About yoga, body and mind
I have been practising yoga since I was 15, mainly because I was a very nervous teenager but also because I knew that it has lots of benefits as a sport. Even though its origin isn´t completely accurate, yoga is said to be about 5,000 years old and it originated while Gautama Buddha was alive, the creator of Buddhism. It is a practise that combines both body and mind exercises, and that´s why it is very interesting to read and watch documentaries about its beliefs and philosophy. At the end of the article I will list some of my personal recommendations for those who want to continue learning about this millenary practise.
I tried the yoga class offered at the university and I really enjoyed it; easy to follow, calm and perfect to end your day after hours of studying. That´s why I decided to interview Sandy Martin, the yoga teacher at the university´s gym.
Name and surname: Sandy Martin
Profession: Yoga Teacher
Favourite Yoga quote: Just breathe!
Why would you recommend students to go to yoga classes?
So, yoga is really good for the body; it has physical benefits, it has emotional benefits and mental benefits. So you could call it an overall work out if you like, for your body and your whole system.
What kind of yoga do you teach? How is it different from other yoga disciplines?
It is based on classical Hatha Yoga. Okay, this was passed down 5,000 years ago, so in my personal opinion, I call it pure form of yoga, other types of yoga are variations of it. So for example, you might have heart of Vinyasa Flow yoga which is Ashtanga yoga but quicker, Hot Yoga is Ashtanga Yoga type done in 180Cº of heat, so there is lots of types of yoga but I would say that Hatha yoga is the basic one, the base that is used in the rest of the yoga types.
A lot of people think that you need to be extra flexible to practise yoga, is that correct?
No, that´s not right. There are mainly two reasons you should come along, one if you lack flexibility and if you are very stressed out. Those are the kind of people that should definitely come to yoga. For most people though, they might have a little bit of flexibility but yoga is also good for preventing injuries, is a good way to help recover from injuries and keep you calmer, keep your stress levels down etc. these things are very good for you.
How would you say that yoga improves our daily life?
Just, it keeps you calm, so it helps you improving your coping mechanisms and if you practise yoga regularly, the world just quiets down; so you are not running a 100 miles/hour all the time.
Yoga is a mind & body exercise, any exercise recommendation for exams´ period?
Yes, breathing. Learning how to breathe, definitely that, if you can slow your breathing down, you will become calmer and more relaxed and that helps your memory as well.
After the interview I realised even more how being a student we can sometimes forget to take care of our mental and emotional health and how yoga could help to find a balance to carry out all our activities in a more chilled way full of positive vibes. There are many classes available so it´s easy to find the one that suits you best. The yoga classes cost £20 for the full academic year for students, which is a reasonable price, compared to usual yoga studios.
Like almost everything, you can find many yoga tutorials on Youtube. They are very practical and you can easily practise them in the comfort of your own home, however I would recommend you take some lessons first so you know the basics; how to hold the poses, how to place your back, hips and shoulders as it can be harmful if we keep repeating the poses incorrect. Anyways, here is a yoga channel I follow, where you can find exercises aimed towards beginners to more advanced practices and meditation tips.
As I said before, I would love to share some book and web pages for those who are more interested in this art:
- Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
- The monk who sold his Ferrari by Robin Sharma
- Wanderlust: A modern Yogi´s guide to discovering your best self by Jeff Krasno
- Yoga girl by Rachel Brathem
Playlist for yoga and meditation.
Everyone is a different soul, so there is no a one way to learn yoga. To feel stronger and vibrant, each of us should look for our own yoga path, the one that suits us more, so let´s start! But first, remember – BREATH!