Drop and Give Me Zen

Something I have always wanted to look further into is the practice of yoga. I have never really known where to start and find it's often daunting when you see these incredible poses posted on social media but then try for yourself and end up falling on your neck attempting a headstand... (just me?).

Luckily, Jennifer gave some of her advice on how to get started and explains how yoga can also improve depression, our mental health in general and how it really can be accessible for anyone, we just need to find what works best for us.

Why do you practice yoga?

"I first began practicing yoga 4 years back to help me with the stress and anxiety of London living and my career as a performer. It became a safe space where no judgement was made. The mat became my second home as you could say. Since then I have fallen in love with both the philosophical side as well as the westernised yoga we all know today.

Yoga is more than stretching your physical body. It's a mind set and a way of living, what we learn on the mat helps with our everyday lives off the mat and learning to trust the process and the emotional breakthroughs which it can release within us."

Where did you train to be a yoga instructor?

"I recently completed my 200hr Yoga TTC at 'One Yoga Thailand' on the most beautiful island of koh Phangan. It was the most amazing experience, physically and spiritually."

Do you think yoga can better our mental health?

"I certainly believe that yoga can help with our mental health as well as our physical health. Asanas/ postures are not just for the physical body. They all have meaning and purpose behind them, helping with digestion, confidence, focus, calming of the central nervous system and more. 

It's believed that asanas, where the heart is higher than the head (such as inversions) reduce depression as it increases blood flow to the brain which is both invigorating and revitalising, resulting in increased energy and mental stamina."

For anyone that has never practiced yoga before, it could possibly be a bit daunting. Do you have any tips or advice to ease anyone into it that they're able to easily do in isolation?

"I do hear a lot 'I'm not flexible enough for yoga', but as I have said previously, yoga is so much more than stretching. My advice would be to find a teacher and a style that you like and resonate with. There is yoga out there for everyone, and given our current situation we have the perfect opportunity to experiment what we like in the comfort of our own homes. I do know that 'One Yoga' are offering a 30 day free yoga challenge."

Jennifer teaches a yoga live class @ 12pm every Tuesday on the @escdancemanagement (I highly recommend).

- Paris Hoxton

Illustrations by @red_cheeky_drawings

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