Yoga is one form of exercise that took me a little bit of getting used to but once I got the hang of it, Yoga is in my fitness programme every other week. I took some time out yesterday afternoon and got to talk to one who also goes by the name “Fitness Duchess” and this is what she shared with me.
What is your name, your age and where you are from?
My name is Margaret Sandra Munthali. I am 26 years old and I am from Blantyre, Malawi.
What inspired you to start doing Yoga and why Yoga?
My childhood best friend and I felt like doing something different for hanging out. Something healthy. We agreed upon Yoga. It was just about trying something new. A great way to spend the afternoon. We got our inspiration from Pinterest and Instagram. We started off with Acroyoga actually. There was no specific reason as to why we picked Yoga. We didn’t know it much at the time; but after our first session we felt SOOOO good and got hooked.
Do you do any other forms of exercise?
Yes I do other forms of exercise. I run here and there. As of December 2016 I’ve been inspired to skip. So I am currently on a skipping challenge. I also do random workouts on the app Nike Training App. One day, I’d love to do Cross Fit activities.
What are some of the benefits of Yoga?
There are so many benefits of Yoga. The physical ones include better posture, increased core strength, toned muscles, increased flexibility, pain and stress relief, weight management and improved breathing. However, I discovered some other benefits too, it is a great stress reliever!
I found that it taught me some great life lessons. Life is a journey, creating small goals is essential for happiness. In Yoga, a pose was a journey, I would celebrate each improvement or step towards being able to get the pose. I found myself constantly motivated and happy. I apply that to life as well. The journey is just as important as the end goal. Another feeling I can’t really describe is the feeling you get after a great session. A sense of peace. Amaze balls!! It also helped me focus and helped me practice the skill of blocking things out and being able to be present.
What would you advise someone who wants to try out Yoga?
Practice, practice, practice. I can’t emphasise this enough. The more you do it the better you get. When you stop you reverse the effects slowly. The Internet is your friend. There is tonnes and tonnes of inspiration on the Internet. A lot of amazing people doing amazing things. There are many variations of yoga too. Research and choose what suits you. There are different types of yoga too. Personally I enjoy the Hatha Yoga and Ashtanga types; sometimes Vinyasa too. I would love to try some Iyengar which is the yoga practice that uses props like straps and blocks and some Birkam also known as Hot Yoga. (Feel free to search for these Yoga variations on the Internet). My advise is find a partner to do it with. I think that was what helped me to stay on track. When I am practicing alone. It’s okay but not as fun.
Where do you do your yoga and what equipment do you need?
I do my Yoga at home mostly and at places with beautiful backgrounds if the aim is a pose and a picture. In most cases you just need a mat. However, if you wanna try Iyanger then you will need blocks and straps (or a scarf).
I have noticed your #RunWithFitnessBae hashtags, what got you to join the group?
I decided to join because I had fallen off the wagon. I had not really exercised in a long time. I was feeling lazy and uninspired. Body size was not the problem. I was actually weighing less than I had in a long time. But for someone who loves fitness I was feeling very unhealthy. I saw Umba’s post on Instagram and sent a message to Fitness Bae that I want in and it was the best decision I’ve ever made. Not only did I find my inspiration back, I get daily motivation and a six pack doesn’t seem like an impossible dream anymore
Anything you would like to share with anyone who is making excuses to start on working out?
Working out is not just about weight loss. I cannot stress this enough. You can be in love with the size of your body but you still need to work out. I read somewhere that working out decreases the chance of getting breast cancer by 25%. Working out also decreases the chance of getting many diseases. It boosts confidence and it’s great therapy. You don’t have to go out and run 50 kilometres today, just make small exercise improvements everyday and make the habit a part of your life.
Where can people reach you on social media?
Since I started doing Yoga, I have noticed that I celebrate the small things. I am more in love with my body and I have more confidence in what my body can do.