Amelia Burdis, a teacher at Zen Yoga, talks through the basics of the discipline.
How can yoga help you improve physically? Yoga is all about the balance of body, mind and soul, all of which can help you relax. The actual classes focus on the physical aspects of balancing. In this respect it’s great for increasing strength, toning, flexibility, posture, positioning and general fitness.
What mental benefits can it bring? Yoga prepares the mind for a holistic approach. through the practice of meditation, pranayama (breathing), as well as the concentration required during the asana (seated position), which all help to train the mind so that it can meet and manage the stresses of our lives today.
Who is it good for? It is good for everyone as it can be tailored to individual requirements. Furthermore its philosophy is concerned with community and wider wellbeing.
What do you need to know about yoga before you start? Knowledge is not a requirement to start, it is more about entering into new experiences with an open mind.
What kind of yoga is best to start off with? The real trick is to find an instructor who you like and trust, who you can grow with and who will help guide you down your own path to enlightenment.
What makes a good yoga class? When I left my first ever class I felt all my worries and stresses from the day had been eased. This is the feeling I try to give to all my students. A good class begins with creating the right environment, a clean studio, the right lighting and beautiful, ambient music. Having a good rapport with your clients is key, being able to put them at ease, giving them as much information about what they are doing and how it is affecting and benefiting their body. Most of all, making sure that they leave the class feeling relaxed, uplifted and wanting to come again.