I want to shout out about the benefits of yoga to all that will hear me! Let me tell you of my journey so far…….

I have been attending Bonnie’s yoga classes for nearly 18 months now, and I have noticed some remarkable things about me. I originally sought out a yoga class, as I had hurt both shoulders during the course of my work (nursing). I found Bonnie’s advert and rang her, explaining my situation. “Just the thing for you” she said, so I came along. A warm welcome by a friendly face, not sporting the latest designer this or that “must have.” My not so perfect body felt at home. The class began with a short quieting of the mind, following through into gentle stretches, and finishing with relaxation at the end. “Didn’t feel as if I had done much” I recounted the next day to my friend. My body’s gentle ache the day after told me otherwise.

Over the next few months, the gentle aches in my body reminded me of long forgotten parts. Surprisingly, however, something remarkable began to happen. I began to ‘feel’ my body differently as I walked and moved, adjusting my posture whilst sitting (no slouching) engaging my core when bending down/getting up, stretching my toes (no, I didn’t know toes could stretch either); really feeling the ground beneath me. Even better, no shoulder pain and less lower back ache.

My biggest surprise, however, is the improvement in my breathing. Prior to yoga, I had always used a salbutamol inhaler fairly regularly as I suffered with hay fever/dust allergy and tended to get very wheezy chest colds in the winter. Bonnie incorporates yogic breathing in her classes, and since I have been attending her classes, I have not needed my inhaler at all. In fact, I have had a winter without colds and a summer without hay fever symptoms at all. Could my immune system have improved also? Maybe…. I have recently had a bad cold, but still did not need my inhaler. Not wheezy, and still able to do good deep breathing.

I do not advocate that all asthmatics throw away their inhalers and head on down to the nearest ‘Bonnie’ yoga venue, but if they were to go, how wonderful it would be if they could lessen their need to use them? And indeed, how many pounds would the NHS save if more people went to yoga classes for their back care/joint problems/arthritis symptoms/mental health improvement/general well being?

Because that’s how I feel from going to bonnie’s classes – GREAT! And I look forward to continuing my journey of getting to love my body and learning what it is capable of.

ISN’T YOGA GREAT?

Bonnie, I thank you for giving me all this!

Nikki Curwen