Hi everyone!! I’m Anne-Marie, and I’m pretty excited to join the team as one of the Love Middlesbrough Lasses!! Born and bred in Boro, I’m forever telling anyone who will listen (especially my Southern uni mates) about just how amazing, vibrant and friendly our part of the world is.
I love a good event (not missed an Orange Pip yet!) and I’m a massive addict of all things interior design, fashion and beauty related. I also love going to theatre shows and comedy gigs, but my greatest love of all….. is food!!! My mission is to try every restaurant in Boro (I’m getting there!)
I’m also determined to be a bit more active and step up my healthy living game, so with that in mind, take a look at my very first blog post for Love Middlesbrough!!….
No guesses as to what the first question was that people asked when I told them I’d be reviewing a Yoga class, ‘’So will you be doing the Downward Dog?”…
A few things immediately came to mind; will there be dogs? Will they go upwards too? What am I getting myself into here?’
The only knowledge I had about yoga was that you need to be ‘a ‘bit’ flexible – so naturally I started to worry.
As I arrived at the newly refurbished Town Hall in the airy studio room, the small and friendly group led by fully qualified Yoga teacher Clare Walker were setting up the Yoga for Life session.
Mats and head rests in place, Clare started the class by explaining the benefits that yoga brings to the body and mind.
I quickly realised that what’s great about this class is that you need no previous experience and there is no pressure – you can go at your own pace and Clare will even recommend some tailored moves if you have any niggly problems.
Yoga is essentially an excellent way to destress, and each posture is combined with relaxing breathing techniques which can drastically improve core strength and flexibility. The perfect post work activity for a Monday then!
As we got started, we were told that we’d focus on the first yoga principle (there’s 10 in total), which is called ahimsa (it means non-violence), so all of the moves and breathing techniques in the session focussed on that theme.
After some surprisingly relaxing warm up techniques, we went straight into the moves, or ‘flow sequence’ to use the proper term!
‘The Cow’ was one of the first moves, this was a fairly easy pose on all fours which stretched a range of muscles. ‘The Cat’ was next, this was a similar pose but our backs were highly arched to stretch the spine (*angry cat pose*). ‘The Warrior II’ was my favourite position which meant outstretched arms and bent knees –no shame in admitting I needed some help from Claire to perfect the move, it was harder than it looked!
To my delight, we did get to do the highly anticipated ‘Downward Dog’ sequence which helps the full body stretch and improve balance. Let’s just say I might need a bit of practice to nail this one.
Overall, I really enjoyed my first yoga experience and would highly recommend giving this class a go.
It is a really relaxing form of exercise which stretches muscles, improves core strength and flexibility and leaves you feeling more chilled out than when you went in – and that’s a winner in my book!
The Yoga lowdown
Things to bring: Suitable gym clothes, a ‘sticky’ mat or yoga/exercise mat.
Things to know: You can go at your own pace and ability and Clare is happy to tailor some moves for any problem areas you may have.
Give it a go: The next term of Yoga for Life sessions start on Monday 9th July from 5.30pm – 6.40pm. Sessions are £6 each or £30 for the term (6 sessions), you can pay on the day or book in advance through Middlesbrough Town Hall on 01642 729729.
Email Claire Walker on firstname.lastname@example.org before heading along so she can give you a heath questionnaire and talk through any queries you may have.