Yoga builds muscle strength, improves posture, and releases endorphins
By Jess Porritt
To the uninitiated, yoga can seem like a terrifying world of ridiculously bendy girls and wise flowery gurus spouting wisdom and meditating. This is not true. Yoga is whatever you want it to be, from a quick stretch to a full two hours of poses, meditation and chanting. It can be done by anyone, and should be done by everyone. Yoga builds muscle strength, improves posture, and releases endorphins, creating happiness and relaxation. When you put it like that, why wouldn’t you try it?
I came to yoga four years ago after I tripped and severely injured my knee to the point where I could barely walk. I had to stop normal exercise leading to weight gain and depression. However, after a conversation with my physiotherapist, he recommended that I try some very gentle yoga to reduce the swelling in my joint. With this advice, I bought myself a £5 mat from Amazon and I got started on a 30-day yoga challenge. I am proud to say that I have done yoga almost every day since. I became stronger, fitter and much happier. I went from barely being able to touch my ankles to comfortably touching the floor in a month, something I had struggled to do for my entire childhood. My yogic journey has gone from strength to strength. Most recently it saw me qualifying as yoga instructor at the beginning of October, with my level 3 diploma approaching in the New Year.
After deciding to qualify as a teacher, I decided to build a yoga brand and with the help of my boyfriend we created ‘Yourga’. Yourga is all about doing your own practice, your way, rather than confining yourself to one branch of teaching. I wanted to create an inclusive programme that anyone could join, safe in the knowledge that they would never be shamed for not being able to achieve a pose. As I came to yoga injured and inflexible I welcome anyone who believes they are limited by something, because I love showing them that there is a way forward no matter how small. Yoga is fantastic for mental and physical health, which is why I think it is so important for students to try it. Taking an hour out of your day, once a week, to forget about university life is incredibly beneficial, you never know you might build yourself a good habit for life.
I currently teach twice a week in Englefield Green and hope to expand to offer more classes next term so that I really can cater for every level of experience. To find out more, visit www.yourga.co.uk or follow @_yourga on Instagram or Twitter.
This article was published in our November 2016 issue.