It’s been my intention for a while to start working more exercise into my week but carving out the time to do that can be difficult. Over the last year I have been gradually loosing weight and I’m down to what I think is a healthy size for me, but there are areas now that don’t need extra weight loss, just toning. I walk every day doing the school run which has helped massively but I really wanted to try something more challenging. There is so much to choose from but I’m not someone who can cope with a really intense exercise class, at least not at the moment, and the thought of spending hours in the gym just doesn’t interest me.
Instead I’m trying out Yoga: it is something I have been interested in for a while as I like the idea that it’s more than just exercise. One of my friends recommended it to me and not only does she look amazing but the way it has adjusted her outlook on life has appealed to me the most. The meditation, the history, the relaxation – it flows into everything and has helped with her own well-being. I think any busy parent can relate to feeling close to the edge somedays; there is so much going on each and every day, so much to remember and organise. I am a firm believer in finding time for yourself away from all. At the end of a busy day you need to recharge and focus on yourself to truly be the best parent you can be – happy Mum, happy children!
With all that in mind, last week I went to my very first class and absolutely loved it: it was everything I had hoped for. It usually takes place in an old mansion house that has been refurbished but as the weather was so nice our lesson was out in the gardens which I think made it even more engaging. There was something comforting about standing barefoot on the grass, feeling the breeze on you face and listening to the birds.
Before we did any kind of yoga movements we did a meditation exercise and that was probably the hardest thing for me; just to lie still and just focus on breathing can be difficult when you are on the go all day. There were definitely times when I felt focused but still found random thoughts popping into my head, all the little things, like what shopping we need or appointments for the week. I have been assured that over time I will learn to stop this and clearing the mind is something that needs to be practiced.
I love that the class is so relaxed, that there is a wide range of people there and it is a very welcoming environment. Everyone just takes it at their own pace and you can do as much or as little as you want to. The teacher also talks about the yoga principles and history which I enjoy.
It feels like this is just what I needed; anyone with children will know that those evening hours are precious. My children are usually all in bed by 7pm then I try to cram in all the little things I couldn’t get done in the day and still find time to chat to my husband or wind down and have some time to myself. I don’t always sleep very well quite simply because I can’t switch my mind off. Our lives are so busy now and filled with engagements everywhere we look. Also, everything is right at our fingertips so that we are constantly viewing or reading something new. I’m most looking forward to spending time away from all that, time when I can totally focus on myself. After the Yoga session I felt so chilled out that it seemed a shame to have to get in my car and drive. As time goes on I hope to be able to bring some of the relaxation techniques into my days and maybe before I go to sleep. I would of course like it to help tone my body but for now I’m just enjoying it.
I didn’t know what to expect before this class. Of course I had heard of Yoga but wasn’t really sure it would be for me. It would be so easy to dismiss it for being maybe too out there or hippy-ish but it didn’t feel at all like that. When you are actually doing Yoga it feels like it could just be you in the room. How often do you get a chance to totally focus on yourself for an hour? I’m looking forward to next week, to continuing learning more about Yoga and making it part of my week.