How many times do you think someone has told me they’re not flexible enough for yoga?
I’m fortunate enough to have been practicing yoga since I was a child and have never lost that youthful, playful spirit when it comes to movement. It’s a myth that yoga is about flexibility, or that meditation is about emptying your mind. I’ve studied yoga for more than 20 years, and have a Masters, but I still can’t find who started that fake news that turns so many people away from reaping the rewards.
Let me tell you about yoga and why it’s such a compliment to your training and activities outside of the gym. The yoga I teach strengthens and tones the body. Tight, strong muscles feel more pliable after yoga which promotes recovery and your ongoing training goals. I recognise that the physical benefits are what initially draws people to yoga. However, over time, you’ll notice shifts, you’ll find things that would have bothered you in the past, don’t so much anymore. You’ll notice your sleep improves (you can’t out train the harm that poor quality of sleep does to the body), which sets off a cascade of positive hormonal effects. (Read more about Rosie)
What’s happening here is a modulation of the nervous system; in yoga we move the body to get deep into the mind and the systems. You might think you’re doing something strong, in downward facing dog, plank or cobra (and you are) but what you’re also doing is playing around in your sympathetic nervous system. You’re getting familiar with how it feels to be a little rattled, you might sweat, your heart rate increases a bit… and then you’re guided to more restful postures, to get to know the parasympathetic nervous system the ahh that’s better sensation, you’re heartrate decreases as you look around at each other, maybe smile and feel social connection. This of course all feels nice on the day, but I wouldn’t have practiced yoga for 30 years if that’s all there is to it.
Nervous system modulation is everything! Some people get stuck in their sympathetic nervous system, they get an annoying email or someone cuts them up whilst driving and those feelings of irritation, injustice, alarm stay with them for hours, maybe even the whole day (and they wake up still tired the next day). At the extreme end, this is anxiety. We haven’t been shown how to settle and soothe ourselves. And more than that, we live in a culture of speed and are rewarded for our productivity, hacking the hours in the day to get more done. Yoga and meditation are not what you see online, that has made you feel like you can’t participate. Yoga is playful flowing movement that glides your system from sympathetic to parasympathetic. I could go on and on about the benefits, but it’s far more impactful for you to feel them.
I would love for you to come and try our new Yoga sessions at the Portside Studio in September!
If you're in Brighton, Hove or Portslade and you'd like to find out more details just click the button below to enquire today!