1. How long have you been practicing yoga for?
I’ve been going to yoga classes on and off for years, but regularly for the past two – basically, since finding Laura’s classes in 2015, and then Studio 70 when she opened it with Michelle a little later. But even as a kid, I loved the idea of yoga. I’d grab books on the subject from the library and try and teach it to myself (not that successfully, it must be said). I was a little fascinated with it, but I didn’t make the leap to actually attending classes until my early 20s. Group exercise was never my strong suit, but I ended up loving yoga class. So, when I moved here from London, it was one of the first things I set out to find – well, that and find a good coffee shop/cheesemonger/greengrocer (basically anywhere I could get my hands on great food).
2. What keeps you coming back to your mat every week?
It’s a pocket of calm that I can carve out for myself. A part of my week that’s separate from day-to-day stress and pressure, and I need that. It’s something that’s just for me. And I always feel fantastic afterwards. It helps slow my mind, gets my body moving, and lends my week a little routine, which I appreciate as a freelance writer.
3. What aspects of your yoga practice are you focusing on at the moment?
Strength in my hips and legs – I hurt my knee at the start of 2017 and it’s been a long road. I didn’t manage to get back to the mat right away, but getting back was important to me. It gave me something to aim for that was more concrete than just waiting for it to heal. It was a touchstone. Laura and Michelle were and are incredibly supportive, helping me adjust and making sure I don’t push myself further than I’m able. Although there are still a few poses I can’t do, yoga has helped build up strength – strength that I needed to help my knee heal.
I’m also focusing a lot on my wrists and shoulders. As a writer, I’m hunched over a laptop all day, which can take a physical toll. Yoga is a fantastic counterbalance to the things I do to my body in the name of work!
4. What advice would you give to someone who’s thinking about trying yoga for the first time?
Do it. Don’t overthink it – just go with the impulse. It’s wonderful for body, mind, and spirit.
5. Why do you come to Studio 70?
It’s haven away from home. And the teachers are wonderful. The owners, Laura and Michelle, in particular have built a lovely community in Studio 70, as well as a place to learn, improve, and develop your yoga practice. For me, coming to class helps me find balance.
6. What’s your favourite yoga pose?
I haven’t mastered it by any means, but I’ve been enjoying Dolphin pose. Also, I love the Warrior poses. Much like that study whereby people who stand in so-called “superhero” pose find themselves performing tasks better afterwards, I think Warrior poses can be very empowering. Giving you a little extra inner power. And who wouldn’t love the chance to take a little warrior spirit with them off the mat and into their day?
7. Tell us one fun fact about yourself!
Pigeons spook me, and coffee sustains me. There you go – two for the price of one.
Thanks for sharing this with us Giv! If you like cooking and eating you should check out her insta @respectabilityandriot and blog www.respectabilityandriot.com