Charlotte Jopling is a creative, documentary wedding photographer based in Derbyshire and working throughout the UK.

She also works as Corporate Sales and Events Officer at QUAD.

Ashtanga Yoga - from Beginners to Intermediates

I started attending the Ashtanga Yoga Beginners class at Deda in October 2014. I had been experiencing back pain, was struggling with sleep and generally feeling stressed during a busy time! I hadn’t been exercising much, so I wanted a class that would help with said issues and be a physical workout at the same time. Ashtanga Yoga had been suggested to me many times so I gave it a go.

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Clare Brooksbank teaches the class and is extremely welcoming and clear with her instruction. She is attentive and gives great guidance to suit everyone’s abilities, which is really useful if you have an injury or specific pain. It took me a while to adapt the correct posture, but once I did I felt my muscles stretching out and my back twinges stopped.

The breathing technique and flow of the yoga also takes you into a meditative–like state, making you breathe deeply and concentrate your mind on your body rather than on daily distractions/thoughts.

Over time I learnt the salutations and became more flexible so was confident enough to move up to the Intermediate class. This is certainly a step up from the Beginners, but the abilities of attendees are varied and it’s still suitable for someone that can’t necessarily get into all of the more advanced poses (like me!)

Clare varies the focuses of each session, so you sometimes focus on a particular part of the body or certain pose/stretch, but ultimately it works the whole body. I sit at a desk a lot, I find my posture drastically improved when practicing yoga once/twice a week. My body shape has also changed – the stretches and movements really tone the whole of your body, strengthening core muscles and making you feel longer and streamlined. I feel rejuvenated after the classes but then sleep much better later on. I’ve been attending the class when I can, and when I can’t make it I have learnt enough to practice at home.

I would recommend this class to anyone that wants an activity that will help them focus, de-stress and workout their body in a great city centre facility. For me, having a set time and committing to the class formed a regular routine that I needed (although work and life get in the way sometimes).

I’m looking forward to the autumn term of sessions, in the meantime I’ll practice in the sunshine!

Classes return for the autumn from Monday 7 September, with Ashtanga Yoga on Tuesday evenings at 5.30 and 6.30pm. Book your place now!

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