EXPERIENCE THIS // Yoga at Moss Vale Yoga Studio
Taking Time Out To Breathe, Bend and Just Be
It’s no secret yoga is good for you – taking time out to regularly practice will improve your strength, balance, flexibility, tone as well as all the good stuff around sleeping more soundly, improving your energy levels and helping to manage stress.
You know! All the stuff you’ve heard about yoga – it’s absolutely true.
But what we love about it the most is that it’s a nice way to for us Highlanders to take some time out from all the crazy because hey, 2021 has turned out to be almost as nutso as 2020.
And how good does it feel to just stop? To shut the world out and breathe..... that’s probably what we loved the most about doing a Beginners class with Brit Adams at Moss Vale Yoga Studio recently (oh, and the whole getting bendy part too!).
Here’s how we got our om on....
Follow the sun
It’s shoes off at the door before you enter the studio upstairs in the Moss Vale Arcade, in the heart of town.
We did a Monday morning 9:30 class so as we walked in, the sun was streaming in through the windows and mandarin and lavender oils were burning – it smelt delicious and felt like we’d been given a lovely, big warm hug!
The carpet is soft underfoot and we roll our mats out as we say hi to the lovely bunch of local yogis signed up to the winter term.
And they’re hilarious! So much fun and so welcoming – we had lots of giggles before we even started. The energy in this space is so relaxed and casual, there’s no yoga snobbery going on here, that’s for sure!
Brit gently cajoles us into focusing on what we’re here to do with her lovely melodic voice and calming tone.
The naughty girls up the back (yep, we were in that group) settle down and we shake off the outside world with a little jiggle of the head and shoulders, and a cleansing deep breath.
Brit talks us through a set of sun salutations, warming up our bodies in preparation for what’s to come.
Even through this part, the heart rate rises and as we move into some more challenging chair poses, we get a little warmer (and breathier!). And of course there’s a downward dog here or there.
One of the things we learnt pretty early on in practising yoga with Brit is that she’ll sweetly ask, “Shall we do the other side?” Heads up, people. It’s a rhetoric question. We ALWAYS do the other side.
But that’s good because it keeps us moving and challenging us that little bit more each time.
One of the other things Brit says often which we loved was;
It’s not a competitive environment.
It’s not a place where you feel as though you need to bend a bit further than the person next to you or hold the pose longest...... Brit supports all her students to be absolutely fine with where they are in their yoga practise in the here and now.
Mind and body balance (literally)
We follow the sun salutations with some balance poses – they’re not difficult and there are a number of regressions Brit offers if you can’t hold your balance for too long or stretch your leg or knee a certain way.
We work through a number of standing balances which stops that chatty monkey mind from thinking about your to do list.
If you’re not focused, you topple over!
The whole class move silently through the balance poses in their own worlds and you know what? If you do fall out of a balance pose, there’s no judgement..... you just give it another go with gentle encouragement from Brit.
We shake off the structure of balance poses with what Brit calls a ‘jellyfish’ where we move our arms and upper bodies around, all floppy and relaxed. And it feels soooo good.
There are a number of appreciative groans / sighs when Brit asks us to move to the floor, guiding us through a pigeon pose, a butterfly pose, and boat pose all focused on activating our core and hips.
“Many of us sit so much in our daily lives – whether it’s at work, watching TV or driving in the car. Core work and stretching is vital for counteracting the negative impact too much sitting can have on our bodies,” Brit says.
She then leads us through a number of delicious stretches – what is it about stretching that just feels so good??
Restorative and relaxing
When Brit asks the class if we’re ready for some inversions, we wonder what high school maths could possibly have to do with yoga.
Turns out THIS inversion has nothing to do with numbers and is actually any pose in yoga where your heart is higher than your head.
While we have visions of standing on our heads, it turns out Brit will be guiding us into a much gentler inversion – legs up the wall.
The rest of the class couldn’t get into position fast enough – definitely a crowd favourite!
So, why is legs up the wall (Viparita Karani for those playing along at home!) so popular?
Well, it has these physical benefits;
- increasing circulation
- promotes drainage of excess fluid build-up
- relieves lower back tension
- stretches the hammies
- soothes swollen or cramped legs.
And it also helps activate the parasympathetic nervous system (that’s the one that calms us down). AND it just feels nice.
Brit drops the lights, and we all move into relaxation mode and spend some time in this position before moving around into savasana... the ultimate relaxation pose that closes many yoga practices.
We lie on our backs - legs, feet, hands and arms gently dropping away from our bodies, breathing in and out, removing the last elements of tension within th body (and the brain).
Brit gently plays a Tibetan singing bowl towards the end of our time in savasana, creating a beautiful, rich and deep tone that actually made our heads tingle!!! There is research that suggests Tibetan singing bowls may impact brain waves to induce relaxation – looks like that might be the case with us from the amount of tingling we got.
We gently return to the room (metaphorically), each of us taking our time to stir and stretch and blink our eyes open, feeling rested and ready to take on the rest of Monday!
About Brit and the Moss Vale Yoga Studio
Brit has been practising yoga for 25 years, teaching for nearly four and has owned Moss Vale Yoga Studio since 2019.
“Many of the students who come to our classes are here to jump off the treadmill of life for a little while. In fact many of our pre-natal classes are full of mums and mums-to-be who use the time to rest and reboot themselves,” says Brit.
“I also have people who use yoga to complement their active lives – they may be runners or like high intensity training or do horse riding. The core work we do is fantastic for horse riding,”she says.
“There’s so many benefits from doing yoga – you can do a casual class or sign up for a whole term. Either way, you’ll be supported and at the end of the class, you’ll definitely feel the difference from when you walked in.”
Moss Vale Yoga Studio has been a dedicated yoga space for over twenty years. Brit and her team of teachers offer a variety of classes –pre natal, yin, flow, beginners -whether you are new to yoga or not, there’s a class to suit you. Get in touch with Brit here and invest some time in you!
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