Thursday, 15 January 2015

Ashtanga Yoga: My Fist Experience...

One of my aims for this year was to regain some focus in areas of my life that are important to me, and one of these is my health and fitness. Which leads me on to talking to you all about my first ever Ashtanga Yoga experience. 

Firstly let me start by saying that I have never been to a gym class EVER, let alone a Yoga class so I am by no means an aficionado, but I'd thought I would share with you some of the questions I have been asked as a result of my first class this week, and hopefully it might just inspire some of you to try it out for yourself.

Is it even a workout? 

In my mind....YES. Admittedly I'm fairly unfit but my god this class put me through my paces. I worked up a sweat and consequently have muscles aching that I didn't even know existed. I know that I will become far stronger if I keep going, some of the moves the instructor made meant that if this woman wasn't supernatural she must have some incredible strength. I think I've successfully encouraged the guys at work to give it a go, then we can see if they thought it was worth while.

Isn't Yoga meant to be relaxing?

I think Ashtanga Yoga which involves dynamic flowing movements rather than static Yoga poses meant for me that being a newbie it was somewhat of a challenge but as I keep going I will inevitably find it easier. The end of the class did focus one relaxation, eyes were closed, a candle was lit, lavender was placed on my head and some humming took place, so by the end although I had found the majority of the class a real struggle I came out feeling completely relaxed and ready for bed as the class came to an end at 10pm. 

What did you wear?

Gym leggings and a baggy top was what I went for. This hid a multitude of sins, except for the fact that I hadn't realised that my leggings would become so sheer exposing my granny pants when I manipulated my body in all kinds of weird and wonderful ways. Little treat for the lady behind me I suppose. When I go next week I will have to reconsider my gym wear.

I know USA pro, Adidas and Fabletics do some awesome bottoms which would be great and you can get discount on Fabletics when you sign up and they have some lovely designs, making going to the gym a little more exciting.

Did you need any equipment?

Even though I didn't know what to expect one thing I knew for sure was I would need a Yoga mat. I got mine from TK Maxx as they seem to have really great stuff in there for fitness and in particular Yoga. If you are thinking of trying it out make sure you check your local store to see what goodies you can find. Aside from a mat the answer is not really, maybe a towel if you think you might find it a struggle like me.

Would you do it again?

YES!! My teacher really knew her field and I felt like I was being taught by a real expert, I also think it's a brilliant all round exercise to become stronger, more in tune with your physical and mental well being and all together more relaxed. I'm going to keep going once a week and hopefully, when I'm a little more comfortable and it doesn't take me 4 days to recover, will try 2 classes a week. I don't just love the physical challenge of it but the way you become more in-tune with yourself which is something I'm really interested in discovering more about. 

Can you do it at home?

Yeah you can, I've posted a picture below of a sequence of this type of yoga, and I know there are DVD's and YouTube videos (like this one) online to help you. The only thing I would say is that in a class by an experienced teacher your not just doing the moves your also learning about the history of the practice and the benefits of each move. 

Anyway enough from me...has anyone else tried it? Do you have recommendations for a beginner like me?

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