Updating our exercise to include a variety of movement practices is important as we move through our 40s. Yoga is mooted as incredibly beneficial for everything from stress, to flexibility, to fascia, to constipation, key issues for a 40sWoman so I was keen to give it a try.
As a newbie to yoga, and a fan of strength and cardio, I was interested to see how it differed to exercise classes I’d already tried. I genuinely thought it was going to be a “more spiritual pilates” and secretly thought I’d find it quite easy. I was wrong on both counts. The session included warm up, sun/moon salutations and a restorative phase. I found it hard but really enjoyed pushing my body, and then holding it in positions I’d usually move through pretty quickly or had not tried before. As a runner my hips and hamstrings are not as flexible as they should be and I know these moves were improving this all the way through. The restorative part was an eye opener – holding the “pigeon” whilst breathing was, as the name suggests, restorative!
Carly was a great teacher. Calm, with clear explanations that were easy to follow despite me never having done it before. It was a fantastic way to spend a Saturday morning, I felt great after and this lasted throughout the day. I asked Carly a few questions to get a better understanding of Yoga
I got into Yoga at University when I was studying Choreography and Dance, it became part of my technique training as the teacher I had also trained in Yoga. This was around 14 years ago, ever since then I have had a physical Yoga practice by going to different studios and trying different techniques along the way.
I went on to become a teacher in 2015 and then I learned so much more about the philosophy and how Yoga was so much more than just making shapes, here I then started to delve much deeper in a breath and meditation practice.
Why do you enjoy yoga yourself?
For me Yoga is a way of living, Yoga has an eight limbed path to it’s philosophy ranging from how you live ethically, movement, breath, meditation, concentration and ultimately the way we live shaping the outcome of our holistic health. Without incorporating these practices in my daily life I soon notice something doesn’t feel quite right. It’s a way to keep your mental health in check, living fully in the present and not allowing the suffering from past or future to impact day to day. This couldn’t be more important now living through the pandemic, everything is so uncertain that we can get caught up in what we want to change rather than accepting where we are at right now.
Why do you enjoy teaching yoga?
I love teaching Yoga more so to see the impact off the mat, when people dedicate an hour a week to practice in a class on their mat but then they take the tools off the mat that is what brings me so much joy and happiness. I love my Zen Flow community, we all keep in touch regularly even when we can’t see each other face to face.
From your experience what benefits does yoga offer to women generally and as they move through hormonal change in their 40s?
I think a Yoga practice can help with any transition in anyone’s life, which is often why so many turn to Yoga in times of need.During the hormonal change Yoga provides stability through the use of your body and breath to help not only lower blood pressure and stress but also a way to help cope with any emotions that you may experience. Think of it like creating a little sanctuary on your mat, carving out time to build awareness in your body and mind. Those students of mine who have found relief in their Yoga practice through the menopause have found specific postures can help control unpleasant symptoms, such as restorative postures can relax the nervous systems and improve the functioning of the endocrine system