Tell us a bit about yourself…
My name’s Emma, I’m 44, I’m a wife, mum and nana! I have two jobs – I’m a part-time paramedic and a part-time personal trainer for mainly older women trying to keep them strong into their later years. I’m also an injured runner; it turns out my pelvis is wonky which causes me to run wonky and now my knee is complaining. I am currently having a complete break from running and needed something else in my life…. I started practicing at LANO on the 28th September this year. I’m a newbie.
Had you practiced any kind of yoga before starting at LANO?
I did 3 lessons 13 years ago while 7 months pregnant. I found it uncomfortable and, with hindsight, should have found a pre-natal class rather than a regular class.
What led you to sign up to a class?
A friend of mine had wanted to find a good place to practice and kept on at me saying I would love it. She eventually found LANO and encouraged me to give it a go.
How did you find your first yoga class?
I took the plunge and signed up for the Introductory offer, it was the last Wednesday morning LANO 90 with Karl. And it was a revelation! It was so easy to understand. Karl’s cues were fantastic (as are all the teachers at LANO) and I understood what I was trying to achieve – if not always managing to do it as well as I would have liked. I was hooked!
Apart from yoga, do you have other ways of keeping healthy?
As I mentioned earlier I’m an injured runner and am week 4 into 6 weeks off but I work out with all my personal training clients. I teach a kettlebells class and like to get on my bike and cycle up to the downs (if the weather is nice).
What effect has practising yoga had on your life?
I have come to realise that yoga is not only physically healing (I’m certain my knee and hips are getting stronger) but I feel mentally rested after every session…. even if I’m still sweating after an hour and a half of Bikram!
Which is your favourite LANO practice and why?
That’s tricky, it’s a toss up between Forrest and Slow but I think the Tuesday evening Slow just pips it. It’s probably because of the time, 19:45 to 21:00 it leaves me very ready for bed! I love the holding of the poses for longer and am sure that concentrating on fewer poses for longer has helped me get stronger in the other classes.
Which posture do you find most challenging and why?
There is a particular back bend in Bikram where while kneeling, eventually, you can reach behind and hold your heels. As an over-enthusiastic beginner I kept trying… and failing… to nail this pose. With the encouragement of the teachers I now know to only go as far as I can keeping my hips forward and my hands on my back… I WILL get there one day!
What’s your favourite yoga posture and why?
I’m not sure I have a favourite pose yet but any one-legged pose that I manage to hold for the right duration without falling over makes me feel great. Also all the hip poses as I feel these will eventually help my knee to mend.
What is your favourite thing about LANO?
My favourite thing about LANO is that it is all inclusive, the other day in class there was a young girl who was incredibly flexible and an older gent who obviously struggled with his flexibility, I’m somewhere in the middle but Neil knew where we were all coming from and differentiated for all of us.
What keeps you coming back to LANO?
I keep coming back because I know that spending an hour/hour and a half practicing yoga now will keep all of my body stronger when I’m older. I like all of the teachers and feel comfortable in all of the classes.
What single piece of advice would you share with a newcomer to yoga?
Easy! Don’t think you are as flexible as you want to be. Take it gently, don’t push too far too soon, with regular practice it WILL come.
What brings you back to yoga time and time again?
I have to be honest, I really didn’t think yoga would be for me, I didn’t think I was a yogi type – I now realise there is no one particular type and in most classes there is a wonderfully eclectic bunch of us – but I have learned that it is so very kind to my mind, body and soul. I just makes me feel good and that’s got to be good hasn’t it?