For this next guest blog post I am ‘handing over the reigns’ to Kirsty from Satori Yoga & Wellness. Kirsty is a full-time, qualified, yoga instructor who also teaches online classes, workshops and retreats (she is also my step-sister in-law!). In this post, Kirsty will share with you the many benefits of yoga, how you can introduce yoga into your life and her top 10 yoga postures for beginners. You can also find Kirsty over on Instagram @satori_yoga_for regular yoga updates.
Hi, I’m Kirsty!
My yoga journey (and it really has been a journey) started in 2014 when I ‘dipped my toes’ into the practice following online classes and slowly introducing myself to meditation, which was the main reason I reached out to yoga – for the mindset. My life and my mind had become difficult to manage and I needed focus, control and to reset.
After 5 years of almost daily practice, I took the plunge and signed on to do my yoga teacher training with Tribe International Yoga school. All I can say is my mind was blown… in a good way! I find it hard to put into words where this training took me but it was a rollercoaster – physically, mentally and definitely emotionally. Buttons were pushed, blinkers were lifted!
I see life completely differently now. I’m calmer, more grounded, better balanced and so so grateful for where I am right now. Things that I used to let stress and worry me just seem so unimportant. It taught me to focus on the here and now and accept that I am where I need to be. This is a hard lesson to learn.
I am now a fully qualified yoga instructor and teach classes, workshops and retreats. My goal is to improve people’s lives as a whole through the practice of yoga, the way in which it has done for me. In light of our recent pandemic, I have taken my classes online (as have thousands of Worldwide yoga teachers). Right now, more than ever, yoga can become a vital part of your daily life. We have been given the gift of time and stillness, the perfect setting for yoga!
My Tips to Introduce Yoga into your Life
So what can you do at home to introduce a yoga to your life? Here are some tips to slowly bring yoga into your daily life:
- It takes on average 66 days for a new routine to become a habit (2009 study). So perhaps take this time to set yourself a reachable and realistic goal (something us Yogis refer to as a ‘tapas’). It may be purchasing a yoga Mat, or simply rolling the mat out and leaving it out, your more likely to get on it then!
- Find some online classes, don’t go for a 1hr class straight away, try some short 10-15 min flows. I have some short flows on YouTube. Then slowly and gradually build yourself up. Maybe focus on learning how to set the foundations before moving onto a flowing Vinyasa class. Set your postures from the floor up, adjusting where needed. My advice would be to start with leaning Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar A & then B). This is something you will do in every yoga class out there!
- Listen to your body! This is key with yoga and I cannot emphasise it enough! It’s not about bending and twisting till you hurt yourself. Be kind to yourself. Your body will take time to adjust – yoga is a very different kind of practice to fitness classes, so expect the unexpected!
- Never compare. It’s hard I know, we’re our own worst critics. But don’t look at Instagram and feel hopeless. Yoga is 1% theory, 99% practice ~ ‘Pattabhi Jois’. This quote came up time and time again during my training and its so true! I’ve met Yogis that have practiced since they were tiny kids and they are still working on themselves.
- Go Inside (yes, I know we already are…!) but that’s not what I mean. Tune in, listen to your breath, listen to your thoughts without judgement, really notice how your body feels differently each day. When we become aware of ourselves, we learn so much.
- Meditate – a big part of yoga is meditation, this is where a lot of people fall short. I’ve had so many students say to me “I can’t meditate” that’s because they think they have to completely silence the mind. No you don’t. You have to just allow yourself to accept the thoughts that come in, then let them pass. Don’t get attached or distracted by them, let them in, then let them out. The easiest thing to do is concentrate on your breathe. A breathing technique (pranayama) that I teach a lot is the 6,3,6,3 breath. You can find a video tutorial of this on my Facebook page and YouTube channel.
- Enjoy your practice. Learn to love it. If you allow the practice to come slowly, it will be easier to maintain. Set yourself a goal, practice every day for 30 days and before you know it, it will be embedded. That is what I did and it’s now my life and I’m so grateful it is!
Benefits of Yoga
I could go on forever here…! Honestly, it’s one of the most accesible forms of exersize out there. I have students with a huge variety of health conditions and they all still regularly practice. There are always alternatives to any posture and the benefits of just stillness and finding the breath are immense!
Yoga can improve flexibility, strength, tone, balance metabolism, increase immunity, energise, vitalise, improve athletic performance, reduce injury, increase respiratory performance, improve mindset, lift mood, reduce anxiety and stress, improve sleep habits, gain inner connection, teach self love and promote kindness. And help you live longer (although no scientific evidence for that last one…. yet!)
My Top 10 Postures for Beginners
So there has never been a better time to roll out your mat… and maybe I’ll see you (virtually) in a class soon! Below is my online timetable for vitual classes for the whole family;