Member Feature: One Year On
One year on, and one year into her practice, we caught up with the wonderful Gina – one of our founding members at Yoga with Soul Caerphilly. We wanted to ask if Gina thought her yoga practice had made any difference in her life, there isn’t a right or wrong answer to this – but Diana had noticed a real difference in the Gina that now comes to class, from the Gina that signed up all of those months ago!
Diana: Thanks for chatting with me Gina. I can’t believe that it’s been a year since we opened our doors in Caerphilly! As one of our first members, I wanted to touch base with you about your practice and what yoga might have done for you over the last twelve months. Obviously I’m overjoyed that we’ve hit the one year mark, but what really matters is the difference Yoga with Soul might be making for its members.
Gina: I’ve been a member of the Studio since it opened last August… it was my daughter’s fault really! I had just been diagnosed with degeneration of the spine and yoga was mentioned during a physio appointment. I gave in eventually and I haven’t looked back.
Diana: That’s great to hear! Had you done yoga before, or were you a complete newbie?
Gina: I had done some basic yoga about 20 or so years ago but I didn’t really click with the teacher. I started out just with the Tuesday evening Balance & Stillness class – but now I usually take three or four classes a week! The studio was opening at just the right time for me. I’m not an athletic person so was looking to yoga to keep the little flexibility that I had and mobilise my spine as recommended by my physio.
Diana: How have you found the classes, and the studio? We’re assuming you enjoy it as you’ve now got the yoga bug, but what specifically draws you to the practice?
Gina: My favourite part of yoga is being there. I have quite a few hobbies, but they all involve doing things for other people. Yoga is all mine. I do it for me, and for only me. It’s my selfish time in the truest sense of the word – something we don’t get a lot of these days. When I started at the studio I had some social anxiety issues which brought on symptoms of claustrophobia. I was grateful at first for the intimate class sizes, and the brilliant teachers – so much that I’ve slowly moved from the back of the room to the front. My anxieties and depression have been easier to manage since I started yoga, even the hubby has noticed a difference! I don’t get so stressed out these days, and I’ve been taught quite a few different breathing techniques during classes that really help.
Diana: That seems really powerful, we’re all so pleased for you.
Gina: Due to my anxieties I struggle to make friends but I love my yoga buddies. Every class I’ve been too has been friendly and inclusive. The teachers are all lovely and happy to chat along with us during the class. I can normally guarantee some laughs for everyone due to my lack of coordination, however, as amusing as it is when I get my lefts and rights mixed up, I have never, ever been made to feel inadequate or uncomfortable.
Diana: Do you feel like you get what you need from Yoga with Soul?
Gina: Absolutely! We are always asked if we have had any issues that day or if we want to look at something in particular, and with the class input the teacher can then plot the class around them. I love the way that the teachers come with a plan which then gets thrown out of the window because of how we are feeling. A low tempo class suddenly becomes more challenging because we all seem to have a lot of energy, or a class that was going to concentrate on hamstrings turns into shoulders as someone has an issue we want to address.
Diana: Have you felt physical benefits in the past year, you’ve had a pretty consistent practice?
Gina: An added bonus to the increase in flexibility and mobility that yoga has given me is that it’s also lifted the boobs and backside! I have muscles and a waist again. Seeing the gradual toning over the past twelve months inspired me to start a diet, and now I’m also losing weight. I’ve always been a bigger girl, and I’ll never be pencil thin, but I’m slimmer than I was!
Diana: That’s great! Lastly, what your favourite part of class? What do you like to work on?
Gina: During the practise I’d have to say that my favourite poses are the balances and strength work. I’m still working on the flexibility, although I can touch my toes now! Always improving.