Byron Bay is heaven for yoga lovers and many Lexis English students choose to come to Byron Bay because of this. Others come with no experience, try their first yoga class here and become hooked. Recently, I caught up with three students who I keep bumping into at my yoga studio to find out why they love it so much.
Bianca Borges Santos Pintan
Bianca had already practised yoga before she came to Byron Bay but work pressure meant that she hadn’t been to a class for over a year by the time she arrived.
She remembers clearly what re-ignited her passion:
“One day I was in the Monday Yoga class at Lexis English and Fee (the yoga instructor) said something like ‘Yoga is your home; you can always come back to it’. This really resonated with me.
“Since then I have been practising 3-5 times per week at Creature Yoga. I do a combination of Vinyasa and Yin/Restorative classes and sometimes do two classes per day, depending on my work schedule.
“For me, Yoga is far more than the physical; its’ the connection with breath and the fact that it’s an active meditation that makes it so special. It shows us our weak and our strong points and also makes us realise that if we can meet a challenge in the yoga room with equanimity we can do the same with challenges in real life.
“Yoga has changed my mind and my body and my relationship with myself. I also find that I sleep much better and that a back problem I had when I arrived has completed disappeared.
“Finally, Yoga has helped improve my English. It’s great for listening practice. I used to find it really difficult when I was in the front row because it meant I had to couldn’t look to other students for what to do and I had to follow the instructions. I have to work hard to pay attention but I’m sure it’s really helped my English a lot.”
Renata Svaizer Do Amaral Brito
Renata is another regular at Creature Yoga now. But when she first arrived in Australia, she had only been to one yoga class and didn’t like it. She told me that she thinks it just wasn’t the right time for her. She also thinks that the teachers are so much better here in Byron Bay.
Renata finds yoga helps her maintain a calm mind while also being great for her body. She does a combination of Vinyasa Flow and Yin and tries to practice at least 4 times per week. This regular yoga practice has really helped her listening. Good instructors naturally speak slowly and clearly so that students can follow the instructions, so even though Renata didn’t always find it easy to understand what was said, she was able to follow along. As she went more often she began to learn new vocabulary and definitely found that her ability to concentrate on listening tasks improved.
Yoga also led Renata to the practise of Ho’oponopono. See http://www.laughteronlineuniversity.com/practice-hooponopono-four-simple-steps/ for a brief summary. This Hawaiian method has four simple steps; Repentence, Gratitude, Forgiveness and Love and when practised regularly can have amazing results.
Now, Renata is so passionate about yoga that she is planning to do her yoga teacher training, also in Byron Bay.
Kanae started practising yoga earlier this year while still in Japan. Like Renata she also started yoga to help with anxiety. In Kanae’s case the anxiety meant that she was struggling to control her eating habits. As a nurse, she knew she had to start doing something positive for herself and her body so she took up yoga and her practice, combined with a healthy diet, enabled her to lose 10kg in three months.
She joined a yoga studio immediately on arriving in Byron Bay and practises whenever she can. She said yoga and pranayama (breath) make her feel much healthier and more positive. Indeed, now she also wants to become a yoga teacher and is considering applying for the Byron Yoga Centre’s 1 year Certificate IV course at the end of next year.
Learn English in Byron Bay. Lexis English students study General English, IELTS, FCE, CAE and English plus Surfing or Yoga in a friendly and professional school right in the heart of Byron Bay and only 15 minutes from the beach.