Flexibility matters…or does it?

March 6, 2023
News & Insights
As part of our connection with the Abbey Quarter BID, everyone working at The Blade has the opportunity to join a free weekly yoga session. Purdy Smith from Yoginah, who runs the sessions, and whose purpose-built yoga studio is opposite The Blade, explains some of the benefits.

Last June, we started offering a free weekly yoga class every Tuesday morning. Over the year we’ve been able to practise indoors, but in the summer months we took advantage of the warm weather to hold the session in Forbury Gardens – a great way for everyone to start their day! As the weather turned we had the opportunity to practise in the Penthouse at The Blade, and the stunning views were a wonderful and very motivational backdrop. Since the beginning we’ve enjoyed welcoming a core group who come along most weeks, and are always delighted to see new members too – either those with no yoga experience, or others with some knowledge.

One of the main reasons why most people feel reluctant to join a yoga class is because they feel they aren’t flexible enough. But this is one of the main reasons to come along! Flexibility is a by-product of yoga, and given our very sedentary lifestyles - with much of the working week spent at a desk, meeting table or sat down - it’s vital to build in that time to open the body and add movement to your day.

Yoga incorporates a range of additional movements – helping improve posture, increase energy and encouraging the brain to send out those signals of openness. And it can be extremely beneficial for our wellbeing and mental health too – something we are all much more aware of in today’s fast paced, stressful world. It’s a breath-led practice; the way in which many of us live and work today means we’ve unlearnt how to breathe, and don’t use our lungs to their full potential. This in itself impacts our nervous system sending it into ‘fight or flight’ mode; yoga helps correct this promoting much more of a ‘rest and digest’ state in our bodies.

There’s a social aspect connected to joining the sessions too. Although yoga can always be practised on your own, there’s something very special about being in a space together where people are acting collectively. And of course in Reading many people are new to town, perhaps having moved for work and now looking to build a friendship network. Yoga is a wonderful way to find like-minded people, and come together for a session before taking sometime to connect afterwards over a tea or smoothie.  

My own journey with yoga began after experiencing anxiety and panic attacks – something of a by-product of a busy career in London. I began practising yoga at a local fitness centre and then joined a dedicated studio before heading for a solo retreat in India where I met two yoga teachers who still guide me today. Yoga is much more that just a movement exercise –there’s a rich tradition and philosophy from which it’s derived, so continuous study and involvement in the physical and mental elements is an important element – especially when teaching. After 200 hours of training I began my career as a yoga teacher, before reaching advanced teacher status after an additional 300 hours, and five years of training. Today I’m an experienced teacher having topped 900 hours of training over 10 years.

We’re really proud to work with the business community in Reading, and offer good quality yoga to boost your mood, and improve your posture and movement. We hope you can join us soon.

Yoginah is within easy reach of The Blade, with a team of 15 teachers offering 27 classes every week on a membership or pay as you go basis. If you’re new to yoga an introductory offer of £15 for 10 days of unlimited classes is available to taste the space. Staff working at The Blade can enjoy a 15% discount on monthly membership options (occupiers can enquire at Reception).

The FREE Tuesday morning yoga class is being held at Apex Plaza every Tuesday morning at 7:30am until the end of April. No need to book -just sign in at reception before the class. And do contact purdy@yoginah.com with any questions!

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