What I Learnt From : My First Yoga Lesson

I have back knack.  I know I have bad posture and I’ve been getting pretty fed up of the feeling of aching and tight muscles.

I’m not entirely sure where the root cause lies, but I’ve been getting annoyed by going to physio sessions that provide relief while I’m there but not really doing anything long term.  It was only a chiropractor that said that his services would rehydrate the disc, so it makes sense that long term treatment is the only thing that would help in the long term.

I few people had recommended yoga and pilates but I seemed to have a stupid amount of trouble finding beginners’ classes near me.  I didn’t really fancy joining a group first up anyway, because when I used to teach sport I found it hard to dedicate enough time to the needs of everyone in a group.  You can teach generically, but everyone is different and I found that I couldn’t pay enough attention to everyone’s individuality.

After a bit more searching, I found Liverpool Yoga Studios and Natasha Clague.  I can’t remember whether I found business or yogi first but, a few e-mails later, I’d booked myself in for a 1:1 session.

As with most first times, I approached by lesson with nervousness and excitement.

I was so nervous that I even took a selfie.  An important note here – never assume that just because you can’t see in somewhere, it doesn’t mean that those inside can’t see out!

Liverpool Yoga Studios are on Great Crosshall Street and it’s been a while since I’ve been in that part of the city.  The studios are easy enough to find with a map even if I did feel that I was going to completely the wrong place! I got the train in to Central and it was about a 15 minute slow walk to the studios, although getting off the train at Moorfields would provide a shorter “warm up”.

I arrived at the studios early enough to chuck my stuff in the changing rooms and ended up speaking to a few people in there.  A class had just finished and the variety of people coming out was wide, and all them seemed really friendly and all of them were willing to talk and put my mind at ease, asking what I was doing and providing encouragement.

That may seem like a strange to thing to say, but I’ve been to gyms and other clubs where the atmosphere can be intimidating.  This was anything but.

I met Tasha and we went to the non-hot studio.  I’m not really sure what to say about a place that basically consists of two massive rooms with mirrors on the walls because I guess that the biggest compliment you can pay is that there was nothing wrong with it!  I would have absolutely no issue recommending the facilities to anyone.

Nor would I have any issue recommending Tasha.  In fact, I spoke to some friends later after the lesson, none of whom have done yoga before, and I said to them that if they wanted to give it a go, they should get in touch with her.  What I look for in a teacher is someone who is passionate about their subject, can explain it (and put up with my questions!) and, perhaps more importantly and for want of a better phrase, someone that you also feel you could just as easily be mates with in different circumstances.  Tasha ticks all those boxes and more.

Tasha listened to what I was hoping to get out of it, explained what we’d be doing and got me started.  We started off with bending my back a little and then moved up to my shoulders before going all the way back down my legs through a variety of poses all held for 5 minutes.

Some poses I didn’t think I had any trouble with, although it’s odd that when you think you’re relaxed, there’s often still room for more relaxation!  Other poses were harder and with one I admit that, when the five minutes were up, I wasn’t entirely certain that I could get my leg out from where it was! It wasn’t a complex pose by any means, it just says more about me.

And that’s what I loved about my first yoga lesson.   I stood up at the end of a lesson that I expected to last 30 minutes but lasted nearly 75 and I felt tall.  I looked in the mirror and I was stood up straight.  My shoulders were back.  My walk from the studios felt easy and I grinned like an idiot every time I caught my reflection in a shop window!

The day after, I was aching mainly in the top of my thighs.  A few joints were cracking when I got up and I did have some other aches but they weren’t bodily symmetrical – only the left side of my abs hurt, for example.  This makes sense for me as a person who used to do archery, a sport that does cause strength imbalances if not properly supplemented with specific training.

I was so happy with what I achieved that I’ve had to reel myself in somewhat to stick to the advice to practice 3 times a week and leave rest days.  I have, though, found myself just doing some infrequent light stretching and shaking off of the muscles to try to help the aches.

I think my first foray in to yoga has taught me a lot about myself physically already.  I’ve been noticing when I’ve been slumped over reading, typing or looking at my phone and correcting myself.

More importantly, though, was that I left the studio with a massive smile on my face.  I went out that night and I was walking with confidence.  If my experience can give me that and help me get stronger and bendier, it’s something that I’m going to want to carry on for a long time to come.

So I stand tall
It gets a little better
I see the wall that we can break down together
Stand strong it gets a little better now
(we can break it down, yes we can make it)
Stand tall
It gets a little better
I see the wall that we can break down together
Stand strong it gets a little better now
(we can break it down, yes we can break it)
(we can break it down, yes we can break it)

Pardon me if I’m too loud
Gonna sing my song gonna sing it proud
No ones gonna bring me down
Gonna stand up strong gonna hold my ground
Tell me what are we fighting for
Just to do what we done before
Tell me what are we fighting for (fighting for)

Stand Tall by The Dirty Heads

 


My 1:1 session cost £30 and I understood it to be for 30 minutes, but we started at 2pm and I looked at my phone as I left the studio and it was around 15:20.  I don’t know if that’s normal or because I took longer than I was supposed to, hence why I didn’t really want to venture it!  I’ve since bought a mat and two yoga blocks for under £15.  Liverpool Yoga Studios offer a variety of membership options and classes.

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