I’ve never been very sporty and I use being an August baby as an excuse for why I am not very good at anything that involves moving in any way that could be suggested as a form of exercise. I have been to the gym once in six months and I don’t use our pool half as much I should. It has come as a surprise to even me that I have been able to keep up with regular yoga classes. Now I know many people don’t consider yoga to be an actual sport, but given that it has been suggested for the Olympics, that during my classes I sweat and I occasionally ache afterwards I’m counting it as one.
I have been going for around six months now and I still look forward to it. There are many reasons for this. Firstly, I very much enjoy the non competitive nature of it. If I can’t be bothered stretching my arms all the way down to the ground I can use a block, and if I am feeling very lazy I just bend my knees when you’re not meant to.
A few months ago I read an article in the New York Times warning that yoga was bad for your health as you can push your body too far. It mentions that you can slip a disk of damage you knee joints. Whilst I am sure this can happen, the teachers that I have had in Thailand teach the class at a kind of multi-level, and they don’t make you feel bad if you cannot get into a particular position. You might not be able to wrap your leg around your head, but you can certainly stretch in the right direction. My friend tells me that Asian people are more stretchy than me, something about extra elastic tendons… This reassures me when everyone around me can do both the Malasana pose and the Downward Dog pose with flat feet and I can’t even get off my tip-toes!
Another thing I love about yoga is how relaxed I feel after it. As someone who usually has a thousand thoughts a minute it’s great to spend 90 minutes focusing on my terrible balance or trying to slide along the mat whilst balancing on my hands (how come everyone else can do the Cobra pose so elegantly?!). I’ve managed to learn enough of the poses so that I can now manage at least 30 minutes of yoga by myself. Admittedly I have only done this twice, but I’m hopeful.
Yoga has also made me look better. It may not be the best way to shift the pounds but when you go from spending most of your life sitting to doing any kind of exercise there are bound to be some physical benefits.
Although up until recently I was attending yoga at the Racquet club at Thong Lor I have recently discovered The Yoga Place. Situated on Thong Lor and only a 20 minute walk from my house. It’s a really great place, you can turn up to any lessons and it’s just 350 Baht (7 GBP). The teachers are really lovely, and there is a cute café on the ground floor with after exercise suitable foods like smoothies, salads and soups. I recommend a visit, even if you only are in town for a short time!