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After my experience in Well Within I was hoping for something that might be a little more taxing on the fitness side of things. I’m not knocking the class I had at Well Within, it was a fantastic experience. But I felt that I needed to enter a class where I would have my flexibility and strength tested.
I decided to take the beginners class at YogaWorx in Douglas, Cork. The teacher informed me that the class would be of mixed levels, some of whom would be complete beginners like myself, and others with some experience.
This time the meditative gloves were off, and the teacher, Lisa Fahy, would put me through my paces more so than I could have expected.
For a woman that only began practicing Yoga four odd years ago, she exuded an aura of calm and experience. This class would be ashtanga Yoga which uses deep breathing techniques and a constant series of poses and exercises which were, in my mind, pretty tough.
I broke out a sweat before I knew it, and I was being tested on various levels of strength, flexibility, and endurance after 15 minutes or so. This was the picture I had in mind of Yoga, only not as tough.
The Yogi was understanding of my lack of ability to manoeuvre my hips and legs into certain positions, and was very helpful in aiding me with props (Yoga blocks) to literally – prop me up. One series of poses called ‘the sun salutation’ was a rhythmic and fluid set of poses all combined into what appeared to be one move.
I have heard from many men who would play sports that require strength and endurance, that pilates was a challenge. I was beginning to wonder did I stumble in to a pilates class by mistake, or was it just that there was similarity in the fundamentals of each style of exercise.
Either way, ashtanga Yoga is a great way to stabilize the core, and get an outstanding stretch all over. Some of the stretching techniques used I have never seen before.
I would have in the past, through different physios and trainers, used several techniques for certain body parts I have had trouble with, such as the hip flexor, groin, glutes and parts of the back – now through ashtanga Yoga I was experiencing a different level of stretching.
I was getting a deep stretch on each muscle we were focusing on. It was a stretch that was doing something more than lengthening the fibres of my muscles. I could feel that I was flushing out toxins in certain areas and sending other muscles into a state of deep relaxation.
I’m an absolute blank sheet of paper in terms of Yoga class experience, but I’m pretty sure that ashtanga Yoga will be getting the thumbs up for future references. I left the class feeling a little tired, but completely relaxed and more aware of my body. I felt as if my body was a rusty old car which had just been serviced in the local garage.
Try Yoga or Pilates for less with Ompass – a multi-studio trial pass for just €30. Visit http://www.yogaaddict.ie