I love yoga. But to be honest I also hate it a little bit too! Why? Because I know I'll never look as gorgeous, fit and trim as all those Instayogis that crop up in my newsfeed. It doesn't matter if I invest in amazing yoga pants from Lululemon or squeeze my boobs into the latest sports bra from Lorna Jane - I still don't particularly like what I see in the mirror. And there's no way EVER going to be able to do a One Handed Tree or Wounded Peackock pose!! Best I can hope for is Vinyasa basic flow class without falling over or a gentle Yin class to help me stretch out my sore and tired body!!
So why do I do it?! Well the reality is the I love how yoga makes me feel at the beginning, middle and end of a class. Once started, all thoughts about how I look and what I can or can't achieve fade away and I am totally in the moment. Most classes start with Yoga breathing or Pranayama which is the foundation of yoga practice. As your breath slows down and calms down, so does your heart, and your mind and thoughts. Yoga breathing exercises work in a similar way to meditation in calming and clearing your mind and bringing a feeling of relaxation to your entire body.
Next there is usually the movement phase of the class which is known as Asana, which can be defined as any physical Yoga posture or position that is designed to help master the body and enhance the body's functions. It is usually during this phase that I lose all track of time and thought as I try my best to master these moves, breathe through the physical and mental challenge, and try to ignore the sweat trickling down my forehead!
The final and favourite part of my yoga practice is Savasana. This might look like a nap at the end of your yoga practice but it's actually a fully conscious pose aimed at being awake, yet completely relaxed. I see it as a reward for the all the hard work I have put my body through in the Asana part of the class!
The result is always the same. Whatever mental or physical state I arrive in before my yoga class I always leave feeling gratitude for the experience and a sense of calm as I head out into another day of being a busy mum. If you haven't tried it yet, I can't recommend it highly enough!
Yoga @ METreat Retreats
METreat is delighted to welcome Monique Robin as a guest yoga teacher at the April METreat weekend at Amarant Retreat from Friday 27 - Sunday 29 April. Monique is a mum of four (!) and advocates the benefits of yoga to anybody who will listen. Monique offers yoga participants an experience that is individualised and transforming, delivered by a passionate mother who is a top-notch yoga teacher, focused on bringing yoga into everyday people’s lives.