There I was, back again. This time for Hatha Yoga on a bright morning. The class was held the other way around in the studio, with our backs to the mirror, looking towards the pleasingly curved glass windows with the sun streaming through the tree cut-outs. I was immediately transported to another place, far from the madding crowds outside, the work, the piles of stuff-to-do-that-never-gets-done at home. I find I’m actually quite good at switching off and forgetting about it all, focusing only on the here and now. And that’s a very important element of the class. To be in the moment. To think about your body. Something which most of us don’t often do, at least not wholeheartedly.
I am a relative newbie to yoga, having steered clear after some hyper-mobility issues with a wonky shoulder. I was reassured that Pippa Richardson’s class would be ideal as she works quite a bit with containment which is needed for hyper-mobile bodies and has completed the Triyoga’s teacher training programme. I liked her immediately. Smiley, warm, calm and approachable, just like the atmosphere in the studio as soon as I walked in.
Pippa placed a great emphasis on the process of the movements, the ability and awareness of our bodies. Each move was slow, precise, careful almost but there was no doubt we were working extremely hard (the occasional uncontrollable shaking of limb was a tell-tale sign). A great description she used was that we should be aiming to stack our body up on top of itself, with lots of good visualisation techniques which made the explanations easy to follow. Also the breathing was key to the whole session. Calm, deep breaths, filling our bodies with energy and helping us to fully relax, to be in the moment, and to stretch. At one point, in between stretching one leg and before we worked on the other, she pointed out that the just-stretched leg might be longer than the other one. She was right – I was wonderfully lopsided, but only for a while.
I found Pippa to be very encouraging but by no means overbearing. There were only five of us that morning so we really got some individual attention; a small tweak here, a move back to my hand and you’re now doing it right there. Her calm and patient attention to detail are incredibly valuable when you are practising something that is quite so precise. I found the class to be both strengthening and relaxing and a much-needed exercise in self awareness. Time out from the mad rush of life and some time for me. I’ll be back, but not in an Arnold Schwarzenegger kind of way. More in a yogic, calm and strengthening kind of way.
Managing Editor, Charlotte attended Pippa Richardson’s Hatha Yoga class at the reCentre, Thursdays 9.15 to 10.15am.
Classes open to non-members as well as members
. Membership for the year is £90 or £9 per month. Members receive discounts on classes and 10% off sports or remedial massages.
For more information and a class timetable, visit www.recentre-health.co.uk or call 020 8672 4455