I’m more of getting my trainers on and running sort of person, but I’ve always been interested to try yoga, mainly because those that do it, rave about it so much. When the opportunity arose to give the Wednesday yoga class a go at Peake Fitness, I jumped at the chance.
Peake Fitness at Stoke by Nayland Hotel hosts weekly yoga classes, on Thursdays, 11.30am-1pm run by Catherine, a yoga instructor with nearly 30 years teaching experience. Her 90 minute classes are not just for the seasoned yoga enthusiast, but for a complete novice, like myself.
Chatting with Catherine afterwards, we talked about the less well known benefits of yoga. She teaches a lot of posturing (asanas) that not only helps with flexibility and strength, but with how we posture ourselves, and how certain yoga poses can help us (especially women) feel more empowered and in control. So, I decided to do a bit of research about the (many, as I discovered) benefits of regular yoga
Regular yoga lowers stress and improves your mood. Learning to breathe and concentrating on the rhythmic breathing helps reduce stress and anxiety
Because yoga is very much a holistic exercise, it’s not just our muscles that are exercised, but our mind. , Yoga has a powerful effect in boosting levels of self-confidence. For more information, I found this interesting blog about it
Obviously, you will burn more calories taking part in one Peake Fitness’s high intensity work out classes, but yoga helps normalises body weight by restoring hormonal balance. By reducing the fight or flight instinct caused by stress & the potential emotional eating associated, yoga can also help contribute to weight loss
When practiced on a regular basis, your muscles will build in strength, agility and flexibility. Yoga is one of the few exercises that will help your muscles do all three at the same time
Studies have shown doing yoga a couple of times a week lowers participant's blood pressure. There's some more information about that here
If your life is anything like mine, you’ll have a million things racing round inside my brain at once. Bizarre though it may sound, studies have shown that just one hatha yoga session can increase your cognitive function. Breathing and meditation, help disperse your distractions and therefore focus your mind and memory. The Daily Mail cover the study here
Whether it’s period pains, arthritis, the breathing and meditation central to yoga, is a natural pain relief
Yoga is great for improving your mental health and your mood. Yoga provides a feeling of well being, increased motivation and consecutiveness with others.
In addition to my research, I also asked my yoga loving friends, what it is they love about yoga and how does it help their lives. Here’s a bit of feedback:
“During yoga, it is possibly the only time that I breathe properly! Proper deep breathes. I've noticed that my breathing is normally quite shallow so yoga really helps with that - and in turn helps with energy and stress”
“Sleep! It really helps you sleep. Also Bikram is fantastic exercise - I'm a huge fan”
“I think it helps in many ways, calmness, relaxation, and mindfulness, However most importantly being a gym fan and 56 I need to improve my flexibility and suppleness here I think it is fantastic”
Member since: 17th March 2014
Hello! I'm Penny from thebestof Sudbury, shouting about the best local businesses from Hadleigh through the Clare. When I'm not doing that, you'll find me knitting socks or tending to my 6 chickens