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Strike a pose…

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Yoga has taken the world by storm. It’s become so hot, so cool, so this very minute. (And so bloody exhausting.) Many of us are doing it in some form or other, aren’t we?

And why not. This ancient practice – that goes back 5,000 years in India – does wonders for your wellbeing, covering all three bases of emotional, mental and physical health. Only wine, chocolate and gal pals come close, but they reach only two of the three.

I’m a Yin and Yang kinda girl, myself. But, oh, the yoga trends, that are sweeping around the world right now.

London’s latest is dark yoga – the idea being that when the lights go out, so do the egos. In Canada, there’s bunny yoga, and yes, that involves working out with actual live rabbits. (I kid you not!) And – no great surprises here – in LA it’s all about freeing the nipple with topless yoga. There’s also been nude yoga, but the less said about that the better.

And, then there are the yoga poseurs who flood Instagram with snaps of themselves in various yoga positions, usually wearing the trendiest gear and pictured in the most exotic of locations.

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But you don’t have to go to LA and get your nipple tassels out to find an amazing yoga class. Regina Kerschbaumer runs Yoga Orchid in Purley, and regular weekend retreats and yoga holidays. She’s a highly qualified and experienced teacher, with over 1,000 hours of teacher training under her belt. Regi’s also a reflexologist and Bowen therapist, and she’s written a book, Yoga, Coffee and a Glass of Wine, so she’s got it all pretty well sussed. Her Yin and Yang classes are fun and down-to-earth – no poseurs allowed – and they have a loyal following. I’ve been to Regi’s classes, and I’m a big fan.

For Regi yoga is a way of life – a journey to find balance, better health and inner stillness. It’s a form of exercise that strengthens the body and allows the mind to relax and focus, at the same time.

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Here are Regi’s rules for being a happy yogi.

Leave your ego at home. Don’t compare yourself to the other students, work at your own pace  – yoga is not a competition. We are all different; perfect in our own way!  Enjoy your body and the time being an introvert.

Don’t hog the same spot in class each week. Yoga is about non-attachment, and besides, you don’t own that space. Give other people in the class the opportunity to be next to the teacher or in the corner.

Cliques in yoga classes are not welcome. If your teacher also happens to be your best friend, leave the BFF parade for another time.

Stay for relaxation. Savasana, the corpse pose, restores the body tissues from any taxation. Resting after the class allows your body to gently absorb the impact of the practise – physically, energetically, emotionally and psychologically.

Turn all devices off. Devote the class to yourself, and see the time on your mat as an opportunity to escape the crazy Yang world.

Breathe deeply. Focus on the breath. Inhale peace and stillness – breath away all tension, tightness, stress and sadness. It takes only one mindful deep breath to bring us into the present moment.

Regi is hosting a Yin & Yang Yoga weekend at Florence House in Sussex from 1-3 April and a yoga holiday in Lesbos, Greece from 10-17 September.

Yoga Orchid, The Purley Sports Club, The Ridge, Purley, CR8 3PF
Tel: 0787 613 3036 yogaorchid.com

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