Fitness Yoga

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I love Hiit training. I have been doing this type of workout routine for a couple of years now. I puff through intervals of squats, lunges, burpies and cardio as I always thought that every exercise session had to include bouncing around in order to get a sweat on!

I am, however, left feeling slightly stiff and craving a good stretch! Recently I have discovered yoga; my mat comes out and I get Cat Meffan up on my phone and into the first flow position I go! I have always got bored easily with exercise so even with yoga I include a mixture of the deep-stretching and meditation, as well as the more fitness, strength side. This is where fitness yoga comes in.

Having recently moved to University, I wanted to try out a couple of fitness/exercise classes at the local gym facility. Well actually I tried everything from gym-based blast sessions, Zumba toning, core and abs to Pilates! However I did not come out any of these sessions feeling as re-energised as I did when I left the studio after fitness yoga. The instructor is lovely and makes adaptations for all yoga fitness levels and I find the class a great way to meet like-minded people, rather than doing it alone in my uni room.

I thought I’d be an at-home practice kind of girl because that way I can work at my own pace, but the personal guidance and regular alignment adjustments by the teacher in the class has really helped my posture and pose form. I haven’t been to that many classes in the past, so I don’t have much to compare it to, but we didn’t flow too fast, I could keep up and there was a nice variety of fitness, sweat-inducing exercises and stretching positions.

At the end of class, we usually do a five minute relaxation and mindfulness practice, lying on our backs on the mats with our palms facing up. These five minutes are very dreamy and allow me time for myself to take my mind off the workout I have just completed and the tasks that I need to do when I return to my flat. The only problem is, these minutes go extremely quickly!

I am by no means a yoga expert, I still wobble through some balances and there are some poses that I am yet to hack, however, the practice offers me a time-out away from my phone and my body thanks me for being less uptight!

If I am unable to get to the weekly class, I try to fit in a session in my room, following Cat Meffan, Yoga with Adriene or Madeleine Shaw’s youtube practices. If I’m pushed for time, I work through a 15 minute flow, whereas I also love to perform an hour session every now and again. I like to do this either in the morning to feel more awake or the evening before bed to keep me well spirited but still calm. My favourite positions are the plank pose, downward dog, child’s pose and happy baby.

I am definitely going to continue my yoga practice to hopefully improve, not only my flexibility but also my mindfulness meditation. In the future, I would love to attend a yoga fitness retreat or yoga and brunch event. Have you ever tried any form of yoga? If not you should give it a go!

Rachel

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