Yoga is a Hindu spiritual and ascetic discipline which includes controlled breathing, simple meditation and the adoption of specific postures. We spoke to Derrik Leduc from Kaya Pilates Yoga Fitness about the practice of yoga and it’s health and relaxation benefits.
There are many different types of yoga – what is the class taught at Fed Square and what are its benefits?
Yoga is something that continues to change and grow with our understanding of the human body and the human condition. The classes at Fed Square draw most of their inspiration from Hatha yoga with elements of Vinyasa. The classes are a bit different every week, however, so it’s easier to just think about it as mindful movement and breathing exercises in the company of good, open-minded, friendly people.
Do you need to be flexible to practice yoga? And will it help with flexibility?
No and yes. Every movement taken in yoga can be done to varying degrees so that each person’s pose is their own to work on and improve. The balance between strength and flexibility is also important and the two go hand in hand. What is more important than physical strength and flexibility is patience.
Is it ok to practice yoga on a now and then basis?
Of course. People need to be humble and realistic about their own abilities when they are practising, regardless of how often or seldom they do it in order to work towards the ultimate goal of yoga, which is wellbeing. Of course regular practice will help yield greater results, but even a bit of wellbeing and peace, even if just for an hour, is better than none.
Is yoga a type of meditation?
Meditation is an important part of yoga and even the poses and sequences themselves can be meditative, especially as you become more familiar with them. Also to be able to breathe deeply, move easily, stay aware or focused is what yoga postures can provide, which are all important stepping stones to living in a more mindful, meditative way.
Do you have any tips for beginners?
Just try it and keep trying. As I mentioned before, patience is your best friend. When I started I could not touch my toes and many of the poses seemed impossible. Now, over a decade later, after regular effort, many attempts, and countless tumbles, more of the practice comes easily, but even that will continue to change as my body and life does. There is always more to learn and change is inevitable so just keep putting your best efforts in, so those changes are for the best.
How did you become interested in yoga, and what inspired you to become a teacher?
The word yoga means to yoke or connect. That means all of us are doing yoga all the time regardless if we think so or not. With my lifetime here only occurring once I wanted to make the best of it. When wonderful people connected me to what we consider yoga as a practice it was immediate that this would be a lifelong tool to help me on my journey. The progression from student to teacher was a natural one as they are one in the same. I just arrived at a point in my practice where I was finally comfortable to be the student at the front of the class making a fool of myself as we all learn together.
6 September – 20 December | Tuesdays | 1:15pm – 2pm