If you’ve been thinking about taking up a new activity and getting into shape at the same time, but you’re not the “gym type” or the “running-a-marathon type”, you might consider a different type of activity by getting into: yoga.
Yoga combines physical activity, with breathing exercises, and it helps calm the mind at the same time. Although it appears to be a very slow paced form of exercise, some types of yoga actually can make you break into a sweat! There are several types of yoga, and if you want to learn more about the differences, you might want to read up on it by checking out the information on the website: ‘the ABC of yoga‘.
A big misconception is that you have to be slender and very limber to start practising yoga. There are beginner and advanced levels, so you don’t already have to be able to fold your body into a pretzel shape to start practising yoga. You will notice that the more you do it, the more flexible you will eventually become.
The benefits of practising yoga are numerous. To name but a few: increased flexibility, increased muscle strength, improved vitality, weight reduction, stress reduction, improved concentration, improvement in sleeping, improved posture, lowering high blood pressure, boosting the immune system, and the list goes on and on.
In January this year, I started going to a relatively new yoga studio in The Hague: Delight Yoga. A co-worker (who is a member there) invited me over for a free lesson, so I went and checked it out. Delight yoga opened the studio in The Hague in November of 2015. They already have three studios in Amsterdam, which are all doing very well.
The minute I entered the studio in The Hague, I felt a very calming, peaceful energy surrounding me. The atmosphere there is simply beautiful. Its interior is minimalistic, but incredibly impressive at the same time, if that makes any sense. Everyone I’ve invited to join me for a free lesson so far has shared my opinion.
Classes at Delight yoga are given seven days a week, and when you’re a registered member you can book your classes in advance through their online booking tool. They provide yoga mats and different props, which you can use during the classes, so all you need to do is show up.
You enter the classes wearing comfortable clothing and on bare feet. Most classes are taught in English, since there is a large expat community that visits the studios. The yoga lingo might confuse you at first, so I would suggest that you read up on this beforehand by visiting for example the website of Eckhart Yoga online.
The studio in The Hague has two large spaces for group lessons, one for private lessons and a lounge area on the ground floor. When you go down one floor, you will find the restrooms, the dressing rooms (including showers) and massage rooms. (Massages, workshops, healings and retreats are not included in the monthly membership fee, but they can be purchased separately.) Please note that the studio does not have any lockers to store purses or other valuables, because they operate on a basis of trust.
So far I’ve tried out a few different types of yoga at Delight: hatha, ashtanga, healing yoga, yin and meditation. Some of them suit me better than others, and I still have to try out a few of the other ones.
Delight Yoga offers an introduction card (ten lessons to be taken within the period of one month), for newbies. This way you can get a feel of what works for you and then decide if you want to register for a membership or not. If you are interested in taking a free trial lesson in The Hague (newbies only), just mention that you read this blog (and tell them Fauzia Jonas sent you) and show up at least 30 minutes in advance, so they can register you for a free class.
If your budget doesn’t allow you to sign up for a membership, or if you prefer to do yoga in the comfort of your own home, you can always try practising yoga that way. There are plenty of videos on Youtube with excellent teachers, who can teach you the basics and hopefully they will get you to move your asana. 🙂
If you do try it, I hope you really enjoy it as much as I do.