Don’t know about you but I’ve been feeling lethargic, stressed and definitely chubby since the dreaded “C” word became a thing so, probably since about March this year. I have been to a few yoga classes over the years but never with much enthusiasm as it was always around work and never particularly regularly. Having become a bit of a lazy lady of leisure something had to be done so operation “Pull Your Socks Up” has now been activated.
I found Estrela Yoga through the recommendation of several friends – there are loads to choose from but Tracy’s name popped up the most frequently and was highly recommended so I booked a session with her through her Facebook page.
Tracy is based near Boliqueime and has a beautiful modern studio. She’s very welcoming and she has this calming and positive vibe around her and her studio which makes you feel less self-conscious. There were five ladies in the class who were all equally delightful which was great as my last class had been really competitive and not particularly relaxing. We started with a meditation and even though I was feeling a little self-conscious it was very peaceful and my inhibitions soon flew out of the window.
Tracey tailored each position and movement to us individually which made things easy for me as exercise. We were all given a variation of the postures according to our ability so each class is suitable for beginners as well as the more experienced. She gently talked us through breathing exercises and talked about the power of the breath. Tracy explained the importance of cardio work, of exercising the muscle and especially the fascia – the tissue which covers all your organs and the importance of keeping it in good condition. The fascia connects everything to everything else, covers every single muscle and attaches all your insides together.
We were talked through each position, tendon and ligament exercises and the importance of hydration. Hydration of the fascia is greatly enhanced by staying mobile. Through movement, hydrochloric acid naturally occurs in the body with physical strength which makes the body more mailable, keeps muscles pumped full of blood and keep hydrated and stretchy. The class ended with a meditation called a Savasana which is often referred to as a final relaxation and I could happily have drifted off to sleep at this point!
A stroke of luck – Tracy actually teaches mindfulness and gave me the answers to my many questions. Mindfulness is a way to extract the benefits of concentrating on being present in the moment. A strategy of reducing the number of thoughts spinning around your head at any one time – a way of grounding yourself to savour your life.
We did a simple exercise together which focused on using all your senses in turn. I closed my eyes and went through each sense, slowly, methodically thinking only about the smell or the taste of that particular moment of time. Sounds perhaps a little strange but I really did feel very relaxed yet refreshed as I left the studio. After the following Yoga class, I stayed for another mindfulness class and this time concentrated on techniques to relax and aid sleep. We went through the body, concentrating on relaxing and breathing which was wonderful but I almost fell asleep after ten minutes! I think it’s honesty with yourself – analysing how you feel and being OK with that. An acceptance of any kind of emotion and a realisation that it’s fine to be happy or sad or angry or however you feel but this way, you actually have control, in a rational way, of your feelings.
Contact Tracy Carson for details of class times and costs
Telephone: 925 605 270