Lula Loves

Lula Loves

Thursday, 1 March 2012

A bit of calm in an otherwise mad world

A couple of years' back I started doing yoga. I'd reached a point in my life - the kids were 6 and 2 at the time - when I was feeling stretched, both mentally and physically, and really needed an escape from what felt like constant demands on my time. I was slowly getting back into work but finding the juggling act invovled in balancing some semblance of a career with housework, homework, picking up, dropping off and all those other routine but necessary tasks, really exhausting. In short, I felt I was frantically trying to cover all bases and not really doing anything to the best of my abilities - a feeling experienced by busy mums the world over!

What I needed was some space, free of distractions and away from the home environment. I'd been thinking about trying yoga for a while, as the idea of doing something to improve not just my body but my mind also was really appealing. But I'm quite a reserved person, and was slightly perturbed by the idea of chanting, humming or doing strange breathing in a room full of strange people. I wasn't sure if I'd be bendy enough. Plus, having spoken to yoga-practising friends, who'd mentioned it might be a possibility - I was really worried I might break wind when attempting a particularly challenging pose...

Anyway, I found a class - local, at a convenient time, just long enough - and decided to put my reservations to the back of my mind. Two years on, I am now a regular attendee at a lovely class that I think has made quite a difference to my mental and physical state. And, to date, there have been no problems pertaining to flatulence....

I get my high-impact exercise through running, but yoga is a completely different experience, which I now find absolutely invaluable. Just learning to breath properly has been a revelation, and I have used the breathing techniques I've learned to help me in situations I find stressful: driving on the motorway and meeting potential clients, for example. My post baby-carrying posture, not exactly helped by the hours I spend stooping over a laptop, has improved and my body feels generally more toned. Oh, and the sleep I have post yoga is like nothing else - I always, ALWAYS, sleep deeply and soundly after a class. I think it makes your skin glow - just a little - too...not bad work for £7 a session!

I think I've been lucky to find a very non-intimidating class, full of 'normal' people, of all ages, which is led by a very lovely, non-intimidating teacher. For me, yoga has helped me to bring just a bit of calm into my often buzzing, over-crowded head. I am naturally quite a stressful person, and I don't believe anything will ever change my disposition to fear and anxiety. But having an hour and a bit to myself each week, where all is quiet, calm and focused, is a smaill but signficant way to help me keep my head above the water!

If you're new to yoga and looking for a class like the one I describe, I can highly recommend Bristol Yoga, which is run by the lovely Clara Lemon - check out her website for details of classes and workshops across the city.

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