June 21st was extra special this year. Not only was it my birthday and the winter or summer solstice depending on whether you live in the northern or southern hemisphere but it was also International Yoga Day.
Not so long ago, I looked in the mirror and saw one too many lumps and bumps. Gazing at my reflection, I found it difficult to visualise myself doing cartwheels in the sand, something that had seemed so easy when I was younger. So, I decided to give yoga a go, as I’d been reliably informed that if you want to improve your flexibility while strengthening and nurturing your body and mind, then yoga is the go.
But, I encountered a problem. What kind of yoga should I attempt? Here in Byron Bay, you can practise downward facing dog in various styles including Vinyasa, Kundalini, Ashtanga, Hatha Flow, Yin Yoga, Power flow, Purna and Bikram just to name a few. Now I know my limitations: didn’t want to break anything nor did the thought of sweating myself into the perfect body shape appeal. My friend, Annie came to my rescue. “Join me at Beachside Yoga,” she urged.
I check it out. Two words stand out: slow and gentle. Then there is the location. The Beachside Yoga studio. is upstairs in the Byron Bay Surf Club and all equipment is supplied. I decide to give it a go. Classes are 90 mins long and the cost is $18 per class. There are regular specials so check out their website. http://www.beachsideyogaandmassage.com.au/
The teachers are great especially Grace Benn. Under her guidance, Annie and I have traveled some way along our yoga journey. The view of the ocean seems to illuminate our practice.
I have had found that the body awareness relaxation or shavasana really does make you feel relaxed and stress free. (I fallen asleep during shavasana – lavender eye pillows and a soothing voice can have that effect. I only hope that I haven’t snored!) Afterwards, I seem to float my way to coffee at a nearby cafe.
My yoga class has become a weekly ritual. I hate to miss a class! Have you given Yoga a go? If so, what has been your experience? I would love to hear from you.