I cannot believe It has been almost a month since we all started our In-Depth projects! I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do in the beginning, but I am so glad I chose to do yoga! These last few weeks have been very stressful for me (and probably everyone else) with exams and finals on our plate. I am so glad I found something to do to be able to relieve the copious amounts of stress I was having. I have found that yoga is keeping me healthy physically, but also mentally. It is an easy way to let go any stress and just “breath” ;).

 

I have only been to the yoga classes three times now, but I can already see a difference in my balance, flexibility, strength, and overall physical and mental health. My yoga classes are every Thursday from 6:00pm-7:00pm at the Pinetree Community Centre. I have these classes and hour before I have a practice for volleyball, and it is really interesting to see the difference of how I perform without having yoga before and when I have yoga before. It makes my overall playing better and warms me up before.

Now, onto my mentor! My mentor, Shelly, is the instructor of my yoga classes. She studied overall health and nutrition, acupuncture, and Chinese medicine, so she knows her stuff about health! She has been teaching many different types of yoga to many different types of audiences and if I recall correctly, for over 14 years. She is so knowledgeable about yoga and how it affects your body, and I am really grateful to have her as my mentor.

 

Every class we try a different style of yoga, so last week we did a style called “hatha” yoga and yesterday we did a style called “yin” yoga. She explains to our class what each style brings and how they differ. “Yin” yoga really caught my attention, because she told us that instead of focusing and stretching the muscles, it focuses on working and stretching the joints and tendons by holding positions for longer. Since our class was limited to only an hour, she made us hold each position for about 30-45 seconds. I wanted to learn more about how that worked, so after the class I asked her more about it, and she told me that by holding the positions for a longer time, the muscles would relax, and the focus of the stretch would shift to the joint areas. She had also mentioned that she had been to a class where the instructor made them hold each position for seven to eight minutes!

 

Hatha yoga is one of the more relaxing forms of yoga and focuses mainly on breathing. Breathing is a huge component in yoga that Shelly always mentions. Every position requires proper breathing and helps your body work better by providing oxygen to your muscles. Shelly also taught us that breathing allows us to let go of the past with each breath and stop us from thinking about the future by focusing on the present with every breath. I think these concepts are so interesting to learn, and I honestly cannot wait to learn more about them in my next yoga class.

I am learning so much about not only yoga, but also about my body and my mind. I am really excited about this In-Depth project, and glad I chose Yoga! That is pretty much it for this blog post, but I will tell you more the positions, styles, and breathing in my next one (just so this one isn’t too long.) Thanks for reading and following me on my In-Depth project!

-Christine