RENEE VALENTINE: Yoga to relieve stress

AT PEACE: Relax with restorative yoga – it’s too good to be true.  Picture: Jim Rice

AT PEACE: Relax with restorative yoga – it’s too good to be true. Picture: Jim Rice

WHEN I received an email from yogi Bronni Page inviting me to come try her restorative yoga at The Junction one Sunday afternoon, she had me at her subject header: Feelin’ Snoozy?

Her description, you see, of  ‘‘On the surface, it’s all about lazing around on squishy bolsters and snoozing. But really, restorative yoga provides a nurturing environment for self-care and re-booting body and soul on a deep level’’ sounded absolutely delightful.

I felt like she knew me already – tired, depleted and in dire need of a good rest. My only concern was that I may indeed  fall asleep on one of her bolsters.

So along I went with visions of one big slumber party upstairs at Go Vitality at The Junction and, I have to say, it was an absolutely delightful experience.

I have tried a handful of yoga classes, including hot power yoga, and until now, I have not particularly been a fan.

But this restorative yoga was more up my alley – slow-paced, lingering stretches, hugging pillows and lavender-scented eye pillows. Then, when Bronni asked if anyone would like a blanket, she would come around and ‘‘tuck us in’’ too. I thought it was too good to be true.

I denied the blanket and tuck in but on the inside, was dying for it – I can’t remember the last time I was ‘‘tucked in’’. Probably when I was sick as a child. 

There was something comforting and soothing about the pillows and blankets in the class and I definitely left wanting more. It was a lovely experience on a Sunday afternoon – a really nice way to wind down, switch off for an hour and just focus on myself, something which rarely seems to happen these days, and I am sure there are plenty of you out there who feel the same.

It is definitely worth a try and you can find more information at bronnipageyoga.com.au.

Pyramid training

IF you are gearing up for the Sun Herald City2Surf and are looking for some inspiration, then try this as a week-three guide in a 12-week preparation. You might this week do a strength/cardio session; interval session; a long run/walk of 30-40 minutes; and 1-2 shorter runs/walks of 20-25 minutes, all chat pace.

If you are looking to try something new, pyramid training is a good way to mix things up a bit.

Research has indicated that pyramid training not only adds variety to your workouts but also gives your muscles a new challenge.

Traditionally, pyramid training has involved starting with high repetitions and low weights then increasing your weights while decreasing your number of repetitions.

But you can also use bodyweight exercises this way for an effective workout. Give this a go and, as always, don’t forget to include an appropriate warm-up and cool-down, and modify for your specific needs and level of fitness.

❏10 squats-10 short shuttle runs/walks, 8 squats-8 shuttles, 6-6, 4-4; 2-2;

❏10 push-ups-100 skips, 8 push-ups-80 skips, 6-60; 4-40; 2-20;

❏10 pull-ups/rows-20 step-ups; 8 pull-ups/rows-18 step-ups; 6-16; 4-14; 2-12;

❏20 running arms with light dumbbells-20 star jumps; 18-18; 16-16; 14-14; 12-12;

Finish with some core work and a good stretch.

Renee Valentine is a qualified personal trainer and mother of two.

Email: renee.fitfy@gmail.com

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