Updated: Aug 7
If you knew me 10 years ago, I would have told you that I had never once attended a yoga class, and frankly, really didn't see the need. I remember taking my first yoga class as part of my formal dance training and literally floating out thinking; 1. Where can I get this sense of relaxation, clarity and contentment intravenously and 2. I need to study this beautiful science and philosophy- pronto.
So I did. Not formal study, simply participating in classes and workshops and learning yoga predominately for healing and balance. Postures (asanas), breath practice (pranayama) and meditation. In truth, my yoga practice is potentially what lead me to find its sister science Ayurveda. The results from my personal experience with yoga was this - I had a clearer, sharper mind, more compassion, an increase in flexibility, greater strength, a regulated metabolism, streamlined creativity and just generally, to be really honest, I was more content on a day to day level. Of all the steps in your morning routine, if I was to say to you choose only one, this would be it. The reason I say this is because yoga, even if for only 10-15 minutes a day, can facilitate the alignment between the body, mind and spirit. In doing this, you restore, strengthen and nourish your entire being making you as fighting fit for the new day ahead as you possibly can be.
But I can hear some of you say... I don't have the time or maybe even the money to attend yoga classes on a regular basis. And my response always is - you don't have to. Classes are an amazing way to access yoga education and can make the basis for your at home practice. However, this option is not the only way to go.
Thanks to amazing technology, you can access very high quality yoga and meditation education through online mediums that are inexpensive and palatable for a person with a busy schedule. Again, like anything, choose high quality and reputable sources wherever possible and you can't go too far wrong. Any way that you go, either direct classes/workshops or the handy app, make sure you find a teacher and practice that works for you. In order to get the most out of yoga, it has to connect with you.
So to get you started, the things you will need are:
1. A yoga mat or firm, non-slip surface.
2. A quiet, peaceful space that relaxes you - the hallway where the kids come bolting down for breakfast is not ideal.
3. In following Ayurvedic principle, some form of honouring of the five elements should be seen in your yoga space. Ideal items would include a candle, some form of aromatherapy, some flowers or a plant and if you are really super dedicated, a little indoor water feature or picking a room near the outdoor pond is very grounding for all body types.
Now I would like to share with you my top two apps that I have found to be amazing in enhancing my at home yoga practices (alongside of as many classes I can squeeze in).
1. Insight Timer - free, amazing and one of the best meditation apps I have ever used. It contains guided meditation practices, music, a meditation timer, lectures and you can program it to suit you.
2. Gaia - Say no more. It is one of the most reputable yoga, education and meditation apps around for a reason. Can't go wrong by investing in this one - guided yoga lessons and routines, meditations, lectures. Awesome.
All I put forward to you now is to give yoga a try. Even if you have never done a yoga posture before and meditation freaks you out - this really is a practice worth investing it for your long term health on almost every level. Now, if you are reading this thinking that you are keen to try some yoga but are feeling a bit overwhelmed, The Sattva Centre is here to help. Alongside our Ayurvedic guidelines, our treatment plans always include a yoga practice specifically designed for you and your current health needs. If that sounds like something you could be interested in, please never hesitate to flick me an email or give me a call, and I will guide you through some possibilities in starting your practice at home.
Love and light,