Spotlight on Yoga
At nearly 90 Mavis Turver, our Friday morning Yoga Group Leader, is an inspiration to us all. I met with her to talk to her about her involvement with this, sometimes controversial, activity.
When did you first become interested in yoga?
Around 50 years ago when I was almost 40 years of age and overweight with three young sons and a hungry husband to feed I felt that I had a problem! Yoga came into my life – it’s widely known that when you need something this is what happens - and I have been practising ever since. That is why I am so fit and healthy now at almost 90.
Why did you decide to take it up?
As I said, I was totally unfit and couldn’t find the energy to play outside with my kids. I saw someone teaching yoga on the television and thought that it looked easy so I searched for a teacher and joined a class. I was so unfit that at first I couldn’t do the postures but I loved it and eventually trained as a teacher with the British Wheel of Yoga!
What are the benefits of doing yoga?
Yoga makes you feel good about yourself, both physically and mentally. You learn to centre yourself so that you can give out to others and follow the yoga philosophy which is to be kind to everyone and respect all living things.
Can any student join your class?
It doesn’t matter how old you are, how young you are or how fit you are, anyone can take up yoga. However, if you have any underlying medical condition you should ask your doctor’s permission first. It is also important to tell your yoga teacher so that she can adjust your practice to your particular needs.
It can be quite daunting to join a new group so tell us how you, as an experienced teacher, put your students at their ease?
I make them laugh! This helps them to relax and stops them from thinking about their daily concerns. It is a time when they can leave their worries behind and let their hair down.
How do your sessions proceed?
Each student has to learn how to use his/her body, to retrain it, to persuade it to work in a different way. Postures are designed to work on every part of the body and every session contains a balance of postures. The session always finishes with a relaxation which allows us to get back to a normal working state. Students should leave the session refreshed and reinvigorated.
There are now 25 in the group and my favourite asana sequence, or exercise, is called ‘My Angels’. You should see them!
Guess what? As an ex-yoga student from many years ago, Mavis has inspired me to take it up again. I’ll see you there!