After 200 hours of sweating, teaching and sweating some more… I am now qualified to teach creative Freestyle Yoga! The Freestyle Yoga Project specialise in dynamic flows of movement designed to strengthen and stretch the body whilst getting the heart pumping at the same time, this kind of yoga is often referred to as Yoga Vinyasa or Vinyasa Flow.
The training was a real contrast to the Hatha Yoga Training I completed in 2013 which gave me great philosophical and spiritual insight into a more traditional yoga set up. In my opinion, your spiritual stance on yoga is deeply personal and not for me to influence either way. However, I am keen to encourage people that I work with to develop an increased sense of self awareness and a connection to the body that carries you through life. Fundamentally, it is impossible to be physically well and mentally stressed out. Why? Stress causes physiological change in the body which does damage to your systems over a long period of time.
What type of Yoga is best for you? For those of you new to yoga, there are a million different types of yoga and, within each type, every teacher will offer something different. The key is to keep trying different classes and teachers until you find someone whose way of teaching really resonates with you.
In my opinion, Yoga is not restrictive but expansive: giving many different things to many different people. Movement should be naturally fluid and progressive, starting softly but building up to more challenging physical work. Yoga should never be physically easy if you are looking for body change. Do as you have always done and you will always have what you have always had. You have to do what you have never done to gain what has never before been yours.
Yoga is energising! It is also a Wonderful escapism from a busy mind and the general chaos of life. It nourishes both body and soul. And it teaches you how to breathe properly…quite a revelation after 28 years of shallow breathing into the chest!
There are a few prerequisites for Yoga. It is not essential that you can wrap your leg round your neck or touch your toes before you begin… but it is only worth opening the book if are open to what may be inside. It is a never ending journey of self discovery: it nourishes the connection you have to the vessel that gives you life. In my opinion, a journey that you can’t afford not to take.