Practitioner Spotlight: Dani Mavi – Yoga
At 21, I decided to begin my yoga journey and completed a 200 hour teacher training here in the UK, with a highly respected yoga school ‘Yoga London’, one of the most successful, largest teacher training schools in Europe.
Still eager to learn more, I then travelled to Rishikesh, India ‘The Capital of Yoga’ to study at ‘Shiva Yoga Peeth’ which is highly recommended by Yoga Alliance and top most positive rated school in Rishikesh. The intensive course of 13 hour days consisted of Cleansing, Pranayama, Meditation, Bandhas, Mudras, Teaching Practice, Anatomy and Physiology of Yoga Practice, Yoga Philosophy, Hatha Yoga/Ashtanga and Mantra Recitation. This was a life changing experience.
I have participated in various workshops in London with guest teachers including David Swenson and Norman Blair.
Like many other teenagers, I became very stressed during GCSE and A level exams. I would revise on the floor with my back hunched over and stay there for hours at a time. My poor posture led me to having unbearable back and neck pain, along with lack of sleep due to stress.
Visiting Physiotherapists and Chiropractors, I was given stretching techniques and recommended to try yoga. I bought my first Ashtanga Yoga book at 16 and began self-practicing. At 17, I started attending yoga classes. I would recommend practicing yoga daily to feel the benefits, starting with 5-10 minutes each morning. I love being in tree pose whilst I’m brushing my teeth and holding triangle pose whilst I wait for the kettle to boil!
What is Yoga?
Developed over thousands of years, Yoga brings balance and harmony to both body and mind, through postures and breath.
How can it Help?
Yoga helps to boost the immune system, encourage relaxation and correct posture alignment. Yoga offers physical and mental health benefits for people of all ages. If you’re recovering from surgery or living with a painful condition, yoga can become an integral part of your treatment and potentially hasten healing.
Doing yoga activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which reduces the stress fight-or-flight response, thus reducing your stress levels. An important component of yoga is focusing on the present. Studies have found that regular yoga practice improves coordination, reaction time, memory and even IQ scores.
There are different types of yoga:
Vinyasa Yoga uses the synchronicity of breath and movement to challenge the body and mind. Blending graceful movements with strength building asanas, Vinyasa is a playful and energetic style that will tone and strengthen both your physical body and your mental resilience.
Iyengar Yoga is characterised by its precision and alignment in postures. Teachers are trained to a high level and are experienced at working with some injuries and modifying postures to your needs.
Hatha Yoga combines postures, breath control (pranayama), meditation, yogic philosophy and guided relaxation, which will help you to stretch and tone your body, whilst quietening your mind.
Ashtanga Yoga requires focus to move through the sequence, helping to still the mind and bring inner peace. The vigorous postures and focus on the breath create stamina and flexibility to the body.
Power Yoga takes yoga to a new dimension, where you feel your body worked hard with your mind focused.
Yin Yoga is a slow and deep practice, creating calm in meeting the intensity of a stretch, cultivating a healing and nourishing effect on the body, tuning in to the parasympathetic nervous system
Hot Yoga is practiced in a room which is heated to 37 degrees celcius. Hot yoga practice replicates the heat and humidity of India, where yoga originated. My favourite!
Yoga is a good way for people who don’t love weights to build upper body muscle and stronger cores, whilst improving flexibility. Improved sleep is one of the key benefits of yoga that nearly every practitioner can experience, no matter what their skill level. Studies have found that a consistent yoga practice can help improve depression and lead to significant increases in serotonin levels too. I highly recommend finding a yoga class and trying it for yourself. It’s changed my life in many ways, particularly my fitness and overall health and wellbeing. It can do the same for you too!