Yoga

A small group of students gathers at Rheannas‘ appartment. Everybody is in comfortable clothes, there is quiet chatter and relaxing music in the background, legs are being stretched and our minds are ready to be calmed.
The image that might come to our head first when we hear someone speaking about yoga is that of a very fit young woman doing rather painful looking contortions in brightly-coloured leggings – maybe with a palm-lined sunny beach in the background.
But, contrary to this imagery created by media and lifestyle-gurus, yoga is not about wearing fancy workout-gear or being able to bend your legs behind your ears. Yoga is not about performance. It is not about doing one more repetition of an exercise. It is not about what your neighbour on the mat next to you is doing. The idea is more or less, speaking from my own experience and not mentioning the deeper philosophy and roots of yoga in ancient India, the following:

You roll out your mat, be it at home or in class. You lay down, close your eyes, take a couple of deep breaths and check in with how you are feeling at the present moment. It is very possible that your back feels kind of stiff from sitting all day, your shoulders are tense, a million things are running through your mind. So far so good. If you are alone you might begin with doing stretches and movements that feel good to you, if you are in class your instructor will suggest some for you. Once your body is warmed up a bit, you will follow a sequence of movements aligned with your breath, which are called asanas. If you get ouf of breath, don’t worry, just make a little break. The idea is never to be in pain- listen to the signals of your body. After the asanas, there might me a short meditation. Lessons can focus on things that we want to cultivate in our lives, such as gratitude or peacefulness. Last but not least: The lights are switched off, you lay on your back again, but this time with a mind, that is more quiet and a body, that is more relaxed.
This state of being more in peace with yourself, not worrying about what has been or what will come next seems to be quite rare, which might explain the growing popularity of yoga and meditation.

Since everything in this realms is usually about food and yoga per se is not, I’d like to share the following observation at the end: With the same predictability that I will crave something greasy and salty when having a slight hangover, I will crave something wholesome and vegetable-heavy after a yoga class. Eating well is also about creating good habits around food and for me this is definitely one.

Contact us to have more info or Rehanna through her email: r.chen@master.unisg.it