I’ve started to do Yoga as being 33 I’m not what I used to be at 23 and wanting to improve my fitness so that I can start back with martial arts again so after searching the internet I came across Jamie Lugo and reached out to ask her some advice and I’m very pleased to say Jamie has done a fantastic interview for everyone who reads the blogs on 4Ever Fitness!
Q1) Can you tell our readers a little about what yoga is?
Hmmm. That is a REALLY tough question to answer. Yoga is a lot of things… EVERYTHING! Haha…What I think you are asking is “What is yoga ASANA?” Asana is what most of us know today as yoga. In sanskrit (the language of yoga) asana means posture or seat and all yoga postures have names that end in asana. For example, Adho (downward) Mukha (facing) Svana (dog) Asana (pose) Adho Muka Svanasana = Downward facing dog! So in essence the physical practice of yoga is yoga asana. This practice of yoga was created as a preparation for meditation and pranayama. So yoga asana challenges us to find a calm mind while we are in strange body positions. These body positions or asanas help to cleanse the nadis (energy channels in the body) and physically prepare us to sit in meditation. The yoga asana practice is really meant to harness the mind and challenge the body. There are a few categories that all poses fall into: 1.) Standing poses- used to find grounding and to tone/strengthen the legs. 2.) Seated Poses- anything that you are sitting in. 3.) Forward bending- opens the back body, strengthens front body 4.) Back bending- opens the front body, strengthens back body 5.) Inversions- anything where the head is below the heart. Helps to reverse blood flow and revitalize stagnant parts of the body from our daily human routines. Also used to change perspective. To “turn your world upside down” 6.) Restorative- poses that restore the body and mind. 7.) Twists- open twists and closed twists. Twist help to create a strong and supple spine and can be very energizing! 8.) Balancing- any posture where you have to focus to hold the balance. Arm balances and standing on one foot. Balancing steadies and focuses the body and mind… We are all looking for balance right?
Q2) How did you get into yoga?
I got into yoga twice! First, was after a bad breakup. I went to a yoga class and it was the first time I was able to focus on what I was doing at that moment, nothing and no one else! I walked away feeling liberated and focused- extremely therapeutic! The second time I got into yoga was after a back injury. I was a dancer and herniated a disc in my back. After crawling around for a few months I was itching to move my body. Yoga gave me and opportunity to physically express myself but in a slow and mindful manner. Then I was hooked.
Q3) Recommending yoga equipment?
A yoga mat, 2 blocks, 1 strap, 2 blankets and something comfortable to move in! But you can do yoga anywhere and anytime!
Q4) What’s the difference between bikram Yoga and hot yoga?
I teach hot yoga which is different from Bikram Yoga. From what I understand, Bikram Yoga is 26 yoga postures that have been chosen by Bikram Choudury from the hatha yoga discipline. These postures are done in a room heated (ideally) to 104 degrees with 40% humidity. For more information about Bikram Yoga you can go to www.bikramyoga.com. Some people confuse this style of yoga with HOT Yoga. Hot yoga is a practice that is done in a heated room. In order to teach Bikram Yoga and call it Bikram yoga you must be certified by a Bikram teacher. Hot yoga styles will vary between teachers and studios but generally, hot yoga is a vinyasa style practice in a heated room.
Q5) What has yoga done for your health?
I used to suffer from pretty intense depression and anxiety. Yoga has literally wiped these two things out of my life. And teaching yoga has been great because I am always touching people which has built up my immunities so I rarely get sick
Q6) What’s the best way for our readers to try yoga? is it at home or at a club?
I recommend private lessons to start. This way you can build a solid foundation as you move into your daily practice. Having proper alignment in postures is essential. You can’t get this type of guidance in a large group class. With a private instructor you can also create a practice this fits your body. Everyone is different so different types of practices suit different people.
Q7) How often should you do yoga to see health benefit?
Q8) What else do you do to exercise?
I do SLT (Strengthen, Lengthen Tone) SLT is a mixture of cardio, pilates and strength training designed by Sebastien Lagree. I also teach the technique as well. You can find it many places around the world by different names but in NYC its SLT! I also cycle occasionally…I LOVE a kick ass workout! It’s all about finding balance!
Q9) Whats your favourite yoga position?
Q10) Whats your top four tips for our reader trying yoga?
1.) Don’t judge yourself! 2.) Don’t force yourself into ANY posture and don’t let any teacher force you either. 3.) Come with and open mind! Anything can happen…4.) Realise that yoga is a PRACTICE so it has to be done on a regular basis to notice/feel results.
If you want to know more check out Jamie’s Website: www.jamielugo.com