We spend a lot of time craning our necks looking at smartphones and computer screens or in cars with hunched shoulders and closed chests. Yoga helps to restore good posture – opening up our chests so we can breathe properly. It is amazing how much more positive and confident this can make us feel.
I have been practising yoga for 18 years and benefited so much from it myself, I decided to train as a teacher. It’s a long training programme – two-and-a-half years – but that’s because the standards are very high. Teachers need to be able to instruct safely and inspirationally to anyone and everyone attending their classes.
I qualified in 2007 in Iyengar yoga, a style of yoga known for the benefits it brings to posture, mental and physical wellbeing. I teach at the Sheffield Yoga Centre which is a haven - a wonderful, light, airy place where around 250 people from all walks of life come each week to practice yoga.
The centre runs a variety of classes from new starters and intermediate classes, through to therapeutic classes for people with heath conditions and special sessions for runners, cyclists and climbers.
It’s great seeing my students progress and experience the benefits of yoga. Students frequently tell me how it helps them with stiff shoulders and painful backs as well as mental health and overall wellbeing.
Maintaining mobility in our joints and keeping muscles toned and active is so important to prevent future health issues.
People can often do more than they think - it is easy to lose confidence in our bodies as we get older.
I recently taught a number of my students to do a handstand, something they hadn’t done since they were children, and they loved it.
I practice yoga most days. Sometimes, especially after a long, busy day at work, it is tempting to collapse on the sofa rather than get my yoga mat out, but even 10 minutes can make all the difference, helping restore energy and perspective.
Meanwhile, a few minutes’ yoga first thing in the morning helps wake up my body.