The Benefits of Yoga
Eve Veglio-White teaches yoga at Poplar Union. We spoke to her about the benefits of yoga and teaching.
How did you get started in fitness and yoga, and what does it mean to you?
“I have been dancing since I was little. When I was 18, I went to London Contemporary Dance School for professional training.
I’ve been working with my body and movement my whole life, and in the dance world that can sometimes be negative. Looking at what’s wrong with your body or the way it moves, wanting to be more flexible, slimmer, stronger, faster – it can feel as if you’re at war with your body.
Starting yoga about 6 years ago and then training to be a teacher helped me to bring peace into my relationship with my body, and it means so much to me to find healing and acceptance of my body. Alongside the physical relationship with the sense of focus, the feeling of being grounded and calm that I felt from yoga has changed the way I view everything.”
How did you get started running these classes in particular?
“I covered the previous teacher a couple of times, and when she moved away I was asked if I wanted to take the class on. I was so happy to be asked; when I had covered I really loved the space, the community focus and also the team at Poplar Union is really wonderful.”
What are the benefits of yoga?
“Yoga has so many benefits that can be helpful to everyone, no matter your body, age, fitness or mobility. Physically, it helps you to become stronger, more open and more flexible. Beyond that, yoga is amazing for de-stressing, relaxing, finding peace and centring yourself. It has also been proven to help with depression, anxiety, chronic pain and sleeping problems.
Finding time to practice a few times a week should lead to a noticeable improvement in your overall health.”
How have you seen the participants of your class change?
“Physically I have seen a lot of changes in the class members. An increase in strength, openness, flexibility and moving in a direct and purposeful way. What’s great about all those qualities is that they can transfer into day to day living – and I hope that the participants are also feeling stronger, more open, flexible, grounded and purposeful in their everyday lives, too.”
How have you seen yourself change while leading these classes?
“The classes can often change in size and participants, including people with all different experience levels, so I have found myself becoming more flexible in my teaching style and more adaptable in the in the moment to who is in the class and what their needs are.
You need to have eyes everywhere when you are teaching and make sure that everyone has options they are comfortable with balanced with safely guiding people to find their fullest version of the pose.
This is a great reminder for me to stay in the moment and to be giving fully.”
What do you enjoy most about holding these classes?
“What I love about classes at Poplar Union is that it is a community space that offers affordable classes. This makes yoga more accessible to people, and potentially less intimidating than yoga studies.
There are lots of different people and different bodies all coming together with the same purpose and goal of bettering themselves and doing something good for themselves – that is so special! It’s a great energy to be around and I’m lucky to take part in facilitating that.”
What advice would you have for anyone looking to start running their own fitness classes?
“Do your research to make sure that you get proper training from a reputable school or organisation – and even after you’ve finished training, never stop learning! Keep attending classes and workshops. Read books and online articles and keep evolving your education. Ask friends and family if you can practice teaching on them and start to work out your own style and point of view.
It’s the class students come for, but it’s you that they come back for!”
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