Yoga teacher Lin Bridgeford devotes most of her time to health and wellbeing. By day she practices Osteopathy (a safe physical therapy helping restore structural balance)and Kinesiology (a system which evaluates structural, mental/emotional and chemical functions) and one evening a week Lin travels to Crowborough to teach yoga at the Crowborough Community Centre in Pine Grove.
Yoga can really help people of all levels and ability. It’s not just about strength and flexibility but breathing, balance and so much more – combining many disciplines to make it something to engage the whole being. It provides many physical and emotional benefits to those who practice regularly.
Just some of the benefits are:
- increased flexibility, muscle strength and tone
- improved respiration, energy and feeling of vitality
- weight loss
- improved athletic performance (it works great alongside a sporting discipline)
Many people take up yoga following an injury. However, if you were to take it up before that happens you could also be helping protect yourself from injuries in the first instance!
Lin’s Wednesday evening classes begin at 6.45pm with an hour long introduction & beginners session followed by a second class until 9.30pm for all levels. As I was a ‘yoga virgin’ I attended the beginner class to learn more about yoga.
Lin is a very welcoming person and has clearly built up a good relationship with those already attending her classes. The atmosphere was completely relaxed which made me very comfortable.
My class had different levels of beginners which also made me feel more relaxed to give yoga a go. The movements Lin teaches are also given out as handouts at the end of the class so you can ‘self practice’. Lin understands the pressures of life we all have to face and is encouraging and understanding of everyone as finding time to self practice between classes is not always possible.
There is also no regular commitment to the classes, you can come and go as you please – but of course regular attendance will improve your ability better.
It all starts with breathing correctly and once this was established, Lin went through some of the movements which are synchronised with your breathing. The names used to describe the movements in ‘Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga’ (the names originate from India) take getting used to, as did the order of the movements. Thankfully Lin demonstrates everything so it’s a question of following her lead. She will also come and make any adjustments to your pose where necessary.
And no, you’re not expected to rest the back of your knees over your shoulders as Lin is pictured top left – everyone works to a level they can manage. Of course I have to try it (promptly falling over) just to see how difficult it is!
From attending just one class I understand how much there is to learn. It is a fantastic technique to master to challenge muscles and mind. It certainly made me forget about the stresses of the day and I felt very relaxed at the end of the class. Lin is an inspiring and encouraging teacher and I now understand why my yoga friends feel so passionate about their classes.
Lin also runs workshops for training yoga teachers, available for all levels.
Featured in: Issue 69 – September/October 2016