Our Yoga classes in Huddersfield have been a welcomed therapy for those who have given it a go. Our tutor, Emily, gives us an insight into how it became a way of life for her.
My journey began on the Yoga mat, In 2008 during a very tough period in my life. I was in my second year of University feeling anxious and depressed, struggling to engage in social situations and I often felt afraid to leave my flat. Up until this point, I had been taking various drugs for about 3 years. This took its toll in a way that meant my ability to function in my day to day life became a real struggle. After I accidentally caused a flat fire and broke my wrist on a night out, I realized I needed to journey down a new path, one that would lead me to better mental and physical health.
I started to attend a yoga class, once a week, with a wonderful teacher called Edward. This Yoga class helped me deeply transform my life, I hold my teacher in great reverence, as he taught me so much. I can say to you in all sincerity, yoga and meditation healed me in a way that nothing else ever has. It gave me the ability to be in a safe space with other people while working through challenging emotions. I started to develop a deeper physical awareness of my body and was able to work through some energetic blockages. I became a regular at the class and in 2010 my Teacher advertised a Yoga Teacher Training course. I just had to continue the journey. Initially, the pull to do the yoga teacher training course was more a personal step to deepen my own journey. However, on completion of the 2-year training, I flowed quite freely into a teaching role, I had great gratitude for what I had learnt on the training and felt I would like to share this with others.
Yoga is a way of life, a set of principles that I live my life by. Yoga is mastery over the mind, to guide the spirit to what is called Samadhi (bliss). In a beginner yoga class, we focus on Asanas (postures), Pranayama (breath control), Dhyana (meditation), and of course that wonderful point in the class we all enjoy, relaxation. Yoga has a deep and rich ancient philosophy, originating in India, it is scientifically proven to have great benefit on our mental and physical health. Yoga in Sanskrit means ‘Union’ with the body, mind and soul.
This phrase gets thrown around a lot however in our western culture, without people always fully understanding what that means in all its aspects. The 8 limbs of Yoga are a key point of study for any Yogi (male) or Yogini (female) wanting to take a step further on their journey, and therefore I encourage anyone interested in practising yoga to also understand the philosophy, as it has so much to offer. I have named this practice of Yoga Santosha after one of the limbs of yoga, which means contentment. I believe no matter whether we are a beginner or have been practising for many years, we should remain content and as my yoga teacher use to say, “keep the beginners’ mind”. Yoga is not a religion, it has a moral code of how to live your life. I believe yoga is an open path, one of personal self-discovery, whether Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu or any other religion, you can practise yoga, it is non-sectarian.
In conclusion, Yoga can reveal many life lessons to us, it is ongoing and there is always more to learn, and more to uncover about ourselves. Yoga is a personal experiential journey. If you choose to come to a yoga class, come with an open mind and open heart, this way you will surely receive all that you need from the practice. You may just find some transformational shift begin to happen in your life, one that you never dreamed could be possible.
Find Emily on Facebook
“I am a complete Yoga novice but thought I’d give it a go… I’ve enjoyed it so much and get so much from it, it is now part of my weekly routine. The class is taught on the teachings of Hatha and Kundalini yoga practises.
The practice brings so much peace to the mind and body through incorporating asanas (yoga postures) with pranayama’s (breathing exercises). We work on core strength, stretching, balance, repetitive postures, breathing and relaxation techniques. Anyone can join in as the class is open to all levels, you listen to your body and work at the level comfortable to you. It’s a fun and dynamic class.
The Kundalini aspect emphasis’ on breathing, meditation, chanting and tuning into the chakra’s – this is really good for calming the mind and Emily has such a calming relaxing tone to her voice it’s captivating.
I’ve found greater flexibility already in my body although I’m not going to even attempt the headstand !, and an internal calmness I never had before. I love it and hope the Basement is able to make Yoga a permanent fixture.”
Yoga Classes are run at Union Bank:
Service users: £2
Low waged/Concession: £5 (£25 block booking for 6 weeks)
Usual price: £7 (£35 block booking for 6 weeks)
Intermediate class: Wednesday’s: 6.30pm – 8.00pm
Beginner class: Currently Friday’s but starting 7th September Thursday’s: 6.30pm – 8.00pm