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Middle Aged Men Starting Yoga!

So it’s February again and maybe our new Year’s exercise regimes are tailing off a bit but us middle-aged men are still aware of our excess belly flab, stiff hamstrings and constantly painful backs.



Someone has probably told us we should try Yoga. But why? Well, over the last few months your GoFest Founder has been trying Yoga in a “from coach potato to a “…now sink into your Downward dog” kind of a way”, via quite a lot of prayer positions to be honest!


After 40 years of sport (and probably about 2 days of stretching if you add them all together) I couldn’t really reach much below my knees let alone touch my toes. I tend to wake up wondering how to get myself out of bed (and I mean literally how), having suffered with fairly regular, frightening back spasms.

“Why hadn’t I ever done anything about it before reaching the age of 54?” I hear you ask. Well, a classic mix of lack of time and a very dominant lazy streak, coupled with some stupidly macho thing about Yoga obviously being for flexible, strong women. But eventually the following list of reasons why I really should give it a go has prevailed:


  • Big back spasms becoming more regular (needing help to go for a wee is not fun at 54!)

  • Very stiff – stopping me doing everyday things like getting out of chair with saying oooHHHaaarrRRR!

  • Always meant to (…I love ya Tomorrow and all that!)

  • I’ve heard fantastic testimonials from other guys (and ignored them!)

  • …and now I run my own Health & Fitness Studio so I’m there organising the classes every day!


So it was that I started my first ever Yoga class with the amazing Jess Gamlin at Cranleigh Cricket Club. Jess has been teaching Yoga for over 7 years and has that great ability to flex (see what I did there) her style to cope with experienced practitioners (known as Yogis I think) and complete novices with the tightest ever hamstrings like me. She starts teaching me new movements, poses and phrases like:


  • Downward Dog (never seen my Working Cocker do it to be honest but who cares!)

  • Chaturanga (“Plank” to you and I)     

  • Reverse Triangle

  • Warrior (the macho me likes that one)

  • Namaste (the light within me bows to the light within you)

  • Savasana (a pose where you lie down completely relaxed at the end of the class…one of my personal favourites!)



Although it’s physically quite tough, I have to admit I start feeling the benefits almost immediately after the first class, so I decide to do at least two sessions a week!

As Jess comments “Yoga is a chance for us to connect not only to our physical body but also to connect to our breath, something we rarely do in this busy world. That in turns allows us to slow down, reflect, learn about ourselves and grow both physically and mentally”.


Jess is truly inspirational. She makes it look so easy, explaining the poses or moves effortlessly whilst going through it with us and correcting our technique whenever necessary to ensure we avoid injury whilst gaining maximum benefit from each movement.


So, a few months into my new regime,  I have to say I’m sold! I’ve lost weight, feel stronger and happier and can even get out of bed easily! I’m still a long way off touching my toes, but my shins are getting some attention at least! Jess often encourages us to “sink into the stretch” and I’m now starting to understand what that means! 


After 2 years. we get quite a wide age range of clients at the GoFest Active Studio so I ask Jess if there’s an age that you would consider is too old or too young to start Yoga? She comments: “There’s no better time to start yoga than now. Old or young can benefit from regular classes. Whether you’re looking for a fast-paced Vinyassa style or a gentle stretch and meditation, there is something for everyone. Yoga can help you heal from past injuries and can be the perfect therapy after a difficult day.”



The spiritual element of Yoga is also a key part of it all. I’ve surprised myself as to how much I’ve enjoyed this aspect. Jess concurs: “Yoga allows us to build flexibility in the body which in turn allows us to build flexibility in the mind. This helps us in stressful work situations and when life gets tricky and complicated.  The last few years have proven to us all the need to be flexible and open to new ideas”.


Jess conducts fantastic Yoga classes for us every Friday morning: 8.10am – 9.10am 


For more information, book classes or join our optional membership at GoFest Active Studio in Cranleigh:  https://www.gofestactive.co.uk/ or call 07774 629242


Other classes include HIIT, Zumba, Boxing Circuits, Core Strength and Weight Training!

 

 

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