What Yoga means to me
Although Yoga has been around for thousands of years, it is only in the last couple of decades that it has been used widely as a way of connecting the mind, body and spirit in the Western world. If you read articles about how yoga improves your health, then you will probably hear quotes like, "It increases the flow of prana”
What does that mean?
Nothing to me.
What Yoga does for me is to work on my overall health. It helps support and strengthen immobile joints like my back and shoulders, reduces my aches and pains and keeps those niggly little bugs at bay by boosting my immune system. As the owner of Beehive Healthcare, it is essential for me to maintain a healthy mind and body.
My health has improved in many ways
Yoga has many benefits and I started practicing purely as a form of exercise when it started to be delivered here at Beehive Healthcare. I quickly realised that the “no pain, no gain” philosophy I was used to at previous gym sessions doesn't exist in Yoga. This was illuminating and just learning to breathe in the correct way opened up my chest, my shoulder blades and my back. Many of us don't breathe correctly these days as our posture has gone to pot!! This is especially true for people who have desk jobs and are more sedate.
It came as a nice relief that by doing some challenging poses I had worked my abs, my upper body and my lower body, but at my pace. My flexibility gradually became better with looser hamstrings, less tight hip joints and an improved knowledge about sitting, standing and even lying down. Yoga can help increase your circulation and I even found it increased my heart rate with some postures, so offering benefits there too.
After practicing for a while, my stress levels began to lower and I found that my sleep was greatly improved. I started to use the breathing techniques to relax me before I went to bed and also in situations where I previously had been nervous or anxious.
Three years on I feel more balanced and have less tension in my joints. Since learning some of the moves I can do the odd 5 minutes at home in between classes if I need to. I also now attend yoga retreats to restore, renew and cleanse in between seasons which is invigorating.
A Yoga class to suit your needs
When you are looking for a yoga class, remember that there will be a right one for you. Just like any other class, not all of them resonate with our characters, values and personality, so there isn’t a right or wrong choice. Find one that suits your needs at the time. I find yoga very exciting, which is important to me as I look forward to it every week. I love the people who attend, as it is light hearted and humorous before we start, but then spiritual and educational throughout the class. At the end of the class, the relaxation takes me to a level where I feel restored and empowered. I have definite shifts of energy, thoughts and mood in a way which works for me.
Yoga Class choices at the Beehive in Chester
Dru Yoga Class on a Tuesday and Thursday
This is a graceful, potent and more of a flowing form of yoga. Dru yoga is appropriate for all levels of fitness as it can be adapted. Benefits include improving your strength, flexibility and it's excellent for core stability.
Dru Yoga also works on transforming positive emotions and moving negative emotions which after a class can revitalise your body, mind and spirit. Mixed with relaxation at the end, I find this class very energising and uplifting.
Restorative Yoga Class on a Tuesday
This is perfect for all levels, as it is more of a meditative yoga, especially good for people with chronic fatigue, injuries or arthritis who want to resolve their health without pressure or over straining. Yoga will be slow and gentle with the essence on healing the mind, body and soul. Emphasis will be on breathing and mindful movement and relaxation at the end, with positive hypnotherapy throughout. Restorative Yoga places its focus on down regulating the nervous system and is ideal to use as a “self care” philosophy that is crucial for all of us to do.
Yin Yang Yoga
This runs on the 3rd Wednesday of the month and is a slower style of Yoga, starting with deeply relaxing, releasing Yin postures, followed by more active, flowing yang practice, pranayama (breathing practices), meditation and relaxation. Poses are held for a period of 1 to 5 minutes. It can help increase circulation in the joints and improve flexibility and really focuses on the hips, lower back and the thighs. Helen uses props like bolsters, blankets and cushions and blocks to help you relax into the pose, placing less stress on your joints.
I hope you find the right Yoga class for you!
by Sharon Shelbourne owner of Beehive Healthcare