I teach slow yoga
London is fast. Everything moves quickly – people dart from work to pleasure, fuelled by caffeine and the latest superfood smoothie. We walk fast, we cycle fast, we run down the escalator and push past people to get on the tube, we jaywalk and jump red lights. We even try to drive fast, although that is usually futile.
I never even thought about whether the yoga I taught was fast or slow until I moved to London. But after a few months of teaching here I have become very aware of the distinction.
In a fast-paced high-stress lifestyle it is almost inevitable that those seeking respite from their routine will do so in fast and dynamic exercise.
And there is nothing at all wrong with that – the intensity of the training helps to distract the busy mind, the sweat feels like an instant detox, ridding the body of the stimulants and tension that have built up through the day. I too use dynamic workouts as part of my fitness programme.
But I don’t teach dynamic yoga, or fast yoga. I teach slow yoga. And I do so for a very good reason.
Through focused, slow(er) movements the body is able to stretch, flex and tone. The mind calms, becoming aware of its connection to the body and finally has a chance to understand the barrage of physical sensations it is constantly receiving.
That doesn’t mean that we stand still for a whole class. Not at all. Most of my classes will involve salsa, Latin or disco warm-ups and flowing sequences keep the body moving. But essentially my classes are about slowing down, finding stillness in the mind and allowing the body to move with awareness and sensibility.
Slow yoga is about giving your mind and body breathing space in the day to build strength and resilience inside and out, which you can then take with you out of the class and into the speedways of London town.
Want to try it? Check out my YouTube channel for some slow yoga you can do right now.