Wednesday, July 6, 2011

First impressions

So I guess the latest craze in the exercise and fitness world is Zumba. It seems that every other person you talk to is either going to a Zumba class or raving about Zumba for Wii. For those who have been living under a rock, it is a sort of a cross between aerobics and salsa (dancing not dip!) The tag line is "ditch the workout, join the party!" and yes, need you ask, it is hotfoot from the US! 
Anyway, a friend of mine who is on a big health kick, as is every other person I seem to meet this month, was talking about a class she went to and how she enjoyed the class but wasn't going to go back because the teacher wasn't very inspiring, physically! She told me that the woman looked very overweight and "lumpy!", commenting, "If this is what Zumba has done for her then you can forget it!" No thought as to what this instructor looked like pre Zumba. She could have been a 30 stone couch potato for all we know and thrilled with how she looks now as a svelte size 22! 
The conversation continued with another friend suggesting an alternative local Zumba class she had attended which she thoroughly enjoyed. 
"What's the teacher like?"
"A hairy middle aged man"
"Got one of those at home thanks, don't need any more in my life!" came the quick reply
She is right, you don't want to rock up to a fitness class taught by a professional who doesn't look the part.
This got me thinking and if I am honest, worrying...a lot!
Yoga's image has in the last few years been elevated thanks to the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston, Madonna, Cameron Diaz, Gisele Bundchen. Because all of these women look so incredible and are so successful the thought is that doing yoga will turn you into them! Of course the reality is that lots of yoga will not turn you into a film star or a model or suddenly up your earning potential (unfortunately!) but it will help you to make the best of yourself, physically, mentally and emotionally. Now with that in mind, as a newcomer to yoga, if you turn up to a class and the teacher looks less than healthy and glowing with bit of a tummy and a saggy arse, how can you not feel disappointed and frankly, cheated?!
Suffice it to say, this conversation was the boost I needed to join in the health kick craze sweeping my friends this month!
I want to be the kind of teacher you look to for your inspiration both in my practice and in my physical form. 
My passion for yoga and all its benefits actually means that I do have a fairly healthy diet anyway and spend much of my day on the mat either in my own practice or helping clients, therefore I am pretty active. But the fact that the Cadbury chocolate consumption had crept from one to two bars a day and the fact that my glass recycle bin is rather full of Shiraz bottles at the end of the month and the fact that my skinny jeans had been tried on and cast aside on several occasions because I was sporting far too much muffin top were the tell tale signs that I had been a little lazy!
It has been almost a month now since I revamped my eating and I feel great actually. I think I have lost some weight although I haven't weighed myself since 2000 when I stopped working ships and had the mandatory cringe inducing public weigh in weekly! I certainly feel more energetic and enthusiastic about life, as well as generally happier and dare I say it, virtuous!
My goal is for yogis to come into my class and be able to concentrate on their practice knowing that they are in good hands with a teacher who practices what she preaches and is proof that yoga can get you a toned and lean body if that's what you are after. 
Of course the benefits are so much more than merely physical but you have to keep coming to get all the really juicy stuff!


  1. I love this post Sophie!!!

  2. Thanks Laura! Things look like they are going brilliantly for you over there in Oz. Don't you just love it...teaching yoga I mean?!

  3. Yeah all happening out in Oz and so quickly too, am starting to get used to it and just need to have a little more faith in myself, do miss the yoga variety of England though, feel a Bali retreat is in need!! Or is you fancy doing a DVD of your classes, he!!!Cant wait to come to your Missenden classes when im back, much love xxxx