Yoga Classes in Essex

I recently spent a few weeks in Leigh on Sea on holiday visiting a friend who is a regular Yoga attendee at the Shambhala Studios in Leigh on Sea. I counted 24 classes across the week on the timetable so there are plenty to choose from and to fit my holiday schedule around. I can’t help thinking how lucky the people of Leigh-on-Sea are to have such a great facility available to them.

Classes last from one to one and a half hours with plenty of beginners classes available, as well as dynamic, hatha and yin yoga types.  I went to at least one class each day and occasionally two, so got a good sample of the yoga on offer. I do practise yoga at home, but not in a class setting so even the beginners classes were very useful. I enjoy these because I can get a handle on some of the intricacies of the very basic postures, which hold true throughout the more advanced positions.

It’s difficult to remember exactly which classes I went to, as some of the class time slots have a rotation of teachers while some were taught by replacements for those who had gone on holiday, it is summer after all! The beginners classes were excellent, the teachers give enough detail to help you learn and improve without swamping you. I attended Caitlin’s Beginners Yoga on Monday morning, as well as Alison’s and Jan’s on Thursday and Friday mornings respectively.

Although I do have experience of yoga I have not been to regular classes for a very long time but the teachers at Shambhala really help you move forward. While they do have different styles of teaching and the content of what they teach does diverge somewhat, this in no way detracts from the learning experience. The cross over is considerable, while the differences are interesting. If anything this aspect is very positive, I felt it really helped me improve, more than a single teacher would have.

For example, the Yin Yoga with Liz involves holding the poses for an extended period of time, which really does allow the muscular tension to dissolve away. I really enjoy these classes because I do tend carry some tension to begin with and I do need to ease into postures. The extended holding of the postures really does lend itself to releasing tension and opening up a joint or two!

All of the teachers talk you through the poses and offer you the option of staying at a lesser position before the pose is developed. This is really good because, as they all say, some days the body fails to respond as well as other times for a myriad of reasons. All of the teachers encourage you to go to your limit but pull back a little if it is too much. You need to listen to your body to ascertain if it wants you to go a little more or a little less. Listen and it will tell you.

The more advanced yoga classes are simply that, more advanced, although I didn’t feel out of place. However, some experience is necessary in these classes as the pace is a little quicker. The dynamic yoga classes that I attended with Lois and Amanda  do go through a variety of poses but, depending on the time allotment of the class in question and teacher, switch between active and relaxed poses. Brilliant stuff.

In addition to the Yoga and Pilates, there is Tai Chi and a raft of complementary therapies on offer. I had a Shiatsu session with, Carolyn, one of the Yoga teachers who is in the process of qualifying, the treatment room is beautiful and relaxing – as was the treatment!

Over the three weeks I attended about 20 classes, so it really was a yoga holiday in Southend. Yoga in Essex?  You could be forgiven for thinking there wouldn’t be a market for it!



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