What is Slowwwga?
This Wednesday, I had the chance to try out slowwwga, in INIT Yoga studios, in Ringsend. Slowwwga is a type of yoga devised by Victoria Mary Clarke. Victoria says herself, that she finds meditation and relaxation hard sometimes, because she may think of random things, like shopping or eating cake. She is not unique in this assessment, as the majority of participants in the class also were of this opinion. Slowwwga is relaxing, and unlike other types of yoga, you end up getting all the yogic benefits of the stretches (sans the ashtangi body), without going through major pain – Victoria insists that you only go to where you are comfortable, and find which way is right for you. Slowwwga is really beneficial to anyone who sits at a desk, or over a computer all day, which most of us do nowadays.
We begin in my (favourite) position, lying down on the mat. Victoria instructs us to get comfortable, and breathe into ourselves, and to feel the breath. This was really lovely, as we often do forget to breathe, and we really do forget the power breath has. I have to admit, lying down felt weird – my back did not want to connect to the mat – it did not want to connect. However, with several deep, connected breaths, I began to melt into the floor, and my body began to relax. I began to connect with myself, for possibly the first time today.
We then proceeded to go through a number of poses on the floor, each time loosening our joints and muscles and feeling really deep, connected and joyful stretches. Poses I normally find excruciating, were for the first time a joy to sit into – literally. As someone with tight hamstrings, a lot of the poses the ladies were more able to do, I was not. Despite this, Victoria made sure that I could partake in a more suitable pose to my form. Each twist, each stretch felt lovely, but also releasing and refreshing, unlike the constrictive movements I have felt in other types of yoga, like Bikram or indeed Ashtanga.
We spent the class on the mat, each pose flowed, almost vinyasa style, from one to the next. The hour flew by, with each pose, I enjoyed myself more, and relaxed more. When we got to corpse pose, I felt deep relaxation, and did not want to get up. We worked mostly on the back this week, but in future weeks, Victoria assured us that we would be working other areas of our bodies, and stretching other areas. I loved the slow, gentle nature of the slowwwga, and the fact that there was no wrong way to do it. It made me more mindful, as I concentrated and connected with myself through each stress. I certainly wasn’t thinking about shopping, or cake, or wine. I was thinking about how much I was enjoying the class, and how much I did not want it to end.
Is slowwwga for me?
What’s my assessment? I have to say, doing slowwwga is like having your cake, eating it, and finding you have way more cake. It is win-win! I will definitely be doing it again, and I will definitely be raving about it to all my friends!
If you want to find out more about Victoria, or learn more about slowwwga, check out her website www.victoriamaryclarke.com. She also has an inspirational Gardening Yoga DVD, available on her online shop. Weekly Slowwwga classes will be starting with Wednesday evening classes from 26th August. Sunday afternoon workshops will also be commencing, dates TBC.