Everyone seems to be a yogi these days, from your best friend to your co-worker to your aunt But if, like me, you have yet to attempt the Warrior II or Mountain Pose, taking your first yoga class can be a little intimidating. What if your hands sweat and you fall off the mat? What if you hate it? What if you can’t do a single. damn. pose?
Okay, rewind a second – there’s a reason so many people have hopped on a mat over the past few years. “Yoga is non-judgmental” Sally Jean Rankin, qualified Ashtanga Yoga instructor tells me. “It’s a totally accessible way to unwind and break a sweat, so there’s nothing to worry about before going to a class.”
Yogini and founder of Kinship Studio Yoga, Sally started practicing yoga in her mid-twenties. With a degree in Jewellery Design and Making, she spent time working with various fashion designers; dressing actors and singers. Leaving the bright lights behind her, Sally decided to change direction and trained as a yoga teacher. She combines a mixture of Ashtanga and Vinyasa Flow Yoga with deeply relaxing meditations and Yoga Nidras and you can expect a very definite flow to her classes, peaking with dynamic poses and sealing practice with a deeply relaxing yogic ‘sleep’. Sally says “The beauty of yoga is that you don’t have to be a yogi or yogini to reap the benefits. Yoga has the power to calm the mind, balance the body and enable you to see the world in a different way. Plus, yoga is a great practice to complement other forms of exercise too.”
Yoga is an ancient art and science that has evolved over thousands of years, consisting of seated and standing postures and breathing techniques that effectively and efficiently connect the mind, body and breath together to collectively form a moving meditation. Yet, for the beginner, yoga terminology and fancy yoga studios can be intimidating. And that’s why Sally’s yoga classes are all delivered in calming spaces throughout East Lothian. Sally explains “Yoga poses were based on the observation of the natural world (hence the names) and our relationship with it, and with the relationship with ourselves. Many years ago Yogi’s recognised that mankind was moving away from their natural states and becoming too mechanical. I love to offer a different perspective, one that connects people back to their natural environment, that natural rhythm which is so important for us to reconnect with. Our class at Drift Cafe connects us directly with our amazing coastline and practicing yoga in Colstoun House’s poytunnel is just like being abroad in summer surrounded by the chattering of the birds and bees!”
If, like me, you spent your first yoga class frantically looking around at everyone else. I wasn’t trying to compare myself to them – I was just trying to understand what the heck was going on. Sally’s classes are ideal, as they’re tailored to suit all levels and abilities and she has a manner of quiet, firm, yet gentle encouragement and is careful with her instruction for those who are not familiar with the poses. So, it’s time to roll out your yoga mat and discover the combination of physical and mental exercises that for thousands of years have hooked yoga practitioners around the globe.
KINSHIP STUDIO YOGA
classes take place at:
Drift Cafe | Colstoun House | Kinship Studio Waterston House | Barefoot Sanctuary
for details and to book visit www.kinship.studio