Tuesday, 10 February 2015


Lucy Howlett, Yoga teacher at LIFT Personal Training 

For the past few weeks I have been attending Vinyasa Flow Yoga classes with Lucy Howlett. I have been practising yoga since I was about 18, going to my first classes at University - that seems a long time ago now! There are so many benefits to yoga and over the years I’ve been attending classes on and off. When I was pregnant I attended pregnancy yoga classes which were amazing and crucial, for me, in terms of birth preparation. The positioning, breathing and relaxation helped immensely in labour and when giving birth.

Since baby was born I hadn’t been to a single class. I had done a bit of yoga at home but there were many distractions, you don’t have the same vibe as in a class and to be honest I’d get bored and go off and do something else. Life is busy when you have a baby and in the early days, most evenings I was too shattered to do anything but sit on the sofa. But toddler has been sleeping through the night for a while so I didn’t have any more excuses!

At the start of the new year I found Lucy’s yoga class. I’ve had five sessions so far and they have been going really well. I will admit that the first class went pretty slowly and I thought my body would break, bending in all sorts of ways, using muscles that hadn't been used in years. I had forgotten a lot of the poses and watching the others rise up, go down, bend, arch, bend again, into downward facing dog, jump, rise up and back up again before you even have time to think left me a little exhausted! After the first session by body ached for days after but it did feel good getting back into it, a sense of achievement.

© Lucy Howlett

On the second session I quickly got back into the rhythm. I was much more focused and suddenly became familiar with the names of the poses again. I let go more and loved the rhythm of sequences. I was also surprised that I could do a lot of these bends and stretches after not attending a class in about 18 months. Afterwards, I felt calmer and stronger and was already looking forward to my next class. I even had a couple of dreams about these classes! Each week there has been a particular focus on each session:

  • Slowing down the breath. The word Om and it's meaning. Alignment in the poses.
  • Solar plexus (manipura) chakra. Inner strength and will power. Finding our inner warrior through the asanas/poses.
  • Heart (anahata) chakra, ability to feel peace, to give and receive love, offering self-love. The emotional significance of practicing yoga.
  • Throat (vishuddha) chakra, speaking our truth and practicing gratitude.
  • Ajna (third eye) and Sahasrara (crown) chakra; accessing enlightenment and bliss. Acknowledging the teachers/guides/people of positive influence in our lives.

© Lucy Howlett

Over the years I’ve tried different yoga classes and I think it’s really important to be able to connect with the teacher. Lucy really is a wonderful teacher, offering many words of wisdom and creating a calm and tranquil environment. Lucy guides you through the class, through the exercises but also through the mental, emotional and spiritual stages of yoga, releasing those hectic thoughts, letting go of that negative energy, calming the mind and focusing on positivity. The classes are almost addictive! Lucy says "The vinyasa flow classes help to improve strength, flexibility, posture and muscle tone whilst promoting mindfulness and reducing stress. The sequences will be energising yet grounding, giving you some precious time to yourself in amongst busy daily life." I think everyone could benefit from this!

There are other small touches that make a big difference. I love readings - Lucy read out this inspirational piece about what yoga means to someone. The music in the class is relaxing, ranging from classical music to the Beatles. There are also some essential oils and a muscle relaxer cream that you can add before the class begins, a treat for the senses. At the end of the class there is a wonderful relaxtion/stretching period reflecting back on the class and feeling that accomplishment that comes at the end of exercise. I have been trying to think of something that can be improved in the classes but honestly can't think of anything!

I'm so glad I'm attending classes again. I feel calmer. My body feels much more supple and flexible and my back and shoulders which have been hurting for months, from carrying a baby around, feel more relaxed. It's amazing how one class can have an impact on your whole week. I am already looking to my next session.

If you live in the Brighton and Hove area and want to find out more about Lucy's classes please visit her website or twitter as I'd definitely recommend her: 

Lucy Howlett, Yoga Teacher at Lift Personal Training and on twitter 

Win a six week yoga course with Lucy 

Do you attend a yoga/exercise class. Why do you like it?

Many thanks to Lucy for collaborating on this review. All words and opinions are my own.

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  1. Great post. I'm starting yoga in September. I'm so inflexible though that I'm a little worried about it. I'm hoping that will improve with practice. Fingers crossed! Hx #TheList

  2. I did yoga through my pregnancy (until 28 weeks anyway) I really enjoyed it and keep meaning to try out some classes. Thanks for sharing this,
    Becky- LittleOandme

  3. I would love to start Yoga, I have such a knackered back, so I need to find the right way to start. Love this thanks for sharing with #TheList x

  4. I have good news and bad news. I'll start with the bad news. There has been an attempt to hijack, kidnap yoga. And now the good news, you can take it back.


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