The Manchester and District Institute of Iyengar Yoga in Dukinfield joined in with a worldwide celebration of National Iyengar Yoga Day.
Now they’re offering you the chance to get involved for free this month.
Saturday, January 14, saw the institute on King Street join their partners across the globe in celebrating their art.
For the rest of the month, they’re inviting folk to free taster sessions so you can see for yourself why the practice is so popular.
Tameside Radio breakfast presenter Louise Croombs joined in one of the sessions on Saturday morning and soon caught the bug.
“I really enjoyed it, it was a lot of fun,” she said.
“What I liked about it was that there was a lot of apparatus that you can use such as ropes, blocks or chairs, which really helps if you’ve got a bad back or if you feel that you’re not fully able to go through all of the positions because some of the positions can be quite daunting.
“I feel great. I feel stretched out and relaxed, but I feel really energised as well. I would totally recommend giving it a try.”
The Manchester and District Institute of Iyengar Yoga was established in 1972, making it the oldest in the UK. It is home to classes for complete beginners to those who’ve been practicing for years.
Joan Abrams has been teaching Iyengar Yoga since 1977. Now she is spearheading the restorative yoga classes at the institute for those with fatigue problems.
She said: “Over the years, restorative yoga has become really popular because it’s been proved that quietness, lying down, looking inwards and watching the breath is a really recuperative way of stilling the mind and the nerves.
“A lot of people, in this stressful age, feel that their bodies are overheated and they are going too fast. Restorative yoga is about just breathing more easily and giving yourself time because that’s one of the problems in the modern age.”
But Joan stressed that even within Iyengar yoga, there are different branches to suit everyone.
“I would recommend yoga to absolutely everybody. It’s low impact, it’s cheap, you don’t need a lot of equipment and it’s holistic,” she said.
“It isn’t just for the muscles or just for the mind, it’s a balance of three; the mind, the body and the breath. I’m grateful that 40 years ago I went to join a yoga class. It’s a privilege to teach people and find them enjoying yoga as well.”
Joan’s fellow yoga teacher Kim Skinner echoed those thoughts, saying that yoga can have both physical and mental benefits.
“I’ve been studying Iyengar yoga for 20 years,” she said.
“I have got rid of weak ankles and a bad back. I’ve dealt with colds, a strained shoulder and strained knees, but most of all it’s the psychological benefits.
“I sleep well, I’ve got a good appetite and I feel positive about life; much more than before I did yoga. The mental benefits interest me personally but there are very many physical benefits as well.”
But don’t just take their word for it. The institute is inviting you to try Iyengar Yoga for free this month. Visit mdiiy.org.uk, email [email protected] or call 0161 339 0748.
By Tom Greggan