Friday, 4 December 2015

Face Up Fitness: The Benefits of Yoga and My Virgin Experience

Having goals is good but there’s not much point in setting them unless they’re challenging – and my latest one certainly is!

I went to my first ever yoga lesson last week and I have much to learn. Like mastering the move above - just look at it!  I have no idea what it’s called but here teacher Mark is using his two arms to hold and suspend his entire body in mid-air. Impressive!

In one silky smooth action, Mark swung his legs forwards from a press-up, tucked them under his chest and then held the pose for what seemed like an eternity without a single wobble. Anyone who can do that is strong, mobile and flexible beyond belief.

I had a go copying Mark but… let’s just leave it at that! But despite my rather dismal attempts at perfecting the art form, my virgin yoga experience was a success. I loved it and I’m going to make yoga a regular part of my exercise regime.

Friends have been singing yoga’s praises to me for years. But I’m a total gym rat (don’t fear, gym, I’m not about to desert you).  The relative calm and relaxation of the yoga classroom has never previously held any appeal.
So why the change? Well, I’ve finally admitted to myself something I’ve known for some time – that while I’m pretty fit and healthy, my flexibility and mobility is lousy. Yoga is just brilliant for improving both, as my pal Ebru (pictured with me above), a yoga regular, has been telling me.

The benefits of yoga include: 
-    It’s a complete mind/body workout
-   It’s safe (it doesn’t strain the joints) and it’s suitable for all levels (yoga comes in different intensities – choose one to suit)
-    It promotes relaxation
-    It strengthens and tones the body (builds muscle)
-    It improves flexibility (increases your range of motion)
-    It improves balance

I went along to a class local to me in Tunbridge Wells called the Freestyle Yoga Project. If you live anywhere near, I can highly recommend it – details here. The NHS also has an informative guide to yoga, with links to various associations, here.

Do you do yoga?


  1. I don't do Yoga, but so many people recommend it for the relaxation part if nothing else.

    1. It is relaxing but by no means lightweight either. I think it a tremendous allround exercise regime. Tx

  2. I love yoga, it's really helped with my balance (I fall over a lot less!) It's also helped aid my running (runner addict/not so much stretching addict!)

    1. Aha, balance. Yes I am discovering mine is not so fantastic! :) Tx

    2. I have also recently taken up yoga for the first time, although I have opted for hot yoga. I agree with all of the previous comments. I find it the perfect partner for the heavy weight session at the gym and excellent for improving balance. I also find that I am becoming more flexible - it realigns me - ready for the next gym session!


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