Our Resident Yoga Guru – Michelle
Life is busy. In between managing a career, running a household and dealing with all those little inconveniences that seem to be never-ending it can be hard to find the time to relax. One tactic that always seemed to crop up is yoga. Our designer and resident wellness guru, Michelle explains how you can fit yoga into your day, no matter how busy you are.
1. How long have you been practising yoga?
“Oh gosh a long time, when I was 15, so 18 years ago – oh that’s horrible.”
2. How did you initially get into it?
“I never really went to any classes, I had an MTV yoga VHS, god I’m really showing my age now. Maybe it was a DVD? It was probably a DVD. So, I would play that on repeat, and I did Tae Bo but for some reason, yoga just really stuck with me, definitely more the mental side rather than just the physical side. I also remember Madonna being into yoga and thinking her arms are so muscly, it would be cool to have arms like Madonna.”
5. Is it something you can do while working?
“Definitely, you’ll often find me stretching my arm behind my back, especially when you’re at work and there’s so much going on. It might get really busy but if you just spare a few moments to take a couple of breaths and centre yourself again, pretty much as you would do at the beginning of a yoga class. Just check in.”
3. What does yoga do for the body?
“Yoga basically means to ‘yoke’, so it’s the bringing together of two things, like the body and mind and the breath and movement. People often say, “I can’t practise yoga, I can’t touch my toes.” That is not the point of yoga, the point of yoga is to connect all of your movements to your breath so that’s where the mental side kicks in. You’re able to move yourself to a different place as opposed to not recognising your breath, which you tend to do on a daily basis. You start to connect to it. You yoke.”
4. How often should you practise yoga?
“Yoga is a really good thing to practise every day because there are so many different styles; relaxing practices such as ‘Restorative’ and ‘Yin’ to fast-paced practices such as ‘Vinyasa flow/power yoga’. Listen to what your body needs each day and search out a class to suit – YouTube has some great options!
There are eight limbs to yoga, the physical practice that you go to the gym or studio for is only one limb: ‘Asana’. There is also ‘Meditation’ (Dhyana) and ‘Breathwork’ (Pranayama) so implementing any of these means you are practising yoga. Having a daily practice is a commitment and showing up to that every day is, in my mind, really good for you. It can just be taking five minutes every morning and evening to concentrate on your breathing and that’s showing up for your practise and yourself. Plus, if you’re short on time, it doesn’t matter how long you’re doing it for, just as long as you’re doing it and taking time for yourself.”
6. Do you have any yoga poses which can be practised at work?
“Tight shoulders, backs and hips are the payback for sitting at the desk all day, so I try to stretch my heart open when I feel the tight shoulders creeping in! Breathwork is particularly useful when in the office, using it as a tool to calm yourself when the world gets busy is practices tool – and you probably already do a form of this when you get worked up and ‘count to 10’. If you find yourself getting overworked at work or living in a tighter body than you’d like, seeking out a practice that releases this stress could be a real help – and you never know, you might even find enlightenment along the way!”