I’m a 22 year old student in my final year of a PPE degree at Oxford. I balance my degree with a tonne of other things, like playing in a band and running a website, and consequently I am always super busy and super stressed. For years people have been suggesting I do yoga to ‘chill me out’, and I did give it a try in first year, but the classes were so far away that I quickly abandoned it. This year my stress levels got so high I started having panic attacks, which were really scary. Therapy helped a bit with these, but I knew I needed to do something a bit more physical to calm me down, because just talking about being stressed can sometimes make you more stressed!
When I heard about Anne’s classes I jumped at the opportunity, since there are so few yoga classes in central Oxford, and I knew I seriously needed to work on my anxiety as my final exams approach. My first taster class was really fun; I liked the relaxed atmosphere, as well as the music. (The classes I went to in first year, in contrast, had involved a lot of strange sighing, and the teacher talked non-stop about our auras…) I resolved to commit properly this time by trying the Yoga Quota one month unlimited pass, and so far I’ve really loved it. It’s great being able to go to as many classes a week as I want, and the evening slots are perfect for me as I can go as a nice break from work. Sometimes I go the day before an essay deadline and it helps me clear my mind and focus when I go back to the library. Anne herself is a fab teacher, and so encouraging.
It’s been interesting finding out which bits of my body are flexible, and which aren’t. Although it’s only been a month, I’ve already noticed quite a lot of progress. In my first class I couldn’t even get my feet flat on the ground for downward dog, but now I can! I initially found the ‘chaturanga’ move quite hard too, probably because I have no arm muscle whatsoever, but now it’s almost second nature. It’s very satisfying to notice stuff like this, although I know I’ve still got a long way to go. In particular, one day I am determined to summon up the courage to try that flying crow pose that Anne makes look so easy! On the whole I really recommend these classes to anyone interested in yoga or keen to work on their stress levels; they have been really great for me and I leave every class super calm and happy!