These are not really helped by the world of social media, size 4 models in eye-watering poses that make the average person feel somewhat intimidated and self-conscious.

It gets easier once you realise that these are not a representation of real life. It’s advertising! Most people in a yoga class are just normal people, with busy lives, busy minds and bodies that have a whole range of aches and pains. Just like YOU!

People also worry about the spiritual side of yoga, the chanting, meditating etc. That might not be your thing! It’s true it is a big part of yoga, in fact the goal of yoga in its traditional form is to reach spiritual enlightenment. However, that was yoga studied with gurus over years of exclusive practice and in one class a week, reaching enlightenment might be more of a stretch than splits!

A yoga class will help you quiet the mind, deepen your breath, and begin to introduce you to some of the concepts of the traditional texts, but we are not here to preach. If you want to find out more, you can take a workshop, read a book and your teacher can guide you. It’s up to you where you take it, it’s not going to be forced on you.

Still not convinced? Have a look at my 5 Things Yoga Beginners Should Know to see if I can change your mind.

1) You don’t need to be flexible to do yoga. Lack of flexibility is the most common reason people give for not starting yoga. Whilst practising yoga will develop your flexibility, yoga is a just that, a practice. We practice the stretches to improve flexibility and strength. Everyone is different in different areas of their bodies and flexibility is not the goal, it’s a bonus!

2) A yoga class is a really friendly place. I know it can be daunting starting a new class but yoga is non-competitive, non-judgmental and encourages more openness and acceptance, both of yourself and others. You will find a real community of like-minded people within the yoga world. We are generally a super friendly bunch!

3) You don’t need specialist equipment. So you don’t have the latest brightly coloured leggings…who cares?! Yoga is not about what you look like, it’s about what’s going on inside. All you need are comfortable clothes you can move freely in, some layers to make sure you are warm during the relaxation at the end and that’s it! You may eventually want to purchase your own mat but your teacher will have some you can use to begin with.

4) You will always be able to modify the poses. Everybody is different and at the beginning you may need a modified posture to allow you to feel comfortable in the poses. That’s ok! When you first start yoga there can be challenges, you spend a lot of time putting weight on the hands, kneeling and doing things with your body that you haven’t done for years. You will always be encouraged to work with your body, to listen to it and modify poses. Like anything, it takes regular repetition to get stronger, more flexible and more in tune with yourself – it will come, be patient.

5) Your life will change! It’s a big claim, but if I didn’t believe it, I wouldn’t be teaching this amazing practice. It’s not just an exercise class. The ability to deepen and control your breath, find mental clarity and focus, freedom and ease in your body will spill over into your life. You will find it easier to deal with stress, have a restful night’s sleep, be more present, be kinder to yourself and more aware of what you really need to be the best possible version of yourself.

Have I convinced you?
If so try my 6-Week Beginners Yoga Course for the perfect way in, introducing you to all the basics and giving you the confidence you need. I can’t wait to start this journey with you. This Course is 09:30am Thursdays in Hedge End, starts Thurs 2nd March – email laura@lauragreenyoga.co.uk to book.


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The Art of Relaxation – Yoga Workshop Southampton

Seated Meditation Laura Green Yoga‘REST in Every Moment’ – this was the instruction given to me by a wonderful and inspiring teacher I was blessed to train with, Judith Hanson Lasater. I thought it was an odd request but nonetheless it struck me as important and has stayed with me over the years. Judith started every session chanting ‘Stirum Sukham Asanam’ – a yoga sutra that translates as ‘a steady and comfortable posture’. Through the practise of poses, breathing and meditation, yoga has taught me just this – how to be steady and comfortable in my life, how to be at rest and at ease in every moment, how to stay calm and relaxed despite the events and circumstances that are unfolding. This for me is Mastering The Art of Relaxation. With two workshops this week on Friday and Saturday we’re going to delve deep into the yoga tool box for tension taming and stress prevention as together we Master the Art of Relaxation (details below). Don’t worry if you can’t make it, here are some tools to get you started:

