Every day I scroll through pictures on Instagram of toned and flexible people practising yoga somewhere exotic, so I wanted to try it for myself. I’m not sure whether my hour of yoga in the middle of Birmingham city centre gave me a zen mind-set and the eight pack I’m hoping for, but I definitely felt relaxed and energised afterwards.
When I asked Alex, our programme officer who looks after classes at dx, why we have yoga as part of our timetable, she told me
“yoga strengthens the body and mind and compliments all dance styles.”
Whether you’re a dancer or not, yoga has an endless amount of benefits. It improves flexibility, increases strength, and helps you to relax.
I was excited to try yoga with Richard, as I had heard many good things. At the beginning of the class, he informed us that this month would be spent focusing on the tissue around our lungs, because in winter we often neglect these muscles by huddling from the cold. I didn’t expect to target something so specific but as the class went on, I felt the benefits of this.
We practiced a range of stretches coupled with quite intense breathing techniques. This may sound weird, but halfway through the class I felt like I’d just lifted my head above some water. The sensation made me feel like I hadn’t been breathing fully prior to the class, and my lungs and airwaves felt clear.
Richard gave different options for the poses, so you could engage with them as deeply as you liked. Yoga is for everyone. It’s not about pushing yourself to your limits or being in competition with others, but rather focusing on your physical and mental strength, and finding comfort in that.
We ended the class with a relaxation, and as I lay on the mat in the studio, I felt a sense of calm within.
Check out previous editions of Harriet Learns to Dance