Author: Penny Wilby
I’m more of getting my trainers on and running sort of person, but I’ve always been interested to try yoga, mainly because those that do it, rave about it to the point of obsession. When the opportunity arose to give the Thursday yoga class, with new yoga instructor extraordinaire, Wibbs Coulson, I jumped at the chance.
Peake Fitness at Stoke by Nayland Hotel hosts weekly yoga classes, on Thursdays, 11.30am-1pm, now run by Wibbs, a former nurse, turned Yoga Instructor. His 90 minute classes are not just for the seasoned yoga enthusiast, but for a complete novice, like myself.
I should also mention, I have collected a few running related injuries over the last few years, so the back sometimes twinges and ankles have seen better days. But from the outset of the class, it was clear this class wasn’t going to be about pushing yourself to the extreme, but finding and holding positions that work for you personally. There’s a lot more to yoga than positions themselves. Wibbs’ class focuses on medication and relaxation. Breathing properly is important so before we’ve even started, the class is in the right frame of mind.
After the class had finished, I definitely felt more relaxed. My life is fairly manic and 90 minutes of yoga is a great addition to my day. So, researching further, here are 8 reasons why you should get into yoga.
Regular yoga lowers stress and improves your mood. Learning to breathe and concentrating on the rhythmic breathing helps reduce stress and anxiety.
Because yoga is very much a holistic exercise, it’s not just our muscles that are exercised, but our mind. , Yoga has a powerful effect in boosting levels of self-confidence. For more information, I found this interesting blog about it.
Obviously, you will burn more calories taking part in one Peake Fitness’s high intensity work out classes, but yoga helps normalises body weight by restoring hormonal balance. By reducing the fight or flight instinct caused by stress & the potential emotional eating associated, yoga can also help contribute to weight loss.
Increase in Muscle Tone, Strength and Flexibility
When practiced on a regular basis, your muscles will build in strength, agility and flexibility. Yoga is one of the few exercises that will help your muscles do all three at the same time.
Lowers your Blood Pressure
Studies have shown doing yoga a couple of times a week lowers participants’ blood pressure. There’s some more information about that here.
Enhances Memory and Cognitive Function
If your life is anything like mine, you’ll have a million things racing around inside your brain at once. Bizarre though it may sound, studies have shown that just one Hatha yoga session can increase your cognitive function. Breathing and meditation, help disperse your distractions and therefore focus your mind and memory. The Daily Mail cover the study here.
Whether it’s period pains, arthritis, the breathing and meditation central to yoga is a natural pain relief.
Yoga is great for improving your mental health and your mood. Yoga provides a feeling of well being, increased motivation and connection with others.
In addition to my research, I also asked my yoga loving friends, what it is they love about yoga and how does it help their lives. Here’s a bit of feedback:
“During yoga is possibly the only time that I breathe properly! Proper deep breaths. I’ve noticed that my breathing is normally quite shallow so yoga really helps with that – and in turn helps with energy and stress.”
“Sleep! It really helps you sleep. Also Bikram is fantastic exercise – I’m a huge fan.”
“I think it helps in many ways, calmness, relaxation, and mindfulness. However most importantly being a gym fan and 56 I need to improve my flexibility and suppleness here I think it is fantastic.”
So we can see that there is a whole host of yoga benefits. Why not book in to the Yoga class at Peake Fitness to see how it can change your life. If you found this article interesting, feel free to share it – and remember to check back for more information regarding other well-being tips, tricks and discussions.
With an ever-growing passion for fitness, Penny is our resident guest blogger. When she’s not juggling her busy lifestyle you’ll find her with her selfie stick!