Top Tips for Mastering the Art of Relaxation
1) Explore Stillness: Take 5 minutes every day, preferably in the morning, to sit and be still. There is a great strength in stillness. It encourages us to slow down, to not react to everything immediately, to buy our time and choose wisely how to respond to events in the day.
2) Cultivate Your Breath: When you meet challenges in your day connect back to your stillness and find the quiet place of inner strength by focusing on your breath. Try the Double Time Breath. Inhale for the count of 4 and exhale for the count of 4. Then breath by breath increase the length of your exhale whilst keeping the inhale at a count of 4. Continue until your exhale is double the length of your inhale. Take 10 more breaths inhaling for 4 and exhaling for 8 before returning to your day focussed and connected to your inner strength.
3) Let Go of Worry: Worry is totally wrapped up in the future. Focus on the present moment and what is within your control. Don’t waste precious time and energy on things outside of your control and things that have not yet manifested.

Feel Good Friday
Friday 14th August – 18:00 – 19:15
Taunton’s College, Southampton

Relax, unwind and de-stress before the weekend. We’ll slow things down, stretch deeply, breathe and meditate to ease away all tension from the week. This monthly class is a combination of Hatha Yoga and Yin Yoga with slow stretches to release areas of the body that have become tense and tight throughout the week – think shoulders, upper back, neck and hips. You’ll learn pranayama (breathing exercises) and meditation techniques for stress relief and enjoy a guided relaxation. You’ll leave with a feeling of deep relaxation and ready to ease into your weekend.

Master the Art of Relaxation: Tension Taming and Stress Relief
Saturday 15th August – 14:00 – 16:00
Taunton’s College, Southampton

Would you like to learn how to relax, unwind and chill out? Seems crazy that we need to learn how to relax, right? But it is a fact of life that most of us live such busy, pressured lives that at the end of the day we don’t know how to step off the trend mill, slow down and relax. This 2 hour workshop will look at a vast range of relaxation approaches including: Yoga, Meditation, Mantras, Self Myofascial Massage, Mindfulness, Yoga Nidra, Aromatherapy, Diet & Nutrition. By the end of 2 hours you’ll have a tool box so vast that with work and practise you’ll be able to stay calm and relaxed in any situation!

 


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Teaching Yoga at Festivals

Festivals & Camping?? I never thought I’d see my name at a Festival Line Up.

I’m off to teach yoga at Camp Bestival 29th July – 2nd August. I’ve never been camping or to a festival (mainly because the toilets terrify me). I think the ‘I’ve Got This’ mantra might be needed when it comes to putting up my tent (thank you again Michelle aka Yoga Bunny for the tent!). Let me know if you’re going and come check out the yoga scene! My classes on Wednesday 29th and Thursday 30th July will still be running again thanks to our marvelous cover teachers. Check out the Southampton yoga classes timetable here.

Yoga at Camp Bestival
Yoga at Camp Bestival

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Saturday 17th Sept – Chakra Vinyasa Yoga Workshop

Fancy a fun, challenging and inspiring morning with lots of Yoga?? Join me for a 3 hour Chakra Vinyasa Yoga Workshop at Tauntons College, Southampton on Saturday 17th Sept from 9:45 to 12:45. This will be a creative morning filled with movement and music as we explore the practise of yoga through different eyes.

To energise the body and spark curiosity we will begin with a short creative yoga flow. This will be followed by an introduction to the 7 chakras / core energy centres in the body and the specific elements they relate to. After this it is time to experience, to let go and trust the body to be your teacher as we take a full 90 minute yoga practise experiencing the flow up the chakras and the journey through the contrasting elements of earth, water, fire and space. To conclude the morning we will ease into the deep relaxation of Yoga Nidra (yogic sleep) and a simple, yet effective Chakra meditation.

Places are limited so booking and payment in advance is essential. The 3 hour yoga workshop is 20 pounds, which includes an introduction to the chakras handout, a chakra meditation to take home and a cup of yoga tea. To book please contact me via email or phone.

See you on the mat.

Laura x
laura@lauragreenyoga.co.uk
07866 459208

 


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