The benefits of yoga – Q&A with Lisa of Yotopia

Following on from yesterday’s post about my Yoga journey with Yotopia, I caught up with the owner Lisa Campbell, who has been a source of encouragement for me these past few months! If you’re thinking about going down the yoga root (and you really should try it!) I hope the following Q&As help you to understand the benefits of a good yoga practice & that it’s something anyone can do!

This is Lisa :)

1) What would you say is the best thing about yoga?

The best thing about yoga is that there are so many great things about it!  Its a whole body workout (very few physical exercises are); it lengthens the muscles rather than bulking them; it massages the organs (eliminating toxins); and it teaches you how to use the breath fully, increasing oxygen in your body.  It increases your energy levels and revitalizes your whole system.  It also all makes for a great CV workout (especially with the added feature of the heat which raises the heart rate further), can result in weight loss and assists in improving performance for any other sport, if you practice others. It has a vast array of other benefits, including improving mood, concentration, and general well being.

2) What can someone expect when attending a Yotopia class & which classes would you recommend for first timers?

We offer the greatest variety of yoga classes, including hot yoga and hot Pilates classes, in London.  We have carefully planned the classes to offer a natural path of progression from beginners to advanced, and to cater for all preferences.  For first timers, I would recommend, in the temperate studio Yin Yoga (Tues eve), and Curiosity Yoga (Thur eve), and in the hot studio Hot Beginners Yoga (Thur eve), Hot Hatha Yoga (L1) (Tues lunch), Hot Yoga Flow (L1) (Thur morning and Sat morning).  The Pilates and hot Pilates classes are also suitable for beginners.

3) How does Yotopia’s hot yoga differ from other styles of hot yoga such as Bikram?

Bikram is a single sequence of 26 postures, and is static – you rest between one posture and another.  Our hot yoga classes incorporate vinyasa flow – moving steadily from one posture to another.  Also, in Yotopia’s classes every class is different, using a different sequence each time so you won’t get bored!  The studio is not as hot as Bikram (36 degrees C versus Bikram at 40 degrees C), but because there is more movement in our classes, you will heat your body from the inside as well as from the outside.  You will also focus much more on the breath in our classes, which is an integral aspect of traditional yoga.

4) What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about yoga but is perhaps a little bit exercise shy?

Its a myth that you have to be flexible or fit to do yoga – you will reap all of the benefits however flexible, or fit, or “good” at the postures you are, even if you practice a very gentle form of yoga.  There are plenty of gentle classes, which will teach you how to use the breath, and focus on alignment and you will learn all the different postures.  Once you know the basics, its really up to you where you want to take it.  It can be a continuous path of exploration and opportunity, if you want it to be.  There really is something for everyone!

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