Sofie chats about fallen triangle, speaking danish & her love of yoga

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1. How long have you been practicing yoga for?

I had a long break of about 7-8 years...a whole host of things that got in the way of my practice. I use to go religiously for 2 years when I lived in another city but never found a place in Glasgow that quite suited me. In December 2017 I made a promise to myself that I would find a kind of exercise that I would feel enjoyment and momentum doing. Whatever that was! So I went to my first class at Studio 70 on the 2nd January 2018 and I have been going ever since (minus holidays...I wish I could bring my classes on holiday though).

2. What keeps you coming back to your mat every week?

I had to think about this question for a while because I stopped questioning why I go. That commitment has kind of surprised me, I have never been so settled in a yoga, or another kind of exercise, routine as I have at Studio 70. It’s a bodily feeling, I feel very strange when I miss a flow class. That sweat needs to move out of my body for me to feel calm until the next class.  It also helps my mental health, sorts through issues on a subconscious level and the invitation to acknowledge what you are grateful for is really helpful for me. I am also noticing so many changes in my body, it’s quite amazing. Building strength in places I didn’t ever think about...like my fingers for example? Also it keeps my back and core strong which helps me a lot as I am tall and often experienced back pain, yoga has lessened that massively.

I realise this has become a very long answer for a question I didn’t think I had an answer to! Just shows you that the benefits and the inclination to return to your mat are quite subtle but really powerful.

3. What aspects of your yoga practice are you focusing on at the moment?

A few things. Breath is a continuous project, I can feel engaged with it for a time but can lose focus on it if I’m finding the flow intense. I have also been really focusing on hand and wrist strength as I struggled with that at the beginning - hasta bandha has been instrumental in my practice and has made my fingers, palms and wrists feel much stronger. And lastly, alignment, I have been working on understanding how my body should feel in each pose so that it is giving me all the right benefits.

4. What advice would you give to someone who’s thinking about trying yoga for the first time?

It is not a contest, it is a practice that is unique to your own abilities and strengths. I would also say that you should try a few different kinds of classes and instructors, feel your way through it and discover what feels fulfilling for you in your own practice. I also think that Studio70 is a particularly good place to begin because their classes are very diverse, all sorts of bodies and abilities go there

5. Why do you come to Studio 70?

At first it was because the studio is super conveniently located to my flat, I also had a recommendation from a regular there and I went...now I come because I love it. The instructors are women I respect and admire, I feel pushed and supported at Studio70 and that is so important to me as I haven’t always responded so well to “organised” exercise.

6.What’s your favourite yoga pose?

Right now? Fallen triangle. It is SO HARD! But today, I lifted my foot...sometimes I felt like my brain was not communicating with my foot at all. ‘Hello! Could you lift that please?’

But again, I have worked on feeling where in my body that lift should come from. I can feel it now and direct my focus there. I also in general enjoy balance poses, being tall I feel quite clumsy at times and the balance poses make me feel powerful y’know.

7. Tell us one fun fact about yourself!

I speak Danish fluently, which is honestly a wild sounding language and it means I can pronounce ‘hygge’ correctly…

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Michelle Lang