Yoga isn’t about pushing your body to achieve something that probably is not possible – it’s about being at one with your body and being kind to yourself.
I started yoga because I have always been an active person, but yoga was never on my radar. It wasn’t until a friend started to attend a class at the local gym that it caught my attention. She told me how amazing it made her feel, so I went along and from my first practice I was hooked. I loved the sense of calm and stillness it gave me and the feeling of connection to my body and to my breath, things I had taken so easily for granted before.
When I started yoga…
I wanted to push my body to achieve that picture-perfect view of what I thought yoga was. I wanted to put my heels to the floor in downward facing dog and touch my head to my knees in forward fold! As my practice matured and my exploration into yoga deepened, I came to realise what yoga really was. Yoga isn’t about pushing your body to achieve something that probably is not possible – it’s about being at one with your body and being kind to yourself. My goal now is to be kind to my body and give it the nourishment it needs by improving the quality of breath and easing into poses mindfully. I chose to explore yoga at Whitespace as it was recommended to me by a friend when I was looking for a pregnancy yoga course.
For my first session…
I remember stepping through the door and instantly I had a feeling of calm and tranquillity. The studio is in such beautiful surroundings that lend to the beautiful practices you can find within. A warm welcome always awaits you by the amazing staff and you are led up to bright and airy studios. For me, it has it all. The teachers are incredible, who all have their own styles of teaching, but you can always be assured to leave whatever stresses you have at the door and leave feeling like a new person.
Yoga has had a massive impact on my life following the traumatic birth of my daughter, I turned to yoga to help heal my mind and my body. It gave me a safe space to look inward and make sense of what was happening in my mind and precious time to dedicate to me and connect with my body. The beauty of yoga is that it is accessible to everybody and can be tailored to fit you. Yoga is now a way of life for me. By being kinder to myself, I started to become more compassionate to others and the world around me. So much so I am now vegan and have started my journey to become a yoga teacher so I can help others.
Benefits of yoga…
The biggest benefits for me are around mental health. Yoga has taught me how important the breath is and how it can be used to bring an instant sense of calm. Yoga also provides an escape from our busy modern lives, something hard to come by these days! When I practice at home or at a class, my phone is out of sight and it’s just me and my body – the feeling I get is priceless. I come to my mat full of stress or anxiety about what might happen, and I leave it feeling like I have pressed the reset button – I can start again with a clear mind. Yoga has also taught me to respect and be kind to my body. The human body is incredible, and we put it through its paces every day and expect it to bounce back. By taking a few minutes every day just to pay attention and scan through your body, you could notice a bit of discomfort or twinge you hadn’t felt before. By using the breath or a few light movements you could help heal yourself and save yourself greater discomfort or injury and your body will thank you for it!
Thanks to Whitespace and the journey I have had with them, from attending pregnancy yoga, beginner’s yoga, yoga flow and hatha classes and mindfulness, I have now embarked on my yoga teacher training journey. When I qualify my goal is to specialise on mental health and promoting the benefits of yoga to help people with stress, anxiety and other mental health problems. If you would like to get in contact with me, please contact Whitespace in the first instance who will pass on your details.
Written By: Gemma Henry