Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Rediscovering yoga

Several years ago I attended a weekly yoga class down at the Elwood beach house. I don't recall what style of yoga it was, but I do recall that I enjoyed it immensely. For reasons forgotten I ceased those classes, but now I'm rediscovering the benefits of yoga in my living room, courtesy of a new Wii program.

Given to me for my birthday, the program blends yoga and pilates in a customised routine depending on the user's experience and goals -- for example, I classified myself as a beginner and my goal as overall body toning. (Other options are upper/lower body, abs, back pain, relaxation etc.) It then schedules 12-14 poses (or short routines such as the sun salutation) and guides you through them; new poses are introduced and the hold times get longer as you get better. I really like the way it's structured as a class, and that it gets harder as you get better. (The name of this particular progam is newU Fitness First Mind Body Yoga & Pilates Workout.)

I'm finding it particularly beneficial to practice yoga daily around lunchtime or just before dinner, especially if I'm transitioning from one mind intensive activity to another. Yoga (and pilates -- I'm honestly not sure which exercises belong to which discipline) is invigorating and yet relaxing. It feels like a workout, yet I feel calm and centred at the end of it. No wonder thousands of people swear by it!

The warrior poses have become favourites of mine. I can pretend I'm channelling a certain swordsman . . .

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