First term of the academic year marks a brilliant opportunity to get stuck in with all the Give It A Go events taking place in and around the union, and hopefully find something – be it sport, art or activity – that you really love. This week, Eleanor Smith tries her hand at experiencing mind-body cohesion with Yoga Society.
At the beginning of the month, LUU Yoga Society ran two Give It a Go sessions, providing a free taste of the classes they offer. I attended one of these classes on the 2nd of October. The session provided us with an idea of the kind of classes the society has to offer and an introduction into the ideas of yoga and basic poses.
As someone who hadn’t ever done yoga before, I approached the class with an excited apprehension. I had some idea of what yoga entailed but had not participated in a class or practiced it at all. Despite this, I remained open-minded and eager to have a go; what did I have to lose?
Upon arrival, I was provided with a mat by one of the society’s committee members (this, I found, is the norm for all classes, so don’t worry about purchasing your own). I chose my spot and took up my position ready to beg.
The session was led by Jason, an instructor who leads several of the weekly the classes organised by the society. He welcomed us all and began to explain to us the fundamentals of yoga, such as the importance of breathing. Never before had I concentrated so much on simply inhaling and exhaling. I found the breathing techniques really helped to relax me throughout the class. I felt calm despite the winds outside rattling the windows of the Union.
I was made to feel at ease by Jason as he encouraged us to focus on ourselves; the fact that the girl next to me could touch her toes and I was barely reaching my ankles felt less of a concern.
Jason took us through poses that I had heard of before such as Warrior, Downward Dog, and Cobra, as well as others I hadn’t heard of, including Child’s pose and Triangle. We learnt Sun Salutation which we repeated, each time attempting variations in the poses. Jason was effective in encouraging us to extend our poses to the point that stretched our bodies, without going beyond what was comfortable.
The class felt appropriate for my pace and capability, despite the mixed abilities of the participants that were also being catered to. I left the class feeling satisfied I had completed a fulfilling hour of light exercise and relaxation, which was needed after a morning of lectures.
As a basic introduction to yoga for a complete beginner, this Give It a Go was great. As well as classes, the society also offers socials for its members, such as The After Glow at the start of the semester, and a space to share all things yoga-related in their Facebook group. The society is also cheap to join, with membership at just £4 for students, which gives you a 50% discount on all classes. Whether you’re a complete beginner like me, or a yogi with years of experience, the society has something for anyone willing to give it a go.
For more information on upcoming Give It A Go’s for Term 1, pick up a GIAG Booklet from LUU Union Foyer