This week marked our fourth and final session of our Don’t Sweat It! yoga series in partnership with Rexona Clinical Protection, and Team Sporteluxe were once again all too happy to hit the mat at Sydney’s Flow Athletic.
Alongside yoga guru, Kate Kendall we stretched it out one last time for the ultimate morning wake up call (and post long-weekend detox): a traditional Vinyasa Flow, which combined a blend of strengthening and toning moves to start our Tuesday morning off just right.
After this last class, we’re feeling particularly enlightened and informed, having opened our eyes, hearts and hips over the past month. Our first session kicked off with a basics class, then we pulsed our way through Barre only to follow up with an empowering Warrior Yoga.
Through the laughs, tears (just kidding…maybe), sweat and burning cores, we’re so glad we came together and finished strong (part of the fun is working out with your squad!). From beginners to more advanced practitioners, here’s what we had to share about our experience; our revelations on what yoga is really all about.
As with any new activity, you’ll find yourself looking around, somewhat confused at what to do or how to do it. You’re not too sure if you’re feeling what you should be feeling. Maybe you find yourself stretching your quads when you should be stretching your hamstrings. Whatever it may be, you’ll hear your yoga instructor say “If it is within your practice” or “If your body allows for ..” , before transitioning into any pose. Bottom line: you and you alone know your body and what it needs, so tailor and adjust to that. No need to punish yourself or push yourself too hard, which could result in unnecessary injury.
“I’m the first to admit that I’m no yogi but I enjoy the occasional class. Why only occasional? My extremely tight hamstrings (and overactive mind). So I was pleasantly surprised to find that over the past four weeks, I’ve learnt to adjust poses according to what my body wants and needs,” says Emily.
If you’re more of a hard-hitting cardio fan with an affinity for sweating and feeling the burn, all the more to consider inserting yoga into your routine. As much as you like to go, go, go … chances are if you don’t slow down, you’re going to really feel the burn, and burn-out.
More often than not, the poses in yoga are tools to help you focus and be present on what it is you are doing right now. Presence is a consequence of conscious breathing, and conscious breathing in turn empties your mind from the never ending chatter-box that it is. Once this happens, we come to realise how much unnecessary information and stress we load into our bodies. That, and also a serisouly strong workout: going slow makes holding the poses that much more of a challenge!
“I’ve never really thought of yoga as ‘exercise,’ being more inclined to say yes to a power-hour of burpees than a ‘Vinyasa flow’ (at least with burpees I knew what I was in for). But these four weeks have completely changed my mind. I loved the feeling of low-intensity workouts; building strength and toning up by maintaining poses and incorporating light resistance. I can really see the benefit of adding yoga to my exercise routine for both the body and the mind,” says Georgia.
In true yogi form, it’s all about taking what you learnt on the mat and applying it to the rest of your day. Just like you breath through a difficult pose, the beauty of not getting caught up in your actions and letting go of the negative thoughts and feelings saves you time and more importantly, energy. The sense of clarity and composure we inevitably feel after class is something we can take with us and benefit from long after Savasana.
“You feel great for the rest of the day and you learn to not sweat the small stuff. The safe space created by the instructors made it easy to focus and gain clarity of mind. Yoga is a practice, meaning you have to keep at it regularly. Even if you don’t’ get it right every time, you learn to be kind to yourself and not take it too seriously. We’re all human and all make mistakes now and then! It felt great to start the day with a healthy vibe along with some good friends,” says Andy.