It was great to see some new faces in my yoga classes this week. It’s good to know that the message is getting out there – that there are local yoga classes in Avonmouth, Sea Mills and Shirehampton – and that people want to come to them!
One of the new students asked me why I do yoga – and that’s a good question.
A yoga class which lasts 1.5 hours can seem like a long time, especially if you’ve never done yoga before. So I’ve decided to make all classes last 1 hour.
In each class we’ll work to strengthen and stretch the whole body, helping to tone the muscles and make you feel leaner and stronger. If you’re interested in trying yoga this week you can bring a friend for free – so you can share the cost of the class.
If you want to know a bit more about yoga before decided to come to a class, you can read more about yoga here.
I changed what we do in the afternoon and evening classes this week. Basically, I wanted to give people more of a workout. People said they enjoyed it so I’ll keep it that way! You can read more about it here – a different style of class.
Yoga can be something that you practice for your entire life. I started 20 years ago and I’m still practicing now. In some of the classes I attend as a student I see some of the people I saw when I first started going, students and teachers.
As you practice all aspects of your yoga will improve – flexibility, stamina, strength and remembering the names of the poses!
Over the last few weeks I’ve written a bit more about how to get better at yoga which you can read by clicking on the links below:
If you’re thinking of starting yoga then the best advice I can give is to get started! Go to a class and take it from there. You never know, you could find yourself still doing yoga 20 years from now…
I’m back from holiday in wonderful Wales, so classes this week will be as follows:
Thursday 10.00am – 11.30am at Cotswold Community Centre in Shire.
Thursday 6.30pm – 7.30pm at Sea Mills Community Centre.
Friday 12.15pm – 1.15pm at Avonmouth Community Centre.
Yoga classes won’t be running next week, that’s week commencing Monday 1st May. Classes will be on the following week, starting with the Thursday morning class at Cotswold Community Centre.
From week commencing 17th April there will be a new time for the yoga class at Avonmouth Community Centre. Classes will move to Friday, start time is 12.15pm and they’ll finish at 1.15pm. Cost of £5 stays the same. So the class next week will be on Friday 21st April, and every Friday from then.
It’s a lucky person who goes through their whole life without ever experiencing some lower back pain. It can happen for a number of reasons – injury, nerve irritation (sciatica), arthritis or sometimes there’s no easily identifiable cause. But whatever the cause, the result is pain or discomfort that is difficult to live with.
In the past people were advised to rest but this has changed in recent years. The medical profession now recommends trying to remain as active as possible. Being active can include light exercise, not just doing normal day-to-day tasks.
Recent research has shown that yoga can be an effective way to reduce the symptoms of low back pain. In a collaborative study carried out by researchers from the University of Maryland School of Medicine in the US, the University Hospital of Cologne in Germany, the University of Portsmouth in the UK, and Yoga Sangeeta in the US it was found that yoga may help improve function and relieve pain associated with chronic lower back pain in some people.
Some advanced yoga poses are not going to be a suitable way of relieving back pain. If the source of pain is a slipped disc then deep forward bends should be avoided. But some simple poses such as Jathara Parivrtti gently stretch the muscles of the lower back which can help relieve pain.
It is worth bearing in mind that trying yoga to help relieve lower back pain is not like taking a painkiller. The practice of yoga should be seen as a long-term approach to minimising any symptoms back pain and improving and maintaining your overall health. Regular practice will help to strengthen your body and improve your posture.
If you suffer from low back pain and you’re interested in trying yoga to see if it can help just remember to take things easy in the first few weeks. Explain your situation to your teacher so that they are aware and can modify things to accommodate you.
If you’d like to read more there’s information on the following pages from the NHS website:
Research into yoga and lower back pain
Low back pain
If you suffer with the pain and limiting impact of arthritis, exercise might seem like something that isn’t for you. But it’s the opposite that’s true. Exercise can be a great way of maintaining or increasing your range of motion and the strength of your bones.
Here’s what the NHS says about yoga and arthritis.
It’s not just the NHS. Arthritis Research UK undertook a study to see if yoga could deliver real benefits to people suffering from arthritis. Their study showed that practising yoga can help relieve the symptoms of arthritis and improve overall ‘back function’. The positive effects were felt within the first 3 months of starting yoga. Regular practice can help to maintain those benefits.
Of course, yoga is not the only form of exercise that can help and it might not be for you. The benefits of regular exercise for arthritis suffers include but aren’t restricted to improved range of motion, better balance and reduced stress. If in doubt, speak to your doctor about how exercise might be able to help and what form of exercise might be suitable for you.
From Wednesday 22nd March there will be a class at Avonmouth Community Centre. The class will take place at lunchtime, 12.30pm – 1.30pm, and costs £5. All equipment is provided.